MLB DFS Plays: Sunday 8/1

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This article outlines the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We 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.

PITCHER

Top Play: Jordan Montgomery – Yankees (at Marlins)

The Marlins are running roughly half a lineup at the moment as they try to figure out if any of the dozen Quad-A caliber outfielders in their system can hack it against big league pitching. They’re a light-hitting bunch with a hefty strikeout rate and power-suppressant venue. Montgomery typically tosses between 85 and 100 pitches, enough to last six innings with six strikeouts. He’s a top play and a bargain.

Pivot: Marco Gonzales – Mariners (at Rangers)

Gonzales isn’t is usual self this season. His command is missing sharpness which leaves his otherwise pedestrian stuff exposed. These same Rangers stomped him about a month ago. Home runs have been a problem, as have a lack of strikeouts. Using Gonzales isn’t going to produce many positive feelz. However, projection systems will helpfully note that he’s capable of snapping back into form without warning. He makes full 100-pitch starts when on a roll and could be the likeliest to drop a surprise complete game (to be clear, it’s very unlikely).

Also Consider: Charlie Morton, Marcus Stroman, Adbert Alzolay, Sandy Alcantara, Jose Berrios, Erick Fedde, Kyle Gibson

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CATCHER

Top Play: Omar Narvaez – Brewers (at Charlie Morton)

Catcher isn’t the position to go expensive this afternoon. Narvaez’s swing and launch angle match well against Morton’s typical plane of attack. This still feels more like a pivot than a top play – one that isn’t especially tempting on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Morton figures to be chalky so catching any firepower against him could prove valuable in GPPs.

Pivot: Tom Murphy – Mariners (at Mike Foltynewicz)

This is probably Murphy’s start although Cal Raleigh is an even better play if available. Foltynewicz is a mess this season, coughing up oodles of home runs while failing to induce whiffs. The only issue here are his fly ball tendencies combined with a fairly spacious stadium. There’s increased risk Murphy delivers some easy fly outs. He also has a one-in-five chance at a big fly. Murphy matches better against several Rangers relievers – the Mariners should get to that bullpen early.

Also Consider: J.T. Realmuto, Willson Contreras, Salvador Perez, Mitch Garver, Ryan Jeffers, Gary Sanchez, Pedro Severino, Jorge Alfaro

FIRST BASE

Top Play: Trey Mancini – Orioles (at Tyler Alexander)

Alexander typically lasts between three and four innings. Although a passable reliever, he’s overmatched when facing hitters more than once. Home runs are common. Mancini has a relatively high ground ball rate for a power hitter. Alexander’s fly ball tendencies give him a couple shots at an ideal matchup before facing an exploitable Tigers bullpen.

Pivot: Ryan Mountcastle – Orioles (at Alexander)

We’re back to my favorite first base pivot. Mountcastle remains hidden behind Mancini and present roughly comparable mean and upside projections. He also costs a lot less than Mancini. While the frontline matchup isn’t quite as favorable for Mountcastle, he matches well against several of Detroit’s long relievers.

Also Consider: Pete Alonso, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Freddie Freeman, Joey Votto, Jose Abreu, Rowdy Tellez, Jonathan Schoop

SECOND BASE

Top Play: Marcus Semien – Blue Jays (vs Brad Keller)

Although Keller is pitching better lately, the Blue Jays lineup is a difficult assignment for any pitcher. It’s stacked top-to-bottom. Semien in particular has a juicy matchup. He’s best against those who work down in the zone like Keller. Count on around a one-in-four chance to homer along with a range of other positive, plausible outcomes.

Pivot: Jazz Chisholm – Marlins (vs Montgomery)

One of my favorite GPP pivots is Dylan Moore because he’s cheap, unpopular, and capable of defining a slate. Today, Chisholm is even cheaper, faces someone who could be the chalkiest pitcher of the slate, and possesses that same contest-defining upside as Moore. The volatile middle infielder should be unpopular because of the left-on-left matchup. However, he’s shown only modest signs of platoon splits. His plate discipline is worse but his quality of contact is comparable. One warning – the Yankees bullpen is both potent and chock full o’ southpaws.

Also Consider: Ozzie Albies, Eduardo Escobar, Jonathan India, Jonathan Schoop, Jorge Polanco, Ty France, Dylan Moore, Luis Garcia, Abraham Toro, David Bote

THIRD BASE

Top Play: Austin Riley – Braves (vs Brett Anderson)

Over his brief career, Riley has shown signs of being a streaky hitter. He also has enough lift in his swing to deliver multiple hits and/or a home run against Anderson. The Brewers soft-tossing southpaw is not immune to home runs despite a hefty ground ball rate. When he catches a little too much plate, it’s very likely to leave the yard. Riley has around a one-in-five chance for big power outcomes and serves as the best combination of mean projection, upside, and value at the position.

Pivot: Eduardo Escobar – Brewers (at Morton)

Escobar has been overpriced on DFS platforms for weeks, reducing his rostership to low-single digits. Overpriced players can make for great pivots. Usually, they’re merely a poor value for an otherwise adequate projection. Morton is a tough pairing, but Escobar has the traits to deliver some dinger damage. He and several teammates possess steep launch angles that can thwart pitchers who work down in the zone.

Also Consider: Jose Ramirez, Kyle Seager, Abraham Toro, Jeimer Candelario, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Brian Anderson, David Bote, Carter Kieboom

SHORTSTOP

Top Play: Willy Adames – Brewers (at Morton)

You should consider using Adames for the same reason Escobar is attractive. While I’m inclined to shy away from a full stack, it seems likely somebody in this Brewers group is going to roll Yahtzee. There are too many hitters who match strength-to-strength with Morton. Adames supposedly couldn’t see well at Tropicana Field so it’s perhaps no accident he’s batting .295/.383/.536 since joining the Brewers. The other top shortstops might project for a bit more, but they’re poor values.

Pivot: Ramon Urias – Orioles (at Alexander)

Urias makes hard, low-angle contact of a kind that should play well against Alexander. He’s proven adept at barreling the ball this season even if that only means he’s hitting more grounders and low liners than originally expected. There’s discount multi-hit potential here.

Also Consider: Tim Anderson, Javier Baez, Bo Bichette, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Rojas, Didi Gregorius

OUTFIELD

Top Plays: Juan Soto – Nationals (vs Alzolay)
Adam Duvall – Braves (vs Anderson)
Franmil Reyes – Indians (at Reynaldo Lopez)

Alzolay likes to challenge opponents – perhaps too much. While he should have few issues handling the Nationals offense as a whole, Soto represents another matter entirely. He’s the top-projected hitter of the slate.

This is a nitro matchup for Duvall and teammate Jorge Soler. Duvall in particular has a long history of eviscerating ground ball pitchers. It doesn’t hurt that he has the platoon advantage. He leads the slate with just shy of a one-in-three chance to homer. Of course, it remains a homer-or-bust profile.

Reyes is right behind Duvall in home run potential. Visiting Guaranteed Rate Field helps buff his power potential. The White Sox are going with a bullpen game led by Lopez. Their bullpen, while potent, is a tad gassed. Unless they call somebody up, they’re going to have a tough time navigating this game.

Pivots: Austin Hays – Orioles (at Alexander)
Ben Gamel – Pirates (vs Kyle Gibson)

Hays has what folks in the industry call a loose launch angle. While his average contact is an ideal line drive, he hits too many infield flies and easy choppers. This explains why he’s so cheap. His physical tools offer ever present upside for a huge performance out of the bargain bin. Facing an exploitable opponent maximizes his potential. Gamel, a fly ball hitter in the midst of stealthy breakout, is set to face Gibson in his Phillies debut. He’s a feel-based pitcher who could run into some hiccups with his new team. If this was at Citizen’s Bank Park, Gamel would be a must-play. At PNC Park, he’s merely interesting.

Also Consider: Akil Baddoo, Robbie Grossman, Tyler O’Neill, George Springer, TeOscar Hernandez, Randal Grichuk, Eloy Jimenez, Andrew Vaughn, Adam Engel, Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo, Jorge Soler, Bryan Reynolds, Cedric Mullins, Anthony Santander, Ryan McKenna, Tyrone Taylor, Jarred Kelenic