MLB Main Slate DFS Breakdown For DraftKings and FanDuel – 7/28/2021

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We have a nicely sized 10-game slate on deck on FanDuel tonight, with an 11-gamer on DraftKings that includes the shortened doubleheader Toronto-Boston game. Some would say slates with around 10 games are a bit of a sweet spot between the massive 15 gamers and the somewhat scant 6-8 game slates we sometimes see. Let’s dig in.

Top Pitching Options

Aces:

Zack Wheeler vs. Nationals
Walker Buehler at Giants
Lucas Giolito at Royals

The top aces that are going to stand out for pitchers are Zack Wheeler, Walker Buehler, and Lucas Giolito. Pricing reflects this on both DraftKings and FanDuel, with these being three of the most expensive pitchers.

When weighing these three on DraftKings, with pricing pretty close, I would have to rank them Wheeler, Buehler, then Giolito.

Wheeler gets a watered-down Nationals lineup and tends to get a longer leash than Buehler. Buehler must face the Giants offense, which is less of a power threat at home, but it is still an underrated offense that continues to produce at a high clip. Giolito has been very inconsistent over the last couple of months. He does come with a slight discount on DraftKings, and the Royals are not a terrible matchup by any means.

Giolito stands out on FanDuel, where Buehler is 11.5K, Wheeler is 10.6K, and Giolito is only 9.2K. There is certainly a world where Giolito outscores the other two, and this is significant savings. The drop in price from Buehler to Wheeler is notable considering that Wheeler is arguably the better option.

Mid-Tier:

Andrew Heaney vs. Colorado Rockies
Max Fried at New York Mets
Anthony Desclafani vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Tylor Megill vs. Atlanta Braves
Tyler Mahle at Chicago Cubs

Here we have a decent crop of pitchers that offer us some savings on both sites (except for Mahle on DK), all of which with similar upside to the top aces if the ball falls their way.

It is a bit hard to separate these five, considering that they all have their pros and cons. Let’s get into it.

Heaney is the cheapest of the bunch on DraftKings, which pushes him up in the rankings for me. The matchup against the dismal Rockies, their offensive explosion last night notwithstanding, is of the plus variety. The only issue is that he frankly has not been terrific this year. He gives up a lot of homers, and his strikeouts are down. Projection systems that weigh more extended sample sizes will project him highly. Still, when taking just this year into account, it isn’t a slam dunk. The Rockies being the best matchup of the bunch and his price on DK is the most significant factor here.

Max Fried is cheaper than Desclafani, Megill, and Mahle on DK, $100 more than Mahle on FanDuel, and his matchup with the Mets as a lefty in a pitcher’s park is a plus. Price considered he may be the best option of the bunch, considering that Heaney is quite the question mark with his performance thus far this year.

Desclafani has far exceeded expectations and pitched very well this year. He is, however, facing the Dodgers. Their lineup isn’t what it is when they are all healthy, but this is a pretty good offensive team even in its current state. He does get the benefit of pitching at home in San Francisco. He looks a little better on DraftKings, where he is cheaper than Mahle and Megill. On FanDuel, he is the fourth most expensive pitcher on the slate.

Megill is one of the more expensive pitchers in this tier on both sites. He has looked fantastic in his first six career starts, but we also have to keep in context that he is not a proven commodity. The Braves lineup is not what it was without Acuña, and Joc Pederson might be out again today. Still, they have a very solid middle-of-the-order that could give the young hurler fits.

Tyler Mahle has been losing control of the baseball since the sticky stuff got banned. Earlier in the year, I would have been higher on him. Still, at this moment, it is a little hard to endorse against the fairly powerful Cubs lineup, despite them also striking out at a high clip. On DK, he is priced among the aces, and I would give him little to no consideration there. On FanDuel, he is the cheapest of the mid-tier options and could warrant more of a look.

Cheap Options:

Kris Bubic vs. Chicago White Sox (DK)
Jorge Lopez vs. Miami Marlins (DK)
Madison Bumgarner at Texas Rangers (FD)

While you could go with a few other options if you want to really throw caution to the wind, these three are the cheap options that stand out as legitimately decent possibilities.

There isn’t a lot to say other than that the Marlins aren’t the worst matchup, the White Sox are depleted by injuries, and Bubic and Lopez are dirt cheap. They have both shown the ability to have good point-per-dollar outings at his price point when things go their way.

Bumgarner is not cheap on DK, but he is severely underpriced on FD against a very beatable Rangers offense. His pitch count could be in question with his recent return from the IL, but he definitely looks like the best point-per-dollar value option on FD.

Top Offense:

Cincinnati Reds at Zach Davies
Chicago Cubs vs. Tyler Mahle
Philadelphia Phillies at Patrick Corbin
Milwaukee Brewers at Max Kranick
Miami Marlins at Jorge Lopez
Arizona Diamondbacks at Jordan Lyles
Los Angeles Angels vs. Chi Chi Gonzalez
Chicago White Sox at Kris Bubic

While this is a fairly large slate, and you can clearly stack just about any team in large field GPPs, these are the eight offenses that stand out the most to me off the bat.

Davies is a soft thrower with low Ks to both sides of the plate and high walks, and Chicago is looking good for hitting conditions tonight. The full Reds stack is entirely in play, leaning toward the lefties Jesse Winker and Joey Votto to anchor stacks.

Again, we’ve got solid hitting conditions in Chicago tonight. As stated in the pitching section, Mahle’s control has been off, and the Cubs have power. Not to mention the arguably league-worst Cincinnati bullpen.

Corbin isn’t the guy he used to be and gets hit especially hard by righties. Rhys Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto will be the two clear guys to build your Phillies stacks around, and I would certainly throw the lefty Bryce Harper in the mix. Also, keep in mind the sub-par Washington bullpen.

Max Kranick is unproven at the MLB level, and the Brewers are an underrated offense. The Pittsburgh bullpen is nothing to write home about. The Brewers’ run total is approaching five.

While the Marlins don’t have the most potent offense, and I even endorsed Jorge Lopez as a possible value play at pitcher, this one could go either way. Baltimore is a good hitter’s park, the Baltimore bullpen is one of the worst in the league, and Lopez shouldn’t go deep. There are some weather concerns with this game, so watch out for radar.

You won’t often see the Diamondbacks on a top offenses list, but Jordan Lyles and the sub-par Texas bullpen are enough to put them there today. Kole Calhoun, Christian Walker, and Eduardo Escobar are top Arizona bats to build around.

Chi Chi Gonzalez is one of the worst pitchers in baseball, and the Rockies bullpen is right there with him. While the Angels lineup is not the strongest outside of Shohei Ohtani, Jared Walsh, and Justin Upton, it does provide some good savings options to round out stacks.

Regarding the White Sox, although I endorsed Kris Bubic as a possible value option at pitcher, much like with the Marlins against Lopez, this one can go either way. The Royals pen is toward the bottom of the league, and the Sox should see plenty of it.


If cherry-picking for one-offs, here are some of the top upside bats overall and top point-per-dollar plays on the slate.

Top Individual Bats:

Shohei Ohtani, Jesse Winker, Joey Gallo, Adam Duvall, Joey Votto, Anthony Rizzo, Eloy Jiménez, José Abreu, Kris Bryant, Trey Mancini, Jared Walsh, Javier Baez, Jesús Aguilar

Top Salary Savers (DK):

Rowdy Tellez, Aristides Aquino, Isan Díaz, Andrew Vaugh, Eloy Jiménez, Rafael Ortega, Ben Gamel, Gregory Polanco

Top Salary Savers (FD):

Lewin Díaz, Rowdy Tellez, Aristides Aquino, Kole Calhoun, DJ Stewart, Rafael Ortega, Eugenio Suárez, Justin Upton

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