The MLB Trade Deadline will be over just about three hours before the first pitch on Friday night. That should give DFS players ample time to adjust and set lineups once everything settles down. A lot of player movement could still happen between now and then and there are definitely some bats on the market. In any event, there are games to be played after all of the dust settles, and you want to be prepared for them.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for July 31:
Houston – The Astros are all-in. For a young team, this type of proactivity at the trade deadline is a huge boost to morale. It doesn’t hurt that they’re facing Rubby de la Rosa on Friday night, a pitcher with major shortcomings in both control and command. The Astros walk a lot and hit a lot of home runs. Those are two things that de la Rosa does not want to see in any opponent. RDLR has allowed 22 dongs in 125.1 innings pitched. The walk rate has improved, but pitching against an AL team may change that.
Minnesota – Which Taijuan Walker takes the mound for the Mariners on Friday night? Is it the one with the below average command or the one that had seven dominating starts from late May through the month of June? The Twins do have a number of guys capable of punishing mistakes and do own a top-15 SLG. They don’t have an exciting offensive profile because they’ve really tailed off, but Walker’s command is enough to elevate any offense with the way he’s throwing the ball.
San Francisco – Ah, Nick Martinez. We meet again. There are a lot of stacking options on Friday given some of the pitchers (Baltimore vs. Farmer, St. Louis vs. Kendrick), but going against Martinez is so much fun that he makes the cut today. Martinez returned to the Rangers rotation on July 20 and promptly gave up seven runs. He gave up four runs on six hits with two home runs allowed over five innings last start. He’s completely lost his command and the Giants actually have a pretty strong lineup all things considered.
Here are the top value hitters for July 31:
Carlos Santana ($3,900) – Santana has gotten it going of late. As an Indians fan, I remember an instance where Santana had his shoulder hyperextended grabbing a throw into a runner earlier this season. Perhaps the All-Star Break helped. He has a .267/.400/.511 slash in 55 plate appearances and the power has come back with five doubles and two home runs. It may simply be a normalization of his BABIP, which was a disturbingly-low .242 in the first half. Whatever the case, he’s swinging a much better bat now.
Jose Iglesias ($3,100) – With the recent lineup shake-up that the Tigers completed, Iglesias is now batting second, which is a far more advantageous spot in the order to hit. He’s been a tough sell in DFS because of his lack of power, but batting second changes everything because he should get an extra plate appearance most days and will be batting in front of the run producers. That completely changes the dynamic. Against lefty Wei-Yin Chen, the Tigers, even if Yoenis Cespedes is traded, should be able to make some noise.
Chris Young ($3,200) – Not to be confused with the pitcher sporting the same name, Yankees outfielder Chris Young has been an outstanding platoon bat for the Bronx Bombers this season. The Yankees face Carlos Rodon on Friday night. Young is batting .371/.426/.711 against southpaws in 109 plate appearances. That’s a fairly significant sample size to be putting up those numbers in and that makes him an extremely valuable piece at a low price tonight.
Here are the top value starting pitchers for July 31:
Madison Bumgarner ($10,300) – This is an easy one. Clayton Kershaw, Matt Harvey, and Danny Salazar all cost more than Bumgarner, even though he has, arguably, the best matchup of the four. The Rangers can’t hit left-handed pitching. The park factor is probably considered in this price, but I wouldn’t be worried. By wOBA, the Rangers rank 21st and have an 83 wRC+. Their home park has elevated their numbers a little bit, but they have the sixth-highest strikeout rate against lefties and Bumgarner should post a huge line in this game.
Taylor Jungmann ($7,500) – Normally in this matchup, I’d go with Jason Hammel, but some scouts were commenting on how different he has looked with the hamstring injury that he had, which is why Jungmann is the pick. As mentioned yesterday, the Cubs have been one of the worst offenses in baseball over the last 30 days and Jungmann has posted very strong numbers with a 2.14 ERA, 3.23 FIP, and 3.93 xFIP. The xFIP is a worry, but he’s done a great job of keeping the ball down so far. He has strikeout per inning potential in this outing.
Ian Kennedy ($6,900) – There hasn’t been a lot of talk about Ian Kennedy, so we’ll pencil him in to make this start. If he does, he’ll be pitching in a ballpark set up for him to succeed. His command has been off the charts awful this season, but Marlins Park suppresses home runs. His 3.85 xFIP and 3.73 SIERA are indicative of some better luck throughout the rest of the season. He’s just shy of a strikeout per inning and the Marlins rank dead last in baseball in batting against right-handed pitching.