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

Wednesday features a six-game main slate with a different configuration from site to site. The FanDuel slate opens at 6:40 ET and includes the game between the Rockies and Rays from Tampa Bay but excludes the second game of the doubleheader between the Reds and Angels from Los Angeles later in the evening. That game is on the DraftKings slate which skips the early start, leaving out the Rays game and commencing at a traditional 7:05 ET start time. To add an extra wrinkle to the DraftKings slate, superstar Shohei Ohtani is not currently in the player pool for the main slate because DraftKings was uncertain about whether to include him as a pitcher or position player. Ohtani is to be added to the DraftKings pool pending the confirmation of the Angels lineup in the afternoon game, but if he pitches and hits during the afternoon there is no guarantee he even plays in the second game. If he pitches tonight he would be the top option on the DraftKings board. Tonight’s slate demands a bit of risk embracing with pitching options, there are a few quality starters and one or two premium arms if things break right, but several starters will be on pitch counts, narrowing the path to success on both sites.

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

Join us at 4:15 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 – 8/23/23

Colorado Rockies (+233/3.08) @ Tampa Bay Rays (-260/5.03)

  • This game is only on the FanDuel slate. Tampa Bay starter Aaron Civale lands at the top of the pitching board on the blue site for only $9,700 in what looks like a fantastic spot against the weak Rockies lineup. Civale is a good pitcher with a low strikeout ceiling in most starts, but the Rockies’ projected batting order has a 26.9% strikeout rate collectively for the season and he has the talent to find a few additional whiffs even with his strikeout rate sitting at 18.4% for the season. In 97 innings and 20 starts last year, Civale was at 24.1% strikeouts and he worked at 19.9% in 124.1 innings the season before, so there is upside on the right night. The righty has a 2.44 ERA but a 4.50 xFIP on the season, he has walked only 6.4% and kept power way down with just a 1.34% home run rate on 4.7% barrels and a 33.7% hard-hit rate. Civale is a terrific option on the FanDuel slate against a non-threatening Rockies team, he has the opportunity to work clean innings deep into this game.
  • Colorado’s active roster has a league-worst 84 WRC+ collectively against righties this season. They sit at just a .159 ISO as a group and have a targetable 25.3% strikeout rate in the split, this is not a good baseball team. Rockies bats are a contrarian option and a hedge position against a large stake in Civale, but not much more. Charlie Blackmon leads off with a quality veteran bat carrying a .281/.368/.468 triple-slash with seven home runs and a 113 WRC+ in 272 plate appearances this season. Ezequiel Tovar is up to 14 home runs and seven stolen bases but sits at just 79 WRC+. Ryan McMahon has hit 21 home runs with a .211 ISO in 504 plate appearances, he is the top source of power against righties for Colorado. Brendan Rodgers has hit for mid-teens home run totals in the past two seasons but has zero in his 64 plate appearances so far this year. Nolan Jones has a solid bat from the left side, the rookie is slashing .279/.360/.502 with 12 home runs and eight stolen bases in 264 opportunities. Elias Diaz has been a viable option behind the plate for a $2,800 salary where catchers are not needed, Jurickson Profar has been lousy all season, Michael Toglia has projectable right-handed power but limited results with three home runs but a 28 WRC+ over 132 plate appearances, and Brenton Doyle is inconsistent but has pop and speed on the right night, which means something completely different in the Midwest.
  • Tampa Bay is drawing a 5.03-run implied total against lefty Austin Gomber who projects second from the bottom of the FanDuel pitching board tonight. Gomber has a 14.5% strikeout rate with a 5.52 ERA and 4.98 xFIP and he has allowed a 4.08% home run rate on 8.4% barrels, 44.1% hard hits, and a 90.5 mph average exit velocity. While he has had a few decent starts for MLB DFS throughout his career, Gomber is not looking like a strong path to success on the FanDuel slate at $7,100, the Rays are drawing strong numbers against him.
  • With a fourth-ranked upside for home run power and a sixth-ranked points-per-dollar mark in the matchup, Tampa Bay looks like a viable stack against the limited lefty. Yandy Diaz has a 7.99 in the home run model from the top of the projected Rays lineup, he has 16 home runs and a 159 WRC+ on the season for $3,600 at first or third base as a premium buy on this slate. Randy Arozarena costs $3,500 in the outfield, the toolsy star has 19 home runs and 15 stolen bases with a 130 WRC+ in 521 chances. Harold Ramirez is a solid line-drive hitter with a 126 WRC+ and a .308/.351/.449 triple-slash in 339 opportunities. Isaac Paredes and Jose Siri land at 10.04 and 11.00 in our home run model to lead the team today, they both have 24 home runs in 434 and 309 plate appearances respectively. Both Paredes and Siri are strong value buys in the Rays lineup, Paredes outpaces his teammate by carrying three-position eligibility for only $3,100. Osleivis Basabe blasted a grand slam for his first home run last night, he has a 139 WRC+ in his first 36 plate appearances filling in at shortstop as a high-end prospect. Curtis Mead has not been great in 39 plate appearances but he does have a 106 WRC+ in the tiny sample. Luke Raley has major power and speed from the left side and may hit higher up the lineup, and Christian Bethancourt is a mix-in catcher from the bottom spot.

Play: Aaron Civale, Rays bats/stacks

Update Notes:

Washington Nationals (+129/3.96) @ New York Yankees (-139/4.63)

  • Yankees righty Luis Severino has been awful this season. Severino has a 7.98 ERA and a 5.13 xFIP with an 18.4% strikeout rate and nine percent walk rate, he has allowed a massive 6.02% home run rate on 11.4% barrels and a 45.6% hard-hit rate and he has not made a good start this season. Severino has not pitched in even the fifth inning since his July 23rd start, he has no leash whatsoever on the mound and would not be in the rotation in a competitive season. The Nationals are not a very good team against right-handed pitching, but they do still limit strikeouts effectively, which will further impact Severino’s ceiling on this slate. Severino has a bit of a projection, mostly from data that is clinging to remnants of his old self in our model, and he is very cheap at $5,400/$6,600 tonight. As a value dart with zero faith, the notion of getting an unowned starter of the caliber of what Severino once was in this matchup would have appeal, unlikely as that may be tonight. This is nothing more than a value play, Severino is extremely unlikely to succeed but the pitching slate is deceptively thin and there is room for risk on the mound tonight.
  • Nationals bats are in play as more than a hedge position, they are carrying a 4.63-run implied total and there are a few OK bats in the lineup. CJ Abrams is at just 92 WRC+ after a surge from the top of the lineup, overall he has good numbers for MLB DFS if nothing else with 13 home runs and 33 stolen bases, and the lefty provides direct correlation to the team’s power core from a premium position. Lane Thomas costs $5,500/$3,400 in the outfield, he has been the team’s best hitter this season and has a 117 WRC+ with 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases. Joey Meneses is slashing .284/.332/.419 with 11 home runs on 42.3% hard hits and just an 18.8% strikeout rate in a tidy little season at the plate, he has not been outstanding but he is one of the better options that the Nationals offer tonight. Keibert Ruiz is a good play for cheap catcher power, he has 15 home runs on the season with a .160 ISO and his xSLG has outpaced his actual slugging percentage all season. Ruiz has a $3,900/$2,700 price tag in the heart of the lineup and looks like a key to success for Washington. Dominic Smith has an 88 WRC+ in 468 plate appearances, Stone Garrett has nine home runs and a good triple-slash, he has been better against lefties overall but he is an interesting option for a fair $3,700/$2,600, and Jake Alu slots into the infield for cheap pricing. Ildemaro Vargas and Blake Rutherford are interesting plays late in the lineup when stacking Nationals, Vargas has a 72 WRC+ with a very low price tag and triple-position eligibility on FanDuel and Rutherford is a former first-round pick with tools but no statistical support for his potential.
  • Lefty MacKenzie Gore is pulling down a solid projection for just $7,400/$8,900 against the limited Yankees who are drawing far lower marks than they were in yesterday’s matchup. Gore has been up and down this season but he sits at a 4.38 ERA with a 3.92 xFIP and a 27% strikeout rate over 123.1 innings and 24 starts on the whole. Gore has allowed a bit too much premium contact and power, his home run rate sits at 4.02% on 11.9% barrels and 44.2% hard hits and he has walked far too many at 10% with a 1.38 WHIP getting him in trouble from time to time. Gore is not entirely safe on the mound but the potential against the scuffling Yankees is clear, if he can manage to avoid a crushing blow from the team’s power bats he has the chance to cruise to a quality start with a solid handful of strikeouts.
  • DJ LeMahieu fits in at first and third base on DraftKings and adds second base to the mix on FanDuel for $3,100/$2,500. LeMahieu has had a bad season, he sits 11% below average for run creation but his spot in the lineup ahead of the team’s excellent power is strong for the salary and flexibility. Aaron Judge is a superstar with a .336 ISO and 24 home runs in 306 plate appearances, he has a 28% barrel rate and 64.6% hard-hit rate that play well against Gore’s downside. Judge leads the Yankees with an 11.03 in our home run model tonight for $6,200/$4,200. Gleyber Torres has a 4.87 in the home run model tonight, but he has hit 19 long balls on the season and has potential to provide individual or correlated scoring for just $4,100/$3,000 at second base. Giancarlo Stanton is very cheap at $4,200/$2,900 in the outfield, he has all-world power when he connects but his triple-slash and run-creation skills have been lacking all season. Anthony Volpe moved up the lineup last night with the arrival of a portion of the Yankees’ future in the lineup. Volpe has 17 home runs and 20 stolen bases in what would be a great rookie season if he weren’t struggling so badly with his triple-slash and strikeout rate. Harrison Bader provides inconsistent counting stats, he has been stuck at seven home runs and 14 stolen bases for some time now. Everson Periera is a $2,000 option on DraftKings and appears to once again not have made the FanDuel pool in a frustrating move by the blue site. Periera is a high-end prospect for the Yankees, he is in play on DraftKings. Oswald Peraza is another option for a cheap price, he is a high-end infield prospect getting a full shot at this point in a lost season. Kyle Higashioka has good contact at catcher but struggles to provide consistent results and is an up-and-down option for MLB DFS.

Play: MacKenzie Gore, Yankees bats/stacks for value, Nationals bats/stacks

Update Notes:

Toronto Blue Jays (-134/4.32) @ Baltimore Orioles (+123/3.77)

  • Orioles righty Dean Kremer has the Blue Jays checked to 4.32 implied runs in Vegas, he is a talented righty with a 4.50 ERA and 4.48 xFIP on the season so that total feels about right for the night. Kremer has struck out 21.2% of opposing hitters with a 7.4% walk rate this season, he has a 1.31 WHIP with a problematic 4.27% home run rate on 9.7% barrels and 43.3% hard hits with 90.5 mph of exit velocity. Kremer is an option on both sites at $6,700/$8,000, his price on DraftKings is particularly appealing.
  • Blue Jays bats are always in play given their overall talent but they have been a frustrating DFS option this season, much like the Cardinals and Angels. Toronto has star power at the top of the lineup behind solid leadoff hitter Whit Merrifield who sets the table with a .338 on-base percentage, 11 home runs, and 23 stolen bases. Bo Bichette is a superstar shortstop, he has 18 home runs and a 134 WRC+ which is just shy of the team lead. Bichette costs $5,400/$3,300 at a bit of a discount. Brandon Belt has 14 home runs and a .218 ISO with a 135 WRC+ to lead the team. Belt has been terrific this season but he still costs just $3,500/$2,900 on the strong side of splits, the lefty first baseman is a great option in stacks of Blue Jays. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. slots in at the same position as Belt, which remains annoying. Guerrero has a 116 WRC+ with 18 home runs and just a .168 ISO in a disappointing season overall but his contact profile remains superior. George Springer is another star in a down season, h has 15 home runs and 16 stolen bases with a 102 WRC+ but should be better. Daulton Varsho has 16 home runs and 15 stolen bases and should also be better, the lefty is cheap at $3,100/$2,600 in the outfield. Matt Chapman has a 6.19 in our home run model, the third baseman is cheap at $4,700/$3,000 and puts bat on ball well with a 17.2% barrel rate and 57% hard hits. Alejandro Kirk and Kevin Kiermaier round out the lineup as playable parts.
  • Toronto righty ace Kevin Gausman costs $10,600/$11,000 from the second spot on the board on FanDuel and as the top overall pitcher on DraftKings, assuming Ohtani is not pitching in the Angels game. Gausman is a strong option with a 3.24 ERA and 3.03 xFIP on the season, he has a slate-leading 31.7% strikeout rate with a 2.54% home run rate on a surprisingly high 10.4% barrels and 44.8% hard hits. Gausman has a strong track record over the past few seasons, he has hit a few bumps in recent starts but he remains a very strong option off the top of the deck tonight.
  • Adley Rutschman is one of the top options at the catcher position every time he plays. Rutschman gains value merely by hitting leadoff for his team, the added plate appearances are DFS gold at his position when combined with his premium talent at the plate. The backstop has 16 home runs and a 122 WRC+ with a .369 on-base percentage riding a 13.2% walk rate and just 14.7% strikeouts. Gunnar Henderson is up to 21 home runs, tying Anthony Santander for the team lead on the season. Henderson has a 121 WRC+ to Santander’s 114 mark and they are followed in the lineup by premium right-handed power hitter Ryan Mountcastle for just $4,300/$3,100 at first base. Mountcastle has 17 home runs and a .204 ISO in his 388 plate appearances and he leads the team with a 14.2% barrel rate this season. Ryan O’Hearn has been good from the left side of the plate in a surprising turn for the charmed Orioles season, he has a 128 WRC+ over 250 plate appearances with 10 home runs and still comes cheap at first base or in the outfield. Cedric Mullins is a star with power and speed from the left side late in the lineup for $4,800/$3,400, Austin Hays is a good right-handed outfielder with a 112 WRC+ this season, and Adam Frazier rounds out the lineup with Jordan Westburg for low prices in the infield in a bad matchup against Gausman.

Play: Kevin Gausman, Dean Kremer value, Blue Jays bats/stacks, Orioles bats/stacks in smaller portions

Update Notes:

Los Angeles Dodgers (-217/5.15) @ Cleveland Guardians (+197/3.46)

  • Cleveland righty Xzavion Curry costs $5,200/$5,900 in one of the worst matchups in baseball with the Dodgers in town. Curry has a 16.9% strikeout rate over six starts and 75 innings in the Show this season, he has pitched to a 3.24 ERA but has a 5.19 xFIP under the surface. Curry has allowed a 2.60% home run rate on 8.5% barrels and 45.3% hard hits with a too-high 91.9 mph exit velocity average that does not play well against the elite Dodgers. Curry has made three straight full starts, working five innings twice and six in his most recent outing. In the six-inning start, he struck out six of 23 Tigers hitters while walking two and allowing an earned run on five hits, if he can manage that form against a far more challenging opponent he would have major value for the low price, but that is an extraordinarily thin path to success.
  • Los Angeles is in play every night. The team is carrying a 5.15-run implied total in this matchup and they are a terrific option that leads the slate across the board for points and points-per-dollar value in our stacks tool. Mookie Betts has an 8.88 in the home run model, he has blasted 34 on the season and has a 166 WRC+. Freddie Freeman has a 164 WRC+ with 23 home runs and 17 stolen bases as a highly valued first baseman for $6,100/$4,200. Will Smith is a premium catcher who has 16 home runs and a .190 ISO and puts everything in play with just a 16.2% strikeout rate while also drawing walks at a 12.2% clip. Max Muncy has 29 home runs and a .273 ISO as a major source of left-handed power in the heart of the high-scoring lineup. David PeraltaJames Outman, and Jason Heyward are three left-handed value bats in the outfield. All three have power and run creation potential with even a touch of speed, they are great options in combination with the top four hitters in the lineup in any order. Michael Busch and Miguel Rojas round out the projected lineup as mix-ins on a somewhat short slate.
  • Guardians stacks are a tough buy on many slates, they connected somewhat last night late in the start against rookie Bobby Miller, who had been mostly cruising early in the game, tonight they face Clayton Kershaw who projects near the top of the board despite an five-innings cap in our model. Kershaw should be limited to around 85 pitches tonight but he has major potential for clean innings and a few strikeouts along the way, the lefty has a 2.48 ERA and 3.41 xFIP with a 26.7% strikeout rate over 105.1 innings in his 18 starts. Kershaw costs $9,900/$10,800, he is a strong value option that will be popular on DraftKings and he is in play on the FanDuel slate but his absolute ceiling is carrying a bit of a concerning cap overall.
  • Cleveland stacks are a very low-priority option, the focus would be on Jose RamirezAndres Gimenez, and cheap power-hitting Gabriel Arias later in the lineup, with a few viable bolt-on parts. Ramirez has 18 home runs and 18 steals with a 120 WRC+ behind Steven Kwan who has a 101 WRC+ in the leadoff role and ahead of Oscar Gonzalez who has a 55 WRC+ in his 152 chances this year with only two home runs in the books. Ramon Laureano has moderate power and speed in the cleanup spot at a cheap price, he is a low-end producer with a 76 WRC+ over 283 plate appearances. Gimenez is the team’s second-best player, he has 11 homers and 21 stolen bases with a 94 WRC+. Arias has seven home runs in 238 chances but a 33.2% strikeout rate and a sub-Mendoza average. Brayan RocchioEric Haase, and Myles Straw round out the lineup as low-end mix-in options.

Play: Dodgers bats/stacks, Clayton Kershaw but be wary of a pitch count for the salary, Xzavion Curry extreme value darts

Update Notes:

New York Mets (+174/4.24) @ Atlanta Braves (-191/5.88)

  • Veteran righty Charlie Morton is carrying a fair projection for his $9,000/$10,000 price tag in a home start against the Mets tonight. Morton has New York checked to just 4.24 runs on the board in Vegas, which is in line with his 3.54 ERA and 4.24 xFIP on the season. The righty has a 24.7% strikeout rate but an ugly 11.2% walk rate this season but he has been very good at keeping home run power in check with just a 2.20% home run rate on 7.5% barrels and 9.3 degrees of launch on average. Morton can be a bit of a roller coaster but he is good far more often than he is bad, in his most recent outing he struck out 10 of 23 Yankees hitters in six clean innings, he has a clear path to success against the other New York squad tonight.
  • Mets bats are in loosely in play from the middle of the board, they have average projections supported by the presence of two stars near the top of their lineup and a few other good options, but they are a top-heavy team in their current form. Brandon NimmoFrancisco Lindor, and Pete Alonso are the priority bats in stacks of Mets on all nights. Nimmo is a high-end outfielder with a fair amount of power and a great knack for correlating with his teammates. Lindor has 23 home runs and 22 stolen bases with an 11% barrel rate and 45.5% hard hits while striking out just 20.8% of the time as a premium option at shortstop. Alonso has blasted 39 home runs in 505 plate appearances with a .307 ISO in another terrific season at first base. Daniel Vogelbach leads the Mets with a 49.4% hard-hit rate, he is cheap for a player with a 108 WRC+ and 11 home runs in 277 opportunities. DJ Stewart has a bit of left-handed power, Francisco Alvarez has cooled significantly at the plate but has prodigious power and any-given-slate upside if he plays, and the lineup concludes with mix-ins Rafael Ortega and Jonathan Arauz.
  • Lefty Jose Quintana has a 3.03 ERA with a 5.07 xFIP and a 16.9% strikeout rate in his 35.2 innings and six starts, he has been somewhat limited for ceiling scores but his $7,100/$8,400 slots in as a limited value option on the board in a terrible matchup against the Braves. Quintana has allowed just a 0.68% home run rate in the small sample, giving up a 3.7% barrel rate and just 31.2% hard hits, which is somewhat typical of his form from last season as well. On the right night, Quintana could succeed in this matchup, but he has a very difficult road to a victory and he is a pitcher who has a limited ceiling simply on talent, this not an appealing MLB DFS play tonight.
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. has a 12.44 in our home run model to start off a lineup that looks like it will have something to say about what Quintana’s home run marks look like tomorrow morning. Acuna is joined above the “magic number” for home run potential by Austin Riley at 11.65, Matt Olson at 15.52, and Marcell Ozuna at 10.75 in the model. Michael Harris II slots in second in the lineup as a strong source of value for $4,900/$3,000, he has a great skillset for MLB DFS with both power and speed and his triple-slash is very strong overall this season. Riley, Olson, and Ozuna hit 3-5 in the lineup, ahead of catcher Sean Murphy who just misses the mark for home run potential with a 9.08 that looks very good positionally as well. Murphy has 20 home runs and a .254 ISO this season and his price has dipped to $5,500/$3,800. Kevin PillarOrlando Arcia, and Vaughn Grissom are good options late in the lineup. Pillar offers a bit of veteran pop, Arcia has a 109 WRC+ over 398 plate appearances, and Grissom is a high-end prospect for just $3,400/$2,200 at shortstop. The Braves are a high-priority stack for raw scoring once again, they lead the slate at a 5.88-run implied total in Vegas and they will be popular tonight.

Play: Braves bats/stacks, Charlie Morton, Mets bats/stacks as a lower-priority mid-level option

Update Notes:

Boston Red Sox (+101/4.24) @ Houston Astros (-108/4.34)

  • Astros starter Jose Urquidy has a 20.6% strikeout rate with a 5.21 ERA and 4.74 xFIP in eight starts and 38 innings this season. The righty has made three appearances since returning to the team on August sixth. That appearance was a 3.1-inning performance in which he allowed five runs on a home run and three hits to the limited Yankees in the Bronx, he struck out one and walked three. Urquidy was better over five innings in his next try, a home start against the Angels in which he struck out seven and walked zero while allowing a lone run on three hits. His most recent appearance was a two-inning stint out of the bullpen against Seattle, he struck out three of eight hitters while allowing two hits. Urquidy has a tough opponent in town tonight, his limited projection does not have tremendous appeal but he costs just $6,300/$6,900 as a value dart with some track record of limited success at this level.
  • Red Sox bats are carrying a 4.24-run implied total that feels a bit low in the matchup. Boston has several elite hitters, including today’s home run pick, third baseman Rafael Devers, who has a 12.34 in our home run model and 29 on the season with a .253 ISO. Devers is projected to hit second behind solid leadoff man Alex Verdugo who has a 106 WRC+ despite some ups and downs throughout the season. Justin Turner has been a rock in the heart of the lineup for Boston, he has a 127 WRC+ with 20 homers in a terrific year and strikes out just 16.8% of the time. First-year lefty Masataka Yoshida bests his teammate with a 12.5% strikeout rate, he has a 41.4% hard-hit rate with 13 home runs and a 117 WRC+ over 473 opportunities this season. Triston Casas is a major source of left-handed power, he has 14.3% barrels with 20 home runs and a .225 ISO on the season, Wilyer Abreu is slated to make another appearance in the outfield, the lefty costs just $2,000 on DraftKings but does not appear on FanDuel. Pablo ReyesReese McGuire, and Luis Urias are solid mix-in value plays late in the batting order.
  • Astros bats are facing Chris Sale, the left-handed veteran is making his third start back from injury, he went 4.2 innings in his first attempt, striking out seven of 16 Tigers while allowing two earned runs. In his second outing, Sale went 4.1 innings, yielding three runs, two earned, on two hits but striking out only three and walking three. The limited version of Sale is not very appealing for $8,500/$9,300 against the excellent Astros lineup. Houston excels at limiting strikeouts against lefties and, even if Yordan Alvarez is out again tonight, they have elite options throughout the lineup who get better in this split. Sale is probably limited to around five innings tonight, he does not project as well as Kershaw with the same innings concern, but he is in the middle of the board at a playable mark for the believers.
  • Houston bats are our preferred side of the equation, they have a limited 4.34-run implied total and may not be the best place to make a stand, but they do have potential and if we get a short start from Sale there is value in getting these bats against the Red Sox bullpen. Jose Altuve is a star second baseman at a high price on both sites, he has nine home runs and 13 steals in just 253 chances this season. Alex Bregman has a limited 5.3% barrel rate with 36.7% hard hits but he has managed 20 home runs in his 561 plate appearances and still creates runs 21% better than average. Kyle Tucker slots in third with Alvarez projected to hit cleanup, the pair of premium lefties do not lose quality in same-handed matchups, they are both very high-priority bats in stacks of Astros for $5,800/$4,000 and $5,900/$4,100, Houston takes a bit of a dip if Alvarez does not play but Chas McCormick provides a reasonable mix-in outfielder with power and speed as a replacement in that scenario. McCormick is no Alvarez, few hitters come remotely close to that level of talent, but he remains cheap at $4,500/$3,700 despite 19 home runs and 14 stolen bases with a 150 WRC+ over 334 chances this year. Yainer Diaz has been a star catcher, he has 18 homers with a 123 WRC+. Jeremy PenaJake Meyers, and Martin Maldonado round out the batting order as mix-in options.

Play: Astros bats/stacks, Red Sox bats/stacks, limited Chris Sale, limited Jose Urquidy value darts

Update Notes:

Cincinnati Reds (+159/3.93) @ Los Angeles Angels (-174/5.18)

  • The Angels will have Reid Detmers on the mound for $7,600 with Ohtani in the projected batting order at first base or in the outfield for $6,700 on DraftKings tonight, this game is not on the FanDuel slate. The lineups are somewhat unpredictable in the second game of a doubleheader, but Detmers looks like an appealing option for the money and a very strong projection on the slate. The lefty has a 27.3% strikeout rate with a 4.93 ERA but a more appealing 4.19 xFIP in 115 innings and 22 starts this season. Detmers has a strong potential to find strikeouts if not clean innings. The Reds are a frisky bunch of hitters but they do carry a collective 30.7% strikeout rate across the projected starting lineup tonight.
  • Cincinnati bats are in play on talent but they are tough to get to on a points-per-dollar basis with fairly high costs and underwhelming projections against Detmers, who has limited barrels to just 6.5% this season but he does have a 3.41% home run rate that is slightly higher than one would want. Elly De La Cruz and Matt McLain are a pair of stars in the infield, De La Cruz slots in at shortstop for $5,900 and McLain is a $5,500 second baseman, they have WRC+ marks of 94 and 129 respectively. De La Cruz has 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 282 chances at the plate, and McLain has 14 home runs, 11 stolen bases, and a better triple-slash. Spencer Steer is a good option for $5,000 at third base or in the outfield, he has 18 home runs and 11 steals, Christian Encarnacion-Strand has four home runs with a 5.31 in our home run model today, he has tons of power lurking in his bat and was mashing at the AAA level all season. Tyler Stephenson is a playable part at catcher, Stuart Fairchild is cheap but limited in the outfield, and the lineup rounds out with prospect Noelvi MarteTJ Hopkins, and Luke Maile in a fairly bad matchup.
  • 29-year-old Brett Kennedy made a five-inning spot start for this team last week against the Blue Jays, he struck out two and walked one of 20 hitters and did not allow a run on three hits, the righty has a challenging matchup to face today and he does not project well for $6,100.
  • Nolan Schanuel is in one of the best spots in baseball for just $2,800 at first base hitting ahead of Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout at the top of the Angels lineup. The rookie was in college a few weeks ago but he has appeal for the money and he obliterated AA pitching over a tiny sample to start his professional career. Ohtani has 43 home runs and 17 stolen bases, Trout has just returned from a long stint on the injured list, he has 18 home runs and a .225 ISO in another injury-shortened campaign, and the lineup has quality from 3-9 in various forms. Brandon Drury is cheap at second base for $3,800, he has a dozen long balls on the season and a solid upside tonight, Mike Moustakas is a $3,100 option at first or third base with power from the left side, Logan O’Hoppe is a premium catcher option with power for just $2,900, Mickey Moniak is a key outfielder on the left side, he has slipped significantly of late but still offers a good left-handed bat on the right night, and Hunter Renfroe has 18 home runs this season and a 99 WRC+ in 475 plate appearances that render him cheap tonight. Luis Rengifo and Randal Grichuk are good options for power and a run creation late in the lineup for fair prices at $3,300 and $3,100.

Play: Angels bats/stacks, Reid Detmers, Reds bats/stacks in smaller portions

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