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

Zach Thompson provides his top studs and value plays at each position for Friday’s four-game fantasy baseball night slate, which starts at 9:10 p.m. ET.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Along with a packed main slate with a dozen games on Friday night, DraftKings is featuring a nice four-game night slate from Major League Baseball. The slate starts up at 9:10 p.m. ET with a pair of matchups including an AL West matchup between the Astros and Angels in Anaheim while the Rangers make a trip to the Bay Area to take on the Giants. The second set of two games starts at 9:40 p.m. ET, featuring the Athletics and Mariners in another AL West contest along with an NL West matchup between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks from Chase Field.

We’re just over a week into the season, but there are already plenty of storylines to follow on and off the field. As you build your lineup for these four games on the late slate, check out my favorite value plays and studs at each position listed below. It’s also important to stay locked in to @DKLive on Twitter and check the latest news in the DK Live app as we approach the first pitch for any injury or lineup news that should impact your roster.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: MLB $80K West Coast Special [$20K to 1st]


Starting Pitcher

Stud

Lance McCullers Jr., HOU at LAA, $9,000 — After missing all of the 2019 regular season recovering from Tommy John surgery, McCullers looked strong in his first outing of the 2020 season, allowing just two runs on five hits over six innings and striking out six against the Mariners to finish with 20.7 DKFP. McCullers will be taking on an Angels lineup missing Mike Trout (paternity) and McCullers should be in a good spot to pick up another win if he has another quality start like his last time out. He typically is around the strike zone which allows him to go deep into games and can produce over a strikeout-per-inning when he’s at his best.

Other Options — Sean Manaea ($9,600), Mike Minor ($9,200)

Value

Tony Gonsolin, LAD at ARI, $8,300 — With Alex Wood (shoulder) joining Clayton Kershaw (back) on the sidelines, Gonsolin will get to make a spot start for the Dodgers in Arizona. The 26-year-old righty made six starts last season for Los Angeles, going 2-2 with a 2.90 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 28 innings in those contests. He did get knocked around by Arizona but showed well across the rest of his opportunities. This will be his first appearance of the season after he arrived late to camp for undisclosed reasons. Even though Gonsolin may not be fully stretched out, he’s still the most attractive value option on this limited slate.

Other Option — Logan Webb ($6,100), Matt Andriese ($5,800)


Catcher

Stud

Tyler Heineman, SF vs. TEX, $4,200 — With Buster Posey opting out of the season, Heineman has gotten a shot at the regular starting role in San Francisco. So far, the switch-hitting backstop is 5-for-17 with two walks, an RBI and even a stolen base. He had a breakthrough season in Triple-A last year with the Reno Aces and New Orleans Baby Cakes, hitting .336 with a .990 OPS in the hitter-friendly PCL before signing as a free agent with the Giants. He hit lefties at a .345 clip in Triple-A last season and has historically been a little better when hitting right-handed, which he’ll do in this matchup against Mike Minor.

Other Option — Will Smith ($4,400)

Value

Austin Nola, SEA vs. OAK, $2,800 — Nola is expected to return to the lineup for the Mariners’ home opener against Sean Manaea and the Athletics. Nola has missed the past three games with some swelling in his knee after sliding into second base awkwardly on Monday. Nola showed a little pop last season going 12-for-64 (.269) with 12 doubles, 10 homers, 31 RBI and a solid .796 OPS in 79 games. He fared even better against LHP like Manaea with a .894 OPS, so he’ll be a nice cheap play with upside provided he’s back in the lineup as expected.

Other Options — Sean Murphy ($3,900), Jason Castro ($3,100)


First Base

Stud

Max Muncy, LAD at ARI, $4,900 — Muncy has hit in the No. 1 or No. 2 spot in the Dodgers’ batting order in each of the team’s seven games. His primo lineup spot has helped him see good pitches to hit and his plate discipline has helped him to five walks and an impressive 1.010 OPS. He homered in the first game of this series on Thursday and is now 7-for-29 with three long balls already on the year. He and the Dodgers face Zac Gallen ($8,700) at Chase Field in this matchup.

Other Options — Matt Olson ($5,000), Christian Walker ($4,300)

Value

Todd Frazier, TEX at SF, $3,200 — Frazier’s Rangers career got off to a slow start with just one hit in his first four games, but he turned that around in a hurry on Wednesday. The veteran went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a home run in Texas’ 7-4 win over Arizona. He posted a solid 21 home runs and .772 OPS last season with the Mets, so you’re getting some nice power potential at a salary barely over $3K if he can build on Wednesday’s big game in his matchup today against Logan Webb ($6,100).

Other Options — Austin Slater ($3,600), Yuli Gurriel ($3,100)


Second Base

Stud

Wilmer Flores, SF vs. TEX, $4,500 — Whenever the Giants take on a lefty, Flores is an option worth considering, especially since it looks like manager Gabe Kapler is going to hit him hear the top of the order. Flores is 8-for-26 (.308) to start his first year with the Giants and already has a home run against a lefty to boost his small-sample OPS to .847 against southpaws this season. Flores has always performed well against lefties and hit .337 in 104 at-bats against them last year with a .982 OPS.

Other Option — Jose Altuve ($5,100), Rougned Odor ($4,300)

Value

Donovan Solano, SF vs. TEX, $3,900 — Another Giants bat worth a look against the left-handed Minor is Solano, who has started the season on a tear, going 10-for-20 with four doubles, a home run and nine RBI. Last season against southpaws, Solano went 39-for-115 (.339) with a .843 OPS. He doesn’t quite have the power potential of Flores but consistently makes contact and comes in swinging a hotter stick.

Other Options — Kiké Hernández ($3,300), Tommy La Stella ($2,500)


Third Base

Stud

Alex Bregman, HOU at LAA, $4,500 — Third base is one of the most stacked positions on this slate and Bregman is actually surprisingly affordable. He did go 0-for-7 in Houston’s two-game series with the Dodgers but still reached base three times on walks. He is just 4-for-23 (.174) on the season but has collected five walks as well, which has helped him to still average 8.2 DKFP per contest. He did connect on his first home run of the season already, and he’ll look to bring that average up with a good game against the Angels.

Other Options — Justin Turner ($5,100), Anthony Rendon ($4,800)

Value

Isiah Kiner-Falefa, TEX at SF, $2,500 — Kiner-Falefa was held out of two games early in the week with a hamstring issue but looked fully recovered on Wednesday as he swiped two bags against the Diamondbacks on his way to 19 DKFP. Kiner-Falefa had only three stolen bases all season last year, so don’t expect that to become the norm just yet. However, he has gone 2-for-8 with a triple and two walks on the season, so he’s worth a look at this affordable price even if he isn’t tearing up the basepaths on a regular basis.

Other Option — Eduardo Escobar ($4,100), David Fletcher ($2,800)


Shortstop

Stud

Corey Seager, LAD at ARI, $4,300 — Seager swatted his second home run of the season on Thursday against Arizona and he’ll look to continue his strong start as a key bat in the middle of the Dodgers’ lineup. He has gone 9-for-28 (.321) with two doubles, two homers and a 1.013 OPS. If you’re into the advanced stats, he is fourth in the Majors with 18.8% Barrels-per-plate-appearance, which shows he has been making very strong contact all season.

Other Option — Marcus Semien ($5,100)

Value

Carlos Correa, HOU at LAA, $3,900 — Correa is another very affordable Astros bat to consider against the Angels. He has started the season 9-for-22 with two doubles and a home run to average 10.0 DKFP per contest. He had exactly that number in his game Wednesday against the Dodgers after putting up an impressive 24 DKFP on Tuesday when he hit that home run. Correa has five home runs in his 26 career games at Angel Stadium with a solid .789 OPS.

Other Option — Elvis Andrus ($3,500), J.P. Crawford ($3,300)


Outfield

Stud

Mark Canha, OAK at SEA, $4,900 — Canha has started the season 5-for-17 with a home run, five RBI and 8.0 DKFP per contest, resuming his role as a big bat in the middle of the Oakland order. While it’s an extremely small sample size, he has had great success against Walker, going 3-for-3 with a home run in their past meetings. Even though he is right-handed, he fared much better against righties like Walker last year, hitting .297 with a .966 OPS against RHP.

Other Option — Mookie Betts ($5,600), Mike Yastrzemski ($4,500)

Value

Kyle Lewis, SEA vs. OAK, $3,800 — Lewis made a splash with the Mariners last season, going 19-for-71 (.268) with five doubles, six homers and a .885 OPS over 18 games in September. This season, he has picked up where he left off and he’s been the team’s best hitter through its first seven games. He has gone 13-for-29 (.448) with two home runs and three walks. Despite his 12 strikeouts already this season, he has produced double-digit DKFP in all but one of his seven contests.

Other Option — A.J. Pollock ($3,500), Michael Brantley ($2,800)

Set your DraftKings lineups here: MLB $80K West Coast Special [$20K 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.