DFS Plays of the Day – July 31

Ryan Amore previews Saturday's DFS slate.

Following a whirlwind of a trade deadline, Saturday brings us a nine-game slate that seems to lack a clear spot for offense. Without further ado, let’s see what’s in store for tonight. 

The Top Tier


Aaron Nola is my favorite option in the top tier tonight. He’s coming off a dominant outing against Atlanta his last time out, finishing an out short of a complete game (nine K’s, 33% CSW and 116 pitches). He’ll face the Pirates for the first time this year who are tied with the Marlins for the second-lowest team wOBA at .297. 

Yu Darvish is the biggest favorite on the board (-200) and gets the road Rockies. He hasn’t been great of late but this lines up as a tremendous get-right spot for the Padres ace.

I could be way off, but my best guess is that Brandon Woodruff may be the least popular of the top three options. He’s a strong road favorite tonight (-148) against Atlanta.

On the opposite side, Kyle Muller seems a little miscast at $9,300 on DraftKings, but he has shown some bat-missing ability with a 13.9% SwStr rate making him a dart throw for tournaments if you’re multi-entering. 

Given how popular Darvish should be, Germán Márquez should be a contrarian option for tournaments. He’s already blanked the Padres before back on July 10th, and could benefit tonight if Fernando Tatís Jr is forced to miss tonight’s game (shoulder). Stuck on a dreadful Rockies team, Márquez probably doesn’t get the recognition he deserves considering how well he has pitched this year. For more on Márquez, be sure to check out Carlos Marcano’s GD


Value/Mid-Tier Pitchers




In the mid-tier, you should look to the Cubs/Nationals game as both of these lineups were ransacked at the deadline. For the Professor, it’ll be can he dodge Juan Soto? And for Joe Ross, he’ll face a lineup that has, checks notes, oh right, Willson Contreras. Between the two, I would give the edge to Joe Ross who has shown more strikeout upside and is the home favorite (-122). For more on Ross, be sure to check out Max Greenfield’s GD from earlier this month.

Tyler Anderson will be making his Mariners debut against a Rangers offense that ranks dead last in wOBA the past month at .267 and on the year at .292. 




Bats and Stacks

LAD (5.2) at Merrill Kelly (RHP) 15% K-BB, .315 xwOBA, 1.21 WHIP, 4.22 xERA – Kelly has pitched really well this year, but this is a nod to the Dodgers who are the top offense on the slate by implied team total.

CWS (5.1) vs Triston McKenzie (RHP) 13.6% K-BB, .327 xwOBA, 1.42 WHIP, 4.58 xERA – Yes, McKenzie’s numbers on the whole are bad but you should notice that he’s only walked one in now three straight starts and I think he’s trending up so I’m little hesitant in stacking here. Still, given McKenzie’s volatility and the fact that the White Sox are, along with the Dodgers, the only team with an implied total of over five runs so they have to be mentioned. McKenzie has allowed more power to righties this year (.339 xWOBA and .226 ISO vs RHB). Eloy Jiménez sticks out and should be a popular value if he returns to the lineup tonight.

STL (4.7) vs Bailey Ober (RHP) 17.6% K-BB, .327 xwOBA, 1.27 WHIP, 4.58 xERA – Ober will be an interesting pitcher to keep an eye on considering his impressive minor league numbers (24.8% K-BB with Triple-A St. Paul). I think he has been a little unlucky on the whole but there’s no denying his struggles against lefties. Against righties, though, he’s been very, very good with a .279 xwOBA allowed to RHB. Unfortunately, there aren’t really any appealing lefty bats here. Dylan Carlson is a decent value hitting leadoff. Regardless of splits, Tyler O’Neill is probably still too cheap on DraftKings. Ober being an inexperienced pitcher means that you can definitely consider a Cardinals stack but it seems more like a play if you’re multi-entering in tournaments.

MIN (4.5) at Jake Woodford (RHP) 8% K-BB, .344 xwOBA, 1.44 WHIP, 5.14 xERA – Not to be confused with Woodruff, Woodford, is, in fact, not to be feared and on the contrary worth targeting. Only problem is that this lineup is depleted right now. Their best hitter, Josh Donaldson, was scratched last night with a hamstring and given that the Twins have no incentive he won’t be rushed back. What’s left is Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler as the best options here. With Miguel Sano being a tournament special whenever he faces a poor pitcher like Woodford. And if you’re looking for an upside play at catcher, Mitch Garver is there too.

SEA (4.2) at Taylor Hearn (LHP) 13.3% K-BB,  .333 xwOBA, 1.37 WHIP, 4.77 xERA – Hearn has allowed a .378 xwOBA to RHB this season making Mitch Haniger, Ty France, and Abraham Toro as options to mix and match with. The rookie lefty Jarred Kelenic is an upside value for tournaments. 

CLE (4.1) at Dallas Keuchel (LHP) 7.1% K-BB, .362 xwOBA, 1.36 WHIP, 5.78 xERA – Along with a low K-BB%, Keuchel has struggled against RHB. Cleveland is not a priority by any means, but I think you can consider Franmil Reyes and José Ramírez as upside one-offs for tournaments.

PHI (4.5) at JT Brubaker (RHP) 18.6% K-BB, .323 xwOBA, 1.19 WHIP, 4.46 xERA – Brubaker has been decent this year, but Bryce Harper profiles really well here as a stand alone play against the righty.

Don’t forget about Juan Soto. He is an excellent option considering Hendrick’s struggles against LHB this year (.368 xwOBA allowed). 



Value Bats



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Ryan Amore

A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club, Ryan Amore has been writing things at Pitcher List since 2019. He grew up watching the Yankees and fondly remembers Charlie Hayes catching the final out of the '96 WS. He appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

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