MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Slate Notes – Monday Main Slate 4/29/24


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 – 4/29/24

Kansas City Royals (+127/4.20) @ Toronto Blue Jays (-138/4.90)

  • Toronto starter Yariel Rodriguez has shown talent and strikeout ability on the mound over his first three outings but depth has been a problem as he gets stretched out. Rodriguez has not pitched beyond the fourth inning in his three outings. The righty has a 28.9% strikeout rate with a 9.6% walk rate, a 3.86 ERA with a 3.47 xFIP, and a 3.85% home run rate allowed in the tiny sample (two home runs to 52 hitters). Rodriguez is a tough DFS option at $7,000/$7,400 and he is facing a Royals squad that has cooled after a hot start but not because of strikeouts, the projected Royals’ lineup has a 17.0% strikeout rate collectively.
  • Maikel Garcia is up to .223/.276/.384 with four home runs and seven stolen bases but he needs to get on base far more consistently to be more valuable than his 83 WRC+ in the leadoff role. Garcia is cheap atop a stack of Royals hitters. Bobby Witt Jr. has four homers, eight stolen bases, a .239 ISO, and a 149 WRC+ over 126 plate appearances, he is a star shortstop and the linchpin to any stack with this team. Witt can be utilized as an expensive one-off at the position on most slates. Vinnie Pasquantino has four home runs and a 107 WRC+ but a lower-end triple-slash than one might expect for a player who connects this frequently. For just $2,800/$4,600, Pasquantino is a welcome addition in stacks. Salvador Perez costs $3,500/$4,700, he can be stacked or utilized as a one-off catcher option on DraftKings where his 9.08 in the home run model is appealing for the money. Perez has already hit seven home runs and is slashing .340/.398/.592 with a .252 ISO and 177 WRC+. MJ Melendez has four home runs but has dipped in overall production over the past two weeks, he sits at 87 WRC+ with a .195/.275/.402 triple-slash. Adam FrazierMichael Massey, and Kyle Isbel are playable parts later in the lineup but they are an underwhelming bunch, while Nelson Velazquez offers the idea of power upside but has just two homers and a .123 ISO with a 5.8% barrel rate so far this season. Kansas City is somewhat top-heavy on a good day, when Melendez and Velazquez are held in check the situation is exacerbated.
  • Righty Jonathan Bowlan will make his first MLB start of the season for the Royals. Bowlan worked 21.0 innings over four AAA starts at age 27 to open his season, he has a 2.57 ERA and 3.80 xFIP with a 25% strikeout rate in the small minor league sample. Bowlan has thrown 3.0 innings of Major League ball in his career, allowing a home run and five hits to 14 batters. The righty is a low-faith bargain-bin SP2 option on DraftKings for $6,000 and he does not exist on the FanDuel slate.
  • With the top three hitters in their batting order continuing to slump badly as April rapidly becomes May, the Blue Jays are a rough team to stack against somewhat unpredictable pitching quality. The group of George SpringerBo Bichette, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. have combined for just seven home runs with an average triple-slash of .216/.299/.328, a .112 ISO, and an 86 WRC+. The stars have gotten very cheap, both Guerrero and Bichette are below $3,000 on FanDuel, but they have provided very little other than career history to draw faith in 2024. Ultimately this group should right the ship, potentially beginning tonight, but there is little cause to recommend them outside of the salary-for-name value presented. Justin Turner has a 150 WRC+ with a strong triple-slash but he remains positionally blocked in DraftKings stacks by Guerrero at first base. Daulton Varsho has six home runs and a .267 ISO with a 135 WRC+ and Danny Jansen offers cheap catcher power, he has a home run and a .261 ISO over his first 27 plate appearances. The bottom third of the lineup includes a declining Cavan BiggioIsiah Kiner-Falefa, and Addison Barger, who is 0-11 to start his MLB career but does come with expectations of power.

Play: Value bats are “just OK” to sample in small portions on either side. Bowlan SP2 bargain bin darts with no real faith.

Chicago Cubs (+115/3.61) @ New York Mets (-125/3.98)

  • Veteran righty Luis Severino has been a pleasant surprise for the Mets. Over five starts, Severino has a 22.4% strikeout rate with a 2.67 ERA and 3.51 xFIP and he has worked six innings in each of his last two outings. Severino is a formerly high-end pitcher who has been devastated by injuries over time, he is generating just a 7.8% swinging-strike rate and has a 24.4% CSW% but has managed to make it work to this point. The Cubs are not a great opponent for him, the team strikes out but not aggressively so and they are very good at getting on base and playing station-to-station ball. Severino projects in the mid-range for $9,000/$8,200, he is a better option on DraftKings but we would recommend a hedge position with Chicago bats in the case of over-extension on Severino shares.
  • Leadoff man Nico Hoerner has a .359 on-base percentage but has been limited in his success on the bases with just one steal in his 117 plate appearances. Hoerner is a correlated scoring option who can be bolted onto a stack of teammates but he is a low-priority individual hitter. Mike Tauchman has three home runs with a .294/.429/.500 triple-slash and a .206 ISO while creating runs 64% better than average over his first 84 chances at the plate this season, he remains very cheap in a terrific position in the lineup. Ian Happ has a .339 no-base percentage but his WRC+ has dipped to just 97. Happ gets on base regularly and has power at the plate, he is a playable option in Cubs stacks for a fair price. Christopher Morel leads the projected lineup with an 11.18 in the home run model tonight, Michael Busch has a 7.09 with six home runs on the board and a .244 ISO over his first 103 plate appearances, and Dansby Swanson is always in play for quality at shortstop. Swanson has been slow to start this year, his WRC+ sits at 93 and he has three home runs and three steals over 112 chances. Matt MervisMiguel Amaya, and Pete Crow-Armstrong round out the probable batting order. Mervis has projected power but has not relieved in his first 17 chances this season after a rough start to his MLB career last year, Amaya has a home run as a cheap low-end catcher, and Crow-Armstrong has a .385/.385/.692 triple-slash with a home run, two runs, four RBI, and a .308 ISO over his first 14 opportunities in the Show.
  • Veteran Jameson Taillon checks in for a whopping $9,300 on FanDuel but just $7,500 on DraftKings, making him a completely different option from site to site. Taillon has an 18.2% strikeout rate over his first two starts of this season and pitched to a 21.4% mark over 154.1 in 29 starts last year. The righty is not a bad starter but he gives up power and premium contact with regularity and is not overly adept at finding strikeout points. Taillon is playable for the DraftKings salary as a lower-mid SP2 option, he seems mostly unplayable for anything but contrarianism at the high FanDuel price.
  • The Mets gained pop in the lineup with the addition of veteran J.D. Martinez who has made nine plate appearances since his debut. Martinez should add righty thunder to the cleanup spot behind Pete Alonso, who has eight home runs with a .257 ISO this season. The duo checks in with a 13.73 in the home run model for Alonso and an 8.58 for Martinez against a hurler who allowed a 4.12% home run rate on 10.7% barrels last season. Francisco Lindor remains lost in a slump, he is slashing .202/.290/.376 with five home runs, three stolen bases, and a 93 WRC+. Lindor is a star at a critical position and he costs just $3,400/$5,000, we still prioritize the former 30/30 shortstop when stacking Mets hitters. Brandon Nimmo leads off ahead of Lindor, he has similarly been slow getting started in most areas of the game but his .358 on-base percentage has kept his WRC+ afloat at 108. Down the lineup, the Mets offer lefty power from DJ Stewart for just $2,800 on either site. Stewart has three home runs with a .224 ISO in his 65 chances at the dish this year. Jeff McNeilHarrison BaderBrett Baty, and Omar Narvaez are positional mix-and-match options on most slates. Any of the group can deliver on the right night, they are not without talent, but they are limited options who have three home runs collectively on the season with WRC+ marks that are all well below average.

Play: Luis Severino and Jameson Taillon are OK mid-level options for their prices on DraftKings, less so on FanDuel. Either stack is playable but neither is high-priority.

Tampa Bay Rays (+104/4.20) @ Milwaukee Brewers (-113/4.39)

  • Brewers starter Bryse Wilson has made two starts and thrown 18.0 total innings with several bulk relief appearances in 2024. Wilson has a 21.4% strikeout rate with a 3.50 ERA and 4.07 xFIP while allowing four home runs to 70 hitters (5.71%) on 10.0% barrels. Wilson has induced just a 7.3% swinging-strike rate with a 25.9% CSW% he does not project for a high-quality outing and he has not completed five innings this season. For $5,900/$6,600 Wilson is an extremely low-end option in this start.
  • The Rays have not been remotely as good to start 2024 as they were at the beginning of 2023, but they have several interesting bats in the projected lineup. Yandy Diaz is stuck at just a 79 WRC+ with a .232/.293/.304 triple-slash over 123 plate appearances. Diaz was a key engine for this team last year, his lack of production atop the lineup is a big culprit in the start but it also has his price down to $2,900/$4,900. Randy Arozarena costs just $3,100/$5,200, he has three home runs and four stolen bases but a .152/.226/.257 triple-slash and 45 WRC+. Richie Palacios has hit three home runs and has a 171 WRC+ over his first 75 plate appearances in a strong start to the season, he costs just $2,600/$4,700 across sites. Isaac Paredes has seven home runs and a .275/.348/.510 triple-slash over 115 plate appearances, he has been the team’s best power hitter for the past 18 months and he leads the way with a 9.95 in tonight’s home run model for $3,300/$4,800. Amed Rosario is making the most of his opportunity, over 100 plate appearances he is slashing .320/.340/.454 with two home runs and three stolen bases while creating runs 33% better than average. Rosario fits in at shortstop for $3,000 on FanDuel and he offers second base or outfield eligibility for $4,600 on DraftKings. Harold Ramirez is a quality line-drive hitter who gets on base and created runs when things are going right but he has not gotten off to a great start and sits at just 67 WRC+. Ben RortvedtJose Caballero, and Jose Siri round out the lineup with Caballero offering speed on the basepaths and Siri bringing a bit of power to the plate.
  • Ryan Pepiot takes the mound for the visitors for $10,400/$9,100, his DraftKings price is more appealing but he is easily playable at the FanDuel number. Pepiot has a 28.2% strikeout rate with a 3.77 ERA and 3.84 xFIP over his first five starts and 18.2 innings this season. The righty has excellent stuff, he has induced a 13.7% swinging-strike rate and has a 29% CSW for the short sample, though he has allowed some premium contact. Pepiot has given up a 10.1% barrel rate and 43.5% hard hits with 90.3 mph of exit velocity in a small sample of batted ball events but his 3.64% home run rate allowed is not awful and amounts to just four homers in 28.2 innings. Pepiot has worked six innings three times this season, he is in play for bonuses on both sites.
  • Milwaukee is a mid-level lineup with a collective 22.8% strikeout rate for the projected batting order, they are gettable for Pepiot but he needs to be on-form. Sal Frelick leads off with a 91 WRC+, the light-hitting outfielder is getting on base at a .346 clip but has not done much more at the plate this year. William Contreras has been the team’s best player. The excellent catcher hits second every day and has a 176 WRC+ with five home runs over 125 plate appearances this year. Contreras is an easy option when stacking Brewers and he is a high-end catcher one-off for $5,400 on DraftKings. Willy Adames has three home runs with a rapidly cooling triple-slash to start the season, the shortstop has cheap power at the position and he has created runs 28% better than average over 121 plate appearances. Jake Bauers has a 7.29 in our home run model tonight, the lefty slugger has two long balls and an 88 WRC+ over 60 chances at the plate this year. Rhys Hoskins has blasted six homers in 105 chances, he has a .239 ISO and 117 WRC+ while slashing .228/.314/.467 and he leads the team at 9.57 in our home run model for just $3,100/$4,500 at first base. Bauers and Hoskins are positionally blocked on the DraftKings slate, downgrading both options in stacks. Blake Perkins has three home runs and two stolen bases with a 151 WRC+ in 85 plate appearances. The one-time second-round pick has taken his time finding his form at this level but he is in his prime at age 27 and he comes cheap for $3,300/$4,000 in the outfield. Brice Turang has a .310/.371/.437 triple-slash with two homers and 13 stolen bases, he has been excellent at the bottom of the lineup for cheap prices. Joey Ortiz has sneaky power and Jackson Chourio is a raw talent still finding his form. Chourio has four home runs and four steals over 100 plate appearances but has been inconsistent while striking out 33% of the time.

Play: Ryan Pepiot

Minnesota Twins (-165/4.27) @ Chicago White Sox (+151/3.33)

  • White Sox southpaw Garrett Crochet had a dazzling first couple of outings this season before his results dipped in subsequent starts. Crochet now has a 6.37 ERA over six starts and 29.2 innings, he has not completed the fifth inning in his last three attempts and he has given up power at the plate. Crochet allowed a home run and five earned runs on seven hits in his last outing against this same Twins team last week, though he did strike out six. His only true mess came in the previous start, a mess in Philadelphia in which he yielded three long balls and seven earned runs in 3.0 innings with just three strikeouts. He also gave up five earned runs to Cincinnati but he managed to strike out 10 of 21 hitters in his 4.2 innings. The quality has been mixed for DFS purposes, Crochet has excellent stuff on the mound and the results are clear in his 32% strikeout rate and 14.3% swinging-strike rate. The lefty has walked just 6.4% and his xFIP still sits at a terrific 3.02, his 4.80% home run rate is misaligned with a 4.0% barrel rate allowed. Crochet has been better than the results might suggest, he remains in play for this slate at $8,600 on both sites.
  • The Twins found success against this starter last week and they could do the same in this spot. Minnesota has been a mixed bag this season, Ryan Jeffers is off to a strong start creating runs 73% better than average with five home runs in just 97 plate appearances but team star Byron Buxton is stuck at just 91 WRC+ with one long ball over 92 chances. The duo atop the lineup makes for a good start to most Twins stacks, Buxton has far more talent than has been on display this season and Jeffers is inexpensive at $3,300/$4,200, particularly where catchers are required, given his leadoff spot in the projected lineup. Manuel Margot typically slots in third against lefties, he has a 50 WRC+ in 59 plate appearances and is mostly here for defense. Jose Miranda is slashing .292/.320/.500 with a .208 ISO and two home runs while creating runs 35% better than average over 50 chances so far this year. Carlos Santana has hit three home runs but remains below the Mendoza Line and has just a 69 WRC+. Willi Castro has solid mid-range power and speed for cheap prices and he offers triple-position eligibility on FanDuel, as does Kyle Farmer. Between the two, Castro is off to a far better start, but both are playable mix-and-match options for value and flexibility on the blue site. Christian Vazquez and Austin Martin are lower-end plays late in the lineup.
  • Joe Ryan is justifiably high priced on both sites at $10,900/$10,400 against the worst team in baseball. The White Sox played spoiler for a few Rays pitchers over the weekend but that buys them no quarter in our continued targeting, particularly with a weapon like Ryan on the mound. The righty has a 32.8% strikeout rate with a 3.45 ERA and 2.73 xFIP and he has walked just 3.5% of opposing hitters in his five starts and 28.2 innings. The 14.8% swinging-strike rate and 31.6% CSW that Ryan has posted in the small sample are both elite strike-throwing marks, he has major upside against a Chicago team that is clipped to just 3.33 implied runs in Vegas. In last week’s version of this game, Ryan struck out eight of 23 Chicago hitters but gave up three earned runs on four hits including two home runs, the long ball is his lone hiccup on the mound but he is far more likely to dominate in this start. Ryan projects as the top option on the mound on both sites tonight.
  • Nicky Lopez leads off for Chicago, he has a .302 on-base percentage with a 60 WRC+ over 89 plate appearances. Tommy Pham is back in baseball and hitting second for the White Sox, he has been good over 14 plate appearances and offers mid-range power and speed for just $2,000 on FanDuel, putting him at least on the one-off board. For $3,200 on DraftKings, Pham can be stacked with teammates by the most misguided contrarian gamers. Gavin Sheets and Eloy Jimenez represent the team’s power core, they each have three home runs this season. Sheets has created runs 43% better than average over 92 chances at the plate while Jimenez is 19% better than average for his 64 chances. Andrew Vaughn has zero home runs and a 34 WRC+ over 107 plate appearances as a big part of Chicago’s problems at the dish. Andrew BenintendiDanny MendickPaul DeJong, and Martin Maldonado are low-end mix-ins later in the lineup in a terrible matchup for a bad baseball team.

Play: Joe Ryan, Garrett Crochet, Twins bats/stacks as a mid-level option

Philadelphia Phillies (-135/4.60) @ Los Angeles Angels (+125/3.99)

  • Angels starter Griffin Canning has not allowed a home run in his last two starts, which is something of an accomplishment for the launching pad righty. Canning allowed five home runs over his first three starts, including three to the Red Sox in his second start of the year. The righty was good down the stretch last year, finishing 2023 with a 25.9% strikeout rate, a 4.32 ERA, and a 3.82 xFIP but he had power issues in that sample as well. Over 22 starts and 127.0 innings, Canning allowed  4.10% home run rate on 9.8% barrels, 42.4% hard hits, and a 91 mph average exit velocity. This seems far more like a spot in which Phillies stacks will have a chance to shine than it does an opportunity for Canning to post his first good start of the season, he is, at best, an eyes-closed over-the-shoulder dart throw at $6,200/$6,300.
  • Kyle Schwarber will be popular in the leadoff spot, he is today’s home run pick of the day at a slate-leading 17.23 in the home run model tonight. Schwarber was put on Earth to blast long balls and draw walks, he has seven homers and a 15% walk rate over 133 plate appearances while creating runs at league average. The lefty masher has a .191 ISO on 13% barrels and a 58% hard-hit rate this season, he is a premium option for stacking or one-offs at $3,400/$5,500. Trea Turner is slashing .339/.389/.471 while creating runs 42% better than average with two homers and seven stolen bases over his first 131 plate appearances. Bryce Harper has six homers with a .234 ISO on 9.9% barrels and 46.5% hard hits, he is another strong option for home run potential at a higher price but lesser popularity. The star first baseman costs $3,600/$6,000 tonight with an 11.79 in the home run model. Alec Bohm fits in at first or third base on either site for $3,500/$4,800, he is another excellent option who has created runs 91% better than average over 118 chances this season. JT Realmuto is an everyday catcher option for DFS, he has five home runs and sits at a league-average WRC+ mark. Brandon Marsh is another lefty with pop from further down the lineup, he has a 10.5% barrel rate and a massive 61.4% hard-hit rate on the season. Marsh has already been translating more premium contact to game power this year, he has six home runs in just 93 chances. Nick Castellanos has a 39 WRC+ over 116 plate appearances in an awful start to the season but he is a quality hitter over time and the turn should be en route. Bryson Stott fills second base for a fair $2,700/$4,200, he has three home runs, four stolen bases, and a good bat at the plate but has been slow getting this year going with just an 86 WRC+. Johan Rojas has seven stolen bases but does not offer much else but cheap positional filler in Phillies stacks.
  • Lefty Cristopher Sanchez is an interesting option against a free-swinging fairly low-end Angels team. Sanchez has a 25.5% strikeout rate with a 2.96 ERA and 3.05 xFIP over his first five outings and 24.1 innings in 2024. The lefty struck out 10 while allowing just one earned run against Colorado two starts ago but made it through just 3.0 in his last outing at Cincinnati. Sanchez saw an early hook after allowing five runs on four hits and three walks, although only one was charged as an earned run. The lefty struck out three hitters in that game and he managed to strike out just one Nationals hitter in a start earlier in the season but he has worked deeper while finding more upside in several outings this season and he had a reliable 24.2% strikeout rate with an 11.6% swinging-strike rate over 18 starts and 99.1 innings last season. Sanchez is easily on the board at $9,500/$8,400 against an Angels lineup with a 26% collective strikeout rate.
  • Los Angeles offers superstar Mike Trout, who has 10 home runs with a monster .330 ISO and a 146 WRC+ to start the season. Trout costs $4,000/$6,300 against the southpaw and he has an 11.80 in our home run model, he is playable in one-off shares on most slates including this one but the lack of support from his team and the quality opponent on the mound make this a difficult team to stack. Zach Neto has a 67 WRC+ with a .106 ISO over 101 plate appearances, Taylor Ward has been good with a .230 ISO, seven home runs, and 125 WRC+, and he is followed by fellow righty Miguel Sano in a righty-heavy top half. Sano has a .262/.352/.361 triple-slash but just one home run in his 71 opportunities this year. Brandon Drury sits at 7.29 in our home run model, he has one on the board this season and sits 67% below average for run creation after multiple successful power seasons at the plate. Logan O’Hoppe has hit two home runs while creating runs 26% better than average early in 2024, he is a playable catcher when looking toward the Angels. Aaron HicksJo Adell, and Luis Rengifo round out the projected batting order tonight. Adell has hit three home runs and stolen five bases in his 55 chances this season in what could finally be his long-awaited breakout and Rengifo is a productive option with triple-position eligibility on the blue site; Hicks has just been bad.

Play: Phillies bats/stacks, Cristopher Sanchez

Los Angeles Dodgers (-133/5.39) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (+123/4.71)

  • Lefty Tommy Henry has a 5.55 ERA but a 3.83 xFIP to start the season, he has not been awful on the mound. Henry has a 21.4% strikeout rate with an 8.0% walk rate and a 3.57% home run rate this year after striking out just 16.8% with a 9.2% walk rate and 3.15% home run rate over 89.0 innings in 16 starts last year. The southpaw has allowed a 10.3% barrel rate with 42.3% hard hits and 91.3 mph of exit velocity, and his full arsenal is far below average at an 82.17 Stuff+ rating (100 is league average), so it is difficult to endorse him for value shares against an absurdly hard-hitting Dodgers team.
  • The elite Dodgers are an everyday option against virtually any pitcher in baseball. Los Angeles has Mookie Betts with six home runs, eight stolen bases, and a 216 WRC+ in the leadoff role, Shohei Ohtani with seven homers, five stolen bases, and a 185 WRC+ (and .303 ISO) in the second spot, and fellow superstar Freddie Freeman with two home runs, one stolen base, and a 146 WRC+ (in a “cold start”) hitting third. The talent atop the lineup is undeniable, they stack as an incredible group where they can be afforded but there are also quality options from four through nine in the batting order most days. Will Smith is one of the best catchers in baseball and he plays virtually every day in the cleanup spot in this lineup. Smith has two home runs with a .367/.404/.520 triple-slash and a 156 WRC+. Teoscar Hernandez has six home runs and a .204 ISO in the fifth spot in the projected lineup. Enrique Hernandez is projected to hit sixth with Max Muncy potentially sitting against the southpaw. Muncy is the far better power bat most days, Hernandez is off to a low-end start with a 48 WRC+ in his first 61 plate appearances. Andy Pages has two home runs and a .233 ISO over his first 46 opportunities after a big promotion, Miguel Rojas has created runs 20% better than average in his 44 chances, and Chris Taylor offers cheap multi-position upside on FanDuel but not DraftKings while being mired in an awful slump to start his season.
  • James Paxton has made four starts and thrown 20.2 innings this season, he has just a 12.4% strikeout rate with a 2.61 ERA that is completely betrayed by his 6.22 xFIP. Paxton has not been good on the mound, he does not appear to have much left to offer and he does not project as a playable option for $7,200/$7,900 across sites against a Diamondbacks squad that has been good overall and leads the league with a collective 139 WRC+ against lefties this year. Paxton’s name recognition factor may undercut some Diamondbacks’ popularity, making the team interesting. KetelMarte is slashing .307/.362/.518 with a .211 ISO and five home runs while creating runs 37% better than average to start the year. Gabriel Moreno would gain value if he hits second again today. The catcher costs just $2,600/$3,700, in the two-spot he would be particularly compelling on DraftKings. Moreno is slashing just .230/.329/..324 with an 87 WRC+ os far this year but he is a high-end hitter for the position and he has clear upside against the contact that Paxton offers. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has five home runs with two steals and has created runs 13% better than average, he costs just $3,500/$5,100 across sites ahead of the team’s best power bat. Christian Walker joins Marte and Gurriel with five home runs so far this season, he has a 134 WRC+ that is second to only Marte in the projected batting order and he costs a mere $3,300/$5,000 at first base. Walker has struck out more this season than he has in previous years but that is already normalizing in the direction of last season’s 19.2% strikeout rate. Eugenio Suarez has hit just two home runs with a .114 ISO over 118 plate appearances, the third baseman is cheap and his power potential is real even if the results have not been adequate. Randal Grichuk has fearsome right-handed power for a cheap price on the right day. Grichuk posted a 45% hard-hit rate last year and a 43.6% mark the season before, he has one home run with a .171 ISO over 46 plate appearances since joining the Diamondbacks. Blaze Alexander has good on-base, power, and speed skills, he is an interesting mix-and-match shortstop for just $3,000/$3,800. Corbin Carroll has been so slow to start the season that he dropped in the batting order over the team’s last few games. Carroll is projected in the eight spot against the fellow lefty but he could regain his role atop the lineup at any moment, which would push his value up somewhat. For now, last year’s incredible rookie is nowhere to be seen, the outfielder is slashing just .189/.295/.236 with a .047 ISO and 60 WRC+ with one homer and eight stolen bases. Kevin Newman is an afterthought in the last spot in the projected lineup.

Play: Dodgers bats/stacks, Diamondbacks bats/stacks

Pittsburgh Pirates (-127/4.26) @ Oakland Athletics (+117/3.83)

  • Over 21.2 innings in five starts, Oakland righty Joe Boyle has a 7.06 ERA with a 4.75 xFIP and a problematic 15.5% walk rate. Boyle has struck out 23.3% of opposing hitters with a few accidental strikes but his 9.3% swinging-strike rate and 26.1% CSW are far from the desired levels. The righty has allowed a 1.94% home run rate on just 3.2% barrels with an 86.8 mph average exit velocity and his stuff grades out to an above-average 108.19 via Stuff+ in the small sample but the results have simply not come together. Boyle costs $7,000/$6,200 with a mid-level projection as a playable dart throw for value against a mid-level Pirates team that offers a 24.2% collective strikeout rate for the projected batting order. Boyle is a low-faith play but if he does not come with much popularity and manages to wrangle his walks for a night he could surprise on the mound given the raw stuff.
  • The more likely scenario is that the Pirates exploit Boyle’s flaws and manage to scratch out a few runs, the starter worked just 3.0 against the Yankees in his most recent outing, striking out six but walking four and allowing two runs on three hits. Boyle struck out three and walked four while giving up seven earned runs on five hits in 6.0 to the Guardians the start before, he is a gettable pitcher. Andrew McCutchen is projected to lead off, the veteran outfielder has a 91 WRC+ with three home runs in a slow start. Bryan Reynolds is affordable at $3,100/$4,500 in this matchup, he has hit four home runs and created runs 16% better than average in a decent start to his season. Ke’Bryan Hayes is slashing .283/.371/.374 with one home run but just a 2.5% barrel rate and .091 ISO while creating runs 13% better than average, he is a good hitter who needs to do a bit more with the bat. For $2,800/$4,300, Hayes is a playable third baseman in stacks of Pirates. Oneil Cruz leads the projected lineup with a 3.44 in our home run model, he has three long balls and three steals but a 36.2% strikeout rate on the season. Connor Joe and Jack Suwinski are a righty-lefty tandem in the heart of the order, Joe has a solid triple-slash with a 128 WRC+ while Suwinski has far more power but has struggled early this season with a .180/.260/.292 triple-slash and a 51 WRC+. Jared Triolo, Rowdy Tellez, and Henry Davis round out the projected batting order, they have all been far below average so far this season.
  • Lefty Bailey Falter spun 7.0 excellent innings in his last start, an eight-strikeout gem against the Brewers in which he allowed just one earned run on a solo home run and two other hits while walking two. While that was a strikeout outlier for the southpaw who has a 17.3% strikeout rate over his 27.0 innings in five starts this year, Falter has the potential to repeat the trick tonight against a low-end Athletics lineup, and he did post a 21.2% strikeout rate over 84.0 innings in 16 starts in 2022. Last year the lefty made 14 starts and threw 80.2 innings with a 17.3% strikeout rate but allowed a 4.90% home run rate while pitching to a 5.36 ERA and 4.56 xFIP. Falter draws an Athletics lineup with a collective 25% strikeout rate on the season while creating runs 18% worse than average against left-handed pitching. This is a good value spot for a fairly low-end starter, Falter is easily playable as a value SP2 on DraftKings but his $8,800 price tag on FanDuel is a more difficult bite to swallow. The pitcher is in play on the blue site as needed but he should be less expensive.
  • Oakland hitters are somewhat in play, particularly if they come up low-owned. Falter is no guarantee on the mound, even in an successful start he is likely to allow some contact with limited strikeout potential. Leadoff hitter Esteury Ruiz has two home runs and two stolen bases with a 144 WRC+ over 38 plate appearances, he costs just $2,800/$4,300. Tyler Nevin is a $2,300/$2,400 option at third or first base on FanDuel and at third or in the outfield on DraftKings. Nevin has two homers with a stolen base and a 122 WRC+ over 76 chances at the plate this year. Brent Rooker has an 18.8% barrel rate and 53.1% hard-hit rate with five home runs in 69 opportunities this season, the slugger costs $3,100/$4,000 and has an 11.60 in our home run model tonight. Shea Langeliers draws an 8.98 in the home run tool, he has six long balls on the season while slashing just .165/.215/.388 and creating runs 31% worse than average. Abraham Toro has a 93 WRC+ over 90 chances, JJ Bleday sits at 80 in 104 tries, and Max Scheumann is at 72 but has only had 23 opportunities. Nick Allen and Darell Hernaiz round out the low-end lineup in even lower-end form.

Play: Pitching value darts on either side with a slight preference for (can’t believe we’re saying this) Falter, cheap bats/stacks on either side particularly if either pitcher draws value-based popularity

Cincinnati Reds (-106/4.06) @ San Diego Padres (-102/4.02)

  • Knuckleballer Matt Waldron defied Coors Field in his last start, giving up just one earned run on a solo shot and three other hits over 6.0 innings with five strikeouts and three walks. Waldron has a 3.96 ERA and 4.46 xFIP with a 20.4% strikeout rate over 25.0 innings and five starts this season, he has been effective and now draws a Reds team that has a collective 27.3% strikeout rate early in the year. Waldron costs $8,100/$6,800, he is a value option on either site with particular appeal on the DraftKings slate at the bargain bin price. The Reds have several threatening hitters but most of the players on that list also represent the bulk of the team’s strikeouts, pitting those young free-swingers against a knuckleball for what is likely the first time in their careers could prove problematic for their bats, the team is drawing just a 4.06-run implied total.
  • Will Benson was terrific for power and speed in a mid-sized sample last season, over 106 plate appearances this year he is slashing just .200/.283/.421 but he does have a .221 ISO with four home runs and five stolen bases. Benson is cheap at $2,900/$4,100, particularly in the leadoff spot, but the team would be better served moving him down the batting order. Elly De La Cruz has a 30.7% strikeout rate behind the 39.6% mark that Benson is carrying but everything else about Elly’s season has been special to start 2024. Over 114 plate appearances, the most exciting player in baseball is slashing .281/.395/.573 with a .292 ISO, a 163 WRC+, seven home runs, and a whopping 18 stolen bases. De La Cruz is a stick of dynamite in the lineup for $4,600/$5,900 but the knuckleball could flummox him this evening. Spencer Steer has three homers and seven steals with a 123 WRC+. Christian Encarnacion-Strand has two home runs and just a 42 WRC+ but maintains a consistent spot in the heart of the batting order based on his pedigree and immense power at the plate. Both right-handed hitters are interesting options when stacking Reds and they can be combined with lefty Jake Fraley for a power-hitting three-man stack for cheap pricing. Fraley has a lone home run and five stolen bases over 60 chances at the plate, he has created runs 30% better than average in the small sample. Tyler Stephenson has a 108 WRC+ with three home runs as a cheap but playable catcher, Jonathan India has not been good to start the season but he comes with a minor track record of moderate success, Nick Martini and Jeimer Candelario have not been productive late in the lineup, Candelario’s lack of production at just 61 WRC+ is highly disappointing but the veteran has a history for just $2,800/$3,500 at third base.
  • Nick Lodolo is drawing a very sharp projection for $10,600/$9,800 tonight. Lodolo has a 28.6% strikeout rate with a 2.12 ERA and 3.39 xFIP over 17.0 innings in three starts this season, he worked to similar levels for strikeouts in a tiny 34.1 inning sample last season and was at 29.7% over 103.1 innings in 19 starts in 2022. Lodolo has worked into the sixth inning in two of his three starts this year, he first faced the White Sox, striking out 10 while walking one and allowing just one hit in 5.2 innings; following that outing Lodolo faced 25 Angels hitters over 6.1 innings, striking out six while allowing just one earned run but seven hits; in his most recent start, Lodolo worked just 5.0 innings while striking out four of 24 Phillies, walking three, and giving up three earned runs on six hits. The lefty will be challenged by the Padres but he offers quality at what could be lower ownership than some of the other high-ceiling starters tonight.
  • Jurickson Profar slides up to the leadoff spot in the projected batting order, with Xander Bogaerts replacing him in the fifth spot in an effort to exploit Profar’s hot start and get Bogaerts going at the dish. Profar has a surprising 152 WRC+ while slashing .303/.407/.465 with three home runs over 118 chances to start the year, he is cheap for the spot in the lineup tonight but the quality remains questionable. Fernando Tatis Jr. has blasted six home runs and stolen three bags this year, creating runs 21% better than average and he comes slightly less expensive than fellow superstars. Jake Cronenworth is down to .264/.344/.453 but his 128 WRC+ is still sharp and he has hit four home runs in his 124 chances, for $2,900/$4,100 the three-hitter is in play when stacking Padres. Manny Machado hits ahead of Bogaerts for just $3,300/$4,900 at third base, with Bogaerts at just $2,800/$4,600 they make for an interesting right-handed duo in the middle of the lineup. Mahcado has four home runs and a 101 WRC+ but just a .140 ISO so far this year. Ha-Seong Kim can join that mid-lineup stack for only $3,400/$4,200, he offers triple-position eligibility on FanDuel with four home runs and seven stolen bases leading to a 106 WRC+ on the season. Luis Campusano has created runs 15% better than average, he is a cheap catcher option for one-off shares or stacking purposes. Eguy Rosario and Jose Azocar round out the lineup, Rosario has hit three home runs and has a .318 ISO and 154 WRC+ with a 13.3% barrel rate and 50% hard hits over 48 chances.

Play: Nick Lodolo, Matt Waldron value shares, bats/stacks on either side as mid-level options

Atlanta Braves (-143/4.12) @ Seattle Mariners (+132/3.46)

  • If the Mariners were hitting at all to start the season they would be off to a deadly-good start, the team has an absurdly talented pitching staff that has been a buzzsaw for opposing runs over the last few weeks. Tonight’s starter, righty Bryce Miller, has been a big part of the staff’s success. Miller has a 26.1% strikeout rate with a 2.22 ERA and 3.94 xFIP over five starts and 28.1 innings, though his 9.9% walk rate is higher than expected or desired. Miller has a terrific 0.99 WHIP despite the free passes, he has induced an 11.7% swinging-strike rate and he has a strong 107.64 Stuff+ rating for the full arsenal. The righty has a very difficult matchup with the Braves in town, he is not a top priority for $10,200/$8,900 but there are universes in which he wins this slate. If nothing else, Miller has the Braves’ elite offense in check at just a 4.12-run implied total tonight.
  • Atlanta is slightly less stackable than usual tonight, which means they rank fourth out of 18 teams on the slate. The typically powerhouse Braves are still drawing playable marks for home run potential, Miller has allowed a long ball in three of his five starts, with two home runs in each of two of those games and a lone homer in the third. Ronald Acuna Jr.Austin Riley, and Matt Olson are all still above the “magic number” for home run potential at 11.83, 10.29, and 11.39, with Ozzie Albies not far behind at 8.61 and Marcell Ozuna drawing an 8.90. The Braves lineup has a few strikeouts, out of that group only Albies and Ozuna have been limiting strikeouts this season, but there is major potential on any given slate, even against good pitching. The Braves lineup is expensive for this spot however, with the run total and the ballpark working against their likely DFS output at these prices they are more difficult to justify, but they are in no way off the board for shares. Acuna is down to just $4,100 on FanDuel but remains a $6,400 option on DraftKings, Albies is at $3,900/$5,300 while Riley and Olson are both a bit discounted for somewhat slow starts. Orlando Arcia and Michael Harris II are excellent options in the sixth and seventh spots in the lineup. Arcia has a 112 WRC+ over 105 plate appearances and Harris is at 129 with three homers, five stolen bases, and a .315/.351/.472 triple-slash. Travis d’Arnaud has mashed five home runs with a .338 ISO in 74 chances at the plate as the regular backstop since Sean Murphy went down with an injury, he is an excellent catcher option on any slate. Jarred Kelenic is slashing .305/.369/.373 with a 112 WRC+ over 65 chances but he has yet to homer.
  • Lefty Max Fried is typically excellent at checking opposing power, he has allowed just two home runs this season (1.83%) while pitching to a shaky 4.97 ERA with a better 3.56 xFIP but a surprisingly low 16.5% strikeout rate in 25.1 innings over five starts. Fried struck out six while pitching a complete game shutout on fewer than 100 pitches against the Marlins in his last start, he has strikeout upside beyond that level with similar potential for quality against a free-swinging Mariners squad that is carrying a 30.5% strikeout rate into action tonight. Fried costs just $7,800/$8,700 across sites despite a long track record of excellence, he is easily the best bargain on the mound tonight.
  • Seattle is drawing low-end marks for power and they strike out far too much to make a strong stack in this matchup. Julio Rodriguez has a 5.58 to lead the team in tonight’s home run model, Fried simply drains opposing power projections. The outfielder is slashing .275/.319/.330 with a limited .050 ISO and 95 WRC+, he has hit just one home run while adding seven stolen bases early. Mitch Haniger has hit four home runs while striking out 29.4% of the time behind Rodriguez’s 31.9% strikeout rate. Cal Raleigh adds a 34.4% strikeout rate in the third spot in the lineup but has at least hit six home runs and has a .220 ISO with a 123 WRC+. Ty France is more of a hit-tool oriented player but he has a pair of home runs early in the season. Jorge Polanco has a track record for power but is slashing just .163/.319/.261 with an 83 WRC+ over 113 chances in Seattle. Dylan MooreMitch GarverLuis Urias, and Jonatan Clase round out Seattle’s projected lineup. Garver leads the group with a 3.95 in our home run model, he has two so far this season which ties for the group lead. Everyone from Polanco through Urias in the projected lineup is currently below the Mendoza Line with the leading on-base percentage in the group sitting at just .319 (Polanco). This is a low-end lineup in a bad matchup for DFS success.

Play: Max Fried, Bryce Miller in small shots, Braves bats but less than usual

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