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“The Short List” | DFS MLB Fanduel Pitcher Targets, Stacks, and Strategy (8/2)

8 games on the DFS MLB Main Slate today, and a few smaller late slates.

Today’s weather forecast is fairly clear, according to our MLB Weather Station graphic. We only need to watch STL. Timing is critical here! Rain chances increase as the evening goes along, and once it starts…it’s not going to stop. Future forecast models show a window of opportunity. But, if rain arrives early, the game will be shortened or suspended (ending our DFS points for that particular game…a disadvantage typically). If rain arrives late, this whole paragraph can be completely disregarded as a waste of time. Just be aware.

Your three teams over a 5.0 IRT are: LAD, CHC, and NYM. CIN carries a 4.96 as of now, making them a decent “game stack” with CHC for you single lineup builders to consider. IRT correlates very highly with “chalk.” So, be aware these teams should come in higher owned. But, historically, winning 3 and 4-man stacks come from these games most often, too…roughly 30% of the time. Focusing on these numbers is not wrong! See our MLB Leverage Stacks Tool for more detail.


VIP-Only research yields The Chop Shop. KScore and WScore are proprietary metrics designed to compare pitchers in true apples-to-apples form. Which pitchers have the best matchup? Which pitchers bring the most upside for the dollar? Chop Shop shows you in one easy number.

DFS MLB Pitchers Today

Gerrit Cole ($10900) leads the way in strikeout matchups today with a KScore of 545. He also brings with him some ownership, making him great for cash gamers. For DFS MLB tournaments, the first thing you should notice is how slowly the KScore numbers drop off. We can bargain hunt this a bit without sacrificing matchup and upside, and probably grab some pitchers with lower ownership, too.

Yusei Kikuchi ($8600) becomes a solid pivot off another potentially popular play, Tony Gonsolin (LAD). Kikuchi has slightly more upside with a better matchup, and has shown decent form in back to back starts with 8 Ks in each. Kikuchi carries risk, but has reached 40-50 Fanduel points several times in his last 10 starts. Gonsolin has reached 25 points just once. For just $200 more, Kikuchi makes a more logical tournament pivot off Cole than Gonsolin…yet most people will choose Gonsolin vs OAK and play it too safe.

Also consider – Kodai Senga ($10600), Joe Ryan ($10300), Dylan Cease ($9300)

DFS MLB Hitters Today

Mookie Betts ($4200) is back! The Dodgers have a great matchup tonight against Oakland, Mookie leads off, and might be coming out of his “slump.” Even in a slump, for him, Mookie didn’t post a 0 in his last 17 games. He’s a great all-format play with tourney-winning upside as a solo play or as part of a Dodgers stack.

Cody Bellinger ($3700) is another to build around tonight. Sure, the Cubs might fall flat and flame out after last night’s explosion, but Bellinger is another high-floor player with slate-breaking upside as a solo play or as part of a stack. He is hitting for a .383 woba, 1.010 OPS, and 142 wRC+ in the heart of the Cubs order. Cody’s last 0 was July 16th….15 games ago.

Also consider – Elly De La Cruz ($3600), Jorge Polanco ($3000), Jeff McNeil ($2800)

DFS MLB Stacks

The Los Angeles Dodgers enter tonight just dominating optimizers and projections. As always, I like the top of the orders. But, this is a team where the bottom of the order and “wrap stacks” compete, too. The opposing pitcher’s road ERA is over 7.0 and he’s a rookie. If the Dodgers touch him up early, you also get the mop-up end of the Oakland pen…not a strength. This game could get out of hand quickly and be Cubs 2.0.

DFS MLB Leverage Graphic

Even “chalky” teams aren’t that chalky on bigger slates. However, that does NOT mean you can’t find leverage. This graphic (available to VIPs upon request) shows stack projections next to ownerships on a given slate. If CIN, TEX, and CHC are all projected about the same….you might opt for the lowest owned team (TEX) given all three have similar chances of scoring high on tonight’s slate.

Toronto Blue Jays stacks might look middling on paper, but opposing pitcher Grayson Rodriguez gives up the long ball. He gives up a .366 woba against and almost 50% hard contact on batted balls! Toronto stacks project similarly tonight to teams like MIN and TEX, but at lower team ownership…giving you better pathways to winning a tournament should they exploit this pitching matchup.

I would also lean towards avoiding the Chicago Cubs as a large team stack. Crazy as this sounds, teams that explode for big outputs often do fall flat the next day. From a game theory perspective, recreational players will chase last night’s production and boost Chicago’s ownership. DFS MLB is volatile as any sport and the Cubs’ chances of nutting the slate again aren’t really any higher than teams like NYM, CIN, TEX….and yes, even LAD. But, as the top owned team on the slate, I can confidently dodge this ownership knowing I’m receiving similar odds on lower owned teams.

Also consider – Texas Rangers, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets

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Featured Image Credit:

Jul 24, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts (50) runs from second base into home to score a run against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports