Welcome to July 20 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for July 20 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 20 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:55 Starting Pitcher
09:44 First Base
11:37 Second Base
13:49 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 20 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Thursday’s evening slate is one of the more straight forward pitching slates we’ve had all season. This should lead to really condensed ownership and while there are some pivots in GPP, they project substantially worse. This is a slate we’d prefer to try and differentiate on hitting rather than pitching.
In cash games, Madison Bumgarner (SF) is the top target. He leads the projections by a wide margin as he draws a soft matchup against a Padres’ offense that has struggled against LHP all season (29th in wRC+ with a 25.7 K Rate) and recently lost three of their best hitters against LHP (Hedges, Renfroe, and Solarte). The concern with Bumgarner is the velocity was down in his return from the DL (89.7 mph) and he didn’t generate many swinging strikes (4.9 percent) but he also induced a lot of soft contact (25 percent) and in general held the Padres down over seven solid innings. The price tag is asking for more than just a “solid” performance which is the main knock on Bumgarner but he comes with a 2.9 implied run total against and little competition for upside at the position. The primary pivot from Bumgarner would be Luis Severino (NYY) who gets a desirable park upgrade pitching in Seattle but faces a pretty stout Mariners’ offense that ranks sixth in wRC+ against RHP and strikes out at a league average clip (21.1 percent). Our projections view Bumgarner as his usual self and there is a large discrepancy between Severino and Bumgarner in our projections. This is reflected in the 1.5 difference in expected strikeouts and the full run difference in implied total against. Even a modest assumption in Bumgarner’s baseline dips would have him projecting well ahead of Severino. This makes Bumgarner our cash game target.
On DraftKings, the primary target to pair with Bumgarner is Brandon McCarthy (LAD). McCarthy carries a league average K Rate and the matchup with the Braves isn’t ideal for strikeouts (19.7 K Rate against RHP is below average). The upside is pretty limited; however, the price tag is very friendly on both sites ($7,300 on FanDuel, $6,600 on DraftKings). McCarthy also comes with the second lowest implied total against on the slate (3.3 runs) which is the benefit of great pitching conditions in Los Angeles and backed up by one of the most talented bullpens in the league. McCarthy’s the biggest favorite on the slate (-215) and a little extra win equity helps push the projection. McCarthy is a viable cash game pivot from Bumgarner on FanDuel if you’re overly concerned with Bumgarner’s form.
In tournaments, Luis Severino and Mike Foltynewicz (ATL) have built in strikeout upside. Felix Hernandez (SEA) hasn’t looked like himself but gets a Yankees’ lineup that is pretty strikeout prone in a park that limits their RH power. These are your primary pivot options off the chalk but it’s not particularly pretty. Jhoulys Chacin (SD) could emerge if the Giants rolled out a RH dominant lineup but that seems unlikely.
With few premier offenses available on the slate, we’re using catcher to try and ensure we can roster Madison Bumgarner against the Padres. Enter James McCann (DET) and Jonathan Lucroy (TEX). McCann hit seventh in his last start against a LHP, but with J.D. Martinez out of the lineup, there is a chance he could get an extra bump up. The matchup with Danny Duffy brings McCann the platoon edge and a fly ball oriented pitcher, but we are also trying to capitalize on the context present in Kansas City. Currently, projections show mid-to-high 90s temperatures with winds blowing out to left-field. McCann has been excellent against LHP, posting a .283 ISO and .385 wOBA in his last 296 plate appearances against them. At $2,300 on FanDuel and $2,500 on DraftKings, he’s our preferred cash game option.
Lucroy gets a more appealing matchup with Wade Miley, but he’s hit 7th or 8th in each of his last four starts. Add in his lack of upside and you’re merely trying to get exposure to Miley’s gas can ways for cheap as Lucroy is just $2,300 on FanDuel and $3,300 on DraftKings.
Gary Sanchez (NYY) is our top projected scorer at the position and could be utilized on FanDuel at $3,200 – but he’s a tad expensive at $4,600 on DraftKings.
Miguel Cabrera (DET) and Brandon Belt (SF) are the top two first basemen from a per dollar perspective on both sites. Cabrera has finally seen his price tag move up to $4,000 on DraftKings, but he’s still a bit cheap as he’ll draw the platoon edge on Danny Duffy and get the aforementioned context in the Kansas City heat. With only Cody Bellinger (LAD) projected to score more points, we’ll settle for the $1,400 discount on DraftKings. On FanDuel though, Bellinger actually comes with a $100 discount. Bellinger has shown prodigious power upside this season and will get the wide platoon splits of Mike Foltynewicz. Folty has allowed a .367 wOBA and .211 ISO to LHB since 2015.
Belt lags behind a bit contextually, but is the cheapest of the group. He’ll be playing in his home ballpark (horrible for hitters), but will hold the platoon edge on Jhoulys Chacin. Chacin has been better against lefties than Folty, but has still allowed a .187 ISO since 2015. At $3,400 on FanDuel, he offers a more significant discount but is less valuable on DraftKings where he is just $200 cheaper than Miggy.
Mike Napoli (TEX) would be a great option against Wade Miley, barring he holds on to a fifth place lineup spot. He’s the same price as Miguel Cabrera on DraftKings, but is just $2,900 on FanDuel.
Few options are even enticing enough to roster at second base on Thursday. Jonathan Schoop (BAL) has earned himself a great lineup spot and will get the platoon edge on Cole Hamels. Schoop hasn’t been super impressive against LHP in recent years, but he’s shown a stroke of power – posting a .173 ISO against LHP since 2015. At $4,200 on DraftKings and $3,200 on FanDuel, he’s our top per dollar play on both sites.
He’s closely followed by Ian Kinsler (DET) and Rougned Odor (TEX). Kinsler carries much less upside than he once did, but will get the platoon edge on Danny Duffy at the top of the Tigers order. It’s difficult to envision paying more for him than Schoop, but he’s priced close enough that he’s a tournament alternative. Odor will not hold the platoon edge on Wade Miley, but this is more of a price/contextual play anyway. He’s just $2,800 on FanDuel and $3,500 on DraftKings and will get you exposure to the highest implied run total on the slate at a weak position.
One of the deepest positions on the slate, third base offers a multitude of options, headlined in value by Adrian Beltre (TEX). Beltre will get the platoon edge on Wade Miley and will come with a top four lineup spot. He’s posted a small positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days, and again will get you exposure to the Rangers offense that holds the highest implied run total on the slate. Miley has generated more strikeouts this season, but has been horribly erratic and has given up 1.45 HR/9.
Manny Machado (BAL) will be in the opposite dugout and is priced similarly to Beltre. In attempts not to start up a broken record, we’re still in love with what Machado has done this season (lots of hard contact, lots of bad luck with .253 BABIP). He’s just $3,600 on FanDuel and $4,700 on DraftKings and represents a great spend opportunity and an alternative to Beltre.
We’re unsure of where Todd Frazier (NYY) will slide into the Yanks lineup, but he’s just $3,000 on DraftKings. King Felix has made some small improvements back to form, but he’s still struggling to allow the long ball (1.94 HR/9).
Freddie Freeman (ATL), Nick Castellanos (DET), and Mike Moustakas (KC) represent some tournament options at the position.
Elvis Andrus (TEX) is the top per dollar play at shortstop, drawing a great lineup spot as a road hitter against Wade Miley. Andrus has shown more upside potential this season, posting better power numbers (.164 ISO) and running more frequently on the bases (20 SBs). At $3,000 on FanDuel, he feels like the obvious cash game play, but on DraftKings the $4,400 could push you in other directions.
While we’d love to fit Corey Seager (LAD), it’s Brandon Crawford (SF) who is next in line from a per dollar perspective. Crawford is just $3,100 on DraftKings and will look to take advantage of the wider platoon splits of Jhoulys Chacin. The ballpark is not good for offense, but with few options at the position, he’s a fine alternative that will allow you to spend at other positions. On FanDuel where he is $3,100, we’re fine with locking in Elvis Andrus.
The Rangers lineup could shift around some values in the outfield, with Delino DeShields (TEX), Carlos Gomez (TEX), and Shin Soo Choo (TEX) already rating as top ten values with projected lineup spots of 1,2, and 5 respectively. It will be easy to flip them around in your cash game or tournament lineups as they each come with salaries within $100 of each other on DraftKings (sub-$4,000).
Lorenzo Cain (KC), Justin Upton (DET), and Mark Trumbo (BAL) represent a trio tiered just behind the Rangers outfield. Upton will be another one of the many right-handed Tigers bats looking to take advantage of the sweltering weather and Danny Duffy. At just $3,900 on DraftKings he’s our third most valuable outfielder and he’s the second most valuable on FanDuel at $2,900. Trumbo and teammate Adam Jones (BAL) will give you exposure to the highest total game on the slate and will get a Cole Hamels who has been unable to put hitters away and has allowed 36.6% hard contact via FanGraphs.
Cain’s matchup with Michael Fulmer is the least enticing of the group, but he too will get the great hitting conditions in Kansas City and he brings a great lineup spot for real cheap ($3,000 on FanDuel, $3,100 on DraftKings).
Cody Bellinger (LAD) holds OF eligibility on DraftKings and is a great use of a spot should you have the salary and chose to use a different first basemen. He’ll get the wide platoon splits of Mike Foltynewicz and holds the fourth highest raw projection on the slate. Brandon Belt (SF) similarly holds OF eligibility on DraftKings.
1) Texas Rangers
The Rangers are likely the chalk on this slate with warm conditions in Camden Yards and facing arguably the weakest starter on the slate backed up by a below average bullpen. Much depends on the Rangers lineup as they often vary it considerably against LHP but if they stack up RHBs they’ll be the primary target in cash games. Given their cold bats (lowest 15 day composite hard hit rate of any team on the slate), they’re not hard to get away from with higher expected ownership.
2) Los Angeles Dodgers
3) Baltimore Orioles
4) Detroit Tigers
5) New York Yankees
The Dodgers are an expensive but fun contrarian approach on this slate. They have the LH power to give Foltynewicz trouble and the high price tags that will limit ownership as a stack. The Orioles should also carry decent ownership with affordable price tags and hotter bats in the same strong hitting conditions in Baltimore. The tricky part of fading Texas and Baltimore in GPPs is they represent two of the cheaper stacks on the slate. In order to be contrarian you’re likely going to have to take lower projected offenses that are affordable or find pockets of offenses that are mid-priced against decent starters. This is where the Tigers fit in against Danny Duffy and his rather wide platoon splits (.329 wOBA, .183 ISO allowed to RHBs, .210 wOBA, .050 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2016). The Tigers RHBs that have historically hit LHP well like Kinsler, Cabrera, and Upton make some sense here.
Another potential contrarian stack is the Giants. Softer price tags on Crawford, Belt, and Span make them an intriguing cheap trio. While the hitting environment leaves a lot to desire, Chacin’s wide platoon splits bring opportunity to attack.