MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Snapshot & Live Show Link – Thursday 7/6/23

The short six-game main slate gets underway at the typical 7:05 ET starting time on both DraftKings and FanDuel and features a mixed-platter of quality. The board is somewhat short on premium names on the mound, but once again we have a fair number of viable contributors from the mid-range with which we can mix-and-match our way to high-end lineup combinations. The hitting conditions seem somewhat more ripe, with several teams carrying advanced run totals on the board in Vegas and strong numbers for power and run creation in our models. With only a few obvious choices, public ownership is likely to be concentrated on the small slate, getting to a broad spread of options on a night where things can easily go in any direction is the advisable approach.

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 4:30 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 – 7/6/23

Baltimore Orioles (-127/4.53) @ New York Yankees (+117/4.07)

The top of the slate opens with the Orioles and Yankees facing off in the Bronx to close out their series. Baltimore will be facing shaky righty Luis Severino who has not had many good outings this season after a long absence with a variety of maladies. Severino has just an 18% strikeout rate with a 9.5% walk rate over 40 innings in eight starts, working to a 6.30 ERA and 5.29 xFIP. The righty has premium talent but he has not found it on the mound with anything approaching regularity this season. Severino is also somewhat hamstrung by the quick hook deployed by Yankees Manager Aaron Boone in most situations, resulting in short outings and run damage if he gets into jams in the fifth inning. Severino has allowed premium contact this season as well, giving up a 5.29% home run rate on 11.9% barrels and 45.2% hard hits. The righty projects fairly well in our model on a track record of success, but he is not at the top of the board and it is a bit difficult to fully embrace the historical numbers with the pitcher in this form. For $6,900/$7,300, however, we do not need to make a major investment to capture the ceiling that still exists for this pitcher, Severino is on the board on both sites. The Orioles’ lineup is in play against the struggling starter as well, there is plenty of home run potential and Baltimore has a strong chance to bend a number against Severino with sequencing and speed as well. Gunnar Henderson is a very good leadoff hitter, he has 11 home runs on the season and gets on base at a .333 clip while creating runs 15% better than average in his excellent debut season. Henderson is affordable at $4,700/$3,000 with eligibility at shortstop and third base on both sites. Adley Rutschman is affordable for his talent behind the plate, the catcher has 11 home runs while slashing .274/.375/.420 as one of the top positional options. Anthony Santander leads the projected lineup with 14 home runs, the switch-hitter will have a good shot to poke one into the seats in right field against the struggling Severino. Lefty Ryan O’Hearn has a 13.8% barrel rate and 56.4% hard-hit rate over 137 plate appearances in a surprising outburst at the plate that has resulted in seven home runs and a .230 ISO while creating runs 37% better than average. O’Hearn remains cheap at $3,600/$2,600 at first base but he is not an ideal option positionally outside of Orioles stacks. Cedric Mullins is a star left-handed outfielder who has dropped in the batting order to accommodate the ascendance of Henderson in the leadoff role. Mullins is a 30/30 threat every season, he reached those numbers exactly in 2021 and had a strong year with 16 home runs and 34 steals last season. So far in 2023, Mullins has eight homers and 13 stolen bases in 270 plate appearances, he is a very good option on most slates. Aaron Hicks has had a good series in New York and has been mostly solid since arriving in Baltimore, he is playable for $2,700/$2,400 with moderate expectations for potential power and run creation. Colton Cowser and Jordan Westburg are another pair of premium rookies from the bottom of the Baltimore batting order. Cowser was called up ahead of yesterday’s game and contributed immediately, Westburg came up last week and has created runs 44% better than average over his 30 plate appearances. Adam Frazier rounds out the lineup with talent at the bottom, he has 10 home runs and seven stolen bases in his 287 opportunities this year, which is already far more than he did at the plate in the last two seasons combined.

The Yankees are facing solid righty Kyle Bradish who has a 23% strikeout rate over 15 starts and 78 innings. Bradish has a 3.58 ERA and 3.83 xFIP for the season, he has allowed a bit of premium contact with niue percent barrels and a 44.4% hard-hit rate but his 7.8-degree average launch angle allowed is good for keeping the ball in play, Bradish has allowed just a 2.48% home run rate this year. There is potential in this pitcher for $7,200/$8,500 facing this version of the Yankees lineup. The Yankees moved lefty slugger Anthony Rizzo into the leadoff role in yesterday’s game, he is a good fit in that spot with obvious power targeting the short porch in right field and given his strong on-base skills over time. Rizzo costs just $4,100/$3,100 at first base, he is a very good starting point for most stacks of Yankees hitters in this matchup. Gleyber Torres has 13 home runs and seven stolen bases on the season, his counting stats do not come reliably but the second baseman has talent at the plate and he has created runs five percent better than average so far this season for just $4,800/$2,800. Giancarlo Stanton is one of the top power hitters of his generation but he has struggled for the most part since his return to the Yankees batting order after yet another injury. Stanton has hit seven home runs in 151 plate appearances this season, tying Jake Bauers’ output in 154 chances as well as that of Harrison Bader in 145 and DJ LeMahieu over 293. There is a bit of power potential in most of the spots in the Yankees lineup but they are wildly inconsistent and tend to fail at sequencing and run creation when they are not hitting the ball over the wall. Out of that group of four players, only Bauers has an on-base percentage above .300. Billy McKinney is slashing .262/.284/.523 with a .262 ISO and four home runs in 67 plate appearances but if he had another 80 opportunities in the ledger he would have been exactly on par with that group of teammates as well. Anthony Volpe has been surging and is hitting eighth in the projected lineup but may move higher tonight. Volpe has 12 home runs and 16 stolen bases and is slashing .223/.295/.402 for the season with a 93 WRC+ over 323 plate appearances, the shortstop is too cheap at $3,400/$2,900. Jose Trevino has four home runs in 156 plate appearances but is here more for his defense behind the plate.

Play: Kyle Bradish, Orioles bats/stacks, Yankees bats/stacks, small portions of Luis Severino value in that order

Update Notes:

Texas Rangers (-136/5.42) @ Boston Red Sox (+126/4.68)

The game in Boston between the Rangers and Red Sox is carrying somewhat inflated run totals on both sides once again tonight. We saw both teams around 5.0 implied runs for most of the afternoon yesterday despite the presence of two talented pitchers on the mound. As we discussed during the afternoon show, the game seemed somewhat likely to fall into the lower range of outcomes, where Vegas totals were more correct than suggestive of additional upside with neither team looking explosive beyond four or five runs. The result of the actual game is irrelevant to the strategy discussion, but the Red Sox ended up with four runs and the Rangers managed only two, avoiding drawing large portions of this game in stacks simply because the totals were inflated was a strong approach to last night’s slate and a decision that can be made prior to lock in situations when talented pitching is on both sides in a highly totaled game. Tonight’s contest sees the visiting Rangers check in at 5.42 implied runs against righty Kutter Crawford who has had good success in eight starts and 57.1 innings this season. Crawford has a 23.7% strikeout rate with a 5.2% walk rate and a 3.92 ERA with a 4.06 xFIP. He has induced a 12.9% swinging-strike rate that is very strong but has been a bit targetable for home run upside at 4.31% despite limiting hitters to just 34.8% hard hits and 87.2 mph of exit velocity. The home run mark seems like mere happenstance among many of the other numbers in the small sample, but Crawford is a more flyball-oriented pitcher, so loud mistakes will always be a part of the equation. The righty costs $6,400/$6,900 in this matchup, he does not project well against the deadly-good Rangers batting order but he is also not entirely off the board on a short slate, particularly for DraftKings SP2 value shares where necessary. Of course, the Rangers’ offense is the more interesting side of this matchup today. Crawford is not as good at limiting run potential or home runs as teammate Brayan Bello, there is more reason to believe that the Rangers can bend a score against this pitcher. Marcus Semien costs $6,100/$3,600 in the leadoff role, the star second baseman is slashing .277/.341/.446 with a 118 WRC+ and 11 home runs on the season. Corey Seager is our overall pick for a long ball today with a 12.02 in the home run model. Seager has a .250 ISO and 10 home runs on the season while slashing .355/.418/.605 and creating runs 80% better than average in 251 opportunities. Seager is a star at his position for $6,400/$4,200, it is difficult but advisable to include both middle infielders in most stacks of Texas hitters. Nathaniel Lowe has nine home runs while slashing .271/.364/.425 and creating runs 21% better than average as a key cog in the Rangers’ run-creation machine. Adolis Garcia and Josh Jung have major power potential in the heart of the lineup. Garcia has 22 home runs and Jung has 17 and they are both above the “magic number” in our home run model at 12.63 and 10.29. Both players are strong options in a pricey but excellent stack of Rangers. Jonah HeimEzequiel Duran, Mitch Garver, and Leody Taveras is our preferred bottom four for the Rangers, but they mix and match options like Robbie Grossman and Travis Jankowski in from day to day. Heim and Garver are both significant power hitters at the catcher position, Duran and Taveras are both having breakout seasons with a good home run and stolen base potential while sitting well above average for run creation, and both Grossman and Jankowski are usable parts with a bit of pop and speed between them.

The Red Sox draw Nathan Eovaldi who was good with some rough patches over seven innings in his last start after some concerns about a dip in velocity that the righty has attributed to a mechanical hiccup and nothing more. Eovaldi had a few shakier starts through June after dazzling through most of the early season but that seems likely to be just a blip in an otherwise very good season. The righty has a 2.64 ERA and 3.55 xFIP with a 24.7% strikeout rate and has worked deep into games with regularity, covering 112.1 innings in his 17 outings. Eovaldi is pricey at $9,900/$10,000 and he is not in the best of matchups, he projects into the middle of the board against Boston but there is clearly a high ceiling for the playable Texas ace. Boston’s lineup is in good form with Jarren Duran in the leadoff spot, he has four home runs and 16 stolen bases while slashing .309/.358/.491 with a 128 WRC+ in 240 opportunities in a nice breakout campaign. Masataka Yoshida is at .310/.380/.481 with a .171 ISO and leads the team with a 136 WRC+ over his 321 plate appearances in his first year in the Show. The NPB veteran is a terrific hitter who has struck out in just 10.9% of his MLB plate appearances, the lefty is cheap in the outfield for $4,700/$3,200. Justin Turner has 13 home runs with his triple-slash climbing to .282/.354/.461 with a 121 WRC+. The veteran right-handed hitter is still very cheap for his talent and track record at $4,000/$3,300 with eligibility at first and third base on the blue site. Turner has a 41.1% hard-hit rate and just a 16.4% strikeout rate in another terrific season. Rafael Devers is very cheap for his talent, he costs $4,900/$3,700 with 20 home runs and a .243 ISO on the board this season. Alex Verdugo and Triston Casas are a pair of playable productive lefties at the bottom of the lineup. Verdugo has six home runs and a 119 WRC+ and is excellent at getting on base and creating opportunities. Casas has several strong indicators of a big second half coming that we have discussed in several recent features, his contact profile and walk rate remain outstanding and his price is very low at $2,400/$2,600 at first base. Christian Arroyo, David Hamilton, and Connor Wong round out the projected Boston lineup.

Play: Rangers bats/stacks, Red Sox bats/stacks in smaller shares, Nathan Eovaldi as a pricey mid-range option, Kutter Crawford SP2 small slate value darts

Update Notes:

Kansas City Royals (+194/3.69) @ Cleveland Guardians (-215/5.44)

The Royals are once again pushing a strong projection in the direction of the opposing pitcher with Tanner Bibee topping our pitching board today. Bibee is a very talented rookie hurler who has amassed a 3.46 ERA and 4.27 xFIP over 65 innings and 12 starts. The righty has a 24.4% strikeout rate and has walked 8.4% while pitching to a 1.26 WHIP and inducing a 9.7% swinging-strike rate. Bibee has allowed just 2.18% home runs on a 7.1% barrel rate and seems like a good match to take away what Kansas City does well while exploiting their weak free-swinging approach. The projected Royals lineup has a collective 26.3% strikeout rate coming into action, they are a good target day after day for potential upside on the mound. Bibee is easy to afford as well, the righty will probably be popular due to a strong industry-wide feeling about this spot and an $8,700/$9,200 price tag. Kansas City’s lineup would certainly be a contrarian approach if Bibee gets popular, the team has power potential at the plate if nothing else. The lineup is projected to open with rookie Maikel Garcia who is slashing .296/.347/.403 with a 106 WRC+ that actually leads the projected lineup for run creation. Garcia has made 217 plate appearances and may have found a good home atop the lineup if he can continue getting on base reliably. Bobby Witt Jr. has hit 13 home runs and stolen 25 bases, he costs just $4,800/$3,400 and is a great fit at shortstop when rostering stacks of Royals. MJ Melendez and Nick Pratto are a pair of stout lefty bats in the heart of the Royals batting order, but they are wildly inconsistent and frustrating options for DFS. Melendez should be a premium power hitter but he finds no results on his strong contact, Pratto has had decent output at the plate with six home runs and a .254/.339/.404 triple slash with a 105 WRC+ over 245 plate appearances, but his 36.7% strikeout rate is somewhat problematic. Between the pair of lefties, Sal Perez is a good option for power on any given slate. The catcher is projected to hit cleanup, he has 15 home runs to lead the team and is carrying a 10.1% barrel rate and 46.5% hard hits for the season. Perez is an underpriced star for $4,500/$2,800, his power rivals many of the game’s elite home run hitters, he should not be skipped in many stacks of Royals. Michael Massey costs $2,600/$2,400 at second base, he has four home runs with a .095 ISO and a 60 WRC+ in 210 plate appearances, things have not been good for the lefty in 2023 but there is a bit of expected talent involved. Drew WatersKyle Isbel, and Nicky Lopez round out the low-end lineup.

Cleveland’s lousy batting order is facing Jordan Lyles in a test of our will in avoiding the underperforming Guardians bats. This seems like a strong spot in which to roster the disappointing Cleveland squad, Lyles is targetable on the mound with a 6.68 ERA and 5.47 xFIP with just a 16.3% strikeout rate over 16 starts and 91.2 innings this season. The veteran righty had a 4.42 ERA and 4.40 xFIP with an 18.6% strikeout rate in 2022 and was similarly mediocre in 2021, he seems to have taken another step back this year and is not a good option on the mound even with a $5,500/$6,700 price tag in a matchup that has been good for pitchers this season. Cleveland will not offer up many strikeouts and Lyles will not force them, the only hope at price would be for six or seven clean innings and bonuses, but that is a thin possibility for this righty. Steven Kwan opens the Guardians lineup, he is at a 98 WRC+ and would do his teammates favors if he can get on base more often and work his way above the waterline in the season’s second half. Kwan is typically good for correlated scoring at cheap prices when he is going right, we have just not seen many nights when the Guardians are going right as a group this year. Amed Rosario has created runs 15% worse than average this season, he slots in at shortstop for just $3,800/$2,900 and should be included in Guardians stacks but that is a choice made at the expense of rostering several more high-end players at the position. Jose Ramirez has 13 home runs and a .215 ISO while slashing .287/.361/.502 and creating runs 29% better than average this season, he is priced up to $6,000/$3,800 at third base and looks like a good option with a 10.22 in our home run model tonight. Josh Bell is hitting fourth with Josh Naylor still out of the lineup. Bell needs to get his season in gear, he has eight home runs with an 88 WRC+ and has not contributed much at the plate. Andres Gimenez was supposed to be a power and speed option with upside beyond 20/20 in the infield but he has fallen well short of that pace with just six home runs and 11 stolen bases in 327 plate appearances this season. The lefty is not without talent for $4,000/$2,700, he has plenty of any given slate upside at the very least and there is always a chance for a big second half. The bottom of the lineup gets fairly weak with options like Tyler FreemanWill BrennanMyles Straw, and catcher Bo Naylor. The rookie backstop has power potential for a cheap price but he has not put things together at the plate yet in his limited 48 plate appearances in the Show. The others have WRC+ marks that run 98, 92, and 72. Freeman has hit for average but no power in his 58 plate appearances this year and 86 last year, Brennan has five home runs and six stolen bases but not much else, and Straw is a speed and defense outfielder.

Play: Tanner Bibee enthusiastically, Guardians stacks in moderate doses, less if they are popular, minor shares of contrarian top end Royals if Bibee is over the top in popularity

Update Notes:

Seattle Mariners (-119/4.45) @ Houston Astros (+110/4.14)

The game in Houston between the Mariners and Astros has a bit of a pitching lean on both sides, home starter Ronel Blanco is on the board as a value option at $6,800/$6,300 while Mariners righty George Kirby is the second-highest projected pitcher at $10,200/$9,600 today. Kirby is the far more talented of the two, but Blanco has been somewhat effective for strikeouts in his small sample of five starts and 40 innings. The righty has a 22.2% strikeout rate with an excellent 16% swinging strike rate that rivals the best in baseball. That is where the good news generally stops, however, Blanco has allowed a 5.68% home run rate and 4.73 ERA with a 5.34 xFIP in the small sample, and hitters have squared him up regularly with a 12.3% barrel rate despite the swings and misses. There is clearly some talent in play and the Mariners are an aggressive bunch at the plate, the projected lineup has a 25.6% strikeout rate that gives a bit of a ceiling to the Houston righty behind his lower-mid projection on the slate. Kirby has made 16 mostly strong starts, pitching to a 3.21 ERA and 3.64 xFIP with a 21.4% strikeout rate over 101 innings. The righty has a microscopic 2.2% walk rate, he is outstanding at avoiding trouble and does not give up much power to opposing hitters despite a fair amount of available contact. Kirby struck out more last year at 24.5% he has more than enough talent to find a few bonus whiffs against even a low-strikeout lineup like the Astros on the right night. Kirby is justifiably a top-two option on both sites tonight, he should be rostered fairly aggressively on the short slate.

The Mariners are a good option against Blanco if they can manage to make contact. Seattle’s free-swinging nature is exploitable with pitching talent, but they have several very good home run hitters and can cause trouble for opponents as well. Shortstop JP Crawford is a good option to get on base and provide upside for correlated scoring. Crawford has a 120 WRC+ over 331 plate appearances and is cheap but is a weaker option than many at his position. Julio Rodriguez is a good source of counting stats at the plate, he costs $5,100/$3,600 in the outfield and is a go-to option when stacking Mariners. Rodriguez has created runs seven percent better than average with 13 home runs and 20 steals. Ty France is good for average and on-base skills with a bit of individual power upside at the plate for cheap prices but, like Crawford, there tend to be better positional options around the league. Teoscar Hernandez has mashed 15 long balls so far this season in 356 plate appearances but he strikes out at a 31.7% clip. Cal RaleighEugenio SuarezJarred Kelenic, and Mike Ford are all flawed high-strikeout options with power as the lineup continues. Raleigh hits from both sides of the plate as an affordable catcher, he has nine home runs this year and hit 27 in just 415 plate appearances last year. Suarez has just nine home runs with a .133 ISO so far this year, Kelenic has cooled badly after a hot start, and Ford is a quad-A player who has blasted seven homers in just 78 plate appearances. Jose Caballero is a mix-in option who has been getting on base and creating runs reliably in small doses this season. On the Astros side, things do not look as strong, the team should only be considered as a direct contrarian option to any Kirby popularity, the starter is just not prone to big blowups on the mound. Houston is projected to open the lineup with Mauricio Dubon, who has created runs two percent better than average in 284 plate appearances this year. Alex Bregman has 12 home runs with a 109 WRC+ in 385 opportunities, the everyday veteran fills the hot corner for $4,400/$3,500, he is still a mid-range power bat but days of stardom seem behind Bregman at this point. For $4,400/$3,500 he is easy to get to in stacks of Astros. Kyle Tucker has 13 home runs and 14 stolen bases and is carrying the weight of Yordan Alvarez’s absence in this lineup. Tucker costs $5,200/$3,900 in the outfield and is recommended for most stacks of this lineup. Jose Abreu is somewhat alive at the plate. The first baseman has seven home runs and is up to a .112 ISO with a 79 WRC+ after making major strides in recent weeks. Abreu is still cheap at $3,300/$3,000 at first base but this is not a great matchup for power. Yainer DiazCorey JulksJeremy PenaChas McCormick, and Martin Maldonado round out the projected batting order as playable parts. Diaz has been good over 174 plate appearances with 10 home runs and a .248 ISO, Julks has a 104 WRC+ for the season with six homers and 14 stolen bases, Pena has not been as productive but is up to 10 home runs, and McCormick has power and speed with eight homers and eight stolen bases.

Play: George Kirby enthusiastically, Ronel Blanco value, Mariners stacks, minor shares of Astros bats if any

Update Notes:

New York Mets (+124/4.70) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (-134/5.40)

The game in the desert is looking like a prime spot for offense on this slate with Ryne Nelson on the mound for the hometown Snakes. The righty has made 17 starts and thrown 90.2 innings of mediocrity this year. Nelson has a 4.67 ERA and 5.02 xFIP with just a 16.5% strikeout rate while allowing a 10.5% barrel rate and 42.5% hard hits on 91.2 mph of exit velocity that should play well for some of the New York power hitters. Nelson does not look like much of an option even at $6,000/$7,500. Brandon Nimmo and Tommy Pham are a good lefty-righty duo to open the Mets’ projected batting order. Nimmo has individual power and a knack for getting on base as a premium table setter in the top spot for just $4,600/$3,500 in the outfield. Pham has been knocking the cover off the ball this season, he has a 14.3% barrel rate in 217 plate appearances and has hit nine home runs and stolen 10 bases while creating runs 36% better than average in a nice return to form. Francisco Lindor has 17 home runs and 11 stolen bases and a triple slash that we continue to ignore while focusing on his cheap price as a premium shortstop. Lindor remains a high-end option at his position and he is deeply discounted at $4,900/$3,500. Pete Alonso lands at a 12.00 in our home run model as one of the top-ranked options of the day. Alonso has 25 home runs and a .290 ISO in 329 plate appearances this year with a 14.9% barrel rate that combines well with what Nelson has yielded on the mound. Jeff McNeil needs teammates to knock him in if he manages to luck his way to first base with his light-hitting approach. Starling Marte has had a rocky season but still has excellent speed and the idea of mid-range power at the plate. Marte is cheap in the outfield and an easy option who is probably still a better selection than McNeil. Daniel Vogelbach has infrequent left-handed power on the strong side of a platoon, Francisco Alvarez has hit 15 home runs and has a .267 ISO as a rookie catcher, and Brett Baty fills third base with a highly regarded rookie bat for just $2,800/$2,500 from the bottom of the batting order. The Mets are a strong buy in this matchup.

The Diamondbacks are pushing a higher implied team total than New York at 5.40 in their matchup against struggling veteran Carlos Carrasco. The righty has a 5.94 ERA and 5.20 xFIP with just a 16.3% strikeout rate in 11 starts and 53 innings. Carrasco has not been working deep into games with any reliability, he made it through five innings while allowing just two runs and striking out six in his most recent start against the Giants, but prior to that, he had three lower-end outings of 4.2, 3.0, and 4.0 innings with runs allowed and low strikeout totals. The six strikeouts in his most recent game were a season-high, he does not project in that neighborhood against the talented low-strikeout Diamondbacks lineup. Geraldo Perdomo has found a good home atop the lineup, he has a .383 on-base percentage that leads the team and has been a productive run-creator this season with a 121 WRC+ in 261 plate appearances. Perdomo has moderate power and speed and can contribute individually, but he is better deployed as a correlated scoring option with teammates. Ketel Marte has 15 home runs, Corbin Carroll has 18, Christian Walker matches Carroll with 18, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has hit 14, the power core for Arizona is somewhat under-appreciated for their talent. That group of hitters has an average current-year strikeout rate of just 17.9%, a rare feat for such a hard-hitting bunch. Emmanuel Rivera is slashing .309/.335/.395 with one home run and one stolen base in 161 opportunities, he joins the group of talented hitters with an 18.6% strikeout rate. Jake McCarthy is also at fewer than one in five strikeouts, he has 18 stolen bases in 197 opportunities and will be running if he reaches first base today. Gabriel Moreno and Alek Thomas are skilled in the eighth and ninth spots in the projected lineup, they are expensive mix-in options at catcher and in the outfield.

Play: Diamondbacks bats/stacks, Mets bats/stacks

Update Notes:

Pittsburgh Pirates (+189/3.51) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (-209/5.10)

The visiting Pirates are carrying just a 3.51-run implied team total against lefty Julio Urias, who has pitched to a 4.94 ERA and a 4.23 xFIP in 11 starts and 58.1 innings this season. Urias has made just one start since an injury in mid-May, he worked three innings in a start against Kansas City on the 1st, allowing five runs on six hits with two strikeouts and two free passes. Urias is a far more talented pitcher than that, but he should probably be expected to see a cap of 80-85 pitches in this game. Urias has a fair projection for his $9,400/$8,700 price, but the ability to lock in bonuses may be in question if he is slated for a short outing. The lefty will be facing a Pirates team that has been friskier against southpaws this year with a 10th-ranked 109 WRC+ and a .165 ISO. The team is not great but they do better on this side of splits, which puts them in play for DFS purposes despite the low total in Vegas. Andrew McCutchen is a veteran right-handed outfielder who has 10 home runs on the season with a .157 ISO, he has created runs 21% better than average in 100 plate appearances against left-handed pitching this year. Outfielder Bryan Reynolds has just an 89 WRC+ and a .115 ISO against lefties this season, he has not been a positive contributor in the sample of 85 plate appearances but he is the team’s star hitter and he has a 113 WRC+ with a .165 ISO against lefties for his career. Rookie Henry Davis checks in at $2,700/$2,900 with a .288/.354/.390 triple-slash and 106 WRC+ over his first 65 MLB opportunities. Carlos Santana has a 125 WRC+ with a .169 ISO over 83 opportunities against southpaws this year, the switch-hitter has an upside for power at the plate and can be deployed in stacks of Pirates in this situation. Connor Joe started the season on fire then cooled quickly, he has six home runs in 262 plate appearances but has been excellent against lefties. Joe has a 144 WRC+ with a strong .241 ISO over 102 chances on this side of splits this season, with four of six of his home runs against lefties. Nick GonzalesJared Triolo, and Jason Delay land as three of the four bottom hitters in the projected lineup, they are valid mix-in options. Rodolfo Castro typically gains popularity because he is good against left-handed pitching, Castro has six home runs and a .297/.375/.549 triple-slash with a 146 WRC+ and a .253 ISO in 104 plate appearances against lefties this season. For his career, the 24-year-old Castro is a .280/.344/.565 hitter with a .285 ISO and 144 WRC+ and 14 home runs in 221 plate appearances against lefties. Castro is a good buy at $3,000/$2,200, he fills second and third base on DraftKings and slots in with added shortstop eligibility on the FanDuel slate.

Los Angeles is facing Johan Oviedo who has been moderately effective over 17 starts and 93.2 innings in 2023. Oviedo is not bad, he has a 19.2% strikeout rate and a 10.7% swinging-strike rate but has allowed too many free passes at nine percent walks. The righty has been good at limiting home runs, opponents have managed just a 1.90% home run rate against him and he has kept barrels to 7.4% but we have seen better pitchers fail against the low-strikeout high-upside Los Angels lineup. The Dodgers are drawing a 5.10-run implied team total in Vegas for good reason tonight, there is plenty of cause to roster stacks of Los Angeles hitters and Oviedo is difficult to get enthusiastic about even at $6,200/$8,500. A few value darts with the starter, particularly as an SP2 in small doses, is not out of the question, but he is in a very challenging matchup for MLB DFS point-scoring upside. Mookie Betts costs $6,500/$4,400 with eligibility at multiple positions on both sites. Betts is one of the best players in baseball, he has 23 home runs and seven stolen bases while creating runs 48% better than average this season. Freddie Freeman is a superstar left-handed first baseman who hits for average and power, creates runs, steals bases, and does everything anyone could want at the plate for $6,300/$4,200. Will Smith has major power at the plate and is a great DFS option at catcher, he has a dozen home runs and a 140 WRC+ over 278 plate appearances this season. Max Muncy and JD Martinez have thunderous power in the heart of the lineup. The lefty has 19 home runs and a .266 ISO on the season and Martinez has mashed 20 homers to trail only Betts for the team lead while blasting his way to a .302 ISO. David Peralta is slashing .286/.324/.427 with a 104 WRC+ as a productive left-handed veteran outfielder for cheap prices. Jason HeywardJames Outman, and Miguel Rojas round things out at the bottom of the lineup, the two lefty outfielders have power and positive marks for run creation in small samples, with Outman leading the way at 11 home runs and Heyward sitting at eight for the season. Rojas has not been a positive contributor at a 55 WRC+.

Play: Dodgers bats/stacks, pitching darts in small doses, minor shares of Pirates

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