MLB DFS Picks & Lineup Advice: August 1st
The MLB DFS Plug will end after August 1st. Model will be live every slate through the end of the World Series. Want to ask about MLB throughout the summer? Make sure you're in our Discord!
The Daily Plug is our daily MLB DFS Picks & Strategy write-up that highlights the top plays from our Occupy Model.
We’ll start by looking at betting odds and weather situations, then the Plug will provide actionable information for the main slate by making specific recommendations on how much of your bankroll to allocate and exactly which types of contests to play -- all depending on the type of player you are. Note: Plug only written for slates with 5+ games; not usually fully updated until 5:00pm EST for evening slates.
Consider the Daily Plug an in-depth road map for the main slate. Let’s get to it!
Midday updates are posted in BLUE.
Notable Betting Odds:
TOR -278 (José Berríos)
NYM -210 (Marcus Stroman)
CWS -175 (Jimmy Lambert)
NYY -165 (Jordan Montgomery)
ATL -159 (Charlie Morton)
Biggest Moneyline Moves:
NYM, 48 cent move
MIL, 16 cent move
TEX, 14 cent move
Highest Implied Run Totals:
Team Total Movement:
Weather Situations to Target:
There is some rain to monitor this afternoon. PHI@PIT will have rain around the park, but may be ok. CHC@WAS and MIL@ATL could be wet during play. CIN@NYM looks the most problematic, and might be worth following up on closer to lock.
We have a +9% adjustment in our Model for hitters in the MIL@ATL game this afternoon due to the conditions.
As a reminder, these are our top MLB DFS picks by OF Index who are not a part of our top stacks below:
Franmil Reyes, CLE
FanDuel: OF, $3,900, 6.00%
DraftKings: OF, $4,100, 16.88%
OF Index: 11.7
Ryan O'Hearn, KC
FanDuel: C/1B, $2,200, 0.49%
DraftKings: OF, $2,800, 0.31%
OF Index: 9.0
José Ramírez, CLE
FanDuel: 3B, $4,100, 14.72%
DraftKings: 3B, $5,500, 14.81%
OF Index: 9.0
Charlie Culberson, TEX
FanDuel: SS/OF, $2,000, 11.27%
DraftKings: 3B/SS, $2,200, 5.33%
OF Index: 11.3
Yadiel Hernandez, WSH
FanDuel: OF, $2,000, 0.00%
DraftKings: OF, $2,000, 0.00%
OF Index: 11.1
Adolis García, TEX
FanDuel: OF, $3,000, 9.60%
DraftKings: OF, $4,000, 19.18%
OF Index: 9.9
Our value batters are the top hitters priced at $3,000 or less on FanDuel. For DraftKings, adjust the upper salary slider in our Model to find other DraftKings values.
A brief word on results year-to-date. We've been tracking Model results for batters on each DK main slate, using the ownership percentages from the biggest mid-stakes GPPs. OF Index has the best correlation with actual fantasy point production.
We usually see this in sports like football or golf, and at a much higher degree of "best fit" to boot. If you are looking to break a tie between a couple of stacks, first, consider their OF Index. Then, consider projected ownership and projected wOBA.
While these are the top stacks by OF index in our Model, you should look for yourself for other ideas.
We use the following format (x-x-x-x): OF Index-.ISO-wOBA-Implied Team Total. You will see these ranks next to each listed team.
Seattle Mariners - 1-1-5-6
Texas Rangers RHP Mike Foltynewicz has the worst average batted ball exit velocity and batted ball distance allowed on this slate according to Statcast data (last two weeks). He’s been bad against hitters from both sides of the plate, but lefties especially. Lefties have a .319 ISO and .402 wOBA against him, while righties have a (still great) .277 ISO and .361 wOBA.
Today, we expect Kyle Seager, Mitch Haniger, Tom Murphy, Abraham Toro and Jarred Kelenic to lead the way against Foltynewicz. Ty France, Haniger, Toro, J.P. Crawford and Shed Long Jr. have the highest wOBAs against RHP for the Mariners in the anticipated lineup.
Texas Rangers - 2-2-12-14
The Mariners and Rangers might be in for a slugfest, as we don’t particularly like Marco Gonzales at SP today, either.
Gonzales has never been a high strikeout rate guy, but he was able to get away with being super efficient in 2019-20. This year has been a way different story - he has a 5.48 ERA and a career high 6.02 FIP in 67.1 innings pitched. His home run to fly ball ratio has doubled in 2021 compared to 2019/20, as well.
The southpaw is still tough on lefties, but allows an elite .333 ISO and .432 wOBA to right-handed hitters in 2021. Charlie Culberson is again a lock value. The fourth best hitter in the entire Occupy Model (11.3 OF Index) is priced at $2,200 on DraftKings and the minimum price on FanDuel and Yahoo. Culberson has a .224 ISO and .390 wOBA against left-handed pitching in 2021.
Adolis García, Andy Ibáñez, Jonah Heim and Jose Trevino round out the top options behind him.
Baltimore Orioles - 3-3-1-10
Detroit Tigers SP Tyler Alexander is virtually unhittable for left-handed hitters, but he allows an elite .243 ISO and .386 wOBA to righties. He doesn’t strike out anyone at an elite rate, with a 19% K rate for the season.
Alexander is second only to Foltynewicz in terms of furthest batted ball distance allowed over the last two weeks. Today, we like Trey Mancini, Pat Valaika, Ryan Mountcastle, Anthony Santander and Austin Hays in this spot. Mancini, Hays, Mountcastle, Austin Wynns and Maikel Franco have been the strongest wOBA hitters for the Orioles against LHP this season.
Washington Nationals - 4-4-9-9
In the battle of teams with gutted rosters, we love the Nationals this afternoon. Cubs SP Adbert Alzolay allows lefties to hit for a .401 ISO and .422 wOBA this season, while limiting righties significantly.
This raises the priority level for guys like Juan Soto, Josh Bell and Yadiel Hernandez. They will hit from the left side against him; Soto and Bell are the two highest ranked hitters of the entire slate in the Occupy Model, and Hernandez is right there with them at sixth.
As the 2, 3 and 4 hitters in the order, this is a great secondary stack to deploy this afternoon. Luis García and René Rivera are the next highest ranked hitters behind them for Washington.
Other teams on this slate we like? CWS and DET by projected wOBA, and TOR and NYM by implied team total.
José Berríos, TOR
FanDuel: $9,000, 12.18%
DraftKings: $8,600, 16.75%
OF Index: 15.2
Jimmy Lambert, CHW
FanDuel: $5,500, 0.00%
DraftKings: $4,000, 0.00%
OF Index: 15.2
Charlie Morton, ATL
FanDuel: $8,800, 34.25%
DraftKings: $10,200, 41.81%
OF Index: 14.5
Marcus Stroman, NYM
FanDuel: $9,300, 7.23%
DraftKings: $9,700, 8.86%
OF Index: 14.4
New Blue Jays ace José Berríos makes his Toronto debut facing the Royals and he is on top of the Model today. His slate-high 15.2 OF Index is lower than the elite 17-18+ we like to see for top arms in our Model, but he is priced down for being the top arm on the slate. The Blue Jays are massive favorites, and the Royals implied team total is nearly half a run lower than the second lowest. Unfortunately for Berríos, the Royals don’t strike out much, and he has only a 1.05 K/IP projection today.
Chicago White Sox farm hand Jimmy Lambert is making a spot start for the second time in his MLB career this afternoon (four overall appearances). We have to try and not overreact to small samples, because in his two outings this year, he gave up 7 runs and 11 hits in 5 innings. He has, however, super high strikeout upside. He averaged 1.33 K/IP in 42.1 innings at AAA so far this season, and did K 6 batters in those 5 MLB innings. We project him for 1.36 K/IP against Cleveland today, who have been striking out at the highest rate in baseball per plate appearance over the last 30 days. Despite his slate-high 15.2 OF Index, consider Lambert high-risk only - there's a lot that can go awry with spot starters. Lambert last pitched 3 days ago for the Charlotte Knights, throwing 2 innings. He may not go deep today.
After many expected the Braves to sell Charlie Morton at the deadline, not only did they not sell, they had a flurry of acquisitions instead. The Braves look to take the series behind Morton’s performance today, and with his 14.5 OF Index they have a good shot. They are big -162 favorites facing the Brewers, and Morton has the most strike out upside with his slate-high 1.31 K/IP projection. Morton’s price on DraftKings is high, but no other pitcher comes close to his K upside today.
Marcus Stroman hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a start since the middle of May, and he projects well today facing the Reds with his 14.4 OF Index. Stroman only has a 0.98 K/IP projection, but he does have great Statcast data and he should be able to keep the Reds bats at bay. The Mets are large -205 favorites, and the Reds have a low 3.20 run implied total.
Adam Wainwright doesn’t have great Statcast data, but he does project the next best, and the Cardinals are decent favorites.
Adbert Alzolay and the Cubs are underdogs, and the Nationals bats do project well facing him, but he does have the second highest K/IP on the slate. He is recommended for high-risk only.
Kyle Gibson is cheap on DraftKings and has a good matchup making his Phillies debut taking on the Pirates.
Lineup Construction & Lineup Builder Strategy
The Lineup Builder presented by DFS Magic was designed to be the best tool for building unique lineups that can win GPPs. Our CEO Brian Jester has won over a million dollars in DFS using this exact tool.
Start building smarter lineups faster on this slate. Here’s how:
Single Build For Low-Risk:
In low-risk contests, look to roster starting pitchers on favorites (moneyline -150 or better if possible). We also want pitchers who have the highest strikeout upside (K/IP) on a slate. We’ll typically identify who these guys are for you each day above.
Use hitters who hit 5th or higher in the batting order, and who have wOBA projections over .340. Do not roster any hitters that are facing your pitcher(s) - that’s negative correlation.
Use the position (Pos) dropdown menu to filter and see the best options at each position for your single lineup.
Use the Team menu button to filter by the team you’re looking to select players from.
The other dropdown menu will allow you to filter by custom salary ranges, projected ownership, OF Index, strikeout upside, etc.
Single Build For High-Risk:
Winning baseball DFS contests requires exposure to the best offenses on a slate. The best way to do this is through stacking. As our PGA contributor Niromada aptly reminded us after his big $100,000 win, the key in GPPs is to reduce the amount of things you need to get right.
The top stacks on a slate are the offenses that project to be the best in the Occupy Model through a consensus of metrics - betting odds, implied team total, ISO and wOBA rankings specifically.
In small field contests, we recommend maximizing correlation. On FanDuel, that means you should play two primary stacks (4-4 lineups, with 4 hitters each from BOS and NYY for example). On DraftKings, you can play up to 5 hitters from a team, so 5-3 or 4-4 stacking is ideal in these contest types.
In larger field contests, which are tournaments with 10,000+ entrants, one primary stack with one-off hitters around it is ideal. On FanDuel, this means running a 4-x (4-3-1, 4-2-2, etc.) and on DraftKings a 4-x or 5-x combo of hitters.
Still avoid hitters against your starting pitchers in this format. Pitchers that have high K/IP have the best upside - even if they aren’t huge favorites.
So you’ve decided to mass multi-enter (MME) MLB, welcome to the big leagues. Here’s how to find success:
In our Advanced settings menu, we strongly recommend enabling strict mode. Setting the randomizer to “high” will also give you more diverse lineups (lower randomizer settings will leave you heavily exposed to the same top players):
Start by identifying the top lineups you want to stack - we’ve written up the ones we think are best above. We recommend using no more than four (4) total primary stacks.
Go through the player pool and check off both the use and the stack boxes for the players on your stack teams. You should have at least 4-5 players in your player pool from each team you want to stack.
Big picture? You probably need a minimum of about 30-40 players in your pool for 20+ lineups in most slates (min 2-3 per position).
If you’ve been playing NHL, you’re familiar with our Stack Settings section of the Builder.
The coolest feature for MLB is gap control. Max gap between hitters allows you to customize how close you want each hitter to be in your builds (a 0 gap means only consecutive hitters will be selected in your stack). We recommend the default settings.
If you want to get a specific team or set of teams as a stack, make sure that you select add automatic stack rule to specify them.
Leaving the "Set %" box unchecked will allow the builder to decide what is optimal in your pool; checking the “Set %” box will allow you to demand an allocation (example: BOS 25%, BAL 25%, etc.). When you’re ready, click the Build Lineups button in the lower-right hand corner, and see what the builder spits out based on your settings!
You can then view your player, team pair, and overall team exposures, and see if there is anything you want to go back and edit before you export your lineups for use.
Hammer satellite opportunities on FanDuel & DraftKings - they are plentiful.
Look for the better high risk and low risk building opportunities in the Occupy Model. By paying attention to the team total moves and line movements, we can really target the lineups that have the most optimism with bettors for DFS contests.
2x, 50/50, H2H, 3x, Triple Ups, 3-Mans, 5x, 10x, Leagues, GPPs, Satellites
On DraftKings, get ready for football because each slate is chock-full of options now. Best Ball drafts are going strong, and you can win entries to the NFL $3.5M Best Ball Millionaire and 300K Play-Action.
For Week 1 NFL action, the $100 Fantasy Football Millionaire, $5 Fantasy Football Millionaire, and Kickoff Thursday Millionaire Showdown contest all have satellite contests in the lobby.
Continue to target the $111 Immaculate Inning and $121 Battery MLB satellites. For niche baseball, the KBO $5K Relay Throw (8-10) is still being offered.
On FanDuel, we're in full on NFL satellite mode. The NFL opening week Thursday and Sunday Million contests are on most slates, so take advantage! There is also the NFL Juggernaut for higher bankroll players to consider. We've started to see the WFFC Fan Championship (best GPP of the entire year) pop up on some slates, as well.
It's still baseball SZN, so don't ignore the MLB Deuces Wild on 8/3, the MLB Giant Grand Slam on 8/17, the MLB Monster on 8/20, and the MLB Supreme Squeeze on 8/24.
For other sports? The NAS SUPER Intimidator on 8/15, and the TEN SUPER Smash on 8/30 are options in the FanDuel lobby.
Sports Betting disclaimers
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All cited splits and statistics courtesy of Fangraphs.com Splits Leaderboard tool or splits on a player’s profile page.