DFS Plays of the Day – July 31

Rich Holman previews the top DFS plays for July 31's slate.

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What’s up, everybody? Hopefully, the season has treated you well so far. We have 12-game slates over on DraftKings and FanDuel. Thanks to the rain yesterday, we get Luis Castillo and Yu Darvish pushed to today and they both have better matchups than if they faced each other – bonus! We also have the first Red Sox/Yankees matchup of the year as well as the first appearance of Coors! So let’s take a look at the top plays, as well as a couple of value plays from Fade The Noise for the day’s slate.


Top SP: Luis Castillo, CIN ($8,000 DK, $10,100 FD) at DET


I’m not sure who was in charge of pricing over at DraftKings, but they got Luis Castillo wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Because of that $8k price tag, he’s going to be the chalk, but to me, this is unavoidable chalk in cash games. He gets a matchup in a better ballpark than Great American Ballpark against a Tigers team that struggles against righties. While he’s the 10th highest priced pitcher on DK, he tops the list over at FanDuel – that’s more like it. I like Castillo regardless of his price today and am sure we can find some value bats to fit him in on FD too.

On the other side of the PPD Reds/Cubs game from yesterday is Yu Darvish, who will face the Pirates in Wrigley Field. Wrigley can be a polarizing place to pitch because of the high winds, but luckily for Darvish, the winds are forecasted to be blowing in today. The Pirates don’t strike out at a high clip, but if Darvish’s stuff is on, he’ll still be able to rack up the K’s.

One pitcher that has a juicy matchup that I’m avoiding today is Blake Snell. The former Cy Young winner threw just 46 pitches in his first outing. That will bump up slightly today, but only to around the 60 pitch mark. If he were cheaper, maybe he’d be in consideration, but he’s the most expensive pitcher on DK ($10,800) and third most expensive on FD ($9,500).

Honorable Mentions: Yu Darvish, CHC ($10,500 DK, $9,100 FD) vs. PIT; Mike Minor, TEX ($9,200 DK; $8,700 FD) at SF


Value SP: Kris Bubic, KC ($4,000 DK) vs. CHW


The value arms on today’s slate are pretty rough. Kris Bubic will be making his MLB debut after making no starts over A+ in his career. You read that correctly. Zero innings were thrown in AA or AAA. This is from Eric Longenhagen’s scouting report over at Fangraphs, “my notes have Bubic up to 95 last year, he still lives in the low-90s and succeeds because of deception and his terrific secondary stuff.” To me, deception is the key to this start. There will be zero film on Bubic, so his deception should play well. My only question is how deep do we expect him to go? A second worry comes with his matchup, as the White Sox have hit left-handed pitching hard in the small sample. They’ve put up a 208 wRC+ in 33 plate appearances against southpaws. I’m still willing to roll the dice on him if you decide to not use Castillo on DK tonight. Also, Bubic isn’t in the player pool over on FD.

Honorable Mentions: Dallas Keuchel, CHW ($7,300 DK, $7,000 FD) at KC; Jordan Montgomery, NYY ($7,800 DK; $6,800 FD) vs. BOS


OF David Dahl, COL ($4,800 DK, $3,800 FD) vs. SD


It’s the first night of Coors, so how could I not recommend the Rockies leadoff man. While both sites did a decent job of pricing up the hitters, David Dahl is pricey, yet not outside of my realm of possibilities. One thing that has really impressed me in this early season is Dahl’s plate discipline. He’s cut his swinging strike rate and strikeout rate while raising his contact rate. The strikeout rate itself has been cut in half from last year. Putting the ball in play in Coors will definitely lead to future success. Garrett Richards is on the bump for the Padres, who I like and root for, but it’s Coors. The ballpark seems to have broken FTN’s Lineup Optimizer as it projects the game for 14.5 runs tonight.

Honorable Mentions: Trent Grisham, OF ($4,900 DK, $3,300 FD) at COL; Aaron Judge, OF ($4,600 DK, $4,200 FD) vs. BOS


1B Pete Alonso, NYM ($5,100 DK, $3,800 FD) at ATL


I spared you from more Coors talk, but I could’ve gone there. However, Pete Alonso gets a matchup with a lefty, so here we are. If we include last year’s numbers with the small sample of this year, Alonso has posted an eye-popping .350 ISO against southpaws. In his first start of the year, Sean Newcomb went just 3.1 innings, allowing just one run. He did allow five baserunners and walked two in the short start. If that wildness continues and there are runners on base for the Mets slugger, he could be in for a very big day.

Honorable Mentions: Manny Machado, 3B ($5,000 DK, $3,800 FD) at COL; Nolan Arenado, 3B ($5,500 DK, $4,100 FD) vs. SD


Value Batter: OF Michael Brantley, HOU ($2,800 DK, $3,400 FD) at LAA


I won’t complain long, because I love this price, but why does Michael Brantley keep getting cheaper and cheaper? All the guy has done is put up a .435/.500/.696 slash line to start the year. I suppose I won’t look the proverbial “gift horse in the mouth” and just say thank you. Playing Brantley makes stacking Coors that much easier. He doesn’t even have a terrible matchup, as Matt Andriese takes the mound.

Honorable Mentions: Yuli Gurriel, 1B ($3,100 DK; $2,900 FD) at LAA; Mike Moustakas, 2B/3B ($3,800 DK) at DET; Jose Peraza, 2B ($2,900 DK; $2,500 FD) at NYY; Jesse Winker, OF ($3,300 DK; $2,200 FD) at DET


Lineup Stack: Padres at Rockies (RHP Jon Gray)


Sorry, I tried to get away from it, but it’s the first Coors of the year! The only issue is that the top of the lineup is priced up pretty good – looking at you Fernando Tatis ($6,000 DK; $4,100 FD). FTN’s Lineup Optimizer has the Padres team total at 7.9 runs. As long as he’s in the lineup, Eric Hosmer ($4,500 DK; $3,500 FD) provides a little salary relief. On top of Tatis and Hosmer, I like Trent Grisham (see above), and Manny Machado ($5,000 DK; $3,800 FD). Really, you can go to anyone in a Coors matchup, so just get creative! Good luck today!

Honorable Mentions: Rockies vs. Padres; Yankees vs. Red Sox

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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Rich Holman

Tax Auditor by day (I promise I'm not the devil), dad to twin velociraptors by night. Complete sports junkie. Philly fan that only boos occasionally.

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