Welcome back to MLB DFS, Independence Day edition!  Today we celebrate America and what better way to do that than with a day full for of baseball. We have 13 games and 26 teams playing today starting at 11:05 am ET. There are multiple slates on FanDuel but for the purpose of this article I’ll be covering the seven game main slate with first pitch at 6:10 pm ET in Arizona for the D-Backs and Giants.

The D-Backs and Rockies both played in Colorado yesterday and legend says the next game after playing in Coors is tough one.  I think it’s a good day for some Dodger Dogs and Gilroy Garlic Fries courtesy of the San Francisco Giants. Cue Bruce Springsteen, it’s time to fire up the grill and win some money. Where else can you sit on your couch watching baseball on the verge to win a shit ton of money in DFS? America, fuck yeah! I brought the fireworks today so you just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

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Pitchers

Alek Manoah, SP: $11,000 – Toronto Blue Jays

Manoah is the optimal play for cash games and is cool to use in single entry contest as well.  He’s the priciest pitcher on the slate but for good reason.  With Detroit’s recent improvement to their offense, Oakland has not dropped to the worst hitting team in the majors, a 77 wRC+ and .213 batting average rank 30th.  Manoah has 13 quality starts in 15 starts and sports a 5.1% BB rate. He’s recored only one 50 point game but has the third best contact rate at a mere 18.2%.  His swing and miss stuff isn’t elite but still well above average so I can see him racking up 6+ Ks on a way to another quality start tonight.

Carlos Rodon, SP: $10,900 – San Francisco Giants

If I’m trying to win a single entry contest or large field GPP I want the ceiling that Rodon provides with his 30.3% K rate and his 14.8% SwSt rate. Arizona has a 23% K rate and an 84 wRC+ on the season vs LHP which ranks 28th. Rodon has had six games of 50+ FanDuel points and tonight he’s got a great chance for lucky number seven!

Taijuan Walker, SP: $8,900 –  New York Mets

There are not too many arms I like below $8,000 so if you’re looking for a cheaper option from the top two I’d go with Walker. He’s been solid and when I thought he’d falter a bit in his last start vs Houston he proved me wrong. His 2.17 ERA and 48% GB rate are great but his strikeout stuff is inconsistent. On the season his 17.7% K rate is 4% points below league average but he does have it in the bag somewhere. He threw back-to-backs starts in early June with 10 and 9 strikeouts so the ceiling is there, we just don’t know when it’s going to show up. Walker get’s a good matchup with the Reds who have a 24.8% K rate in the last two weeks and .103 ISO in their last five games.

Hitters

Will SmithC: $3,200 –Dodgers

Smith and the Dodgers have a nice matchup vs Kyle Freeland and his 31.5% hard contact rate. Freeland  is sporting a 5.05 xERA and just faced the Dodgers in his last start. Smith has 12 hits in his last eight games including three home runs. He has a 125 wRC+ on the season and is 3-for-7 off Freeland with a HR in his young career.

Jose Abreu, 1B: $3,100 – Chicago White Sox

After starting the season really slow, Abreu has come on strong lately. Over his last 10 games he’s hitting .385 and is up to 7 HR on the season.   Abreu gets to continue his hot streak against Dylan Bundy and the Twins tonight. Jose is hitting .389 vs Bundy in his career.  Bundy doesn’t have a lot of whiff material and he doesn’t walk many so all we need to do is swing the bat here and good things will come for the White Sox and Jose.

Jake Cronenworth, 2B: $3,300 –San Diego Padres

Jake “The Rake” is a nickname I coined a few weeks ago. Not sure if I’m the first the say that (probably not) but I like it and it fits. He has 69 hits and 29 walks this season both top-three for 2B. The Padres get Chris Flexen tonight at home today and he’s been bad. This is a great opportunity to stack the Padres against Flexen and his 8% BB rate. “The Rake” had a terrible May but picked it back up in June by hitting .315 for the month. Machado is back in the lineup which will give him some more pitches to hit. Flexen’s xFIP is a point higher on the road at 5.58. Good spot at likely no ownership for Jake.

Justin Turner, 3B: $2,900 – Dodgers

Max Muncy is going to be chalk tonight because of his $2,600 price tag and we are talking upwards of 30% ownership and that’s just too high for me. The Dodgers have a good matchup vs Kyle Freeland so I’m looking at his teammate who is just $200 more and has been on fire since returning from the IL. In his last 28 plate appearances he has a 0% soft contact rate and a 50% FB rate. JT has a .606 wOBA and 3 HR in this span of six games.  3B has some great plays today including Manny Machado and Evan Longoria but Turner’s price tag makes him my favorite option for cash games.

Bo Bichette, SS: $3,500 – Blue Jays

The Blue Jays fly into America today and should set off their own fireworks in Oakland against Cole Irvin. His 3.58 and 1.22 WHIP don’t look awful on paper but his underlying metrics are not good. Irvin rocks a 31.4% HC rate and has an xERA of 4.93 which is more than a point higher than his ERA. Some regression is coming against the Jays and their .291 average over the past week. Today is about America but if I had one guy go to bat for our country it’s not Cole Irvin. The Jays are a bit pricey but I don’t see anyone in this lineup at more than 10% rostered today. Tre Turner will be popular but I’ll be using Bichette who has eight hits in his last seven games.

Darin Ruf, OF: $2600 –San Francisco Giants

Darin Ruf will get the call in the cleanup spot tonight vs southpaw Madison Bumgarner. Mad Bum returns to San Francisco, a city that crushes LHP. Multiple guys in the Giants lineup hit LHP well and Ruf is the top crime dog hitting .333 with a 1.202 OPS. This price is cheap for a guy who’s hitting .375 off of Bumgarner. The Giants will be popular but I’m finding a way to get Ruf in my lineups as a one-off if I’m not stacking four of them.

Mookie Betts, OF: $3,600 – Dodgers

Another Dodger on the list, I guess we are all watching fireworks in LA tonight.  Mookie Bets is back from a stint on the IL and a lefty on the mound is just what he’s looking for. Mookie is hitting .307 with a .267 ISO vs LHP on the season and will hit leadoff for the Dodgers and their 5.5 implied run total, highest on the slate.

Gavin Sheets, OF: $2,200 – White Sox

It wouldn’t be an American holiday without including Chicago in the mix, would it? Established in 1900 Chicago is apart of America’s past time, including the great gambling scandal of the 1919 World Series. It’s possible this was the spark that eventually created DFS (maybe). Anyway, Gavin Sheets is crushing the ball with a .345 batting average and a 200 wRC+ over the past two weeks.  If you’re looking for some value, Sheets is a great play. Dylan Bundy is on the hill for Minnesota and although he’s pitched well recently, he gives up a lot of fly balls that could result in a Sheets dinger.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

There is some rain in the Atlanta area and some possible thunderstorms in Chicago that could get messy. Otherwise we should have clear skies for firework viewing tonight.

Doing Lines In Vegas

This is as close as I’ve got to doing lines in Vegas in over six years, so let’s make it count. I’m going with the Dodgers run line (-1.5) at -135 odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Good luck tonight and feel free to hit me up @TimmySperos on Twitter with any questions!

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