Welcome to July 8 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for July 8 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 8 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:08 Starting Pitcher
10:30 First Base
12:43 Second Base
15:25 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 8 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
On a short slate Saturday night that lacks elite starting pitching, Jeff Samardzija (SF) tops our SP rankings. Shark’s K rate has come back down to earth recently (21% over his last five games, 26.8 on the season), but even with some regression in that department, Samardzija’s having a phenomenal season, really limiting his walks and also reducing his Hard-Soft% from a year ago. The Marlins are a neutral matchup, but it’s a great park for pitching. We’re also expecting Samardzija to be a heavy favorite as Chris O’Grady makes his MLB debut for the Marlins.
Following Samardzija in the rankings are Brandon McCarthy (LAD) and Mike Clevinger (CLE). Both are tricky to project for different reasons. We view McCarthy as the more stable pitcher from a run prevention standpoint, and the Vegas totals agree. However, it’s tough to pin down an IP expectation on many of the pitchers in a constantly shuffling Dodgers rotation. We do know McCarthy should be effective against a Royals team that is 26th in wRC+ against RHP and loses the DH.
Clevinger’s risk comes on the run prevention side. As strong as his last start was (against this same Tigers team), it could have gone sideways quickly as Clevinger walked the bases loaded at one point and is homer prone. Clevinger has a 13.3 BB% on the season. However, Clevinger also displayed his high K upside, striking out seven batters. This is a Tigers team that will strike out an above average rate against RHP. More importantly, Clevinger’s 28.4 K% is backed by a 13.8 SwStr%.
Jake Arrieta (CHC) is projected right behind McCarthy and Clevinger but carries a higher price tag on both sites. Given Arrieta’s struggles this season and the Pirates contact heavy ways, we view him as a touch overpriced relative to McCarthy and Clevinger.
Tournament options include the volatile Taijuan Walker (ARI) and Jeff Hoffman (COL), two pitchers with a high K ceiling in any given outing but plenty of run prevention risk, especially considering their parks. A similar type of play at a very low cost is the electric Luis Castillo (CIN), who has struck out 30.1% of batters faced through three starts, averaging 97.8 mph on his fastball, leading to a 14.2 SwStr%.
Yasmani Grandal (LAD) is our favorite cash game play at the position. Grandal is hitting from the left side of the plate (.349 wOBA, .226 ISO vs. RHP since 2015) vs. Ian Kennedy, who’s allowed a .212 ISO to LHBs since 2015. Grandal has been dialed in at the plate lately, generating a high positive delta in his HHR over the L15 (28%).
Buster Posey (SF) is the top projected scorer at the position, and the price tag on FD is very accessible ($3,100). Posey has the platoon edge, and he’s always been more productive vs. LHP. Since 2015, he’s generated a .383 wOBA and .189 ISO vs. southpaws. Posey is a primary target on FD and a better one for tournaments on DK.
Alex Avila (DET) and Jonathan Lucroy (TEX) are pivots to consider in tournaments around the industry. Lucroy in particular is appealing to us, as he’s just $2,500 on FD and will get to hit in a great hitting environment for a Texas offense that has the highest IRT on the slate (6.1 runs).
Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) is the top projected scorer at first base and while the price tag is efficient on DK ($5,500), if you really wanted to fit him you could thanks to the soft pricing elsewhere. We’re opting to use him in tournaments on DK instead given the cheaper targets that are available to us at the position. On FD, the gap in pricing isn’t as huge and it’s viable to use him in cash games.
Cody Bellinger (LAD) and Miguel Cabrera (DET) have silly price tags on DK at $4,200 and $3,600 respectively. They’ll be chalky, but you shouldn’t avoid them in cash games and Bellinger’s mammoth upside makes it a scary fade in tournaments. Their HHR’s over the L15 have cooled off, but at these price tags they represent the best point per dollar targets at the position and they have matchups against pitchers that have issues with allowing power (Ian Kennedy and Mike Clevinger). $3,700 for Bellinger on FD is also an attractive price tag in cash games. If you wanted to get exposure to Coors at the position, Mark Reynolds (COL) is also $3,700 and he will have the platoon edge.
Jose Abreu (CWS) (positive delta in his HHR over the L15 and he’s in Coors) and Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) are pivots to consider in tournaments.
Rougned Odor (TEX) represents the top projected scorer at second base. We love his upside. Since 2015, Odor has generated a .229 ISO vs. RHP and we have a .223 ISO baseline for him with the platoon edge. Jesse Chavez has allowed a .171 ISO to LHBs since 2015, and he’ll have to pitch in Texas tonight. Odor is a great play on both sites, but he’s an easier fit on DK where pricing is so soft that you can play whoever you want.
DJ LeMahieu (COL) in Coors with the platoon edge is a fine alternative on both sites. Jason Kipnis (CLE) is still free on both sites, and Cleveland has an IRT over five runs vs. Justin Verlander. Chase Utley (LAD) as the leadoff hitter for the Dodgers (IRT of 5.1 runs) and a cheap price tag on DK makes him the second best point per dollar target. His salary relief simply isn’t necessary in cash games, and the same can be said about Kipnis on that site.
Ian Kinsler (DET) and Robinson Cano (SEA) are pivots to consider in tournaments. Cano has a positive delta in his HHR over the L15, and the Mariners have an IRT of 5.4 runs. Kinsler has a matchup against a reverse splits pitcher that has allowed plenty of power to RHBs (Clevinger).
Nolan Arenado (COL) is once again our top projected scorer regardless of position in this slate. Arenado has a more challenging matchup against Jose Quintana, but he’s now sub $5,000 on DK. He remains too easy of a fit on that site, and he’s not a difficult fit tonight on FD despite a full price tag (not paying so much for an SP certainly helps).
If you’re looking for direct alternatives on FD, Jake Lamb (ARI) at a sub $4,000 price tag stands out with the platoon edge in Chase Field. This route isn’t necessary in cash games, but if you needed a punt Luis Valbuena (LAA) is $2,400 and he’s in a much better hitting environment (Texas) than his home park. We prefer Kyle Seager (SEA) skills wise if you needed a punt at those prices. His price tag remains way too low on that site ($2,600).
Justin Turner (LAD) and Adrian Beltre (TEX) are viable alternatives in tournaments. They’re much cheaper than Arenado on FD. Todd Frazier (CWS) and his power stroke in Coors also plays well in tournaments. The downside is that he will K a ton but that’s reason enough to avoid him in cash games at a deep position.
Trevor Story (COL) carries the top projection at the shortstop position, and last night we saw him hit sixth vs. a LHP (we have him hitting seventh in our projections). Story’s negative delta in his HHR lately gives us enough reason to potentially make this fade in tournaments, but he’s too easy of a cash game play around the industry to pass him up. The upside here in Coors is tremendous. Story still hasn’t reached 200 PAs vs. LHP, but in 189 he’s generated a .299 ISO (35% K rate too).
If you’re searching for pivots in cash or tournaments, Elvis Andrus (TEX) has a good price tag on FD and he’s part of an offense we love in this slate (Texas). Andrus is also the best alternative to Story on DK. We’ll have to see if he’s activated from the paternity list.
Francisco Lindor (CLE) (his HHR over the L15 was already positive, but now the production has followed with a couple of strong performances in a row) and Corey Seager (LAD) are our favorite GPP pivots at the position.
Charlie Blackmon (COL) is the top projected scorer in the OF, but he doesn’t have the platoon edge and he’s expensive. We prefer him in tournaments, but the soft pricing in general on DK makes it possible to roster him in cash games.
As usual, we’re grabbing the values that are a part of the teams with the highest IRTs in the slate. On FD, Shin-soo Choo and Nomar Mazara (TEX) are simply too cheap at $3,100 and $3,000 respectively. They’ll have the platoon edge in Arlington (pushing nearly 90 degrees during the game). These two are also good values on DK though their price tags are a bit more appropriate (not that it matters on that site). Kyle Schwarber (CHC) is free ($2,300) and he’ll have the platoon edge. On both sites, A.J. Pollock and David Peralta (ARI) have strong price tags and they’re in Chase Field though their matchup is a bit more difficult (Luis Castillo has been really good, missing a ton of bats). You’re playing Cody Bellinger (LAD) either at 1B or in the OF on DK. $4,200 is an absurd price tag for him and it’s not like they discounted him because of the matchup (Ian Kennedy). If Adam Engel (CWS) leads off for the White Sox in Coors, he’d be an awesome play on DK where he’s $3,700 on DK. Billy Hamilton (CIN) is $4,000 on DK, which is a nice price tag given his unique speed upside. Hamilton breaks the mold of being part of a team with a high IRT, but he’s unlikely to carry big ownership. We like him in tournaments. You likely won’t need this salary relief on DK, but Austin Slater (SF) is $2,300 and he’ll have the platoon edge vs. a rookie SP. He’s the top point per dollar target on DK given the punt price. UPDATE: Slater was placed on the DL late last night.
1) Colorado Rockies
The Rockies face a better pitcher tonight in Jose Quintana, but they’re still the highest expected scoring team at home. Now the slate is smaller, making them an ideal cash game mini stack. They’re an interesting fade for some of the reasons we discussed last night (poor hard hit rates), especially now that ownership will be much higher and the opposing pitcher is better.
2) Texas Rangers
3) Los Angeles Dodgers
4) Chicago White Sox
5) Arizona Diamondbacks
The Dodgers may go under owned in this tier with Cody Bellinger cooling off recently and this stadium the least hitter friendly of the tier. It’s hot in Dodger Stadium (nearly 90) with a slight breeze blowing out. There’s a surprising amount of power upside here as opposing pitcher Ian Kennedy has gotten crushed with the long ball consistently the past three seasons: 1.66 HR/9, 1.52, and currently 1.78.
Texas, Chicago, and Arizona are all in elite offensive environments, making them fine second tier stacks. The Rangers actually narrowly edge out the Rockies for the highest IRT on the slate.
Luis Castillo is volatile. The electric stuff comes with downside – wildness and fly balls. This team has been consistently too low owned the past couple of weeks when not a premiere stack.
Additional Tournament Stacks
-Oakland Athletics: With a low IRT, ownership here will be low. However, opposing pitcher Andrew Moore has struggled to miss bats in his first two MLB starts (he did miss them in the Minors) and is going to be a very fly ball risky pitcher at the big league level. The Athletics rank fifth in ISO against RHP.