MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Overview & Live Show Link – Monday 7/17/23

Happy CES Day! No, we don’t mean the annual Consumer Electronics Show convention, we are far more excited for the debut of yet another premium prospect at the plate, Cincinnati’s Christian Encarnacion-Strand. The slugger has 20 AAA home runs already this season and is another major piece of the puzzle for Cincinnati’s emerging juggernaut. As if that was not enough, the Pirates are adding three high-end prospects to their team with the promotions of Liover Peguero, Endy Rodriguez, and top pitching prospect Quinn Priester, who will take the mound for them this evening. The loaded slate on both DraftKings and FanDuel is more hitting-oriented, but there are several good pitchers who may fly under the radar and a handful of premium names that will be highly popular on the mound.

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 – 7/17/23

Los Angeles Dodgers (+105/4.69) @ Baltimore Orioles (-114/4.92)

The first game on deck sees the return of righty Grayson Rodriguez for the Orioles in a brutal matchup against the Dodgers. The team did Rodriguez no favors in his return from AAA, but the highly regarded young starter has the talent to get through the Los Angeles lineup on the right night. For MLB DFS purposes the situation is not ideal, Rodriguez projects in the lower part of the board and costs $8,300/$7,700, which is misaligned to his performance in the Show thus far. Rodriguez pitched from April through May for the big club, making 10 starts and throwing 45.1 innings with an unsightly 7.35 ERA but a far better 3.90 xFIP. The righty allowed a problematic 12.7% barrel rate with 52.2% hard hits and 91.9 mph of exit velocity adding up to a 6.16% home run rate, he also walked 10% in a bad combination of factors that outweigh the good in his 26.5% strikeout rate with quite a bit of bad. Rodriguez is a good young pitcher in a terrible spot on this slate. The Dodgers’ star-laden lineup opens with all-world talents in Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, who check in with a 14.35 and a 9.45 in our home run model. Betts has 27 long balls with a .306 ISO and has created runs 62% better than average to lead this team, Freeman is right on his heels with a 153 WRC+ mark in another fantastic season. Will Smith has 13 homers and is slashing .270/.387/.480 with a .209 ISO, he strikes out just 14.3% of the time while walking at a 14.7% clip and creating runs 38% better than average as one of the best catchers in the sport. Max Muncy and JD Martinez are premium power bats with strikeouts that come along for the ride. Martinez has been the more reliable of the two overall and he has 23 home runs to Muncy’s 21, but both players are deserving of shares in stacks of Dodgers, and both land above the magic number for home run potential tonight. David PeraltaChris TaylorJames Outman, and Miguel Rojas make up the bottom of the projected batting order, Rojas is the only unappealing member of the group, the others have good lefty-righty-lefty power and reasonable upside for cheap prices.

The Dodgers have a right-handed rookie hurler of their own on the mound with Emmet Sheehan scheduled to make the fifth start of his career. Over four outings and 20.2 innings, Sheehan has a 19.5% strikeout rate with a 9.8% walk rate, a 4.35 ERA to a 5.38 xFIP, and a 3.66% home run rate on 10.3% barrels. The sample is very small, but Sheehan has been hittable in the Show to this point, making him a bit targetable with Orioles bats. The righty costs $7,600/$8,300, he is not bereft of upside and he projects in the lower-middle of the pitching board, but there are better overall options available with higher strikeout potential in better situations. Gunnar Henderson is in the leadoff spot for the projected Orioles lineup, he has 14 home runs and a 122 WRC+ with a .217 ISO and a 12.2% walk rate. Henderson is very good at getting on base and helping to drive the offense and he has an elite contact profile with 52.4% hard hits and an 11.4% barrel rate for just $4,700/$3,000 at third base or shortstop on both sites. Adley Rutschman is a sturdy catcher option who has created runs 24% better than average this season while blasting 12 home runs and striking out at just a 15.2%, early in his career Rutschman is looking a lot like the excellent backstop who stars for the opposing team. Anthony Santander slots in at $4,500/$3,300, he has 17 home runs to lead the team, his .228 ISO is also the highest mark in the Baltimore lineup, and the switch-hitter has created runs 33% better than average while playing basically every day. Ryan O’HearnAustin Hays, and Aaron Hicks are playable through the middle of the lineup. O’Hearn has a surprising seven home runs and good triple-slash in his 159 plate appearances, Hays is a good hitter who is putting up career numbers at .310/.350/.490 with nine home runs and a 131 WRC+ this season, and Hicks has been a huge surprise with quality since joining the team. Rookies Colton Cowser and Jordan Westburg are high-end options late in the lineup at cheap pricing, Cowser is a $2,900 outfielder on both sites and Westburg slots in at second or third base for $3,200 on DraftKings and shortstop or third base for $3,100 on FanDuel. Adam Frazier rounds out the lineup with playable inexpensive veteran quality and multi-position eligibility.

Play: Dodgers bats/stacks, Orioles bats/stacks, minor shares of Emmet Sheehan value or Grayson Rodriguez darts

Update Notes:

Cleveland Guardians (-125/4.78) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (+115/4.33)

The Guardians have a low-end underperforming lineup, which makes them a good opponent for a rookie’s debut start. Righty Quinn Priester is a bit of a puzzle in his transition to the Show, he may end up as a better real-life than fantasy pitcher and will need to improve his fastball to have a real shot at doing damage in the Show. Priester has an utterly elite plus-plus curveball with a very good changeup but his fastball sits in just the mid-90s. The righty is an excellent strike thrower with reasonable walk rates, he has a 22.4% strikeout rate and a 9.3% walk rate that is a bit higher in AAA this season than the numbers he posted in his ascent to this level. Priester costs $7,000/$6,800, he projects into the lower-middle of the board but it would not be surprising to see the rookie post a reasonably impactful start against this team. Cleveland’s lineup is good at avoiding strikeouts and bad at everything else, though there have been minor signs of life from some players recently. Steven Kwan hit his third home run of the season but is still getting on at a low for him.341 clip with a 98 WRC+ and has not been effective enough in setting the table for Amed Rosario, who has not been good at clearing it anyway. Rosario has two home runs and nine stolen bases with an 80 WRC+ this season. Jose Ramirez has 14 homers and 10 stolen bases with a 127 WRC+ that leads the low-end team. Josh Naylor is the only other player above league-average by WRC+ at 126, he has 12 home runs and joins Ramirez in the heart of the lineup as the only two good current-year bats. Josh Bell and Andres Gimenez were expected to do far more at the plate this season, they have a combined 16 home runs and both are in the mid-90s by WRC+. Will BrennanMyles Straw, and Bo Naylor are not strong options late in the lineup, Naylor is the most playable with moderate power at the catcher position where it is required.

The Pirates will be facing intergalactic ambassador Xzavion Curry to start the contest before he gives way to a true bullpen game. Curry has worked exclusively as a reliever this season, throwing 47.1 innings with a 3.04 ERA but an ugly 4.93 xFIP and just a 16.4% strikeout rate. The righty came up as a starter but is he is not stretched out and just pitched in relief over the weekend, no more than two innings should be expected, at $8,900/$5,700 Curry is not an option. The Pirates lineup is bolstered by the arrival of rookies Liover Peguero and Endy Rodriguez, who will join recently promoted Henry Davis in moving the franchise into the future. While they are not as exciting as the prospects that have come up for the Reds, Pegeuero and Rodriguez are both expected to hit at the MLB level. Peguero had 13 home runs across AA and AAA this season and Rodriguez has six home runs and four stolen bases with a .268/.356/.415 triple-slash and a terrific combination of a 14.9% strikeout rate and an 11.4% walk rate. Both rookies are likely to hit a bit down the lineup but they are easily playable when stacking Pirates hitters in a fairly good spot. Jack Suwinski has 19 home runs and seven stolen bases as the team’s best player this season, he has created runs 28% better than average and has major power with a .270 ISO. Bryan Reynolds has not been a star this season, he is slashing just .264/.333/.442 with a .178 ISO, nine home runs, and eight stolen bases, though he has managed to create runs nine percent better than average. Carlos Santana and Ji-man Choi can provide unreliable power in the middle of the order for cheap prices ahead of the slated fifth hitter, Davis, who has a .280/.372/.402 triple-slash. Jared Triolo and Nick Gonzales bring up the bottom of the lineup for Pittsburgh.

Play: Quinn Priester value in small portions, minor shares of bats on either side

Update Notes:

San Francisco Giants (-144/5.23) @ Cincinnati Reds (+133/4.38)

The Giants are carrying the day’s highest implied run total at 5.23 in a matchup against limited lefty Brandon Williamson who does not look like a good option on the mound for $6,000/$6,400. Williamson has a 5.21 ERA and 5.07 xFIP with a 19% strikeout rate through 46.2 innings and 10 starts this season. The southpaw has a targetable four percent home run rate on 44.4% hard hits and 11.3% barrels to this point this season, he has not been effective at the Major League level, posting a 25.4% CSW% and an inflated 9.5% walk rate that gets him into trouble too frequently. San Francisco bats are the better side of this coin, Austin Slater should leadoff with the lefty on the mound, he has three home runs and a .333/.411/.476 triple-slash in 95 plate appearances this season and went 7/12 with a 124 WRC+ on a .366 on-base percentage in 325 opportunities last year. Slater is a good table-setter ahead of Wilmer FloresMichael Conforto, and JD Davis who offer strong righty-lefty-righty power through the middle of the projected batting order. Flores has eight home runs in 214 plate appearances and has created runs 17% better than average in his injury-limited season, Conforto leads the lineup with 13 long balls, and Davis has 11 with a 116 WRC+ that is second-best on the team. Patrick Bailey is having a strong campaign as an option at catcher from the middle of the lineup, Luis Matos is a hit-and-speed oriented option ahead of another lefty slugger in Mike Yastrzemski, who has a 7.88 in our home run model despite starting the game in a same-handed matchup. Casey Schmitt and Brandon Crawford close out the projected lineup in low-end form but they are both playable in an abundance of stacks of Giants hitters.

The Reds look like a more exciting fun selection on tonight’s slate but they may not be a wise choice in a matchup against quality right-hander Logan Webb, who is adept at keeping the ball in the yard and limiting opposing offenses. Webb has a 3.14 ERA and a sparkling 2.92 xFIP over 126 innings in 19 starts this season. He has allowed just a 2.59% home run rate thanks to a 2.7-degree average launch angle allowed, a trait he has sustained over the past few seasons. Webb is striking out more hitters this year in a nice step back toward his 2021 form, he has a 25.3% strikeout rate, up from 20.7% last season but still a bit shy of the 26.5% he posted in the 2021 season. The righty has talent on the mound, rarely gets himself in trouble with free passes, and projects fairly well in this matchup despite the terrible ballpark conditions that strongly favor hitting. The Reds have a fun dynamic lineup that only gets better with the addition of Encarnacion-Strand, but that does not make Webb any more targetable, and the Reds are carrying just a 4.38-run implied total in Vegas. Cincinnati’s lineup is projected to open with TJ Friedl, who contributes moderate power and good stolen base upside while creating runs 15% better than average so far this season. Matt McLain fits into either middle infield spot for a fair price given his talent, his $5,400/$3,900 is not out of line with the 129 WRC+ that he has produced in 247 plate appearances since his promotion. Jake Fraley has been hitting third recently, with the team looking to capitalize on his left-handed power, he has a dozen home runs and 16 stolen bases in a nice breakout season. Elly De La Cruz checks in at .297/.333/.478 with a .181 ISO and 111 WRC+, with four home runs and stolen 16 bases. Jonathan IndiaJoey Votto, and Spencer Steer have all produced well in their opportunities this season, the trio is highly playable from 5-7 in the lineup and they should be joined by Christian Encarnacion-Strand in the eighth spot. The standout rookie leads the team in our home run model in his debut, but his 4.12 mark is nothing to get excited over in a matchup against a pitcher who does not yield many long balls. The rookie was slashing .331/.405/.637 with 20 home runs, a .306 ISO, and a 153 WRC+ in 316 AAA plate appearances prior to his promotion last night. Luke Maile closes the lineup as a mix-in at best.

Play: Giants bats/stacks, Logan Webb, Reds bats/stacks in smaller portions

Update Notes:

Miami Marlins (-102/4.02) @ St. Louis Cardinals (-106/4.06)

Soft-tossing righty Miles Mikolas is fairly good at working clean innings and finding his way to bonuses when his team manages to score runs, but he is not a lights-out type starter as evidenced by a 16.3% strikeout rate this season. Mikolas has made 20 starts and thrown 115.2 innings with a 4.12 ERA but a 4.62 xFIP and just a 6.7% swinging-strike rate this season. He does not tend to get himself into trouble, his 4.9% walk rate is very good and he has limited barrels to just 7.3% with a 2.03% home run rate. Mikolas is a better real-world pitcher than a fantasy asset, but he is playable at $7,500/$8,200 and projects in the top-half of the board in a good matchup against the Marlins. Miami’s lineup is top-heavy in the first two positions, with Luis Arraez hitting .380 and getting on base at a .431 clip ahead of Jorge Soler who has 24 home runs and a .273 ISO with all the power necessary to get out to quick 2-0 leads. Bryan De La Cruz, Jesus Sanchez, and Garret Cooper are playable bats with a touch of power upside for fair prices, they have 10, nine, and 12 home runs respectively while sitting at 101, 117, and 104 WRC+. Jean Segura has a 58 WRC+ in 286 plate appearances over which the veteran is slashing .221/.284/.279 with a .057 ISO and two home runs, he has been bad all season. Joey WendleNick Fortes, and Dane Myers close out the projected lineup in low-end form, if Mikolas can work through the top five hitters three times he should more than pay off his salary for MLB DFS purposes tonight.

The Cardinals stack up against Jesus Luzardo which is pushing them to a low run total on the board in Vegas. Luzardo is one of the Marlins’ prized possessions on the mound, the lefty has a dynamite 29.1% strikeout rate with a 3.29 ERA and 3.45 xFIP over 109.1 innings in 19 starts this season. Luzardo has induced a 14.4% swinging-strike rate with a 30.8% CSW% that puts him among the best in the game, his 10.6% barrel rate is a bit of a concern, but he has allowed just a 2.71% home run rate on the season. The lefty will have to avoid trouble around St. Louis’ right-handed stars Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, but much of the Cardinals’ current quality comes from the left side, which helps the starter somewhat. Righty Jordan Walker is projected to climb into the leadoff role, he is slashing .274/.335/.442 with a 116 WRC+ and eight home runs in a strong first 215 plate appearances. Walker will be ahead of the two stars, who have combined for 36 home runs and carry WRC+ marks of 135 and 127 on the season. Goldschmidt costs $5,600/$3,900 and Arenado $5,300/$3,800, they are must-haves in stacks of Cardinals in this matchup. Willson Contreras has had a rocky season but checks in with a run creation mark 14% above average and 11 home runs. Paul DeJong has a dozen home runs as a power-packed right-handed shortstop who climbs in the lineup against the lefty. Dylan CarlsonLars NootbaarJose Fermin, and Brendan Donovan round out the lineup as more mix-and-match pieces. Carlson has a 103 WRC+, Nootbaar is at 111 and Donovan has been good at 124 but dips in quality in same-handed matchups. Any of the group is playable in conjunction with the top of the lineup if one is building numerous stacks of Cardinals bats in a bad spot.

Play: Jesus Luzardo, Miles Mikolas

Update Notes:

Washington Nationals (+134/4.14) @ Chicago Cubs (-145/4.96)

The Nationals and Cubs will face off at Wrigley Field with a slight wind at the pitcher’s backs and the Cubs favored with a 4.96-run implied total to Washington’s 4.14. The Nationals will be facing lefty Drew Smyly who has a 19.5% strikeout rate with a 4.31 ERA and 4.92 xFIP for the season. Smyly has allowed a 3.70% home run rate on 6.9% barrels in his 18 starts and 94 innings this season, his contact profile has not been bad but the results have not been great, he is a league-average pitcher on a good day. For $7,700/$8,000, Smyly projects well enough to be on the board against the lousy Nationals, but Washington has been demonstrably better against left-handed pitching this season. The Nationals are not a priority stack, but they have succeeded in this split all year and are a potentially OK value option at the plate. CJ Abrams is miscast as a leadoff hitter overall, and particularly so when there is a lefty on the mound. Lane Thomas has been very good this season and terrific against lefties, he has 14 home runs on the season, half of which came in the split against southpaws, his 125 WRC+ leads the team overall and he costs $4,800/$3,500 as the most expensive Nationals hitter on either site. Jeimer Candelario has been productive at the plate this season but most of his quality and power has come against righties, Joey MenesesKeibert Ruiz, and Stone Garrett may be better options at the plate. The run of capable right-handed bats has shown acumen for hitting and power against lefties this season, they are all on the board at fair prices with Ruiz landing at a particularly interesting $3,400/$2,600 as a good value catcher option on the DraftKings slate. Dominic SmithIldemaro Vargas, and Alex Call are not a compelling way to end the argument for rostering Nationals hitters.

The Cubs will be facing MacKenzie Gore who has not been close to the same starter he was over the first month or so of the season. Gore has compiled a 4.42 ERA and 3.75 xFIP with a 27.8% strikeout rate while allowing 47.1% hard hits and 11.3% barrels with a 3.61% home run rate this season, he has been targetable on the mound in many of his 18 starts and his good numbers have been in decline since early May. Gore costs $7,900/$9,200, there is a bit of potential for strikeouts if he finds his form, the projected Chicago batting order has a collective 25% strikeout rate, but the Cubs’ active roster has a collective 112 WRC+ against lefties, 11th-best in baseball, and a .175 ISO in the split. Between the two, we will side with the Cubs bats in the matchup, but Gore is priced appropriately for those who are looking for darts to throw from the mid-board level of projections, he and Smyly are not far apart in the pitching pool. Nico Hoerner is projected to return to the leadoff role, he has a .270/.322/.377 triple-slash and needs to get on base more often to capitalize on the speed that has racked up 21 stolen bases to this point in the season. Seiya Suzuki slots in second, he has a 49.5% hard-hit rate but just seven home runs and a .140 ISO on the season. Suzuki has a 99 WRC+ in 311 plate appearances but sits at 109 in his 84 opportunities against southpaws. Ian Happ has a 97 WRC+ and .075 ISO against lefties this season, he has disappointed overall with just seven home runs on the board in 389 plate appearances. Cody Bellinger has 12 home runs and 11 stolen bases with a .301/.358/.524 triple-slash and .223 ISO overall, his 191 WRC+ and .329 ISO in 82 plate appearances against lefties lead the team by a wide margin this season. Bellinger is an excellent buy at $4,300/$3,800 with eligibility at first base or in the outfield on the blue site. Yan Gomes has eight home runs in 206 plate appearances as a cheap catcher, Trey Mancini has right-handed pop for cheap salaries late in the lineup, and Christopher Morel has any-given-slate appeal with his power potential. Morel has 15 home runs in 211 plate appearances, though they came in a hurry and he has cooled since the ridiculous outburst. Miguel Amaya is a mix-in as a second catcher and Patrick Wisdom is another flawed power hitter who has 15 home runs but is slashing .192/.281/.465 in 225 opportunities.

Play: Cubs bats/stacks, Nationals bats/stacks for value in small doses

Update Notes:

Tampa Bay Rays (-121/4.74) @ Texas Rangers (+112/4.36)

A matchup between division leaders pits the Rays against the Rangers in Texas in a fascinating series that could preview a big playoff showdown. Tampa Bay checks in as the favorites with a 4.74-run implied team total against righty Dane Dunning, who has a limited 15.9% strikeout rate with a sparkling 2.84 ERA but a more honest 4.58 xFIP on the season. Dunning has induced an eight percent swinging strike rate with a 26.6% CSW% on the season but he has been good at limiting free passes with just a 6.5% walk rate and checks power with a 1.62% home run rate on 7.1% barrels. Dunning attempts to cut launch angle and keep the ball on the ground, he was better at it in years past, posting a 5.4-degree launch angle over 153.1 innings last year and a 6.8 mark the year before, this year he has allowed an average of 10.1 degrees but that has still not amounted to many home runs, something that may keep the Rays a bit in line this evening. Tampa Bay has Yandy Diaz back in the top spot in the projected batting order. Diaz is slashing .323/.408/.515 with a 164 WRC+ as the primary catalyst for the Rays’ excellent offense. Wander Franco and Randy Arozarena are the team’s two major stars, they bookend Luke Raley with quality in the projected lineup. Franco and Arozarena have created runs 23% and 44% better than average so far this season and Raley lands at 60% ahead of the curve. Franco has 11 home runs and 28 stolen bases, Raley has blasted 15 long balls and swiped 10 bags, and Arozarena sits at 16/10. Brandon Lowe has nine home runs with a .194 ISO and 103 WRC+ in an injury-marred season, he hit 39 home runs two years ago and is a major source of power at keystone. Isaac Paredes, Josh Lowe, and Jose Siri are all in the midst of big breakouts, the have combined for 47 home runs and 27 stolen bases, though Lowe has 19 of the steals on his own. All three are good options at fair prices for their talent, they are not exactly cheap, but they are affordable and Paredes offers triple-position eligibility on the blue site. Christian Bethancourt is no longer the only player whose entire name does not fit into the FantasyLabs lineup page now that Encarnacion-Strand has joined the league. Bethancourt has seven home runs and a 78 WRC+ but is a playable cheap catcher in a great lineup when called upon.

The Rangers have rolled through much of the season, they have an ultra-talented lineup that plays from 1-9 on most slates. The team will be facing dynamite lefty Shane McClanahan in this matchup, however, a showdown that has a bit of a limiting impact both on the pitcher and the hitters in our projections for the day. McClanahan still ranks as one of the leading options on the pitching board, but the matchup is not at all favorable for the premium lefty and other starters slip ahead of him in our projections for better prices. McClanahan has a 26% strikeout rate with a 2.53 ERA but a 3.89 xFIP this season. The lefty has a fantastic 15.5% swinging-strike rate and a 31.4% CSW% both of which are among the best in the game and both of which he needs to help offset his 9.8% walk rate. McClanahan has allowed a bit of premium contact, his 10% barrel rate and 40% hard hits have amounted to just a 2.83% home run rate but there is the idea of more power against the wrong team, which could be the case in tonight’s contest. Marcus Semien has 12 home runs and a .170 ISO with a 116 WRC+ at a very high price at second base to open the Rangers’ projected lineup. Corey Seager has superstar upside at shortstop, he has 13 home runs and has created runs 84% better than average while slashing .355/.418/.625 with a .270 ISO as possibly the best option at his position. Josh Jung is projected to climb to third with Nathaniel Lowe dropping to fifth in the same-handed matchup, a quality configuration that slips Jung’s major right-handed power into a better situation. The third baseman has been a star in his breakout season, he has 19 home runs and a 124 WRC+ in 388 plate appearances. Adolis Garcia has a 49.4% hard-hit rate and 16.6% barrel rate with 24 home runs and six stolen bases, his 134 WRC+ is second to only Seager in this lineup. Lowe is a good price offset, he costs just $4,000/$3,400 at first base and has a 125 WRC+ on the season. Mitch GarverRobbie GrossmanEzequiel Duran, and Leody Taveras round out the lineup as strong mix-in options. Garver is a power-hitting catcher, Grossman has a bit of pop but a more limited bat than his teammates, and the duo of Duran and Taveras have been outrageously good in the bottom two spots in the lineup all season. Duran has 12 home runs and a 132 WRC+ while slashing .300/.33/.514 and Taveras slots in with 10 homers, nine stolen bases, a .291/.337/.467 triple-slash and a 121 WRC+.

Play: Rays bats/stacks, Shane McClanahan as a mid-level option, Rangers bats/stacks in smaller shares

Update Notes:

Detroit Tigers (-129/5.08) @ Kansas City Royals (+119/4.52)

It takes a lousy pitcher to push the terrible Tigers to a total of 5.08 implied runs on the board in Vegas but veteran righty Jordan Lyles more than fits that bill. Lyles has a 6.42 ERA and 5.37 xFIP with a lousy 4.84% home run rate on 10.5% barrels and has struck out just 16.7% of opposing hitters with a 23.7% CSW% this season. The righty is not an option at $5,600/$7,500, even against the Tigers at value pricing there is not a lot of upside and he carries a very low ceiling. Detroit’s projected lineup improved with the returns of lefties Riley Greene and Kerry Carpenter, who have quality hit tools and decent power at the plate. They are two of the key targets in what could end up a popular Tigers stack tonight. With a robust run total and decent projections at very low salaries, it seems natural that Detroit would pick up momentum as the publicly favored value stack of the day. Zach McKinstry leads off from the left side, he has six homers and 12 stolen bases in 294 plate appearances but just a 95 WRC+ on the season. McKinstry slots in at two position on DraftKings and three on FanDuel, he is a good option to start a stack. Greene lands at a 130 WRC+ coming into action, he is second on the team behind Carpenter for run creation and is slashing .299/.367/.448 in 245 opportunities. Spencer Torkleson hits between Greene and Carpenter, he has 12 home runs and a 95 WRC+ with a very good 12.2% barrel rate and 48.8% hard hits and costs merely $3,700/$2,900 at first base. Carpenter has 11 home runs despite making just 178 plate appearances after missing a lot of time with injuries, his 136 WRC+ in the small sample leads Detroit and his 13.4% barrel rate is a premium piece of stacking Tigers hitters on this slate. Javier Baez has been lousy all season, he has a 57 WRC+ with six home runs in 367 plate appearances. Akil Baddoo is a moderately productive lefty with counting stat upside, Miguel Cabrera has an 89 WRC+ with a .078 ISO in 190 plate appearances, and Nick Maton closes out the lineup with Jake Rogers as mix-in options. Maton has seven home runs but a 69 WRC+ in 246 chances and Rogers has 11 long balls with a .241 ISO in just 190 opportunities.

The Royals got to our preferred starter in yesterday’s contest and they are on the board against righty Matt Manning given a 4.52-run implied total in this contest. Manning was the main component in a combined no-hitter in his last start, he will be hard-pressed to repeat that trick tonight, even against the low-end high-strikeout Royals. Manning has a 3.72 ERA but a 5.84 xFIP on the season, his 16.9% strikeout rate and 3.39% home run rate on 91.3 mph of exit velocity and 45.2% hard hits with a 9.5% barrel rate are very targetable on most slates. The Royals will be less popular than their opponents but their opportunity to provide value is not much thinner, there are playable parts to the lousy lineup despite a league-worst 81 WRC+ against righties. Michael Massey is projected to leadoff, the lefty second baseman costs $2,500/$2,200 and has four home runs with a 54 WRC+ on the season, he is not a good example of what we are looking for in stacks. Bobby Witt Jr. leads the team with a 6.02 in our home run model, he has 16 on the season with 27 stolen bases and a 104 WRC+ that is finally above the waterline, Witt is a good first click in a stack of Royals. Sal Perez is out of the projected lineup with a day-to-day injury, MJ Melendez slots in third with seven home runs in the books and just a 74 WRC+ with a .135 ISO but a 52.1% hard-hit rate and 11.6% barrel rate that should remain the focus. Melendez makes much better contact than his results would suggest, a situation that should normalize over time. Maikel GarciaKyle IsbelFreddy FerminDrew WatersNick Pratto, and Nicky Lopez are an uninspiring bottom two-thirds of the lineup. Garcia has a 92 WRC+ despite an OK triple-slash, Isbel sits at 56 and has not done anything at the plate this season, Fermin is a part-time catcher with a 98 WRC+ and four home runs in 114 tries, Waters is a cheap outfielder with a 91 WRC+, Pratto has pop on the left side but strikes out at a 37.5% clip, and Lopez has yet to barrel a ball in 170 plate appearances.

Play: Tigers bats/stacks but less so if they get crushingly popular as a highly-projected value play, Royals bats/stacks in limited does with a focus on the top-end.

Update Notes:

New York Yankees (+117/4.31) @ Los Angeles Angels (-126/4.79)

Angels right-handed starter Griffin Canning draws the Yankees in a home start in which he is favored at -126 with his team drawing a 4.79-run implied total against his scuffling opponent on the mound. Canning has a 22.9% strikeout rate with a 4.62 ERA and a better 4.11 xFIP in 14 starts and 74 innings. The righty is not a high-end starter but he is a roughly league-average pitcher with a bit of a ceiling created by a good 12.3% swinging-strike rate. He has had issues with home runs in his time in the Show, however, Canning has allowed a 4.84% home run rate on 91.4 mph of exit velocity on average, 46.5% hard hits, and a 9.4% barrel rate. The righty seems like he will play into the Yankees’ homer-or-bust approach at the plate, but if he avoids the long ball, or limits them to just one home run, he could have a decent outing with a higher-than-expected strikeout total. Canning costs $8,200/$8,800, which prices him out of any idea of value and makes him just an uncomfortable dart throw on the mound on both sites. The projected Yankees lineup opens with Gleyber Torres, our home run pick for the day at 10.92 in the power index. Torres has had an inconsistent season but he has plenty of power at second base and has 13 long balls so far this year. He is followed by right-handed masher Giancarlo Stanton who has 11 homers in 177 plate appearances and has been gradually coming to life and finding his timing after a long stint on the injured list. Stanton leads the team with a 14.83 in our home run model, landing him third overall on the day for potential home run upside. Anthony Rizzo remains inexpensive at $4,200/$2,900 at first base, he has 11 home runs and a 110 WRC+ on the season. DJ LeMahieuHarrison Bader, and Billy McKinney have potential to create runs or hit for power at the plate tonight. LeMahieu has been lousy this season and has just an 82 WRC+ with a .138 ISO and seven home runs, Bader has the same home run total but in half the plate appearances, his 92 WRC+ is not ideal but he has upside for power and speed, and McKinney has a .215 ISO with four home runs in 84 opportunities. Anthony Volpe has a 45.7% hard-hit rate with a 9.1% barrel rate this season, his 13 home runs and 16 stolen bases are good but he has gotten on base at just a .282 clip this season. With Josh Donaldson on the injured list again, the Yankees will have either Oswaldo Cabrera or Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the lineup, both are low-end infrequent contributors. Kyle Higashioka has a robust 49.5% hard-hit rate and 12.4% barrel rate with five home runs in 155 plate appearances as a cheap quality catcher. The Yankees are a playable but flawed lineup in this game.

The matchup against Luis Severino is difficult to parse on this slate, the righty has struggled badly and brings up the bottom of the board in our pitching projections today. Severino has a 7.38 ERA and 5.21 xFIP with just a 17.8% strikeout rate and a 9.1% walk rate this year. The righty has allowed a 5.29% home run rate on 48% hard hits and 11.3% barrels in his 42.2 innings and nine starts, there is very little to believe in with Severino at the moment, even if he works five decent innings he is unlikely to be given the leash to pitch deep into this game. For $6,900/$7,000 a few darts can be thrown at the righty’s track record of quality performances and strikeouts, but he has not been near that form in 2023. Angels bats are in play even without Mike Trout, superstar Shohei Ohtani has a 16.06 that sits second overall on the day in our home run model, he is projected to hit second for $6,600/$4,500 and has 34 home runs with a 179 WRC+ on the season. Zach Neto is projected to lead off ahead of Ohtani in an excellent spot for correlated scoring for the rookie with the highly regarded hit tool. Mickey Moniak is another rookie making an impact for Los Angeles, the former first-overall pick has 10 home runs and a .306 ISO with a 169 WRC+ in his 151 opportunities and adds a stout left-handed bat to the mix for the heavily right-handed Angels. Taylor Ward slots in at cleanup but could hit anywhere in the lineup, the roller coaster outfielder has 10 homers and a 99 WRC+ and comes cheap at $3,900/$2,900. Mike Moustakas has eight home runs in 190 plate appearances, his .188 ISO is not great but he has a 104 WRC+ and the idea of left-handed power with a 44% hard-hit rate and 9.5% barrels for just $2,500 on either site. Moustakas is not a priority, but he is easily playable when stacking Angels. Matt Thaiss has sneaky pop as a cheap catcher, Hunter Renfroe is a good candidate to hit higher in the lineup given his 75 home runs over the past 2.5 seasons, and Eduardo Escobar joins Luis Rengifo as playable power bats in the infield from the bottom of the batting order.

Play: Angels bats/stacks, Yankees bats/stacks

Update Notes:

Minnesota Twins (+123/3.54) @ Seattle Mariners (-133/4.04)

Mariners righty Logan Gilbert is one of our top pitchers on the day for just $9,800/$9,900. Gilbert sits at the top of the pitching pool alongside Jesus Luzardo as different options to the rest of the available pitching slate, he gains upside in a matchup against the high-strikeout Twins lineup and has been very good thorough most of his 18 starts this season. Gilbert has a 24.8% strikeout rate with a fantastic 4.4% walk rate and a 3.66 ERA that nearly matches his 3.69 xFIP in 108.1 innings. The righty works fairly deep into games and has the ability to pitch his way to bonuses on both sites, he has been fairly good at keeping power in check with a 3.04% home run rate but his 9.3% barrel mark could be a tad lower. Overall, Gilbert is a very good and fairly “safe” (this is a highly relative term when talking baseball) option on the mound tonight, his pricing is probably a bit low for the opportunity and he should be a justifiably popular play that can be deployed aggressively in the matchup. Minnesota’s projected batting order has a 28.7% strikeout rate collectively, there are major power hitters on board but very few good options for sequencing or run creation. Carlos Correa has 11 home runs but a .232/.307/.408 triple-slash and a 22.8% strikeout rate with a 98 WRC+. Edouard Julien has a very aggressive approach as a rookie, he has hit seven home runs and has a .234 ISO with a 142 WRC+ in 157 opportunities but also strikes out at a 32.5% rate. Byron Buxton is a star who has been better in seasons past, he has 15 home runs and a .218 ISO but just a 94 WRC+ with a 30.9% strikeout rate that should push upside toward Gilbert. Then things get ugly. Alex Kirilloff has five home runs in 208 opportunities and strikes out at a 24.5% clip, Donovan Solano has four homers and a 127 WRC+ with a 21.7% strikeout rate but just a .141 ISO, and Max Kepler has good but inconsistent power from the left side with 12 home runs but a .209/.280/.400 triple-slash and an 88 WRC+. Ryan Jeffers has a 28.4% strikeout rate that looks quite good next to Joey Gallo’s 40.6% mark. Gallo has 16 home runs to Jeffers’ four so far this season however and the slugging outfielder walks at a 14.2% clip to save some of his upside, between the two Gallo is the better play but both should feed free strikeouts to Gilbert on the right night. Michael A. Taylor is another inconsistent contributor, his 11 home runs and 11 stolen bases were largely unowned for MLB DFS purposes, he can kick in value from time to time but is only playable in an abundance of Twins stacks.

The Mariners draw Sonny Gray at $9,600 on either site. Gray has a 24.1% strikeout rate with a 2.89 ERA but a 3.77 xFIP over 99.2 innings in 18 starts. The veteran righty has been effective this season overall, he has an 11.4% swinging-strike rate but a 9.3% walk rate, he has gained significant ground by allowing just three home runs all year for a 0.72% home run rate. Gray will also benefit from his opponent’s aggressive approach at the plate, he projects well on the back of a 26% strikeout rate collectively for the projected Mariners’ lineup. Seattle is better than the Twins on most nights and they are favored at -133 but their 4.04-run implied total is not high and they are not a great option for stacking against a good veteran starter. JP Crawford leads off, his skills suggest he is a good option in the role with a .364 on-base percentage and 124 WRC+ that should help him provide correlated scoring with Julio Rodriguez and Teoscar Hernandez, two of the team’s big power bats. Rodriguez has 13 home runs and 22 stolen bases with a 104 WRC+ that has come together nicely after a slow start, Hernandez has a 101 WRC+ with 15 home runs but strikes out at a 32% pace. Jarred Kelenic seemed to have fully arrived early in the season but now he sits at just 11 home runs after 350 plate appearances, his 112 WRC+ is good but his 32.6% strikeout rate is not, his .248/.320/.443 triple-slash is somewhat uninspiring but his 49.5% hard-hit rate and 10.9% barrel rate inspire faith in more power to come. Eugenio SuarezCal Raleigh, and Mike Ford strike out at rates of 28.8%, 25.2%, and 30.6% this season but they all possess power at the plate. Suarez and Raleigh have 11 and 12 home runs in full seasons while Ford has nine in just 98 plate appearances. Ty France is projected to his between Raleigh and Ford, his hit tool could play well in this spot but he has underperformed expectations and sits at just a 102 WRC+ with a .254/.323/.378 triple-slash and .124 ISO. Kolten Wong has been an afterthought with a 35 WRC+ over 189 plate appearances but he did go 15/17 last year and 14/12 the year before.

Play: Logan Gilbert, Sonny Gray

Update Notes:

Boston Red Sox (-157/4.78) @ Oakland Athletics (+132/3.92)

The final game of the day sees Boston check into the Bay Area as heavy favorites against righty Paul Blackburn and his Oakland Athletics. Blackburn is not a bad pitcher, he has a 4.86 ERA but a 4.19 xFIP in 37 innings and seven starts this season. The righty has struck out 24.1% and walked 7.6% with a 10.1% swinging-strike rate and 27.1% CSW% and he has kept barrels to just 6.2% and home runs to 2.35% on 32.7% hard hits and 87.9 mph of exit velocity. Blackburn posted similar numbers with a lower 19.1% strikeout rate in 21 starts and 111.1 innings in 2022, he is more likely to lose this game while allowing between three and five runs than he is to completely implode on the mound and push the Red Sox to slate winning scores. Boston’s lineup is the preferred side of the coin, but it is not as stark a situation as some may expect. Jarren Duran leads off the projected batting order, he has a 45.9% hard-hit rate with five home runs and a .197 ISO while slashing .318/.368/.515 and creating runs 37% better than average in a strong step forward this season. Mastaka Yoshida slots in second, he has a .317/.381/.502 triple-slash with a 140 WRC+ that leads the team. Veteran Justin Turner is another very good hitter atop the lineup, he sits at .291/.362/.474 with a 127 WRC+, the three hitters can create runs individually and as a unit, or they can set the table for the mighty Rafael Devers and Adam Duvall in the heart of the lineup. Devers has a team-leading 23 home runs, Duvall has hit just seven but he has made only 136 plate appearances. Alex Verdugo also has seven home runs and he adds a highly effective hit tool with a .286/.356/.449 triple-slash and 118 WRC+ in the middle of the batting order, assuming he does not move up. Triston Casas is primed for a big second half as a lefty power bat for cheap prices at first base, he joins capable catcher Connor Wong and utility infielder Yu Chang in the final third of the playable Boston lineup.

The Athletics remain one of baseball’s low-end lineups, they have a collective 95 WRC+ against right-handed pitching to rank 21st in baseball this season, their .155 ISO in the split is non-threatening and they have struck out at a 25% clip that is the fourth-worst in baseball against righties behind the Twins, Royals, and Mariners. There is major strikeout potential for three of the four starters in the final two games of the night given the teams in play, only Blackburn does not pull a major ceiling off of his opponent’s flaws. Oakland is facing Nick Pivetta who has a 27.1% strikeout rate in eight starts and 69 innings, including some work as a bulk reliever. Pivetta has a 4.83 ERA and 4.32 xFIP and has allowed a 4.01% home run rate with 45.9% hard hits and a 13.1% barrel rate, so it is not all good news for the righty, but the upside against Oakland is fairly significant and Pivetta projects among the slate leaders for just $7,300/$7,000 in this matchup. In his most recent outing, Pivetta worked five innings of bulk relief against this same Athletics lineup, he struck out eight of 20 hitters while allowing a home run with two earned runs on four total hits, a similar appearance would not surprise but expectations that he will be limited are somewhat unfounded given the depth of the outing in relief and a traditional start, Pivetta has potential for six sneaky innings at cheap pricing. Oakland bats include Tony Kemp, who is not a good leadoff hitter with a .287 on-base percentage and 69 WRC+ on the season, Ryan Noda who should slide to the top spot given his .374 on-base mark and 18% walk rate, though his 33.8% strikeout rate is a major flaw, and JJ Bleday who has a .213/.327/.360 triple-slash with a 99 WRC+ in 196 opportunities. Seth Brown has nine home runs but sits below the Mendoza line and strikes out at a 30.3% clip. Rookie Cody Thomas has done nothing in his 11 chances so far, he made 32 plate appearances of similar quality in the Show last year but slots in as a minimum-price option in the outfield. Tyler Soderstrom is the team’s recently promoted top prospect, the catcher has made 12 plate appearances and costs just $2,600/$2,500 with good minor league numbers. Fellow prospect Zack Gelof checks in with a team-leading 9.14 in our home run model for $2,700 at third base on FanDuel and second base on DraftKings. Jace Peterson and Nick Allen close out a low-end lineup in thematic form. The priority bats in an Oakland stack would be Noda, Brown, Soderstrom, and Gelof but they are a lousy option against a decent pitcher.

Play: Red Sox bats/stacks, Nick Pivetta value

Update Notes:

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