MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Notes & Live Show Link – Friday 7/7/23

The Friday night main slate features a dozen games on DraftKings and FanDuel with a wealth of options at the plate and on the mound. There are premium aces, including Luis Castillo, Zac Gallen, and the return of Carlos Rodon for the Yankees. The slate has several former top-end aces searching for their form, it offers a broad mid-range on the mound and plenty of viable dart throws. At the same time, there are several outstanding spots to stack hitters, though the Red Sox and Rangers seem destined for extreme popularity in their cakewalk matchups. The Dodgers are another team showing significant upside for power and run creation on this slate, and they are priced to a point where it is difficult but worthwhile to reach for them in stacks. We are in a bit of a hurry-up mode this afternoon with so many games to cover so today’s article will pivot into notes mode.

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

Join us at 4:00 pm ET for the MLB DFS Lineup Card Show and a full game-by-game breakdown:

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 Strategy Notes – 7/7/23

Chicago Cubs (+139/3.63) @ New York Yankees (-151/4.45)

  • Yankees starter Carlos Rodon is pulling down a sturdy projection even with expectations of a pitch count limitation in his debut performance for New York. Rodon should be expected to go about 75 pitches tonight, which gives the talented southpaw enough runway to find enough strikeouts for a relevant DFS score. If the Yankees can add the win bonus, Rodon is in play at $9,100/$9,300. The lefty had a 33.4% strikeout rate over 178 innings last year and a 34.6% mark in 132.2 innings in 2021, he is a top-flight starter when healthy.
  • The Cubs project as a playable option in the positive hitting conditions in Yankee Stadium, but Rodon has the talent to poke holes in rallies with his strikeout upside and New York has the league’s top bullpen. Nico Hoerner is a quality leadoff hitter with 20 stolen bases and a .384 on-base percentage. Christopher Morel’13.56 is one of the leading marks in our home run model for the day, he has 15 on the season and costs $4,900/$3,900. Ian HappSeiya SuzukiTrey ManciniCody Bellinger, and Patrick Wisdom provide a run of tough power bats for Rodon to negotiate at cheap DFS pricing on both sites. Yan Gomes has sturdy power for a catcher, and Miguel Amaya is projected to add another option at that position at the bottom of the lineup.
  • The Yankees will be facing former teammate Jameson Taillon who has not been good on the mound this season. New York is showing an upside for power and run creation in our model, but the up-and-down squad has a limited 4.45-run implied total in Vegas tonight. Taillon has allowed a 4.56% home run rate on 12.8% barrels in his 63.2 innings this season, targetable is an understatement when it comes to home run potential tonight. The righty has a 6.93 ERA and 4.85 xFIP with a 20.7% strikeout rate, he is not entirely inept on the mound by any means, but his results have been awful this season and he is not a strong option at $5,200/$6,400.
  • Anthony Volpe has 12 home runs and 16 stolen bases in the projected leadoff spot, he has caught on significantly over the past few weeks and seems to have the game slowing down around him, at $3,500/$2,900 Volpe is a good buy in Yankees stacks. Gleyber TorresAnthony Rizzo, and Harrison Bader are all capable veteran bats with power and potential who surround slugger Giancarlo Stanton in the projected lineup. Stanton has been scuffling badly since his return to action in early June, he has three home runs and slashed .145/.234/.304 with a 46 WRC+ for June and sits at .222/.300/.278 with a 50 WRC+ for the opening week of July. Stanton has world-class power, he is a worthy investment at $4,500/$3,000 tonight and he still has an 11.62 in our home run model. Billy McKinney and Josh Donaldson have lefty-righty power at the end of the lineup, Isiah Kiner-Falefa is a utility-man, and Kyle Higashioka can square up the infrequent home run with his excellent contact profile.

Play: Yankees bats/stacks, Carlos Rodon unless a pitch count below 70 is announced, Cubs bats/stacks as a mid-level option

Update Notes:

Texas Rangers (-165/5.69) @ Washington Nationals (+151/4.43)

  • The Rangers are one of the leading teams on the slate with a 5.69-run implied total against righty Trevor Williams who is not a good option on the mound at $5,500/$7,000. Williams has a 4.34 ERA and 4.99 xFIP with a 16.9% strikeout rate, a 1.42 WHIP, and a 4.83% home run rate on 11% barrels.
  • Texas bats are very playable but likely to come with extreme popularity on a very large slate. Marcus Semien has an 8.84 in our home run model, he has 11 on the season to tie Corey Seager, his more expensive double-play partner who hit second. Seager has a 184 WRC+ and a .258 ISO as one of the best in the game at his position. Nathaniel Lowe is still a cheap option at $4,600/$3,000 with a direct correlation to the team’s stars on both sides in the batting order. Lowe has individual talent as well, he has nine home runs and has created runs 20% better than average this year. Adolis Garcia has a 12.65 in our home run model that is near the top of the overall board for the day, we were tempted to make him the pick for the day. Josh Jung is right there with his teammate at a 10.02 in the model, he has 17 homers on the season to sit second on the team. Jonah Heim and Ezequiel Duran are each sitting on a dozen home runs in the sixth and seventh spots in the projected lineup. Mitch Garver and Leody Taveras close things out in a batting order that is playable from 1-9. Every player in the projected Texas lineup is well above average for run creation this season, with only Garver under 250 plate appearances. The team’s average WRC+ is 132 this season, they are very likely to succeed in this matchup.
  • The Nationals are better against lefties, a notion we have chased to some success throughout the season. The team is facing Cody Bradford, a southpaw who has a 4.98 ERA and a 4.39 xFIP with a 27% strikeout rate over four starts and 21.2 innings. Bradford has pitched in something of a hybrid role, making four starts and two relief appearances. His last turn was for 2.1 innings out of the bullpen on the third and he has not worked beyond 5.0 innings this season. Bradford is a $4,000 option on the DraftKings slate, even with the Nationals’ acumen against lefties and the limited ceiling on innings he might be an option on that site for the low price given the high strikeout rate this year so far, but Bradford was a low-to-mid 20s strikeout pitcher in the minors, so this uptick is a bit of a surprise against more advanced hitters.
  • Nationals bats are in play, Lane Thomas has had a great season overall and half of his 14 home runs have come against southpaws. Jeimer Candelario has hit 11 of his 12 home runs this season against right-handed pitching, the switch-hitter has not been good as a righty against lefties so far in 2023 with a .113 ISO and 78 WRC+. Joey Meneses is slashing .279/.322/.362 overall and comes at a cheap price on the right side of the plate. Stone Garrett has five home runs with a .282/.356/.538 triple-slash and a .256 ISO against left-handed pitching this season. Keibert Ruiz has a .139 ISO and sits exactly at league average for run creation in 86 opportunities against lefties while Riley Adams slots in with a massive .353 ISO and 217 WRC+ in his limited 39 chances in the split. Dominic Smith has not been good against same-handed pitching, the lefty has a pathetic .028 ISO and an 86 WRC+ in the split. Ildemaro VargasCJ Abrams, and Alex Call round out the bottom of the projected lineup.

Play: Rangers bats/stacks aggressively but they will be popular, Nationals bats/stacks as a mid-range upside platoon play, $4,000 Cody Bradford SP2 on DraftKings as a dart throw if that’s your style

Update Notes:

Kansas City Royals (+152/3.76) @ Cleveland Guardians (-166/4.84)

  • Guardians starter Aaron Civale looks like an excellent option on both DraftKings and FanDuel at just $7,700/$8,800. Civale is a talented righty who is pitching to a 2.96 ERA but a more honest 4.72 xFIP with an 18.4% strikeout rate over 45.2 innings in eight outings in 2023. He had a 4.92 ERA but a 3.62 xFIP and a 24.1% strikeout rate in 97 innings last year and a 3.84 ERA with a 4.32 xFIP and 19.9% strikeout rate in 2021. Civale is facing the targetable Royals and he has potential beyond his current strikeout output, a potential that will only be enhanced by the opposition. Kansas City’s projected lineup has a 26.3% strikeout rate and a very weak bottom half. Civale is reliable for six innings and a handful of strikeouts in most starts and rarely implodes on the mound, he is a strong buy tonight.
  • The Royals lineup has a few playable bats up top, much like last night with hedge shares against a popular Tanner Bibee, we can draw a few stacks against Civale in this situation. Maikel Garcia has a 105 WRC+ and a productive stick over 222 plate appearances as a rookie, Bobby Witt Jr. has upside for counting stats and star-caliber talent, Nick Pratto has left-handed power but strikes out at a 36.1% clip, and Sal Perez is the team’s star in the cleanup role. Perez has 15 home runs and a .192 ISO with a 46.3% hard-hit rate this season and costs just $4,500/$2,800 as a premium catcher. MJ Melendez and Michael Massey are a pair of mid-lineup lefties with nearly matching strikeout rates of 29.6% and 29.5%. Drew WatersKyle Isbel, and Nicky Lopez round out the low-end lineups, the targetable bats are from 1-6 but there is only limited appeal for Kansas City stacks.
  • The Guardians will be facing lefty Daniel Lynch who has a 4.14 ERA and 5.27 xFIP with a 16% strikeout rate in 41.1 innings and seven starts. Cleveland has been bad for most of the season but they have demonstrated at least enough ability to get to low-end pitching, which is an applicable way to describe Lynch. The limited lefty costs $6,000/$7,900 he does not look like a good option on the mound.
  • Steven Kwan is fine in a same-handed matchup but he is a slap-hitting correlated scoring option not an individual producer for DFS purposes. To find value, Kwan typically needs help from teammates like Amed Rosario, who hit his second home run of the season last night, Jose Ramirez, who has 14 long balls on the year with a team-leading 132 WRC+, and Josh Naylor, who sits second with a 120. Only Ramirez and Naylor have been reliably above the waterline for run creation this season, but Andres Gimenez and David Fry are at 100 and 110, though Fry’s mark comes in just 48 plate appearances as a weak-side platoon hitter. Gimenez has seven home runs and 14 stolen bases with a .143 ISO, getting him and Josh Bell in gear would be a dramatic uplift for this lineup. Bell has just eight home runs and a .141 ISO, the switch-hitting first baseman is cheap on both sites at $2,800/$2,600. Myles Straw and Cam Gallagher are not strong options in the late part of the lineup.

Play: Aaron Civale, Guardians bats/stacks, a few Royals top-end hedge stacks is fine

Update Notes:

Oakland Athletics (+212/4.18) @ Boston Red Sox (-235/6.47)

  • Boston is deploying lefty opener Brennan Bernardino who is expected to be followed by fellow southpaw Brandon Walter, neither of whom looks like a viable DFS option tonight.
  • The Athletics are a low-end lineup that is carrying just a 4.18-run implied total against the limited lefties. Oakland is rarely a good option for stacking, they have a lineup that opens with Jordan Diaz and Aledmys Diaz (no relation) a pair of limited but inexpensive infield options with positional flexibility. Jordan has five home runs in 90 plate appearances with a .186 ISO and 105 WRC+, Aledmys has two home runs and a 55 WRC+ in 218 plate appearances and seems to have left most of his talent in Houston. Brent Rooker still has 14 home runs. Shea Langeliers is a sneaky catcher for power in rare instances, he has 10 home runs on the season with a 29.5% strikeout rate and 77 WRC+. Ryan Noda also strikes out aggressively at 33.1% but he gets on base frequently at .383. Manny PinaJJ BledayNick Allen, and Tony Kemp round out the low-end projected batting order.
  • The Red Sox are one of the leading teams on the slate, they have a massive 6.47-run implied team total in the matchup against righty Luis Medina, who is not an option on the mound. Medina has a 6.37 ERA and 4.95 xFIP with a 20.1% strikeout rate in his eight starts and 53.2 innings this season, he has allowed a 4.51% home run rate on 44.2% hard hits and 90.2 mph of exit velocity and typically puts too many on with a 12.7% walk rate.
  • Boston is a top stack tonight, they are destined to be popular but they are well worth the investment in this matchup. Jarren Duran is projected to leadoff ahead of excellent veteran Justin Turner and first-year star Masataka Yoshida. Duran has a 128 WRC+, Turner is at 123, and Yoshida leads the Red Sox at 135. Turner and Yoshida have combined for 22 home runs, two more than teammate Rafael Devers has on his own. The star third baseman has been crushing the ball when he makes contact this season, he has a 52.5% hard-hit rate and a 13.3% barrel rate and costs just $4,900/$3,700 on the perception of struggles. Devers has an 11.55 in our home run model and would have been today’s pick for a long ball if he weren’t going to be so popular. Adam Duvall has plenty of power from the right side of the plate, we are anticipating a big breakout second-half for Triston Casas, and Alex Verdugo will be lingering in the later part of the lineup if he is not hitting in the top three in this spot. All three are good options in stacks of Red Sox, Verdugo is a strong correlated scorer who has plenty of individual potential in addition to the power upside possessed by the other two. Yu Chang and Connor Wong round out the lineup as playable options with talent at their positions.

Play: Red Sox bats/stacks aggressively but they will be popular

Update Notes:

Baltimore Orioles (+132/3.92) @ Minnesota Twins (-143/4.67)

  • Twins starter Bailey Ober is projecting very well in our model today. The righty has a 24.9% strikeout rate with a 5.1% walk rate in 76.2 innings and 13 starts this season. Ober has a 2.70 ERA and a 4.25 xFIP with a 0.95 WHIP this season and he has limited home runs to 2.69% and hard hits to just 32.2%. Ober costs $8,300/$9,800 and seems destined for low ownership around the industry. The talented righty is in a tough matchup against the Orioles but it is one that he can win.
  • Baltimore’s lineup exploded for quality last night and they have a ton of DFS appeal from top to bottom on most slates. Gunnar Henderson is excellent in the leadoff role, he hit his 12th and 13th home runs of the season last night and now sits at a 123 WRC+ with a .219 ISO. Adley Rutschman is a stellar catcher who has 11 home runs and a 124 WRC+, Anthony Santander has 14 home runs to lead the projected lineup, and Ryan O’Hearn is carrying a 9.48 in our home run model with seven on the board in just 143 plate appearances. Cedric MullinsAaron Hicks, and Colton Cowser are in the outfield in the 5-7 spots in the lineup. Hicks is a veteran who has been playing well since his exodus from New York, he has upside at a cheap price, Mullins went 30/30 two years ago and has plenty of appeal for home runs and stolen bases, which is also true of Cowser, the team’s most recent premium rookie call-up. Cowser remains cheap at $2,800/$2,500. Jordan Westburg is also a high-end rookie, he fills second or third base on DraftKings for $3,200 and is a shortstop or third baseman for $2,700 on FanDuel. Adam Frazier is a playable part in the ninth spot, he raced out to 10 home runs this season, two more than he hit in 2021 and 2022 combined, in 1,241 plate appearances.
  • Lefty Cole Irvin costs $5,000/$6,000 on the mound for Baltimore, he has pitched to a 6.32 ERA and 5.23 xFIP with a 19% strikeout rate in 31.1 innings and seven starts. Irvin has allowed a 3.40% home run rate on 90.5 mph of exit velocity and a 14.4% barrel rate, he does not project like an overly playable option even against the free-swinging Twins lineup.
  • Minnesota stacks are playable as a mid-level option, the team has a 4.67-run implied total in Vegas and enough talent to foster a bit of belief in their potential against lousy pitching. Carlos Correa is a struggling star at shortstop but he has still shown power at the plate and costs just $4,600/$3,300. Donovan Solano is a hit-tool-focused infielder at cheap pricing ahead of Byron Buxton, the team’s outfield superstar. Buxton has 15 home runs and a .215/.309/.453 triple-slash with a 110 WRC+ and costs $5,400/$3,500. Kyle Farmer is more productive than most seem to think, he has four home runs in 185 plate appearances this year, he hit 14 in 583 chances last year and managed 16 in 529 tries in 2021. Farmer has eligibility at second and third base for $2,300 on DraftKings and slots into second base or shortstop on the blue site for $2,500. The positional flexibility continues on FanDuel with Willi Castro slotting into three spots, he is only an outfielder on DraftKings. Castro has five home runs and 18 stolen bases in 215 productive plate appearances for DFS purposes. Jose MirandaChristian VazquezMichael A. Taylor, and Max Kepler round out the lineup, Kepler is the most interesting option in the group, the lefty outfielder has 12 home runs in 214 plate appearances this season.

Play: Bailey Ober, Twins bats/stacks, Orioles bats/stacks

Update Notes:

Cincinnati Reds (+102/3.73) @ Milwaukee Brewers (-110/3.85)

  • Cincinnati is drawing interesting marks in our model for fantasy point projections while not flashing a major upside in the home run model against Corbin Burnes, a right-handed former ace who has bounced along the bottom for much of 2023. Burnes has a 4.00 ERA and 4.14 xFIP with a 23% strikeout rate in 101.1 innings, none of which are disastrous until his previous output is included in the equation. The righty had a 30.5% strikeout rate last season and a 35.6% mark the year before, he has taken a major downturn on the mound. Burnes is cheap at $9,000/$9,600, most of the struggles are priced in at that level and he is facing a Reds team totaled at just 3.73 implied runs, there is believable upside for the Brewers starter who had a good seven-inning start in his last outing but blew up twice before that and has been all over the map this year.
  • The Reds are a playable option against Burnes, the team has talent from top to bottom and several multi-positional assets in the projected lineup. TJ Freidl has 16 stolen bases and a 126 WRC+ in the leadoff spot for $4,700/$3,400. Matt McLainJonathan India, and Elly De La Cruz is an enviable trio to have in the infield, they have WRC+ marks of 131, 102, and 135 so far this season. McLain and De La Cruz are emerging stars with power and speed and India has been known for that for several seasons. Jake Fraley has 11 home runs and 16 stolen bases in a big season over 251 plate appearances, the lefty is a good option at $5,100/$3,300. Joey Votto has five home runs in 55 plate appearances since returning in late June. Spencer Steer has been very good through most of this year, in 364 plate appearances he has 14 home runs, nine stolen bases, a .207 ISO, and a 130 WRC+ but he costs just $5,200/$3,600 with eligibility at first and third base on DraftKings and at first base and in the outfield on FanDuel. Tyler Stephenson and Will Benson are mix-in options late in the lineup. Cincinnati ranks fifth on our board for fantasy point projections but they have a conflicting home run ranking near the bottom of the board in the matchup against Burnes.
  • Lefty Andrew Abbott is projecting very well in our model today. The southpaw has a dazzling 1.21 ERA in his first six starts, though we continue to side with the 4.27 xFIP that lies beneath the surface. Abbott has a 29.4% strikeout rate but a 9.1% walk rate, he has allowed just a 2.80% home run rate but a 42% hard-hit rate with eight percent barrels and 91.2 mph of exit velocity on average, numbers that do not necessarily go with one another. Abbott has been very good, he is destined to regress to the norm but he is a highly regarded young pitcher who is demonstrating more than enough ability to succeed at this level. That, combined with a matchup against a Brewers squad that has been bad against lefties this year has Abbott in a good position on our pitching board for $9,900/$10,600 tonight.
  • The Brewers are a low-end play, Christian Yelich is slashing .287/.381/.459 with a 129 WRC+, 11 home runs, and 21 stolen bases overall but takes a dip against same-handed pitching, he is followed by a fair amount of mediocrity in the lineup. William Contreras has been very good against southpaws this year, the catcher has power potential at the plate for $4,400/$2,900. Willy Adames has 13 home runs but is unreliable at best, Owen Miller has produced a 94 WRC+ in 253 plate appearances but can provide counting stats in limited doses, and Jahmi Jones is cheap at $2,400/$2,300 with eligibility at multiple positions. Blake PerkinsAndruw Monasterioi, and Joey Wiemer round out the projected Milwaukee lineup, they are all capable of providing counting stats, but Abbott is winning the matchup in projections and looks like the stronger option.

Play: Andrew Abbott, Reds bats/stacks, Corbin Burnes

Update Notes:

St. Louis Cardinals (-110/4.36) @ Chicago White Sox (+102/4.23)

  • Righty Dylan Cease has a 27.4% strikeout rate with a 4.10 ERA and 3.99 xFIP in 96.2 innings and 18 starts this season. Cease has walked 10% and allowed a 2.63% home run rate on 46.7% hard hits with 91 mph of exit velocity. The veteran starter is not pitching like a premium ace at this point, but he has a strong strikeout upside and has been delivering in that department despite a dip from 30.4% last year and 31.9% the season before. Cease is affordable at $8,500/$9,900 but he projects only in the middle of the board against the low-strikeout bats of the Cardinals.
  • St. Louis looks like a playable stack, they project better than the matchup might indicate in our model tonight. Brendan Donovan has a 120 WRC+ with nine home runs and is a good left-handed leadoff hitter ahead of the team’s stars. Paul Goldschmidt won last year’s NL MVP, he has 15 home runs and a 134 WRC+ in his strong follow-up campaign. Lars Nootbaar is another stout lefty bat who has both mid-range power and good speed when he gets on base. Nootbaar is cheap at $3,900/$2,800 and would be a fixture in Cardinals stacks if he hits third as projected. Nolan Arenado has 17 home runs and a 123 WRC+ with a .224 ISO on a 41.8% hard-hit rate. Willson ContrerasNolan GormanJordan WalkerPaul DeJong, and Dylan Carlson are a playable bunch down the lineup as well, there is power and speed across the group and everyone in the St. Louis lineup is above the league average for run creation this season.
  • Lefty Jordan Montgomery is a good pitcher who checks in with a 3.28 ERA and 3.83 xFIP with a 22% strikeout rate and 6.3% walk rate. Montgomery is not prone to devastating losses on the mound, he typically works deep into games and can chase a win and quality start bonus in this matchup. For $8,100/$9,300, Montgomery is a good option from the upper-middle of the pitching board.
  • Chicago’s lineup has several good right-handed power bats, but they are not a high-priority option against Montgomery. Andrew Benintendi and Tim Anderson have struggled atop the lineup but Benintendi is at a 100 WRC+ over 345 plate appearances. Luis Robert Jr. has been far and away the team’s best player, he has 25 home runs with a .297 ISO and 144 WRC+ and has added eight stolen bases to his DFS tally. Eloy Jimenez has major talent and has hit 12 home runs in the 239 plate appearances for which he was healthy this year. Andrew Vaughn and Jake Burger have hard-hit rates of 47.5% and 49.7% from the right side this season. The power-hitting duo costs $3,800/$3,100 and $4,300/$2,900 later in the lineup. Yasmani GrandalZach Remillard, and Seby Zavala round out the lineup.

Play: Cardinals bats/stacks, Jordan Montgomery, Dylan Cease, White Sox bats/stacks – all four corners are workable as mid-range options

Update Notes:

Seattle Mariners (+101/3.74) @ Houston Astros (-109/3.84)

  • Rookie Hunter Brown has been very good this season, he has a 3.76 ERA and 3.06 xFIP with a 27.5% strikeout rate in 91 innings and 16 starts. The righty has limited home runs to 2.40% despite 43.7% hard hits because he has been excellent at limiting launch angles. Opposing hitters have managed just a 4.2-degree average launch angle against the starter this season, when the ball is on the ground it is very difficult to hit a home run. This upside and the significant strikeout potential involved in pitching against the Mariners have Brown on the board on both sites at $9,200/$9,000.
  • Seattle stacks are a limited option, the team does not sequence reliably given all of their swing-and-miss, they need to come through for power at the plate and that seems unlikely in this matchup. Seattle has a 3.74-run implied total, focus bats in their lineup include the obvious in Julio Rodriguez and Teoscar Hernandez, who both have major power and star-caliber talent on the right night. They are joined by JP Crawford in the leadoff spot and Ty France hitting third. Both are good options for correlated scoring and have a bit of individual upside. Jarred KelenicEugenio SuarezCal Raleigh, and Mike Ford all have high-strikeout unreliable power at the plate, and Jose Caballero rounds out the lineup as a light on-base focused option.
  • Excellent righty Luis Castillo has a slate-leading projection in his matchup against the Astros for $9,400/$9,700, he is simply too cheap for his potential on this slate and looks like a fantastic option regardless of popularity. Castillo has a 27.9% strikeout rate with a 6.9% walk rate, a 3.05 ERA with a 3.68 xFIP supporting it, and a 15.5% swinging-strike rate that is among the league leaders. Castillo is an ace on the mound, he belongs in a large portion of lineups on both sites against a middling Astros team that, while being good at avoiding strikeouts, does not present much of a threat. Castillo has hit a few bumps in recent outings, he has allowed two home runs in each of three straight games, but he has worked through the trouble in most instances and looks to be in a strong position in this matchup.
  • The Astros are only moderately playable as a lower-end option, they have a 3.84-run implied total and remain without both Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve. Mauricio Dubon is a limited option in the leadoff role, he has a 99 WRC+ this season. Alex Bregman is good for power, Kyle Tucker has both power and speed but has been a bit inconsistent this season, and Jose Abreu is still shaking off the rust from his trip to the afterlife and back. Abreu is up to seven home runs and a 77 WRC+ with a .111 ISO in 355 plate appearances. Yainer Diaz has 10 home runs in 178 plate appearances with a .243 ISO but the regression to norms may have already begun. Jeremy Pena is a viable shortstop when he is cheap but he is not a star at the plate, he provides moderate output for counting stats but not much more. Corey Julks can bend a slate from time to time, and Jake Meyers and Martin Maldonado join him at the bottom of the lineup.

Play: Luis Castillo, Hunter Brown, only minor shares of either stack

Update Notes:

Pittsburgh Pirates (+174/3.61) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (-191/5.00)

  • Arizona righty Zac Gallen roared out of the gate this season and has a 3.15 ERA with a 3.45 xFIP and a 26.8% strikeout rate in 111.1 innings and 18 starts. Gallen is drawing a top-level projection against a weak Pirates team, he has a ton of DFS potential on this slate and is easily deserving of a $9,600/$10,100 price tag in this matchup. Gallen is a strong buy who should be popular in this spot, his shot for a win and quality start is clear.
  • Pirates bats are not a great option, the team has a 3.61-run implied total and ranks just 15th in our aggregate projections. There are playable bats for Pittsburgh in small doses on most slates, but even those are a low-priority option against the talented starter. Andrew McCutchenBryan Reynolds, and Henry Davis are a strong top-three. Davis is a rookie who is still cheap joining the two veteran stars in the outfield. Carlos Santana is a low-end switch-hitter with upside for power but he has just a 5.02 in our home run model. Jack Suwinski has the team’s power in hand with 19 home runs in the books and a .288 ISO in his 285 opportunities. Ke’Bryan Hayes is projected to rejoin the lineup, he has a good hard-hit rate at 46.7% but has not seen strong results for the effort. Nick GonzalesTucupita Marcano, and Austin Hedges are a low-end bottom third.
  • The Diamondbacks are looking like a good option for stacking once again, but the team loses a bit of ground in collective fantasy point projections with the expected absence of Corbin Carroll who continues to deal with an ailing shoulder and had to exit last night’s game. Arizona is facing lefty Rich Hill who costs $6,800/$7,800 and has a 4.50 ERA and 4.43 xFIP with a 21.5% strikeout rate. Hill is a moderately playable option who lands in the middle of the pitching board, he is viable for this price but the strikeout upside against Arizona is not strong and the team is carrying a 5.00 implied total.
  • Ketel Marte is projected to lead off the lineup tonight, he has 15 home runs and has gotten on base at a .364 clip so far this season while striking out just 16.2% of the time. Marte is followed by Kyle Lewis, a frequently injured former top prospect who has limited but successful Major League experience. When Lewis plays, particularly against lefties, he is an option for DFS purposes, the outfielder is cheap at $2,300/$2,100 and brings good power potential to the plate. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Christian Walker have more obvious power in their stat lines with 14 and 18 home runs respectively in 2023. Evan Longoria has made just 151 plate appearances but has 11 home runs with a massive .296 ISO in the split. Longoria has mashed lefties for five of his home runs and a .313 ISO with a 149 WRC+ this season. The bottom of the lineup falls a bit short with options like Carson KellyJake McCarthyNick Ahmed, and Alek Thomas, though McCarthy and Thomas can provide interesting power and speed on the right night.

Play: Zac Gallen, Diamondbacks bats/stacks

Update Notes:

New York Mets (+112/3.87) @ San Diego Padres (-121/4.21)

  • The Mets are facing Yu Darvish who has a 4.84 ERA and 3.75 xFIP with a 25.7% strikeout rate in an up-and-down season. The veteran righty has not been consistent for quality but he has a mid-level projection and a bit of potential to find his form and a handful of strikeouts in a good pitching situation against a Mets team that he has capped at just 3.87 implied runs. Darvish costs $8,800/$8,700, like with his opponent the struggles are already accounted for in the price, he is an option on both sites but should only be deployed in moderate doses with limited expectations.
  • The Mets are ranking fairly highly on our stacks board in the matchup, despite the total in Vegas. The team includes strong options like Brandon Nimmo in the leadoff role for just $4,500/$3,500, which is simply too cheap for a player who hits for power on his own but also provides a .368 on-base percentage and 131 WRC+. Tommy Pham has had a good season so far, he brings power and speed to the plate on the right side ahead of the team’s stars. Francisco Lindor has 18 home runs, Pete Alonso has 26, and Daniel Vogelbach falls well behind with only five on the season. Lindor and Alonso are the priority bats for New York, the team may want to think about moving power-hitting catcher Francisco Alvarez up to the fifth spot in place of Vogelbach in this one. Alvarez hit another home run and now has 16 in his outstanding rookie season. Starling Marte and Jeff McNeil are more hit and correlate options in the heart of the lineup, they need help to fully find relevance on most nights. Brett Baty is another cheap rookie from late in the lineup at third base, he has five home runs and a 94 WRC+ in 227 plate appearances.
  • Veteran Justin Verlander costs $8,600/$9,200 after a second straight fairly successful outing. The righty struggled badly to open the season but he seems to have rounded a corner. On the 26th, Verlander faced the Brewers and shut them out over five innings while striking out five, walking two, and allowing five hits. In his most recent start, the veteran ace went seven innings and struck out six Giants while walking one and allowing an unearned run on five hits. Verlander may not be in peak form, he may never return to that level, but he is still at worst at an appropriate price for the current level of talent he has displayed. Verlander is on the board against a top-heavy Padres team in a both-sided situation.
  • San Diego’s lineup is playable from 1-5 against Verlander in small doses, but they are a low-priority option in this matchup. Ha-Seong Kim has been good in the leadoff role, he has moderate power and speed and correlates well with the stars. Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. carry the Padres on most nights, the two stars are always options they have 15 and 16 home runs respectively with WRC+ marks of 153 and 139. Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts have 100 and 111 WRC+ marks, they are gradually making the quality turn as the season rolls on and they remain underpriced for their lack of performance in the first half. The two veterans are a bargain in this lineup on most nights. Jake Cronenworth and Gary Sanchez are mix-in options with playable bats while Rougned Odor and Trent Grisham are less appealing on the left side of the plate late in the lineup.

Play: Mets bats/stacks, Justin Verlander, Yu Darvish, small doses of Padres as a lower-mid priority stack

Update Notes:

Los Angeles Angels (+145/4.04) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (-158/5.07)

  • The visiting Angels remain without superstar Mike Trout and are carrying just a 4.04-run implied total in the battle of the freeways. The Halos are facing Dodgers righty Tony Gonsolin, who has been mostly effective in his 61 innings and 12 starts. Gonsolin has a 19% strikeout rate with a 3.69 ERA but a 5.09 xFIP that is more concerning. The righty is not a major strikeout asset, he has induced just a 9.2% swinging-strike rate this season, down significantly from the 12.3% he posted while striking out 23.9% in 2022 and 27.2% in 2021. Gonsolin is not highly projected in our model for $8,400/$8,000, but there is a bit of a path to success and it would not be a mistake to include him at these prices in small doses.
  • Mickey Moniak leads off the Angels’ projected lineup on the left side of the plate, he has nine home runs and a 161 WRC+ over 128 plate appearances this season. Taylor Ward lands second in this version of the lineup, he has a 93 WRC+ with nine home runs and just a 7.6% barrel rate but 44.1% hard hits in his 342 opportunities and was better last year. Shohei Ohtani has 31 home runs, 11 stolen bases, and a 177 WRC+ and is one of the best pitchers in baseball. Mike Moustakas and Hunter Renfroe bring lefty-righty power to the plate with Moustakas stepping into the lineup in the absence of Brandon Drury. Renfroe is the preferred option, he has 75 home runs since the start of the 2021 season. Matt ThaissLuis Rengifo, and Eduardo Escobar can all provide inconsistent power upside at the plate, Andrew Velazquez less so.
  • The Dodgers are always in play, a matchup against Griffin Canning has them looking like a potentially explosive option on this slate with five of the team’s key hitters landing above the magic number in our home run model. Canning has allowed a 4.05% home run rate on 46% hard hits with 91.3 mph of exit velocity and has been targetable despite having talent on the mound. He has a 4.29 ERA with a 3.96 xFIP and a 24% strikeout rate in 71.1 innings and 13 starts this year but is not looking like a highly playable part of this slate.
  • The five Los Angeles hitters above 10.0 in the home run model are the obvious and expensive first five names in their daily lineup: Mookie BettsFreddie FreemanWill SmithMax Muncy, and JD Martinez are phenomenal power hitters who have already combined for 90 home runs this season. Betts, Muncy, and Martinez are at 22, 20, and 20 with Freeman carrying 15 and Smith bringing up the bottom at a dozen long balls. This group is very good for MLB DFS purposes and, amazingly, three of them strike out at below at 16.7% clip. The group is joined in the bottom of the lineup by a collection of playable bats that includes Jason Heyward, who has been mashing the ball whenever he gets in the lineup this season, James Outman, who has 11 home runs in 294 plate appearances, and David Peralta a good left-handed veteran hitter. Miguel Rojas has been fairly lousy in the ninth spot with a 55 WRC+ for the season, Miguel Vargas is more playable if he ends up in the final lineup.

Play: Dodgers bats/stacks aggressively, some Angels bats, limited pitching on either side but neither pitcher is “real-life” bad

Update Notes:

Colorado Rockies (+144/3.82) @ San Francisco Giants (-157/4.78)

  • Righty Ross Stripling is making his third appearance since an absence cost him the second half of May and most of June, he was limited in the first two appearances but is expected to be making a more traditional start in this outing. Stripling should be expected for around four innings of work and is not a viable DFS option tonight despite a cheap $5,300/$5,500 price. Striping has a 6.51 ERA and 4.01 xFIP with an 18.7% strikeout rate and 6.02% home run rate on 12.2% barrels in 37.1 innings this season.
  • The Rockies are not a priority stack, the team is bad on the road, bad against right-handed pitching, and generally bad overall. Those looking to Rockies bats can focus on options like Kris BryantRyan McMahonCJ Cron, and Nolan Jones, the team’s power core and run creation unit, while bolting on options that include Jurickson Profar, a limited leadoff hitter, Elias Diaz, a productive catcher, and Randal Grichuk a veteran outfielder with power in his history and a reliable hit tool. Ezequiel Tovar and Harold Castro are minimally interesting from the bottom of the batting order
  • The Giants draw lefty Austin Gomber, whose only effective start of the season came at Coors Field in his last outing when we specifically sided against him. Gomber has a 6.64 ERA but a 4.79 xFIP with a 16% strikeout rate for the year, he has not been good and does not seem reliable against a Giants team that has a 104 WRC+ against lefties this season at $5,400/$6,600.
  • Austin Slater should be in the leadoff spot against the lefty, he is slashing .342/.415/.452 with a 143 WRC+ in his 82 plate appearances this season, he hit seven home runs and stole 12 bases in 325 tries last year and is a playable part atop the San Francisco lineup. Wilmer Flores typically mashes left-handed pitching, he has eight total home runs and a cheap price tag. LaMonte Wade Jr. has been better against lefties this season than in years past but does lose quality in same-handed matchups, he may slide further down the batting order than third. JD Davis has a big right-handed power bat, he has 10 home runs on the season with a 122 WRC+ in 312 plate appearances. Patrick Bailey is a good option at catcher in the heart of the batting order, Michael Conforto has lefty-lefty power potential for $3,600/$3,000, and Luis Matos is a viable hit-and-speed rookie for $2,900/$2,500 in the outfield. Casey Schmitt and Brandon Crawford close the projected lineup.

Play: Giants bats/stacks as a mid-level option

Update Notes:

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