MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slate Summary – Thursday 5/4/23

An early start at 1:05 ET and nine games is a cruel way for the baseball gods to treat a Thursday morning hangover. We are in top gear and short summary mode for today’s power-packed slate.

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, if a game has not been filled in simply check back in a few minutes. Update notes are provided as lineups are confirmed to the best of our ability, but 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 Summary – 5/4/23

Chicago Cubs (-198/5.34) @ Washington Nationals (+180/3.78)

The Cubs lineup was featured in our Power Index, it looks like a strong bet for home run upside once again, with Patrick Corbin getting the start for Washington. Corbin has allowed a 44% hard-hit rate and a 4.11% home run rate on 90.3 mph of average exit velocity so far this year, nearly identical to his struggles with power last year. The lefty has a 4.62 xFIP and just a 14.4% strikeout rate in 31.1 innings over six starts, the lefty is not an option for MLB DFS purposes, even at $6,200/$6,900. Seiya Suzuki leads the Cubs with an 11.33 in the home run model, followed by Patrick Wisdom at 11.00. The pair of sluggers are separated in the lineup, Suzuki hits cleanup with Wisdom hitting seventh or eighth typically. Wisdom is chasing the league lead with 11 home runs on the board so far this year and he has a massive .386 ISO in 114 plate appearances. Suzuki has one home run in 78 opportunities after missing time and hit 14 in 446 tries last year. Nico Hoerner is a good speed and correlated scoring play in the leadoff role and he hits ahead of Dansby Swanson and Ian Happ both of whom have been featured in this space several times recently, the underrated duo land at 9.68 and 9.37 in our home run model, they have five combined home runs and have been over .400 at getting on-base early in the season, driving run creation. Trey Mancini and Cody Bellinger are slated to hit fifth and sixth, adding power upside to the heart of the order. Mancini is up to .268/.314/.381 with three home runs but a .113 ISO and 90 WRC+, Bellinger has seven home runs and a .282 ISO. Nelson Velazquez and Miguel Amaya round out the projected lineup, Velezquez hit six home runs and stole five bases in 206 plate appearances last year, Amaya is a rookie from AA called up to fill a catcher spot on the roster.

The Nationals’ lousy lineup is facing righty Jameson Taillon who has been a somewhat better than league-average pitcher through most of his career while not being a star at any point. Taillon is having another good start to his season, he has a 25.8% strikeout rate with a 4.22 xFIP and a 4.50 ERA and is yet to allow a home run in three starts and 14 innings, but this is his first start back from a groin strain that cost him the last two weeks, and he is not expected to go more than four innings. Taillon is not on the board at $7,700/$7,800, but he can keep Washington bats in check. Victor Robles is still the only hitter in this lineup who has been above average, he now sits at a 116 WRC+ in his 103 opportunities and has stolen eight bases. He hits ninth at $2,400/$2,600 in the outfield. Alex Call and Luis Garcia open the lineup with mediocrity before a very limited power core of Keibert Ruiz, a talented young catcher, Joey Meneses, who has not done much at the dish this year, and Jeimer Candelario, who leads the team with four home runs but has just a .157 ISO and a 78 WRC+. Dominic SmithLane Thomas, and CJ Abrams are all limited options, Abrams leads the group with two home runs, the others have one each, he is also the high man at a WRC+ of 89. This is still not a good baseball team.

Play: Cubs bats/stacks aggressively

Update Notes: the Cubs lineup is as expected, with Wisdom hitting sixth behind Bellinger and ahead of Mancini, they look like a strong option on this slate. The Nationals lineup has Stone Garrett hitting eighth, he is one of the few interesting power bats in the organization. Robles is not in the lineup, Riley Adams is hitting ninth.

New York Mets (-171/4.30) @ Detroit Tigers (+156/3.29)

One-time Tigers ace Justin Verlander will finally make his Mets debut today. Verlander is a star and a known commodity on the mound, he costs $10,800/$11,500 and should have an opportunity to put up a dominant performance against the inept Tigers. Verlander kept throwing through most of his time on the IL and made rehab starts, so he is expected to be in full form against a lineup with an average current-year strikeout rate of 26.9% and a WRC+ averaging 21% worse than league-average for run creation, this is a prime spot for Verlander who is only one of the best pitchers of his generation. The ace had a 27.8% strikeout rate with a 3.23 xFIP and a 1.75 ERA in his last year in Houston last season, fire away. Tigers bats are not on the board in any realistic sense, anyone looking to be contrarian for contrarianism’s sake can roster Riley GreeneJavier BaezSpencer TorkelsonNick Maton, and Akil Baddoo through the heart of the projected lineup. That group has no player who has been above average for run creation this season, for that we would need projected leadoff man Zach McKinstry who is at 122 in just 69 plate appearances and has a pair of home runs. Catcher Jake Rogers has three home runs in 59 plate appearances and .220 ISO with a 111 WRCfrom late in the lineup, this is simply not a team we want when tangling with a pitcher like Verlander.

The Mets are taking on Eduardo Rodriguez, who has always been better than his stat line and who has had a good start to his season in 2023 after missing most of last year and struggling through the 17 starts he did make. Rodriguez had an 18.4% strikeout rate and a 4.41 xFIP with a 4.05 ERA in those starts. This year he has made six starts and has a 3.91 xFIP with a 2.21 ERA and a 21.9% strikeout rate over 36.2 innings. Rodriguez is inexpensive at $7,800/$8,700, but the matchup against the Mets is not great and the strikeout upside is not significant, he would be a middling SP2 play at best. The Mets can be rostered against this lefty, the team is showing a decent amount of upside through the top half of the lineup. Brandon Nimmo is creating runs 37% better than average while Starling Marte has been subpar with a 79 WRC+, but both players get on base and have speed and run-creation ability with enough individual upside at the plate to be hyper-relevant when stacking hitters from the Mets. Shortstop star Francisco Lindor and first baseman Pete Alonso hit third and fourth at $4,600/$3,600 and $5.500/$3,900, which are fairly affordable prices for their upside. Lindor has created runs 13% better than average with five homers, four steals, and a .226 ISO, Alonso has 11 home runs and a .300 ISO while creating runs 38% better than average. Tommy PhamJeff McNeil, and Mark Canha are a very capable core of veteran hitters, but a somewhat unspectacular list of MLB DFS options. Any or all of the hitters could be involved for the Mets from the heart of the lineup, they would not be mistakes to mix and match through a number of stacks of Mets. Brett Baty is still cheap at $2,400/$2,700, he is slashing .311/.367/.489 with a pair of home runs and a 139 WRC+ in his 49 plate appearances, Baty is a top prospect who is expected to do exactly what he is doing so far, the sites do not have him at a high enough price. Tomas Nido is here for defense.

Play: Justin Verlander, Mets stacks/bats as a mid-level option.

Update Notes: the Mets lineup is roughly as expected, but Baty will be sitting out with Eduardo Escobar adding a switch-hitting veteran power bat late in the lineup and Francisco Alvarez catching and hitting ninth. The Tigers have Eric Haase and Andy Ibanez late in the lineup, it probably won’t matter.

Pittsburgh Pirates (+169/3.64) @ Tampa Bay Rays (-185/4.97)

Rays righty Zach Eflin costs $9,100/$9,700 against a Pirates lineup that has been better than expected through the first month of the season. Eflin has also been good, he has boosted strikeouts from last year’s 20.8% in 75.2 innings to 24.4% in his four starts and 21 innings this season, he spent a few days on the IL and came right back to his typical five or six innings decent performance pace. Eflin has a 3.38 xFIP and a 3.00 ERA this season, though he has allowed a touch of premium contact in the tiny sample with a 13.1% barrel rate and 42.6% hard hits. Eflin is playable but not elite against the Pirates, with Pittsburgh hitters looking like a lower-midrange option on the other side. Leadoff hitter Ke’Bryan Hayes is one of just two hitters in the projected Pirates lineup that is below average for run creation, sitting 30% below par in his 128 plate appearances. Bryan Reynolds is the team’s primary star, he hit five early home runs and has a .255 ISO with a 148 WRC+ in his 125 plate appearances while slashing .327/.368/.582 and barreling the ball at a 15.8% clip with a 52.6% hard-hit rate. Andrew McCutchen has surprised with a .237 ISO and a 121 WRC+, the aging former MVP seems to have more in the tank than expected in his return to Pittsburgh. Carlos Santana and Jack Suwinski are solid power bats lurking in the fourth and fifth spots in the lineup. Santana has two home runs and just a .144 ISO this year but has been above average for run creation and has several seasons of solid home run output in his history. Suwinski has six home runs with a .315 ISO and a 149 WRC+ in his 89 plate appearances and has been very good so far this year when he gets opportunities. Connor Joe also has a titanic ISO, he is at .307 and has four home runs while slashing .295/.386/.602 and has created runs 62% better than average in his 101 plate appearances. The bottom third is productive as well with Rodolfo Castro at a 124 WRC+ in 99 plate appearances and Jason Delay sitting at .390/.435/.610 with a .220 ISO and a home run in his 47 opportunities as a very cheap catcher. Ji-Hwan Bae is the only other Pirates hitter below average at an 86 WRC+ but he has been a DFS contributor who has two home runs and 13 stolen bases in his 92 plate appearances.

The Rays look like an excellent option on most slates, they are flashing big power upside against starter Vince Velasquez tonight, though several teams are outpacing the hard-hitting Tampa Bay squad on the Power Index tonight. Velasquez has good stuff but has never reliably put things together. So far this year he has a 23.4% strikeout rate with a 4.62 xFIP and a 3.06 ERA while limiting hitters to a 33.7% hard-hit percentage. Velasquez has gotten some pickup buzz in redraft leagues and the Stuff+ community likes his arsenal, but this is a pitcher who has proven again and again that he is not that guy, Velasquez can be targeted with bats in this spot, he projects exactly in the middle of the pitching board and there are just better options at $8,100/$8,900. Everyone in the projected Rays lineup is above average for run creation so far this year. The team has an average WRC+ of 158 in an average of 101 plate appearances from 1-9 today. This is a ridiculously good baseball team loaded with useable parts. Brandon Lowe looks like the most likely home run hitter in the bunch with a 12.12 in our model today. Lowe is joined by star Randy Arozarena in the heart of the order with seven home runs, a total that is equaled by projected leadoff hitter Yandy Diaz and Luke Raley, who is slated to hit ninth. Wander Franco has six home runs and seven stolen bases and has a 161 WRC+ that is not even close to the team lead. The star shortstop has been outrageously good all year, he hits between Diaz and Arozarena, if you can afford the top of the Rays lineup they are an amazing fit together on most slates. Harold Ramirez also has six home runs, as does Josh Lowe, the low man for power this season has been Isaac Paredes who has four home runs in his 106 plate appearances but is always liked by our home run model and others around the industry. Paredes has a 10.01 in the model today as the second-highest-rated Rays hitter for home run upside. Catcher Christian Bethancourt can get overlooked in this excellent lineup, he is slashing .234/.286/.531 but has a .297 ISO with five home runs and has created runs 25% better than average in his 70 plate appearances this year.

Play: Rays bats/stacks aggressively, some Pirates bats/stacks, some Zach Eflin

Update Notes: Pittsburgh has Tucupita Marcano leading off for $2,400/$2,200 as a potential correlated scoring play with the lineup that otherwise takes its expected form with Hayes sliding down to seventh. The Rays lineup runs Diaz-Franco-Arozarena-Josh Lowe-Paredes-Taylor Walls-Raley-Bethancourt-Manny Margot and does not include Brandon Lowe, which is a ding to the overall power upside for the still very very good Tampa Bay lineup.

Los Angeles Angels (+124/4.23) @ St. Louis Cardinals (-134/4.86)

Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty has a 24.1% strikeout rate but a 5.00 xFIP and a 1.44 WHIP in his six starts and 32 innings this season. Flaherty is still searching for his form after missing significant time the past two seasons, he did not find it in eight games at the end of last year that saw him pitch to just a 19.8% strikeout rate and  4.93 xFIP but there have been encouraging signs, particularly in his strikeout uptick. Flaherty still gives up too many opportunities and too much scoring as well as premium contact, he is not overly reliable for MLB DFS against a team like the Angels, but he is cheap at $7,600/$8,500, he is not entirely off the board as a tournament dart with cheap strikeout upside on DraftKings, it is a bigger ask on FanDuel. The Angels have several hitters over the “magic number” for power today and they look like a playable stack against Flaherty. Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani are at 13.19 and 11.67 to lead the team in our home run model, they have eight and seven home runs respectively, and star in any situation. The pair is very expensive at the top of the lineup, it is difficult to combine them with other premium bats in a second stack or with strong starting pitchers, but they could deliver even at their cost. Hunter Renfroe is also showing a big home run score at 10.55 in the model, with Taylor Ward at 8.17 in a projected return to the leadoff spot. Ward has four home runs but has struggled to get the on-base and run-creation productivity he had last season. Anthony Rendon is still searching for his power but he has a 6.70 in the home run model and could get on the board, he has been effective but has a 96 WRC+ so far. Brandon Drury is a playable hitter with a 100 WRC+, a .245 ISO, and six homers this year. Luis RengifoGio Urshela, and Matt Thaiss round out the projected lineup, Rengifo is the best bat in the bottom third.

Griffin Canning has made three relatively effective starts so far this season but he has not had much of an MLB DFS impact. The righty has a 24.2% strikeout rate with a 4.46 xFIP and a 4.11 ERA overall, but he has allowed premium contact so far this year and was lousy for it his last full season in 2021. Canning has given up a 12.2% barrel rate and 90.9 mph of average exit velocity so far in 2023, he is feeding into the upside for power in the Cardinals lineup, particularly through their star-studded top four today. Canning is cheap at $6,800/$8,000, there is very minor potential at the DraftKings price for him to make value as an SP2 play, but it is a bad situation against the Cardinals. St. Louis hitters seem like the better approach to this situation, the top four hitters are all over the 10-mark in our home run model. Lars Nootbaar has an 11.12 in the power department today, he is carrying a pair of home runs in his 72 plate appearances with a 109 WRC+ and he was a solid power bat with 14 home runs and a .221 ISO in his 347 plate appearances last year. Paul Goldschmidt has four home runs with a .200 ISO and a 13.8% barrel rate with a 58.5% hard-hit rate this season, he is a star hitter in this lineup and should be included in most Cardinals stacks. Nolan Gorman has been on fire to start the year, he has seven home runs in 108 plate appearances while mashing with a .277 ISO, he is hitting ahead of Nolan Arenado, who has not been himself this year. Arenado has just two home runs and a. 084 ISO with a 72 WRC+ but he is cheap and has an 11.79 in our home run model, Arenado should just be played when going to this team, take the discount and be assured that the production will come. Willson Contreras is at an 8.13 in the home run model, one of the top-rated catchers for power on this slate, he has two home runs this year and has created runs 14% better than average with his steady hit tool. Alec BurlesonDylan CarlsonBrendan Donovan, and Tommy Edman round out the lineup with mix-and-match pieces of high quality. Edman is the most interesting option with his speed and mid-range power, he is always in play for wraparound shares.

Play: Cardinals bats/stacks, Angels bats/stacks, pitching value is possible here but neither matchup is great

Update Notes: Significant downgrade to the Angels with Mike Trout and Brandon Drury out of the lineup which now runs Neto-Ohtani-Renfroe-Rendon-Jake Lamb-Ward-Thaiss-Rengifo-Brett Phillips. Lamb is a lefty power bat in the heart of the order but he is a very flawed and unreliable hitter overall, Phillips is of minor interest for the minimum/$2,100, he is a long-ago top prospect with speed and mid-range power who never figured it out fully.

Baltimore Orioles (-176/5.49) @ Kansas City Royals (+161/4.13)

The Orioles look like the play instead of shares of Jordan Lyles on the mound if, for some reason, one had to decide between the two. Lyles is a target, not someone we want for MLB DFS even at $6,600/$7,300, he has a 17.5% strikeout rate and a 5.71 xFIP in 35.1 innings this year while allowing a 13% barrel rate and a 5.84% home run rate in the small sample. This leads to an Orioles lineup that is carrying a terrific 5.49-run implied team total as one of the most highly projected teams on the board in Vegas. Baltimore’s lineup is loaded, they have Cedric Mullins in the leadoff spot, he has three home runs and 11 stolen bases so far this year and has created runs 21% better than average despite not really getting things in gear for power yet. Mullins was a 30/30 player two seasons ago. Adley Rutschman and Ryan Mountcastle are star-caliber bats on the right side, they have premium power, the catcher has four home runs and a .152 ISO with a 150 WRC+ and Mountcastle has hit eight home runs with a .248 ISO while dealing with batting average on balls in play and a lack of walks in other parts of his game. Mountcastle pounds the ball when he connects, he has a 16.7% barrel rate and a 50% mark for hard hits so far this year. Switch-hitting Anthony Santander has just a pair of home runs and is 15% below average for run creation so far this year. Santander hit 33 home runs last year with a .214 ISO as one of the team leaders for run creation, he is cheap at $4,300/$2,900. Gunnar Henderson and Jorge Mateo are young infield stars on different sides of the productivity spectrum so far this year. Henderson has been good at getting on base at a .357 clip, but his run creation has slipped to two percent below average and he has lacked power or a hit tool 98 plate appearances into his season. Mateo has been outrageous at .325/.371/.613 with a .288 ISO and a 168 WRC+, he has six home runs and 10 stolen bases this year and is worth the high price. Adam FrazierAustin Hays, and Ramon Urias round out the lineup with three capable bats, Hays is a minor star in the outfield who has four home runs, a .212 ISO and a 134 WRC+ so far this year.

Rookie Grayson Rodriguez looks like a good bet to capitalize on the strikeouts available in the Royals’ projected lineup, he is projected as one of our top pitchers on this slate, sliding in behind Verlander and the Mariners’ starter. Rodriguez has a 32.4% strikeout rate over his first five starts and 24.1 innings, he has a 2.91 xFIP and a 4.07 ERA so far this year and has been good with missing barrels and avoiding home runs. The talented rookie was baseball’s top pitching prospect and he has fully delivered since his call-up, he is one of several very exciting young arms this year and he costs just $8,300/$9,400 on this slate. Rodriguez is a very strong pitching option. Royals bats are not out of play against the righty, however, the team is showing a good amount of power upside as well today. All four of Bobby Witt Jr.Vinnie PasquantinoSal Perez, and MJ Melendez are all over the magic number in our home run model at 11.06, 11.19, 11.75, and 10.43. The group has a combined 19 home runs this season with an average ISO of .205, which includes the scuffling Melendez at .180/.265/.340 with a .160 ISO and just three home runs. The other three have been better options, but left-handed Melendez is a strong hitter as well, he had 18 home runs in 534 plate appearances last year. The bottom half of the lineup includes interesting bats in Edward Olivares and Nick Pratto, who is still priced at just $2,400/$2,100 with eligibility at first base and in the outfield, providing nice flexibility with a former first-round pick that is very much off the MLB DFS radar right now. The bottom third of the lineup leaves a bit to be desired, this is not an ideal spot to dumpster-dive, but the top two-thirds of the Royals lineup can be played in small doses.

Play: Orioles bats/stacks, Grayson Rodriguez, some shares of Royals top-6

Update Notes: there is rain in the forecast and the potential for an in-game delay, keep an eye out as lock approaches, delays would put a dent in the value of pitching. the Orioles have Kyle Stowers hitting fifth again for $2,100 on both sites, he is an excellent value piece with upside for a home run. James McCann slots in ninth, Mateo is hitting seventh between Frazier and Henderson. The Royals lineup is as expected.

Minnesota Twins (-124/4.24) @ Chicago White Sox (+115/3.85)

The Twins are facing Lucas Giolito who has a 23.1% strikeout rate and a 4.48 xFIP in 34.2 innings over six starts this year. The righty has been good with limiting power and premium contact but has seen a dip in strikeouts and in induced swinging-strikes, going from 25.4% and 12.2% last year to 23.1% and 11.1% this season. Giolito is a good but not great option on this slate, he projects in similar territory to Eflin in his start against the Pirates. The righty costs just $7,400/$8,300 however, which is cheap for a pitcher of his talents against a team with a fair amount of strikeouts in the lineup. The Twins hit for plenty of power, but the team has a 27.1% strikeout rate in the projected starting lineup. Max Kepler has three home runs and a .188 ISO with a 21% strikeout rate, Jorge Polanco has two home runs in his 48 plate appearances but has struck out in a quarter of them as well, and Carlos Correa has a 21.7% strikeout rate over the first month of his season that has also seen him struggle for power and run creation with just three home runs, a .157 ISO and an 82 WRC+. Byron Buxton is a star but he strikes out at a 30.8% clip this year and was at 30.4% last season. Trevor Larnach struck out 31.7% of the time last year and is at a 33.1% clip this season with three home runs and a .139 ISO on the board this year. Buxton has a .291 ISO and seven home runs to go with his ugly strikeout mark, he is always worth the salary and he is pulling in a 12.05 in our home run model. Jose Miranda has three home runs and just a .106 ISO and is the one hitter who is good at avoiding strikeouts with just a 15.4% rate this season. Joey Gallo has seven home runs and destroys the ball when he makes contact, he has a 67.6% hard-hit rate in his 71 plate appearances but, as usual, he is striking out quite a bit this year at a 33.8% pace. Christian Vazquez and Michael A. Taylor are mix-and-match pieces who have also been striking out aggressively at 27.3% and 35.8%.

Twins pitcher Pablo Lopez has been a standout early this season, the righty has a 31.1% strikeout rate over 36 innings while pitching to a 4.00 ERA and a 3.31 xFIP. The righty was always effective in Miami, but he has made a leap with the Twins so far this season and was raving about the organization’s approach to pitching analysis and the impact that it made on his arsenal in the offseason. The results have been clear early in 2023, Lopez is on the board even at $9,900/$10,700 against the bumbling White Sox, but Chicago’s power core is also showing home run upside on this slate. Tim Anderson costs just $5,000/$3,300 and is a star at shortstop who hits for power and steals bases. Andrew Benintendi has not hit for power or created runs effectively this season but he has been a productive player in the past and he is priced down to just $3,300/$2,700. Andrew Vaughn has an 11.22 in our home run model, he has three on the board this year with a .170 ISO and has a 10.6% barrel rate and a 45.9% hard-hit mark so far. Eloy JimenezLuis Robert Jr., and Gavin Sheets are all flashing good power indicators on this slate as well, despite struggles early in the season. Jimenez has three home runs this year with a .148 ISO, Robert hit one last night and is up to six on the season with a .209 ISO but has been 15% worse than average creating runs despite playing every day. Yasmani GrandalHanser Alberto, and Elvis Andrus round out the lineup, Grandal is playable as a catcher bat, the others lack appeal.

Play: Pablo Lopez, Lucas Giolito, minor shares of bats on both sides

Update Notes: the Twins have Donovan Solano hitting fifth behind Polanco, Kepler is leading off, and Larnach is out of the lineup. The bottom third is as expected.

Milwaukee Brewers (-143/.6.59) @ Colorado Rockies (+132/5.54)

The game at Coors Field has a fair amount of rain in the forecast, but we weren’t playing pitchers here anyway. The Brewers lead the slate in our power index with Connor Seabold on the mound for the hometown Rockies. The righty has thrown 13.2 innings out of the bullpen and is filling in for now with injuries in the rotation. Seabold had a 20% strikeout rate at maximum effort out of the pen so far this year, in five starts and 18.1 innings last year he had a 19.4% strikeout rate and a 5.51 xFIP while allowing a 5.10% home run rate on a 10.3% barrel rate. He is a major target for bats in this one. Rowdy Tellez should be no surprise as our team and slate leader in the home run model, the projected cleanup hitter has a 19.23 today, nearly doubling the magic number for power. Tellez has eight home runs this season and looks like a good bet for another. Christian Yelich leads off and has three home runs in his pocket this year but just a .118 ISO, his 12.55 in the home run model is encouraging today. Jesse Winker and Willy Adames are strong power bats, but only Adames has been going right at any point in 2023, he has five home runs with a .176 ISO and a 99 WRC+, slipping below par over the last two weeks. Winker has no home runs in his 68 plate appearances and has just a .053 ISO after being a major letdown for most of last season. The lefty-righty duo has a 12.81 and 15.52 in the home run model ahead of Tellez. William Contreras is a hard-hitting catcher who is pulling in a 13.20 in the model, he has one home run so far this year but has been the Brewers’ most reliable bat overall. Brian Anderson has five home runs with a 14.3% barrel rate, he is another quality option for power today, though he slips below the 10-mark with a 9.54 in our home run model. Anderson is inexpensive at $4,100 with third base and outfield eligibility on DraftKings, he is a more expensive proposition at $3,600 on FanDuel. Brice Turang has just a 5.42 in the home run model, he is not much of a power hitter so far but he has put two over the wall in 86 plate appearances. Tyrone Taylor hits the ball hard and could go under the radar for MLB DFS gamers, he has an 11.48 in the home run model and he hit 17 long balls in 405 plate appearances last year. Joey Weimer has two home runs in 99 plate appearances with a .135 ISO and a 7.5% barrel rate, but he is pulling in a respectable 9.03 in the home run model out of the ninth spot in the projected lineup.

The Rockies are not a very good team, and Brewers starter Wade Miley rarely gets completely tattooed on the mound, though he is rarely a standout and is definitely not an option at Coors Field. Miley is good at limiting power and home runs and he tends to keep the ball down while not issuing too many free passes, which can have a limiting impact on opposing offenses, even in this ballpark. Colorado is carrying a 5.54-run implied team total that is one of the more healthy marks on the board and they will likely be the lower-owned squad at Coors, but they are not overly appealing beyond those factors. Charlie Blackmon is projected to lead off, he has three home runs and a 112 WRC+ in a good start to the season for a veteran hitter who comes cheap at $4,500/$3,200. Jurickson Profar is cheap bat has not been good, he has just a .124 ISO with three home runs and has been 40% worse than average creating runs this year. Kris Bryant and CJ Cron are solid right-handed power hitters, Bryant has four home runs while slashing .299/.370/.449 with a 111 WRC+, Cron has six home runs with a .240 ISO, a 17.6% barrel rate, and a 44.6% hard-hit rate. Elias Diaz and Randal Grichuk are clickable names late in the lineup, Diaz has been well above average in his 100 plate appearances, slashing .337/.390/.500 with three home runs, a .163 ISO, and a 128 WRC+. Diaz is still cheap at $3,900/$3,200 and is very interesting where catchers are required. Grichuk just returned to the lineup last week, he has been a solid mid-range power hitter in the past, he hit 19 home runs in 538 plate appearances last year and 22 in 545 in 2021. Ryan McMahon is buried in the seventh spot in the lineup but he is another capable power hitter on the left side of the plate who comes cheap with multi-position eligibility at second and third base on the blue site. Alan Trejo and Ezequiel Tovar round out the lineup, Tovar has a home run, Trejo has a stolen base, otherwise they have not done much with a combined 83 WRC+ (36 and 47).

Play: bats bats bats, but mostly Brewers bats

Update Notes:

Seattle Mariners (-224/5.18) @ Oakland Athletics (+203/3.43)

Seattle’s lineup looks like one of the best stacks on the slate against non-option Drew Rucinski today. The righty has made one start for the Athletics so far, since returning from the KBO where he was a star the past few years in the offseason. Rucinski struck out one Reds hitter and allowed five runs, three earned, on 11 hits to 28 batters faced over 5.2 innings in that start, this is not a good pitcher by any stretch of the imagination. The loaded Mariners are notably much better than the Reds, they have an opportunity to tee-off on Rucinski today and the team should be rostered aggressively from top to bottom. Julio Rodriguez is today’s overall home run pick with a 14.38 in our model. The star outfielder costs $5,800/$3,600 and he has hit five home runs and stolen six bases this year. Jarred Kelenic has been the Mariners’ best bat so far this season, he is slashing .309/.370/.608 with a .299 ISO, seven home runs, and five stolen bases. Kelenick costs just $4,400/$3,400 for some reason, the sites have not caught up to, or do not trust, his excellent start, MLB DFS gamers should. Kelenic came up as one of the top-hitting prospects in baseball before slamming into a development wall the last two seasons. He has now hurdled the wall and is sprinting through open fields on his way to stardom, get Kelenic in your Mariners stacks. Ty France and Cal Raleigh hit third and fourth in the projected lineup, France has a 99 WRC+ but has not been as productive as last year, he should turn things around on the back of his excellent hit tool. Raleigh has five home runs this season as a cheap catcher play on most slates. Eugenio Suarez and Teoscar Hernandez are better bats than one might typically find at sixth and seventh in a lineup, but they have both bounced along the bottom so far this season. Suarez has not hit for his typical power and Herandez is slashing just .210/.246/.420 though he has seven home runs and a .210 ISO. Taylor Trammell is another premium young hitter who has been in and out of the lineup early in his career. Trammell has a home run on the board in his seven plate appearances this year, he hit eight in 178 opportunities in 2021 before struggling in his 117 tries last year. JP Crawford and Kolten Wong close out the projected lineup with two capable bats who are never highly owned. Crawford has a 114 WRC+ so far this year and Wong is at just 37, but the latter is actually the better of the two hitters in an overall sense.

The Mariners have one of the day’s top starters once again, with righty George Kirby taking the hill to face the lousy Athletics. Kirby is a very talented young pitcher who posted a 24.5% strikeout rate over 130 innings in 25 starts as a rookie just last year. He has a 20% strikeout rate in 30.2 innings over five starts this season and pitches reliably deep into games on the back of his excellent control and command. Kirby rarely gets himself into trouble or extends innings unnecessarily, he had a terrific 4.1% walk rate while pitching to a 3.33 xFIP and a 3.39 ERA last year, this year he has a microscopic 1.7% walk rate and a 0.95 WHIP with a 3.91 xFIP and a 2.93 ERA. Even in the absence of his better strikeout stuff so far, the pitcher has been very solid this year, he has avoided premium contact as well, allowing just a 4.3% barrel rate and a 0.83% home run rate on just 33.7% hard hits and an 87.3 mph average exit velocity, Kirby is set up to have a very good deep start against this Oakland lineup, he should chase both the win and quality start bonuses and is a smash play at $8,800 on DraftKings and a very good one at $10,000 on the blue site. Athletics hitters to focus on if building extremely contrarian stacks with baseball’s worst lineup would be Brent RookerShae LangeliersRamon LaureanoRyan NodaEsteury Ruiz, and Tony Kemp, probably in that order. They are not a good baseball team. Rooker is leading the squad with a 5.69 in our home run model, he has nine in 94 plate appearances this year and we still have our chips firmly bet on “no” as far as the question of whether his start was for real. Everyone else on the team is worse.

Play: all the George Kirby, Mariners stacks/bats aggressively

Update Notes:

Atlanta Braves (-101/4.26) @ Miami Marlins (-107/4.33)

Lefty Jesus Luzardo has made six starts and thrown 33.2 innings for the Marlins this season, posting a 27% strikeout rate and a 4.08 xFIP with a 3.48 ERA. Luzardo has allowed just a 2.84% home run rate so far this year, but hitters have a 12.1% barrel rate against him so far, which is a concern in a matchup against the loaded Braves lineup. Atlanta has premium right-handed power hitters up and down the batting order, but there are also plenty of strikeouts available for the southpaw, making this something of a both-sides opportunity that may lean toward the excellent starter at just $8,600/$9,200. Luzardo is in play for pitching shares, particularly if he comes up under-owned around the industry, but Braves bats are also very much in play. Atlanta stacks should include power-hitting first baseman Matt Olson alongside outfield superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. where the pairing can be afforded. Acuna has six home runs and 14 stolen bases, Olson has eight home runs on the season and mashes left-handed pitching over the long term. Austin Riley and Sean Murhpy are top end power hitters, Riley has six home runs, Murphy has eight and slots in as a premium catcher option on both sites. Ozzie Albies has nine home runs to lead the team so far this season, the second baseman has a .292 ISO and has created runs 29% better than average in an excellent return to form, the only thing missing has been his old habit of also stealing bases. Vaughn Grissom is slashing .276/.323/.293 with no home runs and just a .017 ISO over his first 62 plate appearances this year, he was better with five home runs in 156 opportunities last year, but he is a highly thought-of prospect who comes cheap at the bottom of the lineup. Marcell OzunaKevin Pillar, and Chadwick Tromp are projected to round out the lineup.

The Marlins are facing lefty Dylan Dodd who has made two starts and thrown 9.1 innings this year. Dodd has a 14.3% strikeout rate in the two outings and has yielded a 94.1 mph average exit velocity with a 20% barrel rate and 54.3% hard hits in the tiny sample. Dodd can play directly into some right-handed power from the Marlins, but they are not an overly appealing stack with the general lack of sequencing and run-creation ability. Both Jorge Soler and Jazz Chisholm Jr. are above the magic number in our home run model, they are at 11.84 and 10.99 respectively. Soler has five home runs but is slashing .202/.284/.423 with a 91 WRC+, and Chisholm has five home runs and a 92 WRC+. Yuli Gurriel is back in the lineup for Miami, he has a 126 WRC+ over 62 plate appearances in a return to form in the small sample. Gurriel is slashing .310/.355/.466 with a .155 ISO and a pair of home runs, he won the AL batting title in 2021. Jon Berti and Jean Segura hit on either side of Gurriel, with Nick FortesBryan De La CruzPeyton Burdick, and Garrett Hampson rounding things off. The Marlins are a minor stacking option, the team is not very good and the choices are not great, but they are extremely cheap and they are in a good matchup against a soft-tossing pitcher who has yet to figure things out at this level and is probably in need of seasoning.

Play: Atlanta bats/stacks, Jesus Luzardo, maybe Marlins value with low expectations

Update Notes:

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