DFS Plays of the Day – July 20

Ryan Amore previews Tuesday's DFS slate.

Tonight’s 13-game slate features an ace tier led by Yu Darvish and Aaron Nola. And a ton of offense, too, with the Blue Jays, Reds, and Rockies all carrying significant upside. Let’s take a look. 


The Top Tier


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Yu Darvish or Aaron Nola? That’s the question tonight. They’re both tied with a 24.1% K-BB%. And both of them are facing lineups that will be missing their best hitters.

For Nola, he’ll get a Yankee lineup that’ll be without Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela, and Luke Voit. In their previous meeting back on June 13, Nola ran roughshod over the Yankees, who coincidentally, were also without Judge and Voit that day. This time, though, it will be on the road with the DH in play. Salary dictates the decision in favor of Nola on FanDuel, where you’re getting him at a substantial discount relative to Darvish. Nola has been snake-bitten of late, allowing 11 earned runs in his last two starts combined. The more important thing, though, is that the whiffs are still there in spades, as he recorded a stellar 38% CSW in his most recent outing against the Cubs.

Where they’re at a near equal salary as on DraftKings, I would lean toward Darvish, who gets an Atlanta squad missing Ronald Acuña Jr./strong>, as he has the benefit of both being the stronger favorite and not having to pitch in an American League park.

Trevor Rogers is right there with Darvish and Nola in terms of strikeout ability, however, he has significantly lower pitch count upside as we’ve seen him limited to under 90 pitches in three of his last six starts rendering him as a tournament option.

Luis Garcia has been excellent holding opposing batters to just a .289 xwOBA along with a 28% K rate. The Astros are one of the stronger home favorites on the board (-171), however, on paper he seems miscast as the most expensive option on DraftKings leaving him as a hedge in tournaments, similar to Rogers. 



Value/Mid-Tier Pitchers


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Shane McClanahan leads the field with a 15.9% swinging-strike rate. And he’s coming off of a season-high pitch count of 91 in his last start. Granted his past two turns haven’t been great, but I’m willing to give him a pass as they were back-to-back outings against one of the best offenses in baseball, the Jays. Tonight he’s a massive home favorite (-197) against a light-hitting Orioles team (.303 team wOBA, 23rd), so he should be on your radar as a mid-range option that carries significant strikeout appeal especially now that we’ve seen him clear 90 pitches.

Normally, I look to completely ignore pitchers at Coors Field, but how can we not give some love to Germán Márquez? He’s been phenomenal and is coming off of a dominant performance against a tough Padres lineup his last time out (7 IP, 9 K’s, 32.6% CSW). Yes, it’s still Coors so there’s added risk but against a lineup like the Mariners (.296 team wOBA, 29th) he should be firmly on your list. It’s not often you see the Rockies installed as strong favorites (-178).

As is often the case with young pitchers, Tarik Skubal is a bit of a roller coaster. However, there’s no denying the upside he brings. Just take a look at his start against the Astros a couple of turns ago, seven IP, nine Ks, and a 36.3% CSW. Against a team like the Rangers (.297 team wOBA, 27th) he’s another option here that should pique your interest especially in tournaments. On the opposite side of that game, Dane Dunning would have been a potential matchup based play but the Rangers seem to have him on a very tight leash pitch-count wise really capping his upside.

John Means is making his first appearance since June 5, so it’s probably best to take a wait and see approach here. 


Bats and Stacks


So where should you go for bats tonight? Let’s start in Toronto. We’ve been targeting Garrett Richards and that continues tonight. He’s been a mess, allowing a .361 xwOBA to opposing batters along with just a 7.1% K-BB%, second-from the bottom on tonight’s board. You can see this potential eruption spot for the Jays a mile away as they have the highest ceiling of any offense tonight and carry an implied team total just under six runs. The Jays’ team wOBA of .338 leads baseball, so once again Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and friends jump to the top of the list.

Next we go to Coors Field, where the Rockies lead tonight’s slate with an implied team total of over six runs. Marco Gonzales has allowed a .415 xwOBA to opposing batters along with just a 19.8% K rate. He’s also allowed a 16% barrel rate, in the bottom one percent. This sends off alarm bells and you should be looking at the righties in Trevor Story, Brendan Rodgers, and C.J. Cron as priority plays. And I wouldn’t avoid the lefties here either in Ryan McMahon and Charlie Blackmon, especially in tournaments, as Gonzales has also allowed a .454 xwOBA to lefties this season.

I hope you all had a piece of last night’s Mets/Reds game. The Mets’ rotation is fragile right now and tonight they’re sending out RHP Robert Stock, a 31 year-old journeyman, to give them some innings. To keep it brief, he’s not a name you should be afraid of, so the Reds should be on your list for as they have an implied team total of five and a half runs. Fire away here in all formats as we should see more fireworks in the home run friendly GABP. Jesse Winker should be in your lineups tonight, as his salary is screaming “buy me” on both sites ($3,900 DK, $3,200 FD). 


For Tournaments


Thomas Hatch has some decent ability in the minor leagues (14.2% K-BB% for Triple-A Buffalo), still he’s an unproven, young arm, so the Red Sox deserve consideration as a potential leverage stack in tournaments. Jarren Duran hit second last night and remains a very strong value for all formats if he finds himself there again. 

Triston McKenzie actually leads the slate in K rate at 32.1%. Unfortunately, free passes have been his undoing as he carries a massive 18.9% BB rate into tonight’s contest. His last outing, though, was an encouraging one, and given his pedigree and strikeout ability he could easily emerge as a pitching option that we’re targeting in the second half. As far as tonight goes, the Astros are on the board as a potential boom/bust stack in tournaments (5.2 implied team total) given McKenzie’s propensity for blow ups this year. Both Michael Brantley and Kyle Tucker rate out really well on DraftKings, the latter having the power upside you’re looking for in tournaments. Note that Yordan Álvarez is questionable tonight with a hamstring injury, as his absence would put a big dent on the Astro’s power upside.

Kyle Muller, similar to McKenzie, is a very interesting young pitcher who we’re going to want to keep an eye on in the second half. The Braves’ young lefty has shown phenomenal strikeout ability evinced by a 15.8% SwStr rate and 30.9% K rate for Triple-A Gwinnett. However, tonight he faces a tough task in the Padres who have a five and a half run implied team total, so they are certainly on the board if you’re multi-entering tournaments. 


Value Bats



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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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