MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Notes & Live Show Link – Friday 8/18/23

A monster 13-game slate (with 12 on FanDuel) has us a bit in hurry-up mode if we’re going to get notes and a show all done before lock tonight. The board is loaded with pitching that peaks at a very high point with Spencer Strider and a much broader plateau of lower-priced excellent options on the mound beneath him separated by a bit of a gap in projections. The slate is deep with options on the mound, including Pablo Lopez in a great spot, Kyle Gibson against one of baseball’s worst teams, Brandon Woodruff in a difficult matchup, and a range of options that project similarly at a range of prices. There is a Coors Field game drawing a massive total between two lousy teams and there are numerous spots for home run and run creation potential on what should be a fairly explosive slate.

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

Join us at 4:20 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 Notes – 8/18/23

Boston Red Sox (-107/4.59) @ New York Yankees (-112/4.64)

  • The Red Sox should have higher than a 4.59-run implied total against minor league pitcher Jhony Brito in his 13th start. Brito has a 4.76 ERA and 5.03 xFIP with an 18% strikeout rate and he has allowed a 4.60% home run rate on 11.2% barrels, he has not been able to put together any sort of consistency at the MLB level and has a high point of six strikeouts that he has hit three times this season. Brito is a bad pitcher against a good team in a hitter-friendly park on a deep night, he is not a good option for MLB DFS even at $5,800/$7,600.
  • Boston stacks seem likely to be popular on the top end even on a deep slate, the hitting environment should be ripe in Yankee Stadium and Brito is a targetable starter. The Red Sox rank ninth by fantasy point projections and eighth for home run potential on our stacks board. Lefty Alex Verdugo is cheap at $4,200/$2,800 at the top of the lineup, he has nine home runs and a 106 WRC+ in 462 plate appearances and gets on base at a .340 clip to set the tone for a team that is strong in sequencing. Masataka Yoshida gets on at a .356 clip and has a 122 WRC+ over 449 fairly outstanding plate appearances in his first year in MLB. Yoshida is slashing .300/.356/.466 and has 12 home runs with eight stolen bases while striking out just 12% of the time. Justin Turner is an elite hitter and always has been, he is slashing .285/.353/.482 with a .197 ISO, 19 home runs, and a 16.5% strikeout rate and he costs merely $4,600/$3,300 with eligibility at first and third base on FanDuel. Crucially, Turner lost his second base eligibility on DraftKings and now is a decision point in the lineup with star third baseman Rafael Devers at the hot corner. Devers has 27 home runs with a .248 ISO, a 12.9% barrel rate, and a 51.5% hard-hit rate, his 11.69 in the home run model leads the Red Sox lineup tonight for just $5,300/$3,500. Trevor Story has zero home runs and is back to a 65 WRC+ over his 33 plate appearances, the star infielder needs to find his footing after a long absence but he is an excellent hitter with power and speed, Story has stolen 3 bases in his handful of games. Triston Casas is delivering on our promise of a big second half and is up to 20 home runs for the season. Casas has a .256/.357/.488 triple-slash with a .233 ISO and a 14.7% barrel rate with 46.5% hard hits, and he will be targeting the short porch in right field tonight. The first baseman has a 7.77 in our home run model and looks like a strong buy for stacks of Red Sox or as a one-off. Jarren Duran is yet another quality lefty in this lineup, he has eight homers and 23 stolen bases with a 125 WRC+ in 349 plate appearances in a strong breakout. Pablo Reyes and Reese McGuire round out the projected lineup as playable mix-in options, Reyes is quietly slashing .318/.356/.436 with a 114 WRC+ in his 119 plate appearances.
  • Brayan Bello takes the mound for Boston with a salary of $8,500/$9,000 and an upper-middle projection in the pitching pool. Bello is one of a group of 10 quality pitchers in that range but he is not in a high-end pitching situation overall and the Yankees are carrying a mid-range 4.64-run implied total. Bello has given up a surprising amount of home run power this season with a 3.55% rate despite a 5.4-degree average launch angle and just 7.2% barrels, his mistakes have been loud and long. Over 113.1 innings and 20 starts, Bello has a 20% strikeout rate with a 6.3% walk rate, a 3.81 ERA and a 3.97 xFIP, he has more than enough talent to shut down this version of the Yankees and projects as a playable mid-level option on both sites.
  • DJ LeMahieu has an average WRC+ of just 103 over the past three seasons, with this year’s 92 as the worst of the bunch. Over 397 plate appearances the former batting champ is slashing .242/.317/.372 with a .130 ISO and a 22.4% strikeout rate as a major source of the team’s problems. The infielder fits into multiple positions on both sites and comes cheap in a good spot in the lineup if he leads off, he is a play in Yankees stacks. Gleyber Torres is a strong option at second base, he has 18 home runs and 12 stolen bases and direct correlation opportunities with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup. Judge has 22 home runs and a .333 ISO with a 178 WRC+ over 289 opportunities, Stanton has 18 home runs in 290 chances, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa has hit as many homers (6) in 300 plate appearances as Billy McKinney has in 140. After Stanton things get ugly quickly, Kiner-Falefa is a middling hit-focused player at best, McKinney has decent lefty pop but is very inconsistent and has never truly landed at the MLB level, and then the lineup falls into the inconsistent power and speed contributions of Harrison Bader and Anthony Volpe in the outfield and at shortstop for $3,300/$2,800 and $3,000/$2,900. There is an argument to be made that giving both players more opportunities higher in the lineup could enhance both of their production but they are maddeningly inconsistent with an 89 and 88 WRC+ on the season. Kyle Higashioka has good contact marks over his 211 plate appearances with seven home runs to show for it as a cheap never popular catcher.

Play: Red Sox bats/stacks aggressively, Yankees bats/stacks in moderation, Brayan Bello from the middle of the board

Update Notes:

Philadelphia Phillies (-176/5.20) @ Washington Nationals (+161/3.91)

  • Washington starter Joan Adon projects in the lower-middle of a deep pitching slate with an unfavorable matchup, he is not a strong option for MLB DFS purposes. Adon has a 25.9% strikeout rate in his two starts and 14 innings, pitching to a 5.14 ERA and 3.88 xFIP with a .086 WHIP but a 5.56% home run rate. Adon has allowed an 8.3% barrel rate and 47.2% hard hits with 91.5 mph of exit velocity in the tiny sample. Last season he made 14 starts and had a 17.7% strikeout rate over 64.2 innings with a 7.10 ERA and 5.06 xFIP, which is probably why the Phillies have a 5.20-run total on the board in Vegas.
  • Philadelphia ranks seventh by collective fantasy point projections and 10th by points-per-dollar value on both sites on our stacks board. The Phillies lineup runs deep with good options from at least 1-7 and mix-in parts late in the lineup. Masher Kyle Schwarber has a 10.85 in the home run model with 30 in the books this season. Schwarber’s .180/.322/.418 triple-slash is far from ideal but he is a terrific power hitter who has created runs at a league-average clip and draws walks at a 16.6% rate. Alec Bohm has been a steady contributor for the Phillies all season, he has a 105 WRC+ with 12 home runs and a 16.2% strikeout rate with 42.6% hard hits, for $4,300/$3,000 Bohm is a good option in stacks with eligibility at first and third base. Bryce Harper is up to nine home runs to go with his strong triple-slash and seven stolen bases over 377 opportunities. The counting stat output has been a bit light for the Phillies star but he has been otherwise excellent and has a 122 WRC+ for the season with a 13.9% barrel rate and 44.5% hard-hit rate to support the notion of more power coming. Nick Castellanos is down to a 110 WRC+ for his 505 plate appearances, he has been a good daily option in this lineup and he remains cheap at $4,500/$3,200 in the outfield, he is a key part of stacks even in a bit of a dip. Overall, Castellanos has 20 home runs with a .192 ISO and a 10.6% barrel rate with 43.6% hard hits, we remain buyers. Bryson Stott has hit 11 home runs and stolen 23 bases while creating runs nine percent ahead of the average. Trea Turner has been 14% below the average for run creation but has similar counting stats with 12 homers and 22 stolen bases, he is still pricey at $5,200 on DraftKings despite the season-long slump, he is a cheap $3,000 shortstop with a massive ceiling on the blue site. JT Realmuto is a top option at the catcher position, he has 15 home runs and 12 stolen bases in another strong MLB DFS season. Jake Cave and Johan Rojas round out the lineup as playable mix-ins in an abundance of Philadelphia stacks.
  • Righty Michael Lorenzen has made quite the impression in his first two starts with the Phillies. The righty worked eight solid innings of two-run ball, allowing a home run and six hits with a walk and five strikeouts at Miami, and then followed the performance with a five-strikeout four-walk no-hitter in a complete game shutout against these Nationals in his home debut. The opportunity to come right back against the same team in a road start is interesting, Lorenzen was far from perfect given the four free passes he allowed, and he gave up a fair amount of solid contact despite the lack of results. The righty projects in the top five on our pitching board on a deep slate with a high peak but most of the options on a broad plateau further down the quality slope. Lorenzen has a 3.23 ERA and 4.39 xFIP with a 19.4% strikeout rate and 1.04 WHIP over 20 starts and 122.2 innings and he has checked home runs to just 2.51%. For $9,200/$10,200 it is unlikely that we are buying another nine clean innings, but Lorenzen has good potential for quality.
  • CJ Abrams leads off and fills shortstop for $4,600/$3,000, he has a 92 WRC+ with 11 home runs and 33 stolen bases and is a must in stacks of Nationals hitters. Lane Thomas is the team’s best player right now, he has a 114 WRC+ overall this season and has steadied himself at .281/.328/.475 with 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases in the books. Joey Meneses also has a quality hit tool but he lacks reliable power. After a surge to 11 home runs, Meneses still has just a .139 ISO, though he has been three percent better than average for run creation this season. Keibert Ruiz has 15 home runs and a .260/.318/.423 triple-slash for just $4,200/$2,800 at catcher, he is always under-owned. Dominic Smith has a 90 WRC+ and a .080 ISO for the season but he is reliable for putting the ball in play with his 15.6% strikeout rate and sturdy .266 average, if he could make better contact or draw walks more reliably, Smith would become an above-average run creator. Jake Alu fills second or third base on both sites, Ildemaro Vargas is a third baseman on DraftKings and adds second base or shortstop eligibility on FanDuel, and the lineup ends with two cheap outfield options in Blake Rutherford and Alex Call.

Play: Phillies bats/stacks, Michael Lorenzen

Update Notes:

Detroit Tigers () @ Cleveland Guardians ()

note: some content lifted from yesterday’s writeup.

  • The makeup of last night’s rainout is a doubleheader with the second game appearing only on the DraftKings slate. The hometown Guardians have Xzavion Curry on the mound for $5,500 as a piece of value on both sites. Curry has one of the better matchups in baseball against the Tigers but he has been far from reliable on the mound. The righty has a 16.1% strikeout rate with a 6.7% walk rate, a solid-looking 3.39 ERA but a 5.30 xFIP, and a 9.1% barrel rate. The barrels have not burnt the starter too badly to this point, Curry has allowed just a 2.81% home run rate on 21.2 degrees of launch angle on average and a too-high 46.6% hard-hit rate, he has gotten lucky to keep long balls in check as well as he has over 69 innings and five starts. The Tigers have a 24th-ranked 95 WRC+ collectively across the active roster against right-handed pitching this season, on yesterday’s short slate Curry would have been a value play with an interesting ceiling, but today he looks more like an also-ran option.
  • Lefty Akil Baddoo has a good toolset for MLB DFS purposes with mid-range power and speed but he is a very inconsistent contributor when he gets his chances. Baddoo has a .222/.315/.360 triple-slash with seven home runs and seven stolen bases on the board this season with just a 5.5% barrel rate and 35.2% hard hits. The outfielder is very cheap and he hits from the left side of the plate, in 461 opportunities two years ago he went 13/18 and created runs eight percent better than average, if that player shows up for a night at $2,900/$2,400 he will provide good value. Riley Greene is the best hitter on the Tigers, the lefty is slashing .309/.368/.491 with a .182 ISO with 11 home runs and six stolen bases over his 356 plate appearances after missing a bit of time with an injury. Greene has a solid 12.3% barrel rate with a 48.7% hard-hit rate, he strikes out a bit at 27.2% and walks at just an OK 8.4% but he has been good at getting on base and ties the team’s other quality lefty hitter for the lead in run creation this year. Greene is cheap for his talent in this matchup at $4,600/$2,900, he is an absolute priority in Tigers stacks and can be deployed as an interesting outfield one-off at a discount. Matt Vierling is slashing .270/.324/.386 with a 99 WRC+ in 373 opportunities, his numbers are a bit better in same-handed matchups and he is cheap in an excellent spot in the batting order if nothing else. Vierling makes minimal contact with just a 3.6% barrel rate, but he does put the ball in play regularly with just 18.5% strikeouts. Spencer Torkelson is better than his reputation, as we have been featuring throughout the season. The second-year first baseman has not been great at the plate this season, as should be clear in his .230/.309/.431 triple-slash, but he has made great strides at the plate in terms of contact, power, and run creation. Torkelson has a terrific 14.3% barrel rate and a 52% hard-hit rate this season, way up from 8.4% and 41.4% in 404 plate appearances as a rookie last season. The slugger has mashed 21 home runs and has an outside shot at 30 if the last seven weeks of the season break well for him. Torkelson is a $4,200/$2,900 bargain with a .201 ISO and he has been four percent better than average for the season creating runs, up from 24% below average in his rookie year. Kerry Carpenter is the team’s other excellent left-handed bat, he offers true power and a decent-to-good hit tool and is inexpensive. Carpenter is our overall home run pick of the day, he has 16 long balls in only 285 plate appearances this season with an 11.1% barrel rate and 42.9% hard-hit rate and he is tied with Greene for the run-creation lead, in a moderately sized sample. Carpenter hit six home runs in 113 plate appearances last year and showed steady power with a .233 ISO in the small sample, he is a good option and the second-highest priority in the lineup behind Greene but ahead of Torkelson in the matchup. Miguel Cabrera is slashing .255/.328/.342 but has just a .087 ISO and two home runs in his 259 plate appearances. Cabrera has been 10% below average in creating runs for the season, he has a 19.3% strikeout rate and puts the ball in play fairly effectively and he is very cheap at $2,100 at first base on both sites on an extremely small slate. Zach McKinstry has seven homers and 12 stolen bases but has been 15% below average for run creation on the season. The lefty is inexpensive at $3,500/$2,400, and he has eligibility at third base and shortstop on DraftKings while fitting into third base, second base, and the outfield on the blue site, adding needed flexibility to the cheap Tigers lineup. Isan Diaz and Eric Haase round out the projected Tigers lineup, Diaz has made just 26 plate appearances in the Show this season and 526 in his career. The 27-year-old is a lifetime .177/.267/.274 hitter with nine home runs and a stolen base to go with his .097 ISO. Haase is slashing .202/.244/.285 with a 28% strikeout rate and only four home runs with a .084 ISO, he has been mostly inept at the plate this season and is a mix-in at best.
  • Lefty Joey Wentz has a 20.1% strikeout rate with a 7.03 ERA and 4.98 xFIP in 79.1 innings and 16 starts this season, he is not a strong option on the mound even at value pricing even against a Cleveland team that ranks 29th out of 30 with a 64 WRC+ collectively for the active roster against lefties this season. The Guardians have a .104 ISO in the split, the worst in baseball, but they are somewhat good at keeping strikeouts down with just an 18.8% in the split, which ties the Diamondbacks for second-best behind the Astros’ elite 17.4%. Cleveland has a similar sample size to both of those teams, they rank 13th with 977 collective plate appearances against southpaws, so numbers are fairly realistic representations of their skills in the split. Meanwhile, Skubal checks in as a potentially dominant lefty who has a 27.7% strikeout rate with just a 4.6% walk rate in his small sample of 32.1 innings over seven starts since his return from a long injury absence. Skubal has allowed just a 4.6% barrel rate with a 0.77% home run mark so far, which should play well against the Guardians’ total lack of power in the split. The lefty has a 4.18 ERA but a 2.91 xFIP with a 12% swinging-strike rate so far in his return, and he worked 5.1 innings in each of his last two starts, meaning he is essentially fully stretched out. If this game plays with more limited weather concerns or if they late-start and Skubal is not threatened by a delay, he looks like a terrific option tonight. Of course, with only eight teams on deck, the Guardians are in play as well, but they are in a very bad spot for production.
  • Steven Kwan has a .272/.340/.380 triple-slash and a league-average 100 WRC+ for the season. Kwan is getting on base at just a .340 clip, he briefly looked like he was going to make a run toward the .370 mark that would make him valuable, but he has backslid in recent weeks and is just a mix-in option for correlation when stacking Guardians, he is still good at putting the ball in play with just 10.8% strikeouts. Jose Ramirez is the team’s lone star in this lineup, he has 18 home runs with 18 stolen bases, a .204 ISO, a 126 WRC+, excellent marks of just 10.3% strikeouts and 10.5% walks, and one knockout this season. Andres Gimenez is a toolsy infielder with power and speed, he is up to 11 home runs and 20 stolen bases with a 96 WRC+ in what is shaping up a bit better than his season was looking for several months. Gimenez strikes out at just a 17.9% pace, the third-best mark in the projected lineup. For $4,200/$2,900 Gimenez is an important piece of Guardians stacks but he can also probably be utilized as a low-owned one-off option at second base for discounted pricing. The matchup is not good, he will probably get rained on, and he has been mostly bad this season, but with limited popularity he has a good ceiling for MLB DFS purposes. Ramon Laureano has six home runs and nine stolen bases this season with a low-end triple-slash that looks like his previous seasons, he is a mix-in outfielder for a cheap price. Oscar Gonzalez has a 6.1% barrel rate and 36.4% hard hits in his 133 plate appearances and he has managed just one home run and a .103 ISO. Gonzalez did hit 11 homers in 382 chances while creating runs 22% better than average last year, so he has a bit of potential for a cheap price and is probably more worthwhile than Laureano overall. Brayan Rocchio fits in at third base or shortstop for $2,500 on DraftKings and is a discounted shortstop at $2,200 on FanDuel. Rocchio is slashing .288/.309/.365 with zero home runs and zero stolen bases in his first 55 plate appearances. The 22-year-old has a highly regarded, but potentially underdeveloped, hit tool with limited power and speed potential, the Guardians may have another Kwan on their hands. Gabriel Arias is the opposite, he has massive power but rarely puts the bat on the ball. Arias is striking out at a 33.6% clip with a 10.9% walk rate, he has a 7.4% barrel rate and 43.4% hard hits with seven home runs in 220 plate appearances but a .199/.286/.342 triple-slash from the right side. Arias also offers multi-position eligibility, he is a first baseman or shortstop on DraftKings and adds third base to that mix on FanDuel for $2,100 on either site. Arias is a more favorable MLB DFS option than Rocchio given the power potential and cheap flexibility. Myles Straw is a defense and speed player who is rarely involved in the offense, he has a .306 on-base percentage and a 71 WRC+. Cam Gallagher has made 127 plate appearances and has a -13 WRC+ with a .132/.165/.174 triple-slash and zero home runs or stolen bases, the catcher is as far from a good option as one could get and would only be a body in a lineup for $2,000/$2,100 at catcher.

Play: Tigers bats/stacks in small shares

Update Notes:

San Francisco Giants (+198/3.66) @ Atlanta Braves (-219/5.46)

  • Atlanta starter Spencer Strider has had a few shaky outings throughout his otherwise excellent season, they tend to linger in the minds of MLB DFS gamers longer than many of his expensive high-end performances do. Strider was rocked by the Pirates, of all teams, two starts ago, allowing six runs on five hits while walking three and striking out three in his worst outing of the season. The righty came back with seven strong innings against the Mets, striking out six and walking four but shutting them out while yielding only three hits. Strider is generally the best starter in the sport, he has a 37.9% strikeout rate over 139.1 innings in 24 starts and has pitched to a 3.75 ERA with a 2.87 xFIP. The righty has allowed a bit more premium contact than expected this season with a 9.6% barrel rate rising from 6.1% in his outstanding debut season in 2022. He had a 1.33% home run rate over 20 starts and 131.2 innings last year, which has climbed to 3.15% this season, but his 34.3% hard-hit rate is still very good and he has induced a 19.6% swinging-strike rate with a 34.4% CSW% on the season. Strider is expensive at $12,700/$11,500 but he projects as the clear peak on this slate with everyone else on the board separated by a fair gap in projections.
  • The Giants have a 23.7% collective strikeout rate against right-handed pitching with a .167 ISO and 107 WRC+ for the active roster this season, they are not bad in the split but Strider is better and the lineup should feed him the opportunity for a strikeout ceiling. The Giants rank 20th out of 26 teams by collective fantasy point projections and they sit 23rd by home run upside tonight, they are not a priority stack for anything other than contrarian purposes. LaMonte Wade Jr. has a quality left-handed bat in the leadoff spot with 11 home runs and a .384 on-base percentage but the latter number has plummeted of late while the power output has been stuck. Wade is cheap at first base on both sites and he correlates with rookie Wade Meckler who checks in for just $2,100/$2,000 in the outfield but may hit later in the lineup or sit out against Strider. Meckler is a mid-range prospect with a good hit tool and a bit of speed. Wilmer Flores has a .238 ISO with 16 home runs on just 7.1% barrels and 31.5% hard hits in a weird combination at the plate this season. Joc Pederson has left-handed power at the plate but just a 3.47 in our home run model with Strider on the mound. Michael Conforto has 15 home runs and is also a sturdy lefty bat in an up-and-down season, he has a 2.87 in the home run model tonight. Patrick Bailey and Blake Sabol both slot in at the catcher spot with a bit of pop in their bats, Sabol also has eligibility in the outfield on both sites, the lefty has 11 home runs in just 285 plate appearances this season. Brandon Crawford and Thairo Estrada round out the projected lineup, Estrada may hit higher up, he has a quality bat with moderate power and he is speedy on the bases for $4,500/$3,100 at second base or shortstop.
  • The Braves are facing righty Alex Cobb who checks in at just $7,900/$7,800 and could be looked at as an extreme value dart from the bottom of the playable pitching plateau. Cobb is an effective veteran righty who is good at keeping the ball in the yard and inducing ground balls, which plays well against the Braves elite power at the plate, he does not project very well but he has a somewhat believable path to six quality innings and bonuses in a limited-ceiling game. Cobb has a 21.2% strikeout rate with a 6.2% walk rate, a 3.62 ERA and a 3.44 xFIP, and a 2.69% home run rate allowed on just a 1.2-degree average launch angle. Last season, Cobb allowed just 1.43% home runs on 1.8-degrees and the year before was 1.27% on 3.0-degrees. If any team in baseball can hit multiple home runs against the stingy righty, it’s these Braves, they may be able to capitalize on a barrel rate that has doubled to 7.2% year over year, for example. Cobb is in the pool of low-priced dart throws, but he is one of the last options to grab tonight.
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. is a $6,800/$4,700 superstar who is in play on both sites, but to put Cobb’s power drain in perspective, Acuna has just a 6.26 in our home run model. Mashing first baseman Matt Olson is in the cleanup spot in the projected batting order, he has 43 home runs with a titanic .341 ISO on 18.6% barrels and 57.5% hard hits as one of the elite few power hitters in the entire sport, he has a 7.80 in the home run model tonight to lead the team while falling short of a “magic number” that he has regularly blasted beyond. Michael Harris II has a solid triple-slash, a 108 WRC+, and a fantastic spot hitting second in the lineup for just $4,500/$2,900 while Ozzie Albies is out. Austin Riley slots in third at $5,900/$4,000 at third base, he has 29 home runs with a .234 ISO and a 5.86 in the home run model tonight. Marcell Ozuna has a 113 WRC+ in 419 plate appearances with 24 home runs, Eddie Rosario is at 101 over his 385 chances and has blasted 18 long balls, and elite catcher Sean Murphy has a .263 ISO with 20 dingers and a 148 WRC+ mark as one of the best at his position. Orlando Arcia is a top shortstop who adds another 13 home runs to the pile, he has created runs 10% better than average almost entirely from the bottom of the lineup this season, and things close out with limited but playable Nicky Lopez who is cheap at $3,000/$2,100 with multi-position eligibility.

Play: Spencer Strider, Braves bats/stacks, Alex Cobb value darts in very small portions

Update Notes:

Milwaukee Brewers (+110/3.89) @ Texas Rangers (-119/4.19)

  • Andrew Heaney has a 24.4% strikeout rate with a 4.17 ERA and 4.49 xFIP this season while walking 9.6% and allowing a 3.89% home run rate on 10.8% barrels and 90.7 mph of exit velocity. As most MLB DFS gamers know, there is a very good Heaney who racks up big strikeout totals and a very bad Heaney who allows massive power output in short outings, at times they pitch in the same game. Heaney is as inconsistent as they come, but on the right night, he can win a slate. The lefty projects in the middle of the board for $7,700/$8,600 but the Brewers rank fourth on our Power Index for home run potential against him. The southpaw is an option for value on either site, he is probably a better play as a mid-range SP2 than a sole starter for a higher relative price on the FanDuel slate but he can succeed and hit bonuses in either situation. The Brewers have a collective 21.6% strikeout rate with a .179 ISO and 104 WRC+ for the active roster against lefties this season.
  • Outfield star Christian Yelich checks in with a $5,300/$3,800 salary and a 125 WRC+ with 16 home runs and 25 steals as a strong DFS contributor. William Contreras is a good right-handed catcher with a strong skillset at the plate, he strikes out at a 20.6% clip and has a 47.7% hard-hit rate that has amounted to a dozen home runs with a .271/.343/.438 triple-slash from a prime spot hitting second in the lineup. Carlos Santana has a 9.06 in the home run model, slotting in behind both Yelich at 10.94 and Contreras at 9.49. Mark Canha got the night off last night, he climbs to the cleanup spot in the projected lineup against the lefty but may hit further down. Canha has moderate veteran power from the right side for cheap prices with eligibility at first base and in the outfield. Willy Adames has hit 18 home runs but is very inconsistent for $4,500/$2,900 at shortstop, he has a 10.72 to sit second behind Yelich on the team in the home run model. Andruw Monasterio has a 110 WRC+ over 185 plate appearances in a strong debut, Tyrone Taylor has infrequent but realistic right-handed pop for cheap pricing and low popularity, and Joey Wiemer is carrying a solid 6.80 in the home run model for $2,200/$2,500. Brian Anderson has been lousy for months but does hit right-handed.
  • Brandon Woodruff has been good in his first two starts back in the rotation, he worked five innings with nine strikeouts and two runs on four hits to 18 hitters in his first outing and then went 6.1 while striking out five of 25 White Sox and allowing two runs on a homer and four total hits. Woodruff has a 30.6% strikeout rate, a 4.7% walk rate, and a 1.99 ERA with a 3.30 xFIP over his 22.2 innings and four total starts this season, when we last saw him in a more complete sample last year he had a 30.6% strikeout rate with a 3.05 ERA and 3.14 xFIP, he is an excellent option on the mound when healthy. Woodruff has a tough matchup against the Rangers tonight but he projects well for the $10,900/$10,500 salary and sits among our top five starters on the pitching board.
  • Marcus Semien and Corey Seager are a pair of high-priced stars in a bad matchup, the Rangers are limited to just a 4.19-run implied total on the board in Vegas tonight against the high-quality righty. Either or both of the middle infielders are a priority in the Rangers stack when building it, but they rank just 10th by projections on tonight’s slate with 18th-ranked points-per-dollar value on both sites. Nathaniel Lowe is a good way to average down the prices of the team’s stars with quality, the first baseman has 14 home runs and a 126 WRC+ but costs just $4,400/$3,300. Adolis Garcia has an 8.64 in the home run model with 30 on the board and a .256 ISO for the season. Mitch Garver and Jonah Heim land at 5.63 and 5.30 as similar power-hitting options for fair prices and lower ownership on both sites at the catcher position. J.P. Martinez checks in with a 147 WRC+ over his tiny sample of 23 plate appearances, he is cheap in the Rangers outfield which is an asset in itself but this is a bad matchup for the rookie. Ezequiel Duran has been good all year and has a 120 WRC+ mostly from the eighth spot in the lineup while Travis Jankowski slots in ninth with a strong triple-slash and 16 stolen bases while creating runs 12% better than average.

Play: Brandon Woodruff, Brewers bats/stacks for cheap power value, Andrew Heaney

Update Notes:

Pittsburgh Pirates (+191/3.50) @ Minnesota Twins (-211/5.11)

  • Minnesota righty Pablo Lopez looks like an excellent option on this slate. Lopez has the Twins strongly favored and the Pirates checked to just 3.50 implied runs in Vegas and he lands second on the board behind Strider for $10,600/$10,800. While he is certainly expensive, there is a wide gap between the pricing for Lopez and Strider, the Twins’ starter will be highly popular on this slate. Over 147.2 innings and 24 starts Lopez has a terrific 30% strikeout rate with a 14.6% swinging-strike rate that is among the best in baseball and an excellent 30.4% CSW%. His ERA sits at 3.66 with a 3.31 xFIP and he has been good at keeping power in line with a 2.83% home run rate and 36.3% hard hits on 7.2% barrels this season. Lopez is one of the best options, regardless of his popularity, for quality on the mound tonight, he works deep into games and has a strong upside for strikeouts against a Pirates team with a collective 24.7% rate for the active roster.
  • Pirates bats have only limited contrarian/hedge appeal to them. Ke’Bryan Hayes has eight home runs with nine steals and a 92 WRC+ with an OK triple slash and a very good 49.3% hard-hit rate. Bryan Reynolds has star-quality power and speed on the right night, he has 18 home runs and nine stolen bases with a .203 ISO and 114 WRC+. Andrew McCutchen has hit 10 home runs and stolen 10 bases, but that was true several weeks ago as well. The veteran still gets on base and provides correlated scoring but his output is limited at the plate overall. Jack Suwinski has hit 21 home runs and has a 10.75 in the home run model today to lead the team. The outfielder is inexpensive at $3,500/$2,900 and is a priority in low-end stacks of Pirates hitters, but he also has a 33.7% strikeout rate that pushes upside toward Lopez on the mound. Henry DavisEndy Rodriguez, and Liover Peguero are a trio of high-end rookies getting a regular shot in this lineup. Davis has a 43.9% hard-hit rate with five home runs in 202 plate appearances, Rodriguez has hit two long balls with a 42.3% hard-hit rate and 9.6% barrels as a cheap catcher, and Peguero has five quick homers with two stolen bases, a .243 ISO, and a 115 WRC+ as a cheap sneaky middle-infield option over his first 76 plate appearances. Alfonso Rivas and Alika Williams mix in with a 93 and 44 over 61 and 55 plate appearances respectively as lower-end mix-in options in a bad spot.
  • Righty Andre Jackson does not look like a good option, even at value pricing against the free-swinging Twins in this spot. Jackson has made one start and thrown 26.1 total innings this season, he has a 25% strikeout rate with a 5.47 ERA and 3.63 xFIP and has allowed a massive 5.36% home run rate with 91.3 mph of exit velocity on 11.5% barrels in the tiny sample, his 46.2% hard-hit rate is a bit of a target for a Twins team that has a 5.11-run implied team total.
  • Edouard Julien is inexpensive at second base for just $3,200/$2,800, he has 10 home runs with a .194 ISO and 145 WRC+ after a strong surge through July and is in a prime spot in the Twins confirmed lineup. Royce Lewis slots in second with a .343/.380/.490 triple-slash in 108 plate appearances this season. Lewis is inexpensive at third base for $3,200 on DraftKings and slots in at third or shortstop on FanDuel for $2,800 on a high-value Twins team. Max Kepler and Carlos Correa have power on the left and right sides of the plate respectively, Kepler has 20 home runs to lead the team’s lineup today and Correa has hit 15 in a down season that sees him at just $4,500/$2,700. Jorge Polanco has eight home runs in 203 plate appearances and a long track record of power, he is too cheap on both sites at $4,600/$3,100. Matt Wallner is inexpensive as well, the outfielder has power in his lefty bat and has already hit nine home runs while posting a .284 ISO over 126 plate appearances this season, he costs just $2,400/$2,900. Donovan Solano is a low-cost infielder with a good hit tool but only moderate power, he has a 121 WRC+ over 324 plate appearances as a regular contributor at cheap prices. Ryan Jeffers and Michael A. Taylor offer inexpensive low-owned power in the last two spots, the catcher has nine home runs in 237 opportunities this year and Taylor has hit 15 long balls with 12 stolen bases but lands at 84 WRC+ over 316 chances.

Play: Pablo Lopez aggressively but he will be popular, Twins bats/stacks for value

Update Notes:

Seattle Mariners (+140/3.86) @ Houston Astros (-152/4.74)

  • Astros righty JP France projects in the middle of the board for a fair $8,700 on DraftKings and a bit of a pricey mark at $9,700 on the blue site. France has a limited arsenal on the mound and has posted just a 17.4% strikeout rate over 102 innings in 16 starts, he is reliable for depth and could find additional strikeouts on the mound given six or seven innings against this Mariners team, but he has just limited mix-in appeal overall. France has a 2.74 ERA but a 4.51 xFIP which is a bit revelatory about the nature of the option, he is on the board but the ceiling is slightly capped around clean innings with only the idea of bonus strikeout potential.
  • Seattle has been surging and star outfielder Julio Rodriguez is a big part of why, he is up to .269/.329/.451 with a 119 WRC+ and 20 home runs with 30 stolen bases on the season. Rodriguez had 28 home runs and 25 steals as a rookie last year, so he falls short of joining Bobby Witt Jr. as the only player to go 20/30 over his first two seasons, but the output is clearly terrific for counting stats and Rodriguez is a great option in the leadoff spot for $5,500/$3,900. Eugenio Suarez has 17 home runs and a 103 WRC+ on the season but strikes out at a 30.4% clip, Ty France strikes out less with a .256/.337/.387 triple-slash and 10 home runs amounting to a 109 WRC+ in an up-and-down season at the plate. Teoscar Hernandez has hit 18 home runs in 502 plate appearances but his 30.7% strikeout rate is not offset by a good walk rate or on-base skills. Cal Raleigh is another high-strikeout powerhouse in the lineup, he has 22 long balls and a .234 ISO as a premium switch-hitting catcher option for just $4,600/$3,000 on a Mariners team that ranks ninth for home run potential tonight. Cade Marlowe and Dominic Canzone have been good contributors in small samples and they remain cheap in the outfield, while Jose Caballero and Josh Rojas slot in as replacement-level parts with a touch of potential late in the lineup for very low costs and a variety of positions. The Mariners rank 15th out of 26 teams by fantasy point projections but they are a frisky bunch that can be played against France if he begins to collect public ownership.
  • Houston bats can always be played, but Mariners starter Bryce Miller will have something to say about their upside tonight. The righty has a 4.04 ERA and 4.31 xFIP over 91.1 innings and 17 starts this season, he has amassed a 23.6% strikeout rate and just 5.2% walks but he has allowed too much incidental contact with 10.4% barrels and 43.2% hard hits leading to 91.7 mph of exit velocity and a 3.53% home run rate in the mid-range sample. Miller is a highly regarded young pitcher who has shown excellent ceiling potential in several of his starts, but he has also taken a few lumps on the mound and he is facing a deadly-good Astros lineup that ranks fifth for home run potential tonight. Miller ranks in the upper-middle section of the board as more of an in-between value option for $8,300/$8,400 on both sites.
  • Jose Altuve is a star second baseman for $6,200/$4,400, he has nine homers, 12 steals, and a 167 WRC+ in his 229 opportunities this season. Alex Bregman has hit 19 homers but his .167 ISO is a disappointment over 538 plate appearances, he is a $5,500/$3,400 playable option at third base in stacks of Astros but he is a lower priority than one might expect. Kyle Tucker has 24 homers and 24 stolen bases in another strong season, the outfield star is expensive but worthwhile at $6,100/$4,000 ahead of superstar Yordan Alvarez, who checks in at $6,000/$4,100. Alvarez has blasted 21 homers in just 324 plate appearances with a .293 ISO and 17.5% barrels, he is an outstanding left-handed power hitter who lands near the top of the overall home run board at 13.51 today. Yainer DiazJon SingletonChas McCormickJeremy Pena, and Martin Maldonado provide a range of talents at fair-to-low prices to help pay for the stars above them in the lineup. McCormick is the best and most expensive player in the group, he has 17 home runs with 13 steals and a 154 WRC+ over his 313 chances this season and has provided believable premium contact for the past few years in a part-time role. Singleton was out of baseball for years and has two home runs but a very low-end triple-slash in a nice story that has only minor DFS appeal. Pena and Maldonado are mix-in options with an 89 and a 54 WRC+ over the season, Diaz is the much better play at catcher given his 16 home runs in just 271 chances and a 116 WRC+ for the season.

Play: Astros bats/stacks in high-priced moderate portions, Mariners bats/stacks for value in similar ranges, JP France, Bryce Miller both as mid-board mid-price options in that order

Update Notes:

New York Mets (+133/4.38) @ St. Louis Cardinals (-144/5.23)

  • Lefty Zack Thompson has made one start and thrown 25 innings total, he has a 31.2% strikeout rate with a 3.96 ERA and 2.77 xFIP and has allowed just 3.2% barrels and 1.83% home runs in the small sample. Thompson was similarly effective with a much lower 19.9% strikeout rate in 34.2 innings including one start last year, he projects into the middle of the board today even with a limited innings cap and could be an interesting option for low-cost at least as an SP2 value dart on DraftKings. Thompson has worked primarily in relief in the Show since his mid-July return after making nine AAA starts but he is officially joining the rotation to replace Steven Matz and is expected to work about five innings tonight after going four in each of his last two appearances. Against a low-end Rockies team in his lone full start of the year two outings back, Thompson struck out a whopping eight of 15 hitters while allowing one earned run on a walk and two hits. He followed that up with four innings of bulk relief against the lousy Royals, posting five strikeouts but allowing a solo home run and three other hits to 16 batters. Thompson is cheap for the strikeout potential but the innings and shots at a bonus are surely limited in this outing and the Mets rank fifth by collective projections, and they land second on FanDuel and first on DraftKings for points-per-dollar value.
  • Brandon Nimmo has individual power upside and correlates directly with the team’s power bats in the next few spots in the lineup, he is a high-end leadoff hitter for MLB DFS purposes in the outfield. Franciso Lindor is a cheap premium shortstop option for $5,000/$3,600, he has hit 22 home runs and stolen 20 bases with a 119 WRC+ in 515 chances and looks a lot like Francisco Lindor statistically. Pete Alonso has racked 37 home runs on the season and has a massive .305 ISO with a 15% barrel rate for just $5,300/$3,700 at first base. Francisco Alvarez has 21 rookie home runs with a .242 ISO in an outstanding breakout season, he has slowed at the plate but has an excellent spot in the lineup for just $4,000/$2,800 with a clear two-homer ceiling on any given slate. The lineup slows around Jeff McNeil who has limited appeal in this spot in the lineup but can get on base and correlate with teammates on the right night, Abraham Almonte who is cheap in the outfield but has done nothing at the MLB level in small opportunities, Jonathan Arauz who is similarly low-end but inexpensive, Danny Mendick, and Tim Locastro. The Mets have a very inexpensive bottom end that is comprised largely of slap-hitting low-cost options as odd values, but their upside is floated by the excellent top end against a question mark of a starting pitcher on the strong side of their platoon splits.
  • Cardinals bats were a disappointment against Jose Quintana who posted a strong start last night, they draw lefty Joey Lucchesi in his return to action in the Show. The lefty has not pitched in the Majors since May, he has made 11 AAA starts and has a 3.99 ERA but a 4.69 xFIP with a limited 22.3% strikeout rate and a 10.6% walk rate at that level and he is a very thin option with a light projection for $6,700/$8,000 on this slate.
  • Tommy Edman leads off for the projected Cardinals lineup, he has a 102 WRC+ with 11 home runs and 15 steals in a very Tommy Edman-like season. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are the team’s stars on the corners in the infield, they are always strong options for power and run creation potential and they are under-valued for MLB DFS on many slates. Goldschmidt has 19 home runs with a 127 WRC+ and Arenado leads the team with 25 long balls and a 125 WRC+. Catcher Willson Contreras is another underpriced contributor with a $3,900/$2,700 tag for a backstop who has already hit 13 home runs and has a 123 WRC+ for the season after several years of productivity to support his case. Tyler O’Neill hit his seventh home run last night, he has a .171 ISO and 101 WRC+ this season and remains cheap for his right-handed power. Jordan Walker has hit 11 homers and stolen six bases, he has a 106 WRC+ in his rookie year and comes cheap in the outfield. Luken Baker is in the projected lineup with several players out with injuries, Baker is an interesting power prospect for just $2,200/$2,000 at the end of the lineup. Rookie Masyn Winn does not appear to be making an appearance on the FanDuel slate tonight, he is a $2,000 shortstop on DraftKings and is the team’s top prospect, making him at least an interesting mix-in late in the lineup. Taylor Motter is a far less interesting option as a cheap late-lineup defender in the infield.

Play: Cardinals bats/stacks, Zack Thompson value darts, Mets bats/stacks

Update Notes:

Chicago White Sox (+104/5.94) @ Colorado Rockies (-113/6.20)

  • Rockies starter Peter Lambert is not an option. The righty has a 5.46 ERA and 4.88 xFIP with a 19.8% strikeout rate and 4.67% home run rate on 10.6% barrels.
  • White Sox bats lead the power index for home run potential tonight, but the team falls only into the middle of the board on overall fantasy point projections given their lousy production and general makeup. The home run mark is floated by fantastic numbers for the team’s trio of right-handed mashers, all three of Luis Robert Jr.Eloy Jimenez, and Andrew Vaughn are blasting well beyond the 10.0 barrier in the home run model tonight and they all look like easy options on a White Sox team that is carrying a 5.94-run implied total but is actually the underdog to terrible Colorado. Elvis Andrus slots into the leadoff spot in a bad decision, he has a .292 on-base percentage, a .088 ISO, and a 68 WRC+ in 302 opportunities this year. Andrew Benintendi is only a bit better with a 91 WRC+ and 12 stolen bases but not much else to speak of statistically this season. Robert and Jimenez slot in third and fourth in the projected lineup with switch-hitting third baseman Yoan Moncada between them and Vaughn. Moncada is cheap for the opportunity at Coors Field, he fits in at third base for $4,000/$3,000 tonight. Vaughn has 15 home runs this season with a .174 ISO and 103 WRC+, he is the lightest-hitting of the three power bats, Jimenez is in the middle with a .174 ISO and 110 WRC+ with 14 homers in 344 opportunities, and Robert leads the way with 32 long balls and a .294 ISO. Yasmani GrandalOscar Colas, and Zach Remillard round out the projected lineup as playable parts. Grandal can get on base as a cheap catcher with only limited power left in his bat, Colas has projected left-handed power that has been slow to arrive, and Remillard is more of a mix-in.
  • Righty Michael Kopech also does not look like a good option, though he has a bit of a higher ceiling given a 23.4% strikeout rate against the worst team in baseball. Kopech falls apart around his 14.5% walk rate, 4.58 ERA with a 5.46 xFIP, and 5.04% home run rate that have the Rockies actually favored for a change. Colorado has a 6.20-run implied team total, Kopech value darts are only for the bold and even we are not that bold.
  • Charlie Blackmon has five home runs and an OK triple slash atop the Rockies lineup, at the very worst he is a better option than Jurickson Profar in the spot based on his .357 on-base percentage. Ezequiel Tovar has been underperforming expectations this season, he has an 80 WRC+ over 450 plate appearances but he has managed 13 homers and seven stolen bases as a rookie. Ryan McMahon has a 7.69 in the home run model with 20 on the board, primarily aginst right-handed pitching this season. Elias Diaz and Profar slot into the fourth and fifth spots in the batting order, Diaz is a strong option at catcher who will probably be too popular for his actual talent on this slate. He has 11 home runs with an 80 WRC+ over 405 plate appearances. Profar has a 75 WRC+ with eight homers and not much else. Brendan RodgersNolan JonesElehuris Montero, and Brenton Doyle are an interesting run of young hitters with tools at the plate and on the bases. Rodgers hit 13 home runs last year and 15 the season before, Jones has a dozen in just 246 chances this season with seven stolen bases to pad his MLB DFS production, and Montero is expected to hit for power from the right side of the plate. Doyle has been inconsistent at best but has managed eight homers and 15 stolen bases and is almost never owned.

Play: bats bats bats

Update Notes:

Tampa Bay Rays (-104/5.05) @ Los Angeles Angels (-104/5.05)

  • Lefty Tyler Anderson does not project strongly against the Rays, who check into a pick’em game with a 5.05-run implied total in Vegas in what looks like a bit of a shootout with Erasmo Ramirez looking like a similarly lousy option on the mound for Tampa Bay at $5,000/$5,600. Anderson has made 20 starts and has an 18.9% strikeout rate with a 5.28 ERA and 5.36 xFIP and Ramirez has made one start with 39.1 innings of work total and has a 5.72 ERA with a 4.96 xFIP and a highly limited 11.7% strikeout rate. Neither pitcher looks overly playable, even for value in what Vegas sees as an offensively-slated game.
  • Yandy Diaz has been mostly terrific from the top of the lineup for Tampa Bay this season, he has a 158 WRC+ with 16 home runs and a .322/.400/.506 triple-slash with just 16.8% strikeouts and 53.4% hard hits and he is affordable at $5,200/$3,600. Randy Arozarena has 18 home runs and 15 stolen bases with a 127 WRC+ for $5,500/$3,600 as an outfield star who moved up in the lineup recently. Harold Ramirez has good line drive pop in his bat and a 122 WRC+ over 322 plate appearances in a productive season, he is very cheap at $3,100/$2,600 if he is hitting third today. Isaac Paredes and Jose Siri add their power to the heart of the lineup for $4,000/$3,100 and $3,800/$3,100 with Paredes offering eligibility at third, first, and second base on FanDuel and second or third base on DraftKings. Siri is an outfielder on both sites, while both players have hit 23 home runs on the season, Siri’s came in just 298 plate appearances. Rookie Curtis Mead slots in as a high-end option in the lineup, he has not done much in his 23 plate appearances but he is projected to hit at this level and he costs a mere $2,200 on both sites. Christian Bethancourt and Rene Pinto round out the lineup with rookie Osleivis Basabe also slotting in at a very low price, the bottom of the lineup is more of a mix-and-match nature on tonight’s slate.
  • Lefty Mickey Moniak is pulling in a 9.76 in our home run model tonight. The outfielder is inexpensive ahead of superstar Shohei Ohtani atop the Angels lineup, he has 12 home runs and a .309 on-base percentage with a 118 WRC+ on the season and provides a good lefty bat against a weak right-handed pitcher. Moniak is a strong play for individual production and correlation to Ohtani, who has hit 42 home runs and stolen 17 bases on his way to the American League MVP Award. Brandon Drury has 15 homers but has been stuck on that total for a minute, the powerhouse righty is a good value play with second base eligibility on both sites and first base added to the mix on FanDuel. Mike Moustakas has left-handed thump and 11 home runs with a .180 ISO in 291 plate appearances this year, he is cheap at first or third base on both sites. Rookie Nolan Schanuel is the first player from the 2023, yes this year’s, MLB Draft to make it to the Show. Schanuel was absolutely raking over his six week stint in AA and was promoted directly to this level but he does not appear on either DFS site tonight. Luis Rengifo has sneaky switch-hitting power for low prices late in the lineup, Hunter Renfroe’s 18th home run has been a longtime coming, he has a good shot at it tonight against a weak pitcher with a 7.75 in the home run model. Matt Thaiss and Randal Grichuk add playable lefty-righty pop late in the lineup and

Play: Angels bats/stacks, Rays bats/stacks as a good points-per-dollar value option

Update Notes:

Baltimore Orioles (-177/4.91) @ Oakland Athletics (+162/3.69)

  • Righty Luis Medina ruined an otherwise OK recent outing with a bonehead play not hustling to first base or throwing the ball there to record an out on a simple grounder in a highlight that was lambasted from coast-to-coast on every highlight show and Twitter feed. Medina did not need the added embarrassment in a season that has him at a 5.31 ERA and 4.59 xFIP. The rookie righty is carrying a 22.1% strikeout rate but a hefty 11.5% walk rate and he has allowed mid-range power with a 3.20% home run rate coming on 6.1% barrels and 40.4% hard hits with 89.4 mph of exit velocity in his 83 innings and 13 starts. Medina is a target for bats and is not an option on the mound, the Orioles are primed for success and their 4.91-run implied total feels low.
  • Adley Rutschman is going to exploit Medina’s walk rate and inconsistent ability to deliver strikes, the backstop has a 15.1% strikeout rate with a 13% walk rate on the season to go with a high-end triple-slash and 16 home runs. Gunnar Henderson is our overall home run pick of the day with a 9.47 in the model, the left-handed infielder has 19 long balls and a .217 ISO in 438 chances this season. Anthony Santander is a switch-hitting power bat with 21 homers and a .213 ISO in his 496 opportunities, the outfielder remains too cheap, inexplicably, at just $4,000/$3,000, he is a terrific piece of value in the heart of the cheap lineup. Ryan O’Hearn has been productive with 10 homers and a .206 ISO with a run-creation mark 30% better than the average, he costs $3,100/$2,600 with eligibility at first base or in the outfield on both sites as another strong value play. Ryan Mouncastle is too cheap for $3,800/$3,000 at first base, he has monster power and 16 home runs with a .205 ISO and 114 WRC+ over his 368 plate appearances this season. Cedric Mullins checks in with 10 homers and 15 steals in 311 plate appearances, he is a 30/30 or better talent when going right and is yet another terrific option for $4,300/$3,500. Austin HaysAdam Frazier, and Jorge Mateo round out the deep projected batting order as playable parts with Hays as the strongly favored hitter in the trio. The outfielder has a 108 WRC+ over 424 plate appearances where the other two are more low-end. The Orioles rank sixth by collective fantasy point projections, fourth by points-per-dollar on both sites, and sixth by home run potential, they are a priority stack in this spot tonight.
  • Baltimore starter Kyle Gibson ranks highly on our board against the lousy Athletics lineup. The righty has been typically up and down through the season, he has a 4.89 ERA and a 4.17 xFIP with a limited 19.6% strikeout rate but he has allowed just 2.44% home runs on 7.4% barrels and an 8.5-degree average launch angle this year and has been better for strikeouts in seasons past, though the last two years have been right around the 20% mark as well. Gibson has appeal for clean innings and a great potential to book bonuses on both sites, with a bit of strikeout potential added on top in a good spot for $8,200/$9,900, he is a great value play on DraftKings and his price is appropriate relative to the slate on FanDuel.
  • Oakland bats are not a priority. The projected lineup opens with Tony Kemp, who has a 73 WRC+ and a .296 on-base percentage in 334 plate appearances this season. Things get better from there, but only briefly. Zack Gelof checks in for $5,400/$4,000 as the team’s most expensive player, the rookie has eight home runs and seven stolen bases with a .339 ISO and 170 WRC+ over his first 119 plate appearances, he has been outstanding but will clearly cool from this level of production. The prices for Gelof are extremely high but he is inarguably talented, which is not the case for Brent Rooker, who has 19 home runs, most of which came in another lifetime baseball-wise. Seth Brown has realistic left-handed power at the plate with 11 home runs and a .194 ISO in his 264 chances. Jordan Diaz is a capable right-handed hitter who has been OK over 191 plate appearances but is down to just 101 WRC+. Tyler Soderstrom has projected power at catcher but has only hit two home runs with a .092 ISO in his 84 chances to this point. Shea Langeliers has 11 cheap home runs as another catcher option, Lawrence Butler and Nick Allen are cheap mixers late in the lineup. The Athletics rank at the bottom of our stacks board.


Update Notes:

Arizona Diamondbacks (+152/3.76) @ San Diego Padres (-166/4.84)

  • Home starter Seth Lugo has made 18 starts and thrown 97.1 innings with a 23.2% strikeout rate and a 4.16 ERA with a good 3.62 xFIP on the season. The righty has allowed a bit of premium contact but he has been good at cutting launch angles to just 8.4 degrees and has limited home runs to an OK 3.46% despite 42.2% hard hits and 9.1% barrels overall. Lugo has an upper-middle projection on the pitching slate, he is part of a big group of starters that projects similarly at a range of pricing and he can be thrown into the mix as a dart against the Diamondbacks, but Arizona is a fairly low-strikeout lineup on the whole this season and the spot may not be great for the money.
  • Corbin Carroll struggles against lefties but roars to life against righties, he has a 128 WRC+ overall on the season with 21 homers and 37 stolen bases and has seen his price dip very slightly to $5,900/$3,800 in the outfield. Ketel Marte has 19 home runs and a .205 ISO while creating runs 24% better than league average as a top second baseman. For $5,600/$3,400, Marte is a bit of a bargain against a pitcher allowing a lot of premium contact to mixed results. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has hit for power but not average in another twist in his winding career, the outfielder has 19 home runs and a 105 WRC+ with a .209 ISO in 441 plate appearances and is carrying an 8.29 in the home run model tonight to slot him fourth out of the team’s top four. Carroll leads the group with a 10.82 while Marte lands at 9.28 and Christian Walker carries a 10.60 with his excellent right-handed power bat. Walker has 28 home runs and a 19.4% strikeout rate on the season and is fairly priced at $5,400/$3,600 at first base. Tommy Pham has been a good contributor throughout his career and is back on form in 2023, he has 12 home runs and 14 stolen bases with a .203 ISO and 122 WRC+ and fits right in with the team theme of low strikeouts while maintaining quality power and contact. Jace PetersonAlek ThomasJose Herrera, and Geraldo Perdomo miss that mark somewhat, though Perdomo has been fairly reliable with a .367 on-base percentage and 112 WRC+ this season. The top half of the lineup is a highly playable stack from at least 1-5, they have excellent power potential and good correlated scoring ability.
  • Brandon Pfaadt has made 11 starts and thrown 54.2 innings in the Show this season, he has a 6.91 ERA and 4.55 xFIP with a 20.5% strikeout rate and has allowed a massive 5.74% home run rate on 10.8% barrels and 44.9% hard hits. Pfaadt had an OK outing in his most recent start, striking out eight of 27 of these same Padres while allowing three runs on a pair of walks and nine hits but no home runs, that seems like the absolute ceiling again tonight and Pfaadt is a longshot to get there. The righty does not project well for $6,000/$6,800 in this matchup and the Padres are looking like a go-to option near the top of the board across the board in the stacks tool.
  • Ha-Seong Kim has a 5.1% barrel rate and 29.6% hard hits but has managed 15 home runs while adding 27 stolen bases and getting on at a .373 clip ahead of the team’s core of stars, he is a strong option for $4,800/$3,100 with anywhere-you-want playability in the infield on FanDuel. Fernando Tatis Jr. has hit 19 home runs and stolen 22 bases with a 119 WRC+ as the team’s second best player, Juan Soto is more quietly the team’s true star, he has a 147 WRC+ with 24 home runs and a 19.3% walk rate to go with just a 19.3% strikeout rate, he has a .404 on-base percentage and a fair $5,600/$3,600 price tag. Soto trails Tatis with a 10.59 to Tatis’ 11.79 in our home run model, both outfielders are strong buys in this matchup. Manny Machado has power and a .196 ISO on 45.4% hard hits for the season but he has stalled out a bit at the plate again. Machado will turn things back on in no time and has clear any-given-slate upside for $5,100/$3,500 at third base. Xander Bogaerts is at .270/.345/.397 for the season with a 108 WRC+, he is also cheap for his talent at a premium position. Jake CronenworthGary SanchezBen Gamel, and Trent Grisham are all playable parts who should be spread through a range of combinations with this team, they are capable hitters with a mix of power and speed, though Sanchez has most of the power and Grisham has most of the speed.

Play: Padres bats/stacks aggressively, Diamondbacks 1-5 power, Seth Lugo value darts are only OK

Update Notes:

Miami Marlins (+120/4.04) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (-130/4.56)

  • Righty Tony Gonsolin is typically reliable for five or six decent innings without getting completely blown up on the mound, but he rarely posts massive MLB DFS scoring totals and is a limited strikeout option with just a 19.4% rate on the season. Gonsolin has pitched to a 4.24 ERA and 5.06 xFIP this year while allowing too much premium contact, his 10.3% barrels and 41.4% hard hits with a 3.39% home run rate are pushing a bit of potential in the direction of a few Marlins bats in a matchup that looks mostly middling on both sides. Gonsolin projects in the lower-middle portion of the board for $8,000 on both sites, he is not bereft of value but the slate-winning score is a bit difficult to envision.
  • The Marlins have powerhouse Jorge Soler and on-base wizard Luis Arraez atop their lineup. Arraez gets on at an elite .404 clip with a 138 WRC+ for the season. His pursuit of .400 is going to fall well short, the infielder is down to a .361 average but he is still chasing the batting title and is a great option to provide correlation with Soler’s massive power or bats that follow. The outfielder has hit 30 home runs with a .259 ISO this season, he has a 14.8% barrel rate and 46.6% hard hits with a 24% strikeout rate and could do damage to Gonsolin early with an 8.62 in the home run model. Josh Bell and Jazz Chisholm Jr. are interesting bats who have a bit of power and above-average marks for run creation for the season. Bell has 16 home runs and a 105 WRC+ after scuffling through the early part of the year in Cleveland, and Chisholm has 11 homers and 16 stolen bases with a 104 mark and a .204 ISO over 230 opportunities in an injury-shortened year. Jake Burger has 26 homers on the season with a .288 ISO, most of which came with the White Sox, Bryan De La Cruz has been good at the plate with a 100 WRC+ and 16 home runs with a decent triple-slash for cheap pricing, and Jesus Sanchez has shown true power ability from the left side in flashes when healthy this year, he has 10 home runs in 280 plate appearances. Jacob Stallings and Joey Wendle are weak options to round out the lineup.
  • Sandy Alcantara has a 4.09 ERA and 3.83 xFIP with just a 20.8% strikeout rate over 158.1 innings in 24 starts this season in a dramatic shift from last year’s campaign. Alcantara was never a monster strikeout artist, he had just a 23.4% mark last year but compiled a lot of whiffs over innings pitched, which have been more questionable given the run creation he has allowed this year. Overall the pitcher is not bad by any means, he projects in the middle of the board for $9,600/$10,000 in a tough matchup against the Dodgers and can be played, but the option is somewhat limited and the price seems high for the output this year. Alcantara did post a 10-strikeout complete game in his most recent outing against the Yankees, but they suck and are clearly not the Dodgers.
  • The Los Angeles lineup is elite at the top end, even against Alcantara, hopefully at low popularity, the team can be utilized in a few stacks. Los Angeles has a 4.56-run implied total in Vegas, the town believes in the play against Alcantara at least to some degree in what may simply be a limiting impact to both sides. Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman are pricey stars who need no introduction in this space, they can both be played in any matchup in baseball where they can be afforded. Will Smith has 15 home runs and a .190 ISO with a 130 WRC+ as a terrific option behind the plate, Max Muncy and JD Martinez are second and third on the team with a 7.94 and 7.36 in the home run model, behind Betts at 8.67. Muncy is too cheap at $4,900/$3,600 and Martinez joins him at $5,100/$3,400, they have combined for 53 home runs this season. David PeraltaJason Heyward, and James Outman are a strong late-lineup trio of lefty outfielders that we will always return to when stacking Dodgers against a righty, anyone in the three-man unit can be played in combination with any of the top five hitters in the lineup in a strong stack. Miguel Rojas is a bit less-than compared to his teammates. The Dodgers are a mid-range play in a tough matchup.

Play: Dodgers bats/stacks, Marlins bats/stacks, minor shares of either pitcher with Alcantara carrying an obvious ceiling-score potential

Update Notes:

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