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July 28 MLB DFS: Crush This Slate
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Welcome to July 28 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for July 28 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 28 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:40 Starting Pitcher
10:13 Catcher
12:57 First Base
15:46 Second Base
19:09 Third Base
21:39 Shortstop
24:06 Outfield
28:26 Stacks

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CUSTOMIZABLE PROJECTIONS WITH VALUE RATINGS CLICK HERE

  • 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 28 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

 Starting Pitcher

For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections

Alex Wood (LAD) and Robbie Ray (ARI) head the pitching options on a large slate. Wood had a rough outing last time out, but it’s tough to be too harsh on him for one bad start, especially one in which he had a -15.8 Hard-Soft%. Wood takes on a Giants team that isn’t great for Ks but isn’t threatening, ranking 26th in wRC+ against LHP. It’s a really safe matchup given that, the skills Wood has displayed this season (2.45 FIP, 29 K%), and the Vegas line (-280, 3 IRTA).

Wood is the better cash game option between him and Ray, but Ray is the better tournament play as you get more K upside at a cheaper tag. There’s a tiny hint of concern following back to back outings with a sub-20 K%, but that’s largely nitpicking. On the season Ray has struck out an impressive 30.7% of batters faced, which has been supported by an uptick in SwStr% (from 11.6 to 13.1).

Behind Ray is Jose Quintana (CHC) who is on an absolute roll. Quintana has struck out 7, 12, and 10 batters over his last three starts, and the K rate rise might stick with some help from the shift to the NL. In fact, in this matchup he faces a Brewers team that strikes out more than any other team in MLB against LHP. The environment and the Brewers power creates some uncertainty here, but Quintana is at least in the cash game conversation on both sites. In fact, using Quintana may the best way to get a strong combination of upside with your pitching without making major sacrifices for your bats. Using him and Ray together on DK is a possibility as well.

In the mid-tier, Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) is a strongly rated value, but we prefer exposure to him to come in tournaments. Tanaka has had issues with power, and he’s at home in hitter friendly Yankee Stadium. The risk/reward nature of Tanaka is amplified by a matchup with a Rays team ranking third in wRC+ against RHP but boasting one of the highest K rates at 24.6%.

Michael Wacha (STL) actually may be safer in the mid-tier than Tanaka. Wacha has a career high in average fastball velocity and has posted xFIPs of 3.74 or lower in six consecutive starts, averaging nearly 7 strikeouts a game over that span. He’s at home against a heavily right-handed Diamondbacks team (Wacha’s splits have been more traditional this season, especially in terms of strikeouts).

On FanDuel in particular but really both sites, Danny Salazar (CLE) can be added to the mix. His boom or bust nature is perfect for tournaments, and the White Sox don’t offer much resistance against RHP.

Our favorite cheap value on the slate is Chad Kuhl (PIT). Kuhl has the reputation of a boring fantasy commodity (4’s ERA guy without many strikeouts). While that’s mostly true, it must be noted that his fastball and slider velocities are up about 2 mph from last season, which has led his SwStr% to rise from 8.9 to 10.2. The fastball velocity has been strong for most of the season but especially recently he’s bottoming out in starts with an average over 95 mph and topping out some starts with an average around 97 mph. That gives him enough upside to be used in an ideal context – at the San Diego Padres.

Like with Kuhl, there’s not much special about Ariel Miranda (SEA), but he lacks the promise of future upside that Kuhl possesses with his velocity. However, the context at home against the Mets (lowish IRTA, -150 favorite) and $6k price tag make him a secondary cap relief option in tournaments.

Catcher

Gary Sanchez (NYY) carries the top projection at the catcher position this evening. Sanchez has a good price tag on FD ($3,400) where he rates as our best value. On that site, he’s in play across all formats but on DK we like him better for tournaments given the appropriate price tag. Sanchez gets a matchup against a young SP that’s only making his second career start in a tough pitching environment (Yankee Stadium).

From a cash game perspective, we love Russell Martin (TOR) on both sites. He hits second, which is an exceptional lineup spot for a catcher and he’s facing one of the weakest starters in this slate.

Yan Gomes (CLE) rates a little better than Martin since he’ll have the platoon edge against Derek Holland, but we’re expecting him to hit towards the bottom of the lineup. At a similar price tag to Martin, Gomes makes more sense in tournaments. If you wanted to pull the trigger in cash games to give yourself more Cleveland exposure in that format, that’s also a viable route.

Willson Contreras (CHC) is expensive but he’ll have the platoon edge in Milwaukee. He’s a strong play in tournaments.

First Base

Freddie Freeman (ATL) and Chris Davis (BAL) are essentially tied in projection at first base, and they’re top three hitters regardless of position in this slate (only trail Mike Trout). With Freeman carrying third base eligibility, our lean is to lock Davis at 1b. Davis comes into this game in good form (neutral HHR post ASB) and the context is as good as it gets. He’ll be taking hacks in Texas, where temps are going to reach 100 degrees and the matchup is phenomenal (Cashner, who’s surrendered a .367 wOBA and .204 ISO to LHBs).

Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) is $300 more expensive than Davis on FD, where he rates strongly from a point per dollar perspective. He’ll have the platoon edge vs. Derek Holland (.370 wOBA, .230 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2015) and he comes into this game with a 31% HHR over the L15. He’s a good alternative in all formats on FD.

In tournaments, Logan Morrison (TB) in Yankee Stadium with the platoon edge, Hanley Ramirez (BOS) in Fenway Park facing a pitcher we’re expecting to regress (Jason Vargas), Justin Smoak (TOR) in Rogers Centre (41.9% HHR over the L15) and Matt Adams (ATL) with the platoon edge against Jeremy Hellickson all qualify as good tournament targets at a position that’s likely going to have chalky options at the top.

Second Base

Jose Altuve (HOU) is expensive, but he’s in play across all formats. Not only is Altuve red hot – he has a matchup against Jordan Zimmermann tonight. Zimmermann has a 16% K rate, 25% hard minus soft hit rate and a measly 33.3% GB rate this season.

With Altuve being so expensive, it’s likely best to rely on cheaper alternatives at the position in cash games (unless you’re using a cheap SP2 on DK). Rougned Odor (TEX) gets a prime context for his upside. He’ll be in 100 degree weather facing Chris Tillman (5.51 xFIP, 1.94 HR/9 and a career low 15% K rate this season). Odor’s production is of the boom or bust variety, but  we’ll take it in cash games given the context at reasonable prices.

Robinson Cano (SEA) is $3,300 on FD and with the platoon edge you can consider him in all formats.

Jonathan Villar (MIL) is a fine alternative as well but his matchup more challenging (Quintana).

If you wanted to split the difference on DK, Brian Dozier (MIN) is $4,000 and he’s facing a pitcher that struggles to miss bats. The environment is a challenging one for hitters (Oakland), so we prefer him in tournaments at a more expensive price tag than Odor. Jose Ramirez (CLE) is another name to keep in mind in tournaments.

Third Base

Freddie Freeman (ATL) is the top projected scorer at third base and he’s one of our favorite plays in this slate. He’ll be on the road taking on Jeremy Hellickson, who’s having an awful season yet we expect him to be a little  worse moving forward (4.73 ERA/5.39 xFIP – .255 BABIP). Hellickson’s GB rate (35%) and K rate (13.8%) have tanked this season. Freeman has generated a .408 wOBA and .279 ISO vs. RHP since 2015 (the production is even better if you look at more recent data – .364 ISO vs. RHP in his L200 PAs).

Kris Bryant (CHC) is a worthy alternative in all formats given his own context (facing a weak LHP in Milwaukee), but he’s more expensive than Freeman on DK.

Manny Machado (BAL) and Josh Donaldson (TOR) remain prime alternatives in tournaments. We’re mostly interested in Machado given that his peripherals look great this season despite not getting great results. Tonight he draws Cashner, a weak bullpen behind him and that Texas heat. Miguel Sano (MIN) is another high upside target who’s having a better season than Machado and Donaldson but gets a difficult hitting environment tonight. We like him in tournaments as well.

Shortstop

Our priority at the shortstop position once again is to go cheap on both sites. On DK, you can do this with Troy Tulowitzki (TOR). He’s $2,600 and while the lineup spot leaves a lot to be desired, he has reasonable upside and a matchup against Parker Bridwell (15.8% K rate through eight games this season) in Rogers Centre. On FD, Elvis Andrus (TEX) is a perfect cash game play. Andrus hits second for a Rangers offense that carries the highest IRT in this slate (5.9 runs) and he’s just $3,000. Xander Bogaerts (BOS) has been horrific of late (2.9% HHR over the L15, striking out a bunch lately), but the price tag has dipped to $2,800 on FD. As long as Bogaerts has a decent lineup spot, he can be considered in cash games on that site.

If you had the resources to pay up for a shortstop, our favorite pricey name is Francisco Lindor (CLE). The White Sox bullpen is completely depleted now (traded another quality bullpen arm today), and it’s Derek Holland‘s turn in the rotation. Cleveland has an IRT of 5.6 runs and Lindor’s HHR is a little bit higher over the L15.

Outfield

Mike Trout (LAA) will have the platoon edge in Rogers Centre, and he’s the top projected scorer in this slate regardless of position. Trout is a reasonable cash game play on DK where getting up to him isn’t a challenge (two high mid-tier SPs or expensive-cheap combos get you here). Bryce Harper (WSH) is the next in line option at the position, but the weather forecast in Washington looks dreadful.

George Springer (HOU) is an high end play on FD where he’s sub $4,000. It’s a reachable price tag even if you pay for an elite SP, and if Springer is in the lineup he’ll be leading off vs. Jordan Zimmermann. Mookie Betts (BOS) can be viewed in the same light over on FD though Springer is having a stronger season thus far.

As usual, the name of the game is looking at underpriced OFs that are a part of our favorite stacks. Brandon Guyer (CLE) starts that conversation off on both sites given the cheap price tags for a leadoff hitter that’s in one of the best contexts in this slate. Jose Bautista (TOR) remains sub $4,000 on DK and he’s an excellent value on that site. Josh Reddick (HOU) is  gives you a piece of the Astros offense at a very reasonable price tag on FD. Corey Dickerson (TB) has the platoon edge in Yankee Stadium and he’s just $2,800 on FD. Nomar Mazara (TEX) is at home facing Chris Tillman. He has a good price tag on both sites. Teammate Shin-Soo Choo (TEX) is a little bit more expensive but he’s the leadoff hitter for Texas.  Andrew McCutchen (PIT) is just $4,200 on DK and he’ll have the platoon edge against Travis Wood albeit in a difficult hitting environment (Petco). It’s not necessary to go double cheap in the OF on DK, but Zach Granite (MIN) is $2,500 and hitting second on the road vs Daniel Gossett (15.3% K rate).

Aaron Judge (NYY) is facing Alex Pruitt in Yankee Stadium. He doesn’t rate as well as some of our top overall hitters, but we love his upside in a full slate where his ownership won’t be out of control in tournaments.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Texas Rangers

2) Baltimore Orioles

3) Cleveland Indians

4) Chicago Cubs

5) Houston Astros

The Rangers are our top stack. It’s tremendously hot in Texas (100 degrees) so this park is going to play as easily the most favorable hitter’s park on the slate. Chris Tillman has been somewhat better (less worse?) recently, but overall has been a disaster on the season: 7.01 ERA, 6.09 FIP, 1.94 HR/9.

The Orioles get the same park factor benefit and the benefit of hitting on the road (guaranteed nine innings). Opposing pitcher Andrew Cashner has mostly survived on smoke and mirrors as his xFIP (5.24) is much higher than his ERA (3.64), and the K-BB% is horrific at 1.5%.

Tier Two

6) Atlanta Braves

7) Washington Nationals

8) New York Yankees

Atlanta is a nice contrarian stack as our tier one, outside of maybe the Cubs, represents the chalkiest stacks on the slate. Jeremy Hellickson has allowed FanGraphs Hard%’s of 46.7, 46.2, 47.4, and 36.8 over his last four starts.

Tier Three

9) Toronto Blue Jays

10) Pittsburgh Pirates

11) Boston Red Sox

12) Los Angeles Dodgers

The Jays are our favorite stack in this tier. Parker Bridwell has been bit by the long ball (1.74 HR/9) but has survived thanks to an unsustainably high strand rate of 91.1%. That will drop significantly and his high Hard-Soft% indicates the BABIP could rise as well.

 

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