MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Strategy Summary – Tuesday 5/23/23

With ten games and a ton of power on the board for Tuesday’s MLB DFS main slates on DraftKings and FanDuel, there is a ton to discuss and just not enough time to write it all. The slate includes a Coors Field game, several clunky starters who are showing massive home run upside to star-laden opponents, and a few of the game’s very best pitchers checking in at high prices. This is going to be a broad slate that can be approached from numerous angles, if the top-end pitchers falter even a little things will get extremely interesting tonight.

Note: All analysis is written utilizing available projected lineups as of the early morning, pay close attention to confirmed lineups and adjust accordingly. This article is posted and updated as it is written, so if a game has not been filled in, check back in a few minutes. Update notes are provided as lineups are confirmed to the best of our ability. Still, lineup changes are not typically updated as lock approaches, so stay tuned to official news for any late changes.

MLB DFS: Game by Game Main Slate Strategy Summary – 5/23/23

Baltimore Orioles (+151/3.33) @ New York Yankees (-165/4.27)

Yankees righty Gerrit Cole has not been quite himself this season. While Cole has managed to post very respectable numbers, he is stepped down from his former production across the board in a growing concern. The righty has pitched to a 2.01 ERA and 3.54 xFIP in his 10 starts and 62.2 innings in 2023, posting a 1.09 WHIP and cutting home runs from 4.16% last year to just 1.57% so far this season. The concern comes primarily around his strikeout upside and how his stuff is functioning. In each of the last two seasons, Cole operated at 14.3% and 14.5% swinging-strike rates with 31.9% and 32.1% CSW% marks that resulted in strikeout rates of 32.4% and 33.5% and made Cole an ace. This season he has dipped significantly to just an 11.5% swinging-strike rate and a 28.1% CSW% and it is reflected in a strikeout rate that is down six points at 26.8% for the year. Cole has lost about one mph of zip on his four-seamer, but it looks like the change in swinging strikes comes in his secondary and tertiary offerings, his slider has gone from a 44.2% whiff rate in 2022 to just 26.2% this year and the curveball is down from 36.9% to just 16.4% whiffs. The pitches have not been hit harder and the starter is still functional, but the changes are certainly noteworthy and Cole seems to be tinkering with his pitch mix in an effort to figure it out, he has thrown the curveball slightly more and has all but eliminated the cutter that he threw 6.4% of the time last year. Cole has not been priced down for the change in output at this point, he costs $11,200/$11,100 in a home start against the Orioles. The price tag and the presence of Spencer Strider and a few other very good options on this slate may push Cole’s ownership down somewhat, which would make him more appealing in tournament play. The Orioles lineup has power and Yankee Stadium is not a friendly pitching environment, but we want to be ahead of the field for the big strikeout turnaround, not chasing it after it has already happened. Rostering a few shares of Orioles hitters against Cole is not the most likely approach to winning a slate, but there are capable hitters throughout the lineup. Cedric Mullins has seven home runs and 13 stolen bases out of the leadoff spot while creating runs 43% better than average, he is very good. Adley Rutschman is on the short list of the league’s best catchers already. The sophomore backstop has hit seven home runs and created runs 34% better than average to this point in his season, yet he costs just $5,100/$3,400. Anthony Santander and Ryan Mountcastle both crack the magic number in our home run model at 10.28 and 10.60 respectively. Santander will hit from the left side against Cole, opening up the short porch in right field for his power, he has eight home runs and a .217 ISO with a 123 WRC+ so far this year. Mountcastle hits the ball extremely hard with regularity, he has a 16.1% barrel rate and 45.6% hard-hit rate for the year with 10 home runs and a .222 ISO. When stacking Orioles against Gerrit Cole, both of those players should be a part of one’s plans. Adam Frazier slots into the fifth spot in the projected lineup at a cheap price, he is a functional correlation piece. Austin Hays started the season very hot and sits at .311/.356/.497 but he still has just five home runs and his ISO is down to .185. Hays is still a viable piece of the Orioles’ offense with a 135 WRC+ but there are several premium prospects waiting in the wings. Gunnar Henderson is slashing just .192/.331/.354 with a 95 WRC+ but he still walks at a 16.6% clip along with a 31.2% strikeout rate, he actually needs to be less selective at the plate and not try to work the walk every time he comes to bat. Jorge Mateo has slumped badly through May and is down to .242/.286/.430 with six home runs and 14 stolen bases after an outrageously good start. Terrin Vavra rounds out the projected lineup.

The Yankees look to be in a decent spot, but the 4.21-run implied team total is not exactly chasing the top of the board tonight. They will be facing righty Kyle Bradish, who has been a roughly league-average pitcher this season with a 3.90 ERA and 4.19 xFIP in 32.1 innings and seven starts. Bradish struck out 21.9% in 117.2 innings and 23 starts with a 4.90 ERA and 4.01 xFIP last season, he is a capable pitcher who should stick around the game for a while, and he can offer any-given-slate upside, but he does not look like a standout. For $7,200/$7,800 there are worse plays than the righty against the free-swinging Yankees lineup, he is on the list of potential low-investment value starters, but expecting a ceiling game would be unfair. The projected Yankees lineup opens with Gleyber Torres, who is affordable at $4,800/$3,200 ahead of the Yankees’ run creators. Torres has seven home runs and five stolen bases in 201 plate appearances this season and has created runs 14% better than average to this point. The streaky infielder is a nice correlated scoring piece with power-hitting Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo, who check in with a 14.67 and 9.86 in our home run model tonight. Judge has made 165 plate appearances this season, missing about 10 days with an injury in late April, and is still among the league leaders with 13 home runs and a .343 ISO. Judge has created runs 79% better than average on the right side of the plate and is up to .299/.400/.642 with a 30% barrel rate and 61.1% hard-hit rate. Rizzo has been very good on the left side for the Yankees this season, the first baseman is still too cheap at $4,900/$3,300 despite hitting 11 home runs while creating runs 53% better than average and slashing .302/.382/.525 with a .223 ISO. What Rizzo needs to do to get himself priced up on the MLB DFS sites is a mystery at this point, he is an established All-Star caliber first baseman who has been in peak form all season, take the discount. DJ LeMahieu is slashing .252/.324/.413 with a .161 ISO and 106 WRC+ after cooling in May. LeMahieu still has a 51.4% hard-hit rate but his strikeouts are way up this year from 13.1% in 2022 to 27.2% this season. LeMahieu is inexpensive and has three-position eligibility on the FanDuel slate, which keeps him in play in the heart of the Yankees projected lineup. Harrison BaderJake BauersAnthony VolpeKyle Higashioka, and Oswaldo Cabrera round out the projected lineup. Bader has hit four home runs and created runs 27% better than average in 68 plate appearances so far this season. Bauers has hit two homers in 48 plate appearances but is slashing .175/.292/.325 with a 75 WRC+ in the small sample. Volpe has hit seven home runs and stolen 13 bases and is up to .212/.298/.388 with a .176 ISO and 92 WRC+ after a dip below the Mendoza line in recent weeks. Higashioka has an opportunity to play regularly with Trevino out, he is a sneaky catcher for power with three home runs in the books in 73 plate appearances this year and a very strong 18.2% barrel rate and 54.5% hard-hit rate. Cabrera has been a weak point in this lineup all season, we may see Greg Allen in his place which would be a good decision and a minor upgrade on the back of Allen’s low-end power and speed.

Play: Yankees bats/stacks, Gerrit Cole, a few hedge Orioles is fine

Update Notes: the confirmed Orioles lineup runs as anticipated but Mateo hits ninth with Vavra eighth. The Yankees lineup is confirmed mostly as expected, but Willie Calhoun is in for Jake Bauers and will hit sixth.

San Diego Padres (-152/4.46) @ Washington Nationals (+140/3.63)

The Padres are in Washington D.C. to face their former prospect MacKenzie Gore, who is having a nice overall season in a bit of a breakout. Gore threw 70 innings in 13 starts last year and pitched to a 4.50 ERA and 4.42 xFIP with a 23.3% strikeout rate but an ugly 12% walk rate. This season, the lefty is walking a similarly bad number of opponents at 11.5% but he has boosted strikeouts to 29% in his 46.1 innings and nine starts on the back of a swinging-strike rate that is up to 12.7% from 10.4% last year. Gore has been mostly effective in working himself out of the jams that his free passes have created, but if he could wrangle walks to a single-digit rate he would take another step forward. Gore has allowed a 40.3% hard-hit rate but just 88.4 mph of average exit velocity with a 2.50% home run rate and 6.7% barrel rate this season. The southpaw costs $9,300/$9,400 and lands almost exactly in the middle of our pitching projections with a playable score. The matchup against the Padres is not an inspiring one and the Nationals will be hard-pressed to find Gore a win bonus against the Padres’ starter, but there is a thin path to success. The projected Padres lineup opens with superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. at $6,100/$3,700, with the discounted price and shortstop/outfield eligibility on FanDuel, Tatis is a more interesting asset than he is across town, but he is always in play on both sites. Tatis has hit seven home runs with a .222 ISO and 122 WRC+ in 124 plate appearances since returning, he is an easy click in stacks of Padres. Ha-Seong Kim is projected to hit second with Manny Machado out. Kim is slashing just .236/.319/.368 with a .132 ISO and 95 WRC+ for the season, he has hit four home runs and stolen six bases but the production has not been great so far. At $3,600/$2,700 with eligibility at second and third base on both sites, Kim is a functional play but not much more than a cog in the machine. Xander Bogaerts is cheap at $5,200/$3,100, he has six homer and four stolen bases with a 117 WRC+ over 199 plate appearances. The shortstop is a slumping star who comes at a bit of a discount today, he should return to form in short order and he is still very much in play when looking at Padres hitters. Juan Soto has a 6.32 in our home run model with eight in the books and a .224 ISO over 206 plate appearances this year. Soto walks at a 19.9% clip which has the potential to give Gore fits or potentially cause the pitcher to make a big loud mistake to this hitter. The outfield star is a very good buy at $5,900/$3,400 when stacking Padres. Nelson Cruz has a 9.2% barrel rate and 49.2% hard-hit rate over his 102 well-managed plate appearances this year. Cruz is functionally a platoon player against lefties these days, he has always had titanic power in the split and has three home runs with a .155 ISO on the season. Jake Cronenworth is the last somewhat appealing hitter in the projected lineup but he is slashing just .211/.325/.373 with a 97 WRC+ in 192 plate appearances. Brandon DixonJose Azocar, and Austin Nola round out the projected lineup.

The Nationals are facing Yu Darvish in a bad matchup that has the right-handed ace rocketing to the top of our pitching projections tonight. Darvish has been mostly on-form in 2023, he has made eight starts and thrown 48 innings in which he pitched to a 3.56 ERA and 3.82 xFIP. The righty has a 27.2% strikeout rate with a 12% swinging-strike rate and 30.5% CSW% for the season, both of which are up slightly from last year and basically match his output from 2021 when he struck out 29.2% for the season. Darvish has been very good for a very long time, he is absolutely worthy of significant investment against this Nationals lineup and his $10,500/$10,400 are a relative discount when compared with Cole, Strider, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Sonny Gray, tonight’s other expensive starters (Rodriguez is at a big discount on DraftKings). The Nationals’ active roster is 28th out of 30 teams in the league with an 81 WRC+ collectively against righties this year, their collective .111 ISO ranks 29th. Tackling Nationals stacks is not a great approach to this slate, anyone choosing to do so would be wise to focus on the top of the lineup. The projected version includes Luis Garcia, who has three home runs and two steals with a 79 WRC+; Lane Thomas, who leads the team with a 6.19 in our home run model and has six on the season with a 114 WRC+ as probably Washington’s best player; Jeimer Candelario, who is no one’s best player but has six home runs and a 110 WRC+ and hits from both sides of the plate; and Joey Meneses who is up to .296/.325/.387 but has just a .091 ISO and 94 WRC+ with two home runs in 194 tries. Corey Dickerson hits from the left side and has a home run in 16 plate appearances this season, he hit six in 297 last year and six in 365 the year before, so there is no real need to get carried away with the left-handed veteran even at $2,400/$2,000. Keibert RuizDominic Smith, CJ Abrams, and Alex Call round out the projected lineup with WRC+ marks that run 83, 89, 82, and 77 in 165, 185, 160, and 181 plate appearances. This is not a good baseball team.

Play: Yu Darvish aggressively, MacK Gore is fine but would have more appeal at lower prices, Padres bats are fine but only a lower-mid-level option driven by the abilities of a few stars.

Update Notes: The Padres lineup runs as expected but Cronenworth will hit fifth with Cruz sixth, and Trent Grisham will slot into the eighth spot instead of Azocar. The Nationals lineup runs as expected but Thomas leads off with Garcia hitting second.

Los Angeles Dodgers (+172/3.62) @ Atlanta Braves (-189/4.99)

Right-handed strikeout maestro Spencer Strider is on the bump for the Braves tonight. The matchup is not great against the Dodgers, but Strider has gone to significant lengths to prove to us that matchup rarely matters, he is an elite performer against anyone. Baseball’s strikeouts leader is ahead of the field by a very wide margin with a 20.4% swinging-strike rate, a 36.2% CSW%, and a 41.5% strikeout rate over 51.2 innings and nine starts. Strider’s 29-start career has been a fairytale to this point, no one is this immediately dominant, but he has sustained ridiculous levels of success for nearly a full season’s worth of outings at this point, for his short career he has a 38.7% strikeout rate and 2.45 xFIP with a 2.76 ERA. To put that number in perspective, the career strikeout rate leaders among qualified starters are Corbin Burnes and Shohei Ohtani at 31.6%, Jose Fernandez (RIP) at 31.2%, Jacob deGrom at 31%, and Chris Sale and Tyler Glasnow at 30.6%. Everyone else in baseball history is below 30% for their careers. Randy Johnson? 28.4%. Pedro Martinez? 27.7%. Nolan Ryan? 25.3%. You get the idea. At $12,300/$11,500 Strider is a top-shelf item against the elite Dodgers lineup that is difficult to strike out, but he has given us zero reason to doubt his ability to pay that price off, if it results in lowered popularity that works for our purposes as well. The Dodgers are a lower-end play against this pitcher, in addition to his ridiculous ability to strike hitters out, Strider does not give up much power, he has a 1.93% home run rate this year and allowed just a 1.33% mark last season. Playable Dodgers hitters include the obvious names from atop the lineup, stars like Mookie BettsFreddie FreemanWill Smith, and Max Muncy can ruin a day for any pitcher. Betts has 10 home runs and a 136 WRC+ for $5,800/$3,800 and he is still clinging to second base eligibility on the blue site. Freeman has nine home runs and is creating runs 60% better than average while slashing .328/.399/.569 this season. Smith is another excellent option at catcher, he is slashing .297/.399/.541 with a .243 ISO and has seven home runs in 138 plate appearances. Smith is also very difficult to strike out, his 8.7% rate leads the team by a wide margin, but Betts is at just 18.4% and Freeman 16.6% in a tough start to the lineup. Muncy has massive power, he has hit 15 home runs in 182 opportunities this year with a 19.8% barrel rate and a .318 ISO. JD Martinez had a nice night for MLB DFS players after a minor plug in this space yesterday, he is a cheap option with a true ceiling in the heart of the lineup if going to the Dodgers tonight, but his 3.39 in our home run model is telling. David PeraltaMiguel VargasJames Outman, and Miguel Rojas round out the projected lineup. Peralta is a cheap veteran hitter who has not been good at a 62 WRC+ over his 116 plate appearances, Vargas is an affordable option in the infield who has a 107 WRC+ and four home runs this year, and Rojas is cheaper but far less productive with a 48 WRC+. Outman is an interesting left-handed power hitter who has nine home runs in 182 plate appearances with a 12% barrel rate, he will probably be overmatched in his first three plate appearances against Strider however, and remains a low-end late lineup option.

Missed Mason Miller? Did a bid bust for Bryce Miller? Well, friend, you’re in luck because we happen to have one more Miller in our pocket for you with the debut of Bobby Miller, a consensus top-50 prospect and the Dodgers’ second-ranked prospect overall. The 24-year-0ld righty warrants a pickup in season-long leagues, he had a 32.9% strikeout rate across 21.1 AAA innings and a 30.5% rate in 91 innings in AA last year, though his 14.1 innings in AAA this year have not been as elite after Miller shook off early-season shoulder pain. Miller is a premium arm with a power fastball-slider combination that we have seen have immediate success at this level, but he is also flashing a bit of power upside the other way, with the loaded Atlanta lineup ranking near the top of our Power Index today. Miller is not an option on the FanDuel slate, he costs just $5,200 on DraftKings which puts him in play against the free-swinging Braves as a limited-investment SP2 option. Miller’s strikeout upside is real, but the Braves lineup is deadly, a both-sides approach would be warranted and, overall, we will have more shares of Braves hitters than of the pitcher, but it would not be shocking to see Miller pay off that price. The Braves lineup opens, as usual, with the best player in baseball, Ronald Acuna Jr. The outfielder is slashing .342/.430/.598 with a .255 ISO while creating runs 76% better than average. Acuna has light-tower power, blazing speed, and an elite hit tool. The superstar has hit 11 home runs and stolen 19 bases already this year, he strikes out at just a 14% clip while walking 12.6% of the time so far in 2023, both big improvements on last season’s 23.6% and 9.9%, and he has a 16.8% barrel rate and 54.8% hard-hit for the year. This is all the “why” behind Acuna’s slate-leading $6,500/$4,700 price tonight, he is worth it and he has a 15.57 in our home run model, half-again on top of the magic number for home run probability. Matt Olson has a power mark that slightly outpaces Acuna at 15.93 from the left side. The first baseman has 13 homers and a .290 ISO this season while creating runs 41% better than average with a 22% barrel rate and 55% hard-hit mark. Sean Murphy offers no quarter to the rookie, the backstop is a major power hitter who has 10 home runs and a .281 ISO with a 157 WRC+ in 167 plate appearances. Murphy costs just $4,900/$4,000, he has a 19.4% barrel rate and 44.7% hard-hit rate for the year, and is playable every day. Austin Riley has seven home runs and a .156 ISO but he is another proven major power hitter in the heart of Atlanta’s lineup. The struggles that Riley has gone through over the past few weeks are history, they do not matter unless something is revealed to actually be wrong with the star third baseman, which does not seem to be the case. All his slump has truly done is to get us a key bat in this lineup at a discounted $4,800/$2,900. Eddie Rosario has five home runs and a .175 ISO with an 86 WRC+, Marcell Ozuna has eight home runs with a .233 ISO and 103 WRC+, and between them should be Ozzie Albies who is better than both and slots in at an affordable $4,600/$3,300 at second base. Albies has 10 home runs and a .224 ISO with a 103 WRC+ this season, he is cheap and has a significant ceiling at a short position. Orlando Arcia is a productive player who has been featured in this space recently, including yesterday. Arcia is never very popular, he offers three position eligibility on FanDuel but is relegated to just shortstop on DraftKings. The infielder is slashing .319/.374/.527 with a .209 ISO and 144 WRC+ in 99 plate appearances this year, he is an underappreciated bat late in the lineup ahead of scuffling Michael Harris II. Harris missed a large portion of the first quarter and is sitting at just .163/.242/.244 with a .081 ISO and 34 WRC+ over 95 plate appearances, but we continue to believe in the talent.

Play: Braves bats/stacks, Spencer Strider, Bobby Miller value SP2 on DraftKings in very limited shares

Update Notes: the Braves lineup runs as expected with the exception of lefty Sam Hilliard stepping in to give Michael Harris II a day off, Hilliard was good for MLB DFS in small doses filling in for Harris, he has three home runs and four stolen bases with a 112 WRC+ and .212 ISO as a nice sneaky play late in the lineup tonight. Jason Heyward steps in for Miguel Vargas and will hit sixth for the Dodgers, with Peralta sliding down to seventh and the rest of the lineup as expected.

Houston Astros (-126/4.79) @ Milwaukee Brewers (+116/4.32)

32-year-old righty Colin Rea has not been good over six starts and 31 innings this season. The multi-continent journeyman of pro baseball is not a Major League caliber pitcher, he has a 5.52 ERA and 4.73 xFIP in the short sample and has walked 10% while striking out 19.2% and allowing a significant 4.62% home run rate with 90.5 mph of average exit velocity and 41.8% hard hits. Rea has given up at least one home run in four of his six starts. The Astros should have Jose Altuve back at the top of tonight’s lineup after the star second baseman got a night off on Monday. Altuve hit 28 home runs last season and 31 the year before, he has a 15.35 in our home run model tonight. Alex Bregman is slashing just .222/.329/.361 with six home runs and a .139 ISO on just a 4.3% barrel rate and 34.8% hard hits, those are not the numbers we have come to expect from the excellent veteran third baseman, but he can still take a pitcher like Rea deep at any time. Bregman is inexpensive at $4,900/$3,100 and he has a 13.34 in our home run model. Yordan Alvarez is more than doubling up the magic number tonight, he sits at 21.77 in the home run model and might hit one on his way to the ballpark it seems so likely. Alvarez is slashing .305/.399/.616 with 12 home runs in the books and a massive .311 ISO on a 19.5% barrel rate and 54% hard-hit rate. Kyle Tucker has seven home runs and seven steals, his .181 ISO and home run total are somewhat off the pace we expect from the star outfielder, but he should be fine over time and he has been far from bad despite the underperformance. Tucker costs $5,500/$3,300 and has a 15.75 in our home run model. Jose Abreu dips to 7.39 in the home run model, which is still probably good for someone who is coming up on a year since he last hit one. Abreu’s last home run came early last August, but he covered the blackout with a nice season at the plate in general, this season he has completely evaporated. Abreu is slashing .220/.281/.260 with a .040 ISO and 52 WRC+ in 192 plate appearances. Jeremy Pena is an affordable shortstop with premium talent at the plate but he has not done much over the past few weeks in terms of counting stats. Pena is sitting at 90 WRC+ with the same six home runs and steals we keep mentioning. Chas McCormick has a pair of home runs in 75 plate appearances and hit 14 in 407 tries last year, he lands at an 8.79 in our home run model and looks like a good late lineup option at cheap pricing and low ownership. Corey Julks and Martin Maldonado round out the lineup at 6.57 and 6.68 in the model. Both players have three home runs this season, Julks has a .126 ISO and 85 WRC+, and Maldonado has a .120 ISO and 81 WRC+. The Astros are probably going to be popular tonight, but less so than the game at Coors Field, they are a dynamite option on both MLB DFS sites in this matchup.

The Brewers are showing a bit of power potential of their own on this slate with a matchup against rookie JP France. The righty has made three starts and thrown 15.1 innings, pitching to a 4.11 ERA and 5.04 xFIP with a limited 15.2% strikeout rate despite a 9.6% swinging-strike rate and 29.5% CSW% in the small sample. He has also allowed a 6.06% home run rate with 90 mph of average exit velocity and a 9.8% barrel rate to opposing hitters. France allowed a moderate amount of power the last two seasons in AAA, he is a potentially good young pitcher who had advanced strikeout stuff at the top minor league level the last two years as well, but the inability to put Major Leauge hitters away so far has led to mistakes, France allowed three home runs with six earned runs on nine hits while striking out just two Cubs in 3.2 innings in his most recent start. For just $4,500/$3,200, Christian Yelich is a cheap option with star potential on both sites. Yelich has seven home runs and 10 stolen bases with a 106 WRC+ over 187 plate appearances this year and is carrying an 8.8% barrel rate and 55.2% hard-hit rate for the season. Yelich has a 10.57 in our home run model and is a nice choice for upside from the Brewers lineup tonight. Jesse Winker is wandering the wastelands looking for his first home run of the year along with Jose Abreu (we’re pitching this series to Hulu next week, hands off!). The former power hitter had 24 homers while slashing .305/.394/.556 with a .251 ISO and looking like a star in Cincinnati in 2021, he fell apart in Seattle last year with just 14 homers and a .125 ISO and has not regained his form. Winker costs just $2,800/$2,400 for the believers, but the output has been .228/.351/.261 with a .033 ISO and zero home runs in 111 plate appearances. Willy Adames has eight home runs and a .168 ISO in a bit of a down start to his season. The slugger had a .220 ISO last year and .219 mark the year before, he is a significant option for power at shortstop and he is carrying an 11.46 in our home run model tonight. Rowdy Tellez follows Adames, he has a 15.02 to lead the team in our home run model and rank among the overall slate leaders tonight. Tellez has a 12.9% barrel rate and 45.7% hard-hit rate for the year with 12 home runs in the books and a .292 ISO. William Contreras is slashing .252/.340/.400 with a 106 WRC+ and four home runs, the backstop is a functional hitter in the heart of the order with a nice ceiling for his position at $3,800/$2,900. Brian Anderson is down to just .234/.330/.416 with a 105 WRC+ and .182 ISO after a nice start to the year, he is cheap later in the lineup and has mid-range power on display with a 7.24 in our home run model. Brice Turang has three homers and seven steals and costs $2,300/$2,400, Tyrone Taylor has not been good over 59 plate appearances but he was sneaky for power last year and costs just $2,000/$2,500 tonight, and Joey Wiemer rounds out the lineup at .201/.265/.343 with a 65 WRC+, but he has four home runs and five stolen bases and costs $2,200/$2,600.

Play: Astros bats/stacks aggressively, Brewers bats/stacks, it is not a recommendation but it would not be entirely stunning to see France deliver a serviceable start for $7,700/$7,500, he just seems unnecessary with better options at similar-to-lower prices.

Update Notes: the run total in this game is down by a half-run from earlier in the day to 9.0. the confirmed Astros lineup runs as expected with the exception of Yainer Diaz who will catch and hit seventh with Maldonado taking a seat and McCormick-Julks slotting in eighth and ninth. The Brewers lineup gives Contreras a night off with Victor Caratini hitting eighth between Turang and Wiemer, and Owen Miller will step in for Taylor and will hit sixth. Miller has had a nice start at the plate, he is slashing .330/.353/.485 with a 127 WRC+ in 102 plate appearances.

San Francisco Giants (+132/3.69) @ Minnesota Twins (-143/4.39)

What if we told you that Sonny Gray was in the midst of a career-best start to his season? The veteran righty has a 29.6% strikeout rate and a microscopic 1.64 ERA in nine starts and 49.1 innings so far in 2023 and is yet to allow a home run this year. The nine-game streak is the longest homerless streak of Gray’s career, and he is throwing more strikes than in recent seasons with a 12.3% swinging-strike rate and 30.2% CSW% so far this season. The righty has allowed a 41.1% hard-hit rate with 89.9 mph of average exit velocity if we are searching for warts, but he has been very good this season and is facing a free-swinging Giants lineup tonight. Gray looks like a good option at $10,600/$10,200, the FanDuel buy is better but he is a good play on both sites. The projected Giants lineup has a 26.1% strikeout rate for the season, and that includes the 15.7% held by Casey Schmitt in just 51 plate appearances. If we remove that number the rest of the team falls to 27.4% with only leadoff man LaMonte Wade Jr. at a good mark with a 17.5% rate over 166 plate appearances. Wade hurt his thumb and came out of the game late last night, there is a chance he will not play today which would only enhance the strikeout upside for Gray, every option the Giants would put in his place has a more aggressive strikeout rate. Wade is a very good player who has seven home runs and a 151 WRC+ with a .213 ISO this season, he is good against righties and is a strong buy at $3,200/$2,900 if he plays and one is stacking Giants hitters. Thairo Estrada should be back in the lineup tonight, he has hit six home runs and stolen 12 bases while slashing .309/.356/.478 this season and costs $5,600/$3,700 as the most expensive player on the Giants. Mike Yastrzemski has five home runs and a .193 ISO with a 102 WRC+ in 124 plate appearances but has struck out 26.6% of the time. JD Davis has eight home runs and a .210 ISO but a 26.1% strikeout rate. Michael Conforto has hit nine home runs with a .206 ISO but is slashing just .213/.321/.418 with a 26.7% strikeout rate in 165 plate appearances. Mitch Haniger has made just 79 plate appearances but things have not been good in the small sample with just two home runs, a .118 ISO, 49 WRC+, and a .211/.228/.329 triple-slash, he has also struck out at a 30.4% clip in the small sample. Blake Sabol has been effective over 106 opportunities, slashing .281/.349/.479 with a .198 ISO and five home runs, but he has struck out 36.8% of the time as well. Schmitt has been good over his 51 chances, he is slashing .353/.353/.549 with a .196 ISO and two home runs. Brandon Crawford is a veteran shortstop who has four home runs in 99 plate appearances but a 49 WRC+ to close the projected lineup.

Veteran Alex Cobb has been effective in nine starts and 51 innings this season, pitching to a sparkling 1.94 ERA and 3.35 xFIP. Cobb has achieved that and allowed just a 1.39% home run rate despite a 48.1% hard-hit rate and 90.5 mph of average exit velocity because, as usual, he has been elite at keeping the ball down. So far this season, Cobb has induced a -0.5-degree average launch angle from opposing hitters. Limiting home runs is a sustained trait for Cobb, he has always been good at keeping the ball in the year, last season his average launch angle allowed was just 1.8 degrees in 149.2 innings with a 1.43% home run rate, and the year before was 3.0 degrees and a 1.27% home run rate. Cobb has not been a major option for strikeouts this year, his rate has dipped from 23.9% last year and 24.9% the season before to just 20.4% so far this year, with his swinging-strike rate falling off the table from 10.4% to just 7.9%, but his ability to cap power is showing through the Twins projected lineup tonight. Minnesota frustrated the MLB DFS world with some wild lineup machinations last night, pinch-hitting for players who had yet to make a plate appearance after the Giants went to lefty Sean Manaea (as we mentioned in this space but the Twins apparently did not read about) in the second inning. Tonight the lineup should be more stable, but they do not look like a great bet for scoring with just a 4.16-run implied total and capped power potential. Joey Gallo is slated to lead off, he has 11 home runs and a .357 ISO with a 20.9% barrel rate and 59.7% hard-hit rate, Gallo is in play from anywhere in the lineup at $4,400/$3,000. Carlos Correa‘s turnaround is coming, we’re still pretty sure of it. Correa has been mired in a season-long slump through the first quarter, he is slashing .213/.302/.396 with six home runs and a 93 WRC+ but his price is nicely discounted for the struggles. Alex Kirilloff has just a 3.87 in our home run model tonight, which shows Cobb’s impact on the lineup, Gallo is at just 6.04 and Byron Buxton is at 5.32 against the groundball specialist. Kirilloff has hit three dingers in 53 plate appearances since coming back to the team, he has a .267 ISO and 189 WRC+ in the tiny sample. He hit just three with a .111 ISO in 156 plate appearances last season and had eight in 231 chances in 2021. Buxton has nine home runs and four stolen bases while creating runs 26% better than average this season. He has a 12.3% barrel rate and is cheap for his talent at $5,300/$3,500. Edouard Julien is a premium prospect in the infield, he has made 36 plate appearances and has two home runs. Julien costs just $2,800/$2,500 but the matchup against Cobb has him at just a 2.96 in our home run model. Kyle FarmerTrevor LarnachChristian Vazquez, and Michael A. Taylor round out the projected lineup. Farmer has been good with three home runs and a 123 WRC+ while slashing .299/.353/.442 in his first 85 plate appearances this season but he is a known mid-range commodity. The infielder hit 14 home runs in a full season last year and 16 the year before. The other three are lower-end options in this matchup.

Play: Sonny Gray, Alex Cobb

Update Notes: the run total is up a half-run to 8.0. the Giants will have Wade in the leadoff spot after all, followed by the lineup that runs Estrada-Davis-Conforto-Haniger-Yastrzemski-Sabol-Patrick BaileyBrett Wisely. The Twins lineup is as expected, at least for now. UPDATE: hilariously, the Twins lineup actually did change, Carlos Correa gets a much-needed day off, with Donovan Solano stepping in to hit second and Willi Castro is in for Larnach hitting seventh.

Detroit Tigers (-141/4.65) @ Kansas City Royals (+130/3.94)

The Tigers and Royals will square off in Kansas City once again, with Detroit coming in as strong favorites while carrying a 4.97-run implied team total that is one of the better non-Coors marks on the slate. The Tigers are a terrible baseball team, they will be facing what we think is a multi-inning opener to bullpen situation, with righty Mike Mayers getting things rolling for a few innings. Lefty Daniel Lynch was originally thought to be making this start, but he is not in the team’s plans this evening and has been announced for another AAA rehab start tonight. Mayers costs just $4,000/$5,500 but with an unpredictable number of innings available and just a 20.2% strikeout rate in 50.2 innings last year and one 2.2-inning appearance this year, it is just not a likely option, Royals pitching is not on the board for MLB DFS purposes. The Tigers lineup is showing a bit of upside against the righty, but it is important to remember that this team is sitting third from the bottom with a .114 ISO against right-handed pitching this season while carrying a collective 83 WRC+ in the split. Zach McKinstry is slashing .275/.375/.412 with three home runs and six steals in a productive 121 plate appearances. The lefty has eligibility at second base and in the outfield on DraftKings but is only a second baseman on FanDuel, he is a viable option at $4,000/$2,500 when looking to the cheap Tigers stack tonight. Detroit seems likely to be popular as a value play, given their run total, the matchup, and some very cheap hitter pricing on both sites. Javier Baez has a 76 WRC+ and .098 ISO in 179 plate appearances this year, he is cheap at $4,200/$2,900 but has not been good in some time. Riley Greene is another lefty who is probably the team’s best hitter. Greene is slashing .286/.342/.411 with a 112 WRC+ in 190 plate appearances and has a 9.1% barrel rate and 43% hard-hit rate this year. Spencer Torkelson has hit four home runs with a .133 ISO and 85 WRC+ in 186 plate appearances this year, the righty first-overall pick has not been worthy of the pick or his MLB DFS salaries so far this season. Andy IbanezNick MatonAkil BaddooEric Haase, and Matt Vierling are all relatively low-end options but they are important pieces for anyone stacking Tigers. Maton is the best in the bunch this season and he hits from the left side, the infielder has five home runs and a .171 ISO with a 69 WRC+ in 143 chances in 2023. Baddoo and Haase were both good in 2021, Haase was OK last season and Baddoo was bad, this year they have both been pretty lousy. Vierling had a nice game last night and sits at .254/.307/.380 with a 93 WRC+, four home runs, and four stolen bases for the season. This is a very bad team in a very good spot tonight, act accordingly.

The Royals are facing Eduardo Rodriguez, who finally had a bit of a clunker of a start in his most recent outing, which should have been expected as it was the first time he had made it into our season-long dynasty league’s pitching pool for the week. Rodriguez allowed four earned runs on six hits while striking out five and walking two against the Pirates in that outing, the first time he allowed more than one run since April 5th. Rodriguez has been borderline elite this year, which is nice to see after he went through personal struggles and injuries last season. The southpaw has always been better than it seemed on the surface, he was, for a while, one of baseball’s unluckiest pitchers, but this season everything has come together for Rodriguez. He has made nine starts and thrown 56.2 innings, showing excellent depth and chasing wins and quality starts each time on the mound. Rodriguez has a 2.06 ERA and 3.72 xFIP for the season, the latter mark is probably the more telling overall but he has been very good with a 24.4% strikeout rate on 10.2% swinging strikes and a 28.4% CSW% for the season. The Kansas City active roster ranks 18th with a 105 WRC+ against left-handed pitching this season and their .174 ISO ranks 14th in the split while they strike out at just a 20.1% clip. This is not a pushover matchup for Rodriguez, but he is our preferred side of the equation in this matchup, particularly for his extreme discount with a price of just $8,800 on DraftKings. Rodriguez is a different but effective purchase at $10,600 on FanDuel. With their average productivity against lefties this year, the Royals lineup is not out of play. The projected batting order opens with Bobby Witt Jr. who dropped to sixth in the lineup last night but should return to this spot against a southpaw. Witt has seven home runs and 13 steals but a 76 WRC+ this year. Edward Olivares moves into the second spot in the projected lineup, with Vinnie Pasquantino and Sal Perez each sliding down a spot. Olivares has three home runs and five stolen bases with an 80 WRC+ and .148 ISO in 140 plate appearances. Pasquantino has not suffered in same-handed matchups, he has a 135 WRC+ and .167 ISO while striking out just 11.1% of the time in the split against lefties and is playable in the third spot in the lineup. Perez has 11 home runs for the year and is slashing .279/.319/.535 with a .256 ISO, he is in play against most any pitcher, including Rodriguez tonight. MJ Melendez is a power-hitting lefty who has not hit for much power with just four home runs and a .149 ISO this year despite a 13.2% barrel rate and 56.6% hard hits. Maikel Garcia has a 53.2% hard-hit rate in 70 plate appearances with zero home runs and a .082 ISO as well as a 67 WRC+. Matt DuffyFreddy Fermin, and Nate Eaton form the final third of the projected lineup in a chunk of hitters that should boost Rodriguez’s upside.

Play: Eduardo Rodriguez, Tigers bats/stacks with a firm “meh” feeling, Royals bats are OK in smaller shares

Update Notes: the run total is down a half-run to 8.5. The Tigers lineup runs McKinstry-Greene-Baez-Torkelson-Maton-Vierling-the lookalike pretending to be Miguel Cabrera for the last two years-Akil Baddoo-Jake Rogers. Rogers has five home runs and a .232 ISO but not much more as a cheap option behind the plate where the position is required. The Royals lineup has our guy Nick Pratto in the leadoff spot once again despite the same-handed matchup on the mound, Pratto is a nice buy when looking to Royals and he may be overlooked by the field. Perez-Pasquantino-Witt-Melendez-Olivares-Michael Massey-Garcia-Jackie Bradley Jr. rounds out the confirmed Royals lineup.

New York Mets (+103/4.46) @ Chicago Cubs (-111/4.63)

Left-handed veteran Drew Smyly has made nine starts and thrown 50.1 innings in 2023, his 2.86 ERA is better than he has posted in either of the past two seasons, but his 4.24 xFIP is around his usual form. In 22 starts and 106.1 innings in 2022, Smyly had a 4.18 xFIP and 20.4% strikeout rate, in 126.2 innings and 23 starts the year before, he had a 21.4% strikeout rate and a 4.39 xFIP. Smyly is striking out a few more hitters this year, he has a 23.2% strikeout rate with a 10.1% swinging strike rate and 27.7% CSW% which are both actually somewhat reduced from last year. The southpaw is not a great option but there is a path to success at the $7,300 DraftKings price as a low-end SP2 option. At $8,900 on FanDuel, Smyly seems somewhat overpriced against the suddenly surging Mets. Brandon Nimmo leads off for $4,400/$3,100, he is slashing .291/.374/.418 with a 126 WRC+ and has struck out at just an 18.4% clip to start the season. Nimmo provides excellent correlation with the team’s stars, both Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso hit in a good spot to capitalize on his ability to get on base. Lindor is projected to his in his typical second spot in the lineup, the shortstop is up to a 108 WRC+ with seven home runs and four stolen bases in 209 plate appearances and should do more as the season rolls on. Jeff McNeil slots in third between Lindor and Alonso, he is slashing .289/.369/.370 with a 114 WRC+ and has found a few more hits on balls in play recently, which will always be the determining factor with the slap-hitter. Alonso is among the slate leaders with a 16.08 in our home run model tonight. The first baseman is one of the best power hitters in baseball and he is already out to a league-leading 17 home run total in 205 plate appearances this year. Alonso remains shockingly affordable at $5,200/$3,900 and looks like a terrific option on this slate both in stacks and as a one-off play. Tommy Pham and Starling Marte are scuffling veteran outfielders. Pham has made 90 plate appearances and he has an 85 WRC+, Marte has made 166 plate appearances with 81 WRC+, two home runs, and 12 stolen bases, in a disappointing start to his year. Between the two, Marte is both the more valuable option tonight and the more disappointing player to this point in the season, but he is cheap at $3,600/$2,600 if he plays. Mark Canha has an 88 WRC+ over 157 plate appearances and falls into a similar bucket as Pham and Marte, they are playable cogs in the machine with individual upside historically, but none has been good in 2023. Mark Vientos and Francisco Alvarez represent a nice portion of the future for this team. Vientos is a major prospect bat with one home run already on the board in his 12 plate appearances, Alvarez has filled in ably in an early promotion due to injuries to Mets catching depth, he has five home runs and a 114 WRC+ in 92 plate appearances and costs just $2,800/$2,700.

The Cubs will be facing righty Kodai Senga, who has been a roller coaster this season. Senga has a 3.77 ERA and 3.84 xFIP over eight starts and 43 innings in his debut MLB season. His 29.4% strikeout rate is elite, but his 13.9% walk rate is horrendous and has him in unreliable territory on the whole. Senga has allowed a bit of power with a 7.5% barrel rate which is fine but also a 39.6% hard-hit rate which is a bit higher than we would like for a flyball pitcher, and he has given up a 3.21% home run rate but allowed just 88.2 mph of average exit velocity. Senga is ultimately not easy to square up, he has a very nice 11.9% swinging-strike rate and 30.2% CSW%, if he can harness walks as the season rolls on he will take a big step forward. The Cubs lineup is playable tonight as well, the team’s collective 107 WRC+ in the split against righties ranks 11th in the sport. The projected lineup opens with Nico Hoerner who is slashing .299/.346/.396 with a 105 WRC+ and 12 stolen bases in 177 plate appearances this season. Hoerner has struck out at just a 10.2% rate so far this year and makes for a good buy at $4,900/$3,600. Dansby Swanson is a star shortstop but he has been a bit off his typically robust double-digit home run and steals pace, despite still creating runs at 20% better than average for the season. Swanson is at a fair $4,400/$3,200 and makes a good shortstop play in a viable value stack that would probably be better than a team like the Tigers if we rolled this slate 100,000 times. Ian Happ has hit four home runs and created runs 37% better than average in 199 plate appearances, he is still too cheap at $4,200/$3,000. Seiya Suzuki is similarly affordable in the outfield on both sites, he has five home runs with a .195 ISO and 131 WRC+ over 141 plate appearances this year while barreling the ball in eight percent of his batted-ball events and posting a 50% hard-hit rate for the year. Suzuki is more talented than his price is suggesting tonight. Mike Tauchmann is in the projected lineup again, the lefty has made six plate appearances so far this year and is a quad-A caliber player at best, but he is priced at just $2,100/$2,000. Christopher Morel has made 48 plate appearances and has hit a ridiculous eight home runs. He has a .587 ISO in the tiny sample and has been 158% better than average at creating runs in the tiny sample. Matt Mervis is a premium prospect who has one home run in 51 opportunities in the Show so far, Yan Gomes is an underrated bat at the catcher position who has six home runs and a .207 ISO so far this year, and Miles Matrobuoni rounds out the projected lineup with a 47 WRC+ in 37 plate appearances.

Play: Mets bats/stacks, Kodai Senga, Cubs bats/stacks in that order; Smyly SP2 value on DraftKings in small doses is OK

Update Notes: the Mets starter was changed to Tylor Megill and the run total in this game has increased by a full run to 9.0 with the change, the Cubs are now favored and carry the higher implied team total. Megill is pushing more power toward the Cubs bats in our home run model, he has a 17.5% strikeout rate and 5.15 xFIP in nine starts and 46.1 innings this year and has not been nearly as effective as he was in small samples the past two seasons. The Mets confirmed lineup sees Eduardo Escobar step into the second spot between Nimmo and Lindor, with McNeil getting a day off. The rest of the lineup runs Alonso-Vientos (nice bump for the rookie)-Marte-Brett Baty (another premium rookie with a great bat)-Pham-Gary Sanchez. The movement up the lineup for Vientos is very interesting as are the presence of Baty and Sanchez in the lineup. Sanchez, for all his faults, costs just $3,400/$2,200 tonight and was unfairly maligned while hitting 16 home runs in 471 plate appearances with a 13.5% barrel rate and 49.3% hard-hit last season before losing his job and having to claw his way back to the Show. Sanchez is a Major League power hitter, he will strike out too much and will never hit for average, but when he connects he can blast the ball into the seats with the best of them. the confirmed Cubs lineup runs mostly as expected, Morel will hit fifth ahead of Tauchmann, but Patrick Wisdom gives the lineup a nice bump slotting his power into the seventh spot. Wisdom has 12 home runs, a .321 ISO, and a 133 WRC+ in 157 plate appearances this year and is cheap at $3,700/$3,500. Gomes and Mervis close out the lineup.

Miami Marlins (-122/6.06) @ Colorado Rockies (+113/5.56)

It is no surprise to see the slate’s top implied team totals on either side of the game in Coors Field again this evening, with the visiting Marlins checking in as slight favorites and carrying a 5.97-run total against Austin Gomber. The lefty has made nine starts and thrown 44.1 innings in 2023, he has a 6.70 ERA and 5.03 xFIP with a 14.9% strikeout rate and he has allowed a whopping 23 earned runs and six home runs in just 23.2 innings in his five home starts this year. And in the words of Forrest Gump, “that’s all we have to say about that.” The pitcher is not viable despite having been better than this in seasons past, there are simply too many options to justify shares even at $5,400/$6,200. The Marlins low-end lineup includes enough talent to get to Gomber, Jon Berti is slated to leadoff, last year’s stolen base king has seven this season and has added two home runs but is at just 89 WRC+ in 149 plate appearances. Jorge Soler is the team’s best power hitter, he has a 12.19 in our home run model tonight and has hit 12 this season with a 123 WRC+ and .265 ISO. Soler is cheap at $5,400/$3,500 for his power upside in a Coors game, he will be justifiably very popular on this slate. Garrett Cooper has three home runs and a .130 ISO with an 82 WRC+ in 132 plate appearances despite a strong 46.4% hard-hit rate. Cooper has struck out too much this season at 30.3%, he does not offer enough at the plate to sit down that frequently without connecting but he is, of course, viable in this spot. Bryan De La Cruz is one of the team’s good hitters, he is slashing .302/.337/.459 and creating runs 19% better than average over 169 plate appearances this year and has hit five home runs. De La Cruz made 355 plate appearances and hit 13 home runs with a 104 WRC+ last season, he is a good name to remember in the heart of the Marlins lineup at cheap prices. Yuli Gurriel won a batting title two years ago, he was bad last year and has not been good this year over 104 plate appearances in which he is slashing just .242/.288/.368 with an 81 WRC+. The veteran is playing out the thread in Miami and has every right to after not being able to make his MLB debut until age 32 due to the USA’s restrictive embargo against Cuba, and the Cuban government’s unfortunate response to the situation. Gurriel starred with the Astros for several seasons and would have been a more highly regarded player for his career if he had not been robbed of 8-10 seasons in his prime. Gurriel is cheap at $3,300/$3,100 tonight at Coors Field. Nick Fortes is a capable catcher with two home runs in 96 plate appearances, Jean Segura has been awful in 154 plate appearances, posting a 43 WRC+ and .036 ISO. Garrett Hampson and Peyton Burdick round out the projected lineup, Burdick offers minor power upside, he has a home run with a 13.3% barrel rate and 60% hard-hit in a tiny sample of 37 plate appearances and he hit four homers with a 10.5% barrel rate in 102 chances last year. We would be more intrigued by Xavier Edwards than Hampson at the bottom of the lineup, Edwards has blazing speed and will be running if he gets on base; if he plays at all.

The Rockies projected lineup is drawing decent numbers from a matchup against rookie Eury Perez, who is one of baseball’s top pitching prospects. Perez has made just two starts at this level since debuting in mid-May after just turning 20 years old. Perez struck out seven Reds while allowing two earned runs on two solo home runs over 4.2 innings in his debut, he went 5.0 and struck out six while allowing one run on a solo home run to the Nationals. Facing his third low-end team in three starts, Perez could post a healthy strikeout total tonight, his rate is sitting at 33.3% after the two effective home starts against two of baseball’s worst lineups, but Coors Field has a way of washing away any track record a young pitcher may have on his way into a start. Perez is a viable Coors Field option at $7,100/$8,100, he could conceivably make value even at the FanDuel price if he does not suffer from the environment and brings his strikeout stuff, but rostering the young righty in his first Colorado start is a major dice roll that is not for the faint of heart. Colorado’s lineup opens with Charlie Blackmon, who has three home runs with a .141 ISO and 103 WRC+ as more a slap-hitting correlated scoring option at this point in his career, as evidenced by his 29.1% hard-hit rate. Blackmon is carrying a 7.13 in our home run model this evening, however, with Perez having given up power in each of his first two starts. Jurickson Profar lands second in the lineup, he has an 8.45 in our home run model and he has hit five home runs this season while creating runs nine percent worse than average. We continue to think that the Rockies have better options in their system than continuing to give Profar opportunities, but the Rockies are unlikely to hear us out before game time. Kris Bryant is a veteran with a 102 WRC+ and five home runs this year, but the lack of productivity with half his starts coming at Coors is surprising for this player. Bryant has been a star throughout his career, he was injured and absent through most of last season but in his last year in Chicago in 2021 he still hit 25 home runs and had a .216 ISO. Bryant is affordable on what should be the less popular side of the Coors game, he belongs in Rockies stacks and is a viable one-off play. Elias Diaz and Ryan McMahon offer upside in the heart of the lineup, Diaz has been a good catcher this season and McMahon has left-handed power. Both hitters have four home runs on the board this year, but Diaz has been the far better run creator with a 126 WRC+ in 151 chances compared to McMahon’s lowly 69 WRC+ in 182 tries. Mike Moustakas has two home runs in 83 plate appearances with a .155 ISO and 74 WRC+. Randal Grichuk is a viable right-handed power hitter who has been productive since returning to the lineup, he is in play for just $4,500/$3,400 tonight and could go a bit under-owned from late in the Colorado lineup. Harold Castro and Ezequiel Tovar close out the projected Rockies lineup with 59 and 49 WRC+ in 86 and 161 plate appearances.

Play: bats bats bats, maybe a bit of Eury Perez for the bold

Update Notes: Colorado’s lineup runs Blackmon-Profar-Diaz-Grichuk-McMahon-Castro-Brenton DoyleMichael Toglia-Tovar, giving Kris Bryant a night off and Moustakas a familiar seat on the bench. Doyle and Toglia are interesting players later in the lineup, but the absence of Bryant up top has to be at least a minor ding to the quality of Rockies stacks. The Marlins lineup looks mostly as anticipated with Berti-Soler-Arraez-Cooper-De La Cruz-Gurriel-Segura-Fortes-Hampson

Boston Red Sox (-107/4.84) @ Los Angeles Angels (-101/4.76)

The Red Sox are facing righty Griffin Canning who projects in the lower-middle (upper-bottom?) of our pitching board tonight. Canning has a 19.1% strikeout rate over 29.1 innings in six starts while pitching to a 6.14 ERA and 4.71 xFIP in his return to action after missing all of last year. The righty had a 22.4% strikeout rate and 4.72 xFIP in 62.2 innings and 13 starts in 2021, he is not a premium pitcher or an overly interesting option for MLB DFS purposes, even at $6,800/$7,200. It is not outside the realm of possibility that he could offer five innings of relatively clean pitching with a handful of strikeouts at the SP2 price on DraftKings, but the path to success is incredibly thin on a deep slate. The Red Sox lineup is showing an upside for both power and run creation tonight, the team has a 4.85-run implied team total in a close matchup on the board in Vegas. Boston’s lineup opens with excellent leadoff man Alex Verdugo who has a 7.55 in our home run model with a .175 ISO and 40% hard-hit rate so far this season. Verdugo has a 126 WRC+, he strikes out at just a 13.7% clip and has gotten on base at a .366 pace so far this year, he is a very good option for $5,000/$3,600. Masataka Yoshida has six home runs in his ledger for the year and for his MLB career, the outfielder is slashing .308/.384/.494 with a 139 WRC+ and .186 ISO while striking out and walking both at a 9.6% clip. Yoshida has been very good in his debut season, he costs $5,400/$3,700 in a good spot tonight. Justin Turner is cheap at $3,600/$3,000 and he has eligibility at both corner infield spots on the blue site while landing only at third base on DraftKings. Turner has five home runs and a productive 114 WRC+ in 196 plate appearances this year. The veteran’s mark for run creation matches the 114 WRC+ carried by Boston star Rafael Devers, who hits cleanup in this lineup. Devers has blasted 13 home runs with a .276 ISO in 199 plate appearances but he is priced down slightly at $5,700/$3,900. Jarren Duran is slashing .321/.376/.518 in 125 plate appearances, he still costs just $4,000 on DraftKings but has climbed to $3,700 on the FanDuel slate. Duran has been very productive to start his year and is an interesting option with mid-range power and speed. Triston Casas has a 9.08 in our home run model, the scuffling rookie has six home runs and a .176 ISO and that’s about it this year. Enrique HernandezEmmanuel Valdez, and Reese McGuire have more “e”s in their names than they do home runs this year (10-6), they check in with WRC+ marks of 74, 115, and 89 for the season in 171, 68, and 77 plate appearances. Valdez has been the productive member of the group, he has three home runs and three stolen bases with a .206 ISO over his first 68 plate appearances in the Show.

The Angels are facing righty Brayan Bello who has made six starts and thrown just 28.1 innings this season. Bello has a 4.45 ERA and 3.76 xFIP with a 23.8% strikeout rate but a 9.2% walk rate and 1.59 WHIP. The righty has induced a 12.2% swinging strike rate with a 27.3% CSW% for the year and he has been good at keeping the ball down, which saves him from a 91.1 mph average exit velocity and 51.8% hard hits. Bello is capping the Angels’ upside in our home run model to some degree, but the team should be able to overcome his talents for keeping the ball down and capitalize on the opportunities the righty allows. Bello costs $6,300/$8,500, he has a small degree of potential at the DraftKings price, but his cost on FanDuel is disproportionate to his potential for booking a quality start. Our preferred side of the matchup would be rostering stacks of Angels hitters, including projected leadoff man Mickey Moniak, who is still at the minimum price on the FanDuel slate. If Moniak leads off ahead of Mike TroutShohei Ohtani, and Hunter Renfroe he has the potential to provide massive value at that price. The former first-overall pick costs just $2,900 on DraftKings as well, he has made 29 plate appearances so far this season and is slashing .429/.448/.893 with three home runs and two stolen bases in the tiny sample. Taylor Ward took a seat for Moniak last night and may do so again today, he has been bad enough to play his way out of a job in the first quarter of the season, but he was good last year and is viable if he leads off or appears later in the lineup. Trout and Ohtani are Trout and Ohtani, do we really need to sell them? Renfroe has been as good as his superstar teammates for power, his 10 home runs match Trout’s total and sit one behind Ohtani’s team-leading 11. Renfroe costs $4,600/$3,000 which is a nice discount from the two stars. Jared Walsh is back in the lineup, giving Los Angeles a nice left-handed power hitter to thread into the middle of the lineup. Walsh hit 29 home runs in 585 plate appearances in 2021 but just 15 in 454 tries last year. Brandon Drury is a capable but cheap infielder who has seven home runs and a .222 ISO this season. Gio Urshela will probably play tonight after we got the preferred Luis Rengifo last night. Urshela is moderately playable, he has an OK hit tool but is sitting 15% below-average for run creation with just a .049 ISO in 168 plate appearances this year. Matt Thaiss and Zach Neto round out the projected Angels lineup, both are positionally playable in small doses.

Play: Red Sox bats/stacks, Angels bats/stacks

Update Notes: Min-priced (FD) Moniak is indeed leading off again, with Ward taking a seat for the second day in a row, and the Angels lineup is as expected. The confirmed Red Sox lineup runs mostly as expected, with Hernandez moving up to sixth and Casas dropping to seventh.

Oakland Athletics (+189/3.72) @ Seattle Mariners (-208/5.40)

The lousy Athletics have just a 3.76-run implied team total against a reliably targetable left-handed starter tonight. Marco Gonzales is no one’s idea of a good pitcher, he has a 6.10 ERA and 4.86 xFIP in eight starts and 38.1 innings this year and pitched to a 4.88 xFIP in 183 innings last year while striking out a mere 13.2%. Gonzales allows power, he gave up a 3.83% home run rate last year and has a 2.94% mark this season despite a higher average exit velocity at 90.4 mph and 38.5% hard hits. The Mariners’ starter is a low-end option but he is pulling a reasonably playable projection in tonight’s matchup given the lousy opponent. This is a truly frustrating both-sides or no-sides situation that could easily go in either direction or sit squarely on the fence in a four or five run game that does not offer much DFS scoring on the Athletics or Gonzales side. Extremely limited Brent Rooker is showing a mark in our home run model that warrants mentioning, even when we wholly do not believe in this hitter. Rooker’s May struggles have been an ongoing fixture in this space all month after his scorching April, he is slashing .208/.299/.351 with a .143 ISO and 88 WRC+ with two home runs for the month. With all of those struggles in mind, Rooker does look viable against this lefty and he has a 14.24 in our home run model. The righty can strike out three times against basically anyone, but if there is a pitcher who is unlikely to sit him down it is probably Gonzales with his 15.3% strikeout rate and 26.2% CSW%. We looked into Esteury Ruiz and the Hall of Famers he would join if he manages to steal 100 bases this season, he has 24 in 173 plate appearances with 30% of the Athletics’ games in the books. Ruiz costs just $3,500/$3,400, if he gets on base he will be running. Ramon Laureano is projected to hit third behind Rooker, with the team’s quality lefties taking a seat. Laureano has five home runs and three stolen bases but an 80 WRC+ in 135 plate appearances this year. Jesus Aguilar is a platoon player at this point, he has five home runs on the season with an upside against the bad lefty. Aledmys Diaz is a veteran utility man with an average bat, Carlos Perez is a cheap right-handed catcher who has hit three home runs while creating runs 27% better than average in his 81 plate appearances this year. Shea Langeliers is a second catcher-eligible option in the Athletics lineup, he has seven home runs and a .190 ISO in 164 tries this year. Nick Allen and Tony Kemp round out the projected lineup with a pair of 41 WRC+ marks.

The Mariners are carrying a robust 5.36-run implied total in their premium matchup against rookie Luis Medina, who has not been good in his first three starts. Medina has respectable stuff but is more likely bound for a high-leverage bullpen role where he can put forth maximum effort in more valuable moments. So far this year, the righty has a 6.88 ERA and 4.00 xFIP in 17 innings, with just a 20.5% strikeout rate and 22.8% CSW%. Medina gave up two home runs while striking out six Angels and allowing seven earned runs in his first start, then allowed one home run while giving up three earned runs and striking out three Rangers hitters in his second start, before allowing another two home runs but striking out six against the Diamondbacks. This amounts to a 6.85% home run rate on an 11.3% barrel rate for the season so far, which should play into Seattle’s power potential. Medina costs just $5,500 on the DraftKings slate, he could offer a minor amount of SP2 value potential at that price if he manages to avoid the longball and find a similar strikeout total as he did in his first and third outing, but the path is very thin and does not align with how Vegas is seeing this game. Four Mariners hitters are above the magic number for power in our home run model tonight, leadoff man JP Crawford is not one of them. Crawford has just a 3.33 in the home run model, he is not here for power but is a good correlated scoring option at shortstop for a cheap price. Crawford has a 108 WRC+ over 177 plate appearances, primarily from the bottom of the lineup for most of the year. Ty France has a 7.67 in the home run model, he has not hit for as much power this season as he did in hitting 20 homers last year, but he is a productive hitter who has a 104 WRC+ in 204 plate appearances this year despite a minor slump. Julio Rodriguez is the leading option among the four players above 10 in our home run model, he is sitting at 12.39 and looks like a premium option despite his ongoing struggles this year. Rodriguez has seven home runs and eight stolen bases with a 95 WRC+ over 205 plate appearances while slashing a disappointing .216/.293/.395. The outfielder has seen a price dip, which is great for our purposes because he is still a star who will ultimately be fine, he has a 10.9% barrel rate and 49.2% hard-hit rate for the year, the power is coming. Jarred Kelenic has covered for his teammate well, he has 10 home runs with a .267 ISO and 154 WRC+ this season but was slumping through the first part of May which pushed his price back to $4,800/$3,300 in a great discount for a lefty with an 11.42 mark for home run upside in our model. Eugenio Suarez drops to 9.22 in the power model but he has been coming on of late and is up to five home runs with a 95 WRC+ for the year. Cal Raliegh and Teoscar Hernandez are the other two players sporting big marks in the home run model at 11.49 and 10.55, they have seven and eight home runs for the season respectively and make for high-quality options at fair prices later in the lineup. Taylor Trammell has three home runs but is slashing just .147/.293/.412 in his 41 plate appearances so far, the small sample is unfair to judge the outfielder by, he has talent and comes at a cheap price at $2,300/$2,600 in a good spot. Trammell has a high-quality 15.8% barrel rate and 42.1% hard-hit rate to bolster confidence in the microscopic sample that looks lousy on the surface. Jose Caballero has been more productive on the surface, with six stolen bases and two home runs in 70 plate appearances but he has a 4.5% barrel rate and 31.8% hard-hit mark for the year while striking out 22.9% of the time.

Play: Mariners bats/stacks, Athletics bats/stacks in much smaller doses, value pitching is available but dicey at best

Update Notes: the Mariners have Kolten Wong in hitting eighth instead of Caballero and Tommy Murphy adds a second power bat on the right side of the plate at catcher for a cheap price in place of Trammell. The Athletics have Jace Peterson in for Tony Allen in the eighth spot in the lineup.

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