MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Slate Notes – Friday Main Slate 4/5/24

After a traditionally short Thursday slate baseball is back at it with a meaty seven-game main slate on Friday night, the board on both sites features several premium starting pitchers and bountiful stacking opportunities in quality ballparks. This is a good slate for generating a broad spread of coverage across possibilities and for embracing the game’s variance to reduce costs to afford the high-end arms. Taking the opposite approach and finding discounted pitchers to load up on bats is another reasonable approach with quality from the mid-range including Griffin Canning, Hunter Brown, Erick Fedde (maybe), and Brady Singer at a slightly higher mark. The bargain bin, however, is fairly light on options with most of the slate’s worst pitchers facing very good offenses, like poor Tommy Henry in a matchup with Atlanta. Today’s breakdown takes a slightly different “top plays” approach through the notes.

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

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 Notes – 4/5/24

New York Mets (+113/4.35) @ Cincinnati Reds (-122/4.75)

  • The Mets land as a highly projected team with power potential in a great hitting situation in Cincinnati’s bandbox. The only downside is that they have to face Hunter Greene, the Reds’ ace. Greene made 22 starts last season, working 112.0 innings with a 4.82 ERA, 4.01 xFIP, and a 30.5% strikeout rate. Greene can be hit, he allowed a 3.82% home run rate on a 9.0% barrel rate with 43.4% hard hits and 90.0 mph of exit velocity on average through last season. Greene’s first start of the season came against Washington, he worked 4.2 innings and struck out seven of the 22 Nationals he faced but his four walks led to a pair of earned runs and he also gave up five hits. The righty is very expensive on the FanDuel slate at $10,300, he is at a far more user-friendly $8,300 on the DraftKings slate where he looks like a high-end option at a discount and can be considered a cheap SP1.
  • Mets obvious stacking candidates: Brandon NimmoFrancisco LindorPete AlonsoFrancisco Alvarez. These should be the top four hitters in the Mets lineup, they represent a significant run of power and DFS scoring potential. Nimmo is a terrific table-setter with power, Lindor’s slow start can be entirely ignored, he is a 30-30 candidate again this season, Alonso is one of the best power hitters in baseball, and Alvarez brings extreme thunder to the catcher spot at a cheap $2,800/$3,200 and is playable even where catchers are not required.
  • Favorite Mets bolt-on hitter: Brett Baty/Starling Marte. These two continue the straight line through the projected lineup. Baty will probably be the lower-owned of the two, the lefty has a bit of power and posted a 43.4% hard-hit rate in a bumpy rookie season in 2023. Marte had a tough year but his speed and good mid-range pop make him a reasonable bounce-back candidate for this year and he is cheap at $2,900/$3,500.
  • Sneaky Mets power: DJ Stewart hit 11 home runs in 185 plate appearances last year with a 12.2% barrel rate and 43% hard-hit rate, he is projected to hit ninth for $2,300/$3,100.
  • Lefty Jose Quintana drops into the tough ballpark off a mediocre first outing in which he struck out four, walked two, and allowed a pair of earned runs on six hits including a home run against the Brewers. Quintana made 13 starts last season, working 75.2 innings and posting a 3.57 ERA with a 4.48 xFIP but just an 18.8% strikeout rate with an 8.9% swinging-strike rate and 25.8% CSW. Quintana does not allow much power, he managed to keep barrels to just 5.1% against with a 1.57% home run rate last season and was similarly strong for checking homers and premium contact in a larger sample of 165.2 innings in 2022. The lefty has a playable projection for the price but there are probably better options than targeting a low-level strikeout arm in this ballpark.
  • The most obvious stacking candidates for the Reds also come from atop the lineup. Jonathan India, Spencer Steer, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand are the top three hitters in the projected lineup and none of them are above $4,700 on DraftKings. India hit 17 home runs and stole 14 bases last year, he has not started strong over six games but that does not matter. Steer is off to a strong start with a home run, a stolen base, and a .435/.480/.739 triple-slash over his first six games and 25 plate appearances. Encarnacion-Strand has one of the longer names in the game and some comparably large power, he has one home run on the board already in 2024 but has also struck out at a 34.6% clip so far. Encarnacion-Strand leads the team with a 9.29 in today’s home run model.
  • Jeimer Candelario is a good veteran switch-hitter in the middle of the batting order who costs only $2,800/$4,400 at third base, he is a good swingman between top-of-lineup and bottom-end stacks. Candelario has a 6.63 in the home run model.
  • Pricey Elly De La Cruz is a $3,500/$5,300 option at third base or shortstop on the blue site and without third base eligibility on DraftKings. De La Cruz has all the talent in the world, he hits the ball incredibly hard when he manages to make contact and he circles the bases faster than anyone in baseball. The hole in his value is the hole(s) in his swing. De La Cruz hit 13 home runs and stole 35 bases in a partial season of 427 plate appearances last year but struck out at a 33.7% clip in the Show. Over 25 plate appearances so far in 2024, the potential star is 6-24 with one walk, he has stolen two bases and been caught once and he has two doubles and a triple as if to demonstrate the excitement and volatility he brings to stat lines. Unfortunately, De La Cruz has also struck out in 48% of his 25 plate appearances. The ceiling is well worth the salary investment on the right night, but the high prices day to day make it a more difficult play to pull off, given the infrequency of success and the gigantic downside.
  • Will Benson is packed with skills but dips down the lineup against a southpaw, Stuart Fairchild is not much of a hitter against either hand, and the balance of the projected lineup is low-end for DFS, the Reds are oddly top-heavy on this slate.

Play: Mets bats/stacks, Reds top-end bats/stacks, Hunter Greene value on DraftKings

Philadelphia Phillies (-190/5.00) @ Washington Nationals (+174/3.61)

  • Left-handed veteran Patrick Corbin is a major target on this slate, he has the Phillies sitting at a 5.0-run implied total that ranks second to only the Braves on this slate. Corbin has been mostly lousy for several seasons, he had a 5.20 ERA and 4.76 xFIP and allowed a 4.18% home run rate on 9.3% barrels and 90.7 mph of exit velocity on average while striking out only 15.7% last season. In his first start of 2024, Corbin lived up to his reputation, allowing four earned runs with a pair of home runs and striking out just two of the 18 hitters he faced over 4.2 innings. The lefty is not playable on the mound, he should be targeted with Phillies bats.
  • The Phillies lineup plays from top to bottom tonight. Kyle Schwarber has immense power and a gigantic 16.38 mark in our home run model for the day, ranking him third overall on the slate despite the lefty-lefty matchup. Schwarber hit 15 of his 47 home runs against same-handed pitching last season with a .242 ISO (.296 against righties). Trea Turner is off to a bit of a slow start over six games, a meaningless sample. The shortstop has a pair of stolen bases but is just 5-23 with three walks and a pair of stolen bases, he is yet to homer or slug an extra-base hit. Turner is easy to reach at $3,400 on FanDuel, his $6,100 on DraftKings is the highest price on the team. Bryce Harper seems discounted by comparison at only $5,600 on the DraftKings slate, he is a $3,800 FanDuel first baseman. Harper has an 11.21 in today’s home run model, the superstar has three home runs on the season, all from the same outrageous game, he has also stolen a base and is off to a 145 WRC+ over five games played. JT RealmutoAlec Bohm, and Nick Castellanos make for a strong mid-lineup run of right-handed hitters to throw at the terrible lefty. Each of them has power, they hit a total of 69 home runs with Castellanos leading the way at 29 and the other two picking up 20 each last season. Bryson Stott slashed .282/.347/.383 with a 101 WRC+ against fellow lefties last season, essentially the same line as he posted against righties but with a .101 ISO as compared to a .151 against righties. Stott should be considered a good on-base and correlated scoring play if he is in the lineup. Whit Merrifield and Johan Rojas are mix-and-match pieces late in the lineup, Merrifield is a veteran right-handed hitter with cheap multi-position eligibility and multi-category potential given mid-range power and stolen base speed.
  • Aaron Nola represents the extreme opposite end of the pitching spectrum from his opponent. Nola costs $10,100/$9,000 and is easily worth the investment against this Nationals squad. The righty worked to a 25.5% strikeout rate with a 4.46 ERA but a 3.63 xFIP over 193.2 innings last season, he provides a strong chance of reaching bonuses on both sites in this spot. Nola had a rough first outing but it came against the Braves and there is a bit of forgivability in play. The righty coughed up seven runs on 12 hits with two homers while working 4.1 innings and facing 24 hitters. Nola struck out only three and walked one, he should be far better tonight.
  • CJ Abrams is easily the best Nationals player, the shortstop had a breakout 2023 with 18 home runs and 47 stolen bases, and he is off to a strong start this season with two home runs and three stolen bases in his first six games. Abrams is joined at the top of the lineup by Lane Thomas who hit 28 home runs and stole 20 bases in 2023. The lefty-righty shortstop-outfield combination is a good way to start a stack of Nationals in a bad spot against an ace starter, but the team lacks clear-cut options for the remaining spots.
  • Our favorite Nationals hitter will continue to be lefty masher Joey Gallo who is projected to hit fifth. Gallo makes infrequent but extraordinarily aggressive contact at the plate and he has one of the most discerning eyes in baseball at the plate, for better or worse. The 42.8% strikeout rate that Gallo posted with the Twins last season tends to overshadow the fact that he blasted 21 home runs in 332 plate appearances while creating runs above league average and posting an 18.6% barrel rate and 52.9% hard-hit rate that are rivaled only by players like Aaron Judge and Yordan Alvarez. Jesse Winker is a lefty with decent power and a good bat but he is rarely healthy and is coming off of two lost seasons. Winker is playable for those who choose to target Nola. Joey Meneses has a better hit tool than power bat, Keibert Ruiz is similar but puts everything in play from either side of the plate, the catcher had a 10.3% strikeout rate last season, and Eddie Rosario adds some potential left-handed power late in the lineup.

Play: Phillies bats/stacks aggressively. Aaron Nola.

Arizona Diamondbacks (+246/3.40) @ Atlanta Braves (-276/5.73)

  • Atlanta has Spencer Strider on the mound tonight, he has been on a different tier than every starter in baseball since joining the league in 2022. Strider has a 37.2% strikeout rate with a 3.37 ERA and 2.70 xFIP for his career to this point, he is utterly elite in every way. The righty costs $10,800/$11,000 tonight, the salary is entirely justified even against a quality team like the Diamondbacks, who do not cough up strikeouts easily.
  • Arizona’s typically solid but unspectacular home run marks have been cut more than in half by the outrageous talent on the mound. Strider allowed a 2.88% home run rate last year and just a 1.33% mark the season before, he is very good at sapping power and it is impossible to hit a home run when you are swinging and missing. Those who choose to target the Diamondbacks would do well to focus on the stars at the top of the lineup, including multi-category Corbin CarrollKetel MarteLourdes Gurriel Jr., and Christian Walker. Carroll hit 25 home runs and stole 54 bases in a star-making 2023, he has a pair of stolen bases over six games but has not gotten going for the season yet. Marte is off to a strong start with a home run and a stolen base while slashing .379/.412/.552 in a meaningless seven-game sample. Gurriel is a solid hitter with power and a low 17.4% strikeout rate last year. Gurriel and Walker both are good at limiting strikeouts for the power they provide, the first baseman had 33 home runs with just a 19.2% strikeout rate last year.
  • Joc Pederson has power against mortal righties, Strider is from a different plane of existence. Eugenio Suarez is a free-swinging power hitter who will likely add to Strider’s strikeout total but he does have home run potential against the bullpen. Gabriel Moreno is a high-end catcher in a bad spot, and the bottom of the lineup will be filled by Jake McCarthy and Geraldo Perdomo who are low-priority bats in a low-priority stack.
  • The Braves are a top-priority stack against lefty Tommy Henry who is not in for a good day. Henry does not rank on the pitching board today, he had a 5.40 xFIP with a 16.8% strikeout rate over 89.0 innings in 16 starts in 2023 and is a target for Braves bats.
  • Atlanta hit approximately all the home runs last season. The Braves’ ridiculous power was on display from wire-to-wire with superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. leading the way at .337/.416/.596 with 41 home runs and 73 stolen bases and a WRC+ mark 70% better than the league average. Acuna’s 2023 was one of the best baseball seasons of all time, even Acuna is unlikely to repeat that type of performance, but he remains one of MLB DFS’ top overall options on any given slate. Acuna has a 16.90 to top the home run model tonight. Ozzie Albies has a 12.29 in the home run model, he hit 33 long balls and stole 13 bases last season. Third baseman Austin Riley ranks at 14.68 for a home run, he hit 37 last season and 38 the year before. Matt Olson fills first base for $4,200/$6,000, his 16.22 ranks behind only Acuna, Pete Alonso, and Kyle Schwarber for power upside tonight. Outfielder Marcell Ozuna’s home run mark is 12.67 and Adam Duvall lands at 10.80, giving the Braves six of their first six hitters above the “magic number” for home run potential on this slate.
  • Michael Harris II is a star who happens to hit far down the lineup, he hit 18 home runs and stole 20 bases last year and has room for growth at the plate, he connects well with any of the top six hitters. Orlando Arcia is inexpensive at $2,900/$3,600, the shortstop hit 17 sneaky home runs for this team last season. Travis d’Arnaud is one of the best-hitting backup catchers in baseball, he hit 11 home runs with a nine percent barrel rate and 42.8% hard-hit rate last season.

Play: Spencer Strider and Braves bats/stacks both aggressively despite any popularity

Chicago White Sox (+165/3.45) @ Kansas City Royals (-180/4.64)

  • Righty Brady Singer is a quality starter at a fair price facing one of baseball’s worst teams, this puts him easily on the board at $9,200/$8,700. Singer had an ugly 5.52 ERA but a much sharper 4.28 xFIP with an 18.9% strikeout rate over 159.2 innings in 29 starts last season. The young righty was better the year before, he had a 24.2% strikeout rate with a 3.23 ERA and 3.30 xFIP, with the truth probably somewhere between the two seasons. Singer worked a terrific seven innings in his first start, striking out 10 of the 27 Twins he faced while allowing just three hits and issuing a walk.
  • The full White Sox roster is at a collective .193/.260/.326 with a .134 ISO and a 25% strikeout rate over their first six games and 204 total plate appearances. The team has hit six home runs and stolen one base with a collective WRC+ that sits 29% below average. This is a bad baseball team.
  • Outfielder Luis Robert Jr. is the team’s lone star and the only player truly worth rostering on a nightly basis. Robert hit 38 home runs and stole 20 bases in an outstanding 2023 season, he costs $3,300/$5,200 but lacks support in the lineup.
  • Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada have a moderate ability to get on base ahead of Robert, giving them a bit of correlated scoring potential with the star. Gavin Sheets and Andrew Vaughn bring a bit of lefty-righty power to the plate for cheap prices behind Robert, but they are not standout hitters. Sheets had 10 home runs and a lousy triple-slash over 344 plate appearances while Vaughn hit 21 homers in 615 opportunities. The bottom of the White Sox lineup is not where one looks for quality.
  • Erick Fedde is a $7,800/$7,200 option against a middle-of-the-road Royals lineup. Fedde had some buzz coming into the Spring after remaking himself during a very successful stint in the KBO in which he won the equivalent of a Cy Young Award. Fedde is a 31-year-old starter with a 17.7% strikeout rate for his career and a 5.39 ERA with a 4.54 xFIP over 459 innings and 89 starts in the Majors. The righty struck out seven of 20 Tigers hitters in his first start back in the bigs, though he only made it through 4.2 innings and allowed a pair of solo home runs and five total hits. Fedde is an interesting option tonight, the Royals present a mixed bag with power and speed as well as a few low-strikeout hitters, but the lineup also features some extreme free-swingers who strike out aggressively, this could quietly be a good test for Fedde’s upside. The righty is in the mix for shares, particularly on the two-starter site, but his potential for a win bonus could be hampered by the lousy lineup he fronts.
  • The Royals are going to be frisky this season, the team has one true star and several talented young hitters as well as some dangerous veteran players. Bobby Witt Jr. hits second and stars at the shortstop position for Kansas City. Witt hit 30 home runs and swiped 49 bases in a tremendous 2023 season, creating runs 15% better than average. Vinnie Pasquantino struck out just 11.9% of the time while walking at a 9.6% clip and slashing .247/.324/.437 with a .190 ISO and nine home runs in just 260 plate appearances. Pasquantino has the potential for premium power upside with a low strikeout total, he is an interesting bat for just $2,700/$4,400. Sal Perez is cheap at $3,100/$4,400, he is a FanDuel catcher and adds first base eligibility across town. Perez hit 23 home runs each of the past two seasons and 48 in 2021, he has two homers in his first 29 plate appearances of 2024. Those three hitters represent the “core” for Kansas City but they are not the only stackable options in the projected lineup.
  • Leadoff man Maikel Garcia costs just $3,100/$4,300 with third base and shortstop eligibility on FanDuel but only the hot corner on DraftKings. Garcia stole 23 bases while slashing .272/.323/.358 but posting just a .086 ISO and 84 WRC+. There is buzz about Garcia and he is off to a very strong start with three home runs and a stolen base in his first seven games. Garcia is just 24 and has plenty of room to grow, he is also from a baseball bloodline as a member of Ronald Acuna Jr.’s extended family. MJ Melendez and Nelson Velazquez both homered in a good spot last night, they are primed to have big years as a lefty-righty power tandem and they remain cheap for DFS purposes on both sites. Hunter Renfroe hit 60 home runs across 2021 and 2022 before dipping somewhat to just 20 last season, he is a $2,500/$3,400 outfield option with a strong power ceiling on this slate.

Play: Brady Singer, Royals bats/stacks, Erick Fedde value darts

Houston Astros (-133/5.12) @ Texas Rangers (+122/4.49)

  • Rangers starter Cody Bradford is another target on this slate. Houston checks in with a 5.12-run implied total, one of three teams above five runs on the Vegas board tonight. Bradford is a lefty who had a 5.30 ERA and 4.43 xFIP with a 21.8% strikeout rate last season and he had issues with allowing premium contact and home run power in the small sample of sub-standard performance. Bradford allowed a 4.70% home run rate on 11.8% barrels, a 43.5% hard-hit rate, and 90.9 mph of exit velocity on average. For $7,300/$6,700 there is not much reason to play this pitcher against an elite Astros lineup that mashes lefties as much as righties.
  • The most important thing to remember when the Astros face a lefty is that star outfielders Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker lose essentially none of their quality in the splits against same-handed pitchers. Both lefties obliterate southpaws for power and excellent triple-slash numbers, they should not be skipped in Astros stacks for the handedness of any starter. Alvarez has a pair of home runs this season, he is one of the best overall hitters in baseball and had a .293/.407/.583 triple-slash while creating runs 70% better than average last year. Tucker has a pair of homers and a stolen base on the board in seven games, he hit 29 homers and stole 30 bases last season. At $4,100/$5,700 and $3,600/$5,600 there are few better pairings in MLB DFS.
  • Jose Altuve is the leadoff hitter ahead of the dynamite lefties, he is a star as well, the second baseman hit 17 home runs and stole 14 bases last season in only 410 plate appearances and he is affordable at $5,300 on DraftKings while landing at a $3,800 price on the FanDuel slate. Alex Bregman cleans up on the other side of the lefty pairing, the right-handed third baseman is discounted to $2,900/$4,800 tonight. Bregman hit 25 home runs and created runs 25% better than average last season, he has massive upside against this pitcher for this price. Yainer Diaz has been one of baseball’s hottest hitters over the first week of the season. The catcher had a great rookie campaign in 2023, hitting 23 home runs in 377 opportunities and he has two dingers on the board already this year while slashing .462/.517/.731 over his first 29 plate appearances. Diaz is climbing the salary board, he is up to $4,200 on DraftKings when he started the week $900 less expensive than he is today. The backstop is a $3,000 play on FanDuel and he is easy to include in stacks despite the lack of positional requirement. Jose Abreu has right-handed pop on the right night but has been largely skippable in favor of Chas McCormick in most stacks. McCormick has power and speed with excellent premium contact skills for just $2,900/$4,000. Even Jeremy Pena has contributed early in the season and Jake Meyers is not a lost cause, the Astros play 1-9 on most slates.
  • Hunter Brown is a solid right-handed hurler who takes the hill for Houston tonight. The second chromatic Hunter on the slate checks in at just $8,500/$8,000 after a season of 26.8% strikeout pitching over 155.2 innings in 29 starts in 2023. Brown posted a 5.09 ERA for the season but his 3.52 xFIP was much stronger. The righty is an interesting option tonight, he is in a tough matchup against the hard-hitting World Champions but he has both the strikeout upside and the stuff to post a decent day for a fair price on a slate that is somewhat limited for pitching value. Brown is at least worth consideration from the mid-range.
  • The Rangers lost Josh Jung to another injury, he will miss about 10 weeks. The team is still loaded with talent but the loss of Jung is a blow to their overall quality. Marcus Semien and Corey Seager are an enviable top two and middle infield pairing. The second baseman and shortstop combined for 62 home runs last season, with Semien slashing .276/.348/.478 and creating runs 24% better than average and Seager posting a tremendous .327/.390/.623 and creating runs 69% better than average. Evan Carter slots into the third spot in the projected lineup for $3,000/$4,500, the outfielder made 75 plate appearances in a cup of coffee last season, slashing .306/.413/.645 with a 180 WRC+ in the small sample. Adolis Garcia hit 39 homers last year and he has three out of the gate over his first 28 plate appearances of 2024. Garcia has extreme power upside as the most expensive player on the team on FanDuel for $4,000, he is a $5,400 option on DraftKings. Rookie Wyatt Langford had a hot Spring and was a darling of season-long drafts in the run-up to Opening Day, he is 6-25 with two walks to start the season and is slashing just .240/.286/.320 since games began to count.
  • Jared Walsh and Jonah Heim offer cheap power late in the lineup, Josh H. Smith or Ezequiel Duran will fill in for Jung while he is out, we greatly prefer the upside that Duran brings along with multi-positional eligibility on most slates. Leody Taveras had a good year at the plate with 14 home runs and 14 stolen bases at the bottom of the lineup last year.

Play: Astros bats/stacks, Rangers top-end as a mid-level option, minor investments in Hunter Brown value

Seattle Mariners (+104/3.71) @ Milwaukee Brewers (-113/3.88)

  • Veteran Freddy Peralta struck out 30.9% of opposing hitters over 30 starts and 165.2 innings last season, 27.1% in 78.0 innings and 17 starts in 2022, and 33.6% over 144.1 innings and 27 starts in 2021, he is an underappreciated asset for MLB DFS scoring on the mound. Peralta costs $9,800/$9,300 against a high-strikeout Mariners squad carrying a 3.71-run implied team total tonight. Peralta struck out eight and walked one while allowing only a solo home run over six innings and 19 hitters to open the season against the Mets last week, he is in a good spot against a limited Seattle squad.
  • Leadoff hitter JP Crawford is the best option to stack with superstar outfielder Julio Rodriguez on most slates. Crawford hits left-handed and gets on base to set the table for Rodriguez. The shortstop hit 19 home runs himself last year and got on at a .380 clip, creating runs 34% better than average for the season. Rodriguez hit 32 home runs and stole 37 bases while creating runs 26% better than average, he is a bit underpriced at $3,500 on FanDuel and costs $5,800 on DraftKings.
  • Veteran infielder Jorge PolancoMitch Haniger, Mitch Garver, and Cal Raleigh offer power at the plate but strike out aggressively and make good targets for a pitcher like Peralta. Polanco hit 14 home runs in a partial season last year, striking out 25.7% of the time. Haniger has not been overly relevant for two seasons but was a major source of power in 2021, he struck out at a 28.4% clip last year. Garver and Raleigh fill the same DraftKings position and cannot be deployed together, they struck out at 23.8% and 27.8% last year. Ty France and Dominic Canzone lack the power of the others but both struck out at 17.6% rates last season while Josh Rojas rounds off the stack at 23.1% strikeouts from last year. This is a gettable spot for Peralta players.
  •  The Brewers draw righty Logan Gilbert in a high-end pitching duel that could lead to underperformance by both offenses. Gilbert is a premium starter who had a 3.73 ERA with a 3.76 xFIP and 24.5% strikeout rate over 190.2 innings and 32 starts last season. The best feature of his game, and an organizational priority for the Mariners’ pitching development team is a low 4.7% walk rate from last year. Gilbert is excellent at limiting opportunities for his opponents, he gave up a bit of power but without issuing many free passes he can skirt that with lower run marks than others with similar power and contact numbers. Gilbert projects well on this slate, he competes with the top options for $9,900/$9,600.
  • Star rookie Jackson Chourio is projected to lead off ahead of William Contreras and Christian Yelich in tonight’s lineup for a mid-level Brewers team. Chourio is one of baseball’s top prospects, he is off to a .350/.381/.550 start with a home run and stolen base in his first 21 plate appearances and five games and he should make for a quality table-setter for the hitters who follow. Chourio offers a good blend of power and speed for just $2,900/$3,500 against the quality pitcher. Contreras is an excellent bat at the catcher position in a good spot in the lineup. While most catchers hit from the middle down, Contreras gains plate appearance potential from hitting in the top portion of the lineup, he slashed .291/.369/.459 with a 125 WRC+ and 17 home runs in 611 plate appearances last season. Yelich hit 19 home runs and stole 28 bases while maintaining his typically consistent excellent premium contact numbers in 2023. The outfielder is still an excellent left-handed bat for $3,800/$5,100 but the matchup is not great.
  • The middle of the lineup has power but limited skills in other facets of hitting. Willy Adames has cheap shortstop power, Jake Bauers can connect for home runs but not much else from the left side, and Rhys Hoskins has similar homer-or-bust potential from the right side. Hoskins has gotten out to a good start after fighting half of the Mets organization last week. The slugger has a pair of home runs with a .294/.429/.647 triple-slash over his first 5 games with Milwaukee. Sal Frelick and Brice Turang are depth names with quality, Joey Ortiz can add a bit of pop from the left side on the correct night, but none of the trio are high-priority hitters in this matchup.

Play: Freddy Peralta, Logan Gilbert

Boston Red Sox (-100/4.25) @ Los Angeles Angels (-108/4.34)

  • Right-handed starter Griffin Canning was a buzzy sleeper for season-long drafts this year. Canning had a strong finish to his 2023 campaign and picked up some velocity to go with his excellent mix of pitches. Overall for the season he finished with a 4.32 ERA and 3.82 xFIP while striking out 25.9% but he was a bit of a launching pad with a 4.10% home run rate on 9.8% barrels and 91 mph of exit velocity. The righty became a popular waiver drop after a rough first outing of the season. Canning worked 5.0 innings and faced 23 Orioles, allowing five earned runs on seven hits including a homer while walking one and striking out just two. At home in a pitching-friendly park against the Red Sox he has a bit more upside and projects for a good start for the $7,200/$7,000. Canning is a good option for pitching value tonight.
  • The Red Sox are a playable stack, given the power that Canning can allow when things do not go well. Boston brings plenty of thump to the plate this season, leadoff man Jarren Duran hit eight home runs and had a 45.7% hard-hit rate but is more line-drive and on-base oriented ahead of the team’s true power. Rafael Devers had 33 home runs last season on a 12.7% barrel rate and 54.7% hard-hits, he is a bit cheap for his talent at $3,600/$5,400 at third base. Shortstop Trevor Story has been MIA for most of his Boston career but he has been in the lineup regularly to start 2024. making 31 plate appearances and stealing a base in his seven games. Triston Casas is a premium source of left-handed power, he had a 13.1% barrel rate with 24 homers in 502 opportunities last season. Tyler O’Neill has excellent power and a bit of sneaky stolen base upside from the right side and Masataka Yoshida brings a dangerous lefty bat to the heart of the order.
  • Rookie Cedanne Rafaela joins Enmanuel Valdez and Connor Wong in the bottom third of the lineup, he is the most skilled and playable part of that trio but he has not gotten off to a good start. Valdez and Wong are mix-and-match pieces at best.
  • The early portion of the season is making a mediocre Red Sox rotation look good with opening matchups against the Athletics, Mariners, and Angels. Tonight it will be Kutter Crawford’s turn to benefit from a lousy opponent. The Angels do not offer much beyond superstar Mike Trout and Crawford has the talent to get through this lineup. The righty hurler made 23 starts and threw 129.1 innings for Boston last season, posting a 25.6% strikeout rate with a 4.04 ERA and 4.32 xFIP after working in a hybrid role in 2022. Crawford is an $8,200/$8,400 option on both sites, he does not project for a better day than Canning for the money but he has a far better matchup.
  • Anthony Rendon has been so bad over the past few seasons that he is becoming a meme. Per @baseballquotes, Rendon’s last hit came when teammate Nolan Schanuel – hitting second tonight behind Rendon – was still in college. “Since Rendon’s last hit, Schanuel got drafted, got promoted to Single-A, Double-A, then MLB, and has collected 33 big-league hits” so, naturally, the Angels have Rendon leading off every day. Schanuel slashed .275/.402/.330 over 132 plate appearances after his promotion last season, the lefty has talent and can get on base ahead of Trout if nothing else.
  • Free Mike Trout.
  • Outfielder Taylor Ward hit 14 home runs last season, Brandon Drury is a true power-hitter in the infield and probably the team’s second-best bat at this point. Drury is affordable at $2,500/$4,200 with multi-position eligibility. Aaron HicksLogan O’Hoppe, and Mickey Moniak all have a bit of power potential at the plate but they are flawed options for DFS lineups. O’Hoppe leads that group with a 7.51 in our home run model, sitting below Drury’s 7.72 but above the 7.12 that Ward carries several spots up the lineup at a higher price. Zach Neto is another young player to round out the lineup, he slashed just .225/.308/.377 over 329 plate appearances after a very early promotion last season and could simply need more time to develop.

Play: Griffin Canning, Kutter Crawford, Red Sox bats/stacks

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