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July 16 MLB DFS: Nobody Beats the Rizz
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Welcome to July 16 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for July 16 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 16 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:45 Starting Pitcher
9:42 Catcher
13:41 First Base
16:51 Second Base
20:41 Third Base
22:57 Shortstop
26:01 Outfield
31:34 Stacks

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CUSTOMIZABLE PROJECTIONS WITH VALUE RATINGS CLICK HERE

  • 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 16 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

 Starting Pitcher

For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections

After Saturday’s slate filled with aces we’re back sifting through less desirable SPs and price tags for Sunday’s slate. Yu Darvish (TEX) tops the starting pitching projections against a Royals’ offense that ranks 26th in wRC+ against RHP albeit with a below average K Rate. The weather forecast in Kansas City brings difficult pitching conditions with temperatures in the low 90s and the price tag isn’t ideal ($11,300 on DraftKings is expensive, while $9,900 on FanDuel feels appropriate) which makes Yu a play but not an automatic target. He does outpace all the other starters on this slate by 2-3 points in projection which pushes him into the first run on most optimal lineups. Additionally, the lack of options in general on the slate make it difficult to pivot off of Darvish on DraftKings where you’re required to find two starters.

The only other starters that bring the built in strikeout potential that Darvish comes with are Rich Hill (LAD) and Carlos Martinez (STL). Martinez draws a brutal matchup for strikeouts against the Pirates (second lowest K Rate against RHP). While Martinez is cheaper than Darvish, he’s still pretty expensive for a tough matchup. Similarly, Rich Hill gets a bottom 10 matchup for strikeouts and his inconsistency makes him difficult to consider in cash games. The limited SP options on the slate makes these two theoretical cash game pivots to save salary from Darvish but we’d prefer exposure solely in GPPs.

The primary alternative to Darvish is Steven Matz (NYM) who has the lowest implied total against on the slate (3.9) and faces a Rockies’ lineup that ranks 21st in wRC+ against LHP with an above average K Rate (24.2 percent) thanks to Mark Reynolds and Trevor Story. Matz comes with a lower floor than Darvish thanks to fewer strikeouts and innings but he’s just $7,900 on DraftKings and $8,300 on FanDuel. Matz is a fine target for pairing with Darvish on DraftKings and leaves you enough salary relief to build a competent offense. The primary alternative to Matz is Mike Fiers (HOU) who has pitched extremely effectively since integrating a sinker into his arsenal on May 14th (2.98 ERA, 61 K in 63 ⅓ innings, and only five home runs allowed). With Joe Mauer activated, the Twins don’t project quite as strikeout friendly and Fiers doesn’t often work deep into games but he’s still affordable ($7,300 on DraftKings, $8,100 on FanDuel) and the Twins implied total is only slightly higher than the Rockies at four.

The rest of the alternatives are better as mass multi-entry GPP targets. The super cheap price tag on DraftKings for Jaime Garcia (ATL) makes him a viable target ($5,400). Marco Estrada (TOR) has shown big strikeout potential in individual games but has been struggling mightily of late.

Catcher

The catcher position is flush with options but as is usually the case on Sundays we’ll need to check back in for lineups. Gary Sanchez (NYY) is the highest projected scorer at the position but he caught 16 innings yesterday and will almost assuredly rest one of the two double-header games. As has been the case of late, Sanchez is more affordable on FanDuel than DraftKings. Following Sanchez are similarly priced options in Russell Martin (TOR), Willson Contreras (CHC), Brian McCann (HOU), and Alex Avila (DET). Our projections prefer Martin who carries a cheap tag on both sites ($2,700 on FanDuel, $3,600 on DraftKings) and faces Anibal Sanchez who has really struggled with RH power in recent years (.376 wOBA, .236 ISO allowed since 2016). The Tigers bullpen behind Sanchez is quite weak and a road second place hitter carries some plate appearance advantage over most of the other alternatives. Contreras and McCann are part of the two offenses with the highest implied totals on the slate. Both have strong hard hit rates of late and are viable pivots from Martin should you want to diversify some exposure among the top offenses.
There are some lineup dependent platoon guys like Chris Iannetta (ARI), Mike Zunino (SEA), and Stephen Vogt (MIL) who also figure into the mix. These options are probably better in tournaments or as emergency pivots should you need additional salary relief.

First Base

Anthony Rizzo (CHC) is our top projected hitter overall and it’s by a wide margin. The Cubs get a nice park shift with temperatures in the high 80s in Baltimore and he gets an elite matchup against Ubaldo Jimenez (allowed a .397 wOBA and .179 ISO to LHBs since 2016). Rizzo is a priority spend for us in cash games with a very reasonable price tag on both sites ($4,000 on FanDuel, $4,900 on DraftKings).

If you’re not spending on Rizzo, Eric Thames (MIL) is the next highest projected scorer at the position. He also draws a favorable matchup with Jeremy Hellickson (.347 wOBA, .250 ISO, and 48 percent FB Rate against LHBs this season). Thames is also reasonably priced on both sites and has returned from the All Star Break generating hard contact. On DraftKings, Miguel Cabrera (DET) remains far too cheap ($3,200) but would’ve been more valuable on a slate like Saturday with all the elite pitching.

The position has plenty of alternatives to consider in tournaments. Hanley Ramirez (BOS) gets the platoon advantage against CC Sabathia in Fenway. The same goes for Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) and his historical dominance against lefties. Matt Holliday (NYY) and Ryan Zimmerman (WAS) won’t have the platoon edge but face opposing RHBs prone to hard contact allowed. The Jays switch hitting and 1B eligible duo of Kendrys Morales (TOR) and Justin Smoak (TOR) also carry plenty of power upside against Anibal Sanchez.

Second Base

The second base position remains similar to the last few days. Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Jonathan Villar (MIL) project near the top and come with reasonable price tags. Both are facing below average RHPs and their teams carry hefty implied totals. Zobrist doesn’t carry 2B eligibility on FanDuel, so Villar really sticks out as the top target there.

The position has plenty of depth to it, just most of the alternatives happen to be more expensive. Jose Altuve (HOU) and Daniel Murphy (WAS) face below average righties in favorable hitting environments. Murphy projects better as part of a stack as the hefty price and weaker lineup spot (often fifth) push him down the cash game list. Brian Dozier (MIN) has started off the second half with leadoff homers in consecutive games and carries a fair price tag. He’s also a better tournament target with Fiers likely carrying some ownership and providing a bit of leverage (moreso on DK). Ian Happ (CHC) has big power upside and makes for a nice pivot off of Zobrist in Cubs stacks looking to be slightly more contrarian. Chris Taylor (LAD) or Logan Forsythe (LAD) will likely lead off against Chris O’Grady earning consideration along with Dodgers stacks. You can also make a case for Dustin Pedroia (BOS) and Robinson Cano (SEA) given the weak opposing starters and strong offensive environments. On FanDuel, Matt Carpenter‘s (STL) second base eligibility thrusts him into the conversation as well.

Third Base

Josh Donaldson (TOR), Kris Bryant (CHC), and Freddie Freeman (ATL) are atop the third base projections. Donaldson and Bryant have more favorable matchups than Freeman and come with softer price tags. Donaldson is the noticeably cheaper option on DraftKings ($4,100) and given Sanchez’s struggle with RH power makes for a strong fit. Donaldson’s disappointing season has come largely with an increased K Rate but the hard hit rates and ISO are still strong.

Secondary targets at the deep position include: Justin Turner (LAD), Travis Shaw (MIL), Miguel Sano (MIN), and Manny Machado (BAL). Turner and Shaw have out-performed baselines wildly this season and draw really strong matchups against pitchers who struggle to miss bats. Sano and Machado have more difficult matchups but are in fine parks for power and make solid one-off tournament targets with likely lower ownership due to the depth of the position.

Shortstop

The shortstop position is also similar to Friday and Saturday. Carlos Correa (HOU) and Jean Segura (SEA) are atop the projections but both carry hefty price tags. They’re facing very weak opposing starters in Kyle Gibson and Derek Holland so it’s fine to attack if you have the salary available.

The one difference between Friday and Saturday is a slightly stronger mid-tier option on both sites. Xander Bogaerts (BOS) finally has a more respectable price tag and always gets an elite lineup spot for the Red Sox. A plus matchup with CC Sabathia earns him consideration at a fair price tag.

If you need salary relief at the position, Freddy Galvis (PHI) and Stephen Drew (WAS) remain the primary targets. Drew would become the priority if he gets a good lineup spot for the third consecutive day. Galvis isn’t really priced like the punt you’d like on DraftKings so he’s more of a FanDuel-specific target. On DraftKings, Trevor Story (COL) could also earn consideration with just a $2,800 price tag.

Outfield

Bryce Harper (WAS) once again tops the outfield projections. He’s difficult to squeeze in on FanDuel at $4,800 but on DraftKings at $5,400 he’s a very strong spend. The incredible depth in outfield options makes Harper a viable fade in cash games, but he’s once again one of the top overall hitters on the slate.

Following Harper are Nelson Cruz (SEA), Mookie Betts (BOS), Ryan Braun (MIL), and a resurgent Kyle Schwarber (CHC). Schwarber’s production for the season is out of place among this group but he’s facing the weakest starter and on the team with the heftiest implied total. Throw in some pre-ASB resurgence followed up by a homer in the first game back and there are plenty of reasons for optimism at a cheap price tag. Schwarber’s an elite value on FanDuel ($2,700) and a very strong target on DraftKings ($3,700) as well. Cruz has a slightly better price tag relative to projection than Betts and Braun and represents the next best drop-down from Harper on both sites.

Mitch Haniger (SEA) would represent a strong value if he hit second but he’s battling a finger injury that could keep him out a few more days. Haniger’s priced well on both sites. Ben Zobrist (CHC) is also outfield eligible on both sites and carries a sub-$3,000 price tag on FanDuel that is compelling against Jimenez. Jose Bautista (TOR), Josh Reddick (HOU), and Shin Soo Choo (TEX) are the next three outfield value targets. Bautista is especially cheap on DraftKings (sub-$4,000) but all three are viable on both sites. Bautista gets the reverse splits Anibal Sanchez while Reddick and Choo get favorable matchups against Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy respectively.

In tournaments, the outfield position is often used to fill out stacks. There are “one-off” power options to consider in Cincinnati (Scott Schebler) and Baltimore (Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo) given the warm conditions in parks favorable for home runs.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are back to the chalk after a few strong days in Baltimore and a matchup with Ubaldo Jimenez. They’re affordable after a slow first half and have a few players that fit nicely as part of a cash game mini-stack. Given the season long struggles and the depth of offense on this slate, they’re a fine underweight or fade in tournaments.

Tier Two

2) Milwaukee Brewers

3) Houston Astros

4) Washington Nationals

Our projections have a gap between the Brewers and the next best options in this tier but our feeling is that the tier cuts off better after the Nationals. The Brewers event-driven offense gets a nice matchup for power with Hellickson. They rarely seem to lead the slate in ownership or get forgotten. The Astros remain an expensive stack to target and with opportunity cost with high-end SP less of an issue on this slate we imagine they’ll carry more ownership than Friday and Saturday. This tier should carry ownership, so if you’re looking to go contrarian you’ll likely need to venture into the third tier or beyond.

Tier Three

5) Texas Rangers

6) Seattle Mariners

7) Toronto Blue Jays

8) Boston Red Sox

A warm day in Kansas City makes the Rangers an intriguing contrarian stack but the Blue Jays are the ones we’re most likely to gravitate towards here. Anibal Sanchez has struggled with RH power and a few strong starts in a row will likely keep ownership in check. Our projections view Martin, Donaldson, and Bautista all as primary values at their position but our guess is they won’t carry the highest ownership at their respective positions. The Jays won’t go un-owned but we do think they’ll be under-owned.