MLB DFS Plays: Wednesday 7/7

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This article outlines the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We take a comprehensive look to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.

Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.

We’ll focus on the nine-game main slate. Watch out for rain in Baltimore, New York, and Chicago. The Brewers-Mets game is the second of a doubleheader. Sadly, we lose our chance to use Jacob deGrom.

PITCHER

Top Play: Zack Wheeler – Phillies (at Cubs)

This one could get a little too wet to use. It’s still possible Wrigley Field dodges the rain. Wheeler has emerged as a true ace and possibly the best non-deGrom starter in the league. He easily ranks as the top pitcher in this slate. The Cubs are strikeout prone, struggling as an offense of late, and the Wrigley winds are blowing in from center field at a harsh 12-mph.

Pivot: David PriceDodgers (at Marlins)

Miami is a familiar whipping boy for DFSers. They feature a below average, strikeout prone offense. Reading between the lines, the Dodgers are planning to stretch out Price to take Trevor Bauer’s place in the rotation. Today he’ll be in a bulk relief role of possibly 50 or 60 pitches. He’ll need to manage something like four strikeouts, no runs, and the win in order to return substantial value. This slate is light in well-priced pitching, thus opening the door for a tryhard Price play.

Also Consider: Yusei Kikuchi, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Luis Garcia, Alex Wood, Chris Paddack, Domingo German

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CATCHER

Top Play: J.T. Realmuto – Phillies (at Alec Mills)

Realmuto is in the midst of a modest funk which is likely tied to previous nagging injuries. However, his current price tag is simply inconceivable. Despite unfavorable conditions at Wrigley Field tonight, he’s one of the top bargains at the position with a juicy mid-lineup role. Mills is nothing to write home about – a short-outing, pitch-to-contact, ground ball guy.

Pivot: Luis Torrens – Mariners (vs Domingo German)

German has a balanced contact profile with a modest home run issue. Escaping Yankee Stadium should help him to keep the ball in the yard. Even so, Torrens has an elevated shot at a big fly. He’s locked in at the plate lately, supplying career-best exit velocities and barreled contact rates.

Also Consider: Gary Sanchez, Will Smith, Daulton Varsho, Pedro Severino, Danny Jansen

FIRST BASE

Top Play: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Blue Jays (at Matt Harvey)

There is a bucket of about 10 pitchers who vie for the title of “worst MLB starter.” The Orioles have several including Harvey. The right-hander typically doesn’t finish five innings. When he does, it’s often because he’s been sacrificed to the baseball gods to preserve the O’s bullpen. Though he’s expensive, Vladito projects as a dollar-for-dollar value with better than a one-in-three chance to homer. Weather allowing, it’ll be tough to pass up a Blue Jays stack today.

Pivot: Ryan Mountcastle – Orioles (vs Ryu)

If you tuned in yesterday, you’ll know I made this exact recommendation against Steven Matz. What makes this such a tempting pivot is that Trey Mancini will draw most of the attention for value hunters. Mancini projects to perform better and at a slightly better value. However, Mountcastle also rates as a bargain play – one who could be virtually unrostered. The matchup against Ryu detracts from that value but doesn’t eliminate it entirely.

Also Consider: Max Muncy, Matt Olson, Yuli Gurriel, Trey Mancini, Luke Voit, Christian Walker, Ty France

SECOND BASE

Top Play: Marcus Semien – Blue Jays (at Harvey)

Harvey’s one redeeming quality is his tendency to induce ground ball contact. Semien is best against such pseudo-ground ball guys. He’s just as likely as Guerrero to roll Yahtzee.

Pivot: Dylan Moore – Mariners (vs German)

This is my standard recommendation for Moore. He can fill up a box score in any given game – if he overcomes his 30 percent strikeout rate. There are few players with Moore’s volatility and almost none of them can match his price tag. German too is volatile. This matchup could be defined by which of them makes fewer mistakes.

Also Consider: Max Muncy, Jose Altuve, Chris Taylor, DJ LeMahieu, Eduardo Escobar, Jazz Chisholm

THIRD BASE

Top Play: Cavan Biggio – Blue Jays (at Harvey)

For DFS purposes, Biggio is really only usable against below average, right-handed, ground ball pitchers who generally work in the strike zone. And wouldn’t ya know it, Harvey checks all those boxes. Biggio’s weaknesses include below average power despite a fly ball profile and a passive-at-times plate approach.

Pivot: Domingo Leyba – Orioles (vs Ryu)

Leyba’s best attribute is that he’s minimum-priced. He is an aggressive hitter who managed nine home runs and an above average batting line in 102 Triple-A plate appearances this season. At the Major League level, he’s performed execrably, assembling a .098/.193/.157 line in 57 plate appearances. The Orioles have committed to giving him regular playing time to see if he can catch his stride. The matchup against Ryu is unfavorable. As with Mountcastle, a tough pairing doesn’t overcome the value built into this price tag.

Also Consider: Matt Chapman, Manny Machado, Justin Turner, Eduardo Escobar, DJ LeMahieu, Kyle Seager, Starlin Castro

SHORTSTOP

Top Play: Fernando Tatis Jr. – Padres (vs Patrick Corbin)

Honestly, this is a toss-up between Tatis Jr. and Bo Bichette. They’re comparable dollar-for-dollar values but Tatis has a slightly better projection and ceiling. Like any Tatis recommendation, it’s not complicated. Few players have his capacity to fill a boxscore. Corbin is known to have a homer prone fastball. That’s why Tatis has a one-in-three chance to homer.

Pivot: Gavin Lux – Dodgers (at David Hess)

The Dodgers stack hasn’t received any ink to this point only because the individual components are expensive relative to expectations. Part of that is Marlins Stadium putting a damper on home run potential. Lux is a roughly league average hitter with a bottom-of-the-lineup role. The Marlins will use Hess, an Orioles reject. The right-handed fly ball pitcher performed well in the Rays minor league system before jumping ship to Miami. He’s currently stretched out for about two to three innings. Los Angeles will see plenty of juicy relievers too.

Also Consider: Bo Bichette, Trea Turner, Trevor Story, Carlos Correa, Josh Rojas

OUTFIELD

Top Plays: George Springer – Blue Jays (at Harvey)
Teoscar Hernandez – Blue Jays (at Harvey)
Juan Soto – Washington Nationals (at Paddack)

Every Blue Jays hitter, regardless of lineup role, is on deck for stacking tonight. Hernandez and Springer are the best of the outfielders, but Randal Grichuk and Lourdes Gurriel shouldn’t be ignored either. Springer and Grichuk’s fly ball tendencies could help them in the frontline matchup while Hernandez and Gurriel might look better against the Baltimore relief corps.

As a changeup specialist, Paddack is one of the few pitchers in the league to run believable reverse platoon splits. I’m not especially concerned about Soto who’s having a bit of an off season. Despite typical peripherals including a career-high maximum exit velocity, Soto just hasn’t compiled as many extra base hits as normal. I’m prepared to ascribe this to two issues – injury-related rust and good old-fashioned statistical variability. In other words, I think the preseason projection holds – roughly a .300/.420/.550 batting line. If I’m correct, he’s a steal at today’s price.

Pivots: Tim Locastro – Yankees (at Kikuchi)
DJ Stewart – Orioles (vs Ryu)

Stewart is often the odd man out among the Orioles outfielders. However, he’s the best fit for a matchup against Ryu thanks to his combination of power and fly ball contact. Ryu likes to work down in the zone. Anthony Santander, Austin Hays, and even Cedric Mullins are all bargain-priced too. While I’ve recommended quite a few Orioles, I wouldn’t recommend trying a stack. As for Locastro, his talents are maximized when facing a fly ball-oriented southpaw like Kikuchi. He’ll likely start in center field and bat ninth for the Yankees this evening.

Also Consider: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Tommy Pham, Trent Grisham, Wil Myers, Josh Rojas, Starling Marte, Adam Duvall, Jesus Sanchez