The Sunday afternoon of the July 4th weekend brings a monster fantasy baseball slate to DraftKings with nine games starting between 1:35 p.m. ET and 2:20 p.m. ET. Four of the nine matchups feature divisional rivalries, and the Red Sox wrap up their three-game set at Wrigley Field in the final matchup on this slate.
With a jam-packed player pool from 18 teams, there are plenty of options to consider. To keep up with all the latest lineups and player news, install the DK Live app and follow DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also available on Twitter (@ZT_Sports).
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Brandon Woodruff, Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates ($9,500) – Woodruff just returned from a month-long absence with a hand injury, but he looked sharp in his first game back, striking out 10 in five two-hit innings against the Rays on his way to 32.1 DKFP. Woodruff’s numbers are still ugly, but over his past four starts dating back to before his injury, he has been much sharper, going 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA and 2.93 FIP with 26 strikeouts in 20 innings. He has already faced the Pirates twice this season, striking out 15 batters in 10 innings while allowing four runs on eight hits. The Pirates have struck out an MLB-leading 140 times in their past 15 games and are fourth in the MLB in strikeouts this season. With so much strikeout potential, Woodruff stands out amongst the stud starters on this Sunday slate.
Other Options – Framber Valedez ($9,100), Luis Castillo ($8,700)
Jon Gray, Texas Rangers at New York Mets ($8,100) – Gray has enjoyed his first season pitching with a home park other than Coors Field and is 4-3 with a 3.89 ERA and 3.27 FIP. That overall production would be enough to consider, but his recent form makes him an even better option. He is 3-1 over his past six starts with a 2.39 ERA and 2.60 FIP while striking out 44 batters in 37 2⁄3 innings. The Mets aren’t a great matchup, but they have been struggling lately, hitting only .216 as a team over their past 12 games and averaging just 3.0 runs per game over that span. Given Gray’s recent form, he should be able to keep them in their funk for Sunday afternoon’s contest.
Other Options – Jordan Montgomery ($8,200), Devin Smeltzer ($6,000)
Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves vs. Cincinnati Reds ($6,100) – Swanson comes with a hefty salary in this matchup with Luis Castillo ($8,700), but the Braves’ 28-year-old SS has been on a tear over his past 20 games coming into Saturday’s contest. Over that span, he hit .357 with five doubles, eight home runs, a .345 ISO and a .465 wOBA. On Saturday, he stayed hot too, picking up three hits and his 12th stolen base of the season and finishing with 16 DKFP. He opened the series with 31 DKFP on Friday night, so he’s had a great stop at Great American Ballpark so far this weekend.
José Altuve, Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels ($5,400) – Altuve had a huge game Saturday, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and his 16th home run of the season. He added his sixth stolen base to cap off his 33-DKFP performance. Even before that game, he had strong splits to indicate that Sunday should be a good spot for him. He was hitting .283 with six homers and a .430 wOBA against lefties and is hitting .330 with seven homers and a .429 wOBA at home. He’ll be at Minute Maid Park against lefty José Suarez ($7,000), who he has hit well in the past as highlighted below in stacks.
Other Options – Marcus Semien ($5,300), DJ LeMahieu ($4,800)
Yandy Díaz, Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays ($3,600) – Díaz had two hits in each of the two games of Saturday’s doubleheader, posting 10 DKFP in the first game and 14 DKFP in the nightcap while hitting leadoff in each contest. He came into the double-header riding a five-game hitting streak during which he had gone 8-for-19 (.421) with three doubles. In his past 30 games, he’s now hitting .304 and usually leads off with a strong lineup behind him. The Rays get a good matchup against Ross Stripling ($5,300) on Sunday.
Franchy Cordero, Boston Red Sox at Chicago Cubs ($2,600) – Cordero has earned his way into the larger side of the split at 1B for the Red Sox lately while Bobby Dalbec ($2,000) has only been starting against lefties. Cordero went 15-for-38 (.395) with five doubles and two stolen bases over his previous 12 games coming into Saturday’s play. He will be in an opposite-hand matchup against Keegan Thompson ($6,800), and Cordero offers good upside for a low price in a typically-productive lineup.
Other Options – Cavan Biggio ($3,100), Miguel Rojas ($2,600)
Juan Soto, Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins ($5,800) – Soto has struggled so far this season but is starting to show the abilities that made him one of the brightest rising stars in the game. While his .225 average for the year isn’t impressive, he has at least 7.0 DKFP in eight straight games after hitting his 15th home run of the season on Saturday. That hit extended his hitting streak to eight games, and he has gone 9-for-26 (.346) with eight walks over that span. Soto also has a nice track record against Marlins SP Pablo López ($9,300), against whom he is 8-for-23 with four walks, three doubles and two home runs.
Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,700) – Yelich also started slow but has found his groove lately. He has an 11-game hitting streak coming into Sunday and connected on his eighth homer of the season on Saturday to keep his streak alive. Since moving into the leadoff spot on June 8, Yelich has gone 30-for-92 (.326) with three home runs and five stolen bases while hitting safely in 20-of-23 games. He and the Brewers take on Zach Thompson ($6,100), who will be making his first start coming off the injured list and gave up 32 runs and 11 home runs over his first 13 games this season.
Other Options – Giancarlo Stanton ($5,200), Randy Arozarena ($4,700)
Michael Harris II, Atlanta Braves at Cincinnati Reds ($3,300) – Harris has been a regular in my picks and lineups since joining the Braves at the end of May straight from Double-A. The 21-year-old hit .316 with a .197 ISO and .369 wOBA over his first 32 games and has started using his speed a little bit more, picking up a pair of stolen bases over his past six contests. He has been anchored to the nine spot in the lineup, but he is still getting on base enough ahead of the red-hot top of the lineup that includes Swanson and Ronald Acuña Jr. ($6,300) and Marcell Ozuna ($4,300). Harris has a high ceiling and usually finds ways to get on base and contribute in almost every contest.
Harold Ramírez, Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays ($2,800) – I’m back for more big games from Ramírez, who was in my picks Saturday night under $3K and went 3-for-4 with a double for 19 DKFP. He had 12 DKFP on Friday and has gone 31-for-79 (.392) in his past 24 games with seven doubles, a home run and two stolen bases. Ramírez should also be in a good spot against Stripling as the Rays look to make it three in a row over the Blue Jays after sweeping Saturday’s doubleheader.
Other Options – Kole Calhoun ($3,900), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ($3,400), Franmil Reyes ($3,200)
TEAMS TO STACK
Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels – In the finale of their divisional series, the Astros will look to finish the sweep of the Angels and improve to 8-1 in their past nine games. They have beaten up on lefty SP José Suarez ($7,000) in their past meetings, scoring 17 runs in 30 innings with three homers and a .350 wOBA against him. José Altuve ($5,400) is 6-for-14 with a home run against him in the past while Jeremy Peña ($4,300) is 2-for-2 with a double and Yordan Alvarez ($6,400) is 3-for-11 but has two doubles. Alvarez has that production despite being in a lefty-on-lefty matchup. Altuve, Alex Bregman ($4,900), Peña and Jake Meyers ($2,100) are on the better side of the splits as righties and offer plenty of options to consider.
Texas Rangers at New York Mets – The Rangers get a nice road matchup against Carlos Carrasco ($7,600), who has been serving up cookies to opposing batters lately. He has given up at least five runs in three of his past four starts and has a 9.68 ERA in 17 2⁄3 innings while allowing seven home runs in those four starts after serving up only three home runs in his previous 11 outings to start the season. He has given up five home runs to righties and five home runs to lefties on the year, but lefties have been slightly more productive overall with a .344 wOBA. While the Rangers have struggled with southpaws, they do have some lefties that hit righties well. Lefty Josh Smith ($3,200) has been leading off against righties while lefties Kole Calhoun ($3,900), Nathaniel Lowe ($3,400) and even Corey Seager ($5,300) have more power potential against right-handed hurlers like Carrasco. Marcus Semien ($5,300) and Adolis García ($5,600) are expensive ways to round out the stack as good power options who are surging as well.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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