DFS Plays of the Day 7/21/23

Tyler previews the DFS landscape of Friday.

Like most Fridays, we are treated to a full slate of 15 games today. The featured slate starting at 7:05 ET covers 11 of the 15 games, so let’s get right into those!


Starting Pitchers

There is a plethora of big-name starting pitchers on today’s slate and Shohei Ohtani ($11,000) headlines all of them at the top of the board. It’s probably best to avoid playing him given the issues he has had with his nail lately. Now watch him go off. Framber Valdez ($10,800) follows Ohtani and faces the lowly Athletics who have the 7th worst wRC+ (84) against lefties, and see the t-8th fewest pitcher per plate appearance. Framber threw a complete game shutout against them earlier this year, and that type of line definitely isn’t out of the question for him today. 

The man with two first names, Joe Ryan ($10,600), starts for the Twins as they take on the White Sox. They are 21st in wRC+ (94) with the 10th highest K% (23.5%) over the last month when facing righties.  Ryan fired 6 scoreless innings with 7 strikeouts while allowing just 1 hit against Chicago earlier this year. He has been shaky as of late, but Chicago could be the antidote to his recent woes. 

The 30-year-old Japanese rookie, Kodai Senga ($9,600) takes the mounds against the Red Sox. He has really impressed in his debut season with that tantalizing Ghost-Fork of his. It has the 2nd best SwStr% (26.1%) among all splitters, and he ranks in the 87th percentile in K%, 78th in Whiff%, and also has a solid 3.70 xFIP. For as good K-averse Boston is, they are not immune to the strikeout and at this point, it’s safe to say it doesn’t really matter what team faces Senga. They will strike out.

Look at the Dodgers and Diamondbacks recently. Both hardly ever strikeout and Senga had 9 punchouts against L.A. and 12 against Arizona. If the weather cooperates, he is a solid play at a discounted price compared to some of those other top names. The rest of the starters down the board all have their warts, and I’d shy away from the guys in the price range from $9,100 through $7,200. 

The best bargain of the day is Clarke Schmidt ($6,200) hands down. He draws a date against the Royals who have the 2nd worst wRC+ (71) and 8th highest K% (24.7%) over the last month vs righties. In spite of not working deep into games, Schmidt has been on quite a roll over his last 10 starts. He has allowed 2 earned runs or less in 7 of those 10 and should be able to keep that trend going against this porous offense. Pairing him with one of those top options looks like a great way to construct a lineup. 




Picking what bats to target is always a struggle in my opinion. There’s so much variance around batters. They can hit one on the screws and it will lead to nothing, and that’s why I tend to stay away from wagering on batter props. With that being said, there are still plenty of bats to target for DFS.

The highest total on the board today comes between the Diamondbacks and Reds playing at Great American Ballpark. Either offense makes for a great stack with Tommy Henry and Ben Lively on the bump. I’m not sure if he’ll draw the start facing a lefty, but Will Benson ($2,900) has been putting up plenty of fantasy points over the last couple of weeks and makes for a great value play. Jake McCarthy ($3,000) is also a great bargain play seeing that he has 8+ DK points in 8 of his last 15 games.

The Dodgers and Rangers game should also see plenty of scoring with Tony Gonsolin and Andrew Heaney pitching. L.A. has hit Heaney well in the past, particularly J.D. Martinez ($5,200), Mookie Betts ($6,300), Max Muncy ($4,800), and Chris Taylor ($3,000). With Heaney’s erratic nature, the Dodgers could put up a big number against him.

Prior to shutting down the Mets, Gonsolin had been dreadful in his previous four starts allowing four earned runs or for in all four outings. Texas has one of the more powerful lineups around, so pick away at it and you’ll likely find success with them hitting at home.

Lastly. the Astros look like a decent target to stack facing JP Sears. His 4.91 xFIP and bottom 5% barrel rate are telling us regression should be on its way. The Astros have the t-4th best wRC+ (121) over the last month when facing Southpaws, so look for them to do damage against Sears. Chas McCormick ($3,700) has been on fire over the last 15 games averaging 12.8 fantasy points per game over this span. Find a way to get him in your lineup along with a couple of other Astros.

Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

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