MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Notes & Live Show Link – Sunday 8/13/23

The Sunday MLB DFS main slate features eight games on both DraftKings and FanDuel, commencing at 1:35 ET. The slate includes a handful of high-end starters with a limited middle ground and a lengthy list of lousy targetable pitchers on the bottom end. The early start has us in extreme notes mode for this article.

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

Join us at 11:30 ET for a rundown on today’s slate.

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

MLB DFS: Game by Game Main Slate Overview – 8/13/23

Cincinnati Reds (+125/4.22) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (-150/5.00)

  • This is the first game in a doubleheader to make up last night’s rainout, Mitch Keller takes the mound for the home squad with a good projection and Brandon Williamson looks lousy for the visiting Reds and has the Pirates at a 5.00-run implied total. Keller has been a different pitcher through July and August than the stellar option we saw early in the season, he is a frustrating option for MLB DFS on many slates but he projects well in the matchup and he has a 25% strikeout rate with a 4.39 ERA but 3.81 xFIP overall in 143.2 innings and 24 starts. Williamson has a 4.54 ERA with a 4.91 xFIP, a 20.5% strikeout rate, and a 9.3% walk rate that does not go well with his 9.2% barrel rate and 4.17% home runs allowed.
  • Cincinnati has a good lineup with many high-quality parts for MLB DFS purposes but just a 4.22-run implied total. Collectively, the team ranks second on our board for fantasy point projection averages despite the low total, in a both-sided situation. TJ Friedl leads off the projected lineup with 10 home runs and 21 stolen bases, setting the tone for a lineup filled with mid-range power and good speed. Matt McLain and Elly De La Cruz star in the infield for high prices, McLain has 12 homers and nine stolen bases, and De La Cruz has nine homers and 17 stolen bases. Spencer Steer and Joey Votto have good righty-lefty power in the heart of the lineup, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand adds realistic rookie power from the sixth spot. Henry RamosWill Benson, and Luke Maile round out the batting order as playable parts in a deep stackable lineup.
  • The Pirates are a lesser-looking lineup in a good situation today. Ke’Bryan Hayes makes reliably sturdy contact but does not create results with regularity, he has pop and speed on the right day. Bryan Reynolds and Andrew McCutchen are good veteran talents with similar mid-range power and a touch of speed. McCutchen has not done much individually of late but he still gets on base at an excellent clip and correlates well with teammates. Connor Joe is good against left-handed pitching, Henry Davis is the most experienced of the team’s rookie core, he is followed by Endy RodriguezJosh PalaciosLiover Peguero, and Alika Williams, all of whom are playable options. Rodriguez and Peguero have displayed a bit of power in the small sample already with two homers for Rodriguez and three for the infielder.

Play: Reds bats/stacks, Pirates bats/stacks, Mitch Keller

Update Notes: 

Oakland Athletics (+122/4.49) @ Washington Nationals (-132/5.11)

  • Nationals righty Trevor Williams projects fairly well against the low-end Athletics, but he is not an overly talented option on the mound and typically has an upside to about a league-average starter. Williams has a 5.00 ERA and 5.12 xFIP with a 17% strikeout rate in 23 starts and 113.1 innings, he is a playable value dart for $5,800/$6,600. Ken Waldichuk is on the mound for Oakland, the lefty is a target for Nationals bats.
  • Oakland has a 4.49-run implied total and a few hitters are flashing power in the limited lineup. JJ BledayZack GelofSeth Brown, and Jordan Diaz all have mid-level projections for home run potential, with Gelof and Brown both between nine and 10 in the home run model. Bleday has 10 long balls, Gelof has six in just 100 plate appearances, Brown is the team’s best power hitter overall and he has 10 in 249 opportunities, and Diaz has eight in 176. Leadoff man Esteury Ruiz will be running if he gets on base, he has 46 stolen bases on the season. Rookie Tyler Soderstrom is another decent lefty bat in the middle of the lineup for just $2,600/$2,200. Lawrence ButlerShea Langeliers, and Nick Allen are low-end mixers in the final third.
  • The Nationals are better against left-handed pitching, the active roster has a 114 WRC+ in the split, and the matchup against a lousy lefty has the team at a 5.11-run implied total with respectable potential for MLB DFS purposes. CJ Abrams and Lane Thomas have both been good throughout much of the season. Abrams has 11 home runs and 29 stolen bases and has been excellent since his move to the leadoff spot. Thomas has cooled somewhat after his hot start but still sits at 117 WRC+ with 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases. Joey Meneses has 11 homers with a .276/.321/.411 triple-slash but just a 97 WRC+ while Keibert Ruiz has good catcher power with 14 home runs on the board. Both Stone Garrett and Riley Adams do most of their damage against left-handed pitching, they have WRC+ marks of 124 and 202 in the split, though Adams has made just 54 plate appearances and Garrett has 128. Ildemaro VargasAlex Call, and Michael Chavis round out the lineup, they are mix-in options who are decent in the split.

Play: Nationals bats/stacks, Trevor Williams value darts, low-expectation Athletics bats in small portions

Update Notes: 

Minnesota Twins (+103/4.22) @ Philadelphia Phillies (-112/4.38)

  • Lefty Ranger Suarez and righty Sonny Gray both look like quality options on this slate, with Suarez landing as one of the top-four pitching projections on the board. The lefty has a 3.96 ERA with a matching xFIP and a 20.7% strikeout rate over 91 innings and 16 starts. Suarez is demonstrably good at limiting opposing power and keeping the ball on the ground, on the right day he has a clear path to clean innings, both bonuses and even a handful of strikeouts against a free-swinging Twins team. Gray has been excellent at checking power this season and has a 0.92% home run rate on 6.8% barrels and a 9.2-degree average launch angle. The veteran has a 24.4% strikeout rate with a 3.18 ERA and 3.60 xFIP in 130.1 innings and 23 starts, he projects in the middle of the board against a tough Phillies team.
  • Minnesota looks only moderately interesting for MLB DFS, given the knack for keeping home runs off the board that Suarez demonstrates and the team’s handicap with strikeouts. The lineup is projected to open with speedy Willi Castro, followed by right-handed power in Jordan LuplowCarlos Correa, and Ryan Jeffers. Correa is cheap for his talent at shortstop despite a down season, Jeffers has realistic power potential in a bad spot for it and fills catcher for $3,300/$2,800, and fifth-hitter Jorge Polanco is a veteran with multi-position eligibility and plenty of pop in his bat. Max Kepler slots in with a team-leading 8.63 in our home run model, Kyle Farmer has been in the mid-teens for power output each of the past two seasons and is usually a sneaky option in Twins stacks, Michael A. Taylor and Joey Gallo round out the lineup with cheap low-end home run potential, but the matchup is not ideal.
  • Philadelphia has a 4.38-run implied total, they are a good lineup with plenty of strong options but they are not in a great matchup with Gray on the mound. Kyle Schwarber has massive home run potential against anyone and is pulling a 10.41 in the home run model atop the lineup. Alec Bohm is having a good year at .288/.341/.433 with a 109 WRC+, Bryce Harper has a strong triple-slash, a 119 WRC+, and is up to seven home runs with his power slowly returning at the plate. Nick Castellanos is cheap at $5,000/$3,200, he has 20 home runs and a 112 WRC+ and has been a rock for the Phillies all season. Bryson Stott is a good infield option in a nice breakout campaign, he has 11 homers and 22 stolen bases, Trea Turner has a nearly-matching 12 home runs and 22 stolen bases, and JT Realmuto checks in at catcher with 15 homers and a dozen steals. All three hitters are strong parts of Phillies stacks, Stott and Realmuto are positionally productive and Turner is a scuffling but underpriecd star. Jake Cave and Johan Rojas close out the lineup.

Play: Ranger Suarez, Sonny Gray, Phillies bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Chicago Cubs (+112/4.36) @ Toronto Blue Jays (-121/4.74)

  • Hyun-Jin Ryu is a target for Cubs bats on the mound, the lefty worked five innings in his return to action against Baltimore, facing 23 Orioles hitters and allowing four earned runs on a home run, nine total hits, and a walk while striking out only three. He faced the Guardians in his second start and came out of the game after facing just 13 hitters, walking one, and striking out two but giving up zero hits. Visiting starter Jameson Taillon has a 5.17 ERA and 4.66 xFIP with a 20.7% strikeout rate over 101 innings in 20 starts, his ceiling is typically a league-average starter. For $7,200/$8,200, Taillon is a very low-end value option, he is not one that we would recommend in this matchup.
  • Chicago leads our board for collective fantasy point projections with a fourth-ranked home run upside in the matchup, they look terrific against Ryu but have just a 4.36-run implied total in Vegas. Christopher Morel has a 13.62 in the home run model in the leadoff spot, he has 18 long balls in 301 plate appearances this season. Nico Hoerner has nine home runs and 29 stolen bases but creates runs just two percent above average and is a costly option at second base. Ian Happ is excellent at getting on base, he has power and a bit of speed, which is true of most of the Cubs lineup. Cody Bellinger has been back to superstar form for most of the season, he leads the Cubs with a 151 WRC+ and has 18 home runs with 17 stolen bases. Dansby Swanson has power and speed at shortstop, Seiya Suzuki has been somewhat limited and has just a 102 WRC+ with 10 home runs, Jeimer Candelario has power from both sides of the plate with 17 homers on the board this year, and right-handed thumper Patrick Wisdom should be in business against the weak lefty, he has an 11.22 in our home run model. Miguel Amaya is a cheap catcher at $2,500 on both sites with three home runs and a 120 WRC+ over 112 plate appearances.
  • The Blue Jays are a playable stack against Taillon, the lineup opens with moderate power and good speed in the form of Whit Merrifield, who is affordable at $4,500/$2,900 ahead of Brandon BeltVladimir Guerrero Jr., and George Springer. Belt also remains cheap at $3,500/$3,000 despite 11 home runs, a .201 ISO, and a run creation mark 29% ahead of the curve. Guerrero and Springer both have huge any-given-slate ceilings for power, they have 18 and 14 home runs respectively this year in a bit of a dip for both players. Matt Chapman makes excellent contact when he connects, Alejandro Kirk has six home runs in 301 plate appearances with a decent triple-slash as a cheap catcher option, Daulton Varsho has left-handed pop but is in a down season overall, Davis Schneider has been fantastic with a 233 WRC+ and two homers over his first 31 plate appearances, and Paul DeJong is a veteran shortstop with power from the right side.

Play: Cubs bats/stacks, Blue Jays bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Cleveland Guardians (+173/3.19) @ Tampa Bay Rays (-190/4.41)

  • Tampa Bay righty Zach Eflin has been mostly good throughout the season, he has a sharp 3.34 ERA and an excellent 3.15 xFIP with a 25.5% strikeout rate and has been good at checking home runs with just a 2.37% rate on 87 mph of exit velocity on average and a 35.5% hard-hit rate. Eflin benefits greatly from a premium matchup against the Guardians, he is the top projected starter on the board today and he costs $9,700/$10,400. Tanner Bibee is a premium rookie hurler for Cleveland, he has a 23.8% strikeout rate with a 2.92 ERA and 4.36 xFIP over 101.2 innings and 18 starts in his first season. Bibee has allowed just 2.36% home runs on a 5.7% barrel rate this season, he is a very good option for $8,500/$9,600 even with the Rays pulling a 4.41-run total.
  • Low-end Guardians stacks are rarely the answer, Steven Kwan has a 101 WRC+ with a .341 on-base percentage and not much else at the plate, Brayan Rocchio has a 64 WRC+ with a .275 on-base in his 51 plate appearances in the Show, Andres Gimenez slots in third for $4,300/$2,800 and might be the team’s best player with star Jose Ramirez out of the lineup serving his suspension. Kole Calhoun, Ramon LaureanoWill BrennanGabriel AriasBo Naylor, and Myles Straw are a lousy bunch with only a limited amount of power in a bad matchup, Eflin has a very high ceiling today.
  • The Rays have a much better lineup from end-to-end, Yandy Diaz is a fantastic leadoff hitter with a .402 on-base percentage and individual contributions, Wander Franco has 17 home runs and 30 stolen bases as a $6,000/$3,800 shortstop, and Brandon Lowe is one of the best power-hitting second basemen in baseball when things are going right. Lowe has 15 home runs in 311 plate appearances this year. Randy Arozarena costs $5,700/$3,300, he is too cheap on the FanDuel slate and provides a good discount to help average down the stack total while rostering one of the team’s best players. The outfielder has 18 home runs and 15 stolen bases this year and has created runs 27% better than average. Isaac ParedesLuke RaleyJose SiriJosh Lowe, and Christian Bethancourt, along with most of the balance of the Rays’ roster are in play from later in the lineup, depending on who starts. Paredes, Raley, and Siri have 23, 16, and 23 home runs on the season, Lowe has 14 with 24 stolen bases, and Bethancourt is a playable catcher but has a 70 WRC+ over 258 plate appearances.

Play: Zach Eflin, Tanner Bibee, Rays bats/stacks as a mid-range option

Update Notes: 

New York Yankees (-127/3.73) @ Miami Marlins (+117/3.35)

  • Righty Eury Perez is fantastic on the mound, he has the Yankees checked to a 3.73-run implied total in what is shaping up like a pitcher’s duel against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, who similarly has the Marlins pressed to just 3.35 runs in Vegas. Both starters are in play, though the depth to which Perez would be allowed to pitch even on a good day has to be in question. The rookie was out of the rotation from July 6th to August 7th and went just 4.2 innings in his return at Cincinnati earlier in the week. Perez had seven strikeouts in the short outing, but he walked two, allowed a pair of home runs, and gave up four earned runs overall. For $8,600/$9,400, Perez is only an OK option for DFS with what we guess is about a 90-pitch ceiling, he could easily shut down the Yankees while striking out several hitters in a short outing but the ceiling is probably capped. Cole has a very strong ceiling and ranks third on our board by raw projections. He costs $11,500/$10,900 and will certainly be one of the most popular options on the slate. Cole has a 26.8% strikeout rate with a 2.75 ERA and 3.70 xFIP this season and a strong matchup against the Marlins, the hope would be that high prices keep some of the public ownership at bay.
  • Yankees bats are moderately in play, they are showing very strong upside for power but there are holes in the lineup and plenty of strikeouts if Perez is on form to start the game. Jake Bauers has a .301 on-base percentage but a 108 WRC+ with 11 home runs in 219 plate appearances from the left side. Aaron Judge has a monster 18.34 in the home run model, he has 22 in 272 plate appearances this year with a .353 ISO and has created runs 83% better than average. Gleyber Torres is a top option at second base, he has 18 home runs, nine stolen bases, and a 116 WRC+ this season with an 8.11 in our home run model in the matchup. Giancarlo Stanton is sporting a 13.26 in the home run model as the second player in the lineup over the “magic number” for power, he has 18 home runs in 275 plate appearances. Billy McKinney is a decent lefty hitter with a bit of power in his bat, while Isiah Kiner-Falefa is a limited slap-hitter and Harrison Bader and Anthony Volpe are wildly inconsistent but good for counting stats on the right night. Ben Rortvedt is here for defense behind the plate.
  • The Marlins have some power upside with Jorge SolerJazz Chisholm Jr., and Jake Burger all above the 10 mark in our home run model. While there is frequently a touch of power on the board against Cole it is rare that he gets lit up on the mound for slate-winning stack scores, the Marlins’ power marks are a bit deceptive in this matchup, they do not project like a strong option. Luis Arraez and Josh Bell add strong bats to the top of the lineup while Bryan De La Cruz has been good throughout the season and has a 102 WRC+. Jesus Sanchez has hit 10 home runs and sports a .203 ISO in 268 opportunities in a bit of a breakout, and the lineup concludes with Joey Wendle and Nick Fortes who are mix-in options at best.

Play: Gerrit Cole, Eury Perez in smaller doses with pitch count concerns, minor shares of bats with the Yankees favored

Update Notes: 

Milwaukee Brewers (-123/4.23) @ Chicago White Sox (+113/3.87)

  • Righty Dylan Cease has a solid 26.8% strikeout rate but a shakier 4.42 ERA and 4.18 xFIP on the season. He has a very good 13.4% swinging-strike rate to help work his way out of jams created by walking 10.6% of opposing hitters, but he has lost about four points of strikeout production overall year over year. For $8,000/$9,200, Cease is an easily playable part in a mid-level matchup against Milwaukee. Freddy Peralta checks in with a mid-board projection in our pitching model but he has been on a tear of late and is overall an excellent right-handed pitcher. Peralta has a 29.7% strikeout rate with a 4.28 ERA and 3.72 xFIP overall but he has been a bit worse for allowing premium contact and home run power than in years past. The righty is a good option against the mediocre White Sox.
  • Brewers bats are playable in the mid-range, they have Christian Yelich atop the lineup with a stout lefty bat. Yelich has a 51.6% hard-hit rate with 16 homers, 24 stolen bases, and a 128 WRC+ this season. William Contreras is a good catcher option with a great spot in the lineup and a productive bat. Carlos Santana has power on both sides of the plate and costs just $4,000/$2,900. Sal Frelick has three homers, two stolen bases, and a 146 WRC+ with a .228 ISO in his 77 plate appearances and seems to create highlights on a daily basis in the outfield, and Willy Adames is a flawed hitter with tons of power in the infield. Mark CanhaAndruw MonasterioBrice Turang, and Tyrone Taylor are mix-in options later in the projected lineup, the have a bit of power and speed throughout and they all come cheap at a range of positions with several of the group carrying multi-position eligibility.
  • The White Sox have Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jimenez with major power in the heart of their lineup, they are joined by a quality bat in Andrew Vaughn and six struggling mediocre options in the other spots in the lineup. Tim Anderson has a 58 WRC+ with one home run and 11 stolen bases, if he plays he is not overly interesting and has shown no life on the field this season. Andrew Benintendi has an 89 WRC+ in a weak season, he is barely setting the table for the power hitters at a .335 on-base percentage but he is an affordable mix-in outfielder for correlated scoring. Yoan Moncada has not been great in his limited 212 plate appearances, he has a 76 WRC+ with a .127 ISO. Yasmani Grandal, rookie slugger Oscar Colas, and Elvis Andrus close out the low-end lineup, Peralta is the more interesting side of the coin but he will be popular in this spot.

Play: Freddy Peralta, Dylan Cease, Brewers bats/stacks in moderate portions

Update Notes: 

Los Angeles Angels (+132/3.92) @ Houston Astros (-143/4.67)

  • Jose Urquidy has made seven starts and thrown 31 innings this season and has made only one start since April 30th, a 3.1-inning mess against the Yankees last week. He has a 17.3% strikeout rate with a 9.4% walk rate and does not look like a playable option given a pitch count between 75 and 80. Chase Silseth also does not look like a great pick on the mound, he has a 4.64% home run rate on 10.6% barrels and a 43.6% hard-hit rate, though he has struck out 27.2% while pitching to a 3.72 ERA and 3.55 xFIP in his four starts and 36.1 innings overall. Silseth had a monster start over seven innings against Seattle, but these Astros are not the free-swinging Mariners, the pitcher is not without a bit of potential but the ceiling is limited and the Astros are flashing easy slate-leading power potential.
  • Luis Rengifo has a touch of power in the leadoff role, he correlates well with team superstar Shohei Ohtani atop the Angels lineup. Ohtani has 40 home runs and 16 stolen bases but lost the MLB homer lead to Atlanta’s Matt Olson on Saturday, he could take it right back today and has a massive 18.45 in our home run model. Brandon Drury has good righty power, Mike Moustakas has bounced back well this season and has 11 home runs in 280 opportunities, and CJ Cron has hit a dozen home runs in 270 chances. Mickey Moniak has 12 long balls with a 127 WRC+ over 249 opportunities on the left side, Hunter Renfroe has been stuck at 17 home runs for what seems like the entire season but has massive right-handed power at the plate, and the lineup closes with playable parts in Matt Thaiss and Randal Grichuk.
  • The Astros look like one of the teams primed to produce fantasy points on this slate. Jose Altuve has a 15.19 in the home run model, the second baseman has nine homers and 11 stolen bases while creating runs 69% better than average in 213 opportunities. Alex Bregman has hit 18 home runs and has a 13.55 in the home run model, Yordan Alvarez has a slate-leading 22.53 in the home run model and is the overall home run pick of the day, and Kyle Tucker follows up with 22 home runs over his 495 opportunities this year. Yainer Diaz is a solid catcher option who has ripped 15 homers with a 117 WRC+ over his 265 chances, Chas McCormick has power and speed in the outfield for $4,400/$3,400, he is a cheap option with a very good bat for MLB DFS late in the lineup, and Jon Singleton posted a monster performance with his first two home runs in Houston since 2015 the other night. The lefty has realistic power potential but not much else for $2,700/$2,400. Jeremy Pena and Martin Maldonado are mix-in options late in the lineup.

Play: Astros bats/stacks, Angels bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

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