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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for July 23

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

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Miami Marlins Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

For the first Saturday after the All-Star break, Major League Baseball has a busy evening on tap, with 10 games scheduled under the lights that make up the main DraftKings fantasy baseball slate, which gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET. As teams continue through their rotation for the first time since the break, there are several matchups to take advantage of and others to avoid as you fill out your fantasy roster.

To keep up with all the latest lineups and player news, install the DK Live app and follow 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 $222K Relay Throw [$50K 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.



Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles ($10,400) – All season long, Cole has been a rock-solid option for the Yankees and fantasy owners. He has gone 9-2 with a 3.02 ERA, 3.29 FIP and 11.67 K/9. He has at least six strikeouts in seven straight starts and racked up double-digit strikeouts in each of his last two starts to post 34.8 and 37.4 DKFP. He’ll look to pick up that momentum when he faces the Orioles for the third time this season. He went 1-1 in his first two starts, allowing seven runs in 15 innings while striking out 16. Baltimore’s lineup isn’t terrible, but they still rank sixth in MLB in strikeouts and have hit just .233 as a team. Cole has enough strikeout upside to be the strongest ace, and with 20 teams in play, there are plenty of other ways to save salary than sacrificing the best SP1 play on the board.

Other Options – Julio Urías ($9,800), Kyle Wright ($9,100)


Max Meyer, Miami Marlins at Pittsburgh Pirates ($6,100) – The 23-year-old was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft and has quickly climbed the Marlins’ minor leagues. Meyer threw 58 innings at the Triple-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp this season, totaling 65 strikeouts in 58 innings while posting a 3.72 ERA. He had allowed two earned runs of fewer in eight straight minor-league starts before surrendering five runs in his MLB debut on July 16. He pitched better in that outing than the numbers reflect, retiring 10 of the first 12 batters he faced and having two runs charged to him after the bullpen took over. The former Minnesota Golden Gopher has one of the most potent sliders among pitching prospects in all of baseball, so this favorable matchup makes him very attractive to fantasy owners who are anticipating a big breakout for one of the top pitching prospects in MLB.

Other Options – José Quintana ($6,800), Luis Patiño ($6,700)



Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Angels ($5,700) – Riley returned from the All-Star break with another multi-hit game to post double-digit DKFP on Friday. He has 12 multi-hit performances in his last 19 games — a span in which he’s gone 33-for-78 (.423) with seven doubles and nine home runs, powering him to a .553 wOBA over that stretch. He has hit lefties well all season, posting a .315 average and .464 wOBA, so his matchup against Patrick Sandoval ($8,300) makes him a great option to build around at the hot corner Saturday.


Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Washington Nationals ($5,000) – The Diamondbacks cruised to a 10-1 win on Friday, and Marte delivered a home run, a triple and four RBIs on his way to 30 DKFP. He now has four homers in his past seven games and is hitting .368 (14-for-38) with a .509 wOBA over his last 11. Marte and the Diamondbacks are in another favorable setup Saturday against Aníbal Sánchez ($5,000), who allowed four runs in five innings in his season debut just before the All-Star break. In his career, Marte has homered against Sánchez while going 2-for-6.

Other Options – Tim Anderson ($5,300), DJ LeMahieu ($5,000)


Hanser Alberto, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants ($2,600) – Alberto usually starts for the Dodgers against lefties and is hitting .270 on the season against southpaws with a .287 wOBA. He went 2-for-2 with a double on Thursday and has hit safely in four straight games in which he has a plate appearance. He is 6-for-20 (.300) with a home run and .398 wOBA over his past eight games, so there is definitely upside to consider at this minimal salary if he’s part of his team’s potent lineup against former-Dodger Alex Wood ($8,000).


Nick Pratto, Kansas City Royals vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($2,000) – Pratto is the latest youngster to jump into the Royals’ lineup. After a strong audition as part of the replacement team in Toronto, he earned a call-up to start the second half after Edward Olivares (quad) landed on the IL. Pratto is a 23-year-old lefty who was ranked the No. 2 prospect in the organization by MLB Pipeline. He has multiple hits in three of his past four games and is 6-for-18 (.333) with three doubles, a home run and 7.4 DKFP per game over his first five MLB starts. If he gets the call against righty Luis Patiño ($6,700), he’ll be a great play at the minimum at 1B, allowing you to pay up in other spots.

Other Options – Isiah Kiner-Falefa ($3,600), Eduardo Escobar ($3,500)



Aaron Judge, New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles ($6,200) – Judge continued his career-long punishment of the Orioles by blasting two more home runs against them on Friday, giving him eight home runs against Baltimore this season and 34 in his career, along with a .460 career wOBA against the O’s. Judge has picked up where he left off with three home runs in three games since the All-Star break. He’s up to 36 homers in his 92 games, giving him a .417 wOBA to go with his .284 batting average and 77 RBIs. He’s an expensive play but has reached 14 DKFP or more in four of his past five games, so he often is worth the extra salary due to the high ceiling that his power potential provides.


Starling Marte, New York Mets vs. San Diego Padres ($5,200) – The Marte party is definitely in play on this slate if you want to pair Starling with former teammate Ketel (highlighted above). Starling Marte has been a regular in the second spot for the Mets all season and has been heating up lately, going 26-for-67 (.388) with two home runs, four stolen bases and a .430 wOBA over his past 17 contests. He has six multi-hit games over his past eight in which he’s logged multiple at-bats and has a good matchup against lefty Blake Snell ($8,900), who he is 5-for-12 against in his career, including a home run.

Other Options – Giancarlo Stanton ($5,500), Andrew Benintendi ($4,300)


Austin Slater, San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers ($3,400) – Slater typically hits leadoff for San Francisco against southpaws like Julio Urías ($9,800), and he has gone 9-for-23 (.391) with two homers in his previous meetings with Urías. He is hitting a solid .301 against lefties on the year with three homers and a .385 wOBA. He went 0-for-2 on Friday but is still hitting an impressive .426 (20-for-47) in July with four doubles and three stolen bases. While he doesn’t bring top power potential, he comes at a great price in a great matchup.


Leody Taveras, Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics ($2,900) – Taveras has established himself as a regular part of the Rangers’ lineup, and the 23-year-old prospect who is known for his elite defense has also been contributing at the plate. In the past 20 games, he has gone 24-for-63 (.381) with nine doubles, three home runs, four stolen bases and a .455 wOBA. His nine-game hitting streak came to an end on Friday night, but he still drew two walks. He has a variety of ways he can contribute and brings a high ceiling under $3K in a favorable matchup against James Kaprielian ($5,800) in the late game.

Other Options – Josh Lowe ($2,700), Trayce Thompson ($2,600)


New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles – The Yankees bounced back after being swept in a doubleheader on Thursday to pick up a 7-6 win in the series opener against the O’s in Baltimore. They comfortably lead the Majors in home runs and runs scored, averaging 5.4 runs per game. In this matchup at Camden Yards, they will face Jordan Lyles ($7,300), who has surrendered 15 homers in 19 starts this season while compiling a 4.76 ERA, 4.35 FIP and 7.61 K/9. He was knocked around by the Rays in his most recent outing, allowing six runs and two homers in only 2 2/3 innings. Lyles is a familiar foe since seven of the nine Yankees in the projected lineups have at least 10 career at-bats against him. Giancarlo Stanton ($5,500) has had the best track record, going 7-for-18 (.389) with a home run while Anthony Rizzo ($5,200) and Judge (discussed above) have each homered off Lyles twice. DJ LeMahieu ($5,000) and Gleyber Torres ($5,000) have also been hot lately and deserve a look as part of the Yankees stack. There aren’t a lot of cheap options in the New York lineup, but Jose Trevino ($3,400) and Isiah Kiner-Falefa ($3,600) do bring decent upside late in the order.

Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Guardians – Lefty Konnor Pilkington ($6,300) will face the White Sox for the second straight start after allowing four runs in six innings just before the break, including a pair of home runs. In his 40 1/3 innings this year, he has a 4.24 ERA, a 4.28 FIP and has allowed four homers. José Abreu ($4,800) and Josh Harrison ($3,400) took him deep in that contest and are good options to consider, along with Tim Anderson ($5,300) and Andrew Vaughn ($4,100), who have hit lefties well all year. In fact, the White Sox have the second-highest team batting average and third-highest slugging percentage against lefties in the Majors. Since this will also be the second game of a doubleheader, the Guardians’ bullpen may be stretched thin, as well.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $222K Relay Throw [$50K 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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