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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for July 16

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays for Saturday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

This Saturday, there are five games on the main fantasy baseball slate at DraftKings, which gets underway at 7:15 p.m. ET. The Red Sox and Yankees continue their rivalry series in the Bronx while the Padres and Brewers also start at the same time from the West Coast. The second game of the doubleheader between the Cubs and Mets is the middle game on the schedule, followed by an NL West matchup between the Padres and Diamondbacks. The final game of the night is the Freeway Series, as the Dodgers and Angels meet in Anaheim.

With those 10 teams in play, there are several nice options to consider for your lineup and a wide variety of formats and contests available in the DraftKings lobby. Make sure to keep up with all the latest lineups and player news by installing the DK Live app and following DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the season continues.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $125K Relay Throw [$25K to 1st]

For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.



Max Scherzer, New York Mets at Chicago Cubs ($10,500) – There’s no need to overthink the selection of your SP1 on this slate with Scherzer the clear top option. He has been locked in since returning from an oblique injury, allowing just one run on five hits over 13 innings while striking out 20. He posted 33.7 and 34 DKFP in those two starts while improving to 5-1 on the season with a 2.15 ERA and 2.60 FIP. He has faced the Cubs four times over the past four seasons and had 38 strikeouts in 27 innings with a 2.67 ERA. Despite his layoff, Scherzer seems in top form, and his strikeout potential makes him the clear top choice available.

Other Options – Julio Urías ($10,100), Eric Lauer ($8,700)


Sean Manaea, San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($7,700) – Manaea’s first season with the Padres has been solid but not dominant. He has gone 4-4 in 16 outings with a 4.09 ERA, 3.99 FIP and 9.22 K/9 rate. He got a win in Coors Field in his most recent start, so coming back to Petco Park should be a bit of a relief. He’ll also get a good matchup vs. the Diamondbacks, who are a little lefty-reliant and have only hit .234 against lefties on the season. Manaea has faced them three times this season, going 1-0 with a 2.37 ERA and 2.80 FIP while striking out 20 in 19 innings. Manaea should have a good shot at a win against Tyler Gilbert ($5,000) and the Diamondbacks, so he’s my favorite mid-range play as SP2.

Other Options – Jameson Taillon ($8,100), Alex Cobb ($6,200)



Will Smith, Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels ($5,500) – Smith went 4-for-4 with a walk on Friday night playing DH and has been locked into the cleanup spot for the Dodgers, whether serving in the DH role or behind the plate. He has hit safely in eight straight games, with four multi-hit performances during that span, while hitting .452 with five extra-base hits, including a home run. He has a .530 wOBA and .258 ISO during his streak and a .370 wOBA on the season. He has been especially good against lefties and is in a good matchup highlighted below in stacks. Against southpaws, Smith is hitting .339 this season with four homers and a .435 wOBA.


Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees ($5,100) – Devers has homered in each of his past two games, bringing his total for the season to 21 to go with his .326 average, .416 wOBA and .274 ISO. He missed a few games with a back injury but has hit safely in 17 of his past 19 starts while going 24-for-74 (.320) with a .414 wOBA and five home runs. The short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium always gives left-handed power hitters like Devers a boost when visiting the Bronx.

Other Options – DJ LeMahieu ($5,200), Xander Bogaerts ($5,000)


Ha-Seong Kim, San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($3,700) – Kim is hitting .323 against left-handed pitching this season, so he should be in a good spot against Gilbert and the Diamondbacks. He was sidelined by a thumb injury earlier this week but has picked up six hits, including three doubles, in his four games since returning. He has gone 16-for-45 (.356) with a home run and a .414 wOBA over his past 15 games. He doesn’t bring power like the top options listed above but makes consistent contact, typically hits in a good lineup spot and has favorable splits Saturday.


Luis Rengifo, Los Angeles Angels vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($3,100) – Rengifo has been one of the few bright spots in the Angels’ season to this point, and the 25-year-old switch-hitter has hit cleanup the past few games. He has five home runs and three stolen bases on the season and has hit safely in 18 of his past 20 contests. Over that span, he is 25-for-75 (.333) with three of his home runs and a .375 wOBA. In those 20 games, he has just three walks, which hurts his wOBA, but his aggressive style at the plate has been working well enough to make him a nice middle-infield option in the heart of the Angels lineup against lefty Julio Urías ($10,100) and the Dodgers. Rengifo’s splits are fairly balanced, but he has shown more of his power when batting right-handed against left-handed pitching.

Other Options – Gavin Lux ($3,700), Hanser Alberto ($3,000)



Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox ($5,700) – Stanton has homered three times in his past five games, giving him 24 big flies so far this season. Thirteen of those homers have come at home, where he has a .347 wOBA and .301 ISO. Hitting for average is definitely not the strength of his game, but he has gone 6-for-22 (.273) over his past five contests. In the past, Stanton has crushed Nick Pivetta ($9,400), going 8-for-17 (.471) with three home runs. The Yankees always provide plenty of power potential, and based on form and matchup, I see Stanton as the premier pinstriped play on this slate.


J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees ($4,700) – On the other side of the AL East rivalry, Martinez continues to be affordable. For a while, he was living on singles, which caused his salary to dip, but he has been getting more extra-base hits lately, with six doubles and a home run over his past 10 games while going 13-for-41 (.317) with a .387 wOBA. He’s 3-for-8 with a home run in the past against Jameson Taillon ($8,100), and he’s a solid way to spend under $5K and still get a premium bat with plenty of power potential.

Other Options – Mookie Betts ($6,400), Starling Marte ($5,800)


Austin Slater, San Francisco Giants vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($3,400) – Slater is stuck in a platoon situation, but he usually starts and hits in a good lineup spot against lefties, so he should be in there against Eric Lauer ($8,700) Saturday night. Slater is 5-for-9 with a home run against Lauer in the past and has gone 15-for-30 (.500) over his past 11 games. Against lefties this season, he’s hitting .302 with three home runs and a .384 wOBA. On Friday, he started just his seventh game this season against a righty and collected four hits, a stolen base and 19 DKFP. Maybe his strong play will lead to more opportunities, but either way, he should be in a good spot in this contest.


Esteury Ruiz, San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,200) – The Padres called up Ruiz when Jurickson Profar ($4,200) was sidelined with a concussion, but they look ready to give the dynamic 23-year-old a look as an everyday member of their outfield. He brings an incredibly high ceiling with a good blend of speed and power. He has started strong, going 5-for-15 with a double, a home run, a stolen base and 8.3 DKFP per contest over his first four games. Ruiz piled up 60 stolen bases in 77 games between Double-A and Triple-A while hitting .333 with 13 home runs before being called up. He’s an outstanding play for the price, so be sure to take advantage of his reduced rate while you can.

Other Options – Jarren Duran ($3,800), Jo Adell ($2,100)


Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels – The Dodgers are an impressive 59-30 with two games to play before the All-Star break, while the crosstown Angels are a woeful 39-52. The Dodgers have won 10 of their past 11 contests and have scored at least six runs in four of their past five. They’ll face lefty José Suarez ($5,500), who is 1-3 with a 4.79 ERA and 4.56 FIP in his 10 games this season. Suarez has given up six homers this year, all to right-handed hitters, who have a .357 wOBA against him overall. Smith (highlighted above), Mookie Betts ($6,400), Trea Turner ($6,100) and Justin Turner ($4,300) have strong numbers against lefties and are solid plays to stack at the top of the lineup. The Dodgers also usually give some cheaper righties work against southpaws, meaning Hanser Alberto ($3,000) and Trayce Thompson ($2,800) could be solid sources of salary relief while rounding out a late-night stack of Dodger blue.

Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees – After a strong start to the season, Taillon has tailed off, giving up seven home runs and 20 runs over 21 innings in his four most recent outings. The Red Sox roughed him up for six runs in five innings at Fenway Park in his most recent outing, with Martinez (highlighted above), Christian Vázquez ($4,300) and Franchy Cordero ($2,200) all taking Taillon yard. While Devers (highlighted above) and Xander Bogaerts ($5,000) are strong but pricey plays, there is also some salary relief available from leadoff man Jarren Duran ($3,800), Alex Verdugo ($3,300) and possibly Jeter Downs ($2,000) if Trevor Story ($4,400; finger) remains sidelined.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $125K Relay Throw [$25K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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