The Daily MLB Rundown – DraftKings MLB DFS Picks – July 31, 2020 (7/31/20)

Welcome to the Daily MLB Rundown for DraftKings contests on Friday, July 31, 2020

Friday gives us a deeper slate, 12 games in total for the contests starting at 7:05pm est.  Looking at the slate, there are some high end pitchers, some poor options that should be prime to stack against – and all in all, it’s a pretty balanced slate with lots of options to choose from when it comes to line-up construction.  Not too much to worry about in terms of weather – so let’s dive in and look at some ways to approach line-up construction tonight!

Approach to Pitching

Yu Darvish ($10,500) is my favourite option on the mound tonight.  He draws a plus match-up against a Pirates line-up that has been dismal all season long, something that I don’t think will change anytime soon.  Darvish had an up and down first start to the season – but he was able to miss bats, building on his great second half in 2019 that saw him be one of the best pitchers in the game, pitching to an ERA of 2.76 while posting 13 K/9 and less than one walk per nine (0.76).  He’s fairly pricey – but nothing that will break the bank, and while I don’t expect low ownership levels on him, you should be able to go significantly over-weight the field with 40-50% exposure, a number that I’d feel comfortable with.

A second arm that I don’t think will be too popular with the masses is Lance McCullers ($9,000) tonight as he goes up against a tough Angels line-up.  The Angels historically have done a great job of putting the bat on ball – which may limit McCullers’ ceiling – but he has an eletric arm, looked very solid in his first start of the season – and I like McCullers as a nice pivot off of some of the more chalk options tonight who I either think are in more difficult spots (Clevenger), or that I just don’t think offer the same upside (Manaea).

If you are looking for a punt with upside, and a rather large range of potential outcomes, Kris Bubic ($4,000) is in play tonight.  The match-up for him isn’t too easy, the White Sox have some quality sticks, and while Bubic has yet to throw a pitch above high-A – he is a highly touted prospect, one that was able to miss bats at a healthy clip in his low-minors career, registering 185 K’s in 149 innings, while not walking the yard.  He’s volatile, but at this price, he doesn’t have to do a whole heck of a lot to hit value, and I like his chances of avoiding a blow-up start here.

I’ve added a couple arms that I expect to be chalk that I still do like on the cheat sheet below.

Approach to Hitting

For hitting tonight, we see the Yankees check in with the highest projected total – sitting at 6.1 runs, and we also have Coors Field on the slate with a projected total of 11.5 runs, so that should garner a fair amount of interest as well.  My preference for tonight is to focus on some other stack options rather than the above (though I think that the Yankees for 15-20% exposure is a good call) – I think the pitchers tossing tonight in Coors enough to like the chances of keeping the total from seeing crooked numbers going up on the board.  Here are a couple options where I like the spot tonight:

  • Houston vs. Matt Andreise

Andreise is a pitcher who has struggled with the longball over his career, moreso over the past two years, allowing 1.33 HR/9 over his career.  His figure was lower last year pitching out of the pen at 1.02 HR/9 – but in his last two years as a starter he has given up 1.67 HR/9 and 1.72 HR/9, respectively.  I’m surprised to see the Astros sitting at a projected total of 5.1 for tonight, but I like the set-up for them tonight against a hittable arm.  The Astros have faced some tough arms along the way, something that I don’t think is the case tonight, and even though hitting in LA isn’t the best park – I think you’ve got a great shot at getting exposure to a high upside stack that will be lower owned than I think they should be.  2B Jose Altuve ($5,100), 3B Alex Bregman ($4,500) and OF Michael Brantley ($2,800) give you the likely 2-3-4 hitters in the line-up and should be a core part of HOU stacks, and you can sprinkle in the likes of 1B Yuri Gurriel ($3,100), SS Carlos Correa ($3,900) and OF Kyle Tucker ($3,300), assuming they are penciled into tonight’s line-up.  Keep an eye on the status of OF George Springer for tonight, who will likely be a GTD.

  • Cubs vs. Trevor Williams

With Coors on the docket, and the Yankees projected for 6+ runs, you get a shot to get a stack with low-moderate ownership levels that would generally be one of, if not the chalk of the night as the Cubs go up against Trevor Williams – who looked poor in his first start, and is coming off of a poor 2019 that saw him pitch to an era of 5.38, a FIP of 5.12 and a xFIP of 5.25 while allowing 1.67 HR/9.  All in all, the Cubs are projected for 5.1 runs tonight, and I’d gladly take the over here.  You could opt to roll with a 1-5 stack here, as they are the best bats the Cubs have to offer, led by 3B/OF Kris Bryant ($4,700), 1B Anthony Rizzo ($4,600), SS Javier Baez ($4,200) and to a lesser extent, OF Kyle Schwarber ($4,000) and C Willson Contreras ($4,200).  While they are not a cheap stack, they are cheaper than they should be in my opinion, and I love this spot for the Cubs tonight, who are my favourite stack on the board – especially when you factor in projected ownership levels.

Cheat Sheet

Mike Clevinger
(10k / 15.71)
Gary Sanchez
(4.7k / 1.06)
Peter Alonso
(5.1k / 13.27)
Manny Machado
(5k / 15.06)
Fernando Tatis Jr.
(6k / 17.29)
David Dahl
(4.8k / 14.53)
Nolan Arenado
(5.5k / 16.03)
Trevor Story
(5.7k / 16.70)
Cody Bellinger
(5.4k / 15.10)
Jose Ramirez
(4.6k / 11.55)
Ronald Acuna
(5.5k / 15.11)
Luis Castillo
(8k / 17.63)
Yasmani Grandal
(4.5k / 11.56)
Luke Voit
(3.9k / 9.12)
Gleyber Torres
(4.5k / 13.79)
Eugenio Suarez
(4k / 10.33)
Tim Anderson
(4k / 11.24)
Aaron Judge
(4.6k / 15.17)
DJ LeMahieu
(4.1k / 13.44)
Yoshi Tsutsugo
(4.2k / 10.40)
Tucker Barnhart
(2.4k / 2.88)
Evan White
(2.9k / 5.30)
Mike Moustakas
(3.6k / 10.18)
Nico Hoerner
(2.8k / 0.45)
Shogo Akiyama
(2.5k / 7.27)
Josh Reddick
(2.1k / 4.40)

Good luck in your contests tonight!


About Brad

Brad hates the term fantasy sports expert, so instead he is someone who specializes in NFL, NHL and MLB DFS notes and analysis. He had a 68.2% win rate in 2015 NFL cash games to go along with a 83.5% win rate for the 2014 season. For NHL he had a 58.7% win rate in the 2015-16 season for cash games and a 66.2% win rate for the 2014-15 season. You can follow him on Twitter @bradsgotmoxy.

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