DraftKings Plays of the Day—July 31

Troy Klauder previews the July 31 slate on DraftKings with his must-plays and best values of the day.

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Top SP: Jacob deGrom, NYM ($11,800) at CWS


Tonight’s pitching slate is pretty rough, so deGrom blows away the rest of the field as the top starting pitcher option. He’s got a 2.43 deserved run average this year with a dominant 31.2% strikeout rate and has given up just three earned runs in 26 innings this month. It feels almost unfair that deGrom gets such an easy matchup against the White Sox tonight, as they’ve got the third-lowest wOBA against right-handed pitching at .296. Additionally, their 26.2% strikeout rate versus righties is the second-highest in baseball, so deGrom should shred them. deGrom is an extremely safe pick that comes with a ton of upside, so he’s worth using in any contest where you’re willing to spend some payroll.

Honorable mentions: Jose Berrios, MIN ($10,700) at MIA; Mike Minor ($9,900) vs SEA.


Value SP: Vince Velasquez, PHI ($7,500) vs. SF


There are a few high-end starters to choose from, but as I said, starting pitching falls off quick tonight. Our best bet at a value arm appears to be Velasquez, which certainly isn’t inspiring. Still, Velasquez has been useful over the past month, posting a 3.52 ERA in three starts. His 27.3% strikeout rate on the season is a strong mark, and he faces a weak offense in the Giants, who have just a .302 wOBA against righties. While certainly VV has some risk, he can pay off nicely at this price.

Honorable mention: Jose Urquidy ($7,000) at CLE.


OF Bryce Harper, PHI ($4,300) vs. SF (RHP Jeff Samardzija)


Harper has a .929 OPS over the past two weeks and has been racking up counting stats as the Phillies’ No. 3 hitter, with seven runs and 10 RBI in that span. He should continue to mash against Samardzija, who is a clear regression candidate. Shark’s 4.58 FIP and 4.64 SIERA suggest that he’s outperformed his 3.95 ERA, and he’s got a 1.73 HR/9 away from his pitcher-friendly ballpark. Harper can easily go deep in this matchup in a hitter’s park at home and is underpriced for the kind of upside we all know he possesses.

Honorable mentions: OF Josh Reddick ($3,700) at CLE (RHP Zach Plesac); OF Adam Haseley ($3,400) vs. SF (Samardzija).


1B Ji-Man Choi, TB ($4,000) at BOS (RHP Rick Porcello)


The Rays are always doing fun stuff, and their newest trend is batting Ji-Man Choi in their leadoff spot against right-handed pitchers. That’s fantastic for his value, as he will always be able to get four or five plate appearances a game, which will lead to more production. Choi is in a great spot to score some runs against Porcello, owner of a 5.55 ERA, in an extreme hitter’s environment in Fenway Park. Choi has a 121 wRC+ against righties this season and should be targeted in cash games for his high floor atop the lineup.

Honorable mentions: 2B Rougned Odor ($4,400) vs. SEA (RHP Matt Wisler); 2B/OF Jeff McNeil ($4,300) at CWS (RHP Reynaldo Lopez); 3B Matt Chapman ($4,100) vs. MIL (TBD).


Value Bat: OF Khris Davis, OAK ($3,300) vs. MIL (RHP Jordan Lyles)


As a hitter coming off of three straight seasons of more than 40 home runs, Davis is an easy buy-low in GPP tournaments for his power upside. Krush homered yesterday and still has 17 bombs in a down year, which shows just how high his power floor is. Opposing starter Jordan Lyles has an ugly 5.36 ERA with a 1.75 HR/9, so expect Davis to have some RBI opportunities.

Honorable mentions: 2B Robel Garcia ($3,500) at STL (RHP Miles Mikolas); 1B Brandon Belt ($3,300) at PHI (RHP Velasquez).


Lineup Stack: Brewers at Athletics (LHP Brett Anderson)


A’s starter Brett Anderson is having a really weird season, and it doesn’t seem like there’s any way it can hold up much longer. He’s got just a 12.1% strikeout rate along with a 5.29 SIERA and a 5.50 DRA, so even though the Brewers are away from Miller Park, they’re an easy stack here. The Brewers have lots of affordable bats from whom to choose, including Lorenzo Cain ($3,800) out of the leadoff spot and lefty-masher Ryan Braun ($4,200). Also look for Jesus Aguilar ($3,100) if he’s in the lineup.

Honorable mentions: Phillies vs Giants (Samardzija); Rays at Red Sox (Porcello).


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is troyklauder) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games on which I offer advice. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings, and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any nonpublic information.

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@FreshMeatComm on Twitter).

Troy Klauder

Troy Klauder is a contributor at Pitcher List, Razzball, and Rotoballer. Follow him @TroyKlauder on Twitter for more fantasy analysis.

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