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MLB DFS Picks Sunday 7/17: Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks Today

Eric MacPherson

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Sunday, July 17, is the final set of games prior to the All-Star Break. Today’s featured slate has a 1:35 p.m. ET first pitch. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks today for pitchers and stacks for DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.


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DraftKings & FanDuel MLB DFS Picks Today (7/17)

Main Slate: Atlanta Braves at RHP Erasmo Ramirez — 5.0 implied runs

This has been a rough few days in Washington as the Nationals have lost 15 of 16 games and Juan Soto just turned down a 15 year $440 Million dollar contract. Today is a bullpen day with Erasmo Ramirez getting the ball first, but he will likely only pitch two innings and then it is off to the races against a dreadful reliever corps.

The one other wrinkle to call out is that Ronald Acuna Jr., Dansby Swanson, William Contreras, Travis d’Arnaud, and Austin Riley will all be heading to the All-Star Game later this afternoon and since they will be flying across the country, it would not be a shock to see a few players with a veteran’s day of rest or even being pulled for replacements if this game gets out of hand. Otherwise, this is a cherry matchup for a scorching offense and Matt Olson, Eddie Rosario and Adam Duvall are all in the mix as well.

Mid-Afternoon Slate: St. Louis Cardinals vs. RHP Graham Ashcraft — 4.9 implied runs

The Stokastic Top Batters Tool likes the warm and humid conditions in St. Louis along with the matchup against Graham Ashcraft. The youngster does have talent, but his control has been an issue and when combined with a lack of strikeouts, he has been hammered over his last few starts. In his last half dozen efforts, the 24-year-old right-handed hurler has cobbled together 31 innings with a 6.97 ERA and 1.74 WHIP with only 19 strikeouts.

That is just not going to work against a team like the Cardinals and Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill all stand out at or near the top of their respective positions. Toss in switch-hitters Tommy Edman and Dylan Carlson plus rookie Nolan Gorman and the Redbirds are looking like a top offense to target.


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Afternoon Slate: San Francisco Giants vs. LHP Aaron Ashby — 4.1 implied runs

Clearing focusing on the Coors Field Extravaganza is going to be key this afternoon. However, for differentiation we can select a couple of hitters against lefty Aaron Ashby, and hope for a longball. The Giants tend to dramatically shuffle the top half of their order with platoon-players depending on the handedness of the opposing pitcher. Today with a southpaw on the mound, Austin Slater and Darin Ruf will see promotions, though both are pinch hit risks with the likes of Joc Pederson and Brandon Belt available off the bench if a right-handed reliever enters the game. Wilmer Flores and Evan Longoria are unlikely to be lifted early, so they are the priority targets. Since they also project to see a couple of at bats against the bullpen, they can even be used in the same lineup with Ashby on DraftKings where we are required to roster two of the six starting pitchers in the player pool.

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Best MLB DFS Pitchers (FREE MONEY: BET $10 TO WIN $200)

Top Target: RHP Gerrit Cole vs. Boston Red Sox — 3.2 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,500 | FanDuel $10,400

There is certainly no discount being given to Gerrit Cole today, even with a not so friendly matchup against Boston. The Red Sox have been slumping in July winning only five of 16 games, with the bulk of those losses coming against the Yankees and Rays. Even more telling, despite an offense that has above average to great hitters up and down the lineup, they have plated more than five runs only once this month. Saturday Trevor Story was placed on the injured list with a hand issue which further weakens the BoSox offense.

Aside from a disastrous start against Minnesota in early June where he allowed five home runs, Cole has put together yet another outstanding season. Currently he has a top 25 ERA (3.05), top 15 WHIP (101) along with the fourth most strikeouts in the league.

There should be enough regulars receiving a Sunday rest day along with a few top hitters who could get an early jump on travelling to Los Angeles for the All-Star festivities, which will provide several discount dandies that will provide salary cap relief.

Secondary Target: RHP Jake Odorizzi vs. Oakland Athletics — 2.9 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,000| FanDuel $8,900

When in doubt, pick on the Athletics or Tigers with right-handed hurlers. Unfortunately the Detroit at Cleveland game is looking like it may be postponed which curtails the chance to roster Shane Bieber. There are a couple of other ace caliber pitchers going today, though they have far more daunting matchups than Jake Odorizzi. Though Oakland is better than the Motor City Kitties, it is not by much. Odorizzi usually has issues when facing a lineup of opposite-handed fly ball hitters. Fortunately while the A’s will put out several lefties, just Seth Brown and a long past his prime Stephen Vogt are the only real threats.


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Afternoon Target: RHP Logan Webb vs. Milwaukee Brewers — 3.4 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,800| FanDuel $9,800

Though it is now clear that the 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings last season is an outlier with Logan Webb having posted rates of 7.6 and 7.7 in the adjacent years, his 1.11 WHIP matches the 2021 campaign and his 2.82 ERA is lower while also ranking 16th overall among qualified starters.

Milwaukee does have a solid offense, however, this is a park downgrade and today’s projected lineup has been mediocre at best against right-handed hurlers over the last season and change. If Webb is not intriguing, then his opposing counterpart Aaron Ashby does have strikeout upside, however, we know that San Francisco will be loading up with right-handed batsmen. Merrill Kelly is also an option in San Diego against the Padres, though he is a better real life pitcher than fantasy option. Though with the Coors Field Extravaganza the third game on this slate, we do have limited options.


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Additional Opportunities

Logan Webb has seen his strikeouts return to normal after last year, however, he can still be targeted with his 4.5 over/under on his strikeout prop. The Stokastic MLB Projections have him for 5.7 strikeouts, giving him a 70% probability of surpassing the over. This season, Webb has at least five strikeouts in 12 of 16 starts and with his ability to pitch deep into games, he is always live to reach the requisite five whiffs to provided his supporters with a winning wager today.

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Other Pitching Options

  1. RHP Shane Bieber vs. Detroit Tigers (Main, major weather risk)
  2. RHP Aaron Nola at Miami Marlins (Main)
  3. RHP Dylan Cease at Minnesota Twins (Main, Mid-Afternoon)
  4. LHP David Peterson at Chicago Cubs (Main SP2, Mid-Afternoon)
  5. LHP Aaron Ashby (Afternoon)

Other Hitting Options

  1. Randy Arozarena vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (Main)
  2. Rhys Hoskins and Nick Castellanos at LHP Trevor Rogers (Main)
  3. Kyle Tucker vs. RHP Adam Oller (Main, Mid-Afternoon)
  4. Gavin Sheets at RHP Chris Archer (Mid-Afternoon)
  5. Coors Field Extravaganza (Mid-Afternoon)

Final MLB DFS Thoughts & MLB Weather Notes

There is rain in the forecast for the Midwest. The game in Cleveland looks to have the biggest risk and a postponement is definitely on the table. The venues in Chicago and St. Louis look like they may see some in-game rain, though at this time neither matchup appears to be at risk of being postponed today.

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Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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