MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Key Points & Live Show Link – Monday 8/28/23

A huge 12-game MLB DFS Monday has us in scramble mode, make sure to check out the live show for further details!

Don’t miss our Suggested Stacks feature and our Power Index for more on the top opportunities at the plate tonight.

Join us at 4:15 ET for a rundown on today’s slate.

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, so if a game has not been filled in, check back in a few minutes. Update notes are provided as lineups are confirmed to the best of our ability. Still, 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 – 8/28/23

Chicago White Sox (+220/3.54) @ Baltimore Orioles (-245/5.59)

  • Orioles hurler Grayson Rodriguez looks like a solid option with the scuffling White Sox carrying a 3.54-run implied total. The rookie right-hander has been pitching well since his mid-July return to the Show, though he has allowed a home run in each of his last two starts with three runs yielded in six innings to the Blue Jays in his last start. Rodriguez has a 5.38 ERA but a 3.92 xFIP over 87 innings in 17 starts this season and he has struck out 24.3% of opposing hitters with an 11.8% swinging-strike rate. Rodriguez is cheap on both sites at $7,500/$8,700, he is a major part of the value pitching pool.
  • The White Sox have been bad on the whole this season, the active roster has an 87 WRC+ collectively against right-handed pitching to rank 28th out of 30 teams. They are carrying a 22.2% strikeout rate and .142 ISO in the split against righties and, outside of some power in the heart of the lineup, they are not an overly threatening squad or a strong-looking stack. Chicago ranks 18th by fantasy points with a bit of points-per-dollar value showing on DraftKings, they land 11th by home run potential. Focus hitters in the projected Chicago lineup include Luis Robert Jr. the superstar in the third spot in the batting order, and Eloy Jimenez, his fellow power-hitting right-handed outfielder. After the two thumpers the team is truly limited despite the presence of previously talented players. Tim Anderson has a 62 WRC+ with one home run and 12 stolen bases in a lost season, Andrew Benintendi has not been much better at 97 WRC+, and Andrew Vaughn joins switch-hitting Yoan Moncada as a mid-level option in the middle of the lineup. Vaughn has been OK this season, he has a 102 WRC+ and 16 home runs, Moncada has not been good for two years. Oscar Colas has projected left-handed power but has not done much in 222 plate appearances, he has three homers and a 55 WRC+. Lenyn Sosa and Korey Lee round out the lineup, Lee has sneaky power potential behind the plate based on his minor league track record.
  • Michael Kopech costs $6,300/$7,300 and projects into the lower-middle of the pitching slate, he is probably not necessary tonight with several better options at similar prices. Kopech has a 22.8% strikeout rate with a 4.95 ERA but an ugly 5.63 xFIP on the season and a major problem with free passes. The righty has walked a ridiculous 15% of hitters over 120 innings and 24 starts, his WHIP sits at 1.49, and he has allowed far too much premium contact with a 13.6% barrel rate and 5.23% home run rate. Kopech is more of a target for Orioles bats.
  • Baltimore has a healthy 5.59-run implied total that ranks second on the entire slate. Catcher Adley Rutschman is a positional asset on both sites, but particularly where catchers are required, he gets on base at a .366 clip, has a 120 WRC+ in the leadoff role, and sees more plate appearances by virtue of the spot in the batting order. Gunnar Henderson has 22 home runs and a .230 ISO and has been fantastic in his rookie season, he costs $5,300/$3,600 with third base and shortstop eligibility in the not-cheap Orioles lineup. Anthony Santander and Ryan Mountcastle offer premium power potential in the third and fourth spots, Santander has an 8.52 and Mountcastle is at 7.65 in our home run model tonight. Ryan O’Hearn has never had 250 plate appearances in his career like he did to start this season, over 263 chances he sits at .298/.335/.506 with a .208 ISO and 11 home runs but the triple-slash is already cooling and normalizing somewhat. O’Hearn is easily playable as long as he remains cheap in the middle of the lineup, the lefty fills outfield and first base for $3,300/$2,600. Austin Hays has 13 home runs with a 114 WRC+ in a good-not-great season, Cedric Mullins is a 30/30 star late in the lineup for $5,000/$3,300, and Ramon Urias provides a salary relief valve with a bit of power along with Adam Frazier at the bottom of the lineup.

Play: Grayson Rodriguez value on both sites, Orioles bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Washington Nationals (+219/2.95) @ Toronto Blue Jays (-244/4.66)

  • Blue Jays righty Kevin Gausman has the low-end Nationals checked all the way down to 2.95 runs on the board in Vegas, making him look like a tremendous option today. Gausman easily tops our pitching projections for $10,900/$11,200 and seems worth the investment even on a deep pitching slate. Gausman has a 31.7% strikeout rate with a 12.8% swinging-strike rate, a 3.23 ERA, and a 3.06 xFIP. The terrific veteran right-hander has allowed a 10.5% barrel rate and 44.6% hard hits this season but it has amounted to just 2.60% home runs and he typically does not work into trouble with just a 6.2% walk rate and 1.16 WHIP. Even with the obvious potential to be the most highly-owned starter on the board, there is a ton of ceiling score potential in Gausman’s right arm tonight.
  • The Nationals are a low-end stack, they rank 24th by fantasy points, 23rd by home run potential, 24th by points-per-dollar value on FanDuel, and 23rd for value on DraftKings, this is not a good spot. Those looking to roster Nationals for contrarian purposes would do well to focus on CJ Abrams, who has created runs at a pace of just 92% of the league average overall, but he is 10% better than average in his 190 plate appearances in the leadoff role. Lane Thomas and Joey Meneses have been the team’s two best hitters, Thomas has 20 home runs and 16 stolen bases with a 117 WRC+, Meneses has 11 homers and a solid triple-slash, and the pair hits ahead of playable catcher Keibert Ruiz who has 15 home runs and a 99 WRC+ in his 445 plate appearances. Dominic SmithCarter Keiboom, Jake Alu, Ildemaro Vargas, and Alex Call slot in as mix-and-match options at best, they are below-average options for the season and on this slate in particular.
  • Toronto hitters look like an option against righty Josiah Gray, who projects into the lower third of the pitching pool. Gray has a 19.9% strikeout rate with a 3.85 ERA but a 5.11 xFIP and an 11.3% walk rate which makes him an easy target on the mound. The righty has made strides in limiting power to some degree this season, he has allowed a 3.07% home run rate on 8.7% barrels but his 1.44 WHIP and far too many free passes should play in Toronto’s favor and the pitcher has limited appeal at $7,700/$8,200.
  • The Blue Jays lineup opens with Whit Merrifield for $4,500/$2,800 at second base or in the outfield. Merrifield has a strong triple-slash, he gets on base at a .330 clip, and he has created runs four percent better than average with individual pop and speed on the bases, he is a good correlated scoring option with a ceiling. By some measures, Brandon Belt has been Toronto’s best player in his 369 plate appearances. Belt has a 134 WRC+ that sits well above everyone else in the projected lineup, star first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is at just 116 and George Springer has been limited to just three percent ahead of the curve. Belt has hit 15 home runs, Guerrero leads the team with 20 but he did that in 554 plate appearances with a .173 ISO to Belt’s .218. The lefty first baseman costs $3,700/$2,800 and makes a strong pivot from shares of Guerrero, who is also a quality option at the same position tonight. Springer costs $4,800/$3,000 which is cheap for his ceiling. Daulton Varsho has an 8.95 in the home run model, the lefty is cheap at $3,400/$2,500 in the outfield and has 16 home runs and 15 steals in a disappointing season overall. Alejandro KirkCavan BiggioSantiago Espinal, and Kevin Kiermaier round out the projected lineup as lower-end mix-and-match options. Kirk has six home runs in 323 plate appearances, Biggio has eight long balls and four steals in just 229 chances, Espinal has been limited at just a 61 WRC+ but Kiermaier has been slightly above average for run creation for most of the season and sits at 103 with six homers and 11 stolen bases.

Play: Kevin Gausman aggressively but with a specific over/under decision to be made vs. the field, Blue Jays bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Houston Astros (+118/4.77) @ Boston Red Sox (-128/5.34)

  • Lefty Chris Sale costs $9,500/$9,200 and he projects in the middle of the board against an Astros team carrying a 4.77-run implied total but we are not fans of the option tonight, despite his nine-strikeout performance over five innings against them in his last outing. Sale allowed four runs on six hits including a home run in the short start and he has been limited for depth while not typically delivering slate-winning quality this season. The lefty has a 29.4% strikeout rate with a 4.68 ERA and 3.63 xFIP and he has allowed a 3.27% home run rate on 7.9% barrels and just 33.9% hard hits. The ability to check power to some degree will be important to his success tonight, the Astros have a .200 ISO with a 128 WRC+ collectively against lefties this season, they rank third for run creation and their 17.8% strikeout rate in the split is the best in the business.
  • Houston bats are more playable than most would expect, they are carrying a good-not-great run total with several star-caliber options for MLB DFS in the lineup in a game in Fenway Park. For a premium, Jose Altuve is a very good second base option, the star infielder has created runs 54% better than average in his 276 plate appearances this year with nine home runs and 13 stolen bases. Alex Bregman has been a good source of power, his 21 home runs tie Yordan Alvarez for second on the team, although Bregman needed 586 plate appearances to get to the total Alvarez reached in just 362 tries. The third baseman costs $5,700/$3,500 while Alvarez is another big ticket item for $6,100/$3,900. Kyle Tucker has 26 homers and 25 stolen bases with a 143 WRC+ in another outrageously good season. Neither of the Astros’ star left-handed sluggers – Alvarez and Tucker – lose quality in the split against lefties, they are premium options in this stack tonight. Chas McCormick costs $4,800/$3,400 in the outfield in what has been a star-making season. McCormick has 19 home runs and 14 stolen bases with a 144 WRC+ in 359 opportunities. Yainer Diaz joins McCormick on the breakout list, over his 313 chances the rookie has a .284/.304/.537 triple-slash with a 124 WRC+ and .253 ISO and he has ripped 19 home runs. Jose Abreu has a 74 WRC+, Jeremy Pena sits at 95, and Jake Meyers rounds things out at 90, they are mix-in options late in the lineup.
  • Red Sox hitters will be facing scuffling righty Cristian Javier who has been a ghost of his former self on the mound in 2023. Javier had a 33.2% strikeout rate over 148.2 innings and 25 starts last year and was at 30.7% in 101.1 innings in 2021. The righty has backslid badly with diminished stuff this season, he has a 21.3% strikeout rate with a 4.52 ERA and 5.35 xFIP over 127.1 innings. Javier has also allowed too much power, his home run rate sits at 3.71% on 9.9% barrels for the season and he has a very difficult highly-left-handed lineup on the other side of the matchup. Javier has not been discounted strongly enough at $8,500/$9,100, he has very limited appeal from the lower quarter of the pitching pool tonight.
  • Boston has a 5.34-run implied total as one of the most highly projected teams on the board tonight. The Red Sox rank 11th for fantasy points but sixth for home run potential, but they are expensive options on both sites. Alex Verdugo is a strong buy atop the lineup, the lefty outfielder has been a bit up and down this season but sits at 110 WRC+ with a .342 on-base percentage ahead of the team’s fantastic run creation machine. Rafael Devers has a 13.08 in our home run model and looks like a strong option to get his 30th of the season with Javier on the mound tonight. Devers has a 127 WRC+ and costs $5,600/$3,800 which is cheap for his superstar bat. Justin Turner has 22 home runs and a .290/.347/.497 triple-slash in a terrific season, Masataka Yoshida has created runs 14% better than average and strikes out at just a 12.6% pace, and Triston Casas has an 8.41 in our home run model with 21 long balls on the board from the left side this season. Trevor Story has an 8.32 in the home run model, he has hit one in his 67 plate appearances since returning to action but the star infielder has been making solid contact with a 12.8% barrel rate and 46.2% hard hits when he connects. Wilyer AbreuPablo Reyes, and Reese McGuire are mix-in options late in the lineup.

Play: Red Sox bats/stacks, Astros bats/stacks, very minor shares of Chris Sale if any

Update Notes: 

Texas Rangers (-129/4.55) @ New York Mets (+119/4.05)

  • Mets righty Tylor Megill has a 5.54 ERA and 5.16 xFIP with a 17.5% strikeout rate over 91 innings and 19 starts, he is a low-end option with limited potential for even reaching the sixth innings, let alone booking bonuses and a strong start. For $5,800/$7,200 Megill has very limited potential even as a value dart.
  • Rangers bats rank fourth by fantasy point projections and second for home run potential while sitting eighth on FanDuel and 12th on DraftKings by points-per-dollar value, they are a priority stack tonight. Texas checks in with a 4.55-run implied team total that will hopefully keep ownership somewhat light around their key hitters. Marcus Semien costs $6,100/$3,500, his FanDuel price has been coming down while DraftKings is bouncing back and forth and slotted him in high today. Semien has a 121 WRC+ with 20 homers and 13 stolen bases, he is a terrific option off the top of the deck. Corey Seager leads the hard-hitting squad with a 16.26 to rank second on the entire slate in today’s home run model. The superstar shortstop has hit 24 long balls in just 397 plate appearances and is carrying a massive .304 ISO while creating runs 80% better than average. Nathaniel Lowe is inexpensive for a player with a 125 WRC+ at first base, Adolis Garcia is today’s overall home run pick with a 15.40 to sit third overall for the day in the home run model, and Mitch Garver joins Jonah Heim in forming a two-headed catcher monster with tons of power for cheap pricing later in the lineup. Garcia has 32 home runs with a 123 WRC+ and .250 ISO, he is a high-priority hitter at $5,800/$3,700 on the pricey team, but the others help average down costs to some degree. Garver costs $3,700/$2,900 while Heim is at just $3,600/$2,900 later in the lineup. Travis Jankowski offers a quality hit tool and speed on the bases for $2,900/$2,500 in the outfield, Ezequiel Duran is a $3,900/$2,700 option with tripe-position eligibility on FanDuel, and Leody Taveras has mid-range power and speed for $3,400/$2,600 in the ninth spot.
  • Mets hitters are pulling in just OK marks against talented right-handed veteran starter Jon Gray, who projects into the upper portion of the slate. New York has a 4.05-run implied total against the righty, who has a 3.76 ERA but a 4.39 xFIP in 131.2 innings over 23 starts in 2023. Gray has a 20.6% strikeout rate with an 8.2% walk rate and a good 11.8% swinging-strike rate on the season and he has allowed just 2.60% home runs on a 5.3% barrel rate and 37.8% hard hits. Gray has typically been good at keeping power and premium contact in check, this is another quality season that is right around expectations, there is no reason to disbelieve projections against a limited Mets lineup and the starter costs just $8,100/$9,400 to put him on the DraftKings value board and, hopefully, the low-owned list on FanDuel.
  • Brandon Nimmo is a strong leadoff hitter, he has a .355 on-base percentage with individual power to the tune of 18 home runs this season. Francisco Lindor is a star shortstop with 24 home runs and 23 stolen bases in a bit of a wasted season in Queens, he has a 123 WRC+ that sits second on the team behind powerhouse first baseman Pete Alonso at 131. Alonso also leads the team with 39 home runs in his 521 plate appearances and, according to reports, will be a major piece of the offseason trade block. Jeff McNeil is a slap-hitter who may or may not provide correlated scoring with Alonso, he has a 96 WRC+ on the season. Daniel Vogelbach has 12 home runs and a 107 WRC+ but just a .173 ISO, Francisco Alvarez has been stuck at 21 home runs while cooling across the board over the past month or so, DJ Stewart has a bit of sneaky left-handed pop but Gray is good at checking power, and the last two spots in the projected lineup go to Mark Vientos, a power-hitting prospect, and Rafael Ortega, a mix-in infielder.

Play: Rangers bats/stacks, Jon Gray, limited shares of Mets bats as a lower-mid option

Update Notes: 

Cleveland Guardians (+146/4.03) @ Minnesota Twins (-159/5.07)

  • Minnesota righty Kenta Maeda has a fair price point of just $9,200/$8,900 with a solid projection against the low-end Guardians tonight. Cleveland checks in with just a 4.03-run implied total against the veteran starter who has a 4.22 ERA and a 3.85 xFIP over 74.2 innings and 15 starts. Maeda has struck out 28.9% while walking just 6.6% with a 13.2% swinging-strike rate though he has yielded a bit of premium contact with a 3.95% home run rate on 9.8% barrels and 42.3% hard hits with 90.5 mph of exit velocity on average. Maeda is not cheap enough to rank as a true value play, but as a mid-priced starter who will likely be less popular than he should be, he has appeal at his pricing.
  • Cleveland hitters are not a high priority on this slate, the team ranks 21st for fantasy projections though they do climb a bit by points-per-dollar on some very cheap pricing. Steven Kwan has a 99 WRC+ and does not get on base enough, Jose Ramirez is the team’s superstar with a 125 WRC+ and 21 homers to go with 21 steals, he costs $5,500/$3,300 and is cheap for his talent, and Kole Calhoun has a limited left-handed bat that was once reliable for power on the strong side of splits. Calhoun has two home runs with a .152 WRC+ but he has created runs 24% better than average in his limited 73 plate appearances so far this season. Oscar Gonzalez hit 12 home runs in 424 chances last year, he has two in 167 with a 55 WRC+ this year. Andres Gimenez is a toolsy infielder with 12 homers and 21 stolen bases but his WRC+ is just 93 after 500 plate appearances and he has not delivered the expected upside. Ramon LaureanoBo Naylor, and Myles Straw are low-end mixers late in the lineup, while Gabriel Arias has sneaky power lurking in his bat. Arias has eight home runs in 254 chances but he is slashing just .202/.283/.338 with a 75 WRC+ and a whopping 34.3% strikeout rate.
  • Twins hitters will be facing Xzavion Curry, who has a lower-middle projection for $5,700/$6,000. Curry has a 16.6% strikeout rate with a 3.51 ERA but a 5.28 xFIP on the season. The righty has allowed an 8.6% barrel rate with 45.9% hard hits and 91.9 mph of exit velocity on an elevated 21.4-degree average launch angle, he seems somewhat lucky to have given up just 2.51% home runs. While the Twins are aggressive free-swingers at the plate, there is only moderate appeal in the Curry play on the single-starter site, he has far more value as an SP2 option on DraftKings where he is a very low-cost dart for five innings and a handful of strikeouts.
  • Edouard Julien has a .196 ISO with a 139 WRC+ and 11 home runs in his 287 plate appearances, but he strikes out at a 30.7% clip to set the tone for this team. Jorge Polanco has nine home runs in 241 chances this season, he has a 110 WRC+ with a 24.5% strikeout rate. Max Kepler strikes out 21.6% of the time to tie Christian Vazquez from the bottom of the order as the team’s stingiest player at the plate. Kepler has 21 home runs to lead the team in his 375 chances. Carlos Correa has 16 homers with a 94 WRC+ in a limited season, the shortstop is affordable for his track record of quality. Matt Wallner has left-handed power, he has nine home runs in just 152 plate appearances and carries a .267 ISO into tonight’s game, but he comes with a 32.2% strikeout rate in the small sample as well. Royce Lewis had a big knock over the weekend and sits on seven home runs and a .312/.358/.500 triple-slash in 148 chances. Donovan Solano has the team’s most reliable hit tool and comes cheap for $3,100/$2,200, his triple-position eligibility has value on the blue site. Joey Gallo has massive power potential with a .262 ISO but a ludicrous 43.3% strikeout rate for $3,200/$2,300 at first base or in the outfield, he is in play when stacking Twins and makes a cheap one-off, but he is very much a big or small score with nothing in between. Minnesota ranks ninth by fantasy points but fourth for FanDuel and third for DraftKings points-per-dollar upside.

Play: Kenta Maeda, Twins value bats

Update Notes: 

San Diego Padres (-202/5.36) @ St. Louis Cardinals (+184/3.75)

  • Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright is not an option at $5,000/$5,900, he has not pitched well all season and is unlikely to pay off even the limited requirement of fantasy points for the salary. Wainwright has a highly-targetable 4.23% home run rate with 11.6% barrels and an 11.6% strikeout rate with a hilarious-if-it-wasn’t-so-sad 4.8% swinging-strike rate.
  • Ha-Seong Kim leads off what will probably be a popular Padres stack at 5.36 implied runs. Kim has 17 home runs and 29 stolen bases with a 127 WRC+ over 503 chances at the plate, he has been excellent this season and correlates directly with the team’s pool of stars while filling multiple positions. Fernando Tatis Jr. has 20 home runs and 23 stolen bases with a 116 WRC+ but only a .197 ISO, his power has taken a dip this season. Juan Soto is the team’s best player, he has a 146 WRC+ with a .400 on-base percentage, a 19.1% walk rate, 25 home runs to tie for the team lead, and a .225 ISO. Manny Machado is the other hitter with 25 homers on the board, the slugging third baseman is cheap for his talent at $5,300/$3,400, he has a 114 WRC+ and .212 ISO over 497 chances this year. Xander Bogaerts is at 105 WRC+ but his triple-slash has been declining again in recent games, rendering him very cheap at shortstop. Gary Sanchez has 18 home runs in 244 plate appearances, he has delivered exactly what should have been expected of him at the plate all along and he is a good buy at the catcher spot for $3,800/$2,600. Ben Gamel, Garrett Cooper, and Trent Grisham round out the projected lineup as playable parts with good upside.
  • Cardinals hitters are in a tough spot with lefty Blake Snell taking the mound, but they will give him a challenge at the plate despite just a 3.75-run implied total. Snell has a 31% strikeout rate as one of the most talented starters on the board but he is a mess for efficiency in many of his starts given a 13.5% walk rate in his 142 innings and 26 starts. Snell has a 2.73 ERA and 3.61 xFIP and has induced a 15% swinging-strike rate, he is very good at punching out of any trouble that the free passes lead to and he has been dynamite for most of the season. Snell projects fifth on the pitching slate for $10,800/$10,200 tonight.
  • The Cardinals have plenty of right-handed pop to throw at the veteran lefty tonight, including Tyler O’NeillPaul Goldschmidt, and Nolan Arenado who fill out three early spots in the projected batting order. O’Neill has seven home runs with a 12.7% barrel rate and 44% hard hits in 216 chances, Goldschmidt has hit 21 long balls but has just a .179 ISO on 11.5% barrels and 51.2% hard hits, and Arenado has 26 home runs to lead the team. Tommy Edman should be leading off and providing a direct line of correlation to the team’s power hitters for cheap pricing with multi-position eligibility. Willson Contreras is a quality bat at the catcher position who should be in the heart of the lineup for just $4,000/$2,700, Andrew Knizner joins him at the position if he makes the lineup, he would be a very sneaky power pivot on this slate. Knizner has 10 home runs in 185 plate appearances and carries a .220 ISO into tonight’s game, he is never popular and costs just $3,000/$2,400. Jordan Walker has created runs three percent better than average, while Taylor Motter and Masyn Winn are more limited options against this starter.

Play: Padres bats/stacks, Blake Snell

Update Notes: 

Milwaukee Brewers (+108/4.40) @ Chicago Cubs (-117/4.69)

  • Righty Jameson Taillon has a projection in the lower third of the pitching pool for $6,900/$8,000 against the Brewers tonight. Milwaukee has been rolling and they have enough talent in the lineup to push Taillon mostly off the value board, the righty has a 5.60 ERA and 4.70 xFIP with a 20.2% strikeout rate on the season and he has given up a 3.83% home run rate on 10.3% barrels.
  • Milwaukee ranks 13th by fantasy points but ninth on both sites for points-per-dollar value with a seventh-ranked home run potential against Taillon. Christian Yelich is a star in the leadoff role, the outfielder has a 50.4% hard-hit rate with 16 home runs, 27 stolen bases, and a 121 WRC+ in 554 plate appearances. William Contreras gains plate appearances by virtue of hitting second every day, he is slashing .278/.355/.459 with 14 home runs and a 47.5% hard-hit rate as one of the leading catcher options on most slates. Carlos Santana has 18 homers as a switch-hitting value option at first base, Sal Frelick costs $4,500/$3,100 in the outfield despite a strong first 107 plate appearances, Frelick has a 115 WRC+ with three homers and five steals in the small sample, and Willy Adames offers a flawed shortstop option with two-homer upside on any given slate. Rowdy Tellez has an 8.82 in the home run model with 13 in his 300 plate appearances, the slugger hit 35 in 599 chances last year. Andruw MonasterioBrice Turang, and Tyrone Taylor are mix-in options at low prices from the final three spots in the projected lineup, though they sit at 96, 69, and 69 WRC+ over 216, 356, and 154 plate appearances. All three have the potential for sneaky home run power with speed, Monasterio has three homers and seven steals, Turang has six long balls and leads the group with 17 stolen bases, and Taylor has five homers with seven steals and he hit 17 long balls in 405 chances last year.
  • Brewers starter Wade Miley has very little appeal against a good Cubs team, he projects fourth from the bottom of the pitching pool for $6,700/$7,600 and has a very low strikeout ceiling with a 16.5% strikeout rate and a 3.18 ERA but a 4.84 xFIP.
  • Chicago bats rank eighth by fantasy point projections tonight, they look like a quality stack but they have been lofted to high prices on the DraftKings slate, where they rank 19th by points-per-dollar, on FanDuel they sit 10th and remain cheap and frisky. Nico Hoerner costs $5,800/$3,400, he has nine home runs and 34 stolen bases with a 102 WRC+ as an expensive but easily playable mid-level option with direct correlation to the team’s priority bats. Dansby Swanson has 19 homers and a .180 ISO on 12.2% barrels with a 108 WRC+ for $5,200/$3,100 at shortstop, Ian Happ gets on at a .360 clip with a 113 mark for run creation, and Cody Bellinger is the team’s star with 20 homers, 18 stolen bases, and a 143 WRC+ for $6,300/$3,800 at first base or in the outfield. Seiya Suzuki costs $3,600/$2,800 in the outfield, he is cheap on both sites for a player with a 113 WRC+ and 13 home runs in 450 plate appearances. Yan Gomes has cheap power behind the plate, Jeimer Candelario has 19 homers and a .222 ISO in 511 chances as a cheap late-lineup power hitter and he is joined in that regard by Patrick Wisdom who has 20 long balls in just 267 chances. Nick Madrigal checks in with a 96 WRC+ to round out the lineup as a mix-in defender.

Play: Cubs bats/stacks, Brewers bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Pittsburgh Pirates (-106/4.83) @ Kansas City Royals (-102/4.78)

  • Righty Zack Greinke costs $6,000/$7,000 and is very unlikely to provide a path to success even from the value tier. Greinke has a 16.4% strikeout rate with a 5.34 ERA but a 4.35 xFIP this season, his 3.2% walk rate is the lone mark of true quality this season. The veteran has given up a 4.83% home run rate on 8.4% barrels and 89.4 mph of exit velocity, he is targetable with Pirates bats but does have a path to five or six somewhat effective innings with a low strikeout total.
  • Pittsburgh ranks 11th on the board by fantasy points, seventh for points-per-dollar on FanDuel, and second for value on DraftKings, they are a strong source of value on this slate and will be critical in reaching pricey pitching alongside stacks of hitters from Atlanta or other highly-totaled squads. The Pirates are carrying a 4.83-run implied total and DFS appeal abounds in options like Ji-Hwan Bae who is a limited leadoff hitter with a .311 on-base percentage and 70 WRC+ but does offer speed with 21 stolen bases and a direct link to the production of better options. Bryan Reynolds has a 7.08 in the home run model with 18 on the board and 10 stolen bases this year, Andrew McCutchen has 12 homers and 10 steals with a 15.7% walk rate that could get a free pass even against the stingy Greinke, and Joshua Palacios has hit six sneaky home runs in 188 chances but has a 65 WRC+ overall. Ke’Bryan Hayes has a quality bat but limited statistical returns, his 10 home runs and nine stolen bases are not enough but his 49% hard-hit rate gives us hope for more on any given slate. Jack Suwinski has been the team’s best power hitter, he has 21 homers and a .231 ISO and costs just $3,600/$2,700 in the outfield with Greinke on the mound. Alfonso Rivas and Alika Williams are cheap late-lineup options but we prefer Liover Peguero for his power if he plays.
  • The Royals are a low-quality stack that ranks 19th across the board for points and value, and 21st for home run potential even against a middling starter like Johan Oviedo, who checks in at a 4.46 ERA and 4.78 xFIP with 20.4% strikeouts and a 9.8% walk rate. Oviedo has allowed just 2.53% home runs on 8.1% barrels and 11.3 degrees of launch angle this season, he has not been bad and does have a bit of mid-board appeal in the matchup for $7,300/$8,300. Oviedo is a fair play for value, particularly as a mix-in SP2 on the DraftKings slate but he is not the highest-priority option on the board.
  • When stacking Kansas City hitters the priority list is short, Bobby Witt Jr. and Sal Perez are the top two on this team on any slate. Witt has a 117 WRC+ with 26 homers and 38 stolen bases in a great season, Perez has been limited to just 85 WRC+ with 19 homers in a bad season for him. Maikel Garcia leads off the projected lineup, he has 19 stolen bases and an 87 WRC+ in 398 chances. MJ Melendez makes excellent contact from the left side but ses little for it, he has a dozen home runs but a .157 ISO despite a 51.3% hard-hit rate. Drew Waters has an 88 WRC+, Michael Massey sits at 66, and Nelson Velazquez slots in as a late-lineup power option with eight home runs in 75 chances. The balance of the lineup is of mix-in caliber at best, and that is being very generous.

Play: Pirates bats/stacks for value, Johan Oviedo as a low-expectation value mixer

Update Notes: 

Atlanta Braves (-221/7.60) @ Colorado Rockies (+200/5.07)

  • The Braves are in Coors Field, this is merely an ownership and leverage decision, the team looks outrageously good against Austin Gomber, who is not playable in this situation. Gomber has a 4.24% home run rate with 43.5% hard hits and a 5.48 ERA with a 14.6% strikeout rate that makes him a massive flashing “hit me hard” sign on the mound in this start.
  • The Atlanta lineup is in its everyday form with the return of star second baseman Ozzie Albies, who has 28 home runs and a 121 WRC+ this season. The team is playable in any combination from 1-9, with priority bats up and down the lineup at every position, there is not a bad option in the bunch and they are easily worth the salaries with a 7.6-run implied total tonight. Ronald Acuna Jr. has 28 home runs and 59 stolen bases with a 162 WRC+, Austin Riley has 30 homers and a .226 ISO, Matt Olson has 43 dingers and a .324 ISO, and Marcell Ozuna has 29 homers to add to the mix for just $5,100/$3,700 in the outfield. Sean Murphy is a star power hitter at the catcher position, he has 20 homers and a .249 ISO this season, Kevin Pillar slots in as a playable right-handed veteran in the outfield, his 71 WRC+ in 151 plate appearances is the lone weak point in the projected lineup. Michael Harris II and Orlando Arcia are pillars of late-lineup excellence for DFS purposes from the last two spots. It is highly likely that the Braves are going to contribute massive scores to the pool tonight, their pricing and position relative to the popularity of the other strong options at the plate are the key inflection point here.
  • Righty Bryce Elder is not a priority on this slate, the pitcher ranks in the middle of the board by fantasy point projections for $8,300/$8,400, he has the talent to pitch through the terrible Colorado lineup, but they are carrying a 5.07-run implied total and the starter has a limited 17.5% strikeout rate, he lands more as a “why play?” than a “must play” tonight.
  • Rockies bats are limited but there are runs on the board in Vegas and they will be far less popular than the opposition in the same ballpark. Charlie Blackmon has seven home runs with a .374 on-base percentage and 113 WRC+ in 294 chances as an effective lefty leadoff man. Ezequiel Tovar is up to 15 homers but has just a 79 WRC+, Ryan McMahon has solid power from the left side with 21 home runs and a .205 ISO for $4,800/$3,800, and Elias Diaz is a playable catcher with 13 home runs but an 88 WRC+ despite playing in Coors Field. Nolan Jones has 13 homers and a 116 WRC+ and is possibly the team’s best player at this point. Brendan Rodgers has mid-teens power from seasons past but has done very little with a 41 WRC+ and no output in his 84 chances so far this season. Hunter Goodman hit 34 home runs between 25 in AA and nine in AAA this season, he has power potential as a sneaky cheap catcher for $2,000 on DraftKings but he does not appear in the FanDuel pool. Michael Toglia and Brenton Doyle provide mix-in darts for counting stats.

Play: bats bats bats

Update Notes: 

Oakland Athletics (+242/3.23) @ Seattle Mariners (-271/5.39)

  • Righty Bryan Woo is a strong option on this slate against one of baseball’s worst lineups. Even with a bit of power shining through for Oakland of late, Woo looks like a good option for $7,900/$7,800, he is value-priced with a premium projection. The righty has a 25.3% strikeout rate with a 7.2% walk rate in his 12 starts and 59 innings this season, he has been adept at inducing swing-and-miss at this level with a 12.3% rate and has walked 7.2% while pitching to a 6.1% barrel rate and 31.5% hard hits. Woo has a 4.58 ERA but a 4.13 xFIP in the small sample, he is a highly regarded starter with plenty of talent and should have more leash than the four innings we saw in his return to the mound after a brief stint on the injured list on August 22nd.
  • Oakland has a lot of premium contact in the lineup, all of Ryan NodaZack GelofSeth Brown, and Brent Rooker in the top four spots and Shea Langeliers and (in a small sample) Lawrence Butler have barrel rates in the double-digits and hard-hit rates between 41.9% and 48.5%, there is plenty of power on the right night for Oakland but they are lousy at cashing in the ticket and they have very limited on-base skills. Only three hitters are above average for run creation in this lineup, Noda, Gelof, and Rooker, they are the top three priority hitters in the limited stack with Brown joining as the next man in and the team’s top true power hitter from the left side. Tony KempJonah Bride, and Nick Allen are very low-end mixers late in the lineup.
  • The Mariners are facing lefty Kyle Muller who costs $5,300/$6,200 and projects near the bottom of the board as something of a non-option. Muller has a 15.1% strikeout rate with a 7.28 ERA and 5.30 xFIP over 59.1 innings in 11 starts and he has allowed an 11.5% barrel rate and 3.87% hard hits that play in the Mariners favor.
  • Seattle has a 5.39-run implied total that lands as one of the top spots for runs in Vegas. JP Crawford has a 129 WRC+ with a .382 on-base percentage as a leading shortstop with dynamite correlated scoring value, Julio Rodriguez has hit 23 home runs and stolen 35 bases and has been a gigantic part of the Mariners late-season surge, and Eugenio Suarez is a solid right-handed power bat at third base for $4,500/$2,900. Seattle is cheap for their explosive upside, Suarez has 18 home runs and a 105 WRC+ on the season, Teoscar Hernandez costs just $4,300/$3,100 in the outfield despite 22 home runs and a 109 WRC+ with an improving tripe-slash, and Cal Raleigh is a $4,600/$3,300 catcher option with 25 home runs and a .243 ISO. Raleigh is one of the top options at his position on the DraftKings slate. Ty France has been limited at the plate this year but he is cheap at first base, Dylan MooreJose Caballero, and Brian O’Keefe are mix-in options late in the lineup.

Play: Mariners bats/stacks, Bryan Woo

Update Notes:

Cincinnati Reds (+120/3.80) @ San Francisco Giants (-130/4.29)

  • If he were not working under a 75-80 pitch limitation, Giants rookie lefty Kyle Harrison would be a high-priority value play on this slate. Harrison was doing all he could to break his way out of the box our projections are keeping him in with that limitation, he still lands in the upper-middle of the board against the high-strikeout Reds lineup but he is somewhat difficult to endorse even at $6,900/$6,500. Harrison has a plus-plus fastball and a strong arsenal on the mound, he is widely regarded as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, for a few value darts he is not entirely off the board even with the limitation, Cincinnati is projected at just 3.80 runs for a reason.
  • Reds bats are in play but they are somewhat limited by the Vegas line and the potential for strikeouts from the starter. Noelvi Marte boucnes to the leadoff role in the projected lineup, the prospect has an 83 WRC+ in his first 28 chances in the Show. Matt McLain and Elly De La Cruz are premium infield options for high prices, they have power and speed with run creation marks sitting at 128 and 90 in their 403 and 310 plate appearances. Spencer Steer has hit 18 homers and stolen 11 bases, his 116 WRC+ is appealing in the middle of the lineup. Christian Encarnacion-Strand has four homers and a 76 WRC+ and has yet to fully arrive at this level but has a significant pedigree from his performances in the minors, and Nick Senzel slots into the lineup as a cheap option ahead of a weak bottom end of Tyler StephensonTJ Hopkins, and Luke Maile.
  • The Reds have Andrew Abbott on the mound, the rookie lefty has a 26.8% strikeout rate with a 3.16 ERA but a 4.48 xFIP in 85.1 innings and 15 starts this season, he has been a bit up and down overall and is typically limited to six innings or less on the mound, but he is pulling a strong projection nonetheless. Abbott is facing a Giants team that has a 23.9% strikeout rate in the split against lefties, there is appeal for $9,800/$10,300 but there are more proven options who will work deeper into their respective starts at that level of salary on this slate as well.
  • Austin Slater leads off against lefties, he has a 104 WRC+ and limited appeal for cheap pricing, Thairo Estrada has mid-range power and speed on the bases with a 104 WRC+ as well, and Wilmer Flores leads the team with a 143 WRC+ and 19 home runs. JD Davis slots in with right-handed pop but he has slid badly in the second-half and sits at .246/.323/.406 with a 102 WRC+ and 15 homers. Patrick Bailey has six home runs and a 93 WRC+, Paul DeJong has right-handed power for cheap pricing at shortstop, Heliot RamosCasey Schmitt, and Luis Matos are pushing value in the direction of Abbott.

Play: Andrew Abbott, Kyle Harrison value darts but the innings probably won’t be enough

Update Notes: 

Arizona Diamondbacks (+128/3.96) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (-138/4.63)

  • Righty Bobby Miller has a 3.86 ERA and 4.00 xFIP with a 22.2% strikeout rate in 81.2 innings and 15 starts in his rookie season. Miller is a talented starter but he projects only into the middle of the board against a tough low-strikeout Diamondbacks team for $8,800/$8,500 tonight. Miller is a good option but he is not priced as a value play, landing somewhere in the middle at what we will hope is low popularity.
  • Priority Diamondbacks hitters include Ketel MarteCorbin Carroll, and Tommy Pham who all offer positive WRC+ marks, power, and speed in the top three spots. Christian Walker has 28 home runs and a low strikeout rate, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has 20 long balls and a 103 WRC+ over 476 plate appearances and also rarely strikes out, and the bottom of the lineup includes a mix of playable value options. Alek ThomasGabriel MorenoJace Peterson, and Geraldo Perdomo all offer MLB DFS scoring skills in a not-great matchup tonight.
  • Righty Zac Gallen has been very good all season, he has a 3.11 ERA and 3.43 xFIP with a 26.8% strikeout rate and walks just 5.1% with a 2.40% home run rate despite some premium contact. Gallen does not project overly well in our model against the Dodgers in this start, however, which lower his appeal at a hefty $10,500/$10,700 price tag.
  • Los Angeles hitters are not an automatic even in lineups that avoid Gallen, he is more than talented enough to shut down even their high-end bats. Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman are high-cost high-prioritiy bats anytime one stacks Dodgers. Will Smith is a leading catcher option on any given slate, Max Muncy has a 10.82 in our home run model but Smith is at 12.05 to lead the team in this matchup. David Peralta has appeal for a discount, as do fellow lefty outfielders James Outman and Jason Heyward late in the lineup, and Michael Busch joins Miguel Rojas as a low-end mixer from the end of the projected batting order.

Play: Zac Gallen, Dodgers bats/stacks, Bobby Miller, Diamondbacks bats/stacks, all as mid-level options

Update Notes: 

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