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The Change-Up: GPP MLB DFS plays for Sunday (7/4)

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With Major League Baseball back in full swing, daily fantasy baseball comes along with it, and with it we offer “The Change-Up,” a GPP-focused article for DFS on FanDuel and DraftKings. Baseball is a very high-variance sport, and most times you’ll find my plays to tend toward the contrarian, hence the article’s name.

At FTN, we are debuting our MLB DFS optimizer, which is going to be an invaluable resource this season. We will also be in Discord chat almost all the time, so hit us up with questions and make sure to check it out for updated cores from all the pros.  

Weather note: As of now we have no real weather issues to be concerned with Sunday. 

Stacks

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers are going to be without star bat Christian Yelich, but that’s OK, as the four batters at the top of the lineup all hit lefties very well and are mostly cheap, which is perfect for our DFS lineups. Against lefties, Luis Urías is hitting .330 wOBA with a homer in his last 49 ABs, Willy Adames is hitting .290 wOBA with 5 homers in his last 82 ABs, Tyrone Taylor is hitting .370 wOBA with 4 homers in his last 43 Abs, and Avisaíl García is hitting .400 wOBA with 3 homers in his last 49 ABs. Opposing pitcher Tyler Anderson has allowed at least one HR in each of his last four starts (5 HR total) along with 26 hits. He has given up 13 runs in his last 23.2 innings. On the season he is allowing 1.59 HR/9 and a 15% HR/FB. Over the last three games, the Brewers are actually the highest-scoring team in the MLB with an average of 8.33 runs per game, with 11 in their last contest. 

Stack options: Tyrone Taylor, Avisaíl García, Willy Adames, Luis Urías, Manny Piña

Minnesota Twins

Brad Keller is on the bump for the Royals, which is a big positive for the Minnesota offense. Keller (6.67 ERA) has allowed 47 hits in his last 30.1 innings pitched, allowing 4 HR, and only has made it over 5 innings once in that time. In those last seven games, he has allowed 26 runs. Keller is capable of throwing plenty of grounders (48.5%), but when he leaves one in the air it is leaving the park 16.9% of the time. I like how the Twins are rolling out their lineup, with projected salary savers up top (Trevor Larnach, Luis Arraez, Alex Kirilloff) and big power spend-up bats (Nelson Cruz, Josh Donaldson, Jorge Polanco) mixed in, making them easier to stack. Vegas has a Twins implied team total of 5.5, which is tied for the highest on the slate with the Chicago White Sox. 

Stack options: Luis Arraez, Nelson Cruz, Josh Donaldson, Jorge Polanco, Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach

Toronto Blue Jays

Rays pitchers Ryan Yarbrough has been getting lit up more than we are accustomed to seeing lately, giving up 14 ER in his last four starts on 25 hits, including 3 homers. His walk rate is still fantastic (4.1%), but his HR/9 is up significantly from previous seasons at 1.36 HR/9 and now he has to face a Toronto team that has given him a lot of trouble in the past. Teoscar Hernández, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavain Biggio and Lourdes Gurriel have hit a combined 8 homers off him in their last 74 ABs. Hernández and Marcus Semien have been the best lefty hitters on the team. Hernández has 5 homers in his last 50 ABs against lefties while hitting for a .420 IS0/.470 wOBA.

Stack options: Teoscar Hernández, Marcus Semien, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Randal Grichuk, Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 

Other stack options

Chicago White Sox

San Diego Padres

Fade: Yankees/Mets bats as they are only going to be playing 7 innings.

Pitchers

Freddy Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers

Peralta has looked fantastic lately, scoring over 30 DK points in five of his last nine starts and only dipping under 20 DK points twice. On the season, he has a 2.17 ERA, 12.62 K/9, .186 BABIP, and is allowing under 1 HR per 9 innings (.083 HR/9). In the last 41 combined ABs for Sunday’s projected starters, there are no home runs and 15 strikeouts (a 36% rate). Over the last three games, the Pirates are dead last in runs scored in all of baseball (2 per game), but they have been limiting strikeouts (6.67 per game), which is better than their season average of 8.21. I am high on the Brewers offense Sunday, which is also a positive for Peralta, as I believe he will get the win and most likely the quality start bonus points.

Zach Thompson, Miami Marlins

Thompson is going to be our high-risk salary saver. Since getting called up, he has a 1.50 ERA while facing the Cubs, Red Sox, Nationals and Braves, who he sees again here. He has allowed no home runs in 18 innings pitched and struck out an outstanding 11 batters in his last start against the Nationals. When he took on the Braves the first time, he limited them to four hits and no earned runs in his second MLB start. He currently has a 34.2K% and 8.2%BB. He is only $6,400 on DraftKings, which means you don’t need much from him, but if the past three starts are any indicator, he more than pays off this salary. Another positive for Thompson is that he is finally stretched out. The Marlins let him go 6 innings last game getting him the quality start, which would be huge again here at his price. 

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

He is going to get the benefit of pitching in a 7-inning game against the Mets, which means he has a nice path to get the complete game bonus on DraftKings (not on FanDuel). He has been regressing lately (from being the best pitcher in the league), all after the MLB started inspecting for “sticky stuff,” but he hasn’t been imploding on the mound. On the season he still has a 2.66 ERA, 4.4% BB rate and 33.2% K rate in 101.2 innings. I don’t have much of an issue playing him if you have the salary, but I prefer to spend up on bats, which will limit my personal exposure to him. He is relatively safe — and by “safe” I mean I think he gets over 20 DK points — but he is not the best point-per-dollar pitcher. The Mets have been striking out the fifth most in the MLB over their last three contests (10.33 times per game). 

Just missed the cut Charlie Morton, Marcus Stroman: Both pitchers have me very interested, and if you need one of them because of salary I am fine taking a shot on them. 

Favorite DraftKings pitchers: Freddy Peralta, Zach Thompson

Favorite on FD: Freddy Peralta

Fade — Lucas Giolito on FanDuel: He has allowed the fifth-most homers in baseball this season, although the Tigers offense isn’t one to fear, that HR/9 rate is. The Tigers have actually hit him well in the past, specifically Eric Haase

Core four

Value plays: Tyrone Taylor, Gavin Sheets, Luis Arraez, Manny Piña, Eric Haase

Slate edge: Fade the Yankees/Mets bats, and play the Milwaukee Brewers, who’s ownership should be going down with the announcement that Christian Yelich is not going to play. 

For more, check out the FTN MLB Live show before the slate and join us in the MLB Discord

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