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MLB DFS Picks Thursday 7/14: Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks Today

Eric MacPherson



Thursday, July 14, brings a second day of split-slate action with a two-game early slate starting at 12:05 p.m. ET. Then there is an 11-game featured slate with the typical 7:05 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 (7/14)

Main Slate: Braves at RHP Anibal Sanchez — 5.6 implied runs

The Stokastic Top Batters Tool is giving high marks to Atlanta hitters at several positions. This should be no surprise, as we just saw how popular and effective the Braves were in this matchup last weekend at home. Tonight, they will be squaring off against 38-year-old Anibal Sanchez, who was last seen in The Show back in 2020 when he made 11 starts for Washington. The journeyman has been working his way back from a neck issue and has made four rehabilitation outings, spanning 15.2 innings, with 15 strikeouts, eight walks and a 4.02 ERA. Though he is stretched out enough with the capacity for 75-ish pitches, it is hard to see him lasting more than a couple of innings.

Matt Olson homered for the second consecutive game, and he now has three in his last six appearances. Austin Riley is ranked in the top three at the hot corner, while catcher Travis d’Arnaud is among the top five backstops. Eddie Rosario, Dansby Swanson, Ronald Acuna Jr. and even rookie Michael Harris II batting in the nine-hole are all above-average plays in this matchup and will be for most of this four-game series.

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Late Slate: Astros at LHP Reid Detmers — 4.6 implied runs

Since throwing a no-hitter on May 10, rookie Reid Detmers has made seven starts. In three of them he allowed no runs in 14.2 combined innings against the Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles. In the other four, he allowed 17 runs, including eight long balls in just 18.1 innings facing the Royals, Dodgers and then two matchups against the Rangers.

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Even with Yordan Alvarez on the sidelines, the Houston offense is one of the best against southpaws. Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yulieski Gurriel and Kyle Tucker are the standard stalwarts against lefties. Rookie Jeremy Pena is always interesting near the top of the order, and discounted differentiation plays such as Jake Meyers, Chas McCormick and Aledmys Diaz are available in the back half of the lineup. Finally, look to Martin Maldonado as a punt catcher on DraftKings ($2,600), as he has the potential to run into one whenever he has the platoon advantage.

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Top Target: LHP Carlos Rodon vs. Brewers — 3.3 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,300 | FanDuel $10,900

Carlos Rodon gets the slightest nod over his counterpart Corbin Burnes. Though Burnes is still a top-three selection, Rodon is at home and receiving around a 15% salary discount when compared to the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner. It is only going to be in the upper-50s during tonight’s game, which favors both pitchers. Though both offenses are above average against the respective handedness of these hurlers, they are two of the best in the game right now and both worthy of consideration for top pitching honors.

Secondary Target: LHP Framber Valdez at Angels — 3.2 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,700 | FanDuel $10,300

Framber Valdez is a unique pitcher who is nearly matchup proof. Since the beginning of last year, he has faced 1,050 batters and has a 69.4% ground ball rate on a model-breaking negative-4.9-degree launch angle while allowing only one extra-base hit every 21.4 at-bats.

Mike Trout is dinged up, and there is a chance that Shohei Ohtani could get the day off after pitching last night and going 2-for-4 with a triple, leading the Halos to victory against Houston. The All-Star Game is right around the corner, so it would not be a surprise for Ohtani to get a rest day prior to heading to the festivities. Even with that dynamic duo in the lineup against Valdez two start ago, the 28-year-old still managed a career-best 13 strikeouts in just six innings. That is no guarantee of tonight’s performance, but comforting to see, nonetheless.

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Wild Card Target: RHP Kevin Gausman vs. Royals — 2.9 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,600 | FanDuel $10,100

Tonight, Kevin Gausman lands in the Wild Card category only because he left his last start after taking a comebacker off his ankle in the second inning. This has been a tremendous overall season for Gausman, who currently has the sixth-best odds to win the American League Cy Young Award. If his ankle is fine — and it should be, according to team reports — then this is a tremendous matchup.

Kansas City is a middling offense and for this series it will be even more depleted, with 10 players not meeting the health and safety requirements to play in Canada. Pitchers Dylan Coleman, Brad Keller and Brady Singer, along with position players Andrew Benintendi, Hunter Dozier, Cam Gallagher, Kyle Isbel, MJ Melendez, Whit Merrifield and Michael A. Taylor, have been placed on the restricted list. For perspective, the Royals have 10 of the 35 total players who have been unable to take the field in Toronto this season.

Look to the Blue Jays pitchers all series, with Gausman getting first dibs on this watered-down lineup Thursday. Tomorrow it will be Alek Manoah, who has similar Cy Young odds as Gausman, and then enigmatic Jose Berrios, who is coming off a 13-strikeout game, will follow along this weekend.

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Additional Opportunities

Framber Valdez is worthy of being a DFS ace, but we can still hedge against him in the player prop market with his 6.5 over/under on his strikeout prop. The Stokastic MLB Projections have him for 5.1 strikeouts, giving him a 67% probability falling short of the seven strikeouts required for the over. Furthermore, the under is at plus money on some books, so it is worth using OddsShopper to look for the best price. Even with his improved strikeout rate, Valdez has seven or more strikeouts in just 6 of 17 starts this year, and he had that many in just 5 of 22 starts last season.

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Other Pitching Options

  1. LHP Braxton Garrett vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Early)
  2. RHP Kyle Wright at Washington Nationals (Main)
  3. LHP Nestor Cortes vs. Cincinnati Reds (Main)
  4. RHP Corbin Burnes at San Francisco Giants (Main, Late)
  5. LHP Martin Perez vs. Seattle Mariners (Main, Late)

Other Hitting Options

  1. Manny Machado at LHP Kyle Freeland (Early)
  2. Jesus Sanchez vs. RHP Zach Thompson (Early)
  3. Blue Jays vs. RHP Carlos Hernandez (Main)
  4. Jose Ramirez vs. RHP Elvin Rodriguez
  5. Adolis Garcia vs. LHP Marco Gonzales (Late)

Final MLB DFS Thoughts & MLB Weather Notes

Precipitation should not be an issue, with the early-week rains having made their way across the country. It is starting to heat up again in the Midwest and the East Coast, which bodes well for offensive production.

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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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