MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Notes & Live Show Link – Tuesday 8/15/23

The Tuesday MLB DFS slate has 13 games but a general lack of reliable pitching quality, with only a few name-brand options and several up-and-down starters from which to choose before the bottom falls out and we begin dealing with options on the level of Luis Severino against the Braves. The broken Yankees starter has Atlanta at the top of the projections board and second on our home run list behind the hard-hitting Red Sox who are facing Josiah Gray, but finding offense on a slate with pitching this lousy and a Coors Field game to boot should not be difficult, landing on the correct pitcher is a far more challenging task. The obvious options near the top of the board are Bailey Ober in a premium matchup and Zack Wheeler against a tougher opponent, scuffling Lucas Giolito has to get through the loaded Rangers lineup, Nick Pivetta has a good opportunity against the Nationals, and the remaining options are either inconsistent, low-ceiling, in a bad matchup, or all three. A slate of this nature demands a broad spread of ownership shares both on the mound and at the plate to cover a wide range of potential outcomes.

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 – 8/15/23

Boston Red Sox (-164/5.11) @ Washington Nationals (+150/4.00)

  • The Red Sox lead the slate in our power index against Josiah Gray, who has been far better at limiting power this season than in years past. Gray has a 2.89% home run rate on eight percent barrels with a 35.8% hard-hit rate and 87.4 mph of exit velocity, he has been quite good at checking power but there are still threads of last year and the year before in the mix. In those seasons, Gray allowed a 5.86% home run rate over 148.2 innings and a 6.19% mark in a smaller sample. The starter has undoubtedly taken a step forward in limiting opposing hitters this season, but he has lost nearly four points off of his strikeout rate and sits at just 19.9% with a 10.7% walk rate while working to a 3.69 ERA but a 5.01 xFIP over 23 starts and 126.2 innings. Even if the Red Sox were showing average power on the board they would be in play with Gray’s propensity to work into jams. The starter projects as a playable part of the slate however, if he manages to avoid the long ball he has a chance of paying off his mid-board projection for $7,600/$8,200 on a short pitching slate, but he is not a safe option.
  •  The heart of the Boston lineup has four hitters who are all above the “magic number” for home run potential in our model and the top of the lineup features two excellent correlated scoring options in Alex Verdugo and Masataka Yoshida, who get on base at a .340 and .357 clip respectively. Justin Turner has an 11.66 in the home run model with 19 in the books for the season and a 126 WRC+ with a .200 ISO in another terrific season in a long career of them. Turner is cheap at $4,700/$3,100 given the output, he has a .288/.354/.488 triple-slash to support his correlated scoring potential as well. Rafael Devers leads the team at 16.96 in the home run model, Triston Casas is at 11.69, and Trevor Story has an 11.59. Devers has massive power from the left side but has been stuck at 26 home runs for around two weeks, Casas is having a strong second half and is looking for his 20th home run of the season, and Story has been productive over his first 20 plate appearances of the season. Jarren Duran is a terrific left-handed bat late in the lineup with a 124 WRC+ eight home runs and 23 stolen bases. Reese McGuire and Luis Urias check in at the bottom of the lineup, Urias has cheap low-owned power potential.
  • The Nationals lineup is helping Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta to the fourth-highest projection on a short and tightly packed board. Pivetta was effective over five innings in his most recent appearance, a full start that was one of just two traditional starts the righty has made since May 16th. Pivetta was excellent in bulk relief, he has been a bit shakier in the full starter role, in last week’s start he struck out eight while walking two and allowing two runs on two home runs and four total hits. Pivetta worked four innings of relief between that start and his July 31st start, he went 7.1 innings and struck out 10 Mariners in that appearance. Given a start on regular rest, Pivetta seems to be clear for full innings if he can manage the task and he has a strong projection for this slate, he is a high-end option who is too cheap for $7,800/$8,500 given his excellent strikeout rate and a 3.91 xFIP under his serviceable 4.16 ERA. The righty has allowed a touch of power with an 11.9% barrel rate and 4.19% hard hits, but the Nationals typically lack pop against righties.
  • The Nationals lineup has a few playable parts but they are typically more on the board against lefties. Washington has an 86 WRC+ that ranks 29th out of 30 teams against right-handed pitching this season and the active roster has managed just a .131 ISO in the split. The team does limit strikeouts to 19.6% against righties, but Pivetta has a quality 29.6% strikeout rate on the season. CJ Abrams has scoring upside for $4,700/$3,200 at shortstop, he has a 93 WRC+ overall but has been good for counting stats with 11 home runs and 29 stolen bases in 434 plate appearances. Lane Thomas has mid-range power and speed, he has hit 20 home runs and stolen 15 bases this season with a .284/.329/.482 triple-slash but his 26.2% strikeout rate is a bit too high and his 5.3% walk rate is a bit too low given just an 8.5% barrel rate and 39.3% hard hits. Thomas costs $5,000/$3,700, he is a bit pricey but is the team’s best hitter when stacking Nationals. Joey Meneses and Keibert Ruiz have good right-handed pop in the heart of the lineup, Meneses is up to 11 home runs and has a sturdy triple-slash with a league-average 100 WRC+ while Ruiz is second on the team with 14 home runs as a cheap catcher for $4,300/$2,800. Dominic SmithIldemaro VargasJake Alu, Blake Rutherford, and Alex Call round out the projected lineup, Rutherford is a former first-round pick getting a shot, he has not been good in 20 plate appearances thus far but he is an interesting left-handed hitter late in the lineup for $2,000/$2,100 in the outfield. The balance of the lineup is comprised of mix-and-match options.

Play: Red Sox bats/stacks, Nick Pivetta, Josiah Gray value in smaller shares

Update Notes: 

Philadelphia Phillies (-107/4.07) @ Toronto Blue Jays (-101/4.01)

  • Seattle starter Yusei Kikuchi costs $9,000/$9,900 and projects to the upper-middle of the board on a short slate for pitching that has many mediocre options on a wide plateau of scores within a strikeout’s worth of fantasy points of the Toronto lefty’s projection. Kikuchi is a playable part, but he is not cheap and he does not truly stand out from the slate for quality against a good Phillies lineup that has quality for sequencing and run creation as well as power and speed. Kikuchi has a path to success, he is good for strikeouts on the right day and has a 24.6% rate with a 6.9% walk rate over 122.1 innings and 23 starts this season, but his obvious warts when it comes to premium contact and home runs should not be overlooked. Even in a good season that has him at a 3.53 ERA and a 3.96 xFIP Kikuchi has allowed a nine percent barrel rate with 90.4 mph of exit velocity and a 4.32% home run rate this year. Last season he was at 5.07% home runs and the year before he allowed 4.05%. Overall the lefty is a bit pricey in this matchup but a mid-level amount of shares is not inappropriate if one is building a full slate of lineups.
  • Philadelphia bats rank in the middle of the board across the board, they are in play for mid-range shares in a both-sided situation. Kyle Schwarber has a 16.10 in our home run model with an excellent shot at a long ball, he does not lose quality in the matchup against the lefty and has 30 home runs with a .242 ISO on the season with a 14.6% barrel rate and 46.3% hard-hit rate. Alec Bohm slots in for $4,700/$3,200 and has eligibility at both first and third base on both sites. Bohm is slashing .287/.340/.431 with a 108 WRC+ in a strong season, he has limited strikeouts to just 16.1% and has a 42.6% hard-hit rate. Bryce Harper has been excellent since his early return in May, over 368 plate appearances he has a 118 WRC+ that leads the team but his power has been out a bit with seven home runs and a .135 ISO. Nick Castellanos has hit 20 home runs with a strong triple-slash and 110 WRC+ on the season, he is cheap at $4,700/$3,200 in the outfield. Trea Turner is a star-caliber shortstop who is cheap on FanDuel at $5,300/$3,000. Turner has struggled all year and has an 88 WRC+ with 12 home runs and 22 stolen bases, his any-given-slate upside is clear. JT Realmuto is a good catcher option who has 15 home runs and 12 stolen bases in another high-quality season for counting stats, he has created runs five percent better than average and has a .215 ISO with 11.7% barrels and 41.7% hard hits. Rodolfo CastroEdmundo Sosa, and Johan Rojas round out the projected lineup as mix-in options with moderate power potential.
  • Toronto’s lineup is facing excellent righty Zack Wheeler who has a 3.74 ERA with a 3.45 xFIP and 27.2% strikeout rate on the season. The veteran starter has thrown 137 innings over 23 starts, he provides a terrific shot at the win and a quality start bonus with his depth of innings in the average start. Wheeler is typically good at limiting power as well, he has allowed a 2.46% home run rate on 86.7 mph of exit velocity and 5.8% barrels this season. Last year he was similarly good at 2.14% on 85.7 mph and 7.7% barrels and the year before was excellent at 1.88% home runs on 84.6 mph of exit velocity and a 4.6% barrel rate with 28.5% hard hits. Wheeler is a terrific option who is the most talented starter on this slate, he projects second overall because Bailey Ober is facing the Tigers but he is a leading option who demands attention for $11,600/$10,800 even against a difficult opponent.
  • With a high-quality top half, the Toronto lineup is certainly in play against Wheeler but he has a limiting impact on their power numbers and overall run-creation marks. The Blue Jays are carrying just a 4.01-run implied team total in Vegas and no one in their lineup cracks even a 5.0 in the home run model. Whit Merrifield is a good option for his on-base skills, speed, and mid-range power. For $4,500/$2,900 Merrifield slots in with 11 home runs and 22 stolen bases with a .302/.347/.432 triple-slash. Brandon Belt is too cheap at $3,600/$3,000 at first base, he has a 3.46 in our home run model with 11 on the board this season. Belt has a 130 WRC+ and a .370 on-base percentage but he is a decision point with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at first base on DraftKings. Guerrero has 18 home runs and a .173 WRC+ in a limited season for power which has seen him still create runs 15% better than average. George Springer has 14 home runs and 15 stolen bases, Cavan Biggio has hit eight cheap low-owned home runs and has a .167 ISO in the middle of the lineup, and Matt Chapman hits everything hard and has a 17.5% barrel rate with 15 home runs in 485 opportunities. Danny JansenDaulton Varsho, and Paul DeJong round out the lineup with decent quality and power across catcher, outfield, and shortstop at cheap prices.

Play: Zack Wheeler, Phillies bats/stacks, Yusei Kikuchi in smaller portions

Update Notes: 

Pittsburgh Pirates (+124/4.00) @ New York Mets (-135/4.60)

  • Lefty David Peterson is probably going to be limited to 75-80 pitches in another short outing tonight as he stretches back out. Peterson was working in relief but has made two traditional starts in his most recent appearances, working 3.0 and 3.2 innings. He struck out five Cubs hitters but allowed two runs on a home run, two walks, and five total hits in a weak outing for DFS purposes. When he is going right and getting full innings, Peterson has potential given his strikeout history. Last season the lefty had a 27.8% strikeout rate in 105.2 innings last season and a 24% rate in 66.2 innings over 15 starts in 2021. This season, the lefty has a 24.1% strikeout rate in 13 starts and 69 innings of hybrid work. For $6,700 on either site, Peterson projects exactly in the middle of the pitching board, he is not entirely out of play in the matchup but the ceiling is capped.
  • Pirates hitters rank low across the board in this matchup, priority bats in a Pittsburgh stack should be Ke’Bryan Hayes who leads off in the projected lineup and has a sturdy right-handed bat that should be better overall but has produced just an 89 WRC+ this season. Bryan Reynolds has 17 home runs and nine stolen bases with a 115 WRC+, Andrew McCutchen walks at a 16% clip and has a 113 WRC+ has a cheap high-quality veteran hitter with limited upside, and Connor Joe is effective against lefties. Henry Davis has been good in his 196 plate appearances, he has five home runs and a 45% hard-hit rate. Liover Peguero has hit four home runs and has two stolen bases in just 67 plate appearances, Alfonso Rivas has hit two homers in 57 opportunities, and Alika Williams is another rookie with tools but he has not shown anything at the plate at this level to this point. Jason Delay is a mix-in catcher with a 93 WRC+ in 133 plate appearances, he has a .109 ISO and a 1.05 in our home run model.
  • Bailey Falter is a minimally talented lefty who has a 15.4% strikeout rate with a 5.21 ERA and 4.72 xFIP this season, he has allowed a 4.21% home run rate on 8.8% barrels that plays in the Mets’ favor. Falter costs $6,400/$6,800 and he projects in the lower third of the board as essentially a non-option.
  • New York’s lineup opens with Brandon Nimmo who costs $4,200/$3,000 with a .358 on-base percentage and a 124 WRC+ to set the pace. Francisco Alvarez has a 15.13 in our home run model with 21 in his ledger for his rookie season, Francisco Lindor has hit 22 and has a .249 ISO with an 11.53 in the home run model, and first base star Pete Alonso leads the team at 17.59 in the home run model. Alonso has hit 35 long balls and has a .298 ISO this season, he is a monster option for power and can be utilized as a one-off while being a priority in Mets stacks. The top four for the Mets remain excellent for MLB DFS purposes. Jeff McNeilMark VientosTim LocastroDanny Mendick, and Jonathan Arauz round out the lineup in far more limited fashion. McNeil is a slap-hitter who has been dealing with a very low BABIP this season and has a 95 WRC+, meanwhile, Vientos has massive power but very limited results over 124 plate appearances, his 10% barrel rate and 55% hard-hit rate are encouraging factors. Locastro costs the minimum in the outfield on either site, he has a reputation for speed and defense and not much else, which can also be said of Mendick and Arauz.

Play: Mets bats/stacks, minor shares of Pirates bats/stacks, David Peterson is probably too limited by pitch count but could be a value dart on the right night

Update Notes: 

New York Yankees (+177/4.43) @ Atlanta Braves (-195/6.21)

  • Over 131 innings and 23 starts, righty Bryce Elder has a 3.64 ERA with a 4.32 xFIP and a 17.7% strikeout rate. Elder has allowed a 7.7% walk rate and has a 1.24 WHIP and a 26.6% CSW%. The righty is typically good at limiting power, he has allowed a 2.56% home run rate on 6.7% barrels with a 40.6% hard-hit rate on 89.8 mph of exit velocity this year. Elder gave up a 1.76% home run rate on 5.8% barrels and a 34.4% hard-hit rate in 54 innings and nine starts as a rookie last season. For $8,700/$7,900, the Braves starter is a decent source of depth with the potential to find clean innings and even a few additional strikeouts against a lousy New York squad that still pulls OK average projections with a few star-caliber hitters.
  • Left-handed power bat Jake Bauers leads off for New York in the projected lineup. Bauers has a .295 on-base percentage and 34.4% strikeout rate with a 10.3% walk rate which makes him an odd choice for that spot in the lineup overall, but he has 11 home runs in 224 opportunities with a .237 ISO this season. Aaron Judge has a .284/.416/.627 triple-slash with a .342 ISO and 22 home runs in just 281 plate appearances. Judge has an outrageous 28.3% barrel rate and a 64.5% hard-hit rate and is totally worth the $6,500/$4,300 when stacking Yankees hitters. Gleyber Torres has a 113 WRC+ with 18 home runs and 12 stolen bases for $4,500/$3,000 at second base, Giancarlo Stanton has massive power in the outfield with 18 homers in 283 opportunities and a .248 ISO on 15.8% barrels, and Billy McKinney is another quad-A type lefty with some power. McKinney is cheap for $2,300 on both sites, he slots into the outfield and has six home runs in 136 opportunities with a .195 ISO. Harrison Bader and Anthony Volpe are OK options for power and speed but they are inconsistent contributors, DJ LeMahieu is having a low-end season at the plate and has a 91 WRC+ overall, and Ben Rortvedt is a defensively-oriented catcher but he did hit his first home run of the season last week.
  • Luis Severino is not an option in his current form when facing the best team in baseball.
  • Atlanta’s offense has a ludicrously good opportunity against a pitcher with an 8.06 ERA and a 5.13 xFIP. Severino has struck out juts 18% of hitters while allowing a 5.79% home run rate on 11.2% barrels, and Atlanta has hit by far the most home runs in baseball. The team will be without star Ozzie Albies, who went to the IL with his hamstring issue, but they still play top to bottom in this matchup. Ronald Acuna Jr. has an 11.91 in our home run model with 26 home runs and 55 stolen bases, Michael Harris II climbs the lineup and has a 112 WRC+ with a .288/.339/.455 triple-slash, 11 home runs, and 16 stolen bases and is cheap in the second spot in the lineup for $4,100/$3,200. Austin Riley is a terrific third baseman who has 29 home runs on the season with a .237 ISO and 126 WRC+ for $5,900/$4,000. Matt Olson has 43 home runs with a team-leading 14.87 in the home run model, Riley has an 11.16 and Marcell Ozuna slots in with a 10.30 and 23 home runs in the ledger over 412 plate appearances this season. Ozuna is a cheap option for quality power at $4,500/$2,700. Eddie Rosario slots in with a 7.13 ahead of catcher Sean Murphy who has typically hit higher than this in the lineup. Murphy has an 8.37 in the home run model but would potentially climb above 10 in a higher spot, he has 20 home runs and a .264 ISO over 346 plate appearances. Orlando Arcia has a 114 WRC+ in 373 bottom-of-lineup plate appearances this season, he is a strong value option at shortstop. Nicky Lopez has had a couple of strong games for the Braves, he sits at .241/.342/.329 with an 89 WRC+ in 200 plate appearances overall this season.

Play: Braves bats/stacks aggressively again, mid-range shares of Bryce Elder, Yankees bats/stacks for value

Update Notes: 

Detroit Tigers (+166/3.66) @ Minnesota Twins (-181/4.94)

  • Bailey Ober leads our pitching board which tends to be a not-quite-comfortable situation, despite the pitcher’s clear talent. Ober has a strong 24.3% strikeout rate with a crisp 3.40 ERA but a 4.31 xFIP over 108.2 innings and 19 starts. The righty has allowed an average 3.41% home run rate on 9.4% barrels but just 35.1% hard hits and 88.6 mph of exit velocity. Ober has walked just 4.3% of opposing hitters and he has a 1.11 WHIP this season, and he induces a top-notch 13.5% swinging-strike rate with a 27.3% CSW% that should be higher. Ober has been good on the whole this season and he is facing a Tigers team with a 23.9% strikeout rate collectively for the projected lineup. Detroit has created runs at a pace seven percent below league average against righties as a unit this season and they have a 24.3% strikeout rate with a limited .146 ISO in the split.
  • The Tigers ranks 23rd by fantasy point projections but climb the board a bit with a 14th-ranked spot for home run potential and low-end points-per-dollar rankings. Detroit’s lineup features a few playable left-handed hitters and Spencer Torkelson, who drops to fifth in the projected batting order. Akil Baddoo opens the lineup, he has a .305 on-base percentage and has been 15% below average for run creation this season but can be an OK source of counting stats on the right night. Riley Greene is the team’s best hitter, the lefty costs $4,400/$2,900 which is simultaneously cheap and the most expensive option on the low-end Tigers. Greene has a .307/.369/.478 triple-slash with 10 home runs and six stolen bases with a 7.02 in the home run model and a 137 WRC+ that leads the team. Matt Vierling has been better against righties than lefties this season, he has a 101 WRC+ with a .138 ISO in the split while slashing .267/.318/.404. Kerry Carpenter has true left-handed power with 15 home runs and a .230 ISO in his 277 opportunities this season. The outfielder has an 11.4% barrel rate with a 43.5% hard-hit rate this year which is up from the 11.1% and 36.1% he posted while hitting six home runs in 113 opportunities last year. Carpenter costs just $3,900/$2,900 and leads the team with a 9.66 in our home run model, he is a must in any stack of Tigers hitters. Torkelson costs $4,200/$2,800 at first base, he has 18 long balls and a .185 ISO this season while creating runs one percent below the curve. Zach McKinstry has an 86 WRC+, Miguel Cabrera has been good against lefties this season but has an 86 WRC+ overall, Nick Maton has a 72 WRC+ with eight home runs but a .176/.293/.311 triple-slash over 288 plate appearances and Jake Rogers has low-end power with 14 homers in 260 plate appearances but a .207/.282/.431 triple-slash.
  • Righty Alex Faedo costs $7,000/$7,700 in what seems like his first appearance on a main slate in a while. Faedo has made eight starts in the Show and seven in AAA this season, he has a 3.42 ERA and 4.23 xFIP in AAA and a 5.80 ERA with a 4.43 xFIP in the Majors. Faedo was striking out 29.4% of minor-league hitters but sits at just 21.5% over 40.1 innings this season. The righty has walked 6.1% and has a 1.07 WHIP but he has allowed premium contact and power with a 5.52% home run rate on 9.3% barrels and 89.5 mph of exit velocity. The righty projects in the upper middle of a very short pitching slate. Faedo is cheap enough to mix-in as a value dart with a bit of ceiling potential against a Twins team with a 28.2% strikeout rate collectively across the projected lineup, but he will have to wrangle his home run issues.
  • Minnesota ranks 12th on the board by fantasy point projections with a 16th-ranked home run mark and they project well for points-per-dollar value on both sites in this matchup. Edouard Julien is having a very good rookie season. Over 255 plate appearances, the second baseman has a .281/.378/.479 triple-slash with a .198 ISO and 10 home runs. Jorge Polanco has seven home runs and a .186 ISO with a 105 WRC+ in his 194 plate appearances with a typically strong 13.7% barrel rate and eligibility at second and third base on both sites. Carlos Correa has 1 home runs and is up to 97 WRC+ on a .230/.306/.409 triple-slash. Max Kepler has a 7.14 to lead the team in the home run model, he has 19 home runs from the left side and costs just $3,300/$2,800 in the heart of the cheap batting order. Ryan Jeffers has cheap catcher power with nine home runs and a .204 ISO over 233 plate appearances, Matt Wallner has hit eight quick home runs in just 117 plate appearances and costs $2,400 on DraftKings which is a very strong discount for his potential power. He is a $2,900 option on the FanDuel slate that ranks him as both a strong value overall and ties him with Polanco for the most expensive Twins hitter. No one in the projected Minnesota lineup has a salary above $2,900 on the FanDuel slate today. Christian Vazquez has a 62 WRC+ with three home runs in 262 plate appearances, Joey Gallo has massive left-handed power with 20 home runs and a 112 WRC+ over 298 plate appearances, and Michael A. Taylor has hit 15 home runs while stealing 11 bases for very low ownership and cheap pricing from the bottom of the lineup all season.

Play: Bailey Ober, Twins value bats/stacks as a good points-per-dollar option with mid-board projections, Alex Faedo value darts

Update Notes: 

Oakland Athletics (+190/3.71) @ St. Louis Cardinals (-235/5.54)

  • Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson has worked 12 innings over his last two starts, a seven-inning performance with seven strikeouts against the Twins and a two-strikeout outing over five innings against the Rays. Hudson allowed three home runs, with one to the Twins and two to the Rays, and three runs overall in both games, though he limited the Twins to just two hits in a good overall start in the first of the two outings. The righty has pitched primarily in bulk relief this season, typically with two-to-three-inning outings. Overall, Hudson has a 4.31 ERA and a 4.72 xFIP with a limited 16.1% strikeout rate and an eight percent walk rate while allowing 45.5% hard hits and an 8.9% barrel rate in 31.1 innings. The righty costs $5,800/$6,400, assuming the potential for innings is there he has a bit of a ceiling on this slate despite carrying a somewhat low projection, the Athletics are an ongoing target even with low-end pitchers and he provides a major source of salary relief on both sites if nothing else.
  • The Oakland lineup has a few playable lefties and Zack Gelof, with Brent Rooker adding a supporting righty bat with a bit of power. JJ Bleday leads off for $3,100/$2,700 in the outfield, he has a 98 WRC+ with 10 home runs and five stolen bases in 284 plate appearances, Gelof has blasted eight home runs and stolen six bases in 110 plate appearances and he has a 162 WRC+ on the season, and Rooker slots in third with 19 home runs and a .222 ISO this year. Seth Brown has hit 11 home runs in just 259 plate appearances with a $3,800/$2,600 salary providing significant relief for his potential ceiling. Brown has a 101 WRC+ in the small sample and he was very good last year with 25 home runs and 11 stolen bases. Jordan DiazTyler Soderstrom, and Shea Langeliers slot in from 5-7 in the lineup. Diaz has a 102 WRC+ with eight home runs in 182 plate appearances, Soderstrom is a premium catcher prospect with a home run on the board but a lousy triple-slash over his first 79 plate appearances, and Langeliers is a cheap catcher with 11 home runs and a .158 ISO who hovers around the Mendoza line. Lawrence Butler and Nick Allen slot into the bottom spots in the lineup, Butler is a playable option in the outfield for $2,300/$2,100 when stacking Athletics.
  • 30-year-old Spenser Watkins is making his season debut in this matchup for $5,500 on the FanDuel slate, he does not appear to be on the DraftKings pitching board. Watkins had wildly ineffective stints in AAA with both Baltimore and Houston this season, he had a 7.27 ERA and 5.95 xFIP over 26 innings with Baltimore and a 9.74 ERA with a 6.40 xFIP in 20.1 innings with the Astros organization, he is not at all appealing on the blue site and makes a fine target for Cardinals bats.
  • Lars Nootbaar is a very good left-handed hitter with a 9.2% barrel rate, 12 home runs, and a .280/.380/.450 triple-slash on the season. He has eight stolen bases and a 131 WRC+ with a 19.7% strikeout rate and a 13.9% walk rate and is terrific atop the lineup ahead of the team’s stars, particularly against a weak righty like Watkins. Paul Goldschmidt has a 9.45 in the home run model with 19 on the season, he adds 10 stolen bases for additional MLB DFS value and has created runs 27% better than average on the season. Nolan Gorman has a 122 WRC+ with 24 home runs and a .246 ISO, and he has carried a 15.9% barrel rate and a 48.1% hard-hit rate this season. Gorman slots in at second base for $4,300 on DraftKings and $3,200 at second or third on the blue site, where he is far too cheap for this matchup, he has an 11.37 to lead the team in the home run model. Nolan Arenado has a 10.16 in the home run model and ties Gorman for the team lead at 24 home runs, he has a 125 WRC+ and a strong triple-slash. Tyler O’Neill has six home runs in 179 plate appearances, he hit 34 and stole 15 bases in 537 plate appearances in his last fully healthy season two years ago. Alec Burleson costs $2,900/$2,200 at first base or in the outfield, he has eight homers and a 93 WRC+, Jordan Walker has been OK over 301 plate appearances in his rookie season, he has 10 home runs, six stolen bases, and a 105 WRC+, and the lineup winds down with playable options in Tommy Edman and Andrew Knizner. Edman offers good mid-range power and some speed with the ability to get himself to first base and a 103 WRC+ over 356 plate appearances this season, meanwhile Knizner has hit a sneaky nine home runs in just 157 plate appearances as the team’s backup catcher. The backstop costs $2,900/$2,500 and is playable for low-owned power on both sites, he has a 7.07 in the home run model with a 9.9% barrel rate and a 40.5% hard-hit rate in the small sample.

Play: Cardinals bats/stacks, Dakota Hudson value darts, Athletics value

Update Notes: 

Los Angeles Angels (+155/3.74) @ Texas Rangers (-169/4.86)

  • Rangers lefty Jordan Montgomery will look to continue another strong season on the mound against a team that was dominated by righty Max Scherzer in last night’s contest. The Angels have a limited 3.74-run implied total against the excellent starter and Montgomery projects well on our board, but he is a very different option from site to site. The southpaw costs $11,000 on the DraftKings slate, he is the second-most expensive option on the board behind Zack Wheeler at $11,600. On FanDuel, Montgomery looks like a very good buy for just $9,800, he projects in the upper-middle portion of the board with value beyond that but a not-entirely-safe matchup against the hard-hitting and heavily right-handed Angels lineup. The Angels’ active roster has a 110 WRC+ with a 23.8% strikeout rate and a .191 ISO against lefties this season. Montgomery is a very good lefty, he has a 3.38 ERA and 4.10 xFIP with a 21.3% strikeout rate and just 6.6% walks over 133 innings and 23 starts. The southpaw has allowed a 2.50% home run rate on 8.5% barrels and an 88.7 mph average exit velocity, he is typically good at limiting power but is not someone who induced groundball after groundball, there is power potential available for the Los Angeles lineup as a low-owned contrarian option that went totally bust on last night’s slate.
  • Luis Rengifo returns to the top of the lineup against a lefty, he has 11 home runs and five stolen bases with a .159 ISO and is a limited option with power for cheap prices and one of the best spots in baseball for correlated scoring ahead of superstar Shohei Ohtani. For $6,700/$4,500, Ohtani is easy enough to get to given the ability to average down his salary with any other hitter in the inexpensive Angels lineup. Ohtani has a 15.17 in our home run model with a massive projection from day-to-day, he is an any slate, any matchup option in the outfield. Brandon Drury has hit 15 home runs this season and he is carrying a .212 ISO with a 114 WRC+ over 346 plate appearances. CJ Cron has cranked 12 home runs in just 270 chances during an injury-marred season, he has a .192 ISO and a 14.3% barrel rate at first base for just $4,100/$2,900. Randal Grichuk has hit more than 20 home runs in several seasons of his long productive career and more than 30 once, he has 10 long balls and a .183 ISO in just 314 plate appearances this season. Hunter Renfroe has hit 77 home runs since the start of 2021 and is one of the top right-handed power bats in the American League when he is going right, but he has been stuck at 17 home runs and a .193 ISO for some time now. Eduardo Escobar has power on both sides of the plate but is at just 79 WRC+ in a limited season overall, Mickey Moniak has upside despite the same-handed matchup if he plays, and Chad Wallach has seven home runs in 147 plate appearances as the team’s right-handed catcher. The Angels look like a playable option for cheap power, all of Drury, Cron, and Renfroe land between 7 and 7.75 in the home run model with Grichuk at 5.58 and Moniak carrying a 6.65, but Montgomery is a very good starter who ranks highly on the board as the favored option in this head-to-head.
  • Righty Lucas Giolito also projects well in our pitching model. He has a 4.37 ERA and 4.43 xFIP with a 25.1% strikeout rate over 136 innings in 24 starts this season in a bit of an up-and-down stretch of quality. Giolito has allowed too much power this season, his barrel rate has gone up from 7.5% last year to 10.7% this year with his home run rate following in a leap from 3.44% to 4.33%. The righty can still induce whiffs, he has an 11.9% swinging-strike rate and has compiled a 28.5% CSW%. Giolito is another option that runs entirely differently from site to site. On the DraftKings slate, he is priced at $10.700 and is more of a pay-to-be contrarian option, whereas on FanDuel he has a discounted salary at just $8,600 and looks like a somewhat popular value option. Giolito has value on the blue site at worst, he projects third overall in the very tightly packed section of the board, he ranks closer to the 12th ranked option on the board than he does to the top, but he is very much in play even against the Rangers.
  • Texas bats are also highly playable, they are flashing good power marks and strong projections against the righty and they have a premium lineup that is dynamic for MLB DFS purposes with good multi-position options. Marcus Semien and Corey Seager are stars atop the lineup for expensive prices, Semien has 19 home runs and 11 stolen bases with a 127 WRC+ for $6,000/$3,600, he is a better buy on the FanDuel slate but is positionally strong for a big sticker price on DraftKings. Seager has 20 home runs and a .301 ISO with a 185 WRC+ in his 344 opportunities this year, outside of his injury absence Seager has been a superstar all year. Nathaniel Lowe has 14 home runs and has created runs 27% better than average while playing at a discount all season. Lowe costs $4,600/$3,400 at first base and helps pay for the stars up top or outfielder Adolis Garcia, who follows in the lineup with 30 home runs in 502 plate appearances this season. Garcia is priced like a true star at $5,700/$3,700, he is well worth the investment as one of the most productive hitters on the slate. Jonah Heim is a powerhouse catcher with 14 home runs and a .196 ISO with a 121 WRC+, Travis Jankowski has stolen 16 bases this season with a .290/.387/.373 triple-slash and a 118 WRC+, and Ezequiel Duran has had a very productive season with a 121 WRC+ in 354 plate appearances. Josh H. Smith and Leody Taveras round out the lineup as playable parts in stacks of Rangers hitters.

Play: four corners – Jordan Montgomery and Lucas Giolito value on FanDuel and expensive shares on DraftKings, Rangers bats, Angels value

Update Notes: 

Chicago White Sox (+158/3.72) @ Chicago Cubs (-172/4.88)

  • If the slate was deeper for pitching, we would not have to discuss Cubs righty Kyle Hendricks, who slots in at $7,400/$8,400 with a lower-middle projection against the lousy White Sox in an intra-city matchup in Chicago. Hendricks has a 16% strikeout rate with a 3.96 ERA and 4.53 xFIP over 86.1 innings and 15 starts this season while allowing a 3.09% home run rate on just 85.5 mph of exit velocity and a 31.6% hard-hit rate. The righty is a low-expectation option with a better price tag on DraftKings, he is not off the board but he is one of the lower-priority options among the slate’s playable starters.
  • White Sox stacks are very low-ranked overall, but they pop for points-per-dollar value on DraftKings with a fifth-ranked score and they have a bit of power in the heart of the lineup with both Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jimenez as priority outfield options in stacks of White Sox hitters. Tim Anderson has been bad atop the lineup, he has a 58 WRC+ with a single home run and 11 stolen bases over 393 plate appearances at shortstop. Anderson is very cheap in stacks of Chicago hitters but he has been bad all year and has not provided much value to the rest of the team for correlated scoring. Andrew Benintendi has an 88 WRC+ and has not been much better overall with two home runs and 12 stolen bases, he is a $2,900/$2,600 option in the outfield but Robert and Jimenez are better plays in that spot. Robert has 31 homers and a .292 ISO in 469 plate appearances and has added 16 stolen bases to lead the team, and Jimenez has 14 home runs and a .177 ISO with a 111 WRC+ over 340 plate appearances. Yoan Moncada checks in for just $3,100/$2,500 at third base, he has not been great with just a 72 WRC+ in 216 opportunities this season. Andrew VaughnYasmani Grandal, and Oscar Colas round out the lineup with Elvis Andrus joining them in the ninth spot. Vaughn has 15 home runs and a 106 WRC+, Grandal has eight homers but just a .317 on-base percentage and a .119 ISO this season, and Colas has not found his form at the MLB level with just three home runs and a .215/.259/.291 triple-slash.
  • Righty Touki Toussaint has a $6,900/$7,000 salary with a 23.4% strikeout rate over 46.1 innings and seven outings this season, he has pitched to a 4.27 ERA and 4.67 xFIP while walking 15.9% at the same time. Toussaint has allowed just a 1.99% home run rate on 6.7% barrels but the walk rate mixed with the Cubs’ specific approach and skillset at the plate seems like a bad option even as a value play from the lower third of the board.
  • Mike Tauchman has seven home runs and five stolen bases with a 122 WRC+ and has been very good atop the lineup for the Cubs from the left side of the plate. Nico Hoerner costs $5,100/$3,600 at second base on DraftKings and adding shortstop eligibility on the blue site, he has nine home runs and 29 stolen bases with a 103 WRC+ this year. Ian Happ has a .364 on-base percentage with a 112 WRC+, 13 home runs, and nine stolen bases, he is a good individual option and a great option in Cubs stacks. Cody Bellinger has 18 home runs and 17 stolen bases with a .228 ISO, a 149 WRC+, and a terrific 15.3% strikeout rate. Dansby Swanson has very good power at shortstop and is typically underpriced and under-owned, he has hit 18 home runs and has a .192 ISO. Jeimer Candelario adds switch-hitting power late in the lineup for just $4,500/$3,300, he has 17 home runs and a .221 ISO this season. Christopher Morel costs $4,600/$3,500 with multi-position eligibility on both sites and a significant power upside at the plate, he has a 13.29 in our home run model tonight. Seiya Suzuki costs just $3,200/$2,900 in the outfield, he has 10 home runs and a 101 WRC+ in 401 plate appearances. Catcher Miguel Amaya checks in for $2,400/$2,500 with three home runs and a 113 WRC+ in 115 plate appearances.

Play: Cubs bats/stacks, minor shares of value Kyle Hendricks, White Sox bats/stacks value

Update Notes: 

Seattle Mariners (-137/4.89) @ Kansas City Royals (+127/4.20)

  • Right-handed Jordan Lyles has a 6.13 ERA and 5.29 xFIP with a 16.4% strikeout rate and he has allowed a 4.49% home run rate on 9.8% barrels this season. Lyles has made 22 starts and thrown 126.1 innings, he is not a strong option from the bottom third of the board even at $6,500/$7,200 against the high-strikeout Mariners, but there is a very minimal path to success if Seattle fails to connect at all.
  • Mariners bats are inexpensive for their power potential on any given slate, they show clear upside on the board tonight with several hitters at or above the “magic number” in the home run model. Sophomore outfielder Julio Rodriguez costs $5,600/$3,800 in the outfield and has 19 home runs and 28 stolen bases with a 112 WRC+, the counting stats are roughly in line with last year’s output but his on-base percentage is down by about 30 points and his WRC+ has dipped by roughly the same amount. Eugenio Suarez has a 12.1% barrel rate and 44.5% hard-hit rate on the season with 16 home runs and a 103 WRC+ in 504 plate appearances. Cal Raleigh is our overall home run pick of the day with a 12.04 in the home run model, he has 20 homers and a .222 ISO on 13.2% barrels and a 40.7% hard-hit rate this season. Teoscar Hernandez has hit 17 long balls in 487 opportunities but has a 30.6% strikeout rate on the season. His 13.7% barrel rate and 47.4% hard hits are appealing but he has been limited to just a 94 WRC+ in his extended sample this year. Ty France checks in at $3,300/$2,900 with nine home runs and a 104 WRC+ this season. Dominic Canzone has a $2,500/$2,400 salary in the outfield with two home runs and a 75 WRC+ in his 73 plate appearances so far in his career. Cade Marlowe costs $3,400/$2,600 and has been good over 58 plate appearances. Marlowe has hit a pair of home runs and has a matching stolen base total in the tiny sample and has created runs 55% better than average in his brief career. Dylan Moore and Josh Rojas round out the lineup with moderately productive bats and multi-position eligibility.
  • Right-handed rookie Emerson Hancock worked five innings and faced 20 hitters in his debut against the Padres last week. The talented first-round pick struck out three and walked three while allowing one run on two hits in a good outing, he has upside for more on tonight’s slate and he costs just $5,500/$7,400. Hancock projects well, he lands in the exact middle of the board with a very cheap salary and is a playable option with a good potential for strikeouts in a matchup against the limited Royals.
  • Even against a rookie, Kansas City is fairly low-end. Maikel Garcia costs $4,200/$2,800 at third base on DraftKings and adding shortstop eligibility on the blue site. Garcia has four home runs and 18 stolen bases with a 95 WRC+ over 354 plate appearances. Bobby Witt Jr. has 22 home runs and 34 stolen bases with a 116 WRC+ over 511 opportunities and is a star shortstop for $5,800/$3,800. Michael Massey has 10 home runs and five stolen bases as a cheap left-handed option at second base. Salvador Perez checks in with 19 home runs and a 93 WRC+ at catcher in a disappointing season. MJ Melendez has a strong contact profile but just 12 home runs and a .156 ISO over 457 plate appearances. Nelson VelasquezMatt BeatyDrew Waters, and Kyle Isbel round out the lineup in low-end form with WRC+ marks of 164 in just 44 plate appearances, 79 in 35 opportunities, 90 in 213, and 72 in 222, they are mix-in values at best.

Play: Emerson Hancock, Mariners bats/stacks, just minor shares of Kansas City value if any

Update Notes: 

Arizona Diamondbacks (-129/6.69) @ Colorado Rockies (+119/5.95)

  • This game has by far the highest run total of the day, sitting two full runs above the next-highest total (Yankees-Braves) at 12.5 overall runs. Arizona has a 6.69-run implied total and the lousy Rockies slot in with a 5.95-run total. Neither the opener-follower situation that starts with Joe Mantiply for Arizona or the Ty Blach start for Colorado have much appeal on the mound. Between the two, Blach would be the choice, but he does not project well at all for $5,300/$5,600 at Coors Field. Blach has a 9.4% strikeout rate with a 4.22 ERA and 4.94 xFIP with a 4.3% walk rate and he has allowed 44.9% hard hits and 90.1 mph of exit velocity in the tiny sample.
  • The Diamondbacks have talent up and down the lineup with plenty of premium contact and very low strikeout rates. Ketel Marte leads off at $5,800/$4,000 at second base, he has 19 home runs and six stolen bases nice with a 125 WRC+ in another strong season, he is one of the top second basemen on most MLB DFS slates. Corbin Carroll has hit 21 home runs and stolen 36 bases with a .240 ISO and 129 WRC+ in 467 plate appearances this season, his power output has slowed in recent weeks but he is still excellent overall and should be one of the most popular players on the slate at Coors Field. Tommy Pham is priced at $4,200/$3,300 in the outfield, he has multi-category potential and a .340 on-base percentage that plays well for correlated scoring with the team’s true power bats. Christian Walker is a $5,400/$4,000 option at first base, he has a 19.8% strikeout rate with 25 home runs and eight stolen bases and he has created runs 28% better than average as an inexpensive point of excellence in the heart of the lineup. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. costs $4,700/$3,500 in the outfield with 19 home runs and a 106 WRC+ over 434 plate appearances and is cheap with power potential. Kyle Lewis was once a premium prospect but he was badly derailed by injuries, when healthy Lewis still has believable potential for power from the right side for just $2,300/$2,500, Lewis is in play if he starts again tonight. Buddy Kennedy slots into the projected lineup with eligibility at second and third base for $2,900 on DraftKings and $2,500 at third base on FanDuel. Kennedy hit one home run in 94 plate appearances last year and has made just four plate appearances this season, he is not a very highly regarded prospect. Nick Ahmed and Gabriel Moreno check in as mix-in options at shortstop and catcher for cheap prices at Coors Field, they should be lower-owned than most of their teammates.
  • The diminished Rockies lineup has been bad overall this season, they are the worst team in the league for run creation against pitchers of both hands, but they have been particularly vulnerable against lefties with Ryan McMahon losing most of his power potential at the plate, though rookie Nolan Jones has been good against same-handed pitching in a tiny sample so far. Charlie Blackmon rejoined the lineup last night, the veteran adds a capable experienced bat on the left side, he has a .271/.354/.425 triple-slash over 246 opportunities this season. Ezequiel Tovar has 13 home runs and seven stolen bases with a 79 WRC+ in his rookie season, McMahon has 19 home runs and would see a boost if the Diamondbacks follow Mantiply with a righty. Elias Diaz is a good inexpensive right-handed power option at catcher, he has 11 home runs but just a .148 ISO in 400 plate appearances. Brendan Rodgers has a good skillset for mid-range power at second base for cheap prices, Jones slots in with 11 home runs and a .214 ISO over 237 opportunities, and Michael Toglia has a pair of home runs but just a .155/.209/.233 triple-slash. Elehuris Montero and Brenton Doyle have been low-end late in the lineup but both have a bit of right-handed power for cheap prices. Colorado is a low-end option, even at Coors, but they are very cheap and easy to build lineups with and they have a heavy run total in Vegas for today’s matchup.

Play: bats bats bats

Update Notes: 

Baltimore Orioles (+121/4.03) @ San Diego Padres (-131/4.57)

  • Padres righty Michael Wacha is affordable on both sites at $9,800/$9,400, he has a 21.3% strikeout rate with a 2.84 ERA and 4.63 xFIP over 15 starts this season but he is making his first start since July 1st. The veteran has been out with a shoulder injury, he threw simulated outings and made one two-inning appearance on August 5th in the minors on his rehab assignment. Wacha has been good in his 85.2 innings but his depth has to be in question and we are never fans of shoulder injuries. Given five innings, the righty projects in the upper-middle of the board in a tough matchup against the Orioles.
  • Adley Rutschman has a $5,300/$2,900 price tag and the best lineup spot for any catcher in baseball. Rutschman picks up bonus plate appearances in the leadoff role, he has a terrific .365 on-base percentage and a 120 WRC+ with individual power and excellent correlated scoring ability. Gunnar Henderson provides value at premium positioning with eligibility at third base and shortstop on FanDuel but he drops third base positioning on the DraftKings slate. Henderson has 19 home runs and a .222 ISO this season in a dynamite rookie year. Anthony Santander has 21 home runs and a .216 ISO as the team’s most consistent power hitter, Ryan O’Hearn is a cheap lefty in the heart of the batting order with 10 home runs and a .295/.333/.500 triple-slash in the cleanup role, and Ryan Mountcastle has 15 home runs and a .201 ISO as the highest ceiling power hitter in the lineup. Mountcastle has a 14.1% barrel rate and 47.6% hard hits in 360 plate appearances this season. Cedric Mullins is a former 30/30 producer with excellent upside for power and stolen bases from anywhere in the lineup, Ramon Urias has sneaky power potential late in the batting order, Aaron Hicks is back with a touch of upside for on-base skills and moderate power, and Adam Frazier is a playable part at the bottom of the lineup.
  • On the Padres side, a matchup against right-handed Jack Flaherty has a 22.8% strikeout rate over 120.2 innings and 22 starts in a nice return to form this season. Flaherty joined Baltimore at the deadline and has made two starts for the team, striking out eight in six innings at Toronto and repeating that total but allowing three runs with a home run against the Astros. Flaherty is a very good pitcher with a mid-board projection and a realistic ceiling to win a slate against the top-heavy Padres, he costs just $8,400/$9,600 and is an excellent value piece on the DraftKings pitching board, where several similar starters are very expensive. The difference between Flaherty and Jordan Montgomery on this slate is negligible for everything but pricing.
  • Ha-Seong Kim costs $5,000/$3,200 and is a terrific triple-position option on the FanDuel slate. Kim has 15 homers and 27 stolen bases with a .161 ISO and a 20.4% strikeout rate this season, he is a good play for correlated scoring with a .377 on-base percentage this year. Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto are outfield stars but their prices are reversed, even with Tatis’ speed on the bases included Soto is the better overall option at $5,900/$3,800. Tatis costs $6,200/$4,000 and has 19 home runs with 20 stolen bases and a 115 WRC+ to Soto’s 24 home runs, six stolen bases, and 149 WRC+. Manny Machado has 21 home runs, Xander Bogaerts adds 12 and has stolen 13 bases and continues to nudge his average back toward his typical standards. Bogaerts is still cheap at shortstop, he should be included in Padres stacks aggressively but the matchup against Flaherty is not great. Jake CronenworthBen GamelGary Sanchez, and Trent Grisham round out the lineup. Cronenworth and Gamel have moderately productive left-handed bats, Sanchez is a premium option for cheap right-handed catcher power, and Grisham is inexpensive with a 94 WRC+ but 11 home runs and 12 stolen bases in 435 plate appearances.

Play: four corners – Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Padres bats/stacks, Orioles bats/stacks as mid-level stacks

Update Notes: 

Tampa Bay Rays (-108/4.34) @ San Francisco Giants (-101/4.26)

  • The Rays went off after pulling in strong projections in our model last night and they are the fifth-ranked team by fantasy points with a sixth-ranked home run mark and strong points-per-dollar value scores on both sites in a matchup with righty Jakob Junis, who should not be expected to throw more than three innings. Junis is not an option for MLB DFS purposes in the short start, he has a targetable 3.97% home run rate on 8.7% barrels with a 4.36 ERA but a good 3.60 xFIP and a strong 26.7% strikeout rate in 64 hybrid innings mostly as a bulk reliever this season.
  • Tampa Bay’s offense opens with Yandy Diaz who is affordable at $5,200/$3,600 despite excellent output and a strong skillset. Diaz has a .323/.402/.511 triple-slash with 16 home runs and a 54.1% hard-hit rate with just 16.7% strikeouts, he puts everything in play with authority and is a very good option at first base on DraftKings and adding third base eligibility on FanDuel. Brandon Lowe checks in with major power from the left side, he got the night off last night in a disappointing absence against a lefty bulk reliever but should see a start here, he has a 10.44 in our home run model with 15 in 315 opportunities this season. Randy Arozarena is a premium outfielder for $5,400/$3,600, he has 18 home runs, 15 stolen bases, and a 12.9% barrel rate with 49.5% hard hits this season. Isaac Paredes slots into second and third base on DraftKings and also picks up first base opportunities on FanDuel for just $4,100/$3,100, he is a terrific piece of value on both sites given the 23 home runs and .249 ISO he has posted despite his oddly limited contact profile this season. Paredes is a player who was expected to hit for power, even on the 6.6% barrels and 29.2% hard hits he manages to get the job done and he has created runs 40% better than average overall for this team in 2023. Luke Raley has 16 homers and 12 stolen bases in just 321 plate appearances from the left side, Jose Siri has hit 23 long balls and stolen eight bases in just 293 opportunities, Josh Lowe has 14 home runs with 24 stolen bases and a 121 WRC+ in 354 opportunities, and Christian Bethancourt is a capable power contributor as a low-cost low-popularity catcher. Osleivis Basabe has a good skillset for MLB DFS purposes and costs the minimum on DraftKings and $2,400 on FanDuel, but his early promotion is due more to the absence of Wander Franco than to his readiness, he has produced a couple of early runs and driven in two in his first eight opportunities and is in play as a good price offset late in the lineup in Rays stacks.
  • San Francisco is in a much better matchup today, they project as a playable stack with an 11th-ranked home run opportunity and decent points-per-dollar scores. Zack Littell has a 4.10 ERA and a 20.2% strikeout rate with a 3.58 xFIP shining through under the surface in his six starts and 41.2 innings. Littell has been fully stretched out and threw six innings in each of his last two starts, striking out one Tigers hitter in a disappointing performance in which he did not allow a run and did produce a quality start, allowing just three hits and one walk to 21 hitters, and he added a five-strikeout performance against 25 Cardinals hitters but gave up a home run and three earned runs on seven total hits in that start. Littell is a low cost option at $6,800/$5,700, he projects in the lower-middle of the board as a playable value dart on this slate.
  • LaMonte Wade Jr. costs just $3,900/$2,700 with a good skillset for on-base skills and moderate power from the left side, Wade Meckler is projected to hit second but is not available on either site, and Patrick Bailey moves up to third in the projected lineup with his six home runs and 97 WRC+ at the catcher spot. Joc Pederson and Michael Conforto have good left-handed power but not overly impressive totals with just 26 combined home runs in 696 plate appearances. Thairo Estrada is a cheap option with power and speed at either spot in the middle infield on both sites, Blake Sabol adds a second catcher to the mix while also slotting into the outfield on either site, he has 11 home runs in 278 plate appearances from the left side with an 11.5% barrel rate and a good value price at just $3,400/$2,300, the Giants lineup is particularly cheap on the FanDuel slate. Brandon Crawford and Johan Camargo project at the bottom of the lineup, but Camargo is also missing from both sites, if the Giants roll out a seven-man lineup for DFS purposes that is missing the second and ninth hitter it could have a limiting impact on the value of their stacks.

Play: Rays bats/stacks, Zach Littell value darts, Giants value darts but not as much if there are only seven DFS options starting

Update Notes: 

Milwaukee Brewers (+192/3.70) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (-212/5.42)

  • Righty Bobby Miller has a mid-board projection for an inflated $9,300/$9,200 price tag from site to site against an OK Brewers lineup. Miller has a 22.6% strikeout rate and a 3.89 ERA with a 4.10 xFIP on the season with a 40.8% hard-hit rate allowed. The rookie has a very good 2.05% home run rate on seven percent barrels, but he is not invulnerable to power and lacks premium strikeout upside, he is an awkward fit at his pricing. Miller is facing a Brewers lineup carrying just a 3.70-run implied total but just a 20.1% strikeout rate for the projected lineup, he may have more potential for clean innings than strikeout scoring, on a slate where many options look similar it does not make much sense to chase low ceilings at high prices.
  • Brewers bats are low-ranked across the board in our model, they have Christian Yelich providing star power up top with a 129 WRC+, 16 home runs, and 25 stolen bases at fair prices, and a few effective bats, but they lack premium potential and are more in play for their cheap pricing when stacking the team. Yelich is followed by quality catcher William Contreras who has a sturdy triple-slash with 12 home runs and a great position in the lineup for added plate appearances at a value position. Carlos Santana has swith-hitting power with 15 home runs on the board but just a 91 WRC+ in 453 plate appearances between the Pirates and Brewers this season. Sal Frelick has three home runs and two stolen bases and has been a breakout star for Milwaukee at cheap pricing in his first 82 plate appearances. Frelick is a good-not-great option for $4,500/$3,500 in the outfield with his pricing increasing. Willy Adames is a cheap power play at shortstop but he lacks regular contributions and has an 82 WRC+ overall this season. Mark CanhaAndruw MonasterioBrice Turang, and Tyrone Taylor are mix-in options late in the lineup, Canha is a veteran with a bit of pop and a 101 WRC+ and Monasterio has a 116 WRC+ in 176 opportunities. Turang has six homers and 14 stolen bases and Taylor adds cheap low-owned power potential.
  • Los Angeles is facing Adrian Houser, they have a 5.42 against the pitcher who has an 18.1% strikeout rate with a 4.38 ERA and 4.44 xFIP with 45.5% hard hits allowed so far this season. Houser has had a shaky season overall, but he has not completely toppeled on the mound to this point, allowing six earned runs twice and five once, but without a more significant blow-up. Houser is not the type of pitcher and is not in the type of spot that we would typically recommend, even on this short pitching slate he looks like an also-ran option at the bottom of the board among anyone getting realistic innings for $8,000/$7,600.
  • Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman are pricey stars atop a Dodgers lineup that plays from 1-9 in this matchup. Betts has 31 home runs, eight stolen bases, a 13.4% barrel rate and a 48.5% hard-hit rate and still has triple-position eligibility on FanDuel for $4,400, he is a second baseman or outfielder on DraftKings for $6,400. Freeman is chasing an NL MVP in a race with former teammate Ronald Acuna Jr., he has a 170 WRC+ with 23 home runs and 16 stolen bases. Will Smith has a .275/.379/.471 triple-slash with a 133 WRC+ as a premium catcher option, Max Muncy checks in at third base with a $5,000/$3,600 salary that is cheap for his power potential, he has an 8.10 in our home run model against the somewhat stingy Houser. David Peralta, Jason Heyward, and James Outman are good left-handed bats with power and ability for cheap pricing late in the lineup, they are all playable parts in combination with more expensive stars above them in the batting order. Enrique Hernandez and Amed Rosario are both in the projected lineup and they are both scuffling but playable options for moderate power and speed, with Rosario as the strongly preferred choices between the two.

Play: Dodgers bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

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