MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Overview & Live Show Link – Saturday 7/15/23

The Saturday slate takes a slightly different shape from site to site with both DraftKings and FanDuel getting underway at 7:05 ET. The 12-game DraftKings slate includes the second games of double-headers in the Padres @ Phillies and Rays @ Royals matchups while FanDuel is opting for a 10-game slate that leaves those two games on the table. The slates on both sites include a wealth of quality pitching matchups with a few premium aces and quality options on a broad spectrum of prices. The slate does not have the same giant plateau of quality that we saw yesterday, but there are easily 10-12 playable starters on the slate. The board also includes another game with the popular Yankees at Coors Field and a few spots that could be explosive for power and MLB DFS point creation. The large slate and a late start time have us in weekend “notes’ mode for this slate.

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

Join us at 4:15ET for a quick 45-minute rundown on today’s slate on YouTube

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 – 7/15/23

Miami Marlins (+107/4.17) @ Baltimore Orioles (-115/4.41)

  • Kyle Gibson is a reasonable value option on both sites ($6,000/$8,800), he projects in the middle of the pitching board in a good matchup against a Marlins roster that ranks 21st with a 93 WRC+ against righties. Miami has a collective .132 ISO and 20.6% strikeout rate, Gibson will need to be on form given his 19.3% strikeout rate for the year, but he has a decent shot at clean innings and bonuses in the matchup. Gibson has a 4.60 ERA with a 4.40 xFIP in 109.2 innings this season.
  • The Marlins lineup is top-heavy with Luis Arraez and Jorge Soler leading the way. In an ideal universe for Miami, Arraez reaches first base and Soler drives him in for a 2-0 lead to start every game. Arraez is down to a .380 batting average but his elite hit tool and on-base skills keep him hyper-relevant for scoring, Soler has 24 home runs and a .279 ISO this season, both players are underpriced. Bryan De La Cruz and Jesus Sanchez follow the dynamic duo (not that one) with quality, De La Cruz ($4,000/$2,900) is slashing .279/.327/.424 with 10 home runs, Sanchez has nine homers in just 203 plate appearances and is cheap at $2,900/$2,700. Garrett Cooper has 12 homers and a .180 ISO in 285 plate appearances, he is the stop point in most Marlins builds, the bottom of the projected lineup is comprised of Jean Segura, Joey Wendle, Nick Fortes, and Dane Myers.
  • Lefty Braxton Garrett is in play on the other side of the game at $8,600/$9,400. Garrett has hit a few bumps in the road and has had numerous games where he came out of the contest frustratingly early but he is a strong strikeout option on most slates and he is in the midst of an overall good season. Garrett has a 26.7% strikeout rate with a 3.70 ERA and 3.01 xFIP in 92.1 innings and 17 starts and has walked only four percent of opposing hitters. He has allowed a bit of premium contact but has maintained a 3.17% home run rate via a 7.8-degree average launch angle, when he makes a mistake the ball can travel given a 46.3% hard-hit rate and 91.2 mph of exit velocity. Garrett needs to keep the ball down and work his way through six innings, if he does those two things the MLB DFS points will follow.
  • The Orioles are in play as well, Garrett is not invulnerable on the mound and the team is projected to have masher Ryan Mountcastle back in the lineup after an extended injury absence. Mountcastle is Baltimore’s best power hitter, he has 11 home runs in 263 plate appearances this year and should hit in the middle of the batting order if he plays. Austin Hays is slated to lead off against the lefty with Adley RutschmanAnthony Santander, and Mountcastle following. Hays has nine homers and a 135 WRC+ in 314 plate appearances while slashing .313/.354/.498, his outstanding season has been under-discussed. Rutschman is one of the best catcher options in the game, Santander has power from both sides, Mountcastle mashes from the right side, and Ramon Urias is projected to follow him with a bit of cheap power of his own. If Gunnar Henderson plays and does not lead off he is likely to hit around sixth in the lineup, he would be in play under the assumption that an Orioles stack delivering would chase Garrett early. Aaron HicksJames McCannJordan Westburg, and Jorge Mateo round out the projected lineup.

Play: four playable corners, Kyle Gibson value, Braxton Garrett, Orioles bats/stacks, Marlins bats/stacks in that order

Update Notes:

San Diego Padres (+115/5.05) @ Philadelphia Phillies (-124/5.56)

  • This game is only on the DraftKings slate
  • Taijuan Walker is a $9,300 option with a 21.4% strikeout rate and a 4.02 ERA but a 4.35 xFIP tonight, he projects in the lower-middle section of the pitching board and seems like a stretch on a deep slate when facing the Padres. Walker is the picture of a league-average pitcher, which means he does put up 8-10 pretty good starts each year, but he is too expensive to qualify as a value play in a not-great matchup against the Padres.
  • San Diego’s lineup is projected to take its typically top-heavy form. Fernando Tatis Jr. has a 13.45 to lead the team in our home run model, he has 17 on the season with a .243 ISO and 138 WRC+ in 330 plate appearances. Juan Soto is too cheap at $5,700/$3,700, he has a 12.8% barrel rate and 58.3% hard-hit rate with 16 home runs and has created runs 50% better than average. Manny Machado has mostly scuffled through the season but his numbers are starting to normalize, the star third baseman is up to .261/.309/.465 with a .204 ISO, 16 home runs, and a 111 WRC+ but he remains cheap at $5,200/$3,500. Xander Bogaerts has 10 home runs and has created runs six percent better than average, everyone after him in the lineup until Trent Grisham in the ninth spot has been below average for run creation this season. The projected version of the lineup includes Jake Cronenworth, Rougned OdorMatt Carpenter, and Austin Nola who have combined for 17 home runs and have an average WRC+ of 73. The Padres rank fifth on our projections board and seventh for home run potential tonight.
  • Lefty Ryan Weathers was recalled from AAA to make this start, he will head back to AAA the moment he comes out of the game. Weathers is not an option at $5,100, he has a 15.5% strikeout rate with a 6.08 ERA and 5.17 xFIP while allowing a 4.02% home run rate in 40 innings and nine starts this season.
  • Kyle Schwarber has a massive 18.94 in our home run model to lead the entire day. Schwarber has 22 home runs and a .240 ISO with a limited triple-slash. Trea Turner is up to 10 home runs and 19 stolen bases in 400 plate appearances, his numbers have not fully normalized and he sits at just 81 WRC+ but he has a significant ceiling on any given slate and seems like a great bet for a strong second half. Nick Castellanos is still just $4,300 on DraftKings for some reason, he has 13 home runs and is slashing .300/.342/.491 with a .191 ISO and 123 WRC+ and has been Philadelphia’s best hitter all season. Bryce Harper has three home runs and five stolen bases with a 113 WRC+ since his return, Alec Bohm is having a productive season with nine home runs, a good triple-slash, and a WRC+ that sits six percent above average, and Brandon Marsh is a strong play from the bottom of the lineup despite Weathers starting the game as a lefty. Bryson Stott is in the projected lineup against the non-threatening southpaw as well, and the bottom spots are occupied by Edmundo Sosa and Garrett Stubbs.

Play: Phillies bats/stacks, Padres bats/stacks

Update Notes:

San Francisco Giants (-164/4.83) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (+150/3.78)

  • This game is offering good value pitching in different tiers on both sides. Johan Oviedo takes the mound for the Pirates, he has a 19.4% strikeout rate over 100.1 innings in 18 starts this season. Oviedo has a 4.75 ERA and 4.63 xFIP which are not great, but he has not been bad at keeping the ball in the yard with just a 2.23% home run rate on 7.9% barrels and a 9.7-degree average launch angle. The righty has an 11.1% swinging-strike rate and is projected to the upper-middle of the board against the Giants.
  • San Francisco ranks 12th in our points projections but the lineup looks like a fair value play on both DraftKings and FanDuel. The Giants are a team of good players without a star, they check in at easy-to-reach salaries with no one in the projected lineup above $4,600 on DraftKings or $3,000 on FanDuel. LaMonte Wade Jr. has nine home runs and a .404 on-base percentage with a 136 WRC+ to set the table ahead of lefty slugger Joc Pederson, righty JD Davis, and a pair of power-hitting lefty outfielders Michael Conforto and Mike Yastrzemski. Pederson has eight home runs and a .193 ISO in 207 chances, Davis has 11 long balls in 326 tries, and the lefties combine for 23 in 538 combined plate appearances. The group is good but not great. Patrick BaileyBlake SabolBrandon Crawford, and Brett Wisely are playable from the bottom of the lineup with Bailey and Sabol both eligible at catcher with good power potential.
  • The Pirates will be facing veteran righty Alex Cobb, who sits among our slate leaders by MLB DFS points projections. Cobb has a 22.5% strikeout rate with a 2.91 ERA and 3.22 xFIP this season, he has walked only 5.5% and is excellent at keeping the ball on the ground by inducing grounders and cutting average launch angles. Cobb has yielded just a 1.57% home run rate on a 1.3-degree average launch angle and 6.6% barrels this year, numbers that align well with the past two seasons. At $8,000/$9,100, Cobb is a strong option on both sites against a Pirates lineup that ranks 24th with a 90 WRC+ against right-handed pitching and carries a collective 23.2% strikeout rate in the split.
  • Pittsburgh ranks 20th by fantasy point projections and 24th out of 24 by home run potential tonight, they are not a high-priority stack for anything other than low ownership. Jack Suwinski has been the Pirates’ best hitter, he has 19 home runs and a .275 ISO while creating runs 32% better than average. Bryan Reynolds has nine homers and eight stolen bases while creating runs 10% better than average but he has not been a star this season. Henry Davis is cheap at $2,600/$2,700, he is the team’s prized rookie prospect and has been OK so far at the MLB level with one home run, two stolen bases, and a 40% hard-hit rate. Davis has been four percent below average for run creation ahead of a group of lower-end options including Carlos SantanaJi-Man ChoiJared TrioloTucupita MarcanoNick Gonzales, and Austin Hedges.

Play: Alex Cobb, Johan Oviedo, Giants value bats

Update Notes:

Minnesota Twins (-222/4.87) @ Oakland Athletics (+201/3.24)

  • The Twins rank 8th by fantasy point projections and home run potential on our stacks board and they look like one of the top value teams of the day, but they will most likely be popular in a matchup against lefty Hogan Harris. At $6,000/$7,200 the southpaw is not a good option, he has a 6.07 ERA with a 5.38 xFIP and a 1.40 WHIP in four starts and 43 innings this season. Harris has an 18.7% strikeout rate with a 10.2% walk rate and has yielded 90.5 mph of exit velocity and a 43.5% hard-hit rate.
  • Minnesota’s projected lineup opens with Carlos Correa who has 11 home runs and a 95 WRC+ but just a .228/.301/.404 triple-slash in a disappointing 346 plate appearances. Donovan Solano has a sturdy hit tool and is slashing .286/.382/.432 with four home runs and a 132 WRC+ in 254 plate appearances. Byron Buxton is a star who is also underperforming this year, he has 15 home runs and a .224 ISO but just a 99 WRC+ while slashing .205/.295/.430. Kyle Farmer is better than most expect, the multi-position infielder is cheap on both sites, he hit 14 home runs last season and 16 the year before but has just four this year with a .117 ISO and 87 WRC+. Willi Castro checks in with 19 stolen bases and five home runs at a cheap salary, but his 93 WRC+ and .119 ISO are unimpressive. Ryan Jeffers has power as a catcher, Alex Kirilloff is a decent lefty bat with a bit of upside for power, and the lineup closes with Michael A. Taylor and Max Kepler, who should hit higher than ninth. Kepler has 12 home runs in 230 plate appearances with a .199 ISO and has been a reliable power hitter when healthy for several years.
  • Oakland’s low-end lineup is heading into a buzzsaw named Pablo Lopez in tonight’s matchup. Lopez is one of the top options on both sites at $10,200/$10,900 in this spot, he has been excellent this season and is facing an Athletics roster that has a 94 WRC+ collectively against right-handed pitching. Oakland’s collective .152 ISO in the split is middling at best and their 24.9% strikeout rate against righties is helping the projection for Lopez. The righty has a 30.5% strikeout rate with a terrific 14.6% swinging-strike rate and 30.5% CSW% this season. He has pitched to a 3.89 ERA and 3.44 xFIP while walking just 6.6% and allowing a 2.65% home run rate on 35.5% hard hits, 7.2% barrels, and 87.4 mph of exit velocity. Lopez has taken a big deliberate step forward this season, but he has been a good pitcher over time and is wholly trustworthy for his price in this matchup.
  • Ryan Noda has nine home runs and a .378 on-base percentage and creates runs 28% better than average but strikes out at a 33.2% clip, JJ Bleday has five home runs with a .152 ISO and 99 WRC+ in 187 plate appearances from the left side, and Brent Rooker has 16 home runs in 307 plate appearances, most of which came before May 1st. Seth Brown hit 25 home runs and stole 11 bases last year but has not been as good at the plate this year. He has eight homers in 178 opportunities but is slashing a mere .198/.270/.377 with a .179 ISO and 83 WRC+. Rookies Tyler Soderstrom and Zack Gelof are two of Oakland’s top prospects, Gelof has an 8.75 in our home run model and costs $2,700/$2,500 with eligibility at second and third base on DraftKings but just at the keystone on FanDuel. Soderstrom is a cheap catcher option ahead of a bottom third that includes Jace PetersonShea Langeliers, and Nick Allen in the projected form. Oakland ranks 21st by projections but 8th in our power index and they sit in the middle of the pack for points-per-dollar value.

Play: Pablo Lopez aggressively, Twins bats/stacks as a strong option for points and value, minor shares of Athletics value

Update Notes:

Milwaukee Brewers (+109/4.64) @ Cincinnati Reds (-118/4.97)

  • Lefty Andrew Abbott finally started to look good in our pitching model immediately before slamming headlong into the wall that we had been calling for all along in his last outing. After pitching well beyond what most expected metrics were allowing for in his first six starts, Abbott lasted just 4.1 innings and yielded six runs on nine hits including two home runs while walking one and striking out six Brewers in his only clunky start so far. The lefty still has a 2.38 ERA but his 4.36 xFIP remains the more honest number. Abbott has struck out 28.9% of opposing hitters but has walked 8.4% and has allowed an unsustainable 11.5% barrel rate with 90.9 mph of exit velocity and 43.3% hard hits on a 26.1-degree average launch angle. That he has allowed just a 3.61% home run rate seems like a bit of luck, particularly in games in his band box of a home stadium where tonight’s contest takes place. Abbott is expensive at $9,500/$10,000, he projects in the middle of the board one spot above Braxton Garrett who is a relative bargain on both sites.
  • The Brewers are tied for 8th best by projections with strong value marks on both sites. Milwaukee’s middling lineup opens with Christian Yelich who has 11 home runs and 21 stolen bases while creating runs 25% better than average. William Contreras is a sturdy bat behind the plate, he has a 47.3% hard-hit rate with nine home runs while creating runs 14% better than average. Willy Adames has 16 home runs with four stolen bases with a .204 ISO and a 14.1% barrel rate but has created runs nine percent below average this season. Owen Miller has a 97 WRC+ but a productive triple-slash, he is miscast as a cleanup hitter but the Brewers are short on options. Andruw MonasterioBrian Anderson, Tyrone TaylorVictor Caratini, and Joey Wiemer round out the lineup as playable mix-and-match pieces. Wiemer has been the best in the bunch with 12 homers and 11 stolen bases in 306 plate appearances from the bottom of the lineup but he sits at just an 89 WRC+ and has an unreliable .214/.297/.399 triple-slash.
  • Cincinnati disappointed badly in getting smoked by Corbin Burnes in his outstanding return to form last night, they will look to rally against talented righty Freddy Peralta who checks in at $9,000/$9,300. Peralta has a 27% strikeout rate in 92 innings and 17 starts this season but he has allowed an uncharacteristic 4.04% home run rate on a 9.3% barrel rate both of which are way up from last year’s 1.89% and 3.5% marks. The righty has a 4.70 ERA and 4.09 xFIP which are also far worse than he has been in the past two seasons. Despite a run of quality leading into the break, Peralta does not project well in our model in a game in this ballpark, he is in play but only as a low-priority in a game in which we favor the Reds bats once again.
  • TJ Friedl has 16 stolen bases with a .378 on-base percentage and a 121 WRC+ setting the table ahead of a strong lineup that includes standout rookie Matt McLainJake Fraley, and Elly De La Cruz in the next three spots. McLain has seven home runs and seven stolen bases with a .296/.364/.505 triple slash and a .208 ISO with a 12% barrel rate in his first 239 plate appearances in the Show, Fraley has taken a big step forward with 11 home runs and 16 stolen bases with a .192 ISO and 119 WRC+ in 265 chances as a lefty power bat, and De La Cruz is a burgeoning superstar who is already one of the most exciting players in baseball. The infielder fits in at third base or shortstop for $6,200/$4,500, he is slashing .315/.353/.508 with a 124 WRC+, four home runs, and 16 stolen bases in just 139 plate appearances. Jonathan India dropped in the lineup from his usual third spot in last night’s game in an effort to boost Fraley’s lefty power, in either spot India is a great second base option for $4,900/$3,500, he has 13 home runs and 12 stolen bases. Joey Votto has seven homers in 70 plate appearances since returning to the lineup, he has a team-leading 5.41 in our home run model. Spencer Steer is another highly playable option having a strong year at the plate, he is the better click ahead of Tyler Stephenson and Will Benson, but they have both been viable options this year as well.

Play: four corners are viable, Reds bats/stacks, Brewers value bats/stacks, Andrew Abbott, Freddy Peralta would be our ranking

Update Notes:

Tampa Bay Rays (-208/5.70) @ Kansas City Royals (+189/3.92)

  • This game is also only on the DraftKings slate
  • The Rays are carrying one of the highest implied totals of the day at 5.70 against Cole Ragans, a lefty reliever making his first start of the season after throwing 24.1 lousy innings out of the bullpen while with Texas. Ragans has a 22.6% strikeout rate and 5.92 ERA with a 4.93 xFIP in the Show this season and did not stand out in four starts in AAA with the Royals organization. He has a 13.2% walk rate with a 43.3% hard-hit rate and was similarly lousy through nine starts and 40 innings last year. Ragans is not an option but he is targetable with Rays bats in a big way.
  • Tampa Bay’s excellent lineup will probably be popular on DraftKings where they have strong value pricing. The Rays are projected to open with Wander Franco who has a 124 WRC+ with 11 home runs and 28 stolen bases as a strong shortstop option. Harold Ramirez is cheap in the outfield ahead of Randy Arozarena who is expensive but a worthwhile star, and Isaac Paredes who is cheap for a player with 16 home runs in 305 plate appearances. Manuel MargotJose SiriBrandon LoweChristian Bethancourt, and Taylor Walls are all easily playable in mix-and-match form, Siri and Lowe are our favorite options in that mix. Siri leads the team with a 10.70 in our home run model, he has 16 in 208 opportunities this year. Lowe may not start with the lefty opening the game, but Ragans is unlikely to see more than a few innings so Lowe will have upside against righties out of the bullpen.
  • Righty Cooper Criswell costs $7,500 in his first start of the season, a salary that pushes him mostly out of the value range. Criswell is slated to act either as a true starter or a bulk reliever so he will see a few innings and he does have a 23.2% strikeout rate at the Major League level in 21 relief innings this year, but he probably does not have the ceiling necessary to win a tournament even as an SP2. The high-strikeout Royals are a worthwhile target if we hear reports of expectations of five innings however, the Royals have pushed strong performances in the direction of similarly middling pitchers.
  • Kansas City ranks 17th in our projections as a team stack, they are not a priority on this slate. Maikel Garcia is one percent better than average for run creation, he will lead off ahead of Bobby Witt Jr. who is a star in everything but on-base skills and run creation. Witt is up to a 99 WRC+ and has 14 home runs with 27 stolen bases, he should be a bigger star on the field than he has been to this point but he is a good player at a cheap price. Sal Perez has major power at the catcher position, he has 15 home runs for $4,400/$2,800 tonight. Kyle IsbelMJ Melendez, and Nick Pratto are a trio of flawed lefties who all hit the ball hard to mixed results. None of the three has more than six home runs despite a healthy number of plate appearances, they are cheap but low-end on this slate. Drew WatersMichael Massey, and Nicky Lopez round out the lousy lineup.

Play: Rays bats/stacks aggressively

Update Notes:

Los Angeles Dodgers (+105/4.19) @ New York Mets (-113/4.39)

  • Kodai Senga has been effective for strikeouts and a bit up and down for runs in his first MLB season. The righty has a 29.5% strikeout rate with a 3.31 ERA and 3.77 xFIP in 16 mostly good starts and 89.2 innings. Senga walks far too many at 12.3% and does not pitch efficiently, his splitter is a waste pitch that eats dirt with no swing in too many instances but it is a highly effective pitch at the same time, Senga is a pitcher with which we have to take the bad with the good, but he is in a brutal matchup against the Dodgers and does not seem like a great idea despite a fairly good projection at high prices. If Senga were $1,000 less expensive on both sites he would be a more interesting option, the Dodgers are a patient low-strikeout bunch through the top of the lineup and they have fantastic power and run creation upside.
  • Los Angeles’ lineup is projected to open as usual with Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman as the glimmering gold on top of the treasure chest. Betts has 26 home runs while creating runs 57% better than average, Freeman is at the same pace for run creation while slashing .320/.398/.557 with 17 home runs and 12 stolen bases at first base. Will Smith is one of baseball’s best catchers, he has 13 home runs with a .210 ISO and 140 WRC+, Max Muncy costs just $4,600/$3,800 with a 12.57 in our home run model. Muncy joins Betts, Smith, and JD Martinez as the players above the “magic number” in the home run model tonight, Freeman sits at 9.13 and falls just short while remaining an outstanding option for DFS purposes. David PeraltaJason Heyward, and James Outman are a trio of stout left-handed outfielders at fair prices who can be mixed into lineups aggressively from the bottom of the batting order. Miguel Rojas has a 58 WRC+ and zero home runs on the season, he has not been a good DFS option.
  • The Mets will be facing righty Tony Gonsolin who has an 18.9% strikeout rate with a 3.86 ERA but a more telling 5.02 xFIP on the season. Gonsolin is a veteran pitcher who has been better in seasons past, he had a 23.9% strikeout rate in 130.1 innings last year and a 27.2% mark in 13 starts and 55.2 innings in 2021. For $7,400/$8,000, Gonsolin is priced appropriately to be a reasonable value play. He projects into the lower-middle section of the pitching board in this matchup and looks better on DraftKings than on FanDuel.
  • The Mets are in the middle of the board in all categories on our stacks board, they are an up-and-down group for quality that comes up a bit top-heavy. Brandon NimmoTommy PhamFrancisco Lindor, and Pete Alonso have been a productive four-man group of hitters this season. Nimmo is an excellent leadoff hitter with power of his own and a strong on-base acumen, the lefty went deep for his 13th long ball last night and has a 128 WRC+. Pham has been good with nine homers and 10 steals, Lindor has shown power and speed but has scuffled in his triple-slash, he remains 17% better than average for run creation, and Alonso is the team’s big power bat with 26 home runs and a .283 ISO this season. Daniel VogelbachStarling Marte, and Jeff McNeil are playable veteran options from the bottom of the lineup while standout rookie Francisco Alvarez is a good play for cheap pricing at his position and Brett Baty has upside as a cheap third baseman.

Play: Dodgers bats/stacks, Mets bats/stacks in small doses, only minor shares of Tony Gonsolin or Kodai Senga

Update Notes:

Washington Nationals (+167/3.87) @ St. Louis Cardinals (-183/5.24)

  • The Nationals are a team that the public likes to play against a lefty and Steven Matz is a lefty that the public typically likes to target with bats, which could lead to a bit of an uptick in popularity for the low-end Nationals as a value option on both sites. Matz has made 11 starts and eight relief appearances this season, he has a 21.8% strikeout rate with a 3.82 xFIP under his 4.65 ERA and he has kept power in check with just 2.52% home runs and a 5.5% barrel rate. At $5,200/$7,200 it is not entirely odd to think that Matz could deliver an effective value-tier start, though he has not been reliable for deep innings or quality on the whole. Matz did make a strong start ahead of the break, working 5.1 innings with nine strikeouts while allowing just two hits and an unearned run to the White Sox, a better bunch of hitters than the Nationals, but we are not here to chase game logs, the encouragement comes only from the fact that he reached 5.1 innings and faced 19 hitters after a number of short outings from the bullpen.
  • Washington has a collective 106 WRC+ that ranks 15th against lefties this season. Their .157 ISO is good-not-great in the split but their 18.9% strikeout rate against southpaws is another tick in their favor. CJ Abrams in the leadoff spot in the projected lineup, he has an 84 WRC+ with a .291 on-base percentage this season and does not make much sense as a leadoff hitter, particularly in a same-handed matchup. Abrams ranks last on the team with a 55 WRC+ against lefties and seems like he may not hit in the projected top spot. Lane Thomas is our home run pick for the day, he has a 9.89 in the model and has hit 14 on the season with a .194 ISO overall. Against lefties, Thomas has a .277 ISO with a 188 WRC+ and seven of his home runs. Joey Meneses, Keibert RuizStone GarrettIldemaro VargasDominic SmithMichael Chavis, and Alex Call round out the lineup. Meneses has six home runs with a .284/.327/.403 triple slash and is threatening to get his head above water with a 98 WRC+. Ruiz is a cheap catcher with a powerful bat, he may sit for Riley Adams who is likely to get into the lineup against the lefty. Adams has three home runs in 42 plate appearances with a .351/429/.676 triple-slash, a .324 ISO, and a 194 WRC+ against lefties this season. Garrett has a 121 WRC+ and a .238 ISO in 97 opportunities against lefties this season, with five of his six home runs coming in the split. The remaining options are mix-in plays if stacking numerous combinations of Nationals.
  • Righty Jake Irvin is not a good option at $5,400/$7,000 against the Cardinals. Irvin has a 15.8% strikeout rate and a 4.60 ERA with a 5.67 xFIP this season.
  • St. Louis is a strong option on this slate, they rank sixth by projected fantasy points, fifth by collective home run potential, and in the upper middle of the board for value. Brendan Donovan should be in the leadoff spot, he has a 119 WRC+ in 316 plate appearances and fills three positions for just $2,800 on FanDuel. Donovan is a second baseman for $3,200 on DraftKings and adds first base and outfield eligibility on the blue site. Paul Goldschmidt has 15 home runs with a 132 WRC+, Lars Nootbaar is cheap with lefty power and speed in the third spot, and Nolan Arenado is a star third baseman with big right-handed power. Nootbaar has six homers and five stolen bases in 259 plate appearances and has been 13% better than average for runs, Arenado has 19 home runs to lead the team after an extremely cold April cost him an additional handful of long balls. Willson ContrerasJordan Walker, and Nolan Gorman are highly playable positional options with high ceilings at catcher, outfield, and second or third base. Gorman has 17 home runs and titanic power from the left side for just $4,400/$2,900. Paul DeJong and Dylan Carlson close out the projected version of the lineup as playable mix-in options in a stack that should be deployed with enthusiasm.

Play: Cardinals bats/stacks aggressively, Nationals bats/stacks in small doses that are better if low-owned by the public, Steven Matz value

Update Notes:

Chicago White Sox (+252/3.00) @ Atlanta Braves (-283/5.12)

  • Spencer Strider is an obvious high-end target on the mound, he will be the most popular pitcher on both sites despite carrying slate-leading prices of $12,800 and $11,600. Strider is baseball’s best pitcher, he has a 38.9% strikeout rate in 104.2 innings and 18 outings this season with a 3.44 ERA and a sparkling 2.83 xFIP. His 3.04% home run rate is up a bit from last year’s fantastic 1.33% but Strider can be near unhittable on most nights. The righty’s 19.4% swinging-strike rate and 34.5% CSW% still lead baseball by several percentage points each. Strider is worth both the salary and the weight of popularity on the slate, there are plenty of value stacks that create an easy path to rostering him, but differentiating the teams with which Strider is combined in lineups can be a key to creating success around a big game from a popular pitcher.
  • The White Sox are a very low-priority option at the plate in this matchup. Chicago ranks 18th by fantasy points and 23rd by home run potential on this slate. Playable bats for the White Sox include Luis Robert Jr.Eloy Jimenez, and Andrew Vaugh, who comprise the team’s power core with 26, 12, and 12 home runs on the season. Andrew Benintendi and Tim Anderson have been lousy this season and both sit below average for run creation at 98 and 45 WRC+ ahead of the group of power hitters. Yasmani GrandalJake BurgerOscar Colas, and Zach Remillard make up the bottom of the lineup, Burger and Colas can provide delicious upside for power in the right matchup, but this is definitely more of a Strider night.
  • Stop us if you have heard this, but Atlanta’s lineup leads the way by fantasy point projections tonight. Even Lance Lynn seems powerless to stop the Braves’ rolling and ludicrously talented lineup. Lynn has a 6.03 ERA but a much better and more real 3.74 xFIP with a very good 27.9% strikeout rate over 103 innings and 18 starts this season. The righty has blown up in a few spots, his 14.1% swinging-strike rate is as excellent as his 4.82% home run rate is lousy. Lynn seems like more of a target for Braves bats at $6,600/$9,000 but the massive price discrepancy does give him significant upside as a value play on the DraftKings slate. Getting Lance Lynn at that price, regardless of matchup, has appeal on the two-starter site. Lynn is not recommended for likely success, but he does not have to succeed often at that price to pay off the play.
  • The Braves seem primed to hit a few more home runs today, three of their hitters are above the “magic number” in the home run model with another three landing between 9.0 and 10.0. Of course, this is a team with seven of their nine projected starters carrying more than 14 home runs, they also feature the top eighth and ninth hitters in baseball in an embarrassment of riches that can be played from 1-9 in most matchups. Ronald Acuna Jr. is making history with 21 home runs and 42 stolen bases this early in the season. Ozzie Albies is one of baseball’s best second basemen, he has 22 home runs on the season and produces even when he disappoints as our home run call like he did last night. Austin Riley has 16 home runs and a 105 WRC+, Matt Olson mashed his 30th long ball of the season last night and leads the team with a 13.89 in the home run model, and Sean Murphy has a 9.31 for home run upside as a top positional option at catcher. Marcell Ozuna has 17 home runs and Eddie Rosario has hit 14, both outfielders have been very good but not surprisingly so this season, they underperformed in recent years and Ozuna has had off-field issues, but both players have been stars in recent seasons, this is a return to form not an aberration. Orlando Arcia had another highly productive game last night, the All-Star is cheap but he has lost his triple-position eligibility on FanDuel and now lands at only shortstop on both sites. Arcia is still very playable, he has a 112 WRC+ and a strong hit tool. Michael Harris II has nine homers and 11 stolen bases with a 99 WRC+ in 253 plate appearances, he will be above average and more expensive shortly.

Play: Braves bats/stacks aggressively, Spencer Strider aggressively, Lance Lynn DraftKings SP2 value

Update Notes:

New York Yankees (-158/6.47) @ Colorado Rockies (+145/5.16)

  • This is a Coors Field game, and neither Connor Seabold (16.5% strikeouts with a 5.58 xFIP and 4.98% home run rate) or Clarke Schmidt (22.7% strikeout rate with a 4.29 xFIP and 3.39% home run rate) are appealing in this spot, Schmidt would be the better option if forced to choose between the two.
  • The Yankees predictably disappointed last night and will probably do so again, that is the nature of this flawed lineup. They will be crushingly popular on this slate once again and show a collective fantasy point projection that lands second on the slate with a day-leading home run mark, they will be a major inflection point for tonight’s results once again. Gleyber Torres has 13 home runs and a 109 WRC+ for $5,300/$3,300, Giancarlo Stanton follows with 10 home runs and a .243 ISO on the board in his 167 roller coaster plate appearances, tanton blasted a home run last night as the lone standout for New York’s offense, and Anthony Rizzo slots in as a good option for $4,800/$3,200 at first base. Rizzo has not been strong in his triple-slash and has been stuck on 11 home runs for a minute, but his ceiling is clear in a great matchup at Coors. Harrison BaderJosh Donaldson, and Billy McKinney have potential power for cheap prices. Bader is the best all-around option at the plate, he also offers speed if he reaches first base, Donaldson sells out for power but has 10 home runs in 116 plate appearances, and McKinney has had some quality plate appearances as a valued lefty in a lineup riddled with righties. Anthony VolpeJose Trevino, and Franchy Cordero round out the projected lineup. Volpe is good for counting stats but unreliable on the whole, Cordero has a 13.63 as a sneaky option for power if he plays.
  • The Rockies lineup was the better play at Coors last night but they will be hard-pressed to repeat the trick tonight. Jurickson Profar leads off at cheap prices but offers low-end talent ahead of Kris Bryant and Ryan McMahon, who are always in play for power upside and run creation in this park. Elias Diaz is a cheap catcher with a touch of power in a good season, CJ Cron and Nolan Jones also bring thunder from the right and left side, Jones went deep for his sixth home run of the season – in just 140 plate appearances – last night. Ezequiel TovarHarold Castro, and Brenton Doyle are viable mix-in options from the bottom of the batting order when stacking Rockies.

Play: bats bats bats but the Yankees are going to be super-popular again

Update Notes:

Houston Astros (-152/4.46) @ Los Angeles Angels (+139/3.64)

  • Reid Detmers has been good this season, he has a 4.31 ERA but a 3.85 xFIP with a strong 29.2% strikeout rate in 85.2 innings and 16 starts. The lefty has induced a 13.9% swinging-strike rate with a 29.1% CSW% while allowing a 3.01% home run rate despite 90.5 mph of exit velocity and a 40.7% hard-hit rate, he is moderately good at missing barrels with just a 6.3% rate allowed. Detmers will be facing an Astros lineup that got to his superstar teammate last night but has been only middling overall this season. Houston’s active roster has been good against southpaws though, they have a league-leading 16.6% strikeout rate as a unit in the split while carrying a .160 ISO and 108 WRC+ against lefties. Detmers is playable at $8,300/$9,700, he looks like a stronger option at his DraftKings price.
  • The Astros lineup opens with Mauricio Dubon and still lacks two significant bats in Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez, which leaves them quite shorthanded. Dubon has been nine percent below average for run creation this season with four home runs and six stolen bases. Alex Bregman has 12 home runs but just a .239/.337/.387 triple-slash with a 105 WRC+, Kyle Tucker has 13 homers and 15 stolen bases and is affordable at $5,200/$3,800, the outfielder should be a fixture in stacks of Astros, and Jose Abreu is up to seven home runs and a 77 WRC+. Yainer Diaz and Chas McCormick are good playable parts in the lineup but they are not priorities overall on the slate. Jeremy PenaJake Meyers, and Martin Maldonado are late lineup mix-in options at best.
  • The Angels draw excellent lefty Framber Valdez who checks into the slate at just $9,800 on DraftKings, making him one of our favorite buys on the slate. Valdez is a $10,700 option on FanDuel, which takes a bit of the luster away, the southpaw projects in the upper middle of the pitching board and is a better option where the price is low. Valdez has pitched very well this season, he has a sparkling 2.51 ERA with a 2.99 xFIP that does not betray the surface number too badly. The starter has been an object of fascination in this space for several seasons, he has been excellent at limiting launch angles and opposing home runs over a long stretch, this year’s 3.5-degree average launch angle is up from the negative numbers he posted in the category each of the last two years but he is still outstanding at keeping the ball in the yard and on the ground. Valdez has a 1.58% home run rate this year, he was at 1.33% last year and 2.10% the year before, he is quite adept at taking the power bats out of the hands of opposing hitters.
  • The Angels are projected to open the lineup with Zach Neto, who has a highly regarded hit tool as the first member of the draft class of 2022 to reach the Show. Neto has made 204 plate appearances with six home runs, five steals, and a 108 WRC+, he fits well as a leadoff man ahead of Shohei Ohtani, who leads baseball with 32 home runs, Taylor Ward, who has been up and down but has 10 homers, and Hunter Renfroe. Renfroe has 15 home runs with a .202 ISO in 345 plate appearances and lands cheap at $4,000/$2,900 but this is not a good spot for home run hitters. Eduardo EscobarLuis RengifoChad WallachMickey Moniak, and Michael Stefanic round out the projected batting order, they are mix-and-match options in an abundance of Angels stacks, but the matchup against Valdez is rarely good for extreme run creation and Los Angeles is a fairly low-priority stack that ranks 22nd on our home run board.

Play: Framber Valdez, Reid Detmers, only minor shares of stacks on either side

Update Notes:

Detroit Tigers (+177/3.16) @ Seattle Mariners (-195/4.43)

  • The Tigers are pushing a strong projection toward a Mariners’ pitcher for the second night in a row, which is not at all surprising. Righty George Kirby ranks third on our pitching board with a very strong projection and significant strikeout upside in the matchup. Kirby has a 20.8% strikeout rate over 107.2 innings in 17 starts and has walked a microscopic 2.3% while pitching to a 3.09 ERA and 3.68 xFIP. The starter rarely gets himself into trouble and he is facing a lineup that rarely creates it for opposing pitchers, Kirby looks like a very good option for $9,300/$10,300 tonight.
  • The Tigers lineup is minimally playable, the focus should be on the quality left-handed bats plus righty Spencer Torkelson who will likely hit third. Zach McKinstry has six homers and 12 stolen bases with a 95 WRC+ in the leadoff spot, the lefty is cheap ahead of the team’s best hitter, Riley Greene. For $4,700/$3,000, Greene is almost a must when stacking Tigers, the outfielder has a 131 WRC+ with six home runs and six stolen bases in his 237 plate appearances with an 11% barrel rate and a 47.6% hard-hit rate. Torkleson slots in with a dozen home runs to lead the team, he has a 97 WRC+ and is not fully formed at the plate but has shown good signs of quality while taking steps forward this season. Kerry Carpenter is another playable lefty with power, he has nine home runs in 170 plate appearances while creating runs 25% better than average this year and he hit six homers with a .233 ISO in just 113 opportunities last season. Javier Baez and Miguel Cabrera bookend lefty outfielder Akil Baddoo in the 5-7 spots in the lineup. The two veterans are highly skippable on most nights, they have produced a 59 and 87 WRC+ over 359 and 186 plate appearances with a combined seven home runs. Baddoo has four home runs and six stolen bases in just 180 plate appearances with a 95 WRC+. Nick Maton is a low-end low-priority lefty late in the lineup along with righty Eric Haase who used to hit for power with more regularity.
  • The Seattle lineup is in a slightly better spot with righty Michael Lorenzen on the mound. Lorenzen has not been bad this season, he has a 4.03 ERA with a 4.21 xFIP but has struck out just 18.9% of opposing hitters while allowing 40.2% hard hits, a 90.4 mph exit velocity, and an 8.4% barrel rate. For $7,000/$8,200, the righty could be worth a few value darts on either site, given the propensity for the Mariners to hand free strikeouts to opposing pitchers. The projected Seattle batting order has a collective 24.6% strikeout rate.
  • The Mariners are somewhat playable back against Lorenzen in this spot, but they rank 22nd in our projections and 18th in our home run model. JP Crawford leads off and is a correlated scoring option with Julio Rodriguez, who has 13 home runs and 22 stolen bases this season. Ty France avoids strikeouts better than anyone in the lineup, he has a good hit tool as a correlated scoring play with Teoscar HernandezEugenio SuarezJarred Kelenic, and Cal Raleigh, who have major power potential but massive strikeout rates. The group averages a 29.7% strikeout rate but has 48 collective home runs on the season. Mike Ford has nine sneaky home runs in 92 plate appearances with a .369 ISO and 172 WRC+ on the season, the quad-A player will come back to Earth at some point but he is cheap and easy to include if searching the bottom of the lineup for options. Kolten Wong was good but he has not been this season.

Play: George Kirby aggressively, Michael Lorenzen value darts

Update Notes:

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