Welcome to July 27 MLB DFS action. You’ll find Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Cliff Notes for July 27 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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00:43 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 27 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
Unlike last night’s slate, Friday’s full slate is loaded with viable pitching options at most price levels. Chris Sale (BOS) possesses the top overall projection given his elite skills, which have managed to be taken up a notch recently. He’s posted a K-BB% of 38.5% or higher in six consecutive starts, which is tough to wrap your head around. He’s a massive -350 favorite with just a 3.0 IRTA. The concern with sale is a massive price tag with a very unfavorable umpire on a slate where you need to make some spends on offense. As a result, he gets pushed out of our initial optimals on both sites, despite still rating as a superb value in a vacuum.
On FD, Max Scherzer (WAS) has such a superb matchup at Miami (good pitching environment, 24th in wRC+ against RHP) at a meaningfully lower price tag than Sale that it’s worth overlooking some more human recent results.
On DK, though, Scherzer is actually more expensive than Sale, so the high end drop down is Zack Greinke (ARI), who is in about as favorable of a context as he can be. He’s receiving a large positive park shift pitching in San Diego and of course facing a Padres team that is 29th in wRC+ against RHP with a high 25.8 K%. Greinke has struggled with allowing hard contact this season, but the second best K-BB% of his career, 21.6%, trumps those concerns.
There are merits to bypassing a $10k-plus SP on this slate, both due to the array of expensive offensive options at our disposal and the fact that there are legitimate options in the mid, mid-high tier. While our top optimals don’t point that way, Chris Archer (TB) and Nick Pivetta (PHI) rate as Top 5 overall values on both sites. Archer faces a dreadful Orioles offense that will swing and miss quite a bit and is of course now without Manny Machado. He’s coming off of his highest strikeout performance of the season.
Pivetta’s K gains have held all season; he’s striking out nearly 28% of batters faced. He’s in a less favorable matchup than Archer, and both are somewhat volatile, which is what suppresses their projections just enough to be held out of optimals. Still, Pivetta is underpriced for a 6.5 strikeout projection, and additionally has a very favorable umpire.
On DK, if you’re paying up for a Sale, Scherzer, or even Greinke, it makes sense to go cheap at SP2 so you can still pack in a lot of offensive upside. While the options down low are naturally all going to carry a higher degree of risk, we’ve got Chase Anderson (MIL) in the best pitching environment that exists (especially relative to hot weather environments this time of year) facing a Giants team that is second last in wRC+ against RHP the last 30 days. Rating similarly is Anthony DeSclafani (CIN), who has a lower flow with an IRT nearly 5 and some suspect peripherals, but the swing and miss ways of the Phillies gets his strikeout projection to nearly 5. The pure punt of the group is Luis Perdomo (SD) who has a modest 4.2 IRTA at home in his favorable pitcher’s park. He’ll take on a Diamondbacks team that rates as a plus matchup from both a wRC+ and K% standpoint when facing RHP.
As many SPs as we’ve covered, there are still high upside pivots that rate as positive values on both sites. Heck, Clayton Kershaw (LAD) and Madison Bumgarner (SF) are pitching, and you’ve got Dallas Keuchel (HOU) with some phenomenal Vegas odds. Most interesting on DK is the mid-low tier where you have CC Sabathia (NYY) (Royals are just horrible as evidenced by -260, 3.6 IRTA for CC), Luke Weaver (STL) (simply cheap for K upside he’s shown historically, even if most of that came last season), and Marcus Stroman (TOR) (keep an eye on trade rumors, favorable matchup against the White Sox). On FD, Mike Foltynewicz (ATL) is priced more in line with Archer/Pivetta and possesses similar K upside at what will likely be lower ownership due to the matchup.
Chris Iannetta (COL) tops our catcher projections in this full slate of games. Iannetta, the owner of a .345 wOBA, .179 ISO marks vs. LHP since 2017, is in Coors Field with the platoon edge tonight. He’s not priced adequately for this. Iannetta is just $3,500 on DK, a price tag that works with all types of roster construction builds tonight. We’d feel similarly if backup Tom Murphy (COL) was in the lineup instead of Iannetta.
The Rockies’ catchers are the ones you should be rostering in cash games. There are some intriguing alternatives in tournaments. Evan Gattis (HOU) is likely the strongest one. Literally. Gattis has generated a .209 ISO vs. RHP since 2017 and gets a matchup against Yovani Gallardo, who’s served up a massive .365 wOBA and .208 ISO marks to RHBs since the start of last season. Gattis is just $2,500 on FD, which is a price tag that puts him squarely in the cash game conversation.
Yasmani Grandal (LAD) won’t be owned in this slate given the $4,400 price tag. Grandal, however, has been hitting cleanup of late and he’s hit RHP exceptionally well, posting a .355 wOBA and an impressive .240 ISO since 2017. Those are very impressive marks, particularly for a catcher.
Salvador Perez (KC), Elias Diaz (PIT) and Jonathan Lucroy (OAK) are other potential alternatives to consider in tournaments.
Ian Desmond (COL) represents the top projected scorer at first base. We think Desmond is a very good play, particularly on FD where the price tag hasn’t caught up for the potential of him hitting second in Coors Field. We also think Desmond is priced very correctly on DK where he’s a little bit over $5k. Desmond has been a fine hitter with the platoon edge, generating a .349 wOBA and .208 ISO since 2017. Those aren’t standout marks, but the environment is without a doubt elevating the projection. Desmond is very much in the cash game conversation on FD.
While Desmond is projecting well, there are still plenty of alternatives that you could roster in any format. Mitch Moreland (BOS) is certainly one of those. He’s the second best value at the position on FD and the top one in a clustered group on DK. Moreland will have the platoon edge against Lance Lynn, who’s been very susceptible to LHBs throughout his career. Lynn has allowed a .355 wOBA and .198 ISO to LHBs since 2017.
Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) is another fine alternative on DK where he’s $800 cheaper than Desmond. Encarnacion has a positive delta in his 15 day HHR (33%). He’ll have a matchup against Mike Fiers, who’s been pitching well of late but has allowed a .193 ISO to RHBs since 2017. Given the way Fiers has been pitching of late, it’s possible Encarnacion doesn’t get much ownership in this slate. This might end up being an ideal GPP spot.
Anthony Rizzo (CHC), Carlos Santana (PHI) and Joey Votto (CIN) are additional $4k options on DK that will have the platoon edge and are close in value to the Desmond-Moreland-Encarnacion group.
Yuli Gurriel (HOU) remains underpriced on FD. He’s just $2,600 on that site and while he won’t have the platoon edge and his skills don’t stand out relative to the pricier first base options, he’s hitting cleanup against Yovani Gallardo for an Astros team that has a 5.5 IRT in this slate. That’s valuable. He might end up being an important part of the cash game conversation, even if you end up rostering Ian Desmond.
We don’t have a cheap target that we’re comfortable with at the position on DK. Chris Davis (BAL) is $3k and will have the platoon edge. Unfortunately, it’s not 2015 or 2016. Davis has been horrendous this season and tonight he’ll have a matchup against Chris Archer, who turned it up a notch in his latest start, striking out 13 batters.
Cody Bellinger (LAD) and Justin Smoak (TOR) are other tournament worthy picks in this slate that carry power upside but in a 15 game slate will likely be lost in the shuffle.
Jose Altuve (HOU) carries the top projection at the keystone position. While Altuve’s price tags around the industry are pretty good, we’re going to need salary relief at this position to make everything work in cash games, particularly on FD. With that being said, Altuve is still very much a part of the tournament conversation in this slate and you might be able to squeeze him into your cash game lineups on DK.
Josh Harrison (PIT) is the play in cash games, especially on FD. Harrison is just $2,700 on that site and we’re projecting him to leadoff vs. a LHP. Harrison isn’t a great hitter by any means, but hitting leadoff with the platoon edge against a crappy southpaw (Jason Vargas) has its perks. After all, Vargas has started nine games this season and has allowed a ridiculous 2.63 HR/9. Additionally, he’s mostly a neutral pitcher when it comes to controlling the running game, which is always surprising when talking about a LHP. It’s simply an elite spot for Harrison outside of the park (PNC), which is a very difficult one for RH power.
Harrison does have a more appropriate tag on DK ($3,800), and that’s where you can look at alternatives like Yangervis Solarte (TOR) and Yoan Moncada (CHW). Both of these options are priced in the same range and their projections are very similar to Harrison’s projection. Our top optimals on that site are all over the place as a result, and there are some that have even dipped down to Eduardo Nunez (BOS), the cheaper option of the bunch ($3,200) but also the one with a worse lineup spot, matchup and raw projection.
Jason Kipnis (CLE) will be very low owned in this slate. He’s priced appropriately and has a matchup against Mike Fiers, who’s been throwing harder lately and generating good results. However, we can’t ignore the fact that Fiers does give up power and has been given up power for a long time now. He’s allowed a .206 ISO to LHBs since 2017. Kipnis is completely outside of the cash game conversation but deserves to be considered in GPPs.
Nolan Arenado (COL) is the top projected scorer on the hitting side regardless of position in this slate. Arenado is facing a LHP in Coors Field. Arenado has generated a .540 wOBA and .422 ISO vs. southpaws since the start of last season (309 PAs). He’s been better than Giancarlo Stanton with the platoon edge. Arenado is expensive but given his level of skill against LHP and Coors Field… you could argue he’s very underpriced. Fitting him in cash games might be difficult, but we’ll do everything we can within reason to use him in that format. This could go without saying but we’re going to say it anyway – he’s a very strong tournament play.
The next in line option at the position is Jose Ramirez (CLE). While Ramirez deserves to be priced the way that he is around the industry, there’s no need to force the issue here in cash games. We do think of Ramirez as an exciting tournament play as there’s a strong chance he draws little attention thanks to the recent performance of Mike Fiers and Arenado being in Coors Field with the platoon edge. Alex Bregman (HOU) is another awesome tournament play at the position with an expensive price tag.
The salary relief play at the position is Rafael Devers (BOS). Devers is $3,500 on DK and $2,900 on FD and will have the platoon edge against Lance Lynn, who’s biggest weakness throughout his career has been getting outs against LHBs. Devers has generated a .202 ISO vs. RHP since 2017, which is a mark that stands out relative to where he’s priced around the industry.
While we like Devers the most in terms of salary relief, our very top optimals on FD are going after David Freese (PIT) because he’s $2,100, which is a really cheap price tag for a hitter with the platoon edge facing Jason Vargas. Freese hasn’t been very good against LHP, which is the reason he’s not projecting all that well, but this price tag fits the slate very well. After all, our top priority in this slate is expensive pitching, especially in cash games.
David Fletcher (LAA) is our David Freese on DK. He’s $2,700 and will have the platoon edge out of the leadoff spot. It’s not as necessary to dip down that low at the position on that site but Fletcher can be considered if you’re in a jam.
Trevor Story (COL) represents the top projected scorer at the shortstop position. Story is just $4,100 on FD, and he’s a standout value on that site. He’ll have the platoon edge against Sean Manaea in Coors Field, and Story has crushed LHP to the tune of a .416 wOBA and .316 ISO since the start of last season. Our top optimals have locked him in on that site.
Francisco Lindor (CLE) and Marcus Semien (OAK) are strong alternatives in GPPs, and Lindor is cash game viable on DK. Semien in particular has a nutty spot. He’s hitting leadoff in Coors Field with the platoon edge, which is a context that easily bring 5+ PAs into play. He’s not as skilled of a hitter as Story or Lindor but the context elevates his projection tonight, something that we saw happen often in his last series against Texas. Lindor has finally landed in a spot where he could be low owned, and he’s a better hitter than Story. On DK, Lindor is $700 cheaper than Story, which puts him squarely in cash game territory.
Trea Turner (WSH) is a cheaper option to consider around the industry. He’s been a bit cold of late, but the matchup against Pablo Lopez is very enticing. Lopez has served up a 1.57 HR/9 through four starts at the major league level after allowing a 1.45 HR/9 mark at AAA this season. If you need more salary relief on DK, Andrelton Simmons (LAA) can be considered. Simmons is just $3,400 on that site and he’s been hitting second for a while now. The matchup against Wade LeBlanc isn’t overly enticing but the price tag puts him in play.
Jordy Mercer (PIT) has been a part of some of our FD optimals because he’s $2,200 at a position that’s priced correctly outside of Story. It’s a route that allows you to roster pricier outfielders, but that’s not our priority on the hitting side.
There are plenty of high end outfielders in fine spots tonight. Mike Trout (LAA) and Mookie Betts (BOS) lead the way. Not only are these two incredible hitters – they can also generate Fantasy Points with their ability to steal bases. Unless they’re in obvious bad matchups, they will usually rate well in our projections. Betts gets Fenway Park to boot, which is known to inflate production for RH hitters. These two are very expensive, which is deserved, but we’d rather go after Arenado in cash games. After all, there’s usually some value to be had in the outfield especially of the cheap variety and tonight is no different.
Andrew Benintendi (BOS) deserves to be in the list above. Benintendi is an awesome hitter, but there’s also no doubt that he’s not in the same conversation as Trout or Betts in terms of skill. He does have a similar projections to those players tonight because he’s getting a nutty matchup for LHBs – Lance Lynn. He’s our top OF value on FD with a $4k price tag. Charlie Blackmon (COL) has a L/L matchup but it’s in Coors Field and the price tag on FD ($4,100) stands out as a good one. We prefer Benintendi though if reaching for a $4k+ OF in cash games.
Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) won’t have the platoon edge but he’s in Yankee Stadium facing Brad Keller, who can’t strike anyone out (15% K rate through 30 appearances this season), and hits cleanup for a Yankees offense that leads the slate in IRT (5.9). Stanton is projecting as a can’t miss value in cash games on DK where he’s just $4,600. Michael Brantley (CLE), George Springer (HOU) and Curtis Granderson (TOR) are other values that are rating well on DK and have been a big part of our top optimals on that site. Brantley ($3,400) and Granderson ($2,900) are also projecting well on FD where their price tags are cheaper than they should be. Brett Gardner (NYY) and Aaron Hicks (NYY) can be included in this list on FD where they have low $3k price tags.
You’ll have a tougher time trying to fit in Arenado on FD, and if doing so you will likely have to punt two OF spots. Jordan Luplow (PIT), Kyle Tucker (HOU), Dwight Smith (TOR) and Melky Cabrera (CLE) are the names that are popping the most in our optimals with punt price tags. Neither of these options have good lineup spots but they have decent skills with the platoon edge.
In tournaments, Khris Davis (OAK) needs to be considered.
Stacks on Stacks on Stacks
1) Colorado Rockies
In cash games, you’re not going to be able to stack the Rockies, but it’s also not too difficult to force in a couple of bats, albeit the values differ based on site. The Rockies have nearly a 6 IRT against Sean Manaea, who has cooled after a hot start as he’s allowing a lot more balls in play than in previous seasons, which is a problem when combined with a career worst 38.1 Hard%.
2) Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox face Lance Lynn, who is in for a tough outing. While Lynn is tough on RHBs, it’s obviously difficult to get around Betts and Martinez and then his issues with LHBs will crop up against the supporting cast (projecting 5 in the lineup). On top of that Lynn has Joe West as a home plate umpire, who is very unfavorable for pitchers.
3) New York Yankees
4) Oakland Athletics
5) Cleveland Indians
6) Houston Astros
After two solo tiers, the third tier gets clustered a bit. From a value perspective, the Astros are the most interesting. Yovani Gallardo has had a tremendously tough time generating whiffs. The Astros, like the Rockies, are an easy offense to grab one to two bats from, although on DK you’re looking at the big boys (Altuve, Springer) and on FD you’re looking for the value (Gurriel, Gattis).
With the lowest IRT of the top three tier stacks, Cleveland may be the most interesting stack on the slate in terms of combination of upside and ownership.
7) Pittsburgh Pirates
8) Toronto Blue Jays
9) Washington Nationals
10) Philadelphia Phillies
11) Los Angeles Dodgers
The fourth tier makes for better mini-stacks than full on stacks, although the elite starting pitching on the slate may necessitate a cheaper stack. The two ways to achieve that are either through bottom of the order exposure to the offenses in the top three tiers, or grabbing some value here. Toronto is the most affordable of our ranked stacks. They get a guaranteed nine innings on the road in a strong hitter’s park. Reynaldo Lopez has a horrid 5.62 xFIP, has been particularly bad recently, and is backed up by a below average bullpen.