MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Notes & Live Show Link – Thursday 8/24/23

The short five-game Thursday MLB DFS slate is fairly short on premium pitching options on both DraftKings and FanDuel tonight. The board highly favors offense and the slate seems like one destined to be won with bats, there is likely to be a very concentrated pool of ownership on the few high-end pitchers which leaves a bit of an opportunity around the edges with some of the proven commodities including Kyle Gibson, Jose Berrios, and Justin Steele, who are likely to be somewhat lower owned than the very top of the board. Getting to combinations at the plate is fairly straightforward on this slate, pitching is the more difficult part of the equation, there is offense available in virtually every corner.

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

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

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

MLB DFS: Game by Game Main Slate Overview – 8/24/23

Toronto Blue Jays (-105/4.56) @ Baltimore Orioles (-103/4.54)

  • Right-handed veteran Kyle Gibson is an interesting potential inflection point for this slate. The starter projects in the middle of the board but he is one of the more proven arms in the mid-tier of pricing and he has a somewhat clear ceiling on a bumpy night for pitching. Gibson has a 19.8% strikeout rate with a 4.97 ERA and 4.11 xFIP this season, he has pitched to a 2.34% home run rate on 7.3% barrels and an 8.5-degree average launch angle to limit power this season. Keeping home runs off the board is a sustained trait for Gibson, he was at a 3.34% home run rate and similar contact numbers in 167.2 innings last year and a 2.25% rate on slightly better contact marks in 182 innings the year before. Gibson will be facing a scuffling but dangerous Blue Jays squad, there are strikeouts available for the righty but he is not in a safe spot, which will help keep him low-owned across the industry. Gibson is well worth the effort on both sites in a full portfolio of lineups, he is a strong value option at $8,200 on DraftKings and he will be very unpopular at $9,900 on the single-starter site.
  • Toronto bats are playable on most nights, they typically do not drop much beyond the middle of the board by fantasy point projections or power, given the elite nature of several of their hitters. Leadoff man Whit Merrifield falls somewhat below “elite” but he is a very good option who has 11 home runs and 23 stolen bases with a 108 WRC+ on the season and costs just $4,500/$3,000 at second base or in the outfield. Bo Bichette is definitely an elite option at his position, the star shortstop is slashing .318/.349/.496 with 18 home runs and he is underpriced at $5,400/$3,300. Brandon Belt is inexpensive at $3,600/$2,900, the only detriment to using him is that he has a positional conflict with star first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who costs $5,100/$3,200. Both players are strong options on this slate, Belt has 14 home runs and a .215 ISO this season, and Guerrero has hit 18 home runs while creating runs 16% better than average. George SpringerDaulton Varsho, and Matt Chapman are high-end options with power late in the lineup. Springer and Varsho also offer speed to pad fantasy scoring, both players are having a down season but Springer has 15 home runs and 16 stolen bases while Varsho has a palindromic 16 home runs and 15 stolen bases. Chapman has hit 15 long balls and has a .185 ISO on 17.1% barrels and 57.2% hard hits. Danny Jansen slots in with an 8.18 in our home run model, the catcher has hit 15 in just 277 plate appearances this year and he has a .232 ISO with a 104 WRC+ for $3,600/$2,800. Kevin Kiemaier is cheap in the outfield, he has six home runs and 11 stolen bases on the season and is a viable mix-in but a low priority overall.
  • Righty Jose Berrios is in a similar spot to Gibson relative to the other starters on the slate. Berrios projects slightly higher than Gibson but they are essentially the same option in the middle of the pitching board in less-than-safe matchups. Berrios costs $8,200/$9,900, he has a 3.39 ERA and 4.15 xFIP with a 23.1% strikeout rate on the season and he has limited power effectively with just a 2.81% home run rate and 8.5% barrels with a 36.3% hard-hit rate. The righty has been good over time, though he struggled with home run power throughout the season last year while dipping to just 19.8% strikeouts and posting a 5.23 ERA and a 4.21 xFIP. Overall, Berrios is probably a bit better than Gibson and he has a higher ceiling, but that is likely to make him more popular in this matchup, if Gibson is at half the popularity they are at worst equal options.
  • Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman is the top option at his position tonight, he typically leads off and acts as a catalyst for the team’s offense with a .368 on-base percentage, a 15% strikeout rate, and a 13.1% walk rate with 16 home runs on the board. Rutschman is a high-priority Orioles hitter on both sites. Gunnar Henderson has 21 home runs, two behind Anthony Santander who leads the team with 23. The left-handed infielder and switch-hitting outfielder carry home run marks of 9.53 and 9.57 into the matchup against Berrios tonight, they are both excellent options in stacks of Orioles. Ryan Mountcastle has an 8.59 in the home run model, he has hit 17 in 392 chances this year and he has a 14.1% barrel rate with a 47.6% hard-hit rate. Ryan O’Hearn has been a good lefty pickup for the Orioles over his 254 plate appearances, slashing .301/.339/.504 with a .203 ISO. For just $3,100/$2,700, O’Hearn continues to offer value at first base or in the outfield, even if he has never been as good as he has been over his third of a season this year. Cedric Mullins is a star late in the lineup, the outfielder offers excellent speed and power at the plate, he is a strong buy for MLB DFS purposes in this matchup at $4,900/$3,400. Austin HaysAdam Frazier, and Ramon Urias are all good mix-in options late in the projected batting order. Hays has been the best overall hitter in the group, Frazier has hit for an odd amount of power this year, and Urias has sneaky right-handed pop at cheap prices in the infield.

Play: four corners – Blue Jays bats/stacks, Orioles bats/stacks, Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson with Gibson as a good tournament angle if he is lower-owned as expected.

Update Notes: there is a fair amount of bad weather in the forecast, keep an eye on updates from your favorite weather people.

Chicago Cubs (-158/5.07) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (+145/4.04)

  • Pirates hurler Andre Jackson has made traditional starts in his last two outings, first working 3.2 innings and striking out five of 18 Reds hitters while walking two, allowing a home run, and yielding three runs on five hits overall. In his second start, Jackson worked 4.1 innings, striking out six of 20 Twins at Minnesota, but he again walked too many issuing three free passes and giving up a home run with two earned runs on four hits overall. Jackson has been effective at finding strikeouts this season, over his full 30.2 innings he has a 25.8% strikeout rate with a 5.28 ERA but a 3.64 xFIP and he has walked 6.1% in the small sample. Jackson has allowed far too much premium contact in the few innings he has thrown this year, giving up a 5.30% home run rate on 12.4% barrels and 46.1% hard hits with 91.8 mph of exit velocity that should lead to projectable power for the Cubs, but he has small sample data from two previous seasons in which he limited power more effectively, placing him somewhat in between in our model.
  • The Cubs lineup is excellent for run creation and they have a fair amount of power and speed up and down the projected batting order. Mike Tauchman has seven home runs and five stolen bases in his 287 opportunities and he has created runs 15% better than average. Tauchman is cheap at $4,000/$3,000 in the outfield, he helps average down the pricing of teammates in stacks of Cubs. Nico Hoerner costs $5,900/$3,600, he has nine home runs and 33 stolen bases and creates runs exactly at league average, he still seems a bit expensive but he is a viable second base option when stacking Cubs. Ian HappCody BellingerDansby SwansonSeiya Suzuki, Jeimer Candelario, and Christopher Morel is an enviable run of hitters with a ton of skills for MLB DFS scoring on the right night. Happ has 14 home runs, 11 stolen bases, and a .358 on-base percentage ahead of the power-hitting Bellinger, who has 20 homers, 17 steals, and a 144 WRC+ that leads the team. Swanson has 19 home runs and a 111 WRC+ with a 12.6% barrel rate and comes too cheap for his talent at a premium position on a short slate, Suzuki has pushed his way up to 13 home runs and a 108 WRC+ in a nice turnaround of late, Candelario has 18 home runs and a .224 ISO on the season and has been a great pickup for this team, and Morel has 19 homers in just 330 plate appearances this season. Everyone in the Cubs lineup, ninth hitter Miguel Amaya, has a WRC+ mark that sits above average for the season with Hoerner as the low man at exactly the average, and a nine-man average of a 117 WRC+, the Cubs are a prime option for stacking tonight.
  • Cubs southpaw Justin Steele checks in at $9,800/$10,400 with a 2.80 ERA and 3.59 xFIP with a 23.2% strikeout rate over his 132 innings in 23 starts this season. Steele is a highly effective option against the young Pirates lineup, he projects in the middle of the board between Gibson and Berrios and is another potential point of differentiation from the top two options who will both be extremely popular. Steele is likely to be the most highly owned of the three starters in the middle, deservedly so, as the one in the best matchup and arguably with the most talent. Steele has limited opposing hitters to just six percent barrels with 35.8% hard hits and 87 mph of exit velocity amounting to only a 1.83% home run rate. Over 119 innings and 24 starts last season, Steele was similarly adept at limiting power with just a 3.9% barrel rate and 1.56% home run rate while posting a 3.18 ERA and 3.48 xFIP. Steele is a very good investment on this slate, he will likely be lower-owned than both Merrill Kelly and Pablo Lopez and he has potentially the top matchup among the good starters.
  • Pirates hitters are loosely in play on a small slate, but Steele’s knack for limiting power and his overall talent on the mound, as well as just a 4.04-run implied total in Vegas are limiting factors. The Pirates will be fairly low-owned, they have some talent in the lineup and they make for an effective contrarian play on this slate. If more of the public flocks to the Athletics and White Sox for inexpensive bats against bad pitching, the cheap low-owned Pirates will draw a sharper angle into the slate, they are a low-probability path to success on the whole but there is inherent value in low-owned hitters on a slate of this nature and Steele is by no means unhittable. Ke’Bryan Hayes has nine home runs with a .259/.296/.424 triple-slash and a 48.6% hard-hit rate. Hayes is a $4,500/$3,000 option at third base with potential for a ceiling score but limited results despite the excellent contact that he makes with regularity. Bryan Reynolds has 18 home runs and nine stolen bases with a 113 WRC+, Andrew McCutchen slots in with a 118 mark for run creation and a .378 on-base percentage, and Connor Joe has good value with nine home runs and a .345 on-base percentage in 362 chances and he picks up value against lefties. Endy Rodriguez has two homers with a 97 WRC+ in his 100 plate appearances, the premium rookie catcher is a good source of positional value at $3,000/$2,500. Joshua Palacios has five home runs in 171 chances, Liover Peguero has five homers and four stolen bases in 97 plate appearances for just $2,900/$2,700 at second base and shortstop, and Jack Suwinski has blasted 21 home runs with a .238 ISO in 406 chances. Alika Williams has a 65 WRC+ in his 72 chances at the plate, he is extremely cheap as a low-end option in a bad spot. The Pirates are a specific position to take on the short slate, rather than an option that is truly showing upside for scoring or power, they rank eighth by fantasy point projections and 10th out of 10 by home run potential tonight, but their theoretical contrarian ranking would be fairly strong.

Play: Justin Steele, Cubs bats/stacks, Pirates bats/stacks as a low-priority contrarian angle

Update Notes: there is a fair amount of bad weather in the forecast, keep an eye on updates from your favorite weather people.

Texas Rangers (+110/4.14) @ Minnesota Twins (-119/4.45)

  • Twins righty Pablo Lopez is pulling in the second-highest projection on the slate and he has one of the higher ceilings on the slate but a bumpy road to reaching it. Lopez has been mostly terrific this season, he has a 29.9% strikeout rate, a 3.51 ERA with a 3.34 xFIP, and a terrific 14.5% swinging-strike rate on the season. Lopez has allowed a 2.72% home run rate on 6.9% barrels and 36.4% hard hits with an 87.6 mph exit velocity average, he has made strong strides in every aspect of pitching year over year and he is a believable option at a high price against an excellent Rangers lineup that is drawing a 4.14-run implied total against him.
  • Lopez is a high-priority pitcher who is sure to be highly owned across the industry despite the difficult matchup, but the Rangers should be prioritized as a stack in a both-sided situation. Marcus Semien has a 123 WRC+ with 19 home runs and 13 stolen bases and he puts the ball in play regularly with a 13.9% strikeout rate on the season, he is a premium option at second base with a high price tag at $6,100/$3,700. Corey Seager has blasted 23 home runs with a .307 ISO while creating runs 86% better than average in his 377 plate appearances this season. The star shortstop has a massive 57% hard-hit rate with 19.1% barrels this season, he is slashing .343/.411/.651 with just a 17% strikeout rate and a 10.6% walk rate, his statistical output is flawless and he is one of the best in the business at any position. Nathaniel Lowe is too cheap at $4,700/$3,400 at first base, he has 15 home runs and a 128 WRC+ on the season. Adolis Garcia was a tempting home run pick for the day but we ultimately went in another direction, Garcia has a 12.02 in the home run model against Lopez and he has mashed 31 long balls with a .252 ISO this season. Mitch Garver has a ton of right-handed power behind the plate for $3,800/$3,000, he is playable on both sites with a strong triple-slash supporting his value, the same is true of fellow catcher option Jonah Heim, the two are separated in the projected lineup by outfield option Travis Jankowski who gets on base and has 16 steals on the season. Ezequiel Duran and Leody Taveras are dangerous options from the bottom of the lineup who help average down the cost of the stars above them.
  • The Twins are drawing fairly strong home run marks against lefty Andrew Heaney who is pulling in the third-highest projection on our pitching board. The roller coaster starter is a very good option for MLB DFS on the right night, he has plenty of strikeout potential and the matchup against the Twins is ideal for finding a hefty total, the projected Twins lineup has a collective 26.9% strikeout rate this season. Heaney has a 24.1% strikeout rate with an 11.3% swinging-strike rate this season but he has walked 9.5% with a 3.75% home run rate on 10.3% barrels and 90.5 mph of exit velocity. Heaney is in no way safe, but we know that going in. The capable veteran southpaw comes at an extreme value price of just $7,700/$8,200 and he is unlikely to crack much more than low double-digit ownership on either site.
  • Twins bats are low-ranked by fantasy point projections, they sit at the bottom of the board overall and they do not rank well by points-per-dollar value on either site tonight, but they do have a fifth-ranked mark for home run potential. Donovan Solano leads off with a capable hit tool, he is slashing .280/.369/.397 but he has very limited power with a .117 ISO and four home runs. Jorge Polanco has major power in the infield for just $4,800/$3,000, as an individual he is a strong source of value with home run upside at multiple positions on both sites. Polanco has a 9.93 in the home run model with eight on the board in 222 plate appearances this season. Jordan Luplow is carrying a low projection in our model, he has one home run in 48 plate appearances this season with a 32% hard-hit rate and a .122 ISO. Carlos Correa pops to 9.08 in the home run model, he has 15 on the season but has never gotten things going in 2023, he is cheap for his history at shortstop. Royce Lewis has five home runs and two stolen bases with a 127 WRC+ in 129 plate appearances. Kyle Farmer has hit mid-teens home run totals each of the past two seasons, he has minor potential as a sneaky option when stacking Twins hitters. Christian VazquezMatt Wallner, and Michael A. Taylor are mix-in options, Wallner and Taylor both offer power potential with Wallner carrying a team-leading 10.42 in today’s home run model. Taylor has 17 under-owned homers and 12 stolen bases at the bottom of the lineup for $2,400/$2,700, he is never popular and makes a worthwhile target to differentiate Twins stacks.

Play: Pablo Lopez despite popularity, Andrew Heaney as a strong upside option who will be under-owned, Rangers bats/stacks, hedge stacks of Twins with individual home run upside

Update Notes:

Oakland Athletics (+125/4.69) @ Chicago White Sox (-136/5.42)

  • Inexpensive righty Jesse Scholtens is carrying a lower-middle projection on the short pitching board in an excellent matchup against the limited Athletics. Oakland is carrying a 4.69-run implied total that speaks to Scholtens’ overall quality on the mound, he has a 3.79 ERA but a 5.07 xFIP with just a 16.9% strikeout rate this season and he has walked too many at 8.8% while compiling a 1.35 WHIP. Scholtens costs $5,000/$6,400, he has effectively limited power with just a 2.81% home run rate on 6.5% barrels and 35.1% hard hits in his 59.1 innings and six starts, he is not off the board as a value dart but his ceiling is somewhat limited by comparison to higher-priced pitchers.
  • The projected Athletics lineup has a few playable parts but they seem likely to pick up a bit of popularity with this game carrying the slate’s highest overall total at 10 runs in Vegas. Oakland is a limited bunch but they are facing a low-end starter; they have the potential to hit a fairly high ceiling as a collective lineup tonight, but the field is almost certain to be on the play, if they are over-owned there is far less value in the position. The projected Athletics lineup opens with Lawrence Butler who has a 65 WRC+ with a .237 on-base percentage in his limited sample of just 38 plate appearances. The rookie is expected to hit at this level, he had 15 home runs between AA and AAA prior to his call-up this year and he is cheap at $2,300/$2,200 in the outfield. Zack Gelof checks in with a high price at $5,700/$4,200 at second base, he has been worthwhile out of the gate with nine home runs and eight stolen bases in just 146 opportunities and a 165 WRC+, but there is a very large tax for his previous production at this point. Ryan Noda has an effective left-handed bat, he has a 13.9% barrel rate and 44.2% hard hits with 11 home runs and a .186 ISO on the season. To give credit to the projected Athletics lineup, there are hitters from 1-5 who all have barrel rates between 12.9% and 14.7% with mid-to-high 40s hard-hit rates in an undeniable run of premium contact. Brent Rooker is part of the group, he has 21 home runs and a .225 ISO with 14.7% barrels and 47.6% hard hits, but he strikes out at a 31.6% clip which is endemic to the group. Seth Brown has a stout left-handed power bat with 11 home runs in his limited 281 plate appearances this season in the fifth spot in the lineup. Jordan Diaz has a 6.62 in the home run model to slot in below several of the hitters in that run, he has nine homers and a 90 WRC+ in 208 plate appearances. Tony KempShea Langeliers, and Nick Allen round out the batting order in low-end form.
  • Athletics lefty Ken Waldichuk is pushing a 5.42-run implied team total in the direction of what is sure to be a highly popular White Sox lineup. Targeting Waldichuk is a realistic approach to the slate, the White Sox have a few high-end right-handed bats with a superstar home run hitter lurking to attack the scuffling lefty, but if the world is going to be on the White Sox there are certainly other positions to take up on this slate, and Waldichuk has been somewhat better of late despite allowing two home runs in his last outing. Overall, the lefty has not had a good season, he has a 5.91 ERA and 5.04 xFIP over 105 innings and 17 starts with some bulk relief work mixed in. The lefty has a 21.9% strikeout rate with an effective 11.1% swinging-strike rate that inspires a bit of hope, and his premium contact while high has not been quite as bad as advertised with a 3.69% home run rate on 7.9% barrels and 41% hard hits. The White Sox have been lousy for most of the season, they have a few low-end options in the lineup and a few struggling premium players, while he does not project well against them and they are pulling decent power projections against him, a few value darts with strikeout upside are not out of the question on a short slate for just $5,300/$6,700.
  • White Sox bats are easy to spot as the better side of this equation in the game with the highest total on the board. Chicago leads the day with a 5.42-run implied team total in Vegas, they are the most likely team to post a high run total with slate-wining fantasy scores, but that is why they are going to land as a crushingly popular option tonight despite an active roster that carries just a 90 WRC+ collectively against lefties, the 26th-ranked mark for run creation among baseball’s 30 teams. Chicago has a 23.6% strikeout rate with a very limited .128 ISO against lefties this year, that mark includes the outstanding .269 ISO that Luis Robert Jr. carries in the split, no other White Sox hitter is above the .192 that Andrew Vaughn has against lefties, with Eloy Jimenez landing at just .167 in the split and everyone else below the limited .138 carried by Yasmani Grandal. Shortstop Tim Anderson should be back in the leadoff spot, he quietly has a 117 WRC+ in his 96 plate appearances against lefties in an otherwise awful season but his .076 ISO is unimpressive in the split and he has been a tough order all season. Lefty Andrew Benintendi has a 94 WRC+ in 495 plate appearances overall and an 85 against same-handed pitching, he is a limited option with a .110 ISO in the split. Robert has blasted 33 home runs with 16 stolen bases as by far the team’s best player. The star outfielder is a top priority in stacks of White Sox, he has one-off potential in any situation and is carrying a 13.25 in our home run model to lead the team as the only player above the “magic number” against Waldichuk. Jimenez has a 9.47 in the home run model, he has hit 14 in 356 plate appearances this season, and Vaughn has a 6.79 with 16 dingers on the board in 481 chances. Yoan Moncada was better two years ago, he has had a rough 244 plate appearances this year and sits at just 69 WRC+ on the season. Grandal has an 81 WRC+ overall, he gets on base at just a .309 clip at this point in his career and he has hit just eight home runs. Trayce Thompson checks in as a cheap outfielder with right-handed power, he has a 6.73 in our home run model with six on the board in 117 plate appearances this year. Elvis Andrus is a low-end option for dart-throw counting stats, he is an irregular contributor who has a 74 WRC+ on the season.

Play: White Sox bats/stacks but they will be popular and an undercut seems like a good approach, Ken Waldichuk value darts, Athletics bats/stacks but they will be popular, Jesse Scholtens value darts as a lower-end option than Waldichuk.

Update Notes: there is a fair amount of bad weather in the forecast, keep an eye on updates from your favorite weather people.

Cincinnati Reds (+151/3.99) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (-165/5.12)

  • Diamondbacks righty Merrill Kelly is pulling a slate-leading projection in a home start against a Reds lineup that he has limited at 3.99 implied runs in Vegas. Kelly has a 25.4% strikeout rate with a 3.13 ERA, a 3.87 xFIP, and a 9.3% walk rate this season. Kelly has been mostly excellent all year, he has allowed a 3.23% home run rate on 8.5% barrels and 41.5% hard hits, all of which could be lower but are non-tragic marks for the righty. In 200.1 innings and 33 starts last year, Kelly posted a 22% strikeout rate with a 3.37 ERA and 3.85 xFIP and had similar marks for contact with a lower hard-hit rate, he is a demonstrably good pitcher against a good but mostly young and very high-strikeout Reds lineup. Kelly is justifiably very popular on both sites tonight, he is a good option but there are several strong angles to take with lower-owned starters and the Reds are not off the board as a contrarian position.
  • TJ Friedl is very good at putting the ball in play, he has a 16.6% strikeout rate this season and was at just 15.5% in 258 chances last year. Friedl has 11 home runs on a fairly weak contact profile, his skillset is primarily directed toward speed and correlated scoring, he has stolen 24 bases and has a 107 WRC+ with a .344 on-base percentage ahead of the team’s stars. Matt McLain is expensive but worthwhile at $5,800/$3,700, he has 15 home runs and 13 stolen bases with a 132 WRC+ that ties Will Benson for the team lead. McLain is a second baseman on DraftKings and he has eligibility at shortstop or second base on FanDuel, where five of the projected Reds hitters have dual-position eligibility. Elly De La Cruz is a shortstop or a third baseman on the blue site, he slots in at shortstop on DraftKings with 11 home runs and 21 stolen bases in the books over just 292 plate appearances. Spencer Steer is the only Reds hitter with dual eligibility on DraftKings, slotting in at third base or in the outfield, on FanDuel he plays on the other corner at first base and also has outfield eligibility. Steer is affordable at $5,000/$3,100, he has had a good year at the plate and has a 117 WRC+. Joey Votto is an all-in power hitter who has a 9.96 in our home run model today with 13 on the board in 195 plate appearances. Christian Encarnacion-Strand has four home runs in the Show but he was outstanding throughout the minors on his way up and has star-caliber potential on any given slate at low prices. Noelvi Marte is yet another premium young player in the Reds lineup, the recent call-up has done very little in his 13 plate appearances to this point but he has two steals and is expected to be a good source of hits and speed as he develops. Benson checks in eighth for $3,600/$2,800 with seven home runs and 14 stolen bases on the board in 236 chances, he has created runs 32% better than average in the small sample and has a strong skillset for MLB DFS. Tyler Stephenson is an effective mix-in play at catcher from the bottom of the projected Reds lineup.
  • Cincinnati will have lefty Brandon Williamson on the mound, he has a 21.1% strikeout rate with a 4.47 ERA and 4.68 xFIP while walking 8.9% and allowing a 3.89% home run rate on 42.2% hard hits, an 8.8% barrel rate, and 90 mph of exit velocity. Williamson projects second from the bottom on our pitching board; the Diamondbacks do not typically allow large strikeout totals and they are an effective offense against the premium contact that will be available with the low-strikeout high-walk lefty, but the team is collectively two percent below average for run creation against lefties this season.
  • Ketel Marte costs $5,300/$3,400 at second base, he is a premium option on most slates given a 16.8% strikeout rate with 42% hard hits and a .203 ISO on the season. Marte has hit 20 home runs while creating runs 22% better than average this season, he is a top option positionally. Corbin Carroll has a 129 WRC+ with 21 home runs and 38 stolen bases, he has cooled somewhat and his price dipped earlier in the week but he returns to $6,000/$3,800 on the short slate. Carroll has all-world talent with multi-category scoring potential, he is a fine play in Diamondbacks stacks but his high-priced one-off appeal in a same-handed matchup is more limited than some may expect. Tommy Pham has a 6.69 in our home run model, he has 13 on the season with 15 stolen bases and a 121 WRC+ and is one of six straight hitters with better than a .200 ISO on the season. Christian Walker is our overall home run pick for the day with a 10.47 that leads the team in the home run model. Arizona has Walker and Carroll both above the magic number, the rookie outfielder has a 10.36 tonight and several other hitters land at good marks for home run potential. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has a 7.64 in the model and 19 long balls on the season with a .204 ISO on 46% hard hits. Evan Longoria slots into he projected lineup with a 9.04 in the home run model, the right-handed veteran third baseman has a 13.2% barrel rate and 55.2% hard-hit rate in 181 plate appearances and he has blasted 11 home runs with a .258 ISO this year. Buddy KennedyGabriel Moreno, and Nick Ahmed round out the projected lineup as mix-in options.

Play: Merrill Kelly, Diamondbacks bats/stacks, Reds bats/stacks

Update Notes:

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