MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Snapshot & Live Show Link – Thursday 6/29/23

The five-game Thursday main slate is a calmer affair than the chaos of the 15 and 13-game contests from the past two days, but there is potentially the need to embrace more risk tonight than in either of the giant-field tournaments. Today’s slate is extremely thin on quality starting pitching, with arguably only one reliable ace-caliber pitcher available and a mixed bag of meh making up the rest of the list. Mixing and matching pitchers through the mid-range and simply embracing the risk inherent to any of the pitching options while diversifying hitter selection seems to be the best approach. This slate will likely be won with bats and a large concentration of popularity should fall on the Coors Field once again, which creates plenty of opportunities for differentiation across the other four games.

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

Join us at 4:00 pm ET for the MLB DFS Lineup Card Show and a full 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 – 6/29/23

San Francisco Giants (+134/4.14) @ Toronto Blue Jays (-145/4.96)

The slate opens in Toronto with the home team throwing veteran righty Chris Bassitt at the hard-hitting Giants lineup. Bassitt has been all over the place on the mound this year. We have seen runs of depth and reliability and stretches of bad performances with huge run totals allowed, Bassitt has both won and lost slates for MLB DFS gamers this season. The righty has made 16 starts and thrown 93.2 innings overall, pitching to a 4.32 ERA but a 4.64 xFIP and just a 20.5% strikeout rate. Part of the starter’s struggles has been an uncharacteristically high level of premium contact and home runs allowed, Bassitt has given up 9.9% barrels, which is up more than three points over each of the past two seasons, resulting in a jump from 2.55% and 2.35% the past two years to 4.05% home runs so far this season. For $9,600/$8,900 on an extremely thin pitching slate, Bassitt has to be in play, he projects as one of the top options on the short slate but there is no comfort or security in rostering the starter and hedge stacks of Giants hitters in other lineups are a good idea. The projected version of the San Francisco batting order opens with first baseman LaMonte Wade Jr. for just $3,900/$3,200. Wade has a 9.8% barrel rate and 43.2% hard-hit rate for the season and has mashed nine home runs while getting on base at an elite .415 clip and creating runs 46% better than average. The first baseman is slashing .286/.415/.462 with an almost identical expected slugging percentage. Wade is a premium option at a cheap price when stacking Giants hitters, he feeds directly into several excellent options starting with Thairo Estrada. The second baseman costs $5,100 on DraftKings and adds shortstop eligibility on FanDuel for $3,500 as the most expensive member of this good-value lineup on both sites. Estrada has hit 23 home runs and stolen 39 bases since the start of last season, he is cheap for his talent and is rarely overly popular. JD Davis and Joc Pederson are a good righty-lefty power duo in the heart of the Giants lineup. Davis has 10 home runs and a .179 ISO in 284 plate appearances while Pederson has mashed eight long balls in 174 opportunities. Both players are good for barrels and strike the ball with authority, Davis has a 10.8% barrel rate and 48.9% hard hits while Pederson lands at 14.7% barrels and 49.5% hard hits. Patrick Bailey has been an effective bat at the catcher position in limited opportunities. Over 115 plate appearances, Bailey is slashing .318/.345/.533 with four home runs, he costs just $3,400/$3,100 and is not likely to be a popular option. Blake Sabol brings left-handed power either as a second catcher or in the outfield on both sites. The lefty has seven home runs and a .153 ISO with an 11.8% barrel rate in his 205 opportunities. Luis Matos is a hit-and-speed prospect outfielder who is getting regular playing time, Brandon Crawford is a veteran shortstop with left-handed power, and Bryce Johnson rounds out the projected lineup at $2,100/$2,000 in the outfield.

The Blue Jays are facing 25-year-old rookie right-hander Keaton Winn, who had a 27.1% strikeout rate and 11.2% walk rate with a 3.83 xFIP and 3.75 ERA over nine starts and 41.1 innings in AAA this season. Winn was called up in mid-June and has made three appearances in the Show as a bulk reliever, pitching to a 3.75 ERA and 3.83 xFIP with an 18.8% strikeout rate in 12 innings. Winn went four innings while striking out two and walking three and allowing one run on one hit to the Cardinals in his first appearance, struck out four and allowed a run on three hits including a run in five innings against the Padres, and finally went three innings while allowing three runs on five hits and striking out three Diamondbacks in his most recent outing on the 24th. Winn is not a premium prospect, he ranks 14th organizationally and works primarily as a fastball-splitter specialist. Winn’s four-seamer sits at 96 and he throws a sinker as well as the offspeed split-finger, with all three pitches sitting below a 30% whiff rate. Winn does not project well on our board, but for $4,000 with the idea that he has the leash to throw five innings if things are going well, there is at least a bit of short-slate value as an SP2 on DraftKings in very small portions. Winn is unlikely to succeed, the play is probably too thin on FanDuel, but at what amounts to a cheap hitter price on DraftKings there is enough potential for a DFS play. George SpringerBo BichetteBrandon Belt, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are going to have a lot to say about Winn’s ability to provide any DFS points at all, of course. Springer has 11 home runs and a dozen stolen bases and is up to .271/.334/.419 with a 112 WRC+ on his way back to stardom. The outfielder still costs just $4,800/$3,400 on the short slate, get him while he remains cheap. Bichette is a star shortstop for $5,400/$3,500 which seems very inexpensive for this player in this matchup. Bichette has 14 home runs and a .188 ISO while creating runs 40% better than average. Belt has just four home runs but he has been very productive with a 125 WRC+ and a .368 on-base percentage that helps fuel the Toronto offense. Guerrero has 11 home runs with a 56.5% hard-hit rate and 13% barrel rate on the season. Matt Chapman has a .192 ISO and 10 home runs in 329 plate appearances, he has been a rock at third base for $4,800/$3,100 in the heart of the lineup even with some ups and downs in his statistical output. Daulton Varsho started the season very slowly but has 12 home runs and 10 stolen bases in his ledger after 318 plate appearances and comes cheap at $3,500/$2,800 in the outfield. Whit Merrifield is a good source of hits, stolen bases, and correlated scoring. Danny Jansen has 10 home runs in just 174 plate appearances, the catcher hit 15 in 248 last season and 11 in 205 the year before, he is a strong option for power behind the plate. Cavan Biggio slots in ninth with eligibility at second base and in the outfield on DraftKings for $2,600 and as a $2,500 second baseman on the blue site.

Play: Chris Bassitt, Blue Jays bats/stacks, Giants bats/stacks, Keaton Winn value SP2 shares on DraftKings

Update Notes:

Milwaukee Brewers (+168/3.65) @ New York Mets (-184/4.96)

The Mets have the most talented starting pitcher of the day on the mound and they check in as strong favorites against the Brewers tonight at -184 with a 4.96-run implied total. Max Scherzer has made 13 starts and thrown 70.2 innings this season and has been mostly effective, despite a few minor blips in the small sample. Scherzer has a 26.2% strikeout rate that is down several points from last year and even more from the season before and he has pitched to a 3.95 ERA and 3.98 xFIP that are higher than expected, but the news is not all bad. Most of the damage came in a few bad outings, while the righty ace has worked deep into games and found significant success in other starts. In his most recent start, Scherzer struck out eight and allowed two runs on seven hits including a home run over six innings at Philadelphia, he was better at Houston the start before with eight innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts and four hits including a home run. He had a bad start against the Yankees and gave up five runs to the Braves but also struck out 10 in that game, so the results have been a bit mixed. On this slate, there is no doubt that Scherzer is the best pitcher available and it is fair to say that he has not been as bad as some may think. Scherzer is the top projected pitcher on the board by a fairly wide margin today, he is a must on both sites, even at $11,000 on DraftKings. He will be ridiculously popular at $9,700 on the FanDuel slate, but every share is entirely justified against a Brewers lineup that has a 24% strikeout rate in its projected form. Milwaukee’s lineup does have power, they could find home run upside against this version of Scherzer, the righty has a 4.14% home run rate on 9.7% barrels allowed this year, but the righty is more likely to blaze through them. Christian Yelich leads off on the left side, he has a 54.5% hard-hit rate and 10% barrel rate with 18 stolen bases and nine home runs while creating runs 21% better than average. Despite all the production, the reputation for not being good anymore lingers around Yelich, he does not draw star-level popularity or even pricing at just $4,200/$3,300 in the outfield. William Contreras is a decent option at catcher, he has eight home runs while creating runs five percent better than average and has a 46.2% hard-hit rate that is suggestive of more available power. Rowdy Tellez mashes on the left side, he has a 10.35 to lead the team in our home run model. Tellez has a nine percent barrel rate and 12 home runs on the season but just a .186 ISO that is well down from last year’s .242 mark. His barrels and hard-hit rate are both down so far as well, and his expected slugging percentage sits at just .385 with a .401 actual, both of which are well down year over year. Willy Adames has 12 home runs while slashing .201/.288/.371 and creating runs 20% below average for the season. Jesse Winker has had a couple of productive games at the plate this week, he needs to dial things up significantly to get back to former levels but he is an interesting cheap left-handed bat with upside for power at $2,400/$2,300 in the heart of this lineup. Owen Miller has four home runs while slashing .284/.327/.409 with eligibility at first and third base on DraftKings for $3,300. Miller fills second base, third base, and the outfield on the FanDuel slate for just $2,600. Raimel TapiaLuis Urias, and Blake Perkins slot into the final third as quality mix-in options in a bad matchup. Tapia has a fair amount of speed, Urias has mid-range power, and Perkins has a minor dash of both.

The Mets are facing Adrian Houser, a veteran righty who has pitched in a starting role and out of the bullpen for Milwaukee this year. Houser has made nine starts and thrown 40.1 innings overall, pitching to a 4.02 ERA and 4.62 xFIP with a 14% strikeout rate. He threw an inning out of the bullpen on the 23rd and four innings as a bulk reliever on the 19th. In the bulk relief appearance, Houser struck out just one, walked two, and allowed an earned run on three hits against the Diamondbacks. His last traditional start was the game before, a four-inning mess against the Athletics in which the righty allowed five runs on six hits while striking out four and walking four. Houser is not a good option for DFS, he is a below-average starter with a low strikeout rate. On an extremely thin slate one can choose to throw a few darts in the righty’s direction, but he is not even a good value option at $6,900/$6,600. The Mets are profiling for plenty of contact, sequencing, and run-creation opportunities against the contact-oriented pitcher. Houser has limited home runs effectively so far this year, cutting launch angles to 7.2 degrees with a 4.3% barrel rate and just 1.68% home runs in the small sample. He was good in each of those areas over the past two seasons as well, last year Houser allowed a 5.6% barrel rate and 1.76% home run rate, and the year before was five percent barrels and two percent home runs. Even with those qualities, it seems likely that the Mets will be one of the higher-scoring teams out of the 10 options available, they have a 4.96-run implied total in Vegas and a lineup filled with talented options. Brandon Nimmo hit two home runs on Tuesday night and has 10 for the season while posting an excellent .369 on-base percentage and 131 WRC+. Nimmo belongs in most stacks of Mets hitters, he is an excellent table-setter with tons of individual upside for just $4,000/$3,100 in the outfield. Starling Marte is still cheap in the outfield as well, Marte has an 83 WRC+ in an uneven season but he has stolen 21 bases and has plenty of individual potential on the right night. Marte will be the lowest-owned of the top Mets hitters. Francisco Lindor is a star shortstop who has 16 home runs and a .224 ISO with a 12.2% barrel rate and 45.9% hard-hit rate to go with a triple-slash that we will choose to ignore. Lindor is inexpensive for all his talent and power output at $4,500/$3,400 at a premium position. Pete Alonso has an 8.14 in the home run model against Houser, as good a home run hitter as Alonso is, that is not all he does at the plate. The first baseman strikes out at just a 19.7% rate and creates runs 29% better than average while getting on base at a .313 clip. Jeff McNeil costs $3,400/$2,600 as a correlated scoring play with positional flexibility, Tommy Pham has been on a rampage and sits at .268/.340/.488 with eight home runs and nine stolen bases in just 191 plate appearances. Pham has a 15.2% barrel rate and 51.2% hard-hit rate that leads the team by several percentage points. Daniel VogelbachFrancisco Alvarez, and Brett Baty close out the lineup with quality. Vogelbach and Baty offer lefty power from hitters at opposite ends of their careers, and Alvarez is a top catching option with plenty of power but has backslid somewhat in recent weeks in his triple-slash.

Play: Max Scherzer, Mets bats/stacks, Brewers bats in small doses in hedge positions

Update Notes:

Houston Astros (-117/5.22) @ St. Louis Cardinals (+108/4.89)

Both the visiting Astros and hometown Cardinals are pulling in healthy run totals in a matchup between ancient grizzled veteran Adam Wainwright and fresh-faced rookie JP France. Wainwright has been extremely limited on the mound in his final season. The righty has a 10.9% strikeout rate with a 5.8% swinging-strike rate and a 23.2% CSW% and does not seem very able to get Major League hitters out at this point. Wainwright has had a dazzling career, but he is doing his statistical line no favors with a 6.56 ERA and 5.63 xFIP on a 1.82 WHIP this season. The righty has allowed a 3.64% home run rate that should probably be higher with all the contact and an 11% barrel rate. Wainwright is on the board for $6,500/$6,300 and does not seem like a good option, but this is a night on which we have to embrace risks. The memory of a formerly talented starter has Wainwright carrying a somewhat playable projection, but it is probably not entirely realistic for the pitcher’s current form. This is a very limited option even on a short slate and at fair prices. On the other side, France is the more playable of the two pitchers. The righty has an 18.8% strikeout rate and has walked eight percent over 53.1 innings and nine starts. He has allowed a 4.02% home run rate on 8.6% barrels and a 36.2% hard-hit rate for the season and generates a 10.2% swinging-strike rate while pitching to a 3.54 ERA and 4.61 xFIP. France is targetable with Cardinals bats, the team is showing some power and there are plenty of good options at cheap prices, making this a both-sided situation.

The Astros are a good option with a 5.22-run total against Wainwright and all of the contact he is allowing this season. The team has been struggling all year and they are still without their best bat, but there is more than enough talent and power to put up slate-changing DFS scores in this matchup. Jose Altuve is cheap at second base for just $4,600/$,3200, he has four home runs and five stolen bases this year and went 28/18 last year while creating runs 64% better than average. Altuve missed time with injury early this season but has been entirely himself at the plate since his return and should basically never be this cheap. Alex Bregman costs $4,700/$3,100 at third base, the veteran is a good option who has 11 home runs and a 109 WRC+ but just a 4.2% barrel rate and 36.5% hard hits for the season. Bregman’s .154 ISO is well down from the .195 he posted last year with 23 home runs, but he has been in a bit of a decline for power over the past few seasons and is priced appropriately for his current quality. Kyle Tucker leads the team with a 6.72 in our home run model that could probably be higher in this matchup. Tucker has 10 home runs and 14 steals this season and costs just $5,000/$3,400. Jose Abreu has six home runs and is up to a .102 ISO and 72 WRC+ after a hot few weeks that show a fairly significant pulse once again at the plate. A full return to form for the former star would be a massive boost to the Astros lineup, Abreu remains inexpensive at $3,200/$2,700 at first base and still does not have many believers in the DFS public, which creates opportunities. Yainer DiazCorey JulksJeremy PenaJake Meyers, and Martin Maldonado are a mixed-bag of quality through the bottom of the lineup. Diaz has been very good in a small sample of 144 plate appearances, he has seven home runs and a .221 ISO with a 104 WRC+, Julks has had big games but a 91 WRC+ overall, Pena has provided limited counting stats at shortstop, while Meyers and Maldonado are infrequent contributors. On the Cardinals’ side, lefty Brendan Donovan should be leading off against the limited right-handed rookie. Donovan is a good run creator and correlated scoring option who has eligibility at first and second base on the DraftKings slate for $3,400. Donovan is a $2,600 second baseman on FanDuel and is playable on both sites. Paul Goldschmidt has created runs 40% better than average with 14 home runs and eight stolen bases at first base, he costs $5,800/$3,700 and is a high-end option at his position on most nights. Lars Nootbaar is a hard-hitting left-handed outfield bat that slots in between Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado for just $3,900/$2,800. Nootbaar has been in and out of the lineup with injuries but has four home runs and five stolen bases in his 209 plate appearances while creating runs eight percent better than average. Willson Contreras can hit for power, he has eight home runs and five stolen bases but has been creating runs 11% worse than average as the team’s primary catcher this season. Contreras has the pressure on with one of the team’s top prospects looming at his position and raking in the minors. Nolan Gorman had an awful few weeks after a fantastic start to his season. The power-hitting second baseman slots in at just $4,400/$2,900 and leads the team with a 10.34 in our home run model. Jordan Walker has been good at .303/.369/.472 with a 135 WRC+ over his limited 157 plate appearances amid a trip to AAA and a part-time role. The premium prospect is a good buy late in the lineup for just $3,100/$3000 when he plays. Alec BurlesonPaul DeJong, and Tommy Edman can all provide quality from the bottom of the lineup, Edman remains our favorite option from that group as a wraparound play.

Play: Astros bats/stacks, Cardinals bats/stacks, minor shares of either pitcher with tons of necessary risk on a terrible pitching slate

Update Notes:

Philadelphia Phillies (-119/4.98) @ Chicago Cubs (+110/4.63)

The game in Chicago offers a pair of pitching options that are typically filed away as “league-average starters on a good day that are better real-life options than MLB DFS pitchers” but are likely to be hyper-relevant to tonight’s slate. If Max Scherzer does not succeed, there is a strong chance that the best pitching performance of the day comes from this game. That is a bizarre statement in a game with a minor breeze blowing out at Wrigley Field, but such is the nature of a five-game slate that includes a list of lousy starters and a Coors Field game that we are yet to discuss. The Cubs will have veteran right-hander Kyle Hendricks on the mound at $7,100/$8,000 in his seventh start of 2023. Hendricks is a soft-tossing veteran who works in the 87 mph range across his four-pitch arsenal that relies heavily on a change-up, sinker, four-seamer combination to limited impact. Hendricks has struck out just 12.9% of opposing hitters with a 7.1% swinging-strike rate in his six starts and 34.2 innings this season. He was at 18.5% in 84.1 innings last year and 16.7% the season before in a full 32 starts, Hendricks has never been a major source of strikeouts but he can work clean innings despite the limited stuff. The righty has a 2.60 ERA but a 5.34 xFIP so far this season, last year he had a 4.80 ERA and 4.46 xFIP that were similar to the output from 2021, he is not a good option but he is playable and has been working deep into games in 2023. Hendricks has posted three quality starts in his six outings, with an 8.0-inning outing, a 6.1-inning start, and a 6.0-inning game in the ledger. On a short slate, cheap clean innings may be all one needs on the mound, Hendricks is oddly in play even against a good Phillies lineup, but expectations should be kept to realistic levels. Kyle Schwarber could change Hendricks’ fortunes in a hurry from the leadoff spot. The slugger has 20 home runs on the season and a 14.39 in our home run model tonight to lead his team. Schwarber is slashing .185/.327/.434 but we care far more about the strong .248 ISO and his robust contact profile that sits at 15.3% barrels and 47.5% hard hits for just $4,900/$3,600 for DFS. Trea Turner is cheap for his talent at $5,600/$3,700, he is up to eight home runs and 15 stolen bases but is still slashing just .246/.302/.382 with an 84 WRC+. We remain absolutely convinced that Turner will look a lot more like himself than like this version of the shortstop by season’s end, Turner is a strong buy in all formats. Nick Castellanos still costs $4,400/$3,400 and we still don’t know why that is the case. Castellanos has been very good all season and excellent in recent weeks but the sites are simply not raising his prices. DraftKings is particularly low on the outstanding outfielder, making him a great option to help pay for the costs of other stars in the Phillies lineup or big pitching investments. Bryce Harper costs $5,800/$3,600 and still has eligibility at first base on FanDuel. The star has a 13% barrel rate this year but has managed just three home runs and a .108 ISO. He does have five stolen bases with a .278/.383/.386 triple-slash while creating runs 10% better than average but the power outage could be an ongoing issue in his return from major surgery. Harper will regain his form, but the road to full power may be longer than expected, even with that he is a necessary piece of Phillies stacks at his price and positioning. JT Realmuto is slashing .248/.308/.456 and has created runs one percent better than average, but the catcher is excellent for counting stats at his position. Realmuto has eight home runs and 10 stolen bases with a .208 ISO and a 10.8% barrel rate and is fairly priced at $5,000 where catchers are required and just $3,100 on the blue site where he is highly playable at lower ownership. Bryson StottAlec BohmBrandon Marsh, and Kody Clemens make up the good version of the final four hitters when the Phillies face right-handed pitching. The group offers power, speed, on-base skills, and good run-creation ability and they are reliable for both production and for turning the lineup over to the top of the batting order to keep big innings alive. The group is likely to produce a slate-changing score in a Phillies stack if the team connects for a big night against Hendricks and the Cubs bullpen. Stott has been a regular with a bit of power and good speed, he has a 102 WRC+ in 323 plate appearances and has hit seven home runs with 13 stolen bases. Bohm has made 276 plate appearances and has seven home runs but just a .129 ISO despite a 41.7% hard-hit rate. Marsh and Clemens are good lefties with power, Marsh has a good bat overall and sits at .283/.365/.469 with a 124 WRC+ and seven home runs this season. Clemens is more of a pure home run option at .235/.284/.379 with four home runs in 141 opportunities. Marsh is a very good option at just $3,000/$2,700 and would be even more appealing if he hits further up the batting order, the lefty is having a quietly outstanding season over his 261 chances and has a 51.7% hard-hit rate, though he does strike out 32.6% of the time.

Taijuan Walker is very much a league-average pitcher, but that does mean he has his good days as many MLB DFS regulars probably know. Walker is capable of posting a good score against the Cubs and he projects in the middle of a very thin slate of pitching options. The righty has talent but is highly unreliable on the whole. Walker has a 4.10 ERA and 4.41 xFIP with a 20.7% strikeout rate over 83.1 innings in 16 starts this season. He pitched to a 3.49 ERA and 3.89 xFIP with a 20.3% strikeout rate in 157.1 innings and 29 starts last year and a 4.47 ERA with a matching xFIP and a 22.3% strikeout rate in 159 innings and 29 outings the year before. Walker is a model of consistent mediocrity, which could be more than enough on this slate, particularly for just $8,800 on the DraftKings board. The righty will probably be very popular at that price, but this is something of a “where else can you go?” slate. Walker costs $9,500 on the FanDuel slate where he is less likely to be popular, making him more interesting. None of this to say that Walker is good or has a strong path to success, but even a one-in-five strikeout rate is a strong mark on this slate, and this is anyone’s game if Scherzer fails. Mike Tauchman has found a home for now atop the Cubs lineup, his .387 on-base percentage plays well in the spot and the lefty offers a bit of cheap correlated scoring but not much else in the outfield for $2,500/$2,800. Tauchman has two home runs and three steals in 125 plate appearances, he is a quad-A talent with a role. Nico Hoerner has stolen 17 bases and hit five home runs in 319 tries this year, he was similarly productive last season and is affordable at $4,800/$3,300. Like many of his teammates, Hoerner is a good option to sequence and create runs but lacks massive power upside, which is where this team stack falls short on many slates. Seiya Suzuki has a 6.98 in our home run model with a 50.6% barrel rate but just six home runs and a .144 ISO on the season. Suzuki is very cheap at $3,900/$2,800, he makes sturdy contact and has created runs two percent over the league-average. When stacking Cubs, Suzuki has to be a major consideration, but his lack of overall output in terms of counting stats is concerning and typical in this lineup. Ian Happ has seven home runs and six stolen bases but gets on at a .384 clip and creates runs 23% better than average. His DFS output has been limited by a lack of counting stats just like both Suzuki and shortstop Dansby Swanson, another quality veteran who follows in the lineup at $4,300/$3,000 at a premium position. Swanson has multiple seasons of double-digit power and stolen base output in his history, he has nine home runs and four stolen bases in 336 plate appearances but has managed a 115 WRC+ this season. Cody Bellinger has premium power and good speed, he has nine home runs and 10 stolen bases in 199 plate appearances and is looking for his form after a return from injury. Jared YoungNick Madrigal, and Tucker Barnhart are a low-end final third.

Play: value pitching on both sides, bats/stacks on both sides

Update Notes:

Los Angeles Dodgers (-206/6.88) @ Colorado Rockies (+187/4.77)

The last thing this pitching slate needs right now is a slate with the Dodgers at Coors Field, but here we are. Los Angeles is facing Chase Anderson and has a 6.88-run implied total that is actually the lowest they have seen in Colorado this week. The Dodgers have a massive upside for DFS production in this matchup but they are going to be crushingly popular from top to bottom on a five-game slate that has limited premium pitching to pay for, Coors is going to be a key inflection point on this slate along with Max Scherzer’s performance. Anderson has made eight starts and thrown 42 lousy innings so far this season. The veteran righty has a 5.79 ERA and 5.12 xFIP with a 15.2% strikeout rate and has induced just an 8.6% swinging-strike rate with a 22.7% CSW%. Anderson has allowed a 5.98% home run rate so far this season which has come on 8.7% barrels but just a 31.2% hard-hit rate and 87 mph of exit velocity, there is some Coors Field factor in play, but that is where this game is taking place. Anderson is not a good option, even on this slate, even at $5,700/$5,800, the path to success is just one of those traps covered in leaves and then you fall into a pit, get impaled on a stake, and there’s a hungry tiger in there with you. The Dodgers lineup is that tiger. Mookie Betts leads off with a 136 WRC+ in 349 plate appearances, the top five hitters in the lineup all join him at at least 12% better than average for run creation and with a low-mark of 12 home runs individually. Betts has hit 20 home runs and has seven stolen bases in his monster season, he is an option at second base or in the outfield for $6,200 on DraftKings and adds shortstop on FanDuel for $4,400. Freddie Freeman has 14 home runs, 10 stolen bases, a .225 ISO, and has created runs 58% better than average to lead this fantastic team. The first baseman is a superstar by any measure, he is slashing .317/.395/.543 and has a 12.5% barrel rate while striking out just 17.4% of the time. he is a strong option at $6,100/$4,500 in Colorado tonight. Will Smith is a rare breed at catcher, he has a fantastic hit tool, rarely strikes out, walks, and hits for premium power. Smith has a dozen home runs with a .220 ISO while creating runs 49% better than average in 255 plate appearances. The backstop has an elite 13.7% strikeout rate and 16.1% walk rate and gets on base at a .404 clip. Smith is a high-priced item at his position for $6,000/$4,100 but he is well worth it in the ballpark and matchup when rostering Dodgers. Max Muncy got the night off on Wednesday but should be back to destroy Anderson’s light arsenal tonight. Muncy has a 19.15 to lead all hitters in our home run model tonight, but everyone in the top five for Los Angeles is above the magic number for power. Muncy has 18 home runs and a .277 ISO from the left side with a huge 16.3% barrel rate. JD Martinez has a 12.09 in the home run model that could be higher. The slugger leads Los Angeles with a 17.3% barrel rate and 52.4% hard-hit rate and has hit 18 home runs to tie Muncy’s output in a surprising return to form. David Peralta is the first discount in this lineup, the productive veteran hits from the left side and has five home runs with a 97 WRC+ in 196 part-time plate appearances. Peralta has a 50.6% hard-hit rate and a good shot to pull his WRC+ back above the waterline tonight. Jayson Heyward has a 42.5% hard-hit rate and eight home runs in 178 opportunities this year. The left-handed veteran outfielder is a good late-lineup option for differentiation and individual upside at $3,100/$2,900, but he won’t be unpopular. Miguel Vargas and James Outman also have an individual upside for cheap prices in this lineup that will need discounts in stacks. Vargas has seven home runs and an 85 WRC+, and Outman has hit nine home runs and stolen eight bases in 265 plate appearances.

The last pitching option of the day is rookie Emmet Sheehan who has made two starts and thrown 12 innings in the Show in his young career. Sheehan is ranked in the teens organizationally and is not a premium prospect, but he is expected to be an average Major League starter over time. The righty has a basic fastball-slider-changeup arsenal and works in the mid-90s with his fastball. Sheehan’s slider has generated a 33.3% whiff rate at 87.2 mph with a fair amount of horizontal movement. Sheehan has worked to a 1.50 ERA with a much more telling 5.89 xFIP in the tiny sample and has struck out just 16.7% with a 9.5% walk rate and 4.76% home run rate over the two starts. The righty was given six innings in each outing, he struck out three Giants while walking two but keeping them off of the board for hits in six clean innings in his first start then gave up two runs on two solo homers and three hits while striking out four and walking two against the Astros the next time he took the mound. Sheehan would be much more in play at $7,400/$8,300 against this lousy Rockies lineup in any other ballpark, in this spot it is difficult to push too many chips in his direction, but he is not entirely off the board. The main issue is his price, Sheehan should simply be less expensive in this game than he is listed, which one would hope at least keeps additional public interest at bay. There are worse options on this short slate, but Sheehan does not project well and is not at all likely to succeed. Jurickson Profar and Ezequiel Tovar lead off at justifiably low prices for Colorado, they have produced a 74 and an 82 WRC+ respectively over 318 and 286 opportunities. Tovar is at least a highly regarded young shortstop finding his way, the team is just wasting time giving Profar everyday plate appearances atop the lineup. Ryan McMahon has good pop against a righty, the left-handed slugger has a dozen home runs with a .215 ISO and 108 WRC+ overall and is carrying a 13.2% barrel rate and 48.4% hard hits for just $4,600/$3,500. McMahon is a good option and he offers multi-position eligibility at second and third base on FanDuel. Elias Diaz has a 40.3% barrel rate, strikes out at a 20.4% clip, and is slashing .285/.342/.462 with a 103 WRC+ and nine home runs in an excellent season for a cheap low-owned DFS catcher. CJ Cron hit 2 home runs last year and 28 the season before, he has six in 155 plate appearances this year after missing time with an injury and he checks in for just $4,600/$3,200 at first base with an 8.42 in our home run model that leads the Rockies’ projected lineup. Nolan Jones has five home runs and five stolen base with a  145 WRC+ over his first 115 plate appearances this year, he has been excellent since his promotion and should have been with the team all season. Jones hits from the left side and has a good shot to provide value for DFS scoring at just $4,300/$3,800 with eligibility at first base and in the outfield on the blue site. Harold Castro and Brenton Doyle are playable mix-in options from the bottom of the lineup.

Play: bats bats bats. but also probably some value shares of Sheehan on a short slate.

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