Welcome to July 2 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for July 2 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 2 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:49 Starting Pitcher
11:37 First Base
14:39 Second Base
18:27 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 2 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
The starting pitching options on Sunday’s main slate are pretty limited. Jeff Samardzija (SF) and Justin Verlander (DET) lead the way in projection. Samardzija gets a Pirates’ offense that is perfectly mediocre. The Pirates rank 20th in wRC+ against RHP but carry a below average K Rate (18.5 percent) that makes them difficult to target with opposing SP. PNC Park is a solid pitching environment and the Pirates generally feature more RH-oriented lineups, which also benefits Samardzija. The price tags on each site for Samardzija don’t make him a particularly compelling value play, but there is so much value on the hitting side that you aren’t missing much by playing him. Verlander is simply a cheaper Samardzija in a tougher matchup. Cleveland is a Top 10 offense against RHP that doesn’t strike out much but Verlander’s own skill set and price tag earn him consideration on DraftKings.
The next highest projected starters are Luis Severino (NYY), Jake Arrieta (CHC), Jose Quintana (CHW), and Drew Pomeranz (BOS). Samardzija and Verlander project a half point ahead of most of these options on both sites and outside of Arrieta’s price tag on DraftKings they’re all similarly expensive. This makes Samardzija a “default #1 SP” on both sites and leaves Arrieta as one of the stronger targets to pair with him on DraftKings thanks to price tag ($7,500). The matchups for this group are largely unfavorable. Severino gets an Astros offense that leads MLB in wRC+ against RHP AND has the lowest K Rate (17.4 percent). Arrieta gets a park downgrade and a Reds’ offense that ranks just outside the Top 10 against RHP with a league average K Rate. Pomeranz gets a Top 10 Jays offense against LHP (that projects even better than they’ve performed). The only positive matchup is Quintana against the Rangers who rank 29th in wRC+ against LHP with a league worst 27.5 K Rate but they project much stronger than they’ve performed (in part thanks to Beltre’s return). Quintana is too expensive to pair on DraftKings but is a viable GPP play given the Rangers propensity to strike out against LHP and he’s a viable pivot from Samardzija on FanDuel with a more appropriate price tag.
The alternatives to Arrieta and Samardzija on DraftKings are fairly thin. With nearly all the names above overpriced, you’re left with risky cheap options in favorable matchups. Hector Santiago (MIN) has been dreadful all season but the Royals rank 24th in wRC+ against LHP and Santiago is priced below $5,000. Rafael Montero (NYM) has been able to generate strikeouts (22.6 percent) and the Phillies rank 29th in wRC+ against RHP with an above average K Rate (23.8 percent). It’s a great matchup for Montero but a slightly annoying price tag ($6,900) for a pitcher who has little chance to work deep. Montero is a viable cash game pivot from Arrieta, but both are better GPP targets. Mike Fiers (HOU) is the other interesting option. Fiers has the second lowest implied run total against and he’s been on a tear since May 14th when he started throwing more two seam fastballs. The results have been more ground balls and better run prevention for an arm that can miss bats and is backed up by an elite defense and bullpen. If you believe Fiers is a completely different pitcher with the refined arsenal our baselines on him are way too low (you can get a taste on the advanced stats tools to see the changes of late.
Tyson Ross (TEX) and Dan Straily (MIA) are the other two higher priced GPP Targets. Both face offenses that can strike out against RHP (Brewers – 24.7 percent, White Sox – 22.7 percent) but get them in difficult pitching parks and come with hefty implied totals against.
It’s a two horse race in cash games at the catcher position. You’re either paying up for the highest overall projected C (Gary Sanchez (NYY)) or the best mid-tier value (Willson Contreras (CHC)). Sanchez should be in the lineup after getting a day off yesterday. Playing in HOU is actually a park upgrade for the Yankee RHBs, and the power upside here is significant. Sanchez, owner of a career .303 ISO, will face Mike Fiers, who is yielding 1.94 HR/9 this season.
Contreras gets a big par boost and should have a top four lineup spot for the Cubs in Great American Ballpark. Opposing pitcher Tim Adleman has a 5.53 FIP as he’s a bit wild and fly ball risky.
The best per dollar alternatives at the position are Russell Martin (TOR) and Wilson Ramos (TB). Martin faces the better overall pitcher in Drew Pomeranz, but will have the platoon edge and hit second if he’s in the lineup. Ramos has a lower spot in the order, but receives a nice park shift and faces Kevin Gausman, owner of a 5.20 xFIP.
Anthony Rizzo (CHC) is our favorite target at first base if you can afford him, which you should be able to do on DK (FD depends on a few factors). Tim Adleman has allowed a .336 wOBA, .220 ISO , and 5.2 HR% to LHBs over his career. The Cubs are tied for the second highest IRT on the slate.
We find both of our value plays in Milwaukee where Eric Thames (MIL) and Justin Bour (MIA) will hold the platoon edge against average to below average RHPs. Thames has cooled off since a hot start, but his combination of FB%/Hard%/BB% are indicative of a plus power hitter. Bour started to breakout last season and has completed that breakout this year. His projection improves if you think his current .266 ISO is real, and a large shift in Hard% indicates it might be. The only knock is a somewhat low FB rate for a power hitter.
Brian Dozier (MIN) has regressed this season as his HR/FB rate has reverted to where it was in 2015 (13.1%) and not where it was last season (18.4%). The good news is that might actually rise when you consider his contact quality gains from last year have stuck. The bad news is his contact type has changed, and he’s hitting less fly balls. At the end of the day, he’s underpriced against a subpar LHP in Travis Wood, considering Dozier’s splits against LHP since 2015: .367 wOBA, .252 ISO.
Dozier is our main target at the position, but Dee Gordon (MIA) is a fine straight line pivot. You’re sacrificing power upside for speed upside here. Both are road leadoff hitters with some of the higher IRTs on the slate.
On FD, if you want to punt the position, Alen Hanson (CHW) is just $2,200. The White Sox have a higher IRT than usual (5), and Hanson will likely lead off. That’s a good price to buy simply given the contextual factors, and Hanson has more stolen base upside than we’ve seen out of him thus far this season.
Whit Merrifield (KC) doesn’t crack our top values, but he will lead off against Hector Santiago, who has an ERA over 5 in seven consecutive outings.
Third base is a highly competitive position and one of the most difficult to decipher on this slate. There are a handful of viable options.
Kris Bryant (CHC) faces a fly ball risky pitcher in Cincinnati while playing on the team with the highest IRT of the 3B we’re considering. It’s a good matchup for his skill set.
Both Miguel Sano (MIN) and Josh Donaldson (TOR) possess significant power upside, as they’ve respectively posted .264 and .278 ISOs against LHP since 2015. Donaldson’s disappointing season and questions about his health may push him towards GPPs, but some of that feels worse than it actually is (.370 wOBA and .239 ISO).
Evan Longoria (TB) and Manny Machado (BAL) lack the platoon edge, but both offer a touch of cap relief from the above options, while hitting in hitter friendly Camden Yards where temperatures are expected to be in the 90s. Longoria possesses the better matchup. Machado has the best 15-day Hard% of this group.
Adrian Beltre (TEX) could go under owned due to opportunity cost, but he has a positive Hard% delta over his last 15 days and is in a mediocre spot in Chicago with the platoon edge, high temperatures, and the wind blowing out to LF.
Shortstop is probably the worst position on the slate, and we’re looking at the mid-low priced options here.
It’s possible to go up to Francisco Lindor (CLE) at an affordable tag, but we prefer that in tournaments.
As high as we’ll likely go up to in cash games is to Elvis Andrus (TEX), but even that is a FD specific play. On one hand it’s hard to buy into Andrus’ power. There haven’t been meaningful gains in FB% or Hard%. On the other hand, this is now the fourth straight season he’s made a meaningful jump in ISO: .069/.099/.136/.165. Perhaps most importantly is lineup spot and the fact that he’s running wild, which alone gives him value, allowing the power to simply be a bonus.
The lower priced options we’re interested in are Freddy Galvis (PHI) (hitting second on the road against a mediocre RHP with a bad bullpen behind him), Addison Russell (CHC) (power starting to return; good 15-day Hard%), and Jorge Polanco (MIN) (quietly swinging the bat really well recently – 30% 15-day HHR, but pretty mild event upside).
If you’re able to spend up in tournaments, Carlos Correa (HOU) has a positive Hard% delta over his last 15-days and provides a nice combination of reduced ownership and upside.
Despite a plethora of outfield options, it’s not difficult to pin down our primary targets.
Where you can afford it, Aaron Judge (NYY) is a priority. There’s enough roster construction flexibility on DK in particular that you can make it work in cash games. The elite power bat now gets the Crawford Boxes in LF and the homer prone Mike Fiers.
Following judge, the next several projected outfielders lead the way both in terms of overall projection and per dollar value. In Miami, Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) and Christian Yelich (MIA) receive a nice park shift against Junior Guerra. Guerra has sneakily been really bad in eight starts (7.19 FIP, 6.12 xFIP) as he’s been below average in all three major skill categories: K%, BB%, and HR%. He’s posted an xFIP of 5.17 or worse in each of his last seven starts, allowing at least one HR in seven of eight starts total on the season.
Mallex Smith (TB) is a road leadoff hitter with the platoon edge against a subpar RHP while receiving a nice park boost, amplified the heat in Baltimore. Basically, he checks all the contextual factor boxes and is affordable. However, do note he’s played over his head thus far this season and has a poor 15-day Hard%.
If you can upgrade Smith, Eric Thames (MIL) has OF eligibility on DK. Marcell Ozuna (MIA) is another way to get access to the Marlins. Lorenzo Cain (KC) is one of the easiest ways to get exposure to the Royals, who surprisingly carry the highest IRT on the slate (5.3). He’ll have the platoon edge against Hector Santiago. JD Martinez (DET) has the requisite power to be used as a stack filler, similarly so does Corey Dickerson (TB) (or as part of a stack).
The PHI-NYM has underrated shootout potential due to the heat and some volatile RHPs. In the outfield, the best way to get access to those respective teams is through Odubel Herrera (PHI) and Yoenis Cespedes (NYM). In fact, Cespedes at just $3,200 on FD is a prime cash game value as well.
1) Chicago Cubs
2) Miami Marlins
3) New York Mets
4) Tampa Bay Rays
The stack rankings are so congested on this slate that trying to identify lower ownership should take priority over individual projection. Of the top tier options, the Mets look like the potential spot for lower ownership. Nick Pivetta has been an intriguing cheap starter in DFS. He’s piled up strikeouts in a few favorable matchups but the underlying peripherals still show plenty of walks, fly balls, and struggles with LHBs. The Mets have a slew of LH power bats to throw at him, rate well in recent hard hit rates (1-5 all over 28 percent), and get unusually warm weather in Citi Field (high 80s, low 990s). The Rays figure to represent the chalkiest of the group with their power bats in warm conditions in a big park upgrade. They have huge power upside but if chalky as expected, we’d rather invest in other counterparts in this tier. The Marlins are intriguing given Junior Guerra‘s struggles.
5) Minnesota Twins
6) Cleveland Indians
7) Texas Rangers
8) Milwaukee Brewers
The Twins and Indians should represent lower ownership targets with high upside from the second tier. Both Tigers and Royals’ bullpens are watered down after doubleheaders on Saturday and the Royals are starting a reliever in Travis Wood. Dozier and Sano will carry natural ownership on the slate, but the supporting cast will likely get overlooked.