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FanDuel MLB Picks – July 31st

We capped last week with a few hits, as Jose Quintana was respectable, Corey Seager double-donged, Clint Frazier homered and secondary pitching play Danny Salazar was fantastic. We got burned the rest of the way, however, as usually reliable bats like Robinson Cano, Yuli Gurriel, J.D. Martinez and Corey Dickerson all bottomed out.

Things could get interesting on Monday, as the MLB trade deadline could throw a wrench in a few spots. We’ve seen some big trades go down already, while the likes of Sonny Gray and others could be moved by the time you prepare to finalize your daily fantasy baseball lineup. That could put a signicant damper on a pretty weak pitching pool tonight, which could force us to take a dive at the position.

We’ll mull that and other moves as we try to piece together a winning FanDuel MLB lineup for tonight:

SP: Luis Severino – New York Yankees ($10.1k)

This is not a good slate for reliable pitching. Just about everyone has a bad matchup, has in inflated price tag and/or isn’t in the best form. Sonny Gray would probably be the preferred option if he wasn’t constantly swept up in trade rumors, while the likes of Charlie Morton and Danny Duffy could be worth a look simply based on K upside.

All roads seemingly lead to Severino, though. That’s definitely the case for cash games, but I like him just fine for a GPP play, too. The Yankees ace is better on the road and his matchup with a powerful Detroit offense is less than ideal, but his dominance against righties makes him a solid play. His use of an effective slider against a Tigers lineup that struggles against that pitch also aids his case.

Severino could still easily get rocked here, as the Tigers have a loaded offense with a lot of power. However, in the past two weeks they’ve traded away two useful bats in J.D. Martinez and Alex Avila and they seem to be waving the white flag. Severino is at home, kills righties and has the goods to dazzle this lineup. A fun alternative option could be Danny Duffy, but the Orioles at Camden Yards aren’t exactly an ideal setting.

C: Russell Martin – Toronto Blue Jays ($2.7k)

I see no reason to pay up at catcher tonight, as there are a lot of solid options at nice prices. Martin is certainly one of them, as he has his best splits against righties and gets a gascan in James Shields in a solid park. Martin has donged Shields twice before in his career and is a great spot to do so a third time tonight.

I also like Evan Gattis in this spot and could go back and forth between these two. Wilson Ramos ($2.3k) is also pretty cheap and even though he’s been in a bit of a rut and gets Charlie Morton, he’s worth a long look.

1B: Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals ($3.5k)

Zimmerman is best used against lefties and at home, but his splits are just fine the other way. He’s also getting a winnable date with Jose Urena in Marlins Park, plus he’s ablaze right now. Zimmerman is always a good try as part of a nasty Nats offense, but he’s knocked in 4 homers in his last three starts. We should ride the wave while it’s going.

2B: Jose Ramirez – Cleveland Indians ($3.6k)

While KC and Toronto will be obvious stacks, Cleveland is also very much in play as they go up against Doug Fister. The Tribe sees a great park shift at Fenway, too, while options like Jose Ramirez aren’t too pricey and offer good splits and some upside with their power. Ramirez is a fine try against Fister, who sports an unhealthy 7.56 ERA on the year.

3B: Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals ($3.6k)

Like everyone else, I’ll be on a KC option or two. They’re in a great park tonight (Camden Yards) against a trash pitcher in Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez is coming off of a gem in his last outing, but he normally gets rocked so this is a great spot to stack Royals. I won’t stack them here, but Moose is a preferred pick, even as a nice one-off try. He’s also actually a really nice price, as his recent tear (20+ fantasy points in 6 of his last 9 outings) should arguably have him a little pricier.

Third base is a little less loaded than usual on a smaller slate, but if we want to drop down we can try Alex Bregman. Cheap Astros are always fun and while he tends to hit low in the order, he has too much power to ignore at just $2.6k.

SS: Wilmer Difo – Washington Nationals ($2.8k)

Difo could just be a place holder here until something else opens up. I’d prefer him to be a little cheaper, too, but he’s a value play among Nationals options and should again get the start tonight. He gets a beatable arm in Jose Urena and he’s actually been on fire lately (9+ fantasy points in 6 of his last 7 games), too.

OF: Derek Fisher – Houston Astros ($2.6k)

Injuries have opened the door for talented rookie Derek Fisher to get added opportunities, which also makes for a chance to get a cheap Houston bat. Fisher can slam the ball and he gets a winnable date with Alex Cobb tonight at home. He’s probably too cheap to pass up here.

OF: Melky Cabrera – Kansas City Royals ($2.7k)

I will be curious to learn what Cabrera’s ownership is in his KC debut. He was traded to the Royals and could start tonight, where he’d have an awesome matchup against Ubaldo Jimenez. Obviously a full Royals stack is very much in play tonight, but the question is which KC options do we target? Cabrera could be an interesting one, as he’s cheap and gets a big park jump. He also has a solid history (7 for 24) against Ubaldo that we can take advantage of.

OF: Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays ($3.3k)

Joey Bats is a fine try at OF tonight, as he’s a decent price given his upside and matchup against James Shields. He’s donged Shields 5 times in his career and while he hasn’t sent one long in a while, there’s no denying that he’s certainly due. Bautista has at least been establishing contact lately, too, hitting safely in 4 of his last 5 games. A long ball should be coming tonight.

This is a fun team, as we get the top pitcher on the board, but we also get our hands on some cheap Astros and Nats, as well as some solid bats against Shields and Jimenez. Overall, this is a solid unit we can feel good about in cash games and should also have a chance to score high in GPPs.

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