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Daily Games

MLB DFS Plays: Friday 7/24

by Brad Johnson
Updated On: July 26, 2020, 6:06 pm ET

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

Andrew Heaney – Angels (at Athletics) – Yahoo: $33, DK: $8000, FD: $6700

In tonight’s 11-game slate there are safer pitchers, and there are cheaper pitchers. Heaney is an attempt to walk a narrow path between upside and affordability. It’s not without risk. The Athletics are not an especially strikeout prone opponent. Heaney has a history of home run issues (career 1.56 HR/9), and those were on display last season too.

He can be expected to deliver around 10.00 K/9 this season. Oakland’s offense can be susceptible to fly ball pitchers too. Heaney is the weirdest sort of fly ball guy; his only fastball is a sinker, but it appears to rise to hitter. He projects for a hair under six innings and just over six strikeouts.

Also Consider: Justin Verlander, Shane Bieber, Jack Flaherty, Nathan Eovaldi (value), Joe Musgrove (value)

CATCHER

Rob Brantly – Giants (at Ross Stripling) – Yahoo: $7, DK: $2000, FD: $2000

The Giants supposedly plan to platoon Brantly and Tyler Heineman in the early going. Since Heineman started yesterday, Brantly should be on call tonight. The 31-year-old veteran had more walks than strikeouts at the Phillies Triple-A affiliate last season. He slashed .314/.404/.462 with six home runs in 272 plate appearances. You’re not expecting much out of this pick besides flexibility elsewhere on your roster. The priciest catchers are almost uniformly terrible values today.

If you have the cash to spare, by all means upgrade to J.T. Realmuto.

Also Consider: J.T. Realmuto, Will Smith

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FIRST BASE

Max Muncy – Dodgers (vs Jeff Samardzija) – Yahoo: $22, DK: $4500, FD: $3800

Muncy is attractive for all the same reasons as yesterday. He’s set to face Samardzija - one of the worst pitchers on the docket - sandwiched between Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger. Through sheer potency, the Dodgers lineup creates positive network effects which can add up to huge DFS numbers.

It’s not a perfect matchup. Samardzija likes to work up in the zone. Muncy is a low-ball masher. He’ll have to await a mistake or prey upon a shaky bullpen.

Also Consider: Michael Chavis (value), Rhys Hoskins

SECOND BASE

Jose Altuve – Astros (vs Marco Gonzales) – Yahoo: $20, DK: $5000, FD: $3800

Although not quite affordable on DraftKings, Altuve is a solid value on Yahoo and FanDuel. It’s tempting to downgrade the Astros lineup after the trash can scandal, but we have no evidence that a decline is in the offing. We’ve already twice harped on the network effects of the Dodgers lineup. The Astros offense was substantially more potent last season. They’ve returned the same set of characters. Gonzales is a perfectly ordinary left-handed pitcher, the sort who might just manage to tread water for five innings. If that happens, the Astros can still punish the Mariners terrible relief corps.

More specifically to Altuve, he has a long history of lefty mashing. Gonzales doesn’t have platoon splits, but he does work around the plate with underwhelming stuff. Altuve’s aggression and plate coverage match up well.

Also Consider: Chavis (FD), Muncy (DK), Cesar Hernandez (value), Ketel Marte, Ty France (value)

THIRD BASE

Manny Machado – Padres (vs Madison Bumgarner) – Yahoo: $18, DK: $4000, FD: $3000

Rafael Devers is the top-projected third baseman. Machado offers 90 percent of Devers’ production for 75 percent of the cost. He is a card-carrying lefty slayer. Even in his disappointing 2019, he hit .315/.404/.685 against southpaws. Bumgarner isn’t an ordinary left-hander, but righties do hit better against him. Machado is expected to bat second or third.

Also Consider: Rafael Devers, Alex Bregman, Justin Turner, Chris Taylor (value)

SHORTSTOP

Xander Bogaerts – Red Sox (vs Tommy Milone) – Yahoo: $20, DK: $4900, FD: $3600

The Red Sox cleanup hitter is the top shortstop available and a neutral value. This specific matchup isn’t about the platoon advantage – neither Milone nor Bogaerts have appreciable splits. Instead, it’s simply a good hitter facing a bad starter backed by an even worse bullpen. Milone is a fly ball pitcher which will help Bogaerts leap over the Green Monster. The Red Sox lineup will almost certainly be the most popular stack. Bogaerts will be an important feature in those stacks.

Also Consider: Fernando Tatis Jr., Marcus Semien, Didi Gregorius

OUTFIELD

J.D. Martinez – Red Sox (vs Tommy Milone) – Yahoo: $21, DK: $4800, FD: $3900
Andrew Benintendi – Red Sox (vs Tommy Milone) – Yahoo: $15, DK: $3800, FD: $2700

Martinez is the chalkiest of the chalk. He’s the top hitter in the slate with an obviously juicy matchup and a bizarrely affordable price tag. Milone may not have platoon splits, but it’s well-established that Martinez annihilates southpaws. Especially soft-tossing southpaws.

I’m somewhat hopeful Benintendi will slip through the cracks as part of this stack. The Sox leadoff hitter doesn’t have any issues facing fellow lefties, but DFS participants have a natural aversion to lefty-on-lefty pairings. As a bonus, the Orioles bullpen will probably be called upon for five or more innings.

Wil Myers – San Diego (vs Madison Bumgarner) – Yahoo: $11, DK: $3400, FD: $2500

Handedness platoons figure to play a strong role today. Myers is another guy who has built a lefty-mashing resume. He has better plate discipline and hits for more power against southpaws. While Bumgarner isn’t an especially exploitable opponent, Myers’ low price tag more than makes up for any drawbacks. Reports out of the Padres camp are glowing – they believe he’s on the cusp of a strong rebound season.

Also Consider: Bryce Harper, Christian Yelich, Mike Trout, David Dahl, Tommy Pham (value)

Brad Johnson

You can read more from Brad Johnson on Rotoworld, FanGraphs, and RotoFanatic. Find him on Patreon and Twitter @BaseballATeam.