FanDuel DFS MLB Picks | 7/21/18

It was not a good beginning to the second half, as Robbie Ray crapped out against the Rockies, and other offenses I didn’t target went bonkers.  We’ll try it again today, and we have 11 games to tackle.  Once again, I’ll be looking to save money on starting pitching to attack the premier offenses on the slate, and hopefully Vince Velasquez (spoiler alert) works out better than Ray did.  I’ll see all our FTA+ subs in chat, and follow me on twitter @jac3600.   STARTING PITCHER TOP PLAY Clayton Kershaw, LAD ($10,700) Kershaw’s baselines have been tough to pin down this year with his injuries and diminished velocity, but I don’t like Verlander’s matchup at all so I’ll lean this way at the high end.  The Brewers are without one of their best platoon hitters in Ryan Braun, and they rank sixth in overall K rate this season.  His innings are not as stable as Verlander’s by any stretch, but I think there’s a little more upside to be had here.  Neither one are currently cash targets for me unless lineups tell a different tale. Other options – Justin Verlander, Carlos Carrasco, Madison Bumgarner   VALUE PLAY Vince Velasquez, PHI ($8300) Arrieta let me down as my SP2 on DK last night in the same spot, but VV has far more K upside and gets about as good a matchup as a pitcher can.  The Padres are 29th in wRC+ and last in ISO against RHP, and also have the highest K rate against.  Velasquez occasionally is prone to command issues which could lead to blowups, but he’s a -180 favorite with a 3.4 IRTA (both totals better than Verlander and Kershaw).  He’s well worth it in cash, and lets you get in big bats. Other options – Zack Godley, Felix Hernandez, Gio Gonzalez, Sean Newcomb, Trevor Cahill   CATCHER/FIRST BASE TOP PLAY Edwin Encarnacion, CLE ($3600) The Indians dominated my article yesterday and today will be no different.  They have an IRT of six runs against Bartolo Colon, and temps are once again expected to be at 105 degrees or higher.  Over the past two years, Edwin has crushed same-handed pitching for a .375 wOBA and .268 ISO, and his hard hit rate is a ripe 30% over the last 15 days.  He’s still underpriced on FD, and represents one of the best ways to get access to Cleveland. Other options – Joey Votto, Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo, Cody Bellinger   VALUE PLAY Yonder Alonso, CLE ($2900) If you can’t get to Edwin, just use Alonso (or even both, and the UTIL spot allows this).  Colon has been equally bad against both handed hitters, and Alonso has a .212 ISO against RHP over the past two years.  Hitting fifth in this lineup is just fine, and he’s viable in all formats. Other options – Jose Abreu, Carlos Santana, Joe Mauer, Eric Hosmer, Lucas Duda Catcher values – Buster Posey, Salvador Perez, Evan Gattis, Yan Gomes   SECOND BASE TOP PLAY Brian Dozier, MIN ($3800) This is the only position where you won’t see Indians flooding the best plays.  Dozier is generally better against lefties, but he’s been crushing the ball in the month of July with a 37.5% HHR and a .310 ISO.  He’s facing Jake Junis who can’t keep the ball in the park to save his life (2.12 HR/9 allowed this year), and the Royals bullpen behind him in absolutely horrid.  The Twins’ IRT of 4.8 runs pales in comparison to the Indians, but it’s one of the highest on the slate after them. Other options – Jose Altuve, Scooter Gennett, Max Muncy, Yoan Moncada   VALUE PLAY Alen Hanson, SF ($2200) Hanson is a great way to grab salary relief on the hitting side, making it possible to spend up for both Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor (more on them later).  Hanson should hit leadoff in this one, and is near the minimum price tag with speed upside.  He is actually not devoid of power either, as he’s posted a .176 ISO against RHP over the last two seasons, making him a very smart cash play on this particular slate. Other options – Dee Gordon, Cesar Hernandez, Rougned Odor, Jason Kipnis   THIRD BASE TOP PLAY Jose Ramirez, CLE ($4900) If you have to choose between the two big Cleveland bats I’ll pick Lindor again, but I’d really like to get both if possible.  Ramirez homered again yesterday which has brought his total combined homers and steals to 50 (it’s July!), and he’s a better hitter from the right side.  He’s got a .397 wOBA and .247 ISO against RHP over the past two years, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better option outside of his teammate at short.  He should be aggressively pursued today. Other options – Kris Bryant, Eugenio Suarez   VALUE PLAY Kyle Seager, SEA ($3200) We can’t forget the Mariners tonight, who have the second highest IRT on the slate at 5.1 runs.  They’re in their home park which is friendlier to pitchers, but the Dylan Covey regression is in full force.  He’s once again walking well over four batters per nine innings while not missing any bats, and his ERA has ballooned to 5.69.  Seager has a .217 ISO against RHP over the last three years and generally hits fifth. Other options – Mike Moustakas, Justin Turner, Colin Moran   SHORTSTOP TOP PLAY Francisco Lindor, CLE ($4400) Lindor comes in as my top overall cash hitter for the second straight day.  He’s very easy to fit in even if you spend a little more at SP (although that route will cost you Jose Ramirez), and Lindor has posted absolutely studly numbers this year.  Bartolo Colon has allowed 1.88 HR/9 to LHB over the past three years and his K rate is plummeting.  The Texas bullpen ranks 26th in xFIP and Lindor has a great shot at five PAs in this one. Other options – Manny Machado, Jean Segura, Trea Turner   VALUE PLAY Nick Ahmed, ARI ($2600) Ahmed is cheap enough to use in GPPs as a pivot as he’s been a platoon monster (.257 ISO against LHP since the beginning of last season).  Kyle Freeland has been remarkably good this season but is still prone to hard contact allowed to RHB.  Ahmed usually hits second, and his cheap price allows contrarian GPP stacks to be built. Other options – Jose Peraza, Elvis Andrus, Marcus Semien   OUTFIELD TOP PLAY Michael Brantley, CLE ($3900) The Indians bings is completed with Brantley, and he’s very enticing at a sub-4k price tag.  I’m not sacrificing the two big infielders to get him in, but Brantley has been just as good against RHP with a .373 wOBA and .265 ISO over the past two years.  He’ll hit second, and five PAs is a strong bet for him as well.  The Texas bullpen is mostly right-handed, which maintains Brantley’s upside. Other options – Mike Trout, Nelson Cruz, Mitch Haniger, Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, George Springer, Eddie Rosario, AJ Pollock   VALUE PLAY Corey Dickerson, PIT ($3300) Dickerson is a nice value play as long as he continues to lead off.  He’s got a very low HHR lately, but he’s posted a .222 ISO against RHP over the past two seasons.  Anthony DeSclafani is actually one of the better Reds starters, but he’s allowed 2.45 HR/9 this season which opens up a world of upside as the Pirates get an insane park boost. Other options – Joc Pederson, Shin Soo Choo, Joey Gallo, Tyler Naquin, Rhys Hoskins, Khris Davis, Ronald Acuna, Andrew McCutchen, Josh Reddick, Willie Calhoun Fantasy Baseball

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