MLB DFS: Pitching, Core Value Plays, and Stacks for July 29, 2019

Joey Ricotta | July 29th, 2019

Ah, here we are, Monday. The terrific feeling of the weekend ending and work beginning again, said no one ever. But do you know something people actually say? They’d like to win some money playing daily fantasy. Who cares that it’s Monday? Some of the best and most profitable slates of the year have been Monday nights. Let’s hope that is the case tonight as I’ve done some research and dissected some players to consider using. Take a look at some pitching options, core value plays, and stacks for tonight.

Pitching Options

Chris Paddack ($10,200 on DK and $8,900 on FD)

Since July 16th, the Baltimore Orioles actually have the third-best batting average in baseball. During the stretch, they have hit the lowest percentage of soft contact (11.6%). I say all of that to say this, none of that overly scares me. Paddack has been an animal on the mound with a 2.84 ERA and 26.5% K rate. Baltimore traveling from a hitters park, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, to a pitchers park, Petco Park in San Diego, gives the edge to Paddack. His home to road split is outrageous. He has almost a full point lower ERA at home, along with a 2.85 FIP compared to a 4.95 FIP on the road.

Sonny Gray ($9,400 on DK and $9,200 on FD)

It’s becoming more and more evident that Sonny Gray just needed a change of scenery. The bright lights of New York weren’t for him. Gray recently admitted that New York just wasn’t a good fit for him. The right-hander has been very impressive this season, posting a 3.29 ERA, while striking out 127 batters in 109.1 innings pitched. Great American Ballpark is notoriously a hitters park, but that hasn’t bothered Gray as he’s posted a 3.44 ERA at home. The Pittsburgh Pirates are tail spinning. Losers of their last eight ballgames and have fallen to a season-low 13 games under .500. Last time Gray faced the Pirates at home, he produced 25.3 Draftkings points. We’ll take that again.

Jaime Barria ($7,200 on DK and FD)

You expect me to put a guy with a 6.63 ERA into my lineup? Call me crazy, but Barria has been serviceable outside of a couple of bad outings. Barria’s home/road splits are remarkable. On the road, Barria has a 10.62 ERA. At home, Barria has a 2.04 ERA. Guess where he will be pitching tonight? You’d be hard-pressed to find a better match-up than the one Barria will have, pitching at home against the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers rank dead last in batting average (.231) and strikeout percentage (26.4%). They are also the second-worst offense in wOBA (.284). If ownership gets high, there is merit to fading him in tournaments, but I’m firing up Barria in cash game contests.

Other Targets: Patrick Corbin, Caleb Smith, and Merrill Kelly.

Core Value Plays

1B Joey Votto ($4,000 on DK and $3,300 on FD)

Votto’s age might be starting to show. The 35-year old first baseman’s slugging percentage and home run totals are way down the last two years, 12 HRs last year and nine so far this season. However, Votto still has one of the keenest eyes at the dish and has put up good numbers versus Jordan Lyles lifetime. Over the course of 22 plate appearances, Votto is 7-16 with 2 HRs and 6 walks against Lyles. Dollar for dollar, Votto is my favorite play at first base slot tonight.

2B/SS Jonathan Villar ($4,000 on DK and $3,100 on FD)

For Jonathan Villar, a four-game series in Los Angeles against the Angels over the weekend was just what he needed. Villar ripped apart Angels pitching, going 10-18 with 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, 9 Runs, and 5 stolen bases. Coming into the series, he was batting .248. His average has now risen to .262. Villar had no fewer than 21 DK points in each game of the series. He’s a solid play at this price, and many people may not want to use him because they like Paddack on the other side. The price is good for cash games and the ownership might be negated for tournaments. I don’t really want to stack against Paddack, but with fewer options at second base and shortstop tonight, I’ll be using Villar as a one-off.

3B/OF Josh VanMeter ($3,700 on DK and $2,700 on FD)

VanMeter’s recent production has caught the attention of Draftkings. His price has now reached a high-water mark, but at $3,700, the price is still very reasonable. VanMeter’s early-season struggles made the Reds demote him. He went down to the minors, crushed it, and has since returned to the majors only to continue crushing it. VanMeter’s average is up to .319, and he is 9-13 in his last four games with three home runs.

3B/OF Johan Camargo ($2,600 on DK and $2,000 on FD)

Yes, he’s going up against a tough lefty in Patrick Corbin, but hear me out. Not only does Camargo have good numbers against Corbin (4-11 with 1 HR .364 avg) but Camargo is normally very solid against lefties. He’s a career .288 hitter with a .356 wOBA against southpaws. With Dansby Swanson out, Camargo will be receiving a lot of regular playing time. Just what he needs to get into a groove.

Other Targets: David Dahl, Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, Yan Gomes, Justin Upton



Stacking Coors field goes without saying. Make at least one tournament lineup with a stack from either side. When there is a game being played in Colorado, it’s too risky not to.

Los Angeles Angels vs Jordan Zimmermann

Zimmermann has been a train wreck. Out of pitchers with at least 60 innings tossed, Zimmermann has the worst batting average against in all of baseball. Opponents are hitting .328. A lineup filled with Mike Trout, Justin Upton, Shohei Ohtani, and Kole Calhoun, facing a sub-par pitcher? Sign me up.

Washington Nationals vs Dallas Keuchel

The Nationals are one of the hottest teams in baseball and have some good righties in their lineup. I expect Keuchel to draw some ownership because of his solid outing last time out against the Kansas City Royals. Since the beginning of July, the Nationals have the sixth-best wOBA in the majors at .340.

Cincinnati Reds vs Jordan Lyles

The Reds are a rather inexpensive team to stack. Lyles struggles versus the Reds hitters. In 81 career at-bats, the Reds are hitting .346 against Lyles. The last time he faced them, the game was played at Great American Ballpark where it will be again. Lyles lasted only four innings and threw 72 pitches.

Questions and comments?

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