Welcome to July 29 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for July 29 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 29 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:08 Starting Pitcher
16:20 First Base
19:46 Second Base
22:55 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 29 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Corey Kluber (CLE) headlines Saturday’s evening slate with an elite matchup against the woeful and RH heavy White Sox offense. Over Kluber’s last five starts, he’s posted a 42.1 K Rate and limited opposing hitters to a .222 wOBA allowed. Kluber is very expensive on both sites ($14,000 on DraftKings, $11,900 on FanDuel) but he’s worth every penny. The gap between Kluber and the next best starter (Zack Greinke) in our projections is nearly double digits on FanDuel and almost seven points on DraftKings. With Greinke priced up as well, the choice is easy.
Greinke’s been pitching well also (.250 wOBA, .114 ISO allowed over last five starts) and gets a park upgrade pitching in St. Louis as opposed to Arizona but the strikeouts have predictably come down as the season has worn on. Greinke’s price hasn’t come down quite as far which makes him a break even play on DraftKings. On FanDuel, he’s priced affordably and represents an acceptable pivot from Kluber in tournaments.
On DraftKings, salary relief is key in finding a pairing with Kluber. Kyle Hendricks (CHC) comes in with a $7,300 price tag against the strikeout prone Brewers (25.3 percent K Rate against RHP) offense that ranks 18th in wRC+. Hendricks returned from the DL throwing just 84-85 mph, which is 3-4 mph slower than he threw last season. It’s been a concern for Hendricks all year and it’s resulted in a lower swinging strike rate and higher hard hit rate. This isn’t the Hendricks of old which brings some risk against a power prone Brewers’ offense. However, he fits the slate well. The other potential cheap targets to consider include: Adalberto Mejia (MIN), Mike Leake (STL), and Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS). All three have implied totals against in the same range as Hendricks, ranging from 4.3-4.4 runs. Mejia is the cheapest of the bunch and has arguably the strongest matchup. The Athletics rank 30th in wRC+ against LHP with a 26.1 percent K rate. Mejia normally isn’t a target but at $6,400 he fits the slate very well. Eduardo Rodriguez is the most skilled starter of this group, given Hendricks’ form this season, but the red-hot Royals aren’t a very attractive matchup for strikeouts (18.4 percent K Rate against LHP).
In tournaments, the group above are all fine pairings with Kluber (or Greinke), secondary targets include: Adam Conley (MIA), Ivan Nova (PIT), Erick Fedde (WAS), Chris Smith (OAK), and Kevin Gausman (BAL). Conley gets a Reds’ offense that just struggled with a similar lefty in Jordan Montgomery. Nova gets the Padres’ offense which might actually help him generate some strikeouts. Fedde and Smith are just another potential price play, while Gausman has been pitching extremely well of late and should go un-owned in a brutal matchup in Texas.
Trying to fit in the likes of Corey Kluber (CLE) or Zack Grienke (ARI) has us looking to capitalize on potential cost savings solutions at the catcher position. Welington Castillo (BAL) rates as the top per dollar play on both sites as he and the Orioles get a fantastic environment and matchup with Austin Bibens-Dirkx. Bibens-Dirkx has been an easy target this year, posting a 5.36 xFIP and a sub-14% K%, while struggling to put the ball on the ground. Castillo won’t come with a great lineup spot, but the O’s have the highest implied run total on the slate and he does provide some value at $3,500 on DK and $2,900 on FD.
Unfortunately, Castillo’s savings might not be enough. Matt Wieters (WSH) has posted a positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days and is just $2,700 on DraftKings and $2,300 on FanDuel. Again, he’ll come with a bad lineup spot, but the Nationals too have one of the slate’s highest implied run totals. Salvador Perez (KC) will get the platoon edge and a park shift in his favor moving to Fenway Park, but $3,200 on FanDuel is perhaps a bit much to pay – he’s a fine alternative on DraftKings at just $3,500.
Jonathan Lucroy (TEX) has fallen off the Earth offensively this season, but will be yet another catcher in a good overall context. You could do worse.
Another Oriole bat is the top value option at first base, as Chris Davis (BAL) will grab the platoon edge on Bibens-Dirkx. The struggle for Davis is always his inability to put the ball in play, but as noted above, the threat of swinging and missing should be much less given just a 13.6% K%. The prodigious power and overall context make Davis an excellent option in cash games and tournaments.
After Davis, Anthony Rizzo (CHC), Freddie Freeman (ATL) (DK only), and Eric Thames (MIL) all make for compelling first base options, and are the next most valuable in our model. The difficulty with fitting Rizzo is the price tag, at $5,600 on DraftKings and $4,600 on FanDuel. Rizzo and the Cubs will get to pick on Junior Guerra (2.45 HR/9 allowed, 5.92 xFIP), but if using him, you’ll be pricing yourself out of the top pitchers.
Freeman will look to take advantage of the wide splits of Jerad Eickhoff (.355 wOBA, .217 ISO allowed to LHB since 2015) and he comes with a more reasonable $4,600 price tag on DraftKings. He is getting a park shift in his favor as well, but a less favorable team environment might push him behind Davis for cash game usage. Thames has struggled since his torrid April, and has posted just a 13% Hard% in the last fifteen days but he still comes with massive power upside and will get the platoon edge on Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks velocity has been down this season and while he still generates a lot of soft contact, he’s allowing more hard contact than ever and has a lower margin of error with lower velocity. At $4,100 on DraftKings and $3,400 on FanDuel, Thames is a viable option in either format.
Matt Adams (ATL) is just $2,800 on FanDuel and $3,700 on DraftKings. He too will look to take advantage of Eickhoff’s splits. Ryon Healy (OAK) has 1B eligibility on DraftKings and will get the platoon edge on Adalberto Mejia. Matt Carpenter (STL) is stupid cheap on DK as well.
Jonathan Schoop (BAL), Rougned Odor (TEX), and Brian Dozier (MIN) are the top options at the second base position both from a per dollar perspective and in raw projection. Schoop has not only gotten a big boost with a lineup spot shift, but also has taken a step forward in the power department (.247 ISO) this season. The only thing holding him back is his price tag.
Odor and Dozier have the more friendly price tags. Odor will get a Kevin Gausman that has slowly been improving throughout this season but has still struggled with with the long ball (1.53 HR/9) and will be pitching in the Texas heat. Odor’s a threat against RHP, having posted a .223 ISO against them since 2015.
Dozier is perhaps the most stable of the group and will get a matchup with journeyman right-hander Chris Smith. Smith has only made three starts for the A’s, and likely won’t work deep in the game but he’s like many others in this slate, a low strikeout arm that is primarily a fly ball arm. Dozier comes with a positive delta in Hard%, and though he’s price too much to consider versus Odor on FanDuel ($3,700 vs. $3,000), at just $4,000 DraftKings he’s a perfectly fine alternative.
Our focus is in the aforementioned trio, but Jose Ramirez (CLE) and Jonathan Villar (MIL) rate just behind the group, getting matchups with Miguel Gonzalez and Kyle Hendricks respectively.
Manny Machado (BAL) and Freddie Freeman (ATL) are the top dogs at the hot corner. We touched on Freeman extensively at the first base position, but he actually carries 3B eligibility on both sites. He’s an easier fit on DraftKings at $4,600, but is a viable spend at $3,900 on FanDuel as well.
Machado’s matchup with Bibens-Dirkx is well documented. What is left to say about Manny? Highest implied run total on the slate, most hard contact of his career and his walk rate is up. A small positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days and manageable price tags as well make him the primary target for cash games.
Ryon Healy (OAK) is the drop down value at the position at just $2,400 on FanDuel and $3,300 on DraftKings. Healy has been hitting third against left-handed pitchers and in his short career has posted a .410 wOBA and .259 ISO against southpaws. If not spending up on one of Freeman or Machado, he is your man.
Kris Bryant (CHC) is the tournament spend at the position, in an exploitable matchup with Junior Guerra that might have the Cubs going underlooked. Bryant has struggled of late (13.9% Hard% in last fifteen days) and there is some speculation his pinky is still bothering him, but there is still a ton of upside in power and some on the bases as well. Miguel Sano (MIN) particularly on DraftKings at just $4,100 is way too cheap. At that price, he’s a viable cash game play against the old right-hander, Chris Smith.
A trio of options in Francisco Lindor (CLE), Elvis Andrus (TEX), and Marcus Semien (OAK) lead the way at the position, but with $4,000+ price tags on DraftKings and $3,200+ price tags on FanDuel, it’s likely that they’ll be outside your cash game range. Still though, Lindor grabs a great matchup with Miguel Gonzalez as he and the Indians hold an implied run total of 5.5 runs.
Andrus gets the Gausman matchup, and a good lineup spot while Marcus Semien will get the platoon edge on escape artist Adalberto Mejia.
The move outside of this trio though might be Jose Peraza (CIN). Peraza is a low upside player, but will grab the platoon edge on Adam Conley and is just $2,400 on DraftKings and $2,100 on FanDuel. Bad lineup spot and season Hard% of 8.1% aside, the salary opens up ability to roster Kluber while still getting exposure to top offenses on the slate. Jorge Polanco (MIN) fills a similar role, but comes with more upside than Peraza. He’s just $2,100 on DraftKings and $2,300 on FanDuel. Ruben Tejada (BAL) is a bit more expensive than the rest, but would give a better team exposure.
Some cheaper per dollar values follow with Mark Trumbo (BAL), Kyle Schwarber (CHC), and Adam Jones (BAL). We’ve hit on the O’s a bunch, and while both are valuable, it’s Trumbo who at $3,900 on DraftKings is the top per dollar play on the site. Schwarber has been swinging it much better in recent weeks, posting a 41.7% Hard% in the last fifteen days while displaying power to all parts of the field, and important change from his pull happy struggles early this season. We mentioned Junior Guerra‘s struggles this season, and the 17.4% K% is an additional boost to Schwarber’s value as his struggles come when he’s not making contact.
Some other mid-tier values emerge in the outfield in Texas, as Shin Soo Choo (TEX) and Nomar Mazara (TEX) are just $4,100 and $3,800 on DraftKings respectively. Gausman is the better arm in that game, but a hefty total and good lineup spots put them firmly in the cash game conversation at the top of the Rangers order.
Zach Granite (MIN) had made his two previous starts prior to last night in the second spot of the lineup, but hit 7th last night. Should he hit two again, he’d be extremely valuable at $2,300 on DraftKings. The Cubs lineup is quite fluid, but Jason Heyward (CHC) would gain plenty of value if he were in the leadoff spot against Junior Guerra. Eric Thames (MIL) holds outfield eligibility DraftKings as well.
Andrew Benintendi (BOS) and Rajai Davis (OAK) represent other acceptable per dollar values that will come with good lineup spots for mid $3,000s on DraftKings.
1) Baltimore Orioles
2) Chicago Cubs
3) Cleveland Indians
4) Texas Rangers
The Cubs and Orioles headline the chalk on this slate with the Indians and Rangers not far behind. This slate is less about full stacking and more about emphasizing Kluber’s incredible upside so we’re more focused on cheap mini-stacks within these four teams where we can find them. The Orioles are cheap on both sites and are the easiest starting point.
On the contrarian side of things, the Twins are priced down and their power takes a hit in Oakland but the Athletics bullpen has been ravaged at the trade deadline and Chris Smith is a journeyman that projects as homer-prone and well below average.