3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Players to Avoid on 7/31/19

Lucas Giolito has been fantastic this year, but he's locked into a tough matchup tonight. What other players should we consider avoiding?

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 31.

Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox (SP)

vs. New York Mets
FanDuel Price: $8,800

As we look and examine a far smaller main slate tonight, there are a few high-profile pitching options to consider, and one of those is Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox. Giolito has been one of the great surprises of the 2019 season, posting a 3.52 ERA and 1.12 WHIP over 117 2/3 innings after a really rough 2018 season.

Unfortunately for Giolito and the Sox, it could be a rough night for the right-hander. He faces off with the New York Mets, who have actually been a pretty strong offense as of late. Over the last two weeks, they've recorded a .205 isolated power (sixth, ISO), rank third in fly-ball rate (41.2%), and have struck out only 21.7% of the time.

As good as the Mets have been lately, Giolito has been slightly regressing back to his former performance. Over his last seven starts, the righty owns a 6.38 ERA and 1.50 WHIP over 36 2/3 innings. While he still has that strikeout upside with 46 whiffs, he's also allowed nine homers and walked 16 batters over the same time frame.

Giolito clocks in third in strikeout rate (29.7%) on the main slate, but with a tough matchup against an offense that's firing on all cylinders, he makes for an easy fade.

Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers (OF)

at Oakland Athletics
FanDuel Price: $4,700

So that regression monster is really hitting Christian Yelich hard, right?

Myself included, many folks felt that the start outfielder's HR/FB rate, which was absurd in the second half of 2018, would result in far less production in 2019. Blame the juiced ball, but in 204 fewer plate appearances, Yelich has socked 36 home runs already in 2019 -- that equals last year's mark already.

Tonight at Oakland against Brett Anderson, Yelich may not pop number 37. While his .963 OPS this season against southpaws is clearly a monster mark, Anderson has been outstanding against same-sided batters, limiting them to a .288 wOBA, .358 slugging percentage, and a meager 20.6% fly-ball rate.

He may be the most expensive hitter on tonight's slate, but he could need another night to get to a career-best 37 long balls.

Nelson Cruz, Minnesota Twins (OF)

at Miami Marlins
FanDuel Price: $4,400

He didn't get the start last night as the Minnesota Twins opened up a series in Miami, but Nelson Cruz should be in the lineup tonight after the Twins struggled to only two runs.

And rostering Cruz is normally a good move -- he's one of baseball's hottest hitters in the league recently. Over the last 14 days, spanning 55 plate appearances, Cruz has smacked nine homers en route to a 1.374 OPS and it's obvious why he's an expensive player on tonight's slate.

Tonight's starter for Miami, Sandy Alcantara, has struggled with the gopher ball lately -- in his last five starts, he's allowed seven home runs over 28 2/3 innings. But Alcantara has been particularly nasty against same-sided bats, allowing only 0.72 home runs per nine (HR/9) innings pitched, and a strong batted-ball profile with a 34.0% fly-ball rate and 34.4% hard-hit rate.

It's hard ignoring a hitter like Cruz on this hot of a streak, but with a challenging righty like Alcantara, who also gets the added benefit of pitching at home, and Cruz may not help the Twins add to their league-leading 206 home runs.

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.