Welcome to July 17 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for July 17 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!
CUSTOMIZABLE PROJECTIONS | HITTER SPLITS | PITCHER SPLITS | SORTABLE STATS | PITCHER TRENDS | LINEUPS | LEADERS
July 17 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:03 Starting Pitcher
10:27 First Base
14:50 Second Base
17:20 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 17 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Lance McCullers (HOU) tops our pitching projections. McCullers has impressively reigned in his control this season, dropping the BB rate from 12.8% to 7.1%. It’s been a worthwhile exchange with a few less Ks (K-BB% is meaningfully higher though) and even more GBs (63%). The K and GB combination is gaudy and makes McCullers a stud. At -202 he’s the largest favorite on the slate and also has the lowest IRTA (3.7) on a slate that lacks upper tier arms.
McCullers’ main competition is Jon Lester (CHC). However, we prefer McCullers’ skill set, and on top of that, Lester is coming off a disaster start and has been surprisingly volatile this season. On FD, it’s an easy choice for McCullers given similar pricing. On DK, Lester is significantly cheaper and projects as the better value. It’s possible to play both or swap out Lester for McCullers if you’re shaken by Lester’s recent outings. Despite the negative tone we’ve associated with Lester so far, it’s important to note that despite slightly less velocity he’s actually pitched pretty similarly to last season from a peripheral standpoint. The K-BB% has taken a small hit, but his Hard-Soft% is much better. The results thus far have been unlucky.
There’s a significant drop off in raw total projection when you move beyond McCullers and Lester, so it’s important to lock in at least one of them in cash games. On DK, it’s reasonable to go cheap in the second pitcher spot as there’s not a ton of opportunity cost and the cap relief can be put towards Coors Field bats. There are a trio of sub-$6k options in Tom Koehler (MIA), Chad Kuhl (PIT), and Matt Moore (SF). So not super comforting. Koehler is the preferred choice of both us and Vegas. He’s home. The Phillies are 28th in wRC+ against RHP and have a 24.1 K% in that split. Chad Kuhl (PIT) has a similar strikeout expectation and good pitching environment (although hot). Matt Moore (SF) possesses the most skills. Or at least past skills. He’s been awful this season and the lack of Ks is disturbing, making him tournament only in the worst matchup of the bunch.
Over on FD, Koehler is meaningfully cheaper than both Kuhl and Moore making him the go to cheap option in GPPs. German Marquez (COL) provides cheap K upside (Padres lead league in K% against RHP), but there’s obvious run prevention risk at home in Coors Field.
Gary Sanchez (NYY) tops our list at catcher on Monday, as he’ll draw a matchup with southpaw Adalberto Mejia. It seems as if it has been difficult to pick on Mejia successfully, but of course that is an anecdotal assessment as he’s posted a 5.10 xFIP while walking more than four hitters per nine and allowing 1.52 HR/9 as well. In his last three starts with the return of Matt Holliday, Sanchez has found himself in the second spot of the order and he’s posted a .293 ISO against LHP in his young career. Plus, given the availability of some cheaper starting pitching on the slate, it’s not unlikely that you can afford Sanchez’ price tag at $4,600 on DraftKings and $3,400 on FanDuel.
Sanchez still requires the spend though, and on a slate with Coors Field you might not wish to spend at such a shallow position. Russell Martin (TOR) is just $2,700 on FanDuel and $3,500 on DraftKings and will get the platoon edge on Eduardo Rodriguez. He’s continued to hit in the second spot of the order, and is a worthy discounted option if not spending on Sanchez. You can get Evan Gattis (HOU) at just $2,700 on FanDuel as well. He’ll get the platoon edge on fly ball oriented Ariel Miranda who is now moving away from his home park to pitch in a friendlier hitting environment.
Where Gattis is a bit more expensive on DraftKings, you could look to go even cheaper with someone like Jonathan Lucroy (TEX) at just $2,900. The Rangers hold one of the slate’s highest implied run totals and although he lacks the upside of the aforementioned options, he provides a huge chunk of savings in a good overall hitting environment.
A trio of Chris Davis (BAL), Anthony Rizzo (CHC), and Wil Myers (SD) hit the top of our per dollar rankings on both FanDuel and DraftKings. Davis will draw the platoon edge on right-hander Andrew Cashner who has been unable to register strikeouts (a big plus for Davis) this season, but as also danced out of trouble more often than not (3.54 ERA/5.34xFIP, expected regression in 74.8% LOB%). The silly aspect of Davis as a play is the price tag, he’s just $3,500 on DraftKings and $3,000 on FanDuel in a great environment for left-handed power.
Rizzo is likely the tournament option of the group, getting a surprisingly friendly park for offense thus far and the wide platoon splits of Julio Teheran. However, with the value that Davis brings, and the context (Coors Field) in Myers favor, it seems unlikely that we’ll be making the spend on him in cash games. Speaking of Myers, his matchup with Marquez brings about another pitcher who has perhaps pitched above his means in the early going. He’s allowed a ton of hard contact and has been fly ball prone, but lucky to keep the ball in the park for the most part. Though we consider him less as part of a horrible team, Myers has continued to produce solid power numbers, posting a .207 ISO this season and a .203 ISO against RHP since 2015.
Matt Holliday (NYY) rates well on both sites, as he’ll draw the platoon edge on Adalberto Mejia. He provides a similar salary cap relief to Chris Davis on both sites, offering a viable alternative if the ballooned strikeout rate has pushed you further off Davis for cash games.
Miguel Cabrera (DET) is $3,500 on DraftKings. Mark Reynolds (COL) is $3,700 on FanDuel and $4,700 on DraftKings. Luis Perdomo is more friendly to LHB, but Reynolds will likely be a lower owned piece of the Rockies offense that works perfectly into tournament plans.
Rougned Odor (TEX) and Ian Kinsler (DET) lead the way at second base. Odor will be another piece of the Texas offense in play against right-hander Chris Tillman. Nothing has worked for Tillman this season, posting an ERA over 7 and an xFIP of 5.62 while allowing over two home runs per nine innings. Odor has finally settled into the fifth spot against RHP, and he’s just $3,900 on DraftKings and $3,200 on FanDuel. Pair great recent Hard% data from Odor and an implied total comfortably over five runs and he becomes a great cash game option.
Kinsler is priced similarly to Odor on FanDuel, but actually comes at a strong discount on DraftKings at just $3,200. At 35 and having dealt with recent back issues, he holds less upside than he once did, but for $3,200 and the platoon advantage at the top of the order, he’s a fine alternative on DraftKings.
Ben Zobrist (CHC) holds 2B eligibility on DraftKings and actually rates better than Kinsler from a per dollar perspective there. Maddon slid him back into the leadoff spot yesterday against a RHP (has had wrist injuries, limiting his RH time) and we’re betting he’ll be there again for Teheran, who struggles with LHB. Zobrist has the least upside of this group but is a fine cash game alternative.
Jose Altuve (HOU) and Jonathan Villar (MIL) are both enticing tournament options on this slate, though they fall just behind this trio from a per dollar perspective and are likely on the outskirts of the cash game conversation.
Nolan Arenado (COL) outpaces other third basemen in our model by nearly a full point in raw projection, and as such he’s the top option at the position. We mentioned Luis Perdomo is more difficult on RHB, but it’s tough to ignore Arenado given the Rockies implied run total at 6.4 runs. At $4,600 on FanDuel, he might not represent a cash game spend, but at just $5,200 on DraftKings you can certainly make it work – and we’d prefer that you did.
If not spending on Arenado, the trio of Manny Machado (BAL), Adrian Beltre (TEX), and Josh Donaldson (TOR) are our favorite alternative options. Things haven’t exactly ever turned around in the right direction for Machado this season, but it’s kept his price tag down and he’s still generated the most hard contact of his career (via FanGraphs) and has not been absent of power. A great lineup spot, high implied run total, and cheap price tag make him an excellent alternative to Arenado. Beltre will grab the other side of the Machado matchup, and gets the homer prone Chris Tillman – worthy of spending $4,100 on DraftKings.
Donaldson is actually the cheapest of the group, and he’ll get the most difficult matchup but the platoon edge on Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez hasn’t been someone we try and pick on often, but one of his gripes is his fly ball proneness. Pair that with Donaldson’s prowess against LHP, and you have a compelling play at $3,900 on DraftKings.
A sad state of affairs brings us Elvis Andrus (TEX) as the top shortstop in our model. His price tag has finally come down, but Andrus has had an excellent season to date, displaying more power (.166 ISO) and having already stolen 20 bases (24 all of last season). At just $3,900 on DraftKings and $3,100 on FanDuel, he’s cheap enough that he provides some value and gets you one of the best lineup spots that shortstop offers.
Trevor Story (COL) is just $3,700 on DraftKings and will have the advantage of Coors Field (but a right-on-right matchup with Perdomo). At $3,600 on FanDuel, he’s out of the question for cash games. If you were going to spend up though, it would be on Carlos Correa (HOU) who will get the platoon edge on Ariel Miranda. Correa could reasonably be forced into cash games on DraftKings if you decide to take a stand with someone like Tom Koehler as your second starting pitcher, but otherwise he’s unlikely to fit into anything but your tournament plans.
Marcus Semien (OAK) has rejoined the A’s and will give us some additional shortstop depth with a good lineup spot for cheap. The matchup with Jake Odorizzi also gives us a fly ball arm that has struggled with same handed power (.210 ISO allowed to RHB since 2015). Plus, Semien is one of the lone power threats at the position, as ZiPS projects a .168 ISO rest of season and he’s coming off a year of .197 ISO with 27 home runs.
There is plenty of value to be had in the outfield, but the slate’s best offensive spend is also present in Charlie Blackmon (COL). Blackmon will give you exposure to the top of the Rockies order and will also give you access to the platoon edge on Perdomo. In his young career, Perdomo has allowed a .377 wOBA and .182 ISO to LHB, versus a .322 wOBA and .145 ISO against RHB. Blackmon should be one of your three cash game outfielders.
With two spots left to choose from, there is value to be had in Baltimore with Seth Smith (BAL), Shin Soo Choo (TEX), and Nomar Mazara (TEX) all registering as great per dollar values (as Adam Jones (BAL)) doesn’t lag too far behind. The game currently holds a total of 11 runs and is one of the premier offensive environments on the slate. Choo and Mazara offer the road top of the order presence, and also have the luxury of the “enigma of badness” that comes with Chris Tillman. Tillman is coming off perhaps his best start of the season (sadly, 5IP, 2ER) but has allowed at least one home run in each of his last seven starts.
Carlos Gonzalez (COL) has been horribad, yes, a word that isn’t even a real word. Yet, he’s just $3,000 on DraftKings. For context, he is now priced equally with Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Ji-Man Choi, some guy named Danny Ortiz and Albert Almora Jr. (in Almora Jr.’s defense, he’s actually been pretty solid this season when platooning). The context, the platoon edge, the price tag, too much points to this being an easy play, assuming Gonzalez gets in the lineup.
Kyle Schwarber (CHC) is just $2,700 on FanDuel and will get the platoon edge on Julio Teheran. Schwarber has shown some encouraging signs since being recalled, and will likely hit fifth (although subject to change with Joe Maddon) against Teheran. Where there aren’t a lot of starting outfielders with good lineup spots below $3,000 on FanDuel, he’s a perfectly fine play.
Teammate Ben Zobrist (CHC) is also outfield eligible on both sites, and is just $2,900 on FanDuel.
The curious case of price tags on DraftKings brings us $3,700 Jose Bautista (TOR) with the platoon advantage, Dexter Fowler (STL) is $3,600 and will hit from the left-hand batter’s box against Zack Wheeler, and you can get Manuel Margot (SD) and his speed upside at the top of the Padres order for just $4,000 in Coors Field.
1) Colorado Rockies
The Rockies are the obvious top stack at home with an IRT nearly a full run higher than any other team. It’s easy to mini-stack them in cash games on DK, and on FD you’ll want at least some exposure. In tournaments, the main reason to fade is simply game theory. This stack will carry heavy ownership.
2) Texas Rangers
3) Chicago Cubs
4) Houston Astros
5) Baltimore Orioles
On FD, the tremendous value on the BAL-TEX game makes that an interesting mini stack. Temperatures are approaching 90 in Baltimore with the wind blowing out to LF at nearly 10 mph. These two teams have the second and third highest IRTs on the slate.
The Astros quite often make for a heck of a contrarian stack on slates like these where the people spending up on bats likely go to Coors, and BAL-TEX ends up as the main pivot off of Coors Field. Along with the Cubbies, those are the two stacks that give you the best combination of ownership and upside. The Cubs are in Hotlanta against Julio Teheran; we’ll likely see a plethora of LHBs in the lineup (.357 wOBA and .206 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2015 for Teheran).
6) New York Yankees
7) San Diego Padres