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FanDuel MLB DFS Lineup Picks (7/22/21): Daily Fantasy Baseball Advice

Greetings RotoBallers! So we got ourselves an interesting pitching match-up tonight out on the Left Coast. Walker Buehler and the Dodgers will be clashing with Anthony DeSclafani and the Giants in a key divisional game.

While I am looking forward to that game as a fan, I am staying the heck away from it as DFS player. If the pitching duel lives up to its billing, most of the hitters in that game will fail to hit value. And we know there is no way both pitchers are getting a win even if they deserve it. With the W in question, neither pitcher is worth his high price-tag on FanDuel tonight.

So who do I like tonight? Read below to find, as I provide you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for the FanDuel main slate on 7/22/2021. 


FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Cash Game Pitching Option:

Sean Manaea OAK at SEA ($9,100)

I'll admit that there might be better plays than Manea for Thursday night, especially in a GPP contest. But he screams reliability and is an obvious cash-game play. For one, he's relatively affordable, thereby enabling us to skip the torturous process of deciding if he's worth his salary. And his floor is not only higher than nearly all options cheaper than him, but he probably has a higher floor than the options above him as well.

We have to go back to May 13th to find a game where he gave up more than four earned runs. And between then and now. And he has only one start in his last dozen where he gave up even that many. He has a solid 3.28 ERA for a reason, and his 1.21 WHIP is reasonable as well. But it's not just his ability to keep runs off the scoreboard. He also has 115 Ks in 109 IP or a k/9 of 9.44. Again, he brings reliability there as well as he's struck out five or more batters in his last six outings. But he even gives us a bonus ceiling, like when he struck out batters in Yankee Stadium about a month ago.

Furthermore, Seattle is one of the more pitcher-friendly parks, but some of that is probably because Seattle is not exactly the most lethal offense in the league either. They have a middle of the league 116 HRs, and the ninth fewest runs. They also have the sixth-most strikeouts. It might be boring, but I'd fire up Manea with confidence on Thursday night.

GPP Play

Zach Thompson, MIA vs SD ($9,400)

Here's where it gets interesting. There's an argument to be made for Manaea's cheaper counterpart tomorrow night, Chris Flexen. He too has a decent floor and a very similar ERA of 3.35. But I don't like Flexen's upside enough to play him in a GPP. Tanner Houck's low price and upside is tempting, but I'm not joining all the Massholes in their love-in for Houck. I want to see him go six or seven innings before I put him in my lineup. Same is true for Luis Patino, whose upside is extremely tantalizing. But even at a minuscule $5700 salary, I'm opting for something more proven. Which is why I'm spending up and grabbing Zach Thompson.

Thompson didn't pitch in the majors until about six weeks ago, making him far too unreliable as a cash game play. Heck, he wasn't even starting games in the minors over the last three years. And he's only pitched six innings in a third of his starts. But man oh man do his numbers look good! His 1.93 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 10.61 K/9 are all a great indication of his potential upside. There are warning signs as he has been lucky with a .265 BABIP and a completely unsustainable HR/FB ratio of 3.4% To put that into perspective, Cy Young winner Justin Verlander has a career HR/FB ratio of around 9% and let's just say Thompson has a ways to go before he is Justin Verlander. And I'm talking strictly baseball, not their respective significant others choice.

Ok, so I just wanted a reason to show a little Kate Upton. Something tells me you're not complaining. Kate Upton...Mmmm....Where was I? Oh yeah, Zach Thompson. Anyway, the point is there will be some regression. But he's always had a strong K/9, he's leaving less than 70% on base, and his GB% is a solid 40%. Going up against the Padres, he'll likely be low-owned, making him a great leverage play.


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FanDuel DFS Infielders

Jesus Aguilar - 1B MIA vs SDP ($3000)

Because this may shock you, but I'm stacking Marlins tonight. Blake Snell has been very up and down lately, but do you realize he has only two games all year where he made it through the sixth inning? His surprisingly bad 5.21 ERA and 1.61 WHIP suddenly make sense. Aguilar meanwhile is hitting right around .270 with 17 HRs. At $3K, I'm locking in Aguilar.

Jorge Polanco - 2B/SS MIN vs LAA ($2800)

I'm going to continue to save some salary. Polanco is less than $3K, but he really shouldn't be. He has 13 HRs and eight swipes to accompany his .255 average. He's quietly been on a bit of a tear lately with nine hits in his last seven games including three HRs. He'll be facing Andrew Heaney and his 5.56 ERA. That tear is not over.

Josh Donaldson - 3B MIN vs LAA ($3100)

Okay, the gig is up, I'm stacking Twins tonight as well. Like Polanco, Donaldson has been hot lately. He's reached based in each of his last give games. He went long yesterday, giving him a pair of round-trippers in the last four days. Donaldson tends to hit his HRs in bunches, so ride him while he's hot.

Miguel Rojas - SS MIA vs SDP ($2600)

I told you I was stacking Marlins, didn't I? Rojas is nothing special. But I'll gladly take a .275 hitter at $2600 with a platoon advantage against a pitcher who is giving up a .488 SLG against right-handers. I'm grabbing Rojas for the floor and stacking purposes, but my hopes are even higher. My guess is Rojas falls somewhere in between, which will be just fine.


FanDuel DFS Outfielders

Jarren Duran - OF, BOS vs NYY ($2200)

Any player averaging double-digit FD fantasy points per game at just $2200 is going to have my attention. Yes, it's a limited sample size, but Duran is quite the prospect and really shouldn't be quite this low. Boston might sit him again tonight, but if he does play, I'd  insert him into your lineup. In case you missed it, he's already gone yard:

Nelson Cruz - OF, MIN vs LAA  ($3900)

I told you I was stacking Twins, you had to know this was coming, right? I don't think I need to go into too much detail on this one. Cruz is hitting .295 with 19 HRs. That could be enough. But for those of you who like BvP stats, in 14 ABs, Cruz is hitting .286 with three homers against Heaney. Just one of many reasons to start Cruz tomorrow.

Starling Marte - OF, MIA vs SDP ($3900)

But we are not done stacking Marlins either! And I would give Adam Duvall a long look too depending on your roster construction and salary demands. But I like Marte more than Duvall.

Marte is another one that has at least one hit in seven straight games. Yet unlike some of the earlier selections, Marte will be the primary culprit who will cut Snell's night short. Marte might be having one of the quietest seasons for someone hitting .294 and on pace for a potential 15/30 season. What might be most impressive however is Marte's BB% of 11.6%. That's a lot of walks. And if you put Marte in your lineup my bet is that you too will be walking but walking proud Thursday night.

Good luck with your entries!

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