MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Overview & Live Show Link – Sunday 7/16/23

The Sunday afternoon main slates get rolling at 1:35 ET on both sites, with FanDuel opting for an 11-game slate that includes the 3:10 ET game from Coors Field. DraftKings is leaving that game off the board and going with the 10 contests that all commence within an hour of lock, making for a fun but different slate from site to site today. There are scant pitching options on the board, with only a few name-brand options all of whom are facing stiff opposition. With more than a handful of lousy pitchers taking the hill, there are numerous spots to target for offense on a slate that seems like it will be won at the plate more than 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 11:30ET 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 – 7/16/23

Miami Marlins (+145/3.82) @ Baltimore Orioles (-175/4.90)

  • There is afternoon rain in the forecast but the game seems likely to play.
  • The Orioles are heavy favorites in Baltimore with Kyle “sounds like ‘radish'” Bradish on the mound this afternoon. The righty has a 3.32 ERA and 3.79 xFIP with a 22.9% strikeout rate over 84 innings in 16 starts in a strong step forward for 2023. Bradish is good at checking opposing power via cutting launch angles, he has allowed just a 2.32% home run rate on an average of 7.7 degrees, improving slightly on good numbers from last year. Bradish projects near the top of the pitching board on an ugly day for starters, he has significant upside in this matchup.
  • The Marlins lineup has a few good pieces up top but falls apart quickly. Luis Arraez is slashing .386/.437/.475 and Jorge Soler has 24 home runs with a .276 ISO behind him in a deadly combination. Bryan De La Cruz has 10 home runs with a 103 WRC+ over 372 plate appearances in a good year at the plate, he should hit third ahead of Jesus Sanchez who checks in at just $2,900/$2,700 with nine home runs and a .219 ISO in the books after 208 plate appearances. Garrett Cooper was off on Saturday but should return to add right-handed pop to the lineup, he has a dozen home runs in 285 plate appearances this season. Cooper is the last of the overly playable Marlins, the remaining players in the projected batting order include Jean SeguraJoey WendleNick Fortes, and Dane Myers.
  • Baltimore is facing Steven Okert who will open the game ahead of likely bulk reliever Johnny Cueto. Okert is a talented lefty with a 35% strikeout rate and 8.9% walk rate to go with a strong 2.53 ERA and 3.47 xFIP in his 32 innings out of the bullpen this season but he is not likely to work more than an inning or so, even at $4,000 he does not seem like a viable option. Cueto has thrown just one inning this season but he made 24 starts and worked 158.1 last season with a 3.35 ERA and 4.38 xFIP to go with a weak 15.7% strikeout rate. Cueto costs $8,000/$7,700 and does not seem like a good option with a weak projection and uncertain innings.
  • Baltimore’s lineup formation will likely be keyed around the left-handed opener, with Austin Hays leading off to continue his strong season at the plate. The outfielder is a cheap option to start a stack of Orioles that should also include Adley RutschmanAnthony Santander, and Ryan Mountcastle. Rutschman has 12 home runs and a 124 WRC+ and costs $5,000/$3,000 at catcher, Santander has 16 home runs to lead the projected lineup with Mountcastle trailing him with 11 in 108 fewer plate appearances. Aaron Hicks has been effective since joining the Orioles, he is slashing .255/.365/.472 with six home runs and a .217 ISO with the club and remains cheap at $2,600/$2,400 despite landing in the middle of the batting order. James McCann should see action with a lefty opener on a Sunday, the backup platoon-focused catcher has not been good this season, Gunnar HendersonJordan Westburg, and Jorge Mateo round out the projected lineup. Henderson would be a good option to hit higher in the lineup if the Orioles target the right-handed Cueto with their construction, the rookie is a high-end option on most slates.

Play: Kyle Bradish, Orioles bats/stacks

Update Notes:

Chicago White Sox (+157/4.16) @ Atlanta Braves (-172/5.46)

  • Lefty Kolby Allard is pushing huge home run marks toward the White Sox lineup in the matchup in Atlanta. Allard has made two starts this season, working 10.2 innings with a 27.3% strikeout rate and 3.97 xFIP but he has been fairly lousy over time. Last year Allard threw 21 innings of relief in the Show, allowing a ridiculous 10.34% home run rate on 14.8% barrels. The year before he started 17 games and threw 124.2 innings, posting a 5.41 ERA with a 4.64 xFIP and 5.43% home run rate. The lefty is highly targetable with White Sox bats and is not a good option on the mound at $6,300 on either site.
  • The four key hitters in Chicago’s lineup are all above the “magic number” for home run potential on this slate. Luis Robert Jr. is the overall home run pick of the day, he has a titanic 21.06 in the model with 26 in the books already this year. Eloy Jimenez sits at 16.95 and has 12 homers in just 258 plate appearances, Andrew Vaughn lands at 11.30, and Jake Burger has a huge 16.42 mark for home run potential. The remaining options in the Chicago lineup are more hit-speed and correlated scoring focused, with Andrew Benintendi and Tim Anderson at the top of the lineup both looking like playable parts in a good spot despite their season-long underperformance. Catcher Yasmani Grandal is a capable mix-in option while Zach Remillard provides multi-position eligibility ahead of the low-end Elvis Andrus who brings up the bottom of the lineup with a 56 WRC+ in 232 opportunities.
  • Atlanta is one of the slate-leading teams by collective projections once again today, very little changes with the outstanding Braves lineup, even when facing a good starter like Dylan Cease. The righty has thrown 102.2 innings in 19 starts this season, putting up a 4.30 ERA and 3.89 xFIP with a 27.5% strikeout rate that represents a bit of a dip in quality from last season’s 30.4% mark and the 31.9% from 2021. Cease is a good strikeout-focused pitcher but he allows a ton of premium contact, his 46% hard-hit rate and 91.1 mph of exit velocity have not hurt him so far this season, but the Braves are another kind of animal when it comes to home run hitting, Cease will have his work cut out for him today, he projects in the upper-middle section of the board and is in play but there is no safety at $8,500/$9,300 in this matchup.
  • Atlanta’s everyday lineup will be mostly in place, with Travis d’Arnaud likely stepping in for Sean Murphy to catch the day game after a night game and Eddie Rosario potentially sitting with a hamstring issue. d’Arnaud is one of the better backup catchers in baseball when it comes to hitting, he has eight home runs with a .220 ISO and 125 WRC+ in 147 plate appearances this year and hit 18 long balls in 426 chances in a full-time role last season. The rest of the lineup should be as usual, with superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. earning his $6,600/$4,700 at the top of the lineup with 23 home runs and 43 stolen bases. Ozzie Albies follows, he has 22 homers, seven stolen bases, and a .251 ISO while creating runs 20% better than average as one of the game’s best second basemen. Austin Riley and Matt Olson have massive power at the infield corners, Riley has 16 home runs this season and Olson has blasted 30 with a .318 ISO. The sluggers have top-end contact profiles with manageable strikeout rates, they are expensive but fairly so. d’Arnaud leads into a bottom-four that includes excellent veteran outfielder Marcell Ozuna as well as Orlando Arcia and Michael Harris II, with Kevin Pillar penciled in to start if Rosario is unable to play.

Play: Braves bats/stacks, White Sox bats/stacks, Dylan Cease

Update Notes:

San Diego Padres (+139/4.09) @ Philadelphia Phillies (-151/5.01)

  • There is afternoon rain in the forecast but the game seems likely to play.
  • Phillies starter Zack Wheeler looks like a good option on both sites, the righty costs $9,600/$10,000 against the Padres and has them checked to just 4.09 implied runs on the board in Vegas. Wheeler has a 4.05 ERA with a 3.47 xFIP and 26.9% strikeout rate in another strong season that looks very much like last year. In addition to posting good strikeout numbers, Wheeler is typically excellent at limiting opposing power, he has allowed just a 5.4% barrel rate with 86.8 mph of exit velocity on average, amounting to just a 1.81% home run rate so far this season. Last year that was a 2.14% mark and it was 1.88% the season before, Wheeler is very good at keeping opponents off of the scoreboard and he pitches deep into games, making him a good MLB DFS asset.
  • The Padres lineup opens with Ha-Seong Kim, who has 10 home runs and 17 stolen bases as an interesting option ahead of the team’s stars, but he is no replacement for injured Fernando Tatis Jr. who is out of the projected batting order with a minor ankle issue. Kim is cheap at $4,400/$2,800 and has triple-position eligibility on the FanDuel slate. Juan Soto and Manny Machado slide into the second and third spots in the projected lineup, the two stars are still affordable, and Machado is surging up the board with 17 home runs and a .209 ISO with a 112 WRC+ after a slow start. Xander Bogaerts has 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases with a 107 WRC+, he is also cheap based on struggles in his triple-slash but the star shortstop is always a good option when stacking Padres. Jake Cronenworth is a playable mix-in option who has been underperforming for most of this season, Gary Sanchez is typically home runs or zeroes, with more recent zeroes than long balls, and the lousy bottom-half closes with Rougned OdorBrandon Dixon, and Trent Grisham.
  • Righty Seth Lugo is on the mound for San Diego, he has a 3.39 ERA and 3.56 xFIP with a 22.2% strikeout rate in an effective season. The starter has induced just an 8.7% swinging-strike rate with a 26.8% CSW% he is not a high-end threat on the mound but he is capable of finding clean innings and working through six to reach bonuses on the right night. Lugo projects in the lower-middle of the pitching slate for $7,400/$8,900, he is not correctly priced for value in this matchup.
  • Kyle Schwarber has a 14.68 to lead the Phillies in our home run model once again, he has 24 on the season with a .250 ISO and costs a mere $4,500/$3,400. Trea Turner is an underperforming star at a discount, his counting stats are normalizing with 10 home runs and 21 stolen bases in 410 plate appearances but he remains cheap at $5,500/$3,200. Nick Castellanos had a rough day at the plate yesterday but remains the Phillies’ top hitter this season, the veteran outfielder is cheap for a player with a 117 WRC+, 13 home runs, and a strong triple-slash. Bryce Harper knocked his fourth home run over the wall last night, the star outfielder is affordably priced and retains first base eligibility on the blue site. JT RealmutoBryson StottAlec BohmDarick Hall, and Brandon Marsh round out the projected lineup with an abundance of playable parts that feature power, speed, or both.

Play: Zack Wheeler, Phillies bats/stacks, only minor shares of Padres

Update Notes:

Arizona Diamondbacks (+137/4.11) @ Toronto Blue Jays (-149/4.99)

  • Shaky Blue Jays starter Yusei Kikuchi has a good 24.5% strikeout rate with a 4.24 ERA and 4.06 xFIP but a 5.61% home run rate on 10.8% barrels, 44% hard hits, and 90.8 mph of exit velocity on a 14.8-degree launch angle, the southpaw is targetable for home runs but maybe not for total blowouts. Kikuchi projects to the middle of the pitching board in a tough spot against the Diamondbacks, he is not unplayable but he is very unsafe against the low-strikeout Arizona squad, for $7,700/$8,600 there are probably better options today.
  • Arizona’s projected lineup includes four hitters who land above the “magic number” in our home run model, as one might expect they are Ketel MarteCorbin CarrollChristian Walker, and Evan Longoria, with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. landing just below the line at 9.87. The group of power hitters has a collective 77 home runs in 1,605 combined plate appearances, there is a ton of power available against Kikuchi and everyone in the group but Longoria strikes out at a clip below 20%. The veteran third baseman is at 31.4% strikeouts but his 11 home runs in 159 plate appearances and his .280 ISO are appealing against a lefty who is lousy for power. Emmanuel Rivera has had a good season with his hit tool over 175 plate appearances, Gabriel Moreno is an easily playable cheap catcher with a decent bat but below-average run creation so far this season. Nick Ahmed and Jake McCarthy round out the projected lineup.
  • Toronto looks like they will answer the challenge with power of their own, five of the members of the projected Blue Jays lineup are above a 10.0 in the home run model today with an excellent matchup against limited lefty Tommy Henry. The southpaw is not an appealing option on the mound for $6,500/$8,200, he has pitched well in spots this season and sports a 3.75 ERA on the surface, but his 5.35 xFIP is the more telling mark.
  • The projected Blue Jays lineup is in its typical form with George Springer leading off. The outfielder has pulled his season together and now sits at .272/.335/.425 with a 113 WRC+ but remains cheap at $4,900/$3,300. Whit Merrifield slots in second, his hit tool and speed are assets in this spot in the batting order and he is a good correlation play with Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the team’s two stars, in the next two spots. Bichette has a 134 WRC+ that leads the team, Guerrero sits 20% above average for run creation and has 14 long balls on the season. Matt ChapmanDanny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk, and Daulton Varsho all offer upside for power, Jansen and Kirk would put two catchers on the board for DraftKings use at fair prices and Varsho is very cheap, while Chapman is probably the best option the bunch with his spot hitting fifth behind Guerrero. Santiago Espinal rounds out the projected lineup, he has not been good at the plate this season.

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

Update Notes:

Los Angeles Dodgers (+101/4.24) @ New York Mets (-110/4.36)

  • Update: the start of this game has been pushed back to 5:10 ET
  • There is afternoon rain in the forecast but the game seems likely to play.
  • Veteran righty Max Scherzer continues the theme of good Mets pitchers in bad spots with the Dodgers still in town. Scherzer has a 27.6% strikeout rate with a 4.31 ERA and 3.98 xFIP over 87.2 innings and 16 starts this season. The righty has not been as sharp as expected but he has not been nearly as bad as many may think. Scherzer has coughed up five runs in three of his starts and allowed six in two other outings, his remaining 11 appearances were quality starts or effective shorter outings. For $9,400/$9,600 Scherzer is worth more than a few darts, he is one of the better pitching options on the slate, but the matchup is far from ideal.
  • The Dodgers packed lineup has all-world talent that begins with Mookie Betts who has been relentless at the plate. Betts is up to 27 home runs with a .310 ISO and 162 WRC+ this season, he is a fantastic option with multi-position eligibility on both sites. Freddie Freeman has 17 homers and 12 stolen bases for $5,800/$4,300 at first base, he is one of the best hitters at his position or overall in all of baseball. Will Smith is a premium catcher who hits for power, rarely strikes out, and draws walks at a heavy clip to help drive run creation. Max Muncy and JD Martinez land at 10.77 and 9.93 in our home run model, the two titanic sluggers have combined for 44 home runs this season and remain affordable in the heart of the lineup. David PeraltaJason Heyward, and James Outman are three cheap left-handed power-hitting outfielders that form the bottom of the lineup in most matchups. Any of the options from that group can be combined with any of the top five hitters in the lineup to form a high-end stack, but the matchup against Scherzer is not good for this lineup overall. Miguel Rojas is an afterthought at the bottom of the batting order.
  • The Mets will face Bobby Miller, a highly regarded rookie who has made eight starts and pitched to a 4.50 ERA with a 3.95 xFIP and 22.8% strikeout rate. Miller has induced a strong 10.6% swinging-strike rate but his CSW% is a bit low at just 25.1%. The righty has been good at limiting opposing power with a 2.17% home run rate on eight percent barrels to this point, but his 41.6% hard-hit rate could stand to be a bit lower. Miller is on the board at $8,300/$9,500, his pricing is not ideal but he is not likely to be highly popular.
  • New York’s projected lineup opens with excellent leadoff man Brandon Nimmo, who hits for power and gets on base to correlate with the hitters behind him in the batting order. Nimmo is a key component of most stacks of Mets hitters, joining stars Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso as well as resurgent veteran outfielder Tommy Pham in the top four. Pham has had a strong season, Lindor has been up and down at the plate but has been hitting for consistent power and has 19 home runs on the season, and Alonso remains at 26 long balls while mired in an extended slump. The first baseman is affordable at $5,100/$3,600 but his season cooled dramatically when he was injured in May and things have not gotten back on track. Daniel VogelbachStarling MarteJeff McNeilFrancisco Alvarez, and Brett Baty are all solid mix-in options from the bottom of the lineup. Vogelbach has just five home runs, matching the output from Marte who adds 23 stolen bases to his tally, both veterans have been below-average for run creation this season. Alvarez has been the best in the group by a wide margin, the rookie catcher has 17 long balls and a .269 ISO with a 118 WRC+. Baty is a cheap rookie third baseman with a 47.4% hard-hit rate supporting the idea of cheap potential.

Play: Max Scherzer, Dodgers bats/stacks, Bobby Miller, Mets bats/stacks in small portions

Update Notes:

Milwaukee Brewers (+113/5.07) @ Cincinnati Reds (-123/5.55)

  • Over 51.2 innings and eight starts, righty Ben Lively has been surprisingly effective this season. Lively has a 3.83 ERA and 4.25 xFIP with a 22.9% strikeout rate in his return to MLB action after pitching overseas for several seasons. His 9.7% swinging-strike rate and 27.3% CSW% are unimpressive but he has been good enough to pay off his inexpensive $7,200/$7,700 pricing from site to site. Lively has allowed too much home run upside to opposing hitters, his home run rate sits at 4.59% but that comes on just an 8.6% barrel rate, 35.8% hard hits, and 88.5 mph of exit velocity. The Brewers’ projected lineup has a 24.2% strikeout rate collectively, they are a good target for a potentially sneaky pitching option, but Lively does not project well in a game that has a high total and lands Milwaukee at 5.07 implied runs.
  • Milwaukee’s projected batting order opens with star outfielder Christian Yelich who has 12 home runs and 21 stolen bases in another strong season. William ContrerasWilly Adames, and Jesse Winker follow as a wildly unreliable trio that does offer power upside at the plate. The catcher is the best hitter among the three, Contreras is slashing .272/.353/.448 and has created runs 19% better than average, Adames has 16 home runs but not much else at the plate and Winker has one home run and the memory of being a good hitter in this park while with the Reds two years ago. Owen Miller has 12 stolen bases and a decent hit tool at a fair price, he is playable when stacking Brewers but he is not a high priority on the slate as a whole. Raimel TapiaBrian AndersonBrice Turang, and Joey Wiemer offer a mix of moderate power and speed upside, but they are a low-end bunch in the bottom half of the lineup.
  • The Reds have disappointed so far in this series, after allowing a huge strikeout game to ace Corbin Burnes they were one-hit by Freddy Peralta and three relievers in yesterday’s game, but now have a chance at Sunday redemption with Adrian Houser on the mound and a 5.55-run implied total in Vegas. Houser has a limited arsenal and a 15% strikeout rate with a 1.54 WHIP and 4.66 xFIP on the season. He has induced a 6.1% swinging-strike rate and a 22.3% CSW% so far this year, roughly on par with his numbers in the past two seasons. Houser’s primary ability is in keeping the ball in the yard, he is not bad at limiting home runs and has a 2.21% rate this season with a 1.76% last year and 2.00% the year before in larger samples. At $5,700/$7,500 Houser is not unplayable but he does not have a high strikeout ceiling and the odds seem in favor of Reds bats.
  • Despite slipping over the past few days, the Cincinnati lineup is dynamite for DFS purposes with power and speed basically from top to bottom. TJ Freidl sets the tone with six home runs and 16 stolen bases with a 118 WRC+ for $4,200/$3,500, he is a better play for value on DraftKings. Rookie Matt McLain has mult-position eligibility with seven home runs and seven stolen bases in the books in his 243 plate appearances, Jake Fraley has been good for power and stolen bases this year, and Elly De La Cruz is a breakout potential superstar who debuted to great fanfare and has only grown his legend since. De La Cruz is pricey at $6,200/$4,500 but he should not be skipped in stacks of Reds hitters very often. Jonathan IndiaJoey Votto, and Spencer Steer are all very good options who could, and may, hit higher in the batting order. India has been the best player on the Reds over the past few seasons and he is having another good year with 13 home runs and 12 stolen bases, though his 95 WRC+ would argue otherwise. Votto has seven home runs with a .371 ISO and 20.5% barrel rate in 73 plate appearances since his return, and Steer has been excellent with a .273/.364/.470 triple-slash and 14 home runs. Tyler Stephenson and Will Benson are good playable parts in the bottom two spots in the projected lineup.

Play: Reds bats/stacks, Brewers bats/stacks, pitching value on either side in small doses

Update Notes:

Tampa Bay Rays (-202/5.66) @ Kansas City Royals (+183/3.97)

  • There is afternoon rain in the forecast but the game seems likely to play.
  • Righty Brady Singer costs $6,100/$6,800 against the Rays, he does not seem like a strong option and he projects in the lower-middle of the board. Singer has an 18.1% strikeout rate with a 5.80 ERA and 4.48 xFIP and has allowed a ridiculous 51.9% hard-hit rate with 92 mph of exit velocity on average, which should play directly into the strengths of the Tampa Bay lineup.
  • The Rays have a 5.66-run implied total which is the highest non-Coors total on the board. Tampa Bay’s projected lineup opens with left-handed slugger Brandon Lowe who has nine home runs in 222 plate appearances and is one of the better power-hitting second basemen in baseball. Lowe missed a large portion of last season but he hit 39 home runs with a .277 ISO and 137 WRC+ in 2021, he is cheap at $4,200/$2,900 atop an excellent lineup. Wander Franco is a star shortstop who has 11 home runs and 28 stolen bases, Randy Arozarena has 16 homers and 10 steals, and Luke Raley joins the double-digit party with 15 home runs and 10 stolen bases in the heart of the lineup. Josh Lowe is also on-theme with that group, the outfielder has 12 home runs and 19 stolen bases in an excellent season, and he has created runs 25% better than average while posting a .215 ISO and a solid triple-slash but costs just $4,900/$3,400 this afternoon. Jonathan Aranda checks in at the dead minimum on both sites, the rookie has made 12 ineffective plate appearances this season and did not do much in 87 opportunities last year but he is a player that the Rays like, and he is expected to hit at this level. Taylor Walls, the outstanding Jose Siri, and Francisco Mejia round out the projected batting order. Siri had another big day and is up to 18 home runs with a .312 ISO and 115 WRC+ in just 217 plate appearances.
  • Tampa Bay righty Zach Eflin is our slate-leading pitcher at $10,000/$10,500 in a premium matchup against the high-strikeout Royals. Eflin has made 17 mostly strong starts, he has a 26.2% strikeout rate with a 3.25 ERA and 3.05 xFIP, and has been fantastic at avoiding trouble all season. Eflin has walked just 3.7% and has a 0.99 WHIP as well as an 11.3% swinging-strike rate and 30.8% CSW%, he is an underrated pitcher on the whole. Eflin is likely to be a popular selection on this slate, the Royals are easy to target given a 26.3% collective strikeout rate in the projected lineup.
  • Kansas City has only a few playable hitters, namely Bobby Witt Jr. and Sal Perez, with help from Maikel Garcia, and less frequently MJ Melendez and Nick Pratto. Witt is a counting stats star with 15 homers and 27 stolen bases, Perez is one of the top power hitters at the catcher position, and Garcia has displayed a decent hit tool atop the lineup. Melendez and Pratto strike out aggressively but drive the ball well when they make contact. Kyle Isbel is slated to hit in the cleanup spot, he has two home runs with a .140 ISO and a .248 on-base percentage while slashing .202/.248/.341 with a 56 WRC+, so that is not ideal. Michael MasseyDrew Waters, and Nicky Lopez round out the lineup and push additional upside to Eflin.

Play: Zach Eflin, Rays bats/stacks, both aggressively

Update Notes:

Washington Nationals (+166/3.87) @ St. Louis Cardinals (-182/5.24)

  • There is afternoon rain in the forecast but the game seems likely to play.
  • St. Louis righty Jack Flaherty can be a frustrating pitcher to roster for MLB DFS purposes, but he checks in at an easily affordable salary of just $6,900/$8,200 in a high-end matchup against the Nationals, a team he has checked to just 3.87 runs in the Vegas line. Flaherty has made 17 starts and thrown 92.2 innings, he has a 21.8% strikeout rate but an ugly 11.7% walk rate that he needs to harness to find his quality. Flaherty has pitched to a 4.27 ERA and 4.45 xFIP in spite of the free passes and he has been good at limiting home run power with just a 1.47% rate on 87.5 mph of exit velocity and 6.4% barrels. Flaherty has a strong projection for extreme value pricing, he looks like a fine option on this slate.
  • Washington has a lousy lineup that has not been good at all against righties this season. CJ Abrams leads off with a .297 on-base percentage and 89 WRC+ because things always make sense in D.C. He is followed by Lane Thomas, the lone actually good player in the projected batting order. Thomas has 14 home runs and eight stolen bases and has created runs 25% better than average. Switch-hitting Jeimer Candelario slots in next, he is the only other player who has been above-average for run creation in the Nationals lineup this season at 118 WRC+. Joey Meneses has six home runs and a good triple-slash for cheap prices, he is more hit-tool oriented but is not incapable of putting power on display and driving in runs. Keibert Ruiz is a playable catcher with sneaky power potential, Dominic SmithCorey DickersonLuis Garcia, and Alex Call make up a weak bottom end.
  • St. Louis looks like a top option at the plate today, the team is carrying strong projections for fantasy points and home run potential and four of the hitters in the projected lineup are above the “magic number” for power in a matchup against Josiah Gray. The righty has been better at limiting home runs this season but still tends to get in trouble via walks and is still vulnerable to the long ball with a 3.21% home run rate on 7.8% barrels. Gray has a 21.1% strikeout rate but a 10.8% walk rate with a 4.69 xFIP under his 3.41 ERA. The righty does not benefit from facing a bad lineup like his statistically similar opponent, Gray is not a good option for $8,100/$8,600, but he is playable on a short pitching board, he has a path to success but it is thin at best and his price could be lower on both sites.
  • The Cardinals lineup is the feature in this matchup, Brendan Donovan should be in the leadoff spot with triple-position eligibility on the blue site. He fills second base for $3,200 on DraftKings and checks in for just $2,800 in the easily affordable Cardinals lineup on FanDuel. Paul Goldschmidt is a star first baseman for $5,500/$3,900, he has a 14.53 in our home run model, trailing only fellow star infielder Nolan Arenado who has a 14.60 and leads the team with 20 long balls on the season. Lefty Lars Nootbaar is projected to hit between the two righty sluggers, he offers moderate power and good speed potential and is a fair correlated scoring play with a ceiling. Willson Contreras has a decent power bat behind the plate for fair pricing, and Jordan Walker has been good in his 211 opportunities with a .275/.336/.440 triple-slash and eight home runs, and Nolan Gorman is a left-handed masher with 17 home runs in an inconsistent year at the plate. Paul DeJong and Dylan Carlson provide two more playable bats at the bottom of the projected lineup.

Play: Cardinals bats/stacks, Jack Flaherty

Update Notes:

Boston Red Sox (+125/4.46) @ Chicago Cubs (-152/5.30)

  • Lefty Justin Steele is another good pitcher in a not-great matchup taking on the Red Sox in Wrigley Field this afternoon. Steele has a 2.56 ERA but a 3.83 xFIP with a 22% strikeout rate and only 5.2% walks in a strong 16 starts and 91.1 innings. The southpaw has induced a healthy 11.2% swinging-strike rate, but his 25.9% CSW% is misaligned with that production and could be stronger. Steele has been very good at limiting hard hits and opposing power this season, yielding just a 1.09% home run rate on 85.6 mph of exit velocity and 30.8% hard hits. At $9,800/$9,700 he is easily playable on this short slate, the Red Sox have a good-not-great 4.46-run implied total and the Cubs are heavy favorites to put the win bonus in play for their starter.
  • Boston’s projected lineup is playable as a mid-level option, but Steele has a good opportunity to take their power hitters out of play which greatly limits this lineup. Rob Refsnyder is a career journeyman who hits for average and gets on base against lefties, he is effective in the leadoff role for real life play but is not an ideal option for anything but correlated scoring for DFS purposes. Justin Turner has 14 home runs and a .290/.361/.475 triple-slash in another great year at the plate, Rafael Devers is cheap at $5,000/$3,800 at third base given his massive talent and significant ceiling on any given slate. Devers has 22 home runs and a .253 ISO this season but this may not be a great spot to go homer-hunting with the lefty slugger. Adam Duvall and Masataka Yoshida are effective run creators in the heart of the projected lineup but the bottom end falls off somewhat around Enrique HernandezChristian ArroyoConnor Wong, and Yu Chang.
  • Chicago is pulling strong projections and a bit of power with a 5.30-run implied total against righty Kutter Crawford who has been fairly good on the mound this season. Crawford has a 23.1% strikeout rate in 61.1 innings and nine starts. The righty is somewhat unpredictable for innings depth, he has made several short starts in recent outings and worked just four innings despite pitching fairly well in his last outing before the break. Crawford costs $5,500/$6,900 with a strong breeze blowing out to right field today pushing run totals, outside of the conditions he is not in a terrible spot but the oddsmakers are leaning toward Chicago’s bats in this matchup.
  • Both Christopher Morel and Patrick Wisdom are above the line in our home run model with a 12.35 and 10.04 respectively. The two sluggers are slated to hit sixth and eighth in the deep but flawed Cubs batting order. Mike Tauchman is slated to lead off once again, his numbers have been declining in the top spot in the batting order and he is a quad-A talent but he is playable at $2,900/$2,800 if he continues to hit atop the lineup. Nico Hoerner has not gotten on base enough this season but he has productive speed with 21 steals in the books and a touch of power for fair prices. Ian HappSeiya Suzuki, and Cody Bellinger all have power potential at the plate, the first two each have seven home runs on the season and Bellinger has knocked a dozen over the fence while adding 11 stolen bases in a great return to form this season. The former MVP is slashing .305/.362/.531 with a 137 WRC+ in 254 plate appearances. Morel has 15 home runs and a .294 ISO in 206 opportunities, Jared Young is slated to hit between him and Wisdom, and Tucker Barnhart rounds out the lineup as a playable catcher.

Play: Cubs bats/stacks, Justin Steele, Red Sox bats/stacks in smaller shares

Update Notes:

Cleveland Guardians (+113/4.35) @ Texas Rangers (-123/4.76)

  • Martin Perez has not been good this season. The veteran lefty has a 4.81 ERA and 5.02 xFIP over 17 starts and 91.2 innings and he has coughed up a 3.98% home run rate on 39.8% hard hits and 89.6 mph of exit velocity. Perez has struck out just 14.9% of opposing hitters on a 25.5% CSW% he has taken a big step backward from his already limited quality of the past two seasons and is not a good option even against the weak Guardians lineup.
  • Cleveland is good at limiting strikeouts but they are carrying just a 4.35-run implied total and have been lousy at creating runs all season. Steven Kwan has 14 stolen bases an a 92 WRC+ setting the table for the disappointing lineup. Amed Rosario has two home runs with a .092 ISO in 375 plate appearances and has done nothing to warrant even a $4,200/$2,900 salary. Jose Ramirez has been the team’s best player by a wide margin, he has 14 home runs, 10 stolen bases, and has created runs 29% better than average. Ramirez is joined by Josh Naylor and Josh Bell in the middle of the lineup, they have combined for 21 home runs this season which is not nearly enough. Naylor has been good, he has a 125 WRC+ with a dozen long balls, Bell has nine homers and a 95 WRC+ and needs to get his year in gear. Andres Gimenez has seven home runs and 15 stolen bases and has been OK for DFS purposes in spurts in a disappointing season. David FryMyles Straw, and Cam Gallagher close out the low-end lineup, Cleveland is not a priority stack.
  • The Rangers have a 4.76-run implied total against standout rookie right-hander Tanner Bibee who has a 23.7% strikeout rate on a 26.6% CSW% in 13 starts and 70 innings. Bibee has been good for DFS in the right spots this season but he seems a bit high-priced at $8,700/$9,200 in this matchup against the deadly-good Rangers batting order.
  • Marcus Semien has 11 home runs but he has been stuck at that total for a while now, the second base star has seen a dip in price to $5,900/$3,700 and makes for a strong buy in the leadoff role for Texas. Corey Seager has been one of the best players in baseball this season, he has created runs 85% better than average with 13 home runs and a .355/.417/.629 triple-slash over 278 plate appearances. Nathaniel LoweAdolis Garcia, and Josh Jung are an enviable trio in the heart of the lineup. Lowe is productive and cheap to help pay for his pricey star-caliber teammates, Garcia has 24 home runs and a 133 WRC+ while Jung has 19 dingers and a 125 mark for run creation but costs just $4,900/$3,600. Jonah HeimTravis Jankowski, and the excellent duo of Ezequiel Duran and Leody Taveras are great options from the bottom of the batting order. Texas ranks sixth on our board by fantasy point projections and eighth for home run upside on a deep hitting slate, if they are not overly popular they could make for a good tournament play.

Play: Rangers bats/stacks

Update Notes:

New York Yankees (-213/6.93) @ Colorado Rockies (+193/4.72)

  • This game is only on the FanDuel slate
  • Righty Chase Anderson is not an option for $6,200. The Yankees will have Gerrit Cole on the mound in a bit of a conundrum for DFS purposes. Cole is carrying a middling projection in our pitching model but has a clear path to success if he can conquer the Colorado conditions. The righty has not been as elite as in years past, but he has been mostly good this season with a 2.85 ERA and 3.87 xFIP. Cole has a 25.8% strikeout rate and has walked 7.1% this season, both numbers have gone in the wrong direction year over year but there is still a significant ceiling in play against the lousy Rockies lineup. Cole is on the board as a FanDuel pitching option at $10,100 in Coors Field but if he draws popularity he can be cast aside for better options.
  • The Yankees have a slate-leading 6.93-run implied total against Anderson, who has a 6.89 ERA and 5.21 xFIP with a 16.7% strikeout rate and a highly targetable 6.31% home run rate this season. The projected batting order opens with second baseman Gleyber Torres, who is carrying a 13.37 in our home run model as one of seven Yankees hitters who land above the line for home run potential. Giancarlo Stanton has four home runs in his last four games, the hulking outfielder missed time and has been struggling to find his form but seems to be connecting more at the plate which gives him massive upside with a team-leading 18.17 in the home run model. Anthony Rizzo has scuffled over the past two months or so, he is cheap for his talent and brings left-handed power potential to the dish. Harrison Bader has an 11.30 in the home run model ahead of Billy McKinney who lands at 12.08. Third baseman Josh Donaldson is in one version of the projected lineup but seems unlikely to play after suffering yet another injury last night. Anthony VolpeJose Trevino, and Franchy Cordero are playable parts, though we prefer Kyle Higashioka for his power upside when it comes to Yankees catchers. Volpe is the best in the group, the rookie shortstop has 13 home runs and 16 stolen bases but needs to get on base more often.
  • The Rockies are a low-end bunch facing a dynamite starter, they have ballpark-based potential but that is all in this matchup. Jurickson Profar continues to not be an MLB caliber player while also continuing to lead off for one of 30 MLB teams. Kris Bryant has an 84 WRC+ with a .122 ISO and seven home runs in another disappointing season in Colorado, the former star is an option in the outfield when rostering Rockies but this is not a good spot. Ryan McMahon has good left-handed power and is flashing an 8.64 in our home run model with 14 on the board this season. Elias Diaz is a playable part at catcher, CJ Cron has home run potential at first base with a 9.57 in the home run model that leads the Rockies, and Nolan Jones is a capable left-handed rookie power hitter. Ezequiel TovarHarold Castro, and Brenton Doyle close out the projected Colorado batting order.

Play: bats bats bats… and probably some Gerrit Cole

Update Notes:

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