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July 24 MLB DFS: The Early Night Hammer

Adam Hummell
July 24 MLB DFS: The Early Night Hammer
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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!

Timestamps
00:44 Starting Pitcher
09:45 Stacks/Tournament Thoughts
18:01 C
19:30 1B
22:14 2B
24:47 3B
27:49 SS
30:07 OF

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  • 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.

MLB DFS Optimizer Tutorial

Our MLB DFS Optimizer is live. Arturo put together an overview with MLB DFS Optimizer Cliffnotes that walk through the various features and frequently asked questions (FAQs) from customers during testing. We have also produced a basic optimizer tutorial video on YouTube (linked below) as well as a power user optimizer tutorial for the most advanced tournament players on how to get the most out of the optimizer. You can join the #MLB channel in slack if you have additional questions.

July 24 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

Noah Syndergaard (NYM) and Patrick Corbin (WSH) dominate the SP projections as both garner favorable matchups for strikeouts. Syndergaard faces a Padres’ offense that ranks 21st in wRC+ while striking out at the second highest frequency in the league (26 percent) against RHP. Corbin gets a Rockies offense that rate similarly with the fifth highest K Rate (26.1 percent) and ranking 22nd in wRC+ against LHP.  As a result, both starters have strikeout projections pushing eight. They also each come with favorable home plate umpires and are solid home favorites with Syndergaard at -150 and Corbin at -220. We recommend building around at least one of Syndergaard or Corbin in cash games. The combination is viable on DraftKings given all the cheap bats available. This is the route we’d take in cash games. 

Shane Bieber (CLE) is the next highest projected starter but comes with a gap in projection between Syndergaard and Corbin that isn’t represented in the price difference. The implied total against for Bieber is similar (4.0 runs) to the other studs but the K projection falls a full strikeout behind and his projection receives a negative boost due to a poor home plate umpire. We view Bieber as a below average pivot from Syndergaard and Corbin but the ownership gap should largely reflect it. We’d prefer exposure only in MME builds.

Reynaldo Lopez (CHW), Julio Teheran (ATL), Dinelson Lamet (SD), Zac Gallen (MIA), Ross Stripling (LAD), and Jordan Lyles (PIT) represent the alternatives on this slate for SP2 on DraftKings or a GPP pivot on FanDuel.

The options differ a bit based on site and pricing but Lopez, Teheran, Gallen, and Lamet are the primary targets. 

Lopez has one of the strongest matchups of the bunch as he faces a Marlins’ offense that has the fifth highest K Rate in the league against RHP and ranks 29th in wRC+.  Lopez is vulnerable to power and walks but he can miss bats and when favorable matchups present themselves he has a nice upside. 

Lopez’s opponent, Zac Gallen, has struggled even more with his control at the big league level but comes with a minor league track record that suggested control was a strength. His early strength of schedule has been a struggle as he’s faced the Dodgers (league leader in walk rate) and Nationals (healthy version is fourth in BB Rate over the last 30 days) twice in his first five starts. The shift to the American League and a tougher ballpark lead to the higher total against but Gallen is an intriguing buy low candidate. 

Teheran feels like the safest option of the group because he has the lowest implied total against (4.0) and it’s on par with many of the studs on the slate. The Braves are also big favorites (-190) and there are no real duration concerns with Teheran. Throw in a RH heavy lineup projected from the Royals and Teheran feels quite safe. The only issue is the price tag is typically $1,000 or more than the other alternatives in this tier. We view him as a solid cash game SP2 but one that might be a bit over-owned in tournaments. 

Lamet is a wildcard as his baseline strikeout rate is the second highest on the slate but duration has been a consistent issue as a big leaguer. Lamet only throws two pitches so getting through the order a third time has been a challenge. Given his hefty strikeout ability he has the highest upside if he can run into an efficient outing. 

Jordan Lyles is really cheap on DraftKings ($6,100) which earns him some MME consideration against a RH heavy Cardinals lineup.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Los Angeles Dodgers

2) New York Yankees

The Dodgers and Yankees should represent the chalk on this slate. Both offenses are expensive with implied totals at 5.7. The Yankees have the benefit of facing a bit of a watered down Twins bullpen after the long extra inning game last night but also lose Gary Sanchez which thins out their lineup a bit. 

We prefer the Dodgers who should come with similar or slightly lower ownership due to heftier price tags and disappointed in a similar if not better spot last night. This is a good bounceback opportunity for the Dodgers in GPPs.

Tier Two

3) Washington Nationals

The Nationals offense is entirely dependent on the lineup they roll out for game two of a double-header but if their regulars are in the lineup this will be an intriguing offense to attack given Kyle Freeland’s struggles with RHBs this season (.289/.356/.573 against him). Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon will command ownership but a hefty price tag on DraftKings for Howie Kendrick and Juan Soto (left on left) should keep the overall stack in check. On FanDuel, the price tag on Kendrick will make him one of the highest owned players on the slate.

Tier Three

4) Minnesota Twins

5) Atlanta Braves

6) St. Louis Cardinals

7) Cleveland Indians

This third tier should contain more muted ownership on the whole. The Twins offense monstrous power against LHP will be on display again and after last night’s aerial assault we’d expect some ownership to funnel over.

This seems like a good rebound spot for the Atlanta offense with a contact-oriented righty on the mound and really hefty price tags on the top bats that make them secondary targets. 

St. Louis and Cleveland are cheaper stacks that can work with multiple high-end SP options if you choose to go that route. The Blue Jays and Marlins would also be in consideration due to cheaper price tags.

Catcher

Mitch Garver (MIN) is the top projected scorer at catcher. Garver remains a bit overpriced on DraftKings ($5,100) but he’s a fine target in MME. After all, he carries a .204 ISO baseline vs. LHP and gets to lead off. 

The cheap targets at the position aver very thin tonight but that’s where you’ll likely dip to in cash games. Austin Hedges (SD) and Elias Diaz (PIT) are the main sub $3,000 targets but Hedges’ matchup (Noah Syndergaard) is a real deterrent towards his value. Wilson Ramos (NYM) and Austin Barnes (LAD) are just over $3,000 and represent the best targets at that price level. Roberto Perez (CLE) can be included in that conversation as well but he has a tougher matchup (Marcus Stroman).

First Base

Joc Pederson (LAD) represents the top target at first base. Like Sanchez at catcher, Pederson is simply too affordable for a hitter that carries a .286 ISO baseline vs. RHP. The RHP that Pederson is facing is Jaime Barria, who’s only struck out 19.2% of batters throughout his career. This is a fine matchup for these Dodgers’ lefties. We’re pursuing Pederson heavily tonight. 

Freddie Freeman (ATL) is another top option that should be considered in tournaments, as hell have the platoon edge against a ground baller that allows lots of contact (Brad Keller; 15.8% K rate vs. LHBs). 

Edwin Encarnacion (NYY), Luke Voit (NYY) and Paul Goldschmidt (STL) are additional power upside targets that are in play in tournaments. 

On FanDuel, Neil Walker (MIA) is just $2,400 and gets to face another crappy righty in Reynaldo Lopez, who’s allowed a .184 ISO to LHBs since 2017. It’s another great matchup for these Marlins, but their offense stinks. Something has to give here. The price tag and context makes Walker a fine cash game target – perhaps even necessary given the elite pitching that’s available in this slate. Teammate Garrett Cooper (MIA) is a bit more expensive but is a fine play in tournaments. We prefer Howie Kendrick (WSH) to Walker as long as he’s in the lineup. He’s just $2,300 on that site and we’re projecting him to hit fifth vs. Kyle Freeland.

Second Base

Max Muncy (LAD) carries the top projection at second base. We love Muncy’s power upside vs. RHP (.257 ISO baseline), but his price tag is very appropriate around the industry. We’re only considering him in tournaments tonight. 

Second base has very little to offer as var as strong values are concerned. Our lean is to get out of the position with a cheap target and spend those resources elsewhere. Brian Dozier (WSH) is the strongest salary relief route on FanDuel ($2,700). He’ll have the platoon edge in game two against the struggling Kyle Freeland. In that split (vs. LHP), Dozier carries a .345 wOBA, .220 ISO baselines. 

Starlin Castro (MIA) is priced at the bare minimum on FanDuel. Castro isn’t a good hitter, but his team is projected to score nearly five runs tonight. He’s a viable cash game candidate. 

Cavan Biggio (TOR) and Jason Kipnis (CLE) are the better cheap sources on DraftKings. Neither carries a great matchup – Biggio faces Shane Bieber while Kipnis faces ground baller Marcus Stroman. They’re sub $3,500 on DraftKings though, and those prices are appealing at an uneventful position. 

Robinson Cano (NYM) had been heating up of late (31% HHR over the L15 days), and slugged three home runs yesterday. He’s really cheap on both sites and is a fine cash game play as well.

Third Base

Anthony Rendon (WSH) is the top projected scorer at third base. Rendon carries massive baselines vs. LHP (.392 wOBA, .259 ISO), but his price tag makes it a difficult reach for cash games. He’s a fantastic tournament play.

Justin Turner (LAD) is a viable mid-tier target in this slate. Turner goes R/R against Jaime Barria, who’s been significantly worse vs. RHBs, allowing a .200 ISO to righties since 2017. 

Great sources of salary relief at third base are non existent tonight. Neil Walker (MIA) projects well on DraftKings and is cheap ($3,400), so he’ll be in the majority of optimals along with two expensive pitchers. Walker carries a little bit of pop (.156 ISO vs. RHP) but the real reason his projection is bigger than usual tonight is because of the context. He’s a fine play, just not an exciting one. 

On FanDuel, Brian Anderson (MIA) ($2,600) and Tommy Edman (STL) ($2,700) are the primary sources of salary relief at the position. Anderson projects as the better hitter of the two and his context is superior. He’s our choice for cash games but if you’re worried about having exposure to too many Marlins, Edman is a fine alternative. 

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR) has the superior baselines over the options above, even if he hasn’t put it all together in year one. Unfortunately, tonight’s projection is much weaker than usual because of a matchup against Shane Bieber, who’s allowed a .274 wOBA and has struck out 27.5% of RHBs in his short career.

Shortstop

Trea Turner (WSH) is the top projected scorer at shortstop. Turner gets to lead off against Kyle Freeland, who’s allowed a .378 wOBA and has only struck out 16.4% of RHBs this season. We’re expecting the Nationals to carry an IRT well above five. Turner’s price tag is appropriate, so he’ll be a difficult spend in cash games on a slate where our optimals are trying to fit in two expensive pitchers. 

Francisco Lindor (CLE) is a better fit on DraftKings from a cash game perspective, as he’s just $4,500. Lindor’s matchup (Marcus Stroman) isn’t great though, particularly for upside, as Stroman tends to keep the ball in the ground (career 59.5% GB rate). 

We have yet to see Miguel Rojas (MIA) in this series against the White Sox as he’s been nursing a shoulder injury. The good news is that Rojas hasn’t been placed in the injured list and when he was in the lineup, he was hitting leadoff vs. both righties and lefties. If we see him in the lineup and in the leadoff spot tonight, he’ll be the primary source of salary relief at the position. As you can tell, there are quite a bit of Marlins popping in our optimals tonight as they’re cheap and project better than usual. If this makes you uncomfortable, you’ll have to sacrifice an expensive pitcher on DraftKings. The alternative on DraftKings is a minimum priced Humberto Arteaga (KC).  

Didi Gregorius (NYY) and Corey Seager (LAD) are a bit more expensive than Rojas on FanDuel but they’re still sub $3,000 on that site. Both will have the platoon edge albeit in below average hitting environments. We like their offensive upside significantly more than someone like Rojas, but you’ll have to sacrifice a hitter elsewhere to make their price tags work.

Outfield

Cody Bellinger (LAD) carries the top projection in this slate regardless of hitting position, followed by Aaron Judge (NYY). Both are in fine matchups to attack but we can’t say that they check all the boxes from a context perspective. The other issue with these hitters from a cash game perspective are the expensive price tags. They’re strong tournament plays as we’re more willing to sacrifice some of the elite pitching in that format in order to fit more offense. The same can be said for Mike Trout (LAA) and perhaps even Nelson Cruz (MIN). IF you’re willing to sacrifice some of the high end starting pitching in this slate, Judge and Cruz are options that you can fit into cash games. 

The aforementioned Joc Pederson (LAD) is our primary source of spending in the outfield on DraftKings, where his price tag ($4,600) simply fits this slate better than the other high end targets. Teammate Alex Verdugo (LAD) is priced around the average cost of a roster spot around the industry and is a fine option to consider in cash games as well. 

If your focus is on the elite starting pitchers in this slate, you’ll have to save a buck in the outfield. Curtis Granderson (MIA), Tyler O’Neill (STL) (on FanDuel), Jose Martinez (STL), Dexter Fowler (STL) and Cavan Biggio (TOR) (on DraftKings) are the primary salary relief routes at the position. Granderson’s viability hinges on whether he gets a favorable lineup spot. O’Neill and Martinez don’t have that issue but their context is simply not as favorable as Granderson and they’re slightly more expensive as well. Biggio’s context is the most difficult given the matchup against Shane Bieber. However, he’s affordable ($3,400 on DraftKings) and carries a .180 ISO baseline vs. RHP.

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