MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Snapshot & LIVE SHOW LINK – Sunday 5/28/23

The eight-game MLB DFS slate gets rolling at 1:35 ET this afternoon on both DraftKings and FanDuel, with a wealth of options both on the mound and at the plate. Several teams are showing premium upside for home run hitting in our Power Index and there are several highly capable starters at a range of prices. This seems like a slate that is going to see some crooked numbers on the scoreboard by the end of the afternoon, with a likelihood of being won by major outbursts at the plate once again. Make sure to come join us at 11:30 ET for the MLB DFS Lineup Card show where we will review each of these games in detail, summary notes are provided for the quick Sunday turnaround.

Join us at 11:30 ET for the Lineup Card Show!

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 Summary – 5/28/23

Texas Rangers (+136/4.12) @ Baltimore Orioles (-148/4.99)

The Rangers are facing Kyle Bradish who checks in at $6,400/$8,000 with a 19.8% strikeout rate and 4.57 xFIP under a 4.34 ERA in 37.1 innings over eight starts. Bradish is probably a bit better than his results have been so far this year, he has only had one truly bad outing and has posted a few high-quality starts and his 10.7% swinging-strike rate and 28.2% CSW% are serviceable marks. Bradish has given up too much premium contact and power though, he has allowed a 9.6% barrel rate and 47% hard-hit rate with 91 mph of average exit velocity that plays directly into the Rangers’ talents at the plate. Bradish could find a few strikeouts in this matchup and the price is fine, a few darts in large tournaments are not totally out of order but don’t get carried away, he is a better DraftKings SP2 option than he is a FanDuel play. The Rangers lineup is very much in play, both sides of this game look good at the plate. The Texas lineup has an excellent core from 1-6 with Marcus Semien-Corey Seager-Nathaniel Lowe-Adolis Garcia-Josh Jung-Jonah Heim in the projected starting lineup. That typical core has power, speed, and tons of talent at fair-to-high pricing on both sites. The Rangers are carrying a strong average in our home run model but only Garcia cracks the magic number with a 10.2, he has 14 home runs for the season. Semien has eight homers, Seager has four after missing time and has been raking since his return, Lowe is a high-quality option in the heart of the lineup, Jung has 11 home runs and has been out to a great start, and Heim is an underrated catcher with six home runs and plenty of pop. The bottom of the lineup includes Robbie Grossman-Josh Smith-Leody Taveras.

Rangers lefty Cody Bradford does not look like much of an option, he is a fill-in starter up from AAA and is not a highly regarded prospect. The lefty made one start earlier in May, striking out three Braves while allowing six earned runs on seven hits including two home runs to the Braves. Even at $4,000/$5,500 it is difficult to envision much of a path to success for this starter, and the Orioles are showing significant upside for power and run creation. Cedric Mullins-Adley Rutschman-Ryan Mountcastle-Anthony Santander-Austin Hays is a premium top five, they range from Hays at 8.15 to Mountcastle at 12.78 in our home run model, there is major power at the top of the Orioles lineup. Of the group, only Rutschman, oddly, has been below average for run creation with a 98 WRC+, all of the others have been above average by between 24 and 38%. Ramon Urias and Adam Frazier are playable mix-and-match options in the infield, Ryan McKenna is moderately viable at the minimum, and Jorge Mateo is back to being a speedy mix-in if he is in the lineup. Mateo was a superstar in March and April and has fallen off the side of the world in May, maybe Memorial Day Weekend will get his Summer re-engaged.

Play: Orioles bats/stacks, Rangers bats/stacks, maybe a few SP2 Bradish values

Update Notes: 

San Diego Padres (+126/3.51) @ New York Yankees (-137/4.08)

The Yankees will have Gerrit Cole on the mound to face the top-heavy Padres. As we featured before his last start, Cole has been struggling with his whiff rate on several of his key pitches this season, resulting in a major dip in his swinging-strike rate, CSW%, and overall strikeout rate, which sits at just 25.3%. That above-average number is fine for some, but Cole has worked the last two years at 32.4% and 33.5% and is expected to do far more on the mound. The righty has a 2.53 ERA but a 3.81 xFIP that is more telling of who he has been this season. He has allowed a fair amount of premium contact but has gotten a bit lucky in limiting home runs. Cole is still expensive on both sites at $11,500/$11,100, he is probably worth playing shares but if he is overly popular around the industry an undercut to the field may be the move. The Padres lineup has a 23.6% average strikeout rate, which helps Cole’s cause, but they have at least three deadly hitters in the projected batting order. Fernando Tatis Jr. is getting booed and enjoying the vitriol in every plate appearance in this series, he hit his ninth home run yesterday and is a star at any price in any matchup. Jake Cronenworth is a bit of a mix-in option with correlated scoring ability. Juan Soto and Xander Bogaerts are the team’s other two stars, Bogarets has dipped a bit in May while Soto has come on, but both will level off to excellent production overall. The top-4 is an easy straight-line stack for the Padres, while playable bats like Matt CarpenterTrent Grisham, and Ha-Seong Kim should be in the bottom half of the lineup. Lefty Rougned Odor will join Austin Nola as lower-end options.

The Yankees are not in a great spot with just a 4.08-run implied team total against Yu Darvish, who comes in with a 26% strikeout rate and a 3.67 ERA with a 3.94 xFIP. Darvish is priced at just $9,700/$10,400, he could be a good option against a Yankees lineup that has some swing-and-miss in the projected form. Darvish has a long track record of excellence, he allows a bit of premium contact and has not been as elite for strikeouts as he was two years ago, but there is certainly upside for MLB DFS points at the price and he looks like a good pivot option if one is avoiding Cole at the price. The Yankees lineup is also a bit top-heavy but it runs deeper than the current form of San Diego’s. Gleyber Torres has a 122 WRC+ and .191 ISO in the leadoff role and remains cheap as an individual contributor and correlated scoring play with Aaron JudgeAnthony Rizzo, and DJ LeMahieu. Judge and Rizzo have a combined 25 home runs, with Judge carrying 14 despite missing almost two weeks of the season. Rizzo is always too cheap and is rarely popular, he costs just $4,900/$3,300 as a left-handed first baseman in Yankee Stadium and has a 9.55 in our home run model. LeMahieu has hit for more power but done less overall at the plate this year. He has six home runs and a .170 ISO on the season. Harrison Bader and Anthony Volpe are the other two interesting names in the projected lineup, while Willie CalhounBen Rortvedt, and Oswaldo Cabrera are lower-end mix-in pieces.

Play: Gerrit Cole, Yu Darvish, minor shares of bats on either side

Update Notes: 

St. Louis Cardinals (-132/4.31) @ Cleveland Guardians (+122/3.78)

Right-handed starter Hunter Gaddis is showing major upside for power on the other side of this contest, despite excelling in limiting premium contact and home run upside so far this season. Gaddis has a 5.26 ERA and 5.80 xFIP with just a 15.5% strikeout rate and 8.9% swinging-strike rate. He has successfully limited hard hits to 31.3% and barrels to 1.2%, resulting in just a 0.91% home run rate this year, though he is a flyball pitcher. Gaddis had a home run problem in his two starts last season, he gave up two in his first outing as a rookie and a hilarious five home runs in four innings in his second start. Those numbers are skewing things somewhat in our model, but Gaddis is probably not the pitcher who has excelled at limiting power and he does not look good for MLB DFS purposes while the Cardinals lineup is showing major potential. Nolan Gorman is our overall home run pick for today’s slate, he leads St. Louis with a massive 18.31 in our model. Leadoff man Lars Nootbaar is a great option, the lefty has individual upside for power and is a good correlated scoring option who is getting on base at a .388 clip ahead of the power core. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are stars who have nine home runs each on the corners, while Willson Contreras is a sturdy backstop for a fair price. Brendan Donovan has had a great week getting his season back in gear, he remains cheap at $2,600/$2,700 while Paul DeJong is another inexpensive infielder who has been mashing. DeJong has eight home runs and a .289 ISO with a 142 WRC+ in his 109 plate appearances this year. Alec Burleson and Tommy Edman are two quality options to round out the lineup, St. Louis plays from 1-9 today.

The Guardians low-end lineup is at least difficult to strike out, they have the fewest strikeouts in the league but have done little else at the plate. Only Jose Ramirez is above average for run creation on the season and his numbers are lackluster compared to expectations. Lefty Jordan Montgomery is a good option on the mound, he does not have a massive ceiling and is capable of pitching his way into trouble and giving up runs, but there is enough upside for the southpaw at just $7,300/$8,500 that at least a few darts are not out of order. Montgomery has a 4.03 xFIP and 21.1% strikeout rate over 55.1 innings. The Guardians lineup is not a great option for stacking, Ramirez is the key player in all things Guardians, he is cheap for his talent but has not been very good with just six home runs and five stolen bases and a .187 ISO. Steven KwanAmed RosarioJosh Bell, and Andres Gimenez with a few Mike Zunino shares if he catches today are the preferred options for correlated scoring in the low-ranked stack.

Play: Cardinals bats/stacks enthusiastically, Jordan Montgomery

Update Notes: 

Chicago White Sox (+101/3.74) @ Detroit Tigers (-110/3.85)

Tigers starter Eduardo Rodriguez has been the team’s main bright spot this year, pitching mostly excellent games over his first 10 starts. Rodriguez has a 25.5% strikeout rate with just a 5.9% walk rate and has pitched to a 2.19 ERA and 3.57 xFIP in his 61.2 innings. The lefty provides strong average depth and a good-not-great strikeout rate while limiting opportunities and checking power. Rodriguez has allowed just a 2.09% home run rate on 31.7% hard hits and 86.3 mph of average exit velocity. The lefty is a strong option on both sites at $8,800/$9,600 this afternoon. The White Sox have not been very good this season but they are loaded with talent for MLB DFS purposes and are not out of play, particularly the right-handed hitters. Tim Anderson has been slow to get the season going after missing time, but he is cheap for it and should be played along with Luis Robert Jr. who leads the team with 13 home runs. Yoan Moncada has been off to a good start in 98 plate appearances since his return, he has a .163 ISO and 113 WRC+ over that stretch, and the team should be getting slugger Eloy Jimemenz back from injury, which would be a big lift and a significant bat for our purposes. Andrew VaughnJake Burger, and Clint Frazier are all solid mix-in options from later in the lineup in diminishing quality in that order. Vaughn has a good bat with some power and run creation upside and Burger mashed early in the season and has 10 home runs on the board.

The lousy Tigers are facing Dylan Cease who has not been quite himself this season. Cease has a 23% strikeout rate and has walked 9.6% while pitching to a 4.60 ERA and 4.43 xFIP. The righty has been a strikeout artist over the past two seasons but has seen his swinging-strike rate dip from 15% last year and 14.8% the year before to just 11.2% this season. There is nothing like a start against the Tigers to get a pitcher going right, and even in his mediocre starts, the righty has been going deep in ballgames and should have the ability to chase a quality start for MLB DFS gamers. The Tigers are not much of an option at a 3.85-run implied team total, there is plenty of swing-and-miss in the lineup for Cease to exploit and they have simply not been good. The key lefties are the focus if playing Tigers, Zach McKinstryRiley GreeneNick Maton, and Akil Baddoo could all get involved and have all been at least somewhat productive. Maton has five home runs to tie for the team lead despite slashing .159/.277/.318 with a 68 WRC+. McKinstry and Greene are the two best hitters so far with 145 and 123 WRC+ marks for the season. The righties up top are also playable, Javier Baez and Spencer Torkelson have not been very productive but both have the idea of hitting for power. Miguel Cabrera is not much of an option these days, Jake Rogers has sneaky power at catcher from the bottom of the lineup.

Play: Dylan Cease, Eduardo Rodriguez, some shares of White Sox bats

Update Notes: 

Toronto Blue Jays (-109/4.35) @ Minnesota Twins (+101/4.24)

The Blue Jays are facing righty Bailey Ober who has a 21.9% strikeout rate and 4.78 xFIP that betrays his 2.55 ERA over 35.1 innings and six starts since returning to the rotation. Ober has allowed a 10.3% barrel rate but just a 2.19% home run rate, he is a flyball pitcher who has not yielded much premium contact in terms of hard hits, which sit at just 32% but the Blue Jays have major power hitters who can turn average flyballs into homers. Ober is inexpensive at $8,300/$9,600 but he ranks in the lower-middle of our pitching board today. The Blue Jays star power at the top is always in play, George SpringerBo BichetteVladimir Guerrero Jr. is a dynamite three-man that is not as expensive as it should be in this spot on either site. All three stars are below $5,400 on DraftKings and $3,800 on FanDuel. The group can be combined with lefty first baseman Brandon Belt who is projected in the cleanup role, Belt costs just $2,400/$2,500 and helps offset price while maintaining power. Matt Chapman started the season on fire and now has seven home runs and a 134 WRC+ with a .202 ISO but has cooled significantly in May. Whit MerrifieldDaulton Varsho, and Alejandro Kirk are all positional mix-and-match options. Merrifield has mid-range power and good speed, the other two are power-oriented options.

The Twins are facing former mate Jose Berrios, who has been good over 10 starts and 59.2 innings in Toronto this season. Berrios has a 23.1% strikeout rate with a 5.7% walk rate and has pitched to a 3.78 xFIP with a 4.22 ERA while limiting home runs and premium contact slightly better than in previous seasons. So far, the righty has allowed just a 32.9% hard-hit rate and 2.83% home run rate. Berrios is in play at just $7,600/$9,700 against a Twins lineup that is hyper-aggressive at the plate with a 28.2% current-year strikeout rate for the projected lineup. Minnesota stacks are viable as well, the team is showing some upside for power, particularly through the top-three which includes Joey Gallo, who has 11 home runs, Carlos Correa, who has struggled but still has six homers, and star Byron Buxton, who has 10 home runs and a 14.55 in our home run model to put him second behind Gallo’s 15.96. The rest of the Twins lineup is comprised of mix-in power bats who have a bit of an all-or-nothing approach in most plate appearances. The most playable names are Alex Kirilloff, who has a 9.86 in our home run model with three in the books in 69 plate appearances, and Edouard Julien, who has four home runs and is a highly regarded prospect. Kyle Farmer, Christian VazquezMichael A. Taylor and other such options are mix-and-match players in stacks.

Play: Blue Jays bats/stacks, Twins bats/stacks, Jose Berrios, minor shares of Ober

Update Notes: 

Washington Nationals (-105/4.56) @ Kansas City Royals (-103/4.54)

Lefty Daniel Lynch is looking like a target on the mound even with the lousy Nationals bats as the opposing team. Washington has been better against left-handed pitching as we have featured in this space several times this season. Lynch is making his season debut after a shoulder strain in Spring Training, he had a 20.3% strikeout rate and 5.13 ERA with a 4.30 xFIP in 131.2 innings last season and would be only a low-end option with a pitch count question mark at $6,200/$7,000. The Nationals’ right-handed hitters are the focus in the matchup, Lane Thomas costs $4,400/$3,200 as the team’s best overall hitter with a 121 WRC+, he has been elite against lefties this year. Luis GarciaJoey Meneses, and Stone Garrett are quality options atop the projected lineup. Garcia is a correlated scoring player while the other two have a bit of right-handed power, Garrett has a 5.51 in our home run model. Jeimer Candelario has been bad for his career in the split against lefties but may be elevated by teammates if he manages to get on base or may see righties out of the bullpen. Dominic SmithKeibert Ruiz, Alex Call, and CJ Abrams are all mix-in options of minor quality. Call has a 5.36 in our home run model, Ruiz has a 5.20 and could make for a sneaky-good cheap catcher option where the position is required.

The Royals are not showing their typical power upside against lefty MacKenzie Gore who has been mostly effective this season. Gore has a 3.88 ERA and 3.78 xFIP over 51 innings and 10 starts this season and his unexpected jump in strikeouts has given him quality for MLB DFS purposes despite allowing some power with a 43.6% hard-hit rate and 8.3% barrel rate. The lefty is an option at just $7,500/$9,200, the DraftKings price is particularly appealing in this spot, Gore is a highly viable SP2 on this slate. He will face a projected Royals lineup that has right-handed power at the top, Matt Duffy is leading off, he is a correlated scoring option with the righty power of Sal Perez and Bobby Witt Jr. who have a combined 21 home runs this season. Perez is an elite catcher who has 12 homers and a .261 ISO with a 131 WRC+, Witt has rounded into form somewhat since dropping to the cleanup spot, they are bookended by lefty power from Vinnie Pasquantino and MJ Melendez. Pasquantino is the only hitter who is difficult to strike out, which could play into Gore’s upside in this matchup. The balance of the lineup is fairly low-end, Edward Olivares is playable for mid-range power and speed in the sixth spot ahead of a flat bottom-third.

Play: MacKenzie Gore, Nationals bat/stacks, minor shares of Royals bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

San Francisco Giants (-123/4.49) @ Milwaukee Brewers (+113/4.11)

Punching bag starter Colin Rea is on the mound for Milwaukee, which has the Giants bats showing tons of power in our model for the afternoon. Rea has a 4.71 ERA and 4.72 xFIP on the season and has allowed a 3.95% home run rate on 41.5% hard hits and 90.2 mph of average exit velocity. Rea has not been completely inept in recent starts, but he is still a low-end pitcher who is targetable with stacks in an aggressive sense, he does not look like a very good option at $5,800/$7,100 but there is a lane for him to pay off the cheap DraftKings price. Everyone in the top-6 in San Francisco’s projected lineup is above the magic number in our home run model. LaMonte Wade Jr. has seven on the season and a 15.43 in the model; Blake Sabol is an interesting catcher/outfield option projected to hit second, he has five home runs and a 12.25 and prices of just $3,400/$2,800; JD Davis is a right-handed masher at third base; Michael Conforto has a 14.89 in our home run model and 11 on the season in a nice comeback story; Mitch Haniger has a ton of right-handed power but he has scuffled for the most part at .237/.265/.402 with a 79 WRC+; and Mike Yastrzemski has cheap lefty power with a 12.35 in our model and five home runs in 143 plate appearances. The bottom third of the lineup is in play as mix-and-match options as well.

The Brewers are facing Alex Cobb, a veteran righty who is excellent at keeping opposing power in check with his ability to induce ground balls. Cobb has a 21.4% strikeout rate which is effective enough with his average depth of start and a good shot at booking a win bonus. The righty has allowed a 2.06% home run rate with just a -0.1-degree average launch angle that takes the bats out of the hands of opposing hitters. Cobb is a good buy at $8,000/$9,300 on both sites. The Brewers lineup has not been very good and they are facing a pitcher who limits everything, they are not a good option for stacking today. Anyone going to the team should focus on the top-end with hitters like Christian YelichOwen Miller, and Rowdy Tellez, that three-man is the best approach to this squad today with Willy Adames out of the lineup. William Contreras is a playable catcher, Jesse Winker is a left-handed outfielder who has been awful this year but comes cheap, and the bottom of the lineup does not offer much to like with Brian Anderson cooling badly after a hot start and several hitters at or around the Mendoza line.

Play: Giants bats/stacks aggressively, Alex Cobb

Update Notes: 

Cincinnati Reds (+139/3.41) @ Chicago Cubs (-151/4.17)

The final game will be updated after we finish our 11:30 show, neither Drew Smyly for the Cubs nor Graham Ashcraft of the Reds look like strong options in this one, while the Cubs lineup is showing a bit more upside with more quality bats than the Reds. When going to Cincinnati the focus should be on Jonathan India-Matt McLain-Spencer Steer-Nick Senzel, McLain is a cheap rookie shortstop with a 10.47 in our home run model, Steer is inexpensive at third and is showing some power potential. The Cubs lineup runs deeper and peaks higher, all of Nico Hoerner-Dansby Swanson-Ian Happ-Seiya Suziki-Christopher Morel-Matt Mervis would be in play, pending the lineup’s confirmation. If Patrick Wisdom is in the lineup he is always a good power option.

Play: Cubs bats/stacks, Reds bats/stacks in smaller doses

Update Notes: 

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