MLB DFS Plays: Saturday 7/20

Brad Johnson
Rotoworld

This article will outline the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We will take a comprehensive look to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.

Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.

Editor’s Note: Stay ahead of the competition from wire to wire with rankings, customizable projections, trade evaluator, exclusive columns and more in our Season Pass. And start using optimized lineups with our DFS Toolkit!

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Most of the action is in a 10-game slate this evening. Excessive heat around the league is really going to help the ball to fly.

PITCHER

Clayton KershawLos Angeles Dodgers (vs Marlins)

It’s a difficult day for pitchers. There are some good values in the bargain bin, but they’re hardly likely to fuel high point totals. On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find pitchers like Kershaw who perhaps cost a touch too much but at least promise a healthy performance. After much ado about his slide from acedom, Kershaw has worked his way down to a 3.00 ERA. That’s still his worst rate of run prevention since his 2008 rookie campaign. However, it’s also good for 10th best among qualified pitchers. A matchup against the lowly Marlins should come fully equipped with an easy win, sparkling run prevention, and about a strikeout per inning.

Also Consider: Zack Greinke, Jose Urquidy (value), Joe Musgrove (value)

CATCHER / FIRST BASE

Freddie FreemanAtlanta Braves (vs Nationals)

The last time the Braves faced their old friend Anibal Sanchez, he positively skunked them. Sanchez is having an inconsistent season, blending strong outings with disasters. You never really know what you’re going to get from him. He’s had issues with allowing home runs to left-handed hitters (1.96 HR/9). Freeman is having a typically excellent season. He’s on pace to set a career high in home runs while posting a robust .296/.384/.566 batting line. The Nationals have an iffy bullpen which could further aid Freeman tonight.

Also Consider: Mitch Garver, Max Muncy, Freddie Freeman, Josh Bell, Joey Votto (value)

SECOND BASE

Michael ChavisBoston Red Sox (at Orioles)

A Red Sox stack should be popular tonight. They’re visiting Baltimore and Tom Eshelman, a soft-tossing righty who barely fits at Triple-A let alone the majors. Eshelman doesn’t miss bats, and he’s massively homer prone. Although Chavis bats near the bottom of the Boston lineup, he has more than enough power to warrant a selection. His biggest weakness is a 33.2 percent strikeout rate. Eshelman’s pitch-to-contact approach should prove helpful.

Also Consider: Whit Merrifield, Jose Altuve, Derek Dietrich (value), Tommy Edman (value)

THIRD BASE

Rafael Devers – Boston Red Sox (at Orioles)

If Chavis is a top play despite a poor lineup role, then you know Devers is a near must-play. The 22-year-old left-handed hitter is having a coming out party at the plate, batting .322/.375/.557. Most of the damage has been dealt to right-handed pitchers. Devers bats second for the Red Sox and should come to the plate five times against a series of bad pitchers. He has a below average walk rate and makes frequent hard contact. As such, he’ll possibly deliver five well-struck balls today. He’s one of the top five hitters in the slate.

Also Consider: Alex Bregman, Jose Ramirez, Eugenio Suarez, Matt Chapman

SHORTSTOP

Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians (vs Royals)

Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts is projected to narrowly outperform Lindor this evening, but the Indians shortstop is a much better dollar-for-dollar value. Cleveland will face Jakob Junis, a below average right-handed pitcher. Their bullpen is also atrocious. In a small sample this season, Lindor has posted far better power numbers when facing right-handed pitchers. His home park is partly to blame. Progressive Field has a short porch in right field but seriously depresses home run rates to left field. Since Lindor will be golfing at the shorter porch today, we can hope for some power to go with multiple hits and run production.

Also Consider: Xander Bogaerts, Bregman, Jean Segura, Jonathan Villar (value), Corey Seager (value)

OUTFIELD

Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels (at Mariners)

File this one under “well duh.” Trout is visiting the Mariners and mediocre southpaw Wade LeBlanc. Of course, Trout won’t see LeBlanc in the first inning – they’ll be using an opener. Their collection of first inning options is… execrable. LeBlanc is no great shakes either. Trout is perhaps in the midst of his finest season to date. Further analysis is unnecessary.

J.D. MartinezBoston Red Sox (at Orioles)

Martinez differs from other premium Red Sox bats in that he’s heavily discounted tonight. While we’re still waiting for one of his torrid home run streaks, even the Martinez we’ve seen to date this season is an excellent play against Eshelman and friends. He’s batting .284/.359/.507 with 19 home runs. He’s shaved a few points off his strikeout and whiff rates, and I wonder if he’s traded away some power to do so. In any event, 2019 Martinez is more than enough at this price. And if we see a glimmer of 2017-2018 Martinez, all the better!

Also Consider: Mike Trout, J.D. Martinez (value), Mookie Betts, Jorge Soler, Yordan Alvarez, Cody Bellinger, Shohei Ohtani, Bryan Reynolds (value)

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