Today marks the trade deadline, so it’s going to be one of the most bizarre slates of the season. That means we’ll have a bunch of funky lineups and potential scratches, so be sure to check everything before submitting lineups. With that in mind, let’s get into our 7/31 DFS Hitting picks.
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7/31 DFS Hitting Picks
7/31 DFS Hitting Catcher
James McCann, DET at LAA
DK ($3,400) FD ($2,700)
McCann really deserves more credit for what he’s done this season, as he’s truly established himself as one of the best hitting catchers in the game. That’s made crystal clear by his .283 AVG and .800 OPS, which are easily career-high numbers. His numbers against lefties have been even better, with McCann providing a .359 OBP, .519 SLG and .877 OPS with the platoon advantage in his favor. That makes these price tags really hard to figure, especially against a guy with a 5.35 ERA and 1.51 WHIP.
7/31 DFS Hitting First Base
Justin Smoak, TOR at KC
DK ($3,900) FD ($3,300)
Smoak has been a regular in my articles over recent weeks and recent results indicate that we’ve been getting things right. The simple fact is, this dude is inevitably due for some positive regression. His .342 wOBA and .427 SLG are way off of his .389 xwOBA and .513 xSLG. Those indicators tell us that this is one of the most dangerous bats in the game and his form since the All-Star break shows just that. Over his last 13 games, Smoak has four homers, nine runs scored, nine RBI and 11 walks en route to a .396 OBP and .548 SLG. That’s huge against a guy like Jakob Junis, as that puts Smoak on his favorable left side versus a pitcher with a 5.03 ERA and 1.42 WHIP.
7/31 DFS Hitting Second Base
Max Muncy, LAD at COL
DK ($5,600) FD ($4,400)
After a couple of value plays, let’s get some studs in there for you to build off of. Muncy is just that, as his .290 ISO, .381 OBP, .555 SLG and .936 OPS since joining L.A. last season makes him one of the best bats in the game. Those fantastic numbers are even better against right-handers and his numbers in Coors Field are more ridiculous. In 55 at-bats in Coors Field, Muncy has four doubles, nine homers and 22 RBI en route to a .927 SLG and 1.343 OPS. He faces a pitcher who’s really struggling at home this season too, with German Marquez posting a 7.07 ERA and 1.70 WHIP at Coors.
7/31 DFS Hitting Third Base
Alex Bregman, HOU at CLE
DK ($5,200) FD ($3,800)
The power potential from this kid is simply amazing and we have to like the Astros against a pitcher like Adam Plutko. The Indians right-hander is currently pitching to a 4.83 ERA and 6.21 FIP, which is truly scary against one of the best lineups in baseball. That’s why Houston is projected for more than five runs and Bregman should play a huge part of that. The little third baseman is currently generating a .520 SLG and .913 OPS, as he’s also got a .404 OBP over his last 21 games.
7/31 DFS Hitting Shortstop
Javier Baez, CHC at STL
DK ($4,600) FD ($4,000)
It was tough to find value plays among the shortstops but Baez is too cheap. This guy has done nothing but rake since joining the Cubs and he’s particularly enticing in this circumstance. While Miles Mikolas is a solid pitcher, his inability to strike people out really adds to Baez’ value. The 29 percent K rate for Baez is one of the only things that’s slowed him down but Mikolas’ 17 percent K rate limits Baez’s risk. If you’re guaranteeing me that this talented hitter will get the ball in play four times, I’ll take those odds at this price tag. Baez is feeling it right now too, accruing three doubles, three homers, 11 runs scored and two steals over his last nine games played.
7/31 DFS Hitting Outfielders
J.D. Martinez, BOS vs. TB
DK ($4,900) FD ($4,100)
Don’t look now but Martinez is starting to heat up. Much like Smoak, this is a guy who’s due for some serious positive regression, as his indicators are some of the best in the game. In fact, Martinez .408 xwOBA and .588 xSLG rank him Top-20 in the game and it’s really no surprise that he’s starting to heat up. Over the last nine games, Martinez is hitting .375 while providing a .750 SLG and 1.155 OPS. There’s also a good chance that he’ll face a lefty here and that’s really frightening when you see his 1.301 OPS against southpaws this season.
Ian Desmond, COL vs. LAD
DK ($4,200) FD ($3,400)
Desmond has quietly had a resurgent season for the Rockies and he’s really one of the only Coors Field bats that comes at a value. Since May 7, Desmond is hitting .308 while generating a .925 OPS. That’s all you can ask for from someone in such a friendly ballpark and most of that damage has actually come against left-handed pitching. In fact, Desmond has a .975 OPS with the platoon advantage in his favor. Hyun-Jin Ryu is a scary pitcher but his 9.15 ERA and 2.32 WHIP in five starts at Coors shows that no one is safe from those dimensions.
Justin Upton, LAA vs. DET
DK ($3,800) FD ($3,500)
Upton has been very disappointing this season since his return from the IL but he’s got way too much potential to be priced below $4,000 on DK. We’re talking about a guy who has a career .355 wOBA and career .209 ISO. This is a 31-year-old who still has a ton in the tank and it’s just a matter of time before he gets hot. Facing a weak lefty like Daniel Norris is a good way to start, with the Detroit southpaw pitching to a 4.89 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. Those ugly numbers are going to make it tough to get Upton out, as he has a .230 ISO and .366 wOBA against left-handed pitching for his career.
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Monkey Knife Fight Pick of the Day
Jakob Junis Over 4.5 Strikeouts
Junis is too good of a pitcher to be struggling the way he is and the K upside is huge here. This is a guy who has a 22 percent K rate and has struck out at least four batters in 14-straight starts. That’s huge against a Blue Jays lineup that ranks 20th in K rate, 22nd in runs scored, 25th in OPS and 28th in OBP.
Won the FanDuel, 11K MLB Pickoff Single Entry Tournament in May of 2019. Started playing MLB DFS a couple years ago and have found success as mainly a cash game player. After playing season-long fantasy for five years I decided to give DFS a shot and have never looked back. Grinding all year around with MLB, NBA and NFL.