MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Notes & Live Show Link – Friday 8/4/23

The 11-game main slate gets underway at 7:05 ET on both DraftKings and FanDuel with very compelling options on both sites. There are a few premium starters and a decent-sized middle in the pitching pool before things drop off dramatically to create several major hitting opportunities. Overall this is a slate that can go in a number of directions, several less popular teams are in very good matchups for power and run creation, they are unreliable but ideal for tournament play. In other spots, some of the top teams in the league are facing pushover starters while a few underperforming lineups may give sneaky potential to starters on the mound. This is a good slate to concentrate one’s pitching ownership around a few of the quality options at a range of prices, with many of the top projected starters coming up fairly cheap on both sites this becomes a breeze. From there, we want to cast a wide net over potential outcomes at the plate with full stacks across the board.

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 Notes – 8/4/23

Houston Astros (-147/4.98) @ New York Yankees (+136/4.12)

  • The Yankees are running Luis Severino back out for the 13th start of a tragically bad season, because why not at this point? The righty has a 7.49 ERA and 5.06 xFIP with a limited 18% strikeout rate and a 1.84 WHIP this year, he has allowed a 5.40% home run rate on 10.9% barrels and 46% hard hits and is a premium target on the mound for the hard-hitting Astros. The left-handed bats on the Houston side are particularly appealing in Yankee Stadium, but no one in the lineup should have issues with getting to the diminished Severino.
  • Houston’s projected lineup features two must-have lefties in Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez, the team-based and overall home run picks for the day at 8.85 and 13.12. Leadoff man Jose Altuve could easily get on that board as well, he is a significant source of power at second base and has seven in 173 plate appearances this season. Altuve is easily worth $5,500/$4,000. Jeremy Pena is an underperforming shortstop who should hit somewhere other than second in this lineup, but in this matchup and in stacks of Astros hitters he is easily playable, he does have 10 home runs and a matching stolen base total this season. Tucker hits third, he has 19 homers and 20 stolen bases in 458 opportunities, Alex Bregman adds 18 home runs and a 116 WRC+ at a fair price at third base in between Tucker and Alvarez, who has mashed 19 home runs despite making just 271 plate appearances. Jose Abreu has scuffled along through the season but he has been far better the past two months than he was for a full year prior to that stretch. Chas McCormick is having a dynamite season with 15 home runs and 12 stolen bases while slashing .286/.374/.542 with a .256 ISO and creating runs 53% better than average overall. McCormick is too cheap at $4,300/$3,400, he is a late-lineup priority. Corey Julks and Martin Maldonado are mix-in options late in the lineup.
  • Righty Hunter Brown has been mostly excellent over his 20 starts and 111.1 innings as a rookie. Brown broke camp with the team as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball and he has been so reliably good that he has been overshadowed by other rookie hurlers throughout the season because of how easy he has made it to forget that this is also his first season. Brown has a 4.12 ERA and 3.27 xFIP with a 27% strikeout rate and a 7.9% walk rate, he has also been very good at checking power with just a 2.78% home run rate on 8.8% barrels and a 5.6-degree launch angle on average. Brown is a strong option to keep the Yankees’ power in check, if he is successful at that he should have no problem putting the team away over six innings or more. The right-handed rookie projects in the top handful of pitchers in our model and looks like a great buy at $8,400/$9,200.
  • New York lost struggling first baseman Anthony Rizzo to the injured list after the team finally realized that he has been playing through a concussion. We are not one of the nation’s larger sports reporting outlets and even we mentioned, numerous times, that Rizzo was clearly dealing with something after his collision at first base in late May, that it took this long for the team to diagnose and help their first baseman, who was having an excellent season prior to the injury, speaks loudly to the general ineptitude surrounding the organization of late. The team that New York will have on the field features only a few truly good options, namely Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. The two power hitters drive most of the Yankees offense, Judge has 20 home runs and a .363 ISO on 31% barrels and 63.6% hard hits in his 238 plate appearances. Stanton has been irregular but mashes when he makes contact, he has 16 home runs in 239 plate appearances on 15.1% barrels and 49.7% hard hits with a ceiling for power well beyond that. Jake Bauers slots into the leadoff role, he has left-handed power that plays well in this ballpark and has nine home runs, but the matchup against Brown is not ideal for homer hitting. Gleyber Torres slots in third between Judge and Stanton, the second baseman has power at the plate and a positive mark for run creation but he is a mixed bag of quality. Billy McKinney hit his sixth home run in just 108 plate appearances and also sports lefty power, he is followed by DJ LeMahieuHarrison BaderAnthony Volpe, and Kyle Higashioka any of whom can contribute on the right night. LeMahieu is a badly struggling veteran who has lost his previously excellent ability to hit the ball, Bader is inconsistent but can provide counting stats and some correlated scoring, Volpe is the same, he has 14 home runs and 20 stolen bases on the year, and Higashioka makes sturdy contact but does not see much for it.

Play: Astros bats/stacks, Hunter Brown

Update Notes: the Yankees are without Aaron Judge in a massive downgrade to their lineup and a bump to Hunter Brown. Yordan Alvarez climbs even higher in our model with a move to the third spot in the batting order for Houston.

New York Mets (+141/4.07) @ Baltimore Orioles (-154/5.03)

  • Orioles starter Dean Kremer is inexpensive at $7,200/$8,900, he projects in the lower-middle of the pitching pool today but has a bit of upside against the Mets. Kremer has a 4.66 ERA and 4.34 xFIP on the season and is carrying a 21.8% strikeout rate while yielding too much premium contact. The righty has allowed a 4.51% home run rate on 10% barrels, 44% hard hits, and a 90.5 mph exit velocity average. Kremer is a mix-in value dart on DraftKings as an SP2, his price on FanDuel is not a great value fit.
  • The Mets rolled out a diminished version of their lineup in last night’s game, with several veterans now on other teams. New York still has high-end options in Brandon Nimmo, who leads off if he is in the lineup today. Nimmo has good individual power and on-base skills to correlate with Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso, the team’s two primary stars. Lindor has 22 home runs and 17 stolen bases with a .230 ISO and has created runs 18% better than average for $5,200/$3,800 at shortstop. Jeff McNeil is a low-end slap-hitting correlation play who needs to reach first base a few times to provide any value. Alonso has mashed 31 home runs in 424 plate appearances while slashing .221/.314/.507. Daniel Vogelbach has left-handed pop on the right night but has managed just seven home runs in 226 plate appearances. Starling Marte is projected back in the lineup but is yet to make it back from injury after being projected in each of the last few days. The outfielder was disappointing over his first 333 plate appearances this year but does have 24 stolen bases in the books. Brett Baty and Francisco Alvarez are high-end rookies late in the lineup, Baty has underwhelmed but is thought to have a strong bat, Alvarez has made himself the darling of Citi Field with 21 home runs in 281 plate appearances as a rookie catcher, the backstop costs just $4,000/$3,200. Jonathan Arauz rounds out the lineup as a light-hitting infielder.
  • Lefty David Peterson is back in the Mets rotation with the departure of several key pieces. Peterson has a 5.92 ERA and 3.48 xFIP over 62.1 innings in 11 starts in the Show this season. He has struck out 24.4% while walking nine percent and pitching to a 3.23% home run rate on 7.1% barrels and 44.3% hard hits. Peterson is a talented southpaw who has demonstrated an ability to succeed at this level, he had a 27.8% strikeout rate over 105.2 innings in 19 starts last year and a 24% mark in 66.2 innings in 15 outings the year before. For $6,300/$7,100 he would be an option if not for a limited pitch count. Peterson has been working out of the bullpen and will likely be limited to 60-70 pitches and three-four innings at the most.
  • The Baltimore lineup is pulling a 5.03-run implied total against the lefty, Peterson struggled significantly early this season as a full-time starter before settling in after the demotion to the bullpen and a trip to AAA. Adley Rutschman has 14 home runs and has created runs 24% better than average in an excellent year as the team’s leader and primary catcher. Rutschman gains positional value simply through his spot in the batting order, and he is outstanding at reaching first base with a .374 on-base percentage, a 15.6% strikeout rate, and a 13.6% walk rate. Ryan Mountcastle has major right-handed power with 13 home runs on the board in 319 plate appearances and a .205 ISO on 14.2% barrels, he is cheap at $3,800/$3,400, particularly on DraftKings. Anthony Santander is a good power hitter in the outfield for $4,400/$3,600, he has 19 home runs with a .216 ISO and 120 WRC+ this season. Austin Hays is slashing .287/.328/.445 with a 112 WRC+, Gunnar Henderson has gotten chances against lefties and succeeded recently, he has 18 home runs and a .229 ISO overall this year and has been excellent over his rookie season, Jordan Westburg is another high-end rookie late in the lineup, he has a 97 WRC+ in 90 plate appearances and is a good value at $2,900/$2,600 with eligibility at multiple positions. James McCann, Ryan McKenna and Jorge Mateo are lower-end options late in the lineup.

Play: Mets bats/stacks, Orioles bats/stacks both as mid-level options. Dean Kremer value darts on DraftKings as an SP2.

Update Notes: Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte are both back for the Mets and Francisco Alvarez sees a big bump hitting second in a very strong top-four

Kansas City Royals (+217/3.75) @ Philadelphia Phillies (-242/5.89)

  • The Phillies are the biggest favorite of the day at -242 and they are carrying a 5.89-run implied total to their opponent’s 3.75 mark against right-handed ace Aaron Nola. Nola has not exactly been entirely himself on the mound through much of this season, his strikeout rate is an effective 24.7% but he has been more dazzling in the 29% range over the past few seasons. Nola has a 4.43 ERA and 3.82 xFIP, not terrible marks for runs but far higher than the 3.25 ERA and 2.77 xFIP he posted last season. His walks are up from 3.6% to 5.9% and he has allowed twice as many home runs at 4.27% on 8.2% barrels with a spike from 31.6% to 37% hard hits so far. Still, the righty is easy to trust for depth, he has pitched 138 innings in 22 starts, and he is in one of the top matchups in baseball with Kansas City in town. Nola is our second-highest projected starter for $10,000/$9,900, he should be justifiably popular across the industry.
  • Kansas City’s limited lineup lacks significant appeal in this spot. Those looking to stack Royals for contrarian reasons should focus on their top hitters, including Bobby Witt Jr. as basically a must-have option at shortstop. Witt has 19 home runs and 31 stolen bases with a 109 WRC+ in 470 plate appearances. Sal Perez has major power in the cleanup spot in the lineup but overall he has not had a great season at .246/.287/.429 with a .183 ISO and 17 home runs in 404 plate appearances. Perez has a 45.6% hard-hit rate with a 9.9% barrel rate and he is cheap for his power ceiling at the position. Maikel Garcia has an OK hit tool and 15 stolen bases in the leadoff role, MJ Melendez has sturdy left-handed contact but little to show for it statistically, and Michael Massey is a left-handed option that fits in at second base with a 70 WRC+ in 281 plate appearances. Edward Olivares has mid-level power and a bit of speed but a 90 WRC+ in 281 tries, Drew Waters has six home runs and five stolen bases in 189 plate appearances with a 90 WRC+, Matt Duffy has a .271/.324/.338 triple-slash and can put bat-on-ball, and Kyle Isbel is another low-end lefty late in the lineup.
  • Jordan Lyles is not a strong option for MLB DFS purposes, he has a 16.7% strikeout rate with a 6.15 ERA and 5.36 xFIP and has coughed up a 4.59% home run rate on 10.2% barrels in 20 starts and 112.2 innings. Lyles is a target for Phillies bats, even as an extreme-value dart the path to value is extremely thin at $6,400/$7,300.
  • Leadoff man Kyle Schwarber is a masher from the left side of the plate, he should feast on the contact that Lyles will be serving up today and he is carrying a monster 16.84 in our home run model. Schwarber has 27 homers on the season with a .239 ISO and a 14.3% barrel rate, he costs just $4,600/$3,800. Alec Bohm drops into the second spot in the lineup, he has been good at .290/.343/.425 with 10 home runs and a 108 WRC+ on the season. Bryce Harper has five homers, seven stolen bases, and a 117 WRC+, he has been good despite the lack of power at the plate. Nick Castellanos has an 8.61 in our home run model to sit second on the team behind Schwarber tonight, he has 15 homers on the season with a 104 WRC+ and he costs just $4,400/$3,000. Bryson StottJT Realmuto, and Brandon Marsh slot into the next three projected spots, but Trea Turner may not hit as far down as eighth tonight. Stott is having a good year and has a 108 WRC+ with a solid triple-slash, Realmuto is a premium option at catcher, he has 13 home runs and 12 stolen bases, and Marsh is cheap at $2,900/$2,700 in the outfield for a player who has a 121 WRC+ that leads this team in his 355 plate appearances. Turner has been a letdown this season, he has 10 home runs and 21 steals but is slashing just .235/.290/.368 with a 76 WRC+. Jake Cave rounds out the projected lineup as a mix-in.

Play: Aaron Nola enthusiastically, Phillies bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Toronto Blue Jays (+143/4.73) @ Boston Red Sox (-155/5.88)

  • Red Sox lefty James Paxton has a 28.4% strikeout rate in 70 innings and 13 starts while pitching to a 3.34 ERA and 3.55 xFIP. The southpaw has a 13.3% swinging-strike rate and has allowed a 3.19% home run rate on 7.8% barrels and 38.9% hard hits in his return to action this season, he projects in the middle of our pitching board for $9,000/$10,100 and seems priced a bit toward his ceiling in a tough divisional matchup. Paxton has the tools to succeed in this spot, but the high price is not a great fit with the options that exist on this slate, he is only a mid-level play on the mound.
  • Toronto will be without Bo Bichette again, but they have a very good lineup from top to bottom. Whit Merrifield has been a fixture up top in a good spot for him of late. Merrifield is affordable at second base or in the outfield on both sites, he has nine homers and 21 stolen bases and is a good correlation option who has created runs 14% better than average this season. George Springer has been OK for counting stats but even those trail his typical pace in a down season overall at the plate. Springer has created runs six percent behind the curve and has 13 home runs and 13 steals. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hits everything hard but has just 17 home runs and a .175 ISO in his 467 plate appearances. The star first baseman is underpriced at $5,100/$3,400. Matt Chapman and Alejandro Kirk slot in as capable bats, Kirk has a touch of power behind the plate with a 12.09 in our home run model while Chapman blasts everything he comes into contact with and has a team-leading 18% barrel rate and 59% hard-hit rate. Paul DeJong has 13 long balls at shortstop, the veteran came over to cover the position at the deadline, coinciding with the Bichette injury. Santiago Espinal and Kevin Kiermaier are mix-in plays from the final two spots.
  • Alek Manoah has been a mess this season. The righty was famously sent to the team’s development complex to fix his struggles, rather than a simple minor league demotion. Manoah came back in early July and had a good six-inning start against the Tigers in his return, he was less effective over the next three starts against the Padres, Mariners, and Angels, though he did strike out six in each of the last two while allowing three earned runs to Seattle and just one to the Angels. He did not work particularly deep into any of the games and is very difficult to trust with a terrible projection and the Red Sox pulling in a 5.88-run implied total, a collective projection that ranks eighth on our stacks board, and a value position of fifth on FanDuel and sixth on DraftKings. Overall, Manoah has a 5.87 ERA with a 6.04 xFIP and an 18.4% strikeout rate in 76.2 innings and 12 starts, he does not look playable at $6,600/$7,200.
  • The one impact that Manoah’s career numbers have on Boston is a bit of a limitation in our power model, the home run numbers are well down on the starter’s track record of just 2.04% home runs on 5.4% barrels and 31.5% hard hits in 196.2 innings last year and a 2.61% rate on 5.8% barrels and 31.2% hard hits in 2021. This year he has slipped to 9.6% barrels, 43.5% hard hits, and 3.52% home runs overall, but he has allowed two in 18.2 innings since his return. Regardless, Boston is a priority stacking option on this slate, they have major power and run creation ability and they are far too cheap. Jarren Duran has a 134 WRC+ and has been fantastic in the leadoff spot, he costs just $4,400/$3,300. Justin Turner is slashing .286/.356/.481 with 126 WRC+ and 17 home runs for $4,700/$3,300 with multi-position eligibility. Masataka Yoshida has a 130 WRC+ that sits second on the team, he has a 41.8% hard-hit rate and strikes out just 11.8% of the time so far in his first year in the Show. Rafael Devers is a star power hitter at third base, he is cheap at $5,100/$3,500 given his track record and the 25 home runs he has in the books this season. Triston Casas is another major source of left-handed power in this lineup, he has 16 long balls and a .225 ISO on the season and still costs just $3,700/$3,400. Alex Verdugo is priced down for the demotion in the lineup and a bit of a recent downturn, he still has a very good lefty bat at the plate for $3,900/$3,000 in the outfield. Christian Arroyo, Reese McGuire, and Yu Chang are mix-in values late in the lineup.

Play: Red Sox bats/stacks, James Paxton as a mid-level option, Blue Jays bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Chicago White Sox (+149/3.56) @ Cleveland Guardians (-162/4.53)

  • Lefty Logan Allen looks like a playable source of value for $7.900/$8,800 on this slate. Allen worked six innings in his most recent start and seven in the outing prior to that, hopefully putting to bed any plans of short-starting him which was a brief concern in late June and early July around the All-Star break. Allen has been very good in his first year, the rookie southpaw has a 3.70 ERA and 4.06 xFIP with a 23.1% strikeout rate on 11.4% swinging strikes and a 26.9% CSW%. Allen has worked 80.1 innings in his 15 starts, he has yielded a 2.88% home run rate on a bit too much premium contact, perhaps suggesting that he has gotten a bit lucky in spots, but overall he is a highly regarded young pitcher who has been performing well and meeting expectations. Allen is a strong SP2 value option and he has a decent chance at paying off the higher FanDuel price if he makes six innings.
  • Tim Anderson leads the way for the White Sox in the projected lineup, the scuffling shortstop has a 59 WRC+ that had briefly cracked 60. He hit his first home run and stole his 11th base of the season in the last week or so, which is the only positive thing we can find about Anderson at this point. For $3,900/$2,700 he is a fit in stacks of this lineup but he is in a horrible place skills-wise. Yoan Moncada has not been much better in his small sample of 180 plate appearances, posting just a 70 WRC+, he is cheap at third base and has the skill set to provide correlated scoring if nothing else, but he has been bad this year and was not very good over the past two seasons. Luis Robert Jr. has 29 home runs and 12 stolen bases for $5,900/$3,900, he is a daily option who is a true star in this lineup. Robert is joined by Eloy Jimenez who also has star power when he is healthy, Jimenez has 13 home runs while slashing .281/.325/.467 with a 116 WRC+ this year. Andrew Vaughn has decent right-handed pop at first base but just a .175 ISO and 103 WRC+, Trayce Thompson is adding a bit of righty power to the mix in the projected lineup, he has five home runs in 91 plate appearances this year and hit 13 in 255 tries last year. Thompson slots in for $2,300/$2,400 as a believable option to mix in with some White Sox stacks. Zach RemillardElvis Andrus, and Seby Zavala are low-end options late in the lineup.
  • Mike Clevinger is another pitcher who profiles more as a target for bats. The Guardians are carrying a quality 4.53-run implied total in the matchup and the pitcher has a 3.59 ERA but a 5.39 xFIP this season. Clevinger has struck out 19.3% while yielding a nine percent walk rate and a 3.10% home run rate. The righty has not been good at throwing strikes or inducing swinging strikes, and the Guardians are good at limiting strikeouts and putting the ball in play, despite their mixed results this season. Clevinger costs $6,900/$8,200 and projects in the bottom quarter of the pitching board.
  • Guardians leadoff man Steven Kwan is up to 104 WRC+ but his on-base percentage dipped from better than .350 to .347 in his most recent outing. Kwan needs to push that number to around .370 if he is going to truly be an asset, he does little else at the plate. Andres Gimenez has nine homers and 17 stolen bases and fits into second base for just $4,000/$3,000, he is a mid-range power and speed option on the right night but he has been 13% behind the curve for run creation this season. Jose Ramirez has 18 homers, Josh Naylor has 15, and then the lineup falls apart after the departure of several veteran bats. Will Brennan has an 81 WRC+ over 317 opportunities, Brayan Rocchio has made 18 plate appearances and has a 44 WRC+ with $2,100/$2,000 pricing and eligibility at third or shortstop on DraftKings and shortstop on FanDuel. Gabriel Arias has power potential but struggles to make contact, he has four home runs in 188 plate appearances and a 77 WRC+ in the Show. Bo Naylor is a hard-hitting rookie catcher for a cheap price, and Myles Straw is a defensively-focused outfielder.

Play: Logan Allen, only minor shares of bats on either side

Update Notes: Eloy Jimenez is out for the White Sox in a downgrade to their lineup and a bump to Logan Allen

Miami Marlins (+122/4.02) @ Texas Rangers (-133/4.58)

  • Lefty Jordan Montgomery was a big acquisition for the Rangers at the trade deadline, he will make his return to the American League against a National League team with the Miami Marlins in town. Montgomery has been a good pitcher throughout his career but falls into the category of “better real-life starter than DFS option” on a lot of nights. The southpaw has a 21.2% strikeout rate and a 3.42 ERA with a 4.10 xFIP over 121 innings in 21 starts this season, roughly the same numbers that he posted last year between New York and St. Louis. The lefty has allowed 2.36% home runs on 8.6% barrels with 37.3% hard hits, he is typically adept at keeping the ball in the yard and he has the ability to work deep into games to chase bonuses, but he has a somewhat limited strikeout ceiling. For $8,100/$9,500, Montgomery is a better option on the DraftKings slate, but he is in play on both sites despite Miami’s production in the split this year.
  • The Marlins’ active roster has a fourth-ranked 125 WRC+ collectively against lefties with a 20.4% strikeout rate and a .180 ISO in the split. The team added right-handed home run hitter Jake Burger to their lineup at the deadline, which bolsters the upside in this matchup, and they have Jazz Chisholm Jr. back from injury again. The lineup opens with Luis Arraez who is still having a stellar season even if he is not chasing the ghost of Ted Williams and .400. Arraez is slashing .377/.423/.470 and he has created runs 46% better than average while making an ideal tandem ahead of Jorge Soler. The righty outfielder has blasted 26 home runs with a .249 ISO this season. Soler destroys left-handed pitching with regularity, he has made 95 plate appearances in the split this season and has a .450 ISO with a run creation mark 107% better than average. 11 of his 26 home runs (42.3%) have come against lefties in just 21.3% of his overall plate appearances this year. Josh Bell is another trade deadline acquisition who could fill out this lineup nicely. The switch-hitting first baseman has 12 home runs and a 100 WRC+ but was underperforming for most of the year on the weak Guardians. Chisholm slots into the cleanup spot for $5,200/$3,300, the toolsy outfielder has been hurt through most of the year, he has 10 home runs and 15 stolen bases with a 108 WRC+ and .211 ISO in just 197 opportunities when healthy. Burger is projected to hit fifth ahead of Bryan De La Cruz, he retains eligibility at second and third base and is a powerhouse at either position with 25 home runs and a .305 ISO this season. Burger is an upstart performer this year, he is probably not this hitter over the long term, but he has not been priced up for the production, which leaves him at a playable $3,900/$3,200 in the heart of the lineup. De La Cruz has a .270/.317/.440 triple-slash with 15 homers and a 106 WRC+ in a quality season. Avisail Garcia is a veteran power hitter who specialized against lefties once upon a time. Garcia has three homers in just 90 plate appearances and costs merely $2,400/$2,300 in the outfield if he plays. Jon Berti and Nick Fortes are positional mix-ins.
  • Another quality lefty, this time with premium MLB DFS potential, takes the mound for Miami against a tough Texas lineup that has Corey Seager back. Miami ace Jesus Luzardo has his work cut out for him, but the solid lefty has a 28.6% strikeout rate with a 3.38 ERA and 3.53 xFIP in a strong season of 22 starts and 125 innings. Luzardo has induced a terrific 14.4% swinging-strike rate with a 30.3% CSW%, he projects well but is actually behind Montgomery in the tough matchup at a higher price of $9,500/$10,400 in the matchup. Luzardo is a high-end pitcher who could post a slate-bending start with ease, but our pitching model has him looking more like a mix-in play given the hefty price tag and difficult challenge.
  • Texas ranks third in baseball with a 127 WRC+ collectively against southpaws this season. The team has a 20.8% strikeout rate in the split and their .180 ISO matches the mark that the Marlins have put up against lefties collectively across the active roster. The Rangers have elite options from top to bottom in their lineup, they rank seventh on our board for fantasy point projections and second overall for power in the split, they could be a surprisingly good option against a good starter tonight in a both-sided situation. $5,800/$3,600 second baseman Marcus Semien has created runs 23% better than average with 17 homers and nine steals this season, Seager returns to his second spot in the lineup, he has 16 home runs and is slashing a robust .347/.408/.631 over 306 opportunities as the team’s best player. Seager cost $6,100/$4,200, the left-handed shortstop is easily worthwhile despite the same-handed matchup. Nathaniel Lowe may drop to fifth with Josh Jung climbing to third, which the Rangers have done several times against lefties, in either configuration Lowe is a good option to average down collective salary with a quality player, he has a dozen home runs while slashing .285/.382/.448 and creating runs 33% better than average. Adolis Garcia has 26 homers and a 130 WRC+ as a star in the outfield, Jung has 21 home runs and a .212 ISO at third base for just $4,700/$3,100, and Mitch Garver is a solid power bat at the catcher position with seven home runs and a 127 WRC+ in his 147 opportunities this year. Garver is filling in for injured Jonah Heim and seeing everyday opportunities but he is still very cheap for his ceiling at $3,400/$2,700. Robbie Grossman is an OK option as a veteran outfielder, Ezequiel Duran is inexpensive at $3,600/$2,900, he is a shortstop and a decision point with Seager on DraftKings in a bad fit but he has triple-position eligibility on FanDuel at a bargain price. Leody Taveras has been good this season and has 11 home runs and steals with a 105 WRC+ but has dipped somewhat of late.

Play: Jordan Montgomery, Jesus Luzardo, Rangers bats/stacks, Marlins bats/stacks

Update Notes: Jazz Chisholm Jr. did not make it back for the Marlins, the lineup includes Yuli Gurriel as an effective veteran bat against the lefty

Arizona Diamondbacks (+118/4.06) @ Minnesota Twins (-128/4.54)

  • Bailey Ober has a 24.3% strikeout rate with a sparkling 4.6% walk rate and a 3.19 ERA with a 4.30 xFIP on the season. The righty has made 17 starts and thrown 98.2 innings of mostly good ball, he has a 3.32% home run rate on just 33.7% hard hits and has induced a 12.9% swinging-strike rate while pitching to a 1.04 WHIP and effectively limiting opportunities for his opponents. Ober had a 22.5% strikeout rate in 56 innings and 11 outings last year and a 25.3% mark in 92.1 innings and 20 starts the season before, his output this year is entirely within expectations for the righty whose only true issue is staying healthy and on the mound. Ober is a good option at $8,600/$10,000, though the price discrepancy clearly makes him a better value play on DraftKings while the high price might drive away public popularity on the blue site.
  • Arizona’s low-strikeout lineup has not been performing up to form over the past few weeks but they still feature several deadly-good hitters and the team upgraded a few spots at the trade deadline. Geraldo Perdomo has a .378 on-base percentage with a sturdy triple-slash and 116 WRC+ at the top of the lineup, Ketel Marte has cooled somewhat recently but has 18 long balls with a .220 ISO and 135 WRC+ as a premium option at second base for $5,400/$3,300, and Corbin Carroll has hit for less power lately but still has 21 home runs and 34 stolen bases for his rookie season. Christian Walker has 22 homers and strikes out just 18.9% of the time, he has a 125 WRC+ in another strong season and is carrying a team-leading 11.77 in our home run model. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is a good power option who has a better hit tool than he has put on display this year at just .252/.298/.456 with a 100 WRC+, he is cheap for his ceiling at $3,800/$3,000. Jace PetersonTommy PhamJake McCarthy, and Jose Herrera round out the lineup as playable mix-ins. Peterson has a bit of left-handed pop in an inconsistent sense, Pham has been good for power and speed again in a return to form this season, McCarthy has blazing speed if he can reach first base, but Herrera is more of a defensive option.
  • Merrill Kelly ranks at the top of the pitching pool in our model against the free-swinging Twins lineup. Kelly has a 25.3% strikeout rate with a 3.23 ERA and 3.88 xFIP on the season and he will be facing a team with a 28.4% strikeout rate across their projected lineup. All of the Twins threatening bats strike out at or around a 30% clip, some far higher. Kelly has a significant ceiling for punch outs in this game and he has a good chance to work deep and book both bonuses across MLB DFS sites for $8,800/$10,200. Kelly’s DraftKings price is an absolute bargain and a smash spot on the slate, he joins a good list of underpriced pitchers on the slate.
  • Minnesota has Carlos Correa and Edouard Julien as a strong pair in the middle infield, despite Correa’s season-long underperformance at the plate. The veteran shortstop costs $4,700/$3,000, his ceiling is still intact and he has 12 home runs on a 44.1% hard-hit rate this year but everything has been bad overall. Julien has been excellent and costs just $3,700/$3,200 at second base to help close the gap. He has 10 home runs and a .224 ISO with a 15.7% barrel rate and 43.3% hard hits over 222 plate appearances this year. Byron Buxton is cheap for his superstar talent level, he costs just $4,900/$3,200 but the price is justifiable in a down season. The outfielder has a .230 ISO and has managed 17 home runs and nine stolen bases but he is slashing .207/.294/.438 with a 99 WRC+ in 347 chances. Max Kepler costs $3,200/$2,900 and has 15 homers in 299 plate appearances, he is a good lefty power bat to throw at Kelly. Jorge Polanco is a premium power hitter in the infield for cheap pricing because he has been out for most of the season, Matt Wallner is a young player with power potential for a cheap price, he has six home runs in just 84 plate appearances, and Joey Gallo lurks late in the lineup between Christian Vazquez and fellow infrequent power contributor Michael A. Taylor. The Twins have home run potential but they push major strikeout upside toward Kelly in what looks like a great spot for the pitcher and only a dart throw at the plate.

Play: Merrill Kelly, Bailey Ober, bats on either side as mid-level options with good value marks on the Twins.

Update Notes: 

Pittsburgh Pirates (+152/3.98) @ Milwaukee Brewers (-166/5.13)

  • The Pirates have a 3.98-run implied total but they rank out well for fantasy points, value, and power potential in our model against limited righty Colin Rea. Pittsburgh ranks 12th on our board by fantasy point projections collectively but they sit third for home run potential, third for points-per-dollar value on FanDuel, and first for their value score on DraftKings. Rea has a 20.6% strikeout rate with a 7.2% walk rate while pitching to a 4.76 ERA and 4.38 xFIP over 96.1 innings in 18 starts. The righty has been bad for power with a 4.22% home run rate on 42.4% hard hits and a 90.3 mph exit velocity average, he is a target on the mound and is a limited play even at $6,700/$7,500 against a shaky Pirates lineup.
  • Alfonso Rivas has not done much in 21 plate appearances this year and did not do much with 287 opportunities last year, he led off yesterday as a mix-in and would be the same in that role today for $2,000/$2,500. Bryan Reynolds has power and speed but has been limited to just a dozen home runs and eight steals this season while slashing .263/.325/.436 with a 105 WRC+ over 406 plate appearances. Andrew McCutchen draws walks at an aggressive clip and gets on base to provide correlated scoring, his individual upside is only OK but he is a valuable contributor in stacks and he has a 119 WRC+ on the season. Jack Suwinski ranks third overall today with a 15.73 in the home run model, he has 21 long balls and a .266 ISO on 18.5% barrels and 50% hard hits, he is a very solid option for home run potential on this slate. Henry Davis and Ke’Bryan Hayes are solid options in the heart of the lineup, Davis has been good with four homers and three steals with a 45.1% hard hit rate over his first 153 chances in the Show while Hayes has been a bit of an overall letdown at the plate but has the profile of a better hitter for cheap pricing. Endy RodriguezLiover Peguero, and Alika Williams are three rookies to round out the lineup. Rodriguez and Peguero are highly regarded prospects who both have power at the plate, Rodriguez has a home run in his 48 plate appearances and Peguero has already hit three in just 34 chances at the plate. Williams has made 20 plate appearances, he is a lower-end prospect who is more of a cheap mix-in at $2,100/$2,000 at shortstop.
  • Rookie Quinn Priester will look to do better against the Brewers than his teammates faired in last night’s lopsided contest. Over three starts, Priester has posted a 17.8% strikeout rate and he has allowed a 5.48% home run rate, amounting to four long balls in the three games. Priester has yet to post a good start, he went 5.1 in each of his first two outings, giving up seven earned runs with two home runs against Cleveland and then four runs with another two home runs against San Diego. In his most recent outing against the Phillies, the righty struck out seven but walked six and allowed five earned runs, but no home runs, in just 5.0 innings. Priester is a young pitcher with talent, his curveball is elite but there are questions about his fastball and the pitch has been hit extremely hard to this point. Priester has allowed a 1.000 slugging percentage with a .771 xSLG on 53 four-seamers, his sinker has been far more effective. For $6,200/$6,800 there is a bit of strikeout upside if we happen to catch Priester’s first good start, but that is a thin path to success even at the value pricing against a middling Brewers team.
  • Leadoff man Christian Yelich is a star outfielder with 16 home runs and 22 stolen bases, a 52.1% hard-hit rate, and a 131 WRC+ this season. William Contreras is a capable catcher with 11 home runs and a 117 WRC+ this season, he has a great spot in the batting order and makes a good positional play at catcher. Carlos Santana has good power from both sides of the plate, he has 13 homers this season and is slated to hit ahead of Willy Adames who has 17. Both hitters are flawed in other areas at the plate, they neither hit for average nor get on base reliably, but they are good for power. Sal Frelick has been outstanding over 46 plate appearances, he has a pair of home runs while slashing .273/.435/.515 with a .242 ISO in the tiny sample and he seems to be a catalyst for everything the Brewers do offensively of late. Mark Canha is a capable veteran bat late in the lineup for a cheap price, he is joined by Andruw MonasterioBrice Turang, and Joey Wiemer, who can all provide counting stats on the right night. Turang has five homers and 12 steals in 284 plate appearances, Wiemer has 13 and 11 with an 87 WRC+ in 355 chances, and Monasterio is above-average for run creation at 113 WRC+ in his limited 139 plate appearances.

Play: Pirates bats/stacks, Brewers bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Colorado Rockies (+147/4.47) @ St. Louis Cardinals (-180/5.80)

  • This game might as well be at Coors Field, neither Adam Wainwright nor Chris Flexen are on the pitching board for us despite very low prices. Wainwright has a 7.18 ERA with a 5.69 xFIP and 11.3% strikeout rate. Flexen has an 8.08 ERA with a 5.52 xFIP and 15.1% strikeout rate and is facing a lineup filled with quality hitters.
  • Colorado has limited appeal and a 4.47-run implied total that is low for a matchup against this version of Wainwright, revealing their general lack of quality. Jurickson Profar has a 77 WRC+ and .325 on-base percentage, he has seven home runs and one stolen base in 419 inexplicable opportunities in the leadoff role. Ezequiel Tovar has five steals, 10 home runs, and a 73 WRC+ in 394 opportunities as a rookie shortstop, he is cheap at $4,000/$2,600 and should have an opportunity to connect with Wainwright’s arsenal tonight. Ryan McMahon has a 6.28 in our home run model and 18 on the season, Elias Diaz sits at 3.88 with 10 in the books this year, and Brendan Rodgers slots in with a 3.62 in the home run model for $2,400 on either site, he hit 13 long balls in 581 plate appearances last season and has been out for most of the year. Nolan Jones has nine homers and a .205 ISO from the left side, he is a good option in stacks of Rockies and he can be played in tandem with fellow high-end young power hitters Elehuris Montero and Michael Toglia for cheap prices late in the lineup. Brenton Doyle has seven home runs and 14 stolen bases but has been 53% worse than average for run creation this year.
  • The Cardinals have excellent hitters up and down the lineup but they have underperformed as a group this year. Lars Nootbaar has 11 home runs and seven steals with a 127 WRC+ as a good lefty option in the leadoff role for $4,400/$3,500 in the outfield. Paul Goldschdmit has 18 homers, Nolan Arenado has 22, and Nolan Gorman also has 22 and leads the team with a .252 ISO. Gorman may be out of the lineup, he is day to day on some sites with an injury, the trio of power hitters have a significant ceiling in the matchup against Flexen and the top-four in the Cardinals lineup can be played in any combination. Willson Contreras has value at catcher, he has 11 home runs and a 114 WRC+ on the season, Tyler O’Neill has four homers this year but he hit 34 the last time he was fully healthy, in 2021, and Tommy Edman adds another good mid-range power and speed bat tot he end of the lineup. Jordan Walker and Dylan Carlson are good options in the final two spots, Walker is a high-end rookie having a good season and he remains cheap at $2,800/$2,900 in the outfield.

Play: Cardinals bats/stacks, Rockies bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Seattle Mariners (-110/4.11) @ Los Angeles Angels (+102/3.98)

  • Angels starter Reid Detmers is a bit of an enigma in our model today. Detmers has been very good this season, pitching to a 4.35 ERA but a 3.84 xFIP with a 29.3% strikeout rate and nine percent walk rate. The lefty has allowed just a 2.76% home run rate on 41.8% hard hits with 90.2 mph of exit velocity but just a 5.4% barrel rate. Detmers has not been this good but he has pitched for quality in his opportunities over the past two seasons and is posting somewhat believable numbers overall. The lefty has a good opportunity for strikeouts in his matchup against the Mariners tonight, but he is not projecting well for $8,200/$9,000 and the team does threaten with significant right-handed power, though they have managed just a .146 ISO in the split while striking out at a 27.8% clip with a collective 109 WRC+ that ranks in the middle of the league. Detmers is on the board for shares on both sites but we are tempering expectations based on how the model is reading things tonight.
  • This does not necessarily push shares in the direction of Seattle hitters, the team has a limited 4.11-run implied total and they have not been great in the split this season. JP Crawford has a .379 on-base percentage with a 129 WRC+ and nine home runs, he is an OK option from the top of the lineup as a correlated scoring piece. Julio Rodriguez has 17 long balls with 26 stolen bases and a 10.5% barrel rate with a 50.8% hard-hit mark. The outfielder has created runs five percent better than average in a dip from last year’s outstanding quality but he is on the board at $5,300/$3,600. Eugenio Suarez has blasted 16 home runs but is behind the pace of the 31 he hit as an elite power option at third base each of the past two seasons. Teoscar Hernandez has 16 homers of his own but just a 92 WRC+ in a down season overall. Suarez costs just $3,300/$3,200 and Hernandez is at $3,200/$3,000, they are cheap pieces for home run darts in the middle of the hard-hitting but low-end lineup. Cal Raleigh and Tommy Murphy offer similar appeal for power, they both have eligibility at catcher and can mash left-handed pitching for cheap prices and low popularity, Murphy in particular is typically very low-owned at $2,800 on both sites. Ty France has a good bat but has underperformed this season compared to his output of the past two years when he posted WRC+ marks of 127 and 129, this year he is exactly at league average at 100. Dylan Moore and Jose Caballero are mix-ins.
  • Luis Castillo is a premium starting pitcher for $10,200/$10,700, he ranks fifth overall on our board against an improved Angels lineup. Castillo has a 2.88 ERA but a 3.60 xFIP on the season and he has allowed a bit too much premium contact at 10% barrels and 42.9% hard hits with 90 mph of exit velocity and a 3.61% home run rate. The righty still has a terrific 15.4% swinging-strike rate with a 30.1% CSW% and 28.3% strikeout rate on the season, he hit a few recent bumps for home runs allowed but has allowed more than three runs only three times this year. Castillo typically works six or seven innings, he has not allowed more than five runs in a start and is a strong source of strikeout potential.
  • Miscast leadoff hitter Luis Rengifo has a bit of sneaky power at the plate, he has 10 homers and five stolen bases but just a .314 on-base percentage for $3,600/$2,800 with triple-position eligibility on the blue site. Shohei Ohtani has a league-leading total of 40 home runs this season, he adds 14 stolen bases and has created runs 90% better than average this season, he is a superstar by any measure and belongs in essentially any stack of Angels hitters. CJ Cron has major right-handed power at the plate, he has 11 homers in 241 plate appearances in an injury-shortened season. Mike Moustakas has lefty pop in a bit of a return to form, Randal Grichuk has a strong triple-slash and solid veteran power from the right side, and Mickey Moniak is having a very good year from the left side with 11 home runs and a .311/.342/.555 triple-slash in his 219 chances. Hunter Renfroe has light-tower power and is truly the second-best power hitter in this lineup behind Ohtani, but he has been inconsistent this season and has 17 long balls with a 104 WRC+ overall. Matt Thaiss and Zach Neto round out the lineup as playable parts in stacks of Angels.

Play: Luis Castillo, Mariners bats/stacks, Angels bats/stacks in smaller shares, Reid Detmers conservatively

Update Notes: 

Los Angeles Dodgers (+114/3.86) @ San Diego Padres (-123/4.23)

  • The Dodgers and Padres square off in a good matchup with Yu Darvish on the mound and Los Angeles checked to just 3.86 implied runs. Darvish has the talent to handle the brutal matchup, he is not off the board for $9,800/$8,300 and he projects into the upper-middle section of the pool of available starters. The discount on DraftKings is noteworthy for the veteran former ace who still has a 25.9% strikeout rate with a 4.53 ERA but a 3.82 xFIP and just a 6.9% barrel rate and 3.33% home runs allowed. Darvish is in play as a mid-level option for fair prices on both sites, he has more value at the very low cost on the DraftKings slate and can be a fit as a higher-cost SP2.
  • Los Angeles is always in play, even with a 3.86-run total they are a dangerous lineup for any pitcher. They warrant shares with strong projections for the star-caliber players in their lineup despite a tough starter on the mound on the other side. Mookie Betts has a 157 WRC+ with 29 home runs and seven stolen bases, he is expensive but worthwhile on both sites and adds positional flexibility to his superstar output. Freddie Freeman has 22 home runs and 14 stolen bases with a 172 WRC+ and is pushing Ronald Acuna Jr. for the NL MVP award. Will Smith is a terrific option at catcher every night, he has a 15.4% strikeout rate and 13.8% walk rate with a .383 on-base percentage and 13 home runs on the season with a 133 WRC+. Max Muncy left last night’s game and is listed as day-to-day, if he is in the Dodgers lineup he should be in Dodgers stacks, the powerhouse lefty has 27 long balls on the season. James Outman, Jason HeywardAmed RosarioDavid Peralta, and Miguel Rojas round out the projected lineup as playable parts. Outman and Heyward have been good for lefty power at low prices in the outfield, Rosario has a mix of mid-range power and good speed but is having a bad year, Peralta is another capable left-handed veteran outfielder who has the best hit tool in the group, and Rojas has been fairly low-end over 276 opportunities with a 56 WRC+.
  • San Diego will face rookie Bobby Miller who checks in for $7,500/$8,700 and projects into the good value range of the slate for the low prices. Miller is competitive in our pitching projections with options like Ober, Priester, and Darvish on the other side of this game. The righty has a 23.8% strikeout rate with a 4.37 ERA and 3.88 xFIP in 59.2 innings and 11 starts this season and he has been good at keeping power in check with just 2.42% home run rate and 7.1% barrels. Miller is a definite mix-in for a fair value price on the FanDuel slate and he is a part of the SP2 conversation at a low price on DraftKings.
  • Ha-Seong Kim has a 134 WRC+ and has been very good atop the lineup for the Padres, he has 15 home runs and 22 stolen bases in a career year. Fernando Tatis Jr. has an 11.93 in our home run model, Juan Soto is at 10.71, and Manny Machado has a 10.14 to close out the power core. The group is a deadly challenge for Miller to get through two or three times, their presence atop the lineup may keep him limited to just two trips through the batting order, depending on the mid-game situation around the fifth of sixth inning. Tatis has a 124 WRC+, Machado is at 113, and Soto leads the way by a wide margin at 160. Xander Bogaerts is also above-average for run creation, he sits at 108 WRC+ with 11 homers and 12 stolen bases and has pulled himself to a .266/.344/.396 triple-slash. Jake Cronenworth has an 89 WRC+, Luis Campusano sits at 93 but has a pair of home runs in 65 plate appearances as a cheap catcher, and Gary Sanchez checks in at 110 WRC+ with 14 long balls in just 194 opportunities. The power-hitting catcher has a 13.3% barrel rate, when he makes contact the ball flies. Trent Grisham has 11 homers, 11 steals, and a 101 WRC+ mostly from the ninth spot in the lineup, he is a capable wraparound option when stacking Padres.

Play: four corners: Dodgers bats/stacks, Padres bats/stacks, Yu Darvish, Bobby Miller value

Update Notes: 

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