Welcome to July 23 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for July 23 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 23 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:16 Starting Pitcher
11:11 First Base
14:46 Second Base
17:32 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 23 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Corey Kluber (CLE) is the clear top starting pitcher on the slate from both a raw projection and value standpoint. The only minor concern here is that Kluber is dealing with a neck issue, which resulted in his start getting pushed back from Friday until today. Assuming full health, Kluber is a lock in cash games on both sites. He’s on an absurd roll since returning from the DL, posting a minimum K% of 34.5 percent in nine straight starts since returning from the DL. What might be even crazier than that are his xFIPs in those starts – none higher than 2.97 and an absurd five performances with an xFIP of 1.64 or lower. In a fairly neutral matchup, Kluber’s skills set him apart from the pack.
There is almost no pitching depth on this slate, and that leaves us with Lance McCullers (HOU) as the only “challenger” to Kluber. We always love the ceiling on McCullers and his increase in GB rate/decrease in BB rate this season has added some consistency. However, he has an IRTA 1.3 runs higher than Kluber’s, pitching in a tougher hitter’s park and weather that is 10-plus degrees hotter (in the mid-90s). As a result, he’s only a tournament option for us, especially since it’s too expensive to pair him and Kluber together in cash games on DK.
The SP2 conversation on DK is tricky. The mid-tier options are overpriced (think Jake Odorizzi (TB)) and they don’t mesh well enough with roster construction (expensive SP1 and a Coors slate) to justify taking their bad value. However, the cheap plays (like Derek Holland (CHW) or Tom Koehler (MIA)) come with a tremendous amount of risk.
We prefer Jerad Eickhoff (PHI) as a result who’s a balance of both. He’s cheaper than the other mid-tier options but has a better floor than the punts. Eickhoff has a 4.3 IRTA (third lowest on the slate) and most importantly will face a K happy Brewers team that gives him the third highest K projection on the slate.
Pivots off Eickhoff include Rafael Montero (NYM) (nice combination of matchup and environment, good K rate but longevity concerns and wide splits) and Junior Guerra (MIL) (awful peripherals, but even with that taken into account, the model likes him).
If you aren’t comfortable with any of those options, it’s not unreasonable to dig down to Holland, Koehler, or any punt SP and basically say – “SP 2 sucks, let me play as many good bats with Kluber as I can make fit”. Holland faces a Royals team that is not very good, but the heat in KC has led to a whopping 6 IRTA. Koehler isn’t in a better situation as he plays in Cincinnati, a better hitter’s park, also in the heat and is on a horrific run.
Tyson Ross (TEX) has been way too shaky since returning from the DL to consider in cash games. However, the slate is ugly at SP2, and there is K upside in his matchup against Tampa Bay that makes him worth considering when the floors on other options are basically nonexistent.
An abundance of offense on Sunday brings a multitude of options even at catcher. James McCann (DET) tops the list, coming with just a $2,700 tag on DraftKings and $2,200 on FanDuel. McCann will draw the platoon edge on LHP Adalberto Mejia, an arm that we have struggled to successfully pick on despite less than stellar peripherals. McCann is the essence of a platoon player, posting a .374 wOBA and .279 ISO against LHP in his last 300 plate appearances.
James McCann will help you pay up for Kluber, but Salvador Perez (KC) and Brian McCann (HOU) fall right behind him from a per dollar perspective. Perez and the Royals currently narrowly hold the highest implied run total on the slate drawing a matchup with the left-handed Derek Holland. Holland has been an easy target thus far, posting a 5.08 xFIP and allowing nearly two home runs per nine innings. The other McCann will draw the fly ball oriented Dylan Bundy, who is just another arm on the slate that has struggled with the long ball (1.50 HR/9). For $3,600 on DraftKings and $2,700 on FanDuel, he offers similar salary relief to James, but will bring a better lineup spot and overall team environment into play.
Don’t leave out Francisco Cervelli (PIT), a road catcher in Coors. Cervelli is priced up to $3,600 on FanDuel, but he’s just $3,700 on DraftKings.
Poor recent batted ball data aside, Eric Thames (MIL) and Miguel Cabrera (DET) are the top two value plays at the 1B position on Sunday. In the case of Thames, he’ll the second hitter on the road and taking advantage of the wide platoon splits offered up by Jerad Eickhoff. Though we believe Eickhoff is a potential second SP option on DraftKings, his struggles with LHB (career .357 wOBA, .221 ISO allowed) thrust Thames into the conversation at just $4,100 on DraftKings and $3,500 on FanDuel.
Cabrera is even cheaper on DraftKings, having slid back down to $3,700. Adalberto Mejia has danced out of trouble with unsustainable strand rates, but we’re siding with Miguel Cabrera‘s prowess against LHP and an expected end of good luck for Mejia.
While Cabrera and Thames might dominate the cash game conversation on DraftKings, there are still plenty of other 1B options. Joey Votto (CIN) is the highest projected scorer at the position, getting opposing starter Tom Koehler in his home ballpark. Koehler is frequently a target of ours with offense, and today is no different as the Reds hold an implied run total of 5.5 runs. Koehler has allowed more than two home runs per nine and has struggled mightily with command and hard contact. Votto seems like a difficult spend if forcing Corey Kluber, but he’s an excellent tournament option.
Jose Abreu (CHW) and Justin Bour (MIA) would offer a few cheaper alternative cash game plays on FanDuel, where they fall below the price tag of Thames and Cabrera. We’d be remiss to note Josh Bell (PIT) and Mark Reynolds (COL) as tournament options on a loaded slate that might have Coors go overlooked.
The trio of Jonathan Villar (MIL), Brian Dozier (MIN), and Dee Gordon (MIA) stand above the rest at second base. We already touched on Jerad Eickhoff‘s struggles with LHB and Villar will get to take advantage, potentially from the top of the order (some uncertainty arises with Eric Sogard‘s return).
Dozier will have the platoon edge on a fly ball oriented left-hander. A whopping .241 ISO against LHP since 2015 gives Dozier perhaps the greatest upside of the trio, though he comes with the highest price tag. He’s $3,800 on FanDuel, far out of the range for cash game consideration, but where clumped together with the other options on DraftKings he’s a viable cash game target.
Odds are though, that Gordon is your cash game play. He’s just $4,000 on DraftKings and $2,900 on FanDuel and will get be the road leadoff hitter against Sal Romano in Great American Ball Park. Romano hasn’t lasted long in his first three starts this season, but has not been good (6.14 xFIP). ZiPS projects an ERA over five, and nearly 3.33 BB/9 the rest of the season for Romano. Getting Gordon on base is key, and the potential command issues from Romano will help.
Tyler Saladino (CHW) is the super cheap option at the position, just $2,900 on DraftKings and $2,300 on FanDuel. He’s coming off a start in the leadoff spot and should he remain there, he’d be a great value.
Another loaded position puts Miguel Sano (MIN) and Travis Shaw (MIL) at the top of our model. Sano will put in play his career .389 wOBA and .275 ISO against LHP, with his matchup with Matthew Boyd. He’s $4,600 on DraftKings, a fair price for cash game use, but at $3,900 on FanDuel he’ll be relegated to tournaments. Shaw has been great this year for the Brewers and has posted excellent Hard% data over the last fifteen days (positive delta), but he too will require a spend on FanDuel ($3,600) and where he’s just $300 cheaper than Sano, we’d want to pay up for the former option on DraftKings.
Nick Castellanos (DET) is just $3,200 on FanDuel, a more reasonable price to pay for cash games. Castellanos has been sliding up to the second spot of the order against LHP, and should be there again today against Mejia. With every $100 counting on FanDuel, his slight discount might push him into your cash game builds. Yet, you can get (and might need to) even cheaper at the position on FanDuel. Matt Davidson (CHW) has come out of nowhere and posted a .251 ISO this season. His struggles have been with the strikeout (40.4% K%), but his matchup with Travis Wood should reduce your concern. Derek Dietrich (MIA) has been hitting 7th, but is just $2,400 on FanDuel. The big park shift in his favor, and the cheap price tag is enough to consider him for cash games if you feel the necessity to spend elsewhere.
The shortstop conversation will be different for both sites on Sunday. On FanDuel, Marcus Semien (OAK) is your top per dollar play at just $2,300. Rafael Montero is a good strikeout arm and isn’t nearly as bad as some of the other arms on this slate, but for just $2,300 and a premier lineup spot – Semien comes into play. Shield your eyes from his recent Hard% data, and use the salary he saves elsewhere. Eduardo Escobar (MIN) is just $2,700 on FanDuel. He hit second in his last start against a LHP, and should he find himself there again he would be an excellent alternative for just a bit more expensive.
On DraftKings, Tim Anderson (CHW) is just $3,000 and Tyler Saladino (CHW) also holds SS eligibility. It’s likely that one of the two White Sox should be in the leadoff spot, and should either be there, they would instantly make for a cheap potential cash game option. Travis Wood is posting the worst big league season of his career, with a 5.82 xFIP representing a full point jump over last season. Jorge Polanco (MIN) and Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) (DK only) are another pair of cheaper options that can potentially gain some value depending on their lineup spots.
Andrew McCutchen (PIT), Giancarlo Stanton (MIA), and Charlie Blackmon (COL) are the top three projected scorers in the outfield, and each comes with great macro environments and top price tags. With Kluber on the slate, there is only an opportunity to potentially spend on one of these options, choose wisely.
As far as value goes, there is plenty to choose from. Josh Reddick (HOU) is one of the top value options on both sites, but is particularly valuable where priced at just $2,900 on FanDuel. Reddick gets you access to a dangerous Houston lineup that hold an implied run total of 5.7 runs.
Lorenzo Cain (KC), Justin Upton (DET), Yoenis Cespedes (NYM), and Jay Bruce (NYM) represent another tier of cheap outfield values. Cain is perhaps the most valuable of the group, being priced at just $3,400 on DraftKings and $3,100 on FanDuel. Cain and the Royals have a surprisingly high implied run total, and he’s given LHP fits in the past few years, posting a .373 wOBA and .208 ISO since 2015. Upton has similarly been dangerous against LHP in his career, and has rebounded in that category this year. At $3,600 on FanDuel he is a bit more of a “spend’ but is reasonably priced at just $4,200 on DraftKings in his matchup with Travis Wood.
Eric Thames (MIL) holds OF eligibility on DraftKings, where you can play him alongside any of the other first base options. Billy Hamilton (CIN) is always in play when he’s facing opposing pitchers who struggle with command as Tom Koehler does (4.86 BB/9). One time on base can pay large dividends for Hamilton who is just $4,300 on DraftKings.
Starling Marte (PIT), Christian Yelich (MIA), George Springer (HOU) and Mike Trout (LAA) (DK only) fill out another tier of players priced a bit aggressive for cash game use, but are potential lower owned options in tournaments.
1) Pittsburgh Pirates
Of course the last time we picked on Freeland he was two outs away from a no hitter. MLB DFS is best played with short memories. The Pirates get a massive positive park shift and their main studs, McCutchen and Marte, are much better with the platoon edge.
2) Miami Marlins
3) Houston Astros
4) Colorado Rockies
The Marlins stack is near our top value stack on both sites and with an IRT at 5.5 that lags a touch behind Coors Field/KC/Astros ownership could be held in check.
5) Cincinnati Reds
6) Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers are the best contrarian stack on the slate coming with a low IRT of 4.3, but a positive park, their event upside (second in steals, second in homers), and Eickhoff’s splits (.357 wOBA and .221 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2015) keep them intriguing.
7) Detroit Tigers
8) New York Mets
9) Kansas City Royals
It should be noted the Royals actually possess the highest IRT on the slate. The issue is a lack of individual upside among their hitters and prime bats like Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas lacking the platoon edge.