Welcome to July 24 MLB DFS action. You’ll find Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Cliff Notes for July 24 MLB DFS along with LIVE Premium Chat. Make sure you’re using the 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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0:45 Starting Pitcher
- 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.
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July 24 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
James Paxton (SEA) projects as the top starter in his return from the disabled list. Paxton only missed one start and threw a 40 pitch bullpen session in between. We haven’t discounted Paxton’s total batters faced or outs as a result of the short layoff. The matchup with the Giants is a slightly above average one. The Giants rank 20th in wRC+ against LHP and while Posey/McCutchen are better against LHP they’ve also been running out lineups that include Chase d’Arnaud, Kelby Tomlinson, Gorkys Hernandez, and Austin Slater. Paxton’s price tag is noticeably cheap on both sites which makes him a strong consideration for your SP1. With the best alternatives priced up on FanDuel, Paxton is lapping the field in value and your clear cut choice there. On DraftKings, there are some value combinations you could play instead to load up on hitting, but optimals prefer sacrificing some hitting for Paxton. Even if you heavily discounted Paxton’s skills for his return off the disabled list, he’d grade out as the top value on both sites do to this price tag. He’d essentially need to be a completely different pitcher or have a severely limited pitch count to get away from him.
Aaron Nola (PHI), Kenta Maeda (LAD), and Gerrit Cole (HOU) are the other high priced targets on the slate and none of them come with particularly good price tags or matchups. Cole is in Colorado where has the highest implied total (4.5) he’ll face all season. Maeda and Nola are squaring off against one another. Maeda is simply overpriced while Nola has a difficult matchup since the Dodgers rank second in wRC+ against RHP and just added Manny Machado. They’re all acceptable GPP pivots but the price tags aren’t ones we’d target in 3-max or single entry contests on DraftKings. On FanDuel, Maeda and Cole are priced a bit more reasonably and fine GPP plays.
Zack Wheeler (NYM) is the next highest projected starter and one of the best values on the slate on DraftKings at $7,700. Wheeler has worked deeper into games this season (25.55 batters faced per game) and he’s held a strong strikeout rate (23 percent). The matchup with the Padres is as friendly as you can get. They rank 29th in wRC+ against RHP with the highest K Rate in all of baseball. Wheeler is a strong target in all formats. On FanDuel, the price tag is elevated for him and fair for this matchup which makes him more of a pivot play from Paxton.
The next best value is Felix Pena (LAA) who we’ve used a bit as a salary relief play this year. Pena cannot get lefties out (.346 wOBA, .191 ISO career vs LHBs) but he’s been decent against RHBs (.318 wOBA, 30.7 K Rate, 3.56 xFIP) and the White Sox offense is primarily RH heavy. It’s also very bad. The White Sox rank 21st in wRC+ against RHP with the league’s second highest K Rate. Pena is just $5,500 and is a very strong value target on DraftKings as a SP2. He’s also a reasonable tournament target on FanDuel with such a strong hitting slate.
There are other cheap values but they drop off quite a bit from Pena-Wheeler-Paxton. Drew Pomeranz (BOS) is making his return to the big leagues and the Orioles offense is awful without Machado. Pomeranz has K upside but is generally difficult to predict from a start-to-start basis. At $6,800 on DraftKings and $6,300 on FanDuel he’s in play for tournaments. Kyle Hendricks (CHC) is down to just $7,200. He hasn’t pitched well with reduced velocity but the price tag is reasonable. The challenge with Hendricks is he isn’t a huge upside pitcher but this slate doesn’t have a ton of depth for upside pitchers so you can consider him a MME target. Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) has a bit more strikeout upside to him that makes him a viable MME target in Tampa where his homer issues should be reduced. The one knock on Tanaka is a price tag that is annoyingly high.
Burch Smith (KC) , Eric Lauer (SD), and Austin Gomber (STL) are punt plays facing bad offenses. They don’t carry good projections. They carry good price tags. We’d much rather load up on Pena but in MME if you want to spread the risk some these are viable alternatives.
Evan Gattis (HOU) carries the top projection at the catcher position. He’s in the most exciting context of all the catchers in this slate. Gattis gets to hit in the middle of the lineup against a southpaw in Coors Field. Gattis has done plenty of damage with the platoon edge, generating a massive .239 ISO vs. LHP since 2017. It’s not a guarantee that Gattis, the Astros’ regular DH, will be in the lineup in the NL but if he’s in it we like him in tournaments.
Gattis is priced very appropriately on DK, and in cash games we prefer punting the position outright tonight. We’re going back to the well with Jonathan Lucroy (OAK). Lucroy is a below average hitter at this point of his career, even with the platoon edge, but he’s part of an Oakland offense that carries the second highest IRT (5.6) in this slate as they’re in Arlington. He’s just $2,700 on DK. He’ll likely hit ninth, which is the worst possible lineup spot but given the context it’s not as detrimental as you’d think.
Devin Mesoraco (NYM) is also cheap on DK ($2,900) and typically hits sixth. He’ll have the platoon edge against Eric Lauer, who’s allowed a .355 wOBA to RHBs this season. Mesoraco is a viable alternative to Lucroy in all formats. James McCann (DET) can be used as a punt tournament option on DK. McCann is a well below average hitter against RHP but he’ll have good matchups against Burch Smith and a Royals bullpen that’s the worst in all of baseball.
If Tucker Barnhart (CIN) hits second against a LHP, he’d emerge as a decent value option with a $3,200 price tag on DK. Salvador Perez (KC) and Mike Zunino (SEA) are viable power upside targets to consider in tournaments despite being priced appropriately.
Anthony Rizzo (CHC) and Matt Carpenter (STL) (on DK) represent the top projected scorers at first base. Rizzo gets the platoon edge out of the leadoff spot, which is a very rare lineup spot for a first baseman. He’ll have a matchup against Clay Buchholz, the owner of a 24.7% hard minus soft hit rate this season. Rizzo’s price tag is a good one but we wouldn’t call it a great one, particularly on FD. He’s viable in all formats on DK and tournament worthy on FD. Carpenter is pricey now but he remains a strong tournament target on the road in Great American Ball Park facing a weak RHP.
Jose Martinez (STL) is our top per dollar value at the position. He gets the benefit of a massive park shift going into Great American Ball Park. Martinez will also get the benefit of facing Homer Bailey. The latter has started 12 games this season, and he’s allowed a 2.18 HR/9 mark. The Cardinals have a 5.1 IRT in this slate and Martinez hits third in the lineup. We like him across all formats. Mitch Moreland (BOS) is another mid-tier option that’s intriguing in cash games, particularly on FD. Moreland gets to hit in a much better park for LH power (Camden Yards) and he’s hitting cleanup nowadays for a potent Red Sox lineup that has one of the higher IRTs (5.7) in this slate.
On FD, Wilmer Flores (NYM) is just $2,500 and with the platoon edge that’s simply too cheap of a price tag for him. Flores has generated a .196 ISO vs. LHP since 2017. The Mets won’t have a good IRT because they’re terrible but Flores stands out regardless on that site.
Yuli Gurriel (HOU) and Lucas Duda (KC) are additional targets to consider in tournaments. Both will have the platoon edge in their respective matchups, and Gurriel will be in Coors Field. Eric Hosmer (KC) would be further down our list of preferences in tournaments but his price tag is down to $3,500 on DK. Carlos Santana (CLE) has a cheap price tag on DK and deserves to be considered as well.
Jose Altuve (HOU) is the top projected scorer at the keystone position. Altuve gets to hit third with the platoon edge in Coors Field. He’s generated a .374 wOBA and .157 ISO vs. LHP since 2017. He’s viable in all formats even with an appropriate price tag.
The next in line projected scorer at the position is Brian Dozier (MIN), who will have the platoon edge in Rogers Centre. Dozier has posted a .389 wOBA and .237 ISO vs. LHP since the start of last season, and Ryan Borucki has gotten hit hard (23% hard minus soft hit rate) despite posting decent results. Dozier’s best price tag can be found on DK where he’s $4,300 and has been a big part of our top optimals so far.
Jed Lowrie (OAK) has an average price ($3,100) on FD, which is fair, but at least he gives you some salary relief and access to an Oakland offense that’s getting a massive park shift in their favor.
There are some intriguing targets in tournaments. Jonathan Schoop (BAL) is one of them as he’ll have the platoon edge against Drew Pomeranz. Schoop has been smashing the ball of late (42% HHR over the L15 days) and has an accessible price tag on DK. Rougned Odor (TEX) has been hitting second of late vs. RHP. We’re fans of his power upside against RHP, as he’s generated a .219 ISO since 2017. Yoan Moncada (CHW) won’t be owned in this slate and he’s a road leadoff hitter facing a pitcher that has wide splits. This is a nice leverage opportunity on DK.
Alex Bregman (HOU) carries the top projection at third base. Bregman will have the platoon edge in Coors Field. Bregman has been remarkable against LHP, posting a .401 wOBA and .248 ISO since 2017. He’ll have a matchup against Tyler Anderson, who’s been on quite a heater of late. Bregman is very pricey around the industry, which takes him away from the cash game conversation. We think he’s a fantastic tournament target.
Matt Carpenter (STL) isn’t that far off from Bregman’s projection at the position and he’s a bit cheaper, particularly on FD ($4,200). Carpenter has been an elite hitter vs. RHP, generating a .386 wOBA and .254 ISO since the start of last season. He’ll be leading off in Great American Ball Park and will have the platoon edge against Homer Bailey, the owner of a 29% hard minus soft hit rate this season. Carpenter is a viable cash game target on both sites.
Third base is a deep position tonight but we don’t have great price tags on the whole. Mike Moustakas (KC) is $3,800 and will have the platoon edge against Jordan Zimmermann, who’s allowed a .202 ISO to LHBs since 2017. Travis Shaw (MIL) has an average price tag on FD and will have the platoon edge against Jeremy Hellickson. Adrian Beltre (TEX) is $2,600 on FD. He’s hitting cleanup in Arlington and will have the platoon edge once again. These options are cash game viable.
Matt Chapman (OAK) is priced correctly for his projected lineup spot (seventh) but he can be included in Oakland stacks for GPPs. Kris Bryant (CHC) and Rafael Devers (BOS) have good but not great price tags. They’re also viable in tournaments.
Francisco Lindor (CLE) carries the top projection at the shortstop position. We love Lindor’s upside, but he’s a clear overspend in this slate. He’s viable in MME.
Marcus Semien (OAK) remains a focal point of cash game lineups. Semien will have the platon edge in Arlington where temperatures will be in the mid 90s. He has a matchup against Mike Minor, who’s allowed a .200 ISO to RHBs since 2017. His price tag is appropriate but the context is elevating his projection.
Semien is a part of all of our top optimals on both sites except one on DK. That’s because Trea Turner (WSH) is $4,100 and carries a similar projection as long as he’s hittings second. We prefer Semien all things considered, but Turner is a strong alternative. Turner has a R/R matchup, but he’s generated a solid .342 wOBA and .174 ISO vs. RHP since 2017.
That wraps up the cash game conversation. Tim Beckham (BAL) is $2,700 on FD and will leadoff against a southpaw that has issues with home runs. Beckham isn’t very good but the price tag puts him in play in tournaments. Amed Rosario (NYM) falls in the same category – not a very good hitter but he’s cheap on both sites and will have the platoon edge.
Mike Trout (LAA) is the top projected scorer in this slate regardless of position. Trout is the unquestioned best hitter in all of baseball and Carlos Rodon allows power to RHBs (.188 ISO allowed since 2017). Trout is a big part of our top optimals on DK as he’s still the best per dollar value at the position despite carrying a $6k price tag. He’s viable in all formats.
The next in line projected scorers at the position are Mookie Betts (BOS) and George Springer (HOU). Springer is cash viable on both sites. He’s the road leadoff hitter in Coors Field and while Tyler Anderson has been awesome of late, he’s allowed a .186 ISO to RHBs since 2017. Springer has posted a .399 wOBA and .238 ISO vs. LHP since the start of last season. Betts is more expensive than Springer, which is deserving, but that will make him a touger fit. In fact, he’s the most expensive hitter on DK ($6,200). He remains an exciting target in Camden Yards facing below average pitching.
J.D. Martinez (BOS), Bryce Harper (WSH) and Khris Davis (OAK) are the next bucket of hitters with the top projections at the position. Davis fits like a glove in cash games, particularly on FD where he’s just $3,700. Davis has posted just a .315 wOBA vs. LHP since the start of last season but he’s hit for power (.214), which is what he does very well. He’s hitting in 90 degrees weather in Arlington and gets a matchup against a fly ball oriented pitcher. Martinez is priced appropriately. We prefer him in tournaments. Harper has a sub $5k price tag on DK that puts him in play in all formats. He’s getting a nice park shift in his favor going into Miller Park and he’ll have the platoon edge in his matchup against Junior Guerra.
Shin Soo-Choo (TEX) finds himself underpriced on FD ($3,200). He’ll be leading off in his home park and will have the platoon edge. Mark Canha (OAK) or Chad Pinder (OAK) will hit second for Oakland against a LHP. They’re both really cheap on FD and fit cash games well alongside James Paxton. Canha is the owner of a .268 ISO vs. LHP since the start of last season. If Willie Calhoun (TEX) gets a better lineup spot than eight, he’d emerge as a viable option, particularly on FD where he’s cheap. Marcell Ozuna (on DK) and Tommy Pham (STL) (on FD) are other standout value plays on the aforementioned sites. Ozuna is just $3,600 and while he won’t have the platoon edge, he’s facing Homer Bailey on the road in Great American Ball Park. Pham is just $3,200 on FD and gets to his second in this context.
1) Boston Red Sox
2) Houston Astros
3) Oakland Athletics
The weather in Baltimore is awful throughout the day so there is some risk the Red Sox don’t even play. This will probably keep ownership in check on a big slate and with the wind blowing out to LF, they’re very intriguing with the highest implied total on the slate. We assume weather will keep us off the Red Sox in cash games, but in tournaments this is a decent opportunity to get unusually low ownership on the top offense on the slate.
The Astros should be the chalkier option on this slate in Coors Field. They lose the DH and their lineups are more vulnerable if they don’t let Evan Gattis catch. Tyler Anderson is a good pitcher but he’ll be tested against the Astros who rank second in wRC+ against LHP this season and feature almost all their best hitters from the right side. Ownership is key on the Astros here and you can differentiate towards the bottom of the order if you still want Astros exposure in MME at more reasonable ownerships.
The Athletics rewarded are faith last night against a below average LHP and they get another one in Mike Minor. The Rangers bullpen has sneakily lost some key members of late (Jesse Chavez, Tony Barnette) and thinned out. Matt Moore pitched last night so we won’t get that treat again but it’s not as effective a bullpen as earlier in the year. Ownership likely carries over from last night’s big performance but we view them as competitive with the Astros and ultimately would prefer the lower owned one of the two.
4) St. Louis Cardinals
5) Washington Nationals
6) Cleveland Indians
These three offenses are in pretty good bounceback spots after struggling last night. The Cardinals get Homer Bailey who has posted a 6.29 FIP in 12 starts this season while allowing 2.18 HR/9. The Nationals get Junior Guerra and a good Brewers pen so they’re much more frightening of a target but should come with no ownership.
Cleveland is the high end offense that will come with no ownership and makes for a nice pivot off the Astros/Athletics group.
7) Los Angeles Angels
8) Texas Rangers
9) Colorado Rockies
10) Milwaukee Brewers
11) Chicago Cubs
Almost every night the opposing offense that the White Sox pitching staff faces will show up in our stack rankings. They routinely get 5+ implied totals against and Tuesday is no different.
The Rangers are watered down a bit without Nomar Mazara but high 90s temperatures against a pitcher who can’t miss bats isn’t a bad recipe for power upside.
The Cubs are perhaps the most intriguing stack of this group given the matchup with Clay Buchholz and the slightly softer price tags on Rizzo/Bryant on DraftKings.