MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Snapshot & LIVE SHOW LINK – Monday 6/5/23

The Monday main slates start at 6:40 ET to capture the two games in Philadelphia and Miami for a full seven-game contest on both DraftKings and FanDuel. The pitching slate includes name-brand starters who have not pitched to expectations this season, a premium rookie hurler making his debut, and several mediocre options to target with bats. The hitting slate is where things look like they will be won and lost today, several teams are showing significant upside for power, with the game in Cincinnati looking like the best overall spots with quality marks on both sides. The Cardinals and Blue Jays’ loaded lineups are at or near the top of today’s Power Index as well, providing some expensive chalk to go with the value plays from the midwestern showdown.

Join us at 3:45 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 – 6/5/23

Detroit Tigers (+210/3.19) @ Philadelphia Phillies (-233/4.92)

As with yesterday’s Marlins vs Athletics game, in years past a matchup between Aaron Nola and the lousy Detroit Tigers would be a pushover and an easy way to pick up a few extra minutes when writing thousands of words about MLB DFS contests. This season, with Nola pitching to a 4.70 ERA and 4.24 xFIP while striking out only 21.5% of opposing hitters the recommendation does not come quite as quickly, but it remains as strong. Nola is absolutely still worthy of investment in this matchup, the Tigers are far and away the worst lineup in baseball. Against right-handed pitchers this season, the active roster has a 30th-ranked 73 WRC+ with an anemic .104 ISO that also ranks dead last in the split. Their 23.4% strikeout rate against righties ranks 10th-worst in the league, as a matchup things do not get any better than this. Nola has been a star on the mound for the past handful of seasons, he had a 3.25 ERA and 2.77 xFIP with a 29.1% strikeout rate over 32 starts and 205 innings last year and was very much the same in 2021. The righty has been struggling with the loss of about one mph on his four-seam fastball, resulting in him throwing the pitch less often by about five percentage points. He is attempting to cover that by throwing a few more curveballs and taking his cutter from 6.5% usage to 11.6% to mixed results. Hitters have a 31.3% whiff rate on the cutter but a .667 slugging percentage against a .494 xSLG. Nola has also allowed disproportionate power on his fastball so far this season, with a .525 slg compared to a .470 xSLG, and with whiff dropping by seven points on the pitch. He has also lost some swing-and-miss on the curveball, which has dropped from 39.4% to 31.4%. With the mixed bag of results, Nola is at least at a cheap-for-him price in this matchup, he costs just $10,200/$10,000 against the lowly Tigers and remains our top pitcher on the odd pitching slate. The Tigers are pulling in just a 3.19-run implied team total, between their ineptitude at the dish and Nola’s significant track record, Vegas seems to believe in the turnaround as much as we do. The Tigers lineup could do to Nola what the Athletics did to Sandy Alcantara yesterday, but they are a very low-end lineup that is difficult to justify in most situations. Taking the hedge play against a large volume of Nola shares is fine, looking at it as attacking a highly-owned pitcher is probably flawed with a team that is this bad, but that would be the angle for those looking to get carried away with Detroit bats for contrarian reasons. Zach McKinstry has four home runs and 10 steals in the leadoff spot, he is currently the team’s most productive hitter with a 131 WRC+ in 173 plate appearances. Javier Baez is slashing .223/.270/.313 with a ..090 ISO and 63 WRC+, remember when he was good? Akil Baddoo has three home runs and six stolen bases in 155 opportunities and is creating runs seven percent better than average, the only other above-average WRC+ mark in the projected lineup. Spencer Torkelson has a 50% hard-hit rate but has managed only five home runs and a lousy .134 ISO with a 92 WRC+ in his 238 plate appearances. The former first-overall pick suffers a bit from misfortune with a .284 batting average on balls in play and he has been good at limiting strikeouts and drawing walks, taking his strikeout rate from 24.5% last year to just 21.8% this season. Torkelson has not been good at the MLB level by a longshot, but there are some positive signs for the struggling prospect. Eric Haase has a 36.8% hard-hit rate with two home runs in 162 plate appearances, he is not currently close to being the masher who blasted 22 home runs in 381 plate appearances two years ago. Nick Maton has five left-handed home runs but strikes out 26.9% of the time and has a lousy triple-slash, Miguel Cabrera retired in 2019 and has since been played by a lookalike actor, and Jonathan Schoop and Jake Marisnick are at the bottom of the projected lineup.

The Phillies are looking primed for MLB DFS scoring output in a matchup with southpaw Joey Wentz. The lefty has pitched to a 7.28 ERA and 4.82 xFIP while striking out only 18.4% of opposing hitters over 11 starts and 47 innings. Wentz does not provide depth or strikeout upside and he is lousy for runs, premium contact, and power, outside of the wildest contrarian approach there is truly no appeal to the lefty at $6,000/$6,400. The Phillies lineup should be quite popular in this matchup. The team has name brands up and down the lineup, with Kyle Schwarber landing in the leadoff spot in the projected version against the lefty. Schwarber has 15 home runs and a .244 ISO with a 48.5% hard-hit rate and 14.2% barrel rate, he is easily playable from anywhere in the lineup for just $4,600/$3,000, and will likely be crushingly popular at those prices. Nick Castellanos lands second in the projected batting order but may hit anywhere down to fifth, he is another player who can be included from anywhere at $4,500/$3,300. Castellanos is slashing .316/.360/.498 with a 131 WRC+ and seven home runs in 250 plate appearances this year. Bryce Harper and Trea Turner land in the heart of the lineup, depending on the final form, both stars are good options in this matchup and Turner comes cheap based on season-long struggles. Harper has made 124 plate appearances since returning, he has a 135 WRC+ with three home runs and three steals, Turner has made 261 plate appearances and has produced just a 70 WRC+ with five home runs and eight stolen bases. JT Realmuto is slashing .258/.304/.447 with a .189 ISO, five home runs, and seven stolen bases, which is quality production for a catcher in MLB DFS action. Drew EllisJosh Harrison, and Edmundo Sosa are mix-and-match pieces who follow Brandon Marsh to round out the lineup. Marsh has been very good in the overall numbers from late in the batting order for Philadelphia this season, the lefty is slashing .272/.369/.462 with five home runs and a 124 WRC+, but the bulk of that production came in an excellent March-April start to the season, he has cooled badly since but remains a playable part who is somewhat higher-end than the three hitters behind him.

Play: Aaron Nola, Phillies bats/stacks

Update Notes: the Tigers lineup runs as expected. The Phillies lineup is as expected 1-5 with Stott hitting sixth, followed by Ellis-Sosa-Dalton Guthrie.

Kansas City Royals (+143/3.61) @ Miami Marlins (-155/4.48)

The Royals and Marlins will square off in Miami tonight with the home team coming in as heavy favorites with a run total that is closing in on a full run higher than their opponent. The pitching matchup leans heavily toward Miami, with Braxton Garrett on the mound. The lefty has been good this season, pitching to a 4.22 ERA and 3.32 xFIP with a 23.8% strikeout rate and 12.5% swinging-strike rate in 53.1 innings over 10 starts. Among pitchers who have thrown at least 50 innings this season, Garrett’s CSW% sits sixth, landing between Logan Webb and Charlie Morton and sitting less than a point behind Shane McClanahan, 1.1 points behind Clayton Kershaw and 1.5 behind Shohei Ohtani. Spencer Strider leads all pitchers with an absurd 35.4%. While Garrett may not be the talent that some of the names above him are, ranking him in the Webb/Morton range is not overly outlandish. The lefty had a very good 11.8% swinging-strike rate and 30.9% CSW% in 17 starts and 88 innings last year, pitching to a 3.58 ERA and 3.51 xFIP. Garrett was a strong buy for his two-start week in season-long leagues, which should render him somewhat popular in a good matchup tonight. With the free-swinging Royals in town, the over on Garrett’s strikeouts prop looks like a good bet tonight for the gamblers in the crowd. Kansas City has a 24.9% strikeout rate overall in their projected lineup and they have been particularly inept against sliders, Garrett’s primary pitch on which he generates a 41% whiff rate this year. At just $8,300/$9,000, Garrett looks like a very interesting option on tonight’s slate. The Royals are showing a bit of power potential, for all of his qualities Garrett has allowed a bit of premium contact this year, with a 9.4% barrel rate and 47.2% hard-hit percentage with 91.6 mph of average exit velocity and a 3.52% home run rate, but that is a bit noisy with a starter who is effective at keeping the ball down. The Royals lineup can be played in small doses but the matchup and park do not favor hitting. The projected lineup opens with lefty Nick Pratto, who has seen opportunities in this spot against same-handed pitching in recent weeks. Pratto has three home runs and a 134 WRC+ and costs $3,000/$2,900 at first base or in the outfield, he has been hitting well but also comes with a 32.6% strikeout rate. Bobby Witt Jr. has a 22.5% strikeout rate and has hit 10 home runs while adding 18 stolen bases for MLB DFS point-scoring, but he has an 84 WRC+ overall and is slashing just .233/.269/.425. Stealing 18 bases while getting on at just a .269 clip is an accomplishment on its own, Witt would rocket to stardom if he could manage to get on a bit more frequently. Vinnie Pasquantino is the one Royals hitter who is truly difficult to strike out, he has a 12% rate this season and was at 11.4% last year. Pasquantino has nine home runs and a .195 ISO with a 113 WRC+ and hits ahead of Sal Perez who has 12 homers as a high-impact catching option on every DraftKings slate. MJ Melendez has premium contact from the left side but little to show for it, he is a mid-range option for just $3,200/$2,700. Maikel GarciaEdward Olivares, and Drew Waters are mix-and-match options through the 6-8 spots in the projected lineup, with Matt Duffy rounding things out. Duffy costs $2,500/$2,400 with eligibility at second and third base, the righty is slashing .314/.372/.400 with a 115 WRC+ in 78 plate appearances and makes for a cheap mix-and-match piece at low ownership who could potentially get involved as a wraparound play.

The Marlins will be facing 26-year-old right-handed opener Carlos Hernandez who checks in with a 4.76 ERA but a 3.13 xFIP in his two starts and 28.1 innings total. Hernandez will pitch an inning or two before handing off to Mike Mayers, who has thrown 13.1 innings and has a 26.4% strikeout rate with a 1.35 ERA but a 3.73 xFIP. Mayers costs $6,600 on the DraftKings slate and $8,100 on the blue site, which seemingly puts him a bit too high for the bulk relief role, despite a few limited successes we may have seen in taking that approach in recent weeks. The Marlins lineup opens with Luis Arraez who is up to .392/.445/.485 with a run-creation mark 57% better than average. Arraez should be the leadoff hitter every day the rest of the season, but the Marlins have been moving him around the lineup a bit, he is a better option up top but is in play from anywhere for $4,800/$3,100. Jorge Soler has a team-leading 14.94 in our home run model, chasing the top of the overall board for the day. Soler has 17 home runs and a .287 ISO this season, he is a major power option on any slate and costs just $5,400/$3,800 in the outfield. Bryan De La Cruz is slashing .299/.348/.451 with a 120 WRC+ but just a .152 ISO despite his seven home runs. De La Cruz has a 6.8% barrel rate that needs to come up for him to fine more power, but he has been a very good hitter overall. Jesus Sanchez missed time but has four home runs with a .244 ISO in 97 plate appearances with a 13.6% barrel rate and 47.5% hard-hit rate. Sanchez is our overall home run pick for the day at 9.80 in our model, he costs just $3,200/$2,800 in the outfield. Garrett Cooper has six home runs and a .170 ISO from the right side of the plate, he is an affordable option at first base as a last man in for stacks. Jean Segura has been bad this season. Nick FortesJoey Wendle, and Jonathan Davis are better late lineup options for those looking to mix and match their way through a large number of stacks with this lineup tonight.

Play: Braxton Garrett, Marlins bats/stacks in small doses

Update Notes: the Royals will not have Pasquantino in the lineup, bolstering the already excellent strikeout spot for Braxton Garrett. The confirmed Royals lineup runs Pratt-Witt-Melendez-Perez-Michael Massey-Garcia-Lopez-Olivares-Waters. The Marlins lineup takes a big hit from a lack of Jorge Soler, the confirmed batting order runs Arraez-De La Cruz-Cooper-Sanchez-Yuli Gurriel-Fortes-Wendle-Jon Berti-Davis. Berti is a hit tool and speed option, Gurriel’s hit tool is alive in Miami and he has been 15% better than average creating runs in 157 plate appearances.

Oakland Athletics (+159/3.93) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (-173/5.18)

Tigers, Royals, Marlins, Athletics, Pirates… we’re sure there are also good teams on this slate somewhere. The lowly Oakland squad travels to Pittsburgh to face the Pirates in a matchup that is heavily favoring the home team. Oakland draws righty Johan Oviedo who has pitched to a 4.50 ERA and 4.70 xFIP with a 19.8% strikeout rate this season, but who is drawing one of the highest pitching projections in our model, based on the excellent matchup. Oviedo struck out 22.3% in eight starts and 56 innings in 2022 and his swinging-strike rate in that sample was the same 11.2% that it has been this year, while his CSW% has gone up by a point year-over-year, so the dip in strikeout rate may be happenstance at this point. He has walked a few more hitters and sits at an ugly 11.2% walk rate, which pushes his WHIP to 1.55, but he has effectively missed barrels and limited power so far this year, with just a 5.9% barrel rate and 1.87% home run rate that are similar to the 6.2% and 2.07% he posted last year. Oviedo faces an Athletics lineup that is third-worst in baseball with an 83 WRC+ collectively against right-handed pitching this season. Their 25.2% strikeout rate in the split is also the third-worst and supports the idea of upside for Oviedo, while their .132 ISO is non-threatening. At just $6,900/$8,400 it seems very likely that Oviedo is going to get popular as a value play tonight, he is a strong option regardless of the ownership, but this is a spot where grabbing a few contrarian hedge stacks of Athletics could make more sense than making the same move with Tigers against Nola. Oviedo is not nearly unhittable, but the Oakland lineup is very bad, so temper expectations when looking in their direction. Esteury Ruiz has 28 stolen bases on a .329 on-base percentage, he will run when he is on which helps pad MLB DFS scores, but he needs to reach first base more frequently. Ryan Noda has six home runs with a .201 ISO and an excellent .393 on-base percentage. Ramon Laureano got involved in ruining Alcantara’s day yesterday, he has five home runs and five stolen bases in 177 plate appearances but is sitting at just 92 WRC+. Seth Brown has power and speed but is slashing just .159/.227/.319 in 75 plate appearances after missing significant time early. Brown hit 25 home runs and stole 11 bases last year, he is good for counting stats for MLB DFS purposes if nothing else. The lefty has a 6.23 to lead the team in our home run model. JJ Bleday lands at $2,300/$2,400, he has made 85 plate appearances and has three home runs with a .184 ISO. Aledmys DiazJace PetersonCarlos Perez, and Nick Allen round out the projected lineup in low-end form.

Oakland lefty JP Sears has had his moments this season. Over 11 starts and 59.2 innings, he is sitting at a 22.2% strikeout rate with a 4.5% walk rate and 1.07 WHIP. The lefty has pitched to a 4.37 ERA but a 4.88 xFIP which is probably the more honest number. Sears has induced an 11.9% swinging-strike rate but sits at just a 26.4% CSW% and he has allowed too much premium contact with 12.8% barrels and a 41.3% hard-hit rate resulting in a 5.35% home run rate so far this year. At $7,600/$7,000 against the Pirates, there is potential for Sears to find a good start for MLB DFS purposes, but Pittsburgh’s 5.18-run implied team total should be taken as a yellow light on the play. The Pirates have a .152 ISO against lefties this year, good for just 23rd out of baseball’s 30 teams, but their 19.5% strikeout rate in the split sits fifth-best and they have created runs nine percent better than average collectively in the split. Taking a both-sided approach would not be unwarranted here, but the preference should probably be with Pirates hitters. Sears managed just two strikeouts in his most recent start but pitched six innings while allowing only four hits and one run on a home run to the elite Braves lineup. In the outing prior to that he struck out just one Mariners hitter while again allowing just one run on a home run, this time giving up only three hits. The dip in strikeouts against two free-swinging teams is a bit disconcerting, but Sears was inarguably effective in those starts and the Pirates are certainly not the Braves or Mariners, the pitcher is on the value board and if he goes under-owned he gains appeal. Andrew McCutchen has been good in his return to the Pirates, the former NL MVP has eight home runs and seven stolen bases with a .172 ISO and 122 WRC+ and he is cheap at $4,500/$3,200. Bryan Reynolds has seven home runs, but five of those came in the first week of the season. Reynolds has been good despite the lack of balls clearing the fence, he has a .207 ISO and 120 WRC+ over 238 plate appearances while slashing .282/.336/.488. Connor Joe is another player who started hot for this team, he has six home runs overall with a 122 WRC+ over 185 plate appearances and is a very cheap option at $3,300/$3,100 with eligibility at first base and in the outfield. Carlos Santana has not been productive this season, the veteran switch-hitter has a 91 WRC+ with a .128 ISO and just three home runs while barreling only four percent of his batted-ball events. Rodolfo Castro and Ke’Bryan Hayes are different options later in the lineup, the more expensive Hayes has been the worse of the two hitters this season. Castro has created runs 15% better than average, Hayes sits 16% below. They are both affordable, but Castro looks like the better buy with multi-position eligibility for $2,400 on FanDuel and second-base eligibility at $3,500 on DraftKings. Hayes’ hard-hit rate remains very strong at 48.6% but he does very little with that contact, hitting just four home runs with a .153 ISO. Tucupita MarcanoMark Mathias, and Austin Hedges form the final third.

Play: Johan Oviedo, Pirates bats/stacks, contrarian Athletics in small doses if Oviedo gets popular

Update Notes: the confirmed Athletics lineup includes Brent Rooker, who will hit third between Noda and Brown, with Carlos Perez-Bleday-Jonah Bride-Peterson-Allen in the weak back half. The Pirates lineup runs as expected with Ji-Hwan Bae stepping in to hit seventh where we had Marcano originally.

Houston Astros (+106/4.92) @ Toronto Blue Jays (-114/5.18)

Finally, a game with good teams on both sides. The Astros and Blue Jays will square off in Toronto’s hitter-friendly environment in a contest carrying the highest run total of the day at 10.0, with both teams drawing healthy implied totals. The Astros land as slight underdogs with a 4.92-run implied total against scuffling starter Alek Manoah. The righty has been bad through most of 2023, he has a 5.46 ERA and 5.99 xFIP with a limited 17.6% strikeout rate while walking a massive 15% of opposing hitters. Manoah’s WHIP sits an unsightly 1.77 and his 8.5% swinging-strike rate and 24.5% CSW% have been ineffectual while his premium contact numbers have spiked at the same time. Nothing has worked well for Manoah this season, the righty was limited to just four innings in a semi-effective start in his last outing against the Brewers, but he only struck out two and walked three in that contest. The start before that he only lasted three innings, striking out six but walking five and allowing four earned runs and five total. Manoah is facing an Astros lineup that has not been in their typical elite form through most of the season, but one that also features a long list of excellent hitters on the whole. Manoah is priced way down at $7,400 on both sites, with a total lack of confidence in his ability to pitch deep into this game it is somewhat difficult to recommend the starter, but at least the prices are correct and his ownership should not be excessive, which have limited appeal for MLB DFS purposes. That tepid endorsement is already stronger than we intended for this pitcher in this form. The Astros lineup has a healthy run total and quality up and down, but the team is projected to be without Jose Altuve once again. If Mauricio Dubon is in the leadoff role he is only a mix-and-match option, where Altuve would be a star-caliber focal point. Dubon has a home run and three steals while creating runs four percent below average in 188 plate appearances. Jeremy Pena has a 106 WRC+ with a .180 ISO at affordable prices from the top of the lineup in the shortstop spot. Yordan Alvarez has 15 home runs with a .295 ISO, the lefty masher is always an option, he is expensive but worthwhile at $6,100/$4,300. Alvarez leads the Astros with an 8.84 in our home run model. Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker both can also provide power, Bregman has eight home runs on the right side of the plate and Tucker has hit seven on the other side, both hitters have been above-average for run creation, but neither has been exactly up to expectations so far this season, which has knocked their prices down slightly. Jose Abreu has been lousy for most of the season, he is slashing .213/.273/.264 over 238 plate appearances. Chas McCormick has a bit of pop and speed from late in the lineup. The rarely popular outfielder is productive for MLB DFS purposes at cheap prices, he costs just $3,300/$2,900 in a good spot tonight. Jake Meyers and Martin Maldonado close out the lineup.

The hometown Blue Jays also land in a good matchup for hitting, pushing them to a 5.18-run implied team total against righty Brandon Bielak. Over five starts and 31 innings, Bielak has a 3.19 ERA but a 4.27 xFIP with a 21.2% strikeout rate and 9.1% walk rate. The righty struck out hitters at about the same clip in 12.1 innings out of the bullpen last year and 50 innings with two starts the season before. Bielak has allowed far too much premium contact and gives up too many opportunities to opposing teams, the Blue Jays should be able to capitalize on his 13% barrel rate and 44.6% hard hits with a 4.55% home run rate so far this season. George SpringerBo Bichette, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are all above the 10.0 mark in our home run model, the trio has combined for 29 home runs this season with Bichette leading the way with 12. Springer has come on recently, he has a 101 WRC+ and eight home runs with 10 steals in his 252 plate appearances, Bichette has been excellent all year, and Guerrero is creating runs 30% better than average while making premium contact more frequently. Brandon Belt and Matt Chapman are affordable veteran home run hitters from the middle of the lineup and on either side of the plate at opposing corner infield spots. Whit Merrifield costs $4,000/$3,000 with eligibility at second base or in the outfield on both sites. Merrifield has stolen 16 bases and ht two home runs in his 212 plate appearances this season. While he does not hit for a ton of power, Merrifield has any-given-slate upside for a home run, and has a highly-regarded hit tool with good speed. In 550 plate appearances last year, Merrifield hit 11 home runs and stole 16 bases, he was a 10/40 player the year before. There is value in using the productive player as a way to differentiate multiple stacks of Blue Jays hitters via his flexible positioning and quality production. Dalton Varsho has nine home runs and seven stolen bases in 244 plate appearances, his .163 ISO and 84 WRC+ are disappointing and he has been far from consistent, but low-owned cheap counting stats are always welcome in our MLB DFS lineups. Alejandro Kirk and Kevin Kiermaier are quality pieces as late lineup fillers go.

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

Update Notes: the Astros are without Altuve as expected, the lineup includes Corey Julks-Yainer Diaz-Meyers in its final third. The Blue Jays lineup lacks Brandon Belt, with Chapman hitting cleanup and Varsho ascending to the fifth spot. Cavan Biggio steps in and hits eighth between Kirk and Kiermaier.

Milwaukee Brewers (+118/4.53) @ Cincinnati Reds (-128/5.07)

The action in Cincinnati rolls on, with the Brewers and Reds closing out their series in a highly-totaled game with two pitchers at wildly different points in their careers. Home starter Andrew Abbott will be making his MLB debut, while Brewers starter Julio Teheran is making his third start of a return to action that can best be described by paraphrasing Arrested Development: “him?”. Abbott is the interesting option in this one. The lefty comes in at an appropriate $8,000 price tag on the blue site, where he is probably playable, and he will be the SP2 value du jour at just $4,000 on the DraftKings slate. The misprice creates a major opportunity, even with the debut coming in lousy pitching conditions, Abbott has dominated the minor leagues this year. In three starts at AA, the southpaw posted a 1.15 ERA and 0.18 xFIP which is not a typo. It is fair to say that Abbott was like a college pitcher facing Little League hitters at that level, his strikeout rate was a completely absurd 64.3% in those three outings. His AAA numbers are somewhat more realistic. Abbott had a 34.8% strikeout rate with a nine percent walk rate while pitching to a 3.05 ERA and 3.58 xFIP in 38.1 innings and seven starts at the AAA level. The strikeout upside is very real for this pitcher at the MLB level, but he will have to harness walks and pitch deep to provide true MLB DFS value on the blue site. The Brewers will probably be an unpopular option for stacking tonight with Abbott as the shiny item that everyone wants in their lineups tonight, which should create an opportunity around an offense in a great hitting environment with a 4.53-run implied total. The Brewers are showing a bit of upside for home run hitting given the environment and they are very inexpensive to roster as well. Assuming that they are projected for low ownership, particularly with the expected popularity crunch at Abbott’s bargain bin DraftKings price, they are probably worthy of investment to levels beyond the public’s exposures. Owen Miller and Brian Anderson land atop the projected lineup with a lefty on the mound. Miller has created runs 27% better than average in 151 plate appearances and has four homers and eight stolen bases in the sample, Anderson hits from the right side and has mid-range power. He hit eight early home runs this year and has a .176 ISO with a 104 WRC+ over 224 plate appearances. William Contreras is the third-straight righty in the projected batting order, the capable catcher is in play on both sites if he hits in the top half of the lineup. Contreras has seven home runs with a .179 ISO and an 11.3% barrel rate this year. His 20.4% strikeout rate and 47.6% hard-hit rate are both good marks, making the backstop a potentially sneaky option tonight. Christian Yelich is pulling a good home run mark with a 10.48 in our model, he has seven on the season with a 51.9% hard-hit rate but just a 7.8% barrel rate. Andruw Monasterio left last night’s game in an abundance of caution after taking an accidental blow to the head while sliding, but he is reportedly fine and should be back in the heart of the lineup for just $2,300 on both sites. Monasterio hit his first MLB home run last night and has made 19 productive plate appearances so far, he is very cheap and highly playable when stacking Brewers. Jon Singleton is not likely to see a start against the lefty, with the Brewers taking a platoon-based approach with Mike Brosseau who is “fine” when a lefty is on the mound. Brosseau has four home runs but just a 75 WRC+ on the season. Joey Wiemer has six home runs and nine steals but just a 76 WRC+ for cheap prices late in the projected lineup, but Abraham Toro and Blake Perkins are potentially more interesting. The pair of switch hitters may land higher than eighth and ninth, but they are cheap and playable on both sites from anywhere in the lineup.

The Reds are drawing major marks for power with Teheran on the mound. The righty has been lousy for home runs against throughout his career, even after an update to give him the benefit of the two clean games he has posted for power so far this season, the Reds have three hitters above the magic number for home run potential tonight, with several others pushing that mark. Teheran has a 0.82 ERA but, hilariously, a 5.38 xFIP in those two starts, we promise the xFIP is the more realistic number. He has yet to allow a home run, but he will. He has walked just 2.4%, he will walk more. He has struck out just 11.9% which actually might be realistic. The tiny sample numbers are obviously unfair in both directions, we are having a bit of fun at Teheran’s expense, but the point is that there is very little belief in sustained quality from the righty. At $8,700/$7,600 pitching in this environment, even with a lousy ballclub on the other side of the equation, Teheran just seems pricey for a pitcher who is likely to implode. Reds hitters are always a hold-your-nose-and-click option in situations like this. We know that the team is bad, but their Vegas run total is compelling and they are in an undeniably good spot for run creation and power. Kevin Newman is slated to lead off for $2,600/$3,100, he has a pair of home runs and three stolen bases but just an 87 WRC+ in his 156 plate appearances. Matt McLain leads the team with a robust 15.77 in our home run model, making him one of the most likely candidates on today’s board. The rookie shortstop has two home runs with a stolen base and a .177 ISO in his first 87 plate appearances while slashing .342/.402/.519, he has been immediately good in the Show. Jonathan India is the most expensive Reds hitter on both sites, he has six home runs and 11 steals on the season and has been 10% better than average in creating runs. Lefty Jake Fraley has a 12.93 in our home run model, he has seven on the season and has also stolen 11 bases. Spencer Steer lands at 12.75 in the home run model, the right-handed hitter has been the Reds most consistent bat this season with a .288/.360/.491 triple-slash, a .203 ISO, and a 124 WRC+ in 239 plate appearances. For just $4,300/$3,500 Steer is a good buy on both sites, he is a first baseman on DraftKings and a third baseman on the blue site. Tyler StephensonNick Senzel, Will Benson, and Luke Maile round out the projected Reds batting order tonight, they are all worthy of mix-in shares.

Play: Andrew Abbott, Reds bats/stacks, presumably contrarian (at least on DraftKings) Brewers bats/stacks

Update Notes: the Brewers lineup sees some important changes, primarily the return of Luis Urias who checks in at $4,200 with eligibility at second and third base on DraftKings and is a three-position option at the dead minimum on FanDuel. Urias is a much better player than that, he hit 16 home runs in 472 plate appearances last year while creating runs 10% better than average and had 23 homers in 570 plate appearances in 2021. Monasterio will hit second between Owen Miller and Contreras, with Yelich-Anders-Urias-Rowdy Tellez-Wiemer-Perkins rounding things out. Tellez is a major source of power in the seventh spot. The Reds lineup runs Fraley-McLain-India-Steer in a nice four-man followed by Senzel-Stephenson-Newman-Benson-Maile. UPDATE: Jake Fraley was scratched, the Reds lineup now has Newman in the leadoff spot with Benson moving to seventh and Stuart Fairchild slotting in eighth.

St. Louis Cardinals (+124/4.70) @ Texas Rangers (-135/5.41)

Another duel between quality lineups sees a pair of veteran pitchers on the mound, with Martin Perez taking the hill for the hometown Rangers. The lefty is pushing power toward the Cardinals’ capable bats, particularly the right-handed thumpers up and down the projected batting order. Perez has allowed a 3.70% home run rate with 40% hard hits and 89.5 mph of average exit velocity so far this season, all of which are way up year-over-year but land in-line with his numbers from 2021. Perez’ 2022 was exceptional, he limited home runs to 1.34% on a 4.3% barrel rate while checking fly balls and hard hits, and pitched to a 2.89 ERA with a 3.80 xFIP over 196.1 innings in 32 starts. His strikeout rate was 20.6% last year, that mark has dipped badly to 16.3% in his 11 starts so far this season. With more contact available and more premium contact within those batted-ball events, Perez looks targetable with Cardinals stacks today. The lefty costs $8,000/$8,800 but does not project very well on our board. He is not entirely out of play at those prices, but there are probably better options on both sites. Tommy Edman lands in the leadoff role for St. Louis, the productive switch-hitter typically takes this role against lefties, he has six home runs and eight stolen bases this season and makes a good correlated scoring option. Paul Goldschmidt has a 13.69 in our home run model, he has 10 on the season with a .215 ISO and 151 WRC+ over 260 plate appearances. The star first baseman costs $5,600/$3,900, his DraftKings price is too low in this spot. Willson Contreras is a sturdy right-handed hitter over time but he has been mediocre at best so far in 2023. Contreras is slashing just .215/.301/.365 with a .150 ISO, six home runs, and an 87 WRC+ over 226 plate appearances. Nolan Arenado has 10 home runs with a 105 WRC+ and a .174 ISO over 245 plate appearances and has mostly put early struggles behind him. Rookie Luken Baker slots into the fifth spot in the confirmed lineup, Baker has made just four plate appearances and costs the dead minimum at first base on both sites. The right-handed slugger has highly-regarded raw power and has been putting things together in his age-26 season. Baker hit 21 home runs over 513 AAA plate appearances in 2022, he had 26 over 391 chances in AA in 2021. This season, Baker made 244 plate appearances at the AAA level, he hit 18 home runs with a .328 ISO while striking out just 21.7% of the time and walking at an outrageous 17.6% clip. While those numbers cannot be expected in the Show, Baker has raw power upside at the minimum in a good matchup for power. Paul DeJong has eight home runs with a .248 ISO in 132 plate appearances, Brendan Donovan drops in the lineup against a lefty but has been productive overall this season with a 101 WRC+, six home runs, and four stolen bases, and Jordan Walker is back in our lives after a return to the minors earlier in the year. Walker was a top prospect to open the season, he was the first darling of everyone’s precious season-long teams and a popular value play in early MLB DFS lineups, but did not perform to expectations. Overall, Walker is slashing .259/.308/.365 with an 89 WRC+ in his 91 plate appearances at this level. Oscar Mercado rounds out the lineup at $2,200 in the outfield on both sites.

The Rangers league-leading offense will face scuffling veteran Adam Wainwright who has to be wishing that he had closed out his career with the World Baseball Classic this year. Wainwright has a 6.15 ERA and 5.51 xFIP with a limited 12.9% strikeout rate, a 1.71 WHIP, and just a 5.9% swinging-strike rate. The right-handed veteran simply has not been able to fool hitters, the highly inflated WHIP comes with just a 6.5% walk rate, he has given up a .351 batting average on balls in play against, part of which may be luck but most of which is coming from ineffective pitching. Wainwright was slightly better in his most recent outing in striking out six Royals hitters, but he allowed three runs on a whopping nine hits in just five innings. Against the Rangers lineup this could get ugly in a hurry with the veteran righty in bad form, this is not a fun way to watch this high-quality career come to a conclusion, but Wainwright is not a viable option on either site and the Rangers lineup demands action against him. Despite whatever the popularity projections will probably say, Texas needs to be rostered in this situation, the team is carrying a 5.41-run implied team total and they have played excellent baseball from top to bottom all season. Marcus Semien and Corey Seager are middle infield stars for high-but-fair prices on both sites. Semien is slashing .303/.371/506 with a .203 ISO and has been 42% better than average for run creation with nine home runs, Seager has six homers while slashing .349/.405/.623 with a .274 ISO and 180 WRC+. Nathaniel Lowe costs $4,800/$3,200 at first base, providing a touch of salary relief on a still highly effective bat from the top of the lineup. Lowe has a 121 WRC+ with six home runs and a .280/.357/.435 triple-slash. Adolis Garcia and Josh Jung have combined for 26 home runs, Garcia has 14 and has produced runs 23% better than average, Jung has 12 with a 137 WRC+. Jonah Heim lands sixth in the projected lineup, we may see Mitch Garver or, better still, both hitters, depending on Texas’ final decisions. Either would be an excellent option in the catcher role on DraftKings, and they are both playable on the blue site with their home run upsides. Robbie GrossmanTravis Jankowski, and Leody Taveras round out the projected lineup, Ezequiel Duran is currently day-to-day managing soreness after retuning from the IL last week, he may replace one of those options and would be an upgrade to the already dynamite lineup if he does.

Play: Rangers bats/stacks aggressively, Cardinals bats/stacks

Update Notes: the Cardinals lineup was confirmed in the original form, Luken Baker is an outstanding value option in the fifth spot. The Rangers lineup is confirmed with all of Jonah Heim, Mitch Garver, and Ezequiel Duran included and is highly playable from 1-9 tonight.

Chicago Cubs (+151/3.77) @ San Diego Padres (-165/4.83)

The enigmatic Blake Snell will be on the mound for San Diego in a home start against the Cubs tonight. Snell has the Chicago lineup in check with just a 3.77-run implied total in Vegas and his team strongly favored, making him look like an option that can be easily wed to premium hitting combinations for a fair price. Unfortunately, when it comes to Snell, lifting the veil during that wedding reveals some ugly warts that have been present throughout. Snell has a 24.6% strikeout rate in 56 innings and 11 starts this season, well down from the 32% he posted last year or the 30.9% he had the year before in 128-inning samples. The lefty has walked an awful 13.7% of opposing hitters and has a 1.50 WHIP while pitching to a 4.50 ERA and 4.54 xFIP and allowing an 11.2% barrel rate with 41.4% hard hits, a 3.63% home run rate, and an elevated average launch angle. Snell also does not typically pitch very deep into games, putting the quality start bonus in jeopardy, if not the win. The lefty’s struggles are known and are baked into his $9,700/$9,500 pricing in this matchup, based on the upside for strikeouts against the Cubs he projects well, but this seems like a reasonable spot to grab a few hedge stacks, despite Chicago’s lowly team total. Nico Hoerner is a hit-and-speed option at the top of the lineup, he has 14 stolen bases while slashing .284/.339/.393 this year. Dansby Swanson strikes out at a 22% clip this season but has pushed his walk rate up to 12.6%, joining Ian HappSeiya Suzuki, and Patrick Wisdom as hitters in the projected lineup with double-digit walk rates in 2023. That collection of hitters runs from two through five in the projected Cubs lineup, which could create fits for Snell if he is in his typical form for walks. A few free passes and a long ball is all it takes to destroy a pitcher’s value proposition at these prices, the Cubs are certainly capable of that much even if they do not fully bend the slate with runs and power. Swanson has six home runs and four stolen bases while creating runs 24% better than average, Happ slots in with four homers and five steals with a 119 WRC+, and Suzuki has six homers with a .180 ISO and 125 WRC+ in his 186 plate appearances. Wisdom is a major value if he hits fifth for just $3,500/$3,000, he has 14 home runs and a .298 ISO this season while carrying a 20% barrel rate and 56% hard-hit rate. The slugger strikes out at a hyper-aggressive 36.5% rate, but his 10.1% walk rate and all that power are good reasons to ignore the swing-and-miss. Yan GomesTrey ManciniMiguel Amaya, and Christopher Morel close out the projected lineup. Gomes has quality power for a typically low-owned cheap catcher, Manicni is a veteran with right-handed pop at cheap prices and what should be a near-total lack of popularity, and Amaya has been productive in his first 21 plate appearances in the Show. Morel hit nine home runs very quickly on his return to action, he still has made only 82 plate appearances for the season but has already begun the cooling process. He is in play but would be expensive at $5,100/$3,300 if he hits ninth.

The Padres top-heavy lineup is facing punching bag righty Kyle Hendricks who is making his third start since returning to action. Hendricks has always been a low-strikeout innings eater on the mound, in 84.1 innings and 16 starts prior to injury last year he had a 4.80 ERA and 4.46 xFIP with a 4.21% home run rate and just an 18.5% strikeout rate, the year before those marks were a 4.77 ERA and 4.61 xFIP with a 3.95% home run rate and 16.7% strikeout rate over a full 32 starts and 181 innings. It is safe to say that Hendricks lacks quality on the mound, the path to success is exceedingly thin at $6,300/$6,900, he is much more playable on DraftKings as a cheap SP2 for a handful of points on a low-end slate, but even that play is a lousy approach. Xander Bogaerts is projected to lead off for San Diego. The shortstop is slashing .252/.337/.388 and needs to get back in gear after starting well then cooling badly. Bogaerts is cheap for his talent and lineup position at $5,200/$3,200. Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto do not need much hype in this space, they are stars with 11 and 10 home runs respectively this season, Tatis’ total comes in just 180 plate appearances, he has been excellent since returning to the lineup. Soto is an excellent run creator with a 151 WRC+ in his 255 plate appearances and his hit tool has come back to life in recent weeks. Manny Machado’s return last week stretched this lineup back to its full form, the third baseman has five home runs and a 74 WRC+ in 182 plate appearances this year but we know for certain that he is much better than that. At $4,800/$2,800 Machado is a major bargain on both sites. Jake Cronenworth has a 91 WRC+ and needs to get his act together to help this team. He was a valuable cheap part for the Padres last season with a 110 WRC+ and 17 home runs in 684 plate appearances. Gary Sanchez has tons of power when he makes contact, the cheap backstop has two home runs in his 26 plate appearances and seems to be getting a legitimate chance in San Diego. Matt CarpenterHa-Seong Kim, and Trent Grisham round out the projected Padres lineup.

Play: Padres bats/stacks, Blake Snell, Cubs hedge stacks

Update Notes: the confirmed Padres lineup lacks Bogaerts and has Rougned Odor wildly miscast as a leadoff hitter in a bad decision. The rest of the lineup looks as anticipated, Tatis-Soto-Machado-Cronenworth-Sanchez (for Larry C: Sanchez’s corrected home run mark is 10.09 in our model)-Carpenter-Kim-Grisham

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