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MLB DFS Picks Thursday 7/28: Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks Today

Eric MacPherson



Thursday, July 28, has a solid eight-game main slate with a 7:05 p.m. 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 (7/28)

Main Slate: Blue Jays vs. LHP Tyler Alexander — 5.9 implied runs

Tyler Alexander is going to be overmatched by what should be an entirely right-handed matchup rolled out by the Blue Jays. The southpaw has worked mostly as a reliever this season, though he typically tallies multi-inning appearances. Tonight, he will likely be in the mix for around 45 to 50 pitches, so most of the Toronto hitters in the top of the order should get two chances at roughing him up.

The Tigers beleaguered bullpen has seen a heavy workload in support of a shaky starting rotation. Furthermore, their three best relievers, Michael Fulmer, Andrew Chafin and Gregory Soto, have all been put on the trading block in yet another lost season for Detroit. Fulmer is already unlikely to pitch tonight, having worked three of the last four days, and Chafin is in a similar situation, having pitched in two of the last three games. Focus on the usual suspects, with Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette, George Springer, Teoscar Hernandez, Alejandro Kirk, Lourdes Gurriel and Matt Chapman all in play tonight.

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Late Slate: Angels vs. RHP Spencer Howard — 4.6 implied runs

Somehow in the year 2022, DraftKings and FanDuel are still incapable of pulling off the technological feat of allowing Shohei Ohtani to also be rostered as a hitter on the same day he is a starting pitcher. That along with a watered-down Halos lineup relegate this group to late-slate full stacks, though they are well positioned as a discounted secondary stack on DraftKings for the main slate.

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In just 25.1 innings across seven outings, Spencer Howard has allowed an eye-popping 10 home runs and 1.78 base runners per inning, culminating in a 7.11 ERA. The former Philly is allowing a .217 ISO to righties and a .238 ISO to lefties dating back to last season. Taylor Ward, Jared Walsh and catcher Max Stassi all have enough power upside to be prominent options in this matchup.

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Featured Slate Target: RHP Shohei Ohtani vs. Rangers — 3.0 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,900 | FanDuel $11,100

Tonight, the Angels and Shohei Ohtani are 2-to-1 favorites to bring home the win in Anaheim. Considering Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon are on the shelf, this speaks volumes for 1) How well Ohtani has been pitching and 2) Just how bad Spencer Howard has been in The Show.

Texas is far better suited to take on southpaws than right-handed hurlers, with Corey Seager, the resurgent Marcus Semien and switch-hitting catcher Jonah Heim being the only worrisome spots in the lineup for Ohtani. Check out Ohtani’s strikeout prop on BetMGM, or just BET $10 TO WIN $200 by betting on ANY MLB GAME today with this limited time offer that expires at the end of July.

Secondary Target: RHP Zach Wheeler at Pirates — 3.3 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,200 | FanDuel $10,700

Zach Wheeler has been a top-20 starter in his age-32 season, posting an 8-5 record with a 2.78 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 114 strikeouts. On tap this evening is a matchup with a Pirates offense that just shipped slugger Daniel Vogelbach to the Mets, which further weakens an offense that already is the worst in the league, with an 80 wRC+ against right-handed hurlers. Pittsburgh also has bottom-five power metrics and a-top five strikeout rate, making this a cherry matchup for Wheeler. In his last 15 starts, Wheeler has allowed more than three runs only once, with six players crossing home plate in Toronto two weeks ago.

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Wild Card Target: LHP Alex Wood vs. Cubs — 3.7 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $7,500 | FanDuel $8,400

It is going to be a cool evening in San Francisco, with game-time temperatures in the mid-50s as Alex Wood and the Giants host the Cubs. Chicago is looking to trade their few remaining veteran assets, so there is a chance that Ian Happ and/or catcher Willson Contreras are with other teams before the end of the weekend.

The one challenge when rostering Wood is that his managers tend to have a quick hook and it can be a challenge for him to complete the fifth inning, which, of course, is required to be eligible for the win. This also means that quality start points are highly unlikely on FanDuel, with Wood closing out the sixth inning only three times in his 19 starts.

On a positive note, the DraftKings salary makes Wood an outstanding second pitcher, particularly with a Coors Field Extravaganza headlining the main slate tonight. The well-travelled hurler is usually good for around a strikeout per inning, and the Cubs projected lineup has a 25.3% strikeout rate against southpaws over the last season and change.

Additional Opportunities

Yusei Kikuchi looks intriguing in the player props market tonight, with a 5.5 over/under on his strikeout prop. The former Mariner is returning from a sore neck, though he did strike out four hitters in a rehabilitation appearance last week for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. Tonight, Stokastic MLB Projections have him for 4.5 strikeouts, giving him a 67% probability of falling short of his designated milestone. Prior to his injury, Kikuchi posted more than five strikeouts only twice in seven opportunities.

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Other Pitching Options

  1. RHP Jordan Lyles vs. Tampa Bay Rays (Early)
  2. RHP Jameson Taillon vs. Kansas City Royals (Main)
  3. RHP Jose Urquidy vs. Seattle Mariners (Main, Evening)

Other Hitting Options

  1. Jesus Aguilar at RHP Graham Ashcraft (Early)
  2. Andrew Benintendi vs. RHP Brady Singer (Main)
  3. Darick Hall at RHP Zach Thompson (Main)
  4. Jesse Winker at RHP Jose Urquidy (Evening)
  5. Wilmer Flores vs. LHP Justin Steele (Late)

Final MLB DFS Thoughts & MLB Weather Notes

Things are looking a little messy on the East Coast, with Baltimore, Boston and New York all looking at potential delays. The Red Sox and Yankees are hosting the Guardians and Royals, respectively, and since these games are on the main slate, we will need to monitor the forecasts up until first pitch, as the popularity of the players will be inversely correlated with increased precipitation probability.

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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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