DFS Plays of the Day – July 2

Dave Swan previews the DFS slate for Friday's action.

Happy Friday, folks! Tonight’s slate opens up at 6:05 PM EST and should be packed with scoring. The slate features 14 games with a stop in the always-hitter-friendly environment, Coors Field. Unlike a bunch of recent slates, the pitching is fully loaded. The tricky part is identifying which SP will shut down the offense in front of them with so many options. Good luck!


Implied Run Totals


Away Total Home Total
MIL 4.22 PIT 3.78
LAD 4.00 WAS 4.00
NYM 4.19 NYY 4.81
CHC 4.23 CIN 5.27
HOU 5.53 CLE 3.97
STL 6.25 COL 6.25
MIN 5.00 KC 5.00
BAL 4.11 LAA 5.39
SF 4.67 ARI 3.83
BOS 4.25 OAK 4.25
TEX 4.00 SEA 4.00


Starting Pitchers


Tier One
Player Opponent DraftKings FanDuel
Max Scherzer vs. LAD $10500 $11000
Lance McCullers Jr. at CLE $9700 $9600
Julio Urias @ WAS $9800 $8900


This tier is made up of SPs I would consider the safest options. We are talking high K-upside, tosses plenty of innings, and racks up doesn’t allow for blowups. First, Max Scherzer is the one true ace on the slate. We can check his stats once, twice, or even a third time, but there is no need. The debatable player is Lance McCullers Jr. because of his walk issues. However, he draws a Cleveland team with a 5.7% walk rate over their last 30 days. Additionally, the game is outside of Minute Maid, where he tends to walk fewer batters. Lastly, Julio Urias looked masterful as he struck out 12 batters in his last outing. This erased my concerns after the blip in San Diego, which is a lineup most SPs struggle against. To sum this tier up, rostering an SP from this trio should provide a safe floor and high ceiling.


Tier Two
Player Opponent DraftKings FanDuel
Pablo López at ATL $9100 $9500
Lance Lynn at DET $9700 $10000
Kyle Gibson at SEA $7800 $8400
Alex Wood at ARI $8500 $8300


It’s hard to overlook the production of Pablo López(sub-3.00 ERA, 1.08 WHIP). The season-long dominance almost bumped him into tier one. The leading cause for concern is the Atlanta is a potent offense that boasts dynamic hitters. Would I roster him? Absolutely, but only in my GPP lineups because the Braves could go off.

Lance Lynn should be in tier one, but I can’t overlook his recent struggles. While he still can strike out enough Tigers and go deep enough to put up a good showing. I can’t fully get behind him, given the salary and amount of capable arms on the slate. Sorry, there is maybe a little too much risk at the moment.

Kyle Gibson and Alex Wood barely went drafted in a majority of fantasy drafts. Here we are looking at them as two of the safer options with high upside. When Wood has his slider working, the whole arsenal comes together, and he mows down an offense like in his last outing(5.1 IP, 8 Ks, 1 ER).  Now, Kyle Gibson has been a treasure in 2021. No team has been able to really get to him. Even better, in his last time on the bump, Gibson struck out a season-high ten batters. Both SPs are looking sharp and get enticing matchups against less than efficient offenses.


Tier Three
Player Opponent DraftKings FanDuel
Taijuan Walker at NYY $8000 $8700
Drew Smyly vs. MIA $6700 $7900


This tier comprises a duo that I will often find myself stacking against and rostering. We can call this the boom-or-bust tier. Walker and Smyly would not surprise me if they tossed a gem nor left the game early with significant issues. The slate has 28 SPs going, so finding some risky plays that could go off will be huge.

Taijuan Walker is my favorite of the bunch. With his fastball velocity up, the Mets may have found a terrific option to turn to every fifth day. However, moving from the NL to an AL lineup is never ideal. That alone knocked him way down the ranks for me. But the Yankees loads of swing-and-miss in the profile, so he could be a big boost in points if today is the gem.

Drew Smyly has been erratic, to say the least. After a fine showing in 2020, the veteran Atlanta SP has not had the same fastball velocity. However, Smyly has righted the ship a bit in the last few weeks, and it looks like he has adjusted to the loss of the fastball velocity. Additionally, the matchup is terrific! The Marlins have a 27% K-rate with an 87 wRC+ against.




St Louis Cardinals @ Colorado Rockies

  • We have a game in Coors Field today, and when that occurrence takes place, the roster% leans in that direction. Probably even more so on a 14-game slate because the Over/Under sits at 12.5, with both teams drawing a 6.25 Implied Run Total(IRT). So, here is the thing, both teams are not very good offenses. In fact, over the last 30 days, St Louis has a 78 wRC+(third-worst in MLB) with a .280 wOBA. Additionally, Colorado has a 93 wRC+ and .165 ISO with should not indicate an IRT this high. My advice is to steer clear of this game; roster% will be increased, and neither team is outstanding. Fade Coors Field!

Toronto Blue Jays

  • When identifying a stack, one of the main focuses needs to be finding four to five players with HR upside. Over the last 30 days, their 120 wRC+ and .350 wOBA are top-three in the MLB, which leads us to believe they can put up a crooked number every game. Oddly, their salaries are not through the roof either, and building a four or five-person stack should leave plenty of salary for decent SPs or a healthy secondary stack. Don’t get cute; Vladimir Guerrero Jr. needs to be in every Toronto stack built.

Houston Astros 

  • When it comes to impressive offensive production, over the past 30 days, there aren’t much better than the Astros. They tout the highest wRC+(141) that’s fueled by an uncanny ability not to strike out (19.8%) and take walks(11.0%). Furthermore, they fill the basepaths and then do severe damage(.200 ISO). Tonight’s matchup is against Sam Hentges, who was not on the Opening Day roster and has some command issues. If you’re grabbing a few Astros to stack needs to lean heavily on right-handed bats like Yuli Gurriel, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa.

Detroit Tigers

  • My contrarian stack of the day belongs to Detroit. First, you notice they square off against Lance Lynnwho is, in all accounts, a bonafide ace, right? While I am not here to witch-hunt or speculate, but the spin rate decline is exceptionally noticeable. And, when compounded with the recent struggles, there are concerns for today. Furthermore, Detroit has been a pretty solid squad at the dish. Over the past 30 days, the Tigers have a 107 wRC+ and .179 ISO. Led by Scott Chu’s man-crush Akil Baddoo, the Tigers have stabilized as an offense and could make tonight’s outing very difficult for Lynn. Outside of Jonathan Schoop, the rest of the team is reasonably priced, so start with Schoop and build from there. Remember, you’ll break Scott’s heart if Baddoo isn’t in there.


Value Bats


Player Position DraftKings FanDuel
Jorge Alfaro C $2800 $2300
Christian Walker 1B $3200 $2800
Josh Harrison 2B $2700 $2500
Asdrubal Cabrera 3B $2700 $2700
Miguel Rojas SS $3200 $2900
Phil Gosselin OF $3100 $2000
Yonathan Daza OF $3300 $3000
Brian Goodwin OF $3300 $3000
Garrett Cooper UT $3200 $2500


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

Dave Swan

Dave Swan is an avid Chicago Cubs fan that enjoys all aspects of fantasy baseball-especially DFS. He would trade his right arm for a GIF library of Greg Maddux pitches. Swan's baseball thoughts are available at @davithius.

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