MLB Sim Sports Picks for 7/7/20 on FanDuel
Today, our strategy for the simulated DFS slates on FanDuel is a bit different.
Instead of having a top-heavy payout structure, the top 500 slots on the main slate will receive a ticket to the MLB Squeeze contest on July 23rd. There's no difference between the highest-scoring lineup and the one that finishes 500th. As long as you're in that range, you're gravy.
That does allow us to put extra emphasis on floor rather than just obsessing over whether a lineup can snag that top spot. However, as of this publishing, there are already more than 16,200 seats filled. That means only 3.1% of the entrants will earn a seat, and that number will go down as we get closer to lock. Even if we don't need to shoot for first, we still need a dang good lineup.
That's going to keep our mindset largely the same. We still need players with gobs of upside. The only difference is that we don't need to differentiate from the pack as much, and we can play things more straight down the middle.
To get an idea of who would fit that mold, here are the starters on the slate sorted by their FanDuel salary. The individual numbers are from starts they made in 2019, and the opposing numbers are based on current active rosters against that pitcher's handedness.
|Pitcher||Salary||Opponent||SIERA||Strikeout %||Walk %||Opp. K %||Opp. wRC+|
The Colorado Rockies versus Arizona Diamondbacks game is in Coors Field, which is always tempting. As such, we'll want to search for a pitcher with a low enough salary to allow us to go at those hitters. That's why Frankie Montas ($8,300) is an appealing target as a lower-salaried hurler.
Montas was having a breakout campaign last year prior to his 80-game PED suspension. He finished the year with a 3.76 SIERA, 26.1% strikeout rate, and 5.8% walk rate, all of which are favorable numbers. Tonight, he puts those up against the San Francisco Giants' suspect offense in the league's best park for pitchers. This allows us to save salary without sacrificing upside, an ideal combo no matter the payout structure.
If you're less enthused about Coors -- a justifiable take with the pitchers starting there -- then you should check out Walker Buehler ($11,500). Buehler is on the road, but he's facing a San Diego Padres offense that struck out 25.1% of the time against righties last year, the third-highest mark on the slate. Combined with Buehler's always-high strikeout totals, that's enough to endorse him even as the highest-salaried pitcher on the slate.
With the hitters, you can truly talk yourself into either side of the Coors game. Both Robbie Ray and German Marquez have talent, but they are susceptible to poor outings, especially in such a hitter-friendly environment. We should prefer the Diamondbacks between the two offenses because Marquez projects to allow more balls in play, but the Rockies' upside is also solid.
Beyond Coors, it's easy to dig the Minnesota Twins against Jakob Junis. Junis' 21.3% strikeout rate and 7.5% walk rate mean he'll likely allow balls in play, and that's bad news against the bomba squad. Jorge Polanco ($2,800), specifically, is insanely cheap and allows you access to this team without backing up the Brinks truck for the studs.
If you need more value outside of Polanco, then you may actually want to consider stacking the Baltimore Orioles. They're facing Justus Sheffield, who had major issues with plate discipline in the minors last year and is likely starting out of necessity. He's a lefty, and all three of Anthony Santander ($2,900), Renato Nunez ($2,600), and Pedro Severino ($2,300) had at least a .200 isolated slugging percentage versus southpaws last year. It may not feel fun to stack the Orioles, but if it gets you up to Buehler as your pitcher, it can very much be worth it.
The author of this article has no involvement with the MLB Sim Sports simulations powered by numberFire and has no knowledge of the results of tonight’s contest.