This is a very difficult week for Daily Fantasy Baseball, as the non-waiver trade deadline is Friday, July 31. Be sure to double-, triple- and quadruple-check those lineups before finalizing them each day until the deadline passes.
Several big-name DFS options are on the chopping block and could potentially be moved. We’ve already had SP Johnny Cueto traded to the Kansas City Royals, one of the bigger dominoes to fall. Since the start of the 2012 season Cueto is 8-3 with a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts in the month of August, and 7-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 13 starts in the month of September. So expect the Royals to get what they paid for down the stretch.
This summer you can win up to a $250,000 from our friends at FantasyAces.com, and there will be a live event at Angels Stadium.
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For more recommendations from me throughout the week, plus tips from other top industry analysts like Drew Dinkmeyer, check out DailyRoto.com for comprehensive free and premium DFS content.
FantasyAces.com salaries included below where applicable. (*** salaries subject to change ***)
PROBABLE PITCHERS TO START
MONDAY (nine games)
Chris Heston, San Francisco ($5,850 vs. MIL): Heston heads into this game with a 2-0 record and 1.32 ERA in four starts in the month of July, and he has a 2.57 ERA in 10 starts at AT&T Park. Unlike Heston, the Brewers are not hot. They’re 1-4 in their past five road games, 6-22 in their past 28 against NL West teams and 3-9 in Kyle Lohse’s past 12 outings. It’s a perfect storm of goodness for Heston.
Lance Lynn, St. Louis ($7,000 vs. CIN): The key to DFS is pitching, and the most expensive option on the board Monday is Lynn. However, he’ll be facing a Reds team dejected after the trade of Cueto. Plus, Lynn is 5-1 with a 1.83 ERA in nine home starts with a .215 opponent batting average and 60 strikeouts over 59 innings.
TUESDAY (15 games)
Jose Fernandez, Miami (vs. WAS): Fernandez has won each of his two home starts this season, keeping up his amazing career numbers at home. He is 14-0 with a 1.17 ERA in 22 career starts at Marlins Park. Until he starts losing at home, he is a DFS must-start when he is pitching in Miami.
Jaime Garcia, St. Louis (vs. CIN): Garcia (groin) is set to come off the 15-day disabled list Tuesday to face Cincinnati. It will be his first appearance since June 24 after dealing with a groin injury. He has a 3-3 record in seven starts this season, but a sparkling 1.69 ERA while posting quality starts in each of his outings. He’ll be a great DFS value in his first start off the DL.
Ubaldo Jimenez, Baltimore (vs. ATL): Jimenez has been subpar on the road, but very good at home. He is 5-1 with a 2.06 ERA in seven outings at Camden Yards while recording 47 strikeouts over 48 innings while the opposition is hitting just .213 against him. He has struggled mightily in the month of July, but all four outings have been on the road. Expect much better results in this spot, and his struggles earlier in the month will save you DFS salary.
WEDNESDAY (15 games – nine after 7:05pm ET)
Chris Archer, Tampa Bay (vs. DET): Archer takes the ball for a day game assignment against the Tigers. He has a 4-3 record with a sparkling 2.08 ERA in nine day games while posting 65 strikeouts over 60 2/3 innings with a .170 opponent batting average. He also has 93 strikeouts over 75 innings at Tropicana Field this season, ranking him third in the majors in K/9 ratio at home (11.16).
Garrett Richards, L.A. Angels (at HOU): Richards heads into this outing with a 2-2 record and 2.40 ERA in four starts in the month of July, including one complete game. He has recorded 14 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings against the Astros, a team which ranks first in the American League in strikeouts on offense.
THURSDAY (13 games – 11 after 7:05pm ET)
Johnny Cueto, Kansas City (at TOR): Cueto is tentatively scheduled to make his American League debut with the Royals Thursday in Toronto. We touched on his August and September splits over the past few seasons, which is one reason to use him. He also faces Blue Jays RHP Marco Estrada, who is allowing a .272 opponent batting average. In addition, Estrada is 4-6 with a 4.09 ERA in 13 appearances (10 starts) at night, so the odds are in Cueto’s favor despite his new surroundings.
Carlos Martinez, St. Louis (vs. COL): Martinez has torn it up in the month of July, posting a 2-1 record with a 0.69 ERA in four appearances (three starts) while striking out 21 batters in 26 innings. The key to his success has been keeping the ball in the park, as he has allowed just one homer in the past 26 innings. He beat the Rockies June 10 in Denver, allowing two runs over 6 1/3 innings with four strikeouts.
FRIDAY (15 games)
Drew Hutchison, Toronto (vs KC): Hutchison’s splits are amazing, as he is 7-1 with a 2.21 ERA in nine home starts with a .219 opponent batting average, and he has a 9.00 ERA in 11 road outings while the opposition is hitting .372 against him. Good thing Friday’s game is at home. Hutchison also leads the majors in run support (6.9), so he is a strong play at home.
Taylor Jungmann, Milwaukee (vs. CHC): Jungmann has posted five consecutive quality starts heading into Friday’s game. While he suffered a loss at Arizona July 25, he still helped DFS owners with two runs and four hits allowed over six innings while striking out seven. His strikeout totals should be there again while the Cubs come calling, as they rank first in the majors in Ks by an offense.
SATURDAY (15 games – 12 after 7:05pm ET)
Mark Buehrle, Toronto (vs. KC): Buehrle posted an impressive 3-1 record with a 1.24 ERA in five outings in the month of July, including a win at Kansas City July 11 when he allowed just two runs over seven innings. He has five straight quality starts at home dating back to May 6, so he is a great DFS play despite the fact he isn’t a big strikeout pitcher.
Jacob deGrom, N.Y. Mets (vs. WAS): The Mets All-Star has posted an impressive 5-2 record with a 1.67 ERA in nine home starts, posting 61 strikeouts over 59 1/3 innings. He ranks 22nd in the majors with a 9.05 K/9 (strikeouts to nine innings ratio).
SUNDAY (15 games)
Noah Syndergaard, N.Y. Mets (vs. WAS): Win or lose, Syndergaard is a strong DFS play on national television Sunday night thanks to his 9.38 K/9 ratio. He is 0-4 with a 4.34 ERA in seven road outings with the opposition hitting .268 against him, but at home he is 4-1 with a 1.74 ERA in six starts while allowing just two homers in 41 1/3 innings at Citi Field while the opposition is hitting just .203.
HITTERS TO START
DJ LeMahieu, 2B, Colorado ($4,850 at CHC): LeMahieu carries a 15-game hitting streak into Monday’s game, the longest active run in the majors. He went 2-for-4 with a double, walk, three runs scored and two RBI in an offensive outburst by the Rockies Sunday, and he is a great mid-level DFS play.
David Ortiz, DH, Boston ($4,900 vs. CHW): Big Papi belted a pair of homers and seven RBI in Sunday’s blowout of the Tigers. While DFS owners shouldn’t expect those career numbers, they should expect him to welcome LHP John Danks rather rudely. D.O. is 6-for-22 (.273) with two homers and five RBI in his career against the Chicago southpaw.
Hunter Pence, OF, San Francisco ($5,450 vs. MIL): Pence has big numbers against Brewers RHP Kyle Lohse, who hasn’t been pitching very well lately. Pence is 18-for-53 (.340) with four doubles, a triple, five RBI and an .816 OPS against the veteran right-hander.
Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee ($5,400 at SF): There is something about the pitching of Giants RHP Matt Cain that really agrees with Braun. He has nine hits in 25 career at-bats (.36o), with three hits (one 2B, one 3B, one HR) doing for extra bases. He also has six RBI and a .985 OPS in his career against Cain.
Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland ($5,450 vs. KC): Kipnis has been unreal at home this season, ranking fifth in the majors with a .353 average (65-for-184) with four homers, 22 RBI and a 1.004 OPS at Progressive Field.
Eric Hosmer, 1B, Kansas City ($4,850 at CLE): Hosmer has rolled up timely hits against Indians RHP Corey Kluber. While he is hitting just .242 (8-f0r-33) all-time against Klubot, Hosmer does have three doubles, three homers and 12 RBI with a .912 OPS against the Indians righty.
Eddie Rosario, OF, Minnesota (vs. PIT): Rosario leads the majors with a .369 average (41-for-111) at home, and he has a very impressive .972 OPS at Target Field. While he doesn’t hit lefties as well as righties, he is comfortable at home and should easily outproduce his DFS salary.
Todd Frazier, 3B, Cincinnati ($5,400 vs. PIT): Frazier has managed 11 home runs against left-handed pitching, three more than anyone else in the majors. That’s good news, as is his .450 (9-for-20) career average with a double, two homers and a 1.322 OPS against Pirates LHP Jeff Locke.
Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado ($5,750 at CHC): Arenado enters the week with nine more RBI than anyone else in the majors against right-handed pitching, and his 23 homers are the most in the National League vs. RHP.
Brandon Phillips, 2B, Cincinnati ($4,800 at STL): ‘@DatDudeBP’ has posted a .324 (12-for-37) career average with a homer and four RBI in his career against Pirates RHP A.J. Burnett. At a mid-level DFS price he is a solid value Friday night.
Albert Pujols, 1B, L.A. Angels (at LAD): You’re going to want to run an Angels stack Saturday against Dodgers RHP Michael Bolsinger. Pujols leads the majors with 24 homers against right-handed pitching while hitting a respectable .274 with 10 doubles, 52 RBI and a .906 OPS.
Mike Trout, OF, L.A. Angels (at LAD): Along with Pu, you’re going to want to find a way to squeeze Trout under your DFS cap Saturday. He has 23 homers, 50 RBI and an impressive 1.029 OPS against right-handed pitching. He and Pujols should abuse Bolsinger in this Freeway Series game.
Jay Bruce, OF, Cincinnati ($5,000 vs. PIT): Assuming Bruce remains a member of the Cincinnati Reds, he is a great play against Pirates RHP Charlie Morton. Bruce has managed six XBH (three 2B, one 3B, two HR) with six RBI and a 1.070 OPS in 27 at-bats against Morton. If you’re looking to stack, the Reds are a great play with Phillips (11-for-34, .324 average and .734 OPS) and Skip Schumaker (10-for-25, .400 average and .884 OPS) also good additions. 1B Joey Votto ($5,750) also has seven RBI in 31 career at-bats against Morton, who enters the week with a dismal 7.82 ERA in five road outings this season.
N.Y. Yankees at Texas (ESPN, 8:05 p.m.)
N.Y. Yankees at Texas (FOX Sports 1, 8:05 p.m.)
Arizona at Seattle – OR – Oakland at L.A. Dodgers (MLB Network, 10:10 p.m.)
Colorado at Chicago Cubs (MLB Network. 2:20 p.m.)
L.A. Angels at Houston (MLB Network, 8:10 p.m.)
San Diego at N.Y. Mets – OR – Washington at Miami (MLB Network, 12:10 p.m.)
Detroit at Baltimore – OR – Kansas City at Toronto (MLB Network, 7:05 p.m.)
Kansas City at Toronto – OR – Washington at N.Y. Mets (MLB Network, 7:07 p.m.)
L.A. Angeles at L.A. Dodgers (FOX Sports 1, 4:05 p.m.)
N.Y. Yankees at Chicago White Sox (TBS, 2:10 p.m.)
Washington at N.Y. Mets (ESPN, 8:08 p.m.)