3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Players to Avoid on 7/17/19

Baseball is heating up, and there are plenty of DFS contests to choose from on FanDuel's main slate. While we have plenty of pieces geared towards guys you should target in your DFS contests, it's also important to avoid sub-optimal options who are overpriced and/or in tough spots.

Let's check out three players to consider fading on FanDuel's main slate for July 17.

Robbie Ray, Arizona Diamondbacks (SP)

at Texas Rangers
FanDuel Price: $9,600

There's a hefty wind likely to be blowing, but that could be the only silver lining that Robbie Ray of the Arizona Diamondbacks has going for him tonight in a very tough matchup.

The Texas Rangers currently rank 11th in team wOBA (.325) and lead the league in hard-hit rate (42.7%), and their 9.2% walk rate could be of particular note tonight. Ray has always been generous with the free passes, and his 2019 walk rate of 11.9% ranks third-highest among qualified starters. Ray's undoing could be rooted in his first-pitch strike rate (58.6%), which is 17th worst.

Fold in a very hitter-friendly park, which clocks in second-best over the last three years, and Ray is tough to roster, especially amongst the elite starting pitcher tier.

Oscar Mercado, Cleveland Indians (OF)

vs. Detroit Tigers
FanDuel Price: $2,900

With back-to-back 30-plus FanDuel bombs, Oscar Mercado could see some heavy ownership, especially as heavy favorites over the Detroit Tigers (-300 moneyline).

Mercado has been providing some solid combo meal value, hitting three home runs while swiping two bags. But against Spencer Turnbull, he may be in for a long evening.

While Turnbull's numbers don't jump off the page with a 4.76 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), he has been death to same-sided bats, logging a .278 wOBA, .335 slugging percentage, and 26.2% strikeout rate. The batted-ball profile indicates the same with only a 32.0% fly-ball rate and 32.8% hard-hit rate -- he's hard to square up.

A 5.57 implied team total is nothing to scoff at, and a sub-$3,000 salary is one we would normally target with such tremendous upside. But given his matchup and a steady wind blowing in at Progressive Field, Mercado makes for one we may want to pivot off.

Tommy Pham, Tampa Bay Rays (OF)

at New York Yankees
FanDuel Price: $3,700

Tommy Pham sparkles when examining his hit tool and batted-ball profile in 2019. His 47.4% hard-hit rate ranks him 16th among qualified hitters in baseball, and that's paired with an outstanding 12.6% walk rate. The dude has been an absolute nuisance to opposing pitchers.

Tonight, even though he plays in a juicy ballpark like Yankee Stadium, opposing hurler Domingo German could present some matchup problems. This season in 145 plate appearances against righties, German has only allowed a .276 wOBA and 32.3% fly-ball rate with a 25.5% strikeout rate.

There's some massive implied team totals on the slate, but the Tampa Bay Rays rank pretty lowly with a 4.46-run mark. Pham is an often a great option, but it may be best to steer clear of him tonight.

Matt Kupferle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matt Kupferle also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username MKupferle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.