MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Notes & Live Show Link – Sunday 7/9/23

The 10-game MLB DFS main slate gets rolling at 1:35 ET on DraftKings and FanDuel and features a significant number of high-end pitching options with a far more limited board at the plate. There are several good spots to stack hitters, but they will all have highly concentrated public ownership. This has the makings of a slate on which we can spread out options with quality on the mound while getting to a selection of under-the-radar stacks mixed with the higher popularity options at the plate in a diverse portfolio over 150 entries.

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

Join us at 11:15 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 Notes – 7/9/23

Chicago Cubs (+117/4.07) @ New York Yankees (-127/4.53)

Yankees starter Domingo German was far from perfect in his most recent outing. After firing the 24th perfect game in baseball history, German returned to Earth with a 4.1-inning two-run nine-hit five-strikeout mass of mound mediocrity. German is a talented but flawed righty with a fairly high ceiling based on being a very strong strike-thrower. The righty has a 13.7% swinging-strike rate and 30.1% CSW% with a 23.5% strikeout rate over 85.2 innings in 16 starts. German has a 4.52 ERA and 4.15 xFIP for the season but has allowed a 4.25% home run rate on 8.8% barrels and a 40.4% hard-hit rate that does not play well in Yankee Stadium. German costs $6,800/$8,100 with a projection in the lower-middle portion of the pitching board. The Cubs will answer German with a talented but shaky lineup that has not produced to expected levels of power or run creation output so far this season. Mike Tauchman has three home runs and three stolen bases with a 97 WRC+ and has been scuffling in the leadoff role and is a quad-A talent. Nico Hoerner is the first option in most stacks of Cubs, he is slashing .274/.322/.381 with 20 stolen bases on the season but lands as the most expensive option on the team on DraftKings at $5,000 with eligibility at second base or shortstop. Hoerner is a $3,300 second baseman on FanDuel where he is easier to reach. Given their talent, Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki are cheap at $3,700/$3,100 and $3,400/$2,700. Happ has a .376 on-base percentage and has created runs 14% better than average, and Suzuki has been three percent better than average for runs with six homers and a 50.5% hard-hit rate that says he should be better for power than he has been. Cody Bellinger is having a good bounce-back season, one wonders where he would be had he not missed time with injuries. The former MVP is up to .298/.353/.493 with a .195 ISO and 125 WRC+ with nine home runs and 11 stolen bases on the board in 241 opportunities—Bellinger slots in at first base or in the outfield for $4,600/$3,700. Christopher Morel has 15 home runs on the season with a .313 ISO, a 15.7% barrel rate, and 47.9% hard hits. Morel is affordable for his power potential late in the lineup at $4,700/$3,500 and offers eligibility at third base or in the outfield. Jared YoungPatrick Wisdom, and Tucker Barnhart round out the lineup, Wisdom is easily the most interesting in the group with 14 home runs and a .263 ISO in his line. The inconsistent high-strikeout masher should be viewed as a zero or a home run when building stacks.

The Yankees draw a good matchup against ancient righty Kyle Hendricks who draws a lower-middle projection on the board and who has not been effective this season. Hendricks has a deceptive 2.64 ERA this year with a more honest 4.89 xFIP and just a 14.4% strikeout rate. The soft-tossing righty has limited barrels to just 6.7% with a 33.6% hard-hit rate and 1.06% home runs. Hendricks is not inept or washed on the mound, he has a chance to work six clean innings against New York, but the lack of significant strikeout potential and the power upside in this park for the Yankees has us leaning in their direction with the starter only considered for low-end dart throws. Anthony Volpe leads off for New York, the shortstop surged over the past few weeks and has pulled himself to more respectable numbers with a long way to go before things look good overall. Volpe is good for counting stats with 12 home runs and 16 stolen bases and he should provide correlated scoring with the team’s key bats. Gleyber Torres slots in at $4,700/$3,000 as a second base option on both sites. Torres has 13 home runs with seven stolen bases and a 106 WRC+ in 370 plate appearances this season and is carrying a 9.0 in our home run model. Anthony Rizzo has an 8.53 in the home run model and needs to come back to life at the plate. The first baseman is cheap for his upside at $4,100/$3,100. The entire Yankees lineup is inexpensive on this slate, they have a good opportunity to be a key value stack on this slate. Giancarlo Stanton went deep twice last night including a mammoth shot off the third deck in left field. The right-handed slugger has all-world power when he is going right and tends to hit home runs in bunches, Stanton is very cheap for his potential at $4,500/$3,100. Harrison Bader has mid-range power and good speed at the plate, he is a good buy in the Yankees outfield regardless of where he hits in the lineup. Josh Donaldson is a power-or-nothing option at third base. 71% of Donaldson’s hits have been home runs this season, he has 10 on the year in 108 plate appearances. Billy McKinneyKyle Higashioka, and Franchy Cordero all offer inconsistent upside for home runs from the bottom of the batting order.

Play: Yankees bats/stacks, Cubs bats as a mid-range option, German value shares

Update Notes:

Oakland Athletics (+139/4.32) @ Boston Red Sox (-167/5.42)

The Athletics are facing opener Tayler Scott with lefty Chris Murphy working behind him in bulk relief. Murphy costs $5,900 on both sites and does not look like a great option for value. The southpaw has a 23.2% strikeout rate with a 1.98 ERA but a 3.67 xFIP. His nine percent swinging-strike rate and 21.4% CSW% do not inspire much confidence, the Athletics are an excellent matchup for any pitcher but with a lack of confidence in his innings projection we hesitate to recommend Murphy at these prices. Oakland’s lineup is a mixed bag with Tony KempJordan DiazAledmys Diaz, and Brent Rooker in the first four spots in the projected batting order. The first three have WRC+ marks of 66, 94, and 57 this season, with Rooker at a 125 based on his absurd March and April. The righty slugger has 15 home runs and a .230 ISO for the season and comes cheap at $3,300/$2,700. Ryan Noda is a lefty who gets on base at a good clip and has a bit of power, his 130 WRC+ leads the team but he strikes out at an aggressive 33.3% clip that can leave a hole in a lineup with ease. Shea LangeliersJJ BledayManny Pina, and Nick Allen are a weak bottom-end. Of that group, Langeliers is interesting as a cheap unowned catcher with power potential while Bleday is a mix-in lefty bat, the other two are low-end options at best, though Pina hit 13 home runs in 208 plate appearances in 2021 when he was last relevant.

Lefty JP Sears has provided some valuable starts and has had days on which he projects well in high-quality matchups, this is not one of those days. Sears lands at a rough projection near the bottom of the board today, the southpaw is facing a very good Red Sox lineup that has a 5.42-run implied total that sits at the top of a slate short on offensive potential. Only the Red Sox and Guardians are carrying run totals above 5.0 and only one of those teams has been reliable for run creation and DFS scoring this season. Three teams land in the 4.7 range with every other team below 4.5, the Brewers, Twins, and White Sox are all potentially relevant but also serve to show just how strong the Red Sox offense is looking in Vegas relative to the rest of the field. Boston’s offense has very high-end on-base and run creation skills as well as power on both sides of the plate. Rob Refsnyder is projected to lead off, the career journeyman backup utility-man is slashing .271/.394/.357 with a 115 WRC+ overall and makes sense as a leadoff hitter in platoons, he is miscast when the Red Sox slot him in third in situations against a lefty, his skill is in base hits and setting the table for big bats that follow. Refsnyder is slashing .356/.466/.466 with a .110 ISO and 164 WRC+ against southpaws this season. Alex Verdugo slots in second, he is a strong option as a table-setter and as an individual scorer and has a 122 WRC+ on the season but costs just $4,300/$3,400 in the outfield. Justin Turner is having another excellent season at the plate, the veteran is slashing .288/.360/.461 with a 124 WRC+ and 13 home runs. Turner strikes out just 16.7% of the time and has a solid 40.6% hard-hit rate, he has been one of the more reliable hitters in baseball for years and costs just $4,400/$3,400. Rafael Devers checks in for $5,300/$3,800, his DraftKings price jumped by $400 from yesterday’s far-too-low number. The slugger is a star at third base, he has 20 home runs on the season and is always an option in the heart of this lineup. Adam Duvall is cheap at $4,900/$3,000 considering his true power potential at the plate, he has also been good for run creation in his 124 plate appearances even when not hitting long balls, which has mostly been the case since his return from injury. Mastaka Yoshida may hit higher in the lineup, potentially switching spots with Verdugo from the projected form of the lineup. Yoshida has been very good for run creation this season, he leads the team with a 136 WRC+ and has a very strong hit tool at the plate. Enrique HernandezConnor Wong, and Yu Chang are playable parts late in the lineup.

Play: Red Sox bats/stacks with enthusiasm but they will be the most popular stack on the slate

Update Notes:

Kansas City Royals (+200/3.45) @ Cleveland Guardians (-245/5.28)

It has rarely felt good to see Shane Bieber’s name among the top pitchers of the day in 2023. If this were an Indiana Jones movie, Bieber would have left a spiderweb of red lines all across the results map for his season. The righty has been alternately productive and able to reach strong strikeout totals in deep games and completely disastrous on the mound. Overall, Bieber has a 3.66 ERA and 4.09 xFIP in 110.2 innings in 18 outings. The righty has a 19.3% strikeout rate on 10.5% swinging strikes and a 29.5% CSW%, all of which are down hard from previous seasons. Just last year, Bieber had a 25% strikeout rate with a 13.8% swinging-strike rate and 31.4% CSW%, he was a 33.1% strikeout pitcher in 2021. The free-swinging low-end Royals have been feeding big projections and strong MLB DFS starts to opposing pitchers this season. The projected lineup has a 26.5% strikeout rate from top to bottom, pushing Bieber to the top of the pitching slate in a tight group of highly projected premium starters. For $9,000/$9,500, Bieber is one of our favorite pitching options, warts and all, against the lousy Royals. Kansas City’s lineup is barely worth the hedge positions. Those looking to include Royals stacks in their Sunday plans should focus on the top of the lineup, even more so than most teams, Kansas City is extremely top-heavy. Maikel Garcia has been a productive rookie but he is a non-threatening hit-and-speed option who has a .106 ISO. Garcia has stolen 14 bases and gets on at a .343 clip, he is an OK correlated scoring play if he opens the batting order. Bobby Witt Jr. checks in with 14 home runs and 27 stolen bases, he should be more productive than his 98 WRC+ but he has been climbing quickly in that department and still costs just $4,600/$3,300 at shortstop. Sal Perez has titanic power on the right day, he is a good option when stacking Royals, the stout backstop costs just $4,300/$2,800. Nick Pratto hits from the left side, he has six home runs and a .143 ISO with a 45.4% hard-hit rate and 10% barrels this season but he strikes out at a 37.7% clip that is unsustainable and renders the rest of his quality somewhat moot. Edward Olivares has infrequent mid-range power and good speed, MJ Melendez has big-time theoretical power that has not fully come through, and the bottom third is made up of Kyle IsbelDrew Waters, and Michael Massey.

The Guardians are in an uncomfortable position again today. This series against Kansas City has done wonders for the team’s implied run totals on the way into games, and they have managed to produce six runs on Thursday and a whopping 10 runs on 18 hits in yesterday’s contest. Vegas has the low-end Guardians getting right back on the ball in a matchup against middling lefty Ryan Yarbrough who does not project well for $5,200/$5,700. Yarbrough has worked 26.1 innings in three starts and a few bullpen appearances, he has a 6.15 ERA and 5.95 xFIP with a 12.4% strikeout rate in the tiny sample. The southpaw is returning to action after getting hit in the face with a line drive a few weeks ago, he has made rehab starts and worked six innings on Tuesday, so he should be fully stretched out in this spot. Yarbrough is not a high-end pitcher, he had a 17.2% strikeout rate in 80 innings last year and a 17.9% mark in 155 innings and 21 starts as a regular in 2021. Cleveland’s active roster has an 88 WRC+ with a .142 ISO for the season against lefties, but they are good at putting the ball in play and carry just an 18.5% strikeout rate in the split as a unit. Yarbrough does not look like an option on the mound, but there is the possibility that the lefty is a limiting factor for Cleveland run creation, which would fly in the face of Vegas but follow the Guardians’ season-long run of underperformance. If Cleveland becomes aggressively popular they look like a fairly easy “roster but undercut” situation. Steven Kwan is a slap-hitting leadoff man who provides correlated scoring when he manages to get on base, which has not been the case with regularity this season. Amed Rosario has a pair of home runs and nine steals in a disappointing year. Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor hit back-to-back in the heart of the order and bring most of the team’s quality with WRC+ marks of 133 and 124 this year. Ramirez has 14 home runs and nine stolen bases, Naylor has 11 long balls and five stolen bases. Josh Bell also fills first base, he has nine homers and a 97 WRC+ and is threatening to become relevant for the first time all year if he can get above the waterline for run creation. Andres Gimenez is a capable power-and-speed option at second base but he has been very inconsistent this season. Gimenez has seven home runs and 15 stolen bases and costs $4,100/$3,000 in a good spot. David FryMyles Straw, and Cam Gallagher are low-end options to close the lineup.

Play: Shane Bieber, Guardians bats/stacks with an eye on public popularity, minor hedge position among Royals top-six

Update Notes:

Toronto Blue Jays (-124/4.50) @ Detroit Tigers (+114/4.10)

The Blue Jays are carrying just a 4.5-run implied total against talented lefty Tarik Skubal who has made one start this season after undergoing major surgery after an arm injury last year. Skubal worked four innings of quality against the Athletics in his return on the 4th, he struck out six while allowing no hits and walking zero in an excellent return to form. Skubal should be expected to work a bit deeper into today’s game, for $7,700/$8,200 the lefty is playable if he sees five innings today. The Blue Jays are, of course, a high-end opponent that is far better than the Athletics, there is good cause to roster at least a hedge position of Toronto bats, if not more. Bo Bichette slots into the leadoff role in the projected lineup with George Springer out on paternity leave. Bichette has 15 home runs and a 137 WRC+ and it would make more sense to have him hit second behind Whit Merrifield, who the projected lineup has hitting second. Merrifield has a .342 on-base percentage with 19 stolen bases on the season and would serve as a good table-setter for the lineup in either spot. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has 13 home runs but just a .171 ISO. The star first baseman has created runs 21% better than average and has been hitting the ball harder and barreling it more frequently, to limited returns. Guerrero is a strong buy at just $5,000/$3,700. Matt Chapman and Alejandro Kirk offer right-handed power from the heart of the lineup, if Danny Jansesn joins them as projected he is another stout righty power bat and a second catcher to rotate in Blue Jays stacks. Daulton Varsho came to life at the plate but scuffles in same-handed matchups, he has 12 home runs on the season and would be better against the bullpen if the team chases Skubal or after he is hooked in a short outing. Santiago Espinal and Ernie Clement round out the projected lineup.

Another roller coaster starter will be on the mound in a highly projected spot and a premium matchup when Chris Bassitt toes the rubber for Toronto today. The righty has worked 105.2 innings in 18 starts, he has a 4.09 ERA and 4.43 xFIP with a 22.1% strikeout rate but just a 9.5% swinging-strike rate and 26.9% CSW%. Bassitt has been mostly good this season, but his bad outings have been total meltdowns on the mound. On his good days, the righty works deep into ballgames and racks up wins, quality starts, and handfuls of strikeouts, on bad days at least we do not have to check scores all afternoon. Bassitt is a highly relevant play in his matchup against the terrible Tigers, he costs just $8,400/$9,200 and is one of the most highly projected starters on the board. Detroit’s lineup can be played as a contrarian position to what should be high ownership on the starter, but they are a bad team carrying just a 4.1-run implied total and little DFS output in most games. Zach McKinstry is slated to lead off, he has a 97 WRC+ with six homers and 11 stolen bases in 278 opportunities. Riley Greene adds another strong bat to the lineup in his return to action, Greene has made 228 plate appearances and has five home runs with six stolen bases while slashing .302/.373/.449 and creating runs 33% better than average to lead the team. Spencer Torkelson has a dozen home runs and a 97 WRC+ on the season, eh is cheap at $3,800/$2,800. Kerry Carpenter has good pop from the left side, he has eight home runs and a .227 ISO in his 164 chances this season. These top four hitters for Detroit comprise our favorite stack from this lineup, with options like Javier BaezAkil Baddoo, and Andy Ibanez as mix-in options later in the lineup and Jake Rogers as a home run or bust catcher option.

Play: Chris Bassitt, Tarik Skubal value in smaller bites, Blue Jays bats/stacks as a mid-level option, contrarian Tigers in small doses

Update Notes:

Atlanta Braves (+110/3.89) @ Tampa Bay Rays (-120/4.20)

The Braves ridiculous potential for power has them defying Vegas oddsmakers somewhat in our projections for the day. The team has been too good this season, their output overwhelms our home run model and pushes Atlanta toward the top of the board for both power indicators and fantasy point projections, despite a 3.89-run implied total and the presence of talented righty Zach Eflin on the mound in Tampa Bay. Eflin has a 3.24 ERA and 3.09 xFIP with a 26.1% strikeout rate over 97.1 innings and 16 starts and he has capped home runs at just 2.61% so far this season. The righty was similarly good at checking power in years past and does not allow many barrels to opposing hitters, this is a both-sided situation in which either Eflin or the Braves could come through for DFS-relevant scores, but we tend to favor the big Atlanta bats in this spot, particularly if they are low-owned for our purposes. Atlanta’s lineup is one that regular readers should have committed to memory at this point, they are playable 1-9 on a daily basis. Ronald Acuna Jr. will close out his first half with at least 21 home runs and 41 stolen bases, he has been outrageously good all year and costs $6,400/$4,600 in the outfield. Ozzie Albies has 22 home runs as a second baseman, he is one of the best options at his position on any given slate. Austin Riley has a 103 WRC+ with 16 home runs on the board, the power has not been as consistent as in years past and the third baseman has slouched for run creation overall this season but he is still a valuable piece of this stack. Matt Olson costs $6,200/$4,400, he has a 19.8% barrel rate and 56.9% hard hits with 29 home runs as one of baseball’s best first basemen. Travis d’Arnaud is slated to step in and catch in a Sunday afternoon game, the lineup does not lose much quality in the pivot from starter Sean Murphy, d’Arnaud offers significant power at the plate as well and he comes cheaper on both sites. Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario spent the first half reminding the world how good they are at baseball. Ozuna has 17 home runs and a 113 WRC+ and Rosario has 14 with a 107. Orlando Arcia and Michael Harris II are a ludicrously talented pair at the bottom of the lineup for cheap prices. Harris remains inexpensive at $4,300/$3,400 in the outfield despite a strong return to form in recent weeks.

The Rays will be facing Bryce Elder who, like Eflin, is a good pitcher who has been pitching well but will be facing a stiff opponent. Elder projects better than Eflin in our model, the righty has thrown 102.2 innings with a 19.3% strikeout rate and 2.45 ERA but a 4.01 xFIP on the season. Elder is good at limiting home run power, he cuts launch angles and barrels effectively and has yielded just a 1.93% home run rate on a 7.5-degree average launch angle this season. At $8,000/$9,700 Elder looks like a strong option to deliver value on the mound on Sunday afternoon. The Rays have been a hyper-productive bunch over the season’s first half but streaks do not last forever. The talented bunch hits the All-Star break looking like they could use a breather, but their numbers overall are terrific. Yandy Diaz should lead off today, he has a dozen home runs and a 160 WRC+ in 336 first-half plate appearances. Wander Franco has stolen 28 bases and created runs 27% better than average as the team’s star shortstop, he costs $5,900/$3,800 and is a worthwhile investment when stacking Rays. Luke Raley has 15 home runs and nine stolen bases as one of the breakout players for Tampa Bay, the lefty’s 163 WRC+ leads the productive team. Randy Arozarena is the true star in the outfield, he has 16 home runs and nine stolen bases with a 145 WRC+ and costs $5,600/$3,700 as a good buy when stacking this squad. Brandon Lowe has massive left-handed power but the matchup against Elder is not a great one for home runs, he is capped at just a 4.25 in our home run model. Jose Siri rocked his way to 16 home runs in just 204 plate appearances, he is a good late lineup option who is joined by Taylor WallsChristian Bethancourt, and Jonathan Aranda at the bottom of the batting order.

Play: four corners game: Braves bats/stacks, Bryce Elder, Zach Eflin, Rays bats/stacks in that order

Update Notes:

Philadelphia Phillies (+104/3.71) @ Miami Marlins (-112/3.87)

The game in Miami is looking like a strong pitching duel with Jesus Luzardo on the bump for the home team and Aaron Nola taking the mound for the visitors. Luzardo has been very good over 18 starts and 103 innings in 2023. The southpaw has a 28.6% strikeout rate with a 6.2% walk rate and 3.32 ERA with a 3.49 xFIP. Luzardo has managed to induce an excellent 14.2% swinging-strike rate with a 30.6% CSW% and he has been good at limiting power despite 10.8% barrels and a 13.8-degree launch angle average. Luzardo will face a tough Phillies lineup that is not bad against lefties but will be without star Bryce Harper who came out of last night’s game after getting hit on the elbow but seems ultimately OK. Kyle Schwarber leads off with 22 home runs in the books and a 14.21 in our home run model to lead the team. The slugger is cheap at $4,600/$3,700, he has a 15.1% barrel rate and 47.2% hard-hit rate and we do not care about strikeouts or his batting average. Trea Turner has an 86 WRC+ on the season which we would not have bet on for the midway point. The star shortstop has been underperforming all year but he has plenty of upside at $5,500/$3,600. Nick Castellanos is still inexpensive at $4,300/$3,600, the outfielder has produced all year, he has a 125 WRC+ with 13 home runs and a .304/.345/.500 triple-slash. JT Realmuto is a star catcher every day he plays, he can always be included in Phillies stacks. Alec Bohm slots in at first or third base with a .283/.329/.430 triple-slash and 104 WRC+ in a productive season, he leads the way into a bottom end that is better when the team faces righties. Brandon Marsh is projected to hit ninth but would make more sense higher up the batting order, even with a lefty on the mound. Marsh has a 114 WRC+ on the season with seven home runs and five stolen bases as the best of the bottom, but he typically sits against lefties. Josh Harrison and Edmundo Sosa are not overly strong performers from the bottom spots.

The Marlins lineup is not a strong one, but there are playable parts in the team’s stars in the first two spots and a few other useable options on better days than today’s matchup against Philadelphia’s right-handed ace. Nola costs $10,300/$9,400 and checks in with the day’s top pitching projection in our model. The righty has thrown 113 innings in 18 starts, he is typically reliable for depth and quality and frequently chases bonuses on both sites. Nola has a 25% strikeout rate with a 4.30 ERA and 3.86 xFIP, he has not been flawless on the mound this season as exemplified by the inflated run marks and a 3.95% home run rate, all of which are up from last year. In 2022, Nola threw 205 innings and had a 29.1% strikeout rate with a 3.25 ERA, 2.77 xFIP, and 2.35% home run rate. The Marlins lineup ranks 20th out of 30 teams with a collective 92 WRC+ against right-handed pitching this season, their .135 ISO and 21.9% strikeout rate also lend Nola upside in this matchup, but he is not likely to be the most highly owned pitcher, which would create a significant tournament opportunity around the premium starter. Miami’s lineup opens with Luis Arraez, who got the day off on Saturday. Arraez has the league’s best hit tool and sits at .388/.439/.477 with a 152 WRC+ and makes a great correlated scoring piece with masher Jorge Soler. The outfielder has 23 home runs and a .276 ISO after blasting another one off of a lefty yesterday. Soler is less likely against Nola but he remains above the magic number in the home run model with a 10.2. Bryan De La Cruz has been good at the plate but he has dipped to 99 WRC+ for the season, Jesus Sanchez has good left-handed power but strikes out at a 26.2% clip and is inconsistent as a developing young hitter, Garrett Cooper has been rolling over the last month or so, for the season he is up to 12 home runs and a 105 WRC+ in 277 plate appearances with a 10.6% barrel rate and 43% hard hits. Jean SeguraJoey WendleNick Fortes, and Dane Meyers lend upside to the Nola play.

Play: Aaron Nola, Jesus Luzardo both as strong options, only minor hedge positions of bats with Phillies strongly favored over Marlins

Update Notes:

Cincinnati Reds (-100/4.50) @ Milwaukee Brewers (-120/4.73)

After a few days mashing their way near the top of the board in projections and home run potential, the Reds check into Sunday with a 4.50-run implied total and slightly more tempered expectations at the plate in a matchup against middling lefty Wade Miley. Miley is not a strong option on the mound, he projects in the lower third of pitchers for $6,200/$7,800, even as a value option his DFS upside is not great with a 15.1% strikeout rate this season. Last year he was at 17.6% and the year before was 18.1%, he is not a high-end starter but he is typically good at checking power and run creation. So far this year, the lefty has a 3.36 ERA but a 4.95 xFIP in 12 starts and 61.2 innings. In 163 innings in 2021, his last full season, Miley posted a 3.37 ERA and 4.07 xFIP with a 2.46% home run rate on 6.1% barrels and 34% hard hits. He has been more targetable for power this year at 3.19% home runs and a 9.2% barrel rate but his 32.3% hard-hit rate is in line with previous output. The Reds are a fun group to roster and they project well enough to be in play on this slate, but they are priced up a bit after their run of quality. Kevin Newman is projected to lead off today, though he has just an 81 WRC+ in 222 plate appearances. Matt McLain has been a star at shortstop, he has seven home runs and seven stolen bases with a 131 WRC+ and a .211 ISO. Jonathan India has hit 13 home runs and stolen 12 bases this year, he has been a solid option at second base for some time and costs just $4,800/$3,500 as a strong value play in Reds stacks. Elly De La Cruz is amazing to watch on the field, he is the first player in baseball history to have 15 extra-base hits and 15 stolen bases in his first 30 games, he has already hit for the cycle, and he stole second, third, and home(!) on two pitches last night. If you missed that highlight, it is an amazing watch. De La Cruz is easily worth the $6,100/$4,500 and we cannot wait to see what he does next. Spencer Steer slots in fifth against the lefty, but Joey Votto may not take Sunday off against the soft-tosser, either way this is a good spot in the Reds lineup, both players are options from anywhere in the batting order. Nick Senzel is in the projected lineup but would likely take a seat if Votto goes, Senzel is a cheap option if he plays but his WRC+ sits at just 84 for the season. TJ Friedl has been productive at the dish, he has six home runs and 16 stolen bases with a 123 WRC+ this year. Curt Casali closes out the lineup as something of a non-option at catcher, he hit five home runs in each of the past two seasons but is not a consistent contributor.

The Brewers will take on righty Ben Lively who has a 4.11 ERA and 4.22 xFIP with a 23.1% strikeout rate in seven starts and 46 innings. Lively has been surprisingly effective this season, he has walked just 6.7% but he has coughed up an aggressive 5.13% home run rate on 8.9% barrels in the small sample. The righty pitched overseas the past two seasons but has been a good find so far in 2023. Christian Yelich has a 7.43 in the home run model with 11 in the books this season, he is cheap atop the mediocre Brewers lineup but Milwaukee is in play at a 4.73-run implied total and with Lively’s home run issues. William Contreras has a 46.7% hard-hit rate with nine home runs and a 111 WRC+ as a productive inexpensive catcher. Jesse Winker has one home run while slashing .197/.320/.252 in a lost year at the plate. Willy Adames mashed two more home runs last night and now sits at 16 for the season, he does not do much else at the plate but he is always a power option for cheap pricing and low ownership. Owen MillerBlake PerkinsBrian AndersonBrice Turang, and Joey Wiemer round out the lineup in middling fashion. Miller has a 96 WRC+ to lead the group of below-average run creators, he has four home runs and 11 steals with a good triple-slash and is playable from his place in the batting order. Perkins is a former second-round pick who has not been great in 98 plate appearances, Anderson is a veteran who had a hot start and cooled badly, Turang is a rookie who has nine stolen bases but was expected to do more, and Wiemer is inconsistent but has good counting stats with 12 homers and 11 stolen bases in 300 plate appearances.

Play: Reds bats/stacks, Brewers bats/stacks, Ben Lively value darts

Update Notes:

Baltimore Orioles (+140/3.86) @ Minnesota Twins (-152/4.74)

Another strong option on the mound today is Minnesota starter Joe Ryan. The righty has been very good this season with a 3.42 ERA and 3.66 xFIP to go with his 27.9% strikeout rate and outstanding 3.9% walk rate. Ryan has induced a 13.8% swinging-strike rate that is among the league’s best and he has limited barrels to 5.8% though he has allowed a 41.5% hard-hit rate and 3.42% home run rate to this point. Ryan is facing an Orioles lineup that has been productive against righties this season, this is not a pushover matchup but he has the talent to pitch through the challenge. The top spot in the Orioles lineup belongs to Gunnar Henderson on most days, the terrific rookie infielder has 13 home runs and a .213 ISO with a 121 WRC+ in 301 plate appearances and only shows signs of more productivity to come in the second half, he is a great buy for $4,700/$3,400. Adley Rutschman has 11 home runs and a 121 WRC+ as an affordable catcher in a great spot in his daily lineup. Anthony Santander has a 10.6% barrel rate and 43.9% hard hits with 14 home runs to lead the projected lineup, the outfielder makes sense in stacks at $4,500/$3,300, he is cheap for his talent on this slate but the matchup is not good. Ryan O’Hearn costs $3,500/$2,800 at first base, he has seven home runs with a .307/.353/.526 triple-slash and 140 WRC+ in 150 plate appearances. Cedric Mullins has eight home runs and 13 stolen bases in 280 plate appearances after suffering an injury, he is a 30/30 player at full health and he can always be deployed in stacks of Orioles hitters. Austin Hays has had a strong first half, Colton Cowser is a potential star in the outfield who has made just 18 plate appearances but comes very cheap at $2,800 on both sites, and Jordan Westburg is another high-end young hitter in the lineup for Baltimore. Adam Frazier closes things out with a cheap capable bat, he has 10 home runs and seven stolen bases but that output for power exceeds what he did in more than 1,200 plate appearances over the last two seasons combined.

The Twins are a hard-hitting bunch that strikes out at significant rates, the projected lineup has a collective 27.4% strikeout rate on the season that is lending upside to righty Kyle Gibson on the mound for Baltimore. Gibson has not been good this season, he has a 4.73 ERA and 4.59 xFIP with a 1.36 WHIP and a limited 17.8% strikeout rate, but there is enough talent left in his right arm to overcome this team for a few innings while finding strikeouts. This is a both-sided situation, Gibson is not reliable but he is cheap and will not be overly popular on this slate. The Twins lineup has a 4.74-run implied total with several good options for a home run. Carlos Correa leads off, he has 11 home runs and a 94 WRC+ on the season but has mostly scuffled in his 339 plate appearances. Edouard Julien is a high-end rookie who has six home runs in 149 plate appearances this season, he has created runs 28% better than average but costs just $2,900/$2,800. Byron Buxton has underperformed for the season overall but still has 15 home runs and eight stolen bases despite missing time with maladies. Buxton costs $5,400/$3,500 in the outfield, he has a 106 WRC+ and is a key part of Twins stacks. Alex Kirilloff and Max Kepler have left-handed pop that should play well in this matchup in the heart of the batting order. Jose Miranda is more hit-tool oriented but Joey Gallo is a third lefty masher late in the batting order for Minnesota. Gallo is cheap at $3,100/$2,700, he has 15 home runs and a 114 WRC+ with a 20.6% barrel rate and 58.8% hard-hit rate this season. Christian Vazquez and Michael A. Taylor are mix-in options from the bottom.

Play: Joe Ryan enthusiastically, Twins bats/stacks, Kyle Gibson value darts, Orioles bats in small hedge shares

Update Notes:

St. Louis Cardinals (+113/4.35) @ Chicago White Sox (-122/4.75)

The Cardinals are facing right-handed second-tier starter Lucas Giolito who has them at a middling 4.35-run implied total on the board in Vegas. Giolito has a 25.6% strikeout rate with a 3.50 ERA and 4.23 xFIP in a relatively consistent season that has seen him make 18 starts and throw 105.1 innings. Giolito is not an apex pitcher, but he is an effective strike thrower with upside on any given slate and is a strong second starter in the team’s rotation at worst. The righty costs $8,800/$10,000 but projects behind a number of similar or less expensive options that will not be facing a good low-strikeout Cardinals team. Giolito is just a mid-level priority on this slate, but that does not lead us to enthusiasm about Cardinals bats in the matchup. Brendan Donovan is an effective left-handed leadoff hitter for $3,300/$2,900, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are veteran stars who are easily affordable with tons of power and run creation upside. Goldschmidt has 15 home runs and a 135 WRC+ while Arenado is at 19 long balls and a 128 WRC+. Lars Nootbaar will likely hit between the two right-handed sluggers, adding a good lefty bat with power and speed to the mix near the top of the lineup. Willson Contreras has had a lousy season overall but sits at a 104 WRC+ with nine home runs in the books, Nolan Gorman is a quality roller coaster that destroys baseballs when he is on, he has 17 home runs on the season with a .232 ISO and 113 WRC+ from the left side. Jordan Walker has been good since returning from his demotion to AAA, he has a 125 WRC+ in 198 plate appearances. Paul DeJong and Dylan Carlson are playable parts if one gets carried away with Cardinals stacks in a bad spot.

The White Sox are projected a bit better than their 4.75-run implied total in a matchup against lefty Steven Matz, who is making his 11th start of the season after working his last eight appearances in a long relief role. He has not pitched beyond the sixth inning all season and has not seen the fifth inning since May 19th. Matz is not an option on the mound in this start, he has a 5.02 ERA and 4.12 xFIP with a 20.1% strikeout rate and has yielded a 2.68% home run rate. The southpaw has not been awful this season but he has a track record of blow-ups and home runs as well as quality, and the White Sox lineup is showing potential around their power hitters. Andrew Benintendi and Tim Anderson have combined for one home run in 635 plate appearances, they are not the power hitters in question but one or both are playable options just based on their lineup position. Benintendi has a 99 WRC+, Anderson has been far less productive this year. Luis Robert Jr. is our overall home run pick for the day, he has 26 on the season with a massive .298 ISO and 143 WRC+ in 371 opportunities. Robert costs $5,700/$4,000 as a top option in the outfield today. Eloy Jimenez joins Robert in the outfield on both sites, he costs $4,300/$3,000 to help average-down the price of his star teammate. Jimenez is every bit the right-handed slugger that Robert is, when he is healthy. The outfielder has 12 home runs and a .203 ISO in 247 opportunities this year. Andrew Vaughn has 12 home runs and a 110 WRC+ at first base, Yasmani Grandal has a 92 WRC+ with six home runs as a cheap catcher, and Jake Burger is another righty with home run potential. The third baseman has 19 home runs and a .300 ISO on the season in a major power breakout but he remains a flawed hitter overall. Zach Remillard and Elvis Andrus round out the lineup.

Play: White Sox bats/stacks, Lucas Giolito

Update Notes:

Seattle Mariners (-125/4.25) @ Houston Astros (+115/3.85)

The final game of the slate sees the Mariners at just 4.25 implied runs and the Astros landing at 3.85 in what should be a quality pitching matchup. Astros righty Brandon Bielak is a lower-end option in this matchup, he costs $7,300/$8,600 on this slate despite a 4.67 xFIP and 4.27% home run rate that are flashing a bit of power potential in the Mariners’ direction. Seattle is one of the leading teams for individual home run potential in our model, but the inconsistent high-strikeout group drops precipitously when it comes to collective fantasy point projections. On the Seattle side, righty Logan Gilbert is one of the top options on the pitching board against the scuffling Astros. Gilbert has a 24.8% strikeout rate with a 4.7% walk rate and a 3.82 ERA with a 3.64 xFIP on the season, he has been very good for most of his 17 starts. The righty has limited power to just 2.97% home runs despite a 9.2% barrel rate, he has a 1.02 WHIP and rarely gets himself into jams with enough talent to pitch his way out of those rare instances. Gilbert is the strongly favored option between these two pitchers, he costs $8,600/$10,100 and is an absolute bargain on the DraftKings slate.

On the hitting front, both teams look mediocre but have playable parts. Focus bats for the Mariners include JP Crawford based on his position in the projected batting order and his ability to correlate with teammates via strong on-base acumen, Julio Rodriguez the team’s star outfielder who has 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases with a 106 WRC+, Ty France who might be the team’s best pure hitter but lacks some of the power upside of his pals, and Teoscar Hernandez who is the first in a group of high-strikeout home run hitters that runs down the lineup. That group includes Cal RaleighEugenio SuarezJarred Kelenic, and Mike Ford, who are mix-and-match level players on most nights with outstanding potential to blast home runs on any given slate. Hernandez has 15 home runs, Raleigh, Suarez, and Kelenic all have 11, and Ford has blasted eight in just 87 plate appearances. Kolten Wong rounds out the lineup as a low-end option. The Astros batting order is without stars Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez once again, which limits options for MLB DFS. Mauricio Dubon has limited appeal in the leadoff spot, that is also true of Jeremy Pena who is projected to hit second. Kyle Tucker has 13 home runs and 15 stolen bases with a 133 WRC+ to lead the team in all three categories, though he has arguably underperformed expectations. Alex Bregman has right-handed power for a cheap price at third base, he has 12 home runs on the season. Jose Abreu has surged over the past few weeks but is still lousy on the whole for this season in his stat-line. Yainer DiazCorey JulksChas McCormick, and Martin Maldonado round out the projected Astros lineup in mix-and-match form, McCormick remains out favorite hitter in the group.

Play: Logan Gilbert enthusiastically, mid-level Mariners exposure

Update Notes:

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