MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Overview & Live Show Link – Friday 7/14/23

Welcome back, friends, readers, colleagues, and well-wishers! The MLB DFS slate comes roaring back to life on Friday night with a rich 14-game affair that is packed with talent from top to bottom. The slate includes several premium pitching options, an extremely broad mid-range that acts as a plateau onto which most of the night’s 28 starting pitcher options land, and a few high-end spots for run creation and power that includes the Yankees at cheap pricing at Coors Field. The high-end targets for run creation and power output are somewhat obvious tonight, following the breadcrumbs left by Vegas totals makes things clear enough, but there are several good options at slightly lower implied totals that could be very sneaky for MLB DFS purposes on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

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 pm ET for the MLB DFS Lineup Card Show and a full game-by-game breakdown:

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

MLB DFS: Game by Game Main Slate Overview – 7/14/23

Miami Marlins (+111/4.13) @ Baltimore Orioles (-120/4.46)

Note: there is bad weather worth monitoring in the area, the game is expected to play but is not fully safe.

The mega-slate gets underway with a good matchup between two first-half upstart teams with the Marlins in town to face the Orioles and starter Dean Kremer. The righty had an effective first half, pitching to a 4.78 ERA with a 4.26 xFIP and a 22% strikeout rate while walking only six percent. Kremer is not a lights-out starter, but he worked around league averages in his 98 innings and 18 starts in the first half while boosting his strikeout rate from 17% in 125.1 innings last season. The righty has had an issue with power in 2023 however, his 10.8% barrel rate and 44.8% hard-hit mark have amounted to 90.7 mph of exit velocity and an unsustainable 4.78% home run rate. Kremer is inexpensive and in play as a value option around the industry, but he is a much better buy at $7,100 as an SP2 on DraftKings than he is for $8,600 on the single starter site. Though they strike out at just a 20.5% clip against righties, Miami’s active roster ranks 22nd in baseball with a 93 WRC+ in the split and their .132 ISO is not intimidating. Luis Arraez had an outstanding first half, he checks in at .383/.434/.471 with dreams of .400 still intact. The hit tool specialist is a strong correlation play in line with Jorge Soler, who mashed his way to 23 long balls before the All-Star break. Arraez and Soler are easy to afford at $4,900/$3,100 and $4,800/$3,600. Bryan De La Cruz is cheap at $3,800/$2,900 in the outfield on both sites, he hit 10 home runs while slashing .279/.328/.426 and creating runs seven percent ahead of the curve in the first half. Jesus Sanchez has nine home runs in 199 plate appearances from the left side, Garrett Cooper has 12 homers in 281 plate appearances with a strong finish before the break, Jean Segura has been lousy all season and has a 54 WRC+, Joey WendleJacob Stallings, and Dane Myers round out the projected Marlins batting order.

The Orioles draw Sandy Alcantara who is priced all the way down to a mere $6,800/$8,200 in a dramatic fall from grace. Last year’s National League Cy Young Award winner has a 19.7% strikeout rate with a 4.72 ERA and 4.05 xFIP over 114.1 innings in 18 outings through the All-Star break. Alcantara has walked 6.9%, a spike of 1.4 points over last season, and his WHIP has climbed dramatically from 0.98 last season to 1.25 this year. Alcantara has induced a 12.6% swinging-strike rate with a 27.1% CSW%, both of which are not far off the mark from last year, but his strikeout rate plummeted from the effective 23.4% he posted last season. There are no glaring downturns in the basic mechanics of Alcantara’s arsenal and he is throwing roughly the same mix of pitches that dominated last season, he appears to have lost a bit of horizontal break on a few pitches which could mean the difference between leaving something in a hittable spot or inducing a called strikeout. Overall, Alcantara remains playable in this matchup for these prices, any struggles are accounted for with the dramatic discount. Baltimore’s projected lineup opens with Gunnar Henderson who has a firm grip on the top spot. The rookie has 13 home runs on 11.9% barrels and a 51.1% hard-hit rate while walking 12.1% of the time. Henderson is elite at the plate and has created runs 22% better than average so far this season, he is a strong option when stacking Orioles. Catcher Adley Rutschman is cheap at $5,000?$3,200, he has 12 home runs with a 125 WRC+ in 383 plate appearances and plays almost every day either behind the plate or as the team’s DH. Rutschman has an excellent 15.4% strikeout rate and 14.4% walk rate and is one of the top backstops in the league. Anthony Santander leads the projected lineup with 16 home runs and a .226 ISO, he and Ryan O’Hearn provide power from the left side in the middle of the lineup. O’Hearn has overachieved in 152 plate appearances, he has seven home runs with a .216 ISO and 137 WRC+, as long as he remains cheap at prices like today’s $3,400/$2,800 he is playable. Austin Hays and Cedric Mullins are good options in the outfield, Mullins has eight home runs and 13 stolen bases, Hays has nine homers and has created runs 36% better than average to lead the team regulars. Colton Cowser made 21 plate appearances before the break, posting an 86 WRC+ in the tiny sample, the premium rookie outfielder costs just $2,700/$2,800 and is a great buy when stacking Orioles. The same can be said for fellow rookie and recent call-up Jordan Westburg who has a 152 WRC+ in 45 plate appearances since joining the team and costs $3,100 with eligibility at second and third base on DraftKings and filling shortstop and third base on FanDuel. Adam Frazier is a capable bat in the ninth spot in the deep lineup, he has 10 home runs with seven stolen bases, although that is more than he did in the past two seasons combined.

Play: Dean Kremer value, Sandy Alcantara value, minor shares of either stack

Update Notes:

San Francisco Giants (-120/4.99) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (+111/4.61)

Veteran Rich Hill takes the mound for Pittsburgh to open the second half. The southpaw has a 21.1% strikeout rate with a 4.78 ERA and 4.55 xFIP over 98 innings in 18 starts. Hill has walked nine percent and has a concerning 1.44 WHIP while inducing just a 7.4% swinging-strike rate and allowing an 11% barrel rate and 40.1% hard-hit rate with a 3.01% home run rate on the season. The lefty seems to have been fairly lucky to have limited home runs as much as he has, everything about the contact profile that he has yielded says that he should have allowed more power to this point, a notion backed up by a .488 xSLG underneath his .282 actual. Hill projects into the middle of the pitching board today for $6,000/$7,800, he is not unplayable but he is also targetable with Giants bats, particularly several of the stout righties in the San Francisco lineup. Austin Slater leads off against the lefty, he has three home runs and two steals in 90 plate appearances and went 7/12 in 325 last season. Slater is cheap at $3,400/$2,600 in the outfield on both sites, he leads into a run of quality that starts with lefty killer Wilmer Flores, who has eight home runs in 205 plate appearances overall this season. LaMonte Wade Jr. dips in quality in same-handed matchups but has held his own and has been hitting third in the split in recent games. Wade is cheap at $3,700/$3,100 and he has upside with his nose for getting on base and creating runs. JD Davis costs $4,300/$3,100, he has 11 home runs and has created runs 19% better than average so far this season, Davis has a 5.32 in our home run model today. Patrick Bailey is slashing .293/.324/.493 with a .200 ISO and five home runs in just 150 plate appearances, he is a viable option at catcher in the middle of the lineup. Michael Conforto has major power from the left side, he has 13 home runs in 299 plate appearances on a 44.1% hard-hit rate. Luis MatosCasey Schmitt, and Brandon Crawford round out the projected lineup.

San Francisco will answer with a low-end veteran of their own, with Ross Stripling taking the mound. The righty has an 18.9% strikeout rate with a 6.37 ERA but a 3.98 xFIP in seven starts and 41 innings. Stripling has allowed far too much premium contact and it has hurt him badly on the mound, his home run rate sits at 6.11% on 11.9% barrels, 44.8% hard hits, and 90.3 mph of exit velocity. The righty does not seem like a strong option on the mound, even at $5,900/$5,500. The Pirates are ranked at the bottom of our projections board overall, but the team has a 4.61-run implied total with a few bright spots for MLB DFS. Jack Suwinski is the most visible, his 19 home runs and seven stolen bases have been useful when stacking Pirates and he has a believable upside for more. Suwinski’s 18.5% barrel rate and 51.7% hard-hit rate both easily lead the team but the outfielder is a bargain at $3,800/$3,400. Bryan Reynolds has nine home runs and eight stolen bases while creating runs 11% better than average, rookie Henry Davis has a home run and two stolen bases but just an 86 WRC+ in his first 81 opportunities in the Show. Carlos Santana came to life briefly before the break, the switch-hitting slugger has nine home runs in 344 plate appearances. Ji-man Choi costs $2,400/$2,500 at first base, he has three home runs in 44 plate appearances this season and has long-standing power from the left side. Jared TrioloTucupita MarcanoNick Gonzales, and Austin Hedges round out the projected Pittsburgh batting order. Triolo has a 100 WRC+ in 44 plate appearances, Gonzales sits at 113 in 58 opportunities, but the bottom four are fairly low-end in this low-priority stack.

Play: Giants bats/stacks, very minor shares of Rich Hill value darts

Update Notes:

Arizona Diamondbacks (+150/4.00) @ Toronto Blue Jays (-180/5.22)

The game in Toronto looks like a good source of offense with the home team carrying a 5.22-run implied total and the visiting Diamondbacks looking perhaps a bit stronger than their 4.00-run total might suggest in a matchup against Jose Berrios. The righty has been mostly the good version of himself in 2023, he has a 3.50 ERA and 3.94 xFIP with a 23% strikeout rate in 108 innings over 18 starts and has limited home runs to 2.95%. Berrios’ issues with power seem to be mostly behind him and his strikeout rate has bounced back after last year’s dip to just 19.8%, for $9,100/$9,600 the veteran righty has a bit of potential on this slate, he projects in the upper-middle of the board but there are probably better spots than tangling with the low-strikeout Diamondbacks. Arizona’s projected batting order opens with Geraldo Perdomo who has five home runs and 11 steals in 274 plate appearances and should be effective in the leadoff role with his .378 on-base percentage, though so far he has just an 86 WRC+ with a .356 on-base in the leadoff spot. Ketel Marte has 15 home runs while slashing .286/.363/.494 with a .208 ISO as one of MLB DFS’ top second basemen. Marte strikes out at just a 16.7% clip with a 9.8% walk rate, he is excellent at putting the ball in play and is highly involved in the team’s offense at 130 WRC+. Corbin Carroll is going to win the National League Rookie of the Year award, he has 18 home runs and 26 stolen bases and has led the team in run creation at 44% better than average. Christian Walker is tied with Carroll with 18 home runs, he has a .247 ISO and has created runs 24% better than average for the season. Walker is very good at the plate, he strikes out at just a 17.6% clip which is an attribute he shares with fellow power hitter Lourdes Gurriel Jr. who sits at just 17.3%. Gurriel has 15 home runs and a .230 ISO with a 115 WRC+ on the season. Emmanuel Rivera has flashed a good hit tool over his first 172 plate appearances this year, he was unreliable at the plate last season but managed 12 home runs in 359 plate appearances, this year he has not hit for power and sits 17% below average for run creation. Jake McCarthy has moderate power and blazing speed, Carson Kelly is a playable low-end catcher, and Alek Thomas rounds out the lineup with mid-level power and speed for $2,700/$2,400. The quality with Arizona is primarily from 1-5 in the lineup, that collection of hitters has the low strikeout rates and power to throw a wrench into Berrios’ plans on the mound.

Toronto is drawing one of the highest marks on the board in Vegas at 5.22 implied runs. The Blue Jays rank fourth out of the four teams with greater than a 5.0-run implied total, the other three are the Braves at 5.94, the Rays at 6.04, and the Yankees who lead the slate at 6.79 in a Coors Field game. The Braves and Blue Jays seem fairly likely to be slightly lower-owned than the Rays and Yankees, but with New York’s pricing so low across the industry both expensive lineups will be popular in combination with the Yankees and other core sources of value stacks. Toronto is facing righty Ryne Nelson who has been mostly shaky over 93.2 innings in 18 starts. Nelson has a 5.19 ERA and 5.04 xFIP with a limited 16% strikeout rate, an inflated 1.43 WHIP and a targetable contact profile. The righty has allowed a 3.20% home run rate but that seems a bit lucky given a 10.9% barrel rate, 91.5 mph of exit velocity, and a 43.4% hard-hit rate. Nelson is not a good option at $6,300/$7,200, the Toronto bats are flashing plenty of upside in the matchup. George Springer is up to .269/.330/.422 with a 111 WRC+, 13 home runs, and 13 stolen bases, by season’s end he should look much like seasons past in the stat line. For $5,500/$3,600, Springer is slightly discounted for his talent, which is also true of Bo Bichette at $5,400/$3,700. The star shortstop has 15 home runs and has created runs 34% better than average in 402 opportunities to lead the team this season. Bichette sets the pace at .317/.346/.496 and carries a 10% barrel rate and 45.7% hard-hit rate on the season. Brandon Belt is cheap at $3,100/$2,800, he has six home runs in 233 plate appearances but has also created runs 23% better than average and gets on at a .365 clip, Belt is a valuable contributor in Blue Jays stacks, but DraftKings has taken away the outfield eligibility they had bestowed on him, making him a decision point at first base with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the team’s star. Guerrero has 13 home runs and has created runs 20% better than average despite a dip in overall output. The hard-hitting first baseman’s contact profile suggests a massive second half is coming, he is discounted at $5,200/$3,700. Matt Chapman and Daulton Varsho have power from the right and left side respectively, Chapman has a .204 ISO and 12 home runs while Varsho has managed a dozen home runs of his own despite just a .154 ISO and a lowly seven percent barrel rate with a 38.8% hard-hit rate. Whit Merrifield is a good option for hits, speed, and correlated scoring, Alejandro Kirk and Kevin Kiermaier round out the lineup as playable parts in stacks.

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

Update Notes:

Los Angeles Dodgers (-122/4.48) @ New York Mets (+112/4.12)

Note: there is bad weather worth monitoring in the area, the game is expected to play but is not fully safe.

Los Angeles lands in Queens to face veteran righty Justin Verlander who is cheap for the name on his jersey at just $8,000/$9,200. Verlander has a 3.60 ERA and 4.43 xFIP with a 19.7% strikeout rate on the season, a big dip from last year’s outrageous quality. The veteran has been better in his three most recent starts, allowing just two earned runs in 18 combined innings while striking out 13 against the Brewers, Giants, and Padres. Verlander returning to form would be a major story in the second half, particularly if the flailing Mets continue to slide and end up sellers on the trade market. The righty has been unreliable and has not racked up many strikeouts this season, but his demise has been by no means total, Verlander has allowed more than four runs only once, a six-run mess against the Rays on May 16th, he gave up four runs twice and has been at two or fewer in all nine of his other starts. In a different matchup, this would be a very interesting spot in which to deploy Verlander shares, with the ridiculous Dodgers in town he projects only in the lower-middle of the board. Los Angeles has an All-Star team in their lineup with Mookie Betts leading the way. After a ridiculous run-up to the break, Betts has 26 home runs with seven stolen bases and a .309 ISO while creating runs 57% better than average, he justifiably costs $6,400/$4,100 and retains multi-position eligibility on both sites. Freddie Freeman is one of baseball’s best first basemen, his 12.1% barrel rate and 17.2% strikeout rate are a dynamite contact combination and he has a .320/.396/.556 triple-slash while creating runs 55% better than average with 17 home runs and 12 steals. Will Smith has a 13.5% strikeout rate and 15.3% walk rate on the season, his 13 home runs and .215 ISO with a 144 WRC+ make him one of the best everyday catchers in the sport. Max Muncy and JD Martinez both strike out aggressively but send the ball traveling when they connect. Muncy has 21 home runs in 299 plate appearances and Martinez has 22 in 314 with a team-leading .315 ISO. Muncy is very cheap at $4,600 on DraftKings, Martinez is affordable at $5,200 and both players are options when stacking Dodgers at $3,800 on the blue site. David PeraltaJason HeywardJames Outman, and Miguel Rojas round out the lineup, Rojas has a 56 WRC+ on the season but the three left-handed outfielders are all playable in mix-and-match form.

New York will be facing Julio Urias, an effective lefty with a 23.7% strikeout rate and just a 5.3% walk rate on the season. Urias has a 4.76 ERA but a 4.03 xFIP, his 5.26% home run rate is out of order however, but it does not fully jibe with a 32.6% hard-hit rate, suggesting we are seeing a bit of happenstance and a few mistakes in his still-small 64.1 inning sample over 12 starts. Urias has typically been better than average at keeping the ball in the yard and he is very good at limiting hard hits and exit velocity. For just $8,800/$8,700 it would not be a mistake to take a few shots with the lefty. The New York lineup ranks 16th by fantasy point projections, they are a low-priority option which is reflected in their 4.12-run implied total in Vegas. The Mets have Brandon Nimmo entrenched in the leadoff role, the left-handed outfielder has hit 13 home runs and gotten on base at a .365 clip over the season’s first half, he is cheap at $4,400/$3,300 and is not entirely reliant on teammates for point-creation, his 9.1% barrel rate and 45.7% hard-hit rate are more than enough to generate MLB DFS scoring. Tommy Pham has nine home runs and 10 stolen bases in a nice return to form over 234 plate appearances. Pham has won the full time role in left field and has seen a bump to the second spot in the batting order, the veteran has created runs 30% better than average and is a good buy at $3,300/$3,000 when stacking Mets. Francisco Lindor has hit for power and stolen bases this season but he has disappointed in his triple-slash overall. Lindor is still creating runs 20% better than average and he is priced down at $4,900/$3,800, the DraftKings number is far too low for the star shortstop. Pete Alonso has 26 home runs with a .286 ISO and 123 WRC+ over 348 plate appearances, he is one of the premier home run hitters in baseball. Rookie backstop Francisco Alvarez has mashed 17 home runs in 227 plate appearances to sit third on the team, his .276 ISO and 121 WRC+ are outstanding and he remains cheap at $3,600/$3,100 as an easy catcher click. Alvarez is talented enough to play on both sites, particularly if he hits in the middle of the lineup. Jeff McNeil is a slap-hitting correlated scoring option, Starling Marte had a disappointing first half but he has excellent speed and a veteran hit tool at cheap pricing, and the lineup closes with playable options in Brett Baty and Mark Canha.

Play: minor shares of Dodgers and Mets stacks, minor Julio Urias shares, Justin Verlander value is probably in the wrong matchup

Update Notes:

Milwaukee Brewers (-115/4.93) @ Cincinnati Reds (+106/4.67)

The Brewers are looking like a playable offense with Graham Ashcraft on the mound in the Reds’ bandbox home park. The righty has a 16.4% strikeout rate with a 6.28 ERA and 4.78 xFIP while allowing a 3.49% home run rate and 9.4% walk rate in a bad mix of attributes. Ashcraft is not an option in this matchup, even with the Brewers lending him a few points he projects among the worst starters on the board for $5,100/$8,100, at least the DraftKings price is more realistic. Former MVP Christian Yelich is having an under-appreciated year at the plate, he is slashing .284/.378/.456 while creating runs 27% better than average with 11 home runs and 21 stolen bases. Yelich has never truly fallen off, he is just a different player than the superstar we thought he might become. The outfielder has a 10.6% barrel rate and a terrific 53.7% hard-hit rate and he draws walks at a strong clip to stay involved in the offense when he does not connect, Yelich is still the key player in stacks of Brewers. William Contreras has a 47.3% hard-hit rate with nine home runs and a 112 WRC+ behind the dish, Willy Adames has 16 home runs and a .203 ISO but has struggled to just a 91 WRC+ because he does not do much else at the plate, and Jesse Winker has been mostly inept through 2023, when he manages to play at all. Winker has one home run while slashing .200/.324/.253 and creating runs 31% behind the curve in 179 opportunities. Owen Miller has a 98 WRC+ with 11 stolen bases and four home runs on the season, he is a mix-in option from the heart of the lineup and things ger worse from there with a bottom-end that includes Raimel TapiaBrian AndersonBrice Turang, and Joey Wiemer. Among that group, Wiemer is the most interesting with 12 home runs and 11 stolen bases but he sits 13% below average for run creation which is the theme of the bottom half of the Brewers batting order.

The Reds look like another playable offense but they are drawing heavy pricing with the industry enjoying their breakout and drawn to the Coors Lite nature of their home park in Cincinnati. The matchup against Corbin Burnes would normally have chased away most of the popularity concerns, but the righty has not been himself for much of 2023 and the conditions in this park are terrible for pitching. Burnes has a 23.1% strikeout rate which is an OK number for mere mortals but represents a dip of more than seven points year over year and a drop of more than 12 points from his elite 2021. Burnes has a 3.94 ERA and 4.17 xFIP this season, he has allowed a 3.17% home run rate on 33.1% hard hits and 6.4% barrels, he has not been awful on the mound in most of his starts and there have been several glimpses of his old form, but he has been unreliable at best. The righty is cheap at $8,400/$9,600 and probably makes a better buy than Verlander while still remaining a lower-end option. The Reds projected batting order opens with TJ Friedl who has 16 stolen bases and a 123 WRC+ as a good leadoff option for $4,400/$3,500. Matt McLain has been a breakout star for the Reds with seven home runs and seven steals in just 235 plate appearances over which he is slashing .300/.366/.512 and creating runs 31% better than average. McLain is a highly regarded prospect who was raking in the minors prior to his call-up and has not stopped hitting all season, he is a great option at $5,500/$3,700 when stacking Reds. Jonathan India is affordable as a high-end second baseman, he has 13 home runs and 12 stolen bases in 404 plate appearances but lands at just $4,900/$3,500. Elly De La Cruz is an all-world talent who costs $6,300/$4,500 as one of the day’s most expensive players. De La Cruz has arguably been under-owned due to his elevated star-caliber pricing on recent slates, he is a strong option with third base and shortstop eligibility that makes him playable with McLain. Jake Fraley has blasted 11 home runs and stolen 16 bases in 261 opportunities in an excellent season so far, he had 12 homers in 247 opportunities last year. Joey Votto has seven home runs with a .404 ISO and 159 WRC+ in his tiny sample of 67 plate appearances, the star first baseman is a good option at fair pricing when looking in Cincinnati’s direction, particularly with Spencer Steer carrying multi-position eligibility that makes them playable together. Steer is now a third baseman or outfielder on DraftKings and remains a first baseman or outfielder on the blue site, he has 14 home runs and nine stolen bases with a 123 WRC+ for the first half. Tyler Stephenson and Will Benson round out the projected lineup for the Reds.

Play: Brewers bats/stacks, Reds bats/stacks, minor shares of Corbin Burnes

Update Notes:

Chicago White Sox (+129/3.72) @ Atlanta Braves (-253/5.94)

Note: there is bad weather worth monitoring in the area, the game is expected to play but is not fully safe.

With a $9,000/$9,500 price tag and the disappointing White Sox carrying a 3.72-run implied total in Vegas, righty Charlie Morton seems likely to be a popular public pitching pick on today’s slate, which is entirely justifiable. Morton has a 3.43 ERA and 3.88 xFIP with a 26.1% strikeout rate in 97 mostly strong innings over 17 starts in the first half. The veteran righty has a 12.8% swinging-strike rate with a 31.1% CSW%, his walk rate is elevated at 9.9% but it has not hurt him in the long run. Morton is good at checking opposing power, his 2.35% home run rate comes on just 88.6 mph of exit velocity and a 37.5% hard-hit rate. Morton will be popular but with such a large slate and many options within a handful of projected MLB DFS points he should not reach untenable levels of deployment, making him playable. Andrew Benintendi was one percent below average for run creation in the season’s first half, shortstop Tim Anderson was 57% percent below average, their presence atop the White Sox lineup on a daily basis goes a long way toward solving the mystery of this team’s lousy output this year. Between the two, Benintendi is currently the better option but Anderson is the more talented player who contributes more for DFS scoring when he is going right. Luis Robert Jr. came up hobbling after the Home Run Derby and did not play in the All-Star Game earlier this week, he is in the projected lineup but his status will be key for Chicago. Robert leads the team with 26 home runs and a .298 ISO and has been the source of most of Chicago’s offense. Eloy Jimenez is a cheap option with a significant ceiling on most nights, he costs just $4,400/$3,300 and has a dozen home runs in just 251 plate appearances after missing time with yet another injury. Andrew Vaughn and Jake Burger are the top options further down the Chicago lineup, they both have right-handed power though Vaughn’s output is more realistic. The first baseman has 12 home runs and a .188 ISO with a 108 WRC+ while Burger has 19 homers and a .295 ISO with a 113 mark for run creation. Yasmani Grandal is projected to hit between them, the switch-hitting backstop is a mix-in which is the case with Oscar Colas, a power-hitting rookie who should land behind Burger in the batting order for just $2,100/$2,000. Colas is a potential key in stacking White Sox at his extreme discounts, he hit 23 home runs between high-A, AA, and AAA last year, with 14 of them coming at AA, in 212 AAA plate appearances this season he has nine home runs and a .215 ISO with a 112 WRC+, but he has not done much in 102 chances in the Show with just a 47 WRC+ and one home run. Zach Remillard closes out the projected Chicago batting order as a playable part for a cheap price.

The Braves are one of the slate-leading teams in Vegas, they are an everyday option given their ridiculous output for home run power and run creation against virtually any pitcher. Atlanta ranks second by fantasy point projections and first for home run potential on our stacks board but they are very expensive and difficult to connect with other premium options. Atlanta is facing righty Michael Kopech who has a 4.08 ERA but a 4.96 xFIP while striking out a healthy 26% but walking a highly problematic 13.1% for the season. Kopech has blow-em-away stuff when he is going right but he has never harnessed reliability on the mound, his walks combine very poorly with an atrocious 14.2% barrel rate, 41.1% hard hits, and 90 mph of exit velocity that have amounted to a 4.56% home run rate on the season. Atlanta’s projected batting order features seven hitters who have 14 or more home runs on the season, with nine-hitter Michael Harris II sitting on nine homers and 11 stolen bases with a 93 WRC+ after a return to form sure to join the list of double-digit home run hitters soon enough. Ronald Acuna Jr. leads off for Atlanta, he has produced a historic combination of home runs and stolen bases through the season’s first half and has been one of the best players in the game with 21 homers, 41 steals, and a 164 WRC+ in 409 opportunities. Acuna has an 11.68 to sit second on the team in our home run model today, he is slightly ahead of today’s overall home run pick, second baseman Ozzie Albies. The switch-hitting keystone has 22 home runs with a .248 ISO while creating runs 16% better than average this season, he has been elite for his position and costs a fair $5,600/$4,000. Austin Riley is cheap at $4,900/$3,600 at third base, he has 16 home runs and a 105 WRC+ in a bit of a dip so far this season but is primed for a big second half. Matt Olson has 29 home runs and a .315 ISO to lead the team, which is saying something on this squad. Olson is an excellent option at first base on any slate, he has a team-leading 13.08 in our home run model and looks like a great option for a long ball in this matchup. Sean Murphy has 17 home runs while slashing .306/.400/.599 with a .293 ISO as one of baseball’s top catchers, Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario have combined for 31 home runs this season, and Orlando Arcia sneaks All-Star caliber performance into the eighth spot every day with eligibility at three positions on the blue site.

Play: Braves bats/stacks aggressively, Charlie Morton, a few hedge shares of White Sox are OK but less so if Robert sits

Update Notes:

Cleveland Guardians (+129/3.72) @ Texas Rangers (-141/4.38)

The low-end Guardians lineup is carrying a 3.72-run implied total in a matchup against effective right-handed veteran Jon Gray who looks like a viable value option for $8,300/$8,900. Gray is better as an SP2 for the DraftKings salary but he is a playable part with a ceiling on both sites tonight. The righty has a 20.1% strikeout rate with a 3.29 ERA and 4.48 xFIP overall this season. In 16 starts and 93 innings, the righty has yielded a 2.94% home run rate on 35% hard hits and a 6.1% barrel rate while inducing an 11.8% swinging-strike rate. The Guardians are not a high-strikeout group, but Gray has the talent to find his way through to a clean six-inning game with a good chance for a win bonus and the potential to book a quality start at what should be fairly low popularity on a huge slate. The righty projects onto the large plateau of options in the middle of the board on this slate. Cleveland is not a good team this year, the disappointing lineup is filled with underperforming players who have mid-level power and speed potential that has vanished for the most part in 2023. Steven Kwan has not gotten on base enough to provide correlated scoring as expected, Amed Rosario has been a non-entity at the plate with just two home runs and an 87 WRC+ to go with his .094 ISO, and Andres Gimenez has been similarly disappointing after expectations of 25/25 being in play for him this season. Between Rosario and Gimenez we should find the team’s two productive hitters, Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor, who have combined for 25 home runs with Ramirez carrying a 132 WRC+ and Naylor at 123. The two power hitters are the key pieces in low-priority Guardians stacks that should also include Josh Bell, who has been lousy with just nine home runs and a 96 WRC+ in 332 opportunities. Will BrennanMyles Straw, and Bo Naylor are entirely skippable from the bottom, Naylor has the idea of cheap power as a DraftKings catcher but has not done much in his tiny sample of 56 opportunities.

The Texas lineup hit the skids somewhat heading into the break with a 3-7 streak over their last 10 games that matches the Rays’ minor slide. Both Texas and Tampa Bay are too good to dip for very long, the Rangers have a good chance to come back to life to start the second half in a matchup against talented but limited Aaron Civale tonight. The righty tends to project well in our model in the right spot, that is not the case tonight with Civale landing in the bottom third of the deep pitching slate for $7,300/$8,800. His 2.56 ERA and 4.39 xFIP are somewhat misaligned with one another and his 20.7% strikeout rate does not have much of a ceiling against the deadly Rangers batting order. Civale has limited power this season with just a 4.6% barrel rate and 1.88% home runs, which is why we find Texas at just a 4.38-run implied total, he is more likely to limit the Rangers to some degree than he is to post a slate-relevant MLB DFS score tonight. Texas is only moderately in play for our purposes, the team ranks eighth by projected point creation upside and they sit second on the Power Index, but their prices are misaligned with their upside in this matchup. Marcus Semien has 11 home runs and a 115 WRC+ but just a .167 ISO with a 5.2% barrel rate and 37.5% hard hits through the season’s first half. Semien is excellent at second base but it would be fair to question his $6,200 DraftKings price, his $3,700 mark on the blue site seems more accurate. Corey Seager is fairly priced at $6,500/$4,200 at shortstop, he has been fantastic when in the lineup at .353/.413/.613 with 12 home runs, a .261 ISO, and a 181 WRC+ in 269 opportunities. Nathaniel Lowe is a cheap source of runs with a bit of power potential every day in the Texas lineup, the first baseman costs just $4,600/$3,200. Adolis Garcia and Josh Jung have major power potential in the heart of the lineup, Garcia has 23 home runs with a 131 WRC+, Jung has 19 long balls and a .280/.331/.504 triple-slash as a first-time All-Star. Jonah Heim and Mitch Garver are a pair of power-hitting catchers who are swappable parts with one another, Ezequiel Duran has been excellent through the first half with a 139 WRC+ in 262 plate appearances, and Leody Taveras has been his equal from the ninth spot in the batting order.

Play: Jon Gray, Rangers bats/stacks as a mid-level option

Update Notes:

Boston Red Sox (-120/4.99) @ Chicago Cubs (+101/4.74)

Note: there is bad weather worth monitoring in the area, the game is expected to play but is not fully safe.

Another pair of playable offenses check in from Wrigley Field on a blustery Chicago evening. The wind is blowing out at the ballpark tonight, but there is also bad weather in the forecast and some concern about the game playing at all. Assuming full action, the Red Sox look like a good option against veteran righty Kyle Hendricks, who will attempt to soft-toss his way past the talented Boston lineup. Hendricks has a 14.9% strikeout rate with a 3.04 ERA and 4.79 xFIP in his 53.1 innings and nine starts this season, the righty is not a good option for DFS purposes at $6,500/$8,300. Boston’s projected batting order opens with Jarren Duran, a lefty who is slashing .320/.367/.519 with a .199 ISO and 138 WRC+ in a big step forward this season. Duran is affordable at $3,600/$3,100, his DraftKings price in particular is far too low for this opportunity. Masataka Yoshida has 10 homers with a 139 WRC+ that leads the team, he costs $4,600/$3,200 in the outfield and is a great option for sequencing with a bit of power potential of his own. Justin Turner has blasted 13 homers and is slashing .288/.362/.462 with a 125 WRC+ in another excellent season at the plate, he joins Rafael Devers as the heart of the Red Sox lineup on a daily basis, the hard-hitting veterans are at easily reached prices on this slate and look like good buys on both sites. Devers has 20 home runs and a .239 ISO despite a dip in his triple-slash. Alex Verdugo and Triston Casas are a talented pair of lefties later in the lineup, Verdugo has individual upside and is an excellent table-setter for the power-hitting Casas who seems primed for a big second half at the plate. Casas has a very good contact profile with a 12.6% barrel rate and 46.9% hard hits. Christian ArroyoConnor Wong, and Yu Chang round out the projected batting order.

The Cubs will be facing Brayan Bello who has been good over his 14 starts and 80 innings in 2023. Bello has a 20.8% strikeout rate with a 6.5% walk rate and a very good 3.04 ERA with a more honest 3.94 xFIP while inducing an 11.2% swinging-strike rate. The righty has been good at limiting home run power and launch angles, he has given up 2.38% home runs while limiting launch angles to an average of just 6.8 degrees. Last season he was even better at 5.3 degrees on average and just a 0.37% home run rate in 57.1 innings and 11 starts. Bello has an upper-middle projection on the pitching board and looks playable for $7,700/$8,500, but the conditions have the Cubs pushed up to a 4.74-run implied total in a questionable spot. Bello is not likely to be popular, he is a more playable option at his SP2 pricing on DraftKings but he is not off the board on the blue site. Chicago looks like a playable part in Vegas, the team’s lineup opens with Mike Tauchman, who has a .348 on-base percentage that has been gradually declining since his move to the leadoff spot. Nico Hoerner has 20 stolen bases with a 91 WRC+ and .321 on-base percentage this season. Ian HappSeiya Suzuki, and Cody Bellinger are a strong trio in the heart of the lineup, they offer good power potential and on-base acumen as a unit at fair prices. Happ has created runs 14% better than average, Suzuki sits five percent ahead of the curve, and Bellinger leads the way with a 126 WRC+ and nine home runs in just 245 plate appearances. Christopher Morel has 15 home runs with a .306 ISO on 15.3% barrels and 48.4% hard hits in 198 opportunities this season, he costs $4,500/$3,500 at second or third base on DraftKings and in the outfield or at third base on the blue site. Jared YoungYan Gomes, and Miles Mastrobuoni round out the projected batting order, Gomes is interesting as a sneaky power-hitting catcher where the position is required.

Play: Red Sox bats/stacks, Brayan Bello as a mid-level option, Cubs bats/stacks

Update Notes:

Tampa Bay Rays (-274/6.03) @ Kansas City Royals (+245/3.60)

Note: there is bad weather worth monitoring in the area, the game is expected to play but is not fully safe.

Tampa Bay is one of two teams on the slate with an implied total above 6.0 runs in their matchup against rookie righty Alec Marsh. In his two starts and nine innings, Marsh has allowed a 7.14% home run rate on 12.5% barrels, which amounts to two home runs in his first game and one in his second outing. Marsh struck out five in each game, walking four Dodgers and three Twins along the way. He worked four innings against Los Angeles and covered five against Minnesota and he seems targetable despite being a fairly well-thought-of pitching prospect. The Rays will be looking to tee off on the rookie, Tampa Bay’s lineup seems likely to be popular with good cause tonight. The projected version of the lineup opens with Josh Lowe in for Yandy Diaz. Lowe has 12 home runs and 19 stolen bases with a 126 WRC+ and .210 ISO in 274 plate appearances in what is becoming a real breakout season. Wander Franco is a star shortstop for $5,700/$3,800, he has 11 home runs and 28 stolen bases this season, Randy Arozarena has 16 homers and 10 stolen bases and has created runs 47% better than average but costs just $5,400/$3,700, and Luke Raley has 15 home runs in just 240 opportunities from the left side. Raley has a 10.75 to lead the team in our home run model, he slots in at first base or in the outfield for just $4,200/$3,300 tonight and should be crushingly popular in stacks of Rays hitters. Isaac Paredes has 16 home runs in 305 plate appearances, Brandon Lowe is one of the hardest-hitting second basemen in the game with nine homers in just 215 plate appearances in 2023, and Jose Siri is a great option for power and speed late in the batting order. Siri has 16 homers and seven stolen bases in 208 plate appearances and remains cheap at $3,100/$3,200. Jonathan Aranda joined the team prior to the break, he has been mostly ineffective in 95 plate appearances in the Show between last year and this season (only eight opportunities in 2023) but looks playable at just $2,000 on both sites. Christian Betancourt is an option at catcher where the position is required, he has seven home runs and an 81 WRC+ and is not a great option where catchers are unnecessary.

The Kansas City lineup is relegated to a total nearly half that of their opponent with Tyler Glasnow on the mound for Tampa Bay. Glasnow is the slate leader in our pitching projections, he is an excellent option who will be one of the most popular starters on both sites at his $10,300/$10,000 price tags. The righty has a fantastic 36.4% strikeout rate with a 9.1% walk rate, and a ridiculous 18.5% swinging-strike rate in 41.2 innings and eight starts. Glasnow is electric with a 33.8% CSW%, his ERA sits at 4.10 but his 2.74 xFIP is the more honest number for how his quality has been this season. The righty should be owned across the industry in one of the better pitching matchups in the game this season, the Royals are an option only in a contrarian sense, and even then they do not stand out as a good spot. Maikel Garcia has a 102 WRC+ in 235 opportunities, he is the only player with his head above the waterline in Kansas City’s projected batting order. Bobby Witt Jr. has 14 home runs and 27 stolen bases but gets on at just a .300 clip with a 99 WRC+ for the year. Nick Pratto has power from the left side and knows how to get on base, but is severely limited by his 37.7% strikeout rate to this point. Sal Perez has light-tower power behind the plate, his 15 home runs leads the team but he is an unreliable option with a 92 WRC+ overall. MJ Melendez hits the ball very hard to no avail, he is limited from the left side with just a .127 ISO and 71 WRC+ with six home runs despite a 51% hard-hit rate. The bottom of the lineup is worse with Kyle IsbelMichael MasseyDrew Waters, and Nicky Lopez rounding out the projected order.

Play: Tyler Glasnow, Rays bats/stacks both aggressively despite the popularity

Update Notes:

Washington Nationals (+140/3.86) @ St. Louis Cardinals (-170/4.87)

Note: there is bad weather worth monitoring in the area, the game is expected to play but is not fully safe.

The low-end Nationals are facing righty Miles Mikolas who checks in at a playable salary of just $7,500/$7,000 in the matchup. Mikolas is not a premium arm, he has a limited 16.1% strikeout rate over 112.2 innings and 19 starts, but he is reliable for depth and a fair bet for clean innings in this matchup, given the pricing. Mikolas has a 4.23 ERA but a 4.62 xFIP, he has kept home runs to just 2.07% and is facing a lineup that limits strikeouts but does little else when facing righties. Washington’s lineup is not a good option even with the soft-tossing starter on the mound. Only Lane Thomas and Jeimer Candelario are above average for run creation this season at 126 and 118 WRC+. Thomas has been truly good, he has 14 home runs and eight stolen bases, while Candelario has provided less frequent quality but has 13 home runs and five steals and costs just $3,500/3,200. CJ Abrams slots in ahead of the duo in the projected batting order, the shortstop has been 15% worse than average for run creation, mostly from the bottom of the batting order in 302 plate appearances. Joey Meneses had a few hot days before the break and is up to six home runs on the season, his .284/.328/.404 triple-slash is one of the better stat lines on this team and he is a playable part when looking in Washington’s direction. Keibert Ruiz has nine home runs in 305 chances as a cheap catcher, Corey Dickerson and Dominic Smith add limited left-handed pop, and the bottom fills out with Luis Garcia and Alex Call.

The Cardinals are a viable option with MacKenzie Gore on the mound. Gore started the season off hot and was looking like he was lining up for a run at a breakout season before the wheels mostly vanished. The lefty has allowed a 3.61% home run rate on 11.3% barrels and a 47.1% hard-hit rate for the season, pitching to a 4.42 ERA but a 3.74 xFIP over 18 starts but only 89.2 innings. Gore has not been reliable for depth or limiting run creation and power, he still has an effective 27.8% strikeout rate but that has come down significantly since early in the season. Meanwhile, the underperforming St. Louis lineup still offers up playable parts for DFS purposes on most slates. The Cardinals are carrying a 4.87-run implied total in Vegas but they may not pop off the board for public popularity, which makes them a good tournament option on this slate. Jordan Walker slots into the projected leadoff spot in a twist with the lefty on the bump. Walker has been good since his return from the minors, he sits at .283/.347/.457 with a 123 WRC+ and eight home runs in 202 plate appearances overall this year. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are a pair of power-hitting star veterans at first and third base, they are always in play and have combined for 34 home runs this season. Goldschmidt costs $5,500/$3,900 and Arenado $5,300/$3,800 but their individual prices are easy to average down with the affordability surrounding them in the lineup, another tick in the PROS column for rostering stacks of Cardinals. Willson Contreras is cheap for a catcher with a 111 RWC+ and 10 home runs on the season, Paul DeJong is viable at shortstop on the right side, he has a bit of power left in his bat with 12 home runs on the season, and Dylan Carlson is another affordable bat in the outfield. Luken Baker costs the dead minimum on both sites, he is an alternate first baseman that is not a great play in lieu of Goldschmidt on DraftKings but provides interesting viability in tandem with the star on the blue site. Lars Nootbaar drops in the lineup against a lefty starter but is in play if he takes the field, Jose Fermin closes out the lineup as another min-priced option in the infield.

Play: Cardinals bats/stacks enthusiastically, Miles Mikolas value

Update Notes:

New York Yankees (-194/6.79) @ Colorado Rockies (+177/4.85)

The Yankees are carrying a slate-leading 6.79-run implied total at Coors Field in a matchup against lefty Austin Gomber this evening. Gomber has a 6.40 ERA with a 4.89 xFIP and 15.4% strikeout rate in 90 innings and 18 starts this season, he is not a playable option. The New York batting order has been limited this season and that has them at extremely low prices for their brand names in a game at Coors Field, which should render them ridiculously popular. The Yankees tend to get played in all situations, when they are at value prices in this ballpark they will fly off the shelves in public shares. Anthony Volpe is projected to lead off but has been better hitting down lineup, the shortstop has an 89 WRC+ overall with 13 home runs and 16 stolen bases but just a .287 on-base percentage that hampers his performance, but the rookie has been far better over the past month as he finds his stride in the Show. Gleyber Torres has 13 home runs and a 107 WRC+ as a good option at second base and a key contributor in New York stacks. Giancarlo Stanton has nine home runs with a .223 ISO and leads the team at 12.40 in our home run model, the phenomenal power hitter costs just $5,000/$3,100 against a pitcher with a 5.05% home run rate on 45.5% hard hits. Anthony Rizzo has 11 home runs with a 114 WRC+ for the season but has dipped badly in his triple-slash and overall output, he is very cheap for his talent at first base for $4,800/$3,100. Harrison Bader is another affordable option at $4,800/$3,100, he has seven home runs and eight steals in 161 tries but has been limited by injuries through much of the season. Josh Donaldson has an 11.50 in the home run model to rank second on the team, he is a long ball or nothing these days and has 10 homers in 112 plate appearances with a 21.4% barrel rate and 50% hard-hit rate for only $3,500/$2,600 at third base. Donaldson is rarely as popular as his power output says he should be, take advantage on a Coors Field slate. DJ LeMahieu has been lousy this season, he has a 78 WRC+ and seven home runs while his strikeout rate has gone way up. Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jose Trevino round out the projected lineup as mix-in values.

The Rockies will be facing Carlos Rodon in his second start of the season. The southpaw returned in a 5.1-inning start that saw him strike out only two Cubs while walking two and allowing a pair of runs on four hits including a home run in Yankee Stadium. Rodon made it into the sixth despite a pitch count, but he would have been more limited for innings had he struck anyone out in the game. With a pitch count still in place on a night in Coors Field, even against the lowly Rockies who are inept against left-handed pitching, it seems less likely that Rodon will find his value at $8,500/$9,300. With Rodon throwing around 80 pitches, the Rockies are not a great option at the plate, but they benefit from the Coors effect and will be the far less popular option in this game. Jurickson Profar has a 79 WRC+ to lead off, Kris Bryant is playable based on his reputation and previous output but he ists at just 84 WRC+ with six home runs in 248 plate appearances, Ryan McMahon loses a lot of his quality for power against same-handed pitching, he is not in a good spot tonight. Elias Diaz was the All-Star Game hero with a game-winning home run, he has nine that count this season and a 91 WRC+ in 305 plate appearances. CJ Cron has major power potential and a team-leading 8.50 in our home run model but he has managed only seven long balls in 185 plate appearances this season. Randal GrichukEzequiel TovarAlan Trejo, and Brenton Doyle round out the lineup with mix-and-match parts.

Play: bats bats bats

Update Notes:

Houston Astros (+141/3.62) @ Los Angeles Angels (-154/4.47)

If you are playing on DraftKings today, Shohei Ohtani is a leading pitching option with a top-three projection for $10,900. If you are playing on FanDuel, Ohtani is an outfielder for $4,500 and he will not accrue pitching points on the slate. The Astros are not looking like a strong option in either case, as they will be facing Ohtani on the mound no matter what happens. The righty has been elite this season, he has a 32.4% strikeout rate with a 3.32 ERA and 3.51 xFIP. Ohtani is one of the best in the game, he has a 13.2% swinging-strike rate and 30.7% CSW% on the year and has allowed just 35.4% hard hits and 86.5 mph of exit velocity on average. For the DraftKings salary, Ohtani is easily playable against a scuffling Astros squad that has a 3.62-run implied total. Houston’s projected lineup has Mauricio Dubon leading off, he has a 93 WRC+ with a .279/.303/.397 triple-slash that is miscast in the leadoff spot. Alex Bregman has 12 home runs but is slashing .240/.338/.387 with just a .147 ISO in 399 plate appearances, the third baseman has taken a dip this season but he is cheap at $4,000/$3,300 at third base. Kyle Tucker has 13 home runs and 15 stolen bases, he seems likely to reach 30 home runs with 25 or more steals again this year but things have been down overall and Tucker has the entire team on his back with Yordan Alvarez still out of action. Jose Abreu has seven home runs and a 74 WRC+ in a return to form over the last few weeks, he has a long way to go but there is a definite pulse for $2,900/$2,800 when stacking Astros. Yainer Diaz and Chas McCormick are talented productive hitters for cheap prices and no popularity in the middle of the lineup, they have a 106 and 123 WRC+ respectively. Jeremy PenaJake Meyers, and Martin Maldonado round out the lineup in lower-end form in a bad spot against an excellent pitcher. The odds are firmly with Ohtani in this matchup, the Astros are not a great option at the plate tonight.

The Angels are showing some potentially sneaky upside, but Ohtani is off the board as a hitter for DraftKings gamers and Mike Trout remains out of the lineup overall. Los Angeles has a 4.47-run implied total, on FanDuel Ohtani is an option at $4,500 in the outfield, he has 32 home runs and 11 stolen bases with a 181 WRC+ as one of the best producers of offense and MLB DFS points at the plate in all of baseball. Taylor Ward and Mickey Moniak slot in behind Ohtani in the projected lineup, Ward has been up and down this season, h has nine home runs and a 93 WRC+, Moniak has been better in a smaller sample, he has 10 home runs and a .338 ISO with a 167 WRC+ in 136 tries. Anthony Rendon, Eduardo Escobar, and Hunter Renfroe bring right-handed quality and power to the plate, Renfroe, in particular, has a significant upside for home runs in most matchups, he falls third on the team with a 9.31 in tonight’s home run model against righty JP France. The Astros starter has been a mixed bag on the mound this season, he has a 3.26 ERA but a 4.61 xFIP that tells the true story. The righty’s strikeout rate sits at just 17.6% and he has allowed a 3.66% home run rate despite just 7.4% barrels and 36.9% hard hits. The Angels lineup ends with Matt ThaissLuis Rengifo, and Andrew Velasquez, all of whom are mix-in options at best. With limited potential from Ohtani and a lineup that is without both Trout and Brandon Drury, the Angels are a mid-level option for stacking tonight, but they are a far better play on FanDuel than on DraftKings where Ohtani is not available at the plate.

Play: Shohei Ohtani as a DraftKings pitcher, mid-level stacks of Angels on FanDuel

Update Notes:

Minnesota Twins (-200/5.05) @ Oakland Athletics (+182/3.55)

The Twins and Athletics square off in Oakland in a game that is pushing upside in the direction of Minnesota starter Kenta Maeda who may not wind up as popular as he should be in a good spot given the size of tonight’s slate. Maeda costs just $7,700/$7,000 and projects in the upper third of the slate, but his opponent Paul Blackburn is also carrying an effective projection for his cheap $5,300/$7,400 pricing. Blackburn has been good in seven starts and 37 innings this season, posting a 24.1% strikeout rate with a 4.17 xFIP under his 4.86 ERA. The righty is no star on the mound, but he does not have to be for these asking prices, Blackburn has the talent to find a few additional strikeouts against the free-swinging Twins as well, the projected Minnesota lineup has a ridiculously high 28.1% strikeout rate overall this season. The Oakland righty has allowed just a 2.35% home run rate on 6.2% barrels and 32.7% hard hits this season, he has been more effective in the tiny sample than in years past, and if he holds up the ability to cut power he will take a step forward overall on the mound this year. Blackburn is facing a Twins team that has a 5.05-run implied total in Vegas, there is power upside in Minnesota’s lineup but they are not elite and there are plenty of whiffs along the way for the righty. Carlos Correa leads off for Minnesota, he has a 94 WRC+ in 341 plate appearances that manage to make the Mets look smart so far, a truly difficult accomplishment that might end up as Correa’s biggest contribution to 2023. The shortstop has 11 home runs on the season but has been mostly lost at the plate, he is at least cheap for $4,500/$3,200. Edouard Julien lands at $3,100/$2,800, he has seven home runs in 153 rookie plate appearances, Byron Buxton has 15 in 297 opportunities as a veteran star for this team but his 103 WRC+ and lowly triple-slash are disappointing, and Alex Kirilloff adds cheap lefty pop in the fourth spot in the projected batting order. Kirilloff has hit four home runs in 199 plat appearances and has a 121 WRC+ at the inexpensive salary. Donovan Solano slots in with a good hit tool ahead of power-hitting lefty outfielder Max Kepler who has 12 home runs and a .202 ISO on the season. Christian VazquezJoey Gallo, and Michael A. Taylor are the bottom of the lineup, Gallo is the most interesting option by far, he has 15 home runs and a .276 ISO with a 111 WRC+ in 232 plate appearances this year.

The Oakland lineup will be facing Maeda in his eighth start of the season, the veteran has thrown 33 innings and has a 25.5% strikeout rate with a 5.18 ERA but a better 3.97 xFIP and any concerns about short outings should be allayed by the seven-inning nine-strikeout start he posted against the Royals on July fourth ahead of the break. Maeda missed all of 2022, he had a 4.66 ERA and 3.99 xFIP with a 24.9% strikeout rate in 21 starts and 106.1 innings in 2021 and was better in years past. The righty has a clear path to a strong score, he projects well and costs just $7,700/$7,000 against one of our favorite targets in baseball. While the play is not one that anyone would think of as safe, Maeda has significant potential to deliver a slate-relevant score at what is not likely to be extreme popularity, he is a potentially key play on both sites. The lowly Athletics lineup opens with Tony Kemp who has a 67 WRC+ and things do not get much more encouraging from there. Kemp is a low-end veteran who has three home runs and nine stolen bases, he hits ahead of Ryan Noda who has gotten on base at a .381 clip but strikes out 33.4% of the time and contributes power infrequently. Noda has nine home runs and a .174 ISO but he has been good for run creation given the on-base acumen, he has a playable 131 WRC+ in 323 opportunities as a cheap first baseman. Seth Brown has a bit of left-handed power and some speed but has been flailing for most of 2023 when he is in the lineup after missing time with an injury. Brent Rooker represented at the team at the All-Star game thanks to a hot March and April, he has not done much since and is not likely to do much going forward but remains a cheap playable home run hitter with an 8.9 in our home run model. JJ Bleday, Jace Peterson, and Tyler Wade are typical parts for the bottom of the lineup, they are mix-ins at best. That group is joined by Cody Thomas and top team prospect Tyler Soderstrom, who will be making his MLB debut today. Both Thomas and Soderstrom land at the minimum on DraftKings, Soderstrom is not available on FanDuel but Thomas is $2,000 on the blue site. Soderstrom has 20 home runs in 304 AAA plate appearances this season, he is a hope in the later part of the lineup.

Play: Kenta Maeda, Paul Blackburn value darts, Twins bats/stacks as a mid-level play

Update Notes:

Detroit Tigers (+163/3.03) @ Seattle Mariners (-178/4.05)

Perhaps the best pitching matchup of the night comes in the final game, with things getting underway at 10:10 ET in Seattle in a showdown between the visiting Tigers and hometown Mariners. Detroit has lefty Eduardo Rodriguez on the mound to face home starter Luis Castillo, who projects second overall on the pitching board in a terrific matchup. Rodriguez lands fourth overall on the pitching board, third on FanDuel where Ohtani is a hitter, which puts both starters very much in play. The Tigers check in with a far worse run total at just 3.03 against the outstanding Castillo, but Seattle’s 4.05-run implied total is not exactly robust. Castillo has a 2.85 ERA and 3.69 xFIP with a 26.9% strikeout rate in 107.1 innings over 18 outings. His 15.4% swinging-strike rate and 30.2% CSW% are excellent marks and he has not been lousy for power, though his 3.45% home run rate on 43.2% hard hits and 9.1% barrels could stand a bit of improvement. Overall, Catsillo is dynamite and he is facing baseball’s worst team for run creation, there is major potential in the popular righty in this spot. For $8,900, the righty is an absolute steal on the DraftKings slate, he is a great option at $9,700 on the blue site as well. Detroit’s projected batting order opens with Zach McKinstry on the left side, he has eligibility at third base and in the outfield on DraftKings and second base with outfield as an option on FanDuel for $3,700/$2,400. McKinstry has six home runs and 11 stolen bases leading the way into Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson who carry much of the team’s future hopes with them at the plate. Greene has missed time with injuries but has been good when he is at the plate, his 136 WRC+ easily leads the team in 233 plate appearances. Torkleson has shown signs of life at the dish and has 12 home runs with a .174 ISO and 98 WRC+ on the season, he is playable when stacking Tigers in a terrible spot at $3,600/$2,800. Kerry Carpenter has lefty pop with eight home runs on the year, he is cheap at $3,200/$2,700, Javier Baez is not the player he once was, Akil Baddoo is probably a better option at this point, but Miguel Cabrera is not. Andy Ibanez and Jake Rogers round out a bad lineup in a bad matchup.

The Mariners are a bit more playable at the plate, but their collective 27.3% strikeout rate is a major flaw in this lineup and pushes additional expectations toward the already talented Rodriguez on the mound for Detroit. The lefty costs $9,700/$10,400 in the matchup, he has a 2.64 ERA and 3.40 xFIP with a 26.3% strikeout rate in 71.2 strong innings and 12 starts. Rodriguez missed most of June with an injury, he returned on the fifth and threw four innings of seven strikeout five-run ball against the lousy Athletics, facing 18 hitters and throwing 79 pitches, the lefty should be expected to work his pitch count into the 90s this evening. Rodriguez has limited home runs to just 2.85% on 31.4% hard hits with a 6.3% barrel rate this year, he was at 3.07% home runs and 7.1% barrels last season and 2.81% home runs with 6.8% barrels the year before. The southpaw is a playable part of this slate, he is a potentially key option on the pitching board on both sites and his popularity seems likely to fall a bit by the wayside given the high pricing and long list of options with similar name brands. Rodriguez is looking like a very interesting tournament option on both DraftKings and FanDuel this evening, but the Mariners are playable in the other direction in small hedge portions at least. Seattle’s projected lineup opens with JP Crawford, who has a .362 on-base percentage and 121 WRC+ and seems to have locked-down the leadoff role for Seattle. Julio Rodriguez has 13 home runs and 22 stolen bases with a 105 WRC+, he enjoyed the All-Star festivities in his home park and needs to get to work quickly at $4,800/$3,600 as the team’s most expensive player on either site. Everyone, Rodriguez included, in the Seattle lineup is at a cheap price across the industry, the Mariners are viable for value. Ty France is slashing .261/.332/.387 with a 108 WRC+ and seven home runs, Tesocar Hernandez has 15 homers with a 109 WRC+, and Eugenio Suarez has 11 homers and a .150 ISO with a 101 WRC+ after a light-hitting start to his season. The trio is affordable in the heart of the lineup and, on the right night, they can be outstanding for power and run creation. Tom MurphyAJ PollockJose Caballero, and Dylan Moore land in the bottom of the lineup with Jarred Kelenic getting a night off in the projected batting order.

Play: Luis Castillo aggressively despite popularity, Eduardo Rodriguez as a very good potentially low-owned tournament option

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