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MLB DFS Slate Breakdown (7/17/21) » DFS Karma

This content will be dedicated to providing you with an easy-to-follow breakdown of the elite cash plays, GPP plays, and leverage stacks.

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MLB DK Pitcher Table

Brandon Woodruff

Woodruff’s one of the best pitchers in the MLB, recording a 2.95 xFIP with a 29.9% strikeout rate through 18 starts. He gets a tough matchup against the Cincinnati Reds in a hitter-friendly stadium, although there are strikeouts available in their lineup. At the top of this slate, I prefer Woodruff over Gerrit Cole, who will be facing off against the Boston Red Sox tonight. The Milwaukee ace is a -128 favorite in a game set at 8 runs, and he’s the priority spend-up tonight.

Tylor Megill

Megill’s seen limited innings in the MLB, but he’s found plenty of success in that time. Through only 4 starts, he ranks fourth on this slate in xFIP (3.33) and leads the slate in strikeout rate (33.8%). Megill’s minor league numbers suggest he can continue to find similar success in the Majors as he has early in his career. He gets a great matchup against the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight. Megill is currently a -174 favorite in a game set at 9 runs. He’s simply too cheap for his strikeout upside and this good of a matchup.

Alex Cobb

Cobb is the guy that I can’t quit. He’s consistently underpriced, specifically on DraftKings. He boasts a 3.04 xFIP to go along with a 26.7% strikeout rate through 13 starts. Cobb’s also averaging 22.4 DK points per game at home this season. He gets a great matchup against the Seattle Mariners, who have struggled offensively for the majority of the season. Cobb is currently a -123 favorite in a game set at 8.5 runs, and he’s an option that can be considered in all leagues tonight.

Other GPP Targets: Anthony DeSclafani, Gerrit Cole, Max Fried, Luis Castillo

Top DraftKings Batters

MLB Top Batters

Top FanDuel Batters

FD MLB Top Batters

C

Will Smith

This article will feature several Los Angeles Dodgers, as they’re in the best spot of the evening. Smith’s a bit underpriced, as his price tag should be north of $5k against Kyle Freeland in Coors. He was struggling before the All Star Break, but he posted 20 DK points in the first game of this series. Smith’s been better against right-handed pitching throughout his career, but he’s likely to see plenty of the Colorado bullpen in this game. Smith’s expected to hit fifth in the Los Angeles lineup tonight. He’s an elite option in all leagues.

Curt Casali 

Casali’s been playing extremely well in recent games. He’s hitting for a .407 average with a .852 slugging percentage and a 1.336 OPS over his last 10 games. He boasts 8 extra-base hits (2 home runs) and 6 RBIs in those contests. Casali gets a matchup against Kwang Hyun Kim, who’s due for regression in the second half of the season. The San Francisco catcher posted a .420 wOBA and a .323 ISO in somewhat of limited at-bats against left-handed pitching in 2020, and he could return to form sooner rather than later against that handedness. He’s only expected to hit eighth in the Giants lineup, but he’s cheap enough to be considered in all leagues on this slate.

1B

Max Muncy

Muncy’s been performing well for the Los Angeles Dodgers, recording a .282 average with a .487 slugging percentage and a .851 OPS over his last 10 games. He’s a powerful bat that will benefit greatly from playing in Coors tonight. He also gets an elite matchup against Kyle Freeland and a weak Colorado Rockies bullpen. Unfortunately, I don’t expect the lefty/lefty matchup to push ownership off of Muncy, who is a clear-cut top spend-up on this slate. He can be used in all leagues.

Pete Alonso

Alonso will likely go completely overlooked with Muncy only $500 more expensive. The Mets star has seen mixed results in recent games, hitting for a .235 average over his last 10 games. With that being said, he owns 7 extra-base hits (4 home runs) and 9 RBIs in those contests. He’s scored double-digit DK points in 6 of those 10 games, as well. He’s hitting fourth in the New York Mets offense, and Alonso gets an elite matchup against Wil Crowe tonight. They’re in a great spot, and the powerful first baseman will be a massive part of that tonight. He’s an elite GPP pivot off of Muncy tonight.

2B

Chris Taylor

Taylor’s found plenty of success in recent games for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Over his last 10 games, he’s hitting for a .342 average with 4 extra-base hits (1 home run), 8 RBIs, and 1 stolen base. Most importantly, Taylor enters this game with a .429 wOBA and a .275 ISO against left-handed pitching this season. He gets an elite matchup against Kyle Freeland, and Taylor could go a bit overlooked because of his price tag and hitting sixth in the Los Angeles lineup.

Alcides Escobar

I don’t truly want to target Blake Snell too much tonight, although Escobar makes an interesting salary relief option. He’s only played in 10 games this season, posting a .273 average with 4 extra-base hits and 5 RBIs. He boasts upside through multi-hit games, as he’s hitting at the top of the Washington Nationals offense. Escobar’s been more consistent against left-handed pitching throughout his career, and he’s simply too cheap for his upside on this slate.

3B

Justin Turner

I apologize about the constant flow of Los Angeles Dodgers players in this article, although I can’t emphasize enough how much better of a situation they’re in than any other team on this slate. Turner’s caught fire over his last 10 games, recording a .417 average with a .667 slugging percentage and a 1.143 OPS. He owns 3 home runs and 10 RBIs in those games, as well. Turner also boasts a .400 wOBA and a .276 ISO against left-handed pitching. He’s one of the top options for Los Angeles against Kyle Freeland tonight.

Hunter Dozier

If you need to save salary at this position, Dozier fits the bill. He’s hitting for a .265 average with a .412 slugging percentage and a .762 OPS over his last 10 games. Dozier gets a matchup against the Baltimore Orioles, who haven’t named a starter at this point. I would expect this to more or less be a bullpen game, making the Kansas City Royals one of the top stacks. Dozier’s expected to hit sixth in their lineup, and his price tag doesn’t represent the position he’s in tonight.

SS

Fernando Tatis Jr. 

If you have the ability to spend up on this position, Tatis is an elite option. He’s been ice cold in recent games, posting a .195 average over his last 10 contests. With that being said, he’s recorded 3 extra-base hits (2 home runs), 5 RBIs, and 4 stolen bases over that span. Tatis is one of very few players in the MLB that I’d pay up for in a cold streak. He gets an elite matchup against Patrick Corbin tonight, and the San Diego Padres make an elite stacking option. That all starts with Tatis, who has the tools to score fantasy points in several ways.

Gavin Lux

If you’re looking to save money at shortstop, it’s hard to look past Lux. He’s hitting late in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup and gets a lefty/lefty matchup, which could keep his ownership down compared to the rest of the lineup. Still, he owns a .257 average with 3 extra-base hits, 5 RBIs, and 1 stolen base over his last 10 games. Lux will also see plenty of the Colorado bullpen in this game, and he’s a cheap way to get a piece of the best offense on the slate.

OF

Los Angeles Dodgers

This was the clear next step in this article. Anyone starting in the Los Angeles outfield can be used tonight. Mookie Betts is the top option of the group, as he leads off for the Dodgers. Cody Bellinger and AJ Pollock can both be used for their price tags. Pollock’s cheaper and significantly better against left-handed pitching, although Bellinger comes with more upside. Choosing between the two depends on roster construction, and who you’ve already used for Los Angeles tonight.

Tommy Pham

Pham continues to find success for the San Diego Padres, recording a .268 average with 5 extra-base hits (1 home run), 3 RBIs, and 1 stolen base over his last 10 games. He gets an elite matchup against Patrick Corbin tonight. Pham’s been more consistent against right-handed pitching, although he’s flashed more power against lefties. He’s leading off for San Diego, and he enters this game with a surprisingly low price tag. Pham can be used in all leagues on this slate.

Cedric Mullins

Mullins is quietly enjoying an elite season for the Baltimore Orioles. He’s hitting for a .263 average with 3 extra-base hits (2 home runs), 5 RBIs, and 2 stolen bases over his last 10 games. Mullins gets a great matchup against Brady Singer, and he brings a .404 wOBA and a .244 ISO against right-handed pitching into this game. Mullins is a consistent option, leading off for Baltimore. He also boasts upside on any given night because of his combination of speed and power.

Andrew Benintendi

Benintendi’s seen mixed results in recent games, posting a .225 average over his last 10 games. With that being said, he owns 5 extra-base hits (3 home runs) and 5 RBIs over that span. Benintendi’s recorded .048 wOBA and .045 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching this season. Although we don’t know who’s starting for the Baltimore Orioles, I’d anticipate Benintendi getting multiple at-bats against a right-handed pitcher tonight. Even if he doesn’t, he’s an outstanding option for a cheap price tag on this slate.

“Team Batting Score” – A metric that quickly highlights overall team batting based on Runs Created (RC+) by team and comparing it to the average and standard deviation of all other MLB Teams
“Opp. Pitcher SP Score” – A weighted metric that evaluates today’s starting pitchers based on xFIP and Games Started (currently using partial end of 2020 data blended with the 2021 season)
“Opp. BP Score” – Similar to SP Score but weights the xFIP for the team’s bullpen

Team Batting vs. Opp. Pitch

DraftKings Team Stacks

DK MLB Stacks

FanDuel Team Stacks

FD MLB Stacks

“T2” (and T3/T4/T5) represents the Top 2 projected hitters for the team on the left (not necessarily the top 2 hitters in the batting order)

Stacking is an extremely important element to MLB DFS. In MLB, all of your players are correlated to each other. Outside of solo home runs, they need each other to succeed. If you look at the top of all of the big GPPs every night you will see stacks dominating the leaderboard.

When using our stacks chart, we want to identify teams that are projecting well but the ownership does not reflect their chance of success.

There are 10 games tonight, although there are only a few stacks that stick out. The Los Angeles Dodgers are the top option by a wide margin. Below are my favorite overall stacks of the slate.

DraftKings 5-Man Stack Ideas

LAD – Betts/Muncy/Turner/Bellinger/Taylor

NYM – Nimmo/Lindor/Smith/Alonso/McNeil

SD – Pham/Tatis/Cronenworth/Machado/Grisham

KC – Merrifield/Santana/Benintendi/Perez/O’Hearn

SF – Slater/Flores/Yastrzemski/Ruf/Casali

DraftKings 3-Man Stack Ideas

LAD – Betts/Muncy/Turner

SD – Pham/Tatis/Machado

NYM – Lindor/Smith/Alonso

KC – Merrifield/Benintendi/Perez

BAL – Mullins/Hays/Mancini

Written by Justin Bales (Follow @BalesSJustin on Twitter)