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Daily DraftKings Picks: Thursday, Jul 31

Yesterday was Day 1 of the three-day survivor tournament with the winner getting a ticket and travel package to the DraftKings Championship where someone will win $1 million. Day 1 had a maximum of 3,500 entries with 750 advancing to Day 2, but the tournament didn’t fill (as usual!) and just 2,515 people entered. Still, 750 had to advance and I was one of them with an entry different than my Official Lineup (left below). See below for all three I used yesterday.

In the Official Lineup, the three hidden players were Corey Kluber (43.25 points), Matt Kemp (26.00 points), and Yasiel Puig (5.00 points).

July 30

Yesterday’s survivor entry (left) and my other two entries (click to enlarge)

Per the Weather Dashboard at Daily Baseball Data, we have potential weather systems to watch in Miami and Houston. Thankfully, both of those parks have roofs so we’re in the clear today!

If you missed out on Day 2 of the three-day survivor tournament, maybe give their Step Tournaments a try. They work as follows:

  • Step 1: $2 entry | Top 2 advance to Step 2 | 3rd and 4th get a re-do at Step 1
  • Step 2: $7 entry | Top 2 advance to Step 3 | 3rd and 4th get a re-do at Step 2
  • Step 3: $27 entry | Top 2 advance to Step 4 | 3rd and 4th get a re-do at Step 3
  • Step 4: $88 entry | Top 2 get $200 in a six-man contest (not 10)

On my first attempt to climb the ladder I went from Step 1 to Step 4 in three days and then finished right on the cusp in Step 4 just a few points out of the money. Last night I won my Step 1 tournament and I’m on to Step 2 today. For a $2 buy-in you can win $200 if you can successfully climb the ladder, and you only need to finish in the top 40% to advance or get another try. They’re a lot of fun.

Get started on DraftKings today!

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Thursday’s Official DraftKings Lineup

Note: Lineup subject to change due to weather and released MLB lineups. Check back before contest lineups lock for our final lineup.

  • C: Mike Zunino (SEA) vs. Z. McAllister (CLE) — $3,200
  • 1B: Adrian Gonzalez (LAD) vs. J. Teheran (ATL) — $4,300
  • 2B: Hidden
  • 3B: Kyle Seager (SEA) vs. Z. McAllister (CLE) — $4,200
  • SS: Jose Reyes (TOR) @ J. Buchanan (HOU) — $5,000
  • OF: Adam Jones (BAL) vs. T. Skaggs (LAA) — $4,700
  • OF: Josh Harrison (PIT) @ J. Collmenter (ARI) — $4,100
  • OF: Hidden
  • SP: Yordano Ventura (KC) vs. K. Correia (MIN) — $6,400
  • SP: Hidden

Johnny Cueto is going to be the universal selection today so if you really want to differentiate yourself, stay away from him. Ventura will be another very popular pick given his price point, his reputation, and his opponent. His last four starts have been mostly bad, but I wouldn’t say any of them are particularly worrisome. Last time out at Cleveland he went 6.1 IP with 3 ER and 7 K, and Cleveland hits RHP well. Before that it was 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 0 K at Boston, but anyone can have a bad day at the Red Sox. Prior to that it was 1.2 IP at Detroit so ignore that start, and before the Detroit game it was 4 ER in 5 IP with 4 K against a surging Rays team. There’s definite blow-up potential here (think 5 IP, 5 ER, 4 BB, 4 K) but I think the upside is way too good for the price.

With Zunino, strikeouts are the issues because you can’t rack up points if you don’t put the ball in play. Zach McAllister should help the upside catcher put his power to good use as Cleveland’s starter isn’t known for fanning batters. Zunino went 0-for-3 yesterday but had five hits, including two homers, in his previous two games.

Gonzalez is just $4.3K and has five multi-hit games in his last eight, three of which have been three-hit games. He did go 0-for-5 with 3 K yesterday, but the Dodgers faced the left-handed Alex Wood. Today it’s Julio Teheran, a very good pitcher in his own right but a righty nonetheless. For the price this is a tough matchup to ignore.

The Blue Jays will be a popular stack today against Jarred Cosart, who’s been downright pitiful in his last four starts (19 ER in 21.1 IP, 14 BB, 13 K), so I advocate any Blue Jays batter in their lineup. For what it’s worth, though, Cosart doesn’t allow many HR.

Jones and the Orioles draw the left-handed Tyler Skaggs. Jones has homered in his last two games and is slashing .396/.455/.723 against LHP this season.

I’ve been on the wrong end of Josh Collmenter all season, stacking against him when he does well and cheaply selecting him during his absolute worst outings. Still, the numbers say he’s a good candidate to pick against so I’ll go with Josh Harrison. For $4.1K, Harrison has been raking. In his last 10 games he’s batting .347 with 4 HR and 4 SB, and this game will be played in a great hitter’s park.

Safe Matchups for H2H and Double-Up Play

If you only need to finish in the top 50%, safer plays are the way to go.

High-Risk, High-Upside Matchups for Multi-Player Play

You don’t win the big bucks without hitting on a few lottery ticket picks!


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  • Jerreyy

    Prof is on a roll this week. 4 days in a row with picks.

  • gerg

    So you high upside, low cost hitting lineup was outperformed by your other lineups. Which strategy do you prefer?

    • The main difference was Kemp, who was affordable on his own ($4,400) so you could argue I just didn’t pick the right players. In short, you can’t base a selection strategy on one day’s worth of lineups. Monitor one week, two weeks, three weeks, maybe a month and then formulate a preliminary conclusion. I still think great(er) pitching is the way to go so when in doubt, I go with an arm I trust.

      Like we said yesterday, though, sometimes taking big risks and selecting bad pitchers pays off in GPPs.

  • loyalanlee3

    You like any Royals today? Cain, Gordon, Perez, or Butler?

    • Despite the great matchup, they’re all pretty low upside. Not bad buys for double-ups but I don’t like stacking Royals in GPPs.

  • Jecarl2

    If the rankings are correct today, Hutchinson could be a good “Zag” option to Ventura and costs $100 less.

  • gerg

    Navarro and Ackley, or Zunino and Harrison tonight. I am having a tough time choosing. They both seem like solid plays?

    • Easily Zunino and Harrison for me. I have both in my lineup haha

    • Aaaaand of course Ackley homers.

  • gerg

    Who did you go with for your 3 hidden players tonight?

    • Johnny Cueto, Neil Walker, and Colby Rasmus.

      • gerg

        Colby Rasmus got scratched for some reason. Guess i should not have taken Gio Gonzalez!!!

  • Jerreyy

    Well, I guess that Hutchinson gamble didn’t pay off.

    Dude is such a stiff. NEVER picking him again. That’s all I wanted to say.

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