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Saturday, July 24, has a handful of late-afternoon matchups before a tantalizing 10-game featured slate. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.
MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks, Saturday, July 24
It is going to be warm across most of the Midwest and East Coast ballparks today, along with summery humidity where one would expect it to be. Game-time temperatures at the Great American Ballpark will be in the upper-80s with 55 to 60% humidity with a slight breeze to left field. This should only enhance an already hitter-friendly venue. Jake Woodford will be taking the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals in what should be a tricky matchup for the former first-round selection. Woodford was drafted out of high school where he was teammates with Houston Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker.
Across six seasons and 562.2 innings at various MiLB stops, Woodford was not particularly impressive with a below average 6.6 strikeouts per nine innings. This will be the third start in The Show for the soon-to-be 25-year-old, and across his 30 MLB appearances he has tallied 52 innings with 7.4 strikeouts and 2.1 home runs per nine innings. The power has come from both sides of the plate where his 63.6% first-strike and 8.6% swinging-strike rates tend to jam him up early in counts.
While we are waiting for Jesse Winker to hit his first July home run, he does at least have hits in three of his last four games, including two doubles. This has lowered his salary down to just $11 on Yahoo making him an absolute steal. While Aristides Aquino ($10) is horrible in the field and strikes out all too often, he has been in the lineup regularly this month and his light-tower power is available on the cheap.
Joey Votto ($16) will turn 38 in a few weeks, however, he has somehow turned back the clock with his best slugging numbers since the 2017 season. While Tyler Naquin ($8) is always a pinch-hit risk, that is factored into his salary. St. Louis only has three southpaws in its bullpen, and two of them have pitched twice in the last three days, which bodes well for a right-hander to be the first in the game in relief of Woodford.
Eugenio Suarez ($9) has been abysmal this season with a .198 average, that is 100 points below his career mark, however, he is still hitting home runs. Finally, to wrap up a full stack, Kyle Farmer ($12), Jonathan India ($18) and Tyler Stephenson ($8) are lottery ticket MLB DFS picks.
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Washington Nationals at RHP Matt Harvey — 5.7 implied runs
Congratulations to Matt Harvey, who notched six shutout innings against the Royals last Sunday. Of course, he still has a 7.13 ERA on the season while allowing 1.68 baserunners per inning, along with a paltry 16.5% strikeout rate. It will be in the mid-80s in Camden Yards with a 9- to 11-mph breeze blowing out to left field, which bodes well for the Nationals.
Of course, our primary MLB DFS picks from Washington of course will be Trea Turner and Juan Soto. Washington also gets a bonus with this game being in an American League Park and they will be able to utilize Ryan Zimmerman as the designated hitter. While DraftKings did a nice job moving the Nationals’ top stars to the top of the salary list at $6,000 each, Zimmerman is the cheat code at $2,800, which will bring down the average cap hit in a big way. Josh Bell is the other bat to target, and as a switch-hitter, he will hold the platoon advantage for the entire game against the sketchy Orioles’ bullpen.
If Miami ends up rolling out former Nationals starter Ross Detwiler, then the Padres will rival Washington as the top option to stack on the evening slate. Deeper down the list, but still in favorable matchups are the Braves and Phillies squaring off against Vincent Velasquez and Drew Smyly, respectively. Despite being a short slate, we will have plenty of teams to stack with the inevitably chalky Max Scherzer as our ace.
San Francisco Giants vs. RHP Wil Crowe — 5.1 implied runs
The West Coast portion of the schedule brings us two excellent hitting matchups with the Dodgers hosting lefty Kyle Freeland and the Giants greeting righty Wil Crowe. It will be no surprise if the Dodgers are easily the most popular option on the late slate, while also rivaling the Reds for that honor on the main slate. Since there will be plenty of analysis available for that throughout today, let’s take a deeper look at the San Francisco.
Even with the cooler weather for most of this season, we have seen an average of 9.56 runs scored per game in San Francisco. Last year, after the offseason renovations changing the bullpen location to the outfield, moving in the fences a seemingly benign few feet and changing the outfield viewing area, we could sense something was different.
While some thought it was because the abbreviated season started in the warmer months of July, the 30 games averaged 10.17 runs. Combining those game with the 41 this season, we can see that the park is averaging 9.82 runs per game. In the four seasons between 2016 and 2019, pre-renovations, there was a composite average of 8.11 runs per game.
Clearly, we will need more of a sample size, however, the trend is looking pretty strong with a 1.6 run increase per game. Back to the Giants matchup tonight, it is a good one against Crowe. On the season, the rookie has been hit hard allowing multi-home run games in five of his 13 starts with a 2.09 home-run-per-nine-inning average. Batters of either handedness have faired well and the 6.07 FIP and 5.72 xERA indicate that the 6.12 ERA has not been particularly unlucky.
Mike Yastrezemski and Alex Dickerson are the top two MLB DFS picks and we can work in leadoff man LaMonte Wade for a lefty trio. Buster Posey continues to rake this season and Wilmer Flores seems to have found sustained success against same-handed hurlers after being just a lefty masher for most of his career.
Top Target: RHP Kevin Gausman vs. Pittsburgh Pirates — 3.0 implied runs
DFS Salary: Yahoo $53 | FanDuel $11,000 | DraftKings $9,700
Between the All-Star break and taking time off to address a family medical situation, this will be just the second outing for Kevin Gausman in the last two weeks. The day prior to the break, he spun a gem against the Nationals with six one-run innings accompanied by nine strikeouts on 102 pitches. On Monday in his return to action, Gausman lasted just three innings against the Dodgers, though he did throw 80 pitches. While he struggled in the first inning allowing home runs to Max Muncy and Justin Turner, he settled down after that. After the fourth, he was lifted for a pinch-hitter and that closed out the book.
Tonight, Gausman gets a dream matchup against the Pirates, who have one of the least threatening offenses in the league. This season, they are in the cellar with a .137 ISO against right-handed pitching, and while they are striking out at the second-lowest rate in the league, they are also creating runs 10% less efficiently than league average. Currently, Gausman leads the league among qualified starters with a 1.84 ERA and he is second with a 0.85 WHIP, which are accompanied by 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings. Enjoy!
Secondary Target: RHP Luis Castillo vs. St. Louis Cardinals — 4.0 implied runs
DFS Salary: Yahoo $42 | FanDuel $8,600 | DraftKings $7,500
Since the beginning of June, Luis Castillo has made nine starts, allowing more than two earned runs only twice — and each of those games just three baserunners scored on his watch. Across these 56.1 innings, he has a 1.76 ERA, 1.06 WHIP while allowing only two home runs. The 25 walks are concerning, however, that has been offset by nearly a strikeout-per-inning and a 52.9% groundball rate. Enjoy the discount and the current DFS impression that Castillo is having a poor season.
Wild Card: RHP Logan Gilbert vs. Oakland Athletics — 4.8 implied runs
DFS Salary: Yahoo $44 | FanDuel $8,300 | DraftKings $7,800
Rookie Logan Gilbert is an intriguing late-slate pivot away from Gausman, and he is viable on the main slate on Yahoo and DraftKings where two pitchers are required the their MLB formats. While Oakland is an above average offense against righties, the salary is reasonable and T-Mobile Park is definitely pitching friendly. Gilbert has been solid in his 11 starts allowing only five home runs and he has been touched up for more than two runs just three times. While the Mariners may start to monitor his workload in August, he is likely to have another start or two with a 100-pitch ceiling, including tonight.
Final Thoughts for the Saturday, July 24, MLB DFS Slate
There are no precipitation concerns and we have warm weather in most locations. Additionally, Saturday is loaded with top-shelf pitching, which will make rolling out the highly projected offense a little tricky. That means this should be a fun day for tournaments with all of the different decision points.
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