MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Slate Notes – Tuesday Main Slate 4/2/24

A wild West Coast night of baseball on Monday delivered the season’s first no-hitter and some breakout performances with multiple home run days from the Astros and Cardinals winning slates around the industry. Ronel Blanco’s incredible performance was valuable but low-owned around MLB DFS while the later start by Tanner Houck was another premium option for lineup combinations, top-ranked starter Triston McKenzie did not do his job against the free-swinging Mariners, and popular pick Reese Olson came out of his game one out shy of the quality start, frustrating FanDuel gamers to no end. The Tuesday slate features nine games from coast to coast but significant weather concerns in several spots. The game between the Tigers and Mets is the most threatened on the board but the forecast for the two games in Chicago does not look much better. Fortunately, those are the first three games of the slate so there should be news as we head into lock and they can be strategized around if necessary. The balance of the slate features most teams back to the top of their rotations with solid pitching matchups around the league, two of our most targetable spots for offense happen to be in those Chicago games, they could have a dramatic impact on the slate if they do play. A large nine-game slate demands a broad spread of options across lineups with a strong focus on stacking.

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 – 4/2/24

Detroit Tigers (+116/3.60) @ New York Mets (-126/3.99)

  • This game is severely threatened by rain.
  • Adrian Houser will make the start for the Mets, he is overpriced at $8,200 on FanDuel but looks like a playable SP2 at $6,800 on DraftKings. Houser had a 4.12 ERA with a 4.30 xFIP and 20.0% strikeout rate but allowed a hefty 46.3% hard-hit rate last season. His 2022 strikeout rate was just 15.2% over a similar 21 starts.
  • The Tigers should be better against right-handed pitching with several of their key bats on the left side. Parker Meadows is more interesting high in the lineup than at the bottom of it, he had three home runs and stole eight bases in 145 plate appearances last season as a call-up. Spencer TorklesonKerry Carpenter, and Riley Greene are an established three-man group that should be considered the power core of this team, while rookie Colt Keith should join that list soon. The lefty-hitting Keith is off to a fair start and comes at a $2,400/$3,000 at third base on FanDuel and second base on DraftKings. Veteran Mark Canha is an average correlation play from anywhere in the lineup, while the bottom few hitters are less appealing unless Javier Baez is resurrected. Catcher Jake Rogers offers cheap positional power but little else, he hit 21 home runs in 365 plate appearances in 2023.
  • Righty Casey Mize will be on the mound for Detroit, he checks in at $7,200/$7,100 in his first MLB appearance since 2022. Mize threw 150.1 innings over 30 starts in the 2021 season but made just two starts before an elbow sprain led to Tommy John Surgery. Mize had a strong Spring to win a spot in the Tigers rotation, he typically operates in the mid-90s with a good slider and posted a 3.71 ERA with a 4.37 xFIP and just a 19.3% strikeout rate in the 2021 season. Mize is playable with a fair SP2 projection but he does not look like a priority on either site.
  • The Mets should have their mostly standard top-end of the lineup in place, Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor, and Pete Alonso make for a strong three-man stack against most starters. Nimmo is an excellent table setter with power, while Lindor and Alonso combined for 77 home runs last season. Jeff McNeil and Starling Marte are less power-oriented than a typical four-five combination, Marte managed just five home runs last season and McNeil had 10 but they are both capable of re-setting the table for the hitters who follow and Marte still has good stolen base potential. The Mets pick up home run power toward the back of the lineup in Francisco Alvarez, one of the hardest-hitting catchers in the game but one who has growth left to do at the plate. Brett Baty and DJ Stewart are targetable lefties for mix-and-match purposes to help average down the cost of stars higher in the lineup.

Play: Minor shares of either pitcher are just OK, same for the hitting on either side.

Colorado Rockies (+164/3.46) @ Chicago Cubs (-179/4.64)

  • This game has a medium threat of rain
  • Righty Javier Assad won a job in the Cubs rotation while the team is missing a few pieces. Assad has worked primarily in a hybrid role over the past two seasons, he threw 109.1 innings last year between 10 starts and his bullpen work. Assad compiled a 20.9% strikeout rate with a 9.1% walk rate and a 3.05 ERA with a more honest 4.35 xFIP last season and he was able to limit home runs and check exit velocity and hard hits effectively. For $6,200/$6,600 against a weak Rockies lineup on the road, there is potential for Assad to succeed as a bargain-bin SP2 and he could be a dynamite value on the single-starter site, assuming this game plays at all.
  • The Rockies against a righty on the road has been a thing for some time and this season has been off to a mostly similar start in the small sample. Colorado’s lineup is not bereft of talent, but the team is less than the sum of its parts. Charlie Blackmon is a left-handed veteran outfielder whose primary focus is getting on base, he slashed .279/.363/.440 with a 105 WRC+ over 413 plate appearances last year. Blackmon is cheap ahead of Kris Bryant in a return to Wrigley Field, where he probably wishes he never left. Bryant has been hurt for most of his tenure with Colorado, the right-handed veteran slugger still has upside but needs to get things in motion, he costs just $2,600/$4,000 and has a 5.21 in our home run model today. Nolan Jones is the team’s best player, the rookie had a 20-20 season in just 424 plate appearances last year and brings a good blend of power and speed to the DFS table. Brendan Rodgers and Ryan McMahon are capable middle infield options but they are better in Coors Field games. Elias DiazEzequiel TovarElehuris Montero, and Brenton Doyle are lower-end options tonight, although Tovar and Montero still have a fair amount of developmental upside and raw skill for their pricing against a pitcher who is far from elite
  • Lefty Kyle Freeland will start for Colorado, he had a 5.03 ERA and 5.13 xFIP while striking out a mere 13.9% over 155.2 innings and 29 starts last season, Freeland is highly targetable with Cubs bats if this game takes place, he is not a good DFS option at $6,000/$6,300.
  • The Cubs have talent up and down the lineup. Nico Hoerner is slated to lead off, he stole 43 bases last season while slashing .283/.346/.383 with a 102 WRC+ in 688 plate appearances. Hoerner sets things up for sluggers including Seiya Suzuki, who has hit everything hard this season, bounceback king Cody Bellinger, who hit 26 home runs and stole 20 bases last year, and Christopher Morel, who rocked 26 home runs in just 429 plate appearances in 2023. Dansby Swanson has long been a favorite in this space, the shortstop managed another strong season in 2023, hitting 22 home runs and creating runs four percent better than average while always landing at a fair price and moderate ownership for DFS. Ian Happ is a switch-hitter with power and good on-base skills. Happ slashed .248/.360/.431 while creating runs 18% better than average last season, he is also at an easy salary tonight. Garrett Cooper has a bit of right-handed power, Nick Madrigal and Yan Gomes are lower priorities though Gomes has respectable cheap catcher power, he hit 10 home runs in 419 plate appearances last season.

Play: Cubs bats/stacks, Javier Assad value

Atlanta Braves (-208/5.40) @ Chicago White Sox (+189/3.71)

  • This game has a medium threat of rain
  • Garrett Crochet was last week’s big thing, this is this week and an entirely different matchup against Atlanta, the young lefty is not on the board for pitching shares at $7,600/$7,000. Crochet has been good at limiting home runs over his limited experience in the Show, we will see how that holds up against the Braves’ unearthly power. The lefty has excellent strikeout stuff but also a reputation for lacking command, he will need to be perfect to succeed against this team.
  • Atlanta’s lineup can be deployed from top to bottom on most slates but they come with a bit of a question today, given the small-sample success that Crochet has had limiting home runs. Our money is firmly on the Braves bats to change that trend for the young lefty. Ronald Acuna Jr. leads the team’s lineup most nights, he hit 41 home runs and stole 73 bases last season to set the tone for this squad. Ozzie Albies is one of baseball’s best second basemen, he has under-appreciated power from the two-spot in the lineup. Austin Riley is a slugging third baseman who is a bit cheaper than he should be at $3,900/$5,600. Riley hit 37 home runs last season and 38 the year before. Matt Olson costs $4,200/$5,900, appropriate for the best power-hitting first baseman in the game. Olson blasted 54 home runs last season. Marcell Ozuna and Adam Duvall have immense power from the right side, it is unfair to throw them into the mix against a young lefty at this point in the lineup but there is even more to come. Travis d’Arnaud should be the regular fill-in until Sean Murphy returns to the lineup. d’Arnaud hit 11 home runs in 292 opportunities as a backup last year, maintaining a 9.0% barrel rate and 42.8% hard-hit rate, he is one of the best-hitting backup catchers in the league. Michael Harris II and Orlando Arcia round out the lineup from the bottom, Harris has 25-25 or better power and speed while Arcia is underrated for his pop, he hit 17 home runs in 533 chances as a cheap piece of this lineup last year.
  • The Braves will have Reynaldo Lopez on the mound for his first start since one outing in 2022. Lopez has not been a regular starter since 2019 with this White Sox team, he was once a highly-regarded prospect but never fully landed in the Show and seems more suited to bullpen work. Lopez had a 3.27 ERA and 4.06 xFIP with a 29.9% strikeout rate in 66.0 innings of relief work last season. The strikeouts should be expected to come down in a starting role, but this is a good matchup for any pitcher, the White Sox lineup is bad. Lopez carries a bit of intrigue but a low projection at $6,500/$7,500.
  • The White Sox are not a priority and will not be for most of this season. Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada are flawed hitters in the first and second places in the projected lineup. Benintendi is contact-focused but had just a .326 on-base percentage last season, Moncada never developed into the player he was expected to be, he hit 11 home runs in 357 plate appearances and created runs two percent worse than average for this team in an injury-marred 2023 campaign. Both players are cheap on both sites, they connect directly with the team’s power core of Luis Robert Jr., Andrew Vaughn, and Gavin Sheets, but slugger Eloy Jimenez is injured once again and is not expected to be in the lineup, further diminishing an already lousy squad. Robert is a multi-category star but he is not surrounded by much quality, he makes for a better one-off play. Paul DeJongNicky LopezMartin Maldonado, and Dominic Fletcher are not names that make one want to roster the White Sox at the bottom of the lineup.

Play: Braves bats/stacks, Reynaldo Lopez value darts on FD

Toronto Blue Jays (+138/3.87) @ Houston Astros (-150/4.72)

  • Lefty Framber Valdez will look to pick up the run of no-hit innings that embarrassed Toronto against Ronel Blanco last night. Valdez is a more established talent, he has elite groundball-inducing stuff and is very good at checking home run power. The southpaw also has a good upside for strikeouts and depth on the right night, he worked at a 24.8% rate over 198 innings in 31 starts last year and was at 23.5% the season before. Valdez is a strong option for shares with one of the top pitching projections on the slate in this matchup, his $9,100 is appropriate on FanDuel but he is arguably a bit cheap at $8,500 on DraftKings.
  • The Blue Jays have been without shortstop Bo Bichette for the past few days as he deals with neck soreness, the team badly needs their three-hitter back. The lineup opens with George Springer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who both had somewhat down seasons (for them) in 2023 and will not be major threats for home run power against Valdez. Springer carries just a 4.35 in our home run model tonight with Guerrero at 5.26 to lead the team. Bichette is in the projected lineup, he had a robust triple-slash and created runs 25% better than average last season, he is an integral part of the Toronto lineup and any stack of these hitters. Justin Turner finally added third base eligibility on DraftKings so he can be played alongside Guerrero today. The cleanup hitter has had a long career displaying an excellent hit tool and good upper-mid-range power into the mid-20s. Turner is cheap at $3,000/$4,600. Alejandro Kirk and Davis Schneider land next, Schneider hit eight home runs in 141 plate appearances and fills second base for a cheap price on both sites but this is a bad power matchup. Daulton VarshoErnie Clement, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa fall somewhat by the wayside at the bottom of the batting order.
  • Veteran right-hander Jose Berrios has never been as good as his reputation in a sustained sense but he is capable of a good start from time to time and he has always been slightly above average. In 189.2 innings over 32 starts last year, Berrios posted a 23.5% strikeout rate with a 3.65 ERA and 4.01 xFIP while allowing a 3.20% home run rate and inducing an 11% swinging-strike rate. The righty is facing a tough matchup against the elite Astros lineup, he does not look like a great option in this spot for $9,700 on FanDuel, but the discounted $7,700 DraftKings price works a bit better. Berrios is clinging to relevance because of the low price on that site, but this is not a great spot and he has a clear path to disaster.
  • The four-man unit of Jose AltuveYordan AlvarezKyle Tucker, and Alex Bregman that opens the Astros’ daily lineup had an average strikeout rate of just 15.4% last season with a walk rate of 12.3% to go with the ridiculous power they all possesses. Altuve was tonight’s home run pick but any of the four players could easily have been selected, Alvarez and Tucker are two of the best lefty power hitters in baseball. Tucker was one of several Astros to post a monster fantasy score last night, he has a chance to come back for more on this slate. The outfielder was joined at the feast by catcher Yainer Diaz who blasted a pair of home runs as a way-too-cheap catcher option last night, he costs just $2,700/$3,300 again tonight and fantasy gamers should go right back to the well. Diaz is a good hitter, he had 23 home runs in just 377 plate appearances while slashing .282/.308/.538 with a .256 ISO, a 127 WRC+, and just a 19.6% strikeout rate last year as a rookie. Jose AbreuChas McCormickJeremy Pena, and Jake Meyers can all get involved on the right night, McCormick and Pena were part of the power party last night. Of the group, McCormick has the most day-to-day appeal, but he is also another outfielder on a team heavy at that position. The righty hits everything had and had 22 home runs and 19 steals last year.

Play: Framber Valdez, Astros bats/stacks, Jose Berrios value on DraftKings

New York Yankees (+106/4.43) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (-115/4.67)

  • The Yankees draw a tough matchup with right-hander Zac Gallen tonight. Gallen had an excellent 2023, making 34 starts and throwing 210.0 innings with a 26% strikeout rate, a 5.6% walk rate, and a 1.12 WHIP with his 3.47 ERA and 3.49 xFIP. The righty induced an 11.2% swinging-strike rate and limited home runs to 2.60% despite allowing 9.2% barrels, 46% hard hits, and 91.5 mph of exit velocity. There is a bit of concern with the Yankees’ home run upside against those contact numbers but Gallen is typically able to limit launch angle to fly-out trajectories at worst.
  • New York’s star-studded lineup runs very deep early in the season, we will see if the frequently injured team holds up in the longterm. Gleyber Torres, Juan Soto, and Aaron Judge form a playable three-man on any given slate until further notice. Torres is a strong hitter with power for a very fair $3,100/$4,600 ahead of two of baseball’s best. Soto and Judge need no talking points, if they are healthy and active you play them in Yankees stacks, regardless of price, popularity, or matchup, they are just that good. Anthony Rizzo remains too cheap at $3,000/$4,200, the first baseman has power aplenty and is fully healthy once again. Giancarlo Stanton had a 15.7% barrel rate and 48% hard-hit rate and still knows where the outfield seats are. Alex Verdugo is contact-oriented in the sixth spot, he and Anthony Volpe are an interesting lefty-righty pairing with some apparent improvements in Volpe’s approach in year two. Verdugo costs $2,700/$4.000 from the left side and Volpe is a bargain shortstop for $2,800/$3,800 even if we are just getting last season’s counting stats. Austin Wells is a lefty slugger at catcher, he is affordable if he plays but we may see the less important (for DFS) Jose Trevino in the spot. Oswaldo Cabrera drove in another one last night and has Jon Berti missing Miami, he remains a bad hitter on an early roll.
  • Nestor Cortes Jr. had a bad start to his first game of the season before righting the ship somewhat and making it through five innings against the Astros. Cortes struck out five while allowing four earned runs on a home run, five hits, and two walks in that appearance, he has been similarly shaky in most of his starts going back through 2023. Cortes made just 12 starts last year, pitching 63.1 innings with a 25.2% strikeout rate, a 4.97 ERA, and a 4.84 xFIP. For a pitcher who was getting by mostly on guile and craft, the dip in results has been a concern for Cortes, he is probably too expensive at $7,900 on FanDuel in a bad matchup against Arizona, he is more playable for the $7,300 DraftKings price but there are other options available.
  • The Diamondbacks have a good lineup that plays well for DFS purposes, all of their hitters are below $4,000 on the FanDuel slate, though the top end of the lineup is not exactly cheap. They are more expensive overall on DraftKings. Arizona has Ketel Marte and Corbin Carroll alternating in the one and two spots in the lineup, they are an excellent pairing for power, speed, and run creation. Marte is a $3,900/$5,200 second baseman who hit 25 home runs and had a 127 WRC+ last year, and Carroll became a star in 2023 with 25 homers and 54 stolen bases. Lourdes Gurriel is a good hitter with power for $3,600/$5,100 and Christian Walker is a premium first baseman for $3,800/$5,000. Walker should not be the cheapest player in the group on DraftKings. Gabriel Moreno is a potential star at the catcher spot. Moreno slashed .284/.339/.408 with seven home runs in 380 plate appearances last year after being acquired from Toronto as a top prospect, he has outstanding upside on any given slate and costs just $3,900 where his position is required. Eugenio Suarez is a major source of cheap late lineup power, he has a 6.78 in our home run model today for a mere $3,200/$4,400. Blaze AlexanderGeraldo Perdomo, and Jorge Barrosa round out the projected lineup.

Play: Zac Gallen, Yankees bats/stacks, Diamondbacks bats/stacks (Update: Corbin Carroll is not in the lineup tonight, Blaze Alexander will hit second, this diminishes but does not eliminate Diamondbacks stacking)

Boston Red Sox (-142/4.39) @ Oakland Athletics (+131/3.70)

  • The Red Sox are favored on the road with a 4.39-run implied team total against veteran southpaw Alex Wood. The starter took the ball 12 times last season, hurling 97.2 innings with just a 17.2% strikeout rate and 9.8% walk rate to go with a 4.33 ERA and an even worse 5.14 xFIP. Wood is not a great option for this slate, despite just a $6,400/$6,000 price tag.
  • Several of the Red Sox key hitters are left-handed but that should not be a big impact against a starter like Wood. Slugger Triston Casas, for example, dipped to a .215 average but still maintained a .361 on-base percentage and an .817 OPS with a .241 ISO and 121 WRC+ in his 97 plate appearances against same-handed pitching last season. Rafael Devers created runs 19% better than average against lefties and 26% better against righties and posted similar triple-slash numbers on both sides of the split, though he hit for more power against righties. Jarren Duran only faced lefties 49 times last year but he managed a home run and a .289/.327/.422 triple-slash while landing two percent below the curve for run creation in the small sample. Masataka Yoshida slashed .273/.347/.398 with a 102 WRC+ against lefties to round out the group. Any of those players may take a seat tonight for an early season matchup, Casas could give way to Bobby Dalbec or Duran may be spelled by platoon favorite Rob Refsnyder, but the lefties who do play should not be considered to be diminished for the matchup. The team also features right-handed Trevor Story for just $2,800/$4,200 at shortstop. Story is a good bounceback candidate if he manages to stay healthy for the season, which would be a first since joining Boston three years ago. Tyler O’Neill brings excellent power and speed to bear for DFS gamers, he is cheap at $3,200/$4,300 in the outfield, as is young Ceddanne Rafaela, who lands at $2,500/$4,000 and adds third base eligibility on FanDuel. Pablo Reyes and Connor Wong should round-out the lineup, Wong is always a viable mix-in with good premium contact skills from the catcher position at a cheap price.
  • Brayan Bello is inexpensive for his talent and this matchup at $8,800/$8,000. Bello projects for similar success to teammate Tanner Houck who posted a slate-leading score last night with 10 strikeouts and six clean innings with bonuses against this team. Bello has better raw stuff than Houck and similarly has worked in just the low-20s range for strikeouts over the past few seasons. The righty had a 19.8% strikeout rate with a 6.7% walk rate over 157 innings in 28 starts last year, posting a 4.24 ERA with a 4.02 xFIP along the way. Bello is another pitcher who is adept at limiting barrels that lead to home run upside by cutting launch angle, on the average hitters managed just a 4.9-degree launch angle against him last year and a 5.3-degree mark in 57.1 innings and 11 starts the season before. Bello did let a few slip out of the yard with a 3.59% home run rate last year but that amounts to happenstance, in the smaller sample the season before that rate was 0.37%. Bello is a strong choice for pitching shares on both sites, his discount on DraftKings is noteworthy, he can be utilized as a cheap SP1 in this matchup.
  • The Athletics are a bad baseball team in a bad spot and they are making odd decisions with even odder rumors flying in all corners. The team’s lineup has been in flux over the first few games of the season, with some suggesting they may be punishing players for taking a stance against ownership and on the side of fans (where they should be). For now, the Athletics are simply a mess but they have a few OK players including Ryan NodaJJ BledaySeth Brown, and, if he gets back in the lineup, Brent Rooker. That group is just OK, they are flawed overall hitters but Noda and Bleday are lefties who can get to first base with some skill while Brown and Rooker are a mid-lineup lefty-righty power tandem with heavy strikeout rates. The team’s best player is second baseman Zack Gelof, who went 14-14 in just 300 plate appearances while creating runs 33% better than average and posting a .237 ISO as a rookie in the second-half of last season. Gelof is affordable at $2,800/$4,700 but the matchup and his surrounding teammates are not high-quality, making even his one-off appeal a dice roll. JD Davis is another good hitter with a stout bat, his 9.5% barrel rate and 44.4% hard-hit marks last year, while good, were down from the elite 16.2% and 55.6% he posted in 2022 in a part-time role. Davis is a reasonably high-priority bat in this lineup if one chooses to stack Athletics for contrarian reasons, but this is not a good spot. Shea Langeliers has cheap catcher power, the balance of the lineup does not offer much appeal.

Play: Brayan Bello, Red Sox bats/stacks

Cleveland Guardians (+101/3.49) @ Seattle Mariners (-110/3.59)

  • The best pitching matchup of the day pits home starter Luis Castillo against visiting Shane Bieber with both teams carrying implied totals in the mid-3s. Castillo costs $9,900/$9,400 to Bieber’s $10,200/$8,800, the Cleveland righty is far too cheap on the DraftKings slate. Castillo draws a low-strikeout low-power Cleveland team that gets by with base hits and station-to-station play, while Bieber faces a heavy-strikeout high-power team in the Mariners. Castillo had a bumpy first outing against the Red Sox, making it through five innings of six-hit four-run ball while striking out five, walking two, and coughing up a home run. By contrast, Bieber was elite in his outing against the lousy Athletics. The righty dominated like the Bieber of old, striking out 11 in just 6.0 innings while allowing no runs on four hits and walking just one. Bieber made 21 starts and threw 128.0 innings last year, posting just a 20.1% strikeout rate after being at 25% over 200.0 innings in 31 starts the year before so a return to form would be great to see. The righty still had a 3.80 ERA and 3.96 xFIP last season but he was undeniably better at 2.88 ERA and 2.98 xFIP in 2022. Castillo, meanwhile, had nearly identical seasons across those two years, posting a 27.3% strikeout rate with a 3.34 ERA and 3.81 xFIP in 197.0 innings and 33 starts last year and a 27.2% strikeout rate with a 2.99 ERA and 3.23 xFIP over 150.1 innings and 25 starts in 2022. Either pitcher is a good choice for the money, they are expensive because they are true aces facing good matchups, the Mariners strikeout a ton for Bieber’s upside and the Guardians do not offer much in the way of home run threats but could clip Castillo’s strikeout upside by one or two. Castillo projects slightly higher in our model as the top overall starter of the day.
  • The Guardians are not a great stacking target in this matchup, they are a hit-tool and speed team with limited power bats. Jose Ramirez can be played against anyone, he is a capable one-off but not a priority at $3,800/$5,700 at third base. Ramirez had another good season in 2023, hitting 24 home runs and stealing 28 bases. Andres Gimenez and Josh Naylor hit on either side of the star, the three-man group represents the limits of our stacking interest on this team tonight. Steven Kwan is a low-end DFS play for anything beyond correlation and steals, Will Brennan and Ramon Laureano are below-average players, Bo Naylor offers upside as a cheap catcher but hits late in the lineup, and the bottom of the batting order leaves a lot to be desired overall.
  • The Mariners stacking prospects suffer a similar fate, the matchup is a bad one and the pitcher is heavily favored to succeed. The high-strikeout nature of the Mariners’ hitters also primes them to inject zeroes into DFS lineups when they are not hitting home runs, this might not be a very good team in the longterm. Julio Rodriguez is like Jose Ramirez, a star who can be played in any matchup, but like his counterpart in the other dugout his quality takes a hit from a general lack of options around him in the lineup. Shortstop JP Crawford can get on base in front of Rodriguez and makes for a good pairing at his price while Jorge Polanco should have a good year for power if he is able to stay healthy. Mitch Haniger is a big question mark while Mitch Garver and Cal Raleigh have tons of power but both fit at catcher which makes them an unplayable combination on DraftKings. This is not a good spot for Mariners bats.

Play: Aces. Castillo & Bieber both in strong doses.

St. Louis Cardinals (+122/3.78) @ San Diego Padres (-132/4.31)

  • Soft-tossing righty Miles Mikolas is not a good option against an improved Padres lineup, even for cheap salaries. Mikolas works deep into games and is capable of booking wins and quality starts on the right night, but the appeal is severely limited by his 15.9% strikeout rate over 201.1 innings last year. Mikolas also had just a 4.78 ERA and a 4.76 xFIP and was able to induce only a 7.3% swinging-strike rate while yielding a 9.8% barrel rate, he is a target for bats.
  • The Padres lineup is less top-heavy this year with the additions of Jackson Merrill and Graham Pauley at the bottom of the batting order and the emergence of catcher Luis Campusano. Merrill is a young rookie who won the centerfield job out of camp, he is off to a .238/.304/.476 start at the plate but has created runs eight percent better than average in his seven games to this point and has a home run on the board. Pauley has played in four of the team’s games, he is 2-10 with a home run and a single. Campusano is slashing .346/.346/.538 with a 135 WRC+ and a .192 ISO over his first 26 plate appearances, which amounts to 9-26 with six singles, a pair of doubles, and a home run. The top-end of the Padres batting order is more established but they now have help, making this a much more interesting stack for DFS gamers this year. San Diego looks like a good option for shares against Mikolas. Xander Bogaerts costs $3,400/$4,800 with second base and shortstop eligibility on DraftKings but lacks the keystone on FanDuel. Fernando Tatis Jr. blasted a home run last night, he hit 25 and stole 29 bases last season and checks in for a fair $3,800 on FanDuel and $5,700 across town. Jake Cronenworth is a lousy option in the third spot in the lineup but shakes things up with his left-handed bat and he has at least some correlated scoring value at cheap pricing in the team stack. Manny Machado and Ha-Seong Kim are strong targets in the heart of the batting order, Kim is too cheap for his multi-category talent.
  • San Diego has Yu Darvish on the hill again, it feels like he starts every other game for this team. Darvish pitched in the Seoul Series and had an ugly start, he was much better against San Francisco in his second outing of the year last week. The veteran righty struck out seven Giants hitters while allowing just one run on five hits and walked only one of 20 hitters in his 5.0-inning start. Darvish could see more leash tonight but the matchup against the Cardinals is not a pushover. At $9,300/$8,200, Darvish looks far better on DraftKings than he does for the price on FanDuel. The righty could certainly succeed in this spot, nothing about that would be surprising, but he projects for more of a “good not great” game tonight which puts him off value on the blue site.
  • Similarly, the talented St. Louis lineup that delivered from a highly-ranked spot for us just last night suffers a bit in the matchup against Darvish. The team has several excellent bats in Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Willson Contreras, and the power of Nolan Gorman, and Brendan Donovan is a great multi-positional option in the leadoff role, but the matchup results in just a 3.78-run implied team total and there is not much of a discount in play for that group. The bottom of the lineup has parts that are playable in conjunction with the top but they do not stack up well on their own with Alec BurlesonJordan WalkerMasyn Winn, and Victor Scott just looking like spare parts at cheap prices. Of the group, Walker is the best player with the most upside, while Scott could provide multiple stolen bases at the minimum price on both sites if he manages to reach first base.

Play: Padres bats/stacks, Yu Darvish mostly on DraftKings

San Francisco Giants (+134/3.91) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (-146/4.69)

  • The Dodgers have Michael Grove slated to work a couple of innings to open the game before handing off to Ryan Yarbrough, neither pitcher makes much of a DFS option tonight and the Giants could be an interesting stack, though we tend to avoid targeting openers who are there to take the top off of a lineup in the first inning. Grove had a 24.2% strikeout rate with a 6.13 ERA and 3.92 xFIP while allowing a 3.97% home run rate and 9.2% barrel rate last season, so he may not qualify for that category, making the Giants a bit more playable.
  • San Francisco will mix and match their way through this game with the left-handed Yarbrough following, which could lead to some key bats coming out early. Jung-Hoo Lee and LaMonte Wade Jr. should be relatively safe for the full contest if they start the game, but Michael Conforto and Mike Yastrzemski could be more in danger of a pinch-hit when the southpaw comes into the game. Jorge Soler will gain value against the lefty and he leads the team at a 13.77 in our home run model which is measured against Grove. Soler is the overall home run pick of the day at $3,000/$4,600, he is a good target for one-off shares and is a key contributor for stacking this team. Lee and Wade hit on either side of Soler in the projected lineup, Lee is here to get on base, he is off to a .316/.375/.474 start over 24 plate appearances (aka 6-24 with five singles and a homer). Wade gets on base and hits for mid-range power for cheap prices at first base, and Matt Chapman has a thunderous right-handed bat from the cleanup spot on the right night. Chapman had a 17.1% barrel rate and 56.1% hard-hit rate for the season in 2023. Conforto and Yastrzesmki hit on either side of right-handed infielder Thairo Estrada who has mid-range power and good speed for $3,000/$4,000. Estrada hit 14 home runs and stole 23 bases in 2023.
  • Logan Webb rounds out the pitching slate for San Francisco, his projection is somewhat limited by the opposing All-Star Team but he is an excellent starter on most nights. Webb has the talent to limit the Dodgers to only a few runs, the most likely outcome looks like several innings of a successful MLB start that allows scoring but does not get out of hand, this does not work as well for DFS as it does in real life. Webb keeps the ball in the yard, he has a noteworthy impact on the Dodgers’ home run numbers in our model today, with the team ranked very low on the Power Index. Los Angeles could, of course, overcome that with ease, but Webb will not help them, he limited average launch angles to just 0.6 degrees and kept home runs to 2.35% last season. The righty is too expensive for this matchup at $9,000 on the blue site, he is a more tempting option at $8,300 on DraftKings where his ownership should be awfully low.
  • Los Angeles may be slightly artificially capped for home run potential with Webb on the hill, but that will go away in the sixth inning or so, and they can score runs without power. The Dodgers are always in play but they are a bit of a reach given the hefty prices against this starter, this looks like a spot where both sides are good enough to limit the appeal of the other. However, if one chooses to grab Dodgers bats, particularly if they are low-owned, stars Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, and Freddie Freeman are prime targets atop the lineup, two of them should be in most Dodgers stacks but that is a difficult pricing problem. Will Smith is a power-hitting catcher with excellent bat-to-ball skills and a low strikeout rate, Max Muncy and Teoscar Hernandez are premium power hitters who strike out at heavy clips, and the bottom of the lineup features three good lefties for low prices in James Outman, Jason Heyward, and Gavin Lux. The Dodgers are less appealing than usual, but there is only so far down the board that they can slide even against good pitching this season.

Play: Logan Webb dice roll value on DraftKings, Dodgers stacks in a not-great hitting spot

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

Share this with...

Content Creator: