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July 7 MLB DFS: Max Out Your O’s
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Welcome to July 7 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for July 6 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 7 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:40 Starting Pitcher
13:35 Catcher
16:23 First Base
19:39 Second Base
21:53 Third Base
24:58 Shortstop
27:21 Outfield
30:31 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 7 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

 Starting Pitcher

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

On a large slate Friday night, we get the elite SP-Coors dilemma. Max Scherzer (WAS) takes the hill against Atlanta. Atlanta, especially with Freeman back, isn’t a team we pick on. This about Scherzer’s remarkable ability, though. On FD, we’d expect someone with his salary to score around 38 FD points. Scherzer is averaging 52.5. On DK he’s priced more appropriately, but he’s also easier to construct rosters around given the flexibility on that site. While the past FPPG does a good job illustrating how strong of a play Scherzer is even at expensive tags, it’s not a good tool for evaluating SPs. In Scherzer’s case we’re most excited by the 35.6 K% (37.1 over his last five starts). We’d sacrifice expensive bats before sacrificing Scherzer in cash games. On a Coors slate plus another gaudy stack in play (the Yankees), Scherzer can be faded in tournaments.

Kenta Maeda (LAD) is the mid-tier value our model likes most across both sites, and he’s cheap enough to be used as an SP2 on DK next to Scherzer and Coors bats. Maeda’s had an average season, but the peripherals suggest it could and should be better: unlucky HR/FB rate and LOB% despite above average marks in Hard-Soft% and K%. The biggest red flag with Maeda isn’t the 4.56 ERA; it’s a truly baffling ugly start against the Padres last time out in which his GB dipped, and he was only able to record one strikeout. It’s concerning for a pitcher who can get a quick hook, as he’s failed to pitch past five innings in the majority of his starts this season. As a result, we’re fine risking Maeda as an SP2 on DK against a below average Royals team that is now without a DH (Maeda -200, 3.5 IRTA). However, the floor is shaky enough that he’s not a lock and can’t be trusted in FD cash games.

While Maeda is the most universally liked play, there are different pivots who rate similarly on both sites. On DK, Jordan Montgomery (NYY) comes with more environmental risk (AL park, plus hitter’s park, IRTA nearly a run higher than Maeda’s), but has more upside at a lower price. The biggest concern here is the combination of park, opponent, and Montgomery’s recent homer issues (allowed 7 HRs over his last 5 starts). The biggest appeal is the strikeout upside. Montgomery has struck out at least five batters in seven of eight starts, and the Brewers carry a hefty 26.0 K% against LHP into this matchup.

Sean Manaea (OAK) lags a touch behind Montgomery and Maeda in our value projections (a lot of that is due to much lower win probability), but if you’re willing to sacrifice win probability, Manaea has a nice combination of K upside and a forgiving ballpark (in Safeco). It’s also important to note he’s completed 6-plus innings in seven of eight starts.

If you really want to save money, Matt Moore (SF) gives us no confidence from a peripheral standpoint (5.27 xFIP), but optimistic projection systems (low 4s ERA with a K% over 20) give him just enough glimmer to be appealing at a $5,500 tag in the best pitcher’s park in all of baseball.

On FD, the value pivots off of Scherzer actually start up top as both Carlos Carrasco (CLE) and Jacob deGrom (NYM) have significant strikeout upside at much friendlier tags than they possess on DK, although they still make sense in tournaments there as well. If you were getting off Scherzer in cash games on FD, it’d likely be for Carrasco who is a -200 favorite with a 3.8 IRTA. The heavy right-handed Tigers lineup leaves Carrasco with a healthy 6.9 K projection (.286 wOBA and 28.1 K% allowed to RHBs since 2015). If you buy into Zack Greinke‘s (ARI) huge K rate gains this season, it’s easy to see him as the top value of this group on FD. We’ve split the difference on Greinke’s baseline between 2015/16, which puts him projected nearly identical to Carrasco at almost the same price on FD.

High risk, high reward strikeout options on both sites (but providing the most bang for their buck on FD) are Drew Pomeranz (BOS) and Nick Pivetta (PHI). Both possess above average K rates. Pomeranz faces a Rays team that has the second highest K% against LHP. Pivetta faces a Padres team that has the highest K% against RHP. NOTE: Pivetta is not available in the main slate.

On both sites, James Paxton (SEA) rates just outside the top five values. After an encouraging bounce back in velocity at the end of June, Paxton’s average fastball velocity dropped to its second lowest mark of the season in his last outing.

A quick note on tournament strategy: on DK it’s not hard to keep heavy Max exposure and cycle through different cheap SP2s. There are enough options with solid value upside to employ this strategy and still fill in decent bats. FD is odd. Max provides way more value relative to his peers on that site. Hypothetically that makes him a tougher fade, but the way pricing works, it’s pretty impossible to even mini-stack the top stacks with Scherzer. It just comes down to if you want to capture Scherzer’s immense value and find cheaper/lower upside stacks, or if you want to create lineups that come with more offensive upside. If you go the latter route, the underpriced aces in Carrasco and Greinke allow you to match Scherzer in a perfect world while devoting nearly $3k more to bats.

Catcher

This is a Scherzer slate with Colorado at Coors with an IRT of seven runs. You know what this means at the catcher position – we’re trying to get out of here with a cheap option. On both sites, Brian McCann (HOU) with the platoon edge in a good hitting environment stands out. McCann is just $3,100 on DK and $2,800 on FD, which are nice price tags for a middle of the order bat. The Astros have an IRT of 5.1 runs.

Ryan Hanigan (COL) is a direct alternative to McCann around the industry as he’ll have the platoon edge in Coors. We particularly like the price tag for Hanigan on DK where he’s sub $3k.

Every dollar counts on FD, so if you need a full punt at the position Martin Maldonado (LAA) is acceptable. The matchup isn’t great on paper, but we’ll have to see if Cole Hamels can continue to return to form (pitched well in his first start coming off the DL) because he’s been abysmal this season (12.3% K rate, 5.34 xFIP are career worse marks). Welington Castillo (BAL) is another viable alternative with power upside at a cheap price tag on both sites. 

Gary Sanchez (NYY) is the top projected scorer at the position as well as our best value. Of course, the challenge with Sanchez is simply a matter of an appropriate price tag on DK and a price tag on FD that looks great ($3,500) but impossible to fit alongside Scherzer + decent bats. We like Sanchez a lot in tournaments – his HHR is up to 38.8% over the L15 and Junior Guerra has been more lucky than good (7.10 FIP, 6.02 xFIP, 13.5% BB rate).

First Base

Mark Reynolds (COL) gets the Rockies conversation started in this slate as the top projected scorer at first base. Reynolds will have the platoon edge against Derek Holland, who’s allowed a .364 wOBA and .222 ISO to RHBs since 2015. The Rockies once again have an elevated total in Coors (seven runs), and ideally we’d like to fit some of their RH pieces alongside Scherzer in cash games. On DK, this is a very easy route to take in cash games but on FD roster construction will be more difficult with Scherzer priced fully and less discounted bats.

The routes on FD with Scherzer are with sub $3k 1b options like Trey Mancini (BAL) and Albert Pujols (LAA). We prefer Mancini, whose HHR is stronger (27.3% over the L15) of late and fits one of the stacks we like the most valuewise in this slate. A 24.6% HR/FB rate is unsustainable for Mancini, but he gets a rookie SP that doesn’t project well and an atrocious bullpen behind that young SP – these are simply great matchups.

Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) (facing Tim Adleman and his FB tendencies in Chase Field) , Jose Abreu (CWS) (the other 1B in Coors), Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) and Cody Bellinger (LAD) are viable upside pivots in tournaments.

Second Base

DJ LeMahieu (COL) is the top projected scorer at second base. He was back in the lineup yesterday, so we’re no longer concerned about health here. LeMahieu is also the best value at the position on both sites, but like the rest of the Rockies’ bats he’s a much easier fit on DK than on FD.

On FD, Jason Kipnis (CLE) is your cash game target at the position. Kipnis is just $2,700 on that site and he gives you cheap access to a Cleveland offense that’s in a great spot – facing Jordan Zimmermann, who’s basically performed like Matt Cain this season. Kipnis is also a strong value on DK, where his price tag remains discounted as well ($3,600).

We haven’t seen Alen Hanson (CWS) in the White Sox lineup of late, but when we’ve seen him he’s been hitting in the leadoff spot. If that’s the case, Hanson emerges as a solid value as the road leadoff hitter in Coors.

Jonathan Villar (MIL) is another strong value with a cheap price tag on DK ($3,600). Villar is in Yankee Stadium, but he will hit from the right side of the plate in his first few PAs. Villar is part of an offense that has a lower IRT (4.4) than any of the options above, and at a similar price tag we’ll always side with Coors in cash games. We prefer Villar in tournaments.

Brian Dozier (MIN) still has an accessible price tag around the industry, but he won’t have the platoon edge and Kevin Gausman has pitched much better of late. Dozier is a good target in tournaments as Vegas isn’t buying into Gausman just yet (IRTA of 5.1 runs).

Third Base

Alas, we get to Nolan Arenado (COL) with the platoon edge in Coors. Arenado projects as a can’t miss hitter, and we’re treating him this way on DK where having access to him won’t require you fading Scherzer. Arenado has generated a .369 wOBA and .242 ISO vs. LHP since 2015 – in Coors facing a subpar SP, you’re not fading this play in cash games where it’s easy to roster him. A 6.5% HHR over the L15 and massive ownership coming to him makes this a reasonable fade in tournaments.

On FD, the discussion largely surrounds Manny Machado (BAL) in cash games unless you’re willing to look elsewhere at SP. Machado fits the FD slate – a discounted bat ($3,100) facing a young SP that projects poorly (Felix Jorge – 5.50 ROS ERA, 5.37 ROS K/9). Miguel Sano (MIN) is reachable at $3,500 and we love the upside here, but an extra $400 really feels like an extra $1,000 on FD in this slate. Even Jake Lamb (ARI) at $3,600 is a great price tag for his skills and context, but we’ll need punts elsewhere to make these price tags work.

Justin Turner (LAD) has a 27.5% HHR over the L15 (positive delta, and it’s higher than any of the 3b options above) and facing a RHP that struggles with RH power. Turner is a strong target in tournaments.

Shortstop

Trevor Story (COL) with the platoon edge in Coors represents the top projected scorer at the shortstop position, and we have him hitting seventh. As is the case with the other Rockies RHBs, this is a much easier fit on DK where Story is $3,900 vs. FD’s $3,500 price tag. He’s still the best point per dollar target on FD, but realistically we’re going to have to look elsewhere in cash games if using Scherzer.

Didi Gregorius (NYY) is $400 cheaper than Story on FD, and as we’ve mentioned every single dollar is going to count on that site. Didi has been hitting cleanup of late for the Yankees, and he gets that short porch vs. a pitcher we expect to regress in a big way (Junior Guerra).

As far as alternatives go, Francisco Lindor (CLE) looks like a direct alternative to Story but we prefer to eat the chalk with Story in cash games. We like Lindor and his positive HHR over the L15 vs. Jordan Zimmermann (Story’s HHR is sub 10% over the L15) in tournaments.

Elvis Andrus (TEX) for $3,200 is a fine alternative to Story as well. Andrus also has a positive delta in his HHR  (27% over the L15) and he gets to hit in a great hitting environment as well (Texas). NOTE: Andrus is on the paternity list though he should be back some time this weekend. 

Outfield

Aaron Judge (NYY) is the top projected scorer in the OF and he projects better than all of the Coors RHBs except Arenado. We love Judge in tournaments (Yankee Stadium vs a weak pitcher), but the price tag is too steep to pay alongside the Coors bats in cash games. The same can be said for Bryce Harper (WSH), who’s in a favorable matchup for power as well (R.A. Dickey).

The name of the game is cheap values in the OF. Adam Jones and Seth Smith (BAL) remain free on DK, and this time around their SP matchup is much more favorable (Felix Jorge). They are perfect fits in cash games on DK, and they’re good values on FD as well. Michael Brantley (CLE) is even cheaper than he was last night on DK ($3,700), and his context looks even more favorable tonight. On FD, we get David Peralta (ARI) for $2,900 at home vs. a fly ball oriented SP. Mark Trumbo (BAL) looks like a good value at $3,300 but that’s a difficult price tag to fit alongside Scherzer (we’d rather have Jones/Smith at $2,800). Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY) has a good price tag on both sites, but a more reachable one on DK ($3,500). Billy Hamilton (CIN) and his speed upside get a discount on DK ($3,400) given the tough matchup vs. Zack Greinke. Brian Goodwin (WSH) and Max Kepler (MIN) still have sub $2,800 price tags on FD and they’ll have the platoon edge in good matchups.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Colorado Rockies

Pricing allows you to mini-stack Rockies in DK cash. They’ll likely be the highest owned stack on both sites.

Tier Two

2) New York Yankees

The Yankees are interesting to us on both sites. While the IRT is the second highest meaning this isn’t a bold call, Junior Guerra has quietly been horrific – 7.10 FIP. A lucky BABIP and LOB% has kept the ERA somewhat in check, at least until recently (12 ERs last two starts, at least 3 ER in five straight starts). The Yankees have the elite power upside you want in an expensive stack, and they could go somewhat under owned on FD if lots of people view their lineup choice as binary – Max or the Rockies.

Tier Three

3) Chicago White Sox

4) Cleveland Indians

5) Texas Rangers

With temperatures somewhat cooling across the country, the heat in Texas is even more appealing for hitters. They’re our favorite tournament stack from this tier on the combination of upside and expected ownership. Nolasco has been very homer prone this season, and this is a team you can stack with anyone 1-9, getting really low ownerships at the bottom of the order.

Tier Four

6) Baltimore Orioles

7) Arizona Diamondbacks

8) Los Angeles Dodgers

9) Milwaukee Brewers

10) Washington Nationals

Felix Jorge cannot miss bats. ZiPS is projecting a lowly 5.37 K/9. There’s disaster start potential whenever you allow that much contact at the big league level, especially since projection systems don’t expect him to curtail the long ball either. The Orioles will be low owned.

The Brewers may not be super low owned, but they may possess the most upside in an optimal outcome. They’re a road team, guaranteeing themselves nine innings. They’re one of the most event oriented teams in all of baseball, nearing the league lead in both steals and homers. Opposing pitcher Jordan Montgomery has struggled with the long ball recently.