MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Notes & Live Show Link – Monday 8/7/23

The eight-game Monday main slate on DraftKings and FanDuel features a reasonably short pitching slate with a very tall peak around Spencer Strider, Gerrit Cole, and two or three other viable options from the next tier, the abundance of starters on tonight’s slate are targets for hitters. The action should lean into a fairly concentrated pitching pool around some of the obvious names and the value options with a somewhat clear path to success, with a broad spread of shares across the hitting pool in all of the most likely, and some of the less popular, corners into which we can look for production at the plate. Two of the most highly projected teams are league-leading offenses who land on the visiting side of matchups, guaranteeing them ninth-inning plate appearances regardless of the score, which is advantageous when evaluating stacks, both the Braves and Rangers look excellent but expensive and a bit obvious tonight.

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

Join us at 4:00 ET for a rundown on today’s slate.

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

MLB DFS: Game by Game Main Slate Overview – 8/7/23

Atlanta Braves (-285/5.77) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (+254/3.37)

Osvaldo Bido is in trouble. The young Pirates righty is inexpensive across the industry at $5,500/$5,800, but he is in baseball’s worst matchup with the Braves riding a 5.77-run implied total into town. Bido has a 5.18 ERA and a 4.94 xFIP with a 19.9% strikeout rate and a nine percent walk rate over 33 innings in his seven starts this season, his lone attribute is an ability to keep home runs in check in the small sample. Bido has allowed only 1.28% home runs on 3.8% barrels and 88.1 mph of exit velocity, but those numbers may look dramatically different after this matchup. Over the past two seasons, the rookie actually struggled somewhat with home runs at more advanced levels, allowing a 3.33% home run rate across AA and AAA in 2021 and a 3.56% rate in 111.1 AAA innings last year. While he has limited barrels to this point, Bido is not a ground ball pitcher he has an average launch angle of 15.9 degrees this season. Bido projects with Cole Ragans at the very bottom of the pitching pool, he is not a good option on either site. Everyone in the projected form of Atlanta’s ludicrous lineup has at least 11 home runs on the season, with Matt Olson leading the way at a massive total of 39, chasing Shohei Ohtani for the overall MLB lead. Olson hits cleanup, he costs $6,200/$4,500 and has a 16.73 to lead this team in our home run model today. All of the top six hitters in the Atlanta lineup are above the “magic number” for home run potential tonight. Superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. is rarely a bad investment at the top of the lineup, even at $6,600/$4,700. Acuna has 25 home runs and 53 stolen bases in a historic season, the outfielder is slashing .343/.425/.589 and creating runs 71% better than average over 501 plate appearances, he is one of the best two or three players in the entire sport at any position. Ozzie Albies has racked 25 home runs with a .247 ISO and 117 WRC+ in 470 plate appearances at second base this season. Albies is an excellent option for $5,700/$3,700 at his position, he is typically one of the best available second basemen on the board. Austin Riley has a 12.54 in the home run model with 26 in the books already this year and memories of his month-long slump fading to nothing. Riley has a .228 ISO and has created runs 19% better than average while barreling the ball in 13.2% of his batted-ball events and generating a 48.8% hard-hit rate. The third baseman is outstanding for $6,000/$4,000, but the top of this lineup is very difficult to stack in a straight line, particularly on DraftKings. Fortunately, the bottom half of the Braves lineup is littered with talent at fair prices, though Sean Murphy remains a premium buy at catcher for $5,500/$3,600. Murphy is a masher and one of the best overall hitters at his position, he has 18 home runs with a .256 ISO and has created runs 42% better than average this season. The backstop has a 17% barrel rate and 45.6% hard hits, is a dynamite option at his position on any given slate and he has a 10.17 in our home run model tonight. Marcell Ozuna is affordable at $4,500/$3,400, he has 23 home runs with a .238 ISO and he has an 11.20 in the home run model. Ozuna’s power is very real at the plate, there is nothing surprising about his stats this season they simply represent a return to form. The same is true for Eddie Rosario, who is slashing .244/.295/.454 with 16 home runs and a .210 ISO, though he has slipped to just 97 WRC+ as the only player below the league-average for run creation in this lineup. Rosario is inexpensive at $3,900/$2,700. Orlando Arcia and Michael Harris II are two of our favorite late lineup options in the league, they both have 11 home runs, Harris has 13 stolen bases and a 109 WRC+ for $4,200/$3,300 in the outfield, and Arcia slots in at just $4,100/$2,800 with a 118 WRC+ at shortstop.

The Pirates lineup is in trouble. Righty Spencer Strider is not only the most talented strikeout artist in a generation, he is simply one of the very best overall pitchers in baseball. Strider has an unrivaled 39.3% strikeout rate with a 20% swinging-strike rate and a 34.6% CSW% this season. He has yielded more premium contact and more power over his 129.2 innings and 22 starts this year than he did in 131.2 innings over 20 starts last season, but he is still an elite option. Strider has allowed a 3.40% home run rate on 9.8% barrels with a 36.2% hard-hit rate and 88.5 mph of exit velocity. The righty has a 3.61 ERA and a sterling 2.69 xFIP that reveals how truly good he has been aside from some incidental contact that typically has come when he is stretched into the late innings. Strider costs $12,800/$11,500 against a more fun version of the Pirates than we have seen in some time. The Pittsburgh lineup has veterans up top and a second half entirely comprised of rookies just finding their footing in the Show, they are very cheap and easy to construct lineups with, but they are in an extraordinarily bad matchup in this spot. Strider tops the board for pitching projections by a fair margin, he is easily worth the salary and weight of popularity on this slate. Those looking to roster stacks of Pirates will likely have Josh PalaciosBryan ReynoldsAndrew McCutchen, and Jack Suwinski up top as the team’s more experienced and proven options. Palacios has a 72 WRC+ in 137 plate appearances this year, he was at 39 in 49 opportunities last season and 42 in 42 the season before. Palacios is a low-end low-cost option but he has not shown anything at this level. Reynolds has 14 home runs and nine stolen bases with a 110 WRC+. The switch-hitting outfielder has a .267/.329/.453 triple-slash with a .187 ISO and he has an 11.9% barrel rate and 49.2% hard-hit rate that leads the team among players with a full sample of plate appearances. Reynolds is inexpensive for his talent at $4,600/$3,400, but the matchup is brutal. McCutchen has 10 home runs and 10 steals that he has been sitting on for a while, he still draws a ton of walks and has a .381 on-base percentage with a 117 WRC+ for $3,800/$2,900. Suwinski has 21 home runs in 357 plate appearances on the season, he costs just $3,700/$3,100 with a team-leading 18.5% barrel rate and a 48.9% hard-hit rate. Alfonso Rivas slots in at first base for $2,300/$2,500, he has a home run and a 135 WRC+ in his 34 plate appearances this year but did not do much in 287 opportunities last season. Rivas has nine AAA home runs with a .250 ISO and 155 WRC+ in 260 plate appearances at that level this season, but he has not been a major source of power or stolen bases in his five seasons in the minors and he is an unranked prospect at age 26. Ke’Bryan Hayes is an experienced but underperforming player at this level, he had an 88 WRC+ in 560 plate appearances last year and a matching number in 396 the season before. Hayes makes good contact, he has a 47.3% hard-hit rate on the season but just a .243/.279/.377 triple-slash with a 75 WRC+, five home runs, and a disappointing .134 ISO in 323 plate appearances. Endy Rodriguez is looking like the real thing at the plate. The premium rookie has made just 56 plate appearances so we will avoid getting too far out over our skis, but so far the results are on track. Rodriguez has a 12.5% barrel rate and 50% hard-hit rate in the tiny sample and he has already hit two home runs with a .231 ISO. For $2,700/$2,500, Rodriguez is more playable later in the week when not facing the best pitcher in baseball. The rookie has a 35.7% strikeout rate in his tiny sample so far, he seems like meat for the grinder with Strider on the mound tonight. Liover Peguero has three long balls in just 41 plate appearances with a .256 ISO in the tiny sample. Oddly, he has just a 22.7% hard-hit rate in the essentially meaningless sample, and he has struck out at a 41.5% clip that has Strider twirling his mustache in anticipation. The final rookie in the lineup is Alika Williams, who has just 28 plate appearances under his belt. Williams costs just $2,100/$2,000 at shortstop, he is a very cheap option when stacking Pirates in a terrible matchup, and he has flashed a good-looking hit tool and has decent numbers through the minors. Williams is an underrated option when stacking Pirates, but Peguero has more power if deciding between the two.

Play: Spencer Strider, Braves bats/stacks, both aggressively/as much as you’d like relative to the field.

Update Notes: there is a bit of weather in the area but the game should play eventually. The Braves lineup is confirmed in its expected everyday form.

Kansas City Royals (+175/4.02) @ Boston Red Sox (-192/5.60)

The Royals are facing Red Sox righty Brayan Bello who slots in at $9,000/$8,900 in a very high-end matchup against one of baseball’s lowest-scoring teams. Bello has a 3.79 ERA and 4.00 xFIP in 102 innings and 18 starts this year. The righty was very good last year with a 0.37% home run rate on just 5.4% barrels and a 5.3-degree average launch angle. This season his home runs have spiked to 3.48% on an 8.1% barrel rate but he has still allowed just a 5.8-degree launch angle on average while striking out 20.6% and walking 6.5%. Bello projects just in the lower middle of the pitching pool but he has a healthy ceiling on the right night against Kansas City. The Royals lineup opens with Maikel Garcia who has a .279/.323/.384 triple-slash and 17 stolen bases as one of the better overall hitters in the Royals’ projected batting order, but he has created runs nine percent behind the curve for the season and has hit just four home runs with a .104 ISO. Garcia is a mix-in from the top of the lineup, he does put the ball in play and makes decent contact with a 49.2% hard-hit rate and good speed, but he has a limited ceiling unless he sees first base three times and gets help from his friends. Bobby Witt Jr. is the first player in baseball history to hit 20 home runs and steal 30 bases in each of his first two MLB seasons. The outstanding shortstop was scuffling through part of the season with irregular counting stat contributions before a massive July got him going right. Witt is still affordable at $5,500/$3,800 in a very cheap lineup that helps average his cost down. The shortstop has 20 homers and 32 stolen bases with an upside to a 30/50 season if he keeps his recent pace. Witt has an 11.8% barrel rate and 43.5% hard-hit rate on the season and he has created runs nine percent better than average. MJ Melendez got another home run on the board last night, he now has nine in 430 plate appearances with a .141 ISO which is a total mismatch with his premium contact profile. For just $3,000/$2,800 Melendez’s power potential is still worth the investment when stacking this team. Sal Perez costs just $4,400/$2,900, he has 17 home runs in 415 plate appearances this year and famously hit 48 in 665 opportunities two years ago, with a season of 23 home runs in 2022 in between. Perez is a very good option at catcher when stacking Kansas City hitters, he should not be skipped despite a dip to just 90 WRC+ this season. Michael Massey is a lefty hitter with a bit of power but just a 70 WRC+ for $2,500 at second base on both sites. Freddy Fermin costs $2,900/$2,500, he is a second catcher option on DraftKings and is the third player who fits that position on the blue site. Fermin has a 141 WRC+ in 158 plate appearances with eight home runs and a .231 ISO for a cheap price. Matt BeatyDrew Waters, and Kyle Isbel slot into the final three spots, they have WRC+ marks of 106 in just 19 plate appearances, 84 in 197 opportunities, and 64 in 198. The Royals are a mid-priority option that ranks seventh on the board by collective fantasy point projections with a fifth-ranked FanDuel points-per-dollar rating and a second-ranked DraftKings value mark.

Kansas City lefty Cole Ragans has made two starts and thrown 35.1 innings overall this season. His two starts came in his two most recent outings, he first worked five innings while striking out three Rays and allowing one earned run then followed that start with a six-inning seven-hit gem against the Mets that saw him blank the New York lineup while striking out eight of 25 hitters and walking only one. Ragans does not look like a great option at $5,200/$7,100, but DraftKings value darts are not out of the question as a very low-cost SP2 who should at least be looking at five or six innings on even an OK night on the mound. Ragans is projected at the bottom of the board in our model, there are other options of similar quality that look better than his matchup against the hard-hitting Red Sox in Fenway Park. Boston is carrying a 5.60-run implied team total to rank second to the Braves on the board in Vegas, they are one of four teams with an implied total above five today. The projected lineup has Rob Refsnyder in the leadoff spot against the southpaw, the career journeyman is good in the split against lefties for his career and he has a 109 WRC+ in 186 opportunities primarily in a platoon role this season. Refsnyder is a reasonable option as a correlated scoring play if he leads off, he has a .391 on-base percentage on the season and costs just $2,700/$2,600. Justin Turner is an excellent right-handed hitter, he has 17 home runs while slashing .287/.356/.479 with a .191 ISO and he has created runs 34% better than average. Turner has eligibility at first and third base on DraftKings and he picks up second base eligibility to keep him in play with Rafael Devers and Triston Casas on the DraftKings slate, if the lefty first baseman sees a start in the same-handed matchup. Devers is in play regardless, he slots in at third for $5,200/$3,400, he is very cheap for his premium talent at his position and he has been hitting for power all season. Casas has premium power and a strong ability to get on base, he may or may not play tonight but we will definitely see team-leading Masataka Yoshida whose 129 WRC+ is the highest mark in the projected lineup. Yoshida also has the team’s best strikeout rate at just 11.7%, he is a terrific option for $4,700/$3,100. Adam Duvall has nine home runs and a .260 ISO in 190 plate appearances with a 12.2% barrel rate for just $4,500/$2,900 in the outfield. Luis Urias provides a cheap interesting power bat late in the lineup, he hit 16 home runs last year and 23 the year before but he has been lousy over 80 plate appearances this year. Urias fits in at second or third base for $3,000 on DraftKings and he plays three infield spots for $2,300 on FanDuel. Pablo ReyesConnor Wong, and Yu Chang fill out the projected Red Sox lineup, they are playable parts at cheap prices but the priorities are from 1-6.

Play: Red Sox bats/stacks, Royals bats/stacks for mid-range value, primarily at the top end. some shares of Bello. Ragans only as an extreme value extreme dart throws for low-expectation SP2 innings on DraftKings.

Update Notes: the confirmed Red Sox lineup runs Refsnyder-Yoshida-Turner-Devers-Duvall-Casas(!)-Urias-Reyes-Wong.

Toronto Blue Jays (-129/4.55) @ Cleveland Guardians (+119/4.05)

Cleveland righty Gavin Williams has been good over his first eight starts and 42.2 innings in the Show. Williams arrived as the third big pitching call-up this season for the Guardians, behind Logan Allen and Tanner Bibee in the timing but as the biggest prospect among the three. Williams has amassed a 20.7% strikeout rate with a 3.38 ERA but a 4.96 xFIP in his short career. The rookie has been very good at keeping power in check with just a 4.2% barrel rate and 34.2% hard-hit rate on the season and he has allowed just a 2.23% home run rate on 86.3 mph of exit velocity. Williams projects in the middle of the board in a tough spot against the Blue Jays lineup, though his opponent will be without star Bo Bichette who remains on the injured list. Williams is a fair play for just $7,400/$7,900, there is a not-insignificant ceiling for the premium rookie on the right night but he is yet to truly find his strikeout form in the Show and he will have to tangle with the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and George Springer. The star duo are projected to hit third and fourth in tonight’s lineup, with a top end of Whit Merrifield and Brandon Belt, both of whom are productive veteran options at affordable prices. Merrifield is slashing .293/.342/.419 with a 112 WRC+, 10 home runs, and 21 stolen bases. Belt has a 131 WRC+ that leads the team over his 307 plate appearances. The lefty is inexpensive at $3,300/$2,900 but he plays the same position as Guerrero on the DraftKings slate. Guerrero has 18 home runs with just a .180 ISO. He has been hitting the ball harder than last year but his results have been more limited, his 116 WRC+ is good but he had a 132 with 32 home runs and a .205 ISO last season. Springer has a 17.4% strikeout rate with an 8.4% walk rate this season while slashing .255/.324/.390 with a 100 WRC+. Matt Chapman costs $4,800/$3,000 at third base, he has a 17.8% barrel rate and 58.2% hard-hit rate on the season. Danny Jansen leads the team with a 10.06 mark in our home run model, he has 15 home runs in just 248 plate appearances. Daulton Varsho has 13 homers and 12 stolen bases in a bit of a disappointing season, he has just a 78 WRC+ in 417 plate appearances. Davis Schneider has two home runs and a 420 WRC+ that people will respond to in his 15 plate appearances, the rookie outfielder is a good option at second base for just $2,700/$2,400. Paul DeJong has 13 home runs in 326 plate appearances as a right-handed veteran shortstop.

Lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu has made one start this season. The veteran made it through five innings and he faced 23 hitters, striking out only three while walking one, yielding a home run and four earned runs on nine hits. Ryu was not good in six starts and 27 innings prior to his injury last season, he had a 14.2% strikeout rate with a 5.67 ERA and 4.24 xFIP. Ryu made 31 starts in 2021, he had a 20.4% strikeout rate with a 4.37 ERA and 3.94 xFIP, which seems like the ceiling for his current form. For just $6,500/$6,800, against the low-end Guardians, there is some justification for a few darts at clean innings, Ryu projects with Williams around the middle of the board, but the path to success is fairly thin with the limited strikeout upside between the pitcher and Cleveland’s acumen at the plate. The projected Guardians lineup has a 21.6% strikeout rate overall on the season and their overall active roster has just a 17.7% strikeout rate collectively against lefties. Of course, the team has not been productive in that sample. Cleveland ranks second to last with a 67 WRC+ against southpaws this season, only the Rockies’ 57 is worse, while the next-lowest is Oakland at 83. The Guardians have been exceptionally bad for run creation against lefties and their lack of power is at least part of the problem, the team has a .112 ISO in the split as a unit, which ranks dead last with Oakland’s .118 in 29th, and the White Sox in 28th at .127. Neither side of the matchup is overly appealing, but the Guardians have a few hitters who have been capable in the split. Steven Kwan leads off the projected lineup, he has a 105 WRC+ in 143 plate appearances against lefties this season. The outfielder is striking out just 11.2% of the time in the split but he relies on getting to first base and providing correlated scoring with the occasional stolen base for MLB DFS scoring. Oscar Gonzalez has a .150 ISO in 42 plate appearances against lefties this season, he hit 11 home runs in 382 opportunities last year and comes cheap in the second spot of the lineup for $2,600. Jose Ramirez is the team’s star, he has 18 home runs and 16 stolen bases with a 130 WRC+ overall this year. Ramirez has been a bit of a mixed bag of quality against lefties however, he has been 29% worse than average creating runs in 146 plate appearances in the split, but he does have a .190 ISO with a 12.3% strikeout rate. Ramirez is slashing .219/.260/.490 with six of his home runs against lefties. David Fry costs $2,500 on both sites, he has four home runs in 91 plate appearances with a 13.8% barrel rate in the small sample. Andres Gimenez has a bit of power upside and can steal bases and provide correlated scoring if he manages to reach first. Gimenez costs $4,500/$3,000 as an affordable second baseman with 10 home runs and 18 steals, but just a .307 on-base percentage and 90 WRC+ in 430 chances. Gabriel Arias has premium power but rarely connects with pitches, he has five home runs in 196 plate appearances while striking out 32.1% of the time. Brayan Rocchio is cheap at $2,300/$2,000, he has made 29 plate appearances in the Show but is a well-regarded infield prospect for mid-range power and speed. Myles Straw is mostly here for defense but he has 13 stolen bases, and Cam Gallagher is a light-hitting catcher with a -12 WRC+ in his 120 plate appearances.

Play: Blue Jays bats/stacks, Gavin Williams as a mid-level value option, Ryu value darts

Update Notes: Cleveland has Kwan-Gimenez-Ramirez-Gonzalez-Kole Calhoun-Arias-Rocchio-Straw-Bo Naylor as a confirmed lineup, adding two left-handed power bats to the lineup.

Chicago Cubs (+103/4.46) @ New York Mets (-112/4.64)

With both the Cubs and Mets pulling implied team totals in the middle of the board today this game looks like a fair source of scoring at the plate, but at least one of the pitchers should be in consideration for a fair amount of shares in a full suite of lineups. Mets starter Kodai Senga projects fourth overall on our pitching board, he costs $9,800/$10,000 against a productive Cubs lineup that could easily exploit what he does poorly on the mound, but Senga has a clear path to a ceiling score on the right night. The first-year starter has been mostly excellent as a bright spot for the scuffling Mets. Senga has a 28.7% strikeout rate with a 3.25 ERA and 3.80 xFIP this season. He has allowed too many opportunities with a 1.29 WHIP, primarily due to a too-high 11.6% wak rate, but he is able to punch his way out of trouble most of the time. Senga has been good at checking power as well, he has allowed just 2.32% home runs on a 5.4% barrel rate and 38% hard hits. For the cost, the righty is equally in play with the top overall starters on the slate. Chicago’s projected lineup has a 21.2% strikeout rate collectively, there is potential for another premium game if Senga pitches efficiently, but the Cubs also have a 9.5% walk rate and .348 on-base percentage as a unit, they could press the inefficient Senga if he is not at peak form. Chicago’s lineup opens with capable lefty Mike Tauchman who has been providing reliable plate appearances with a .372 on-base percentage and 121 WRC+. Tauchman is an unexpected option this season who is primarily regarded as a mid-career journeyman or quad-A player, but he has found a home in this spot and he has remained cheap and playable for MLB DFS when stacking Cubs. Nico Hoerner is still priced at $4,900/$3,400, he fills second base on DraftKings and adds shortstop on FanDuel but he has been two percent below average for run creation this season. Hoerner has stolen 27 bases and hit eight home runs but he has a limited 2.1% barrel rate with a 33.4% hard-hit rate and a .121 ISO. Ian Happ costs just $3,700/$3,500 in the outfield. Happ has 13 home runs, nine stolen bases, a .375 on-base percentage and a 16.4% walk rate, he is a dynamite option against Senga when stacking Cubs and should be a high-priority player in that situation. Cody Bellinger has elite power with 16 home runs and he has added 17 stolen bases while creating runs 47% better than average overall this season. Dansby Swanson costs just $4,800/$3,500 at shortstop, he hit 25 home runs last year and 27 the season before, this year he is up to 17 with a .193 ISO and 120 WRC+. Jeimer Candelario joined the Cubs at the deadline after a good start to the year in Washington D.C. The switch-hitter has eligibility at first and third base for $4,500 on DraftKings and costs $3,300 at just third base on the blue site. Candelario has 17 home runs and a .229 ISO with a 20.3% strikeout rate and a nine percent walk rate this season. Christopher Morel also has 17 home runs from the bottom of the lineup, his .258 ISO leads the team. Nick Madrigal and Tucker Barnhart slot in at the end of the batting order as mix-in parts, Patrick Wisdom would be an excellent source of power if he manages to crack the lineup.

Brandon Nimmo leads off for the Mets against lefty Drew Smyly who has a 4.30% home run rate, a 4.71 ERA with a 4.66 xFIP, and a 21.3% strikeout rate over 20 starts and 112.2 innings. Nimmo has a .355 on-base percentage with a 122 WRC+ this season and he has hit 15 home runs with a 47.5% hard-hit rate. The outfielder is cheap and he is good against same-handed pitching with a .290/.363/.384 triple-slash, though he lacks power in the split with just a .094 ISO and zero home runs. Francisco Alvarez has 21 home runs with a .265 ISO while barreling 12.6% of his batted ball events for just $4,000/$3,200 as an excellent option at the catcher position. Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso are stars with tons of power in the heart of the lineup at discounted prices. Lindor has an 11.6% barrel rate with a 45.8% hard-hit rate and 22 home runs while stealing 18 bases. Alonso has hit 31 home runs with a .283 ISO and 124 WRC+ in 436 opportunities. The top of the Mets lineup remains very talented and they are underpriced for DFS purposes. The bottom of the batting order has a mix of projectable young players and veterans who can put the ball in play. Smyly is not an overly safe option, but he projects in the lower-middle of the board for just $6,800/$8,200, as a mix-in SP2 value dart on the DraftKings slate he is at least somewhat playable, but he will have to work through significant threats atop the lineup multiple times to find value. Starling Marte is back in the Mets lineup for $3,700/$2,700, the outfielder has 24 stolen bases and just a .301 on-base percentage with a 78 WRC+ in a highly disappointing 341 plate appearances. Jeff McNeil is at 91 WRC+ in 451 plate appearances, Mark Vientos has a pair of home runs in 91 plate appearances with a 62 WRC+ on the season, the premium rookie power hitter is an interesting option for $2,300/$2,400 at first or third base on both sites. Brett Baty has seven home runs with a 43.9% hard-hit rate this season. Danny Mendick is a low-end mostly defensive option at the end of the lineup.

Play: Cubs bats/stacks, Kodai Senga over the field, Mets bats/stacks as a mid-range option with good individual home run marks, Drew Smyly only as a low-end value dart.

Update Notes: there is a bit of weather in the area but the game should play eventually. The Cubs lineup is confirmed as expected from 1-7 with Yan Gomes ahead of Madrigal instead of Barnhart, Gomes has power potential at the plate with nine homers in 276 plate appearances on 8.3% barrels and just 19.6% strikeouts with a good triple-slash.

Colorado Rockies (+200/3.45) @ Milwaukee Brewers (-222/5.17)

A terrible Rockies lineup slots in as the biggest underdog on the board with just a 3.45-run implied total in tow. Colorado is facing righty Freddy Peralta while their starter, Peter Lambert is pushing a 5.17-run implied total in the direction of the home squad. One of these things is not like the other on the mound. Peralta has a 28.3% strikeout rate in 115 innings and 21 starts this season. Lambert has a 20.2% mark in 49.2 innings and four starts. Peralta has allowed more premium contact than in seasons past with an 8.7% barrel rate, 38.9% hard hits, 88.1 mph of exit velocity, and a 3.70% home run rate. Lambert has allowed a lot of premium contact in his only sample with a 10.1% barrel rate, 43.6% hard hits, 90.4 mph of exit velocity, and a 4.23% home run rate. Peralta has pitched to a 4.46 ERA but a 3.87 xFIP. Lambert has pitched to a 5.07 ERA but a 4.71 xFIP. The Brewers and Peralta are the clearly preferred side of the coin in this matchup, Colorado’s lineup ranks just 12th on our board for projected fantasy points while landing at bad value ratings and a low mark for home runs against Peralta’s long track record of limiting premium contact and home run power. The Brewers, on the other hand, rank first overall in the home run model with several massive totals for the first four hitters in the projected lineup. The team falls off through the bottom end of the lineup in fantasy point projections, pulling their collective average down to just the ninth-ranked spot on a tight mid-board, but this looks like a high-quality option for stacking tonight.

On the Colorado side, the lineup opens with Jurickson Profar who has had seven home runs and one stolen base with around his current 78 WRC+ seemingly all season, he remains a low-end option in the leadoff role. Ezequiel Tovar has 10 home runs and a 70 WRC+ in a weak rookie season. Ryan McMahon has power from the left side and is the first realistic regular option in the lineup while the first two are more bolt-on parts who can provide correlated scoring. McMahon has a .220 ISO with a 106 WRC+ and 19 home runs from the left side. For $4,400/$3,500 he provides good power in the matchup and has a 12.2% barrel rate and 46.2% hard-hit rate but just a 5.48 in our home run model. Brendan Rodgers has a 26 WRC+ in his first 22 plate appearances this year, the post-hype former top prospect has had two mid-range seasons and slots in as a cheap option with a bit of power in his bat for $2,700/$2,800 at second base. Nolan Jones has a 4.69 in our home run model in the matchup, the lefty has good power with nine home runs in his 207 plate appearances. Elias DiazElehuris MonteroMichael Toglias, and Brenton Doyle check in as playable parts. Diaz has 10 home runs and a good triple-slash with an 89 WRC+ as a cheap catcher, Montero and Toglia have realistic power potential from the right side, and Doyle has provided seven home runs and 15 stolen bases but just a 51 WRC+. The Brewers are the far more interesting stack. Christian Yelich is our overall home run pick for the day with a 16.22 in the model. Yelich has 16 long balls and 23 stolen bases in 474 plate appearances this season. The star outfielder has created runs 29% better than average and he has an excellent 51.7% hard-hit rate for just $5,600/$3,600. William Contreras is a valuable catcher in the second spot in the lineup for $4,900/$3,100, he has 11 homers and a 116 WRC+ this year and makes sturdy contact with a 47.7% hard-hit rate and just a 19.2% strikeout rate. Carlos Santana is a switch-hitting option for a bit of power, he has a 13.41 in today’s home run model, trailing both Yelich and Contreras, who has a 14.06 to sit third on the team. Willy Adames leads the group at 16.42 in the home run model, the inconsistent shortstop has 17 long balls on the season with a 26.2% strikeout rate and 9.9% walk rate, but he does not get on base enough at just .286 and he has a 79 WRC+ this season. Sal Frelick is cheap at $4,200 in the outfield on DraftKings, he costs $3,300 on FanDuel and will be popular in Brewers stacks. Frelick has a 130 WRC+ in his 57 plate appearances in the Show and is a good prospect bat in this spot in the lineup. Mark Canha has a 7.40 in the home run model, Brian Anderson is at 9.27 despite sitting on nine home runs for some time now, and Joey Wiemer slots in at the bottom of the lineup with a 9.61 in the home run model. Wiemer has 13 homers and 11 stolen bases but just an 83 WRC+, he hits behind Brice Turang who has not been as good with a 71 WRC+, five homers, and 13 stolen bases in 292 plate appearances.

Play: Brewers bats/stacks, Freddy Peralta

Update Notes:

New York Yankees (-167/4.56) @ Chicago White Sox (+153/3.53)

The visiting Yankees are favored against Chicago by a fair margin and they are drawing a 4.56-run implied team total against righty Dylan Cease who has a 4.61 ERA and 4.04 xFIP with a 26.9% strikeout rate in 121 innings and 23 starts. Cease is a quality option on the mound for $8,500/$9,000 despite a bit of underperformance and where Vegas has the Yankees. The righty has a high strikeout rate this season and was better last year at 30.4% and the year before with a 31.9% mark. Cease has more than enough talent to get these Yankees on the right night, he can both keep them in check and find plenty of strikeouts in the matchup and he is not as high-priced as several of the top options on the board. The situation is very much both-sided, the Yankees lineup should be played against Cease in more than a hedge position, New York looks like a good source of potential power and fantasy scoring at very good value pricing on both sites. Jake Bauers is a solid left-handed power bat for a cheap price, he has 11 home runs in 197 plate appearances while slashing .230/.310/.500 and creating runs 19% better than average as a bit of an odd choice in the leadoff role. The lefty has a 21.2% barrel rate and a 50.4% hard-hit rate in the short sample and he has been a good unexpected fill-in for this team. Aaron Judge is a superstar for $6,400/$3,800, he has 20 home runs and a .347 ISO in 249 plate appearances and is always in play. Gleyber Torres hit his 18th home run of the season last night, he has a 117 WRC+ and a very good 13.5% strikeout rate in a productive year at second base. Torres costs just $4,600/$3,200 as an underpriced positional play with a good ceiling hitting between Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, who ranks second on the team with a 10.66 in our home run model. Judge leads the way at 14.72 and Bauers has a 7.52 with Torres at 6.51. Stanton has massive potential on any given slate, he has a 15.9% barrel rate with 49.4% hard hits this season and is one of the best home run hitters of his generation when he is going right at the plate. The outfielder is cheap at $4,700/$3,300. DJ LeMahieu is slashing .239/.313/.374 with a 90 WRC+ in a disappointing season but he crept up to .247/.359/.338 with a 98 WRC+ in July and is sitting at .368/.429/.474 with a 156 WRC+ in his handful (19) of August plate appearances. LeMahieu was once a highly-capable hit-tool focused player who was terrific at the plate and had a bit of individual power, he is cheap if he can find that form at $3,100/$2,900 and he offers triple-position eligibility on the FanDuel slate. Isiah Kiner-Falefa has a .251/.322/.370 triple-slash and 94 WRC+, he is a low-end hitter at cheap prices but he does have eligibility at three spots on FanDuel. Harrison Bader and Anthony Volpe can contribute from late in the lineup but they have both been below average for run creation overall this season. Bader has a 92 WRC+ with seven homers and 11 stolen bases in 235 plate appearances, he gets on at just a .291 clip. Volpe, meanwhile, gets on at just a .285 pace and has an 82 WRC+ with 14 home runs and 20 stolen bases. Ben Rortvedt is primarily a defensive catcher, Kyle Higashioka is the greatly preferred DFS option behind the plate, he has a good contact profile but limited output.

Chicago will be facing Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, who has them checked to just a 3.53-run implied total as big home underdogs. Cole has a 27.5% strikeout rate with a sparkling 2.64 ERA and a good 3.61 xFIP on the season. The righty has not run into his typical power issues on the whole, he has allowed just 2.45% home runs on 8.4% barrels and a 39.7% hard-hit rate, but he has given up a long ball in four of his last five starts. Cole has been otherwise excellent, he has not allowed more than three runs in a start since May 28th, his worst outings have been three starts in which he yielded five runs each, and he has found his strikeout form while pitching deep into games. Cole has a top-three projection on the slate, he is a knockout option for $11,300/$11,000 against the scuffling White Sox. Speaking of which, Tim Anderson is projected back in the top of the lineup after getting the day off with an injured (checks notes) pride. Anderson famously got knocked out by Jose Ramirez in a fight at second base on Saturday night after squaring up then swinging and missing at the Guardians’ star, which everyone in the stadium should have expected given his season to date. Anderson is slashing .244/.285/.292 with a .048 ISO and 59 WRC+. Yoan Moncada has three homers and a 59 WRC+ in 191 plate appearances. Luis Robert Jr. has mashed 30 home runs and stolen 14 bases while creating runs 37% better than average this season. Robert is a star in the outfield for $5,900/$4,000, he has a 14.28 in our home run model with undeniable upside even against Cole. Robert’s price is easy to average down in stacks, but the spot is not great for the team overall, he is a potential one-off option in a less-than-likely spot for public ownership. Eloy Jimenez is cheap at $3,900/$3,000 in the outfield, he is a star power hitter in his own right and he has a 10.19 in the home run model as the other premium option in the White Sox projected lineup. Andrew Benintendi has underperformed overall this season, he has a 95 WRC+ and is miscast in the middle of the lineup. Andrew Vaughn has power potential and he has 14 home runs on the season with a 47.7% hard-hit rate over 429 plate appearances in which he has created runs five percent ahead of the curve. Yasmani Grandal and Oscar Colas are mix-in options at catcher and in the outfield, Colas hit his second home run over the weekend and has believable rookie power from the left side. Elvis Andrus is a very low-end option and an infrequent contributor from the bottom of the lineup for $2,500 on both sites.

Play: Gerrit Cole, Yankees bats/stacks, Dylan Cease as a mid-level value option with a high ceiling

Update Notes:

San Francisco Giants (-116/4.42) @ Los Angeles Angels (+107/4.17)

Lefty Patrick Sandoval has allowed a 1.77% home run rate on 6.6% barrels and a 7.4-degree average launch angle with just 35.1% hard hits and 87.1 mph of exit velocity on average this season, he is typically excellent at checking power in a sustained trait over time. Sandoval had a 1.25% home run rate on 5.7% barrels and 33.9% hard hits while striking out 23.7% and pitching to a 2.91 ERA and 3.67 xFIP in 148.2 innings and 27 starts last year. He posts similar numbers as a quietly solid lefty as to what his opponent, righty Logan Webb does on his end of the equation. Webb has a 2.90% home run rate on 8.2% barrels but just a 2.4-degree average launch angle this season. Last year he was at 1.40% home runs on 5.5% barrels and a 3.1-degree launch angle, and he posted a 1.51% home run mark on 5.6% barrels and -0.5 degrees the year before. Webb has a 24.7% strikeout rate over a massive total of 148.2 innings in 23 starts this season, he is a terrific option for depth but he is in a tough matchup against an Angels team that still manages to pull a 4.17-run implied total despite his excellence. Webb costs $9,800/$10,000 while Sandoval is a bargain for $7,000/$8,500 in a somewhat more appealing matchup against a Giants team that is favored and has a 4.42-run implied total despite just a 91 WRC+ with a .128 ISO and 23.8% strikeout rate collectively for the active roster against southpaws this season. Both pitchers have upside from different pricepoints in this matchup, they project next to one another in the middle of the pitching board.

The Giants lineup has good value pricing, they rank seventh by points-per-dollar value on FanDuel and fifth on the DraftKings slate, and they sit eighth overall for collective fantasy point projections. The Angels, meanwhile, sit sixth by fantasy point projections, but sixth on the FanDuel value board. Los Angeles ranks 11th on the DraftKings value board with several of their premium options at very high prices and they sit 14th on the home run board, San Francisco ranks 11th for home run potential with both starters keeping the ball on the ground in what might be a bad day for worms. Austin Slater is a decent option for a bit of mid-range power and a good hit tool against lefties, he has a 116 WRC+ in 129 plate appearances overall this season and he has hit five home runs. Slater is cheap in the outfield for $3,200/$2,800. Thairo Estrada provides a good hit tool, solid power, and good speed on the bases, he has nine home runs and 18 stolen bases with a 107 WRC+ in 324 plate appearances. Wilmer Flores has a 6.56 in our home run model and a healthy track record of success against lefties. Flores has 14 home runs and a .232 ISO in 281 plate appearances this year. JD Davis is a good right-handed power bat who has been effective against lefties but better in same-handed matchups this season, he is cheap at $4,300/$3,100. Patrick Bailey has cooled but remains an everyday catcher option with his outstanding defense behind the plate. Baily has an OK bat on the right side for cheap prices where the position is required. Luis Matos is a hit-and-speed option, Michael Conforto is a lefty power hitter in a bad spot for lefty power hitters, AJ Pollock has veteran pop from the right side but is in the midst of a bad season, and Mark Mathias rounds out the low-end Giants batting order. The Angels have far more firepower for MLB DFS but the matchup against Webb is not good for home run potential or sequencing and scoring. Luis Rengifo has a 2.56 in our home run model, he is a weak option for correlated scoring but has good cheap power potential with 11 home runs in the right matchup, which this is not. Shohei Ohtani can always be played, he has 40 home runs and 14 stolen bases with a 185 WRC+ for a high price on both sites. Brandon Drury is a good right-handed power hitter with 14 home runs for $5,000/$3,000 with first and second base eligibility on the blue site. Mike Moustakas has a sturdy left-handed bat with 10 home runs and a 106 WRC+ in 261 somewhat surprising plate appearances. CJ Cron was brought in for more right-handed power at the deadline, he has 11 home runs in 252 plate appearances this season but Mickey Moniak outpaces that total with 12 long balls in just 230 chances from the left side. Hunter Renfroe has 17 homers this year in a down season but he is another massive righty power hitter. Matt Thaiss has seven low-owned catcher home runs on the season, and Randal Grichuk is a very good bat to find hitting ninth.

Play: Logan Webb, Patrick Sandoval value, Angels bats/stacks as a mid-level option, Giants bats/stacks for mid-level value, both teams are somewhat checked for home run potential in the matchups.

Update Notes:

Texas Rangers (-224/5.48) @ Oakland Athletics (+202/3.64)

The final game on deck is another lopsided affair, with the Rangers checking in as massive -224 favorites with a 5.48-run implied total that sits third overall in Vegas despite the loss of poor Josh Jung who fractured his thumb, which sounds like the start of an unfortunate nursery rhyme. Texas gains MLB DFS value by pulling in that total as the visiting team, several of the other totals over five implied runs are on the home side, which may cut ninth-inning plate appearance opportunities. Texas is facing lefty Ken Waldichuk who has not been good in 88.1 innings and 14 starts this season. Waldichuk has a 6.52 ERA and a 5.23 xFIP in what has been a role split between true starts and bulk relief appearances. He was slightly better in the bulk relief role so, of course, the Athletics moved him back to full starts. Waldichuk has a 3.86% home run rate on 7.5% barrels with 40.6% hard hits and he has walked an astounding 13% of opposing hitters with a 1.74 WHIP that does not play well against the elite Rangers lineup. Texas is stackable from one through nine in their projected lineup tonight. Marcus Semien has an 8.44 in our home run model with a .188 ISO and 18 long balls this season. The second baseman is a good buy with a 125 WRC+ for $6,100/$3,600, his FanDuel price is arguably cheap for his ceiling in this matchup. Corey Seager is a superstar shortstop slashing .348/.410/.645 with 18 home runs and a .297 ISO in 315 plate appearances. Seager is a big ticket item for $6,300/$4,300 but he is easily the best player in a terrific lineup in a great spot. Ezequiel Duran slots in third in the projected lineup against the lefty with Nathaniel Lowe moving to fifth with Jung out of the lineup. Duran has been terrific and should see regular opportunities higher in the lineup with Jung out, he costs just $3,700/$2,900 with shortstop and outfield eligibility on DraftKings and he adds second base positioning to the mix on the blue site. Duran has 14 home runs and a .201 ISO with an 11.1% barrel rate and 46.3% hard hits this season, he is a strong value play in the heart of the lineup. Adolis Garcia is the team’s powerhouse cleanup hitter, he has 29 home runs and a .266 ISO on 16.3% barrels and a 48.8% hard-hit rate for $5,800/$3,700 and is arguably a bit cheap on both sites. Lowe is a good option to average down pricing for his teammates, he has a 132 WRC+ that sits third in the lineup and he has hit 13 home runs with an excellent triple-slash over 500 plate appearances at first base. Mitch Garver has major power behind the plate, he has seven home runs in 155 plate appearances this year. Robbie Grossman is a mix-in veteran for cheap pricing as a bit of late-lineup salary relief. Jonathan Orneals slots in for $2,000 on the DraftKings slate but he does not appear on the blue site. Orneals is a mid-ranked organizational prospect who was slashing .250/.360/.348 with five home runs and nine stolen bases in 398 plate appearances at AAA this season. He had 14 home runs and 14 stolen bases in 580 opportunities at AA in 2022. Leody Taveras is a premium option from the ninth spot in the lineup, he has a 107 WRC+ with a .275/.317/.439 triple-slash, 11 home runs, and 11 stolen bases in a strong season at the plate for cheap prices for MLB DFS purposes.

The Athletics are a very low-end option that ranks 13th on our board for fantasy point projections, 13th for FanDuel points-per-dollar value, and ninth for DraftKings value. The team is facing righty Dane Dunning, who was terrific his last time out with an 11-strikeout 7.2 inning one-run monster against the lousy White Sox. Dunning has rarely shown that sort of strikeout acumen on the mound, but he did manage a 10-strikeout performance in 8.2 innings of two-run ball against the similarly low-end Tigers in late June and he is matched up against the terrible Athletics lineup. Dunning is an undervalued pitcher on many slates, but he is by no means that strikeout artist. He has a 17% strikeout rate this season, which is down from 20.4% last year and 22.3% the season before, but he has always been good at keeping the ball in the yard with OK marks for runs and upside against lousy opponents. Dunning costs $7,200/$8,400 and he looks like a good mid-board value on the pitching slate in a terrific matchup once again. Oakland’s active roster has a 26th-ranked 88 WRC+ as a unit against righties this season with a collective 23.1% strikeout rate and just a .147 ISO. Dunning has limited home runs to 2.37% on 10.1 degrees of launch this season, last year those marks were 2.98% and 5.4 degrees and the year before he was at 2.54% home runs and a 6.8-degree launch angle average, he has the potential to take away the one asset the Athletics have, albeit in small doses, by checking their power hitters. Esteury Ruiz has speed if he gets to first base, he has a .309 on-base percentage but 44 stolen bases in 378 plate appearances. JJ Bleday has moderate power from the left side with eight home runs and a .158 ISO overall but he is slashing .199/.310/.357 in 261 plate appearances. Zack Gelof has a 6.50 in our home run model, the rookie has five homers in 80 plate appearances and is a key bat if one chooses Athletics stacks in a bad spot. Seth Brown has good lefty power and 10 home runs in just 234 plate appearances, it is believable to expect that he can catch Brent Rooker for the team lead before the end of the season. Rooker has 18 long balls in 353 opportunities this year, he is cheap at $3,400/$3,000. Jordan Diaz, Tyler Soderstrom, Shea Langeliers, and Nick Allen round out the lineup. Diaz has been decent over 157 plate appearances with a 108 WRC+ and eight home runs, while Soderstrom is the team’s top prospect and slots in at catcher or first base for $2,800/$3,000. Soderstrom has a home run in his 56 plate appearances but not much else to this point. Langeliers is a second power option behind the plate, he is very inconsistent and limited overall but he has 11 homers in 351 plate appearances and he is never popular. Allen is a defensively-oriented player in the infield.

Play: Rangers bats/stacks aggressively, Dane Dunning as a mid-level value

Update Notes:

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