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MLB DFS Picks Sunday 7/3: Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks Today

Eric MacPherson



Free MLB DFS picks today from Stokastic fantasy baseball projections and rankings, and the best lineups & value targets for DraftKings & FanDuel 7/3.

Sunday, July 3, brings the standard Sunday action with a nine-game featured slate beginning at 1:35 p.m. ET followed by a fun three-game late slate. 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 (7/3)

Main Slate: New York Yankees at RHP Triston McKenzie — 4.6 implied runs

Triston McKenzie cruised through the first two months of the season, but June has been a rough one. Over five starts, the 24-year-old cobbled together only 29.1 innings while allowing 10 home runs with a 6.44 ERA. To be fair, he had back-to-back games against the Twins where he ceded five home runs, but he also allowed his other five in games against the Athletics and Orioles. In a fun “only in baseball” twist, his only outing of the month without a round-tripper was in Coors Field. Things will turn around for McKenzie at some point, but that is unlikely to be the case against New York this afternoon.

While we could see a veteran getting a day off after the doubleheader yesterday, the team does have an off day tomorrow. Aaron Judge continues to rake as the leadoff man as teams are still taking their chances against his power with the empty bases to start the game. Josh Donaldson, Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton are the top targets, but don’t forget about Joey Gallo. Those home runs from the nine-hole still count and he can be used as part of a wraparound stack when the lineup turns over. The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool has New York as only the fourth most popular option on Sunday’s main slate.

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Mid-Afternoon Slate: Boston Red Sox at RHP Keegan Thompson — 4.5 implied runs

The Stokastic Top Batters Tool has flagged several Boston batters among the top five at their respective positions. Across his last 494 batters faced, youngster Keegan Thompson has had mixed results with a mediocre 23.1% strikeout rate and a terrible 9.7% walk rate. The 27-year-old ranks out as the 34th prospect for the Cubbies, so what we see is what we are likely to continue to get. The lost MiLB 2020 season resulting from the pandemic, definitely cost him some development time as he was poised to join Triple-A that season. Clearly he is worthy of being in the starting rotation for most teams, but his ceiling is that of a fourth starter.

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Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez and Trevor Story can be used as one-offs or a full-stack this afternoon. Jarren Duran and Franchy Cordero provide salary relief and once again Alex Verdugo is being overlooked as he is nestled in amongst the more well known names of his teammates.

Late Slate: San Francisco Giants vs. RHP Lucas Giolito — 4.2 implied runs

This has been a disastrous season for Lucas Giolito. After looking like he would be in the discussion for the American League Cy Young race, the only racing he has done is to the bottom of the White Sox’ rotation. After producing three straight seasons of sublime results – sub-3.50 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with 526 strikeouts in 72 starts – the 27-year-old has done an about face with each month looking worse than the one before. Over five June appearances he tallied 27 innings with a 7.67 ERA and sub par 23 strikeouts. Whether it’s tipping his pitches or falling into some bad mechanical habits, we should pick on Giolito until he proves otherwise.

San Francisco is frequently mentioned in this article series, because they play on the later slates and with their platoon-heavy strategy. The Giants will load up the top half of their batting order based on the handedness of opposing starters. Today with a righty on the mound, LaMonte Wade, Joc Pederson, Brandon Belt, Mike Yastrzemski and potentially Tommy La Stella will all see upgrades in the batting order. While Pederson and Belt are usually anchored in their spots, the shifting of other batsmen tends to keep salaries artificially suppressed. While Giolito usually fares well against opposite-handed hitters, do not shy away from the Giants while he remains in his funk.

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Best MLB DFS Pitchers Today

Top Target: LHP Framber Valdez vs. Los Angeles Angels — 4.0 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,100 | FanDuel $10,100

Surprisingly it’s Framber Valdez checking in as our top hurler of the day. Between the lofty salary and the perceived tough matchup, the average gamer is likely to be filled with self-doubt when clicking to add Valdez to their rosters. Each of the last two seasons, the 28-year-old southpaw has registered a negative five degree launch angle. During this stretch he has recorded a 69.4% groundball rate, while also contributing nearly eight strikeouts per nine innings.

The back half of the Los Angeles lineup is not even replacement level and now the Halos have turned to Jonathan Villar after plucking him from the scrap heap right after he was released by the Cubs. There is no doubt that Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and even Taylor Ward are tremendous options against southpaws. However, if they are not able to get the ball in the air, their collective 25% strikeout rate can be used against them.

Secondary Target: RHP Brandon Woodruff at Pittsburgh Pirates — 3.2 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,500 | FanDuel $10,000

The results have been all over the board this season for the mercurial Brandon Woodruff, but it is hard to envision a better matchup than one in Pittsburgh against the Pirates. This season the Bucs 24.4% strikeout rate against right-handed hurlers and their projected lineup has a collective 25.2% rate since the beginning of last season. In this same timeframe, Woodruff has a 30.2% strikeout rate with a solid 40.9% groundball rate while limiting opposing hitters to a .125 ISO. Kick in the favorable pitching conditions as PNC Park and we have yet another strong option that can be rostered in all formats.

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Late Target: LHP Robbie Ray vs. Oakland Athletics — 3.5 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,300 | FanDuel $10,600

Robbie Ray specialized in breaking hearts. It seems that when he is a popular option, he fails and when gamers decide to trust him, well then the in-game spontaneous combustion is even more spectacular. This afternoon he will be facing an Oakland squad that struggles to score runs. Though the Athletics will be rolling out nearly a full complement of batsmen swinging the stick from the right-side of the plate, they collectively have a paltry .128 ISO which is a bottom five mark in the league. For perspective, they are averaging just one extra-base hit every 13.5 plate appearances, which bodes well for Ray.

Additional Opportunities

Connor Seabold looks like the probable starter for the Red Sox today. While we do not want to go anywhere near him in our DFS lineups, there does appear to be an opportunity in the player props market. Currently several books have him with a early line of 3.5 over/under on his strikeout prop. The Stokastic MLB Projections have him for 5.9 strikeouts, giving him a 76% probability of surpassing that milestone. All we need is for Seabold is to average 0.8 strikeouts per inning and he should be able to bring us to the promised land if he just makes it into the fifth. There is no wind to worry about in Wrigley today and the projected lineup is not that formidable for the Cubbies.

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Other Pitching Options

  1. RHP Pablo Lopez at Washington Nationals (Main)
  2. LHP Jordan Montgomery at Cleveland Guardians (Main)
  3. LHP Devin Smeltzer vs. Baltimore Orioles (Main SP2, Mid-Afternoon)
  4. RHP Frankie Montas at Seattle Mariners (Late)
  5. LHP Clayton Kershaw vs. San Diego Padres (Late)

One-Off Hitters

  1. Rowdy Tellez at RHP Zach Thompson (Main)
  2. Jesus Sanchez at RHP Erick Fedde (Main)
  3. Alex Bregman vs. LHP Jose Suarez (Main, Afternoon)
  4. Trey Mancini at LHP Devin Smeltzer (Main, Afternoon)
  5. Jose Abreu at RHP John Brebbia (Late)

Final MLB DFS Thoughts & MLB Weather Notes

Things look good across the various venues as we head into the Fourth of July holiday. Temperatures are a little cooler, though most games will be played in the mid-70s to low-80s this afternoon.

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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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