July 3rd often goes unforgotten. Proper preparation is key to a successful event. You simply can’t just watch baseball to be successful in DFS. Since you all have busy days, let me do the research for you. Before heading out to buy beer and fireworks, why not throw in a couple line ups and wake up with extra money on July 4th? You have to pay for all that stuff somehow. Today we have four aces pitching today all priced over 11K. Two are facing off against each other, one is facing the Jays in Rogers Centre, and one gets the pitch against the Twins. That pitcher who gets the twins is a good American boy Cole Hamels. Like the weather, Hamels’ arm has continuously heated up throughout the season. His fastball averaged 94 mph on the radar gun in June. The increased velocity may be a reason for the success he has had in his last 4 starts, where he allowed only 2 runs over 27.2 innings of work. More importantly, he averaged 27.6 fantasy points in that span. If he can maintain his increase in velocity he should find more success against the Twinkies. When facing fastballs from LHP over 94 mph, the Twins are only batting .175. Hamels has nearly a strike out per inning, which he should be able to maintain as the Twins have a 24.3 K% vs LHP. They have not handled LHP very well, as they have a 91 wRC+ and an 8.1% BB%. Sano is back off the DL, so if he gets the start that should be at least 3 strikeouts for Hamels on the day. Let me do the research for you so you have more time to prep for July 4th. Here are the rest of DFS picks for July 3…
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Michael Wacha, SP: $8,500 – We all know that strikeouts are the best way for pitchers to earn fantasy points, so why not pick a pitcher facing a team with a 26.1% K rate vs RHP (highest in the MLB). Wacha throws his fourseamer over 50% and averaged 94 mph on it in June. When receiving fastballs over 94+ from RHP, the Brewers are only batting .243. Wacha has struggled more with lefties than righties this season. The only good lefty on the Brewers has been Villar, who has only been slight above average with a 106 wRC+. Vegas also gives Wacha the best chance for a win today as a -190 favorite.
Chris Archer, SP: $8,300 – Although he has been inconsistent this season, he is still a pitcher that can put up 30 points. We all know the Tigers can hit the ball, but they also own a 22.3% K rate vs RHP. Archer has the highest walk rate he has had in his past 4 seasons at 3.94. Lucky for him, the Tigers have 7th lowest walk rate vs RHP at 7.1%. With the opposing pitcher being Mike Pelfrey, Archer should have a solid chance to pick up the win.
Josh Phegley, C: $3,000 – With Liriano on the mound, Phegley may get the start. Things have not been going well for Liriano this year. He owns a 5.33 ERA, his lowest K rate since 2009 at 21.7%, and highest walk rate ever at 14.1%. Phegley is not an all-star vs LHP, but has been better against them throughout his career. At only $3,000, I love him as a punt option with Liriano’s struggles.
Yan Gomes, C: $2,200 – An even cheaper catcher punt option! He’s facing his former team and there is a lefty (Happ) on the mound. This season he is batting .310 with a .360 wOBA vs LHP.
Albert Pujols, 1B: $4,200 – This future hall of fame first baseball may hit 30+ homers for the 14th time in his career. Today will be a good day for him to add to his season total as he gets Sean O’Sullivan as the opposing pitcher in Fenway.
Logan Morrison, 1B: $3,900 – When Mike Pelfrey is pitching, it’s always a good day to stack the opposing team. I’m not a huge fan of LoMo, but I’m even less of a fan of Pelfey. However, if you are not stacking the Rays, I recommend staying away from LoMo and his 22.3% K rate in cash games.
Anthony Rendon, 2B: $3,900 – Before picking up beer and fireworks, pick up Rendon for you DFS lineups. What better way to prep than to pick of players playing in the nations’ capital? Rendon has a career .303 BA with a 126 wRC+ vs LHP. Lamb is only generating 7.7% swinging strikes; meanwhile, Rendon has an 85% contact rate with 41% hard hit percentage.
Jurickson Profar, 2B/3B: $3,800 – This switch hitter has been much better from left side of the plate, and it just so happens that Kyle Gibson has been worse pitching to LHB. Profar is batting .424 with a 192 wRC+ as a lefty.
Xander Bogaerts, SS: $4,100 – Matt Shoemaker has been good this season, but not good enough to price Xander at $4,100. Vegas predicts runs for this game with a total of 10, but the price setters at DraftKings don’t seem to think they will be coming from Xander. I do! Xander has been better vs LHP, but still has still preformed well against RHP with a .332 average and a 130 wRC+. With help from the green monster, he has a shown more power at home this season with a .404 slugging.
Kole Calhoun, OF: $4,000 – Sean O’Sullivan is back in the Majors. Throughout his career, he has been dominated by lefties. It just so happens that Kole bats left and had a .174 ISO vs RHP last season. They may not put up another 21 runs, but this game has the highest total of the day at 10 and should be plenty of opportunity for fantasy points.
Christian Yelich, OF: $3,800 – Ozuna is $4,800. Stanton is showing signs of his old self and DFS players have been all over him. In only 98 career innings, Matt Wisler has been much worse vs LHB. What I love most about Yelich is that he has not been chasing pitches out of the zone. He has the 3rd lowest o-swing% in the MLB at 18.3%. Yelich is the cheapest of the 3 outfielders in Miami and may be in line for the most productive day.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
The only game with thunderstorm warnings today is in Busch Stadium. There’s around a 50% chance of thundershowers, so keep an eye on the twitter weather reports. As for winds in effect, there are 13 mph winds blowing out to right field at Fenway, which should help Calhoun send a ball in to the bullpen. Increasing winds from 12-15 to right field throughout the PIT/OAK game may also help Phegley.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Most of the games appear to be toss ups today, but we still have a few favorites. As mentioned in the Wacha pick, him and the Cardinals are -190 over the Brewers. Hamels and the Rangers are next highest at -160, followed by Adam Conley and the Marlins at -150. Pick up Red Sox and Angels, as there is a total of 10 in Fenway. There are a few other high totals at 9 in the ARI/SF, BAL/SEA, and NYY/SD. Stay away from batters in the CHC/NYM as Lester and Syndergaard will be in a pitchers duel with a 6.5 total.