MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Notes – Saturday 8/5/23

The Saturday night main slate features an interestingly shaped board with a number of good pitching options at a range of public perceptions of quality. There should be several very good somewhat low-owned options for low prices on the mound, allowing gamers to build lineups among the many premium options at the plate that are otherwise inaccessible to lineups that focus exclusively on high-cost pitching options. Tonight’s slate has a lot of opportunity to get to different angles with plenty of quality, spreading out across the range of outcomes at the plate with a good range of pitching that includes low-cost quality should be the approach to building lineups starting on the mound. The pitching slate and the availability of inexpensive hitting options make salary a luxury on this slate, getting to the right combinations is far more important than spending all of our salary on an MLB DFS slate.

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

We are off from shows on Saturday but will return for Sunday’s main slate. Join our FREE Discord for some Q&A before lock today, starting around 5 pm ET.

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 – 8/5/23

New York Mets (+156/4.17) @ Baltimore Orioles (-171/5.45)

  • Baltimore righty Kyle Gibson is fairly priced on DraftKings but overpriced on FanDuel at $7,900/$9,300. Gibson has a 19.2% strikeout rate with a 4.53 ERA and 4.24 xFIP over 133 innings in 23 starts this season, he is a roughly league-average starter on a good night and he is capable of delivering good outings. The righty has allowed just a 1.96% home run rate this season in a strong showing. Gibson ranks in the lower-middle portion of the board, he is playable but far more so on DraftKings.
  • The Mets are relegated to just a 4.17-run implied total in Vegas, they are a limited squad that has been somewhat reduced at the trade deadline but many of their key parts at the plate are still available. Brandon Nimmo leads off for $4,600/$3,300 with 15 home runs, a .355 on-base percentage, and a 121 WRC+. Francisco Alvarez has an 11.17 in our home run model and gains significant ground when he hits second, the rookie backstop has 21 home runs and a .268 ISO in just 285 plate appearances. Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso are the team’s two stars in the middle of the lineup, Lindor has 22 homers and 17 stolen bases while creating runs 19% better than average, and Alonso is 25% better than average for run creation with 31 homers on the board. Jeff McNeil costs $4,100/$2,800 at second or in the outfield, he is a slap-hitting specialist who has underperformed all season at .251/.324/.324 with a .077 ISO and 80 WRC+. Starling Marte has plenty of speed for $3,700/$2,900 in a down season overall, Brett Baty and Mark Vientos are hard-hitting rookies late in the lineup, both are viable in an abundance of Mets stacks. Rafael Ortega rounds out the projected lineup for New York as a minimum-priced outfielder, he hit seven home runs and stole 12 bases in 371 opportunities last season.
  • The Orioles are facing righty Tylor Megill, who will be making his return to the diminished rotation. Megill is a capable starter who hit some early bumps this season and was demoted to the minors, he has a 5.17 ERA with a 5.18 xFIP and just a 17.7% strikeout rate over 71.1 innings and 15 starts this season. Last year, Megill worked at a 25.5% strikeout rate over 47.1 innings and nine starts in the Show and he had a 26.1% mark in 89.2 innings and 18 starts the year before. There is potential for the righty to succeed, he should be making an unleashed start as he has been working at full capacity in the minors and he projects into the middle of the board for just $6,300/$7,500.
  • Baltimore bats rank in the middle of our collective projections board with a top-ranked spot in our home run model. Megill has had hiccups with home runs in the past and he has allowed an 8.8% barrel rate and 39.8% hard hits this season. Adley Rutschman is an excellent catcher who gains appeal by virtue of a high spot in the everyday batting order. The catcher has 14 home runs and a 122 WRC+ this season and costs just $5,300/$3,300. Gunnar Henderson slots in at third base or shortstop for $4,900/$3,700, the left-handed rookie has been excellent this season, he has 18 home runs with a .231 ISO and 122 WRC+. Henderson is a strong option for power in this matchup, he has a 12.20 in our home run model that sits second only to Anthony Santander at 12.26 in the Orioles’ lineup today. Santander is a switch-hitting outfield with the team’s most consistent home run bat, he is a steal at $4,600/$3,600. Ryan O’Hearn has nine homers and a solid triple-slash in a breakout season after several years scuffling with the Royals. O’Hearn remains playable as he has not been priced up on either site at $3,200/$2,900, though he is a decision point with team star Ryan Mountcastle at first base on DraftKings. Mountcastle is our overall home run pick of the day at 10.62 in our model, he is very cheap for his talent on DraftKings at $3,800, he is correctly priced at $3,500 on the blue site. Mountcastle has 13 home runs in 324 plate appearances this season, misleadingly tied with Adam Frazier who has made 343 plate appearances and is three homers shy of hitting twice as many this year as he did in the past two seasons combined. Austin Hays has had a good season with the bat, despite a lack of power overall. Hays has nine home runs and a .156 ISO while creating runs 11% better than average from the right side. Colton Cowser is a premium five-tool rookie in the outfield for just $2,200 on both sites, he has not done much in 66 plate appearances since his promotion but Coswer is a strong option for the very low prices. Jorge Mateo slots into the final spot in the projected lineup, he has 25 stolen bases, about 20 of which came before May 1st.

Play: Orioles bats/stacks, Mets bats/stacks, Kyle Gibson value shares on DraftKings, Megill value darts

Update Notes: 

San Francisco Giants (-174/4.61) @ Oakland Athletics (+159/3.49)

  • Right-handed Paul Blackburn has a 4.83 ERA and 4.11 xFIP on the season and he has struck out 22.8% of opposing hitters in another decent year on the mound. Blackburn has allowed a 5.9% barrel rate with a 2.03% home run rate and a spectacular 29% hard-hit rate on the season, he has had a very limiting effect on opposing hitters this year but that has not always been the case. Blackburn is a capable starter who projects to a surprisingly strong position on the pitching board, he is very much in play for $6,700/$7,800 and looks like the top discount SP2 option on the DraftKings slate.
  • San Francisco has several strong left-handed bats in the lineup to tangle with Blackburn. Leadoff man LaMonte Wade Jr. has 11 home runs and a .396 on-base percentage, he was stuck on nine home runs for quite a while so the return to power is good to see, Wade has been excellent at reaching first base all year and he has a 131 WRC+ for just $3,700/$2,900 at first base. Joc Pederson has premium lefty power with a 9.19 in our home run model, he has 11 in 268 opportunities on the season. JD Davis has been good against same-handed pitching, he has 14 home runs and a 110 WRC+ this year and slots in at third for $4,300/$3,100. Patrick Bailey has been outstanding behind the plate on defense since joining the Giants, his bat at the plate has just been OK overall. Bailey is slashing .252/.283/.406 and should probably hit later in the batting order. Michael Conforto has 13 homers with a .155 ISO and 102 WRC+ from the left side for just $3,900/$3,000, he is cheap for his power upside and has a 7.12 in our home run model. Thairo Estrada is projected to be in the lineup, he is a good source of mid-range power, speed, and on-base skills and can provide correlated scoring for $5,100/$3,400. Blake Sabol has lefty power and catcher eligibility for a cheap price, Luis Matos is a hit-and-speed prospect, and veteran Brandon Crawford has a bit of left-handed pop left in his bat with six homers and a 10.3% barrel rate in his 239 plate appearances so far.
  • Ross Stripling is on the mound for the Giants, he costs just $5,500/$6,900, he has a relatively light protection for someone facing the lousy Athletics, not that his presence on the mound necessarily leads us to additional shares of Oakland hitters. Stripling has an 18.2% strikeout rate with a very good 4.2% walk rate in his 62 innings and 10 starts. The righty has pitched to a 5.52 ERA but a far more respectable 3.82 xFIP this season but he has allowed a 5.30% home run rate on 9.4% barrels. Stripling struck out 20.7% with a 3.7% walk rate and a far better home run rate last year but had similar issues with the long ball with a 5.34% home run rate over 101.1 innings in 19 starts in 2021. There is a bit of believable potential for home runs from the Oakland lineup today, they rank fifth in our home run model collectively but they land at the bottom of the overall fantasy point projections board. Stripling is a value dart at his extremely low prices but he does not have a very high ceiling.
  • Tony Kemp is a left-handed leadoff hitter with a 79 WRC+ and .303 on-base percentage and he has no power to speak of, the less we discuss him the better. Zack Gelof has a 9.79 in our home run model, he has blasted five long balls and stolen five bases while posting a .318 ISO and 138 WRC+ in a great start to his career over his first 72 plate appearances. JJ Bleday has eight homers and five stolen bases in 254 tries from the left side, Brent Rooker has 18 home runs overall but most came in his hot early part of the season. Seth Brown is a quality bat from the left side, he has a 9.04 to land third behind Gelof and Rooker, who leads the team at 10.98 in today’s home run model. Brown costs $3,300/$2,500 and is a good option for left-handed pop, he has a 13.1% barrel rate and 48.9% hard hits on the season with 10 home runs in 226 plate appearances. Jordan DiazTyler SoderstromShea Langeliers, and Nick Allen round things out. Soderstrom is a premium lefty bat with catcher eligibility, he is the team’s top prospect and he has one home run in his first 50 plate appearances. Diaz has been OK over 150 opportunities with seven home runs and a 103 WRC+, Langeliers is a catcher with moderate power potential, and Nick Allen is a defense-first option.

Play: Paul Blackburn, Giants bats/stacks as a mid-level value option, Ross Stripling value darts are fairly low-end but the matchup is good

Update Notes: 

Pittsburgh Pirates (+220/3.34) @ Milwaukee Brewers (-245/5.28)

  • Brewers ace Corbin Burnes is in a good spot for a strong start with the Pirates in town. Burnes has Pittsburgh limited to just a 3.34-run implied total and they rank 11th on our board for fantasy point projections and 16th out of 16 for home run potential. Burnes has a 25.2% strikeout rate with a 3.44 ERA and 3.91 xFIP in 133.1 innings and 22 starts. Burnes has been somewhat diminished in his strikeouts and swinging-strike rate this season but he remains a premium option who is excellent at limiting runs and power. The stellar righty has allowed just a 5.7% barrel rate and 31.9% hard hits with 86.2 mph of exit velocity amounting to a 2.78% home run rate on the year. Burnes is easily worth the $11,700/$10,800 asking price on both sites, he tops the board for pitching projections. The only limiting factor of the Burnes play is the degree to which it will walk lineups down specific paths of construction with value stacks and cheaper hitters filling in around the edges when utilizing the high-cost starter. It pays to focus on the nature of such combinations, differentiating the pairings that go with ace-caliber starters can make a gigantic difference on the scoreboard.
  • Pittsburgh was a focus play in this space yesterday to good returns, less so on Thursday when they looked playable, today they are extremely limited as a stack and do not have much appeal. Alfonso Rivas has been good over 26 plate appearances this season but he did not do much with 287 opportunities last year, hitting three home runs and stealing six bases with an 82 WRC+ in the larger sample. Bryan Reynolds hit his 13th home run of the season last night, he has a 109 WRC+ on the year and is the team’s best overall player for $4,600/$3,400. Andrew McCutchen should be back in the lineup after getting Friday night off. The outfielder gets on base at a very strong .383 clip and has created runs 19% better than average this season, his individual contributions are less frequent but he has 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases on the year. Jack Suwinski has a 5.99 in the home run model, to put the Pirates’ power projections in perspective. Suwinski has an 18.1% barrel rate with 21 home runs in 353 plate appearances. Henry Davis is a good young rookie with five home runs and three steals in 158 opportunities. Ke’Bryan Hayes is slashing .249/.286/.387 with five home runs and nine stolen bases in 315 plate appearances. Hayes just returned to the lineup, he should be a better hitter than his output given his 47.2% hard-hit rate. Endy RodriguezLiover Peguero, and Alika Williams are playable parts late in the lineup, the three rookies have very limited experience in the Show but they have all been productive in a variety of ways since their call-ups and they come very cheap at key positions.
  • Milwaukee is facing Bailey Falter who does not project like a playable option in our model. Falter has a 5.13 ERA and 4.53 xFIP with a 16% strikeout rate and a four percent home run rate allowed. The lefty has Milwaukee pressed up to a 5.28-run implied team total tonight, the Brewers look like a good option for value and home run potential, they rank third for power on the slate but a few lower-end projections late in the lineup drag down their overall fantasy point totals. Christian Yelich has a 10.58 in the home run model despite the lefty-lefty, he has a 52.1% hard-hit rate with 16 home runs and 22 stolen bases and a 133 WRC+ for $5,600/$3,600. William Contreras is a key catcher bat in stacks of Brewers, he has a solid triple-slash with realistic power upside and a 9.17 in our home run model. Carlos Santana is a switch-hitting slugger with 14 home runs and a .179 ISO on the season. Willy Adames has 17 homers but is slashing .203/.289/.382 which is low even for him. Mark Canha is a capable veteran outfielder with an OK mid-range power bat for $2,800/$2,600, he hit 13 home runs last year and 17 the year before. Andruw Monasterio has a 113 WRC+ in 141 plate appearances, Brian Anderson hit for power early this year but fell apart entirely at the plate over time, he has nine home runs on the season but an 88 WRC+, Victor Caratini can mash on the right day, the backup catcher has a 49% hard-hit rate with five home runs in 156 plate appearances, and Joey Wiemer is a good source of irregular counting stats at the bottom of the lineup with no ownership and cheap salaries.

Play: Corbin Burnes, Brewers bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Chicago White Sox (+130/3.94) @ Cleveland Guardians (-141/4.65)

  • Righty Noah Syndergaard worked 5.1 innings and allowed just one run on two hits while striking out zero and walking two in his return to action and Cleveland debut on the 31st, he is an extremely low-end option against the White Sox today. Syndergaard has a 14.3% strikeout rate, a 4.1% walk rate, and a 6.68 ERA with a 4.91 xFIP over 60.2 innings in 13 starts this year, he has not been a good DFS option in years and he does not belong in many lineups even at $6,400/$6,800. While the righty may find his way to six OK innings for runs, he has a microscopic upside for strikeouts at this point in his career and he has been extremely hittable with a 4.51% home run rate and nine percent barrels allowed this season.
  • Chicago has a maddeningly underperforming lineup with several quality players. Tim Anderson has been 42% worse than average for run creation with one home run and 11 stolen bases on the board this year. The former star shortstop is slashing .243/.284/.289 with a .046 ISO, he is always in play for cheap prices at the top of the lineup but he has done little to justify any love this season. Anderson costs $3,800/$2,700 at shortstop, his position is probably the only thing keeping him more expensive than Yoan Moncada who slots in at third for $3,300/$2,500. Moncada has a .227/.272/.337 triple-slash with a .110 ISO and 66 WRC+ over 184 plate appearances. Luis Robert Jr. is appropriately expensive across the industry, he has a 10.10 in our home run model with 29 in the books this season. Eloy Jimenez got Friday night off, he should be back in the lineup with power and general excellent from the right side of the plate. Jimenez has 13 long balls with a .185 ISO and 115 WRC+ in 306 plate appearances this season and he makes sturdy contact with a 10.9% barrel rate and 50% hard hits. Andrew Benintendi slides down the lineup, he has two home runs and 12 steals with a 97 WRC+ in a down season. Andrew Vaughn is an effective option at first base, he is creating runs four percent ahead of the curve with 13 home runs and he has a 47% hard-hit rate on the year. Vaughn has not had the major breakout that the White Sox were hoping for at the plate, he is slashing .249/.317/.424 this season, but he is affordable at $3,500/$2,900. Oscar Colas has a .219/.259/.265 triple-slash with a 43 WRC+ in 163 chances, Zach Remillard is at 89 WRC+ in 108, and Seby Zavala has infrequent pop with seven home runs in 176 plate appearances.
  • Cleveland is facing righty Michael Kopech who has a reasonably good projection in the middle of the board for $8,600/$8,400. Kopech has a 24.2% strikeout rate with a 4.49 ERA but a 5.38 xFIP and he has allowed far too much premium contact to be considered at all reliable, but he has a favorable matchup against the scuffling Guardians. Kopech has allowed a concerning 5.32% home run rate on 90.6 mph of exit velocity, 14.4% barrels, and 42.6% hard hits, the barrel rate is shockingly high and entirely unsustainable over time. Kopech is in play against the low-strikeout Guardians who have had an infusion of higher-strikeout young bats late in the lineup that could help the righty’s cause. One would hope for low ownership when rostering Kopech in this situation, and it makes sense to take a hedge position with a few shares of Guardians bats as well.
  • Steven Kwan is another player who needs to reach first base three times in a ballgame to find his value. Kwan has a 104 WRC+ with a .348 on-base percentage that should be 20ish points higher, he costs $4,000/$3,200 as an entry point to stacks of Cleveland hitters. Andres Gimenez has come to life over the last month or so and salvaged his season, the second baseman gained ground from a promotion in the lineup and is looking like a quality option for $4,300/$3,000, which is a discount for his overall talent. Gimenez has 10 home runs and 17 stolen bases and is up to 92 WRC+ in 421 plate appearances. Jose Ramirez is the team’s star, he has a 130 WRC+ and .212 ISO with 18 home runs and 14 steals on the board for DFS scoring. Ramirez is underpriced by a couple hundred on DraftKings for $5,600/$4,100 at third base. Oscar Gonzalez slots into the cleanup role for $2,400/$2,200, he has a home run on the board in 94 plate appearances this year and he hit 11 in 382 chances last year. Will BrennanDavid FryBrayan RocchioBo Naylor, and Myles Straw round out the lineup as mix-and-match plays, Brennan has a 78 WRC+ with five homers and seven steals as the most experienced member of the group. Fry has been good over 91 plate appearances, he has four home runs and a 103 WRC+ with cheap catcher eligibility. Rocchio has a bit of a ceiling for mid-range power and speed for $2,100/$2,000 at third base or shortstop on DraftKings and only as a shortstop on the blue site. Naylor has cheap power behind the plate and Straw is here for defense in what may as well be an eight-man lineup most days. He does have 13 stolen bases on the season.

Play: Michael Kopech mid-range value, bats on either side are fine but rank poorly overall

Update Notes: 

Arizona Diamondbacks (+140/3.86) @ Minnesota Twins (-152/4.74)

  • Kenta Maeda has a 4.53 ERA and 3.83 xFIP with a very strong 29.3% strikeout rate and a 7.2 walk rate over 53.2 innings and 11 starts this season. The righty missed time but he has been mostly excellent since his return to the mound in late June. Maeda had a 35.8% strikeout rate with a 3.31 xFIP and 2.93 ERA in five July starts and was sharp in two June outings as well. Maeda is easily playable at $9,500/$10,000, he ranks near the top of the pitching pool even against a stingy Diamondbacks lineup.
  • Arizona is good at limiting strikeouts, the projected lineup has just a 20% strikeout rate and they hit for power and sequence well, Maeda is not in an easy spot in this matchup. Geraldo Perdomo has a 114 WRC+ with eligibility at shortstop on DraftKings and adding second base to that positioning on the FanDuel slate for $4,100/$2,900. Ketel Marte has 18 home runs with a .217 ISO and a 42.4% hard-hit rate with 8.8% barrels in 454 opportunities this season. The terrific second baseman has a 132 WRC+ as a prime option at his position. Corbin Carroll has 21 homers with 34 stolen bases in an elite rookie campaign. Christian Walker has a 10.3% barrel rate and 41.4% hard-hit rate with 22 homers and a .246 ISO on the season. The first baseman is a great buy for $5,000/$3,200, he is underpriced within the Diamondbacks stack and overall at his position. Walker has an elite bat for his power, he strikes out just 18.9% of the time with a 9.9% strikeout rate, a trait he displayed last year with a 19.6% strikeout rate and 10.3% walks while mashing 36 home runs in 667 plate appearances. Tommy Pham slots in fifth in the new version of the Arizona lineup, the productive outfielder is a good option for mid-range power and speed for $3,100/$2,900 in the outfield. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has 17 home runs and a .210 ISO, Jace Peterson has a bit of power from the left side for cheap prices in the infield, Jake McCarthy has blazing speed if he can reach first base, and Carson Kelly is a mix-in catcher for a few shares if one builds 8-10 Arizona stacks.
  • Righty Ryne Nelson is in the mix on this slate. Nelson is a value dart at $7,300/$7,000, he projects in the middle of the board, just below Megill and above Stripling, for the cheap prices but he is in no way safe and even the mid-board ranking is difficult to see in his statistics to this point. Nelson has posted a 4.84 ERA with a 5.26 xFIP and a 10.9% barrel rate with 42.7% hard hits and 91 mph of exit velocity leading to a 3.74% home run rate. The righty has been lousy overall with just a 22.8% CSW% and 8.2% swinging strikes amounting to a 14.8% strikeout rate over his 119 innings in 22 starts. The upside comes primarily from the ridiculous 28.6% strikeout rate collectively for the projected Twins lineup, they push potential toward pitchers on a regular basis but Nelson will need a lot of help in this spot. Those who do not embrace risk with their pitching shares can skip this play, Nelson is a major leap on the mound but our pitching model is picking up the play. Twins bats should definitely be rostered in a hedge position.
  • The Twins have Carlos Correa, Edouard Julien, and Jorge Polanco providing a ton of power potential across the infield and atop their lineup. Correa has struggled famously this season but he still has a dozen home runs and a 43.8% hard-hit rate with a 9.7% barrel rate. Julien has 10 homers in just 226 plate appearances in an outstanding rookie season. Polanco has six in 157 tries after missing most of the year with injuries. Max Kepler is a left-handed masher for cheap pricing in the outfield, he has 16 home runs on 11.4% barrels and a 45% hard-hit rate for just $3,300/$2,900. Matt Wallner is a good young power hitter with six home runs in the books in just 88 plate appearances in the Show this season. For $2,400/$3,200, Wallner provides a believable potential for a long ball and has a 7.40 in our home run model, but he fits into the team theme with a 29.5% strikeout rate. Willi Castro has stolen 28 bases and has a 99 WRC+ on the season while slashing just .246/.332/.369. Castro is not a premium option at the plate but he has value as a cheap play with tools in stacks of Twins hitters and he offers multi-position eligibility on both sites. Ryan Jeffers is a power-hitting catcher who has six home runs in 199 plate appearances, Joey Gallo has major any-given-slate home run potential and a 7.02 in our home run model, and Michael A. Taylor hit another sneaky low-owned homer and now has 14 on the season with 11 stolen bases but just a 92 WRC+ from the bottom of the lineup.

Play: Kenta Maeda, Diamondbacks bats/stacks, Twins bats/stacks, Ryne Nelson value darts

Update Notes: 

Colorado Rockies (+204/3.83) @ St. Louis Cardinals (-226/5.80)

  • Lefty Steven Matz looks like a play for upside on this pitching slate. Matz has a premium matchup against the Rockies, by far baseball’s worst team against left-handed pitching. Colorado’s current active roster has a collective 59 WRC+ with a massive 31% strikeout rate and a .143 ISO in the split against lefties this season over a sample of 828 plate appearances, a 20th-ranked sample size. Matz has a 21.6% strikeout rate with a 4.06 ERA and a 3.98 xFIP, he has allowed just a five percent barrel rate and a 2.49% home run rate and he has had better seasons for strikeouts in the past, so we know there is potential for a ceiling score in play for the southpaw. Matz is not invulnerable to blowups on the mound, as anyone who has played him frequently for MLB DFS is probably aware, but he looks like a terrific option from the second overall spot on the pitching board on this slate.
  • The Rockies lineup is barely playable but there is some right-handed power that could be in play if Matz shows up without his best stuff. Jurickson Profar is still on this team, Ezequiel Tovar is a developing rookie who has struggled while getting a full-time chance, he has a 74 WRC+ in 399 plate appearances but comes cheap at shortstop, and Ryan McMahon loses a great deal of quality against good lefties. Brendan Rodgers have a bit of right-handed pop, the post-hype prospect had 13 home runs in 581 plate appearances last year and 15 in 415 the season before. Elias Diaz has managed 20 homers in 366 plate appearances as a quality catcher option this year. Elehuris Monetero and Michael Toglia are interesting young power hitters from the right side lurking late in the lineup. Neither player will be popular on this slate, Montero has a 5.75 in our home run model, and Toglia has a 6.09, while the more popular options above them fall at similar levels, we like the notion of making a Rockies stand with the young cheap bats at the bottom if we have to play this team at all. Alan Trejo is not on that list, but Brenton Doyle can provide interesting games from time to time, he has seven home runs and 14 stolen bases with a 46 WRC+ in 251 plate appearances, so we truly do mean infrequent.
  • Ty Blach is a non-option on the mound. Blach has a 9.6% strikeout rate in 21.1 innings and two starts. He went five innings against Oakland in his last start, striking out two and allowing only three hits to the terrible team, but he has very little potential to succeed more than his 4.22 ERA and 4.44 xFIP with a 1.50 WHIP and 43.2% hard-hit rate would suggest against this Cardinals team.
  • St. Louis looks like a good option on this slate, they rank eighth for fantasy point projections and they have good mid-level value scores on both sites. Dylan Carlson is projected to lead off, he costs just $2,200/$2,600 atop the lineup but he has been 12% below average for run creation overall. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are stars on the corners of the infield for St. Louis. Arenado hits third and has a team-leading 23 home runs on the season while Goldschmidt has 18 homers and gets on base at a .363 clip ahead of the elite third baseman. The duo is excellent and they should be included in most stack of Cardinals hitters on both sites. Nolan Gorman is not in the projected lineup with a lefty starter, but Blach is a non-threatening southpaw and we may see Gorman in the lineup. If he plays, the power-hitting second baseman is on the board despite the same-handed starter. Willson Contreras is a key hitter in the Cardinals lineup, he has a 113 WRC+ with 11 homers and comes cheap behind the plate. Tyler O’Neill has massive power potential from the right side for just $3,400/$2,600. Jordan Walker costs just $2,800/$2,900 in the outfield on both sites, he broke camp as a premium rookie that people were excited about, he disappointed for a month and got sent down, then came roaring to life after getting promoted back to the show in June. Walker has a .261/.324/.422 triple-slash with 10 home runs and five stolen bases with a 107 WRC+ in 272 opportunities. Tommy EdmanAndrew Knizner, and Jose Fermin round out the projected lineup as mix-in parts.

Play: Steven Matz, Cardinals bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Los Angeles Dodgers (+122/4.02) @ San Diego Padres (-149/4.72)

  • Padres ace Blake Snell is on the mound to face the lethal Dodgers lineup. Snell has a 31.1% strikeout rate that leads the slate today but he also has a 13.6% walk rate and can be highly inconsistent against patient teams. Snell has been very good overall this season, he has a sparkling 2.50 ERA but a 3.60 xFIP that is far more honest about the pitcher’s quality. The lefty has thrown 119 innings in 22 starts, he has a 1.29 WHIP with a 14.9% swinging-strike rate that helps him punch his way out of the jams he typically finds himself in given the extra free passes. Snell projects into the upper-middle section of our pitching pool on this slate, he is definitely in play against the Dodgers but the team is limiting his projection somewhat. Snell has a high ceiling but a mid-range projection for $11,100/$10,500.
  • The Dodgers have baseball’s sixth-best offense for run creation against left-handed pitching collectively with a 118 WRC+ in 1,170 plate appearances. Los Angeles’ active roster has a 20.3% strikeout rate in the split and they walk at a 10.3% clip while mashing with a .218 ISO overall against lefties that ranks second to only the Braves at an otherworldly .244. Mookie Betts is a big-ticket item on this slate, he costs more than five of the pitchers on the DraftKings slate and lands at $4,500 on FanDuel while filling three positions. Betts has 29 home runs and a .291 ISO with a 157 WRC+ on the season. Freddie Freeman has 22 home runs with 14 stolen bases and an MVP-caliber 170 WRC+ over 496 plate appearances and costs $6,500/$4,400. The combination of Betts and Freeman costs more than every pitcher on the DraftKings slate at $12,900 total. Will Smith is a $5,700/$3,500 option at catcher, he gets on base with stunning regularity for his position at .383 and he has created runs 34% better than average while striking out just 15.8% of the time and hitting 13 home runs. JD Martinez is projected to be back in the lineup with the lefty on the hill, he has 25 home runs with a massive .302 ISO overall this season and he has created runs 17% better than average against lefties in 101 plate appearances with a .235 ISO in the split. Betts has a .416 ISO against lefties to lead the team, Freeman is at .346, and Chris Taylor ranks next with a .302 ISO in the split against lefties. Taylor is slated to hit seventh in the projected lineup but he has climbed to the cleanup role in spots against lefties this season. Amed Rosario slots in at shortstop for just $4,000/$3,200 and he has picked up second base eligibility on the DraftKings slate to add to his value. Rosario has four home runs and 10 stolen bases with an 89 WRC+ on the season. Max Muncy has titanic power on any given slate, he has a 10.52 in our home run model tonight with 27 in the books and a .286 ISO in 379 chances this season. Taylor has 12 homers in 245 plate appearances, Enrique Hernandez checks in with six homers but a 64 WRC+ in 349 plate appearances that played him out of Boston, and Miguel Rojas has been low-end all year from the bottom of the batting order.
  • Lefty Ryan Yarbrough has a limited 13.7% strikeout rate with a very good 4.2% walk rate in 51 innings over seven starts this year. Yarbrough has a 4.24 ERA with a 5.15 xFIP and 25.4% CSW% with a 9.7% swinging-strike rate in the small sample. The southpaw has given up just a 2.36% home run rate with 85.8 mph of exit velocity on average and a 30.4% hard-hit rate and 6.5% barrels. Yarbrough has been working fairly deep into games through July, but he does not project well and ranks third from the bottom of our pitching board for $5,900/$7,300.
  • San Diego has Ha-Seong Kim at the top of the lineup, in case you haven’t heard, he is having a stellar season. Kim has 15 home runs and 24 stolen bases and he has created runs 35% better than average while slashing .287/.382/.458 with a 19.7% strikeout rate and 12.9% walk rate. Kim gets on base at an elite clip and provides individual upside for counting stats, he is an excellent option for $5,000/$3,600 and has multi-position eligibility on both sites. Fernando Tatis Jr. has 19 homers and 17 stolen bases with a 121 WRC+ ahead of Juan Soto who hit his 24th homer of the year last night and has a 161 WRC+ with a .424 on-base percentage over 484 plate appearances. Manny Machado has a 10.02 in our home run model, he ranks behind Tatis who has an 11.77 and Soto at 10.57, but the trio of stars will be difficult for Yarbrough to navigate cleanly. Xander Bogaerts is another star in the lineup, he is underpriced for his talent and is on the rise after an extended slump. Jake Cronenworth has a .222/.312/.369 triple-slash with an 89 WRC+ in 448 opportunities, Luis Campusano has two home runs in 69 opportunities and Gary Sanchez fills the same position with power with a .277 ISO and 14 homers in 194 chances. Trent Grisham has a 102 WRC+ over 403 plate appearances.

Play: Dodgers bats/stacks, Blake Snell, Padres bats/stacks

Update Notes: The Dodgers have pivoted to Michael Grove as the starter, but the righty may be working a non-traditional outing with Yarbrough working in bulk relief. Neither pitcher is in play for shares for MLB DFS at this point, the Padres bats are a good option.

Seattle Mariners (-135/4.87) @ Los Angeles Angels (+124/4.23)

  • Lefty Tyler Anderson is drawing fire with the Mariners at a 4.87-run implied total and at the top of the board in our collective projections. Anderson has a 17.9% strikeout rate with a 4.98 ERA and a 5.44 xFIP while walking 9.2% with a 1.53 WHIP. Anderson is a limited lefty who is good at keeping the ball in the yard but allows too many opportunities for sequencing and run creation. The Mariners have strikeout issues through their lineup and they are lower-ranked for power than for collective points, so they will have to find some sequencing in the matchup but there is good upside in stacking Seattle hitters tonight. Anderson ranks second to last on the board for $8,300/$7,300.
  • JP Crawford has a .380 on-base percentage with a 129 WRC+ over 442 plate appearances at shortstop, he is a good option for $3,600/$3,000. Julio Rodriguez is slashing .251/.315/.425 with 18 home runs and 26 stolen bases, he has created runs nine percent better than average in his second year in the league in a bit of a step backward but he is still very good for MLB DFS purposes and he has a 7.53 to lead the team in today’s home run model. Eugenio Suarez has 16 homers and a 106 WRC+ in 469 plate appearances, the third baseman is cheap at $3,300/$3,200 for someone who hit 31 home runs each of the past two seasons. Tommy Murphy slots into the cleanup role in the projected lineup, he has eight home runs in just 147 plate appearances this year. The righty-hitting powerhouse catcher has a 15.6% barrel rate and 46.9% hard hits on the season and he is carrying a .267 ISO in the tiny sample for just $3,200/$2,800. Teoscar Hernandez has power in the outfield but his triple-slash has been fairly low-end this season. Hernandez has 16 home runs and a 94 WRC+ over 458 plate appearances overall. Ty France hit his eighth home run of the season, he has dipped in his triple-slash year over year but has a 102 WRC+, which is down hard from the 127 that he posted last year. Cal Raleigh hit his 18th homer last night, he has a .221 ISO with a 113 WRC+ in 363 plate appearances as another power-hitting catcher option in this lineup. Dylan Moore slots in with cheap eligibility at two positions on DraftKings and three on FanDuel, and Jose Caballero rounds out the lineup with a .352 on-base percentage and a 102 WRC+ over 210 plate appearances in which he also has stolen 19 bases.
  • The Angels close out the slate against excellent righty George Kirby who has a 23.1% strikeout rate with a 3.43 ERA and 3.57 xFIP while posting a walk rate approaching Ant-Man’s Quantum Realm at just 2.7%. Kirby is an outstanding control and command specialist who can find a fair number of strikeouts on the mound. The righty has allowed just a 2.71% home run rate on 7.9% barrels and a 12.7-degree launch angle on average. For $10,000/$9,800, Kirby projects fifth overall on the pitching slate against a tough Angels lineup, he is a strong option for shares on both sites and he may go under-owned around the industry.
  • Luis Rengifo is an odd choice as a leadoff man, but he offers sneaky power and a low price ahead of the team’s excellent power options. Shohei Ohtani costs $6,700/$4,600 as by far the team’s most popular, and best, option at the plate. Ohtani has 40 home runs and 14 stolen bases and is nearly a full extra player in the lineup with a run-creation mark that sits 89% better than league average over 489 opportunities. CJ Cron costs $4,700/$3,200, he has 11 home runs in the books this season and a .197 ISO. Cron hit 29 home runs last year and 28 the season before, he has a very good right-handed power bat. Mike Moustakas has provided unexpected quality at the plate this season, he has 10 home runs and he is slashing .270/.336/.451 with a .181 ISO and 105 WRC+. Brandon Drury is back in the Angels’ lineup, he has major power from the right side as well. Drury has eligibility at first and second base on both sites for $4,900/$3,000, he has 14 home runs in 311 plate appearances this year and hit 28 in 568 last season. Mickey Moniak and Hunter Renfroe are a dynamite lefty-righty combo late in the lineup, Moniak has 12 homers in 222 plate appearances and Renfroe has 17 in 424. Matt Thaiss and Randal Grichuk close out the deep lineup, Thaiss is a quality left-handed power bat at the catcher position and Grichuk is absurdly talented for a nine-hitter. The outfielder has nine home runs with a 115 WRC+ while slashing .305/.360/.490 in 283 plate appearances this year.

Play: Mariners bats/stacks, George Kirby, Angels bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

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