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MLB DFS: Best/worst DraftKings plays for Wednesday, July 21st

We have some decisions to make at pitcher on Wednesday’s eight-game main slate on DraftKings.

St Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Let me just start by saying that Wednesday’s pitching options are not for the faint of heart. Lance McCullers ($10,100) is the highest-priced pitcher on DraftKings and while he won’t be my highest-owned pitcher, he does have a semi-favorable matchup versus the Cleveland Indians and he’s been hot recently. McCullers is followed by Robbie Ray ($9,900), who faces one of the better hitting teams in the Boston Red Sox. With it being a somewhat small eight-game main slate, ownership is going to be more condensed. On the slates with under 10 games, it can be beneficial to know who will garner ownership so you can gain leverage over the rest of the field. While weather has been an issue in recent days, let’s hope for a weather-free main slate on Wednesday night!

Pitching

Favorite pitcher: Adam Wainwright ($9,300) vs. Chicago Cubs

Out of the options we have available on Wednesday, Adam Wainwright seems like one of the safest bets to return some value. The three-time All-Star is having somewhat of a renaissance season for the St. Louis Cardinals, posting his best xFIP (3.80) since the 2015 season and his best strikeout rate (22.9%) since the 2013 season. Wainwright isn’t going to make many guys miss with his low 7.8% swinging strike rate, but he won’t need to do much to stymie the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night. The Cubs are going to be sellers at the trade deadline at the end of July and they sport the worst strikeout rate, the second-worst AVG, the third-worst OBP, and the fifth-worst wRC+ against RHP this season.

Least-favorite pitcher: Erick Fedde ($8,100) vs. Miami Marlins

There is absolutely no way that you’ll ever catch me paying over $8,000 for Erick Fedde. My intuition is telling me not to have any shares of Fedde, even in a ripe matchup versus the Miami Marlins. And unlike Monday — when I had the same feeling with Kyle Gibson — I’ll avoid Fedde entirely. On the season, Fedde owns a 1.44 WHIP and his numbers at home aren’t exactly promising. In the confines of Nationals Park, Fedde is permitting 1.2 HR/9, a 1.53 WHIP, and a .305 BABIP. While the Marlins have struck out at the second-highest rate to RHP in the past month, I’ll being using one-offs on Miami if I see that they won’t have much ownership. I love having the opportunity to target awful pitchers who are overpriced on smaller slates.

Hitting

Favorite stack: Toronto Blue Jays vs. RHP Garrett Richards

The showdown between the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays was postponed on Tuesday, which is just delaying the inevitable for Garrett Richards. Richards is projected to start for the Red Sox on Wednesday night and I expect the veteran right-hander to get torched by Toronto’s red-hot bats. Ever since the MLB began cracking down on banned substances, Richards has seen the spin-rate on his pitches decline. While his fastball is at the lowest velocity of his career, Richards is giving up a massive 53.8% hard hit rate since the beginning of June and a 50.2% hard hit rate for the entire season. On top of that, Richards owns a dismal .347 BABIP and a 91.9 MPH exit velocity, which could get him into trouble versus the Blue Jays. As a team, Toronto has the second-lowest strikeout rate and the fourth-best ISO to RHP in the past 30 days. Marcus Semien, Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., George Springer, and Teoscar Hernandez are going to be the favorite guys to target. Using Randal Grichuk, Cavan Biggio, Lourdes Gurriel, and either Reese McGuire or Danny Jansen is a way to get exposure to Toronto at somewhat smaller ownership.

Second-favorite stack: Houston Astros vs. RHP Eli Morgan

Not much needs to be said about why the Houston Astros are one of my favorite stacks to use on Wednesday. Eli Morgan, the pitcher they will square off against, has a bloated 3.08 HR/9 and a .342 BABIP in his first 26.1 innings pitched in 2021. In his first year in the majors, Morgan has gotten himself into loads of trouble with a 42.9% hard contact rate and an immense 54.2% fly ball rate. Over the course of his first six starts, Morgan has surrendered 3+ earned runs in all of them and at least one home run in each of those starts. Even though a few members of the Astros are amid hitting slumps, getting to swing the bat versus Morgan could be a perfect remedy to their recent skid. Against Morgan, Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, Yordan Alvarez, and Yuli Gurriel should be the popular choices. You’ll want to get Carlos Correa, Kyle Tucker, Chas McCormick, Myles Straw, and Jason Castro into some of your lineups as well.

Favorite one-off: Akil Baddoo ($3,300) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles

After my mistake of using Gibson as my primary pitcher on Monday, I’m adjusting accordingly. I’m going to be using the Detroit Tigers as one of my stacks on Wednesday and the one player I’m targeting the most is Akil Baddoo—at a cheap price of $3,300 on DraftKings. While Detroit has struggled mightily this season, Baddoo has been a bright spot on the team. When facing RHP this season, Baddoo has registered an impressive .402 wOBA, a 156 wRC+, and a .257 ISO in 199 plate appearances. It also helps that Baddoo has been on a tear recently, recording four multi-hit games in his last seven appearances, including two homers in his last four contests. What makes Baddoo an even better play on Wednesday is the fact he faces Jordan Lyles. Up to this point in the season, Lyles has a 38.5% hard contact rate and a 41.1% fly ball rate. Plus, Lyles has given up 1.88 HR/9 and a 90.9 MPH exit velocity, setting up Baddoo and the Tigers for success in the hitting department.