MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Notes & Live Show Link – Friday 8/11/23

The huge 13-game main slate has a ton to offer on both sides of the game on DraftKings and FanDuel tonight. The pitching pool runs extremely deep, 13 of the 26 starters on the board are projected within easy reach of the top overall spot on the board, while a few other pieces are of at least mix-in quality on the mound. The range of pricing for viable pitchers is staggering on both sites, it will be simple to put together very high-end combinations of hitters and pitching on this slate. Of course, with 13-15 very good options on the mound we are left with about the same number of highly targetable starters, at least a few of whom are certain to go bust against some of the top offenses in the game. Getting to a broad spread both on the mound and at the plate is the ideal approach to this type of slate, it is important to ensure that lineups are well differentiated, not only from the field but from one another. There is nothing worse than tackling a tournament of this size and realizing that eight of your 12 Luis Castillo lineups are built with the same primary hitting stack, diversification across a portfolio of lineups is critical tonight.

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

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

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

MLB DFS: Game by Game Main Slate Overview – 8/11/23

Minnesota Twins (+133/4.38) @ Philadelphia Phillies (-162/5.38)

  • Phillies lefty Cristopher Sanchez lands at a fair price in a high-quality matchup against the heavy-strikeout Twins. Sanchez has been effective over 52.1 innings in 10 starts this season, he has a 3.44 ERA and 3.47 xFIP with a 23.3% strikeout rate and a sparkling 4.4% walk rate. Sanchez is not flawless, he has allowed a 4.37% home run rate on 9.6% barrels and 40.4% hard hits, but he has kept launch angles to an average of 4.5 degrees, which is similar to the rates he posted in small samples each of the last two years. If he is keeping the ball down to that degree, Sanchez should normalize to an effective limiter of home runs on the mound. For $7,200/$8,600, Sanchez is carrying a good projection against a projected Twins lineup that has a collective 26.8% strikeout rate overall. Minnesota’s active roster has created runs six percent behind the league average with a collective 94 WRC+ in the split and they have a 23.5% strikeout rate with a .159 ISO against lefties this year. Sanchez is easily on the board at his mid-market pricing.
  • Shortstop Carlos Correa is affordable after struggling through much of the season, he has a low-end triple-slash but has managed 14 home runs on a 45% hard-hit rate and is playable at his position and in Twins stacks for $4,600/$2,700. Jorge Polanco has missed too much time over the past season and a half, he has six home runs in 180 plate appearances this year but he has upside well beyond that output and hit 33 home runs in his last fully healthy season in 2021. Kyle Farmer has sneaky mid-range pop, he has six home runs in 258 plate appearances this year, and has hit mid-teens home runs each of the past two seasons. Jordan Luplow costs just $2,200 in the outfield on both sites, he is projected to hit cleanup and he had 11 home runs in 234 plate appearances last year and the same total in 193 the year before. Ryan Jeffers has nine home runs in 219 plate appearances, he has a sturdy bat behind the plate with an 11.3% barrel rate and 46.8% hard hits and costs just $3,300/$2,800. Jeffers is a good positional option for cheap catcher power, he is joined by Willi Castro who can steal a base on any given slate, Matt Wallner who has shown significant power potential with seven home runs in just 107 plate appearances, and Michael A. Taylor with sneaky power and speed in the final spot in the lineup. Christian Vazquez is a mix-in second catcher who has not done much at the plate this season.
  • Lefty Dallas Keuchel is slated to make his second start since returning to action, his first outing could have been better for DFS purposes. Keuchel worked five innings against the Diamondbacks, allowing one run on a whopping eight hits while walking two and striking out zero. The lefty has a very low ceiling, he has not been a good strikeout option over his career with just an 18.1% strikeout rate and he has not cracked 15% since 2020. Keuchel is a low-impact groundball specialist who may limit Phillies’ home run power for a few innings, but he does not look like a strong DFS option at $5,200/$5,900.
  • Phillies bats are in play against all the contact that Keuchel will allow on the mound. Kyle Schwarber has a team-leading 11.79 home run mark in our model with 30 on the board this season and 11 of those coming against same-handed pitching. Schwarber will have no issues in the split with Keuchel we are paying for his power and that does not diminish against lefties, though he walks less and strikes out a bit more in the split. Alec Bohm is a strong option hitting second if he fails to pull significant interest from the public again. Bohm is a former third-overall pick (2018) who has hit his stride in the Show this season after making steady progress over the past two years. Bohm is slashing .293/.346/.440 with a 113 WRC+, 12 home runs, and four stolen bases in 422 plate appearances, much of which was from one of the bottom three spots in the lineup. Trea Turner is projected to climb to the third spot with Bryce Harper out of the projected lineup. Harper left last night’s game with back spasms and is day-to-day, if he plays he can, of course, be used in stacks of Phillies. Turner is cheap given his season-long slump, he is a $5,200/$2,900 shortstop with a significant ceiling on this slate. Nick Castellanos has 20 home runs and seven stolen bases with a .194 ISO and 109 WRC+ in 484 plate appearances and checks in at a fair mid-level price for his talent. JT Realmuto is a rock-solid catcher option for MLB DFS purposes, he creates runs effectively with a 102 WRC+ and hits for mid-range power while also stealing bases. Rodolfo CastroEdmundo SosaWeston Wilson, and Johan Rojas round out the lineup. Castro is an effective cheap infield bat, he had a 102 WRC+ last year but has dipped to just 77 over 236 plate appearances this season. Sosa has seven homers in 218 plate appearances but has been 21% below average for run creation overall. Wilson costs $2,800/$2,000 in the outfield on DraftKings and at third base on FanDuel, he has made five plate appearances in the Show and is a playable differentiator late in the lineup. Rojas has a 101 WRC+ over 62 plate appearances with five stolen bases and a good triple-slash in the small sample.

Play: Cristopher Sanchez, Phillies bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Oakland Athletics (+103/4.46) @ Washington Nationals (-111/4.63)

  • Washington starter Joan Adon looks like an excellent value option on this slate. Adon is facing an Athletics squad that has a collective 87 WRC+ against right-handed pitching across the active roster. The team’s collective strikeout rate in the split is 23.1% and they have a non-threatening .146 ISO. Adon has made one start and thrown 11 innings in the Show this season, he has a 26.8% strikeout rate and a 4.91 ERA with a 3.45 xFIP in the tiny sample but he has given up power already this season, allowing three home runs already. Adon had a 4.62 ERA and 4.80 xFIP with a 20.7% strikeout rate across 87.2 innings in 17 AAA starts this season and he was not spectacular in the Majors last year. Over 14 starts and 64.2 innings, the righty had just a 17.7% strikeout rate with a 7.10 ERA and 5.06 xFIP while walking 12.6% and inducing just a 6.5% swinging-strike rate and giving up 10% barrels. Adon is interesting on this slate given the matchup against the Athletics, a promotion to full-time rotation member with a six-inning start in his last outing (in which he struck out seven Reds while allowing just three runs on a home run and three hits in the Cincinnati band box), and a cost of just $6,600/$5,500. Adon projects very well for his low salary, he is a bargain basement option that carries a fair amount of “buyer beware” risk on this slate.
  • The Athletics are a bad team and they are bad against right-handed pitching, even if one does not believe in Adon’s success this is a low-priority stack with a 4.46-run implied team total. Esteury Ruiz has 46 stolen bases on the season, he is in play from the leadoff role and less so if he hits ninth. JJ Bleday has nine home runs and five stolen bases this year, creating runs four percent below average overall while slashing .200/.313/.365. Zack Gelof has been good over 92 plate appearances in his early career. The infielder is the team’s priciest player at $4,400/$3,700, his price at third base is a bit exaggerated on the blue site, but Gelof has six home runs and six stolen bases with a 139 WRC+ in his limited sample. Seth Brown has real left-handed power at the plate, he has 10 home runs in 241 plate appearances with a .199 ISO on the season. Jordan Diaz has eight homers with a 110 WRC+ while slashing .253/.310/.435 and compiling a 50% hard-hit rate. Diaz is a cheap multi-position option on DraftKings and he slots in for $2,400 at second base on FanDuel. Tyler Soderstrom is a hard-hitting rookie catcher who costs $2,600/$2,100, he has a home run in 63 plate appearances to start his career but has not found his footing at this level. Shea Langeliers has cheap power behind the plate, Lawrence Butler costs the minimum on DraftKings and he does not exist on FanDuel, the rookie will be making his debut at age 23, and he is another moderate power and moderate speed option for the Athletics by profile and minor league production. Nick Allen has three cheap home runs and three stolen bases on the season, but he is a light-hitting option when it comes to MLB DFS value.
  • Paul Blackburn is another excellent option for value, though he lands at a much different price tier on the FanDuel slate. On DraftKings, Blackburn is only slightly more costly than his opponent at $6,900, he is an $8,400 mid-range option on the FanDuel site and he will probably pull more popularity than Adon despite the price discrepancy. Blackburn has been a successful value pitcher for MLB DFS gamers a number of times, he has talent on the mound and a good matchup for a righty with the Nationals on the other side. The righty has a 23.3% strikeout rate with a 4.35 ERA and 4.09 xFIP over 11 starts and 60 innings. Blackburn has been good at keeping power in check this season, limiting home runs to just 1.85% on 5.5% barrels and a fantastic 28.4% hard-hit rate that is unlikely to be too damaged by this Nationals lineup.
  • CJ Abrams has 11 home runs and 28 stolen bases and has been more than 30% better than average for run creation in the leadoff role, though he has been stuck at 95 WRC+ for the season. Lane Thomas has a 117 WRC+ with 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases in the books as the team’s best overall player in 2023. Joey Meneses costs $3,800/$2,900 at first base, he has a .280/.325/.418 triple-slash with a 101 WRC+ and has hit for a bit more power of late. Keibert Ruiz has 12 home runs but just an 88 WRC+ on the season, he is a cheap catcher option when stacking Nationals and someone to remember at the position if searching for an inexpensive one-off. Dominic Smith has had a mostly ineffective season despite an OK batting average, which helps illustrate how irrelevant hitting .266 can be. Smith has created runs 11% worse than average, he has five home runs and a .078 ISO over 439 plate appearances from the left side. Ildemaro VargasJake AluBlake Rutherford, and Alex Call round out the projected lineup, Rutherford remains minorly intriguing at $2,000/$2,100 but they are all mix-ins at best.

Play: Paul Blackburn, Joan Adon value

Update Notes: 

Cincinnati Reds (+101/4.49) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (-109/4.61)

  • Pirates starter Johan Oviedo has a 20.6% strikeout rate with a 4.18 ERA and 4.62 xFIP over 131.1 innings in 23 starts. Oviedo has not been a knockout starter on the mound with his low strikeout rate but his 11.5% swinging-strike rate is suggestive of potential beyond production, and he is in a mid-range matchup with the visiting Reds at a 4.49-run implied total. Oviedo has been good at checking power with just a 2.29% home run rate on 88.4 mph of exit velocity and 8.2% barrels, for $7,000/$9,300  he is another pitcher who falls differently from site-to-site. Oviedo is an easily playable cheap SP2 on the DraftKings slate while he is more of a potentially effective mix-in with a good projection but a high price on the blue site.
  • The Reds are loaded with young talent, power, speed, and potential, but they do not always fully come together game by game. Elly De La Cruz has superstar ability on the diamond, he has already done amazing things on the field but overall he has just a 96 WRC+ over 243 plate appearances. The infielder has eligibility at third base and shortstop with nine home runs and 17 stolen bases and he has a 46.9% hard-hit rate with a .191 ISO to this point, but he strikes out at a 34.2% clip that is too high and walks at just 6.6%. TJ Friedl has 10 homers and 21 stolen bases in a strong year at the plate, he has created runs 10% better than average this season. Matt McLain is at 12 homers and nine stolen bases with a 10% barrel rate, 41.1% hard hits, and a 131 WRC+ over 335 plate appearances since his promotion to the Show. Spencer Steer is slashing .268/.350/.466 with a 115 WRC+ and lands cheap at $4,900/$3,100. Christian Encarnacion-Strand has three homers in 79 plate appearances with a .149 ISO and 93 WRC+, his power is very real and he should continue to improve at the plate, the rookie has a 7.5% barrel rate and 47.2% hard hits in the small sample and was a top prospect at the time of his promotion. Encarnacion-Strand is rarely as popular as he should be, particularly for just $3,600/$2,700. Jonathan IndiaTyler Stephenson, and Will Benson round out the projected lineup, Benson has been very good in 204 plate appearances and India has been the team’s best player with good mid-range power and speed over the past few seasons.
  • Lefty Andrew Abbott is on the mound for Cincinnati, he has a 2.93 ERA but a 4.61 xFIP over 70.2 innings in 12 mostly frustrating and difficult to nail down start in 2023. The rookie was very solid over his first handful of outings and has been a bit of a mixed bag since. Abbott walked five while striking out only three and allowing six runs on nine hits to 31 Nationals hitters over 5.2 innings in his last start. The trip to the mound prior to that saw him allow four runs on five hits while facing just 18 Cubs hitters in 3.1 innings, he walked three and struck out five in that contest. Overall, Abbott has a 25.9% strikeout rate with a 9.4% walk rate, an 8.1% barrel rate, and 42.7% hard hits with a 3.15% home run rate on 90.9 mph of exit velocity. There is a lot of both good and bad in his numbers to this point, Abbott is expected to be a good starter at this level over time, he projects well on this slate and lands among the top six starters but he is priced similarly or higher than most of those options at $10,000/$9,800.
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes has had a productive week at the plate and an extended run would be both welcome and logical from a player who has always hit the ball far harder and with more regularity than his results may otherwise suggest. Hayes has a .255/.291/.412 triple-slash with a .157 ISO and just an 87 WRC+ over 337 plate appearances this season but he strikes out at just a 20.8% clip and has a 48.4% hard-hit rate. Hayes has hit seven home runs and stolen nine bases, he is a good option when stacking Pirates, particularly if he leads off. Bryan Reynolds has 15 home runs and nine stolen bases, Andrew McCutchen checks in with the same 10 and 10 he has had for several weeks, and Connor Joe is slated to hit cleanup against the lefty. Joe has been OK overall this season with a 107 WRC+ but a .241/.329/.429 triple-slash and just nine home runs in 319 plate appearances, he finds success on this side of splits and lands at $3.000/$2,500 with first base and outfield eligibility on both sites. Henry DavisEndy Rodriguez, and Jack Suwinski are a good trio in the middle of the lineup, Davis and Rodriguez are premium rookies with good bats and power potential, and Suwinski has been the team’s best power hitter with 21 homers and a .251 ISO this season. Jared Triolo and Alika Williams round out the projected batting order as playable rookie bats, Triolo has made 127 plate appearances and has a 74 WRC+ while Williams has a 62 in his 40 opportunities.

Play: Andrew Abbott, Johan Oviedo particularly for SP2 value on DraftKings, Reds bats, Pirates value darts

Update Notes: 

Chicago Cubs (+139/4.09) @ Toronto Blue Jays (-151/5.01)

  • Chicago is drawing just a 4.09-run implied total against righty Jose Berrios, who projects in the lower middle of a very deep pitching slate. Berrios had a 3.38 ERA but a more honest 4.15 xFIP with a 23% strikeout rate and a 7.1% walk rate while allowing 2.67% home runs on 8.9% barrels. The righty has been mostly good through the season, working 136 innings over 23 starts with 12 quality starts. The righty has allowed more than four runs just twice this season, both of those were only five-run games. Berrios has had a few blips in his career but he has pitched effectively this season and he is on the board at worst as a mix-in option in a low-end matchup for $9,200/$9,500.
  • The Cubs are ranked third overall by fantasy point projections on our board despite the low total in Vegas and the team is drawing a sixth-ranked mark for home run upside against Berrios. Chicago’s deep lineup opens with lefty Mike Tauchman who has given them quality plate appearances in the leadoff role and has a 127 WRC+ over 254 plate appearances overall this season. Tauchman gets on base reliably and is involved in a lot of the production from the quality hitters behind him. Nico Hoerner remains a bit expensive for what he does on the field, he has 28 stolen bases and a league-average 100 WRC+ over 490 plate appearances but hits in a good spot in this lineup and does have tools for MLB DFS production. Ian Happ has a .367 on-base percentage with 13 home runs and nine stolen bases while creating runs 15% better than average and setting the table for Cody Bellinger, who leads the team at 148 WRC+ and is part of a three-way tie for second with 17 home runs. Bellinger’s 17 stolen bases rank second on the Cubs, with everyone in the projected lineup contributing at least a few stolen bases to the cause this year. At $5,300/$4,200, Bellinger is the only expensive piece of a Cubs lineup that ranks out well for points-per-dollar value on both sites. Dansby Swanson has an 8.05 in our home run model, the third-highest mark on the team behind Bellinger’s 9.67 and the 10.82 carried by Christopher Morel in the seventh spot in the lineup. Switch-hitting Jeimer Candelario is cheap at $4,400/$3,300 with eligibility at both corner infield spots on DraftKings and just third base on FanDuel. Candelario has 17 home runs with a 131 WRC+ between Washington D.C. and Chicago this season, he is an affordable power bat late in this lineup. Morel fits in at third base or in the outfield on DraftKings and has triple-position eligibility for just $3,500 on FanDuel, he has 18 home runs to lead the team. Yan Gomes has power and a quality hit tool behind the plate for just $3,000/$2,700 and Nick Madrigal rounds out the lineup with a bit of speed, the light-hitting infielder has eight stolen bases with a .333 on-base percentage over his 208 plate appearances.
  • Righty Javier Assad has not worked more than four innings all season, he is making his third full start of the year and has a 4.56 xFIP with a 19.4% strikeout rate and 11.3% walk rate over 53.2 innings this year, he is not an option for $6,000 on either site.
  • Toronto bats are easily playable against Assad and whatever comes out of the Cubs’ bullpen. The Blue Jays lineup opens with a capable option in Whit Merrifield whose .346 on-base percentage is reliable for correlated scoring while his 10 home runs and 21 stolen bases are valuable for MLB DFS on their own. Brandon Belt has 10 homers and a .194 ISO from the left side of the plate. The veteran first baseman costs just $3,200/$2,900 despite the power output in just 319 plate appearances and a WRC+ mark that sits 28% better than average against a mediocre righty. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has a 6.50 in our home run model with 18 home runs and a 118 WRC+ for $5,100/$3,200, he is too cheap for his ceiling at first base. George Springer and Matt Chapman are a pair of hard-hitting veteran righties who have star power on the right day. Springer has 14 home runs and 15 stolen bases and Chapman still leads the team for premium contact with a 17.6% barrel rate and 57.7% hard hits, they are both high-priority bats when stacking Blue Jays hitters. Alejandro Kirk is a $3,200/$2,300 with a bit of pop at catcher, Daulton Varsho has 13 home runs and 13 stolen bases in 429 plate appearances but the lefty has been lousy overall and sits 25% below average for run creation, and Davis Schneider has been excellent over just 27 plate appearances but is sure to cool as his price keeps climbing. Paul DeJong is an affordable right-handed veteran power bat at shortstop with 13 home runs on the season.

Play: Cubs bats/stacks, Blue Jays bats/stacks, Jose Berrios as a lower-mid option

Update Notes: 

Detroit Tigers (+129/4.18) @ Boston Red Sox (-140/4.92)

  • Boston’s Chris Sale is expected to be limited to only a few innings on the mound tonight in his first start since June 1st. Sale has made two rehab starts in the minors, working two innings on August 1st and 4.1 on August 6th. Sale is an elite left-handed starter when healthy and he is in an excellent matchup against the Tigers, but he is unlikely to go more than four innings or 65 pitches, which puts a ceiling on his score on a deep slate. Sale has a strong enough projection, even with a four-inning cap, that he is borderline playable for the $7,900 DraftKings price, at $9,000 he is off the table on FanDuel given the lack of depth, he is probably not a good idea on either MLB DFS site tonight.
  • None of the concerns about short-starting Sale should lead to Tigers bats, the team is likely to be overmatched against the ace lefty during his innings and they are a low-end bunch overall. When looking at Tigers bats, focus should be primarily on both Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene, the team’s current top hopes for the future ahead of some additional prospects still gaining seasoning in the minors. Torkelson has been better than many may think through most of this season, he has a limited triple-slash at just .224/.304/.403 and clear work to do at the plate, but his 17 home runs and 50.8% hard-hit rate with 13.3% barrels are highly appealing outside of the matchup he will be facing. Torkelson has a 6.31 in our home run model for $4,300/$2,800. Greene is slated to hit cleanup despite the same-handed pitching matchup, the lefty is the team’s best hitter overall at .301/.365/.474 with a 135 WRC+, 10 home runs, and six stolen bases, he has a 114 WRC+ against fellow lefties this season. The outfielder costs just $4,500/$2,900 in the heart of the lineup but the duo is surrounded by mostly replacement-level parts. Matt Vierling is in the leadoff spot in the projected lineup, he has a 103 WRC+ with seven homers and five stolen bases this season but just a 93 against lefties. Andy Ibanez is cheap in the second spot in the lineup, he is a $2,500/$2,300 option at second base on DraftKings and with triple-position eligibility on FanDuel. Ibanez is a .248/.280/.411 hitter overall, he has an 89 WRC+ with seven home runs in 257 plate appearances, against lefties his WRC+ is just 93 but he has a .221 ISO in the split. Javier Baez hits fifth in the projected lineup, he has been awful across the board this season. Jake Rogers has 14 long balls to rank second on the team in his 252 plate appearances, the cheap catcher has a .232 ISO and 102 WRC+ and a 116 mark against left-handed pitching with a massive .352 ISO in the split. Miguel Cabrera leads the team with a 131 WRC+ against southpaws this season, though his ISO is just .086 in the split. Cabrera is slashing .310/.406/.397 in 69 plate appearances against lefties this year and is an option when stacking Tigers. Eric Haase and Zack Short round out the lineup, Short has a 112 WRC+ in 67 plate appearances against lefties this year but both are low-end options.
  • Lefty Tarik Skubal has a 31.1% strikeout rate with a 3.67 ERA and 2.65 xFIP over his first 27 innings and six starts in 2023. Skubal is a high-end starter who missed the latter portion of last year and the entire first half of this season with an injury but he is excellent when healthy. The southpaw has walked merely 3.8% of opposing hitters while posting a 1.04 WHIP in the small sample, he has induced a 12.7% swinging-strike rate, is yet to allow a home run, and has limited opposing hitters to just 4.4% barrels. Skubal is a strong option against a good lineup for $7,500/$8,800, he worked into the sixth inning for the first time in his most recent start, but he did not complete it, ultimately going 5.1 and facing 22 hitters while striking out six and walking one, the concerns about potential depth limitations are fading and Skubal will not be popular in this spot.
  • Boston’s solid lineup opens with Rob Refsnyder who has a 108 WRC+ with a .266/.390/.338 triple-slash in 189 plate appearances and a .341/.472/.435 with a 159 WRC+ in 106 against lefties. Masataka Yoshida costs $4,900/$3,200 as one of the top hitters on the team. Yoshida is slashing .304/.362/.477 with a 127 WRC+ and a 41.9% hard-hit rate, he is a high-priority hitter in Red Sox stacks. Adam Duvall has hit 10 home runs and has a 116 WRC+ over 202 plate appearances, he is affordable at $4,400/$2,900 in the outfield. Rafael Devers costs $5,200/$3,600 at third base, he has 26 home runs and his power is entirely intact at the plate, he is simply discounted despite his ongoing quality. Devers leads the team with a 14.00 in our home run model tonight. Trevor Story has a 9.90 in the home run model but has been slow out of the gate in his first 12 plate appearances to this point. Pablo Reyes is affordable at $2,600/$2,100 with multi-position eligibility at second base and shortstop, Triston Casas has all-world power and an 8.93 in our home run model from late in the lineup, he is still very cheap at $4,200/$2,800 for a player with 18 home runs and a 124 WRC+ with a .228 ISO, a 14.7% barrel rate, and a 46.3% hard-hit rate. Luis Urias has major power and positional flexibility for cheap pricing and Connor Wong is an effective hard-contact option behind the plate.

Play: Tarik Skubal, Red Sox bats/stacks, minor shares of Tigers value darts

Update Notes: 

Atlanta Braves (-169/5.43) @ New York Mets (+155/4.18)

  • Mets righty Tylor Megill has a 17.4% strikeout rate with a 5.45 ERA and a 5.17 xFIP while walking 11.1% and yielding a 3.14% home run rate on 41.5% hard hits and a 9.3% barrel rate, none of which mixes well with the elite Atlanta offense. The Braves have a 5.43-run implied team total in Vegas and massive upside in our model once again, they lead the board for both home run potential and fantasy point scoring tonight and Megill does not look like an option at $6,200/$7,000 in just his second start back in the Show.
  • The Braves everyday lineup should be intact on Friday night, they are once again likely to be the highest-scoring team on the slate and they have six hitters from 1-6 who all crack the “magic number” in our home run model tonight. Ronald Acuna Jr. is expensive and he is likely to be one of the most popular players on both sites at $6,700/$4,900. The spectacular outfielder is slashing .340/.422/.585 with a .245 ISO and 170 WRC+ while mashing 26 home runs and stealing 53 bases over 521 plate appearances. Ozzie Albies has a 14.85 in our home run model to lead second basemen, he has 26 home runs and a .243 ISO on the season. Austin Riley is a $5,900/$3,900 option at third base, he has 26 homers and a .224 ISO with a 121 WRC+ over 502 plate appearances. Matt Olson is our overall home run pick for the day, the masher of a first baseman costs $6,400/$4,400, he is a pricey option and the salary may impact his ownership, which only adds to the appeal for the slugger. Olson has 40 home runs and a .337 ISO this season, he is a major piece of Atlanta stacks and should not be skipped very often, he more than doubles the “magic number” at 21.24 in the home run model today. Sean Murphy is a premium option at catcher, he has 18 home runs and a 142 WRC+ this season. Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario are solid inexpensive power bats to help average down the salaries of more expensive Braves hitters in stacks. Orland Arcia and Michael Harris II both provide the same salary relief while doing a few additional things like hitting for average, creating more runs, and, in Harris’ case, stealing bases. The Braves are playable from 1-9 in any combination in any order.
  • Veteran righty Charlie Morton is affordable at $9,600/$8,500, his FanDuel price is notably low in a matchup in which his opponent is carrying just a 4.18-run implied total in Vegas. Morton has been a bit all over the map this season and in recent starts. The righty has a 3.86 ERA and a 4.20 xFIP while pitching to a 24.3% strikeout rate but a 10.7% walk rate this season. He has been good at checking power, allowing just 38.4% hard hits on 7.8% barrels with 2.39% home runs. Morton has been better in years past, his strikeout rate is down about four points year over year, but he is priced appropriately for the dip. Morton projects near the top of the board against the Mets and he is not likely to be overly popular in tournaments on either site.
  • Brandon NimmoFrancisco AlvarezFrancisco Lindor, and Pete Alonso are an enviable four-man group that any team would want to have in the lineup. Nimmo has excellent correlation abilities with good individual power, Alvarez is a breakout rookie catcher with tons of power and 21 home runs with a .256 ISO in just 298 plate appearances. Lindor is a star shortstop who has been in an overall downturn in his triple-slash but still has 22 home runs and 18 stolen bases with a 123 WRC+ and is cheap for that output at $5,300/$3,700. And Pete Alonso is merely one of the best power hitters in baseball. The slugging first baseman has 35 home runs with a .306 ISO and has been surging at the plate of late after slumping slightly following an injury earlier in the year. Alonso is still affordable at $5,500/$3,700, he leads the team with an 11.92 in our home run model. Jeff McNeilAbraham AlmonteMark VientosJonathan Arauz, and Rafael Ortega are mix-in level options after the four primary options in this version of the Mets lineup. McNeil is a limited slap hitter, Almonte costs very little but has not done much in 244 plate appearances over the past three seasons, Vientos has major power potential but is below the Mendoza line in 103 plate appearances and has managed just two long balls in the Show this year, Arauz and Ortega are cheap low-end infielders.

Play: Braves bats/stacks as much or as little as you’d like relative to the field, Charlie Morton

Update Notes: 

St. Louis Cardinals (-109/5.37) @ Kansas City Royals (+101/5.24)

  • Royals righty Dylan Coleman is slated to open ahead of lefty Angel Zerpa, neither pitcher has appeal on this slate. Cardinals veteran Adam Wainwright is similarly unappealing even against the Royals for $5,500/$6,200.
  • The Cardinals rank fourth on our board by fantasy point projections, they look like a strong option again tonight. Lars Nootbaar has 12 home runs and eight stolen bases with a 131 WRC+ as a solid left-handed leadoff hitter, he may slot into this spot in the lineup or the Cardinals may move him down lineup in anticipation of the left-handed bulk reliever, in either case Nootbaar is a good option in St. Louis stacks. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are stars who will hit atop the lineup regardless of what the Royals pull on the mound, they are both elite options at the corners and they are carrying WRC+ marks of 124 and 126 with 18 and 24 home runs respectively. Nolan Gorman has 24 home runs with a 122 WRC+ and .251 ISO, he is another player who may dip with the lefty bulk reliever but he is a premium power bat on that side of the plate. Willson Contreras got Thursday night off with Andrew Knizner hitting a big low-owned home run, Contreras should be back in the lineup tonight, he has a 116 WRC+ with 12 home runs in 383 plate appearances, Knizner has interesting power if he finds his way into the lineup, he is cheap and is unlikely to be highly owned even if the Cardinals are popular. Tyler O’Neill is a major source of right-handed power for just $3,700/$2,600 in the outfield. Jordan WalkerDylan Carlson, and Tommy Edman round out the projected lineup, they are all quality mix-in options with talent and multi-category contributions for power and speed. Edman may climb to the leadoff role if the team orients for the lefty follower instead of the righty opener. The Cardinals are a fairly high-priority stack once again tonight, they have a 5.37-run implied total and cheap pricing on both sites.
  • The Royals are also carrying a healthy run total at 5.24 as slight home underdogs against Wainwright. The veteran righty has a 7.81 ERA and 5.61 xFIP with an extremely limited 12.2% strikeout rate and a 3.75% home run rate on 11.4% barrels, he has been awful this season. Kansas City is cheap because they are largely ineffective at the plate, but even bad teams should be able to get to this version of Wainwright, the Royals are on the board for value today. Maikel Garcia leads off with an effective .281/.327/.380 triple-slash and 18 stolen bases but just a 92 WRC+ over 347 plate appearances. Bobby Witt Jr. is the team’s star shortstop, he has 20 home runs and 34 steals with a 110 WRC+ but still only gets on at a .310 clip, the one hole in his game at this point. Michael Massey has moderate left-handed power with 10 home runs in 308 plate appearances but just a .152 ISO and 75 WRC+ for $3,000/$2,400 at second base. Salvador Perez has 17 home runs and a .173 ISO with an 87 WRC+ this season. MJ Melendez can mash from the left side if you land on him on the correct day, he has a dozen home runs but just a .158 ISO despite a 12.7% barrel rate and 51.3% hard hits. Melendez has shown a bit of improvement in actual output on his quality contact of late, his numbers are slowly starting to resemble those of the better power hitter lurking in his numbers. Edward OlivaresMatt BeatyDairon Blanco, and Kyle Isbel round out the lineup as mix-in options. Olivares has moderate power and speed with an 88 WRC+ over 300 plate appearances. Beaty has a cheap left-handed bat and hit seven home runs in 234 plate appearances in 2021. Blanco has stolen 12 bases but he has a .294 on-base percentage and a 90 WRC+ over 86 plate appearances. Isbel has a 66 WRC+ with four homers and five stolen bases in 210 opportunities, mostly at the end of the lineup. The Royals are not good but they are in a premium matchup with a healthy run total in Vegas and very low salaries that work in excellent combinations with pitching and premium stacks. The priority hitters in this lineup are Witt, Perez, and Melendez with the others as bolt-on parts in descending order.

Play: Cardinals bats/stacks, Royals bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Los Angeles Angels (+157/3.72) @ Houston Astros (-172/4.88)

  • They might make a movie about the heist that Justin Verlander pulled on the Mets this season before getting himself traded right back to where he started. Verlander was good-not-great over seven innings at Yankee Stadium in his return to action with the Astros on the 5th, he struck out four and walked two while allowing two runs on a home run and seven hits in 7.0 innings. The veteran righty has a 3.11 ERA but a 4.62 xFIP overall and his strikeout rate sits at just 20.5% this season. Verlander has thrown 101.1 innings in 17 starts, the sample is shorter than some but his numbers have not caught up to the career track record in any way this season. Verlander is walking twice as many hitters as last year while losing nearly eight points from his strikeout rate and two from his swinging-strike rate. With the Angels on the other side, Verlander is pulling down a mid-board projection for $10,500/$9,400 and he looks somewhat overpriced while remaining an option. The expectation would be that Verlander’s ownership will be low while his ceiling remains high with a return to form against a heavily right-handed Angels club that has a fair amount of strikeouts in the lineup.
  • Los Angeles has a projected lineup that opens with Luis Rengifo who has a .325 on-base percentage with a 101 WRC+ and 11 home runs on the season. Rengifo is slashing .333/.398/.600 with a 173 WRC+ in 83 plate appearances since moving to the leadoff role. Shohei Ohtani has hit 40 home runs this season, he and Matt Olson are tied for the MLB lead. Ohtani has a .360 ISO and he has created runs 84% better than average while slashing .306/.410/.666 as one of baseball’s top starting pitchers. For $6,600/$4,500, Ohtani is a pricey fit in the outfield or at first base on DraftKings and only as an outfielder on the blue site, but he is always in play for quality. Brandon Drury has premium power from the right side of the plate, he has 15 home runs and a .221 ISO with a 120 WRC+ in 332 opportunities this year and he is effectively cheap at $4,700/$2,900 at second base on DraftKings and with first base added on FanDuel. Mike Moustakas is one of the few lefty options on this team, he has 11 home runs and a good triple-slash while remaining cheap with multi-position eligibility at the infield corners on both sites. CJ Cron is just a first baseman on both sites, the righty slugger costs $4,400/$2,800 and has 11 home runs in 264 plate appearances this year. Mickey Moniak has been very good in 241 plate appearances overall this season, he has a .300/.332/.539 triple-slash with a 135 WRC+. Hunter Renfroe needs a boost, he has been stuck at 17 home runs for a while now but he remains a lurking threat of low-owned low-cost right-handed power late in the lineup. Matt Thaiss and Randal Grichuk are two quality bats at the bottom, Thaiss has a bit of power from the left side as a cheap low-owned catcher and Grichuk has a sturdy triple-slash this season with a long track record of good right-handed power.
  • The Astros draw lefty Reid Detmers, who projects in the middle of the board for a playable $8,000/$8,400. Detmers has a 28.8% strikeout rate with a nine percent walk rate and a 4.78 ERA with a 3.95 xFIP. The lefty has allowed a bit of power with a 3.30% home run rate and 90.3 mph of exit velocity on average with a 17.2-degree launch angle average, but he has been fairly effective in numerous starts. Detmers will be challenged by an Astros team that is very good at limiting strikeouts against left-handed pitching while not losing quality on their key same-handed bats. Both Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker have hit lefties very well throughout their careers so far. Tucker has eight home runs while slashing .345/.411/.597 with a .252 ISO and 178 WRC+ and has better numbers against lefties than righties this season. Alvarez has six of his 21 home runs with a .318/.375/.624 triple-slash and a .306 ISO with a 170 WRC+ against same-handed pitching this season, he has also been slightly better against lefties than righties but both players are spectacular on both sides of splits. Before we reach those hitters in the Astros lineup, Jose Altuve is a major option at second base for $5,400/$4,200. Altuve has nine home runs and 11 stolen bases with a 158 WRC+ and a .230 ISO in just 202 plate appearances. Alex Bregman slots in second with Alvarez following and Tucker in the cleanup spot. Bregman has 18 home runs while slashing .251/.348/.415 with a 115 WRC+ for just $5,100/$3,200 at third base. Chas McCormick slots in fifth, he has a 7.23 in our home run model with 15 on the board this season and 12 stolen bases. McCormick has a 145 WRC+ with a .246 ISO in 291 opportunities for just $4,400/$3,400 as a key ingredient in stacks of Astros hitters. Jose Abreu has been mostly lousy, he is cheap at first base but not much more at 75 WRC+ on the season. Jeremy Pena has an 86 WRC+, Jake Meyers is at 95, and Martin Maldonado lands at just 52, they are all mix-and-match options late in the lineup.

Play: Expensive Justin Verlander hopefully at low popularity, Astros bats/stacks, Angels bats/stacks, Reid Detmers

Update Notes: 

Milwaukee Brewers (-170/4.87) @ Chicago White Sox (+155/3.74)

  • For just $8,600/$7,500, Michael Kopech is an interesting consideration as a value dart from the lower-middle portion of the board who has a bit of an upside for strikeouts. Kopech will be facing a Brewers team that has been effective at limiting punchouts this season, so that will not help his cause, and he is a highly erratic pitcher who has a 14.2% walk rate with a 4.43 ERA and 5.39 xFIP to go with his 23.7% strikeout rate. Kopech has not been good for contact this season either, he has allowed a 5.07% home run rate and 14% barrels to this point, which may lead to more Brewers stacks than shares of the limited starter.
  • Christian Yelich is an affordable star in the outfield for $5,600/$3,800, he has 16 homers and 23 stolen bases with a 130 WRC+ in 489 plate appearances. William Contreras is an underrated catcher who gains plate appearances hitting high in the lineup, he has an effective bat and a 117 WRC+ for $5,000/$3,000 and is in play on both sites. Carlos Santana and Willy Adames both have power in the middle of the lineup but they are both flawed overall hitters with low-end hit tools and on-base skills. Sal Frelick is a highly-regarded prospect who has been very good with a 149 WRC+ over his first 68 plate appearances. Frelick has three home runs and a .260/.412/.520 triple-slash with a .260 ISO. Frelick will be popular in stacks of Brewers but he is a good option when building with the quality value stack. Mark Canha is a capable veteran with moderate power, Andruw Monasterio is cheap with eligibility at multiple positions on both sites, he has a 117 WRC+ over 163 plate appearances with three home runs and five stolen bases for $2,700/$2,600. Brice Turang has had a few good games for value this season with six home runs and 14 stolen bases but is ultimately 25% behind the curve for run creation. Joey Wiemer is similar with better output overall, he has 13 home runs and 11 steals with an 84 WRC+.
  • Corbin Burnes is carrying a good projection that falls roughly in the middle of the pitching slate overall while also landing within five points of the very top spot on our FanDuel scaled pitching board. Burnes has a 25% strikeout rate with a 3.42 ERA and 3.95 xFIP this season, he has given up two runs or fewer in seven straight starts while posting a quality start in each outing and pulling his strikeout form together in several of those appearances. Overall, Burnes’ strikeout output is down and he has hit a few bumps, but he has been mostly good and is excellent at checking power with just a 2.66% home run rate on 5.5% barrels and 32% hard hits this year. The only consideration with Burnes is the $11,200/$10,800 price tag for a pitcher who has a projection that matches 10-12 other options on the board. Burnes has a very high ceiling, he should absolutely be played against a scuffling White Sox lineup but there are limitations to his quality for the price.
  • Chicago’s lineup is low-end, struggling, and in a bad matchup with Burnes on the mound, they are extremely low-priority tonight. Those looking to stack this team would do well to include sluggers Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jimenez, who have hit 31 and 13 home runs respectively this season. Those two join Andrew Vaughn as the only three players above the waterline by WRC+ in the projected White Sox lineup. Vaughn has 15 home runs as a cheap first baseman with a 106 WRC+, Robert has a 139 and Jimenez a 109. Tim Anderson has a 58 WRC+ with one home run and 11 stolen bases. Andrew Benintendi is back down to just 91 WRC+ after a brief trip above the line, and the bottom of the lineup is in poor form. Yoan Moncada has not done much at the plate, he has a 67 WRC+ with three home runs in 203 plate appearances, Yasmani Grandal is capable of getting on first base and hitting the odd cheap catcher home run but he has a 94 WRC+ on the season, Oscar Colas hit his third home run this week, he is at 52 WRC+ over 175 rookie plate appearances, and Elvis Andrus is Elvis Andrus.

Play: Corbin Burnes, Brewers bats/stacks, low-expectation Kopech value darts are low-end but OK, but they probably are not necessary on such a deep slate

Update Notes: 

San Diego Padres (-157/5.06) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (+144/4.05)

  • Righty Ryne Nelson has a 15.2% strikeout rate with a 3.81% home run rate on 90.9 mph of exit velocity, 42.4% hard hits, and 11% barrels in his 122 innings over 23 starts this season. The rookie has a 5.16 ERA and 5.21 xFIP with just an 8.3% swinging-strike rate and 23.1% CSW%, he has been mostly a target for bats all season and is not a good option in the bottom quarter of the board for $6,400/$6,800.
  • Ha-Seong Kim is affordable at $5,000/$3,400, his FanDuel price comes with triple-position eligibility to enhance his value. Kim has 15 home runs and 27 stolen bases in a career year, he has created runs 34% better than average and is a terrific correlation play with stars Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto. Tatis has 19 home runs and 17 stolen bases, he is very expensive despite a bit of a dip, but he is a superstar who is always on the board. Soto has been 54% better than average for run creation this season, he has 24 home runs to lead this team and look like a terrific option in stacks and as a one-off for $5,700/$3,800 in this matchup. Manny Machado has 21 home runs with an 8.91 in the home run model today that ranks him third on the team behind Tatis at 10.44 and Soto’s 9.39, and slightly ahead of Gary Sanchez who sits at 8.83 despite hitting eighth. Xander Bogaerts has a 105 WRC+ and has scuffled through parts of the season but he is cheap for his quality and fills shortstop on both sites, he is notably inexpensive at $2,800 on the FanDuel slate. Jake Cronenworth is struggling at just 93 WRC+, Ji-Man Choi offers left-handed power for just $2,400/$2,500 as an alternate first baseman, and Trent Grisham slots in ninth after Sanchez with a 98 WRC+ overall. The Padres have a 5.06-run implied team total in Vegas and plenty of quality through the top half of the lineup, they are a very good option for stacks on both sites tonight and they rank second on our projections board.
  • Blake Snell is another premium option on this pitching slate, he ranks in the top handful of starters on both sites but he is very expensive. Snell sits a few points above Burnes, but the difference amounts to less than a strikeout’s worth of fantasy points. Snell costs $10,600/$11,000, he has a 31.3% strikeout rate over 124 innings and 23 starts and has pitched to a 2.61 ERA but a 3.61 xFIP and, as usual, is highly inefficient with a 13.7% walk rate. The lefty has avoided contact well this season, he has allowed just 2.29% home runs on 7.7% barrels and 32.9% hard hits, he has potential to succeed against the Diamondbacks, but Arizona is not a bad lineup and they are a collectively low-strikeout bunch. Snell will be challenged in this spot and he is very pricey around the industry, he projects like a top option and is playable but he has a limiting downstream impact on the constructions and combinations that will be available in lineups.
  • Arizona has Ketel Marte in the leadoff spot against the lefty, he is slashing .282/.358/.492 with a .210 ISO and 18 home runs while creating runs 28% better than average as one of the season’s most valuable second basemen. Corbin Carroll has an 8.08 in our home run model, he has been paused at 21 for a bit now but he is still a very strong multi-category scoring option from the top of the lineup who has been 32% better than average for run creation this year. Tommy Pham is good for counting stats and run creation, he has 10 home runs and 13 stolen bases this season and he is getting on base at a .340 clip ahead of Christian Walker and Lourdes Gurriel, both of whom offer good power potential at the plate with 23 and 18 home runs respectively. Walker has been very good, he has a .243 ISO, does not strike out much, and has created runs 23% better than average. Gurriel has dipped from .291/.343/.400 last year to .256/.305/.468 this season but he has 18 home runs to last year’s five and we’ll take the power any day. Emmanuel Rivera has an 87 WRC+ and his triple-slash has diminished over the past few weeks, Jake McCarthy has 26 stolen bases with an 86 WRC+ on the season, Nick Ahmed has a 59 WRC+ in 163 opportunities, and Carson Kelly is a low-end catcher for DFS purposes. The Diamondbacks are not a high-priority stack on this slate, they rank in the middle of the board, across the board, on our stacks tool.

Play: Padres bats/stacks, Blake Snell

Update Notes: 

Baltimore Orioles (+127/3.50) @ Seattle Mariners (-137/4.08)

  • Luis Castillo has a slate-leading projection with the Orioles riding into town on just a 3.50-run implied total. Castillo has a 27.9% strikeout rate with a 3.21 ERA and 3.63 xFIP despite a bit of a home run issue this season. The righty has allowed a 3.96% home run rate on 90 mph of exit velocity with a 43.4% hard-hit rate and 10.5% barrels in a weird twist to his otherwise solid 137.1 innings in 23 starts. Castillo has been very effective at inducing swinging strikes at 15.4% and he has walked just 6.1% of hitters while allowing a 1.05 WHIP, he remains an elite right-handed starter and he is worth the $10,000/$10,600 in this spot as a high-priority pitcher on both sites.
  • Baltimore’s capable lineup ranks 15th on the board, sitting roughly in the middle by projections with similar points-per-dollar rankings, they are playable but low-priority overall in stacks. Catcher Adley Rutschman is an excellent leadoff hitter, he has a .373 on-base percentage and is constantly drawing a walk or putting the ball in play with a 14.9% strikeout rate and 13.5% walk rate on the season. Gunnar Henderson costs $5,000/$3,200 at third base and shortstop, he has 19 home runs with a .226 ISO and looks cheap on this slate despite the tough matchup. Anthony Santander and Ryan Mountcastle have excellent power in the heart of the lineup. Santander hits from both sides and has 20 home runs with a .217 ISO and 120 WRC+ over 472 plate appearances, and Mountcastle has 15 long balls in his 343 opportunities. Ryan O’Hearn hits between the two sluggers in the projected lineup, he has nine home runs of his own in just 222 plate appearances and he is a cheap left-handed option at first base or in the outfield when stacking Orioles hitters. O’Hearn has never been this player in his career, but he is still cheap despite the significant uptick in quality so far this season. Adam FrazierAustin HaysRamon Urias, and Colton Cowser are a quality bottom end, they are all playable as mix-ins. Frazier has hit more home runs this year than in the past two seasons combined, Hays has had moderate output in a good year with the bat, Urias has infrequent but realistic power potential for cheap prices and low popularity, and Cowser is one of baseball’s top prospects who is expected to turn into a multi-category star, but he has not done much to this point in 74 opportunities.
  • Kyle Gibson has a 19.9% strikeout rate with a 4.50 ERA and 4.13 xFIP, he does not project very well comparative to the other options on this slate and he costs $9,600 on the FanDuel pitching board, which takes him largely out of play in our consideration. Gibson is a $7,700 low-priority low-expectation SP2 option on the DraftKings slate, he has a bit of potential to pick up strikeouts against the free-swinging Mariners lineup in a pitcher’s park, but his slate-leading appearances have been few and far between over the past few seasons. Gibson is a mix-in at best, and a very expensive one on the blue site.
  • The Mariners have a bit of power but they do not rank well in any of our key categories on the stacks tool. JP Crawford is cheap for $4,100/$2,900 at shortstop, he is a capable option who is better for correlated scoring with the unreliable power bats behind him. Julio Rodriguez has 18 home runs with 27 stolen bases and a 112 WRC+ over 507 plate appearances this season. Eugenio Suarez is three percent better than average for run creation over 486 opportunities but he has dipped in power output this season. Suarez has 16 home runs with a .158 ISO, he had 31 homers with a .223 and .230 ISO each of the past two seasons. Cal Raleigh and Teoscar Hernandez have major power potential at the plate. Raleigh draws walks in addition to his high strikeout rate and he has value with 19 long balls, a .221 ISO, and a 113 WRC+, Hernandez strikes out more and walks far less, he is below average at just 96 WRC+. Dominic Canzone is a mix-in outfielder for $2,500/$2,200, he has a home run in 61 plate appearances but not much else, Ty France has had a down season at the plate but was a good hitter with mid-range power the past two seasons, Mike Ford had a power outburst to start his season and sits at 11 home runs over 150 plate appearances, he has a 7.43 in our home run model today. Josh Rojas rounds out the lineup as a mix-in infielder.

Play: Luis Castillo, mix-in level shares of Orioles or Mariners bats/stacks.

Update Notes: 

Colorado Rockies (+249/3.20) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (-280/5.43)

  • Colorado checks in at +249 with a 3.20-run implied team total against veteran righty Lance Lynn who has a 26.8% strikeout rate with a 4.03 xFIP but an ugly 6.11 ERA this season. Lynn has allowed a 5.47% home run rate on 11.3% barrels and 40.2% hard hits and none of that matters because he is in a fantastic matchup against baseball’s worst team. Lynn allowed three home runs in his first start with the Dodgers but went on to strike out seven over seven innings. He gave up one run on four hits and a home run while striking out six in six innings in his second outing, a much tougher start against the Padres. Lynn is going to be the slate’s most popular pitcher on both sites, he is affordable at $8,900/$9,900 and he projects competitively with all of the top options on the board, but with the weight of expectations and public popularity on his shoulders it is easy to undercut the option and take out shares of pitchers with similar projections and upside for the money.
  • Rockies bats are a limited play as usual. Jurickson Profar has little to no appeal outside of cheap plate appearances for $3,900/$2,800. Ezequiel Tovar has created runs 25% worse than average with 11 homers and six steals in a disappointing rookie season. Ryan McMahon is a good lefty power hitter with an 8.43 in the home run model today. McMahon does nearly all of his damage against righties, he has a good shot at putting a dent in Lynn’s upside on this one, he has an 11.8% barrel rate and 45% hard-hit rate and costs just $4,300/$3,300 at third base on DraftKings and adding second base to the mix on FanDuel. Brendan Rodgers has hit for power in the Show in limited doses ove the past two seasons, he is an affordable option in the heart of the lineup at second base on both sites. Elias Diaz has a .269/.325/.423 triple-slash as a cheap unpopular catcher, Nolan Jones has been the team’s best rookie slugger with 11 home runs in 222 plate appearances and a .276/.356/.500 triple-slash and a .224 ISO, and Elehuris Montero has hit four homers in 158 opportunities. Michael Toglia has hit two homers and has an 18 WRC+ in 100 plate appearances, he is cheap and has not performed but he has power potential at the plate. Brenton Doyle rounds out the lineup with infrequent counting stats.
  • The Dodgers face Austin Gomber, a lefty who does not project well at all in the matchup. Gomber has a 5.40 ERA and 4.84 xFIP with a 15.3% strikeout rate and he has allowed 4.25% home runs on 8.7% barrels and a 44% hard hit-rate with 90.6 mph of exit velocity on average. The lefty is very targetable, he is not a good DFS option for $5,700/$7,800 on such a deep slate.
  • Mookie Betts is a superstar with multi-position eligibility enhancing his value on both sites. Betts has a 14.99 in our home run model today on top of a loaded Dodgers offense. Freddie Freeman has a 10.29 in the home run model, he has 23 on the season to Betts’ 31, but both hitters have been mashing all year and create runs like few other duos in baseball. Will Smith is an outstanding catcher option with power and very strong on-base and run creation skills. Amed Rosario has mid-range power and speed and slots into the middle of a productive lineup after scuffling his way out of Cleveland’s lousy situation. Max Muncy has 28 homers with a .288 ISO from the left side and costs just $5,000/$3,600 in stacks of Dodgers. Chris Taylor has 12 home runs and 10 stolen bases with a .202 ISO with most of his quality coming against lefties this season. Enrique Hernandez, and Miguel Rojas are mix-in options in the infield while James Outman has more of a ceiling potential for power with 13 home runs, 14 stolen bases, and a 119 WRC+ in the last spot in the projected batting order.

Play: Lance Lynn but he will be very popular, Dodgers bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Texas Rangers (-104/4.30) @ San Francisco Giants (-104/4.30)

  • The Rangers are facing opener Scott Alexander who will be followed by Ross Stripling in bulk relief, neither pitcher looks like a playable option for MLB DFS purposes. Jon Gray takes the ball for Texas with a quality projection in the middle of the board at cheap pricing on both sites, he is a value option who is another on the very broad plateau of quality for one of the better price tags. Gray has a 20.3% strikeout rate over 113.2 innings in 20 starts this season, he has pitched to a 3.72 ERA but a 4.44 xFIP on the season while limiting home runs to 2.78% and barrels to just 5.8%, he is a quality option in a mid-level matchup against a San Francisco offense that has been nine percent better than average creating runs against righties as a unit with a 23.2% strikeout rate and .168 ISO collectively. Gray is a playable part of the slate at a good value number, he should be in the wash with all of the similarly-projected starters.
  • Rangers bats are an interesting option, they have quality up and down the lineup but are limited to just a 4.30-run implied team total on the board in Vegas. Our model has Texas ranked fifth by fantasy point projections and second for home run potential on this slate, they are showing clear upside for MLB DFS quality. Marcus Semien and Corey Seager are a pricey infield duo at $6,100/$3,900 and $6,300/$4,500 but they are worthwhile when they can be afforded and there is plenty of value on this slate to help cut costs. Semien has 18 homers, 10 stolen bases, and a 124 WRC+ with a .350 on-base percentage in the leadoff role, and Seager is the team’s star with 19 home runs and a 190 WRC+ over his 325 plate appearances. Nathaniel Lowe is slashing .280/.374/.449 with a 130 WRC+ and a discounted price at $4,500/$3,400. Adolis Garcia is a star outfielder for $5,900/$4,100, he has 29 homers and seven stolen bases with a 16.4% barrel rate on the year. Mitch Garver is a powerhouse catcher with seven home runs in 165 plate appearances and a quality 128 WRC+ for just $3,600/$2,900, he is playable in Rangers stacks on both sites. Travis Jankowski has a good hit tool and speed on the base paths, Ezequiel Duran and Leody Taveras have been very good late-lineup contributors all season, and J.P. Martinez slots in as a $2,000 option on FanDuel in his debut.
  • The Giants have playable parts up and down the lineup, Gray is no lock to pitch well but the team has a limited 4.30-run implied total on the board. LaMonte Wade Jr. has 11 home runs and a very strong .396 on-base percentage that helps him play the part of correlated scorer if nothing else. Wade is cheap at first base for $3,700/$2,800 and is a good leadoff option in Giants stacks. Thairo Estrada is slashing .267/.322/.421 with a 104 WRC+, nine home runs, and 18 stolen bases over 338 plate appearances, he has been mostly effective for San Francisco but is not quite the semi-star people were making him out to be early in the year. Wilmer Flores has a .239 ISO with 15 home runs in 293 plate appearances, Joc Pederson has 11 from the left side with a .191 ISO in 283 plate appearances, and JD Davis has hit 15 in 412 chances. Michael Conforto has a touch of lefty power late in the lineup, he has a 7.6% barrel rate and 39.4% hard hits but has managed 13 home runs and a .149 ISO and has dipped as the season has continued. Patrick Bailey, Brandon Crawford, and Luis Matos are mix-in options in Giants stacks.

Play: Rangers bats/stacks, Jon Gray, Giants bats/stacks

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