MLB DFS 7/7: Thursday Thrift Shopping


We have been on a bit of an MLB DFS roll of late, and Monday’s holiday slate was no exception. José Abreu and Nick Senzel provided some much-needed offense for a combined $6,700 in salary, while Julio Urias proved to be worth the $8,300 price tag. A few variations on bigger spends landed in the money in multiple contests, and hopefully we can duplicate that for tonight’s 10-game slate kicking off at 7:05pm EDT.

With that, it’s time to get to shopping. The name of the game is value. With apologies to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, let’s pop some tags and find upside for less before filling out lineups. As always, I’ll list the featured values first, and then give a pick at each remaining position afterwards. Grab a cart and cruise the aisles.

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***All prices listed are from DraftKings***

Value on the Hill

Dylan Cease – vs Detroit ($9,800)

Fine, this hardly a “value” pick. However, evaluating the pitchers on this slate, there are only a precious few that I really feel good on spending money on. Cease is an easy pick, per usual. He’s allowed three earned runs combined in his last two starts and zero runs total in the five starts prior. While, he’s always good for a uncharacteristic crooked number in the walks category, he typically more than makes up for it in strikeouts. That’s the name of the game for pitchers in DFS. Cease will carry his 2.51 ERA and 125 strikeouts (second in the majors) into a home start against the Tigers. Detroit’s woeful offense is second to last in runs scored/game and manages just 2.62 per game on the road. Cease’s last start against them resulted in a five-inning victory where he totaled eight punchouts. For the season, he’s leading the league with a 13.1 K/9 average.

Best pairing: Spencer Strider – vs St. Louis ($8,500)

Ideally, this spot should go to Tony Gonsolin if we had a little more than 50K to play with, and I tried. However, I ended up so handcuffed on bats it just was not realistic. Even with Strider, that issue still exists. It’s not a perfect matchup for the rookie, as the Cardinals have one of the more potent offenses, but there is a silver lining. St. Louis is striking out nearly eight times per game, and Strider’s vicious fastball has accounted for 90 strikeouts in 59.2 innings. That 13.6 K/9 clip would outdo even Cease had the future ace of Atlanta qualified for enough games at this point. Strider is 4-2 with a 2.87 ERA and a nice 1.01 WHIP in 18 games (seven starts) in 2022.

Value in the Field

Nick Senzel, OF – vs Pittsburgh ($2,900)

Going back to the well with the center fielder tonight after being rewarded the last time I ran him out. The platoon issues in the Queen City are real, but they are playing a doubleheader today and Senzel is not starting game one. It stands to reason he’ll definitely be on the grass in the second affair, given the heat from his bat of late. While is overall slash is pretty ugly to look at (.257/.313/.330), since June 23 it’s been just a bit better. In fact, over those 13 games, it’s .442/.489/.605 (OPS of 1.094, math wizards). During the stretch, he’s scored nine runs, driven in eight, doubled, hit two ding-dongs, and stole three bases. He’s swinging the lumber, and for $2.9K, it’s a bargain.

Brian Serven, C – at Arizona ($4,200) PIVOT: Elias Diaz ($3,700)

There are two teams worth being eyed today not only for stack potential but just for the matchup dictating you get some guys into your lineup. We all know how atrocious Colorado has been on the road, but this matchup against Dallas Keuchel is tantalizing. The southpaw was DFA’d last month by the White Sox and signed to a minor league deal by Arizona. He’s been absolutely miserable in 2022, most recently coughing up 10 earned runs in 9.1 innings across two starts for the Diamondbacks.

It seems like every day, the catchers are so overpriced it’s impossible not to blow more budget than you’d like, so in this case we’re playing the matchup. Serven and Diaz are not top-tier catchers, but each have a little pop in their bat. Diaz has had better luck driving in runs, where Serven his hitting over 70 points higher. Again, this is a matchup play. Serven got the start against Keuchel on July 2 (0-3 with a walk and a run scored), so I’m guessing it will be him. If not, Diaz is a good pivot and would leave an extra $500 to spend elsewhere in your lineups.

Daniel Vogelbach, 1B – at Cincinnati ($3,500)

The Pirates’ first baseman had a couple big games against the Reds in 2021. Aside from one game where he smashed a ball over the fence, it has not quite continued this season. However, he’s always remained a tough out for Cincy pitching. The lefty has serious power and has 10 hits in his last 27 at bats (.370) while sporting a 1.241 OPS on the strength of a double and three moonshots during that period. He’s also drawn seven walks. Cincinnati is in a free fall, and thinking that righthander Robert Dugger isn’t taking the bump as much more than a sacrificial lamb at this point is probably a mistake. He has just two appearances in 2022 spanning 8.1 innings between Tampa Bay and Cincinnati. Dugger is tugging a 6.48 ERA and an ugly 1.68 WHIP. Look for him to struggle against Pittsburgh’s lefties tonight, and I’m using three of them in several lineups.

Other favorite plays: Gleyber Torres (2B – NYY), Manny Machado (3B – SD), Oneil Cruz (SS – PIT), Kris Bryant (OF – COL), Jack Suwinski (OF – PIT)

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Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
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