DFS Plays of the Day – July 1

Ryan Amore previews Thursday's DFS slate.

The first of July brings a seven-game night slate that could easily turn into six with impending rain ticketed for the nation’s capital. 


Top Tier Pitching


It’s Jacob deGrom’s turn you know what to do. He’s coming off of a disappointing outing allowing an unbelievable two runs against the Phillies his last time out. The more important take away I think is that we saw his pitch count trend in the right direction with 88 his last time out as that’s been the only real knock against deGrom who has otherwise been up to this point the closest thing to an immaculate starting pitcher that we’ve ever seen. After last night’s shellacking, you’d figure Luis Rojas would envy the opportunity to just ride his ace tonight.


In the wake of the spider tack stuff, we’re all kind of in a recalibration mode as to how to evaluate pitchers moving forward. Corbin Burnes is definitely one of the more prominent pitchers to monitor, his spin rates were down his last time out, then again not a surprise but, still, it’s something worth being sensitive to as we play the salary game. To that respect, we are getting a considerable discount off of Burnes’ peak salary on DraftKings ($11,000). Saving salary with Burnes in lieu of deGrom knowing that he gets the significantly more favorable opponent in the Pirates (.288 team wOBA, dead last), is a tempting albeit risky proposition as I’m not really sure (is anyone?) of what to expect from Burnes moving forward. If the idea is locking in the sure floor then click in deGrom and throw away the key.


In terms of strikeout ability, Framber Valdez is a distant third. However, what he lacks for in strikeouts he makes up for in his ability to limit contact quality evidence being a 3.7% barrel rate allowed and .276 xwOBA. He’s a ground ball master with pitch count upside as we saw him get up to 108 a couple of starts ago. This is far from a bad spot for Valdez, who could be the least popular of the three, against a Cleveland squad that’s mustered just a .301 team wOBA to date (23rd). They could also be down José Ramírez, who fouled a ball off of his face yesterday.


Pitchers to Target Hitters Against


Coors Field should be the chalk tonight. Antonio Senzatela is a popular stack against option anytime he’s set to start at home. It’s worth noting, though, that the Cardinals offense has been absolutely abysmal heading into tonight’s game. It’s an easy get right spot for sure but over the last thirty days (arbitrary endpoints, I know) the Cardinals offense has just a .278 team wOBA, ahead of only the Cubs. There’s value in the leadoff man Dylan Carlson’s salary on DraftKings at $3,800, though he should be massively popular. Tyler O’Neill also carries massive power upside at a reasonable cost on both sites.


I’d guess that of the two teams, the Rockies’ bats are less popular as Adam Wainwright’s surface stats are much stronger. We should have interest here too though. For as good as Wainwright has been he doesn’t miss too many bats at this stage (8.1% SwStr rate) and he leans a lot on getting strike with his famous hook. But as we know, curveballs can disappear at Coors Field so this could be a really challenging spot for him.


The Astros are another offense that projects well as they’ll face the inexperienced righty J.C. Mejía, whose start was pushed back due to the rain out Tuesday night. The lefty trio of Yordan Álvarez, Kyle Tucker, and Michael Brantley all make a ton of sense on paper. The latter two look like strong values on DraftKings.


GPP Bats


For tournaments, the Padres get the definition of a boom/bust spot against Luis Castillo at home run friendly GABP. Yes, Castillo is pitching better heading into tonight but he’s still a volatile pitcher and the Padres have the upside to wreck a slate, something to think of with most of the attention being drawn to Coors Field, as such they should definitely be on the radar if you’re multi entering.


The other side of this game features Ryan Weathers who probably doesn’t go too much past five innings in a best case scenario considering he peaked at 88 pitches this year. As far as the Reds bats go, this is a potentially interesting spot for them, with Weathers carrying a tidy 2.47 ERA and 1.01 WHIP they could get overlooked, relatively speaking. However, the lefty looks to be overperforming considering his K rate sits at a below-average 18.5% along with a .276 wOBA allowed juxtaposed to a .338 xwOBA along with a 4.71 xERA. Stacking the high priced bats here like Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker should be a unique approach that could set you apart in tournaments. If you find yourself wanting to fade Coors Field, this is the game I’d look to.


I also want to mention the Brewer’s matchup against Wil Crowe, it’s less of a priority given that we’re dealing with a game at Coors, however, there’s legitimate upside with the Brewers. As you can tell from the chart in the previous section, Crowe has been not good to put it simply with a .367 xwOBA allowed. It’s the sort of questionable control and command that could presage an offensive outburst. Christian Yelich and the Brewers are another strong potential pivot off of Coors Field.


If you’re looking to take the contrarian approach in fading Ian Anderson, Michael Conforto (.370 career wOBA vs RHP) and Jeff McNeil are priced to move on both sites. 


Value Bats


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

Ryan Amore

A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club, Ryan Amore has been writing things at Pitcher List since 2019. He grew up watching the Yankees and fondly remembers Charlie Hayes catching the final out of the '96 WS. He appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

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