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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for July 30

Zach Thompson provides his top studs and value plays at each position for Thursday’s eight-game fantasy baseball slate, which starts on July 30 at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Indians Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Major League Baseball’s return to action hasn’t been the smoothest ride over the first week, but the good news is the games continue to go on and provide plenty of chances to enjoy fantasy baseball. This Thursday night, the action continues with an eight-game slate that features a pretty broad range of options to consider since some teams are back to their Opening Day starters, some teams are in their second time through the rotation and others are still giving their starters their first start of the season.

One of the unusual things on this slate is the influx of left-handed starters. Of the 16 starting pitchers, eight are lefties, so try to pinpoint hitters who excel in those specific splits. It looks like a fairly quiet weather night with the only potential trouble spot in Atlanta where the Braves host the Rays.

With 16 teams in play and most teams finishing their first week of action, we’re starting to get a feel for the current form of each team and player. With the wide range of pitching options, there are a lot of ways to consider constructing your lineup. In this post, I’ll give you my top studs and value plays for each spot on your roster. Make sure to stay locked in to @DKLive on Twitter and check the latest news in the DK Live app as we approach the first pitch.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: MLB $400K Relay Throw [$100K to 1st]


Starting Pitcher

Stud

Shane Bieber, CLE at MIN, $9,800 — I understand the matchup is less than ideal against the Twins, but getting Bieber at under $10K and as the third-highest salaried pitcher on the board seems like a great bargain. He dominated the Royals in his first start of the season, going six shutout innings allowing just four hits and striking out 14 on his way to 41.9 DKFP. Bieber won’t have nearly as favorable a matchup as he did in that outing, but he does know Minnesota well after making four starts against them last season and going 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 28 innings. After going 15-8 last season with a 3.28 ERA and 10.9 K/9, Bieber has established himself as an ace and his strikeout rate makes him a good play even if he does give up a few runs against the Twins.

Other Options — Dinelson Lamet ($9,200), Ross Stripling ($8,400)

Value

Brady Singer, KC at DET, $6,800 — Singer made his MLB debut against Cleveland last Saturday and looked pretty strong, allowing just two runs on three hits through five innings while striking out seven and posting 18.3 DKFP. The 23-year-old righty was the Royals’ first-round draft pick in 2018 and is trying to make the jump from Double-A straight to the Majors. While there will likely be bumps in the road, he showed enough potential in that first start to deserve a look at this bargain price against the Tigers, who rank in the bottom-third of the league in runs scored per game and have averaged the second-most strikeouts per game over the first week of the season.

Other Option — Ryan Yarbrough ($7,400)


Catcher

Stud

Christian Vázquez, BOS at NYM, $4,500 — Vázquez is off to a fast start in his first four games, going 6-for-15 with a double and two home runs. He has had good splits throughout his career against lefties, and last year he had a robust .894 OPS against southpaws like Steven Matz ($8,100), who he’s scheduled to face Thursday. He had the day off Tuesday so should be back behind the plate to finish off the series.

Other Options — Gary Sánchez ($4,900), Tyler Heineman ($4,200)

Value

Salvador Perez, KC at DET, $2,600 — Perez is still ramping up to full strength after spending time on the COVID-19 IL before the season. He has looked a little rusty to this point, going 4-for-23 (.208) in his six games. However, he has been in the heart of the Royals’ lineup, hitting cleanup as either DH or catcher every game, and he’s a very affordable way to get a middle-of-the-order bat at your catcher spot, where there aren’t many power options available. Even though he only has four hits, he does have two homers, so the power potential is definitely there. Perez and the Royals should be in a good spot against veteran journey Iván Nova ($5,400).

Other Options — Tyler Flowers ($3,900), Mike Zunino ($3,000)


First Base

Stud

Pete Alonso, NYM vs. BOS, $5,100 — Alonso went 4-for-4 on Wednesday night in the Mets’ loss to Boston and has shown no signs of slowing down this year after his impressive rookie campaign. The Polar Bear is 6-for-24 (.250) with a home run and 2 RBI, and he’ll get a nice matchup against Martín Pérez ($6,000), who starts tonight for the Red Sox after being knocked around in his first start by the Orioles. Pérez is strong against lefties but allowed righties to hit .293 against him last year with an .836 OPS. New York is a good lineup to stack as a result, but it’s best to stick to right-handed hitters like Alonso.

Other Options — José Martínez ($4,500), Luke Voit ($4,200)

Value

Wil Myers, SD at SF, $3,600 — Myers has hit safely in four of his past five games after going 1-for-3 Wednesday against the Giants and adding his first stolen base of the season to help him to 12 DKFP. He had 21 DKFP in the first game of the series thanks to a two-run home run, and he’ll look to finish the series strong with most of his at-bats likely to come against Kevin Gausman ($6,100).

Other Options — Austin Slater ($3,500), Evan White ($3,000)


Second Base

Stud

DJ LeMahieu, NYY at BAL, $4,400 — LeMahieu battled COVID-19 before the season but was able to get back in time to start the second game of the season for New York. A break to start the week instead of playing the Phillies may have helped him recover even more, and he looked great on Wednesday, going 4-for-5 with a double, home run and 29 DKFP. He is 6-for-12 in his limited work so far this season, but he’ll likely remain in the top of the Yankees’ lineup which should continue to be one of the most potent in baseball. He’s an especially good play in this contest since he’ll be facing lefty John Means ($5,800). LeMahieu usually crushes southpaws and hit .375 with a 1.066 OPS against them last season. He also has had success in this specific matchup, going 2-for-6 with a home run against Means in his career.

Other Option — Ketel Marte ($5,000), Whit Merrifield ($4,100)

Value

Hanser Alberto, BAL vs. NYY, $3,600 — The Orioles have their own version of a lefty-crusher in Alberto, who hit .398 against southpaws last season with a .948 OPS. On this slate, the Orioles will take on J.A. Happ ($10,400), and Alberto has gone 6-for-13 with two doubles and a home run against the veteran lefty in the past. Alberto is always a value to consider against a lefty starter, especially if he hits near the top of the lineup as he typically does against southpaws.

Other Options — Mauricio Dubón ($3,700), César Hernández ($3,300)


Third Base

Stud

Justin Turner, LAD at ARI, $5,200 — Turner is averaging 9.3 DKFP per contest in his hot start for the Dodgers, going 8-for-24 (.333) with four doubles, three walks and five RBI. He gets a favorable matchup against Robbie Ray ($7,100) and is in another place to take advantage of favorable reverse splits. He typically beats up on lefties and is 12-for-42 (.286) with a pair of home runs against Ray in their previous meetings.

Other Options — Rafael Devers ($4,900), José Ramírez ($4,200)

Value

David Fletcher, LAA vs. SEA, $3,200 — Fletcher has been manning the leadoff spot for the Angels so far this season and can be a useful value play even though he doesn’t have elite power or speed. He does make solid contact on a consistent basis and has started the season 10-for-23 (.435) with a pair of doubles, four walks and a stolen base. He’s averaging almost 10 DKFP per contest and contributes across the board while also getting on base in front of the powerful bats in the heart of the Angels’ order. Fletcher is also 8-for-22 (.364) against opposing starter Marco Gonzales ($6,300), including three doubles and a triple.

Other Option — Renato Núñez ($3,800), Kyle Seager ($3,500)


Shortstop

Stud

Dansby Swanson, ATL vs. TB, $4,800 — Swanson has hit safely in each of the Braves’ first six games this season, going 9-for-23 (.391) with two doubles, two homers and a stolen base. He has been a streaky hitter throughout his career, so take advantage of his hot runs like this one when you can.

Other Options — Fernando Tatis Jr. ($5,200), Francisco Lindor ($4,200)

Value

J.P. Crawford, SEA at LAA, $3,400 — Crawford has bounced all over the batting order and hit leadoff on Wednesday even though the Mariners were facing a lefty. The left-handed Crawford had no trouble with the matchup, though, going 2-for-3 with two walks on his way to 18 DKFP. He has gone 7-for-19 (.368) to start the year and worked seven walks to help himself to a 1.170 OPS. He’ll take on Dylan Bundy ($8,200), who I think is a good matchup to attack despite the fact that he looked good in his Angels debut.

Other Option — Jorge Polanco ($3,700), José Peraza ($2,300)


Outfield

Stud

Aaron Judge, NYY at BAL, $4,900 — Judge always seems right at home when the Yankees visit Baltimore, and he opened this current series with 25 DKFP on Wednesday night, going 2-for-3 with his first home run of the season. In his 25 career games in Baltimore, Judge is 24-for-90 (.267) with seven home runs and a .955 OPS. He also gets a nice reverse-split against Means, since last season he hit 8-of-27 home runs against southpaws and had a 1.124 OPS against them. There are lots of great OF plays to consider, but Judge is one with the potential to break any slate with a huge game.

Other Option — Mookie Betts ($5,600), Nelson Cruz ($4,300)

Value

Kiké Hernández, LAD at ARI, $3,100 — Hernández continues the theme of players with favorable left/right splits in his matchup against lefty Robbie Ray. He has always hit lefties much better than righties throughout his career and has gone 9-for-39 (.231) against Ray with four home runs with a .941 OPS. He started every game this season until Wednesday when he took a seat to start the game but later entered and picked up four DKFP. He has gone 7-for-25 (.280) in the early going with a home run and five RBI. He’s a very affordable way to fill an OF or 2B spot and get a piece of a lineup that should put up plenty of runs in Arizona.

Other Option — Kyle Lewis ($3,900), Yoshi Tsutsugo ($3,600), Brett Phillips ($2,000)

Set your lineups here: MLB $400K Relay Throw [$100K 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 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.