MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Overview & Live Show Link – Friday 7/21/23

The loaded Friday main slate features 11 games on DraftKings and FanDuel with a fairly short peak for premium pitching that has one man at its apex, followed by a fairly fat mid-range of options and more than a handful of pitchers who are targets for bats. The slate has the makings of one that will be won and lost with hitting, there are several major opportunities for power and run creation upside, not the least of which is the game in Cincinnati that has both the Diamondbacks and Reds near the top of the board in the bandbox ballpark.

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 – 7/21/23

Kansas City Royals (+173/3.61) @ New York Yankees (-189/4.99)

The Royals land in New York just as the foundering Yankees are getting desperate to find a get-right opportunity. Kansas City will be facing right-handed starter Clarke Schmidt who projects into the upper-middle of our pitching board as a very playable option for just $8,000/$6,200 against the most targetable team in baseball. The Royals’ active roster has an 82 WRC+ against right-handed pitching this season, 29th out of 30 teams in MLB, the 30th-ranked active roster in the split is this form of the Yankees. Kansas City also has a collective 24.4% strikeout rate against righties this season, Schmidt has the talent to exploit the strikeouts while pitching clean innings, he has a 23.3% strikeout rate with a 4.31 ERA and 4.21 xFIP over 19 starts and 94 innings. Schmidt has been more reliable for shots at six innings and a quality start as the season has moved forward, he is in play in this spot on both sites and looks like a very good value option on the DraftKings slate. The projected Kansas City lineup is set to have both Sal Perez and Bobby Witt Jr. as the feature bats, Witt has 16 home runs and 27 stolen bases and costs $4,800/$3,300 at shortstop and Perez is a top catcher with 15 home runs but a 94 WRC+. No one in Kansas City’s projected batting order has a WRC+ mark on the positive side of the ledger. Maikel Garcia is slated to lead off, he has 14 stolen bases and a .275/.328/.373 triple-slash but just a 92 WRC+. Garcia is cheap when stacking Royals, but they are not a priority on this slate. MJ Melendez has seven home runs with a .133 ISO despite 11.5% barrels and 51.8% hard-hits, he strikes out at a 29.2% clip that supports the upside for Schmidt. Nick Pratto is at a 3.23 in our home run model, the lefty has a good but flawed bat, he has a 44% hard-hit rate with six home runs in 279 plate appearances but strikes out at a 37.6% clip. Edward OlivaresMichael MasseyDrew Waters, and Nicky Lopez round out the projected Royals lineup as mix-ins. Olivares has the idea of mid-range power and good speed, Massey and Lopez are lefties in Yankee Stadium but they do not hit for much power, and Waters is a switch-hitter who at least has four home runs in 149 plate appearances and a 13.8% barrel rate at a cheap price.

The Yankees lineup will be facing rookie Alec Marsh in the fourth start of his career. Marsh has a terrific 31.8% strikeout rate over his first three outings, but he has also walked 12.1% and allowed a 7.58% home run rate on 47.2% hard hits and a 13.9% barrel mark in the tiny sample. Marsh debuted against the Dodgers and allowed five runs with two home runs while striking out five and walking four in 4.0 innings, he followed that up with a five-inning start in which he struck out five Twins but walked three, allowed another home run, and gave up two runs on three hits. The third start was easily his best, Marsh faced the Rays and struck out a whopping 11 while walking just one, though he did allow two solo home runs in six innings. The righty has the talent to cut through the Yankees low-end lineup and he may find some strikeouts along the way, there is potential at $5,000/$7,200 as a dart throw of a value option. On the other side, the Yankees are likely going to be without Harrison Bader, who is going for testing after getting hit by a pitch. If Bader goes on the injured list the Yankees will likely promote either Everson Periera or Estevan Florial from the minors, either of whom would be a playable option, but they are not currently on the roster or in the projected lineup. Oswald Peraza is in the leadoff spot with eligibility at two positions on DraftKings and three on FanDuel, he has made 53 plate appearances and stolen four bases without much else in his line to this point. Gleyber Torres costs $4,900/$2,900 at second base, he has 14 home runs with a .163 ISO and 111 WRC+ with upside for a long ball at 8.25 in our home run model. Giancarlo Stanton cracks the top of the home run model with an 11.17, he has 12 on the season with a 94 WRC+ and a .250 ISO and still crushes the ball when he is able to connect. Anthony Rizzo and Anthony Volpe slot into the heart of the lineup with power upside from either side of the plate. Rizzo is a longtime reliable option with a cheap price at first base in the midst of an extended slump, Volpe is a rookie who has provided unreliable output of counting stats through the season but fails to hit for average or get on base frequently enough. Franchy Cordero slots into the projected lineup with power upside, we will likely see Isiah Kiner-Falefa in for Bader, while Jose Trevino and Oswaldo Cabrera round out the projected batting order, they are all very low-end options even against a rookie making his first start in Yankee Stadium.

Play: Clarke Schmidt, Alec Marsh value, Yankees bats as a mid-level option

Update Notes:

San Francisco Giants (-145/5.24) @ Washington Nationals (+134/4.37)

The Giants are carrying a high implied team total in their matchup with righty Jake Irvin in Washington D.C. tonight. Irvin has not been good this season, he has a 15.9% strikeout rate with a 4.96 ERA and 5.66 xFIP with just 5.6% swinging strikes and a 10.5% walk rate on the season. The righty has been OK at limiting power, with just a 2.90% home run rate and 35.5% hard hits allowed to this point, but the lack of strikeouts severely hampers his upside even at $5,400/$6,200. Joc Pederson leads off for the Giants, he has a 9.71 in our home run model with eight in the books for the season, a total at which he has been stuck for the past couple of weeks. Pederson is a lefty who mashes bad right-handed pitching, he is a priority hitter in stacks of Giants. Mike Yastrzemski has 11 home runs on the season with a .211 ISO, Wilmer Flores has 12 with a .234, and Michael Conforto has 13 but just a .170 ISO. Conforto is slashing .244/.336/.413 with a 107 WRC+, everyone from 1-7 in the projected San Francisco lineup is above the league average for run creation this season. Patrick Bailey has made 170 mostly productive plate appearances, he has a 104 WRC+ with five home runs, JD Davis has been good overall but has not done much in recent weeks, he has 11 long balls on the season with a .164 ISO and 115 WRC+. Lefties Blake Sabol and Brett Wisely land in the seventh and eighth spots in the batting order, Sabol is the more playable option, he has catcher and outfield eligibility on both sites and has hit 11 home runs this season. Casey Schmitt has a 59 WRC+ that outpaces the 47 that Wisely is carrying but both players are relatively unappealing options.

The Nationals draw lefty Alex Wood, who has a 20.6% strikeout rate with a 4.53 ERA and 5.22 xFIP this season and has been more effective in years past. Wood had a 23.6% strikeout rate with a 3.41 xFIP but a 5.10 ERA in 26 starts and 130.2 innings last season and a 26% strikeout rate with a 3.44 xFIP and 3.83 ERA in 26 starts and 138.2 innings in 2021. The lefty is talented on the mound, he has the acumen to get through this Nationals lineup even with their uptick in production in the split, but he is unreliable and does not typically work deep into games. Wood has not pitched in the sixth inning in the seven starts that he has made since May 26th. CJ Abrams is up to a 92 WRC+ with a .254/.302/.414 triple-slash and has improved to a 75 WRC+ against left-handed pitching over his last few games in the split. Abrams has made 101 plate appearances against southpaws this season, other members of the team have been better in the split but he is playable in the leadoff role and the Nationals have a 108 WRC+ against lefties collectively this season to support the idea of correlated scoring. Lane Thomas is easily Washington’s best player right now, he has 15 home runs and a 119 WRC+ with a .289/.337/.482 triple-slash and he has crushed lefties with a .269 ISO and a 179 WRC+ over 129 plate appearances in the split. Jeimer Candelario is exactly tied with Thomas with 15 home runs and a 119 WRC+ but the similarities end there, his overall triple-slash is worse and Candelario has just a 98 WRC+ in 114 plate appearances against lefties. The switch-hitter has three home runs with a .238/.325/.406 triple-slash and .168 ISO in the split. Joey Meneses has been good with his hit tool and has a bit of power, he has six home runs but just a .114 ISO and 93 WRC+, against lefties he has a 99 WRC+ with a .139 ISO. Keibert Ruiz has 11 home runs with a .393 slugging percentage but a .458 expected slugging percentage, the cheap catcher has power and he has created runs seven percent better than average against southpaws this season. Stone Garrett checks in with a 48.2% hard-hit rate in 185 overall plate appearances. He has six home runs with a .265/.326/.434 triple-slash and 105 WRC+ in a part-time role. Dominic SmithIldemaro Vargas, and Alex Call slot into the final three spots in the projected lineup. Call has a 118 WRC+ with a .165 ISO in 101 opportunities against southpaws, Smith has been awful in the split with a .026 ISO and 82 WRC+ in 126 chances against same-handed pitchers, and Vargas is at a .196 ISO and 103 WRC+ in a tiny sample of just 49 plate appearances against lefties this year.

Play: Giants bats/stacks, Nationals bats/stacks

Update Notes:

New York Mets (+102/4.72) @ Boston Red Sox (-111/4.89)

The Mets and Red Sox are both drawing good-not-great totals in Vegas for their Fenway Park showdown tonight. The Mets are pulling bigger marks in our home run model in a matchup against righty Kutter Crawford, who has given up a 3.66% home run rate on 8.6% barrels this year and was at 3.59% on 8.8% last year. Crawford is not bad, he has a 3.74 ERA and 4.14 xFIP with a 24.5% strikeout rate and just a 6.2% walk rate. The righty’s 12.8% swinging-strike rate is very good and his 27.1% CSW% is acceptable, for $5,500/$6,900 he is a valid dart throw but he does not project well in our model for this matchup. The projected lineup for New York opens with outfielder Brandon Nimmo who has 14 home runs with a 46.7% hard-hit rate on 9.9% barrels while getting on base at a .360 clip and creating runs 27% better than average. Nimmo is a great first click in stacks of Mets, he leads into productive Francisco Lindor, who is still discounted at shortstop despite 19 home runs and 14 stolen bases on the season. Lindor has an 11.8% barrel rate and 45.6% hard-hit rate, rumors of his demise are greatly exaggerated. Jeff McNeil is a cheap capable slap-hitter who needs some luck on his side and has to reach first base three times then get driven in to provide value. Hitting third ahead of several good power bats, McNeil is playable for $3,400/$2,500. Pete Alonso costs $5,000/$3,600 in a deep slump, he has 26 home runs on the season with a .269 ISO, a 13.8% barrel rate, and is carrying a 16.39 in our home run model today. Daniel VogelbachFrancisco Alvarez, and Brett Baty all offer pop from the 5-7 spots, Alvarez is easily the best option with his catcher eligibility and 19 home runs in 246 plate appearances. The fantastic rookie has a .283 ISO with a 13.3% barrel rate and 43.6% hard hits. DJ Stewart is a 29-year-old quad-A outfielder who will likely be filling in for injured Tommy Pham, Stewart clicked in 318 plate appearances with Baltimore in 2021, posting 12 home runs in the short sample, but has never been a lineup fixture at the MLB level. Luis Guillorme is primarily here for his defense.

Boston will be facing effectively wild Kodai Senga, who has a 30% strikeout rate but a 12% walk rate in his 17 starts and 95.2 innings. The righty has a 3.20 ERA and a 3.70 xFIP in his first MLB season, he has induced a 12.3% swinging-strike rate with a 29% CSW% and has limited home runs to 2.70% and barrels to just six percent. Senga is a playable piece at $9,600/$10,400, but Vegas has the Red Sox projected for nearly five runs and Senga is only landing in the lower-middle portion of the pitching board in this matchup. Jarren Duran is a good left-handed outfielder at the top of the lineup. Duran costs $4,000/$3,200 with a strong projection, he is slashing .312/.363/.506 with a .194 ISO and has created runs 33% better than average in his 270 opportunities in a good breakout season. Mastaka Yoshida has 11 home runs while slashing .317/.378/.503 with a 140 WRC+ in his first MLB season. The NPB veteran was expected to hit in the Show, but he has exceeded our expectations for production to this point and is always an option when stacking Red Sox. Yoshida has a fantastic 11.3% strikeout rate and puts the ball in play with hard-hitting regularity. Justin Turner is a veteran who has excelled at the plate throughout his long career. The right-handed hitter has a .289/.358/.478 triple slash with 15 home runs and has created runs 26% better than average this season, he costs just $4,500/$3,500 at first or third base. Rafael Devers takes up most of the third base shares for Red Sox stacks, the team’s star has 23 home runs with a .259 ISO, a 14.2% barrel rate, and 52% hard hits, he is an excellent left-handed hitter with an 11.06 in our home run model tonight for $5,000/$3,900. Alex Verdugo is another strong hitter with moderate power and good run-creation ability. Verdugo hits from the left side and has a strong .280/.352/.441 triple-slash with a 115 WRC+, seven home runs, and four stolen bases, he is a very good option for correlated scoring. Adam Duvall and Triston Casas offer significant upside for power, Duvall has seven home runs with a .266 ISO in 145 plate appearances and Casas lands at 12 homers and a .196 ISO so far this season. The first baseman has a 13.4% barrel rate and 45.5% hard-hits and has been drawing walks at a team-leading 13.9% clip, against a pitcher with a walk problem Casas looks like a solid option at the plate. Connor Wong and Yu Chang round out the projected lineup as capable mix-ins.

Play: Red Sox bats/stacks, Mets bats/stacks, minor shares of either pitcher are OK at low ownership

Update Notes:

Philadelphia Phillies (-115/4.15) @ Cleveland Guardians (+106/3.94)

The game between the Phillies and Guardians could be a good source of mid-range inexpensive pitching on this slate. Cleveland will have talented young righty Gavin Williams on the bump, he has a 19.2% strikeout rate with a 3.94 ERA and 4.80 xFIP in a small five-game 29.2-inning sample but is one of the more highly regarded prospect pitchers in the game. Williams has a blazing fastball and elite stuff and is expected to strike out hitters at a much higher rate once he is fully formed. The righty is cheap at $7,000/$8,500, he projects into the middle of the board about a half-point behind his opponent, lefty Ranger Suarez. The southpaw has been effective this season, he has a 3.84 ERA and 4.06 xFIP in 12 starts and 68 innings and has struck out 21.5% of opposing hitters with a 9.1% swinging-strike rate. Suarez is good at keeping the ball in the yard by cutting the legs out from opposing launch angles, the lefty has allowed a 2.43% home run rate on a 7.5-degree angle this season and was at 2.27% home runs and a 5.1-degree angle last year. Suarez costs $8,000/$8,800 and is in play for shares on both sites. Suarez and Williams land around the break-point for the mid-tier pitching options, they are both on the board as viable assets tonight and Vegas has this game at just an eight-run total.

The Phillies are the better of the two lineups, Kyle Schwarber has a 14.29 in the home run model with 26 long balls on the season and a .255 ISO. The outfielder is slashing just .188/.311/.443 on the season and strikes out 29.7% of the time, but he draws walks at a 14.3% clip and has created runs two percent better than average. Trea Turner has 10 home runs and 21 steals but a measly 84 WRC+ on the season, he is cheap at $3,100 on FanDuel but costs $5,500 on DraftKings. Nick Castellanos is still very cheap despite slashing .290/.333/.478 with 14 home runs and a 117 WRC+. Castellanos and Bryce Harper make a strong tandem in the heart of the batting order, Harper has a 119 WRC+ to lead the Philadelphia lineup, he has not hit for much power but has been otherwise good since his return. JT Realmuto is a top catcher with 11 home runs and 11 stolen bases to go with his 11.6% barrel rate and 40.6% hard hits. Bryson StottAlec Bohm, and Brandon Marsh are a strong trio of late-lineup hitters who are rarely popular and never expensive. The group has an average batting average of .288 and an average WRC+ of 108, Stott has eight home runs and 16 stolen bases, Bohm has nine and three, and Marsh has hit seven long balls and swiped six bags. Edmundo Sosa rounds out the lineup with the ability to hit an infrequent home run. On the Guardians side, disappointing leadoff man Steven Kwan is floating just below the waterline for run creation at 99 WRC+, he has 15 stolen bases and a return to form would benefit his team greatly. Amed Rosario has three home runs with a .098 ISO and 83 WRC+ from the second spot in the lineup, he is cheap if nothing else and there is believable talent in his track record. Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor have WRC+ marks of 128 and 134 as the team’s top two players. Ramirez has 14 home runs and Naylor has 15, Josh Bell joins them in the above-average pool at 103 WRC+ with 11 home runs on the season. Andres Gimenez has eight home runs and 15 stolen bases in 365 plate appearances but sits at 97 WRC+, he has come on somewhat in spots of late and is worth playing when rostering stacks of Guardians in a lousy situation. David FryMyles Straw, and Cam Gallagher round out the lineup.

Play: Ranger Suarez, Gavin Williams, minor shares of bats on either side

Update Notes:

Arizona Diamondbacks (+108/5.14) @ Cincinnati Reds (-117.5.48)

The highest run total of the day goes to the game in Cincinnati once again, with both the Diamondbacks and Reds carrying implied totals well over 5.0. Arizona will be facing righty Ben Lively who has a solid 22.7% strikeout rate with a 3.72 ERA and 4.22 xFIP over nine starts and 55.2 innings after being out of MLB the past few seasons and pitching overseas. Lively has allowed a 4.72% home run rate that caps his upside, his 8.6% barrel rate is not awful but there is plenty of power and the demonstrable ability to limit strikeouts in the lineup on the other side, the Diamondbacks bats look like the stronger option. At the same time, the Reds lineup is going to be facing Tommy Henry, a lefty who has allowed a 3.61% home run rate but just 32% hard hits while pitching to a 3.89 ERA but a 5.28 xFIP with just a 16.9% strikeout rate. Henry has walked nine percent and has just a 25.4% CSW% on the season, he has been targetable through most of the year with a few odd quality starts. Reds bats are the preferred side of the matchup in a game that has a strong focus on hitting.

The Diamondbacks lineup opens with Geraldo Perdomo who has a strong .381 on-base percentage over 294 plate appearances in which he has struck out just 15.6% of the time while walking at a 13.6% clip and creating runs 18% better than average. Perdomo is a strong option in the leadoff role if he can sustain that level of production over time, he had an awful rookie season in 2022 but has made up for it so far in 2023 while reclaiming his career potential. Ketel Marte has 15 home runs and a 128 WRC+ with a .210 ISO and a strong .282/.358/.491 triple-slash. Corbin Carroll has an 8.9% barrel rate and 41.9% hard-hit rate with 19 home runs and 29 stolen bases in a star-making season. Carroll costs $5,800/$4,000 in the outfield and is well worth the investment when stacking Diamondbacks. Christian Walker is a great power hitter who has 20 home runs and just a 17.6% strikeout rate this season, he fills the cleanup role ahead of hard-hitting Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Evan Longoria, who leads the team with a 13.3% barrel rate and 57.1% hard hits in his 167 opportunities. Gurriel has 15 home runs on the season with a 111 WRC+ and the veteran third baseman has 11 in his limited chances. Jake McCarthyGabriel Moreno, and Alek Thomas round out the projected lineup with three playable parts in that order. McCarthy is good for stolen base upside and correlated scoring, Moreno has been solid as an inexpensive catcher, and Thomas has moderate power and speed, though all three have been below average by WRC+ this season. The Reds side of the game features one of the more enjoyable teams in baseball and a ton of skill. The toolsy lineup opens with Elly De La Cruz and Matt McLain, two first-year sticks of dynamite in the infield for Cincinnati. De La Cruz has four home runs and 17 stolen bases in 165 opportunities with a 47.1% hard-hit rate but a 30.9% strikeout rate. McLain is our home run pick for the day at 10.85, but he will be one of the more popular players on the slate at $5,700/$3,800. De La Cruz has eligibility at third base or shortstop on both sites, McLain slots in at second base or shortstop, and projected third hitter Spencer Steer fits in either at third base or in the outfield on DraftKings and at first base or outfield on the blue site. Steer has been very good for the Reds in a nice step forward over 398 plate appearances. The right-handed hitter has 14 home runs and nine stolen bases with a 39.9% hard-hit rate and has created runs 17% better than average. Jonathan India is one of the team’s more experienced bats, he has been a good producer of double-digit home runs and stolen bases in seasons past and already has 14 home runs and 12 stolen bases in a strong 2023 over 428 opportunities. India is well worth his $4,800/$3,500 price tag at second base on both sites. Nick Senzel is hitting second in the lineup which was confirmed as this was being written, he slots in behind De La Cruz and ahead of McLain who slides to third in the lineup with Steer and India each also moving down one spot. Senzel costs just $3,500/$2,700 and continues the multi-position trend with eligibility at third base and outfield on DraftKings and outfield, third, and second base on FanDuel. Senzel is a former peak prospect who never landed at the MLB level due to injuries and inconsistency, he is slashing .235/.310/.377 with an 82 WRC+ from the right side this season. Joey Votto is hitting sixth in the confirmed lineup, behind India and ahead of the team’s third major rookie, Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Votto has eight home runs in 93 plate appearances with a massive .346 ISO and a 129 WRC+ in the tiny sample, he costs just $4,900/$3,500 at first base and has a 20% barrel rate and 44% hard hits. Encarnacion-Strand checks in at first base on DraftKings and third base on FanDuel, he costs just $3,000/$2,800 and has not stopped hitting after his call-up to the Show. The rookie has made 13 plate appearances, he has a home run with a .308/.308/.538 triple-slash and a .231 ISO in the microscopic sample but was producing an even higher triple-slash across the board and had 20 home runs in AAA this season. Encarnacion-Strand is a priority bat from later in the Reds lineup. Tyler Stephenson and exciting and underrated Will Benson round out the lineup as two very playable parts. Stephenson has seven home runs and an 87 WRC+ in 358 plate appearances as the team’s everyday catcher, his below-average run creation is a compromise for his fair price and positioning in what will be a popular stack. Benson has made 157 plate appearances and is slashing .289/.389/.526 with a .237 ISO and a 141 WRC+ and costs just $2,800/$2,900 in the outfield. The Reds demand shares today, their popularity is certain but they are in a good spot and they come at fair prices with a lot of mix-and-match potential given the variety of positions for premium players, an attribute that makes them highly stackable with other top options on this slate as well.

Play: bats/stacks on both sides as strong options with popularity

Update Notes:

Los Angeles Dodgers (+110/4.63) @ Texas Rangers (-119/4.98)

Los Angeles is drawing a 4.63-run implied total in Vegas with home run marks in our model that outpace that expectation in a matchup against flawed but talented lefty Andrew Heaney. Over 91.1 innings and 18 starts, Heaney has coughed up a 4.30% home run rate on a difficult-to-sustain 11% barrel rate with 90.6 mph of exit velocity on average. The southpaw has a sturdy 24.6% strikeout rate and has been better at sitting hitters down in previous seasons, but he is a Jekyll and Hyde starter on the mound and is highly unreliable for $7,200/$8,300. The Dodgers are a low-strikeout bunch, their projected batting order has a 22.6% strikeout rate with several of their key hitters below 20% and they are flashing power with five of the hitters in the lineup above the “magic number” in the home run model. Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman are two of those players with good home run potential tonight, they are very expensive at $6,300/$4,200 and $6,100/$4,300 but are always worthwhile when stacking Dodgers. Betts and Freeman are a pair of stars who set the tone for the Dodgers, they have WRC+ marks of 155 and 158. Catcher Will Smith is elite, he has a .289/.401/.496 triple-slash with 13 home runs and a 147 WRC+ and strikes out just 13.7% of the time. JD Martinez and Max Muncy both strike out aggressively, but they both offer massive power. Martinez has 23 home runs with a .302 ISO but a 30.8% strikeout rate while Muncy sits at 27.8% strikeouts with 22 home runs and a .265 ISO on the board. Chris Taylor adds a 34.7% strikeout rate to the mix but he is one of six players in the lineup with a double-digit barrel rate this season. Taylor has 12 home runs and a .253 ISO in just 196 plate appearances and fills third base or shortstop for $3,000 on DraftKings while adding outfield eligibility to that mix for $2,800 on FanDuel. Miguel RojasJonny Deluca, and James Outman round out the projected lineup against the lefty, Outman has good power from the left side but is on the wrong side of splits, he is playable in stacks in small doses.

The Rangers’ elite lineup is facing Tony Gonsolin, who is pitching to a 3.72 ERA and 5.02 xFIP with just an 18.9% strikeout rate. Gonsolin has a 24.2% CSW% with a 9.2% swinging-strike rate over 14 outings and 72.2 innings in 2023, he has allowed an 8.5% barrel rate and 2.99% home runs on the season, the Rangers bats are targetable in this matchup. Marcus Semien costs $5,800/$3,700 at second base, he has 13 home runs and nine stolen bases and is a strong option for correlation with a 119 WRC+ and a significant individual ceiling. Corey Seager has outpaced his double-play partner at the plate this season in fewer opportunities. The shortstop has 14 home runs and a 179 WRC+ with a .269 ISO in 294 plate appearances. Seager has a team-leading 19.7% barrel rate and 57.3% hard-hit rate on a hard-hitting team. Nathaniel Lowe has 10 home runs with a .280/.367/.435 triple-slash and has created runs 24% better than average this year. Lowe is a strong option in stacks of Rangers bats who helps offset the cost of his teammates at just $3,800/$3,000 at first base. Adolis Garcia and Josh Jung are power-hitting stars in the heart of the batting order, Garcia has 24 home runs with six stolen bases and has produced runs 29% better than average while Jung has hit 19 home runs with a .213 ISO and a 50% hard-hit rate in his breakout year. Jonah Heim is an All-Star catcher, he is slashing .287/.341/.494 with a .206 ISO and 14 home runs this year. Travis JankowskiEzequiel Duran, and Leody Taveras round out the lineup, Jankowski has displayed a strong hit tool with a .331/.424/.426 triple-slash with a 145 WRC+ and 14 stolen bases in 173 plate appearances. Duran and Taveras have starred at the bottom of the lineup all season, the two graduated prospects have 13 and 11 home runs respectively and have created runs 33% and 21% better than average almost exclusively from the bottom of the batting order. Texas plays from 1-9 in this form of the lineup and they have other highly playable options on the roster as well.

Play: Dodgers bats/stacks, Rangers bats/stacks

Update Notes:

Atlanta Braves (-112/4.64) @ Milwaukee Brewers (+103/4.46)

The Braves have a 4.64-run implied total in Vegas with slate-leading projections for fantasy points in our model once again. Atlanta’s roster is too productive, they create fantasy points in droves even in lower-end performances, and their home run hitting carries them to outrageous ceilings with regularity. The team is drawing just the 12th-highest home run mark on the board today however, the matchup against Freddy Peralta historically has been a tough one for home run hitting, but he has been coughing up long balls more frequently this season. Peralta has a 3.84% home run rate on 8.9% barrels, last year that was just 1.89% home runs and a 3.5% barrel rate and in 2021 it was 2.41% on six percent barrels. Peralta is a flyball-oriented pitcher, when he makes mistakes they can be loud and he has not been pitching to the peak of his ability this season despite a good 27.1% strikeout rate with a 13.2% swinging-strike rate. The righty has a 4.41 ERA and 4.07 xFIP with a 9.6% walk rate in 98 innings and 18 starts, he projects in the lower-middle portion of the pitching board but is not an overly appealing option in the deadly matchup. Atlanta’s lineup plays from 1-9 on most slates, tonight is projected to be the same. Ronald Acuna Jr. is an easy click in the first spot in a lineup, the superstar outfielder has 23 home runs and 44 stolen bases while creating runs 66% better than average and playing every day. Ozzie Albies is a top second baseman for $6,000/$3,900, he has 22 home runs and a 116 WRC+ this year. Austin Riley has been on the rise in recent weeks and is up to 20 home runs with a .210 ISO and a 113 WRC+. Riley’s ascendance puts four Braves hitters over the 20 home run threshold already for the year, Matt Olson has 32 to lead the team at first base and they will soon be joined by Sean Murphy who has 17, Marcell Ozuna who is sitting on 18, and Eddie Rosario who has hit 15 long balls. Orlando Arcia and Michael Harris II close out the lineup with nine home runs each, Arcia has a 111 WRC+ and Harris sits at 103 with 12 stolen bases in the books. The bottom four (Ozuna-Rosario-Arcia-Harris) for this club is cheap and easily playable, they are better than the top of many lineups around the league.

The Brewers’ top four rivals the production from that group at the bottom for Atlanta, they will be facing righty Michael Soroka, who checks in with a relatively low projection on the slate. Soroka has made four starts this season, two in late May and early June and three since June 30th. The righty has a 4.85 xFIP and 5.40 ERA and has not been good for strikeouts or much depth, two of his starts lasted six innings but the others were 3.2, 4.2, and 3.0. Across the top four of the lineup, Milwaukee has 41 home runs with Willy Adames leading the way at 16 for the season in the third spot in the batting order. Christian Yelich is the best overall player in the group, he has 14 home runs and 21 stolen bases with a 132 WRC+ and a .193 ISO while barreling the ball in 10.2% of his batted-ball events and posting a 53.8% hard-hit rate to lead the team. Yelich is a star outfielder for $4,900/$3,800. William Contreras has been productive at catcher, 10 of those home runs are his and he is projected to hit second behind Yelich, which supports his 118 WRC+ for the season. Adames has world-class power but little else at the plate, the fourth man in the projected lineup is Jesse Winker, who has hit only one of those home runs in a terrible season at the plate. The lefty outfielder has a 66 WRC+ over 188 opportunities and sits at just .196/.319/.247 for the year. Owen Miller costs $3,600/$2,500 and has triple-position eligibility on the blue site. Miller has five home runs and 12 stolen bases but an 88 WRC+ and middling overall numbers. The bottom of the lineup for Milwaukee is fairly weak with Raimel TapiaAndruw MonasterioBrice Turang, and Joey Wiemer, the last of whom is the most interesting name in the bunch. Wiemer has 12 home runs and 11 stolen bases but an 84 WRC+ in 320 opportunities. Monasterio has created runs 21% ahead of the curve in 86 plate appearances but has not produced much in terms of counting stats.

Play: Braves bats/stacks, Brewers bats/stacks as a lower-mid option with focus on the top few hitters

Update Notes:

Chicago White Sox (+136/3.66) @ Minnesota Twins (-148/4.43)

The White Sox are checked to just a 3.66-run implied total against Minnesota righty Joe Ryan, who is one of the top projected pitchers on the board today. Ryan has a premium 28.9% strikeout rate with a 3.77 ERA and 3.69 xFIP over 19 starts and 112.1 innings this year. The righty has a 1.03 WHIP with just a 4.6% walk rate and has allowed a six percent barrel rate but a few too many hard hits at 42.6% and a 3.74% home run rate. Despite a few mistakes leading to long balls, Ryan has been a highly productive option on the mound this season, he costs $10,600/$10,000 and looks like a bargain on the blue site. The White Sox are not a strong option at the plate in this matchup, Ryan offers a bit of potential for them to hit home runs, but he rarely implodes on the mound and Chicago may hit a solo home run but not score more than two or three, making them unappealing for DFS despite three hitters with marks above the “magic number” in our model. Luis Robert Jr.Eloy Jimenez, and Jake Burger are those three hitters, they land at 13.02, 10.48, and 10.53 in the home run model with totals of 28, 12, and 21 on the season. They are better as one-off options than full stacks tonight, but the appeal is very limited overall. Andrew Benintendi and Tim Anderson are only options if building stacks of White Sox, the outfielder has a 101 WRC+ and a reasonably effective triple-slash, but Anderson has been bad and has a WRC+ mark 48% below average. Yasmani Grandal is an inexpensive veteran catcher with a 94 WRC+ in 278 plate appearances this year, Gavin Sheets has a bit of pop from the left side but is maddeningly inconsistent, and the lineup closes with Oscar Colas and Zach Remillard, who have WRC+ marks of 35 and 116 in 119 and 83 plate appearances as mix-in options if going to numerous stacks of White Sox in a bad spot.

The Twins draw veteran Lance Lynn, who projects near the top of the pitching slate as well. Minnesota has been pushing major strikeout potential in the direction of opposing hitters this season and Lynn has more than enough ability to go get them tonight. The righty has a 27.7% strikeout rate on the season with 14% swinging strikes and a 27.2% CSW% that are all up from last year’s strong output. Lynn has pitched to an unsightly 6.06 ERA but has a perfectly good 3.84 xFIP, he has run into some issues with power and has a five percent home run rate in 19 starts and 108.1 innings this season that helps explain the run differentials. Lynn is very good for $7,600 on DraftKings where he should be an absurdly popular SP2 play and he is easily one of the slate’s top options at $9,200 on the blue site, home run downside or not. The projected Twins lineup does have power at the plate, Carlos Correa has 12 home runs and a .180 ISO with a 10.4% barrel rate to open the lineup, but he has struggled across the board compared to seasons past. Edouard Julien has been rolling of late, he is up to .316/.391/.566 with nine home runs and a .250 ISO with a 165 WRC+ to lead the team in 175 plate appearances. Byron Buxton is below the Mendoza line at .193/.281/.404 but he has 15 home runs and a .211 ISO. Alex Kirilloff has seven home runs and slashes .279/.370/.447 to lead the team in batting average, his 131 WRC+ in 227 opportunities is one of the better marks in Minnesota’s up-and-down lineup as well. Max Kepler has 14 homers in 255 plate appearances, Willi Castro has stolen 22 bases in 249 chances at the plate but sits seven percent below average for run creation and strikes out at a 26.1% clip, and Kyle Farmer adds sneaky power to the lineup. Farmer has six home runs in 218 opportunities this year, he hit 14 in 583 last season and 16 in 529 the year before and is rarely popular. Joey Gallo has power for days but strikes out at a 41.3% clip, and Ryan Jeffers closes the lineup on brand with a 29.2% strikeout rate but projectable power.

Play: Joe Ryan and Lance Lynn enthusiastically

Update Notes:

Pittsburgh Pirates (+160/3.48) @ Los Angeles Angels (-175/4.61)

The Pirates are in Los Angeles with a 3.48-run implied total against elite right-hander Shohei Ohtani who projects second overall on our pitching board. Ohtani has a fantastic 32.2% strikeout rate with a 10.6% walk rate that does not do him any favors. The superstar two-way man has pitched to a 3.50 ERA with a 3.53 xFIP, a 13.1% swinging-strike rate, and a 3.24% home run rate on 9.7% barrels. Ohtani has been mostly excellent this season but has hit a few bumps in the road at times, the home run mark, barrel rate, ERA, xFIP, and walk rate are all well up year over year, but he is a premium MLB DFS option against a low-end Pirates squad. The Pirates rank 20th in baseball with a 98 WRC+ against right-handed pitching, they have a .167 ISO and a 22.8% strikeout rate in the split, Ohtani has plenty of potential to breeze through this lineup several times while racking up a healthy strikeout total, he is well worth the investment tonight. Priority hitters in the projected Pirates lineup are the names at the top of the batting order plus a few interesting rookies who are yet to produce. Jack Suwinski leads off as the team’s best producer this season, he has 19 home runs with a 126 WRC+ in 313 opportunities. Bryan Reynolds and Andrew McCutchen are good outfielders but their production has only been moderate this season, they sit at 102 and 120 WRC+ with nine home runs and eight stolen bases for Reynolds and one more of each for McCutchen. Carlos Santana and Henry Davis have potential in the heart of the lineup on any given slate. Davis has a .275/.377/.385 triple-slash with a 115 WRC+ in his first 106 plate appearances in the Show, he is joined by fellow rookies Endy RodriguezJared TrioloNick Conzales, and Liover Peguero late in the lineup. Rodriguez and Pegeuero are the more interesting hitters in the group, they have all been below average in very small samples this year and are in a terrible spot for hitting with Ohtani on the mound.

Righty Johan Oviedo is very cheap at $5,700/$8,100, he has a 20.4% strikeout rate with a 4.53 ERA and 4.57 xFIP. Oviedo has not exactly been strong on the mound, but his 11.4% swinging-strike rate has appeal and he has checked power to just 2.32% home runs on 7.9% barrels in 107.1 innings and 19 starts this season. Oviedo was good at limiting home runs in 56 innings last year and 62.1 the year before, with 2.07% and 2.78% rates respectively. The righty is a limited option who projects in the lower-middle part of the pitching board, he does not have a significant ceiling but he is an option for extreme value on the DraftKings SP2 list. The Angels are a difficult stack when we do not get Ohtani at the plate and Mike Trout is still out of the lineup. There is talent in players like Zach NetoMickey Moniak, and Taylor Ward in three of the top four spots in the lineup, but when the team’s best run creator may take points from them as an inaccessible DFS option they drop in our esteem. The bottom of the lineup includes veteran power in Mike Moustakas and Hunter Renfroe, with Luis RengifoMatt Thaiss, and Trey Cabbage rounding things out. The Angels are not a priority stack.

Play: Shohei Ohtani aggressively

Update Notes:

Houston Astros (-234/4.61) @ Oakland Athletics (+211/2.99)

The Astros have a slate-leading pitcher on the mound against the lousy Athletics who land at just a 2.99-run implied total as major underdogs at home. Houston rides into town with a 4.61-run implied total against effective lefty JP Sears who has a fairly good projection of his own. Sears has a 3.99 ERA but a 4.91 xFIP on the season, he has allowed a 4.91% home run rate on 12.2% barrels but has a good 23.4% strikeout rate and a very sharp 5.4% walk rate with just a 1.02 WHIP while inducing 11.8% swinging-strikes. Sears costs just $6,700/$8,600 in this spot, he is not a premium option but he is unlikely to be overly popular on either site and makes for an interesting cheap tournament play. The Astros can be rostered against Sears in a both-sided situation, they are not a priority but they rank in an OK position on the stacks board. Mauricio Dubon continues to lead off in the absence of Jose Altuve, he has fallen to an 88 WRC+ over 330 plate appearances and is getting on base at just a .300 clip. Jeremy Pena is projected to hit second, he has an 85 WRC+ with 10 home runs and eight stolen bases while slashing .236/.290/.379 in a low-end season. Kyle Tucker has significant power and good stolen base upside from the third spot in the lineup, the lefty has 14 home runs and 17 stolen bases and has been the team’s best player with a 138 WRC+ in an everyday role. Alex Bregman slots into the cleanup spot, he is up to 14 home runs and a 110 WRC+ but has just a 5.3% barrel rate, 34.9% hard hits, and a .158 ISO overall. Jose Abreu has eight home runs and a 77 WRC+, Chas McCormick is a better option for $100 more on DraftKings, the outfielder has 12 home runs and is slashing .286/.372/.531 with a .245 ISO in 224 plate appearances. Corey JulksYainer Diaz, and Martin Maldonado close out the lineup in low-end form.

The Athletics are facing Framber Valdez, who has a 2.76 ERA and 2.90 xFIP with a 27.4% strikeout rate in 117.1 innings and 18 starts. Valdez is the top pitcher on our board against the second-lowest-scoring team in baseball against lefties. Oakland has a 72 WRC+ in the split, the only worse squad is Colorado at 68 and the team above Oakland is all the way at 86. The Athletics limited power will be checked by Valdez’ excellent ability to limit launch angles and home run power, he has allowed just a 1.91% home run rate this year, 1.33% last year, and 2.10% the year before. Valdez has allowed just 32 home runs since the start of the 2021 season, Lance Lynn has allowed 24 this year, Yusei Kikuchi has allowed 22, and JP Sears has allowed 21. Valdez is an utterly elite option on this slate, he costs $10,800/$11,200 and has a strong chance to run off and hide with his fantasy score. The Athletics are essentially unplayable for anything other than purely contrarian reasons. The lineup includes Nick Allen with a 31 WRC+ and .236 on-base percentage in the leadoff spot. Zack Gelof is a rookie with power potential but not much to show for 24 plate appearances so far, JJ Bleday has seven home runs and a 104 WRC+ from the left side, and Brent Rooker had an All-Star April. Jordan DiazAledmys DiazTyler SoderstromShea Langeliers, and Jonah Bride round out the projected Oakland lineup, Soderstrom is a rookie catcher and the most interesting name in that group, but he has made just 23 plate appearances in the Show and is in a terrible hitting situation tonight.

Play: Framber Valdez, JP Sears value, Astros bats/stacks as a mid-level option

Update Notes:

Toronto Blue Jays (+101/3.99) @ Seattle Mariners (-109/4.10)

The Blue Jays are facing talented rookie Bryce Miller who made a brief trip to the injured list prior to the All-Star break with a blister issue. Miller had an OK return to action over five innings with only three strikeouts but no runs allowed on five hits to 20 Tigers hitters. The young righty has potential on the mound, he is a highly regarded pitching prospect who fits the team’s theme of capable strike-throwers who limit walks. Over his first 12 starts in the Show, Miller has a 23.1% strikeout rate and just a 5.2% walk rate with a 0.97 WHIP and a 3.66 ERA with a 4.17 xFIP. Miller has allowed 41% hard hits and nine percent barrels but has limited home runs to just 2.39% on 90.9 mph of exit velocity and he has induced an 11% swinging-strike rate this season. For $9,100 on either site it seems like Miller may slip under the radar to a degree this evening, he projects into the middle of the pitching board with potential for success, but he is in a tough matchup against the Blue Jays. Toronto’s projected batting order includes George Springer, a star outfielder who has 13 home runs and a matching stolen base total with a 110 WRC+ in the leadoff spot for $5,000/$3,300. Springer is affordable for his ceiling on both sites and makes a good first man in for Blue Jays stacks. Bo BichetteBrandon Belt, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are three easy options for a straight-line stack off the top of the batting order. Bichette has been the team’s best player, the shortstop has a 135 WRC+ with 16 home runs. Belt has been a good run creator from the left side despite not hitting for a ton of power so far. Guerrero has mashed at the plate this season in terms of premium contact but his results have been slightly limited for him with just 15 home runs and a .179 ISO in 409 opportunities. His 13.8% barrel rate and 55.3% hard-hit rate tell us nothing is truly wrong. Matt Chapman and Whit Merrifield are talented capable veterans who do different things at the plate, Chapman has major power and Merrifield is a good hit-and-speed option for correlated scoring. Daulton VarshoDanny Jansen, and Kevin Kiermaier round out the lineup, Varsho and Jansen are playable for home run potential late in the lineup, Kiermaier is more of a mix-and-match option in the outfield.

As mentioned above in the Valdez section, Yusei Kikuchi has a home run problem, which is not a new situation. Kikuchi has allowed a whopping 5.34% home runs this year, he gave up 5.07% last year and was at 4.05% the season before. Since the start of the 2021 season, the lefty has given up 72 home runs, more than double the number that Valdez has allowed. Kikuchi is facing a hard-hitting but high-strikeout Mariners squad that could capitalize on his home run flaws but also play into his strikeout ability, making him a frustrating option to evaluate. Kikuchi has a 24.3% strikeout rate with a good 12.6% swinging-strike rate this season, he was at 27.3% with a 13.3% swinging the year before and 24.5% with a 12.5% in 2021, he has always been effective for whiffs but struggles to keep power in check and does not pitch overly deep into ballgames on the whole. In 98 innings and 19 starts this season, Kikuchi has a 4.13 ERA and 4.19 xFIP which are not out of line with previous production. For $7,700/$8,600, the lefty is in play on either site, he ranks in the exact middle of the board alongside his opponent and options including Ranger Suarez and Gavin Williams. Kikuchi is worth a few darts on any given slate, the Mariners have been feeding free strikeouts to opponents this season, but he is in no way a safe or comfortable option. Mariners bats are in play for the power potential, the team will be without Jarred Kelenic who went on the injured list, but they have good right-handed power bats to throw at the southpaw in Julio RodriguezEugenio SuarezTeoscar Hernandez, and AJ Pollock, none of whom costs more than $4,900 on DraftKings or $3,500 on the blue site, the prices at which we find Rodriguez. The second-year star has 13 home runs and 22 stolen bases with a 102 WRC+, he is a good option to drive in leadoff man JP Crawford on the right night, the shortstop and outfielder fit well together for a fair combined price atop the lineup. Suarez has 14 home runs, Hernandez has 16, and projected fifth-hitter Ty France has only seven with a disappointing .247/.318/.369 triple-slash and 99 WRC+. Tom Murphy has power behind the plate, his six home runs in 113 plate appearances and .265 ISO are a good fit for $2,400/$2,500. Dylan Moore and Jose Caballero round out the projected batting order, they are capable mix-in options with limited appeal overall.

Play: Bryce Miller, Yusei Kikuchi both as mid-level options, minor shares of bats/stacks on either side with a lean toward the Mariners over the Blue Jays to target Kikuchi’s home run hiccups.

Update Notes:

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