Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Thursday 7/22/21
Now’s your chance to get DFSR PRO, which will give you access to our MLB, NBA, PGA, NHL, and NFL optimizers and our new player lab! Get started for free by clicking the button below.
We get yet another slate full of question marks at the pitcher position so I will be looking for value to help fit more bats. It starts with Charlie Morton who gives us a nice floor on strikeouts alone as he has tallied seven or more in six straight starts and once again comes at a sub $9K price on DraftKings. The Phillies have been slightly above-average on offense lately but have been worse (14% wRC+ difference) against right-handed pitching. All things considered, Morton is my top PTS/$ play on the mound and in play in all formats.
I am not into paying up for Buehler against the Division-leading Giants so I will take the discount and ride with Manaea. Despite some average outings in July, he has still posted an elite 2.37 ERA/3.44 xFIP over his last 10 starts while striking out 27% of batters. He now faces a below-average Mariners offense(.295 wOBA/90 wRC+) that strikes out 27% of the time. I will be pairing Manaea with Morton on DraftKings and I also lean Manaea slightly on FanDuel as my top pitcher overall.
The first base position is loaded at the top so I will split hairs and go with Muncy who comes a bit cheaper than Olson and has much better splits than Freeman and his lefty/lefty matchup. Muncy's bat has been relied on heavily this season with injuries and down season for other star players and he has responded tremendously and is on pace for a career year. His .420 wOBA is 3rd to only Vladdy and Ohtani and he enters the night with hits in five of six games since the ASB. It is very close but I lean Muncy as my top play at first base tonight.
Anthony Rizzo FD - 1B 3100 DK - 1B 4200
Opponent - STL (Kwang Hyun Kim) Park - STL
FD - 10.1 DK - 7.56
It has been a rough season overall for Rizzo and adding to that is the fact his name has been mentioned a ton as the trade deadline approaches. For fantasy purposes, it comes down to PTS/$ upside and he more than provides that with a price that is stuck in the mid-tier. What stands out the most are the reverse splits as he has been elite vs. lefties with a .414 wOBA and 161 wRC+ and we likely get him at bargain bin ownership making him a great GPP pivot tonight.
There was a time not-so-long-ago where we had to pay upwards of $6K for Albies on DraftKings so this feels like an extreme buy-low spot. He comes in hot with hits in three of his last four games(including three doubles), hits cleanup, and is a switch-hitter who crushes lefties to the tune of a .408 wOBA, 155 wrC+, and .295 ISO. The Braves are in a great spot as a Top 3 team in implied runs vs. Matt Moore and Albies is my top play at second base, especially on DraftKings.
Kike Hernández FD 3200 DK 3800
Opponent - NYY (Jordan Montgomery) Park - NYY
FD - 10.24 DK - 7.72
Hernandez checks every box tonight and it starts with form as he closed the series vs. the Jays with five hits in his last 11 at-bats with two doubles and three home runs. He is the everyday leadoff hitter for the Red Sox Top 5 offense and has been very consistent since the start of July with an elite .443 wOBA and 181 wRC+ and he also hits lefties well(.356 wOBA/123 wRC+). He is in play on both sites, but his best value easily come on Draftkings under $4K.
**If you go value pitching and have the salary, Tatis, Baez, and Bogaerts are all great plays at the top of the salary and all in plus matchups. Below I will instead look at some value plays **
After a bit of a slump which pushed him down the lineup, Rojas has started to heat back hitting 3.24 in July with a 114 wRC+ and has made his way back to the top of the lineup. At first glance, the matchup doesn't look great but Snell has struggled mightily this season(5.21 ERA) and Rojas has crushed lefties to the tune of a .416 wOBA and 166 wRC+. He comes at value price on both sites which fits into my model of paying up for pitching in cash games and will be a core play for me tonight.
Also Consider: Dansby Swanson(ATL) as the Braves are in a great spot and he has moved up to 2nd in the lineup
Manny Machado FD 3800 DK 5500
Opponent - MIA (Undecided) Park - MIA
FD - 13.31 DK - 10.98
At the time of writing this, the Marlins have yet to announce a starter but no matter who it is, I love paying up for Machado to get a piece of the Padres offense. Obviously, Tatis is my first choice but his price on DraftKings is over $6K at the moment making Machado's price seem like a value(lol). What stands out here is the form out of the All-Star break as Machado has hits in five straight including three doubles and a home run. He provides us a high floor and ceiling making him my top play at third tonight.
Riley has cooled off a bit compared to earlier in the season but is still on track to shatter his career-best in multiple categories. It starts with the consistency he has provided hitting .277 with a .361 OBP and then tack on the production with 15 home runs, 45 RBI, and a 122 wRC+ and you have a solid mid-tier value that can be played in all formats. It also helps the Braves are in a great spot to put up runs. Lock and load!
On a slightly smaller slate where we are likely spending around $17-18K on pitching finding value is key. No player stands out more in that regard than J.D. Martinez who is somehow back down in the mid $K range on DraftKings. The Red Sox are a top projected offense on this slate in a plus matchup vs. Montgomery and JD has crushed lefties to the tune of a .376 wOBA, 136 wRC+, and .229 ISO. Don't overthink it here. Fire up Martinez in all formats on DK.
Sticking with Boston here, we get even more value in the outfield with Hunter Renfroe is coming off hits in four straight including home runs in two straight. He hits down in the lineup but I think we can still consider in cash games as he crushes lefties to the tune of a .400 wOBA and 152 wRC+.
Bradley Zimmer FD 2200 DK 2400
Opponent - TB (Luis Patiño) Park - TB
FD - 8.38 DK - 6.35
Zimmer has picked up where he left off before the All-Star break with hits in five of six games and if we count pre-ASB, he has hits in eight of his last nine. That consistency and the short-term injury to J-Ram has pushed Zimmer to the leadoff spot in three of his last four games and if back there again tonight will easily be one of our top PTS/$ values on the entire slate.