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DFS Primer – July 3

Gus Elmashni breaks down the DFS slate for Saturday.

Welcome to the Sunday edition of the DFS Primer. The selections yesterday came close to reaching the cash line but Dylan Cease was not as dominant as I thought and the Houston and St. Louis bats came alive. We just dust ourselves off and try again!

I won’t have time to make my fancy table ranking various pitching metrics since I was camping with my kids in our backyard last night but what if I told you there was a pathway to build a lineup with a full Braves or Yankees stack and get the top pitcher today? I firmly believe such a lineup can be built with Framber Valdez or Brandon Woodruff as your pitcher for FanDuel and even both of them for DraftKings. How do we do it? You go with Tampa Bay as your secondary stack.

I will admit that the Rays are a tricky offense to figure out. Prior to their doubleheader yesterday, they were on a four-game losing streak and had managed just 8 total runs. The Rays blew up for 17 runs yesterday! Yes, that was over 2 games, but still very impressive! They face one of the Blue Jays’ worst starting pitchers in Ross Stripling and Toronto really has no choice but to use him since this is the 5th game in 4 days for both teams. Toronto’s bullpen has to be exhausted, with Kevin Gausman only lasting 2 innings in the first set of yesterday’s doubleheader and Thomas Hatch only providing 4 innings while giving up 10 earned runs. Ouch!

Tampa Bay was smart to save Shane McClanahan for the first game yesterday since he is very reliable and helped preserve the Rays bullpen. What this all means is that we should expect another strong showing from the Rays and go left-handed heavy with Wander Franco, Ji-Man Choi, and Josh Lowe.

I don’t think I need to tell you that the Braves and Yankees bats are smart choices. After all, both offenses rank top 2 in HRs and top 4 in OPS. They each face pitchers who throw hard but lack some control. I can see both Atlanta and New York getting 3-4 HRs today from their core guys. You can easily build some fun stacks with these teams which can include Ronald Acuna, Austin Riley, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and some of the complementary pieces who bat near those guys.

And there will be enough money for Valdez or Woodruff on FanDuel or even both of them on DraftKings. Have you seen what Houston has done to the Angels this weekend? The Halos cannot hit and they are whiffing at an astronomical rate. On Friday, Cristian Javier followed up his amazing no-hitter from his previous start with a 14 K performance. Jose Urquidy, who is probably the weak link for the Astros staff, had a strong outing as well with 6 IP and 8 Ks. Houston is clearly putting Anaheim in its place in the AL West by allowing just 2 runs and striking the Angels out 28 times over the last two games. Get Valdez in there today!

Meanwhile, Woodruff is another good choice and I think the Pirates’ hot streak at the plate comes to a close. Woodruff was sharp in his last start which was his first game back in over a month. He lasted 5 innings with 10 Ks. I believe his pitch count increases today and we see the same old Pirates as we have for most of this season: a team that consistently ranks in the bottom of MLB with runs scored and OPS.

 

Here are some sample lineups:

DraftKings #1
P: F. Valdez
P: B. Woodruff
C: T. D’Arnaud
1B: J. Choi
2B: O. Arcia
3B: A. Riley
SS: W. Franco
OF: J. Lowe
OF: M. Ozuna
OF: M. Harris II

 

DraftKings #2
P: F. Valdez
P: B. Woodruff
C: F. Mejia
1B: J. Choi
2B: G. Torres
3B: J. Donaldson
SS: W. Franco
OF: J. Lowe
OF: A. Judge
OF: G. Stanton

 

FanDuel #1

P: F. Valdez
C/1B: J. Choi
2B: O. Arcia
3B: A. Riley
SS: W. Franco
OF: R. Arozarena
OF: J. Lowe
OF: R. Acuna
UTIL: T. D’Arnaud

 

FanDuel #2

P: F. Valdez
C/1B: J. Choi
2B: D. LeMahieu
3B: J. Donaldson
SS: W. Franco
OF: R. Arozarena
OF: J. Lowe
OF: A. Judge
UTIL: A. Rizzo

 

There you have it! A full Braves or Yankees stack with the top pitcher. Let’s hope Tampa Bay continues to hit the ball well.

 

Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Gus Elmashni

Gus Elmashni is a San Francisco Bay Area native and an avid fan of the NBA, NFL, and MLB. He has played fantasy sports since 1993 when a few high school friends and he would tabulate daily NBA results from the San Jose Mercury News and draft new teams every month. Gus has been with Pitcher List since April 2022 writing DFS articles and the Best Bets column. Additionally, Gus works full-time as an educator in Northern California and resides in Sacramento with his wife and two young children.

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