MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Overview – Saturday 4/22/23

DraftKings and FanDuel did MLB DFS Saturday gamers a favor by scheduling the Main Slates for a 7:05 ET start and featuring the seven evening games, which looks like an excellent slate with a wide variety of approaches. There is a good pitching board with a few premium options and others that may not be as appreciated as they deserve to be, which creates interesting opportunities at a discount that can help buy additional bats. The Power Index is showing a few good teams in good spots, and one terrible team in a spot for finding one home run and little else (spoiler: it’s the Athletics). There are excellent opportunities to stack against bad pitching and at least a few of them should be under-owned by the field, this fascinating slate comes together in a fun way tonight.

Note: All analysis is written utilizing available projected lineups as of the early morning, pay close attention to confirmed lineups and adjust accordingly. This article is posted and updated as it is written, if a game has not been filled in simply check back in a few minutes. Update notes are provided as lineups are confirmed to the best of our ability, but lineup changes are not typically updated as lock approaches, so stay tuned to official news for any late changes.

MLB DFS: Game by Game Main Slate Overview – 4/22/23

Detroit Tigers (+158/3.72) @ Baltimore Orioles (-172/4.88)

The Tigers and Orioles check in with almost the exact same line as yesterday’s game, both teams are carrying implied totals that essentially match what we saw last night, in a game where Detroit was dominated by Tyler Wells. With righty Kyle Gibson going for the Orioles today, MLB DFS gamers could be in for very similar output from the average righty, which would be a nice boost to his season to this point. Gibson has made four starts and thrown 23.2 innings, pitching to a 4.84 xFIP with a 4.18 ERA and just a 13.8% strikeout rate. The veteran right-hander has induced just a 7.9% swinging-strike rate with a 26.8% CSW% so far, the CSW% is familiar, Gibson had a 26.2% in 167.2 innings and 31 starts last year and a 27% rate in 182 innings over 30 starts in 2021, but Gibson has been better for swinging strikes throughout his career. Last season he had an 11% swinging-strike rate and he was at a 10.3% mark the year before, with his strikeout rate sitting at 20.1% and 20.6%. While those are still not aggressively strong rates, they are much closer to league average than Gibson has been so far this season, he should find that form over time and this could be a good get-right spot. Other than the dip in strikeouts, Gibson’s contact profile sees an inconsequential bump in his barrel rate in the small sample, but everything else looks about the same as his previous seasons. Gibson costs $8,600/$9,000, he is in play on both sites against a bad Tigers lineup. Detroit’s bats are not a great option, last night’s starter Tyler Wells came in with a similarly low strikeout rate and still managed to pitch through enough clean innings to reach a quality start and post a significant MLB DFS score, even though he did not reach the win bonus after a lone late Tigers run. Gibson could hold the team down in a similar fashion and there is at least the memory of a better strikeout upside. Tigers bats in play when going to the team start with Nick Maton, who has three home runs but is slashing .140/.246/.333 with a 64 WRC+ over his first 65 plate appearances. Maton hit five home runs in 85 opportunities with a .264 ISO last year but just two in 131 opportunities with a .128 ISO the year before, his contact profile is strong so far this year for a player who costs $2,900/$2,600. Riley Greene is a highly regarded prospect and one of this team’s better hitters. He is sitting at .247/.295/.384 with a 91 WRC+, two home runs, and two stolen bases. Javier Baez got involved last night but is sitting at just a .046 ISO and a 42 WRC+ over 72 plate appearances. Baez made 590 plate appearances last year and he hit just 17 home runs and had a .155 ISO while creating runs 10% worse than average, 2021 may go down as his last good season. Kerry Carpenter has three home runs with a .260 ISO and a 126 WRC+, he is the best bat on this team and hits from the left side of the plate, Carpenter would be the go-to one-off from this team if required to roster Tigers. Akil Baddoo has made 34 plate appearances since his call up, he has two stolen bases but has not driven the ball at all, he has a 0.0% barrel rate, no home runs, and a .034 ISO in the tiny sample. Baddoo hit 13 home runs and stole 18 bases in 461 plate appearances in 2021, if he can find that form he could provide value at a low price and no popularity. Spencer Torkelson has disappointed to this point in his young career, he has two home runs and a 68 WRC+ over 73 plate appearances this season and is not a very interesting play. Matt VierlingZach McKinstry, and catcher Jake Rogers round out the projected lineup. Rogers has hit a pair of home runs in his 34 plate appearances this year and he costs $2,800 where catchers are required, but there are probably better options.

The Orioles hitters are being somewhat suppressed in our home run model today by lefty Joey Wentz, which may be a bit of a small sample creep statistically. Wentz made seven starts and threw 32.2 innings last season, pitching to a 20% strikeout rate and a 4.56 xFIP while allowing just a 35.1% hard-hit rate and a 1.48% home run rate on 88.8 mph of average exit velocity. The lefty has given up a home run in two of his three early starts this season and he was not elite in holding down home run power in the minors, though he was not bad either. Wentz is a top-10 organizational prospect for Detroit, but the 25-year-old is more of a fourth or fifth-starter than he is an ace. Ultimately, it seems viable to stack Orioles bats against this pitcher, particularly given the excellent run of right-handed hitters that they can throw at the young lefty. Wentz costs just $5,800/$6,800 and could get by on the “baseball” of the matchup, but he has put up just an 18.5% strikeout rate and has a 5.64 xFIP and an 11.1% walk rate to start the season. Austin Hays is leading off in the projected Orioles lineup, the outfielder has had a great start to the season at .324/.360/.606 with a .282 ISO and a 169 WRC+. Hays has hit four home runs and stolen a base, and he has barreled the ball at a 19.6% clip with a 47.1% hard-hit rate, solidifying his place in a very deep organizational outfield. Hays will have to continue to play well to fend off some of the Orioles’ top prospects in the outfield, but he has done everything right so far this year and has a track record of being a quality non-star bat, he may be showing more this year. Adley Rutschman is a star bat. The catcher has hit four home runs and created runs 59% better than average to start the season, he is a great option at $5,500/$4,000 and can be played in any scenario. Ryan Mountcastle had a slow week relative to his scorching start for power, but he is sitting on six home runs overall and has a 19% barrel rate with a 54% hard-hit rate. Mountcastle has created runs 10% below average despite his strong counting stats and several monster MLB DFS scoring performances, he is slashing .210/.233/.481 but has a .272 ISO and a better hit tool than what he has shown so far. Mountcastle is an excellent hitter who can be included enthusiastically. Anthony Santander has struggled to start the season at just .209/.289/.328 with a .119 ISO but he had a .214 ISO last year and a .192 the season before and the switch-hitter has been reliable for power over the long term. For his career, Santander has been better overall as a right-handed hitter against a left-handed pitcher, so this is a good spot for him to get things in gear. Ramon Urias is an underrated hitter who had 16 home runs and was always cheap and low-owned over his 445 opportunities last year. Urias has one home run and a 112 WRC+ to start the year, he slots in at second or third base for $3,500 on DraftKings and $2,800 on FanDuel. Gunnar Henderson is in play despite his early struggles. The rookie has a 105 WRC+ over 70 plate appearances and he is inexpensive at $3,900/$2,700 at third base and shortstop on both sites. James McCann has a long track record of success against lefties, but it has been a minute since he has been overly relevant. Ryan McKenna and Terrin Vavra round out the projected lineup, though early word was that Jorge Mateo is likely to return. The speedy infielder is a column favorite and would be in play from anywhere in this lineup if he is able to start, he has been nursing a minor hip injury this week.

Play: Orioles stacks/bats, some Kyle Gibson

Update Notes:

Oakland Athletics (+210/3.59) @ Texas Rangers (-233/5.53)

This is the final space in which we will warn that, while they are carrying decent individual ratings in our home run model, the Athletics are still less than likely to be a good stack today. The team is facing Andrew Heaney, a high-strikeout lefty who allows too much premium contact and power from time to time. The veteran southpaw has a 28.1% strikeout rate over his 12.2 innings in three starts this season, he posted a 35.5% rate over 72.2 innings in 14 starts last year and had a 26.9% mark over 129.2 the season before. In 2022, Heaney yielded a 4.52% home run rate on a 47.7% hard-hit rate, in 2021 it was a 5.20% home run rate and 39.1% hard hits. Despite the power, Heaney still had excellent numbers, posting a 2.83 xFIP and a 3.10 ERA in 2022. The lefty is in play against a bad Oakland team, even if the Athletics manage to find a home run or two, Heaney has a strong upside for a big strikeout game and he can easily find a win and potentially quality start bonus, though he has yet to pitch in the sixth inning this season. The Athletics lineup is carrying just a 3.59-run implied team total, when going to this projected lineup the focus should be on Esteury RuizJesus AguilarBrent Rooker, and Shea Langeliers, with players like Aledmys DiazConnor CapelCarlos Perez, and Kevin Smith looking more like spare parts. This is still a bad baseball team.

The Rangers are looking like a very good baseball team. They are facing Shintaro Fujinami this evening, the first-year righty has gotten tattooed over his first three starts in the Show. Fujinami was charged with eight earned runs in just 2.1 innings in his first outing, walking three and striking out four against the Angels. His second start lasted 4.1 innings, he struck out one and walked four while giving up five earned runs, and he managed to pitch through six innings while giving up just three runs against the Mets in his third start. Fujinami struck out five and walked two in that start but also allowed a pair of home runs. This has not been a good pitcher so far this season, there is little reason to believe in him against this Texas team. Marcus Semien is projected to lead off as usual, he costs $5,800/$3,800 which seems like a fair price for a premium position player who has four home runs and two stolen bases with a 130 WRC+ over 87 plate appearances. Travis Jankowski has created runs 50% better than average in his small sample of 38 plate appearances so far this year, but he was a 45 WRC+ player in just 64 plate appearances last year and a 93 in 157 opportunities in 2021. Jankowski is a correlated scoring piece with some speed who can steal bases and create runs if he is hitting second, he is a lesser option from lower in the lineup. Nathaniel Lowe has two home runs but just a .167 ISO so far this season, last year he hit 27 home runs with a .191 ISO and an excellent triple-slash, he is a very good play at first base for $4,900/$3,200. Adolis Garcia is a strong power and speed option who is pricey at $5,400 on DraftKings but comes somewhat discounted for $3,400 on FanDuel. Garcia has four home runs and one stolen base, but a 74 WRC+ on the young season. Last year he had a 112 WRC+ with 27 home runs and 25 steals. Josh Jung has started his season well and Jonah Heim is a very good catcher with power for just $3,600/$3,300 if he is in the lineup. Heim has four home runs in 56 plate appearances with a .292 ISO and a 176 WRC+ this season. The backstop hit 16 home runs and had a .172 ISO in 450 plate appearances last year, if he is low-owned he makes an intriguing option in MLB DFS tournaments. Ezequiel Duran has mid-range power and speed but it has not shown up frequently at the Major League level. Josh Smith and Leody Taveras are moderately playable options from the bottom of the lineup, Taveras’ speed would make him a good wraparound play if he was on base more often.

Play: Rangers stacks/bats, Andrew Heaney, maybe Athletics one-off home run options but “eh”

Update Notes:

Boston Red Sox (+109/4.15) @ Milwaukee Brewers (-118/4.44)

The Red Sox will be facing league-average lefty Wade Miley in Milwaukee this evening. Miley has made three starts and thrown 18 innings so far, pitching to a 4.27 xFIP and a 1.50 ERA which is telling about the pitcher. Miley had a 4.42 xFIP but a 3.16 ERA in a small sample last year and a 4.07 xFIP with a 3.37 ERA in a full 163 innings and 28 starts the year before, he seems to always somehow outperform expectations and underlying metrics. The lefty has just a 19.4% strikeout rate this season and he was at 17.6% and 18.1% across 2022 and 2021. Miley is only moderately targetable for power, he was good last year in the 37-inning season, allowing just a 35.7% hard-hit rate and 1.89% home run rate, in the full year in 2021 he gave up just a 2.46% home run rate, and  34% hard-hit rate with an eight-degree average launch angle. While Miley is unlikely to dominate, he is in play for clean innings and depth at just $7,800/$8,700. This is a thin option on a mid-sized slate but he could deliver a decent outing that puts lineups in play by virtue of affording better bats than competing lineups can muster with more expensive pitching. Red Sox hitters are somewhat in play for sequencing and run creation, but they have not been great this season. The top of the Boston lineup features quality in excellent leadoff man Alex Verdugo, who should be in play despite the same-handed pitching matchup, and Justin Turner who is at a 103 WRC+ but has not hit for much power with just one home run and a .091 ISO. Rob Refsnyder tends to hit third for this team against lefties, he has been good in the split over the last two seasons but overall this is a career journeyman whose platoon skills are being overrated by positioning him in this part of the lineup. Refsnyder is slashing .220/.347/.317 with a .098 ISO and  92 WRC+ over 49 plate appearances this season. Rafael Devers is in play against any pitcher, he has seven home runs with a .325 ISO and a 131 WRC+ over 88 plate appearances. Enrique Hernandez is another moderate talent from the middle of the lineup, Masataka Yoshida has struggled to find his form in the Majors after coming over from the NPB, and Triston Casas is making the Red Sox executives wonder if they still have Bobby Dalbec’s phone number handy. Casas is a prized rookie who should hit eventually, but he is sitting at .136/.268/.288 with a 55 WRC+ over 71 plate appearances. Connor Wong and Yu Chang have been far below average for run creation in their 44 and 36 plate appearances respectively this season, the top of the Red Sox lineup is the focus but this is at best a mid-level option.

Right-handed starter Garrett Whitlock has a 22.7% strikeout rate with a 3.99 xFIP over his first two starts and 12 innings this season. Whitlock pitched in a hybrid role last year, posting 78.1 innings and making nine starts, pitching to a 3.20 xFIP and a 3.45 ERA with a 26.4% strikeout rate, he was very good in 73.1 relief innings in 2021 as well. Whitlock was dealing with injury recovery coming into the season but he has pitched through at least the fifth in each of his first two outings, despite struggling and allowing three home runs in his first start against the Rays. The second outing against the Angels was much better, Whitlock went seven innings and was charged with just one earned run on three hits while striking out five and walking two. The righty is in play but he is facing a good Brewers lineup that can be rostered against him as well. Whitlock allows a reasonable amount of premium contact and a moderate number of home runs, the Brewers are another middle-class option for bats in this matchup. Christian Yelich and Jesse Winker are a solid pair of lefties from atop the batting order. Yelich has three home runs and four stolen bases this year with a 91 WRC+ but there is much more to the player that we should see over time. Winker has been in and out of the lineup and is yet to hit a home run, but he is another bat who should come around and both outfielders are inexpensive tonight. Shortstop Willy Adames has hit four home runs with a .213 ISO and a 125 WRC+ over his 89 plate appearances this year, he is a good option at a premium position. Rowdy Tellez has six home runs this season and is always in play against righties who allow even a bit of premium contact. Tellez has barreled the ball at a 13% rate with a 43.5% hard-hit resulting in a .306 ISO with a 130 WRC+ so far this year. Brian Anderson is another player off to a strong start, he has a 109 WRC+ and three home runs and is very cheap with multi-position eligibility. Brice Turang is rounding into form, the rookie has two home runs and three stolen bases in his 62 plate appearances, his WRC+ should pop above average soon if he continues trending upward. Mike BrosseauVictor Caratini, and Joey Weimer round out the projected lineup with low-level options, Brosseau and Caratini have been above average in small samples this year, but they are well known commodities who should be owned only in small doses.

Play: minor shares of Red Sox and Brewers bats, value pitching if needed/desired, all four sides are only moderately appealing options

Update Notes:

Houston Astros (-110/4.36) @ Atlanta Braves (+101/4.24)

The excellent series between the Astros and Braves continues with a good pitching matchup on Saturday. Houston will be facing Atlanta righty Kyle Wright, who was very good over 180.1 innings last season. Wright made 30 starts and posted a 3.30 xFIP with a 3.19 ERA and a 23.6% strikeout rate. He had a 7.2% walk rate and a 1.16 WHIP while inducing a sharp 11.9% swinging-strike rate over the full season last year and at least some of his numbers have been aligned to those results over his two starts and 8.2 innings so far this year. The meaningless sample includes a three-inning start against the Reds in which he gave up four runs on four hits while walking four and striking out just three, followed by a much better 5.2-inning start against the Royals that saw him strike out six while allowing two earned runs on four hits and walking three. Wright is a talented pitcher but he is facing a very tough opponent, the collision of the starter’s quality and the Astros’ excellent lineup makes it difficult to recommend either side, but as we have seen already this season that can result in excellent tournament options where otherwise great players are rendered low-owned. This can apply both on the mound with Wright, who is also very inexpensive at just $6,800/$8,200 tonight, and the Houston lineup. Leadoff man Mauricio Dubon has a 115 WRC+ and is a solid correlation play with hitters including Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez, two excellent bats who follow him in the lineup. Bregman is up to a 107 WRC+ as his bat comes around. He has made 93 plate appearances and has two home runs with just a .115 ISO but he is too productive a hitter to be skipped and he is cheap for his talent. Alvarez is a superstar and one of the best hitters in the game, he is always in play. The slugger has five home runs and a .277 ISO with a 158 WRC+ this season. First baseman Jose Abreu has been mentioned for his struggles whenever this team has been featured, but he absolutely will hit in the long term. Abreu is slashing .253/.295/.289 with just a .036 ISO and a 64 WRC+ so far this year, he was a .304/.378/.446 hitter with a 137 WRC+ in 679 plate appearances last year with the White Sox, he didn’t forget how to hit between Chicago and Houston. Kyle Tucker is another star hitter in the outfield for this team, Tucker has four home runs and four steals and has created runs 63% better than average, he is in play at $5,900/$3,900, the FanDuel price is probably too cheap. Jeremy Pena is definitely inexpensive at $4,500/$3,200 filling the shortstop position. Pena hit 22 home runs and stole 11 bases last year, he is off to a .200/.273/.388 start but has managed three home runs and five steals for MLB DFS gamers so far. Corey Julks is slashing .300/.308/.480 over his first 52 plate appearances, and Jake Meyers rounds out the lineup with catcher Martin Maldonado.

The typically power-packed Atlanta Braves are relegated to the bottom of the board today in a matchup against ultra-talented Framber Valdez, the Houston ace specializing in generating worm-burners and grinding home run hitters into dust. Valdez forces hitters to drive the ball into the ground again and again, it is incredibly difficult to hit a home run against this pitcher. In 2021, Valdez allowed just a 2.10% home run rate on a -5.5-degree average launch angle, in 2022 it was a 1.33% home run rate on a -3.6-degree angle, and so far this season Valdez has a 0.98% home run rate allowed with a -1.6-degree average launch angle. The southpaw allows hard hits at a significant clip, but it just does not matter for power potential when everything is on the ground, so far this season Valdez has a 44.8% hard-hit rate allowed, it was 41.4% last year and 44.4% the year before. The lefty is also good for strikeouts, he posted a 23.5% rate over his 201.1 innings in 31 starts last year and he has a 24.5% rate over 25 innings in his four starts this year, pitching reliably deep into the game each time out which also bolsters his chances for a win and a quality start bonus, and puts him in play against this team even at $10,400/$10,000. The Braves bats are always playable, but they come with a major asterisk today, the most likely bats are the obvious names up top when going to this team, but it is not a strong position to occupy on this slate. Even if Atlanta wins this game and Valdez does not have a great start, the odds of significant power hitting and bent scores are quite low and there are much better targets on tonight’s slate. Go-to Braves for the bold include Ronald Acuna Jr. who has three home runs and eight stolen bases atop the lineup; Matt Olson who is sitting on six home runs with a .316 ISO and a 154 WRC+ and can take any lefty deep, but may have issues elevating the ball and could get a night off; Austin Riley, who has hit four home runs and created runs 35% better than average; and Sean Murphy, an excellent catcher with a .339 ISO and a 170 WRC+ over 73 plate appearances this year. After that group are Ozzie AlbiesVaughn Grissom, and diminishing expectations. Albies is always playable when stacking Braves, he is an All-Star caliber player when going right, Grissom is an inexpensive high-end rookie, and the bottom third of the projected lineup includes Marcell OzunaEli White, and Kevin Pillar.

Play: Four Corners. Wright value on DraftKings is appealing but he is not safe, the Astros and Braves stars are always playable, and Framber Valdez is a star on the mound even at a high price against a good team. All four options could come up lower-owned than they should be.

Update Notes:

San Diego Padres (-141/5.20) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (+130/4.41)

The visiting Padres are looking like a sturdy option with the star-studded top of their projected lineup intact against righty Merrill Kelly, a roughly league-average starter. Kelly pitched 200.1 innings in 33 starts last year and posted a 3.85 xFIP and a 3.37 ERA with a 22% strikeout rate and 36.3% hard hits. Kelly has made four starts this season pitching to a 20.9% strikeout rate and a 4.79 xFIP but walking 14% with a 1.27 WHIP so far. The righty is projecting as a mid-range option in our pitching model, if he can crack the top of the lineup a few times over he has a chance to post a decent outing, given the way that the San Diego lineup drops off in the back half. Overall, the Padres bats look like the better option with Kelly priced at $8,100/$8,400. Fernando Tatis Jr. leads our home run model for the entire slate and was today’s home run pick, he checks in with shortstop and outfield eligibility on FanDuel for $4,400 and is a $5,200 outfielder on DraftKings, where he is still too cheap for his upside. Tatis has made nine plate appearances so far, but his last full season in 2021 saw him hit 45 home runs and steal 25 bases, he is a superstar by any measure. Juan Soto has four home runs but is slashing .176/.351/.378. He has a .203 ISO and a 105 WRC+ despite the struggles and makes excellent contact, the hit tool will come around but he remains productive even without it. Soto is correctly priced at $5,300 on DraftKings, he is very cheap at $3,300 on FanDuel, where Manny Machado also comes at an extreme discount. The All-Star third baseman costs just $2,900 on the blue site, he is a $5,000 player on DraftKings. Machado is slashing .221/.253/.291 with a 51 WRC+, he will be fine. Xander Bogaerts is priced at $5,100/$3,900, both of which are two low for the only star on this team who has been hitting early this season. Bogaerts is slashing .349/.415/.578 with a .229 ISO and a 172 WRC+ while hitting five home runs. The shortstop is an excellent option to round out San Diego star stacks. Jake Cronenworth is in play from the projected fifth spot in the lineup, he has a 104 WRC+ this season in 84 plate appearances and he put up a 110 mark in 684 tries last year and a 116 in 643 tries the year before. Cronenworth is a quality option at first base for $3,900 on DraftKings and he adds second base eligibility for just $2,900 on FanDuel. The bottom of the lineup slips somewhat around Matt CarpenterHa-Seong Kim, who provides mid-range power and speed, Trent Grisham, who has a 119 WRC+ and four home runs, and Austin Nola.

The Padres are getting another star back on their roster this evening, with starter Joe Musgrove making his season debut. Musgrove dropped a weight on his big toe during Spring Training and missed a few early starts, he checks in as a strong play at $9,200/$9,900 against what has been a solid Diamondbacks lineup. Musgrove is a good option on the mound, though his strikeout rate dipped from 27.1% in 2021 to 24.9% last year. Despite a few strikeouts disappearing, Musgrove has still been very good, he had a 3.47 xFIP and a 2.93 ERA while allowing just 32.4% hard hits over 181 innings last year and he posted a 3.65 xFIP with the better strikeout rate in 2021. The righty is in play and could slip past the less-informed members of the public. The Diamondbacks are not off the board, but Musgrove is good enough to keep their offense down for tonight, and he is typically good at limiting individual power potential, putting a ceiling on the scoring potential in most likely scenarios. With that in mind, however, there is not a single Arizona hitter priced above the $4,600 ask for Josh Rojas on DraftKings tonight, making this an interesting source of potentially contrarian value. Rojas costs $3,100 on FanDuel, where everyone is priced in the low-mid $3,000s or below, but the full lineup comes at a slightly higher relative price compared to the DraftKings discount. Ketel Marte has a 115 WRC+ and costs just $4,300/$3,000. Marte has hit two home runs and stolen a base, he is a strong correlation player and a good individual contributor who can be played in connection with Rojas and Corbin Carroll, who has starred in the outfield to start the season. Carroll has hit four home runs and stolen seven bases while creating runs one percent better than average, he costs $4,200/$3,300. Christian Walker has been suffering a power outage, he has just two home runs as has been featured here frequently, but he can be expected to hit for power in the long term. Pavin Smith and Jake McCarthy are lower-owned options from later in the lineup, Smith has hit two home runs and has a .375 ISO with a 204 WRC+ in his 29 plate appearances, McCarthy has blazing speed but needs to get on base more frequently. Gabriel Moreno has a moderately productive bat behind the plate at the bottom of the lineup, joining left-handed outfielder Alek Thomas as a mix-and-match option, while Geraldo Perdomo is forcing attention slashing .400/.478/.650 with a 203 WRC+ and a .250 ISO over his first 48 plate appearances after a miserable full season last year. Perdomo must not have liked all the “we guess he’s a utility player, not a star” takes this offseason.

Play: Padres stacks/bats, Joe Musgrove, Diamondbacks as hopefully low-owned value bats

Update Notes:

Kansas City Royals (+160/4.14) @ Los Angeles Angels (-175/5.48)

The Royals will be facing lefty Tyler Anderson who checks in with just a 14.7% strikeout rate over his first 14.2 innings in three starts this season. Anderson has typically been around a 19% strikeout rate pitcher, reaching that level each of the past two seasons in 28 starts last year and 31 the year before. He is reliably good at limiting premium contact, in 178.2 innings last year he allowed just a 4.9% barrel rate and a 1.98% home run rate on 28.5% hard hits, but he has scuffled out of the gate in 2023 in more than strikeouts. So far this year, Anderson has a 6.37 xFIP and a 7.35% home run rate, with a 6.75 ERA. The lefty had a good first outing, pitching six shutout innings while walking two and striking out four against the lowly Athletics, but then he was teed up for three home runs and five earned runs in a 4.2-inning outing against the Blue Jays followed by a four-inning start that saw him yield six earned runs with two home runs while walking four and striking out just two Red Sox hitters. Anderson has not been good to start the season and his ceiling is generally limited, while he could find a few strikeouts against the free-swinging Royals, the better play seems to be on Kansas City bats. The top of the Royals’ lineup has power to spare, but none of their hitters have been launching long balls with regularity to start the season. Bobby Witt Jr. has three home runs to his credit in 82 plate appearances, posting a .195 ISO and a 107 WRC+, he hit 20 and stole 30 bases last year and is an underpriced star at $5,000/$3,300 in this matchup. Witt is followed in the projected lineup by Edward Olivares, who has one home run and just a .120 ISO this year, Olivares is the odd duck atop the lineup who lacks premium power, but his mid-range pop and speed blend nicely if he can start getting on base and providing correlated scoring. Vinnie Pasquantino is slashing .269/.372/.493 with a .2224 ISO, three home runs, and a 138 WRC+ over 79 plate appearances, he is a good play for just $3,500/$2,900, and his low pricing is questionable on both sites. Sal Perez has just two home runs with a 66 WRC+ and a .147 ISO this year but he costs $4,700/$2,800, in what seems like a mismatch with where Pasquantio lands. Perez is still a premium catcher with major power potential, his bat should get going sooner than later, but we probably will not see a return to the massive 48 home run power he showed in 2021. MJ Melendez is off to a slow start with a 44 WRC+ and an ugly triple-slash, but he offers cheap multi-position eligibility on both sites ahead of the lesser options in this lineup. Matt Duffy, Hunter Dozier, Nate Eaton, and Jackie Bradley Jr. round out the projected lineup, they are all mix-and-match parts at best. The Royals rank as a mid-level stack on tonight’s MLB DFS slate.

The Angels were featured in the Power Index today, in their matchup against Zack Greinke. The right-handed veteran has made four starts and covered 22.1 innings so far this season, pitching to a 3.96 xFIP and a 4.03 ERA. Greinke has allowed a 3.23% home run rate with a 9.7% barrel rate and 89.9 mph of average exit velocity in the small sample this year, he was slightly worse at everything last year, though his home run rate was somewhat better at just 2.39%. Greinke does not have much left in the tank, the pitcher gets by on guile and experience, pitching to a significant amount of contact as evidenced by his current-year 18.3% strikeout rate. Greinke is targetable with the powerful Angels bats, and the lineup should include both of the team’s superstars this evening. Taylor Ward gets things started in the leadoff spot, he has individual upside for power and is carrying a 7.47 in the home run model today. Ward hit 23 home runs with a .192 ISO in 564 plate appearances last year, he has two on the board but has scuffled somewhat slashing just .228/.319/.329 with a .101 ISO. Ward was a roller coaster last year with his production coming in bunches, which may be the case again this season. Superstar Shohei Ohtani dominated on the mound last night and will look to mash at the plate in this one. Ohtani carries first base and outfield eligibility for $6,100 on DraftKings, he is a $3,900 outfielder on FanDuel. Ohtani has hit four home runs and has a .197 ISO with a 129 WRC+ this season, he is a great option at any price against this pitcher. Mike Trout has blasted three home runs and has a .224 ISO and a 170 WRC+ to start his season. Trout is carrying an 8.9% barrel rate with a 53.3% hard-hit percentage, he is easily worth the $5,700/$4,100 asking price. Third baseman Anthony Rendon needs to get things in gear, over 55 plate appearances he has been one of the few players on whom we have regularly focused who has not managed to come through at least to some degree. So far this year, Rendon is slashing .238/.364/.262 with just a .024 ISO and an 87 WRC+. If his walk rate was not as strong as it is at 16.4%, Rendon would look even worse so far. The third baseman has hit more fans this season than he has home runs, but there is still reason to believe that the veteran bat will come around, and he is cheap in the heart of this lineup against a bad pitcher at $4,300/$3,100. Hunter Renfroe has a .224 ISO and a 133 WRC+ with four home runs, Jake Lamb is in the projected lineup on the left side of the plate for the minimum on DraftKings and $2,200 with eligibility at first and third base on the blue site, and Brandon Drury drops in with another premium power bat that has been slow to get engaged with the 2023 season. Drury hit 28 home runs last year, he has just one in his 67 plate appearances this season and his contact profile has not been as strong as it was after he made adjustments going into last season that directly resulted in the power surge. Matt Thaiss and rookie Zach Neto round out the lineup, but the power is primarily from one through seven.

Play: Angels stacks/bats aggressively, some Royals bats

Update Notes:

St. Louis Cardinals (+143/3.38) @ Seattle Mariners (-155/4.20)

The final game of the night sees the excellent Cardinals lineup taking on the night’s best pitcher, with Luis Castillo on the hill for Seattle. Castillo costs $9,800/$11,000 and projects in the upper-middle of the board in the difficult matchup. The righty has been sharp to start his season, he has a 29.5% strikeout rate with just a 2.86 xFIP and a 0.73 ERA over 24.2 innings in four starts. He pitches reliably deep into games and generates strikeouts against even the best lineups, Castillo made 25 starts and had a 3.23 xFIP with a 27.2% strikeout rate last year and he had a 23.9% strikeout mark with a 3.63 xFIP over 187.2 innings with Cincinnati in 2021. This is a proven star on the mound and he can be rostered even at the expensive pricing on the blue site. The hope would be that the opponent and salary weight reduce the popularity of a star-caliber player when rostering Castillo on FanDuel, he is a correctly priced stud option on DraftKings. Of course, the Cardinals’ bats are always at least somewhat in play, but they are truly a lower-middle-class option for bats in this one. Brendan Donovan and Alec Burleson provide left-handed quality from the top of the lineup, Burleson has a 108 WRC+ with a .214 ISO and two home runs in 61 plate appearances, Donovan has been below average for run creation but is a capable hitter overall. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado will be low-owned for their overall quality, given the opponent. Castillo has a good chance of keeping them in check, but if we are rostering any Cardinals at all, it would be the two corner infield stars. Willson Contreras is a quality catching option if he is in the lineup, Contreras has two home runs and a 122 WRC+ so far this season. Nolan Gorman and Lars Nootbaar are solid young power bats on the left side of the plate later in the lineup, Gorman has five home runs this season while Nootbaar missed time with injury but has one on the board already with a 149 WRC+ over 26 opportunities. Jordan Walker is one of baseball’s top prospects and he has crept up to a .271/.311/.400 triple-slash with a 98 WRC+, and Tommy Edman is an always-capable wraparound option. This is a great lineup in a bad overall situation between the ballpark and the pitcher, they will be lower owned than usual, which has its advantages, but overall this is a less-than-likely night for the Cardinals.

Righty Miles Mikolas has thrown 20 innings in his four starts this season, he is a contact-oriented average pitcher who has a 4.05 xFIP and an unsightly 2.05 WHIP so far this year, which explains his 8.10 ERA. Mikolas has allowed a 42.1% hard-hit rate with an 11.8% barrel rate so far this year, he was much better for limiting premium contact last season when he gave up just a 35.7% hard-hit rate and a 3.11% home run rate over 32 starts and 202.1 innings. Mikolas is targetable with bats, but he is not a bad pitcher, he is playable as a value option for just $6,300/$7,700, but he functions more ably on DraftKings as an SP2 than as a lone starter on the blue site. Mikolas is facing a stacked Seattle lineup that features Julio Rodriguez in the projected leadoff role. Rodriguez is a star who costs $5,800/$4,000 for his multicategory talent. He has four home runs and five stolen bases with a .216 ISO and a 126 WRC+ and is involved in basically all of the offensive output that this team produces. The outfielder is easy to reach even at a high price because his teammates are all low-cost quality options, beginning with Ty France, who checks in at just $4,700/$3,300. France has created runs 42% better than average over 92 plate appearances this season and was 27% above average last year, he is an underrated hitter. Eugenio Suarez costs $4,000/$3,000, he has lacked his usual power but has created runs 13% better than average so far this year, the home runs are coming. Cal Raleigh is a cheap catcher with a major power bat, Raleigh has two home runs this year in his 67 plate appearances and his contact profile has been sharp with a 14.3% barrel rate. Teoscar Hernandez and Jarred Kelenic are forming a dynamite power core late in the lineup, they each have four home runs on the young season and have been outstanding for run creation. The top six hitters, everyone who has been mentioned in this paragraph so far, all are above average for run creation so far this season, this is a good lineup. Slap-hitting Tommy La Stella ends that run of quality, but Kolten Wong is a viable piece if he is hitting eighth, despite early struggles this season, and JP Crawford can provide very minor correlation ability. Crawford had a 104 WRC+ but just a .093 ISO over 603 plate appearances last year and a 103 WRC+ with a .103 ISO in 687 opportunities in 2021. The Mariners are a playable, potentially less popular stack than they should be tonight against Mikolas.

Play: Luis Castillo, Mariners bats/stacks, some Cardinals bats at low ownership/low shares

Update Notes:

Follow on Twitter for daily links to all published content.

Share this with...

Content Creator: