MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Keys & Live Show Link – Friday 9/1/23

The Friday slate features a massive 14-game slate with a wealth of pitching and several premium spots for bats. Overall, the slate is heavily slanted in the direction of pitching, only three teams land above a 5.0-run implied total in Vegas and half of the teams on the board are carrying totals of 4.3 runs or lower, with 10 of those below 4.0. There are outlier spots for offense like the Blue Jays at a 7.24-run implied total in Coors Field, the Braves against anyone, the Red Sox, Orioles, and even the Marlins against Jake Irvin are looking like reasonable sources of offense. The Tigers are pulling in strong home run marks and a fair run total in the middle of the board as an interesting low-cost low-popularity option and there is a wide swath of teams in the middle, all of which are facing good pitchers.

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 – 9/1/23

Miami Marlins (-164/4.83) @ Washington Nationals (+150/3.78)

  • Nationals starter Jake Irvin ranks in the lower third of the pitching pool tonight for $6,100/$7,800 against a Marlins lineup that is pulling in a 4.83-run implied total that ranks fifth on the large slate. Irvin looks more targetable with bats on the large slate than he is a value option, even at the dart throw price on DraftKings the slate has such depth that he is not necessary. The righty has a 4.30 ERA with an ugly 5.12 xFIP under the surface and a limited 18.8% strikeout rate with 9.2% walks, he has also allowed a 4.02% home run rate on 10.2% barrels.
  • Miami may be without banged up Jorge Soler once again tonight, the powerhouse outfielder is dealing with hip soreness, if he plays he is a top priority bat in stacks of Marlins. Soler has 35 home runs and a .274 ISO and he costs $5,300/$3,300. Luis Arraez should be in the leadoff spot ahead of Soler with some combination of Josh BellJazz Chisholm Jr., and Jake Burger from 3-5 if Soler plays and 2-4 if he sits. Arraez is a premium leadoff hitter with excellent correlated scoring ability ahead of the team’s high-end power. All of Bell, Chisholm, and Burger can mash on the right day, Bell has 19 home runs, Chisholm hit his 14th last night in just 280 plate appearances, he has a .205 ISO and 100 WRC+ on the season, and Burger has 28 on the year with a .275 ISO after also getting on last night. Bryan De La Cruz and Jesus Sanchez are playable outfielders for cheap prices, Sanchez is particularly inexpensive on both sites at $2,800/$2,400 given his power potential from the left side. Joey Wendle and Nick Fortes are low-end mixers from the last two spots. The Marlins rank seventh overall on the projections board with a third-ranked FanDuel points-per-dollar mark and the fourth-best value spot on DraftKings and they sit eighth for home run potential, this is a high-priority night for Miami.
  • The Nationals are facing outstanding young righty Eury Perez who has been excellent in his two most recent starts after scuffling somewhat in his first two outings after returning to the Show in early August. Perez struck out 10 of 20 Dodgers at Los Angeles on the 19th, shutting out the powerful squad on two hits over 6.0 innings. In his most recent start, Perez limited this very Nationals squad to one unearned run on three hits while striking out seven of 21 hitters in 6.0 innings on just 76 pitches, he has a similar ceiling on this slate. Perez will be kept to a fairly tight pitch count once again, but he clearly has a path to six outstanding innings regardless, he is in play for $8,800/$9,600.
  • Washington hitters are a low-priority stack with Perez’s ace-like stuff on the mound. The righty has a 30.4% strikeout rate with a 2.68 ERA and 3.79 xFIP in his 74 innings, though he has given up 3.38% home runs on 9.9% barrels. CJ Abrams has value at shortstop in the leadoff role for this team, the lefty has a 90 WRC+ overall but he is above-average for run creation in the leadoff spot and he comes cheap at the position. Lane Thomas is dealing with an injury and may not play, he was out of the lineup last night, if he goes he is one of the team’s top bats with a leading 20 home runs and 17 stolen bases and a 114 WRC+. Joey Meneses has a 103 WRC+ with 11 home runs and a good triple-slash, Keibert Ruiz has 16 home runs with a 9.5% strikeout rate and 6.3% walk rate, he is constantly putting the ball in play as a fairly-priced catcher, and Carter Kieboom is interesting from the sixth spot in the projected batting order. Dominic Smith has done very little at the plate in extended chances in his career at this point, he does not have much upside but is playable in stacks, Jake AluIldemaro Vargas, and Jacob Young are limited late-lineup options.

Play: Marlins bats/stacks, Eury Perez

Update Notes: 

Tampa Bay Rays (-174/4.61) @ Cleveland Guardians (+159/3.49)

  • Cleveland starter Cal Quantrill has a 12.4% strikeout rate over his 67 innings and 13 starts this season. The righty has pitched to a 6.45 ERA and 5.38 xFIP, he is not a strong option even at $5,300/$6,900 against Tampa Bay tonight.
  • The Rays have a good mid-board run total in Vegas, Quantrill is a targetable pitcher, and there are strong projections showing for several Rays hitters in the home run model with the team landing sixth overall by points and similarly for value on both sites. Yandy Diaz is the most expensive Rays hitter at $5,600 on DraftKings, he is second to Randy Arozarena on FanDuel at $3,700 but he picks up third base eligibility in addition to his first base positioning on the blue site. Diaz has a 53.9% hard-hit rate with a 16.2% strikeout rate and he has created runs 58% better than average this season. Brandon Lowe has an 8.07 in the home run model with 17 on the board in 358 plate appearances, his .208 ISO and 114 WRC+ from the left side are highly appealing in this matchup against the limited Quantrill. Arozarena is a $5,500/$3,800 star in the outfield, the toolsy multi-category player has 21 home runs and 20 stolen bases and he has created runs 32% better than average this season. Isaac Paredes has 27 home runs and a .251 ISO in 466 plate appearances, Josh Lowe has been very good over 400 plate appearances this year with a .286/.328/.505 triple-slash, 18 home runs, and 26 stolen bases, and rookie Osleivis Basabe has filled in admirably for cheap prices over 52 plate appearances. Vidal BrujanLuke Raley, and Rene Pinto round out the projected Rays lineup, Raley is by far the most interesting, he has 18 home runs and 13 steals with a 136 WRC+ and .256 ISO in 358 plate appearances this season.
  • Tyler Glasnow is one of the leading pitchers on the slate, he ranks at the very top of the board by projections but he is also the most expensive starter on both sites. Glasnow is facing a Cleveland team that suddenly decided to gear up for a September run after selling a few weeks ago at the trade deadline, but all of their acquisitions were on the mound, their lineup is the same limited bunch that we have seen for some time. Glasnow has a 32.6% strikeout rate over 86.2 innings and 15 starts this season, and he is pitching to a 3.12 ERA and a sparkling 2.90 xFIP. The righty has allowed a 13.9% barrel rate that is far too high, but he has managed to keep home runs to just 2.86% despite 48.1% hard hits and 90.8 mph of exit velocity because things come off the bat on an average launch angle of just 5.6 degrees. Glasnow is an outstanding starter against a fairly low-end lineup, Cleveland is typically good at limiting strikeouts but there are a few more targetable hitters in this version of the batting order, there is clear upside even at his high prices.
  • Steven Kwan is creating runs one percent better than the league average, he has been mostly low-end all season and is getting on base at a .337 clip for $3,500/$2,800. Jose Ramirez has a 9.62 in our home run model with 21 on the season and 22 stolen bases, he is the team’s top priority hitter for $5,700/$3,500 at third base. Kole Calhoun has three home runs in his 87 plate appearances this year, the lefty has a .182 ISO with a 36.5% hard-hit rate and a declining triple-slash. Calhoun is a cheap lefty power bat and not much more. Ramon Laureano is an odd fit as a cleanup hitter, he has eight home runs and a .152 ISO in 319 chances with an 87 WRC+ this season. Andres Gimenez has 12 homers and 22 steals and is still a threat for fantasy points, he is probably still the second-best option in this lineup at $3,800/$2,700 at second base. Will Brennan has a 79 WRC+ in 375 chances this year, Gabriel Arias has eight home runs that came both cheap and low-owned in his 266 plate appearances but he sits 19% below average for run creation and has a 33.1% strikeout rate. Bo Naylor has seven home runs in 158 plate appearances with a .204 ISO, he has obvious power at the plate but he is also a high-strikeout player as a cheap catcher. Myles Straw is a lousy MLB DFS option.

Play: Tyler Glasnow, Rays bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Seattle Mariners (-108/3.83) @ New York Mets (-100/3.75)

  • Righty Kodai Senga has been very good in his first MLB season, one of the few bright spots for the Mets this year. Senga has a 3.17 ERA and 3.76 xFIP to go with a terrific 28.5% strikeout rate, though his walks sit at an ugly 11.1% for the season. That mark has come down slightly in recent weeks, Senga loses hitters when fishing for strikeouts with his filthy splitter, but he has a 12.8% swinging-strike rate and has proven adept at pitching his way out of trouble and booking fairly clean innings despite the free passes. Senga has allowed just 2.09% home runs on 5.8% barrels this season, he is a high-end starter facing a very high-strikeout Mariners team that lacks much patience at the plate. Senga projects in the upper third of the pitching pool for $10,400/$9,600, he looks like a very good option on the DraftKings slate in particular but is a strong option on both sites.
  • Mariners hitters are on the board for sheer talent, but they rank 20th on a 28-team slate by fantasy points and lower by points-per-dollar value while sitting 12th for home run potential. JP Crawford is a terrific option for correlated scoring from the shortstop position. Crawford gets on base at a .385 clip ahead of Julio Rodriguez who costs $6,400/$4,500 as the team’s star. Rodriguez is up to .286/.346/.482 with a .196 ISO and 24 home runs while stealing 35 bases in 584 chances this year, he has fully rescued his sophomore season during the team’s second-half surge. Eugenio Suarez has 18 home runs and a .154 ISO in a down season for power, he hit 31 home runs each of the last two years but still wields a dangerous bat at the plate for $4,700/$2,900. Cal Raleigh and Teoscar Hernandez have significant power upside but they strike out at rates of 28.2% and 30.8% respectively and Suarez is at 30% immediately in front of them. Ty France and Dominic Canzone strike out less and provide decent hit tools to reset the table for the bottom of the lineup, France has a 107 WRC+ with 10 home runs in 553 chances, and Canzone is at just 86 in his 123 but he has stout contact numbers in a 9.6% barrel rate and 41.5% hard-hit rate in his early career that we prefer to make the focus. Mike Ford has 13 low-owned inexpensive home runs from the left side this season, he has created runs 27% better than average in his 191 plate appearances while barreling 18.3% of his batted-ball events. Josh Rojas is affordable with upside for moderate power and speed in the infield for $3,700/$3,000.
  • Logan Gilbert is a premium option on the mound on the other side of this contest in what should be a good pitching duel that limits both stacks. Gilbert is a high-end righty who has a 3.66 ERA and 3.71 xFIP on the season while striking out 24.7% and walking just 4.5% over 155 innings and 26 starts. Gilbert has the top-heavy Mets lineup checked to just 3.75 runs, he has given up a bit of power with a 3.55% home run rate on 8.9% barrels and 90.5 mph of exit velocity this season but only one hitter in the Mets lineup is projected over the “magic number” for power.
  • Outside of Pete Alonso’s 11.58, none of the Mets are looking overly strong in the home run model tonight. Alonso has 39 long balls with a .294 ISO this season, Francisco Lindor hits second and is second on the team with 24 homers, he also has 24 stolen bases and a 119 WRC+ as a good value at shortstop, and Brandon Nimmo gets on base consistently ahead of him and has 19 home runs of his own. Nimmo, Lindor, and Alonso are the team’s top priority hitters, contact-oriented Jeff McNeil typically slots in between Lindor and Alonso in this configuration, he has a 95 WRC+ in 550 plate appearances and is having a poor overall season at the plate but he fills two positions for cheap prices and correlates directly with Alonso. Daniel Vogelbach and DJ Stewart have stout left-handed power bats with strong contact marks but limited overall output. Francisco Alvarez has 21 home runs but he has continued to slide across the board over the past month, he is a cheap catcher as a power dart throw in this matchup. Ronny Mauricio is making his Mets debut, he is a $2,000/$2,500 option at shortstop and one of the top organizational prospects. Mauricio has power and speed at the plate, he was slashing .292/.346/.506 with 23 home runs and 24 stolen bases in 532 chances in AAA this season and had very similar numbers in AA over a similarly full sample last year. Brett Baty is also projected to make his return to the lineup, he is another highly regarded young player but he struggled in 311 plate appearances earlier in the season before a demotion back to the minors.

Play: Logan Gilbert, Kodai Senga, only minor/low-end shares of either lineup

Update Notes: 

Minnesota Twins (+138/3.65) @ Texas Rangers (-150/4.45)

  • Max Scherzer has the Twins limited to a 3.65-run implied team total and he projects second overall on the pitching board tonight for $11,000 on both sites. Scherzer comes slightly cheaper than Tyler Glasnow and he projects within a negligible margin of points for the money in an arguably better matchup for a ceiling score. Scherzer is facing a projected Twins lineup that has a collective 28.2% strikeout rate this season. Minnesota has been good for run creation against righties this season, the active roster has a 111 WRC+ and a .185 ISO in the split and Scherzer has given up an odd amount of power this year with a 4.44% home run rate, but the model sides strongly with the pitcher’s strikeout upside. Scherzer has a 28.6% strikeout rate with 13.4% swinging-strikes and a 28.6% CSW% all of which are down somewhat from last season while still remaining strong. The righty has been a bit unreliable this year, but his ceiling is significant in this matchup and he has a 3.71 ERA and 3.94 xFIP that are non-tragic. Scherzer is a premium pitching option on a deep slate.
  • Minnesota hitters rank 15th by fantasy points but they have good points-per-dollar marks on both sites while sitting 14th out of 28 teams by home run potential in the matchup. Edouard Julien has hit 11 home runs in 302 rookie plate appearances, he has a .187 ISO and 134 WRC+ on the season with a 13% barrel rate and 43.8% hard hits for $3,500/$2,800 at second base. Jorge Polanco and Carlos Correa both offer power from the middle infield, with Polanco adding third base eligibility on both sites. Polanco has 10 home runs and a 119 WRC+ with a .196 ISO in 254 plate appearances and a long track record of power, and Correa has 16 home runs with a .170 ISO and 91 WRC+ in a down season but checks in for just $4,200/$2,900 at shortstop. Max Kepler has 21 home runs to lead the team, the eighth and ninth hitters in the lineup are tied for second with 20. Kepler is also the team’s best option for limiting strikeouts at 21.4%, he has a 120 WRC+ with a .235 ISO in a good season from the left side of the plate and his 7.64 leads the Twins in tonight’s home run model. Royce Lewis and Matt Wallner have been productive options with a 141 and 135 WRC+ respectively in 161 and 164 plate appearances, they are both cheap with Lewis filling third base on DraftKings for $4,200 and shortstop or third base in a crowded FanDuel infield for the Twins. Wallner is an inexpensive outfielder with 10 home runs and a .273 ISO from the left side in just 164 plate appearances. Christian Vazquez is a low-end mixer at catcher, Joey Gallo has a massive 43.5% strikeout rate but also walks at a 14.6% clip and has 20 home runs with a .260 ISO on 18.8% barrels and 54.1% hard hits. Michael A. Taylor has 20 home runs and 13 stolen bases in an underappreciated season from the bottom of the lineup, he costs just $2,500/$2,900 and is never popular.
  • Texas is facing righty Joe Ryan in what looks like one of several excellent pitching duels on this slate. Ryan has a 29.3% strikeout rate and a 4.33 ERA with a 3.77 xFIP and he has walked only five percent of opposing hitters this season. He has induced a 14.1% swinging-strike rate but has allowed too much premium contact with a 4.79% home run rate coming on eight percent barrels and a 41.8% hard-hit rate with an average launch angle of 20.6 degrees, when Ryan makes mistakes they tend to fly great distances. Overall, this is a very good pitcher in a not-great matchup with a deep lineup but Ryan comes at value pricing on DraftKings for just $8,600 and he easily projects well enough to be in play for $9,900 on the blue site. Ryan is an upper-half option in the pitching pool and he has a high ceiling.
  • Marcus Semien and Corey Seager are always good options at their positions, the double-play partners are elite hitters atop the Texas lineup, they both limit strikeouts extremely well while hitting for power, getting on base, and creating runs with regularity to lead the team, they are expensive but important options in stacks of Rangers hitters and either can be utilized as a one-off on most slates. Seager has a team-leading 11.57 in our home run model tonight with cleanup hitter Adolis Garcia also over the “magic number” at 10.92. Nathaniel Lowe slots in between the two high-octane options, he has a steady triple-slash and a 127 WRC+ over 598 plate appearances but costs just $4,600/$3,300 as a continually discounted first baseman on both sites. Garcia has 32 home runs and a 122 WRC+ with a .246 ISO on 15.3% barrels and 50% hard hits for the season, he is an excellent outfield selection on most slates and he has power potential against Ryan tonight. Mitch Garver and Jonah Heim are high-end power-hitting catcher options, Garver has 13 quick home runs in just 235 plate appearances and a .239 ISO on 15.2% barrels and 47.6% hard hits this season, and Heim has 15 homers with a 109 WRC+ but took longer to get to the counting stats with 402 plate appearances in the books, both catchers are playable or they can be mixed and matched. Travis Jankowski has a good hit tool and speed, Ezequiel Duran is cheap for his upside, he has a 115 WRC+ with 14 home runs and a still-strong triple-slash on the season despite cooling along with fellow late-lineup option Leody Taveras who is down to a 94 WRC+ but still has playability for cheap pricing.

Play: Max Scherzer, Joe Ryan, Rangers bats/stacks as a mid-level option, Twins value stacks in smaller mix-in doses

Update Notes: 

Boston Red Sox (-174/5.47) @ Kansas City Royals (+159/4.15)

  • Kansas City righty Jordan Lyles has a 6.51 ERA and 5.42 xFIP with a 16% strikeout rate and a 5.45% home run rate in 142.1 innings and 25 starts this season, he is not a good option even at $5,500/$6,800 against the firepower that the Red Sox are bringing to town. Boston has a 5.47-run implied team total that ranks second on the board for a reason.
  • The Red Sox are a high-priority stack on this slate, they should be popular but it will be well-earned and deserved if that is the case, Lyles is a target of a pitcher and Boston has several very high-end options in the lineup. Alex Verdugo has 12 home runs with a 108 WRC+ in his 525 plate appearances, he has been a bit up and down at the plate this season but his strikeout rate sits at an excellent 14.9% and he is very good for correlated scoring. Rafael Devers is our overall home run pick for the day at 15.60 in the model, he has a 12.5% barrel rate and 52.3% hard hits with 29 homers and a .238 ISO this season. The third baseman is a bargain at $5,600/$3,800 in this matchup, he is one of the top priority hitters on both sites tonight. Justin Turner is a terrific option at first base on DraftKings for $4,800 and he fits at first or third base for $3,500 on FanDuel, but he is a decision point with other key hitters in the Red Sox lineup as Devers fits in at third base while Triston Casas is a power-hitting masher at first base. Turner rotates with either player effectively, his .287/.357/.488 triple-slash and .201 ISO with 22 home runs are excellent for MLB DFS purposes and he is affordable for the output. Masataka Yoshida has created runs 16% better than average for the season, he has mid-range power and a very strong hit-tool while striking out just 12.3% of the time and putting the ball in play with authority regularly. Adam Duvall has blasted 18 home runs in just 274 chances this season, his ISO sits at an impressive .317 on 13.5% barrels and he costs just $4,900/$3,200. Duvall is notably inexpensive on the FanDuel slate, which is also the case for both Casas and Trevor Story. Casas has 21 home runs and a .226 ISO with a 129 WRC+ in a fantastic rookie season and Story has made excellent contact with a 13.3% barrel rate and 48.9% hard hits but limited statistical returns since rejoining the lineup 76 plate appearances ago. Reese McGuire is a cheap mixer of a catcher and Luis Urias has underrated power for very cheap pricing but he has not been good at all this season in 134 chances.
  • Kansas City is facing a good pitcher, lefty James Paxton has a very good projection in the upper-middle portion of the board for just $7,500/$8,800 tonight with a fair shot at a ceiling score. Paxton has a 3.99 ERA and 3.90 xFIP with a 25.2% strikeout rate in 94.2 innings and 18 starts this season. The southpaw has allowed a bit of power with a 3.99% home run rate on 8.6% barrels and 39% hard hits but he looks like a good selection on the mound, particularly for the fair SP2-level price that he slots in for on the two-pitcher site. Paxton gains ground by facing a Royals team that sits 28th in baseball with a collective 87 WRC+ against lefties this season, and they have a 23.9% strikeout rate with just a .143 ISO in the split. Paxton has declined as the season has gone along, his strikeout rate in August was just 17.6% with a 4.84 xFIP in 24.2 innings in his worst month of the season, but he has upside at what could be lower ownership than he deserves for the pricing.
  • Royals hitters are fairly low-priority, Paxton has been in decline and he has allowed power but the Royals lineup is lousy with only three hitters above the waterline for run creation and one of those yet to reach 100 plate appearances. Maikel Garcia has been 13% below average for run creation despite stealing 19 bases and posting a decent triple-slash with a 50% hard-hit rate. Bobby Witt Jr. has 27 home runs and 38 stolen bases with a 116 WRC+ and a .225 ISO, he is by far the team’s best player but he is pricey at $6,100/$4,000. Salvador Perez has been limited to 19 home runs and a .166 ISO with an 83 WRC+ in a lousy season at the plate for the formerly high-power catcher. Nelson Velazquez has a 120 WRC+ but he has made just 86 plate appearances. The right-handed outfielder has eight quick home runs on 17.2% barrels in the tiny sample and he costs $3,000/$2,900. Freddy Fermin is above average for run creation at 112 WRC+ in 212 plate appearances, he has a good slash line and nine home runs. Samad Taylor, Drew WatersNick Loftin, and Dairon Blanco round out the low-end Royals lineup in a fairly bad matchup for cheap pricing, they are all below-average mix-ins, though Loftin has a well-regarded hit tool as a recent call-up.

Play: Red Sox bats/stacks, James Paxton

Update Notes: 

Philadelphia Phillies (-110/3.85) @ Milwaukee Brewers (+102/3.73)

  • Yet another excellent pitching matchup will have Freddy Peralta facing Zack Wheeler in Milwaukee tonight. Peralta has been excellent this season and particularly in the second-half, he has a 3.95 ERA and 3.65 xFIP over 25 starts and 139 innings for the year and he is one of the best options on the slate for strikeouts. Peralta has a 30.6% strikeout rate with a phenomenal 14.5% swinging-strike rate and 29.7% CSW% but he has walked a few too many at 9.2% and he has allowed a bit of unexpected premium contact this year. Peralta had a 1.89% home run rate on 31.3% hard hits last year and a 2.41% rate on 31.1% hard hits the year before and he kept barrels to 3.5% and 6.0% respectively. This season he has allowed an OK 3.46% home run rate on 8.2% barrels and 37.1% hard hits. None of those marks is bad but they clearly represent a bit of a dip in power allowed for the season, making Peralta a bit more unreliable in a few of his outings this year. Overall, this is an excellent pitching option tonight.
  • The Phillies are carrying just a 3.85-run implied total and none of their hitters land above the “magic number” for home runs. Even left-handed masher Kyle Schwarber slips below the line at a still-good 8.69 in the model tonight, he has 37 homers and a .267 ISO on 15.6% barrels this season, if anyone can deliver a long ball against Peralta this is our man. Trea Turner has been on a roll in a late effort to reclaim a respectable stat-line for the season, he is at the league average with a 100 WRC+ and he now has 19 home runs with 23 stolen bases and a .179 ISO. The shortstop is not overly cheap at $5,900/$3,800 but if his talent is roaring back to life he is still slightly discounted on both sites. Bryce Harper has a 144 WRC+ to lead the team and he is up to 15 home runs as his power has come back online of late. Nick Castellanos has a 108 WRC+ with 22 home runs to sit second on the hard-hitting team. Bryson Stott and Alec Bohm have both been excellent this season, the infielders have very strong slash lines with WRC+ marks at 111 and 109 and healthy home run totals. Stott has 14 homers and adds 25 stolen bases while Bohm checks in with 15 homers in 498 opportunities. JT Realmuto has an 11.2% barrel rate with 15 home runs and 12 stolen bases as a premium catcher in a deep lineup against a good pitcher. Brandon Marsh has been quietly excellent over 389 plate appearances this year. The left-handed outfielder comes cheap at $3,400/$2,800 for a player who has created runs 31% better than average with a 48.9% hard-hit rate. Marsh is better for correlated scoring than individual production but he is a very sound wraparound option, which is not the case for Jake Cave, who is simply a cheap mixer.
  • Zack Wheeler has a 3.59 ERA and a 3.47 xFIP in another very strong season on the mound. Wheeler has struck out 27% of opposing hitters while limiting power to 2.31% home runs on 5.3% barrels and 36.3% hard hits. The righty has a minuscule 4.8% walk rate and a 1.08 WHIP and he induces a 12.9% swinging-strike rate while typically working deep into games. Wheeler has thrown 158 innings in 26 starts this season and he is part of a multi-way tie for fifth with 17 quality starts on the season. Wheeler is a worthwhile investment at $10,600/$10,800 and he is our preferred side of the pitching matchup in this game.
  • Milwaukee bats are a limited option with Wheeler’s acumen for limiting power. Christian Yelich is a priority when stacking this team on any slate. The star outfielder has a 122 WRC+ with 17 home runs and 27 stolen bases and a 50.4% hard-hit rate over 568 opportunities. William Contreras is a high-value catcher early in a lineup, he has 14 homers and a good triple-slash with a 122 WRC+ in 479 chances at the plate. Carlos Santana is up to 18 home runs with a 95 WRC+ in 507 plate appearances, he has been up and down this season but he comes cheap at $3,600/$2,800. Santana is a power-focused switch hitter who Wheeler’s talent is limiting to just a 3.58 in our home run model tonight. Sal Frelick has a 113 WRC+ in a small sample, Willy Adames has 21 homers in 520 plate appearances with an 87 WRC+ while Rowdy Tellez follows with 13 home runs and an 84 WRC+ in 309 chances in the fifth and sixth spots, and Mark Canha is playable for a low price from the seventh spot in the projected batting order. Canha has eight home runs and a 106 WRC+ for just $2,600/$2,400 but he is a low priority hitter overall. Brice Turang and Andruw Monasterio are mix-in options with below-average output for the season but OK counting stats in a bad matchup for hitters.

Play: Zack Wheeler, Freddy Peralta, only hedge/contrarian positions of bats in small doses with Phillies strongly preferred

Update Notes: 

New York Yankees (+156/3.51) @ Houston Astros (-170/4.58)

  • On the same day that his former Mets counterpart Max Scherzer is second on the slate, righty Justin Verlander lands just in the middle of the board, but still with a strong projection on a deep slate, against the scuffling Yankees. Verlander has had a rocky season with a lot of rust showing late in his career. The righty has a 21.4% strikeout rate and a 3.06 ERA with a more honest 4.59 xFIP this year. Verlander has not been bad for premium contact, his home run rate sits at just 2.14% on 6.7% barrels and 38.6% hard hits this season but his strikeout numbers are way down year over year and the added contact could feed into the idea of Yankees power. Overall, Verlander is the clearly better side of the equation, but the Yankees are interesting with some reinforcements joining the team from the minors tonight.
  • The debuts of top Yankees prospects comes at an odd time, they are too late to rescue a playoff run and they are debuting against one of the best pitchers of the previous generation, but they are both high-end prospects who have been mashing in the minors. Catcher Austin Wells slots in ninth in the projected lineup, he is a $2,400 option on FanDuel but so far does not appear on the DraftKings slate. Wells began the season in A-ball, he spent most of his time at AA, with 263 plate appearances and 11 home runs with a 107 WRC+ at that level. He had another five homers and a 99 WRC+ with a .198 ISO in 146 chances after a promotion to AAA. Top organizational prospect and long-awaited potential star outfielder Jasson Dominguez will also be making his debut with only the hopes and dreams of Yankees fans worldwide to weigh him down. Dominguez slots in sixth in the projected batting order; the switch-hitting outfielder is priced at just $2,000/$2,500 tonight, he is a strong option when stacking Yankees against Verlander. In 507 plate appearances at AA, Dominguez has 15 home runs and 37 stolen bases with a .254/.367/.414 triple-slash and a 117 WRC+ this season. He had a 179 WRC+ in a brief stop at AAA that saw him make just 37 plate appearances, if things go right he may never return to that level. At the top of the lineup, veteran DJ LeMahieu has had a spotty season at the plate, he has a 100 WRC+ overall with 13 home runs and a bit of life in his bat from time to time, and he is cheap with triple-position eligibility on FanDuel. Aaron Judge is a superstar who is playable in any matchup on any slate on either site. Judge has a .351 ISO on 27.5% barrels and 63.2% hard hits with 29 home runs in just 343 plate appearances this season. Gleyber Torres continues to mash at the plate, he has 23 home runs with a .189 ISO and 121 WRC+ in what has become a terrific season for the still-growing 26-year-old. Giancarlo Stanton has 20 home runs with a .233 ISO but a 94 WRC+, Anthony Volpe will forever overshadow a limited rookie season by being the first-ever Yankees rookie to go 20/20 for the season. He has a 95 WRC+ with a .219/.296/.411 triple-slash over 495 plate appearances. Recent call-up Everson Periera is another top organizational option, he has done very little in 39 plate appearances to this point but he is expected to hit as part of the team’s big internal overhaul. Oswaldo Cabrera is a limited mix-in, Oswald Peraza would be a much better option.
  • The Astros will be facing lefty Carlos Rodon who has missed a great deal of the season with injuries and who has yet to post a truly good start in his eight outings. Rodon almost got there in his most recent appearance, he struck out a season-high seven of the 21 Rays hitters that he faced but he allowed a pair of earned runs on a home run, four total hits, and a pair of walks. Rodon has completed the sixth innings once this season, he has a 20% strikeout rate with a 5.97 ERA and a 5.84 xFIP and he has allowed an ugly 6.06% home run rate in the small sample. He is also facing one of baseball’s very best teams against left-handed pitching. Rodon actually projects surprisingly well in this spot, but we have limited faith in his potential to deliver on what his career track record says he should be doing on the mound tonight. The southpaw costs just $6,700/$7,300, so he is at a reasonable value dart price on both sites, but the Astros create runs 32% better than average collectively against lefties this season while striking out at just a 17.6% clip with a massive .204 ISO. Houston ranks ninth by fantasy point projections and third by home run potential against the limited version of Rodon, but if the guy who used to pitch to a 30+% strikeout rate against even the best teams finally shows up for a night, there is potential for cheap prices on the mound.
  • The Astros are the far more likely side of this mix. Houston’s two premium lefty power hitters do not lose any ground in same-handed matchups, even against a formerly elite lefty like Rodon both Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez look like terrific options in stacks of Astros tonight. The lineup opens, as always, with superstar second baseman Jose Altuve, who has created runs 55% better than average this season with 10 home runs and 13 stolen bases in just 292 chances. Alex Bregman has 22 home runs and a .183 ISO with an OK triple-slash and a 128 WRC+ for $5,500/$3,600 at third base. Alvarez slots in third, he has a .280 ISO with a 51.4% hard-hit rate and 16.6% barrels in his 378 plate appearances in an injury-shortened campaign. Tucker is right behind him in the lineup, he leads the team in both home runs and stolen bases with 26 of each. Both players are expensive on both sites but they are worth the effort in a matchup in which the field may leave the option on the table for misperceptions about the same-handed matchup. Jose Abreu has 11 home runs and a 78 WRC+ in a stabilized but still lousy season. Chas McCormick is a breakout star in the outfield with a 141 WRC+, 19 home runs, and 14 stolen bases, and Yainer Diaz has had similar success with catcher and first base eligibility. Diaz has 19 home runs and a .247 ISO in 323 plate appearances while creating runs 22% better than average, he is a strong positional option. Jeremy Pena and Martin Maldonado are inconsistent mix-ins.

Play: Justin Verlander, Astros bats/stacks, Yankees bats/stacks, Carlos Rodon value darts that almost definitely won’t work

Update Notes: 

Detroit Tigers (-130/4.56) @ Chicago White Sox (+120/4.04)

  • Righty Touki Toussaint slots in at an appealing $6,000/$7,000 price tag with an unappealing stat line for the season but an excellent matchup against the Tigers. Toussaint has a 4.85 ERA and an uglier 5.13 xFIP with a 1.50 WHIP and a wildly unsustainable 16.7% walk rate. His 22% strikeout rate would be fine if he limited free passes even to 10% but his output this season has been awful for the most part. Toussaint has allowed a 3.03% home run rate and he limits launch angle and barrels somewhat effectively but he has been more of a target for bats throughout the season. For the value pricing, it is OK to throw a few darts in Toussaint’s direction, but the Tigers’ improved lineup is showing potential tonight.
  • Detroit is still carrying a low overall projection at 23rd on the stacks board, with several lousy hitters dragging down the average, but their sixth-ranked home run potential is a clear sign of upside and Toussaint is an easily drawn target. Akil Baddoo has mid-range pop and a bit of speed in the outfield for just $3,000/$2,700 but he has produced only an 85 WRC+ in 296 chances this year. Riley Greene is the team’s best overall hitter, the lefty looks like a strong buy tonight for $4,800/$2,800 in the outfield. Greene has an 11.4% barrel rate with 46.4% hard hits, 11 home runs, and a 118 WRC+ in 413 plate appearances. Spencer Torkelson has a 9.93 in tonight’s home run model, he has 24 on the season with a .205 ISO and  103 WRC+ and people still think he is a bust. Kerry Carpenter has an 11.3% barrel rate with 45.5% hard hits and 20 home runs in just 341 plate appearances, the lefty masher is a high-priority bat in the Detroit stack tonight. Zach McKinstry is cheap and he fills both middle infield spots on DraftKings and has eligibility at second, third, and in the outfield on the blue site for only $2,300. McKinstry has eight home runs but only an 87 WRC+ in 438 plate appearances from the left side, his 33.6% hard-hit rate is uninspiring as well. Matt Vierling has an 88 WRC+ but he fills third base or the outfield for only $3,700 as an OK mixer on DraftKings, he is a $2,400 outfielder as more of a cheap spare part on FanDuel. Parker Meadows is potentially a better outfield option on both sites, he has a 144 WRC+ in his first 40 plate appearances with a homer and two stolen bases for $3,200/$3,300 from the left side. Javier Baez has been bad all year, he has a 57 WRC+ and is dragging down an interesting group of young hitters. Jake Rogers is very inconsistent at the plate but the cheap catcher has a .223 ISO and 16 home runs in just 295 plate appearances this year.
  • Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez is a compelling option on this slate for $9,400/$9,500 against the limited White Sox. Rodriguez has a 24.3% strikeout rate with a solid 3.21 ERA and 3.86 xFIP over 117.2 innings in 20 starts on the season. Rodriguez hits his typical ups and downs throughout the season but he is an undeniably talented lefty with good strikeout upside in any given start, he has a matchup with an opponent that has been creating runs seven percent below league-average collectively in the split this season while striking out 23.8% of the time with a .144 ISO.
  • The White Sox rank 25th for fantasy points with limited value appeal in this matchup. Luis Robert Jr. is the team’s star and the only player with a decent upside with a 10.64 in our home run model, he excels in the split and has 35 home runs with a .290 ISO on the season. Tim Anderson has been bad all year with a 59 WRC+, Andrew Benintendi is a limited slap-hitter with a 93 WRC+, and Eloy Jimenez has been the team’s second-best bat when healthy. Jimenez slots into the cleanup role, he is cheap at $3,600/$2,800 in the outfield, he has 15 home runs and a .280/.326/.451 slash line, but he is limited to just a 7.60 in the home run model tonight. Yoan Moncada has been lousy for a season and a half but he is cheap at third base, Andrew Vaughn has cheap right-handed pop in a mid-level sense, his 46.1% hard-hit rate is better than his 17 home runs and .173 ISO. Trayce Thompson is a cheap inconsistent power hitter, Lenyn Sosa has a 40 WRC+, and Korey Lee is a minor-league power hitter with no output in 19 opportunities this year in the Show and 26 last year.

Play: Tigers bats/stacks, Eduardo Rodriguez

Update Notes:

Pittsburgh Pirates (-102/4.27) @ St. Louis Cardinals (-106/4.32)

  • Dakota Hudson is cheap for $5,800/$7,700 against the Pirates. The righty has his opponent at 4.27 implied runs in a pick’em game in Vegas. Hudson has pitched to a 4.41 ERA and 4.84 xFIP in his six starts and 49 innings in the Show this season, his 15.6% strikeout rate is fairly unappealing. Despite just a 5.7-degree average launch angle, Hudson has allowed a few too many home runs at a not-tragic 3.32% home run rate on 8.4% barrels and 43.9% hard hits with 90.5 mph of exit velocity. Overall, Hudson is a limited option, but he has an opportunity to chase five or six fairly clean innings and a win bonus as a value dart on the DraftKings SP2 board if nothing else. Hudson has worked into the sixth inning or beyond in four of his last five starts, but he has allowed a handful of runs with limited strikeouts each time.
  • Pirates hitters are a low-ranked option in the matchup, their run total does not push much power or point projections through the model despite Hudson’s limitations. Ji-Hwan Bae has speed but a limited hit tool and no power, his 71 WRC+ is not appealing atop the lineup. Bryan Reynolds has 19 home runs and 10 stolen bases with a 111 WRC+ in 521 somewhat limited for his star-caliber reputation opportunities. Andrew McCutchen is a correlated scoring option with his ability to get to first base, Joshua Palacios has a 65 WRC+ with six home runs in 210 chances, Ke’Bryan Hayes has a very good contact profile and limits strikeouts effectively, he is a sturdy bat for a fair price in the heart of the lineup. Endy Rodriguez has cheap rookie power behind the plate, Jack Suwinski is the team’s best power option with 22 home runs and a .238 ISO, but he has a limited 5.13 in tonight’s home run model as the team’s leader but a low-ranked overall option. Liover Peguero is cheap with clear talent late in the lineup, he has six home runs nad four steals in 116 opportunities. Alfonso Rivas is limited with an 88 WRC+ on the season.
  • The Pirates will have roller coaster righty Mitch Keller on the mound to shake things up in a pitching pool that was already way too deep. Keller slots in with a solid projection around the middle of the board, but he is difficult to trust on the whole, in a similar way to how the Cardinals lineup is difficult to rely on for MLB DFS (or NL Central wins) on the other side. Keller has a 4.01 ERA and 3.71 xFIP with a 25.8% strikeout rate this season. He has been very good in a run of three recent starts in which he worked 6, 6, and eight innings, with seven, 12, and six strikeouts while limiting runs and not allowing a home run. Prior to that he had been on a run of five or six ineffective and concerning starts in typically frustrating Mitch Keller form. For $8,000, Keller is easily playable on DraftKings in both roles, he slots in as a high-cost high-risk low-confidence option at a full $10,500 on the FanDuel slate, he will almost certainly be low-owned on that site.
  • St. Louis is expected to get Lars Nootbaar back from injury. The inexpensive lefty outfielder is a good option in the leadoff role, he has mid-range power and speed with good on-base skills ahead of the team’s stars. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are the top priorities in this lineup on the corner infield spots, they have 22 and 26 home runs respectively with a 128 and 117 WRC+ on the season. Nolan Gorman drops a powerful left-handed bat in between the two veteran stars, he has 24 home runs of his own this season with a .238 ISO and 116 WRC+ in a strong but up-and-down overall year. Willson Contreras is a good catcher option with an OK triple-slash and strong power, Tyler O’Neill has seven home runs in 224 plate appearances but more power than that overall, he is cheap for his ceiling potential. Tommy Edman, Jordan Walker, and Masyn Winn are all playable mix-ins when stacking Cardinals.

Play: Mitch Keller value on DraftKings, minor shares on FanDuel, Cardinals bats/stacks as a mid-level option

Update Notes: 

Toronto Blue Jays (-179/7.25) @ Colorado Rockies (+164/5.40)

  • Rockies starter Chris Flexen is not an option for DFS, the Blue Jays have a 7.25-run implied total as by far the slate-leaders. By the same token, Toronto starter Hyun-Jin Ryu is off the board for our purposes tonight as well, despite his 2.25 ERA. Ryu has a 3.73 xFIP with a limited 20.6% strikeout rate and a 3.09% home run rate in his 24 innings and five starts, he has not been bad but he seems like an unnecessary risk on such a deep slate.
  • Blue Jays stacks should play from 1-9 in essentially any form, though the lineup trails off a bit with defensively-oriented Kevin Kiermaier in the ninth spot. George Springer is a strong option for $5,100/$3,600 in the leadoff role, he has power and speed at the plate even in a down season, Brandon Belt has been the team’s best run creator in his 374 plate appearances with a 132 WRC+, he adds lefty power with 15 home runs as well, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is an underperforming and underpriced star at first base. In a world in which Ronald Acuna Jr. was deservedly priced at $7,000/$5,200 at Coors Field, Guerrero feels cheap at just $5,500/$3,800 despite the clear differences in output this season. Davis Schneider has eligiblity at second base and in the outfield on DraftKings, as does Whit Merrifield, Schneider is only a second baseman on FanDuel but Merrifield maintains dual-eligibility. Both players are good mix-in options, Schneider has hit for power in a small sample, he has six home runs in 57 opportunities and he has been very popular of late. Merrifield has power and speed in a mid-level sense, he is a good option for correlation with Daulton Varsho and Danny Jansen’s power late in the lineup. Ernie Clement has a good hit tool for a cheap price, the Blue Jays are a highly obvious spot today, the decision should be made in a leverage against the field sense prior to building lineups.
  • Rockies hitters of note include leadoff rookie Ezequiel Tovar who can provide counting stats at shortstop for cheap pricing but who has not been good overall with a 76 WRC+ and a 27.1% strikeout rate. Brendan Rodgers has a 41 WRC+ in a limited 84 plate appearances, he hit 13 home runs last year and 15 the season before, he is an OK option at second base. Ryan McMahon has power from the left side with 22 home runs and a .207 ISO but just a 98 WRC+ this season. Elias Diaz and Nolan Jones are good choices when stacking a bad Rockies club against a decent pitcher. Diaz is a cheap catcher with 13 home runs in 445 plate appearances and a 21.3% strikeout rate, and Jones is the team’s best bat with 13 homers and eight stolen bases in his 296 chances while creating runs 15% better than average. Hunter Goodman is a potential source of cheap power, he had 34 home runs in the minors prior to being called up and he has made excellent contact with a 20% barrel rate and 50% hard hits in his 16 chances to this point. Michael Toglia and Elehuris Montero have at least the notion of projectable right-handed power but they have only delivered inconsistent doses so far in their brief careers.

Play: bats bats bats

Update Notes: 

Los Angeles Angels (-134/4.32) @ Oakland Athletics (+124/3.76)

  • An underrated lefty-lefty matchup in pitcher-friendly Oakland could yield slate-relevant scores on either side of this matchup, though Patrick Sandoval is far easier to trust than JP Sears. Sandoval is the visiting starter, he has the hometown Athletics in check at just 3.76 implied runs in Vegas as the clear favorite with his own team at 4.32 runs. Sandoval has a 3.95 ERA with a 4.46 xFIP and a 20% strikeout rate this season. The lefty is typically good at limiting power, he has allowed just 1.83% home runs on 6.7% barrels and 8.4-degrees of launch in 23 starts and 123 innings this season. The Angels’ starter is another pitcher at extremely different price points from site to site tonight, he is a strong SP2 value option on DraftKings for $7,200 and he has value on the FanDuel slate at $9,200 where he will be far less popular. Sears has the much more difficult matchup, he has a 4.80 ERA and a 5.05 xFIP on the season and he has allowed a 5.19% home run rate on 12.4% barrels, he will have to deal with several good power bats if nothing else. The young lefty does have an effective 22.6% strikeout rate and he has not been bad for walks at just 6.2% but he is a limited overall option even at $6,500/$7,600 in this spot.
  • Angels bats are the better side of the matchup with Sears and they are pulling in a fairly good projection against the limited lefty despite the low run total in Vegas, a portion of which is entirely due to the presence of Shohei Ohtani in the lineup. Nolan Schanuel leads off with a solid 139 WRC+ and a 13% strikeout rate in his tiny sample of 46 plate appearances since his call-up after being drafted just this Summer. Luis Rengifo is a cheap and unpopular option with a bit of power near the top of the lineup, he has 14 home runs in 419 chances this season. Ohtani has 44 long balls with a .354 ISO and 180 WRC+ in his run for the MVP Award, he is always an option even for $6,700/$4,400. Brandon Drury and Randal Grichuk survived the lineup purge in Los Angeles, the pair of righty power hitters have 19 and 12 home runs respectively, with a 111 WRC+ for Drury and a 96 for the outfielder. Logan O’Hoppe is an affordable catcher with realistic power potential at the plate, he has a .202 ISO and five home runs in just 98 plate appearances. Eduardo EscobarMickey Moniak, and Kyren Paris round out the projected lineup for the Angels, they are cheap mix-in options with Paris making his debut for $2,000 at shortstop on the DraftKings slate but not appearing on FanDuel.
  • The Athletics are a group of flawed hitters with good premium contact profiles against righties but they are even more limited than usual when facing left-handed pitching. Jonah Bride has a 49 WRC+ in 100 plate appearances with a .283 on-base percentage in the leadoff role, he is a limited but cheap option. Zack Gelof is expensive but productive, he has 10 home runs and nine steals in 177 chances with a 137 WRC+ so far for his career. Carlos Perez is a lousy bat at catcher, Brent Rooker has right-handed power with 22 home runs and a .220 ISO, and then things get truly lousy. Aledmys Diaz has a 69 WRC+, Jordan Diaz is at 93 with nine cheap home runs, Shea Langeliers has an ugly slash line but 16 home runs in 412 chances as another catcher in the projected lineup, Esteury Ruiz is buried in the batting order and he gets on at just a .303 clip but he does have 53 stolen bases this season, and Nick Allen is a weak bat to round things out. If either Ryan Noda or Seth Brown play against the same-handed pitcher they would be better options than most of these hitters.

Play: Patrick Sandoval value on DraftKings, mid-range on FanDuel, Angels bats/stacks, JP Sears value darts in very limited doses

Update Notes: 

Baltimore Orioles (-114/4.92) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (+105/4.69)

  • Veteran righty Zach Davies is not an option on the mound, the Orioles are a fairly high-priority stack against his 6.93 ERA and 4.82 xFIP with 18.2% strikeouts. Davies is non-tragic when it comes to home runs and premium contact, this year he has given up a 2.86% home run rate on 7.5% barrels and 41.5% hard hits with 89.9 mph of exit velocity that we think the Orioles hitters will capitalize on tonight.
  • Catcher Adley Rutschman is a terrific option at his position and in stacks of Orioles hitters, he has created runs 19% better than average while getting on base at a .366 clip with 16 home runs on the season. Gunnar Henderson has a .227 ISO and 121 WRC+ on 10.6% barrels and an excellent 54% hard-hit rate this season. The infielder slots in at third base or shortstop for $5,500/$3,300, he has 22 home runs and a 10.07 in tonight’s home run model. Anthony Santander has a 10.13 for home run upside to lead the team, Ryan Mountcastle is at 9.10 and has a team-leading 13.1% barrel rate for just $4,700/$3,300 at first base as a top-notch value option in a good stack in a great matchup, and Ryan O’Hearn is a cheap source of left-handed pop in the heart of the lineup. O’Hearn has never been as good as he was so far this season, he has already shown a bit of a dip in his triple-slash but he has 11 homers and a .199 ISO and remains inexpensive with eligibility at first base and in the outfield for our purposes. Austin Hays is a reliable right-handed bat for mid-range power and run creation, Cedric Mullins is a 30/30 star for $5,000/$3,300 in the outfield, he is too good to find at low ownership late in a lineup, and Ramon Urias has sneaky power with triple-position eligibility on the FanDuel slate. Adam Frazier is a mix-in who has hit over his head for power so far this season.
  • Lefty Cole Irvin does not look like much of an option for value on the mound tonight with a bottom-third projection against the Diamondbacks. Irvin has a 20.4% strikeout rate over 64 innings and 11 outings, he has pitched to a 4.78 ERA and 4.71 xFIP this season and he has allowed a 10.5% barrel rate. Irvin is targetable with Arizona bats, the team has a mid-level 4.69-run implied total against him, he looks like a bad choice at $5,200/$6,200.
  • Ketel Marte has 21 home runs and a .203 ISO with a 123 WRC+, he is a top-end second baseman for $5,000/$3,400 and his price has declined to a surprising degree. Buddy Kennedy slots in second against lefties lately, he has a 56 WRC+ in 29 chances so far at the plate but he has a fairly strong-seeming hit tool and a bit of power from the right side. Tommy Pham has power and speed for $3,700/$2,800 in the outfield with a 116 WRC+ in a good season, Christian Walker has 28 home runs and a .248 ISO in 551 plate appearances, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. adds another 20 home runs to the pile in his 488 chances, and Evan Longoria has hit 11 in only 195 chances and excels against weak lefties. Corbin Carroll may well climb to his typical second spot in the lineup tonight, he is fine for MLB DFS purposes even at $5,800/$4,000 in a same-handed matchup, this lefty should not give him as many problems as some and he has been on the upswing. Nick Ahmed and Gabriel Moreno are mix-in options, Moreno has cheap catcher appeal with six homers but a 97 WRC+ in 296 chances.

Play: Orioles bats/stacks, Diamondbacks bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

San Francisco Giants (+119/4.05) @ San Diego Padres (-129/4.55)

  • Padres righty Michael Wacha looks like a very strong option on this slate. Wacha checks in with a top-third projection against a limited Giants squad that does have a bit of power on the right night. The righty has a 22% strikeout rate with a 2.84 ERA but a 4.59 xFIP on the season. Wacha has allowed a 2.44% home run rate on just 7.7% barrels with 34.5% hard hits and 87.7 mph of exit velocity, he was less reliable with limiting power in 127.1 innings last year when he allowed a 3.50% home run rate and the season before when he was at 4.36% in 124.2 innings. Wacha costs just $8,300/$9,400 against a projected lineup that has a 27.3% strikeout rate and has been feeding strong scores to similarly talented pitchers, he has clear upside and a path to a ceiling score for fair prices on both sites, he is a clear SP2 value from the mid-range on the two-pitcher site as a high-priority option when foregoing the extreme value SP2s.
  • LaMonte Wade Jr.Joc Pederson, and Mike Yastrzemski are high-priority left-handed bats when stacking Giants hitters, the team ranks fourth overall for home run potential but they are low-ranked overall for points and points-per-dollar in a similar setup to last night, they need to find home runs again in this matchup. All three of the lefties have power, Wade leads off and gets on base with good reliability while the other two are in better run-generation spots and have more raw power at the plate. Thairo Estrada hits second and slots in between the lefties along with fellow righty Mitch Haniger. Estrada is a good infield option with mid-range power and good speed and Haniger is a world-class power hitter when he is fully healthy, which is unfortunately rare. Patrick Bailey is a mix-in catcher option, JD Davis has been in decline but he is playable for cheap salaries, Wade Meckler has a hit tool and speed, and Paul DeJong has been a premium power bat at shortstop and is not done producing at age 30.
  • Righty Tristan Beck costs $5,100/$5,900 but he will probably not work deep into this game and he has limited appeal. Beck has a 21.2% strikeout rate in 71.2 innings of hybrid work with one starting appearance to this point. The righty has a 3.52 ERA and 4.25 xFIP and he has kept power in line with just a 2.39% home run rate on 6.7% barrels, he has San Diego limited to just 10th on our projections board but he is yet to complete five innings this season and seems like a longshot for that tonight.
  • The Padres top-heavy lineup takes typical form with Ha-Seong Kim as a stellar option ahead of the group of stars. Kim has 17 homers and 29 stolen bases with a .369 on-base percentage, he can provide individual scoring or correlate directly with options like Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto in the outfield. Both power-hitting outfielders are star options for high prices who belong in most stacks of Padres hitters. Soto has 25 home runs and is excellent across the board, and Tatis adds speed to his power with 20 homers and 23 stolen bases. Manny Machado has 25 home runs to tie Soto for the team lead, he is still affordable at third base for $5,300/$3,400. Xander Bogaerts is at 15 homers and 13 steals and a 103 WRC+ but he is still keeping his head just above the waterline for run creation for cheap prices at shortstop. Garrett Cooper is an interesting right-handed power bat late in the lineup, he is a better option than lefty Matt Carpenter but not as good as Gary Sanchez for power. Luis Campusano is another playable catcher who may land in one of the bottom spots in the lineup, and Trent Grisham is a mediocre everyday mix-in with a 90 WRC+ in 482 plate appearances.

Play: Michael Wacha, Padres bats/stacks, Giants bats/stacks for value power

Update Notes: 

Atlanta Braves (-122/4.48) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (+113/4.11)

  • The Braves are still slate-leaders for power and projections despite a 4.48-run implied total and a matchup against talented Julio Urias. To the starter’s credit, many other lefties would have the Braves well over 5.0 implied runs in Vegas tonight, so there is some respect for his ability on the mound, but Atlanta’s lineup has been overwhelming pitchers all season and has shown no signs of slowing. Urias has a 4.41 ERA and 4.06 xFIP this season, he does not help his cause for a lower run total tonight with an ugly 4.59% home run rate allowed this season, he is a flyball-oriented pitcher whose mistakes tend to travel. Urias has a 24.7% strikeout rate and just a 4.8% walk rate in another strong season in those respects, but the power output is up and runs allowed come with that, he has not been elite this season but a few value darts at just $7,800 on DraftKings are not out of the question. It is difficult to trust the play for $9,300 on FanDuel on such a deep slate.
  • Atlanta bats play top to bottom, 1-9, up-and-down, in-and-out, and in any combination your heart desires on any given slate, the lineup is that good on a daily basis. Ronald Acuna Jr. has hit 30 home runs and stolen 62 bases this season, he is the first player in baseball history to post a 30/60 season and he has a month left. Ozzie Albies has an 11.41 in the home run model against the vulnerable lefty, Acuna is at 13.04, and Matt Olson leads the team from the cleanup spot at 16.30 in a same-handed matchup that will not impact him. Austin Riley is a major source of right-handed power at third base, he has a 12.23 in the home run model for $5,800/$3,900 tonight. Marcell Ozuna and Sean Murphy have 31 and 20 home runs respectively on the season, they are excellent options who would be the two best players on a team filled with normal humans, here they are good mix-ins. Orlando ArciaKevin Pillar, and Michael Harris II are good mix-in options from late in the lineup as well, they all have power at the plate and only part-time Pillar has been below average for run creation on the season. The Braves are a high-priority stack once again tonight.
  • Atlanta lefty Max Fried projects similarly to Urias and he does not have the benefit of a cheap price on DraftKings. Fried is a very good starter, he has a 24.1% strikeout rate in his limited 53.2 innings and 10 starts this season while pitching to a 2.85 ERA and 3.16 xFIP and he is very good at checking power. Fried has allowed a 2.27% home run rate on 31.6% hard hits and 4.5% barrels with a 4.7-degree launch angle in this year’s small sample and he was similarly effective in each of the past two seasons in larger samples. There is potential in the lefty, but the matchup with the Dodgers is not a good one and the slate is very deep with similarly priced options in far better spots that great outpace the lefty in our model.
  • Dodgers bats are always in play, particularly the galaxy of stars in the top-half of the batting order. Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman are always worth the investment of salary. Betts hit another two home runs last night in a great duel with Acuna, he now has 38 on the season with a 177 WRC+. Freeman has 25 homers, 17 steals, and a 169 WRC+, they are pillars of excellence atop the lineup. Will Smith is a very good catcher with a strong bat that has both power and a good ability to get to first base. Max Muncy has a 6.65 from the left side in the home run model tonight, Fried’s knack for checking power is shining through even against the stout home run hitter. Muncy has 32 long balls and a .285 ISO from the left side this year. Amed Rosario has a good blend of moderate power and speed but he has been disappointing with an 86 WRC+ between Cleveland and Los Angeles this season. Enrique HernandezChris TaylorMiguel Rojas, and Austin Barnes round out the more limited version of the Dodgers’ lineup in the projected form. Taylor is a power option against many lefties, but he does not look as strong against Fried, the others are mix-in options at best and they have all under-performed the league average this season.

Play: Braves bats/stacks, smaller shares of Dodgers top-end in a not-great spot

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