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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for July 31

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays for Sunday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings.

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The final day of July brings another jam-packed Sunday afternoon of action on the diamonds, meaning another big fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings. The first pitch of the slate is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET, with eight games starting right away. The Athletics visiting the White Sox and the Astros hosting the Mariners are the two games that will close out the action with start times after 2:00 p.m. ET.

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.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $250K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]

For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.



Shane McClanahan, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Cleveland Guardians ($10,500) – McClanahan has dominated all season, earning the start for the AL in the All-Star game earlier this month. He looked strong with 24 DKFP on Tuesday in his first start after the break, improving to 10-3 with a 1.76 ERA, 2.58 FIP and very impressive 11.78 K/9. The lefty has at least six strikeouts in 13 straight starts and has only allowed more than two runs one time during that span. McClanahan’s strikeout rate has been even higher at home, and he should continue to dominate at the Trop in this favorable matchup against Cleveland, who he has not faced this season.

Other Options – Dylan Cease ($10,200), Pablo López ($8,300)


Nick Lodolo, Cincinnati Reds vs. Baltimore Orioles ($7,100) – Another lefty with good strikeout upside on Sunday afternoon is the Reds’ Lodolo. He’s 3-3 with a 4.73 ERA across his seven games for Cincinnati, but he has a 13.08 K/9 rate that makes him an attractive play. He dominated the Marlins at home on Monday with nine strikeouts in six innings for a season-high 31.3 DKFP. He has at least six strikeouts and over 14 DKFP in five of his past six starts, and his bad outings have come mostly on the road. The Orioles rely heavily on left-handed bats and are hitting just .232 against lefties on the season with the second-most strikeouts against southpaws in the Majors. In a spot where he should pile up K’s, Lodolo brings a very high ceiling at barely over $7K.

Other Options – Aaron Ashby ($8,000), Jordon Montgomery ($7,300)



Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Cleveland Guardians ($5,300) – Lowe connected on his seventh home run of the season on Saturday, going 2-for-4 and producing 19 DKFP. Since returning from the injured list, Lowe has gone 14-for-44 (.318) with two doubles and two home runs. He provides nice power for the Rays in the middle of their lineup and will look to help them stay in the race while they await the return of Wander Franco (wrist), Harold Ramírez (thumb) and Manuel Margot (knee) from injury.


Alex Bregman, Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners ($4,300) – Bregman’s salary has slipped lower since the break, making him a nice buy-low candidate since he is showing signs of finding his rhythm. In his first nine games after the All-Star break coming into Saturday’s action, he went 11-for-37 (.297) with four multi-hit games, four doubles and two home runs. He has been known throughout his career as a streaky producer and looks to be heating up. His value also gets a boost from playing at home, where he is hitting .294 with eight of his 13 homers and a .397 wOBA.

Other Options – Paul Goldschmidt ($6,000), Tim Anderson ($5,300)


Paul DeJong, St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals ($3,000) – After spending over two months in the minors, DeJong was recalled Saturday after the Cardinals swapped Edmundo Sosa ($2,200) to the Phillies. DeJong celebrated his return with his second homer of the season. In his 51 games at Triple-A, he hit 17 homers to go with his .249 average and .362 wOBA. He was seen as an emerging star back in 2018 and 2019, and maybe after a few sidetracks, he’s ready to return to that trajectory. This trade should open regular playing time for him and give him a nice ceiling.


Seth Brown, Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox ($2,900) – Brown homered three times in the first two games of this series, producing 28 DKFP on Friday and 17 DKFP on Saturday. He’s still just hitting .235 with a .315 wOBA for the season, but he has been much more productive lately with at least one hit in 14 of his past 15 games and multiple hits in five of his past seven. He has gone 18-for-56 (.321) over that span with three doubles and five homers. Amazingly, he hasn’t walked once during that span, but his aggressive approach has been working lately, and he is expected to be back in the middle of the lineup in a tough matchup against Dylan Cease ($10,200).

Other Options – Alec Bohm ($4,000), Bobby Dalbec ($3,300), Jose Trevino ($2,900)



Aaron Judge, New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals ($6,200) – Judge has been amazing all season and has only picked up his production since the All-Star break. He homered again on Saturday, giving him 13 home runs this month and nine in his 10 games since the All-Star break. In those 10 games, he is 17-for-39 (.436) and has posted at least 19 DKFP in eight of his past nine games. He is an expensive play over $6K, but he has been delivering big totals almost every game, so he’s worth paying up for.


Starling Marte, New York Mets at Miami Marlins ($5,500) – Marte has been on a heater since July 1, going 29-for-73 (.397) coming into Saturday with four home runs, four stolen bases, a .461 wOBA and an impressive 207 wRC+. He had multiple hits in seven of his previous nine games and has been a key contributor to the Mets’ recent success. On Sunday afternoon, he’ll face Pablo López ($8,300) as the Mets try to finish out the sweep on South Beach.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Starling Marte is not in the lineup for today’s game vs. the Marlins.

Other Options – Julio Rodríguez ($5,300), Hunter Renfroe ($5,000), Anthony Santander ($4,600)


Josh Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Cleveland Guardians ($2,900) – The Rays’ “other” Lowe has also been effective since returning to the Majors after a stop in Triple-A. Josh Lowe had two hits each on Friday and Saturday and has gone 15-for-47 (.319) while hitting safely in 12 of his past 13 games with five doubles and a stolen base. He only has two homers on the year but has been able to still be productive enough to be a good consideration when the Rays face righties.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Rays have sent Josh Lowe down to Triple-A.


Jake Fraley, Cincinnati Reds vs. Baltimore Orioles ($2,000) – Fraley has spent most of the season on the injured list with knee inflammation followed by a toe injury. He has been limited to just 16 games on the year, but he made a big impact on Saturday, going 3-for-4 with a home run and 26 DKFP in his return to the lineup. With Tyler Naquin traded away, Fraley should be set up for a large workload coming down the stretch. The 27-year-old is still hitting just .170 with a .263 wOBA on the season, but in his career, he has shown decent potential hitting righties. As long as he’s back in there on Sunday afternoon against Austin Voth ($5,800), he’ll be an intriguing punt play.

Other Options – Nick Castellanos ($3,700), Hunter Dozier ($2,800), Greg Allen ($2,000)


New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals – The Yankees always seem to be a good stack to consider, especially when playing at home. They have an MLB-best .198 team ISO and their .336 team wOBA is just slightly behind the Dodgers coming into play Saturday. They have an MLB-leading 172 home runs, 89 of which came at Yankee Stadium. They’ll take on Zack Greinke ($6,600) in the series finale, and several have strong track records against him. DJ LeMahieu ($4,900) is 18-for-61 (.295) with a home run, Aaron Judge (discussed above) has a home run in his six at-bats against him, and Matt Carpenter ($5,200) is 10-for-31 (.323) with two homers. Judge, LeMahieu and Carpenter have all been swinging the bat very well along with Gleyber Torres ($4,600), Anthony Rizzo ($4,500) and recently-acquired Andrew Benintendi ($4,400). Greinke has been sharp in his two most recent home starts but has been crushed on the road, allowing 35 runs and 10 homers in 39 innings on the road, where he has a 7.38 ERA, 5.99 FIP and .397 wOBA against. They aren’t a cheap or sneaky stack, but the Yankees set up to once again be a smart one this Sunday.

Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals will give the ball to 23-year-old Andre Pallante ($5,700) for their series finale in D.C. Pallante moved into the rotation in early June but has been knocked around. He has allowed seven home runs, 25 runs and 50 hits over 39 13 innings over his seven most recent games with a 5.72 ERA and 4.90 FIP. Right-handed hitters have a .370 wOBA against him on the season, so Nelson Cruz ($3,800), Victor Robles ($2,000) and Maikel Franco ($2,000) will be on the right side of those favorable splits while Juan Soto ($5,400) and Josh Bell ($4,700) bring high ceilings and good power potential. Cesar Hernández ($3,300), Luis García ($3,100) and Kiebert Ruiz ($2,800) are very affordable options that should be set up for outproducing their price point against Pallante.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $250K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]

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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.

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