The final weekend of July is also the last weekend before the MLB Trade Deadline, which looms on Tuesday. On Saturday night, there are nine games that make up the main fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings. The first pitch of the contest is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET, with six games in the first wave, followed by a Coors Field showcase at 8:10 p.m. ET and a couple of games on the West Coast to wrap up the night.
To keep up with pregame lineups and player news, install the DK Live app and follow DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the season continues.
Framber Valdez, Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners ($9,700) – Valdez beat the Mariners in his most recent start, totaling 23.6 DKFP and improving to 9-4 on the season with a 2.74 ERA, 3.21 FIP and 8.14 K/9. He has gone at least six innings and allowed three earned runs or fewer in 16 straight starts. Valdez hasn’t piled up strikeouts but has consistently delivered solid returns, averaging 21.3 DKFP in those 16 straight strong outings. Seattle struggles against lefties, so given the matchup and Valdez’s consistency this season, he’s my top SP1 to build around on Saturday night’s slate.
Other Options – Joe Musgrove ($9,600), Sonny Gray ($8,700)
Ranger Suárez, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($7,600) – Suárez usually doesn’t go extremely deep into games, but he has successfully converted to a starter this year, going 7-5 with a 3.84 ERA, 4.00 FIP and 7.28 K/9 in his 17 starts this year. He ended up with a no-decision vs. the Braves in his most recent start, but has gone 3-2 with a 2.98 ERA and 3.43 FIP over his past eight outings, showing he’s trending the right direction. He gets a good matchup against the struggling Pirates, who hit just .185 while scoring 18 runs in their first six games after the All-Star break. Suárez has a good shot at a win and usually ends up with enough innings to be a relatively low-risk play under $8K.
Other Options – Mitch Keller ($8,000), Drew Smyly ($6,800)
Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,900) – Riley has been red hot since the start of the month and has gone 44-for-100 (.440) with 16 multi-hit games over his past 25 contests. He has an impressive .576 wOBA over that span and has been stacking up extra-base hits, as well, logging 13 doubles, 11 home runs and a .460 ISO. He and the Braves get a very favorable matchup against Corbin Martin ($5,800), as they continue to battle the Mets for first place in the NL East.
Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,200) – Hoskins went a perfect 4-for-4 on Friday night and homered in the Phillies’ 4-2 win on his way to 29 DKFP. He has produced double-digit DKFP in three straight games and is 11-for-32 (.344) with two doubles and a home run in his eight games since the All-Star break. Hoskins and the Phils will try to make it three wins in a row to start this all-Pennsylvania series.
Other Options – Corey Seager ($5,000), Ty France ($4,600), Jeremy Peña ($4,600)
Jose Miranda, Minnesota Twins at San Diego Padres ($3,500) – Miranda started slowly after being called up to the Twins in early May, but like many top prospects, he has made the adjustment and become a productive option at a fairly affordable price. Over his past 13 games, the 24-year-old has gone 19-for-46 (.413) with three homers, 13 RBIs and a .478 wOBA. Miranda went 0-for-4 Friday but will look to bounce back against Joe Musgrove ($9,600) and the Padres Saturday.
Elvis Andrus, Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox ($2,500) – Andrus has been a veteran fixture all year with the struggling Athletics. He is only hitting .240 with a .301 wOBA on the season but has been more productive lately, making him an option to consider if you go cheap at SS. He has hit safely in 10 of his past 11 contests, going 14-for-40 (.350) with two doubles, a stolen base, a home run and a .381 wOBA. He and the A’s knocked off the White Sox Friday, with Andrus producing 24 DKFP.
Other Options – Luis Rengifo ($3,700), Nolan Gorman ($3,200), Nathaniel Lowe ($3,200)
Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners ($5,700) – Alvarez crushed his 30th homer of the year on Friday as part of a 28-DKFP performance in the Astros’ 11-1 win vs. the Mariners. Alvarez has gone 10-for-23 (.435) with 10 walks, three doubles, four homers and a .630 wOBA in his nine games since returning from the injured list. Alvarez gets a good matchup against Chris Flexen ($8,100), whom he has gone 4-for-12 with a pair of home runs against in his career.
Kris Bryant, Colorado Rockies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($5,100) – Bryant has been limited to just 40 games in his first season with the Rockies and is still looking for his first home run of the year at Coors Field (strange but true). He has put up pretty solid numbers when available, especially crushing left-handed pitching. Against southpaws, Bryant is hitting .349 with three homers and a .437 wOBA. He has also had success in the past against lefty Clayton Kershaw ($9,900), going 4-for-16 with a pair of home runs. Bryant has gone 15-for-40 (.375) over his past 10 games with five doubles, a home run and a .440 wOBA.
Other Options – Mookie Betts ($5,800), Julio Rodríguez ($5,400)
Austin Slater, San Francisco Giants vs. Chicago Cubs ($3,300) – Slater typically hits leadoff for the Giants against lefties like former-Giant Drew Smyly ($6,800), who will start for the Cubs Saturday. Slater has gone 12-for-35 (.343) with four doubles and a stolen base over his last 11 games with an at-bat. He doesn’t typically offer a ton of power, but he is hitting .305 with a .387 wOBA against lefties on the year, making him a strong cost-saving play if he gets another start for San Francisco.
Trayce Thompson, Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies ($2,800) – Thompson has been a regular for the Dodgers against lefties like Kyle Freeland ($7,500) and is expected to get another Coors Field start on Saturday. Thompson went 2-for-5 with a home run and 19 DKFP on Friday and has gone 13-for-36 (.361) with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and a .463 wOBA over his past 11 games. If he gets another start in the middle of the strong L.A. lineup, he should be a great value play with an elevated ceiling in Denver.
Other Options – Taylor Ward ($3,900), Leody Taveras ($3,700), Jake McCarthy ($2,900)
TEAMS TO STACK
Chicago White Sox vs. Oakland Athletics – The White Sox are home for their series vs. the Athletics and will face Paul Blackburn ($6,700) Saturday. Blackburn has lost three straight starts, allowing 21 runs and four home runs in 14 1/3 innings. In his past six starts, he’s 0-4 with a 9.40 ERA and 5.95 FIP. On the season, he has given up 11 homers, including six to left-handed hitters. Chicago’s Yoán Moncada ($5,000), Gavin Sheets ($3,200) and Yasmani Grandal ($4,600) will be on the favorable side of that split while Tim Anderson ($5,500), José Abreu ($5,300), Andrew Vaughn ($4,700) and Eloy Jiménez ($4,500) bring plenty of power potential. While there aren’t any bargains expected to play for the White Sox, they have enough potential thunder in their lineup to continue Blackburn’s struggles and be a strong stack Saturday.
Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels – The Angels plan to recall Chase Silseth ($6,300) for Saturday’s start to give Reid Detmers and Noah Syndergaard an extra day of rest. Silseth is a promising 22-year-old righty, but he hasn’t shown he’s ready for the Majors in his six games this season. Over those six starts, he has gone 1-3 with a 5.84 ERA and 5.84 FIP. He has surrendered six home runs and 16 runs in his 24 2/3 innings, and he’s has allowed lefties to mash a .493 wOBA against him. The Rangers have several key left-handed hitters, led by Corey Seager ($5,000; leg) if he’s able to return to the lineup. Other nice options from the left side that bring affordable power potential include Jonah Heim ($4,100), Leody Taveras ($3,700), Nathaniel Lowe ($3,200) and even Kole Calhoun ($2,300). Righties Marcus Semien ($4,900) and Adolis García ($5,100) bring high ceilings, as well, while Ezequiel Duran ($2,900) brings some salary relief to round out the stack.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL/IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-877-770-STOP (7867) (LA), 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), visit OPGR.org (OR), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), ConnexOntario 1-866-531-2600 (ONT), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA).
21+ (18+ NH/WY; 19+ ONT). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/LA/MI/NH/NJ/NY/ONT/OR/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions. DraftKings operates pursuant to an Operating Agreement with iGaming Ontario. Please play responsibly.