Welcome to the weekend! Below are some matchups to target, some value plays, and heck, you might even find a bargain-basement-beauty or two! Plus you’ll find some stacks to help you win your DFS contests, so enjoy!
Matchups to Target Saturday 7/8
J-Ram has become a bit of a staple to this list. That’s what happens when you slash .332/.538/.953 against right-handed pitching. Ramirez hit a bit of a cold spell last Sunday-Monday-Tuesday, going 0-for-12, but got back on track Wednesday by going 1-for-3 with a double, walk, HBP and then 2-for-4 Thursday with a HR. Friday saw him go 1-for-3 with a walk, so he’s got a mini 3-game hit streak going again. But why is he really here? Well, in addition to everything just mentioned, he’s also 8-for-18 against Brady Singer with a double, 2 HR, and 3 walks. He’s also got some good numbers against pretty much everyone in the Royals’ bullpen (poor Jonathan Heasley must wake up in cold sweats with images of Ramirez in his head — he’s 6-for-8 with 2 HR, 7 RBI, and 0 K against Heasley in his career). The Royals’ bullpen is bottom 3 in the majors in ERA, hits allowed, walks, and saves, so there should be opportunities aplenty for Ramirez and the Guardians.
Soler tends to make this list for similar reasons as Ramirez, although in Soler’s case it’s because of what he does to left-handed pitching. He’s slashing .328/.797/1.238 against LHP and has the highest SLG, ISO, and wOBA in the majors against southpaws for those with at least 50 plate appearances against them (.797 SLG/.469 ISO/.507 wOBA). Soler is now batting .333 (9-for-27) through 7 games in July, which includes 5 doubles and hits in 5 straight. Notably, for a hitter with 22 HR on the season (13 against LHP), he doesn’t have one since Friday 6/30 (9 games ago). So Ranger Suarez gets the dreaded “he’s due” treatment here. Soler has seen him a handful of times in his career too, going 1-for-5 with a HR against him.
Jarren has slowly been heating up, batting .236 in May, .286 in June, and now a red-hot .588 (10-for-17) thus far in July which includes 5 doubles and 2 triples. He’s also got 16 SB on the season so there’s always potential for him to contribute in other ways even if the HR power isn’t really there. Of course, he’s also facing a pitcher that he’s seen a few times before on a team with one of the worst bullpens in the MLB. He’s 3-for-6 off Paul Blackburn in his career with a double and 2 K.
If it’s an expensive catcher you want, it’s an expensive catcher you get: Realmuto is slashing .262/.536/.839 against LHP this season and faces lefty Braxton Garrett on Saturday. Pretty good numbers but not eye-popping, however, he’s here because he is 3-for-5 off of Garrett lifetime with a double and a HR. LoanDepot Park is by no means a “hitter friendly” so it’s also a bit surprising to see that Garrett has been quite a bit worse there than on the road: 5.27 ERA/.276 OBA in 7 starts at home versus 2.14 ERA/.225 OBA in 9 road starts. Realmuto’s also seeing the ball well so far in July, going 7-for-19 (.368) including a double, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 7 R, and a pair of walks.
DFS Value Plays
Did you know that over the last 20 games dating back to 6/15, Candelario is 24-for-76 (.316) while collecting at least one hit in all but 3 of those games and reaching base at least once in all but 1 of them? It’s true, look it up! There’s some pop in that bat too — of those 24 hits there were 10 2B and 4 HR in there. And of course he’s seen Andrew Heaney before, going 3-for-5 off of him with 2 2B and a HR.
Jankowski has made the most of his playing time this season, hitting .323 on the year with 18 RBI, 24 R, 20 BB, and 11 SB in 127 ABs. It’s been fairly consistent too, hitting .302 in April, .292 in May, and .324 in June. So far in July he’s 7-for-16 with a HR, so if he’s playing there is an opportunity to get cheap production in this potent Texas lineup. FYI, he has no history against the Nationals’ RHP Jake Irvin, but Irvin is allowing a .268/.438/.792 slashline to left-handed hitters like Jankowski.
DFS “Leap of Faith” Play
If it’s risks you like to take, then Donaldson could be for you. Donaldson batted .148 in June (9-for-61) and the 37-year-old is 2-for-16 (.125) in July. But, he’s seen Drew Smyly a lot in his career, going 10-for-20 off of him with 3 doubles, 3 HR, 3 BB, and just 3 K. Play him if you dare!
DFS Contrarian Play
Bellinger is one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now, now holding the longest current hit streak in the MLB of 13 games after Ronald Acuna Jr., Marcell Ozuna, and Kyle Tucker all went hitless Friday. During this streak, he’s 23-for-48 (.479). If you want a hitter that others may not have the intestinal fortitude to use, you could use him Saturday against Cy Young contender Gerrit Cole. Bellinger is 1-for-3 against him in his career, and if Cole has a weakness it may be that he can be prone to giving up the long ball at times. Cole has only given up 10 HR in 18 starts, but 8 of them came in 4 separate 2-HR games in May.
DFS Stacks to Consider
Rangers vs Jake Irvin
Of course, you’re going to take Corey Seager here — he’s got a 10-game hit streak going now after a 2-for-5 night at the plate Friday that included a double and an HR. During his hit streak, he’s 18-for-41 (.439), and he’s slashing .371/.662/1.105 against RHP on the year. Irvin has been worse at home this year and has been somewhat more vulnerable to lefties than righties. So you could look at the other two Rangers with the hottest bats over the last 7 days: Jonah Heim and Leody Taveras. Heim is a 2023 All-Star selection and Taveras is still hitting around .300 on the season. We also mentioned Jankowski above if you want to swap someone out. You know the other non-lefty names you can use here, but they’re too obvious.
Guardians vs Brady Singer
I’m going to keep going to this well until it runs dry. Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor against RHP is the gift that keeps on giving. Another player to add to the Stack you say? Gimenez, Kwan, and Straw all have decent numbers against Singer and we already mentioned that the KC bullpen is no bueno, but Will Brennan is the guy (if he’s playing!). He’s 2-for-4 with a walk in 5 plate appearances versus Singer in his career and hits RHP particularly well — he’s slashing .296/.435/.762 against them versus .163/.233/.433 against LHP. All 5 of Brennan’s HR have come off RHP too, and he’s batting .315 (34-for-108) since June 1st.
Blue Jays/Guardians F5 ML parlay (+137 at FanDuel): I think the Jays hitters keep rolling after their 12-run outburst Friday night and with all the Guardians’ success vs Singer they can win the battle of the first 5 innings.
Jays/Guardians ML parlay (+132 at FD): Gausman should shut the Tigers down for most of the game, and the Royals bullpen could be the undoing if Gavin Williams struggles, but it’s basically the same odds as above.
Jose Ramirez/Jarren Duran to get a hit parlay (no odds as of this writing): my two favorites, just need them to get a hit apiece. Guessing this will be about a -105 bet when the odds release for hits.