MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Snapshot – Friday 6/16/23

The 14-game MLB DFS main slate gets underway at 7:05 ET on both DraftKings and FanDuel with a board that includes a bit of everything from premium starters to ridiculously high run totals inflated by bad pitching. The top spots on our power index are showing some excellent opportunities for home run hitting and the massive slate demands a broad spread of shares across the likely outcomes and premium options.

Don’t miss our new Stack Suggestions feature and our Power Index for more on the top opportunities at the plate tonight.

We are off from shows through the weekend, returning Monday.

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 Strategy Snapshot – 6/16/23

Miami Marlins (-190/5.00) @ Washington Nationals (+155/3.74)

Friday’s slate opens with a bit of a thud with the low-end Marlins facing the lousy Nationals, with the visiting Marlins coming in as heavy favorites with an implied run total of 5.0. Miami will be facing righty Trevor Williams who has made 13 starts and thrown 65.2 somewhat below league-average innings this season. Williams has a 4.11 ERA and 4.92 xFIP with an 18.2% strikeout rate, he is a limited starter on the mound and Vegas is giving us a big clue that we should not have interest for DFS purposes. At $5,800/$8,200, Williams is certainly a different play from site to site. There is a minor amount of upside in the idea of a handful of clean innings and a few punchouts against what is generally a weak Marlins lineup, but this seems like a situation in which bad hitting will reliably beat the bad pitcher more often than not. The Marlins lineup opens with the idea of a base hit personified in Luis Arraez, who is slashing .378/.431/.461 with a 147 WRC+ over his 267 plate appearances this season. Whether he reaches .400 or not, Arraez is going to win the National League batting crown this season, he provides correlated scoring and should give a pitcher like Williams fits. Arraez should be slightly more expensive on both sites, he hits ahead of masher Jorge Soler, who has hit 20 home runs in 272 plate appearances this season. As a pair, they cost $9,400 on DraftKings and $6,400 on FanDuel, making them a bargain of a correlated scoring duo. Bryan De La Cruz has eight home runs and a 113 WRC+ over 263 productive plate appearances but costs just $3,800/$2,900, the righty should be in play against Williams’ reverse-splits tendencies. Jesus Sanchez has six home runs and a .235 ISO in his 129 plate appearances but his hot start was cut short by injury early in the year and he has not hit his stride since returning. Garrett CooperJoey WendleJean SeguraJacob Stallings, and Jonathan Davis round out the projected lineup. Cooper is a playable option at first base for cheap prices with low expectations, he is slashing .229/.268/.408 over 190 plate appearances but does have eight home runs this year. Wendle has low-end power and a touch of speed, Segura is a washed up veteran with a 40 WRC+ over 225 plate appearances, and Stallings is a less-than-stellar catcher option. Davis has a home run and a stolen base with a 106 WRC+ over his limited 60 plate appearances and costs just $2,400/$2,800 as a possible wraparound option.

The Nationals are facing Sandy Alcantara, who has been nowhere near the pitcher he was in winning last year’s National League Cy Young Award. Alcantara made 32 starts and threw 228.2 innings with a 23.4% strikeout rate and a 3.29 xFIP and 2.28 ERA last year, this season he is sitting at just a 20.6% strikeout rate and a 4.75 ERA with a 4.21 xFIP over 83.1 innings in 13 starts. If nothing else, the depth of start has typically been there for Alcantara this year, but his run numbers are up and his strikeouts are down, despite a slight increase in swinging-strike rate and a matching CSW% year over year. The righty has reportedly been tinkering with a new slider shape and pitch mix and we will have to see if that creates the turnaround we are hoping for. On this slate, Alcantara checks in at just $9,100/$8,800 against a Nationals active roster that is 29th out of 30 teams with a collective 84 WRC+ against righties this season. The Nationals’ team ISO sits at .124, though they do limit strikeouts to just 19% in the split. Our model and general approach still has faith in Alcantara and his dazzling repertoire of pitches, but it is important to remember that even last year he was not a dominant option for strikeouts, he compiled them by pitching deep into ball games, which works for MLB DFS purposes as long as we are collecting the strikeouts and the innings are clean, when neither of those is the case there are warts on the play on the mound. The Nationals are not a good option against this pitcher, even if he does not have a great day it seems likely that they will be limited from even their typically low-end performance in the split. Those choosing to roster Nationals bats in this spot should focus on the more obvious parts of the lineup, with Lane Thomas and Joey Meneses leading the way in the first and third spots in the batting order. The team’s two best hitters are carrying WRC+ marks of 116 and 99 in 281 and 276 plate appearances respectively, and have combined for 11 home runs, with nine of those belonging to Thomas. Luis Garcia slots in between the pair as an affordable part in the infield, he is slashing .274/.310/.386 with a .111 ISO and 86 WRC+ in 253 opportunities. Jeimer Candelario gets most of his power on this side of splits but he is only OK with his .245/328/.432 with a .187 ISO and 105 WRC+ overall. Corey Dickerson and Keibert Ruiz have a bit of pop later in the lineup from either side. Dickerson is a left-handed veteran who costs $2,200/$2,500 in the outfield and has a .159 ISO over 69 plate appearances with two home runs in the books. Ruiz is a young right-handed catcher whose power potential we have touched on in recent features, he hit his eighth home run of the season last night and lands cheap in this matchup on both sites. Dominic SmithAlex Call, and CJ Abrams are a weak final third.

Play: Sandy Alcantara, Marlins bats/stacks as a mid-level option

Update Notes: 

New York Yankees (+110/4.63) @ Boston Red Sox (-119/4.98)

After a week apart, the bitter AL East rivals will reunite in Boston for another weekend series, with Boston favored in the opening game after taking two of three in Yankee Stadium last weekend. The Red Sox will have righty Tanner Houck on the mound, his long term track record is having an impact on the Yankees’ power numbers, though Houck has not been as good at checking home runs so far this season. Overall, the starter has a 5.23 ERA but a far better 3.71 xFIP in his 12 starts and 63.2 innings this season. Houck typically keeps the ball down, which is where his home run-limiting talent tends to come from, this year he has allowed a 6.6% barrel rate and a 7.3-degree average launch angle but 3.36% home runs, last year it was 4.9% barrels, a 4.5-degree angle and 1.21% home runs. Houck has a serviceable strikeout rate at 23.1%, he can be an effective starter for just $8,800/$8,000 but he is far from reliable on a giant slate. The Yankees are without their star for this series but should at least get Harrison Bader back in center field, the outfielder’s mid-range power and good speed will be a welcome addition to the New York lineup as well. The projected version of the batting order has Jake Bauers in the leadoff spot once again, but we will see how things are configured, that spot could go to Gleyber Torres or Bader himself might be a good fit. Bauers has hit five home runs and has gotten on at a .308 clip, he is better suited to a power role later in the lineup. Giancarlo Stanton slots in second with his titanic power in play on any slate. The outfielder has six home runs in 88 plate appearances and hit 31 in just 452 chances last year, he obliterates pitches with regularity when he is healthy and he costs just $5,100/$3,100, though this is not a great matchup for home run upside. Torres has 11 home runs this season, matching the output of first baseman Anthony Rizzo, they are projected to hit third and fourth and will doubtless be in the top-5 in any configuration of this lineup. Rizzo is inexpensive for his talent at $4,000/$2,800 in the midst of a bit of a cooling period after a great first two months. Josh Donaldson has five home runs in 52 plate appearances and has struck out 30.8% of the time, which does not leave much room for additional production. The third baseman is in play for power and not much else in this form, but he is not expensive and will not be popular. Bader has been in and out of the lineup this year with injuries but when he plays he tends to produce, the outfielder has six home runs and six stolen bases with a .244 ISO and 118 WRC+ in his limited 95 plate appearances. Billy McKinney may or may not be in the outfield this evening, there are a number of ways this lineup could go with Bader back. McKinney has a home run in 25 plate appearances and has been productive in this latest chance in the Show in a very tiny sample. Jose Trevino is a defensive catcher, Anthony Volpe is a struggling rookie who is good for counting stats, his nine home runs and 14 stolen bases have played well, but he needs to get on base more frequently to capitalize on his speed, if nothing else.

The Red Sox are facing righty Domingo German, a somewhat underrated right-handed starter who has been among the league’s best strike-throwers in 2023. German has a 14.1% swinging-strike rate and 30.3% CSW% for the season, though that has amounted to just a 24% strikeout rate overall. The righty has made 12 starts and thrown 67 innings with a 3.49 ERA and 4.15 xFIP, he is capable of posting a strong score for MLB DFS purposes, but this is not a great matchup or ballpark and the Red Sox are carrying a 4.98-run implied total in Vegas, which is cause for concern at German’s elevated $9,900/$9,200 pricing, he is a better play on the FanDuel slate. The Boston lineup should have lefty leadoff man Alex Verdugo up top, the outfielder has a 12.8% strikeout rate and 9.8% walk rate this season, he puts the ball in play and gets on base at a .367 clip, helping him create runs 22% better than average. Masataka Yoshida has a 10.69 in our home run model, the first-year lefty has seven home runs and a .164 ISO with a 129 WRC+ in 262 plate appearances in the Major Leagues. Yoshida is a $5,600/$3,500 option who strikes out just 10.7% of the time. Justin Turner is another low-strikeout option toward the top of the lineup, the veteran has a 14.8% strikeout rate and is slashing .272/.352/.420 with a 111 WRC+ this year. The team’s star is excellent third baseman Rafael Devers, who has 17 home runs but is slashing .247/.301/.510 in a bit of a downturn. Devers still has a 111 WRC+ and a .263 ISO over 279 plate appearances, he is slightly discounted on both sites. Adam Duvall and Triston Casas add power on the right and left sides of the plate respectively. Duvall has four homers in 58 chances and missed time with injury, Casas has been here every day and has seven home runs in 225 plate appearances. The young first baseman is cheap at $2,900/$2,500 and he has encouraging signs in his contact profile and walk rate. Christian ArroyoReese McGuire, and Enrique Hernandez round out the lineup.

Play: Red Sox bats/stacks, minor shares of Yankees bats/stacks, Domingo German in small portions

Update Notes: 

St. Louis Cardinals (-110/4.62) @ New York Mets (+101/4.49)

The Cardinals are slight favorites on the road in Queens facing the Mets and righty Tylor Megill, who has been better in seasons past. Megill has made 13 starts this year and has just a 16.9% strikeout rate and an even uglier 12.1% walk rate with a 5.14 ERA and 5.22 xFIP. Megill struck out 25.5% while walking just 6.5% in a small sample of nine starts last season but things have fallen off badly in 2023. The righty is not a strong option on either site in this matchup, he costs $6,300/$7,500, but there are better value plays. The St. Louis lineup is projected to open with Brendan Donovan, a left-handed utility man who slots in at second base or in the outfield on DraftKings but loses his outfield eligibility on FanDuel. Donovan has a 105 WRC+ and can provide limited counting stats with better upside for correlated scoring. Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has 11 home runs and a 141 WRC+ with a .200 ISO, he has barreled the ball in 13.9% of his batted-ball events and has a premium 55.2% hard-hit rate on the season. Goldschmidt is worth every nickel of his $5,800/$3,700 salary. Nolan Gorman has 15 home runs with a .258 ISO and 129 WRC+, he has been raking through most of the season and is slashing .249/.336/.507 with a 14.9% barrel rate and 50.4% hard hits. Nolan Arenado scuffled his way through March and April but is all the way back at .283/.331/.488 with a .205 ISO and 122 WRC+ with 13 home runs on the board in a great example of the fickle nature of the baseball gods. Willson Contreras could use that sort of turnaround. The backstop is slashing .198/.292/.347 and creating runs 19% worse than average while not being a favorite of his pitching staff, which is problematic for a catcher who is here to hit with his defense as a secondary consideration. Dylan Carlson and Jordan Walker are interesting options sixth and seventh, Carlson has three home runs and a 94 WRC+ in 133 plate appearances, Walker has a 53.3% hard-hit rate in his 126 plate appearances and is slashing .293/.349/.440 with a 121 WRC+, four home runs, and two stolen bases. The rookie was a hot commodity early in the season but he was sent back down for a bit of seasoning and many seem to have forgotten him, Walker is a play for $3,000/$2,900 when looking at Cardinals tonight. Paul DeJong and Tommy Edman are viable bats late in the lineup, Edman is a good wraparound play for mid-range power and speed, DeJong has home run potential at shortstop.

The Mets lineup will be facing veteran righty Miles Mikolas, who is an effective starter despite a low-end strikeout rate. Mikolas has a 4.02 ERA and 4.31 xFIP over 80.2 innings in 14 starts, but just a 17.6% strikeout rate. The righty tends to pitch deep into games while compiling clean innings, but the lack of strikeouts keeps him only as a mid-range option who is better as an SP2 on DraftKings. The Mets lineup is projected to open with Brandon Nimmo, as usual. The outfielder has made 300 plate appearances, he has six home runs and three stolen bases with a 132 WRC+ and makes for a strong option when stacking Mets. Nimmo has a 47.9% hard-hit rate with his excellent correlated scoring ability and he costs just $4,000/$3,100. Starling Marte has stolen 19 bases and is projected to climb back to the second spot in the lineup after turning his season around slightly. For the month of June, Marte is slashing .302/.318/.395 with a 101 WRC+, he was OK in May at .266/.310/.319 a large part of which came in the final week or so of the month. Marte is in the midst of a turnaround and remains cheap at $3,800/$2,800, his speed alone is worth that ticket. Jeff McNeil is down to .273/.350/.351, the on-base percentage is good but this is a hitter who needs to be even better than that to provide full value, particularly in this position in the lineup. McNeil costs $3,600/$2,600 with eligibility at second base and in the outfield. Francisco Lindor has a 6.68 in our home run model with 12 in his ledger for the season but his overall statistics are not in line with his typical production. Lindor is slashing .214/.293/.416 but that has made him cheap at $4,600/$3,100. Francisco Alvarez has matched the shortstop’s home run total in roughly half the plate appearances and is slashing .236/.289/.520, the rookie catcher is in play on most slates when looking to stacks of Mets. Brett Baty has four home runs and a 49.6% hard-hit rate in his 173 plate appearances and costs just $3,000/$2,600 at third base. The lineup winds down with Tommy PhamLuis Guillorme, and Mark Canha, Pham and Canha are playable veteran outfielders, but Guillorme is a defense-only infielder.

Play: Cardinals bats/stacks, Mikolas SP2 value, a few shares of Mets bats

Update Notes: 

Colorado Rockies (+217/3.95) @ Atlanta Braves (-241/6.19)

The low-end Rockies are facing lefty Jared Shuster, who has not been very good on the mound for Atlanta over seven starts and 35.2 innings this year. Shuster is a rookie who is figuring things out on the mound as the season goes on, he will be in the best pitching situation in baseball, facing the Rockies as a lefty. Colorado’s active roster has a collective 61 WRC+ in the split against southpaws this season. The team ISO is .146 in the split and they have a 29.9% strikeout rate, this is a bad team on the bad side of their collective splits. It will be interesting to see if Shuster can capitalize, to this point he has been an extremely low-end strikeout option at just 13.8% in the small sample. His 5.05 ERA and 6.23 xFIP are no more encouraging, even at $6,500/$7,200. The Rockies lineup is not projected to be a great option, but they run heavily right-handed in this configuration and they are pulling a touch of power in our home run model in the matchup. Jurickson Profar has five home runs on the season, which has been the case for weeks. Profar has a 78 WRC+ and a .144 ISO with a 4.6% barrel rate and 33.5% hard-hit rate for the season, he is not a strong option. Ezequiel Tovar was one of two players called out on yesterday’s show who delivered MLB DFS points in his performance (the resurrection of the day went to a Tigers player to be named later). Tovar hit his sixth home run of the season and he has stolen three bases, but overall his performance has been lackluster at .251/.289/.414 with a 74 WRC+ in 253 plate appearances. Ryan McMahon has 10 home runs, only two of them have come against fellow lefties. McMahon loses about 70 points of ISO at just .171 in the split and he hits for less average and power against same-handed pitching. Catcher Elias Diaz has a 40.7% hard-hit rate and strikes out at just 18.7% with seven home runs on the season. Diaz is a good catcher play when looking to Rockies at just $4,400/$2,800. Randal Grichuk is slashing .307/.373/.438 with a 106 WRC+ in 153 plate appearances and costs $4,000/$2,900 in the outfield, catcher Jorge Alfaro was once a highly regarded prospect, he landed in the lineup last night unexpectedly and went 0-4. Alfaro costs $3,500/$2,200 if he is in the lineup again tonight he has an 8.49 in our home run model and would be a low-owned option against the lefty. Coco Montes is a 26-year-old unranked prospect infielder who hit 12 home runs in 282 plate appearances in AAA before his call-up this past week, he has one homer in 12 plate appearances in the Show so far and he costs $2,500/$2,300 at second base. Elehuris Montero and Brenton Doyle are a pair of young right-handed hitters with power potential, Doyle has four home runs and 10 stolen bases in just 135 plate appearances this year.

The Rockies will have Dinelson Lamet making his fourth start of the season. The righty has thrown 21.2 innings total this season with several appearances out of the bullpen. Lamet has a 10.38 ERA but a 5.20 xFIP that is still not at all good. His strikeout rate sits at 22.8% and he has walked 14.9% of opposing hitters while allowing an 8.6% barrel rate and 48.6% hard hits with a 91.1 mph exit velocity on average. This is a target of a pitcher who should not be rostered at $5,000 or $6,000. The Braves lineup is one of the leading options on this slate, the team is carrying a gargantuan 6.19-run implied total in Vegas and their lineup plays from 1-9. Superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. leads off for $6,600/$4,600, he has a 55% hard-hit rate with a 16.3% barrel rate and strikes out just 12.7% of the time while walking at a 10.5% clip. The outstanding outfielder is always in play when he can be afforded, his high prices are worth the effort. Matt Olson hit his 19th home run last night, he has a 19.2% barrel rate and 55.8% hard-hit rate with a .262 ISO this season and is coming off 34 home runs last year and 39 the year before. Third baseman Austin Riley hit 38 long balls last year and 33 the year before, he has 11 in 302 plate appearances this season which puts him behind that pace, but he is an effective option at his current pricing. Catcher Sean Murphy is yet another hitter who makes outstanding contact in this lineup, the backstop has a 16.9% barrel rate and 45.9% hard-hit rate this year. Murphy has hit a dozen home runs and has a .250 ISO with a 148 WRC+ as one of baseball’s most productive players at his position. Marcell Ozuna has 13 home runs, Eddie Rosario has nine, and Ozzie Albies has 15, a lot of teams would pay to have that production from their three best hitters, let alone from the 5-7 hitters. Ozuna has not done much beyond hit for power, Rosario has pulled his season together for the most part but still sits at a 91 WRC+, and Albies is cheap for someone with his track record and current-year output at just $4,800/$3,100. Orlando Arcia is an excellent value play that is never popular and Michael Harris II was featured in this space for potentially being in the early stages of a turnaround just yesterday. Harris is a bargain at $3,600/$2,700 at the bottom of the lineup.

Play: Braves bats/stacks, small doses of Rockies stacks

Update Notes: 

Toronto Blue Jays (-134/4.86) @ Texas Rangers (+124/4.23)

The Blue Jays are favorites on the road against the high-scoring Rangers in a matchup against veteran southpaw Martin Perez, who has pitched to a 4.67 ERA and 4.86 xFIP this season. The southpaw has a 16.1% strikeout rate over 71.1 innings and 13 starts, he has put too many runners on base and has not been effective at punching his way out of trouble, while also allowing a touch of premium contact. Perez is not a great option at $6,200/$8,400. The Blue Jays lineup includes star power at the top with George SpringerBo Bichette, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. all of whom are worthy of investment in this spot. The trio can be taken as a group off the top of the lineup or mixed and matched through numerous stacks of Blue Jays. Springer has 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases, Bichette has hit 14 long balls and has a 138 WRC+ over 313 plate appearances as the team’s most consistent player, and Guerrero has nine home runs and a 122 WRC+ in a bit of a down season that has remained productive overall. The star first baseman has not delivered the expected home run total and his ISO is down hard to just .157, but he has tattooed the ball with regularity. Guerrero’s hard-hit rate is up from 50.4% last year to 56.5% this year and his barrel rate has climbed from 11.2% to 13.9%, the home runs will come. Matt Chapman has nine homers in 288 plate appearances with a .196 ISO after a scorching hot start to the year. Alejandro Kirk costs just $3,000/$2,500 at catcher, her has three home runs but just a .081 ISO and 95 WRC+ in 196 plate appearances. Whit Merrifield is a speed option with a strong hit tool and moderate power, he hits ahead of Danny JansenSantiago Espinal, and Kevin Kiermaier to close the projected lineup.

The Rangers are facing a challenge in righty Kevin Gausman who will also be hard-pressed to deliver his typical excellence on the mound. Gausman has a 3.12 ERA and 2.73 xFIP over 14 starts and 86.2 innings this year and he has racked up a terrific 33.2% strikeout rate. The righty has a 13% swinging-strike rate and 29.6% CSW% for the season and he has kept home runs to 2.27% despite some premium contact. Gausman is facing a high-scoring Rangers squad that is fairly effective in limiting strikeouts, this should be an excellent matchup and it is easy to see both the pitcher and the Texas bats falling short of their price tags. Gausman is expensive for this spot at $11,200 on both sites tonight. The Rangers remain expensive on the other side, with Marcus Semien and Corey Seager opening the lineup at $6,100/$4,000 and $6,000/$4,400. The infield duo is outstanding and demands ownership when rostering Rangers, they have power, speed, and run creation acumen that have been on display all season. Nathaniel Lowe has eight home runs while slashing .275/.354/.439 with a 121 WRC+ over 305 plate appearances and is always inexpensive and under-owned in this lineup, but the matchup is a tough one. Adolis Garcia and Josh Jung provide significant power upside in the heart of the lineup, but their 25.3% and 26% strikeout rates are among the highest on the team. Jonah Heim has power at catcher, he has hit seven home runs in 237 plate appearances while striking out just 17.7% of the time so far this season. Robbie Grossman is a cheap veteran with some power at the bottom of the lineup, but Ezequiel Duran and Leody Taveras have both been better this season. Duran has eight home runs and a 131 WRC+ with a .204 ISO in 179 plate appearances, and Taveras has six homers and seven steals in 211 tries.

Play: Kevin Gausman, Blue Jays bats/stacks, Rangers bats/stacks in small contrarian doses

Update Notes: 

Detroit Tigers (tba) @ Minnesota Twins (tba)

Minnesota righty Joe Ryan is our top pitching option on both sites at $10,600/$11,400 against the lowly Tigers tonight. This game still does not have a Vegas line, so we are making some educated guesses, but little matters on Ryan’s side, the pitcher should have little difficulty plowing through the Detroit lineup, though they did get to Sonny Gray for us as a value option last night. Ryan has been mostly excellent this season, he has made 13 starts and thrown 77.2 innings while pitching to a 2.90 ERA and 3.71 xFIP with a 27.3% strikeout rate and microscopic 4.9% walk rate. The righty is facing a Tigers squad that has a collective 78 WRC+ in the split against right-handed pitching, which is a league-worst mark so far this season. Playable Tigers hitters include leadoff lefty Zach McKinstry who has had a productive 212 plate appearances with a 103 WRC+, five home runs, and 10 stolen bases. Spencer Torkelson had another good game last night and has shown good signs of life at the plate recently. The righty first baseman is up to .238/.324/.387 with a 99 WRC+ and he has seven home runs, while those are not great numbers they are improving on the back of sturdy contact and a good eye at the plate. Torkelson has an 11.2% barrel rate and 50% hard-hit rate while striking out 22.2% of the time but walking 10.6%. The return of lefty Kerry Carpenter gave a boost to the Tigers’ lineup, he has four home runs in 101 plate appearances this year. Javier Baez was yesterday’s resurrection special, after a bit of criticism on yesterday’s show Baez went out and had a monster performance, he needs to repeat the task another few dozen times to correct his statistical line for the season, but it’s a start. Baez costs $3,900/$2,700 and is a playable part at shortstop if one is rostering Tigers against counsel. Nick Maton hit six home runs but there is not much to support the ideal of additional power to come, Matt Vierling has a better bat on the right side of the plate, he delivered a good game last night and has a 45.3% hard-hit rate for the season. Zack ShortEric Haase, and Jake Marisnick lend upside to Ryan on the mound.

The Twins are facing Tyler Alexander, a low-end lefty who has pitched at around league-average levels in a small sample in 2023. Alexander has a 22.4% strikeout rate with a 5.23 ERA but a 4.15 xFIP over 32.2 innings and one start, working primarily as a long man out of the bullpen. For what should be expected to be about four innings of mediocrity, Alexander is not likely to be worth his $5,200/$5,900 price tags. The Twins are a high-strikeout bunch but there is power in their improving lineup. Donovan Solano delivered in a big way last night after checking into the leadoff role at minimum price, he lands at $2,400 on both sites today and remains a strong buy if he is leading off. Carlos Correa should be hitting second, his typically place in the lineup, the shortstop has a 13.5% barrel rate and .205 ISO with nine home runs in his 253 otherwise lousy plate appearances. Correa is cheap amidst the downturn at the plate, he is a buy at $4,300/$3,200. Alex Kirilloff has a 40.5% hard-hit rate but just a 3.8% barrel rate in 133 plate appearances, with three home runs in the books. Kirilloff is a highly regarded young player who costs just $3,200/$2,800. Switch-hitting superstar Byron Buxton’s primary challenge remains actually staying on the field. The outfielder has missed significant time again this season and has made just 216 plate appearances, over which he has 10 home runs and a robust .220 ISO with a 110 WRC+. Kyle Farmer and Royce Lewis are good options in the infield, Farmer is cheap with multi-position eligibility across sites and has mid-range power with four home runs this year and 14 last season. Lewis is a rookie with pedigree and a good track record over 50 plate appearances this year and 41 last season. Michael A. Taylor is a sneaky veteran with power upside, he has 10 home runs that very few people profited from for MLB DFS purposes. Christian Vazquez and Willi Castro round out the projected lineup. Castro is having a nice year, over 154 plate appearances the cheap multi-position player is slashing .250/.307/.407 with five home runs and 13 stolen bases, though his WRC+ has slipped to 99.

Play: Joe Ryan aggressively, Twins bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Pittsburgh Pirates (-102/4.52) @ Milwaukee Brewers (-120/4.73)

The presence of Julio Teheran on the mound should be a great reason to play Pirates bats in this matchup, but the veteran has so far defied expectations in his return to action. Teheran has a 1.48 ERA but a 4.48 xFIP that seems far more accurate over his first four starts and 24.1 innings this year. Teheran has struck out just 17.8% of opposing hitters but he has walked just 3.3% and he has been decent at limiting power despite what our model says should be happening on the field. The Pirates are pulling upside for home runs and run creation in projections, Teheran has gotten lucky to deliver the numbers that he has to this point and all indications are that a regression is looming. The low-strikeout righty is facing a Pirates team that is not great but is good enough to get to him in this spot. Tucupita Marcano is slated to lead off for Pittsburgh, he is a low-end option on the left side of the plate, he has three home runs and four stolen bases with a 96 WRC+ in 144 chances this season. Bryan Reynolds and Andrew McCutchen provide capable bats with outfield eligibility at fair prices, Reynolds has created runs 20% better than average with McCutchen at 25% for the first few months of the season. Carlos Santana is an underperforming switch-hitter at first base, he costs just $2,800/$3,000 with five home runs and a .137 ISO in the books and has not been making sturdy contact this season. Jack Suwinski is ably covering the lack of production from Santana, he has 15 home runs and a .293 ISO in 218 plate appearances and is our overall home run pick of the day at a 16.14 in our model. Ke’Bryan Hayes has a 48.3% hard-hit rate from the right side of the plate, he has not translated the premium contact into many big performances for DFS purposes, but he did post one earlier this week and he has more than enough ability to deliver with regularity. The third baseman has an 18.2% strikeout rate and puts bat on ball well, he costs $4,000/$3,000 which means we can somewhat ignore the underwhelming statistical line so far this year. Josh PalaciosJi-Hwan Bae, and Austin Hedges round out the lineup as mix-in fillers.

Veteran southpaw Rich Hill is on the mound for the Pirates tonight, he has a 4.23 ERA and 4.40 xFIP with a 21.5% strikeout rate over 72.1 innings and 13 starts this year and projects exactly like that sort of average pitcher in this matchup. Hill is affordable from the lower-middle region of the pitching board, he is a far better option at $6,700 as a DraftKings SP2 than for $8,000 on the single-starter site. The Brewers have a lineup that aligns well for a matchup against lefties, Owen Miller opens the lineup with a productive hit tool and good correlated scoring ability. Miller is an option at second or third base on DraftKings and adds outfield to the mix on the blue site. For $4,200/$2,800 he is a good buy atop the lineup, he has delivered a .301/.337/.432 triple-slash with a 109 WRC+ in 187 plate appearances. Joey Wiemer is projected to hit second in this configuration of the lineup. Wiemer has hit eight home runs and stolen 10 bases but his WRC+ is 17% below average and he strikes out at a 29.5% clip. William Contreras is slashing .239/.335/.415 with a 107 WRC+ and eight home runs and is a serviceable backstop who has an 11.2% barrel rate and 49% hard-hit rate. Willy AdamesChristian Yelich, and Luis Urias are a good core of hitters who offer power and significant upside from the 4-6 spots in the lineup. Urias has made just 32 plate appearances but Yelich and Adame have combined for 19 home runs so far. Brian Anderson, Blake Perkins, and Andruw Monasterio are low-cost options to fill out a stack at a variety of positions, Perkins costs the minimum on DraftKings in an interesting spot.

Play: Pirates bats/stacks, Brewers bats/stacks, minor shares of Rich Hill SP2 value

Update Notes: 

Los Angeles Angels (-151/5.29) @ Kansas City Royals (+139/4.32)

The Angels are pulling down a significant run total in Vegas for their matchup against scuffling righty Brady Singer. The starter has thrown 64.1 innings in 13 outings so far in 2023, pitching to a 6.58 ERA and 4.49 xFIP with a 1.59 WHIP, a 20.3% strikeout rate, and a gargantuan 55.1% hard-hit rate allowed. Singer has yielded far too much premium contact, his barrel rate sits at 11.2% and he has allowed 92.9 mph of exit velocity on average this season. The pitcher was far better over 153.1 innings last year, he took a big step back to start the season, his good starts have been few and far between this season. The Los Angeles lineup should be a high-priority stack around the industry, the Angels lead our projections model for hitting today. Taylor Ward has a 45.2% hard-hit rate and a 21.8% strikeout rate, the blend of enough contact and an ability to strike the ball well should add up to more than his current eight home runs and .136 ISO, which was the case last year. Ward has a 90 WRC+ over 275 up and down plate appearances this year. Shohei Ohtani has been blasting baseballs into the seats to seize control of the league lead with 22 on the season. The lefty has eligibility at first base and in the outfield for $6,400 on DraftKings and lands in just the outfield on FandDuel for $4,300. Mike Trout is priced down slightly at $6,000/$3,700, the superstar outfielder has 14 home runs and a 124 WRC+ this year and has been making good contact despite a dip in his overall production. Trout has a 15.2% barrel rate and 50.9% hard-hit rate this season, take the discount. Anthony Rendon has been getting on base if nothing else, but he has not hit for much power this year which has rendered him cheap. The third baseman is an option at $3,300/$3,000 when going to stacks of Angels hitters tonight, he is typically skipped by the DFS community, which is advantageous to those who roster him when building numerous iterations of this lineup. Matt Thaiss has a 10.7% barrel rate and 41.7% hard-hit mark with three home runs in his 146 plate appearances, Brandon DruryHunter Renfroe, and Jared Walsh have excellent potential for power on any given slate, they are typically cheap and low-owned for their ceilings. Andrew Velazquez slots into the final spot in the projected batting order as a low-end play for the minimum on both sites.

Lefty Patrick Sandoval has not been a good option for strikeouts on the mound this year, he has just a 16.9% strikeout rate and he has pitched to just a 4.52 ERA and a 4.51 xFIP in 12 starts. Sandoval pitched to a 23.7% strikeout rate in 148.2 innings just last year, he is more talented than the current output and the Royals free-swinging lineup can provide punchouts, the team’s active roster has a 24.4% strikeout rate against left-handed pitching this season while putting up a 94 WRC+ and collective .158 ISO in the split. At $7,300/$8,100 the upside for Sandoval in this form is something of a question mark, he is a better dart throw on the DraftKings slate as an SP2 but the FanDuel price is not incorrect for those who embrace risk. The Royals lineup is also somewhat playable, Sandoval does not allow much power at the plate though, which pushes the team’s skillset down somewhat and makes them just a low-priority option, which is reflected in their 4.32-run implied total tonight. Lefty Nick Pratto has a 33.3% strikeout rate, a 10.3% walk rate, and 118 WRC+ while slashing .278/.362/.424 with four home runs. Pratto is a playable part, he has been good against same-handed pitching with a .250 ISO and 129 WRC+, and three of his home runs came against same-handed pitching in just 52 plate appearances. Sal Perez has 14 home runs and a .232 ISO, the catcher has been a significant power hitter at his position, and in a general sense, for years, he has a 48.1% hard-hit rate and comes cheap at $5,500/$3,000. Bobby Witt Jr. has 11 home runs and 21 stolen bases and has been surging in recent weeks. Witt is still sitting 11% below average for run creation on the season but the counting stats work well for DFS and he fills a premium position for $5,600/$3,300. MJ Melendez has hit five home runs but has just a 79 WRC+ and a .221/.299/.355 triple-slash. Maikel GarciaEdward Olivares, and Matt Duffy are mix-in options with some quality, Garcia has a 92 WRC+ in 137 plate appearances with one home run and five stolen bases, Olivares offers a bit more pop and speed, and Duffy has a worthwhile hit tool. THe cheap infielder is slashing .312/.365/.403 with a home run and a 113 WRC+ in 85 plate appearances this year. Drew Waters and Dairon Blanco are inexpensive low-end options at the bottom of the batting order.

Play: Angels bats/stacks aggressively, minor shares of Royals bats, a few Sandoval SP2 value shares

Update Notes: 

Cincinnati Reds (+162/3.90) @ Houston Astros (-196/5.32)

Rookie JP France has a 4.41 xFIP and just a 20.5% strikeout rate over 40.2 innings and seven starts and he has allowed too much power so far this year with a 4.09% home run rate on an 8.3% barrel rate. France costs $7,000/$9,000 as a very different option from one site to the next, he is limited on FanDuel at that price, despite a playable matchup against a Reds team that is carrying a 3.90 run total in Vegas. France is a viable SP2 option with somewhat low expectations on DraftKings, he is not a major strikeout pitcher but does not have to be if he can find a few clean innings at his price. There are better value options on the slate, but France is not an awful choice in that scenario. The Reds lineup is more fun than it is good right now. TJ Friedl leads off in the projected version of the batting order, he has three homers and seven stolen bases on the season while slashing .321/.370/.491 with a 127 WRC+ over 177 productive plate appearances. Matt McLain is a good rookie who has a .328/.379/.516 triple-slash over 132 plate appearances this season. McLain has an 11.6% barrel rate and a 41.9% hard-hit mark in his small sample at the MLB level, he has been a good option since his call-up and remains affordable on DraftKings. Jonathan India has eight home runs with 12 stolen bases and he strikes out just 18% of the time with a 9.5% walk rate. India is a good option for correlated scoring and he can provide individual counting stats when called upon. Elly De La Cruz is now at .235/.350/.412 with a home run and five stolen bases and a 37.5% strikeout rate but a 15% walk rate in 40 plate appearances that have been all over the map in the Show. Spencer Steer has nine home runs while slashing .278/.357/.473 and creating runs 19% better than average in 280 good plate appearances. Tyler StephensonWill BensonStuart Fairchild, and Luke Maile round out the lineup as mix-and-match offerings.

The Astros are one of the slate-leading options for production with a 5.32-run implied team total on the board in Vegas. Houston has not been performing up to typical expectations this season, but they have several dangerous hitters in their lineup even in the absence of star Yordan Alvarez, and they are facing left-handed rookie Andrew Abbott. The starter has a 21.3% strikeout rate in the Show but he has thrown only 11.2 innings and made two starts. Abbott is a premium prospect for the Reds and he is a well-regarded young pitcher but he is just arriving and has given up a 50% hard-hit rate and 94.1 mph of exit velocity on average in the tiny sample. Houston’s active roster has a 106 WRC+ that ties for 15th, exactly in the middle of the league against lefties this year and their .159 ISO in the split is unspectacular, but the team has a 15.9% strikeout rate against lefties as a group which should play extremely well against the rookie. Abbott is in a tough spot even at $7,100 on DraftKings, his $9,500 price on the FanDuel slate is difficult to justify in this matchup. Mauricio Dubon opens the projected Houston batting order, he has three home runs and five stolen bases with a 102 WRC+ over 228 opportunities at the plate this year. Jose Altuve has an 11.18 in our home run model, the star second baseman has a pair of home runs and three steals in his 83 chances this year. Alex Bregman has right-handed power and a long track record of success, he has a good shot of providing upside against the young lefty tonight. Bregman has a 9.69 in our home run model with nine in the books already this year in what has been a somewhat down season overall. Kyle Tucker also has nine home runs but has also underperformed somewhat this season. The outfielder has never been bad against same-handed pitching, he has an 11.80 in our home run model to lead the team tonight. Jose Abreu hit his second, third, and fourth home runs of the year in the past 10 days, he has not done much else this season. Jeremy Pena has a .252/.306/.420 triple-slash and has faded somewhat over the first few months of the season. Yainer Diaz is a viable catcher option for $2,900/$2,500, he has four home runs and a .204 ISO over 101 plate appearances. Chas McCormick remains our preferred late-lineup option from this team, he has a 6.30 in our home run model with six homers and five stolen bases in his 134 plate appearances this year. Catcher Martin Maldonado is a low-end mix-in from his typical ninth spot in the order.

Play: Astros bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Philadelphia Phillies (-139/4.64) @ Oakland Athletics (128/3.96)

The Phillies and Athletics are squaring off in the controversial Colesium this evening. Lefty JP Sears has been the best piece of the Athletics’ rotation this season, he has a 4.15 ERA and 4.89 xFIP over 13 starts and 69.1 innings with a 22.8% strikeout rate and just a 5.6% walk rate. Sears has induced a good 11.4% swinging-strike rate but he has made costly mistakes when he misses, amounting to a 4.91% home run rate on 12.2% barrels. The premium contact is challenging and could take Sears off the board on the FanDuel slate for $8,300, at $6,800 on DraftKings he has more appeal as an SP2. The young lefty projects in the upper-middle of the board, but his path to clean innings and a win is not a good one. The Phillies lineup is the play, particularly with the level of contact the lefty has allowed. Philadelphia’s projected lineup opens with Kyle Schwarber, who has been an all-or-nothing option for power this year with 18 home runs and a .258 ISO. Schwarber costs just $5,200/$3,500 and makes a good buy even with the lefty on the mound to start. Trea Turner slots in at shortstop for $5,400/$3,300, he has seven home runs and 12 stolen bases and is up to .252/.301/.395 after an extended slump. Nick Castellanos has been having a strong year at the plate, he has an 11.3% barrel rate and 46.3% hard hits for the season while slashing .316/.359/.496. Bryce Harper is a star in the outfield for $5,700/$3,600, he adds first base eligibility on the blue site and makes for a great buy at the cheap price with the team lacking a true first baseman. JT Realmuto is an affordable catcher who is far more talented than most of the filler options at his position. Alec Bohm lands ahead of a projected final group of Josh HarrisonEdmundo Sosa, and Dalton Guthrie with the lefty on the mound. Bohm is easily the best of that group that does not include lefties Bryson Stott or Brandon Marsh.

The Athletics are pushing a decent projection in the direction of average righty Taijuan Walker, who is never a comfortable click for MLB DFS purposes. Walker has a 19.9% strikeout rate and 4.67 ERA with a 4.61 xFIP over 14 starts this year, strong performances are rare but this is the right spot for MLB DFS gamers to conjure one at a good price. Walker slots in at $7,000/$8,600, he is a better option for DraftKings play but is a mix-in for value on FanDuel as well. Oakland’s active roster has just a 93 WRC+ against righties this season with an aggressive 25.4% strikeout rate and just a .137 ISO. Walker is not trustworthy, reliable, or overly talented, but the matchup is a good one. A few shares of Athletics stacks as a hedge are not out of the question. The lineup opens with speedy Esteury Ruiz who is up to 33 stolen bases in his 305 plate appearances this season. Ruiz has an 86 WRC+ and provides scoring via his steals and not much else. Ryan Noda gets on base at a .412 clip and has created runs 49% better than average this season while hitting seven home runs and posting a .189 ISO. Seth Brown and Ramon Laureano are players capable of posting double-digit home run and steals totals over a full season, they are affordable and can be effective against a pitcher like Walker. Jace Peterson costs $2,400/$2,500 at second base and third base on DraftKings, he is a third baseman on FanDuel which has a limiting impact on his appeal, which is already barely noticeable. Jonah BrideJJ BledayKevin Smith, and Shea Langeliers do not support the team’s case of putting a good roster on the field for fans every day.

Play: Phillies bats/stacks, Taijuan Walker value, JP Sears value in small doses, maybe a few shares of hedge Athletics stacks

Update Notes: 

Cleveland Guardians (+138/3.65) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (-150/4.45)

Righty Zac Gallen has a strong chance of posting a very good start tonight with the Guardians in town. Cleveland is good at limiting strikeouts but they have done very little else at the plate this season. Gallen, meanwhile, has been mostly excellent over his 14 starts, pitching to a 3.09 ERA and 3.29 xFIP in 84.1 innings. The righty has a 27% strikeout rate and 5.5% walk rate with a 12.1% swinging-strike rate over the course of the season, he has allowed a bit of premium contact but it has not hurt him. Despite an inflated 46.3% hard-hit rate and 91.2 mph of exit velocity, Gallen has allowed just a 1.16% home run rate this year. For $10,200/$10,800, Gallen has a high ceiling in this start. Cleveland’s projected lineup takes its typical shape, Steven Kwan has let the Midwest down in slashing .253/.336/.342 with just a 91 WRC+ in 308 plate appearances after being a productive catalyst for this offense last year. Kwan adds nothing if he is not getting on base, his 0.9% barrel rate and 21.3% hard-hit rate make him a second Myles Straw in the lineup, which is not what anyone wants. Amed Rosario has one home run and a 2.6% barrel rate but has at least managed a 44% hard-hit rate this year. The infielder has not been good but he is at least cheap for $3,200/$2,800. Jose Ramirez is also inexpensive compared to his typical price tag. Ramirez is slashing .289/.357/.498 with a .209 ISO and 126 WRC+ for $4,700/$3,900 at third base, he remains the best player on a bad team. Josh Naylor has been good at the plate while not hitting for the expected amount of power this year. The lefty is cheap at first base and he sports a 10.3% barrel rate and 44% hard-hit rate this year. Josh Bell costs just $2,500/$2,700 as another first baseman in the lineup, he has a 41.3% hard-hit rate within 8.4% barrel rate but just six home runs and a .146 ISO this year. Andres Gimenez has a 3.6% barrel rate and four home runs with seven stolen bases and an 85 WRC+, he has been a major disappointment for this team. Straw, Will Brennan, and Mike Zunino close out the lineup in weak form.

In his third start of the season righty Triston McKenzie will attempt to deliver an appearance reminiscent of his first outing in which he struck out 10 while allowing no runs on one hit in five innings. In his second start, McKenzie struck out five and walked three while yielding five runs on seven hits in five innings. The talented young righty has been injured for most of this season, he made 30 starts last year and racked up 191.1 innings with a 25.6% strikeout rate as a good emerging talent. For $8,600/$10,500 McKenzie is another player who is a very different option across sites, he is worth more faith at the DraftKings discount than at the FanDuel markup, the Diamondbacks are not a pushover matchup. Lefty Pavin Smith is projected to lead off for $3,100/$2,700, he has eligibility at first base on the FanDuel slate in addition to his outfield positioning with seven home runs on the year but he sits below the Mendoza line at .199/.303/.360. Ketel Marte has been very good this year, he has 10 home runs with a 126 WRC+ in 279 plate appearances while slashing .283/.355/.486. Corbin Carroll has had an outstanding season, his .306/.391/.586 triple-slash and .280 ISO are premium numbers from any player, let alone a rookie outfielder. Carroll has 14 home runs and 19 stolen bases this season yet he costs just $5,400 on DraftKings, he is correctly priced like a star at $4,400 on the blue site. Christian Walker and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. have power in the heart of the lineup with 13 and 10 home runs respectively. Gurriel is the better overall hitter, his .285/.335/.516 triple-slash has been strong throughout the season and he offers strong upside for the price from the right side of the plate. Josh RojasJake McCarthyCarson Kelly, and Geraldo Perdomo round out the projected lineup, they are all mix-in value options with talent at their positions and should be spread through Diamondbacks stacks. If selecting only one from the group with positions set aside, McCarthy’s abilities when it comes to accruing counting stats in a hurry are the most appealing despite the low-end output this year.

Play: Zac Gallen, Diamondbacks bats/stacks, Triston McKenzie 

Update Notes: 

Tampa Bay Rays (-112/3.87) @ San Diego Padres (+103/3.72)

One of the top pitching matchups of the day sees two good lineups squaring off against two good pitchers, with Vegas and our projections both favoring the options on the mound, though the Rays’ lineup makes it close. Tampa Bay will be facing veteran Yu Darvish in his 13th start of the season. Darvish has a 26.2% strikeout rate with a 4.30 ERA and 3.80 xFIP while inducing an 11.2% swinging-strike rate with a 29.8% CSW% and he has been an excellent pitcher throughout his long career. The righty has been good at limiting premium contact this season, which will be important in this matchup, he has allowed just a 36.8% hard-hit rate and a 2.84% home run rate on 7.1% barrels. Darvish is cheap for his talent at $8,100/$9,300, he is very much in play despite the stiff opposition. The Rays lineup can be deployed against this pitcher, but they are only a mid-level option with their limited 3.87-run implied team total. Tampa Bay’s lineup opens with Yandy Diaz, who has hit 12 home runs while slashing .311/.404/.539 with a .228 ISO while creating runs 68% better than average over 255 plate appearances in a breakout season. Wander Franco is a star who has eight home runs and 22 stolen bases while slashing .301/.361/.481 and creating runs 38% ahead of the field. Josh Lowe and Randy Arozarena have power in the heart of the lineup, Lowe has 11 home rnus and Arozarena has hit 12 already this season, both players have better than 10% barrel rate and 40% hard hits with Arozarena leading by a wide margin in both categories. Lefty Luke Raley has a 20.8% barrel rate and a 53.5% hard-hit rate over 176 plate appearances with a dozen home runs on the board. Jose Siri matched that total in his 151 plate appearances in the sixth spot. He has six stolen bases and a 122 WRC+ that fall below the eight steals and 159 WRC+ Raley has posted this year. Talyor WallsChristian Bethancourt, and Vidal Brujan round out the lineup. Brujan has not been good over 36 plate appearances, Walls and Bethancourt have been very good in limited action but have both come back to Earth somewhat after starting the season playing well above expectations.

The Rays answer Darvish with an ace of their own in lefty Shane McClanahan, who has been mostly excellent in his 14 starts so far in 2023. McClanahan has a 2.18 ERA and a 3.62 xFIP that is probably the more accurate number in the long term. The southpaw has struck out 27.8% of opposing hitters with a 15.8% swinging-strike rate and 32.1% CSW% that rival the best pitchers in the league. McClanahan has allowed a bit of premium contact, his barrel rate is 11% and average exit velocity sits at 89.3 mph but it hast not hurt him badly with just a 2.72% home run rate. At $11,000 on both sites McClanahan is obviously the more challenging arm to roster, but he is worth the effort with a strong projection that puts him among today’s slate leaders. The top-heavy Padres lineup is a weaker option than usual in this matchup, the team rarely lands above the mid-range, their averages are inflated by the premium bats atop their lineup, but the weak bottom third is a handicap when it comes to turning the lineup over and generating additional plate appearances for the stars. Fernando Tatis Jr. sits at a more human 11.88 in our home run model after two days above 17.0, he has 14 long balls on the season in just 222 plate appearances. Juan Soto has created runs 47% better than average with a 59% hard-hit rate and a 12.7% barrel rate, the star outfielder is cheap at $3,500 on FanDuel, he costs a more appropriate $5,900 on DraftKings tonight. Manny Machado had a big game after a mention for talent at too cheap a price in this space yesterday, he is in the same place today at just $5,400/$3,000 at third base. Machado is a star who has lived at higher prices for years, a minor slump should not be cause to render him so cheap, take advantage while it lasts. Gary Sanchez and Xander Bogaerts fil out the list of good options in the heart of this lineup. Sanchez has bigtime power despite his flaws and slots in as a cheap catcher, Bogaerts has slumped badly and is fighting an injury that is costing him at the plate. Nelson Cruz lands in the projected lineup, he has four home runs in 117 plate appearances as he heads for home in his long storied career. Jake Cronenworth, Ha-Seong Kim, and Trent Grisham are a weak group of hitters to close the lineup but they have all produced in spots in the past, including just las year. Any of the group can be mixed into a stack of Padres hitters, but the team is a low-priority option in this matchup.

Play: Shane McClanahan, Yu Darvish, Rays bats in small doses, Padres bats in fewer shares

Update Notes: 

Chicago White Sox (+110/3.89) @ Seattle Mariners (-119/4.19)

The White Sox are carrying just a 3.89-run implied total against the Mariners and rookie Bryan Woo tonight, but the team is showing big power marks in our home run model once again. Woo has made two starts, he went just two innings against the Rangers in his first outing, allowing six runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. His second outing was better with seven strikeouts and a deeper start that covered 4.2 innings, but he allowed two earned runs including a home run. Woo is a well-regarded pitching prospect, but he was skipped from AA directly to the Show and may need a bit more seasoning overall. Woo has a $5,400/$6,500 price tag tonight, if we can book five innings he has a chance to pay off the DraftKings price, six innings and a quality start seems like a stretch. Chicago’s lineup opens with Tim Anderson and Andrew Benintendi as usual. If Anderson or yesterday’s two-hitter Gavin Sheets had managed to get on base at all one of the four solo home runs this team hit yesterday might have had more value and changed the night. Anderson and Benintendi are historically good at getting on base and hitting for average while creating runs but they have done neither this season. Luis Robert Jr. has 17 home runs on the season with a 13.5% barrel rate so far in a breakout season. Eloy Jimenez has seven home runs in 159 plate appearances, he is a star when he is healthy, which tends to be the issue. Jimenez has a 12.3% barrel rate and 47.2% hard-hit rate for the year. Jake Burger hit his 16th home run last night, he has had a monster year at the plate and has a 22.2% barrel rate with 52.8% hard hits in 179 plate appearances. Burger seems likely to crash back to Earth at some point, but he is rolling along right now. Yasmani Grandal and Andrew Vaughn are good options late in the lineup, as is Sheets who is slated to drop to eighth tonight. Grandal has five home runs and a 106 WRC+ as a value catcher, Vaughn has a 113 WRC+ in 285 plate appearances, and Sheets has hit seven home runs but has an 85 WRC+. Romy Gonzalez is a last man in from the bottom of the lineup.

The Mariners are in an interesting spot against Michael Kopech who has a 27.5% strikeout rate but struggles with runs and premium contact. Kopech can find strikeouts against the free-swinging Mariners, but the team’s power potential has a chance to shine through against the young righty whose ERA sits at 4.03 and his xFIP is 4.56. Over 13 starts and 73.2 innings, Kopech has yielded a 4.85% home run rate on 15.3% barrels and a 43.7% hard-hit rate. The pitcher would be a better dart throw if he was cheaper than his $9,300/$9,800 salary, he projects just in the lower part of the board and there are better options at cheaper prices. The Mariners lineup looks somewhat playable, given the premium contact that the pitcher has allowed. Seattle has plenty of power, despite their flawed strikeout-heavy approach. JP Crawford has three home runs and has dropped to a .349 on-base percentage, he was better from the bottom of the lineup. Julio Rodriguez has hit 12 home runs and stolen a matching number of bases and costs just $4,900/$3,700, the entire team is cheap on the DraftKings slate, which adds to their appeal. Ty France is a productive first baseman with a good hit tool and moderate power, he has created runs 23% better than average over 287 plate appearances. Jarred Kelenic costs $4,500/$3,100, he has slumped significantly after his raging inferno of a start to the season. Kelenic is slashing .261/.327/.483 with 11 home runs. Teoscar Hernandez matches his home run total from the right side of the plate with a lower-end triple-slash in 276 plate appearances. Kelenic has a 7.69 in our home run model, and Hernandez has a 7.66, they both strike out at about a 32% clip. Cal Raleigh is at 25.8% strikeouts and Eugenio Suarez is at 28.3%, there are a lot of strikeouts available for Kopech on the right night. Raleigh and Suarez also have major power, Raleigh has nine home runs and Suarez has seven on the season in a bit of a down year. Mike Ford and Jose Caballero round out the projected lineup.

Play: White Sox bats/stacks, Mariners bats/stacks, a few Kopech tournament darts but the price is wrong

Update Notes: 

San Francisco Giants (+124/4.23) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (-135/4.87)

The final game at long last. The Giants and Dodgers square off in a classic old baseball matchup between the first two teams to strike Westward during the game’s golden age. The series stands at 1,275-1,265 in favor of the Giants over the course of baseball history. Tonight will see rookie Emmet Sheehan make his MLB Debut after a promotion directly from AA. Over 53.1 innings in AA this year, Sheehan has a ridiculous 41.7% strikeout rate with a 3.19 xFIP and 1.86 ERA but an inflated walk rate. The righty was good in the minors last year and is ranked as the team’s 18th-best prospect at age 23, but he does not appear on either DFS site. The Giants lineup is in play against the rookie and what should be a fair portion of the Dodgers’ bullpen. LaMonte Wade Jr. is getting on base at a .415 clip with a 146 WRC+ and eight home runs in 255 plate appearances, he is an underrated option for $4,900/$3,000 at first base. Thairo Estrada checks in with home run power and very good speed, he has nine long balls and 15 bags swiped so far this year in 251 plate appearances and has become the best overall player on this team. Joc Pederson has premium left-handed power to throw at the rookie hurler, he is pulling in a 12.50 in our home run model in this matchup. Michael Conforto and Mike Yastrzemski are another two left-handed power bats that Sheehan will have to navigate in the heart of the lineup for the matchup-focused Giants. Conforto has 12 home runs in 235 plate appearances, Yastrzemski has eight in 191 opportunities. Luis Matos, Blake SabolCasey Schmitt, and Brandon Crawford are playable mix-in options late in the lineup. Matos is a 21-year-old rookie with decent mid-level power and speed, Sabol is a decent option with pop behind the plate, and Schmitt and Crawford are fair options at good prices in the infield.

The Los Angeles lineup is schedule to face opener John Brebbia followed by Sean Manaea in bulk relief. Manaea has a 5.52 ERA and 4.06 xFIP in six starts and 45.2 innings overall, he has been better in the bulk relief role since the conversion. In the relief role, Manaea’s xFIP is 3.35 and his strikeout rate is 29.5%, he has put up a few surprising MLB DFS outings in the sample and is a viable option at $5,700 on DraftKings, but the matchup against the Dodgers is brutal and probably takes any appeal off of the play. Mookie BettsFreddie Freeman, and Will Smith are an almost unfair way to start a lineup, there is so much talent for power, speed, average, run creation, on-base acumen, and ability to limit strikeouts and draw walks that the players are well worth their extreme pricing on both sites. Betts still fills three positions on FanDuel and two on DraftKings, Freeman is a high-end first baseman with 13 home runs while creating runs 62% better than average, and Smith has been 50% better than average for run creation while striking out 12.8% of the time. JD Martinez has been mashing this season, he leads the team with a .337 ISO and has 16 home runs on the year. Jason Heyward has stung the ball this yea,r he has seven home runs and a 42.9% hard-hit rate in 156 plate appearances and costs just $2,600/$2,700 in the outfield. Miguel Vargas is a productive young second baseman with a 102 WRC+ in 246 plate appearances, David Peralta steps in with a 91 WRC+ in 169 opportunities with four home runs on the board, and Chris Taylor is another good multi-position option with power, he has 11 home runs in 179 plate appearances with a .252 ISO from the bottom of the lineup. Miguel Rojas enjoys road games on the East Coast better so articles don’t end with a mention of how bad he has been this season.

Play: Dodgers bats/stacks, Giants bats/stacks

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