DFS Plays of the Day – July 9

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

Happy Friday, folks! Today’s slate is another large one with 14 games in total. The opening act begins with the Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles starting at 6:05 PM EST in Camden Yards. Unfortunately, anyone looking for dynamic pitching will be missing out today, and there is a lack of shutdown aces. What does it mean when there isn’t an abundance of elite SPs? That’s right, plenty of high-scoring games with ample value bats. I raised the bar a notch in salary to find those extra juicy value bats at the end with that in mind. Lastly, before lock time, I strongly urge you to keep an eye on any players in the PIT@NYM game as weather may play a role. As always, good luck today!


Implied Run Totals


Away Total Home Total
CWS 5.62 BAL 4.88
PHI 5.24 BOS 5.76
KC 4.41 CLE 5.09
ATL 3.97 MIA 3.53
OAK 4.81 TEX 4.19
DET 3.66 MIN 5.84
CIN 4.25 MIL 4.25
LAA 4.43 SEA 4.07
COL 3.10 SD 4.90


Starting Pitchers


Tier One
Player Opponent DraftKings FanDuel
Taijuan Walker vs. PIT $9000 $9500
Alek Manoah at TB $9700 $10300
Charlie Morton vs. MIA $9600 $10000


  • Taijuan Walker becomes my safest SP option with the highest K upside with the best matchup. We haven’t seen Walker go less than five innings pitches since mid-May, and his 46:9 K/BB ratio in that timeframe is outstanding. In the last 30 days, Pittsburgh doesn’t strike out a ton against RHP; and they also do very little when the ball is in play(.290 wOBA and 82 wRC+). Walker should be a reasonably well-rostered SP, so consider pairing a less chalky stack with him.
  • Alek Manoah has been terrific as of late and should put most of the rookie concerns to bed. The main reason I love Manoah as a top-tier SP is the strikeouts. His near 29% K-rate and extremely low 1.01 WHIP suggest clean basepaths. Now, Manoah tends to allow a lot of flyballs. However, against RHP, the Rays carry a ton of swing-and-miss(26.9%) to go along with a bit of thump(.186 ISO). Much like Taijuan, he might be a rostered on a bunch of lineups.
  • Charlie Morton has also been incredible lately, which usually means the herd will flock to him. Over his last four starts, Morton touts a 28.2 K-BB% and 2.87 SIERA. Both metrics show you exactly how locked in he is. Additionally, he gets a decent matchup against the Marlins, who are middle of the road against RHP. In the last 30 days, they carry a 98 wRC+ fueled by a .305 wOBA. Oh yeah, there is also a near 25% K-rate in there as well.


Tier Two
Player Opponent DraftKings FanDuel
Wade Miley at MIL $9700 $9200
Kenta Maeda vs. DET $7100 $7300
Blake Snell vs. COL $8300 $7600


  • Wade Miley is showcasing excellent command of his pitches this year. The BB% is at a career-low 6.3%, and the K-rate hasn’t fallen off. However, this is why Miley gets ticked down a notch. In DFS, we value Ks as the primary source of points, and Miley’s sub-20% K-rate over 88 IP won’t cut it for the top-tier. While Milwaukee has been a better lineup with some additions they’ve made, over the last 30 days, the 83 wRC+ and near 24% K-rate won’t cut it. Miley is very pricey, so rostering him will come at the expense of some more significant bats, unfortunately.
  • Kenta Maeda had everything finally come together in his last start. And sure, while it was terrific to see, the trust factor is gone. He seems like a perfect option for any GPP lineups because if he repeats his last outing, you’re golden. If not, well, we have seen the implosions like how Maeda began the year. He draws Detroit, which is an improved lineup but not elite. I’m betting on him throwing enough Ks today. His salary leaves plenty of room for any chalk stack you’d like. Be sure to toss in some value bats for the one-offs listed below.
  • Blake Snell has all sorts of versions of himself. Sometimes the changeup is there, and he strikes out 11 batters, and then when he loses the feel, it’s walk-city. On top of the chaotic mess, he isn’t going very deep into games either. However, his 29.2 K% and 30.6% CSW make him a viable SP on a slate lacking ace options. Oddly, Colorado has not been striking out much against LHP. With so many flags, he remains a worthy SP because of the depressed salary and upside. I wouldn’t expect his roster% very high, so that’ll make him an exciting leverage play in a GPP. It should also be mentioned that due to his high risk, Snell is a terrible cash game option.




New York YankeesHouston Astros

  • While we have no implied run totals for this game, it has the makings of being a slate-breaker. Minute Maid has short porches to left-field, and either team has the firepower to poke mistakes over the fence. Also, the Yankees are throwing southpaw Nestor Cortes, who has been a solid bullpen arm but unproven SP. On the other side is Jake Odorizzi, who oddly is the top-priced SP (according to DraftKings). Odorizzi has looked serviceable but hasn’t been striking batters out lately. Relying on balls in play for outs against the Yankees is not an ideal strategy.
  • Additionally, none of the bats has crazy high salaries, so that you can grab as many bats as possible from each team. The Yankees focus on right-handed bats because Odorizzi has been shutting down lefties (1.56 ERA over 17.1 IP). And for the Astros’ stack, don’t worry about handedness because Cortes likely won’t go over 2-3 IP.

Cincinnati Reds

  • First, the pitching matchup against Eric Lauer jumps off the page. His 14.3 K-BB% and 1.79 HR/9 lead me to believe he might be in for some trouble. Even so, while Lauer hasn’t been bad, I would challenge that he struggles against right-handed bats. Against the 38 IP vs. RHH, Lauer has allowed 21 earned runs and nine long balls. Additionally, included in that mess is a 1.3 WHIP vs. batted from either side of the dish. Lastly, while the Reds bats have cooled off a bit in the last 30 days, they still showcase massive HR upside and walk over 11% of the time. My stack bats to target are righties like Nick Castellanos, Tyler Stephenson(at catcher), Jonathan India, and Eugenio Suarez.

Atlanta Braves 

  • This is my stack I would pair with the tier-two pitchers, mainly because I could fit all the pieces like Ronald Acuna Jr, Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, and Austin Riley without evening thinking. So let’s skip past the analysis of how good those bats are; we know they mash. Zach Thompson looks like a supreme talent ready to take the MLB by storm, or is he? Keep in mind; this is Atlanta’s third time seeing Thompson in less than 30 days. While Thompson has mowed them down twice already, I highly doubt the third time is a charm. Grabbing Atlanta bats should also help boost you past all the teams that rostered Thompson; we call this negative correlation. So we can get uber talent bats like Atlanta’s boppers and knock off the Thompson lineups simultaneously? It’s a risk I would be willing to take in large GPP formats.


Value Bats


Player Position DraftKings FanDuel
Yan Gomes C $2800 $2500
Ryan Mountcastle 1B $3400 $2500
Jean Segura 2B $3200 $3100
Abraham Toro 3B $3200 $2500
Gleyber Torres SS $3200 $3100
Andrew Benintendi OF $3300 $2600
Andrew McCutchen OF $3200 $3400
Adam Engel OF $3000 $2000
Luis Arraez UT $3400 $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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