MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Snapshot & LIVE SHOW LINK – Monday 6/12/23

The Monday MLB DFS main slates get underway with a 7:10 ET start and just seven games on deck and a welcome absence of a Coors Field game, though targeting the Rockies will be a big part of many people’s plans with their weak starter taking the mound at Fenway Park. The slate includes several good-not-dominant pitchers and is broader than it is tall, while several standout spots at the plate will probably draw much of the public’s attention and ownership today. Getting to a spread of likely outcomes and a diverse set of combinations within those options is the approach to a slate of this nature, it pays to embrace some of the less popular options with only 14 teams available for stacking, while soaking up some of the chalky options on the mound is probably fine given this mix of starters.

Join us at 4:00 ET for a LIVE Game-by-Game breakdown:

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 – 6/12/23

Colorado Rockies (+215/3.76) @ Boston Red Sox (-239/5.87)

The Rockies are pulling in one of the lowest implied team totals on the slate in their matchup against veteran lefty James Paxton in Boston’s Fenway Park this evening. Paxton will be making his sixth start since returning from injury, he has a wholly unexpected 33% strikeout rate and a 3.81 ERA with a 3.43 xFIP over 26 innings in his first five outings. The southpaw’s excellent statistical line includes one clunker start in the five, he faced the Angels in his third start and lasted just three innings while yielding five runs on four hits, including two home runs while walking three and striking out five. Outside of that appearance, the lefty has been mostly dazzling on the mound and seems to have returned in better form than he was in prior to his extended injury absence. Paxton will be facing a Rockies lineup that is extremely low-end, even more so when they are on the road away from the upside provided by their offensively-tilted home park. Colorado’s active roster ranks dead last by WRC+ against left-handed pitching this year, their collective 61 WRC+ in the split is by far the lowest mark against either hand in the entire sport. In addition, the Rockies are striking out at a league-high 30% clip against lefties with a collective .147 ISO in the split, this is an excellent spot for Paxton, who checks in as one of our mostly highly projected pitchers for $9,800/$9,300, the lefty is a strong buy on both sites. The projected Rockies lineup opens with Jurickson Profar, who is slashing .240/.322/.384 with a 79 WRC+ over 262 plate appearances this year. Profar is cheap but far from reliable or productive at the plate. Ezequiel Tovar slides up to second in the projected lineup, with Charlie Blackmon out for several weeks with a broken hand. Tovar is one of Colorado’s prized young players, but he has not produced much at the plate this season. The shortstop has a 76 WRC+ with five home runs and three steals, mostly from the bottom of the lineup, in 234 plate appearances this year. At $3,500/$2,600, if he is hitting second, Tovar can be a part of Rockies stacks, but they are a low-end option overall. Ryan McMahon is drawing a decent projection in our home run model as a lefty in Fenway, he has 10 homers on the season with a .218 ISO and a 106 WRC+ which makes him one of the team’s best players. Randal Grichuk costs $4,300/$2,900, he has one home run and a 109 WRC+ while slashing .317/.374/.452. Grichuk has been productive at the plate even while not hitting for power this season. Elehuris MonteroNolan JonesCoco Montes, and Brenton Doyle make up a core of hitters who the Rockies should probably have been playing all season. The young group has talent that should be developing at the Major League level if the team is going to be losing ballgames anyway. Montero has made 74 plate appearances, eh has a home run and a 37 WRC+ so far but he is one of the team’s most highly regarded prospects at the plate. Jones has been raking at the MLB level since his promotion, continuing a strong run from his AAA numbers earlier in the year. He is a very different play from site to site, on DraftKings, Jones is a $3,900 option at first base or in the outfield, making him a nice bargain in this lineup. FanDuel has him priced at $3,700 as by far the most expensive player on the team and slots him in at third base. Jones has four home runs and a .320 ISO over his 54 plate appearances so far and he has barreled 15.2% of his batted-ball events. Montes made his MLB debut over the weekend, hitting a home run in his three plate appearances, but he is absent from both DraftKings and FanDuel tonight. Doyle has four home runs in 120 plate appearances with a .152 ISO and 52 WRC+ but he has made good contact with an 11.3% barrel rate and has upside as a late lineup righty. Austin Wynns rounds out the projected batting order as a low-end option at catcher.

The Red Sox are carrying the highest implied team total on the board by a fairly wide margin in their matchup against weak righty Connor Seabold who has very little MLB DFS value even at his $5,400/$6,200 prices. Seabold has a 5.10 ERA and 5.57 xFIP so far this season while striking out just 16.7% of opposing hitters in 47.2 innings and seven starts. Seabold has allowed an average amount of premium contact and home runs, with a 37.6% hard-hit rate and seven percent barrel rate so far this season amounting to a 3.24% home run rate, but the Red Sox seem primed for run creation, and they have more than enough power to get to this weak starter at Fenway. Alex Verdugo is slashing .286/.360/.441 with a 119 WRC+ over 275 plate appearances. The excellent leadoff hitter strikes out just 13.1% of the time while walking at a 9.1% clip and he has moderate upside for power and run creation individually while providing more upside as a correlated scoring piece in stacks. Verdugo has five home runs and three stolen bases and leads the team in runs scored. Masataka Yoshida is another very low-strikeout stud from the top of the Sox lineup. Yoshida has a 44.6% hard-hit rate and puts the ball in play regularly with just a 10.2% strikeout rate. The lefty has seven home runs with a team-leading 131 WRC+ and has stolen three bases so far this year. At $5,700/$3,600, the outfielder is arguably still too cheap on both sites. Justin Turner costs $3,500/$2,900 with eligibility at first base on DraftKings and added third base positioning on FanDuel, though one would be unlikely to succeed when selecting him over Rafael Devers at the hot corner very often. Turner has eight home runs while slashing .265/.347/.416 this season and has created runs nine percent better than average. Devers checks in with a 108 WRC+ and 15 home runs in his ledger, and sports a .247 ISO on 52.6% hard hits. The lefty masher has not hit for his typically robust triple-slash numbers this season, but the power and MLB DFS upside are outstanding for $5,800/$3,700. Adam Duvall adds another significant power bat to this lineup in his return. Duvall has four home runs in 45 plate appearances this year, he hit just 12 in 315 tries last season but had 38 in 555 the year before and has been a premium power hitter for years. Duvall is our overall home run pick for the day with a 17.36 in our home run model for just $5,000/$2,800. Triston Casas has seven home runs and is above the Mendoza line, barely, at .201/.322/.374. Christian ArroyoReese McGuire, and Enrique Hernandez have all been below average for run creation and have not hit for much power this season, but they are fine as mix-in options from late in the lineup in a handful of what will be popular Red Sox stacks. Utilizing options from later in the lineup is an easy way to differentiate combinations of players within a highly targeted team stack.

Play: Red Sox bats/stacks, James Paxton

Update Notes: 

San Francisco Giants (-125/4.51) @ St. Louis Cardinals (+116/4.08)

The free-swinging hard-hitting Giants look to be in a good spot as road favorites in St. Louis tonight. The team will be facing young lefty starter Matthew Liberatore, who is drawing a fair projection in our model on the basis of a few additional potential strikeouts, but who has not been outstanding at any point at this level. Liberatore has a 15.5% strikeout rate with an 11.3% walk rate in his three starts and 15 innings this season and he posted just a 17.4% strikeout rate in 34.2 innings in the Show last year. However, in eight starts and 46 innings at the AAA level this year, Liberatore has a 30.3% strikeout rate, and he worked in the mid-20s in most of his minor league climb. Liberatore is more of a target than he is an option on the mound, but with a mid-level projection for $6,400/$6,500, he is at least a low-end SP2 option on the DraftKings slate. The Giants are still the better play, given the amount of contact that should be available against the lefty. Austin Slater will likely lead off with LaMonte Wade Jr. dropping to the bottom of the lineup with a lefty on the hill. Slater is slashing .375/.419/.500 with a home run and two steals in a tiny sample of 43 plate appearances this year. Last season he posted a 124 WRC+ over 325 plate appearances as a part-timer, posting seven home runs and 12 steals in a good year at the plate. Thairo Estrada is a strong source of mid-range power and stolen base upside with the potential to create runs via his hit tool and good spot in the lineup. Estrada has a 131 WRC+ with nine home runs and 14 stolen bases in his 235 plate appearances this year but he is very affordable at $5,200/$3,400 and offers shortstop eligibility in addition to his second base positioning on FanDuel. Wilmer Flores has made a career out of bashing mediocre lefties, overall he has six home runs in 157 plate appearances this season and he drops into the lineup third for just $2,700/$2,500. JD Davis has a 6.87 in our home run model for just $4,500/$3,000 in pricing that is misaligned with his productive season. Davis has nine home runs and a 134 WRC+ over 238 opportunities. Mitch Haniger has four home runs in 153 plate appearances with huge power on the right side of the plate, Michael Conforto has 12 home runs in 222 tries from the left side, they are a sturdy power core from the middle of the lineup for fair prices in this matchup. Casey Schmitt and Patrick Bailey are mix-in options to offset price and positioning needs. Wade has created runs one percent better than average against same-handed pitching this year and 53% better than average against righties. He is slashing .235/.333/.382 with a .147 ISO and one of his eight home runs against southpaws, most of his quality comes on the strong side of platoon splits, but he is easily playable in this matchup and with the assumption of opportunities against righties out of the bullpen later in the game.

The Cardinals lineup is facing Logan Webb, who comes in as one of the more desirable pitchers on both sites for $10,300/$10,600 tonight. Webb has a 3.09 ERA and 3.00 xFIP with a 25.4% strikeout rate over 84.1 innings in 13 starts this season, he has been very good on the whole and is typically excellent at checking opposing power. Opponents have managed a few more early home runs against Webb this season, his home run rate sits at 2.99% on an elevated 9.1% barrel rate, but his average launch angle sits at just 3.4 degrees making the early returns look more like a bit of misfortune. Webb is good at limiting walks and rarely gets himself into major jams, he is a strong option against a Cardinals lineup that should be better than it is on the whole. Brendan Donovan should land in the leadoff spot for St. Louis, the lefty is slashing .253/.348/.371 with a 104 WRC+ over 224 plate appearances, he is a play for correlated scoring at cheap prices. Paul Goldschmidt has 10 home runs with a 141 WRC+ over 287 plate appearances this season, the veteran star first baseman has a 14% barrel rate and 54.3% hard-hit rate for the year and he is involved in everything the Cardinals do on this side of the game, he is an easy buy when rostering Cardinals bats for just $5,500/$3,600. Nolan Gorman has a 15.3% barrel rate and 50.4% hard-hit rate for the year, he has blasted 15 home runs to outpace both Goldschmidt and teammate Nolan Arenado, who is second on the team with 13 long balls. Gorman costs $4,700/$3,600, he is too cheap on the DraftKings slate, though this is not a great spot for home run hitting with Webb on the mound. Arenado is similarly inexpensive at $5,100/$3,200. Willson Contreras has just an 83 WRC+ for the year with seven home runs and five stolen bases but a lowly .204/.294/.356 triple-slash. Dylan Carlson costs $2,400/$2,700, he is cheap in the outfield and has three home runs in 121 plate appearances this year with a decent 9.3% barrel rate and 41.3% hard hits. Jordan WalkerPaul DeJong, and Tommy Edman are a good final third who can be played in any combination of Cardinals bats, but Webb presents a tough opponent. Even in a win, it seems more likely that St. Louis would put up three or four runs against Webb, rather than the eight to ten or more that we would want for DFS.

Play: Logan Webb, Giants bats/stacks, very minor shares of Liberatore value if any

Update Notes: 

Los Angeles Angels (+134/4.60) @ Texas Rangers (-146/5.52)

With a fairly high overall run total, the matchup in Texas seems like a strong bet for relevant MLB DFS production at the plate and far less so on the mound. The visiting Angels are underdogs with a 4.60-run implied total against righty Dane Dunning, who has a 2.52 ERA over 53.2 innings and six starts this season. Of course, the truth about Dunning’s quality is the far more telling 4.61 xFIP that he has posted in the same sample, as well as his limited 15% strikeout rate and 7.8% swinging-strike rate. The righty is a limited option on the mound, he does not project well for his $6,100/$7,700 salary, but he could find a few additional strikeouts against the free-swinging Angels. Los Angeles’ lineup is by far the better option in the head-to-head matchup however, the Angels have Taylor Ward leading off in the projected batting order. Ward has eight home runs on the season while slashing .240/.314/.378 with a .138 ISO and 92 WRC+, he has not been nearly as good as last year, but he has shown a bit of life for power at the plate in recent games and is fighting for his playing time at just $3,200/$2,800 in a suddenly crowded Angels lineup. Shohei Ohtani has 18 home runs and a .283 ISO with a 152 WRC+, he is easily worth the $6,300/$4,000 against Dunning and has a 10.18 in our home run model. Not to be outdone, fellow superstar Mike Trout slots in with a 10.28 in the home run model for a better price at just $6,100/$3,600. The FanDuel price reads like a mistake, Trout should not be below $4,000 on the site regardless of any bumps in recent weeks. The star outfielder is slashing .254/.351/.475 with a .221 ISO and 14 home runs in 279 plate appearances. Anthony Rendon is a good bat for just $3,400/$2,900, the veteran third baseman has not hit for much power this season but his correlated scoring ability is strong and his WRC+ sits at 114 over 145 plate appearances. Matt Thaiss is a playable catcher who has a bit of pop with an 11% barrel rate. Brandon Drury and Hunter Renfroe offer significant power in comparison to most teams’ sixth and seventh hitters. Drury has 10 home runs this season, Renfroe has 11, but has slumped badly over the past few weeks. Last season Drury hit 28 home runs and Renfroe hit 29, they would be key bats for other teams but for Los Angeles they are cogs in the machine and they are underpriced for MLB DFS purposes. Jared Walsh costs just $2,200/$2,300 at first base, his lefty power could be in play in this spot, though it has not been yet this year over his 60 plate appearances. Zach Neto has five home runs after a big Sunday at the plate, he is creating runs seven percent better than average with a .253/.337/.404 triple-slash over 190 plate appearances and is a worthwhile option when building numerous stacks of Angels hitters.

The Texas lineup is outstanding from top to bottom, they are a good team to stack on almost any slate and they check in today with a robust 5.52-run implied team total against Tyler Anderson, an underwhelming left-handed veteran. Anderson has a 5.62 ERA and 5.98 xFIP with a 1.60 WHIP and just a 14.5% strikeout rate over 57.2 innings in 11 starts this season, he is targetable on the mound and does not seem like a worthwhile DFS option at $6,800/$7,100. Anderson has one of the lowest pitching projections on the slate and is not on the SP2 board. The Rangers lineup will be popular against this starter but the team is well worth the effort. Marcus Semien has a 41.2% hard-hit rate and strikes out at just a 16.6% clip, he has blasted nine home runs and is slashing .296/.361/.487 as one of baseball’s top second basemen. Corey Seager costs $5,900/$4,200, the star shortstop has seven home runs despite making just 148 plate appearances so far after dealing with an injury that cost him several weeks. Seager has a .258 ISO and 175 WRC+ for the season, he is a dynamite option on any slate. Nathaniel Lowe is a good differentiator and price-fix in the third spot in the lineup. The lefty has seven home runs this year but was better for power in hitting 27 last year. He has a sturdy 119 WRC+, but again that has come down from last season’s fantastic 143. Lowe’s price has dipped in line with his reduced production, he costs just $4,500/$3,300 at first base and makes a lot of sense in most stacks of Rangers hitters. Adolis Garcia is a toolsy star with 15 home runs and five stolen bases. He ran more last season in swiping 25 bags, but we will take the trade-off for his terrific production at the plate. Garcia has a 14.8% barrel rate and 52.3% hard-hit rate this season. Josh Jung has hit the ball almost as hard all year, he has a 12.6% barrel rate and 50.3% hard-hit rate while posting a 13 home run total with a .223 ISO over 261 mostly excellent plate appearances. Jung’s strikeout rate continues to drop as well, he has it down to just 26.1%, which is more than a 12-point improvement year over year. Jonah Heim and Mitch Garver are a pair of good catchers for $4,400/$3,330 and $3,900/$3,300, they have home run potential and have both been above average for run creation. Heim sits at a 116 WRC+ over 220 plate appearances while Garver has made just 44 plate appearances but has been 56% better than average for run creation in the tiny sample. Ezequiel Duran and Leody Taveras have been highly productive late in this lineup as well, they have a 141 and 127 WRC+ respectively.

Play: Rangers bats/stacks, Angels bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Cincinnati Reds (+107/4.17) @ Kansas City Royals (-116/4.42)

The Reds and Royals open their series in Kansas City with a pair of middling righties on the mound. While his premium stuff may have retired sometime around 2019, Zack Greinke keeps on keeping on. The veteran righty has made 13 starts and thrown 66.2 innings with a 4.59 ERA and 4.00 xFIP this season. Greinke has struck hitters out at a higher clip this season, he is at 18.3% for the year which is a nice jump from the 12.5% he posted in 137 innings and 26 starts last year. The righty has almost exactly the same swinging-strike rate and CSW% for the season, however, so not much has changed overall. Greinke has always been outstanding at limiting walks, he has a 3.3% walk rate this season and has pitched to a 1.13 WHIP that has been fairly effective. While the righty has allowed a 4.03% home run rate, his marks for contact have not been tragic, but he has made a few mistakes with his curveball that have been punished by opposing hitters to the tune of a .773 slugging percentage and six of the 11 home runs he has allowed. Greinke is not a comfortable or even a fun option for MLB DFS, but at $7,000/$7,300 on a relatively short pitching slate, he is not off the board for SP2 shares at the very least. The matchup against the Reds also works in Greinke’s favor, for the most part, their best players are just getting their feet wet in the Show and they have an aggressively high strikeout rate. TJ Friedl is projected in the leadoff spot, he has a .311/.360/.477 triple-slash over 168 plate appearances this year and has hit three home runs and stolen six bases. Friedl is cheap at $3,700/$3,000 ahead of Matt McLain, who is affordable for his talent at $4,500/$3,800 at shortstop. McLain has two home runs and two steals in 119 plate appearances over which he has created runs 40% better than average. Jonathan India has a 109 WRC+ with seven home runs and 12 stolen bases on the season, he is one of the team’s top bats but he is easy to afford at $4,600/$3,600 at second base. Elly De La Cruz has made 27 plate appearances in his career and has not disappointed those who were anticipating his arrival in the Show. De La Cruz has scored seven times in six games, he has a home run and three stolen bases and is slashing .364/.481/.636 with a .273 ISO and 195 WRC+ in the meaningless but fun sample. De La Cruz has a ridiculous 75% hard-hit rate with a 16.7% barrel rate and he has drawn five walks (18.5%) to offset his 10 strikeouts (37%). For $4,300/$3,900 at third base or shortstop, De La Cruz is clearly a better bargain and should be far more popular on the DraftKings slate, but he seems likely to cost more this time next week, get him while he’s somewhat cheap. Spencer Steer has been very good this season, he also offers multi-position eligibility on the DraftKings slate, slotting in at first base or in the outfield, he is a third baseman on the blue site. Steer is slashing .282/.362/.474 with a .192 ISO and 121 WRC+ in 268 plate appearances in 2023. Tyler StephensonWill BensonKevin Newman, and Stuart Fairchild round out the low-end Reds lineup, most of the team’s quality is from 1-5, but that may change with another promotion or two, the Reds are going to get good in a hurry.

Kansas City is another developing young team with talent, but they have been pushing too many strikeouts in the direction of opposing pitchers this season. Righty Luke Weaver is better than his reputation. We think. The 29-year-old has a 4.93 ERA for his career, but a 4.08 xFIP and a 23.3% strikeout rate with just a 7.3% walk rate over his 124 appearances, including 90 starts and 498 innings. No one is arguing for Weaver’s inclusion in the Cy Young Award debate, his current-year ERA is an unsightly 6.27, but his xFIP over 47.1 innings and nine starts sits at a far more manageable 4.23. He has struck out 22.3% and walked just 5.3% but has had a big problem with premium contact, which has been a longtime issue for the righty. Weaver has allowed a 5.83% home run rate on 44.9% hard hits and a 10.9% barrel rate with 90.3 mph of exit velocity on average so far this year. Against the Royals, those numbers are going to play one of two ways. Weaver is going to find a few strikeouts beyond his typical output or he is going to run into a buzzsaw of power at the top of their batting order and get chased fairly quickly, there does not seem to be a wide lane in between the two outcomes. Weaver costs $7,500/$8,100, if Greinke is on your SP2 board Weaver should be as well. Of course, the Royals bats belong in lineups too. Kansas City’s flaw is their strikeouts, their upside is in the rate at which they strike the ball well when they do connect. All of the top five hitters in the projected lineup have better than a 10% barrel rate and Bobby Witt Jr.’s 43.2% hard-hit rate is the lowest mark in the group. Of course, the collective strikeout rate for Nick PrattoSal PerezMJ Melendez, Witt, and Michael Massey lands at 27.7% for the season, with Witt landing as the best at limiting strikeouts with a 21.3% rate in the cleanup spot. Pratto strikes out at a 35.6% clip but has a 10.6% walk rate and 127 WRC+ over his 160 plate appearances, with four home runs on the board and a .375 on-base percentage. Pratto has either reached first base or struck out in a whopping 73.1% of his plate appearances. Perez is the team’s star, the catcher has 13 home runs and a .229 ISO and can be in our lineup any day for $5,300/$3,000. Melendez hits the ball harder than anyone on the team, but has found just five home runs and a .142 ISO in his 247 plate appearances and strikes out at a 30.4% clip. Witt has 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a nice year for counting stats that has not led to above-average run creation, his WRC+ sits at a lowly 83. Massey is cheap at second base for $2,300/$2,500, he has a 10.7% barrel rate and 44.3% hard-hit rate in his 192 plate appearances with four home runs on the board. Drew Waters has a home run and an 18.2% barrel rate in his tiny sample of 41 plate appearances, but he has managed just a .079 ISO and 38 WRC+ so far. Maikel GarciaNicky Lopez, and Jackie Bradley Jr. are a fairly weak trio to round out the bottom of the lineup. The veteran Bradley has a hilarious WRC+ of 4 in his 113 plate appearances this season.

Play: pitching value on either side, Reds bats/stacks value over Royals bats/stacks but both are mid-range value options as well

Update Notes: 

Miami Marlins (+103/3.72) @ Seattle Mariners (-112/3.87)

The game in Seattle features a pair of high-end starters in a pitching-friendly environment, with hometown righty Bryce Miller taking the mound at $10,000/$9,000 for his eighth MLB start. Miller started his career with six excellent performances before hitting a wall in two outings against the Yankees and Rangers this past week. Miller was originally slated to face the Angels yesterday, but the team decided to nudge him back a day for a better opportunity for success against the low-end Marlins, which should also benefit MLB DFS gamers on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Miller is a highly-regarded pitching prospect with outstanding command and control, somewhat along the lines of teammates Logan Gilbert and George Kirby. So far, Miller has walked just 3.3% of MLB hitters while striking them out at a 21.7% pace in 38.1 innings. The righty has a 4.46 ERA and 4.29 xFIP after the two bumpy outings, but his 0.97 WHIP remains excellent and the matchup against the Marlins is a highly positive one in this ballpark. Miller projects among the top pitching options of the day at a fair price on both sites, the FanDuel play is particularly intriguing for the low comparative cost. The Marlins lineup is a fairly low-end option, particularly with Luis Arraez no longer hitting .400. At .397 over 253 plate appearances, who even cares anymore? We kid the excellent leadoff hitter of course, Arraez is having an outstanding season, and seems like he will give .400 a real run for its money over the season’s second half. The second baseman costs $4,900/$2,900, his FanDuel price is simply incorrect, Arraez gets on base and provides too much potential for correlated scoring to be that cheap, his WRC+ is 58% better than average and he leads directly into Jorge Soler. The massive power hitter has 19 home runs on the season with a .301 ISO while creating runs 44% better than average, he and Arraez alone are enough to ruin a young pitcher’s day. Bryan De La Cruz and Jesus Sanchez are capable young bats on either side of the plate. The righty De La Cruz (no relation) has eight home runs and a 123 WRC+ over 250 plate appearances, while Sanchez has big left-handed power that seemed to be arriving at the MLB level prior to his injury early this season. The outfielder costs just $3,100/$2,700 with six home runs and a .248 ISO over his 122 plate appearances. Garrett Cooper is cheap at first base if stacking Marlins, but he is a fairly low-end player who has seven home runs but an 85 WRC+ over 177 plate appearances. Joey Wendle is a middling option at shortstop for cheap prices, Jean Segura has been bad all year, Nick Fortes has minor pop as a cheap catcher, and Jonathan Davis has been quietly productive in his limited 53 plate appearances.

Seattle is facing a similarly tough pitching situation, the heavy-strikeout Mariners are pushing a big projection toward Jesus Luzardo, an excellent lefty. Luzardo has made 13 starts and thrown 73.2 innings this season, pitching to a 3.79 ERA and 3.64 xFIP that align nicely. The southpaw has a 28.2% strikeout rate and has cut his walks to just 6.6% in a nice step forward. He has an outstanding 13.4% swinging-strike rate and a 30% CSW% for the season and has not been badly damaged by the high levels of premium contact he has given up. Luzardo has allowed an 11.2% barrel rate and 39.1% hard-hit rate with 89.5 mph of exit velocity on average, but that has amounted to merely a 2.95% home run rate and he has been good overall for runs. At just $9,600/$9,500, Luzardo is one of the top pitchers on either site tonight. The Mariners have been striking out far too much this season, the team has a 28.1% average strikeout rate across the projected lineup and they have not been creating runs or hitting for enough power to justify the strikeouts to this point. JP Crawford has a .352 on-base percentage and 107 WRC+ in the leadoff role, he is a correlated scoring piece who can differentiate a lineup but his three home runs and one stolen base are indicative of his limited individual quality. Julio Rodriguez hit 28 home runs and stole 25 bases as a rookie last year, he has 12 homers and 12 stolen bases in 279 plate appearances so far this season but his triple-slash has dipped to just .245/.305/.440 with a 111 WRC+, down from .284/.345/.509 with a 146. Ty France is affordable at $3,600/$2,900, his 14.9% strikeout rate stands out as by far the best on the team, most of his teammates strike out about double that pace. France has five home runs and a 125 WRC+ while slashing .283/.353/.429. Teoscar Hernandez and Jarred Kelenic have power, they each have 11 home runs on the season but they also strike out at 32.6% and 32.5% over their 264 and 246 plate appearances. Eugenio Suarez joins that duo with a 28.8% strikeout rate and he has not even had the decency to hit for power this season, posting just six home runs and a sickly .106 ISO in 274 opportunities. Dylan Moore, AJ Pollock, and Tom Murphy round out the projected lineup, Pollock is probably the most interesting despite his scuffling across 109 plate appearances, he does have four home runs as the lone positive point late in the Mariners’ lineup.

Play: Jesus Luzardo, Bryce Miller both aggressively

Update Notes: 

Tampa Bay Rays (-258/5.34) @ Oakland Athletics (+231/3.29)

Two teams on opposite ends of the success spectrum will be battling in Oakland tonight. The loaded and rolling Rays have a 5.34-run implied team total as one of the best options on the slate in their matchup against James Kaprielian. The righty has a 7.21 ERA and a 6.19 xFIP for the season, the less that is said about him for DFS purposes the better, he is only a target and should not be rostered as a pitcher on either site, regardless of his $5,200/$6,600 pricing. Kaprielian has an 18.6% strikeout rate and a 12.9% walk rate and has allowed a 3.33% home run rate while racking up just a 25.9% CSW%, there is no reliability in the starter and the Rays are a strong option against him. Tampa Bay’s projected lineup opens as usual with Yandy Diaz, who is slashing .313/.405/.548 with a 171 WRC+ and 12 home runs and does not seem to know the world is expecting him to dip in productivity. Diaz has a 56.7% hard-hit rate for just $4,900/$3,800 at first base on DraftKings and with added eligibility at third base on FanDuel. Wander Franco is a premium shortstop for $5,600/$3,900, he has eight home runs and 22 stolen bases while creating runs 39% better than average over 278 plate appearances. Josh Lowe and Randy Arozarena have combined for 23 home runs, Lowe has a .250 ISO and 149 WRC+, and Arozarena has a .200 ISO and 158 WRC+, they both belong in lineups. Issac Paredes costs $3,600/$3,200 with eligibility at first and third base on FanDuel but just third base on DraftKings. Paredes has hit 11 home runs in 221 plate appearances and seems cheap given the upside. Luke Raley is affordable with first base and outfield eligibility on both sites, he has yet another 11 home runs on the season, though his came in just 165 tries over which he posted a .326 ISO and 159 WRC+. Raley has a terrific 21.3% barrel rate and 56.4% hard-hit rate for the season, he is a sturdy left-handed bat late in the lineup. Taylor Walls has seven home runs and 15 stolen bases with a 110 WRC+ in 187 plate appearances, Jose Siri has a ridiculous 11 home runs in 143 plate appearances, and Francisco Mejia is a backup catcher who looks odd with just an 84 WRC+ over his 108 plate appearances as the one non-productive Rays hitter.

The lousy Athletics have a 3.29-run implied team total against talented righty starter Zach Eflin, who draws the night’s best pitching projection for the highest prices at $11,000/$10,800. Eflin has been very good this season, he has a 2.97 ERA and 3.07 xFIP with a 0.96 WHIP and has struck out 25.7% while walking just 3.5%. His 10.8% swinging-strike rate is very good and an improvement over last season’s 9.9% and his CSW% is up significantly from 27.6% to 30.4% this year. Eflin is a top option on this slate, he is likely to be popular even at the high prices, but he seems easily worth the effort of getting to and looks like one of the most likely options to post the night’s top pitching score. Eflin is facing a lineup that opens with speedy Esteury Ruiz, who has 31 stolen bases in 288 plate appearances but is six percent below average for run creation. Ryan Noda costs just $2,900/$2,800 despite his outstanding .410 on-base percentage and 151 WRC+ from the second spot in the lineup. Noda has struck out in 31.7% of his plate appearances but has walked in 19.8% this year while hitting seven home runs on a 15.1% barrel rate and 47.2% hard-hit rate from the left side. Noda is better than his pricing might indicate. Seth Brown is also better than a $2,800/$2,500 hitter, he went 25/11 last year and has four home runs with two stolen bases in 102 plate appearances overall. Brown missed time with an injury but should provide some value in this lineup going forward. Ramon Laureano has five home runs and seven steals but a 94 WRC+, Jace Peterson has five home runs and eight steals but a 92 WRC+, and Jonah Bride is cheap with just 35 plate appearances in his ledger this season. Bride hit one home run and had a 70 WRC+ in 187 opportunities last year. JJ BledayShea Langerliers, and Kevin Smith close out the flawed Athletics lineup. Zach Eflin is the play on this side of the matchup, he has an excellent opportunity to find a good strikeout total while booking a win and a quality start in this matchup, his salary is high for the name recognition, but he has been worthwhile this season.

Play: Zach Eflin enthusiastically despite what should be high popularity, Rays bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Philadelphia Phillies (-105/5.07) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (-103/5.04)

The final game of the night has both the Phillies and Diamondbacks carrying healthy run totals in excess of 5.0. The Phillies are facing targetable Tommy Henry, while the Diamondbacks will deal with lefty Matt Strahm for an inning or two as an opener before a true bullpen game. Strahm is very good in small doses and could limit Arizona’s upside in the early part of the game, he has a 32.5% strikeout rate with a 3.61 ERA and 3.20 xFIP over 42.1 innings including several true starts from early in the year. Strahm will not be in play for long enough to pay off a $7,900/$8,600 price tag tonight but he could have a limiting impact before the Diamondbacks get to some bullpen arms. Henry is a true starter who has made eight starts and has a 4.37 ERA but a 5.64 xFIP in 45.1 innings. The limited lefty has been targetable for power, he has a 4.23% home run rate and has allowed an 8.5% barrel rate, and he gets himself into trouble with a 10.1% walk rate that is not offset with punchouts, Henry has a weak 14.3% strikeout rate this year and was at just 17.6% last season. Neither pitcher is an option for MLB DFS purposes tonight, Henry lacks a ceiling even for $6,200/$7,900.

The Phillies lineup should be very popular in this matchup. Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper should not be skipped because Henry is a lefty, neither player takes a major hit from same-handed matchups anyway, and Henry is an entirely non-threatening lefty. Schwarber has a 16.1% barrel rate and 49.7% hard-hit for the season with 17 home runs and a .259 ISO for $5,200/$3,500, he is too cheap tonight. Nick Castellanos provides a strong righty bat between Schwarber and Harper in the second spot in the lineup. Castellanos is slashing .3132/.358/.498 this year and he has a 131 WRC+ over 274 plate appearances. Harper has three home runs and a 128 WRC+ but just a .145 ISO so far in his return. He has a 13% barrel rate and 44.6% hard-hit rate so far though, so better returns for power seem imminent. Trea Turner is priced way down for his struggles, the star shortstop costs just $5,400/$3,000 despite the soft matchup, he is a good buy in the heart of the Phillies lineup. JT Realmuto is cheap at $4,800 where catchers are needed, he can be played on the FanDuel slate at just $2,800 as well. Realmuto has five home runs and nine stolen bases with a .179 ISO, though his WRC+ has dipped to just 88 over 225 plate appearances. Alec Bohm has six home runs and a fills two positions at first base or third base on either site. Bryson Stott has a 101 WRC+ in 274 plate appearances and lands inexpensively in the bottom of the lineup. Edmundo Sosa and Dalton Guthrie are mix-in values at the end of the projected batting order. On the Diamondbacks side, Ketel Marte is a very good leadoff option at second base with moderate power and a good nose for getting on base. Marte has nine home runs and a .346 on-base percentage with a 119 WRC+ for the season. For $5,000/$3,600, Marte offers a good blend of correlated scoring and individual production, he puts the ball in play frequently while limiting strikeouts to just 16%. Corbin Carroll has 13 home runs and 19 stolen bases and has created runs an outstanding 59% better than average this year. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has a 139 WRC+ with 10 home runs while slashing .301/.350/.545 with a .244 ISO this year. Christian Walker has 12 home runs and a .222 ISO on the right side of the plate, his 7.37 in our home run model leads the way for Arizona today and he costs just $4,100/$3,300 at first base, which makes him a premium value option on both sites. Emmanuel Rivera costs $3,300/$2,900 and has been very productive over his 110 plate appearances at /356/.391/.471 with a 136 WRC+. Pavin Smith has seven home runs but a 93 WRC+ and just a .176 ISO, Gabriel Moreno is a productive and inexpensive young catcher, Jake McCarthy has speed with 12 stolen bases on the season, and Geraldo Perdomo has been a roller coaster but has an overall 138 WRC+ in 173 plate appearances.

Play: Phillies bats/stacks, Diamondbacks bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

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