Welcome to July 26 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for July 26 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 26 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:05 Starting Pitcher
17:00 First Base
20:22 Second Base
23:00 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 26 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Wednesday’s evening slate brings us another congested set of starting pitching options. Our top tier includes Carlos Martinez (STL), Yu Darvish (TEX), Mike Fiers (HOU), and Jake Arrieta (CHC). Martinez is the one with the nice price tag on both sites ($8,400 on DraftKings, $8,900 on FanDuel) and he draws one of the more favorable matchups against the 29th ranked offense in wRC+ against RHP. Martinez, like teammate Lance Lynn, has wider platoon splits and the Rockies were kind enough to roll out a lineup with just three LHBs yesterday. Our guess is that number will bump up to four with Tony Wolters likely catching but it’s still just one above average LHB in Charlie Blackmon. In addition to the strong matchup, Martinez has seen his velocity rise over his last few starts. Using our pitcher trends tool, Martinez’s average fastball velocity is up to 96.81 mph over the last five starts compared to 95.98 on the season. The drawback to Martinez is the weather in St. Louis. Forecasted temperatures in the 90s make it an ideal environment for hitting, but the Rockies still have an implied total of just 3.8. With Darvish, Fiers, and Arrieta all priced dramatically above Martinez on DraftKings, we view CarMart as a cash game staple. On FanDuel, Mike Fiers is a little cheaper and the price hasn’t adjusted for his incredible recent performance. We’ve noted the last few times out Fiers changed his repertoire on May 14th incorporating a two-seam fastball and since then he’s posted a 2.79 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 81 K in 77 ⅓ innings over 13 starts. The results have been so drastically different that it’s difficult to find the appropriate baselines but when the price hasn’t adjusted it’s easy to see him as a strong value. He gets a shift to the National League and faces a Phillies’ offense that ranks 28th in wRC+ against RHP with a 23.5 K Rate that is above the league average. Fiers is a bit pricier on DraftKings but on FanDuel he and Martinez are superb cash game targets.
Finding a pairing for Martinez is a bit less clear on DraftKings and is a bit more like a “choose your own adventure book”. The options aren’t bad, they just very significantly in price tag. On the cheap end of the spectrum, Marco Estrada (TOR) has been horrific for the last seven weeks (1-9 in quality starts) but he’s got a strikeout rate over 24 percent and is just $5,800. The A’s are a boom-or-bust matchup for Estrada. They rank seventh in wRC+ against RHP with an ISO that is inside the Top Five, but they also strike out 25.3 percent of the time. Estrada’s velocity has held steady during this stretch as has his batted ball profile, the one area he’s been hurt is walks. While the recent performance is terrifying, it’s also been at the hands of a brutal schedule (@CLE, @DET, @NYY, BOS, @KC, @TEX, TB, @OAK, NYY, TEX). With plenty of other options we view Estrada as a prime GPP target but a shaky cash game option. The next cheaper option is Steven Matz (NYM) who gets the woeful Padres in San Diego. Matz has also struggled a bit of late with the velocity creeping back down (92.7 last start) after peaking at 94.4 in early July. The Padres rank 29th in wRC+ against LHP with a 25.7 K Rate. It’s an ideal matchup for Matz to get back on track and the price tag is manageable at $7,700. If you’re uncomfortable with these two salary relief options to pair with Martinez, Jake Arrieta (CHC) ($9,300) gets the 27th ranked White Sox offense against RHP in wRC+. The league shift and park shift are negatives for Arrieta but a primarily RH heavy lineup helps Arrieta tremendously. Even amid the struggles this season, he’s held RHBs to a .289 wOBA, .145 ISO, and 27.6 hard hit rate while generating a 23 percent soft hit rate and 21.6 percent K Rate. Arrieta is a heavy favorite (-220) with a 3.9 implied total against.
In tournaments, Brock Stewart (LAD) is just above the minimum for the Dodgers ($4,100) and viable on DraftKings even with a reduced inning expectation. The Twins’ offense isn’t very potent and the Dodgers bullpen behind him should help mitigate runs against. It’s just a matter of if Stewart can grind out double digits in a few innings of work. Jeff Hoffman (COL) is also a viable target against a RH heavy Cardinals’ offense that is watered down. On FanDuel, Gio Gonzalez (WAS) is cheaper ($8,500) and gets the Brewers strikeout prone offense at home.
Get used to the Cubs’ position players ranking as our top scorers in this slate. Willson Contreras (CHC) gets the conversation started. James Shields is a horrific pitcher, and the Cubs are facing them in a warmer environment. Contreras is a viable target across all formats on both sites.
In tournaments, Salvador Perez (KC) and Alex Avila (DET) are intriguing upside targets. Perez gets a tasty matchup against a power prone pitcher (Anibal Sanchez). Avila is no longer hitting in a good lineup spot since he’s been cold of late. Given the type of season he’s having, it’s fine to use him in tournaments vs. Ian Kennedy (.206 ISO allowed to the L500 LHBs he’s faced).
Anthony Rizzo (CHC) is the top projected scorer in this slate regardless of position. He’s pricey, but we’re treating him as our primary cash game play in this slate. The Cubs have an IRT of 5.6 runs as they take on James Shields. Shields’ run prevention is awful (5.79 ERA) and we expect him to be even worse (6.24 xFIP) since the luck stats have been in his favor thus far.
First base is always a position that’s loaded with depth, and tonight is no different. Miguel Cabrera (DET) remains free on DK at $3,400 in a matchup vs. Ian Kennedy. Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) is facing Ricky Nolasco (allowed 15 ER over his L3 starts). Eric Hosmer (KC) has a decent price tag on FD and gets a matchup vs. Anibal Sanchez. Matt Carpenter (STL) has been cold but he’s $3,600 on DK with the platoon edge. Yonder Alonso (OAK) is in Rogers Centre and gets Marco Estrada, who’s been awful for over a month now. Kendrys Morales (TOR) is another freebie on DK ($3,300). Teammate Justin Smoak (TOR) is priced appropriately but he’s been on a tear this season (30% HHR this season, 40.7% post ASB).
Ben Zobrist (CHC) carries second base eligibility over on DK, where he’s the top projected scorer at the position. He’s viable across all formats as the leadoff hitter for this Cubs offense.
Rougned Odor (TEX) and Jonathan Villar (MIL) are the best cost saving targets at the position. Odor’s massive power upside meets a matchup against a pitcher that doesn’t miss bats (Jose Urena) and temperatures will reach the mid 90s in Texas tonight. Villar should be in the lineup and hit leadoff vs. Gio Gonzalez, who’s been quite lucky from a run prevention standpoint this season (2.83 ERA/4.31 xFIP).
Matt Carpenter (STL) (on FD) and teammate Paul DeJong (STL) (on DK) are viable tournament alternatives against a pitcher that’s been fading lately (Jeff Hoffman). Brian Dozier (MIN) can be thrown into that tournament mix as well (post ASB HHR is sitting at 35.5%).
Kris Bryant (CHC) is our top projected scorer at third base and second overall regardless of position. It’s all hands on deck against James Shields, and the price tag on FD is a bit lower than usual ($3,700). Bryant’s HHR is down this season relative to the L2 years, but all the peripherals have held steady. He’s making more contact this season (19.7% K rate) than he ever has in his career.
Josh Donaldson (TOR) is the best alternative to Bryant, but his production is down this season. Donaldson is hitting more GBs this season (43%), and his hard hit rate is down. This is a terrific context though and you’re not going to see big ownership here. We like this play in tournaments.
Jedd Gyorko (STL) allows you to save some salary on DK where he’s $3,400. Hoffman’s peripherals and results were already waning before his last start, then he got crushed for seven ERs. It’ll be hot in St. Louis once again (high 80s temps).
Our priority at the shortstop position is to save salary. On DK, you can do this with Troy Tulowitzki (TOR). He’s $2,900 facing arguably the worst pitcher on the slate. On FD, the conversation surrounds Elvis Andrus (TEX) and Marcus Semien (OAK). We’ll side with Andrus slightly since he’s hitting second for the offense with the highest IRT in this slate. Semien’s HHR is down post ASB and he won’t have the platoon edge, but Marco Estrada has been awful, especially of late (15 ER over his L3 starts).
We like Paul DeJong (STL) in tournaments and he could be stretched into the cash game conversation as well. DeJong’s price tag is sub $3,000 on FD and the power upside so far has been substantial (.282 ISO backed up by a 44% FB rate and a 39% HHR through 179 career PAs). Corey Seager (LAD) and Francisco Lindor (CLE) are the pricey names with upside that can be considered in tournaments.
Kyle Schwarber (CHC) hits fifth and yet he’s our top projected scorer in the OF. That’s the type of boost that James Shields can provide to a projection in a good hitting environment. Schwarber’s price tag is very accessible on both sites and he rates as a priority play. After Scharber we have the usual suspects, Bryce Harper (WSH) and Mike Trout (LAA). They’re not necessary cash game plays but you could make an argument for Harper. He’ll have the platoon edge, and if you’re willing to play Brock Stewart as an SP2 on DK you have room to do whatever you’d like on offense.
The OF is loaded with quality values. Ben Zobrist (CHC) is $3,000 on FD and he’s a leadoff hitter for the offense we like the most in this slate. Jose Bautista (TOR) is cheap on both sites and has a matchup against a pitcher with an underwhelming K rate. Nomar Mazara (TEX) is free on DK ($3,100). Bradley Zimmer (CLE) is $2,700 on FD and he’s coming off a monster night where he flashed his event upside (one HR, two SBs). Lorenzo Cain (KC) is sub $4,000 on DK and he’s facing Anibal Sanchez. Josh Reddick (HOU) continues to have a strong price tag on FD though this time around the Astros have a more challenging matchup (Aaron Nola).
1) Chicago Cubs
The Cubs are very clearly the chalk option on this slate and frankly they’re a little difficult to get away from. Over his last five starts, James Shields has allowed a .451 wOBA, .336 ISO, and his K Rate has dropped from 15.7 to 12.3. The Cubs have the highest composite hard hit rate over the last 15 days and they’re affordable. This is a slate we’re stacking Cubs in cash games and we’d still recommend using lineups in tournaments with Cubs exposure as well.
2) Texas Rangers
3) Toronto Blue Jays
The Rangers are the primary pivot from the Cubs chalk but it’s not like we expect them to carry low ownership either. They went off last night and Jose Urena has struggled to miss bats at the major league level. The Blue Jays are the contrarian pivot. They’re affordable. They fill positions that all the primary Cubs bats fill and they’re facing Paul Blackburn who projects for a baseline K Rate below 15 percent.
4) Cleveland Indians
5) Milwaukee Brewers
6) Los Angeles Dodgers
This is a slate the Dodgers should get lost in the shuffle a bit against Ervin Santana. We’ve noted when Santana has bad starts, they’re usually very bad. Santana’s gone 13-20 in quality starts this season and in those 13 he’s allowed two or less runs in all of them. In the seven starts that weren’t quality starts, he allowed 5, 5, 6, 5, 7, 5, and 6 runs. Other contrarian options on the slate include the Cardinals and Royals.