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Fantasy Baseball Short Slate Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for July 24 (Late Night)

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Friday’s MLB Short Slate Late Night DraftKings slate, which starts at 9:40 p.m. ET.

The MLB season gets underway in earnest on Friday with a full day of 14 matchups. To celebrate the start of the season, DraftKings is rolling out a new format for daily fantasy baseball called “Short Slate.” You can think of Short Slate as a hybrid between a full-slate Classic contest and a Showdown contest. It focuses on just two or three games and has a simpler lineup construction than Classic contests but has more parameters than Showdown contests.

Each roster consists of one pitcher, two infielders, two outfielders and two utility spots. The utility spots can be used on any hitter. The player pool is made up of just the teams in those select matchups, which usually start at about the same time.

For the Late Night slate on Friday, the focus of the Short Slate will be the two games involving the teams from Los Angeles. The Giants and Dodgers will start the Short Slate off with their second game of the season at 9:40 p.m. ET, and the Angels start their season with a 10:10 p.m. ET contest against the Athletics in Oakland.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: MLB Short Slate $10K Extra Inning [$2K to 1st] (Late Night)


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Pitcher

Stud

Frankie Montas, OAK vs. LAA, $12,300 — Of the four scheduled starters, Montas has the most upside and by far the highest salary. He went 9-2 in his 16 starts last season with an impressive 103 strikeouts in 96 innings, which helped him average 21 DKFP per game. The 27-year-old righty will be making his first Opening Day start after beginning last season serving a 80-game suspension. He looked very sharp in Spring Training and has drawn praise from all the coaches in Summer Camp as well. We haven’t seen him in real action yet since he sat out the exhibitions, but the fire-baller has great upside and can anchor your lineup if you can figure out some other spots to save salary.

Value

Ross Stripling, LAD vs. SF, $11,100 — Stripling beat out Dustin May for the fifth starter job out of Summer Camp, but then May was actually pressed into action last night on an emergency basis after Clayton Kershaw (back) had to be placed on the injured list. Stripling’s DKFP per game from last season is very low, but that is a result of 18 of his 33 games coming in relief. As a starter last season, he was 2-3 in 15 games with a 3.60 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 70 innings. Stripling doesn’t have quite the ceiling that Montas offers, but his strikeout rate makes him a solid alternative since he saves salary and has a better matchup at home against the Giants.


Curious about when major leagues and events will return? Check out our DraftKings Sports Calendar for the latest updates.


Infield

Stud

Marcus Semien, OAK vs. LAA, $6,700 — Semien is coming off a breakout season in 2019, when he hit .285 with 33 home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .892 OPS. He typically leads off for Oakland against lefties, who he hit .309 against last season with an impressive .930 OPS. He hit .351 (27-for-77) with a 1.003 OPS against the Angels and is 3-for-14 with a pair of doubles against Andrew Heaney ($11,600) in the past. Semien has looked sharp in Summer Camp and should be in midseason form for this opener.

Other Options — Justin Turner ($6,900), Matt Chapman ($5,700)

Value

Wilmer Flores, SF at LAD, $5,200 — Flores got the nod on Opening Day for the Giants, hitting second and playing 3B against the Dodgers. He joined San Francisco as a free agent this offseason on a two-year, $6.25 million contact after hitting .317 with nine home runs and an .848 OPS in his lone season in Arizona. With Brandon Belt (heel) on the IL, Flores should continue to get regular playing time and hit near the top of the Giants’ lineup.

Other Option — Corey Seager ($5,400)


Outfield

Stud

Mike Yastrzemski, SF at LAD, $5,600 — Yastrzemski hit leadoff against the Dodgers on Opening Night and should be in that spot in the lineup on a regular basis for the Giants. He hit .272 with 21 home runs last year with the Giants for an .852 OPS. He went 2-for-2 with a home run off of Stripling last season and had an extra-base hit in each of his exhibition contests. While those are both very small sample sizes, he seems very affordable for his production potential at well under $6K.

Other Options — Mookie Betts ($7,200), Mark Canha ($6,000)

Value

Stephen Piscotty, OAK vs. LAA, $4,400 — Piscotty is always a value play to consider against left-handed starting pitchers. He hit .360 with six home runs and an eye-popping 1.019 OPS against southpaws last season and also hit drastically better at home (.305 with an .862 OPS) than on the road (.197 with a .586 OPS). He has been a good option when healthy but struggled with multiple nagging injuries. Hopefully the time off has given him time to recover and come into this shortened season fully healthy.

Other Options — Alex Dickerson ($4,200), Austin Slater ($4,000)


DraftKings is hosting a fantasy baseball tournament on Friday that pays out $1 million in total prizes, including $250K to first place. The action locks at 7:05 p.m. ET. Set your DraftKings fantasy MLB lineups here: MLB Million Dollar Swing [$1M Guaranteed, $250K to 1st].


Utility

Stud

Max Muncy, LAD vs. SF, $6,500 — It looks like Muncy will be locked into the top spot in the Dodgers’ lineup for a while, which should give him great potential to pile up counting stats in addition to the power he already brings. He radically overhauled his swing before last season and went off for 38 home runs, an .898 OPS and over 9.0 DKFP per game. He should have a good matchup against Jeff Samardzija ($10,400), who struggled with lefties more than righties over the past few seasons.

Other Options — Mike Trout ($7,500), Will Smith ($5,900)

Value

A.J. Pollock, LAD vs. SF, $4,900 — Pollock and Samardzija have both been in the NL West for a while, which is how Pollock has a significant track record of success against his fellow-veteran. Pollock has gone 6-for-18 with a pair of homers and a double. Pollock got the start at DH on Opening Day and should find his way to regular at-bats now that the Dodgers can use that spot to keep different regulars fresh.

Other Option — Justin Upton ($4,300), Andrelton Simmons ($3,900)

Set your DraftKings lineups here: MLB Short Slate $10K Extra Inning [$2K to 1st] (Late Night)


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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 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.