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Daily Fantasy Baseball: Hitters, Pitchers, & Stacks For DraftKings MLB (July 31-Aug 2)

Daily Fantasy Baseball: Hitters, Pitchers, & Stacks For DraftKings MLB (July 31-Aug 2)

(Photo by Jimmy Simmons/Icon Sportswire)

UPDATED: Saturday 8/1, 11:11 AM (Added Sat. Pitchers)

With one week under our belts of Major League Baseball back in action, the players have been shuffled into a scenario where the necessity of travel is apparently clashing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

As entire teams in the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies have already been barred from play until Monday (or longer) due to outbreak, we’ve been given a rapid introduction to the experiment of live sports played without a quarantined location (like the NBA) and an idea of what to expect going forward. Players, as well as teams, will certainly miss time abruptly and for extended periods included.

It’s with a unique situation such as this one that I would suggest that now is a better time than ever to get a solid grasp on the late swap function featured on DraftKings,  with the ability to find an edge after a slate has begun yet maintaining the ability to adjust the remainder of rosters with players yet-to-start.

Not only is late-swap an element worth exploring for the sake of some opponent strategy familiarity, but should a coronavirus outbreak strike another team at any odd hour of the day it’s reported, you will be better prepared to navigate those rough waters and pivot efficiently. Also, you can identify where ownership shifts may occur based on players available per price tier at that given time after a slate has locked.

And with that all said…IT’S THE WEEKEND! And we get an avalanche of loaded MLB slates to entertain us. Let’s get to it.



Michael Brantley, Houston Astros (at LAA)

Cracking off the 2020 season with a 10-hit, six-game hitting streak, Michael Brantley has been on red hot fire for the Houston Astros, averaging a stellar 12.66 DraftKings Fantasy Points and scoring as many as 23 DKFP in one game in just a week back to the diamond.

Brantley’s one-week stint of consistent productivity comes swiftly with a convincing stat line of an incredible 236 wRC+, .435 batting average, and .508 wOBA. Hitting fourth in the Astros order is an incentivized reason to stack around Brantley, who faces Matt Andriese, the Angels now-starting pitcher who is coming into the position following a reliever role leading up until now.

Better yet, Brantley is priced down now in the Bargain range and insanely cheap for his caliber of talent, along with his recent stretch to start the shortened season. At $2,800 on Friday, I will be well over the field on Michael Brantley, barring any unforeseen circumstances.


Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies (vs. SD)

While the recent numbers may not incite an immediate reason to roster him, we get our first Coors Field game of the season, and Charlie Blackmon draws a platoon advantage against Garrett Richards in a matchup worth the price premium.

Blackmon’s road trip to start the season was a modest and quiet one, but his career home splits are dazzling: .349 BA, .997 OPS, and a .376 BAbip. Getting a pitcher in Garrett Richards who posted a 2.1 HR per nine innings between in 2019 is an added bonus when you consider Blackmon’s demonstration to hit the long-ball at home.

He’s a spend-up option that is worthy of his past resume as opposed to his very recent one, and Justin Blackmon is worthy of anchoring your Rockies 2-man and 5-man stacks with on DraftKings (while also worthy of any other size stack, I just prefer those two increments).


Other Weekend Hitters:


Giancarlo Stanton, NYY

Aaron Judge, NYY

Fernando Tatis Jr, SD

Mookie Betts, LAD

Cody Bellinger, LAD

Jose Altuve, HOU

J.D. Martinez, BOS

Justin Turner, LAD

Freddie Freeman, ATL

Trent Grisham, SD

Trevor Story, COL

Tommy Pham, SD

Ender Inciarte, ATL

Xander Bogaerts, BOS

Jurickson Profar, SD

Alex Bregman, HOU

Francisco Lindor, CLE

Jose Ramirez, CLE

Yoan Moncada, CWS

Anthony Rizzo, CHC

Nelson Cruz, MIN



Anthony Santander, BAL

Luke Voit, NYY

Donovan Solano, SF

Kevin Pillar, BOS

Hanser Alberto, BAL

A.J. Pollock, LAD

Kyle Lewis, SEA

Jorge Polanco, MIN

Josh Donaldson, MIN

Willy Adames, TB



Justin Upton, LAA

Yulieski Gurriel, HOU

Colin Moran, PIT

Luis Arraez, MIN

JaCoby Jones, DET

Jonathan Schoop, DET

C.J. Cron, DET




Luis Castillo, Cincinnati Reds (at DET)

Although the Reds have had several moving pieces throughout their batting order over the past year, Luis Castillo remains a constant to the pitching rotation in Cincinnati. The fourth-year ace was a 2019 All-Star pitcher for the National League and has an outstanding array of stats to seek solace in upon rostering in daily fantasy.

With a career WHIP average of 1.15, the impressively consistent Castillo has carried over his 10.7 K/9 from 2019 into our post-pandemic shortened season, and with seamless transition as if the strikeouts never stopped along the way.

In his first game of 2020, Castillo smoked the Detroit Tigers off the plate to the tune of 11 strikeouts and 1 earned run over six innings pitched. After a Thursday postponement against the Chicago Cubs due to rain, Castillo finds himself staring down the mound against these very same Tigers from Saturday’s K-heavy performance.

With a sizeable number of pitchers worth rostering on Friday (thank God; it’s been a brutal work week on the mound), Luis Castillo’s combination of fair pricing ($8,000) and proven mediocre opponent make for a no-brainer play at SP1 on DraftKings.


Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians (at MIN)

Following an inspirational comeback from chronic myeloid leukemia through his recovery process last spring, Carlos Carrasco surges into the 2020 MLB season among the ranks of a lethal pitching rotation for the Cleveland Indians, including Shane Bieber and Mike Clevinger.

His first game back to action was an absolute gem (and an emotional one at that if you were aware of the backstory), as he shutdown the Kansas City Royals, retiring ten batters via strikeout over six innings pitched and allowing two runs. His 1.00 WHIP (despite only being after one game of course) is a great start to the season, but the Minnesota Twins will be a tough task to keeping that number down.

While this is more of a contrarian play than anything, I anticipate that the public will favor Twins bats in this scenario and, given the 13-strikeout masterpiece of Shane Bieber on Thursday, I believe there is feasible upside in the against-the-grain angle here. The Twins are currently 11th highest in swinging strike rate (12.3 SwStr%) as added food for thought.


Other Pitchers For The Weekend:


Mike Clevinger, CLE

Blake Snell, TB

Mike Minor, TEX

Lance McCullers, HOU


Sean Manaea, OAK

Spencer Turnbull, DET




Tyler Chatwood, CHC

Drew Smyly, SF

Tyler Glasnow, TB

Michael Wacha, NYM

Kyle Freeland, COL (CONTRARIAN)

Zach Greinke, HOU

Wade LeBlanc, BAL



Jon Lester, CHC

Jacob Junis, KC

Aaron Civale, CLE (CONTRARIAN)

Yonny Chirinos, TB

Antonio Senzatela, COL (CONTRARIAN)




While I will be getting to essentially a minimum of one four or five-man stack from each team over the course of the weekend, the following are going to be favorites that I’ll be chasing for a variety of reasons rolled into one ranking (in numerical order):

1) New York Yankees

2) Colorado Rockies

3) San Diego Padres

4) New York Yankees

5) New York Mets

6) Kansas City Royals

7) Los Angeles Dodgers

8) Houston Astros

9) Chicago Cubs

10) Tampa Bay Rays

Chris "Topher" Giordani is a sports gambling nerd who derives his passion for such from a number of avenues, particularly the ilk of fantasy sports. Currently working and residing in Orange County, California, daily fantasy sports consume a vast majority of his attention span on any given day. Reviving his sports rant podcast in 2019. #FadeTheChalk


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