MLB DFS Plays: Friday 7/30

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This article outlines the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We take a comprehensive look to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.

Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.

PITCHER

Top Play: Lance Lynn – White Sox (vs Indians)

While other top pitchers like Corbin Burnes are facing increasingly stringent pitch counts, Lynn still fires six or more frames most outings while reaching about 100 pitches. He also records over a strikeout per innings. The Indians are deceptively strikeout prone. Their 26.4 percent strikeout rate over the last month is worst in the league.

Pivot: Logan Gilbert – Mariners (at Rangers)

Both Gilbert and Tarik Skubal (vs BAL) are riding in the same lane tonight. They cost about the same, face exploitable opponents at pitcher-friendly venues, and post similar rates across the board. I prefer the visit to Texas slightly as of this hour. Outgoing trades from Baltimore prior to the Trade Deadline could change my mind. Gilbert also has better command than Skubal. For both, we’re looking at about five-and-two-thirds innings and six strikeouts.

Also Consider: Chris Bassitt, Kevin Gausman, Sonny Gray, Framber Valdez, Patrick Sandoval, Jameson Taillon, Jose Berrios, Tarik Skubal

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CATCHER

Top Play: Willson Contreras – Cubs (at Jon Lester)

Contreras should have plenty of insight into how Lester pitches. Whether that helps or hinders him at the plate against the soft-tossing southpaw remains to be seen. Contreras and Lester both have average launch angles below 10 degrees, increasing the risk for multiple ground balls. Otherwise, this is a high-quality matchup for Contreras. The Nationals bullpen was eviscerated as part of the Trade Deadline.

Pivot: Cal Raleigh – Mariners (at Kolby Allard)

As a hitter, Raleigh clearly has some modest adjustments to make in the Majors so he can hit for more contact. At Triple-A, he posted a 12.6 percent strikeout rate. Through 33 big league plate appearances, he’s been scorched for a 36.4 percent strikeout rate backed by a 19.1 percent swinging strike rate. He’s also proven he can make serious hard contact (113.1-mph maximum exit velocity) to go with an extreme fly ball rate. This is a profile that should produce a 30-homer per 600 plate appearances pace. Allard is a left-handed fly ball pitcher so this isn’t an ideal matchup. Raleigh does match well against much of the Rangers remaining bullpen.

Also Consider: J.T. Realmuto, Salvador Perez, Mitch Garver, Gary Sanchez, Will Smith, Max Stassi, Omar Narvaez, Jorge Alfaro

FIRST BASE

Top Play: Shohei Ohtani – Angels (vs Bassitt)

Although he’s one of the better pitchers on the docket this evening, Bassitt tends to pitch to Ohtani’s strengths. Since three of the Angels top four hitters are injured, Ohtani might not receive much to hit. As long as he doesn’t receive any intentional walks, Ohtani easily leads the slate with about a two-in-five shot at a home run. His upside takes a big hit with every walk he receives.

Pivot: Rowdy Tellez – Brewers (at Touki Toussaint)

Toussaint is a different pitcher this season. He’s discarded his power-based approach in favor of low-90s velocity, fewer walks, and a 53.3 percent ground ball rate. His out pitch is a splitter. Working down in the zone has reinvigorated Toussaint’s career, but it also means he matches poorly against Tellez. The recent Brewers acquisition has an elevated launch angle. He’s also on one of his patented homer binges.

Also Consider: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Matt Olson, Max Muncy, Freddie Freeman, Trey Mancini, Ryan Mountcastle, Jose Abreu, Anthony Rizzo, Jake Cronenworth, Jonathan Schoop, Ty France, Carlos Santana, Curtis Terry

SECOND BASE

Top Play: Marcus Semien – Blue Jays (vs Daniel Lynch)

The Blue Jays return to Toronto. This pairing features a double platoon advantage – handedness and launch angle. Lynch does have the capacity to work up in the zone with carry, but it’s not his strength. He’s at his best when peppering the bottom of the zone. Semien has better than a one-in-three shot to roll Yahtzee in this one.

Pivot: Eduardo Escobar – Brewers (at Toussaint)

On Wednesday, I recommended Escobar as an expensive pivot. He was traded before he could participate in that game. Once again, he’s obviously overpriced, overshadowing an otherwise quality matchup. He has one of the steepest launch angles in the league which will serve him quite well against Toussaint’s new approach.

Also Consider: Max Muncy, Jose Altuve, Jonathan India, Jean Segura, Brad Miller, Whit Merrifield, Jonathan Schoop, Kolten Wong, Ty France, Jorge Polanco, David Bote, Rodolfo Castro, Cesar Hernandez

THIRD BASE

Top Play: Josh Donaldson – Twins (at Wade LeBlanc)

Assuming he’s not traded, Donaldson has a gimme matchup against LeBlanc. The other obvious Top Play candidate, Kris Bryant, is equally likely to be dealt. LeBlanc is a pitch-to-contact, soft-tossing southpaw who maximizes Donaldson’s home run potential. He’s just shy of a one-in-three chance tonight.

Pivot: Patrick Wisdom – Cubs (at Lester)

While Bryant might be sent packing, Wisdom should stick around. He’s a homer-or-bust free-swinger with a near-40 percent strikeout rate and steep launch angle. Any contact against Lester will have a strong chance to carry over a wall. Wisdom’s also less likely to whiff tonight.

Also Consider: Eduardo Escobar, Kris Bryant, Josh Donaldson, Matt Chapman, Yoan Moncada, DJ LeMahieu, Jeimer Candelario, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Abraham Toro, David Bote, Carter Kieboom, Rodolfo Castro

SHORTSTOP

Top Play: Tim Anderson – White Sox (vs J.C. Mejia)

Anderson and the entire White Sox stack are set to face one of the most exploitable pitchers in the slate. Mejia was torched by Triple-A hitters in a tiny taste and hasn’t fared any better in the Majors. He’s excessively homer prone when facing hitters more than once (1.99 HR/9). Anderson isn’t really a power play, although he can sometimes surprise with a stinger over the wall. Instead, we’re play for multiple hits and run production.

Pivot: Willy Adames – Brewers (at Toussaint)

Adames is one of the better bargains available at a tautly-priced position. This is the same recommendation as the ones for Tellez and Escobar. Adames swings with a steep launch angle, maximizing his chances for a home run tonight. He’s sitting just shy of a one-in-four chance. Since joining the Brewers, he’s hitting .298/.386/.530 with 11 home runs in 246 plate appearances.

Also Consider: Fernando Tatis Jr., Javier Baez, Bo Bichette, Trevor Story, Didi Gregorius, Carlos Correa, Gleyber Torres

OUTFIELD

Top Plays: Joey Gallo – Yankees (at Zack Thompson)
Aaron Judge – Yankees (at Thompson)
Giancarlo Stanton – Yankees (at Thompson)

That’s a scary outfield. It’s possible Gallo will be overly popular due to “shiny new thing” syndrome. Judge and Stanton could ride those coattails. Thompson has pitched well to date, but his profile is that of a mid-4.00s ERA pitcher, one who works in short bursts and relies on his home venue to keep his home run rate in check. None of Gallo, Judge, nor Stanton have the sort of “just enough” power that withers in Miami. If they connect with one, it’ll leave the yard. Thompson’s neutral batted ball profile means he’s moderates susceptible to sluggers with high (Gallo) and low (Judge, Stanton) launch angles.

Pivots: Tyrone Taylor – Brewers (at Toussaint)
Jorge Soler – Royals (at Ross Stripling)

Who wants to guess the recommendation for Taylor? You’re right, he makes plentiful hard contact with a steep launch angle against a ground ball pitcher. As for Soler, his power has returned (six home runs since July 20) and he’s set to face a homer prone opponent. Stripling has struggled with dingers for years, allowing 2.03 HR/9 this season. The Blue Jays have an above average bullpen which takes some of the sizzle out of this pairing.

Also Consider: Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton, Juan Soto, Andrew McCutchen, Bryan Reynolds, Patrick Wisdom, Akil Baddoo, Robbie Grossman, TeOscar Hernandez, George Springer, Randal Grichuk, Jorge Soler, Kyle Tucker, Jesse Winker, Ben Gamel, Tyler O’Neill, Dylan Carlson,

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