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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for July 4

Matt LaMarca gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Sunday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Syndication: The Enquirer Sam Greene via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Happy Independence Day! Sunday features a nine-game main slate, and the action on DraftKings gets underway at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.


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PITCHER

Stud

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees vs. New York Mets ($10,600) – Cole will start the first leg of Sunday’s doubleheader between the Yankees and Mets, and he has been very hittable of late. He pitched to a 4.65 ERA during June, and his strikeout numbers are also down. Cole is one of the poster boys for the “sticky stuff” revolution, and it appears as though the crackdown has had a significant impact on him.

That said, he likely doesn’t need the benefit of any foreign substances to dominate vs. the Mets. Their offense has been dreadful for most of the year, and they rank just 17th in wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers. Cole’s Vegas data is also elite, leading all pitchers with an opponent implied team total of 2.6 runs.

Other Options – Freddy Peralta ($9,700), Lucas Giolito ($8,900)

Value

Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins ($7,800) – Morton continues to age like a fine wine. He’s pitched to a 3.74 ERA and 3.47 FIP in his age 37 season, and he’s also averaged 10.83 strikeouts per nine innings. He should have no trouble racking up fantasy points vs. the Marlins, who have been an elite target for right-handed pitchers all season. They own the fifth-highest strikeout rate in that split, and they rank just 20th in wRC+.

Other Options – Marcus Stroman ($8,100), Blake Snell ($8,000)


Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $222K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st]


CATCHER

Stud

Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs @ Cincinnati Reds ($5,100) – Contreras is having another fantastic year at the dish, particularly against left-handed pitchers. He’ll be facing a southpaw on Sunday in Wade Miley ($8,600), and he’s posted a 157 wRC+ in those matchups this season. He will occupy the leadoff spot in the Cubs’ lineup, and playing in the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati is a nice plus too.

Other Options – J.T. Realmuto ($4,000)

Value

Zack Collins, Chicago White Sox @ Detroit Tigers ($3,300) – The White Sox could be a nice source of fireworks on the Fourth of July (pun 100% intended). Collins will draw the start at catcher on Sunday with Yasmani Grandal out of the lineup again. Collins has posted a 125 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers this season, and the White Sox are taking on one of the worst right-handers in the league on Sunday. Matt Manning ($5,300) has pitched to an 8.16 ERA and 3.77 K/9 through his first three starts, and it’s never good when your ERA is more than double your K/9. The White Sox are currently implied for 5.6 runs, which is the highest mark on the slate.

Other Options – Ryan Jeffers ($3,900), Danny Jansen ($2,200)


FIRST BASE

Stud

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($5,800) – There are a bunch of players having special seasons in 2021, and it feels like Guerrero is being a bit overlooked. He has a chance to take home the triple crown in the American League, currently ranking second in homers, RBIs and batting average. He hasn’t been quite as dominant against left-handers as he has against right-handers this season, and he’ll be facing a southpaw on Sunday in Ryan Yarbrough ($6,800). Still, his 155 wRC+ in that split is more than acceptable, and the Blue Jays’ implied team total of 5.4 runs ranks third on the slate.

Other Options – Freddie Freeman ($5,500), Jose Abreu ($5,200)

Value

Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs ($4,200) – Votto continues to stand out as underpriced vs. right-handed pitchers. He hit a homer in yesterday’s contest, yet his salary has stayed the same for Sunday’s matchup vs. Kyle Hendricks ($8,500). Hendricks is a quality starter, but Votto has crushed right-handers all season. I’ll gladly pay $4,200 for him in this matchup.

Other Options – Carlos Santana ($4,100), Alex Kirilloff ($3,800)


SECOND BASE

Stud

Marcus Semien, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($5,300) – Semien was one of the best offseason acquisitions in all of baseball. He’s been excellent in his first season in Toronto, and he’s been equally adept against left-handed and right-handed pitchers. He failed to get a hit in yesterday’s contest, but he had scored at least 8.0 DKFP in each of his prior eight games. He has tons of appeal at the top of a potent Blue Jays’ lineup.

Other Options – Jose Altuve ($5,400), Jake Cronenworth ($5,000)

Value

Luis Arraez, Minnesota Twins @ Kansas City Royals ($3,600) – The Twins are another offense we can target on Sunday. They’re currently implied for 5.5 runs, which trails only the White Sox on today’s slate. Arraez is expected to bat leadoff, and he’ll be on the positive side of his splits vs. right-hander Brad Keller ($5,600). Historically, leadoff batters with a comparable salary and implied team total have exceeded salary-based expectations by +1.3 DKFP.

Other Options – Jonathan India ($4,300), Jean Segura ($3,300)


THIRD BASE

Stud

Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs @ Cincinnati Reds ($5,000) – Bryant completely revamped his swing during the offseason, and it has paid huge dividends for him in 2021. He has been phenomenal against left-handers in particular, posting an unreal 215 wRC+. He’s also hit seven homers in just 68 plate appearances vs. southpaws this season, so he’s an excellent target vs. Miley.

Other Options – Manny Machado ($5,400), Josh Donaldson ($5,200; questionable)

Value

Leury García, Chicago White Sox @ Detroit Tigers ($3,200) – García will bat fifth on Sunday for the White Sox, which is much higher than he typically hits in the order. The difference between batting fifth and eight is massive since it gives him a far greater chance at getting five at bats. It also gives him a better chance of hitting with runners on base, so he makes a lot of sense at just $3,200 given the White Sox’s implied team total.

Other Options – Eugenio Suárez ($4,000), Abraham Toro ($3,300)


SHORTSTOP

Stud

Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres @ Philadelphia Phillies ($6,100) – Tatis has been electric this season, and he has an exploitable matchup on Sunday vs. Vincent Velasquez ($6,700). Velasquez has been a bit better than usual so far this season, but he’s also benefitted from an unusually low batting average on balls in play. He posted a 5.56 ERA last year, so he seems like a regression candidate moving forward. Tatis has historically been at his best against right-handed pitchers, so he can definitely find success in this matchup.

Other Options – Bo Bichette ($5,500), Carlos Correa ($5,200)

Value

Kyle Farmer, Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs ($3,100) – Shortstop has become one of the most top-heavy positions in baseball, so there are not many quality value options available. Farmer is someone who could be worth consideration at $3,100. His matchup vs. Hendricks isn’t ideal, but he is at least batting seventh in the Reds’ lineup.

Other Options – Amed Rosario ($3,500), Andrelton Simmons ($2,800)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Teoscar Hernández, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($4,900) – Hernández is the Blue Jays “lefty killer.” Most of their lineup is better against right-handed pitching, but Hernandez has posted an elite 183 wRC+ vs. southpaws this season. He’s also posted a .386 ISO, so he’s displayed tons of power in those matchups.

Other Options – Jesse Winker ($5,700), Nick Castellanos ($5,500)

Value

Gavin Sheets, Chicago White Sox @ Detroit Tigers ($2,700) – There are a ton of quality outfield options to consider paying down for on Sunday, but Sheets is my favorite. He’ll hit second for the White Sox, and he’ll also be on the positive side of his splits vs. Manning. He’s only had 16 plate appearances vs. right-handers at the major league level, but he’s posted an elite 294 wRC+ in that split.

Other Options – Brian Goodwin ($3,400), Trevor Larnach ($2,900), Myles Straw ($2,800)

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $222K 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 mlamarca) 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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