Welcome to July 15 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for July 14 MLB DFS along with our LIVE Premium Chat and cliff notes. Make sure you’re using our customizable projections tool, you’re actively participating in the live chat, and you’re reviewing the cliff notes to supplement your research and roster construction process. Very best of luck in tonight’s action!
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July 15 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:55 Starting Pitcher
12:25 First Base
16:24 Second Base
18:56 Third Base
- In cash games, we recommend focusing on value plays to build your rosters (far right hand column of Projections page linked above). Value plays are those we feel have the highest probability of out-earning their current price tag. By packing value plays into your roster, you’re creating a team with a higher floor.
- In tournaments, we recommend building a core of the best value plays and then complementing them with players who have a high ceiling. This combination is essentially turning up the variance on a strong foundation and we believe often is the best recipe for tournament success.
July 15 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
The starting pitching on Saturday’s evening slate is ridiculously deep. In addition to the return of Madison Bumgarner (SF) we have Corey Kluber (CLE), Max Scherzer (WAS), and Alex Wood (LAD) all in action. Chris Sale (BOS) is in the early slate otherwise we’d basically have all the Cy Young candidates sans Kershaw going.
Bumgarner returns with a soft price tag on DraftKings ($10,500) and an elite matchup against the Padres. The question with Bumgarner is simply form after an extended layoff. The last rehab start looked good in the box score as Bumgarner allowed just two hits along with an unearned run while striking out eight and walking just one. He got up to 86 pitches in the last rehab outing so the pitch count shouldn’t be much of an issue and the Padres lost one of their more dangerous hitters against LHP with Hunter Renfroe on the DL. While it may make sense to pay up slightly for known quantities with so many other elite aces on the slate, the pricing gap on DraftKings makes it difficult to justify – even in cash games. On FanDuel, it’s not hard to justify the red hot Corey Kluber (eight or more strikeouts in nine straight) for $500 more or even saving substantial money with Alex Wood or Jimmy Nelson at reasonable price tags. Max Scherzer is the most expensive starter of all the aces on this slate and he’s getting the biggest park downgrade. As a result, he’s a better tournament target.
On DraftKings, it is possible but difficult to pair Bumgarner with another elite arm. Once again Wood and Kluber are meaningfully cheaper than Scherzer. Kluber would be our choice here if going the double stud route, but you’ll need ample salary relief to make it work. The challenging thing about this slate is the dynamic between elite pitching and a number of really weak starters that are throwing. In order to afford attacking the gas cans, our projections prefer pairing Bumgarner with a cheaper second starter. The projection darling is Joe Musgrove (HOU) who has all the same things working in his favor as Charlie Morton on Friday night. The difference is Musgrove isn’t as effective as a starter as Morton, but he’s also substantially cheaper. With pitching opportunity cost high, the other option is to pair Bumgarner with Jimmy Nelson (MIL) who gets an elite matchup against the Phillies (28th in wRC+ against RHP with an above average 23.9 K Rate and could be without Altherr). Nelson’s taken huge steps forward this season and the price tag has certainly adjusted up for it but this is one of the best matchups he’ll garner all season and he has substantially more strikeout upside than Musgrove.
In tournaments, the strategy is different on each site. On DraftKings, you’ll likely want to pair one of the aces with a mid-tier starter that has substantial potential for return on investment. Musgrove is our top projected value in this space but Jake Arrieta (CHC) and Mike Foltynewicz (ATL) also have plenty of strikeout potential at sub-$7,000 price tags. Aaron Nola (PHI) carries plenty of strikeout upside against the Brewers but is now largely priced for it. On FanDuel, Musgrove’s cheap price tag makes him viable as a GPP target but we’d prefer to mix and match higher upside arms with Bumgarner, Nelson, Scherzer, Wood, and Kluber likely spreading out ownership among the group.
With not a lot of weak pitchers on the slate, a shallow position offers even less enticing options than normal. Willson Contreras (CHC) though headlines the position as he’ll hold the platoon edge on left-hander Wade Miley. Miley has been able to generate more strikeouts this year, but he’s been horribly wild (5.18 BB/9) and has historically had issues with RHB. Contreras is one of many Cubs that comes with a fluid lineup spot, but he hit fourth last night and should be near the top again against a LHP. At just $3,700 on DK and $3,200 on FD, he’s our preferred cash game option.
After Contreras, the next best options are Brian McCann (HOU) and Mike Zunino (SEA). McCann will get a matchup with Ervin Santana, who has been pitching well above his peripherals this season (2.99 ERA, 4.79 xFIP). Though his lineup spot will pale in comparison to Contreras, McCann is just $3,300 on DraftKings and $2,800 on FanDuel – providing even more savings for top starting pitchers. Zunino comes with the worst lineup spot of this group, but will have the platoon edge on Derek Holland. Holland has allowed a .224 ISO to RHB since 2015, and though Zunino hasn’t lived up to his billing – he’s shown some potential against RHP, posting a .162 ISO against them since 2015.
Matt Wieters (WSH) would be another cheap option with a less than ideal lineup spot, but gives you access to a top offense in a good park.
Eric Thames (MIL) is the top per dollar play on a slate where you’ll likely be unable to afford some of the very best first basemen. The matchup with Aaron Nola isn’t one of the best available, but Nola does provide decently wide platoon splits (struggles with LHB) and Thames will get a second place lineup spot in a good park. At just $4,300 on DraftKings he provides a nice discount over Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) or Anthony Rizzo (CHC). The latter duo are the top per dollar plays on FanDuel, but it’s unlikely that you’ll be making the spend up to that range in cash games, leaving them as better tournament plays. On FanDuel, you might find yourself dipping down again to try and capitalize on Ryan Zimmerman (WSH) at just $3,300 or Chris Davis (BAL) at $3,100. Zimmerman’s matchup with Luis Castillo has some boom or bust, as the youngster has been electric but struggles with command and the long ball. Davis will likewise get a tough matchup with Jake Arrieta, but a great park and someone in Arrieta who is allowing more than a home run per nine innings and getting less ground balls than any of the previous three seasons.
Lucas Duda (NYM) stands out as a great value on DraftKings at just $3,100 against Tyler Chatwood. We’re not overly excited to pick on Chatwood, but the price is enough to use him. He’s posted a .229 ISO against RHP since 2015. Joey Votto (CIN) is not in an ideal matchup with Max Scherzer, but at just $3,500 on FanDuel, he could enter the conversation for either format.
Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Jonathan Villar (MIL) is again atop the second base rankings. Zobrist will get you exposure to the Cubs offense, and lead off last night and could find himself there again against Wade Miley. For just $3,300 on DraftKings he’s a great cash game piece at 2B or the OF. Villar is priced at just $3,700 on DraftKings and $3,100 on FanDuel. We’ve already mentioned Nola’s struggles with LHB, and Villar will hold the platoon edge as a switch hitter, and comes with speed and power upside. Where he’s priced $400 cheaper than Brian Dozier (MIN) on DraftKings, he’s a better play for cash games, but Dozier is the same price on FanDuel. Dozier’s matchup with Joe Musgrove is a bit more enticing as Musgrove has struggled with the home run ball (1.85 HR/9). Dozier has posted a slight positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days, and simply put, he’s too cheap given his skill set.
While they aren’t expensive, you can find some additional value on either site. Javier Baez (CHC) is just $2,500 on FanDuel and $3,600 on DraftKings. Baez won’t come with a good lineup spot, but the Cubs hold the highest implied run total on the slate and he’ll hold the platoon edge on Miley. In this case, it’s rather important as Baez has shown a big difference between the two handedness, posting a .182 ISO and .334 wOBA against LHP since 2015, versus a .289 wOBA and .142 ISO against RHP (plus a 4% increase in K% against RHP). Finding cheap options will be a necessity, and Baez gives you access to a top offense as well. Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) is another cheap option at just $2,800 on FD and $3,500 on DK, but his matchup with Tyler Chatwood is less enticing than Baez’, though Cabrera will come with a better lineup spot.
With few appealing options at the position, Kris Bryant (CHC) is the darling third baseman on the slate. Bryant and the Cubs are popular options against Wade Miley, and his prowess against LHP makes him perhaps the most enticing offensive spend on the slate. Bryant has posted a .405 wOBA and .287 ISO against LHP in his young career. The price tag on DraftKings is potentially affordable if using a second starting pitcher to earn some cap room, and at $3,700 on FanDuel he could be a “lone spend” as well.
With there not being much in the way of cheap value at the position, Jake Lamb (ARI) is the next in line at the position. While receiving a negative park shift, Lamb will get the wide platoon splits of Mike Foltynewicz and at $4,800 on DraftKings, he does provide a small discount over Bryant. Though, if spending all the way up, we’d prefer you go with Bryant.
Miguel Sano (MIN) rates similarly to Lamb and comes at a slight discount in a matchup with homer prone Joe Musgrove. Musgrove isn’t a huge strikeout threat, the biggest hole in Sano’s game – giving him a small hint of extra value.
Stephen Drew (WSH) drew a great lineup spot last night, and is 3B eligible on DK should he get another appealing spot. Luis Valbuena (LAA) would be the best pure punt play, checking in at just $2,500 on DraftKings and $2,300 on FanDuel. He’ll hold the platoon edge on Alex Cobb and has posted a .209 ISO against RHP since 2015.
Addison Russell (CHC) is the clear value at the shortstop position as getting exposure to the Cubs offense for cheap is a priority on this slate. Russell, like Javier Baez mentioned earlier, will not come with a good lineup spot but is just $3,200 on DraftKings and $2,600 on FanDuel on a slate where every $100 matters. Like Baez, Russell has been better against LHP, posting a .181 ISO in his short career. Furthermore, he’s posted a 30% Hard% in his last fifteen days and is coming off a pair of extra base hits, including a home run last night.
Teammate Javier Baez (CHC) has SS eligibility on DK, but will cost you $400 more.
Jean Segura (SEA) will leadoff against Derek Holland in a compelling spot, but the price tag will be seemingly too difficult to fit in cash games. At $3,700 on FanDuel and $4,900 on DraftKings, he’s merely a tourney game play, albeit one with speed and power upside. Carlos Correa (HOU) and Franciso Lindor (CLE) would represent two additional great spends at the position, but their salaries are too restrictive for cash games.
The outfield will likely be an important source of value on today’s slate, with perhaps the best option being Matt Kemp (ATL). Kemp will hold the platoon edge on left-hander Patrick Corbin, and is just $3,200 on DraftKings and $2,700 on FanDuel. Corbin has been better than his ERA suggests, but he’s historically struggled against RHP, allowing a .365 wOBA and .191 ISO to RHB since 2015. Kemp too has taken advantage of that split, posting a .239 ISO against LHP since 2015. Ben Zobrist (CHC) has OF eligibility on both sites and is just $3,300 on DK and $2,600 on FD. He’s likely going to hit at the top of the Cubs order and will get the platoon edge on Wade Miley.
Teammates Mitch Haniger (SEA) and Nelson Cruz (SEA) rate as two of the best per dollar plays as well as they’ll each hold the platoon edge on Derek Holland. We previously mentioned Holland’s struggles with power to right-handed batters and a park shift in the Mariners favor makes this duo even more enticing. Cruz in particular has been a menace to LHP, posting a .429 wOBA and .313 ISO since 2015.
Bradley Zimmer (CLE) has found himself in the leadoff spot two games in a row, and is just $4,000 on DraftKings and $2,900 on FanDuel. Zimmer projects with reasonable power upside (ZiPS projecting .155 ISO rest of season) and stolen base potential as well and will draw the contact oriented arm of young right-hander Paul Blackburn.
If you work in enough middle infield value with a cheaper starting pitcher, it’s reasonable that you could make a spend in the outfield on DraftKings – insert Bryce Harper (WSH) as the slate’s top projected scorer. Josh Reddick (HOU) and Eric Thames (MIL) (DK Only) rate similarly on both sites, and will give you second place hitters with the platoon advantage.
Moving down to even cheaper options, Yoenis Cespedes (NYM) is just $3,500 on DraftKings. He’s a middle of the order bat with a cheap enough price tag to warrant for cash games, despite poor batted ball data in the last fifteen days. Carlos Gonzalez (COL) fills a similar mold, at just $3,400 on DraftKings and $2,800 on FanDuel, getting the platoon edge on Seth Lugo.
1) Washington Nationals
2) Chicago Cubs
The Nationals top our stack rankings but Luis Castillo has looked so much better than our baseline projections early on that we’re hesitant to get excited about a depleted Nationals’ lineup. The good news is they’re expensive and Castillo’s performance should keep ownership low which makes them a strong contrarian stack once again. For cash games and chalk, we expect the Cubs and Mariners to really dominate the slate once again. Both teams are on the road in park upgrades against below average LHPs. They’re also both affordable stacks which fits nicely with all the expensive SP on the slate. Both offenses are deep enough that you can try to differentiate via different parts of the order and different fillers than forcing contrarian stacks on this slate.
3) Seattle Mariners
4) Houston Astros
The Astros remain a strong contrarian tournament stack. They’re seemingly sub-10% every night because of price tags and with all the elite SP on this slate that should be the case again. Ervin Santana has either been great or terrible in most of his starts and the Twins bullpen remains vulnerable.
5) Colorado Rockies
6) Arizona Diamondbacks
7) Milwaukee Brewers
8) Los Angeles Dodgers
The Rockies are an interesting name that our projections seem to like a bit more than our own personal feel. With Blackmon and Arenado carrying so much of the projection it’s hard to get excited because the stack isn’t cheap. They’ll be very contrarian so we’ll take some shots in mass multi entry.
The one additional contrarian stack we like on this slate is the Mets. The Mets got into the Rockies bullpen early last night and their offense is really dangerous against RHP. Chatwood can be difficult to pick on because of his elite GB Rate but his control issues can get him into early trouble. The Mets are also pretty cheap on both sites and Conforto’s return makes them much deeper.