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

Welcome to the Daily MLB Rundown for FanDuel MLB DFS contests on Friday, July 31, 2020.

In this column, we’ll be walking you through the top pitchers and hitters (including stacks) to target for the day’s slate (7/31/2020).

Core Pitchers to Target

Yu Darvish vs PIT – $9,100 – If you are a consistent reader of the first few articles I have published of the year this will sound like a broken record but we are going to be targeting pitchers aginst the Pirates and Giants pretty heavily this year due to their very low ISO/wOBA/Most other stats under the sun.  The Pirates rank dead last in team wOBA against right-handed pitchers while ranking 24th in team ISO and having a team K rate of 27.9%. Darvish’s season opener against the Brewers wasn’t anything eye-popping, but it was still respectable going four innings and striking out five while allowing three earned. The price on Darvish feels a bit too low for the matchup here.

Luis Castillo vs DET, $10,100 – We get a rare sample play here as Castillo faces the same Tigers team he just faced a week ago. In that game, Castillo pitched six innings and fanned 11 batters. Could the Tigers make adjustments? Sure. But are the Tigers a potent offense to really worry about? No. There isn’t any need to over-analyze here, the Tigers have a 35% K-rate against RHP so far this year which tops the majors. Castillo is a strikeout pitcher. This is one of the best “on-paper” plays on the board, but it will be popular.

GPP Pitcher to Target

Dallas Keuchel vs KC, $7,000 – You aren’t going to get a ton of strikeouts out of Keuchel anymore (not that you got a ton to begin with) but the sinkerballer had a great showing in his first start of the year against a tough Twins offense in which he only allowed three hits and two runs throw five and a third. The matchup with KC today is a bit better than that one was and the White Sox hold a 58% win probability. We hope to pick up a few K’s along the way, but for just $7,000 this play opens up a lot of flexibility.

Core Stacks to Target

We return to Coors in 2020 with the first Rockies home game of the year against the Padres. I am going to try to limit my “Coors” talk in this article as the general consensus is usually to always grab exposure to a game there due to high home runs and higher runs scored. Garrett Richards and Jon Gray take the ball for the Padres and Rockies respectively and both had strong debuts. So this is my one note here, I think both teams are in play, as they always will be in Coors. But if I don’t mention Coors, then someone messages me asking about Coors. Moving on.

We’re back to the Yankees! Shocking, I know. But with a 6.2 projected run total and a matchup against Ryan Weber who was shelled in his first start it is hard not to just keep going back to the Yankees time and time again. They are likely going to be the highest owned team every night, but exposures are spread more evenly in baseball that it really shouldn’t change the process all that much. Weber is allowing left-handed hitters to hit .317 against him over his career (don’t worry, RHH are still at .252) – the slight problem with this is the Yankees are predominantly a right-handed hitting squad, though they could surprise us with a lineup tonight. But without that lineup, we are going to be guessing a bit. Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner seem like the easy places to get LHH exposure, though Gardner has been getting buried in the lineup. Honestly, getting LHH is an added bonus for me, as Judge/Stanton/LeMahieu all remain in play for me tonight regardless.

The Braves round out my favorite stacks of the night. The Braves will face the Mets and Rick Porcello who looked rough in his first start, allowing six earned runs in just two innings against guess who, the Braves. I am not a guy who believes performances just duplicate themselves, but I do believe in confidence and the Braves should have plenty knowing they are facing a pitcher they just knocked around. Porcello has pitched pretty evenly to LHH and RHH throughout his career, though there is still a small edge to lefties. Freedie Freeman, Matt Adams, and Ender Inciarte make up my favorite left-handed targets, while Dansby Swanson moving up to the #2 batting spot may be my favorite overall play.

GPP Stack to Target

I am not going to change my process from yesterday at all when it comes to my favorite GPP stack to target. We need to remember, “GPP” is synonymous with “risk” therefore this isn’t always going to pan out. You are assuming way more risk than reward with these, but when they do hit, the reward will be bountiful because of ownership. Last night is what I said about the Twins facing Shane Bieber. It did not work. Tonight the Twins face Mike Clevinger and the same theory applies. Therefore I will leave what I wrote yesterday below.

One of my favorite things to do for tournaments in MLB is to attack a team that is in a tougher matchup on paper but historically have a great offense. Tonight that perfectly describes the Minnesota Twins. Twins players are typically some of the highest owned slate to slate because of their home run ceiling and high run totals, but on nights like tonight where they face a tougher pitcher or one-off of a great start – Shane Beiber (tonight Mike Clevenger) – we are going to get hitters at much lower ownership. The highest projected Twins ownership right now is Nelson Cruz at 8% and though this is subject to change, with the Yankees, Angels, and likely Mets set up to be higher owned, you can get a Twins team that can go off at any point for little to no ownership across the field.

Check out our cheatsheet below for the full list of players in our player pool today

Cheat Sheet

Yu Darvish
(9.1k / 40.98)
Freddie Freeman
(4k / 20.12)
DJ LeMahieu
(3.7k / 17.53)
Nolan Arenado
(4.1k / 20.90)
Trevor Story
(4.3k / 21.77)
Aaron Judge
(4.2k / 19.78)
Luis Castillo
(10.1k / 31.41)
Anthony Rizzo
(3.9k / 16.00)
Ryan McMahon
(3.5k / 13.93)
Manny Machado
(3.8k / 19.64)
Fernando Tatis Jr.
(4.1k / 22.54)
Charlie Blackmon
(4k / 21.34)
Blake Snell
(9.5k / 30.09)
Matt Olson
(3.6k / 18.64)
Matt Chapman
(3.7k / 17.99)
Giancarlo Stanton
(3.9k / 21.57)
Mike Minor
(8.7k / 25.58)
Joey Votto
(3.4k / 14.23)
Kris Bryant
(3.4k / 15.24)
Ronald Acuna
(3.9k / 19.70)
David Dahl
(3.9k / 18.94)
Tommy Pham
(3.8k / 19.19)
Daniel Murphy
(3.3k / 14.70)
Jeff McNeil
(3k / 1.54)
Marcus Semien
(3.5k / 18.64)
Trent Grisham
(3.3k / 18.30)
Josh Donaldson
(2.9k / 11.14)
Dansby Swanson
(3.2k / 16.35)
Kyle Schwarber
(3.1k / 14.11)
Aaron Hicks
(2.9k / 14.76)
Dallas Keuchel
(7k / 21.79)
Matt Adams
(2.6k / 12.26)
Ender Inciarte
(2.4k / 6.49)
Alex Cobb
(6k / 16.35)

About James Smizek

James is a daily fantasy sports veteran dating all the way back to his days of writing content on for contest tickets. James specializes in College Football - qualifying for the CFB World Championship in 2018, though you can find his content for Tennis, NBA, MLB, and NASCAR on FantasyCruncher. With the current changing sports landscape, James has shifted his current focus to ESports - carving out his niche in League of Legends, Call of Duty, and Rocket League contests. You can find James 150 entering every mini-max under the sun. James resides in La Crosse Wisconsin and is a huge Milwaukee Brewers fan. If you have any questions you can reach out to James @iKezims on Twitter.

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