MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Notes & Live Show Link – Sunday 7/2/23

The Sunday afternoon main slate has 10 games on FanDuel and nine on DraftKings with a 1:35 start and a final game that does not get rolling until after 5 pm when the rest of the slate will have concluded. The long afternoon was created by shifting the Cubs game for weather concerns, and the FanDuel slate is inclusive of the game at Coors Field that DraftKings wisely left off of the board. The slate is absolutely bursting with options on all sides, there are premium pitchers, struggling versions of formerly premium pitchers, a broad range of value options on the mound, and several elite-looking options for hitting including a game in Cincinnati that looks ripe and has the Reds leading our Power Index today. There is also a fair amount of weather in play across the games in the Midwest. With a short morning, we are in “notes” form for today’s article, be sure to catch the show or hop into our free Discord for any questions and more details.

Don’t miss our new Stack Suggestions feature and our Power Index for more on the top opportunities at the plate tonight.

Join us at 11:30 am(!) ET for the MLB DFS Lineup Card Show and a full game-by-game breakdown:

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 Strategy Snapshot – 7/2/23

Miami Marlins (+189/3.51) @ Atlanta Braves (-208/5.10)

  • This is one of the top pitching duels of the day, Spencer Strider leads our projections against the middling Marlins, he has been baseball’s best pitcher for more than a year since his debut and currently sits at a 3.73 ERA and 2.92 xFIP with a massive 38.9% strikeout rate and 19.7% swinging-strike rate with a 34.9% CSW% all of which lead the game by a wide margin, Strider is always worth the money.
  • The Marlins lineup is overmatched in this outing, they are not a priority stack and barely register for contrarian purposes. Focus hitters include Luis Arraez who sits at a .388 average coming into today for narrative watchers, Jorge Soler who has 22 home runs and a .276 ISO, Bryan De La CruzJazz Chisholm Jr. who has nine home runs and 14 stolen bases in just 180 plate appearances, and later in the lineup Jesus Sanchez, who has good lefty power. Garrett Cooper and Yuli Gurriel are mix-in options if one gets carried away.
  • Sandy Alcantara has not been nearly the pitcher that he was last season, the righty has a 4.82 ERA and 4.17 xFIP with a 19.3% strikeout rate but he has been effective at limiting opposing power and home runs with just a 1.86% home run rate on 6.1% barrels and a 40.5% hard-hit rate, which is something to take into the start against the ludicrously good home run hitting lineup the Braves wield. Alcantara is viable at $7,500/$8,200, all of his struggles and the bad matchup are priced-in at those salaries.
  • The Braves lineup is not drawing as much power as it typically would in the home run model, but they are playable from 1-9. The projected form includes Travis d’Arnaud in for Sean Murphy, either can be played reliably at catcher. The Braves lineup works in any combination, Orlando Arcia and Michael Harris II are the best 8-9 combination in the league and the team draws tons of power from Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario in the six and seven spots. The stars from 1-5 are obvious.

Play: Spencer Strider aggressively, Sandy Alcantara value, Braves bats/stacks

Update Notes:

Milwaukee Brewers (-103/4.54) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (-105/4.56)

  • Pirates starter Rich Hill has a 20.7% strikeout rate with a 4.45 ERA and 4.48 xFIP in 89 innings and 16 starts, he is not reliable for depth or an impressive strikeout total, but he is very cheap at $6,200/$7,800 for SP2 use on DraftKings. Hill is a low-end low-priority option on the two-pitcher site.
  • The Brewers lineup is projected in the lower-middle of the stacks board, they are not a high priority but they are in the quality mix and they are affordable. Focus hitters should be the team’s primary right-handed power bats like Willy AdamesWilliam Contreras, Owen Miller, and Brian Anderson, as well as lefty Christian Yelich who slides from the leadoff spot to cleanup in the projected form of the lineup.
  • The Brewers have righty Colin Rea on the mound, he is a target for Pirates bats for the most part but has made a few effective outings against similarly bad squads. Rea has a 4.57 ERA and a matching xFIP and has allowed a 3.46% home run rate on 90.2 mph of exit velocity and 42% hard hits. Rea costs $5,600/$6,800 and does not seem like a very good option but against the Pirates a few SP2 shares could be on the table.
  • The Pittsburgh lineup is drawing power but most of it goes to the core of Andrew McCutchenJack SuwinskiCarlos Santana, and Henry Davis through the heart of the lineup from 2-5. Leadoff man Josh Palacios is playable in Pirates stacks though he has yet to to do much at the plate, while the later lineup options leave much to be desired. At a 4.56-run implied total and with some signs of upside, the Pirates are a mid-priority option for stacking.

Play: Pirates bats/stacks, Brewers bats/stacks, minor shares of SP2 value

Update Notes:

Washington Nationals (+212/3.78) @ Philadelphia Phillies (-235/5.85)

  • The Nationals are slightly better against left-handed pitching with a collective 103 WRC+ that ranks 18th in baseball in the split, a 19.2% strikeout rate, and a .149 ISO, they will face Phillies lefty Ranger Suarez who projects fairly well in the matchup. Suarez has a 3.18 ERA and 3.51 xFIP with a 23.8% strikeout rate over 51 innings and nine starts, he has been good this year and he is typically talented at capping opposing power, which is already not a specialty of the Nationals. Suarez is a good option on both sites at $8,000/$9,800, he is a strong value play on the DraftKings slate.
  • The Nationals can be utilized against the starter but small bites would probably be advisable, Suarez is not prone to total implosions on the mound. Lane Thomas is the best hitter on the team and rakes against lefties, he costs $4,600/$3,700 as the most justifiable bat in the lineup. Thomas is followed by mediocrity in Luis GarciaJeimer Candelario – who has been atrocious against lefties this year – Joey MenesesKeibert Ruiz, and Stone Garrett, all of whom are moderately playable in stacks against the southpaw.
  • The Phillies are carrying a huge 5.85-run implied total in a matchup against scuffling Trevor Williams, they are a fairly high-priority stack that should be popular in this spot. Williams has a 4.28 ERA and a 4.81 xFIP with a 4.57% home run rate on 11.5% barrels on the season and has struck out just 17.7% in 80 innings and 16 outings. Williams is a non-option on the mound, the Phillies bats are set to have a big day.
  • Leadoff man Kyle Schwarber has a 13.89 in the home run model with 22 on the year, Trea Turner is cheap at $5,500/$3,700 at shortstop, Nick Castellanos remains one of the best bargains in DFS at his DraftKings price and is highly playable on the blue site, Bryce Harper is a star in a bit of a power outage but producing in all other areas, and JT Realmuto is one of the game’s top catchers. The bottom of the lineup is our preferred version which includes Bryson StottAlec BohmBrandon Marsh, and Kody Clemens, there is a wealth of left-handed power and talent in that group, they can be enthusiastically included in stacks.

Play: Phillies bats/stacks aggressively, Ranger Suarez, minor hedge stacks of Nationals

Update Notes:

Boston Red Sox (+173/3.40) @ Toronto Blue Jays (-190/4.70)

  • Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman is the top performing pitcher on this slate not named Strider, he has a 32.7% strikeout rate with a 3.01 ERA and 2.82 xFIP and has been outstanding through most of the season. Gausman has a strong projection that ranks among the slate leaders, but he does not top our board in a matchup against the Red Sox, despite Boston checking in at just a 3.40-run implied total. Gausman is a strong buy at $11,000/$11,200, but there are lower-priced options in consideration if his popularity gets out of hand.
  • The Red Sox are not a priority against Gausman, those looking to roster the team should focus on options at the top of the lineup including Jarren DuranAlex VerdugoJustin Turner, and Rafael Devers, who is the team’s star power hitter with 20 home runs at third base and is now below the $5,000 line on DraftKings at just $4,900. Beyond that group, both Adam Duvall and Triston Casas can be included for their power upside, while the bottom of the lineup falls off significantly.
  • The Blue Jays will face righty Garrett Whitlock, who has been good this season. Whitlock has a 5.15 ERA but a much sharper 3.82 xFIP with a 21.7% strikeout rate and a microscopic 3.3% walk rate in 50.2 innings and nine starts. The righty has struck out more in the past and has allowed a bit of power this season, but there is an overall upside at $6,900/$8,000, though he is in a bad ballpark and bad matchup.
  • The Toronto lineup is in play against Whitlock, but they are not a top option on a slate with several larger totals than their 4.70. Toronto is a mid-range priority for stacking, with obvious focus on the three stars near the top of the lineup. All of George SpringerBo Bichette, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. can be played against almost any pitcher, while options like Brandon Belt and Matt Chapman provide good lefty-righty power for cheap prices in the heart of the lineup. The bottom of the batting order has options like speedy Whit Merrifield or power-packed Daulton Varsho, both of whom should be rotated through a fair amount of Blue Jays stacks in combination with the stars above them.

Play: Kevin Gausman, Garrett Whitlock value, Blue Jays bats/stacks as a mid-ranked option, only minor hedge Red Sox if any

Update Notes:

San Diego Padres (tba) @ Cincinnati Reds (tba)

  • This game is carrying a fair amount of weather risk but looks like a critical option for the slate
  • Andrew Abbott is on the mound for his sixth start for the Reds. The young lefty has been exceptional over his first few outings with a 1.21 ERA but his 4.77 xFIP is the far more truthful number. Abbott has struck out 26.1% and walked 10.4% while allowing a 2.61% home run rate on 91.1 mph of exit velocity and 42.5% hard hits, he is not going to sustain the sterling ERA and the Padres have elite hitters in their lineup. Abbott projects in the lower-middle of our board in a bad spot in the bandbox ballpark and against the Padres.
  • San Diego’s lineup is looking like a strong option, they are carrying fair projections for both run creation and power with Ha-Seong Kim leading off as a reasonable correlated scoring play in the infield for cheap pricing ahead of the team’s quartet of stars. Fernando Tatis Jr.Juan SotoManny Machado, and Xander Bogaerts are all highly playable and, outside of Tatis, reasonably affordable in this matchup. Tatis has 15 home runs and 14 stolen bases in 293 tries, Soto has 15 home runs and six stolen bases while creating runs 55% better than average, Machado has 11 home runs but just a 92 WRC+ that is keeping his cost down, and Bogaerts has eight homers and nine steals and has been stuck in place for several weeks but comes very cheap for his talent. Gary Sanchez and Jake Cronenworth can add value as bolt-on options and Nelson Cruz was once the most fearsome hitter in the known galaxy when facing a lefty.
  • The Reds are going up against Pedro Avila, a 26-year-old non-entity of a pitcher for DFS purposes. Avila is filling in for sick Yu Darvish in a spot start, he is a minor league talent who has a 6.55 xFIP and 8.49 ERA in 13 starts and 46.2 innings in AAA this season. Avila has struck out 18.1% and walked 11.9% while allowing a 4.84% home run rate to minor leaguers.
  • The Reds are a great option against Avila, assuming this game plays at all. The team has been rolling but remains affordable with breakout young stars like Matt McLain and Elly De La Cruz, today’s home run pick, leading the way. Five hitters in the projected Reds lineup are over the magic number for home run potential, in addition to McLain and De La Cruz, they are Jake FraleyJoey Votto, and Spencer Steer, while leadoff man TJ Friedl and veteran second base star Jonathan India are also easy clicks for correlated scoring and talent.

Play: Reds bats/stacks enthusiastically, Padres bats/stacks

Update Notes:

Los Angeles Dodgers (-191/5.88) @ Kansas City Royals (+174/4.24)

  • The Dodgers’ elite offense is drawing a 5.88-run implied total against struggling Brady Singer, who has been simply bad this season. The disappointing righty has a 5.88 ERA and 4.47 xFIP with an 18.9% strikeout rate and 1.52 WHIP and has allowed 9.4% barrels with 92.4 mph of exit velocity and a massive 53.6% hard-hit rate. That Singer’s home run rate sits at just 2.70% is somewhat amazing given all of the premium contact that he has allowed. Singer is not a strong option for DFS at $5,000/$6,400, he would need a major return to the form we saw over the past two seasons to make even that value against this opponent.
  • The Dodgers play from 1-9 on most slates and today should not be an exception, the lineup is elite from 1-5 with Mookie BettsFreddie FreemanWill SmithMax Muncy, and JD Martinez and there are very good options including lefties David PeraltaJason Heyward, and James Outman, all of whom have a fair amount of home run potential later in the lineup. The priorities are the top five hitters, Betts has 22 home runs and a 150 WRC+ for the season, Freeman is the best hitter at his position in baseball and has a good power stroke as well with 14 home runs in 377 plate appearances, Smith is elite at avoiding strikeouts and getting on base and he brings power of his own, while Muncy and Martinez are all-world power options that go lefty-righty in the heart of the order.
  • The Royals are not looking like a great option, the lousy high-strikeout lineup is feeding a good projection back toward Tony Gonsolin, who has a 3.30 ERA but a 5.03 xFIP with a 19.4% strikeout rate and 9.3% walk rate this season. Gonsolin has a 9.4% swinging-strike rate and 24.6% CSW% for the season, he is affordable at $8,600/$8,800 in a good match for DFS points if nothing else.
  • The Royals lineup is a low-priority stack, they can be deployed at the top with hitters including Bobby Witt Jr.Sal Perez, and MJ Melendez, as well as Nick Pratto, who has recently dropped to fifth in the lineup. Witt has not gotten on base enough but provides counting stats, Melendez makes power contact but does not produce home runs or run-creating events, Perez is a star catcher with major power, and Pratto has a good bat but strikes out too much. The rest of the lineup is comprised of pieces and parts.

Play: Dodgers bats/stacks aggressively, Tony Gonsolin

Update Notes:

New York Yankees (-110/4.11) @ St. Louis Cardinals (+102/3.98)

  • The Cardinals have Jordan Montgomery on the mound as one of our more highly projected pitchers against this lowly form of the Yankees lineup. Montgomery has a 3.52 ERA and 3.78 xFIP with a 21.9% strikeout rate on the season, he is typically reliable for depth, clean innings, and a shot at a win and quality start bonus. For $7,800/$9,300 he is a strong buy as a value on both sites.
  • The Yankees lineup still lacks their superstar, the team is drawing a 4.11-run implied total that reflects their typical inability to find consistent sequencing and run creation, Montgomery is fairly adept at limiting opposing power, he has not been over 2.9% home runs in the past three seasons. DJ LeMahieuGleyber Torres, Anthony Rizzo, and Giancarlo Stanton are the focus hitters for New York, with Harrison Bader and Josh Donaldson as bolt-ons. Donaldson sells out for home run upside from the right side of the plate against the southpaw and Bader has a bit of pop and good speed in the outfield.
  • The Cardinals will be facing Gerrit Cole, who has not been nearly as bad as rumored this season. Cole has a 2.78 ERA and 3.80 xFIP with a 26.8% strikeout rate and 11.9% swinging-strike rate. The righty may not be pitching at the elite 30%+ strikeout level we once knew, but he is still very talented on the mound and is likely to hold this Cardinals lineup in check, they have just a 3.98-run implied total in Vegas and are not a priority stack in this matchup while Cole should be played at $11,200/$10,600.
  • Lars NootbaarPaul GoldschmidtNolan Gorman, and Nolan Arenado are a challenging four-man group to lead off the lineup, they can be played as a straight-line stack when targeting Cole with contrarian shares, the Cardinals are good in that respect they are a high-quality lineup that is simply facing a good starter. Willson ContrerasJordan WalkerPaul DeJongDylan Carlson, and Tommy Edman are playable in smaller doses from the bottom when stacking Cardinals.

Play: Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, Yankees value in small portions, Cardinals contrarian bats in smaller

Update Notes:

Houston Astros (+122/4.25) @ Texas Rangers (-133/4.85)

  • Lefty Andrew Heaney has the Astros struggling lineup at just 4.25 implied runs. Heaney has a 4.38 ERA and 4.59 xFIP with a 24.2% strikeout rate and 10.1% walk rate that have both gone in the wrong direction from where he used to work. The lefty still has upside and he projects in the middle of a deep pitching slate for $7,200/$8,600, but he will have to avoid the home run ball which is his frequent problem. Heaney has allowed a 4.18% home run rate on 90.2 mph of exit velocity and a 10.8% barrel rate this season, he is cheap and playable but there is not a lot of safety in the play.
  • Astros bats can be played in small doses with Jose AltuveAlex Bregman, and Kyle Tucker as the three true priority options from the top of the lineup. Everyone else for Houston is of mix-and-match quality, including struggling Jose Abreu, catcher Yainer DiazJeremy PenaCorey Julks, and Chas McCormick.
  • The Rangers are facing Shawn Dubin, who will work as a mult-inning opener but not a true starter. Dubin is a non-option even at $4,000/$5,500, he has a 32% strikeout rate in five innings but has allowed too much premium contact and will not be on the mound long enough. Dubin’s hard hit rate sits at 62.5% and he has given up 96.4 mph of exit velocity on average, this is a hittable pitcher.
  • Stacking Rangers is a good option on this slate, though their 4.85-run total is surprisingly low. Marcus Semien and Corey Seager are expensive stars atop the lineup, they are always worth it but Seager is pulling away from his double-play partner in terms of production and rating in our home run model, the shortstop is at 10.44 with Semien at just 7.90 for home run potential today after they spent several weeks mirroring one another in our numbers. The productive lineup goes on with Nathaniel LoweAdolis Garcia, and Josh Jung, all of whom are priority plays in Rangers stacks. Jonah HeimEzequiel DuranMitch Garver, and Leody Taveras are playable options from a strong bottom of the lineup.

Play: Rangers bats/stacks, Andrew Heaney as a mid-level option

Update Notes:

Detroit Tigers (-104/6.06) @ Colorado Rockies (-104/6.06)

  • This is a Coors Field game with both lousy teams totaled at 6.06 implied runs in a matchup between Connor Seabold and Matt Manning, you know what to do.

Play: bats bats bats

Update Notes:

Cleveland Guardians (-111/4.12) @ Chicago Cubs (+102/3.98)

  • Cubs starter Jameson Taillon has been fairly targetable with a 6.90 ERA and 4.93 xFIP and just 20.3% strikeouts this season, he does not look like a good option at $5,200/$6,200, even against the weak Guardians.
  • Cleveland is a low-end play even against Taillon. The lineup is drawing a 4.12-run implied total in this spot without much quality in their lineup. Focus options are Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor, with minor playable parts around them in Steven KwanJosh BellAmed Rosario, and Andres Gimenez, none of whom have been good this year.
  • Chicago will face Aaron Civale, who is actually a fairly good pitcher at $7,700/$8,400. Civale projects in the middle of the board and will likely be very low-owned despite a potential to work deep into the ballgame. The righty has a 19.9% strikeout rate and 3.18 ERA but 4.51 xFIP in seven starts and 39.2 innings. He struck out more at 24.1% last season and has potential against a middling Cubs lineup.
  • Cubs bats are not a high priority, Civale is not prone to disaster and they are totaled at just 3.98 implied runs. Quality options from Chicago include Ian HappSeiya Suzuki, Cody Bellinger, and Dansby Swanson through the heart of the lineup, with bolt-on options in Nico Hoerner and Mike Tauchman ahead of that group. The bottom of the lineup is not in strong form but Yan Gomes is a viable cheap sneaky catcher with power upside on DraftKings.

Play: small portions of Aaron Civale value, minor shares of anything or nothing.

Update Notes:

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