MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Snapshot & Live Show Link – Tuesday 6/20/23

The loaded 11-game Tuesday evening main slate gets rolling at 7:05 ET on both DraftKings and FanDuel with a wealth of options on both sides of the game. The slate includes seven or eight very high-end pitching options in a variety of matchups, as well as a fair amount of value through a broad mid-range. There are also a few pitchers taking the mound who can absolutely be targeted with bats, finding good hitting opportunities is easy on this slate, several of the top spots will be fairly popular, but there are endless ways to offset public exposures and gain leverage on the field by either getting to a spread of combination options or taking up specific positions relative to projected public popularity.

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 pm ET on our YouTube Channel for the MLB DFS Lineup Card LIVE:

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 – 6/20/23

Seattle Mariners (+111/3.40) @ New York Yankees (-121/3.68)

The Mariners and Yankees kick off a good series in the Bronx with Gerrit Cole on the mound for what is shaping up to be an early pitching duel Tuesday night. Cole has been up and down through the season but he has allowed just four total runs across his last three starts while pitching six innings each time. The right-handed Yankees ace had 19 strikeouts over that time, which is a good but not elite total. In the two starts prior to the minor run of quality, Cole allowed five runs in back-to-back outings, a total he gave up three times over six starts in May. Would it surprise you to learn that, outside of those three mediocre games, Cole has not given up more than two earned runs in a game all season? Across 15 starts and 91.2 innings, the righty has a 2.75 ERA and 3.86 xFIP, the expected FIP number tells us that perhaps a few of those times he should have given up three or four runs instead of two or fewer, but overall Cole has been good for limiting scoring. His strikeouts are where the MLB DFS issues arise, Cole has dipped from a 32.4% strikeout rate last year to just 26.4% this season. The culprit for the drop seems to be a lack of swinging strikes, the righty sits at 11.1% swinging strikes, way down from 14.3% last year and 14.5% the year before. The whiff rate on Cole’s slider has dropped from an elite 44.2% to just 27.2% this season with a similar drop in effectiveness in his curveball, which has dipped from 36.9% to 21.3% whiffs per Statcast. Cole is ultimately still a very talented pitcher even at the current-year numbers, but he may fall somewhat short of being worthy of a $10,900/$10,600 salary in some matchups. In this contest, however, Cole will have the benefit of facing a Mariners projected lineup that has a 26.4% strikeout rate and several extreme free-swingers, which could push his strikeout totals. There is a significant ceiling on Cole for MLB DFS scoring tonight, he projects among the top few pitchers and is very much in play. JP Crawford strikes out at just an 18.8% clip and leads off for Seattle. The shortstop is down to .242/.351/.352 with a 108 WRC+, he has not been as effective in the leadoff role to this point. Julio Rodriguez has 12 home runs and 15 stolen bases with a 106 WRC+ and .184 ISO while slashing .244/.303/.428 over 307 plate appearances after a mostly productive May but a bit of a dip in the first half of June. Rodriguez is a star but the lights have not fully come on for the season, which is keeping him somewhat cheap at $5,200/$3,700. Ty France is the other hitter on this team who knows how to avoid strikeouts, he sits at just 16.3% this year and was at 15.3% last season. The first baseman is slashing .278/.347/.422 with a 121 WRC+ over 300 plate appearances this year, he is a good buy when rostering Mariners at $3,600/$2,900. Teoscar Hernandez has 12 home runs and a 107 WRC+ in 289 opportunities but he strikes out at a 32.2% rate. That mark is exceeded by left-handed power-hitting teammate Jarred Kelenic who has a 33.1% strikeout rate this season. Kelenic has hit 11 home runs and has a .221 ISO with a 125 WRC+ in 266 plate appearances this year, he has been a bit up and down but there is plenty of any-given-slate upside at worst and he has the power to take Cole deep into the short porch in right field in the Bronx. Eugenio Suarez has seven home runs in 299 plate appearances, last year he had 31 in 629, which was the same total he reached in 574 tries the year before, to say he is off pace would be an understatement. At the very least, Suarez is cheap, he costs just $3,600/$2,800 at third base. Cal Raleigh is a power-hitting catcher with nine home runs in the books this season. The backstop will take shots from the left side with Cole on the mound, aligning him well with Yankee Stadium’s dimensions, he has a 9.80 in our home run model tonight. Mike Ford checks in on the left side with a 9.26 in the home run model, he has four in 32 plate appearances but is more of a quad-A talent. Jose Caballero has an 18.5% strikeout rate and 14.1% walk rate in his 135 plate appearances, both of which are quite good. Caballero has hit two home runs and stolen 10 bases while creating runs 23% better than average in the small sample. Caballero is an effective wraparound option and could be a pivot from Crawford ahead of the top of the lineup if he hits ninth. Ultimately, the Mariners look more likely to homer once or twice off of Cole while striking out quite a bit and not posting many DFS-relevant scores.

The Yankees are facing pinpoint control personified in the form of starter George Kirby. The talented righty hurler has a good 22% strikeout rate and an elite 1.9% walk rate over 80.2 innings in 13 starts this season. Kirby does not dominate hitters, but he basically never gets himself into trouble and he has enough stuff to pitch his way out of the rare jam. Kirby has limited hard hits to 37.7% on 6.6% barrels with a 2.48% home run rate so far this season while pitching to a 3.24 ERA and 3.48 xFIP, he is exactly the pitcher that he appears to be on the surface, which is plenty effective at an $8,700 DraftKings price that should be a big target for pitching shares. Kirby is a slightly different option at $10,000 on the FanDuel slate. He has more than the required talent to pay that salary off in this matchup, but there are several very good strikeout pitchers at similar prices who could pad their numbers over the same amount of clean innings slightly more than Kirby will. Still, his talent has him on the board and if the price keeps the public at bay there will be good reasons to pay for additional shares. At a point over this past weekend, the Yankees had scored only 11 runs all season in games without superstar Aaron Judge, who remains on the shelf for a frustratingly indeterminate amount of time with a toe ouchie. Judge’s absence leaves a chasm in the heart of the Yankees lineup but there are still talented hitters available on the New York side. The Yankees are a mid-range stack at best on this slate, they rank eighth on our board for points projections and 15th for home run potential, but they have stronger value scores with a few oddball options. The projected lineup includes Jake Bauers in the leadoff role once again. The outfielder has hit five home runs in his 117 plate appearances, adding two stolen bases and racking up a 115 WRC+ in the small sample. The lefty has a very good 19.1% barrel rate and 47.1% hard-hit rate and costs just $2,700/$2,600, which is a good price given a bit of individual upside and a good correlated scoring spot in the lineup. Giancarlo Stanton needs to get in gear to help cover the absence of Judge. In 101 plate appearances, Stanton has six home runs and a .237 ISO but just a 91 WRC+ while slashing .204/.267/.441. The slugger’s season never fully got off the ground prior to injury and now he is in the midst of a hard reset and looking a bit lost at the plate in recent games. For $5,100/$3,100 we will draw shares of Stanton in Yankees stacks and hope to be there for the turn. Gleyber Torres and Anthony Rizzo are good options in the middle of the lineup. Torres has 12 home runs with a 114 WRC+ in 296 plate appearances, Rizzo has been cool for the last four weeks or so but he still has 11 home runs and a 116 WRC+ from the left side and he is now officially very cheap for his talent at just $4,100/$2,700. Josh Donaldson is another potential value with plenty of upside for power if nothing else. The third baseman has a $3,300/$2,800 salary with six home runs in 60 plate appearances in the books this year. Harrison Bader is a productive outfielder when healthy, he has made 95 plate appearances amidst an injury-wracked season, posting six home runs and six stolen bases with a 118 WRC+. Billy McKinney is a fill-in option for this club but he has done well in 36 plate appearances and was once a well-thought-of prospect. McKinney has hit one home run with a .229 ISO in the tiny sample. Jose Trevino is a defender at catcher, his skills with a bat in his hands are modest. Anthony Volpe has plenty of talent and has provided infrequent counting stats, but we are of the mind that he would be well served by a visit to AAA for a bit more seasoning. The rookie shortstop is slashing a miserable .189/.264/.350 with a .160 ISO, nine home runs, and 15 stolen bases. Volpe’s 70 WRC+ for the season is the fourth-worst among qualified hitters, ahead of only Jose Abreu, Nick Maton, and Alex Call. Over the last 30 days, Volpe and Nolan Gorman are the bottom two players in the league among qualified hitters with WRC+ marks of 20 and 17. Volpe (.456), DJ LeMahieu (.515), and Anthony Rizzo (.424) were three of the five worst hitters in the league by OPS over the past 30 days.

Play: Gerrit Cole, George Kirby, lower-mid interest in Mariners and Yankees bats/stacks as a hedge position.

Update Notes: 

Chicago Cubs (-121/4.21) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (+111/3.88)

The Cubs and Pirates have relatively low totals on both sides of the board in Vegas, with visiting Chicago favored at a 4.21-run implied total in their matchup against Johan Ovideo who has made 14 starts and thrown 75.2 innings of slightly below-average results. Oviedo has a 20.6% strikeout rate with a 4.40 ERA and 4.53 xFIP, he has induced an 11% swinging-strike rate and has a 28.1% CSW% while limiting home runs to just 1.45% on 6.4% barrels and an 8.3-degree launch angle. Oviedo has a bit of talent and he is facing a Cubs lineup that has some strikeouts through the middle of the batting order, but there are also several hitters who can exploit his too-high 10.2% walk rate and he has not been great at punching his way out of trouble. Oviedo is among the pitchers that we would call the top of the bottom tier, for $6,200 on DraftKings he is a viable SP2 option with low expectations, but he is ultimately probably not too slate-relevant. There is value for $7,700 on FanDuel, but Oviedo would need to book the quality start, which he is capable of in this matchup, while having a few of the premium options fall short. The path to success is thin but not invisible for the starter. The Cubs lineup is drawing a low-end aggregate projection and lousy marks for home run potential with Oviedo’s knack for capping power, they do not look like a priority stack in this game, but they will probably be unpopular. Mike Tauchman is slashing .301/.417/.373 with a 126 WRC+ over 104 plate appearances, which is not a sentence we would have bet on writing this season on Opening Day. Tauchman has been good and very involved for the Cubs, he costs just $2,400/$2,600 and is in play as long as he continues to lead off. Nico Hoerner has a 2.1% barrel rate and 33.2% hard-hit rate with four home runs and a .093 ISO on the season while creating runs four percent behind the curve in 291 opportunities. Hoerner was better last season with a 106 WRC+, 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases. He already has 16 steals in the books and he seems like a good candidate to catch up to last year’s power output over the second half as well, which would leave him at similar run creation marks. For $4,900/$3,400 the player is slightly cheaper than we have seen in recent weeks. Seiya SuzukiIan Happ, and Dansby Swanson offer excellent on-base acumen, power, and speed on the basepaths across the group with an average salary of just $4,000 on DraftKings and $3,000 on FanDuel. The two outfielders and a shortstop are valuable in creating combinations with big names from better teams when rostering Cubs. Cody Bellinger is back in the lineup and is a big fixture in trade rumors around the league. Bellinger came back to life early this season before dealing with an injury, he is slashing .258/.324/.464 with a .208 ISO and seven home runs while striking out just 20.7% of the time in 179 chances. Christopher Morel has almost twice as many home runs as Bellinger in fewer plate appearances. Over 125 opportunities, Morel has blasted 13 long balls with a .395 ISO, a 17.7% barrel rate, and 48.1% hard hits. Morel costs $4,500/$3,800 and he comes with outfield and third base eligibility on the blue site while landing only in the outfield on DraftKings. Nick Madrigal and Tucker Barnhart are late lineup mix-ins.

The Pirates are facing groundball specialist Marcus Stroman, who has had a good year to this point. Stroman has a 2.45 ERA and 3.62 xFIP with a 1.04 WHIP and a 21.6% strikeout rate that matches his output from two years ago after a dip in 2022. Stroman has pitched well this year overall, limiting home runs to 1.39% which is an improvement over his already good 2.81% and 2.33% marks from the past two seasons. The righty checks power by cutting a hitter’s launch angle which reduces barrels, he has allowed a 2.1-degree average launch angle and 3.2% barrel rate this season. Stroman throws six innings reliably, he has hit that total or higher in 13 of his 15 starts this season, the two outings in which he failed to complete the sixth inning were his two lousy starts of the year, and the only two times he allowed more than two earned runs. The starter is reliable for depth and good at posting clean innings, his lack of strikeouts is the only thing that prevents Stroman from being an elite MLB DFS option at his $8,900/$10,300 salary, he is still in play but his ceiling has a moderate cap by comparison to a few other options on this slate. Stroman is a much better buy on DraftKings for the salary, he should be rostered on that site against a Pirates team that ranks 19th with a 97 collective WRC+ against righties this season with a 22.5% strikeout rate in the split. The Pirates projected lineup opens with Ji-Hwan Bae in the leadoff role after he was in that role the last time the team faced a righty. Bae hits from the left side and fills second base and the outfield on either site for $2,800. At .262/.324/.340 with 20 stolen bases, Bae has some value if he leads off, but his 84 WRC+ for the season is not an overly encouraging number. The cheap hitter should have correlated scoring value with better options behind him in the lineup. Bryan Reynolds has a 122 WRC+ for the season with eight home runs and eight stolen bases but it has been a minute since he has hit for power. Reynolds had a .252 ISO and 142 WRC+ in March and April which then dipped to .172 and just 97 in May before the ISO continued to slide, this time to .125, but the WRC+ improved to 127 so far in June. Reynolds has hit three home runs since the end of April. The outfielder is slightly discounted at $4,900/$3,500 and should be a good option when building stacks of Pirates, but he has not been as good as he needs to be. Andrew McCutchen has had a dip in productivity over the past few weeks as well, the former MVP now sits at .264/.385/.425 with a .160 ISO but still has a 124 WRC+ for the season. Carlos Santana has six home runs with a .145 ISO and 90 WRC+ over 268 opportunities, he has underperformed even low expectations so far this season. Jack Suwinski has big-time power, he has hit 15 home runs in just 228 plate appearances this year with a .280 ISO, a 17.8% barrel rate, and a 48.3% hard-hit rate. Suwinski has a team-leading 6.33 in our home run model tonight against a pitcher who is good at limiting home runs. Ke’Bryan Hayes has a 47.7% hard-hit rate with four home runs and has stolen eight bases to provide a bit of additional DFS value, as always we think Hayes should be a more productive hitter with what he does at the plate. Henry Davis is a premium rookie who was featured in this space yesterday. Davis was the first overall pick of the 2021 draft and is a catcher by trade and on MLB DFS sites, but slotted into the outfield in his MLB debut. Davis is a premium athlete who could play several positions, he has excellent raw power upside and a good knack for stealing bases, something that gives him additional upside beyond what many catchers provide. Davis still costs the minimum on DraftKings, where his catcher position is mandatory and he should be rostered and he is in play at $2,500 on FanDuel. Tucupita Marcano and Austin Hedges round out the projected lineup.

Play: Marcus Stroman, minor shares of Oviedo value, minor shares of low-ranked bats on either side with the Pirates as a good DraftKings value stacking option

Update Notes: 

St. Louis Cardinals (-138/4.90) @ Washington Nationals (+128/4.19)

A left-handed pitching duel in Washington D.C. should provide good value options on the mound with a bit of upside for both teams at the plate in a four corners situation on this slate. The Cardinals are facing MacKenzie Gore, who has a 27.5% strikeout rate over 14 starts and 74.2 innings, but has seen his overall numbers decline each month as the season has progressed. Gore had a 31.5% strikeout rate with a 3.40 xFIP and 3.00 ERA in what looked like a breakout in March and April, then dropped to a 28.5% strikeout rate with a 3.56 xFIP and 4.06 ERA in May, and now has a 4.34 xFIP and 4.32 ERA with just a 19.1% strikeout rate in June. More concerningly, Gore’s groundball rates have also been significantly different over time. The lefty had a 50.8% groundball rate with just a 27.1% flyball rate in the first month of the season then fell to 43.4% groundballs with a 38.6% flyball rate and 18.8% home run to fly ball ratio in May. For the month of June, he is at just 35.3% groundballs with a 39.2% flyball rate and 15% home run to fly ball ratio. Gore is up to a 3.48% home run rate on 43.1% hard hits and a 9.1% barrel rate this season, his ERA sits at 3.74 with a 3.67 xFIP overall for the season. For $8,000/$9,100 there is still potential for Gore to post a very strong start in this matchup, he projects to the middle of a deep pitching board and is in play on both sites. The Cardinals active roster has a 104 WRC+ that ranks just 20th in baseball against lefties and their .159 ISO is a bottom-half mark as well. The team is good at avoiding strikeouts in the split, their 20.6% rate ranks 10th against southpaws this season but they are no lock for quality against Gore, despite a 4.90 run total in Vegas. Cardinals have been a go-to option for us again and again throughout the season, for better or worse, they are in play as usual and rank fifth on our stacks board, particularly if Gore’s recent form is the one that arrives on the mound tonight. The Cardinals projected lineup opens with Tommy Edman against lefties. Edman fills the outfield on DraftKings and he is a shortstop on FanDuel after both teams stripped him of multi-position eligibility but then put him in different spots, which makes total sense if you’ve been in the DFS industry for a minute. Edman is a productive player who has a 99 WRC+ mostly from the bottom of the lineup this year. He has hit seven home runs and has 12 stolen bases in 257 plate appearances while posting a 15.2% strikeout rate and keeping the ball in play. Paul Goldschmidt has been his typical self for most of 2023, which is to say a paragon of excellence in every aspect of the game. Goldschmidt is slashing .289/.381/.502 with a .213 ISO while creating runs 43% better than average over 320 plate appearances. The first base star has a 13.9% barrel rate, a 55.3% hard-hit rate, 13 home runs, and has even stolen seven bases. He strikes out at a reasonable 21.9% and walks 12.5% of the time and is affordable at $5,800/$3,700. Nolan Arenado is a star third baseman who has 15 home runs with a .214 ISO and 120 WRC+ in 300 plate appearances but costs $5,500/$3,200, his FanDuel price is still far too cheap. Arenado started the season very cold but has been himself at the plate for more than a month now, he should be correctly priced soon, take advantage of the discount while it lasts. Willson Contreras has a 10.4% barrel rate and 43.9% hard-hit rate which are his positive attributes for the season, the catcher is cheap for someone who strikes the ball well and he has eight home runs, but the results have not been good overall for the struggling backstop. Jordan Walker is a $3,000/$2,900 option in the outfield, the rookie has a 53.5% hard-hit rate in 142 plate appearances with six home runs on the board and a 137 WRC+. Dylan Carlson is just an OK value option, he costs $2,600/$2,700 and has a .238/.317/.365 triple-slash with a 92 WRC+. Infielders Paul DeJong and Nolan Gorman have massive power potential for hitters this late in the lineup. DeJong hits righty and the veteran has 10 home runs in just 182 plate appearances this year, he is a value at $3,500/$2,900 to fill shortstop. Gorman has cratered badly over the past 30 days, the breakout second baseman is back to just a $4,600/$3,200 price tag after rampaging his way to 15 early home runs. Over 261 plate appearances his numbers still look good, but June has not been kind. Since the end of May, Gorman is slashing .107/.180/.214 with a .107 ISO and a 45.9% strikeout rate while creating runs 89% worse than average. The excellent young power hitter will come out of the funk soon enough, but rostering him against a lefty is not the best spot in which to find the turn. Gorman is in play with the idea of chances against bullpen arms, if he plays at all tonight, but he is a lower-than-usual priority when stacking Cardinals. Oscar Mercado rounds out the projected lineup as a right-handed outfielder with a minor amount of pop and a bit of speed for $2,100/$2,200, he is not the worst option as a cheap unowned wraparound.

The Nationals are better against lefties, but Jordan Montgomery is pulling in a very strong projection against them tonight for his cheap $7,400/$8,800 pricing. Montgomery has a 21.6% strikeout rate and 3.91 ERA with a 3.89 xFIP over 78.1 innings in 14 starts this year. The southpaw has walked 6.2% but has a 1.34 WHIP, a quick check reveals the culprit is a .325 batting average on balls in play, which means the starter has probably gotten a bit unlucky. Montgomery has been good at keeping power in line, he has allowed just a 2.37% home run rate with a 36.8% hard-hit rate and 88.6 mph of exit velocity so far this year, which is roughly aligned with what he has done throughout his career. The lefty is a good option against a low-end Nationals lineup, he is more than talented enough to overcome any additional acumen the team has against lefties on the whole. The Nationals’ active roster has a 106 WRC+ in the split against lefties, that ranks them 16th in the league. Their 18.3% strikeout rate as a unit in the split is very good and has a limiting impact on many pitchers, they rank fourth-best in baseball in that category against lefties but their collective .140 ISO is 25th out of 30 teams against southpaws. Montgomery has an opportunity to post a strong score for his salary, he looks like a very good option on both sites and a particularly strong SP2 value option on DraftKings. The Nationals can be rostered against the starter, with a focus on the team’s right-handed hitters. The top priorities in the lineup when a lefty is on the mound are leadoff man Lane Thomas, who has 11 home runs with a .203 ISO and 124 WRC+ overall and a 184 WRC+ in 98 plate appearances against lefties. Luis Garcia has not been great in the split, despite hitting right-handed. Garcia has a 78 WRC+ with a .278 on-base percentage and .135 ISO in 80 opportunities in the split. Jeimer Candelario has been even more inept against southpaws, the switch-hitter is slashing .238/.322/.325 with a .088 ISO and 78 WRC+ against lefties this season. The quality picks back up a bit with Joey Meneses who has a 99 WRC+ overall and a 100 mark against lefties, but his power has been out against both hands this season and his .099 ISO against lefties is ugly. Stone Garrett has a .180 ISO and 106 WRC+ in 69 opportunities against southpaws, the small sample does not tell us anything reliable or overly predictive, but it is a fair assumption that Garrett’s premium contact in the split is legitimate. The righty has three home runs and a .115 ISO overall but has a 50.6% hard-hit rate for the season for just $2,500 on either site. Keibert Ruiz has a 9.9% barrel rate with eight home runs and a .149 ISO, and his .496 xSLG outpaces his .385 actual mark by quite a bit, meaning there should be more power to come. Dominic Smith and Ildemaro Vargas are mix-ins at best, but Victor Robles has been productive this season and has upside against the lefty from the bottom of the lineup for just $2,300/$2,500. The former top prospect has never fully clicked at this level but he can provide moderate power and very good speed when healthy and going well.

Play: Four corners with a lean toward Jordan Montgomery and the Cardinals bats/stacks, fewer shares of Gore and the Nationals stack

Update Notes: 

Oakland Athletics (+194/3.69) @ Cleveland Guardians (-214/5.43)

A low-end matchup between the Athletics and Guardians is looking fairly DFS-relevant tonight with the home team carrying a 5.43-run implied total that is second overall behind the Reds’ total and one of only two that lands above 5.0 runs. The Guardians have not been good enough to justify that total and the Athletics have been downright bad all season, this is a difficult spot in which to have faith, but there are very good options for MLB DFS in this game. Guardians starter Aaron Civale is perhaps our favorite option out of the four possibilities. Civale is facing the 23rd-ranked Athletics roster that has a collective 94 WRC+ and a 25.3% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season. While Civale is not a premium strikeout pitcher, he was better than this year’s 19.5% in hitting 24.1% over 20 starts and 97 innings in 2022. The righty has a 2.67 ERA but a 4.40 xFIP and just a 7.7% swinging-strike rate in five starts and 27 innings this year, and he has been good at keeping power in check. Civale has allowed just a 2.65% home run rate in the tiny sample, keeping hitters to a 34.6% hard-hit rate and 4.9% barrels. For just $7,900/$8,400, Civale ranks as one of our top overall starters on today’s slate. The Athletics have a few hitters showing minor power potential and they rank as a value play given very low pricing, but if we could draw only one share from this game it would be Civale. The projected Oakland batting order includes Esteury Ruiz and his 36 stolen bases in 316 plate appearances. The speedster is getting on base at a .320 clip and striking out just 17.1% of the time, if his walks go up so will his stolen bases. Ryan Noda is a good lefty hitter who has seven home runs and a .397 on-base percentage that was better-looking a week ago. Noda strikes out too much at 33.1% but he walks a ton at 18.7% which keeps him highly relevant in anything the Athletics can muster for offense in most games. Noda costs just $2,600/$2,900 despite his current production levels and a 13.3% barrel rate with a 45.8% hard-hit rate over 257 chances. Brent Rooker has 13 home runs in 253 plate appearances, he had 11 on May 12th. After an abysmal May, Rooker is slashing .234/.321/.426 with a .191 ISO and 114 WRC+ for June, but is still striking out 34% of the time. He is a low-end option on the whole but should be included in a rotation of players if one is building several stacks of Athletics. Lefty Seth Brown has four home runs in 124 plate appearances and was very good last season. Brown missed a large chunk of time earlier this year and has not fully found his way back over the past few weeks since his return, he has power and speed on the left side of the plate for $2,500/$2,700. Jace Peterson is a middling lefty hitter with eligibility at second and third base on DraftKings and is just a third baseman on FanDuel. Peterson has five home runs and nine stolen bases this season but has created runs just 13% below average. JJ Bleday has four home runs with three stolen bases and a 101 WRC+ in limited action. Aledmys DiazTony Kemp, and Shea Langeliers can all provide minor quality from late in the lineup. Diaz and Kemp are veterans who can take a pitcher deep from time to time, Diaz hit 12 home runs in 327 chances last year and Kemp had seven in 558 tries with 11 stolen bases. Langeliers has power for a low-end cheap catcher, he costs $2,200/$2,600 with eight home runs and a 10.3% barrel rate in 239 plate appearances.

The Athletics’ starter is not a great option tonight. Ken Waldichuk has been better in a bullpen role in recent weeks and might just be relegated to that spot full time. Waldichuk should be acting as an opener with the possibility of two or three innings tonight, he threw two innings on the 17th, so a full start is out of the question. The lefty is facing a Cleveland roster that ranks third from the bottom with an 86 WRC+ against lefties this year, but the more important factor is their 16.7% strikeout rate in the split. The excellent ability to limit strikeouts, while somehow not creating runs or hitting for power – Cleveland has a .125 ISO against lefties as a group this year – is where Cleveland takes any ceiling off of a Waldichuk outing, even at $6,400/$6,200. That is without even mentioning that the starter has a 19.2% strikeout rate himself as well as a 6.64 ERA, a 5.44 xFIP, and a 4.81% home run rate this year. That Cleveland implied team total is starting to make more sense. This is a young pitcher trying to find his way in the Show in a terrible matchup for strikeout upside, he is best left on the shelf, but the Guardians lineup is going to be a major inflection point on this slate. Cleveland needs to be rostered to some degree across a full portfolio of lineups, if they are popular they might be a good spot to undercut the field and gain leverage in other stacks, this has been a bad baseball team overall this season and they have been particularly bad against lefties, this just hasn’t been a good lefty. Baseball is a sport in which something does not necessarily have to give in the matchup, both sides can succeed or fail simultaneously in this matchup. If the Guardians are somehow not popular tonight they are a major source of potential value for all of the same reasons. Cleveland’s projected lineup begins with Steven Kwan who hits lefty and is slashing just .261/.339/.352 with a 94 WRC+ this season as a big part of the team’s run creation problems. Kwan had a 124 WRC+ in 638 plate appearances and got on base at a .373 clip with a .298 batting average last year, that player has been entirely absent in 2023. Kwan’s lone sustained attribute is his 12.1% strikeout rate. Amed Rosario has been worse than Kwan and he is one of the few better spots for a strikeout at 20.8% this year, but was at just 16.6% over 670 plate appearances last season. Rosario has one home run and eight stolen bases with a 75 WRC+, he has been lost for much of the season which has him cheap at $3,400/$2,800 at least. Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor have been the two best players in this lineup. Ramirez has 11 home runs and a 124 WRC+ with a .217 ISO after waking up somewhat at the plate, Naylor had a cool start to the season but heated up and sits at .288/.331/.450 with a 110 WRC+ and eight home runs. Josh Bell has a 40.1% hard-hit rate with an 8.1% barrel rate and six home runs this season, he was a better power hitter in years past and costs just $2,600/$2,700 tonight. There is no way this team is going to be unpopular at these prices. Andres Gimenez costs $3,700/$2,600 at second base, he has five home runs and seven stolen bases this year. Will Brennan and Myles Straw are low-end options late in the lineup but rookie call-up Bo Naylor is an interesting hitter for just $2,500/$2,000 at catcher. The fact that Naylor lands $500 more expensive than Henry Davis at the same position on DraftKings is a big pricing mistake, but the Guardian’s power-hitting catcher prospect has upside in this situation. Naylor has a 4.37 home run rate and will be one of the less-owned bats in this lineup on the FanDuel slate where people will simply be less aware of a rookie catcher, even at the minimum price. Naylor projects for mid-teens power with a bit of a ceiling for more in the long term, it probably will end up that he has slightly less power than his brother Josh in the same lineup over time.

Play: Aaron Civale, Guardians bats/stacks but undercutting the field if they are overly popular could be a good angle into the slate, minor interest in Athletics value bats

Update Notes: 

Colorado Rockies (+163/4.33) @ Cincinnati Reds (-179/5.80)

The highest implied team total of the day comes in Cincinnati once again, with the now first-place Reds landing at 5.80 runs in Vegas. The visiting Rockies are not carrying nearly as high a total and they do not project as well as they did yesterday in an odd spot. Today’s starter for Cincinnati is Ben Lively who has been productive and pitching deep into ballgames in most of his six starts this year. Lively has racked up 42 innings and a 23.3% strikeout rate with a 4.07 ERA and slightly better 3.96 xFIP. The righty pitched on multiple continents over the past few seasons and is a veteran hurler, not a young prospect, but he has been an effective option for MLB DFS purposes and he lands at just $7,100/$8,000 against a lousy Rockies lineup. At a point, the ballpark ceases to matter and the opportunity for upside at a significant savings is more important, Lively is providing that window into this slate. The starter has been good enough at staying out of trouble with a 5.1% walk rate in ths small sample, but he will need to avoid the long ball. So far Lively has allowed a 4.55% home run rate on 8.1% barrel, but that is a very wonky line in such a small sample and we have no recent history to add to the equation. The Rockies have a collective 93 WRC+ against right-handed pitching this season and they strike out at a 24.9% pace in the split, Lively will probably not be as popular as he should be in this spot. We knowingly got to too many Rockies stacks and it came within inches of working out OK last night, but ultimately fell short of the line of providing any value. With the team at a lower total and only mid-range projections that are largely due to the situational aspects of hitting in this ballpark, the Rockies have more limited appeal on this slate. If Colorado is popular they are another team on which it is easy to undercut, potentially while booking additional shares of the opposing pitcher in a solid leverage situation. Jurickson Profar has a 73 WRC+ in 295 plate appearances, we look forward to not having to track this every day in the near future when someone else is in this role. Randal Grichuk has a 98 WRC+ with one home run in 171 plate appearances, but he was formerly known as a right-handed power hitter with low 20s upside. For $3,800/$2,900 Grichuk can be utilized in Rockies stacks, he is one of the better options on the team but will also pull popularity in team stacks. Ryan McMahon hits better on this side of splits, he and Nolan Jones are good left-handed power options in the heart of the projected lineup. McMahon has 12 home runs and a 119 WRC+ in 298 opportunities, Jones has four home runs and four stolen bases with a 144 WRC+ in 89 chances. Jorge Alfaro got on the board with a productive night last night, he remains cheap at $3,100/$2,000 and is a particularly good option for value on FanDuel if he is in the lineup. Mike Moustakas has not been good this season but his WRC+ is non-tragic at 98 and he has the memory of left-handed power. Moustakas has four home runs in 130 plate appearances this year. Brenton Doyle has power and speed, he has four home runs and 10 stolen bases in 147 plate appearances, Harold Castro is productive enough for correlated scoring but is not much of an individual option, and Connor Kaiser is projected to join the team but is not on either DFS site.

The Reds are facing Noah Davis who has thrown 11.2 innings in three starts in the Show this year and had one inning pitched in a cup of coffee last season. Davis is a 26-year-old non-prospect who had a 17.7% strikeout rate and 7.09 xFIP in 25.2 innings and seven starts in AAA this season. He has been better in the Show with a 21.8% strikeout rate and 3.98 xFIP but his ERA is 6.17 and he has walked 9.1% while allowing an 8.1% barrel rate and 40.5% hard hits. Davis is a major target on the mound, the surging Reds are going to be a fun and extremely popular play on this slate. The team leads the board by implied runs, they have excellent projections and land as one of the top value plays on the board and all of it is warranted. TJ Friedl is projected to lead off once again, he has a 118 WRC+ in 194 plate appearances and costs just $4,200/$2,900 as a first man in to offset popularity and price of better hitters. Matt McClain is still cheap on DraftKings where he slots in at second base or shortstop for only $4,800. McLain is a $4,100 shortstop on the FanDuel slate, which is probably the appropriate price. The rookie has been hyper-productive since his call-up and now sits at .317/.371/.496 with a .180 ISO, three home runs, three stolen bases, and a 129 WRC+ in 151 opportunities. Jonathan India is a quality talent at second base, he is also cheap at $4,500/$3,600 despite hitting 10 home runs and stealing 12 bases on his way to a 111 WRC+ in his first 324 plate appearances this year. Elly De La Cruz costs $5,300/$3,900 at third base or shortstop on both sites. De La Cruz is a premium rookie talent who will be popular even at the high prices, he has a 105 WRC+ with a home run and six stolen bases in 54 chances so far. Joey Votto returned to this lineup in style last night, and we are not referring to his home run. The clown prince of baseball is back in the Reds lineup to lend his veteran know-how to the kids, but he is not done yet as he demonstrated in last night’s game. Votto went 2-4 with a home run and three runs batted in, he costs just $4,200/$2,600 and should be in play in Reds stacks. Spencer Steer has been good at the plate, he has a 121 WRC+ with eight home runs and 12 stolen bases and will have some of the focus taken off of him in opposing gameplans with the return of Votto, which could be to his benefit going forward. Jake Fraley has left-handed pop, his eight home runs in 204 plate appearances are good for the money at $4,400/$3,100 but his 7.7% barrel rate and 28.7% hard-hit rate are a more honest accounting. Tyler Stephenson and Luke Maile round out the lineup as a pair of catcher options.

Play: Ben Lively, Reds bats/stacks, moderate Rockies value bats

Update Notes: 

Boston Red Sox (+126/3.98) @ Minnesota Twins (-136/4.61)

The Red Sox and Twins square off with Boston carrying just a 3.98-run implied team total against righty Bailey Ober who projects as a mid-range option at what is probably too high a price on both sites. For $9,200/$9,600 Ober can be deployed in this spot, but he is not a true value or a true stud option on the mound. The righty has a 24.2% strikeout rate with a 2.65 ERA but telling 4.35 xFIP and he has allowed a lot of premium contact while being lucky to avoid home runs. Ober is an OK buy from the lower-middle of the pitching board but we have at least a dozen pitchers ranked ahead of him on a weak slate. The Red Sox lineup is top-heavy, but that top is very good. Alex Verdugo has five home runs and a 130 WRC+ as a strong correlated scoring option in the leadoff role at a good price. Justin Turner has 10 home runs and is slashing .277/.352/.447 with a 118 WRC+ and .170 ISO on a 41.6% hard-hit rate while striking out just 15.1% of the time as a rock-solid veteran. Turner is cheap on both sites and helps offset the pricing and popularity of Rafael Devers when the public turns to Boston. The team seems likely to be low-owned tonight, the top few hitters could be a value bubble against Ober. Devers has 17 home runs and a .249 ISO this season while creating runs eight percent better than average. Adam Duvall has four home runs in 71 plate appearances with a 15.2% barrel rate, he has been a major power hitter for years and is fairly priced at $5,000/$3,100 in the outfield. Masataka Yoshida has hit seven home runs while slashing .302/.375/.473 with a 132 WRC+ in his first MLB season. Yoshida is a good buy at $5,600/$3,400. Christian Arroyo, Triston CasasReese McGuire, and Pablo Reyes round out the lineup, Casas is the one we want as a primary option in stacks when looking to the bottom-half of the lineup. The first baseman has disappointed overall but has positive indicators in several spots, including his 12.9% barrel rate and 45.7% hard-hit rate. Even without showing a ton of quality, Casas has eight home runs with a .180 ISO and 100 WRC+. Those numbers are likely to trend up in the season’s second-half, Casas is a good buy at $2,800/$2,500 at first base.

The Twins draw righty Kutter Crawford, who costs $5,400/$5,600 in the high-strikeout matchup. The projected lineup for Minnesota has a 30% strikeout rate, which is simply absurd. Crawford has a 24.6% strikeout rate in a hybrid role over 40.2 innings and five starts. He has pitched to a 4.20 ERA and 3.83 xFIP while inducing a 13% swinging-strike rate and limiting hard hits to 32.5% but allowing barrels at 8.5% and home runs at 3.59% in the small sample. The righty is not a premium pitcher, but the value in this spot could be tremendous if he finds strikeouts over a handful of innings. Crawford has been relegated to short starts when he begins the game, but he it not a pure opener, he should be expected to go four innings with upside for more if he does not run into trouble, there is enough to pay off his DraftKings salary as an SP2 if that is the case. The righty is a tougher ask on FanDuel with the quality start as a big question mark, but he is not that much more expensive than star hitter on the site and at half of the price of the top pitchers on the slate there is a potential to buy two big bat upgrades with the savings. Crawford is a fairly interesting option for value on this slate on both sites. The Twins can be rostered against him as well, they have potential to hit for power if nothing else, but there is a strong chance of a two home runs but no more than five runs total and a middling performance with a lot of zeros from strikeouts in this lineup as well. Edouard Julien has four home runs in 104 plate appearances but they came in one big bunch in his first week. Julien is a good young player who has a 121 WRC+ in the short sample, he can be played from the top or middle of this lineup. Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton are established stars who have only done their thing from time to time while being banged up for injuries through most of the season. Correa has nine home runs, Buxton has 10, when rostering Twins one or the other, or both, should be in most stacks. Alex Kirilloff slots in at first base or in the outfield on DraftKings at just $3,200, he is a good piece of situational value on the site, which is also true at just first base on the FanDuel slate. Kirilloff has a good left-handed power bat, as does Max Kepler, who has hit seven home runs in 165 plate appearances in 2023. Kepler is cheap at $3,000/$2,700 in the outfield, he belongs in Twins stacks. Royce Lewis and Joey Gallo have upside late in the lineup, Lewis has a pair of home runs in his 59 plate appearances with a 97 WRC+, Gallo has 11 in 185 chances with a 116 WRC+ but slashes .192/.319/.462 with a 36.8% strikeout rate. Ryan Jeffers and Willi Castro are productive-enough options late in the lineup, Jeffers can hit for power and Castro offers speed with moderate pop, he has five home runs and 13 steals in 166 plate appearances.

Play: Kutter Crawford value in small doses, Bailey Ober at an awkward price is fine for a few shares, Twins bats/stacks from the mid-level priorities, Red Sox bats/stacks as a low-priority option,

Update Notes: 

Arizona Diamondbacks (+107/4.42) @ Milwaukee Brewers (-115/4.67)

The Diamondbacks and Brewers face off with value on both sides in this one after the Arizona lineup crushed Corbin Burnes in the first inning last night and never looked back. The challenge tonight is not nearly as significant, the Diamondbacks should have little problem getting to righty Colin Rea who is a very low-end option on the mound. Rea has a 4.71 ERA and 4.34 xFIP with a 21.6% strikeout rate in 57.1 innings in 11 starts, at his best he is a league-average pitcher and he is facing a good lineup. For $5,900/$6,300 members of the Rea family and boosters can play a few shares as a dart throw on DraftKings, but they would probably do as well for profit by dropping money out the car window. Geraldo Perdomo leads off for the Diamondbacks, the infielder is slashing .300/.406/.476 with a 141 WRC+ and provides value for mid-range pop and speed, as well as correlated scoring. If he can get on base at that clip in the long term he will be a fantastic leadoff hitter and he costs just $3,800/$2,900. Ketel Marte is a $5,000/$3,700 option at second base, he has 10 home runs and a 127 WRC+ over 293 plate appearances in an excellent first half. Corbin Carroll hit his 16th home run of the season, he has 19 stolen bases and a 161 WRC+ and has quickly become one of the best options in MLB DFS even at $5,700/$4,300. Carroll is a star already, he will have dips in production but his talent in multiple areas of the game is undeniable. Christian Walker leads our home run model with a 14.58 and is our overall home run pick of the day. Walker has 15 long balls on the season with a .249 ISO and 125 WRC+ and comes cheap at $4,400/$3,500. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. costs just $4,300/$3,300 in the outfield, he has 11 home runs but has cooled slightly in the past few weeks, with his triple-slash dipping to .280/.329/.506. Gurriel is a very good hitter who is an excellent buy with his price down a bit tonight. Emmanuel Rivera has been productive over 135 opportunities at .313/.341/.406 with a 102 WRC+, Alek Thomas returned to this lineup last night and brings a bit of cheap power and speed potential. Carson Kelly is an inexpensive catcher and Jake McCarthy has power and speed but has only delivered from time to time as an inexpensive and relatively unpopular outfielder. Thomas and McCarthy are interesting wraparound plays if one is building numerous stacks of Diamondbacks.

The Brewers are facing rookie Ryne Nelson who has not been good this season. Nelson has a 5.30 ERA and 5.14 xFIP with a 14.7% strikeout rate over 14 starts and 71.1 innings. Nelson costs $5,200/$6,000 and does not look like anything more than a target for Brewers bats in this one. Milwaukee checks in at a 4.67-run implied total and seems to have a good path to more scoring. The presence of Christian Yelich in the leadoff spot is a good way to get started, Yelich has nine home runs and 16 stolen bases with a 120 WRC+, an 11.2% barrel rate, and 55.1% hard hits this season, are you sure you don’t think he’s good? Jesse Winker has not been good, we can all agree on that. Winker has zero home runs, has missed time with injuries, and has been entirely inept when he is in the lineup. The lefty has a 4.55 in our home run model but costs just $2,700/$2,200. Willy Adames is a premium power hitter at his shortstop position, he has 10 home runs in 261 plate appearances this year and hit 31 last year and 25 the season before. Adames is cheap at $4,400/$2,900, he hits ahead of fellow slugger Rowdy Tellez, who leads the team with a 9.75 in our home run model and has a dozen long balls on the year. Tellez is slashing .225/.296/.422 with a 112 WRC+ in his 243 opportunities, he is a good value at first base. William Contreras is a productive hitter for a catcher, he has a 49.3% hard-hit rate so far this season and costs just $4,700 where his position is needed and $2,800 where it is not. Owen MillerRaimel TapiaLuis Urias, and Joey Wiemer are an enviable bottom of the lineup when it comes to cheap upside for counting stats at low popularities, there are good options for moderate power and speed in all four hitters.

Play: Brewers bats/stacks, Diamondbacks bats/stacks

Update Notes: 

Texas Rangers (-130/4.56) @ Chicago White Sox (+120/4.04)

A good pitching matchup between Dylan Cease and Nathan Eovaldi has this game leaning somewhat toward pitching tonight. The Rangers are such a high-scoring team that they are pulling in a 4.56-run total on the road against Cease, who had a 4.31 ERA and 4.17 xFIP on the season. The righty has been better in recent years, he pitched to a 2.20 ERA and 3.50 xFIP last season and had a 30.4% strikeout rate. The dip in strikeouts is the most interesting part of Cease’s output this year, he is down to just 26.2% with a dip in his swinging-strike rate to blame. The righty has lost a bit of whiff rate on his slider and curveball and has been throwing his fastball a bit more and the slider a bit less this season with a bit of a dip in spin and horizontal movement on the slider as a likely culprit for everything. Cease is still an effective pitcher and he can find strikeouts against the Rangers, but they have a 21.3% strikeout rate that is not egregious and there is a fair amount of danger in their lineup, the hope would be that Cease is not popular at his $7,700/$8,600 prices which would have been eye-popping values at which to find this pitcher in years past. Texas bats are in play, Cease has allowed far too many hard hits this season at 47.2% with 90.8 mph of exit velocity and a 7.9% barrel rate that could play to their power. Marcus Semien and Corey Seager are an expensive starting point but they are well worth the effort with 20 combined home runs and an even split of 10 each. Semien has a 121 WRC+ and Seager has been incredible this season when healthy, he has a 187 WRC+ and his home runs have come in only 186 plate appearances. Nathaniel Lowe had another sturdy game but missed the mark for our home run yesterday, he has a 6.30 in the home run model tonight with eight on the board for the year and a 121 WRC+ as a good value early in the lineup. Adolis Garcia and Josh Jung have barrel rates of 14.4% and 11.6% and they have each hit 15 home runs this season. Jonah Heim has nine home runs and a 118 WRC+ as a big piece of catcher value, Mitch Garver can provide similar upside if he is in the lineup, while Robbie Grossman is a lower-end veteran with a bit of power. Grossman has seven home runs but just a 90 WRC+ in 232 plate appearances. Ezequiel Duran and Leody Taveras are premium options late in the lineup at fair prices, they have WRC+ marks of 143 and 134 and would probably be top-half options on many teams around the league. Duran has eight home runs and three stolen bases and Taveras has a matching home run total with seven steals.

Nathan Eovaldi is our highest-projected pitcher of the day by a couple of fantasy points on a tightly-packed peak of the pitching slate. Eovaldi has made 14 starts and thrown 93.2 innings with a 25.5% strikeout rate and a 2.59 ERA with a 3.33 xFIP. The righty has allowed a few earned runs in his last two starts, but he has been excellent throughout the season and almost always provides depth. Eovaldi has a good opportunity tonight against the White Sox who are more healthy than they were but have generally under-performed on the season. He is the most expensive pitcher on the slate but seems likely to draw some popularity around the industry, which is entirely justifiable and should not push one off of an Eovaldi play, he is a popular option for a reason. The White Sox are a fairly low-priority stack in this matchup, the team’s lineup opens with Andrew Benintendi with Tim Anderson still out. The outfielder is a slap-hitter who has not provided much value for correlated scoring at just a 93 WRC+ on the season. Zach Remillard is not a prospect, he has made 12 plate appearances and is cheap but the upside is low. Luis Robert Jr. is Chicago’s best player, he has 18 home runs and a .273 ISO with a 130 WRC+ in a monster breakout performance this season. Robert costs just $4,700/$3,500 on this slate, he is incorrectly priced and we are not sure why, take advantage when rostering White Sox, but do not overplay the hand just for value in a bad matchup. Eloy Jimenez has similar home run potential when healthy, he is a major power hitter who has eight long balls in just 176 chances this season. Yasmani Grandal is an affordable switch-hitting catcher who can get on base and provide low-end power. Andrew Vaughn has power at the plate and a 108 WRC+ over 302 plate appearances with 10 home runs on the season, he costs just $2,800/$3,000 this season as a good value late in the lineup. Gavin Sheets and Jake Burger are a good lefty-righty power tandem late in the lineup at cheap prices in a bad spot and Elvis Andrus is still bad but can occasionally produce counting stats for MLB DFS.

Play: Nathan Eovaldi, Dylan Cease, moderate Rangers bats/stacks, minor White Sox bats exposures if any

Update Notes: 

New York Mets (+128/3.49) @ Houston Astros (-139/4.09)

The Mets are facing Framber Valdez, a premium lefty who is excellent at limiting power in most of his outings. Valdez has a 1.66% home run rate and a 2.1-degree average launch angle this season, which is a sustained trait over a very large sample of multiple seasons at this point, it is safe to say that it is extremely difficult to hit home runs against this pitcher. Valdez has boosted strikeouts by about three points to 26.2% for the season and has cut three points off of his walk rate at just 5.5% while pitching to a 2.27 ERA and 2.90 xFIP, he has been mostly outstanding all season. The southpaw costs $10,200/$10,900 and looks like a good option on both sites tonight. The Mets are taking a bit off of Valdez’ projection in minor ways, but he is very likely to gain it back in reality when he pitches seven or eight innings of clean baseball. New York’s lineup is a low-priority stack despite last night’s outburst. Brandon Nimmo has a 129 WRC+ in the leadoff spot while getting on base at a .374 clip, he is always in play when stacking Mets and is typically not someone to skip, given his stout 47.1% hard-hit rate to go with the correlation quality. Starling Marte and Francisco Lindor have star qualities in several areas but have been up and down this season. Marte has 19 stolen bases and an 84 WRC+, the more talented Lindor has 14 home runs with a .220 ISO and is up to a 103 WRC+ but is still scuffling in his triple-slash. Pete Alonso has 22 home runs and a .308 ISO with a $5,400/$3,800 price tag, but this is a terrible spot to look for power. Valdez’s talent has Alonso at just a 6.52 in our home run model. Francisco Alvarez was banged up last night and may sit tonight, Tommy Pham is a playable veteran at a cheap price in a bad spot, Jeff McNeil could find minor value with a few singles and runs scored but needs help from his friends to get there, and the lineup wraps with veterans Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha.

Justin Verlander will be on the mound for New York in his return to Houston after several incredible seasons as an Astros ace. Verlander has not been nearly as good in his Mets career so far, he has a 4.40 ERA and 4.32 xFIP with a 21% strikeout rate over eight starts and 45 innings so far this season, but the Astros have been underperforming for all of 2023 as well. Verlander has a good projection for $7,300/$8,200, he is in a more exaggerated version of the situation in which we found teammate Max Scherzer for an incredibly effective start just last night. Verlander demands attention at these prices in spite of any current-year struggles exactly as Scherzer did, but he may not be as popular on the larger slate and with the perception of deeper struggles. The righty has made just three truly bad starts marring his numbers for the season, but he lacks big upside starts in his ledger at the same time. Verlander is in play, as are the Astros, Houston’s lineup has been mediocre and they are carrying just a 4.09-run total, they are a fairly low-priority stack with a bit of a ceiling, somewhat like what happened with the Mets last night. Mauricio Dubon is projected to lead off, he has a 97 WRC+ in 239 plate appearances but comes cheap in a good spot for correlated scoring. Jose Altuve is a star for $4,700/$4,000, FanDuel’s price is correct, DraftKings is a bargain for this player. Altuve missed a lot of time early in the year but he has three home runs and four stolen bases in just 96 plate appearances and has created runs 27% better than average since his return. The second baseman hit 28 home runs and stole 18 bases with a 164 WRC+ last year, he is easily worth the salary when rostering Astros. The best hitter on this version of this team is Kyle Tucker, despite any current-form issues. Tucker has not been great this season but he climbs a bit in the lineup in the absence of the team’s actual best player, Yordan Alvarez, who remains injured but is swinging a bat again on his way back. Tucker is a good buy when rostering Astros stacks, he costs $5,500/$3,000 tonight. Alex Bregman has dipped in quality overall, but his talent is a good option for $4,800/$3,100 at third base. Jose Abreu has been bad this year but is starting to click a bit more at the plate, Yainer Diaz has been good over 118 plate appearances with a 112 WRC+ and six home runs. Diaz’s .236 ISO is a nice buy late in the Astros lineup. Jeremy Pena has not been great this season, he has just a 96 WRC+ with eight home runs and seven steals. Jake Meyers and Martin Maldonado round out the Astros lineup.

Play: Framber Valdez, Justin Verlander value, minor shares of either stack

Update Notes:

San Diego Padres (-115/4.41) @ San Francisco Giants (+106/4.18)

With a bit of time pressure before the scheduled 4pm show we are going to summarize this game quickly then swing back with an update. The Giants have Anthony DeSclafani on the mound, he is a quality veteran who works deep into games with a 4.31 ERA and 4.06 xFIP and an 18.2% strikeout rate over 79.1 innings in 14 outings this year. He is in no way a pitcher that the Padres will be threatened by or cannot overcome. DeSclafani is capable enough at $6,700/$7,400 that he could post clean innings for the price, but he is not a focus for value or a ceiling, while the Padres are limited to just a 4.41-run implied team total but are one of our more heavily-projected stacks for MLB DFS purposes given their extraordinarily talented top-half. Focus players for the Padres are Fernando Tatis Jr.Juan Soto, Manny Machado, and Xander Bogaerts, with Gary Sanchez adding power potential as a cheap catcher and Jake Cronenworth as the best bolt-on option. The others are mix-and-match plays.

The Giants lineup is facing Seth Lugo who is talented but will be limited in innings in his return to action. Lugo is probably not an option at $7,500/$7,600. LaMonte Wade Jr. and Joc Pederson have good lefty power to start the Giants lineup before they get to Thairo Estrada who brings a blend of speed and power with nine home runs and 17 stolen bases to go with a 120 WRC+ in 273 plate appearances. They are a strong core of options ahead of more lefty power in MIchael Conforto and Mike Yastrzemski who both land at affordable prices. Premium outfield prospect Luis Matos lingers late in the lineup at a $3,000/$2,500 price with upside to provide sneaky-good value in this lineup, and the bottom of the batting order has quality in Brandon CrawfordPatrick Bailey, and David Villar.

Play: Padres bats/stacks, Giants bats/stacks, minor shares of DeSclafani value if so inclined

Update Notes: 

Los Angeles Dodgers (-131/4.83) @ Los Angeles Angels (+121/4.26)

The final game of the night comes from Hollywood in appropriately star-studded style in the battle of Los Angeles. The Dodgers will have Mookie BettsFreddie FreemanWill SmithJD Martinez, and Chris Taylor as a strong core of hitters against lefty Reid Detmers atop the lineup. Detmers is in play as a low-expectation option for $6,900/$7,200 with his 27.7% strikeout rate over 62.1 innings, but this is an inordinately bad matchup against the low-strikeout high-scoring Dodgers and there are other good values on the board. The Dodgers’ bottom half includes options like Jonny DeLucaMiguel Vargas, and Austin Barnes who are mix-and-match plays, and Miguel Rojas who is not as much of one.

The Angels have Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout with a cast of power-hitting right-handed parts like Taylor WardBrandon Drury, and Hunter Renfroe to throw at Dodgers’ lefty ace Clayton Kershaw whose 29.3% strikeout rate and 3.08 xFIP deserve more praise than we have time for. Kershaw is the preferred option in this matchup by a fair margin, there are plenty of strikeouts in the Angels lineup and he has the talent to find them while pitching deep into the game and chasing a win and quality start. Hedge stacks of Angels are in play and they could be a frisky contrarian option with strong projections through the top-half of the lineup in a bit of a both-sided situation.

Play: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers bats/stacks, Angels bats/stacks, Reid Detmers value

Update Notes: 

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