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Daily Fantasy MLB picks for Saturday, July 1

Heath explores the “Main I” slate of games on FanDuel.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

What a weird slate of games today, FanDuel. A four-game early slate, a six-game “Main I” slate, and a five-game “Main II” slate. I suppose you could talk me into a few Zack Greinke lineups on the Main II slate, but in general I think I’ll be staying away from that today. This effort will focus on the “Main I” slate of games, which begins at 4:05pm ET.

Target: R.A. Dickey ($7,600) at Oakland Athletics

Just humor me, okay? People are going to line up in droves to use Khris Davis ($3,800) against “RAD” today, as I call him. That’s a head-nod to RAB in the Harry Potter universe, and to the fact that I still hand-write my DFS notes...Dickey always winds up as “RAD.” Anyway, folks may even throw in Ryon Healy ($3,500) or one of the young bucks like Matt Olson ($2,200) or Franklin Barreto ($2,900), but I am more interested in Dickey. The old knuckleballer has a few things working in his favor today....allow me to explain.

First, he is on a roll. He has gone seven innings in each of his last two starts, allowing a total of one run. Over those 14 innings he has 12 strikeouts and only a pair of walks. That’s good for 46 and 49 FDP respectively.

Second, he is in a spacious ballpark. The Oakland Coliseum is definitely an upgrade for Dickey over the home digs of Suntrust Park (which has played well for hitters). The Coliseum’s cavernous confines limit some of the blowup potential for a guy like Dickey.

Lastly, Dickey doesn’t allow a lot of fly balls (35% to LHH and 32.7% to RHH) or a lot of hard contact (26.6% to LHH and 31.2% to RHH). Okay, so the hard% to right-handed hitters is creeping up there, but you really only have a pair of power right-handed hitters in Khris Davis and Ryon Healy to contend with. Add in the fact that there are some young guys battling it out in Oakland, and I like the knuckler’s chances at a road win today. There is no practice for hitting a knuckleball, and if Oakland has a difficult time today I should have a head start on the field in my tournament lineups.

Stack Against: Jake Odorizzi ($7,700) with Baltimore Orioles

Some of the season-long numbers for Odorizzi may lead folks away from the Orioles today. Left-handed hitters have a .336 wOBA and a .264/.313/.488 slash against Odorizzi this season...suggesting that one needs to target Odorizzi with left-handed hitters. However, Odorizzi has been a reverse-splits guy over the course of his career, with a .327 wOBA and .247/.316/.442 slash allowed to RHH over that time. Lefty bats have a .225/.281/.380 slash and .288 wOBA against Odorizzi over that same time.

This season, lefty bats have a .284 BABIP against Odorizzi, while righty bats have a well-below average .211 BABIP. A .211 BABIP to RHH, despite RHH hitting fly balls 40.3% of the time and making hard contact 45.8% of the time. Maybe all those fly balls aren’t that big of a deal in Tropicana, but on the road at Baltimore they are going to be an issue.

The Orioles are trotting out NINE right-handed bats against the Rays hurler today, and a couple of them smoke right-handed pitching. Manny Machado (.202 ISO) and Jonathan Schoop (.206 ISO) have each shown more power against same-handed pitchers over their respective careers. So have Adam Jones (.194 ISO) and Trey Mancini (.284 ISO). Lastly, Mark Trumbo isn’t a reverse splits guy but he still has a .210 ISO against RHP for his career (.227 vs. southpaws). In short, there is a ton of right-handed power in this Baltimore lineup and this is a park downgrade for Odorizzi, who is less formidable on the road. Give me all the Orioles today, for better or for worse.

That’s all for me, ladies and gents. Off to play LEGOs with my daughters. Peace!