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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for July 17

Pearce Dietrich gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Saturday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:05 p.m. ET.

MLB: Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday features a ten-game MLB main slate, and the action on DraftKings gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET. Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.


For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.


PITCHER

Stud

Anthony DeSclafani, San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals ($9,400) — Believe it or not, the park is an upgrade. Statcast ranks San Francisco 13th in park factors that favor hitters and St. Louis as 24th. Against right-handed pitching, St. Louis has an 86 wRC+, .294 wOBA and a .148 ISO. That happens when a lineup is filled with right-handed batters. DeSclafani nearly made the All-Star team with his 10-3 win-loss record and 2.68 ERA. His advanced metrics are slightly less stellar (3.90 xFIP and 23.5% K rate), but his 76.2% contact rate, 32.1% hard contact rate, 81.0% strand rate and 11.2% SwStr% are career bests. DeSclafani is not an All-Star, but he is a very good pitcher facing a weak offense.

Other Option: Nathan Eovaldi ($8,400)

Value

Max Fried, Atlanta Braves vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($7,800) — The Rays lose the DH when they travel to an NL park, but more importantly, they can’t hit lefties with or without an additional hitter in their lineup (91 wRC+, .298 wOBA, .148 ISO and a 27% K rate). Fried has been inconsistent this season, but this is more of a matter of results than process. Ground ball pitchers (45% GB rate) are sometimes at the mercy of BABIP (.327). Tampa’s propensity to strike out against left-handed pitching will boost Fried’s modest 22.8% K rate and provide the upside that he often lacks in DFS.

Other Option: Alex Cobb ($8,200), Tylor Megill ($8,000)


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CATCHER

Stud

Editor’s Note: Dodgers C Will Smith is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Rockies.

Will Smith, Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies ($4,800) — It’s a Colorado slate and Colorado’s pitcher isn’t great, so Dodgers stacks will be popular if DFS players can afford them. In 30 innings against right-handed batters, Kyle Freeland ($6,200) is allowing a .385 wOBA, .211 ISO, 14.5% K rate, 1.8 HR/9 and a 5.78 FIP. With those numbers, DFS players would stack the Dodgers in this greatest pitcher’s park ever, let alone Colorado. After an excellent season versus left-handed pitching in 2020 (.370 wOBA), Smith has struggled this season (.249 wOBA), but this is Coors Field and he’ll likely get several at-bats against a terrible Colorado bullpen.

Other Option: Salvador Perez ($5,100)

Value

Editor’s Note: Rays C Mike Zunino is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Braves.

Mike Zunino, Tampa Bay Rays at Atlanta Braves ($4,300) — Anytime that Zunino is facing a lefty, he’ll be a popular option (.485 wOBA, .470 ISO and a 217 wRC+). Surprisingly, Zunino has been better at home in the pitcher friendly Trop, but that seems to be the result of bad luck on the road (.190 away BABIP). Positive regression should be coming his way, but playing in the hitter-friendly park in Atlanta might not improve his BABIP. However, that’s a good thing because DFS players do not want balls-batted-in-play from Zunino, they want home runs.

Other Option: Omar Narváez ($3,900)

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st]


FIRST BASE

Stud

C.J. Cron, Colorado Rockies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($5,000) — Walker Buehler ($9,200) is having a great season, but there are flaws in his game. He’s allowing a 44% fly ball rate and a 38% hard contact rate to right-handed batters. Colorado is the worst pitching environment for a pitcher with those weaknesses. At home, Cron has a .373 wOBA, .244 ISO and a 121 wRC+ against right-handed pitching.

Other Option: Pete Alonso ($5,700)

Value

Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies ($3,400) — Typically, when the Dodgers face a lefty, Max Muncy shifts over to second base and Pujols gets a start at first. Since switching LA teams, Pujols has a .448 wOBA, .333 ISO and a 188 wRC+ against against left-handed pitching in 64 plate appearances.

Other Option: Ryan Mountcastle ($3,900)


SECOND BASE

Stud

Jose Altuve, Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox ($5,500) — The Astros All-Star claimed that he needed to rest his leg, so he skipped the All-Star game. However, it didn’t appear as though he was suffering from an injury before the break. In July, his .316 wOBA was down from June, but his ISO was a healthy .263. Typically, when a player is injured, their power is the first thing to go. It’s more than likely that Altuve is healthy and well rested going into the hitter’s park in Chicago.

Other Option: Max Muncy ($6,200), Jake Cronenworth ($4,700)

Value

David Fletcher, Los Angeles Angels vs. Seattle Mariners ($3,700) — Did you know David Fletcher was riding a 25-game hit streak? On this run, he has accumulated 46 hits and posted a .446 AVG, .457 wOBA and a 195 wRC+. As most know, these type of streaks require skill, but also a lot of luck, and it appears that Fletcher has a four-leaf closer in his pocket. His BABIP is .473 despite his hard contact rate being 17.5% on this run. His luck has shifted into overdrive over the last seven games 19 hits for a .594 AVG.

Other Option: Garrett Hampson ($4,200)


THIRD BASE

Stud

Manny Machado, San Diego Padres at Washington Nationals ($5,500) — Patrick Corbin ($6,800) will likely be heavily targeted by DFS players on Saturday night’s slate. The lefty has surrendered a 4.80 xFIP, .361 wOBA, .211 ISO, 16% K rate and 2.0 HR/9 against right-handed batters. Machado has a .370 wOBA, .230 ISO and a 136 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers, but that factors in a slow start to the season. Since June 1, Machado has a .526 wOBA, .393 ISO and a 238 wRC+ in 35 plate appearances against left-handed pitching.

Other Option: Justin Turner ($5,800)

Value

Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals vs. San Diego Padres ($2,300) — He hasn’t started in quite a while, but that’s because the Nationals have not faced a lefty starter in a while. In the twilight of his career, he has become a platoon player, but he’s an adequate one — .358 wOBA, .215 ISO and a 124 wRC+ in 65 at-bats against left-handed pitchers.

Other Option: Jonathan Villar ($4,000)


SHORTSTOP

Stud

Trea Turner, Washington Nationals vs. San Diego Padres ($5,600) — Against left-handed pitching, Turner has a .446 wOBA, .244 ISO, 181 wRC+, 38% hard contact rate and a 14% K rate. Blake Snell ($7,000) is not the left-handed ace that he once was. Against right-handed batters, he has a 4.53 xFIP, .371 wOBA, .205 ISO and a 15% BB rate. Making this matchup even more appealing is that Victor Caratini ($2,200) will likely be behind the plate. His -2 rSB (Stolen Base Runs Saved) is the worst in baseball and Blake Snell has a league average rSB over his career. There will be a green light on the base path for Turner in this matchup.

Other Option: Fernando Tatis Jr. ($6,000), Chris Taylor ($5,700)

Value

Ramón Urías, Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals ($3,100) — The third time is the charm. Urías was sent down to the minors two times this season, but in his third stint with the club, he’s finally hitting. Since being recalled on June 27, Urías has a .396 wOBA, .200 ISO and a 154 wRC+ in 49 plate appearances.

Other Option: Willy Adames ($4,200)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies ($5,900) — As Garion Thorne mentioned in Friday’s Targets article, Betts has steadily improved his stats each month. Since the beginning of June, Betts has a .375 wOBA, .250 ISO and a 140 wRC+. On Saturday night, he faces a lackluster pitcher in a premium hitter’s park. His numbers will surely continue to rise.

Other Option: Christian Yelich ($4,700)

Value

Jace Peterson, Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds ($3,600) — Against right-handed pitching, Peterson has a .361 wOBA, .204 ISO and a 127 wRC+. In July, those splits balloon to a .406 wOBA, .333 ISO and a 156 wRC+. Luis Castillo ($7,500) has been better than his numbers imply (2.11 ERA since May 29), but there is no hiding his 3-10 win-loss record and 4.65 ERA. At home, he is allowing a .359 wOBA to left-handed batters. That number is mainly due to a 16.5% BB rate. Peterson will likely be in a hitter’s count against a right-handed pitcher in a hitter’s ball park.

Other Option: A.J. Pollack ($4,100)

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st]


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) 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.


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