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July 30 MLB DFS: Ray of Gold in Arizona

Adam Hummell
July 30 MLB DFS: Ray of Gold in Arizona
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Welcome to July 30 MLB DFS action. You’ll find Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Cliff Notes for July 30 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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Time Stamps
00:42 
Starting Pitcher
12:10 Catcher
16:33 First Base
20:17 Second Base
23:54 Third Base
28:47 Shortstop
32:25 Outfield
36:25 Stacks

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Range of Outcome Projections

July 30 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

Robbie Ray (ARI) and Gerrit Cole (HOU) top the projections at starting pitcher. Ray is far cheaper on both sites and thus represents our top target in cash games. Ray had a shaky start against the Rockies that left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth but since returning from the DL his velocity has been solid and he’s generally been good. He’ll face a Rangers’ offense that loses the DH and ranks 12th in wRC+ against LHP this season with a 23.3 K Rate. Without Nomar Mazara, they have the ability to get a bit more RH but the bulk of the Rangers most dangerous hitters are all LH (Gallo, Odor, Choo, Guzman, Calhoun) with their strongest options from the right side limited to just Adrian Beltre and Robinson Chirinos. Our projections view Ray as nearly $2,000 under-priced on both sites and he’s a huge favorite (-215) with a 3.5 implied total against. Fire up Robbie.

Cole is a tougher salary squeeze on this slate but his monstrous strikeout rates have returned of late. The Mariners are a tough matchup for strikeouts with more contact oriented bats littered through the lineup (Span, Segura, Gordon, etc) so Cole is more of an adequate but not great GPP target. He’s caught a bit in limbo this slate.

Kenta Maeda (LAD) and James Paxton (SEA) are the next highest projected tier of starters. Maeda has the lowest implied total against on the slate (3.3 runs) and he’s a strong -170 favorite. The price tag on Maeda is reasonable but the matchup with the Brewers is tricky. The new look Brewers lineup is filled with strikeouts (Shaw, Moustakas, Aguilar, Thames, and Kratz) but also more potent lefties. Maeda has done better with LHBs this year (.305 wOBA, .149 ISO allowed, 24.9 K Rate) but historically they’ve given him some trouble (.317 wOBA, .170 ISO, 20.1 K Rate in his career). The price tag on Maeda is fair making him a viable pairing with Robbie Ray in cash games on DraftKings and a viable pivot on FanDuel in tournaments.

Paxton is a bit more challenging as he’s scheduled to return from the DL after being scratched last week with more back troubles. He’s reported no pain but now a few weeks since his last appearance we’re expecting some semblance of a pitch count. We’ve docked him slightly on the TBF and Outs expectation but this matchup with the Astros is no longer scary. The Astros are without Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve which basically leaves them with George Springer as the only elite hitter with Evan Gattis/Yuli Gurriel as above average bats against LHP. It’s a thinner lineup and a discounted price tag on Paxton has our optimals pairing the two LHP together.  Ultimately, with a healthy Maeda right there, the decision for cash games likely comes down to how confident you are in Paxton’s health.

There are viable mid-tier targets to pair with Ray if you want to load up on bats. Our projections like Freddy Peralta (MIL) with a strong strikeout projection but the matchup is very dangerous against the Dodgers who rank third in wRC+ against RHP this season and Peralta has been hit very hard by LHBs (.342 wOBA, .208 ISO allowed) despite striking out 30 percent of them. We’d only consider Peralta in tournaments.

In cash games, Julio Teheran (ATL) and Carlos Martinez (STL) earn secondary consideration due to softer price tags. Both pitchers have wide platoon splits and thus are a bit vulnerable to opposing lineups but early lines have them with an implied total below four. Teheran is a big favorite at -170 and we expect he’ll be very popular against the Marlins. Miami ranks 24th in wRC+ against RHP with a slightly above average K rate (23 percent). Martinez gets the Rockies who rank 28th in wRC+ against RHP with a slightly higher K Rate (23.5 percent). Both pitchers have given up lots of hard contact but both matchups are really strong with sub-$8,000 price tags. If you’re not paying for Maeda/Paxton to pair with Ray, this is the group you’re targeting.

The list of GPP targets thins out quickly after the Teheran/Martinez tier. Eric Lauer (SD) and Derek Holland (SF) square off in a great pitching environment in San Diego. Lauer isn’t good but is cheap and thus projects as a decent value. Holland isn’t cheap but gets the Padres and thus is deserving of GPP consideration. The same can be said for Edwin Jackson (OAK) who has a relatively low implied total at home against the Blue Jays. It’s largely on the strength of the Athletics pen but the Jays offense is watered down and getting a big negative park shift.  

Catcher

Buster Posey (SF) represents the top projected scorer at the catcher position. Posey will have the platoon edge tonight against Eric Lauer, who’s been tagged by RHBs, allowing a .357 wOBA and .164 ISO this season. Posey has been exceptional with the platoon edge, generating a .377 wOBA and .180 ISO vs. LHP since 2017. The price tag is fair in a low scoring environment, but Posey deserves to be considered across all formats.

Yasmani Grandal (LAD) and Tyler Flowers (ATL) project as the next in line options at the position. Grandal is simply priced out of reach ($4,700) for cash games, but his level of skill against RHP and his recent track record (38.9% HHR over the L15 days) keeps him in play in tournaments.

Flowers is the alternative we like most if you can’t get to Posey in cash games. Flowers will have the platoon edge against Wei-Yin Chen, who’s allowed a .198 ISO to RHBs since the start of last season.

There’s not much else we like at the position. If you’re trying to dig deep in top heavy formats, we don’t mind going after Robinson Chirinos (TEX) as a leverage play against Robbie Ray. Chirinos is too expensive ($4,300) on DK to consider in any other format. John Ryan Murphy (ARI) and Austin Hedges (SD) are other alternatives with the platoon edge to consider in GPPs. Both should carry very little ownership in this slate.

First Base

Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) carries the top projection in this slate regardless of hitting position. Goldy will have the platoon edge tonight, and he’s exceptional against LHP, posting a .405 wOBA and .275 ISO since the start of last season. The matchup against Martin Perez is very favorable. Perez doesn’t miss bats (12.2% K rate vs. RHBs) and has been terrible vs. RHBs, allowing a massive .384 wOBA and .181 ISO since 2017. Goldy’s HHR over the L15 days isn’t great (14.3), but his price tags are down around the industry as well. He’s a building block for us in cash games.

On FD, you have a chance of rostering multiple first basemen in cash games as Justin Bour (MIA) has a $2,500 price tag and matchup against Julio Teheran, who’s allowed a .203 ISO to RHBs since 2017. Bour has been smashing the ball of late, generating a 31.3% HHR over the L15 days.

That concludes the cash game conversation at the position. In tournaments, Edwin Encarnacion (CLE), Matt Olson (OAK), Justin Smoak (TOR) and Carlos Santana (PHI) stand out. Freddie Freeman (ATL) can be used in tournaments as well even in a L/L matchup.

Olson in particular has an incredible matchup for his power stroke, as Marco Estrada allows tons of power (.202 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2017).

Smoak is going to get lost in the shuffle in this slate. He has appropriate price tags and gets a negative park shift going into Oakland. However, he’s coming into this matchup against Edwin Jackson in excellent form (34.3% HHR over the L15 days) and while Jackson has been pretty solid from a run prevention perspective this season, we believe that’s mostly fools gold.

Second Base

Ozzie Albies (ATL) represents the top projected scorer at second base. Albies is dominating our FD optimals tonight. He’s just $3,900 on that site and gets a very strong matchup against Wei-Yin Chen. Albies has the event upside (20 HRs/10 SBs this season) you’re looking for in any format, but it’s difficult to pursue him on DK where he’s up to $5,300. He’s viable in all formats on FD but only tournament worthy on DK.

We don’t have great price tags at the position on DK. Chase D’Arnaud (SF) is a terrible hitter but he’s been leading off for the Giants against LHP and the matchup against Eric Lauer is great. He’s $3,300 on DK, which puts him in play as a salary relief play for cash game purposes. Dee Gordon (SEA) is just $3,400 but gets a very tough matchup against Gerrit Cole. Jose Pirela (SD) has hit LHP well (.355 wOBA and .179 ISO vs. LHP since 2017) and has a favorable matchup against Derek Holland. He has the same price tag as Gordon on DK and the projection is very similar. Pirela is priced like a punt on FD ($2,200), which makes him a decent alternative should you want to spend at another position. We’re shopping in this bucket of options in cash games on DK.

Jed Lowrie (OAK) and Yangervis Solarte (TOR) are MME picks in this slate. They’re in a terrible ball park for power upside but they have matchups against power prone pitchers. Brian Dozier (MIN) has the upside pedigree but doesn’t have an exciting matchup ahead against Shane Bieber. He’s fine in MME as well.

Third Base

Jose Ramirez (CLE) represents the top projected scorer in the hot corner. Ramirez is expensive but he’s worth every bit of these price tags. He’ll hit from the left side of the plate tonight, and he’s been incredible vs. RHP, posting a .420 wOBA and a ridiculous .307 ISO in his last 746 PAs (since 2017). We love him in this slate, and he’ll be reachable in cash games on FD. He’s up to $5,700 on DK, and you’d have to sacrifice too much to fit him in cash games on that site.

This position flat isn’t very enticing behind Ramirez. You know that’s the case when Chase D’Arnaud (SF) is the top per dollar value at the position on DK and he’s just a breakeven target. Still, he has the type of price tag that allows you to go after Ray-Paxton lineups on DK. He’s cash viable in this slate.

Mike Moustakas (MIL) is a much better hitter than D’Arnaud but gets a negative park shift going into Los Angeles and has to face Kenta Maeda. The price tag is somewhat discounted for his power upside but the context isn’t great.

Matt Carpenter (STL) has been on a ridiculous tear for months now. He’s even performed well without the platoon edge, generating a solid .346 wOBA and .217 ISO vs. LHP since 2017. Tyler Anderson hasn’t been lights out against LHBs. In fact, he hasn’t been very good against them, allowing a .332 wOBA and a massive .220 ISO since 2017. It’s a sneaky spot for a hitter that won’t be as high owned tonight due to a L/L matchup. We like Carpenter in tournaments.

Adrian Beltre (TEX) will have the platoon edge tonight but gets a steep negative park shift going into Chase Field. Beltre is a decent leverage play on FD where he’s cheap.

Evan Longoria (SF) is another decent tournament target with the platoon edge and a favorable matchup against Eric Lauer.

Shortstop

Francisco Lindor (CLE) is the top projected scorer in this slate. He has the double threat upside we love for tournaments, but the expensive price tag will make it difficult to target him in cash games.

At least we have a little bit of value at this position unlike third base. Nick Ahmed (ARI) is just $2,600 on FD. He hits second for the Diamondbacks vs. LHP, and he’s been great with the platoon edge (.379 wOBA and .236 ISO) albeit in a small sample (175 PAs since 2017).

Marcus Semien (OAK) is $3,800 on DK in a R/R matchup. That’s an appropriate price tag for that type of matchup, but there’s still some value to extract from his context, particularly if he’s leading off. We love the matchup against Marco Estrada, who gives up power to everyone but is exceptionally bad vs. RHBs (.371 wOBA, .223 ISO allowed since 2017). We might end up considering Semien in cash games even if he hits sixth.

Jorge Polanco (MIN) and Paul DeJong (STL) are decent alternatives that will cost you $300 more than Semien on DK. We’re not in love with either one of these options tonight but if Semien gets an unfavorable lineup spot his projection will be grouped with these two.

Lourdes Gurriel (TOR) is overpriced on DK ($4,300) and gets a hefty negative park shift. He’s been smashing the ball lately though, generating a 29% HHR over the L15 days. He shouldn’t draw much attention in tournaments and that’s where it makes the most sense to play him.

Outfield

Mookie Betts (BOS) gets some competition at the top tonight as Wil Myers (SD), A.J. Pollock (ARI) and Rhys Hoskins (PHI) carry similar projections. Betts is one of the best DFS assets due to his combination of power and speed upside, but this matchup against Aaron Nola sucks and we’re not getting much in the way of a price discount.

Myers has mid-tier price tags on both sites. Those are mostly fair. Myers hits LHP well (.355 wOBA, .245 ISO since 2017) and gets a matchup against Derek Holland, who’s allowed a .380 wOBA and a ridiculous .240 ISO to RHBs since 2017. However, the scoring environment (Petco) isn’t any good but that won’t stop us from pursuing Myers in all formats.

Hoskins gets a nutty environment for RHBs – Fenway Park. The matchup against David Price isn’t great but Price has been more power prone than in years past, surrendering a .175 ISO to RHBs since the start of last season. Hoskins is a phenomenal tournament target.

Pollock is still priced in the mid-tier on FD ($3,800) and will have the platoon edge against Martin Perez. It’s a good price tag for a hitter that’s generated a .349 wOBA, .244 ISO since 2017.

Andrew McCutchen (SF), Joc Pederson (LAD), Ronald Acuna (ATL) and Stephen Piscotty (OAK) are other names that have made their way into some of our optimal lineups on DK. They’re priced appropriately though, and the same could be said for essentially every hitter in this slate on DK outside of Paul Goldschmidt. Steven Souza (ARI) deserves cash game consideration on both sites, but the better price tag for him can be found on FD ($2,800).

On FD, you can expand the list above to include Michael Brantley (CLE), Derek Dietrich (MIA) and Hunter Renfroe (SD).

Dietrich stands out a little bit more from this group from a per dollar perspective because he’s the cheapest of the bunch ($2,500) on that site and he gets to lead off  on the road against a pitcher with wide splits (Julio Teheran).

Renfroe has been unbelievable with the platoon edge, generating a .401 wOBA and a ridiculous .309 ISO vs. LHP since 2017. We have a .233 ISO baseline for him vs. LHP. He’s just $2,600 and the only reason his projection is being held in check a bit is because he’s part of a Padres offense that has an IRT of just 4 runs. While the matchup is favorable, we wish it was in a different park than Petco but that will likely keep ownership at a friendly level in tournaments.

Stacks on Stacks on Stacks

Tier One

1) Cleveland Indians

2) Arizona Diamondbacks

Routinely Tier One is made up of stack scores in the low 60s but our top scores on this slate are in the mid-to-high 50s. Cleveland and Arizona are the two offenses with implied totals at five or above.

Both offenses should carry ownership but we expect more ownership on Arizona because of price tags. The Diamondbacks have the better matchup against Martin Perez and a below average Texas bullpen that could get worse each day as the deadline approaches. We’ll have more exposure to Arizona in cash games but Cleveland is an interesting pivot as a road team with difficult price tags to fit in. This slate feels like one where ownership might wildly condense on Arizona which makes for a challenging play in GPPs. They’re clearly one of the best targets but they’re also not a good enough stack that they should even command 25 percent ownership. They’re more likely a very good fade.

Tier Two

3) Boston Red Sox

4) Oakland Athletics

The Red Sox seem likely to come with low ownership due to the matchup with Aaron Nola who is one of the best pitchers in the league but is getting a tough park and league shift against the best offense in baseball against RHP this season. Our projections view the Phillies bullpen as below average as well potentially setting up for a decent contrarian target.

The Athletics were heroes early in the week in Texas and then disappointments all weekend in Texas they get to face Marco Estrada returning from the DL but back at home in Texas where home runs are supressed. They’re in a sneaky bounceback spot given the Blue Jays bullpen problems.

Tier Three

5) Atlanta Braves

6) Philadelphia Phillies

Atlanta struggled over the weekend against LHP as Alex Wood, Clayton Kershaw, and Rich Hill but Wei Yin Chen is not in that same class of LHP.

When David Price goes wrong, it’s usually the long ball. Of course, the Phillies aren’t blessed with much RH power. We’d rather attack them as one-offs than a full stack.

Tier Four

7) Minnesota Twins

8) Los Angeles Dodgers

Minnesota is facing Shane Bieber who has allowed a ton of hard contact but the Twins’ offense just doesn’t have much depth to challenge and Cleveland’s bullpen got much better at the trade deadline.

The Dodgers are a very talented offense against RHP and Freddy Peralta has allowed a lot of hard contact and ISO to LHBs but the bullpen behind Peralta is one that limits the upside a bit, especially in Dodger Stadium.

Contrarian Stack:

The San Francisco Giants project as a really weak offense against LHP but Eric Lauer has allowed a 36 percent hard hit rate to LHBs and a 41.8 percent hard hit rate to RHBs this season. The Giants are on the road so they’re guaranteed nine innings and the Padres pen is really thinned out with talent after dealing away Cimber and Hand.

MLB MLB Daily Analysis

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