MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Snapshot & LIVE SHOW LINK – Friday 6/2/23

The huge 13-game MLB DFS slate gets underway at 7:05 ET on both DraftKings and FanDuel and the treasure chest of options is overflowing with glimmering jewels on the mound and golden icons at the plate. There are 26 pitchers on the slate and 10-12 of them could easily be considered high-end starters from either the top or second spot in their team’s rotations. There are, of course, a few far lesser starters taking the mound as well, which leads to several amazing-looking spots for home run hitting and run creation upside. The Phillies and Royals are the two leading squads in our Power Index tonight, followed by a broad mid-range that starts to fall off once we hit some of the better pitching options. Getting to a broad mix of bats with a somewhat concentrated pitching pool is typically our preferred approach to a slate of this nature, but with so many options on the mound as well, it may be best to cast as broad a net as possible in both situations. Giant slates demand choices and sacrifices, this is not a four-gamer on which we can grab a little bit of everything, but that also creates unique opportunities for leverage and uncovering under-appreciated upside.

Join us at 3:00 ET for a LIVE Game-by-Game breakdown with Gundacker over on his channel today!

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 – 6/2/23

St. Louis Cardinals (-139/5.18) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (+128/4.43)

The loaded Cardinals lineup is pulling in a healthy 5.18-run implied team total in Pittsburgh tonight against Roansy Contreras who has not been very good over his nine starts this season. Contreras has thrown 52 innings and racked up a 16.4% strikeout rate with a 4.33 ERA and a worse 5.34 xFIP while walking 10.5% and giving up far too much premium contact. Contreras has allowed an 8.1% barrel rate and a 42.5% hard-hit rate with 90.3 mph of average exit velocity. The Cardinals lineup has more than enough talent to capitalize on this opportunity, they are baseball’s eighth-best team for run creation against righties with a collective 109 WRC+ in the split. Contreras is cheap on both sites but he does not project well and does not look like a worthwhile play even for value. Lars Nootbaar who is projected to return to the top of the Cardinals lineup tonight but he has dealt with a minor injury over the past few days. Nootbaar is a strong leadoff hitter who is getting on base at a .380 clip and has individual upside with a .266/.380/.390 triple slash, four homers, and five stolen bases for just $4,400/$3,300. Nootbaar hits ahead of the obvious stars up top, with Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado bookending productive second-year second baseman Nolan Gorman, who has 13 home runs to lead the team. Willson Contreras should be in the lineup as the team’s playable catcher, he costs $4,900/$2,800 and can snap into a Cardinals stack on either site. Contreras has five home runs with four stolen bases but just an 87 WRC+ in his 217 plate appearances. Brendan DonovanPaul DeJongAlec Burleson, and Tommy Edman form the bottom end of the lineup, they are all playable options who can produce better results than the bottom of most team’s lineups. Donovan is cheap with multi-position eligibility, a capable left-handed bat, and reliable speed. DeJong has eight home runs in 119 plate appearances and is carrying a 6.71 in our home run model tonight. Burleson is very cheap but has been the lowest-end producer on the team, while Edman sits eight percent above average for run creation and makes a productive wraparound play.

The Pirates will be facing Jack Flaherty who has been a roller coaster over 11 starts this season. The veteran righty is carrying a 4.81 ERA and a 4.63 xFIP over 58 innings, and has made numerous low-end starts this year, but he has also roared back to life in a few spots with big strikeout marks in deep performances. Flaherty has a 23% strikeout rate overall but has also walked 13.5% and has a 1.53 WHIP, which is just too much opportunity against any team. Even through the struggles, Flaherty has limited hard hits to 35.3% with 87 mph of average exit velocity, checking home runs to just 2.38%. At $6,800/$8,200, Flaherty is definitely on the pitching board today. He projects in the upper-middle of a long list of starters but he is looking like one of the best potential value plays against this Pirates lineup. As a unit, Pittsburgh’s active roster is exactly at league average with a collective 100 WRC+ against right-handed pitching, and their .169 ISO ranks 12th in baseball. The Pirates are not entirely incapable at the plate, there are several playable hitters and a few hedge shares would not be out of order if one is chasing Flaherty value. Over 105 plate appearances, Tucupita Marcano has been 19% better than average for run creation, he costs $2,100/$2,400 and is projected to lead off ahead of the team’s power core. Bryan Reynolds has seven home runs and eight stolen bases while slashing .282/.333/.495 and creating runs 21% better than average, Andrew McCutchen has a 125 WRC+ with eight home runs and six stolen bases in 203 chances, and Jack Suwinski leads the team with 11 home runs and a 132 WRC+ in 179. Outside of the $5,300 that DraftKings is asking for Reynolds, the trio comes at cheap prices and has enough talent to get to Flaherty. Connor Joe is inexpensive despite a productive start to the season, he has six home runs and three stolen bases on the season in 179 plate appearances. Ji-Hwan Bae starts the low-end portion of the lineup, he has 15 stolen bases but a 93 WRC+, Ke’Bryan Hayes hits the ball hard but does not produce at the plate, Josh Palacios and Austin Hedges round out the projected lineup.

Play: Cardinals bats/stacks, Jack Flaherty, minor Pirates hedge plays if using Flaherty

Update Notes:

Philadelphia Phillies (-178/5.21) @ Washington Nationals (+163/3.90)

The second game of the day features two teams on opposite ends of our Power Index. The Phillies are leading the day for home run potential against righty Josiah Gray, who has been much better at limiting power this season than he was in the past two. Gray has allowed just a 2.25% home run rate on 6.6% barrels with 37.2% hard hits and an 87.6 mph average exit velocity. That represents a massive step forward from the 10.7% barrels he allowed last year with a 5.86% home run rate and the 12.2% with a 6.19% home run rate he gave up two years ago. The cut in barrels comes on the back of a reduction in average launch angle, last season Gray sat at 19.7 degrees, this year that mark is just 11.5 degrees, taking his ground ball rate from 33% to 43.7% year-over-year. Still, between the pitcher’s track record and the premium power hitters in the Phillies lineup, there appears to be plenty of opportunity in this one. Gray is playable in small doses, particularly at his SP2 price on the DraftKings slate, at $8,700 on FanDuel there are probably better options. Bryson Stott needs to get on base a bit more, but he provides a sturdy hit tool with a moderate amount of pop and some speed atop the lineup and is a good correlated scoring piece for MLB DFS purposes. Trea Turner starts a run of hitters near or above the magic number in our home run model. Turner has a 9.31 tonight but he has only hit five this season with a .133 ISO and he has been mired in a slump overall that has him at just a 72 WRC+. Bryce Harper has a 15.15 in the home run model and still has first base eligibility on the blue site. Nick Castellanos has a 10.15 in the model, he has five homers on the season while slashing .300/.345/.461 with a 117 WRC+. Kyle Schwarber has a 17.30 to lead the team in the home run model, the slugger has hit 13 on the season but is slashing just .160/.312/.387 overall. Schwarber is cheap at $4,900/$3,100, which offsets any concerns over his non-homer output, or lack thereof. JT Realmuto has a 94 WRC+ in 193 plate appearances but he remains a hyper-valuable catcher play where the position is required, he has an 8.56 in our home run model and has hit three this season while stealing seven bases. Brandon MarshKody Clemens, and Edmundo Sosa close out the lineup, Marsh has a 129 WRC+ and good lefty power, Clemens has a 111 WRC+ with a .203 ISO in 81 plate appearances, and Sosa is a frisky hitter who can knock one over the wall on rare instances at no ownership.

The Nationals’ lousy lineup is facing Zack Wheeler, who is excellent at capping power and keeping the ball in the yard, which is having a significant limiting effect on the Washington home run upside. With a collective .127 ISO and 87 WRC+ against right-handed pitching for the season, the Nationals are one of the lowest-priority stacks tonight, and Wheeler is looking like a strong option at $9,200/$10.900, his DraftKings price is easily too cheap and should render him popular on the large slate. Wheeler has a 27.7% strikeout rate for the season with a 3.60 ERA and a 3.47 xFIP while walking just 5.5% in 11 starts and 65 innings. He has been his usual self in terms of power and contact, with a 4.5% barrel rate, 34.8% hard hits and just 85.9 mph of average exit velocity allowed amounting to a 1.46% home run rate so far this season. Wheeler is among our most highly projected pitchers of the day, there are good reasons to spread out ownership at the position, but he absolutely warrants significant investment this evening. The projected lineup for Washington has four hitters above average for run creation on the season, though one of those is Joey Meneses who is slotted in third in the lineup and sits at exactly league average in 236 plate appearances and another is Corey Dickerson who hits cleanup and is 30% better than average for run creation but has made only 41 plate appearances. Lane Thomas leads off, he has been 16% better than average creating runs and is slashing .284/.340/.456 with eight home runs as the team’s best hitter. Luis Garcia is a middling play in the middle infield. Meneses and Dickerson have the idea of power production, both have two home runs on the season although Meneses has had many more chances than the left-handed veteran. Jeimer CandelarioDominic SmithCJ Abrams, and Alex Call are not overly appealing names, they make up 4/5 of the bottom of this lineup. Catcher Keibert Ruiz is an interesting hitter, though not necessarily in this spot. Ruiz has a 10.4% barrel rate with seven home runs while slashing .237/.310/.395 with a .158 ISO and 92 WRC+, All-Star numbers these are not. What is interesting about Ruiz is his sturdy barrel rate, an outstanding 7.6% strikeout rate over 197 plate appearances in just his second full season, and an expected slugging percentage that sits at .512 compared to his .395 actual. There is a dangerous power hitter lurking behind the plate in Washington if he can put it all together, he might not be a great play tonight but if you are desperate for a catcher in season-long leagues there is a good chance that Ruiz is on your waiver wire.

Play: Phillies bats/stacks, Zack Wheeler, value Josiah Gray in small doses is OK

Update Notes: 

Tampa Bay Rays (-134/5.13) @ Boston Red Sox (+123/4.48)

Note: There is a fair amount of weather risk in this game, watch the news.

Righty Garrett Whitlock is inexpensive against one of baseball’s top teams tonight. Whitlock has made four starts and thrown 21 innings this season, pitching to an 18.1% strikeout rate while walking just 3.6%. The righty is carrying a 5.14 ERA and 4.33 xFIP for the season and he has allowed too much premium contact in the tiny sample, he has allowed a 6.02% home run rate on a 10.9% barrel rate. In a hybrid role last year, Whitlock threw 78.1 innings, making nine starts with the rest of the action coming in relief, he had a 26.4% strikeout rate and 4.8% walk rate with a 3.45 ERA and 3.20 xFIP while inducing a 13.7% swinging-strike rate with a 30.4% CSW%, he has not been that pitcher to this point in 2023 after missing the first part of the season with an injury. Whitlock does not project well in our model tonight, at $6,500/$7,800 there does not seem to be much reason to throw him into the Tampa Bay buzzsaw. Rays bats are looking good coming back the other way, the team is carrying a 5.13-run implied team total in the matchup and they have been steamrolling the league for most of the season. Yandy Diaz is slashing .310/.410/.580 with a 179 WRC+ and 12 home runs from the leadoff spot, he is fairly priced at $4,000 on FanDuel, his $4,800 on DraftKings remains cheap. Wander Franco and Randy Arozarena are the two true stars on a team for which the entire active roster has been playing at star levels. Franco has seven home runs and 20 stolen bases with a 138 WRC+, Arozarena has 11 home runs and six stolen bases and has been 62% better than average in creating runs, and the top three hitters in this lineup have basically been worth five hitters of run creation so far this year. Brandon Lowe has nine home runs and a 100 WRC+ with a .204 ISO, he is a major power hitter at second base and fills the position at a good price on both sites. Lowe has a 7.14 in our home run model in the cleanup spot. Harold Ramirez and Josh Lowe have been scorching to start the season, Ramirez has eight home runs, Lowe has 11, and they are both well above average for run creation in somewhat believable output. Taylor Walls slots in seventh in the Rays flexible projected lineup, he has been playing well above his head with seven home runs and a .237 ISO while creating runs 35% better than average but may be on his way back to Earth. Christian Bethancourt is a very affordable catcher, he has hit seven home runs and has a 13.6% barrel rate with a 48.9% hard-hit rate for just $3,800/$2,800. Jose Siri should definitely not be forgotten at the bottom of the lineup, he is up to 10 home runs in just 118 plate appearances and has been mashing this season, but still costs just $3,100/$3,400. Siri has good power and mid-range speed, he is a strong MLB DFS option when he is in the lineup at low costs and low ownership.

The Red Sox are facing Tyler Glasnow, who will be making his second start of the season since returning from injury. Glasnow has not pitched much over the past few years, he threw just 6.2 innings in 2022 and 88 in 14 starts in 2021. That season, Glasnow had a 36.2% strikeout rate and 2.70 xFIP before succumbing to injury in mid-June. The premium righty starter faced the Dodgers in his first game back last week, he lasted 4.1 innings, facing 19 hitters and striking out eight while allowing a home run and three total earned runs on five hits in what has to be considered a solid performance after so much missed time. Glasnow’s innings and pitch count may not be aggressively capped on Friday night, the Rays and Red Sox are playing four games in three days this weekend, with a makeup doubleheader scheduled for Saturday, if the starter can give them six innings tonight it would be a big boost to the team’s chances the rest of the weekend, and he could deliver a strong MLB DFS performance for just $7,900/$9,200. The Red Sox productive lineup is playable but ranks in the middle of the stacks board with just a 4.48-run total in Vegas. The idea of Glasnow’s ability to punch holes in the lineup via the strikeout is a concern, even if he only pitches into the fifth. Still, Alex Verdugo makes a compelling run-creation option for correlated scoring from the top of the lineup at a good price across the industry, and he can be combined with star Rafael Devers, veteran Justin Turner, and Mastaka Yoshida for a fairly high-end top-of-the-lineup stack that is not overly expensive. Devers has 13 home runs, Turner has six and a 108 WRC+, and Yoshida has hit seven homers while creating runs 42% better than average for the year. Jarren Duran and Triston Casas are a pair of young hitters that make up a part of the team’s future. Duran has a 115 WRC+ but has cooled after a hot start, Casas has a 77 WRC+ with six home runs and has barely gotten his season started at all over 176 plate appearances. Enrique HernandezEmmanuel Valdez, and Reese McGuire are mix and match parts from the bottom third, Connor Wong continues to be our preferred Red Sox catcher.

Play: Rays bats/stacks, Tyler Glasnow, only minor shares of Red Sox

Update Notes: 

Toronto Blue Jays (+118/4.06) @ New York Mets (-128/4.54)

Note: this game has minor weather risks but seems likely to play

The Blue Jays and Mets will square off in Queens with only moderate appeal at the plate on either side. The hometown Mets are favored and have a mid-range 4.54-run implied team total while the visitors are pulling in just a 4.06 against veteran Justin Verlander, who will be looking to get his season going in start number six. Verlander has thrown 30 innings in his first five outings, pitching to an uncharacteristic 18.2% strikeout rate and 4.80 ERA with a 4.65 xFIP. The veteran star has scuffled, no question, but there is extensive faith in this pitcher’s ability to turn things around in the long term. The question becomes if that faith warrants rostering him against a dangerous Blue Jays lineup for $8,600/$9,900 for DFS purposes. The answer in our projections is a resounding “YES.” Verlander is still among the more highly projected pitchers in our model and he comes at a major discount from his typical pricing, particularly on the DraftKings slate where he is a viable SP2 given the discount. The Blue Jays projected lineup has major talents at fair prices, but the matchup is not a good one even with Verlander struggling so far this year. George Springer has a 102 WRC+ with seven home runs and nine steals for $4,900/$3,200, which is too cheap for his talent. Bo Bichette has 12 home runs while slashing .332/.368/.533 with a 150 WRC+ to lead the team, he costs a fair $5,200/$3,600 at a premium position, the shortstop is a major buy when going to stacks of this team in a bad spot. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has seen his power marks dip but his contact profile is very strong with both his barrel rate and hard-hit rate climbing year-over-year, the dip in home run production and ISO will be short-lived. Brandon Belt and Matt Chapman are good inexpensive veteran home run hitters in the heart of the lineup from either side of the plate, and Whit Merrifield gives the team a good on-base and speed catalyst later in the lineup. Daulton Varsho has not been great this season, the lefty has good power and has hit eight home runs in 232 plate appearances but he is creating runs 22% worse than average. Alejandro Kirk and Kevin Kiermaier are solid mix-and-match options for price and popularity late in the lineup.

The Mets will be facing former teammate Chris Bassitt who has a 3.80 ERA but is hiding a 4.79 xFIP under the surface which suggests he is getting a bit lucky to have even done this well. Bassitt has had some clunky starts this season, he is striking out just 20.7% with a 9.4% walk rate while allowing a 9.7% barrel rate and 3.99% home runs. Oddly, most of the power he has yielded this season came in just a handful of games. Bassitt had an atrocious first start of the year, allowing four home runs and nine earned in just 3.1 innings, he allowed a home run in a better second start then went three decent outings without giving one up. He allowed one in an ugly start to the Mariners, then went another three games, including two seven-inning starts and a complete game, before running into the wall with an ugly start in which he allowed three home runs, followed by a two home run appearance. Bassitt allowed five home runs and nine earned runs while striking out nine over 10.1 innings in those two starts, which were his two most recent games. At $8,100/$9,600 there are probably better choices available on the slate on both sites tonight. Bassitt absolutely could deliver a deep start with a handful of strikeouts while finding a win and a quality start in this spot, depth and sturdy reliability are typically his hallmarks, but the path to a slate-winning score seems thin at prices that land him in no man’s land where he is neither overly expensive nor a value play. The Mets lineup is playable but not a top-ranked option. Brandon Nimmo is one of baseball’s top leadoff hitters and he costs $4,500/$3,300 despite creating runs 31% better than average in his 253 plate appearances. Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil hit between Nimmo and masher Pete Alonso. McNeil is nine percent above average for run creation but the slap hitter needs help to cross the plate after he gets on base, Lindor has a 99 WRC+ but has hit 10 home runs and is carrying a .202 ISO, a bit more from the star shortstop will be necessary for this team to succeed over time. Alonso has 20 home runs to lead the league in early June, he is always outstanding for power. Brett Baty has been very good as a rookie, he has a strong contact profile and comes at a cheap $3,200/$2,800 at third base. Starling MarteDaniel VogelbachMark Canha, and Francisco Alvarez round out the projected Mets lineup, three of them provide veteran quality with counting stats abilities in years past, but the rookie catcher is the most interesting performer in the bunch this season. Marte has been bad so far, though he has come on somewhat of late and sole his 16th base last night, Vogelbach and Canha are capable but unspectacular, while Alvarez has eight home runs in 120 plate appearances with a .270 ISO as a rookie, the catcher is well worth his cheap $3,400/$3,200 salary in this matchup and should probably hit higher in the batting order at this point.

Play: Justin Verlander, Mets bats/stacks in moderate doses, Blue Jays bats in much smaller portions

Update Notes: 

Seattle Mariners (-108/4.08) @ Texas Rangers (-101/4.01)

Another good pitching matchup has two productive lineups carrying fairly low implied run totals tonight. The Mariners check in at just 4.08 in their matchup against righty Jon Gray, who has pitched to a 2.81 ERA but a 4.58 xFIP in 10 starts and 57.2 innings this season. Gray’s xFIP betrays the true nature of how he has been pitching, the ERA mark has some good fortune baked in certainly, but we also know that Gray is better than what the xFIP tells us this season overall. Last year, he had a 3.46 xFIP and 25.7% strikeout rate in 127.1 innings, for example. Gray’s strikeout stuff has dipped to just 19.9% so far this season with his walk rate climbing and his CSW% dipping by two points despite a matching swinging-strike rate year-over-year. The righty projects well against a free-swinging Mariners lineup that has a 25% current-year strikeout rate in its projected form. For just $7,600, Gray is definitely in the SP2 pool on DraftKings and actually looks like a strong price-based option. At $9,000 on the FanDuel slate, he is less comfortable but not off the board, with the hope that the high price will scare public ownership away from a potentially valuable option. The Mariners are a good team that has power, but they have been inconsistent creators with just a .151 ISO and 101 WRC+ against right-handed pitching this season. JP Crawford is a viable leadoff hitter when looking at Mariners bats. Crawford has a .355 on-base percentage and 110 WRC+ though he was getting on base a bit more about two weeks ago when he first ascended to the top of the lineup. Ty France has five home runs and a 114 WRC+ as a good correlated scoring play who has overall underperformed when compared to last season’s output. Julio Rodriguez has 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases with a 111 WRC+ and .196 ISO in 244 plate appearances. The sophomore star costs $5,800/$3,700, his 11.5% barrel rate and 53.5% hard-hit rate are appealing at those prices. Jarred KelenicEugenio Suarez, Cal Raleigh, and Teoscar Hernandez are a dangerous four-man power core to find from 4-7 in a lineup. They have 33 combined home runs already this season with only Suarez sitting below average for run creation after an extended slump to open his 2023 campaign. The group is playable as a unit or along with the top of the lineup in a variety of combinations. Mike Ford was called up to replace struggling Taylor Trammell last night, Ford has low-end lefty power but is not a strong option. Kolten Wong has the memory of power and speed, he has neither hit a home run nor stolen a base in 123 plate appearances this year.

The Rangers lead baseball with 346 runs in 55 games this season, a 6.29 per-game pace, yet they check into today’s matchup with just a 4.01-run implied total thanks to the presence of Mariners ace Luis Castillo on the opposing mound. The veteran righty has been his typically outstanding self through most of the 11 starts he has made this season. Castillo has a 2.69 ERA and 3.28 xFIP with a 29.8% strikeout rate and a massive 15.6% swinging-strike rate with a 30.4% CSW%. The swinging-strike rate ranks third among qualified pitchers this season, sitting a tenth of a point behind Shane McClanahan and three-tenths of a point ahead of Clayton Kershaw. Spencer Strider leads the league by 4.8 percentage points at an absurd 20.5%. Castillo costs just $9,400/$10,200 in the tough matchup against Texas, he is easily worth the salary on either site, particularly in the hopes that the matchup keeps the public somewhat at bay. Rangers bats make for a viable contrarian stack, they are probably not going to be very popular in the matchup against this starter and there is enough talent that they could put up a score on the right day, but they are a lower-priority item than usual today. Marcus Semien and Corey Seager are the best middle infield duo at the plate in all of baseball. Semien has a 134 WRC+ in 258 plate appearances, and Seager is at 156 in his 108 opportunities after missing time with an injury. Both players hit for power, Semien has eight home runs, Seager is already up to five. The infield stars are excellent choices for DFS most nights but they come at very high prices tonight against an elite starter. Nathaniel Lowe is slashing .277/.355/.427 with a 118 WRC+ and he strikes out at just a 19.8% clip so far this season. That trait is also shared by Semien and Seager, who are at 15.5% and 17.6% so far this year, which is not an easy start to the lineup for Castillo. Lowe has five home runs and a .150 ISO, he hit for a bit more power last year with 27 home runs and a .191 ISO in 645 plate appearances. Adolis Garcia has 14 home runs and a .248 ISO, Josh Jung has 12 home runs and a .237 ISO while creating runs 39% better than average and cutting his strikeout rate by 10 percentage points year-over-year, and Jonah Heim is a cheap catcher with tons of power who plays almost every day and hits from both sides of the plate. Robbie GrossmanTravis Jankowski, and Leody Taveras look basically like the same guy three times to end the lineup, any one of them is playable for moderate power and speed at cheap prices.

Play: Luis Castillo, Jon Gray, only minor shares of bats on either side with Mariners preferred due to the matchups

Update Notes: 

Colorado Rockies (+105/4.69) @ Kansas City Royals (-114/4.92)

Note: this game has minor weather risks but seems likely to play

A lousy pitcher like Jordan Lyles can make even the low-end Rockies lineup look good. Colorado comes in with a reasonable 4.62-run implied team total and OK projections in our model against the veteran righty. Lyles has a 16.6% strikeout rate and 5.73 xFIP with a 7.30 ERA in 11 starts and 61.2 innings, he is a non-entity on the mound for DFS even at his prices. The Rockies lost Kris Bryant to the injured list but got Charlie Blackmon back from the bereavement list yesterday, the left-handed leadoff man is in play at $4,600/$3,400 tonight. Blackmon has been productive, he has a 111 WRC+ with five home runs in 211 plate appearances for the bad Rockies team. Jurickson Profar has five homers but only a 78 WRC+ in 220 chances this year, he is a lesser option who should be later in, or out of, the lineup. Randal Grichuk has right-handed power and has been hitting well while creating runs 31% better than average in 105 plate appearances, Ryan McMahon has eight home runs to lead the team, the lefty is a good buy at $4,600/$3,600, and Elias Diaz has been a valuable catcher all season while slashing .314/.368/.483 with a 117 WRC+ in 190 plate appearances. Harold Castro has three-position eligibility on FanDuel and slots in at either second base or in the outfield on DraftKings at cheap prices, he is a capable enough hitter to be included if one is getting carried away with the Rockies. Nolan Jones is a good-looking rookie power hitter who is cheap late in the lineup from the left side, Brenton Doyle makes a similar case on the right side of the plate, and Ezequiel Tovar has shown minor signs of life in recent outings. This is a bad team in a good spot tonight, they are probably going to be a relatively popular value play, if that is actually the case it may make sense to look elsewhere for the mid-range cost-based production that Colorado is likely to provide.

Rockies starter Chase Anderson was originally slated to pitch yesterday, so apologies to anyone who read exactly this take about him 24 hours ago, he looks equally targetable with Royals bats as he did with Diamondbacks bats yesterday. The veteran righty has also made only three starts this season, though he has thrown 20.2 innings overall with two bullpen appearances earlier this month as he rounded into form. Anderson has just a 12.5% strikeout rate but he has pitched effectively in his three outings, allowing only three earned runs total with one home run, which amounts to a 1.31 ERA, which is where the nice story comes crashing to a halt. Anderson’s 5.11 xFIP is far more telling, that is who this pitcher is, he had a 4.62 xFIP with a 6.38 ERA in seven starts last year, and was at a 5.65 xFIP with a 6.75 ERA in nine starts the year before. Anderson has not pitched much over the past two seasons, there is no real reason to believe in this current minor run of surface-level quality. The Royals are one of the leading teams in our power index and they were the source for our home run pick today, with the top four hitters in the projected lineup all above the magic number for power. Nick Pratto is projected to lead off, he has two home runs while slashing .295/.398/.429 with a 133 WRC+ in 123 plate appearances. Vinnie Pasquantino has a 12.95 in our home run model, the lefty has hit nine on the season with a .205 ISO while creating runs 20% better than average, but he costs just $3,600/$3,100. Sal Perez is a leading option at catcher tonight on DraftKings for just $5,200. The elite backstop is worthwhile on FanDuel, where he should just be played as if his position said “first base.” Perez has 12 home runs while slashing .284/.321/.528 with a .244 ISO, he is our overall home run pick for the day with a 16.31 in our model. Bobby Witt Jr. has a 12.07 home run mark, he has 10 on the season with 17 stolen bases and seems to have found a better home in the cleanup role. MJ Melendez is another premium power bat, though his home run total and his ISO do not display it. Melendez has five home runs and a .157 ISO while creating runs 20% below average, but his 14% barrel rate and 55.4% hard-hit rate are impossible to ignore when homer-hunting. Michael MasseyMaikel GarciaNicky Lopez, and Drew Waters are a middling bottom end of the lineup, but against this pitcher they have enough to help turn things over and hand opportunities back to the hitters up top, any of them would be in play as a mix-and-match piece for price, popularity, and position.

Play: Royals bats/stacks aggressively, Rockies bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Cleveland Guardians (+120/4.04) @ Minnesota Twins (-131/4.57)

Note: this game has minor weather risks but seems likely to play

Twins righty Bailey Ober would be an interesting option on a shorter slate or at a lower price on FanDuel, his $10,000 price seems out of line with the deep slate, but he is a good SP2 option at $8,400 on DraftKings. Ober has been generally effective so far this season, he has a 23.7% strikeout rate and a 2.68 ERA but a 4.60 xFIP over seven starts and 40.1 innings. Ober was at similar levels of production in small samples each of the last two seasons and he is facing a lousy Guardians lineup tonight. Cleveland’s active roster ranks second-to-last with an 81 WRC+ against right-handed pitching this season and they are carrying a collective .116 ISO as a major disappointment over the season’s first third. The one thing Cleveland does well, however, is to limit strikeout upside for opposing pitchers. Against righties this season, Cleveland’s active roster sits at 19.7%, the third-best strikeout mark in the league. The Guardians lineup does not offer much appeal, given those numbers and a 4.04-run implied team total in Vegas. Playable bats from the team would include leadoff man Steven Kwan who has not been nearly as good for correlated scoring with just a 92 WRC+ for the season; Amed Rosario, who has been a ridiculous 38% worse than average for run creation in a full 223 plate appearances; Jose Ramirez, who has the team’s lone positive WRC+ mark at a low for him 112 with just six home runs and five stolen bases in 234 plate appearances; and Josh Naylor who leads the team with eight home runs and a .192 ISO. Josh Bell has scuffled and has not found his power stroke, Gabriel Arias, Andres Gimenez, and Mike Zunino have all been well below average and well off of their typical any-given-slate production for counting stats, and Myles Straw is basically never useful for MLB DFS.

The Twins are facing Aaron Civale who is a roughly league-average right-handed pitcher over time. Civale has made just two starts this season, he and Triston McKenzie will be rejoining the rotation this weekend after missing time with injuries. Civale will probably not be long for this game, he was also not good in his first two outings of the season with just a 16% strikeout rate and a 4.39 xFIP. The oft-injured Civale had a 24.1% strikeout rate and 3.62 xFIP with a 4.92 ERA in 97 innings and 20 starts last year, it seems unlikely that he will find enough value to pay off $8,000/$8,800 salaries across sites, though the Twins do help opposing pitchers with their free-swinging approach. The oddsmakers and this DFS gamer are more interested in the Twins bats in this matchup, but it will also depend on the status of Byron BuxtonMax Kepler, and Carlos Correa, who all came out of last night’s game with maladies. Buxton was hit by a pitch, Correa aggravated his foot injury, and Kepler had a migraine, of the three Correa seems the least likely to play. The lineup should have Jorge Polanco, who is projected to hit leadoff, and who has four home runs and a 121 WRC+ in 106 plate appearances in his injury-shortened season. Alex Kirilloff is projected to hit second if Correa is out, he has three home runs and is slsahing .315/.457/.479 with a 168 WRC+ in 92 plate appearances. Royce Lewis slots into the third spot which would have strong value at $3,100 on both sites with third base and shortstop eligibility. Joey Gallo hitting cleanup is appealing, he has a 12.36 to lead the team in our home run model in this matchup. Gallo has 11 long balls on the season with a .290 ISO. Donovan Solano has been productive in 137 plate appearances, creating runs nine percent better than average while slashing .287/.365/.369. Solano costs just the minimum salary with multi-position eligibility on DraftKings, and a full six hitters in the Twins lineup have multi-position on the site, making them an interesting option for value and combination flexibility. Willi CastroRyan Jeffers, and Michael A. Taylor are capable in small doses from the bottom of the lineup.

Play: Twins bats/stacks, Bailey Ober SP2 value on DraftKings

Update Notes: 

Detroit Tigers (+139/3.86) @ Chicago White Sox (-151/4.73)

Veteran righty Mike Clevinger draws the lousy Tigers tonight in a matchup between a pitcher who has not been great and a team that is just bad. Clevinger has a 4.56 ERA and 5.61 xFIP over 47.1 innings in nine starts in 2023 while pitching to a 19% strikeout rate and walking 10.4% of opposing hitters. While he has not been all bad and has found depth in a few starts, Clevinger has been an unreliable roller coaster through the first third of the season, he has pitched through the sixth inning in each of his last three starts while striking out seven, two, then five but allowing four, three, then two earned runs. The matchup against the Tigers could not be better, Detroit is baseball’s worst team for run creation with a 77 WRC+ against right-handed pitching and they have a .105 team ISO and 22.8% strikeout rate to support the idea of matchup-based upside. Clevinger projects in the middle of the board at a very cheap $6,600 price on the DraftKings slate, where he is in play as a cheap SP2. For $8,300 on FanDuel, there is the idea of value and the potential for a win and quality start bonus at a value price, but the pitching pool is very deep on the single-starter site. Tigers bats are rarely the right answer, Clevinger has allowed runs and power and has not had outstanding strikeout stuff, for the most part, this season, but Detroit does not offer much for even a contrarian play, particularly with Riley Greene out of the lineup. Zach McKinstry leads off with a 138 WRC+ in 161 plate appearances, Akil Baddoo has a 114 WRC+ in the second spot. The duo has been good for counting stats and run creation in limited samples, but they are far from high-end players. Javier Baez and Spencer Torkleson are 38% and nine percent below average for run creation respectively so far this year, though Torkelson at least has a sturdy contact profile to inspire a modicum of hope. Nick MatonTyler NevinEric HaaseZack Short, and Jake Marisnick make up the bottom of the projected lineup, if one of those names gets you excited go for it… then come back and let us know why.

The White Sox look like a potentially productive lineup against Reese Olson who will be making his Major League debut tonight. Olson has a 26.9% strikeout rate and an ugly 12.6% walk rate with a 4.70 xFIP and 6.38 ERA in 10 starts in AAA this season, which is not what one is looking for in a prospect. Olson ranks in the teens organizationally, which is not where one wants to be when playing for this organization. This is not a good pitcher and he is a major target for MLB DFS points tonight, particularly given the range of talents at good prices in the Chicago lineup. Tim Anderson and Andrew Benintendi getting their seasons in gear would do wonders for the run creation in this lineup. Anderson is at a 70 WRC+ with zero home runs and six stolen bases over 169 low-end plate appearances from the star shortstop. Benintendi has an 86 WRC+ with a .267/.326/.351 triple-slash. The outfielder is never expected to hit for power but he has not provided the solid hit tool and on-base acumen that was expected atop the lineup. Both players are cheap and should be utilized in stacks at $4,600/$3,000 and $3,900/$2,800. Luis Robert Jr. has 13 home runs and a .260 ISO while creating runs 23% better than average so far this year in carrying the team in the absence of other star teammates. Eloy Jimenez is back in the White Sox lineup, the slugger has a 13.3% barrel rate and 45.8% hard-hit rate in his 124 plate appearances, amounting to five home runs and a .188 ISO in the small sample, he has missed tons of time in recent years but Jimenez is a star when he is in the lineup. Yoan Moncada and Andrew Vaughn are highly playable options on the corners, Moncada has a 102 WRC+ with two home runs over 110 plate appearances and Vaughn has created runs 15% better than average with seven home runs in his 240 opportunities. Yasmani Grandal and Gavin Sheets are quality options late in the lineup, Sheets has respectable power from the left side and Grandal gets himself involved via his on-base acumen. Romy Gonzalez is a bit of an afterthought at the end of the lineup, but at least he isn’t Elvis Andrus.

Play: White Sox bats/stacks, Clevinger SP2 value on DraftKings in small doses

Update Notes: 

Los Angeles Angels (+114/3.61) @ Houston Astros (-124/3.97)

Perhaps the best pitching matchup of the day is one that may also wipe out two premium lineups in terms of who we are rostering at the plate for MLB DFS purposes. While it is rarely a good idea to entirely eliminate options for MLB DFS, both the Angels at 3.61 implied runs and the Astros at 3.97 are dramatically under their usual levels of anticipated production with excellent starters on both sides. Framber Valdez is elite at limiting home runs and cutting power out of an opposing team with his ability to induce ground balls. Valdez has a 0.8-degree average launch angle so far in 2023, which is actually up from the -3.6 and -5.5 marks he posted over the last two seasons. With a few mistakes in the ledger, his home run rate is up to 2.10% after sitting at 1.33% last year, but Valdez has been at peak form and is finding more strikeout upside so far this season in the exchange. The lefty has a 26.9% strikeout rate with a 2.38 ERA and a sparkling 2.66 xFIP in 72 innings over 11 starts, he is one of the most reliable options in baseball for his average depth of start as well. For $10,100/$11,200, Valdez is a great option on both sites against an aggressive Angels lineup that will boost his strikeout potential. The Angels will have Shohei Ohtani on the mound tonight, which takes him out of the lineup for MLB DFS purposes in a ridiculous setup that it is astounding the sites have not figured out yet. Ohtani will be a threat in the real life lineup against Valdez but his absence limits the appeal of Angels stacks greatly. Taylor Ward, Mike TroutHunter Renfroe, and Brandon Drury are a sturdy four-man collection of hitters with power from the right side of the plate, they have combined for 39 home runs already this season, but the weak bottom of the lineup, the lack of Ohtani, and the excellence of Valdez on the other mound limits the appeal of all of these hitters. The primary attributes they provide tonight are low prices, which includes Trout on the FanDuel slate where he costs $3,700 but not on DraftKings where he is at a correct $6,200. The bottom of the lineup includes Gio UrshelaLuis RengifoChad Wallach, and Zach Neto, any of whom is playable in small doses if building stacks of Angels in a bad spot.

The Houston lineup will be facing Ohtani who has been mostly elite on the mound this season. The right-handed two-way star has a massive 35% strikeout rate with a 14.9% swinging-strike rate and 33.3% CSW% in 65 innings and 11 starts, pitching to a 2.91 ERA and a 3.31 xFIP so far this season. He has given up a 3.11% home run rate on just 84.4 mph of average exit velocity and 29% hard hits, it is very difficult to square up Ohtani’s outrageously good stuff. For $10,700/$10,800, Ohtani is every bit the strong option that Valdez is on the other side of this game. The Astros lineup has been struggling to get fully engaged this season, they are very good but have not come together quite as expected due to underperformance and injuries. Jose Altuve leads off for $5,100/$3,600, the terrific second baseman has two home runs in his 44 plate appearances since returning from injury. Jeremy Pena has a 104 WRC+ with eight home runs but just a 6.2% barrel rate and 33.3% hard-hit rate that are both well down year-over-year. Pena is an affordable shortstop option on both sites, particularly if one chooses to roster stacks of Astros in a bad spot. Yordan Alvarez leads the team, and the game, with an 8.48 in our home run model. The superstar slugger has 14 homers with a .296 ISO on the season, but the matchup against Ohtani is a difficult spot for a $5,700/$4,100 investment. Alex Bregman has seven home runs, matching the output from young star Kyle Tucker and both are above average for run creation despite scuffling at times in the first third of the season. Bregman sits at a 105 WRC+ in 247 opportunities, Tucker is at 120 in 227. Over 229 plate appearances, veteran Jose Abreu has slashed .213/.275/.266 with a .053 ISO and 51 WRC+, which is not good. Chas McCormick, Jake Meyers, and Martin Maldonado close out the low-end option in its usual form, any one of the three is playable, McCormick would be out favorite in the group.

Play: Framber Valdez, Shohei Ohtani

Update Notes: 

Chicago Cubs (+149/3.78) @ San Diego Padres (-162/4.81)

The Cubs are facing veteran Michael Wacha who has been pitching well this season. Wacha has a 3.45 ERA and a 21.2% strikeout rate in 57.1 innings and 10 starts, but his 4.53 xFIP is the more honest number. Wacha is a good mid-rotation starter who pitches at or around the league-average in most of his outings while rarely allowing significant power or run creation, but he is not a premium option for strikeouts. The righty costs $7,400/$9,300, he is easily more playable on DraftKings where his price is a very good value as an SP2, the FanDuel ask is simply too much on such a deep slate. Wacha is facing a Cubs lineup that is filled with hitters who can provide quality for MLB DFS purposes, including Nico Hoerner in the leadoff role. Hoerner has four home runs and 14 stolen bases in 217 opportunities this year. Dansby Swanson has power and speed and has created runs 16% better than average in his 243 plate appearances despite a bit of underperformance in his five home runs and four stolen bases. Swanson has a robust 13.9% barrel rate to support the idea of power to come beyond just relying on what he has done in past seasons. Ian Happ is a solid run creator ahead of Seiya Suzuki, who provides a fair amount of power in the heart of the order. Happ is 27% better than average by WRC+ with four home runs and five stolen bases, while Suzuki has six home runs and a .193 ISO. Mike Tauchman should probably not be hitting fifth for a Major League club in 2023, but here we are. The outfielder has created runs 50% better than average in his tiny sample of 41 plate appearances but will not sustain that production for long. Christopher Morel has cooled over the past 10 days after blazing his way to nine home runs in his first 50 plate appearances, he still has nine after 75 opportunities. Matt Mervis is a power prospect at a cheap price on both sites, Yan Gomes has power upside at catcher with six home runs in the books already this season, and Miles Mastrobuoni closes the projected lineup.

The Padres top-heavy team is taking on Jameson Taillon who lands somewhere in the Wacha-esque range of quality when it comes to starting pitching over the long term, but it has not been pretty so far in 2023. Taillon has a 21.8% strikeout rate with a 4.68 xFIP but an ugly 8.04 ERA in his 31.1 innings and eight starts this season. The righty has been better than that over time, but he peaks at about a league-average pitcher, and he has not pitched in the sixth inning yet this season. At $5,400/$6,500 Taillon may warrant a few SP2 darts with low expectations on the DraftKings slate, but he is easily skippable overall and that path to success would be extremely thin. The Padres lineup will help somewhat, the projected version has a 24.7% strikeout rate for the season and there are truly only three good hitters in this batting order at any given time. Those are, obviously, Fernando Tatis Jr.Juan Soto, and Xander Bogaerts the team’s three stars. Tatis and Soto are both above the magic number for power with 15.40 and 10.50 marks in our home run model, they have nine and 10 home runs respectively this season. Outside of the two superstars, Bogaerts is 10% better than average for run creation despite a lousy May that followed a strong March and April. Bogaerts is priced down and provides value as the third man in a short stack of Padres stars, but the rest of the lineup is questionable. Jake Cronenworth is projected to lead off, he has been three percent worse than average with a lack of counting stats in 232 plate appearances over which he has six home runs and three stolen bases. Rougned Odor and Matt Carpenter land in the fifth and sixth spots ahead of Gary Sanchez who will hit seventh. Among the three, Sanchez is probably the most interesting, he has hit two home runs since joining the Padres and has always hit the ball very hard when he makes contact, as we have featured multiple times in the past few days. Sanchez is a valuable catcher play again at $3,300/$2,300 when going to stacks of Padres. Odor and Carpenter have each hit four home runs this year, Odor is at the Mendoza line, slashing .200/.292/.400 in 96 plate appearances; Carpenter is below it at .184/.307..368 with a 91 WRC+ in 138 opportunities. Trent Grisham and Ha-Seong Kim have any-given-slate ability but are low-end overall to close out the lineup.

Play: Padres bats/stacks, Wacha SP2 value on DraftKings, minor shares of Cubs bats

Update Notes: 

Atlanta Braves (-118/4.97) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (+109/4.64)

The Diamondbacks have gotten good production both at the plate and on the mound so far this year, and righty Merrill Kelly has been a big part of the team’s quality starting pitching over his first 11 starts. Kelly has thrown 63.2 innings while pitching to a 2.83 ERA and 3.70 xFIP with a very good 27.4% strikeout rate on 11.9% swinging strikes, all of which are big steps forward year-over-year for Kelly. The righty had a 22% strikeout rate with a 9.7% swinging-strike rate in 200.1 innings and 33 starts last year. The Braves are one of baseball’s most dangerous lineups and they come in with a 4.97-run implied team total in the desert tonight in what Vegas sees as one of the potentially highest-scoring games of the day. Kelly costs $8,700/$10,100 in the matchup, he is easily playable at the DraftKings price, but may not be popular due to the matchup, which would make him a very appealing option for tournament play on the two-pitcher site. On FanDuel, the aggressive price seems pretty likely to render Kelly less popular than he should be, while he is not our favorite investment on the pitching slate there is a path to success if he is under-owned by the field. Hedging with the highly-projected Braves bats in other lineups is a natural move when rostering shares of Kelly however, the elite lineup is basically always in play. Ronald Acuna Jr. is the most expensive player on most slates these days, eh has 11 home runs and 23 stolen bases and is creating runs 58% better than average, earning every dollar of salary he requires. Matt Olson has a .300 ISO with 17 home runs in 252 plate appearances, he is a great buy at $5,700/$3,900 in Braves lineups. Austin Riley and Sean Murphy have tremendous right-handed power, they have 10 and 11 home runs respectively, with Marcell Ozuna next up in the lineup with 11 home runs of his own. If that is not enough power we also have Ozzie Albies appearing in the lineup with 11 home runs in his ledger in the seventh spot, behind cheap veteran outfielder Eddie Rosario in the projected lineup. Albies is a star at a cheap price who fills a premium position, Rosario helps offset price, popularity, and positional requirements when building multiple stacks of Braves. Orlando Arcia is an underrated performer in the infield, he has multi-position eligibility at fair prices and can hit for power and average while providing correlated scoring. Michael Harris II has bounced along over 123 plate appearances but his 9.9% barrel rate and 43.2% hard-hit rate at now very low prices are appealing and we know he has the talent to create big MLB DFS scores.

The Diamondbacks are also carrying a healthy run total in this matchup despite facing a good right-handed pitcher. Veteran Charlie Morton costs $7,800/$9,500, which puts him in similar “better on DraftKings” territory to his opponent tonight. Morton has a 24.5% strikeout rate with a 9.3% walk rate while pitching to a 3.59 ERA and 3.98 xFIP over 10 starts and 57.2 innings this season. The righty’s 12.8% swinging-strike rate and 30.5% CSW% are both on-form for what we expect from this pitcher and the low pricing and public perceptions could keep him less popular than he probably should be, though the matchup against Arizona is not great. The frisky Diamondbacks lineup sits in the middle of the league with a collective 102 WRC+ against right-handed pitching while their .174 ISO in the split ties for 10th. Pavin Smith has five home runs and a 100 WRC+ over 138 plate appearances, he is a cheap way to get a stack started if he leads off tonight. Ketel Marte has created runs 22% better than average while hitting eight home runs in 231 plate appearances in a very good first third. Corbin Carroll is a burgeoning star who has nine home runs and 16 stolen bases in 216 plate appearances. Christian Walker has massive power at the plate, he has 12 home runs and a .233 ISO with a 112 WRC+. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. joins Walker as a great source of power this season, he has nine home runs and a .237 ISO with a 142 WRC+ to lead the team in 210 plate appearances. Josh Rojas is a mix-and-match piece with moderate pop and good speed, and Gabriel Moreno is a productive young catcher for just $3,000/$2,500. Moreno has slashed .289/.323/.380 with an 89 WRC+ in 155 plate appearances. Jake McCarthy has blazing speed, he and Geraldo Perdomo are mix-in value plays from late in the lineup, either is a serviceable wraparound play when building multiple stacks of Diamondbacks hitters tonight.

Play: All four corners are available at reasonable prices with the possibility of being a bit under-owned, this is a spot that could be read as no options or all options, depending on one’s approach to a slate.

Update Notes: 

New York Yankees (+121/3.79) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (-131/4.30)

Yet another dynamite pitching matchup lands in one of the late games in a classic baseball showdown between the Yankees and Dodgers on Lou Gehrig Day. The Iron Horse would have been a fun one to watch go up against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who has a 29.4% strikeout rate with a 3.32 ERA and 3.10 xFIP over 11 starts and 62.1 innings this season. Kershaw’s 15.3% swinging-strike rate and 32.5% CSW% are elite marks that have him among the league leaders as mentioned thousands of words and several writing hours ago. The southpaw has had an outstanding career and does not need to be sold to anyone, he costs just $9,000/$10,300 in an interesting showdown with an improving Yankees lineup tonight. New York gets a massive upgrade from the return of Giancarlo Stanton, who has missed more than a month with an injury. Josh Donaldson also returns to the Yankees lineup tonight, for whatever that may be worth. The projected Yankees lineup opens with Gleyber Torres, who is slashing .268/.343/.441 with a 118 WRC+ and nine home runs for a fair price at second base. Aaron Judge is carrying 18 home runs into the matchup while creating runs 90% better than average, Judge is the size of two players and he has produced as though he was two players for most of the season. Anthony Rizzo hits ahead of Stanton in a great trio for home run potential, Rizzo has 11 home runs while slashing .304/.376/.505 this year. Stanton had four home runs in his 54 plate appearances before hitting the IL, he is a major source of home run potential in any matchup and has a 10.60 in our home run model tonight. Donaldson hit one home run in his 17 early plate appearances, he had 15 in 546 tries last year but was three percent below average for run creation. DJ LeMahieu may revert to more of a contact-based approach and round into better form with the return of power hitters to the lineup, he had been striking out more but swinging for more power so far this year to mixed results. Isiah Kiner-Falefa is in the projected lineup, Anthony Volpe has provided good counting stats for DFS but not much else, and Jose Trevino is also slated to return, though he is more a defensive catcher than he is a hitter.

Righty Luis Severino is cheap at $7,100/$8,900. Severino has made two starts and thrown 11.1 innings this season, pitching to a 1.59 ERA with a 23.3% strikeout rate in the tiny meaningless sample. When he is healthy, Severino can be elite, he had a 27.7% strikeout rate in 102 innings with a 3.38 xFIP last year before going down with an injury. Against a lethal Dodgers lineup, he looks like a valid price-based play at those cheap salaries, Los Angeles is restricted to just a 4.3-run implied total in Vegas, which suggests upside for Severino to pitch clean innings, but both depth and strikeout upside are concerns, the Dodgers are excellent at avoiding the strikeout. Mookie Betts leads off with a 17.5% strikeout rate while walking 13.8% of the time this year, he also had a .262 ISO with 13 home runs and a 138 WRC+. Freddie Freeman is a star first baseman, he has 10 home runs while slashing .346/.420/.588 with a .241 ISO and has created runs 70% better than average while striking out just 15.6% of the time. Will Smith is an elite catcher, he strikes out at an 8.9% clip to lead the team while also walking at 15.5% and hitting for power and average. Smith is a tremendous option when rostering catchers on most slates. Max Muncy has an 11.50 to lead the team in our home run model, he is slashing just .209/.338/.520 with a .311 ISO while creating runs 30% better than average with 17 home runs in the books so far. JD Martinez has hit 12 home runs and has a .333 ISO with a 17.5% barrel rate and 54.4% hard hits, there is no room for rest or mistakes as we traverse the Dodgers lineup. Jason Heyward has hit six home runs in 124 plate appearances, he has a .248 ISO and has created runs 26% better than average but costs just $2,300/$2,600 in the outfield. Heyward is not playing every day, but he has been highly productive when he does make plate appearances, he is a worthwhile value play late in the Los Angeles lineup. Miguel VargasDavid Peralta, and Miguel Rojas close out the lineup.

Play: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers bats/stacks, Yankees bats/stacks, Luis Severino

Update Notes: 

Baltimore Orioles (+140/3.63) @ San Francisco Giants (-152/4.46)

The final game on the huge slate sees the Orioles in San Francisco with a capped mark for runs in Vegas at just 3.63 and low-output projected in our home run model. The reason for this, of course, is the presence of Giants starter Logan Webb, who is typically excellent at limiting launch angle and home run upside. Webb has allowed a 2.83% home run rate this year, up from 1.40% over 192.1 innings and 32 starts last year on the back of a few mistakes, but the starter is keeping opposing hitters to just a 2.7-degree average launch angle overall, which is an improvement from last year’s 3.1 degrees on the whole. Webb has struck out more hitters as well, his 26.9% strikeout rate is way up from the 20.7% that he posted last season and he has managed to cut his walk rate by a couple of percentage points at the same time. Webb is pitching very well for someone who is priced at just $9,700 on DraftKings, though his $11,100 on FanDuel might be a bit high, the hope would be that the public agrees and goes in different directions tonight. Webb projects among the top pitchers on the board in our model. The Orioles lineup is showing minimal appeal compared to where they normally land for us. Cedric Mullins is on the injured list, so Adam Frazier is slated to lead off, he has a 101 WRC+ over 195 plate appearances and is better at cheap prices and low ownership later in the lineup. Adley Rutschman is a star catcher for $5,100/$3,100, he has eight home runs this season but is cut to just a 3.12 in our home run model in the matchup against Webb. Anthony Santander sees his power similarly cut to just a 3.89 in our model, a low mark that actually doubles as the team leader tonight. Santander has nine home runs on the season, Austin Hays has six while slashing .311/.354/.506 and creating runs 36% better than average, he is cheap at $3,600/$2,800. Gunnar Henderson and Ryan Mountcastle slot in fifth and sixth, the young players have been up and down somewhat but both have elite attributes at the plate. Mountcastle has 11 home runs and a .207 ISO but just a 90 WRC+, Henderson is at 99 WRC+ but has not hit for average or provided much in the way of counting stats. Aaron Hicks is blocking premium prospects in this system. Jorge Mateo and Terrin Vavra round out the projected lineup.

The Giants look like the last playable team on the board against Dean Kremer tonight. The righty has a 19% strikeout rate with a 4.58 ERA and 4.63 xFIP in 11 starts and 59 innings this season, he has not been lousy but is also not good at anything in particular on the mound. Kremer has allowed too much premium contact while not striking out enough hitters or throwing enough strikes. With 10.8% barrels, 90.9 mph of average exit velocity, and a whopping 48.9% hard hits so far this season, there should be upside for the Giants lineup, particularly the stout lefty power hitters. LaMonte Wade Jr. costs just $3,100/$2,800 in the leadoff role despite a 143 WRC+ with seven home runs in 207 plate appearances. Blake Sabol has hit six home runs in 139 plate appearances and offers cheap catcher eligibility, he is particularly appealing at the position if he lands in the second spot in the batting order as projected tonight. JD DavisMike Yastrzemski, and Mitch Haniger all offer power in the heart of the batting order, but lefty Michael Conforto will be out once again with an injury in an overall downgrade to the lineup. Patrick Bailey has two home runs with a .231 ISO in his 41 plate appearances as a cheap second catcher option if he plays. Casey SchmittBrandon Crawford, and Brett Wisely close out the projected lineup with middling quality. Schmitt has been good over 85 plate appearances with a 117 WRC+ and two home runs, Crawford has four home runs and hits from the left side but does not do much else, and Wisely has a 34 WRC+ in 83 plat appearances.

Play: Logan Webb, Giants bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

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