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MLB DFS Picks Sunday 7/31: Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks Today

Eric MacPherson



Sunday, July 31, brings the action with a healthy featured slate starting at 1:35 p.m. ET. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks today for pitchers and stacks for DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.

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DraftKings & FanDuel MLB DFS Picks Today (7/31)

Main Slate: Cardinals at RHP Josiah Gray — 4.9 implied runs

Josiah Gray has been outstanding this season, striking out 10.4 per nine innings and showing the talent to be a frontline starter. However, he has also allowed a league-leading 23 home runs, including seven in his last three starts. Though opposite-handed batsmen have excelled, with a .308 ISO since the beginning of last year, right-handed hitters have been elite as well, with a .206 ISO in the same timeframe.

Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and switch-hitter Dylan Carlson are the primary targets. Rookie Nolan Gorman has shaken off his dreadful summer swoon with five hits in his last 12 at bats, including a pair of home runs, and he is a steal on both DraftKings ($3,200) and FanDuel ($2,800). Paul DeJong is back up from the minors, and he has solid power against same-handed hurlers at a near rock-bottom salary — if he is in the lineup for a second consecutive game.

Mid-Afternoon Slate: White Sox vs. RHP Adam Oller — 5.2 implied runs

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool likes the White Sox in their matchup this afternoon. They will be facing Adam Oller, who has been an unmitigated disaster on the mound, with an 8.07 ERA, 1.86 WHIP and a whopping NINE home runs allowed in just 32.1 innings. Things have been so bad that the 27-year-old rookie has only one more strikeout (22) than he does walks (21).

It would not be a surprise to see a veteran get an off day, but that will just elevate a reserve into a prime spot in the lineup. Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson and Eloy Jimenez are the primary trio to target. A.J. Pollock, catcher Yasmani Grandal and hot-hitting Gavin Sheets can be employed to round out full stacks on both the main and mid-afternoon contests.

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Late Slate: Angels vs. RHP Dane Dunning — 4.5 implied runs

Once again, there are a couple of Angels surging to the top of their positions in the Stokastic Top Batters Tool. Of course, it is the Dodgers in Coors Field dominating things, but there is no need to cover the completely obvious here. July has been a rough month for Dane Dunning, who has been rocked in his three starts for a 6.39 ERA and three home runs in just over a dozen innings. There is a slight silver lining, as he did tally nine strikeouts during his one-game demotion to the minors, but that also was against the Padres rookie league squad.

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Shohei Ohtani has been struggling at the plate, though he did knock the cover off the ball last night for his second home run in his last 16 games. Ideally this shakes him out of his slump and pays dividends for his fantasy supporters. Jared Walsh has been in a funk as well, which has dramatically reduced his salary on both DraftKings ($3,100) and FanDuel ($2,700). Walsh has only one hit in his last 20 at-bats, but he has struck out only five times in this span and has a pair of walks. This is a nice matchup for the 29-year-old who has 11 of his 13 home runs in lefty/righty matchups. Catcher Kurt Suzuki also stands out among the limited backstop options, and he should be behind the plate this afternoon after only serving as a pinch-hitter last night.

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Primary Target: RHP Aaron Nola at Pirates — 3.1 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,700 | FanDuel $10,700

If the weather holds off, Aaron Nola is lining up as the best point-per-dollar pitcher on the Sunday slate. The 29-year-old continues to dominate, with a 3.47 xFIP, 29.3% strikeout rate and working ahead in the count 58.3% of the time over his last 1,248 batters faced since the start of last season. Pittsburgh will counter with a lefty-heavy lineup, though only Ben Gamel and rookie Oneil Cruz have even above-average power. Enjoy!

Secondary Target: RHP Dylan Cease vs. Athletics — 3.8 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,200 | FanDuel $10,900

Dylan Cease has allowed a mere three earned runs over his last 11 starts. Yes, there is a hidden blip tucked in that stretch in the form of a six-unearned-run game, though that was also against the Dodgers nearly two months ago. The only knock against Cease is that he can be somewhat inefficient as he goes for strikeouts, which has led to a double-digit walk rate across his last 1,100 batters faced. That should not be an issue today, as the Athletics have been an anemic squad all season, with the second-fewest runs in the league. Aside from Sean Murphy, Seth Brown and maybe Ramon Laureano, there are no bats that should give Cease any trouble this afternoon. While it can be folly to project fantasy points for a win, Chicago is nearly a 3-to-1 favorite at home this afternoon.

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Late Target: LHP Reid Detmers vs. Rangers — 4.2 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $7,600 | FanDuel $8,300

Rookie Reid Detmers has been a frequent target with batters in this article series, but today we should consider him on the three-game afternoon slate. In the three starts since his one-game demotion to Triple-A, the youngster has logged 17 innings, allowing only two runs and just 16 baserunners in starts against Baltimore, Houston and Atlanta. Texas has been in the top third of the league all season against southpaws, but considering the lack of options aside from Sean Manaea against a strong Twins team, Detmers looks like a reasonable alternative given his palatable salary.

Additional Opportunities

Max Fried is definitely a solid pitcher, though his inconsistent strikeout performances mean we can target him in the player props market. The Stokastic MLB Projections have him for 5.3 strikeouts, giving him a 55% probability of falling under his 5.5 over/under on his strikeout prop. Yes, this is a very slim margin of error, but the projected Arizona lineup has only a 20.2% strikeout rate against southpaws over the last two seasons. Fried has five or fewer strikeouts in four of his last five starts and in 10 of his 20 starts this season. Take the plus money and the under for a solid expected ROI.

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Other Pitching Options

  1. LHP Shane McClanahan vs. Cleveland Guardians (Main)
  2. LHP Max Fried vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (Main)
  3. LHP Nick Lodolo vs. Baltimore Orioles (Main)
  4. RHP Jake Odorizzi vs. Seattle Mariners (Afternoon)
  5. LHP Carlos Rodon vs. Chicago Cubs (Late)

Other Hitting Options

  1. Darick Hall at RHP JT Brubaker (Main)
  2. J.D. Martinez vs. LHP Aaron Ashby (Main)
  3. Carlos Santana at RHP Jake Odorizzi (Mid-Afternoon)
  4. Jurickson Profar vs. RHP Dylan Bundy (Afternoon)
  5. Brandon Belt vs. RHP Adrian Sampson (Late)

Final MLB DFS Thoughts & MLB Weather Notes

Atlanta and Washington look to have afternoon showers, though the games should not see much if any impact based on the current forecasts. Coors Field may see an in-game delay, but the postponement risk is quite low.

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Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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