Welcome to July 6 MLB DFS action. You’ll find Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Cliff Notes for July 6 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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00:54 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 6 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
Chris Sale (BOS) has a massive projection against a woeful Royals offense that leads him to be a -310 favorite with a 2.9 IRTA. His 10 K projection is even higher than the 9.5 that Verlander possessed last night. Sale is trending in the right direction, completing an average over 7 IP over his last five starts with an average of nearly 11 strikeouts. The only potential obstacle is a high cost on a large slate. However, unlike slates early in the week, the offense is spread out enough up top that strong mid-tier values are created that allow you to build around Sale. He’s the clear cash game play on both sites.
Sale’s competition up top comes from Jacob deGrom (NYM) who faces a Rays team that will lose the DH playing in an NL park. deGrom is one of the few SPs that competes with Sale in xwOBA, both registering marks below .265. He doesn’t share Sale’s absurd K rate but still has a high end mark of 31.5%, setting a career high by a good margin for the second consecutive season, something that is backed up by heightened SwStr rates. deGrom is a fine GPP pivot off of Sale given a lower cost and lower ownership, but the case isn’t close in cash games.
Given Sale’s big tag on DK, it’s necessary to grab some cap relief in your SP2 spot. Luckily we have a couple of viable options in German Marquez (COL) and Lance Lynn (MIN). Marquez has posted a solid 23% K rate this season and that’s been trending upwards. He’s coming off easily his best start of the season as he struck out 9 Dodgers while allowing just 1 ER over 8 IP. Marquez undergoes a negative league shift pitching in Seattle but it is a sizable positive park shift.
Lynn faces an Orioles team that ranks 25th in wRC+ against RHP with a high 24.8 K%. Perhaps more importantly the Orioles project to have 6 RHBs in the lineup and are mostly right-handed up top. That’s really important given Lynn’s wide splits, both historically and this season (16 K-BB% against RHBs, -1.3 versus LHBs).
Given the nature of the slate, we bypassed the mid-tier but there’s plenty to get excited about there. On FD, both Mike Foltynewicz (ATL) and Kenta Maeda (LAD) offer the type of high end upside you’d need to compete with Sale/deGrom while obviously leaving more room for bats. Folty has registered a 30-plus K% in 9/16 starts, which is darn impressive. Maeda always has duration concerns, but has been really efficient this season, posting a 3.01 FIP buoyed by a career best 27.9 K%.
Folty and Maeda are priced more aggressively on DK, and at that point we lose tournament interest since you could just go to Lance McCullers (HOU) who has incredible upside against a swing and miss happy White Sox team.
With McCullers, Foltynewicz, and Maeda price as expensive options, not mid-tier options, on DK, there’s still a pretty big void between them and the cheap options like Marquez and Lynn. Frankly, given the slate make up, it’s fine to go studs and duds on this slate and there are enough options to get some diversivation doing so. If you’re sold on finding mid-tier plays on DK, however, the best options is Zack Godley (ARI), almost exclusively due to the matchup against the Padres (27th in wRC+ against RHP, 25.8 K%). Sonny Gray (NYY) is a volatile asset that can be include in GPP formats as well. Felix Pena (LAA) has flashed some strong K upside, but a tough matchup and lack of duration keep him as a fringe tournament play only (also really cheap on FD).
Insert the lyrics from that one weird Lil’ Dicky rap song about saving money. That is what we’re trying to do at catcher on a full slate of games on Friday. Russell Martin (TOR), James McCann (DET), and Pedro Severino (WSH) sadly fill a catching void on DraftKings. The trio are all-sub $3,000 and Martin floods early optimals, his “better lineup spot” carrying him in his matchup with Sonny Gray. There are more appealing matchups, but the batted ball data is more encouraging for Martin as well (plus a career high in Hard% allowed from Gray).
McCann and Robinson Chirinos (TEX) square off against each other, both representing viable options in either format. McCann will get right-hander Bartolo Colon, who continues to walk no one, strike out no one, and allow a lot of hard contact (while allowing nearly 2 HR/9). The lineup spot and batted ball data are not great, but the price tag is appealing.
Chirinos’ projects better from a raw total perspective, but he’s also $800 more expensive when we are trying to save. He’s posted a .239 ISO versus RHP since 2016 and gets the newly minted flyball nature of Jordan Zimmermann.
While it’ll likely be one of those three on DraftKings, on FanDuel Victor Martinez (DET) might sneak into your lineup. He’s just $2,200 and should come with a top five lineup spot against Colon. He finds himself in some of the early optimals on the site.
Victor Martinez (DET) resurfaces as on option on DraftKings, where he’s first base eligible. He and Logan Morrison (MIN) (eligible on both sites) represent two of the top options at the position, filling the same criterion as the values at first base – cheap with the platoon edge.
Morrison has not been close to matching his power surge from last season (.160 ISO thus far, versus .270 last year), but he remains cheap and gets a tough, but exploitable power matchup with Dylan Bundy. Bundy has been tough, but has had six starts with at least two home runs allowed. A 4.9 implied run total and a .228 ISO in the split for LoMo since 2016 makes him a viable cheap cash game target.
On FanDuel you can grab a much better bat for just $100 more expensive in Daniel Murphy (WSH) who is first base eligible. Murphy grabs the platoon edge against right-hander Dan Straily who has allowed A TON of hard contact thus far, most of it aerial allowing 1.97 HR/9. The depth of the Nats lineup gives him a sixth place lineup spot, but the price tag and his skills against RHP (.388 wOBA, .229 ISO since 2016) make him a desirable play.
On a full slate, there are loads of potential pivots, some with cash game appeal. Chris Davis (BAL) and Joe Mauer (MIN) square off against each other, and fill the cheap first baseman void. Davis brings the power upside but is admittedly a bit scary for cash games despite a positive delta in Hard%. Lance Lynn has allowed a .200 ISO to LHB since 2016 and posted just a 15.2% K% against them, a small break for the K-prone Crush.
Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) gets the platoon edge and represents an expensive way to attack the position. It’s difficult to do in cash games with an emphasis on Chris Sale, but he should allow for unique lineups construction in GPPs. Edwin Encarnacion (CLE), Joey Gallo (TEX), and Freddie Freeman (ATL) add to a loaded list of potential options.
Rougned Odor (TEX) is the consensus top value on both sites at second base. The Rangers second baseman has posted a positive delta in batted ball data in the last fifteen days and will get the platoon edge on Jordan Zimmermann. He’s posted a .219 ISO with the platoon edge since 2016, and the cheap tag pushes him into some of the early optimals on both sites.
Daniel Murphy (WSH) is the pivot on DK, where he’s second base eligible and only $4,200. On FanDuel though, it’s Alen Hanson (SF) who despite an unappealing park and matchup is just $2,200. That price pushes him into any optimals that Odor doesn’t previously occupy.
Neil Walker (NYY) falls just behind these options from a value perspective, but he’s very cheap and has posted a large positive delta in Hard%. The Yanks are just another team with an implied run total over five runs.
Jose Altuve (HOU) and Brian Dozier (MIN) represent two of the pricier pivot options. The Astros have an implied run total of five runs against Reynaldo Lopez, who has not performed as well as his ERA might indicate allowing a lot of hard, aerial contact but keeping the ball in the park. Dozier gets a tough R-R matchup with Bundy, but he’s making his first start off the DL and has struggled with the long ball.
Jeimer Candelario (DET), Adrian Beltre (TEX), and Tim Beckham (BAL) are not the drool worthy hot corner names you’d expect at the top of the list on a full slate but the mixture of matchup and price has pushed them up the value rankings.
Jeimer has been better than anticipated thus far (114 wRC+, .210 ISO) and now gets a good lineup spot against Bartolo Colon. Though the Tigers implied run total is just 4.6 runs, the combination of the Colon matchup and the cheap price tags flushes them into the conversation at nearly every position. Most of the usage Candelario gets in early optimals is on the DraftKings side where he’s $4,000. Beltre falls slightly behind Candelario in price, but projects similarly from a raw total perspective. The savvy vet has posted good batted ball data and looks to exploit the .205 ISO Zimmermann has allowed to same handed batters since 2016.
You’re likely to move away from that Tigers/Rangers game on FanDuel though where Beckham is just $2,200 and crushing all the early optimals. While we’d much prefer to use left-handed hitters against Lance Lynn, the road leadoff spot and near minimum salary are too much to pass up.
Jose Ramirez (CLE), Anthony Rendon (WSH), and Alex Bregman (HOU) bring the thunder as the higher priced, higher upside options at the hot corner. We’ve already noted the matchups for Washington and Houston, but Ramirez and the Indians have flown a bit under the radar in their matchup with Paul Blackburn. Blackburn is a heavy contact guy that does put the ball on the ground, but the Indians hold an implied run total of 5.4 runs. Ramirez has excellent batted ball data and leads the way at the position in raw projection.
Elvis Andrus (TEX) and Trea Turner (WSH) are the top two options at the shortstop position on both sites. Andrus hits more of the early optimals, as he’s the cheaper of the two and he’s the road, second place hitter against Jordan Zimmermann. The batted ball data isn’t particularly encouraging, but the Rangers have an implied run total nearing five runs and Andrus will save you $1,200 on DraftKings and $600 on FanDuel.
Turner has moved about the lineup a bit of late, but could see his value increase with a first or second place lineup spot. He’s been considerably better versus same-handed pitchers in the early going of his career (.368 wOBA, .199 ISO since 2016) and furthermore it just aids his stolen base upside. At $4,700 on DraftKings it might a bit more difficult to fit him over Andrus, but where there is a chance to roster multiple minimum priced bats on FanDuel – you can potentially scrape for the extra $600 it’ll take to make him yours.
Nick Ahmed (ARI) would be the on-deck cheap option at the position. He’s somewhat of a platoon specialist, posting a .190 ISO versus LHP since 2016. Joey Lucchesi has been quite good (3.63 xFIP) but Ahmed also comes with a good lineup spot and a small positive delta in Hard%.
Manny Machado (BAL) and Francisco Lindor (CLE) are the cream of the crop. Safely projecting as the top two options at the position, they each come with a fifteen day Hard% in the 30s and neutral value ratings on both sites. The slate makeup is such that it’ll be unlikely they find their way into many lineups, but Lindor would seemingly have the upper hand as he draws an easier matchup with Paul Blackburn and a better overall context (5.4 implied run total versus just 4.6 for Machado).
Both Xander Bogaerts (BOS) and Didi Gregorius (NYY) could be thrust into the tournament conversation as well as shortstops with good lineup spots and implied run totals above five runs.
Littered with values, the outfield plays on some familiar trends. Bryce Harper (WSH), Adam Eaton (WSH), and Juan Soto (WSH) all rate as top ten values on both sites (with Harper leading the way on each) in their matchup with Dan Straily. Straily has struggled with the long ball and has allowed a .174 ISO to LHB since 2016. The price tags are reasonable and each of the three has had success with the platoon edge (particularly Harper, .258 ISO since 2016). Most of the early optimals contain at least one, but often two of these Nats outfielders.
Teammates Andrew Benintendi (BOS) and Mookie Betts (BOS) follow a similar path, both rating as top ten values in their matchup with Jason Hammel. The difficulty with Betts is the price tag, which makes him nearly inaccessible in cash games, unless forgoing one or both of the Nationals outfielders. Beni on the other hand is a bit more reasonably priced, particularly on FanDuel. The Red Sox are huge favorites and have an implied run total of 5.1 runs.
Brett Gardner (NYY) and Mikie Mahtook (DET) are perhaps the most utilized cheap values in early optimals. Gardner and the Yankees draw Sam Gaviglio and while not in their home park who has allowed a .193 ISO to LHB in a small sample since 2016. Gardner is just $3,500 on DraftKings where he’s a top value, on FanDuel at $3,300 he’s less of a value.
Mahtook has took over in the leadoff spot for the last four games for the Tigers, and should he be there against Bartolo Colon it’ll be nearly impossible to pass up his bare minimum tag on FanDuel and $3,100 price on DraftKings. Though typically a platoon only play, two of the last four games he’s lead off have been versus RHP.
Nomar Mazara (TEX) is a cheap way to get exposure to the Rangers who are on the road facing Jordan Zimmermann on DraftKings. He and his teammates Shin Soo Choo (TEX) and Joey Gallo (TEX) also flirt with the top values in the OF where they are priced so lowly on FanDuel.
A 14 game slate could have us list a million other potential viable outfield pivots. To refrain from doing so, we’ll let you know that Giancarlo Stanton (NYY), Aaron Judge (NYY), George Springer (HOU), and J.D. Martinez (BOS) are some of the most appealing, high upside (and high priced) one off potential plays that our projections like best.
1) Washington Nationals
2) Boston Red Sox
3) New York Yankees
4) Texas Rangers
On a larger slate, we get high tier one stacks scores than last night. However, like last night, there’s less massive separation from the elite stacks and everyone else as the drop off in team rankings is pretty consistent.
Also like yesterday, the Nationals top our stack rankings. We likely won’t see a duplication of the two TD performance they put up last night, but they do possess the second highest IRT against Dan Straily, owner of a .405 xwOBA that has him ranked 371 out of 382 qualified pitchers. It’s difficult to see him navigating this deep lineup multiple times through.
Following the Nationals, we get the elite AL East offenses in the Red Sox and Yankees, who rank one and four respectively in wRC+ against RHP and two and one in ISO. Both are in juicy road matchups with a guaranteed nine innings. The Red Sox face Hammel and his combination of a low K rate and high Hard%. The Yankees are in a better offensive environment. Opposing SP Sam Gavigilio has pitched okay for the Blue Jays, but ZiPS projects him for a 5.12 ERA and 1.64 HR/9 rest of season.
The least talented of the tier one offenses is easily the Rangers, but they clearly the cheapest. They’re on the road in an underrated offensive environment in Detroit. There’s some volatility here against Jordan Zimmermann who was outstanding in his last start and has a surprisingly good 3.20 FIP. However, his larger sample 2016-17 numbers are atrocious.
5) Cleveland Indians
6) Houston Astros
We move right back from the Ranger to more elite offenses in Cleveland and Houston. Cleveland actually has the highest IRT on the slate and it’s possible our projections on opposing SP Paul Blackburn are too conservative. He won’t miss bats but has okay wOBA and ISO baselines because of a high GB rate and low BB rate.
Houston faces Reynaldo Lopez (5.45 xFIP) and a bad White Sox bullpen. Like all of the top two tier stacks, their IRT hovers around 5.
7) Milwaukee Brewers
8) Minnesota Twins
As per usual, the event oriented nature of the Brewers lineup gives them a better stack ranking than their IRT would otherwise indicate. They’ll likely be contrarian against Mike Foltynewicz who has pitched really well, but throw in some strong 15-day Hard rates for the Brew Crew and some slightly below average BB, GB, and Hard-Soft rates for Foltynewicz and the upside is apparent.
The Twins face Dylan Bundy who has been impressive missing bats this season but less impressive in terms of batted ball data that has led to 1.69 HR/9 and a .238 xISO that supports those ugly power numbers.
9) Arizona Diamondbacks
10) Colorado Rockies
11) Detroit Tigers
Beyond the top three tiers of stacks there’s not much reason to full stack on a slate where ownership will likely get spread out, giving players less reason to force contrarian stances. With that said there is some appeal for cheaper stacks that you can squeeze in around Chris Sale, which brings into player the Tigers and the Orioles (just missed this tier).