Welcome to July 31 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for July 31 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 31 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:05 Starting Pitcher
08:07 First Base
10:23 Second Base
12:58 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 31 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
It’s yet another tough day at the starting pitcher position as the top raw total projected pitchers are all priced appropriately/aggressively on DK, and the “value” pitchers carry a high degree of risk. On FanDuel, luckily, that’s not as much the case. Regardless, it makes sense to pay up for Luis Severino (NYY) on this slate. Severino is the largest favorite (-175) with the lowest IRTA (3.7). More importantly, he continues to mow down opposing hitters, boasting a slate high 29.2 K% over his last five starts, higher than his also slate high seasonal K% of 27.9%.
Following Severino are Charlie Morton (HOU) and Gio Gonzalez (WAS). Neither is a super value, but both are in relatively safe spots, and we feel much more comfortable with them than any other pitcher on the slate outside of these top three (Gray looks solid too, but it’s possible he gets traded). Our slight preference is for Morton, someone we’ve liked all year thanks to the increased velocity (averaging 95.1 mph on his fastball, career mark is 91.9) that has led to him duplicating the 26-plus K% he posted in a very tiny sample last year. Morton has mowed down 24 batters over his last three starts and will face a swing and miss Rays team. While there is some run prevention risk, it’s mitigated somewhat when you consider the alternative options.
We’re less bullish on Gonzalez’s upside, but he continues to post a solid K rate and outpace expected ERA statistics. In the NL in a big park, Gonzalez is acceptable for cash games.
On DK, if the right punts arise in the right lineup spots, it may be possible to pay up for Severino and one of Morton/Gonzalez in cash games.
If you aren’t able to pull that off, things get dicey. Sonny Gray (OAK) is in a safe matchup but may not make the start with the trade deadline looming. Other mid-tier options with decent skills are in bad environments – like Duffy, Hamels, Hernandez, Fulmer, and Clevinger. It’s a good tier to blindly fire at in GPPs based on skills (prefer Duffy or Hamels, although the latter has been shaky), but it’s tough to swallow their price tags in cash games.
As a result, we’re tempted at that point just to drop all the way down to Marco Estrada (TOR), which is a scary thought given how horrific he’s been recently, posting xFIPs of 6.25 or worse in seven consecutive starts and only topping 5 strikeouts once. There’s absolutely no floor here, but any regression to his normal skills along with facing a White Sox team that is 27th in wRC+ against RHP makes him an okay value on a slate with almost no opportunity cost.
Russell Martin (TOR) stars in today’s version of “A League of Their Own.” Martin is by far the top catching option available to us on the slate, drawing a matchup with right-handed pitcher, James Shields. The Blue Jays own the highest implied run total on the slate, and Martin’s lineup spot alone is reason enough to warrant his usage in cash game or GPPs, but consider as well James Shields history with home runs (1.98 HR/9 last season, 2.13HR/9 this season) and his 6.23 xFIP.
You’ll not be paying for more than the $2,700 price that Martin has on FanDuel, but on DraftKings Salvador Perez (KC) is just $3,900 more and will get an equally deserving arm to pick on in Ubaldo Jimenez. Perez will come with a worse lineup spot, but also brings much more to the table (.243 ISO this season) as the Royals pick up a big park shift in their favor. At $3,900, Perez is a chance to be a tad different on DraftKings.
The Blue Jays will continue to be a popular theme in today’s positional analysis. Kendrys Morales (TOR) is the top per dollar first baseman on both sites, drawing the aforementioned matchup with James Shields. The importance for Morales is not just the horribleness of James Shields, but also that he’ll be hitting from the left-hand batter’s box. He’s posted a .214 ISO against RHP since 2015.
His teammate Justin Smoak (TOR) will cost you more on both sites, but will get the very same matchup and the same platoon edge luxury.
Eric Hosmer (KC) is a little pricey on DraftKings for cash games, but at $3,700 on FanDuel he’s potentially in the conversation where it’s a bit easier to spend on offense. Hosmer has posted a notable positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days and will be getting a big park upgrade in Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which is generous to LHB power. With the likelihood that people will take the savings that Morales offers, he could generate less ownership than should be rewarded in this matchup.
Yonder Alonso (OAK) and Brandon Belt (SF) will square off against each other and both bring something a little different to the table. Alonso draws a better matchup against the dwindling talents of Matt Cain (5.23 xFIP, 12.9% K%), but Belt will come with a slightly cheaper tag on DraftKings and could be in line for a matchup upgrade.
Second base will likely play out a little differently depending on what site you’ll be playing on Monday. On DraftKings, the position warrants saving at all costs. Brad Miller (TB) has sat against two straight left-handed starters, but should be back in the lineup against Charlie Morton. Though Morton is one of the few secondary SP options we like on this slate, the value provided with Morton ($2,700, platoon edge) is perhaps a bit much to skip over. He’s posted a .211 ISO against RHP since 2015.
Tyler Saladino (CHW) is just $100 more than Miller on DK, a day after hitting second for the White Sox, but his status in the lineup is much more fluid. If he is in there against Marco Estrada (disastrous recent performance) he’s worthy of a punt as well. He’s also just $2,200 on FanDuel.
On FanDuel the story is a little different. You can reasonably fit Rougned Odor (TEX) and take advantage of the Texas heat, even in a matchup with Felix Hernandez. Felix hasn’t reached ineptitude, but he’s posting a career low GB% and has in turn been a bit more prone to the long ball (1.84 HR/9). Odor’s DFS upside hinges on his power, and at just $2,900 on FanDuel, you can tap into it. Jose Ramirez (CLE) stands out as the best per dollar value on the site, but at $3,600 you might prefer to do your spending at another position. Still though, the Indians have an implied run total of 5.6 runs and incapable strike thrower, Doug Fister (6.04 BB/9).
Josh Donaldson (TOR) is yet another Blue Jay at the top of his position. There is not much left to say about the matchup, and though Donaldson has just two home runs in the entire month of July, he’s still too enticing to pass up. At $3,800 on FanDuel he’s more of a “spend,” but is still an easy fit. On DraftKings at just $4,200, it’s tough to find a better value on the slate.
If you can’t stomach the seeming absence of Donaldson’s power, Mike Moustakas (KC) will draw the great matchup in Baltimore against Ubaldo Jimenez. Moustakas has not been short of power, posting a career high ISO (.275) and he comes with a cheaper tag than Donaldson on FanDuel at $3,600.
Matt Davidson (CHW) is a two outcome player, home run or strikeout. The good news for him is Marco Estrada allows home runs. He’s just $3,200 on DraftKings and $2,700 on FanDuel, a cheap enough alternative that you could use him in cash games if you really needed the salary, though we prefer him in tournaments.
Ryon Healy (OAK) is a preferred option against LHP, but Matt Cain is not good (see above) and there is a chance you might need to utilize his salary. He’s just $3,400 on DraftKings and $2,600 on FanDuel. Joey Gallo (TEX) hits 9th, removing him from cash game consideration, but prodigious power, an excellent macro environment and a positive delta in Hard% put him on our radar for tournaments.
Francisco Lindor (CLE) and Elvis Andrus (TEX) lead the way in terms of raw projection, but it’s unlikely that you’ll spend up for their salaries in cash games. That leaves us again being picky and trying to utilize site specific values. Tyler Saladino (CHW) holds SS eligibility on DraftKings, where he can be used at just $2,800 should he make the lineup. If not, both Ryan Goins (TOR) and Brandon Crawford (SF) lag just behind him in terms of overall value. Goins would be the preferred option of the duo, getting the better overall context and a matchup with James Shields.
On FanDuel, it’s less likely you’ll need to dip all the way down to one of the aforementioned options. Marcus Semien (OAK) provides some additional value over Lindor or Andrus at $3,100 and will come with the benefit of a premier lineup spot and a matchup with Matt Cain. Furthermore, of all the shortstop options on the slate, it’s Semien who comes with the most power upside. Jean Segura (SEA) would be another alternative that is reasonably priced on FanDuel, getting the platoon edge on Cole Hamels.
It’s likely that one of your outfield spots will be filled with Jose Bautista (TOR) on Monday’s slate. Bautista comes with a road leadoff spot matchup against James Shields and is just $4,000 on DraftKings and $3,300 on FanDuel. The hardest part about playing him will be ensuring you don’t use up all your Blue Jays capital before you reach the OF.
Nelson Cruz (SEA), Steve Pearce (TOR), and Matt Joyce (OAK) follow just behind Bautista in the per dollar rankings on both sites. Cruz draws the platoon edge against Cole Hamels who is posting his worst season by xFIP by nearly a full point and has seen his strikeout rate dip to 14.4%. Although worthy of mentioning, Cruz’ .400 wOBA and .319 ISO against LHP since 2015.
Pearce is coming off a walk-off grand slam that might put him in the public’s head in a matchup against James Shields (his second of the week), but it’s the price tag that stands out most. He’s just $3,400 on DraftKings and $2,700 on FanDuel, a cheaper way to get exposure to the highly coveted Blue Jays offense. Joyce will slide to the leadoff spot to face the aging Matt Cain. He’s the ideal platoon man and might not be a necessary value on FanDuel at $2,900, but for $3,300 on DraftKings he’s in the mix.
Mookie Betts (BOS) and Derek Fisher (HOU) are another pair of leadoff men who grace the top ten in per dollar value on both sites. Mookie and the Red Sox don’t find themselves in the positional analysis much on this slate but draw a matchup with right-hander Mike Clevinger. The batted ball data and lower implied run total might push ownership away from Mookie, but the price tag ($4,500 on DraftKings) and potential upside makes him a worthy one-off candidate.
Fisher hasn’t been up long but has been pushed to the leadoff spot with George Springer‘s absence. He’s demonstrated both power and speed upside in his time in the minor leagues this season and will draw the platoon edge on Alex Cobb, as Cobb gets a negative park shift away from Tropicana Field. The price has jumped to $3,700 on DraftKings, but he’s still just $2,600 on FanDuel.
1) Toronto Blue Jays
The Jays have frustrated us for most of the season, but there’s no denying they are in the best spot on this slate. James Shield is terrible. This is not news to anyone, but it is astounding how consistently bad he’s been, posting a sub-5 xFIP in a single start just one time this entire season (and it was still above 4).
2) Cleveland Indians
Doug Fister is not right. Generally pretty stingy with control, Fister has walked 13.9% of batters faced. It’s a small sample, but drastic dips in GB rate and F-Strike% add to the warning signs.
3) Texas Rangers
4) Kansas City Royals
Additional Tournament Stacks
-Chicago White Sox: The White Sox make for one of the better contrarian stacks. Their lineup is not desirable and should deflate ownership, but Marco Estrada looks broken, posting xFIPs of 6.44, 7.23, 6.61, 6.25, 9.49, 6.46, and 7.16 over his past seven starts.
-Oakland Athletics: They may go overlooked due to park/cool weather, but the Athletics possess plenty of power upside against RHP (sixth in ISO in this split despite the poor park). Matt Cain is one of many gas cans on this slate.