MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Seoul Series Game 2 Strategy Overview – Thursday 3/21/24

The second day of the MLB season comes with a bit of scandal and intrigue in the wind, given the rumors and accusations surrounding superstar Shohei Ohtani and his now-fired translator. Regardless of any bluster from the conspiracy-leaning, Ohtani will be looking to let his bat speak from the second spot in the confirmed Dodgers lineup this morning from Seoul. Wednesday’s opener began as a bit of a pitching duel between Yu Darvish and Tyler Glasnow before each checked out of the contest and the Dodgers eventually cracked the game open with four runs in the eighth inning. Neither of the starters was particularly sharp, each struck out just three hitters with Glasnow issuing four walks to Darvish’s three. Glasnow worked a full five innings, throwing 77 pitches in the process. Darvish lasted just 3.2 innings and 72 pitches before yielding to the bullpen in a high-leverage spot. Both pitchers represent a fair barometer for the depth to which tonight’s starters will be allowed to work. Both teams used several of their bullpen arms throughout the later innings on Wednesday morning, which could ultimately favor hitting if the game gets lengthy. One noteworthy theme that may not have revealed itself fully in the box score from Wednesday’s game is that both teams were looking to get aggressive on the basepaths, while Ohtani was the only player to come away with a stolen base Mookie Betts did have a stolen base called back in the first inning and several runners advanced on balls in the dirt. Overall the Dodgers’ terrific offense wore the Padres down, racking up seven hits and five runs while working a whopping nine walks. San Diego came up with just a pair of runs on four hits while drawing four free passes in a less compelling performance. The game was disappointingly lacking in home runs, none of the prodigious power hitters came through in Wednesday’s game. With another prime pitching matchup between Joe Musgrove and rookie sensation Yoshinobu Yamamoto on tap for Thursday morning we could see a repeat of slow-drip runs early with one outburst later in the game winning the day.

Don’t miss our Hitter Projections, including custom Home Run ratings for each player, and Pitcher Projections for more on the top opportunities tonight.

(Shows will begin for the full Opening Day slates on 3/28)

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 Overview – 3/21/24

San Diego Padres (+174/3.61) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (-191/5.00)

The teams flip places on Thursday with the underdog Padres as the visiting squad. San Diego veteran righty Joe Musgrove will be on the bump to face the elite Dodgers. Musgrove only made 17 starts in 2023, working a total of 97.1 innings but he pitched better than rumor and industry-speak would suggest. Musgrove worked to a 3.05 ERA that is only somewhat betrayed by a still-strong 3.70 xFIP and his strikeout rate was consistent year-over-year at 24.3%. Musgrove also maintained a strong walk rate, lowering it from 5.7% in 2022 to 5.3% in 2023. While the days of the 33.1% strikeout rate from a short 2020 season are probably never returning, it is not inconceivable that Musgrove could return to 2021’s strikeout rate of 27.1% or thereabouts. A one-in-four expectation is more than fair for the 31-year-old. Backing Musgrove up will be a lineup similar to what the Padres utilized on Wednesday, at least at the top. Xander Bogaerts accounted for a pair of hits and knocked in a run from the top of the lineup on Wednesday while making a good impression in his official debut at second base. Bogaerts is a strong contender for reliably accruing points with his good bat-on-ball skills and a knack for getting on base ahead of strong hitters. Bogaerts has a career .356 on-base percentage with a 118 WRC+ over his 6,058 plate appearances and he is capable of knocking one out of the park or swiping a base, the infielder had 19 of each last season. Fernando Tatis Jr. hit 25 home runs and stole 29 bases in 2023, mashing to a 48.9% hard-hit rate with an 11% barrel rate over his 635 plate appearances. Tatis grades out again as the strongest overall home run option on today’s slate at 11.07 in our home run model, he is sure to be popular again this morning despite Wednesday’s 0-4 performance. Jake Cronenworth has been anointed as the Padres’ three-hitter early in the season, he began the campaign with an 0-4 and two strikeouts after going just .229/.312/.378 with a .148 ISO and 92 WRC+ in 2023. At just $6,600/$6,000, Cronenworth is an easily clicked correlation play but he is not one of the stronger individuals on the slate. Manny Machado lands at an 8.91 in our home run model, the veteran slugger checked in with a 1-3 and a walk with a run scored on Wednesday but did not have a strong day of premium contact. Machado posted a 10.5% barrel rate and a 45.9% hard-hit rate last season, he is a strong bet for both run creation and power and warrants consideration for multiplier spots on both sites at lower popularity than some of his peers. Ha-Seong Kim drew a walk and a nice ovation from the hometown fans but he did not have a strong day otherwise, going 0-3 at the plate. The toolsy Kim will be looking to get on base and utilize his speed ahead of the team’s weaker bottom half but he also has appreciable power at the plate. Kim hit a career-high 17 home runs and, more importantly, swiped 38 bases in 2023, he can be a solid mixer for MLB DFS points for just $7,600/$6,500 in this spot. While predictive of absolutely nothing, Kim will almost certainly hope to put on a show for the Seoul fans before departing for the rest of the long MLB campaign. The bottom of the lineup will include Jurickson Profar who made three plate appearances on Wednesday, drawing a walk and collecting a base hit and a strikeout before giving way to pinch hitters. Profar slashed .242/.321/.368 with a .126 ISO while creating runs 24% below league average last season, his presence in the lineup is anyone’s guess but he is not entirely bereft of the raw tools that create MLB DFS points. Luis Campusano hit seven home runs while slashing .319/.356/.591 in just 174 plate appearances last year, he is a decent mid-range option for a bit of power and lower-owned run creation from later in the lineup. Tyler Wade had a strong day and was part of our (tied) winning lineup on the FanDuel slate at a low price. Wade finished Wednesday 1-2 with a walk and a run scored, which was enough to work as a price-based building block with key contributions from high-priced stars. Wade is a $3,400/$4,500 option on Thursday so he has a chance to provide the same value with a similarly modest performance. The ninth spot will again be occupied by rookie Jackson Merrill who got off to an 0-3 start at the plate. Merrill is number 12 on’s top prospects list this season. He is also highly regarded by more highly regarded scouting systems around baseball. The rookie grades out as a strong bat with good game speed, he had a 15-15 campaign over two minor league levels last year and was promoted to the Show directly from AA-ball this year. Merrill is not a secret at $6,000/$5,500, nor is the less expensive Wade, either can create a functionally strong lineup that provides wraparound scoring potential to the expensive stars atop the Padres’ batting order. The recommended construction would be to utilize those stars in the multiplier spots with Merrill or Wade helping pay the freight from a utility position.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto will surely be popular in his Dodgers debut. At $12,000 in a utility spot, Yamamoto is the most expensive play on the DraftKings slate. The righty was one of the gems in the Dodgers’ Infinity Gauntlet this offseason, commanding a record $325 million over 12 years without ever throwing a pitch in the Majors. Yamamoto has excelled in Japan’s NPB, commonly regarded as the second-best league in the world and a strong feeder system that grades out above a AAA level. Yamamoto racked up 169 strikeouts with a 1.21 ERA over 24 starts in 2023, in his age-24 season. The righty is considered one of the elite pitchers in all of baseball, he has not had an earned run average over 2.00 since 2020 when he put up a 2.20 mark. Yamamoto’s last three seasons were dominant, he won the pitching Triple Crown in all three seasons, leading the league in wins, strikeouts, and ERA. Overall, Yamamoto has a 1.44 ERA and 580 strikeouts since the start of the 2021 campaign. Yamamoto worked 9.2 innings in the Spring, pitching to a 3.47 xFIP underneath an 8.38 ERA while striking out 14 (29.8%) of the 47 hitters he faced in the mostly irrelevant sample. The righty threw to a mid-70s pitch count in his most recent outing, the same workload should be expected on Thursday morning. With a bit of a ceiling on his potential to accrue fantasy points, Yamamoto will have to work fast against some elite hitters atop the Padres lineup if he is going to find strikeout points for MLB DFS lineups, which may be a dicey proposition even with his utterly elite talent. The extreme nature of his price in a multiplier spot, combined with the probability of duplicated lineups in limited-pool Showdown contests pushes us more toward hitting on this slate but nothing would be surprising about seeing Yamamoto succeed in a big way in a baseball sense. The confirmed Dodgers lineup is the same as in Wednesday morning’s game, opening with a run of superstardom that begins with shortstop Mookie Betts. The converted outfielder is happy to play anywhere on the diamond, he began 2024 right where he left off in 2023, going 2-4 with a walk and an RBI and he had a stolen base taken away by a questionable decision early in the game. Betts is a multi-category stud worth his $9,400/$9,000 salary in either a utility spot or a higher (on one site) price in a multiplier. Over 693 plate appearances in 2023, the multi-positional Betts slashed .307/.408/.579 with a .272 ISO and 167 WRC+, hitting 39 home runs and stealing 14 bases. Shohei Ohtani had a 19.3% barrel rate with a 53.3% hard-hit rate over his 599 plate appearances in 2023, posting a monstrous 44-20 season in a miserable Angels lineup. Ohtani should soar with his new mates, other than an international gambling scandal he is off to a strong start already. The DH went 2-5 with a run batted in on Wednesday and was part of winning lineups despite a high price. Ohtani and Betts are an expensive but fantastic pairing atop lineups, they are easy to put together in multiplier spots on FanDuel, despite the popularity, with no cost increases. First baseman Freddie Freeman is cheap by comparison on the blue site, he costs just $8,500 in any role on FanDuel, making him an elite option with just as much skill as the previous two hitters. On DraftKings, Freeman costs $9,000 but he remains a strong contender in any role and a terrific correlated scoring or run-creation option up and down the lineup in stacks. Freeman had a 163 WRC+ over 730 plate appearances last year and a 157 mark across 708 opportunities in 2022, hitting 50 home runs and stealing 36 bases in the two seasons combined. Freeman has a 6.29 mark in our home run model this morning, the lefty could get into one at lower ownership than his counterparts. Right-handed hitting catcher Will Smith costs $7,200/$6,500 in an enviable lineup spot. The cleanup hitter went 1-4 with a walk and a strikeout in Wednesday’s opener but the everyday catcher is a strong hitter for his position. Not only did Smith make 554 plate appearances last year, he slashed .261/.359/.438 with a 119 WRC+ and 19 home runs to provide excellent positional value at fair pricing around the fantasy industry. Smith is a good asset in the heart of the Dodgers’ daily lineup. Max Muncy and Teoscar Hernandez are a deadly pairing for power in the fifth and sixth spots in the lineup. Muncy slashed just .212/.333/.475 last season but his .263 ISO and 36 home runs with a 15.9% walk rate were more than enough to fuel his value for both MLB DFS and the Dodgers. Muncy is fairly priced at $7,800/$7,500, the third baseman has a 6.96 in our home run model this morning. Hernandez is today’s home run pick, he has a 6.57 in the model after posting a 13.8% barrel rate and a 49.4% hard-hit rate and averaging 28 home runs over the past three seasons. Hernandez is a fearsome power hitter on the right day but he is vulnerable to the strikeout and averaged a 29.8% strikeout rate with just a 6.0% walk rate over the past two years. Hernandez went 1-5 with two strikeouts but scored twice on Wednesday and he comes back at just $7,000 on both sites. James Outman is a quality left-handed power bat with a three-true-outcomes approach at the plate. Outman struck out 31.9% of the time while walking at a 12% pace with 23 home runs and a .188 ISO over 567 plate appearances last year and he is widely expected to improve upon those numbers as the team’s everyday centerfielder. The athletic Outman also stole 16 bases in 2023, he is a good option for lower-popularity production from late in the lineup across multiple categories early in the season. Veteran Jason Heyward and second baseman Gavin Lux round out the Dodgers’ lineup. Heyward has a high-quality left-handed bat, he hit 15 home runs in just 377 plate appearances with a .204 ISO and 121 WRC+ in a bounceback season last year. At $5,800/$5,000, Heyward is not a costly or crazy option, the veteran can contribute on his own and he is an interesting correlation play that connects loosely back to Betts and Ohtani atop the lineup. Lux provides similar potential from the ninth spot. The lefty missed all of 2023 but he put up a solid .346 on-base percentage with a 113 WRC+ over 471 plate appearances in 2022 and he is expected to hit for power with a bit of speed on top. Lux is also inexpensive at $5,400/$5,500, though his 2.54 in our home run model lands below Heyward’s 3.75 for the Dodgers low.

Play: Obvious star stacks plus Teoscar Hernandez. Gavin Lux as a wraparound, and cheap Tyler Wade as a lower-priced lower-quality building block.

Update Notes:

Follow Us on Twitter. Join us in Discord. Subscribe to the YouTube Channel.

Share this with...

Content Creator: