MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: Red Sox Dominating the Day (July 9)

Tuesday has an elite 11-game featured slate, locking at 7:10 p.m. ET on DraftKings. Before we get to our MLB DFS picks, as always, we will use Stokastic’s tools to help identify today’s MLB DFS stacks, key pitchers and daily fantasy baseball lineups. Look to Chris Sale and Brayan Bello as tonight’s key arms, with the Boston bats popping in the models.

MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | July 9

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: LHP Chris Sale (ATL at ARI)

Braves at Diamondbacks – 3.6 implied runs
First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET
$10,400 at DraftKings
$11,500 at FanDuel
$60 at Yahoo

The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool has LHP Chris Sale earmarked as the ace of the day, which is the same honor he held yesterday, albeit on a much smaller slate. Atlanta elected to push his start back by one day, which will allow Sale to also start on Sunday while being “unavailable” during the All-Star Game. Savvy strategy, taking the decision for the extra session off the table.

Borrowing from Monday’s analysis, the assessments still hold true. This weekend, LHP Ranger Suarez had a rough outing against Atlanta, which saw him drop back to the peloton chasing after Sale and RHP Zack Wheeler, who are the unquestioned frontrunners for the National League Cy Young Award race.

Injuries limited Sale to only 151 innings between 2020 and the start of this season. The venerable veteran had moments in those games, but it looked like health and Father Time had caught up to the hurler who finished no lower than sixth in the Cy Young Award voting during the seven seasons between 2012 and 2018.

Currently Sale leads the league with an 11-3 record, 2.26 FIP, 0.913 WHIP and 6.68 strikeouts per walk — not too shabby for a 35-year-old who began his MLB journey all the way back in 2010. The Diamondbacks rank sixth in the league with a 119 wRC+ against lefties, but that should not dissuade anyone from utilizing Sale tonight. Ketel Marte has been dealing with a back injury, but he was in the lineup on Monday, so he should be good to go moving forward. The Diamondbacks’ efficiency is buoyed by a 16.4% strikeout rate against southpaws this season, but Sale is no ordinary lefty. Christian Walker is a borderline All-Star, and Lourdes Gurriel is having a strong season, but this is the only worrisome trio for Sale to mitigate.

Expect Sale (30%) to likely see an increase in popularity, pushing towards 40% to 50% if weather removes RHP Bailey Ober in Chicago against the White Sox as an option.

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Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: RHP Brayan Bello (BOS vs. OAK)

Red Sox vs. Athletics – 4.4 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
$8,000 at DraftKings
$8,300 at FanDuel
$35 at Yahoo

If the game is good to go in Chicago, RHP Bailey Ober is a strong play on DraftKings ($8,700), but he still is less desirable than RHP Brayan Bello on FanDuel (where he is $2,100 more than Bello) and Yahoo (where he is $15 more expensive).

 

Oakland had a monster game on Saturday with 19 runs, falling one shy of the A’s season high of 20 runs on May 4. The team has plated the third-fewest runners in the league, averaging 3.77 per game. If those two outlier games are removed, the average drops to 3.42. Yes, that is cherry picking stats, but it is still interesting to see 11% of the runs for the year occur in just two games. The Athletics have the sixth-most home runs in the league this season, but surviving a solo shot is not that daunting for most MLB pitchers. In 60% of the games played thus far, Oakland has tallied three or fewer runs. Plus there is an added bonus in facing the team with the second-most strikeouts in the league.

Bello has been saddled with a 5.19 ERA and 1.45 WHIP, though he has mostly been able to hold his own against average teams. Oakland is well below average, which bodes well for Bello tonight. The 25-year-old had his worst start of the season two games ago, allowing seven runs to the Toronto Blue Jays in just 2.1 innings. However, last Wednesday he was dialed in, holding the Marlins to only one run in Miami on his way to seven strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Enjoy the matchup and the relative weather safety.

Main Slate Wild Card Target: RHP Ronel Blanco (HOU vs. MIA)

Astros vs. Marlins – 3.5 implied runs
First Pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
$10,000 at DraftKings
$10,300 at FanDuel
$47 at Yahoo

Tonight RHP Ronel Blanco lands in the wild card section, only because he is priced for perfection. This is a great matchup against the Marlins, who have scored the second-fewest runs in the league. Though Blanco did not reach perfection, he did have a no-hitter with only two walks in his season debut against Toronto.

After 16 starts, Blanco has allowed more than two earned runs four times, with the outliers being three runs twice and four runs twice. This has the 30-year-old with a 2.53 ERA that is the fifth best among starters and a 1.01 WHIP, which is in the top 10. The main knock against Blanco is that he is averaging only 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings over his last six starts, and the projected lineup for Miami has a low 20.9% strikeout rate against right-handed hurlers over the last two seasons.

 

MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: Boston Red Sox

Red Sox vs. Athletics – 4.9 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: RHP Joey Estes
DK Top Stack %: 10.8%
FD Top Stack %: 11.4%

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool has Boston booming above the rest of the teams in the model across the main DFS sites. We will not be alone in rostering the Red Sox, with the team also coming in as the most popular plays for Tuesday’s action.

To his credit, RHP Joey Estes is coming off a complete-game shutout against the Los Angeles Angels. He received an extra day of rest and only threw 92 pitches, so he should be good to go. That gives him only four runs allowed in the last three games, spanning 20.2 innings. Of course, he also has allowed six or more runs on two occasions this year. He has just 65.1 innings in The Show over the last two seasons, a 4.82 ERA and a sub-par 6.9 strikeouts per nine innings. This level of production should not be a surprise, as it is right in line with where most season-long projection systems have pegged him (ZiPS, The Bat, SIERA, etc.).

Lefties have been a major issue for Estes, which has Rafael Devers, Jarren Duran and David Hamilton standing out at the top of the order. Depending on where they land in the lineup, Wilyer Abreu and Masataka Yoshida may be solid differentiation plays since most gamers going with the full stack are likely to use Tyler O’Neill. The BoSox also rate out well as one-offs and mini-stacks.

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Late Slate Primary Target: San Francisco Giants

Giants vs. Blue Jays – 4.0 implied runs
First Pitch: 9:45 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: LHP Yusei Kikuchi
DK Top Stack %: 2.7%
FD Top Stack %: 3.3%

Most gamers are likely to land with the Texas Rangers in Anaheim against RHP Roansy Contreras or rolling out the top half of the lineup for the Seattle Mariners in San Diego in a matchup versus RHP Adam Mazur. The expectation is that gamers may think about going against LHP Yusei Kikuchi but ultimately end up dissuaded by the relatively low 4.0 team total for the Giants.

For the featured slate, San Francisco will hardly be represented in the player pool. That makes things interesting for one-offs, with Kikuchi in the midst of a rough stretch of games. The 33-year-old southpaw has been challenging hitters for better (11.9 strikeouts per nine innings) or worse (six home runs in 16.2 innings).

Youngster Heliot Ramos has shown some pop this season with 22 extra-base hits in 211 at-bats. He should be near the top of the order to maximize his platoon advantage, which has seen him with a .423 wOBA and a .295 ISO in his last 110 plate appearances against lefties. Jorge Soler has power for days (cwidt), with a .416 wOBA and .330 ISO across his last 226 righty-lefty matchups. Veteran Matt Chapman can still get it done, and he will be holding down the cleanup slot with his .402 wOBA and .232 ISO against opposite-handed pitching over the last season and change.

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Bobby Miller is someone to target against in the sports wagering world for his under 4.5 strikeouts, which is available at +120 on DraftKings and Fliff.

OddsShopper shows this bet has +112 “true odds” for Miller to fall under this threshold, which brings a solid 3.9% expected ROI.

We can also see how important it is to shop the odds, as evidenced by BetRivers and Unibet all the way down at a -108 line, which equates to a NEGATIVE 9% expected ROI.

 

 

 

Miller has made three starts since missing time due to shoulder inflammation, and they have not been pretty. The 25-year-old has a pitiful 4.73 strikeouts per nine innings, with 6.08 walks per nine in this stretch. Yes, he has issued three walks and a home run in each of these appearances. All told he has ceded 23 baserunners in just 13.1 innings, and now he is taking on the Phillies in Philadelphia. Even with Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Kyle Schwarber out with injuries, this is still a fierce lineup. The projected nine have a 20.3% strikeout rate against right-handed hurlers since the start of last season.

Other wagers are continually popping up and disappearing every few minutes as lineups are being announced, which is why it is key to get an OddsShopper Premium subscription to take advantage of all opportunities.

Today's MLB DFS picks, top stacks and pitchers on DraftKings and FanDuel include MLB DFS predictions for key talent like Tanner Bibee...
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Final MLB DFS Picks & Thoughts for Tuesday, July 9

There are several trouble spots tonight, beginning with the early evening action. The Midwest is the main culprit, with the game in Detroit having a decent chance of being postponed. On the featured slate, Chicago, Cincinnati and St. Louis all have extensive risk of being postponed. Boston also has elevated risk, though the precipitation is likely to hold off until after the game window.

Be sure to know what you are dealing with and give things a once over with your favorite MLB Weather Report page closer to first pitch for updates before making your MLB DFS picks.

Before you finalize your MLB DFS picks, check out today’s Stokastic MLB Live Before Lock Show at 6:00 p.m. ET brought to you by Sleeper Fantasy – new users, use this link to receive a first-deposit match up to $100!

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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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