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

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

We have a really good sized slate tonight with 12 games on the docket and the even better news is it doesn’t look like we have to worry about the weather on this slate as well.

Pitchers to Target

Top Plays

Luis Castillo ($43)- The Reds play the Tigers tonight and that means fire up Castillo. Castillo faced the Tigers in his first start of the season and just destroyed them with only one run allowed and 11 strikeouts in six innings of action. While I know that is only one start, Castillo is that good of a pitcher as he is coming off a season in which he had an ERA of 3.40 and a K rate of 28.9%. We also know that even with the Tigers hitting the ball a lot better than they did to start the season that they are still a high strikeout team with a team K rate of 33.5% this season.

Mike Minor ($40)- Minor looked really good in his first start of the season with six strikeouts and only one earned run allowed in five innings of action. Minor produced 21 fantasy points in that start and that is now three straight starts dating back to last season including spring training this season that Minor has at least that amount of fantasy points. With an elite match-up against the Giants at a pitcher-friendly park I don’t see Minor slowing down one bit tonight.

Yu Darvish ($44)- Darvish did not look that great in his season debut allowing three runs on six hits in just four innings of action but I am not worried about him for a couple of reasons tonight. The first reason is in his debut despite the struggles Darvish didn’t walk a single batter and had five strikeouts. Both of those numbers are very encouraging signs. The second reason is due to his match-up against the Pirates. The Pirates have struggled to start the season, especially against right-handed pitching. The Pirates rank dead last in team wOBA against them while ranking 24th in team ISO and having a team K rate of 27.9%.

GPP Plays

Blake Snell ($44)- We know the talent is there with Snell and we also know the Orioles are a great match-up for pitchers even with their hot start. What we don’t know about Snell and the reason why he is in this article as a GPP play is how long the Rays are going to let him pitch. Snell only threw 46 pitches in two innings in his opening start and while I expect Snell to have a longer leash tonight we don’t know if that leash is going to be 60 pitches or 80 pitches.

Spencer Turnbull ($33)- Turnbull is not a pitcher that I am personally going to have a lot of exposure to tonight if any as I don’t think he is a good pitcher at all but I can see why some might want to use him as he looked really good in his first start of the season against the same Reds team he faces tonight. In that game, Turnbull allowed just one run while striking out eight on his way to 22.7 fantasy points.

Stacks to Target

Top Stacks

White Sox

Yes, there is a game at Coors Field for the first time this season but I don’t think I really need to tell you to target hitters in that game. Instead of focusing on either of the teams playing at Coors I wanted to focus on my favorite team to stack outside of Coors in the White Sox. The White Sox stand out to me based on the way they have crushed left-handed pitching so far this season. While the sample size is still small the White Sox have a team OPS of 1.161, an ISO of .380, and a wOBA of .481 against left-handed pitching. The lefty they are facing Kris Bubic is making his first career appearances above A ball. Rookie pitchers tend to struggle in their debuts as is I can’t imagine how it is going to be for a pitcher who hasn’t even faced Triple-A hitters in his career.

My top target on the White Sox is Jose Abreu ($19/1B). Abreu is one of the most consistent hitters in baseball and since the start of last season has an OPS of 1.000, an ISO of .226, and a wOBA of .417 against lefties. Yasmani Grandal ($17/C) is another hitter that I really like on the White Sox as he is my top-ranked catcher tonight. Since the start of last season, Grandal has also been really good against lefties with an OPS of .933, an ISO of .269, and a wOBA of .388. If you need some savings I also don’t mind targeting Edwin Encarnacion ($17/1B) for two dollars less over Abreu. Double-E has also been great against lefties and might have a higher ceiling than Abreu due to his .339 ISO against left-handed pitching since last season.


In his Mets debut, Rick Porcello allowed six earned runs on seven hits and three walks in just two innings of action. While Porcello is likely to pitch better than he did in his opener I don’t expect him to be much better as he has not been a good pitcher for years now. Last season with the Red Sox, Porcello had an ERA of 5.52, a WHIP of 1.39, and an HR/9 rate of 1.60. Porcello struggled against hitters from both sides of the plate last season and as a whole hitters slashed .278/.326/.483 with a .338 wOBA and a 34.2% hard-hit rate against him.

I love Freddie Freeman ($19/1B) on every slate but on this slate, I would much rather have Matt Adams ($12/1B) for the seven dollar savings as Adams has a lot of power. Over the past three years, Adams is slugging .471 with an ISO of .239 against right-handed pitching. Ender Inciarte ($12/OF) is another player that I like for savings on this slate on the Braves as he will have the handness advantage on Porcello.

GPP Stacks


The Reds have a projected run total of five on this slate but I don’t think they garner a lot of ownership as game log watchers look at what Spencer Turnbull did against them in the opener. While yes Turnbull did shut them down in the opener as I mentioned before I don’t think he is a good pitcher. In his first full season in the majors last season, Turnbull had an ERA of 4.61 and a WHIP of 1.44. Turnbull also had a groundball rate under 50% while allowing a 41.4% hard contact rate. All of those numbers scream stack against me. If that is not enough for you to like to stack the Reds tonight then the fact that they rank third in team wOBA and seventh in team ISO against right-handed pitching to start the season should.

Shogo Akiyama ($11/OF) and Jesse Winker ($8/OF) are two of my favorite Reds hitters on this slate as they are both cheap and left-handed. Turnbull struggled the most against left-handed hitting last season allowing them to slash .298/.370/.444 with a .347 wOBA.

Cheat Sheets

My favorite hitters, as well as pitchers that I have not talked about before, can be found in the cheat sheets below.

Christian Vazquez
(14 / 7.72)
Anthony Rizzo
(18 / 10.14)
Ozzie Albies
(20 / 1.18)
Yoan Moncada
(21 / 10.47)
Fernando Tatis Jr.
(26 / 14.29)
Eloy Jimenez
(21 / 8.72)
Joey Votto
(17 / 9.02)
Nolan Arenado
(21 / 13.25)
Tim Anderson
(20 / 9.29)
J.D. Martinez
(19 / 10.25)
Manny Machado
(19 / 12.45)
David Dahl
(19 / 12.01)
Charlie Blackmon
(19 / 13.53)
Kyle Schwarber
(19 / 8.95)
Francisco Mejia
(11 / 0.62)
Eric Hosmer
(16 / 1.02)
Ryan McMahon
(14 / 8.83)
Francisco Lindor
(17 / 8.76)
Yoshi Tsutsugo
(17 / 8.60)
Daniel Murphy
(14 / 9.32)
Amed Rosario
(15 / 9.50)
Luis Robert
(17 / 7.14)
Trent Grisham
(17 / 11.60)
Cody Bellinger
(17 / 12.48)
Dallas Keuchel
(34 / 12.23)
Evan White
(8 / 4.38)
Jose Peraza
(9 / 2.59)
Shin-Soo Choo
(12 / 6.98)
Brian Goodwin
(9 / 5.06)

About Zach Qualtieri

Zach is an accomplished fantasy player who has had success in multiple sports across multiple platforms. Zach specializes in cash games where he can often be found playing $25 H2Hs but has also had a lot of success in GPPs as an 11-time winner of a large field GPP. When not talking about fantasy sports, Zach enjoys hanging out with his son. If you have any questions about fantasy or sports in general Zach can be found on Twitter @zachsgotmoxy.

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