MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Slate Notes – Tuesday Main Slate 5/7/24

The eight-game Tuesday main slate gets underway at a standard 7:05 ET start time with the beginning of the Astros vs Yankees game. That contest features high-quality pitching with two premium lineups in a hitter-friendly ballpark, any of the four corners in the Bronx could be interesting tonight. The slate continues with the Red Sox in Atlanta to take on the Braves, the Mariners and Twins battling in Minnesota in what could be a game with fireworks, the Brewers and Royals in a matchup with a nine-run total on the board in Vegas, and a potential high octane spot for the Cubs in a home game against the Padres. That is before we even reach the matchup in Colorado. Coors Field will feature a matchup between power-friendly Kyle Harrison, who is otherwise an ace-caliber prospect, and Dakota Hudson, his exact opposite. The Rockies are drawing interesting power marks and Elehuris Montero was our home run pick of the day, but they will have to be sharp for sequencing to put up more than a few runs against the talented starter, even if he allows a bit of power again tonight. The Mets are in St. Louis in a lukewarm spot for DFS quality and the Dodgers are the slate’s biggest favorites in the nightcap against the Marlins. Yoshinobu Yamamoto tops the pitching slate at a high price in the matchup against scuffling Miami and the Dodgers are drawing solid numbers against talented righty Edward Cabrera on the other side.

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 – 5/7/24

Houston Astros (+104/4.20) @ New York Yankees (-113/4.39)

  • Yankees starter Luis Gil has been excellent over six starts in 2024. Gil missed the entire 2023 season with injuries and was a question mark coming into the year, even after a successful Spring, he has silenced the doubters with a 30.8% strikeout rate over 31.0 innings. Gil has pitched to a 3.19 ERA with a 4.09 xFIP and has been excellent at limiting premium contact with just a 4.3% barrel rate and 26.1% hard-hit rate allowed. Of course, when you strike out as many as Gil has and you also walk 15.4% – the pitcher’s singular flaw – it limits the number of overall batted ball events in a sample. Gil is a Stuff+ darling with a 119.05 rating for his full arsenal, he worked a season-high 6.1 innings in his last game and has earned the faith of the Yankees skipper, if things are going well Gil will have a shot to book the quality start in most of his future outings. The issue in this matchup is the high-end opponent. The projected Astros lineup has a 17.4% strikeout rate this season and the same collection of hitters was at just 17.2% last year. Houston’s hitters have power, they get on base and hit for average, and the lineup runs deep even when a few of them struggle. Gil will have his work cut out but all of that is baked into his far too cheap price at $8,700/$8,300, he is a good value option on the mound even against this opponent.
  • The Astros are playable on the other side of the equation, they make for a smart hedge position if one is drawing numerous shares of Gil across many lineups. The Houston lineup typically opens with star second baseman Jose Altuve, who is slashing .343/.406/.557 with seven home runs and seven stolen bases. Altuve is expensive at $4,000/$5,700 but is well worth the investment at his position. Kyle Tucker has nine home runs with five stolen bases and a .268 ISO, the lefty has a 6.26 in the home run model with a good chance to poke one over the right field wall even against a pitcher who has limited premium contact. Yordan Alvarez is another prime candidate to ruin Gil’s day. Despite his sluggish start, Alvarez has seven home runs and has created runs 19% better than average while generating a 14.5% barrel rate and 48.2% hard hits from the left side. Take advantage of a slightly reduced price for the superstar outfielder when rostering Astros, he should not be skipped. Alex Bregman can be skipped in his current form, more frequently than not in fact. Bregman still holds a strong place in the lineup and he comes very cheap for his ceiling, he is not entirely off the board but his struggles have carried into May with a .202/.284/.269 triple-slash and, more concerningly, a .067 ISO on 3.8% barrels and 33.7% hard hits. Bregman has not been right at the plate but the 11.9% strikeout rate and 10.4% walk rate he has provided remain interesting, as does his lurking power, as his price declines. Jeremy Pena is off to a great start at .323/.367/.446 with a 137 WRC+, Jon Singleton has left-handed power for a cheap price at first base, he has three home runs in 70 plate appearances this year, and Yainer Diaz is a highly-playable catcher on either site. Diaz has three home runs with a 105 WRC+ and a very interesting 48.1% hard-hit rate in a small sample of batted ball events. Joey Loperfido has a 73 WRC+ after 16 plate appearances since his call up, he is expected to hit in the longterm and he provides a cheap late-lineup alternative to more popular or expensive options. Mauricio Dubon has a 99 WRC+, he fits into four positions for $2,300 on FanDuel and plays either third base or the outfield for $3,000 on DraftKings but the ceiling is typically a bit limited.
  • Veteran Justin Verlander has been good since his return to the mound but the DFS results have been somewhat mixed. Verlander has a 2.08 ERA with a more revealing 4.72 xFIP in a tiny 17.1-inning sample over three starts. The righty has induced a 10.0% swinging-strike rate and has a limited 23.0% CSW, he has struck out just 19.1% and walked 10.3% while allowing barrels but not hard hits in the tiny sample. Verlander worked 7.0 innings in his most recent start, striking out just two and walking three while allowing two earned runs on a homer and six total hits to the stingy Guardians lineup. He struck out seven but walked four while shutting out the Cubs over just 4.1 innings in his prior start and worked deeper with mixed results in a 6.0-inning outing against the Nationals in his debut, striking out four, walking zero, and allowing two earned runs on a homer and four total hits. For $9,900/$9,000 Verlander is not off the board against this team in Yankee Stadium but he seems a bit expensive for the current form. While Stuff+ still likes his arsenal at a whopping 124.71 in the small sample, the ballpark strongly favors hitters and the Yankees lineup can get to anyone, they only need to score a few runs to ruin Verlander’s day at the price, even if they do not blow him up completely.
  • Anthony Volpe leads off for New York, the second-year shortstop has a .252/.344/.370 triple-slash with three home runs and seven stolen bases and has created runs 13% better than average, he is fairly priced at $3,100/$4,600. Juan Soto and Aaron Judge follow Volpe. Soto has been tremendous this season with a .316/.421/.559 slash line, eight home runs, four stolen bases, and a 181 WRC+. The outfielder has crushed the ball in his batted ball events, putting up a 16.5% barrel rate and 60.9% hard hits and he is doing Juan Soto things at the plate with a 14.0% strikeout rate and a 15.9% walk rate. Judge started the season very slowly but has been coming on in recent games, he is up to .220/.350/.439 with a .220 ISO, seven home runs, and a 129 WRC+. Alex Verdugo adds an interesting left-handed bat with contact skills and enough power to succeed in this ballpark in the cleanup spot. Verdugo has four home runs with a .157 ISO and just a 3.8% barrel rate and 32.7% hard hits but has created runs 25% better than avearge in his 36% plate appearances. Giancarlo Stanton still brings thunder from the right side, he has a 16.4% barrel rate and a 49.3% hard-hit rate with six home runs and a .209 ISO in 124 chances this year. Stanton needs to make more frequent contact, but when he connects the ball travels. Anthony Rizzo has found his form at the plate, the first baseman is slashing .263/.329/.429 with six home runs and a 122 WRC+, he remains affordable at $3,300 on FanDuel and cheap at $4,400 on DraftKings. The combination of Verdugo, Stanton, and Rizzo, for a total of $12,700 on DraftKings is an interesting three-man mix to help with the cost of Soto and Judge. Either Volpe or Gleyber Torres can replace any of those options at lower or similar pricing as well. Torres has scuffled badly to start the season, he sits at just 71 WRC+ with one home run and three stolen bases but his price is way down at $2,600/$3,900 and we know he is a far better hitter than he has been this year. Austin Wells is an interesting option at the plate, the young catcher is slashing a mere .179/.324/.268 with a .089 ISO and 83 WRC+ over 71 chances this season but carries a stellar 12.7% strikeout rate and 18.3% walk rate with a 12.2% barrel rate when he does make contact. Wells is very cheap for a lefty catcher in this ballpark, he has some appeal at $2,400/$3,100. Oswaldo Cabrera has four home runs with a 96 WRC+ and a respectable average but a .285 on-base percentage over 123 plate appearances, he will continue to get chances in a short-handed Yankees infield but his strong start to the year was not who he truly is at the plate.

Play: Four corners, Luis Gil value, Astros bats/stacks, Yankees bats/stacks, overpriced Justin Verlander

Boston Red Sox (+165/3.67) @ Atlanta Braves (-181/4.94)

  • The Red Sox are carrying just a 3.67-run implied total into action tonight because Reynaldo Lopez has been fantastic over five outings in 2024. Lopez has a 1.50 ERA but a more honest 3.58 xFIP with a 1.00 WHIP, a 27.0% strikeout rate on 12.4% swinging strikes, and a 28.0% CSW. The righty has allowed just 5.4% barrels and a 1.74% home run rate in the small sample, but he measures out to just a 95.87 in Stuff+ metrics, suggesting he has somewhat overperformed in a starting role. Lopez was strong in relief over the past two seasons, he had a 29.9% strikeout rate but a 12.2% walk rate over 66.0 innings last year and a 24.8% strikeout rate with a 4.3% walk rate in 65.1 innings in 2022. The righty checks in with a strong projection and lands second on the board on both sites, he is expensive at $10,400 on FanDuel and $9,700 on DraftKings but he seems worthy of investment and comes slightly cheaper than either Yoshinobu Yamamoto or Shota Imanaga at the top of the DraftKings slate.
  • Boston bats are severely limited by the run total in Vegas tonight. The team has several compelling DFS options and they land at fair prices across both sites, keeping them somewhat in play against a pitcher who has arguably been better than he truly is on the mound. Lefty leadoff man Jarren Duran is slashing .262/.337/.400 with a 107 WRC+ and nine stolen bases, he has done a good job of setting the table and creating bonus fantasy points with his legs, Duran is a quality correlated scoring option. Rafael Devers leads the team with an 11.09 in our home run model, Lopez has given up a home run in each of his two most recent starts but only those two on the season. Devers has four homers and a .213 ISO and remains far too cheap on the DraftKings slate at just $5,100. Tyler O’Neill has nine home runs and a tremendous triple-slash to start the season, his .341 ISO comes on the back of 18.0% barrels and a 44.3% hard-hit rate and he has created runs 86% better than average. O’Neill is a bargain for $3,400 on FanDuel, his $5,800 DraftKings price is closer to correct. Wilyer Abreu costs just $3,100/$4,100 in the outfield. The young lefty hitter has been good over 105 chances this year, he has two home runs, five stolen bases, and a 140 WRC+ in the growing sample and he hits in a great lineup spot daily. Connor Wong has five home runs with a .231 ISO on just 6.7% barrels and 33.3% hard hits so far this season. Both of the premium contact marks are down from the past two seasons over 83 plate appearances but Wong’s home run output and excellent triple-slash have led to his most productive stretch at the plate, the cheap catcher has a 165 WRC+ in the tiny sample. Dominic Smith and Garrett Cooper are in the Red Sox lineup because the baseball gods hate Bobby Dalbec, who was once again relegated to Pawtuckett. Smith has made 16 plate appearances and provided very little, the lefty first baseman is cheap on both sites, as is the right-handed version. Cooper has a home run and an 87 WRC+ over his first 56 chances this season. Vaughn Grissom and Ceddanne Rafaela are inexpensive young talents late in the lineup, Grissom just got the call to the Show and has only made eight plate appearances with Boston, while Rafaela has scuffled to a 59 WRC+ over 128 chances this year.
  • Righty Kutter Crawford has made three-straight quality starts and has four in his seven outings this season. Crawford joins most of the Boston rotation in pitching very well to start 2024, he has a 1.56 ERA but a telling 3.91 xFIP with a 24.2% strikeout rate and 7.9% walk rate. Crawford measures out with a quality 107.97 Stuff+ rating for his full arsenal after making some notable offseason tweaks, he has been terrific at limiting premium contact with just a 26.1% hard-hit rate and 85.9 mph of exit velocity allowed on average. Crawford allowed a home run in his most recent start, the first he has given up all year. The righty worked 7.0 innings in that game, allowing two earned runs on the homer and four total hits while striking out six and walking two, he booked the quality start and the win bonus against the Giants. Crawford is a good pitcher at a fair price for $9,000/$8,500 but he is in a brutal matchup against the Braves, even with several of their key bats struggling somewhat to get the engine going this year.
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. still costs $4,200/$6,200 across sites, which is the correct move. Acuna is simply too good to allow his price to dip, even with a .265/.376/.362 triple-slash and just a .094 ISO to start the season, the superstar has created runs 18% better than average and stolen 14 bases to pad DFS scoring. Acuna has a 47.1% hard-hit rate, which is down from last year’s 55.0% with barrels dipping from 15.3% to just 8.0% in the small sample, everything will turn around for this hitter and he recently hit his second home run of the year. Ozzie Albies has two home runs and two stolen bases with a 129 WRC+ over 110 plate appearances, he is one of the best second basemen in baseball and is always in play. Albies is a bit cheap at $5,200 on DraftKings. Austin Riley and Matt Olson are also discounted for their ceilings. Both sluggers have managed just three home runs in slow starts to the season and Olson is currently below the Mendoza line with a .197/.317/.359 triple-slash and a 93 WRC+, Riley has not been much better but does have a 102 WRC+. Marcell Ozuna started the season on fire, he has 10 home runs and a .298 ISO with a strong triple-slash while creating runs 75% better than average, Ozuna costs $4,100/$5,600. Travis d’Arnaud makes excellent contact for a backup catcher, he has five home runs and a .295 ISO on 12.3% barrels and a 47.4% hard-hit rate. Michael Harris has a 49.0% hard-hit rate with three home runs, five stolen bases, and a 102 WRC+ over 136 chances, he is a 20/20 or better player from late in the lineup. Orlando Arcia has had an up-and-down start to the season, he has two home runs and has been five percent below average for run creation. Jarred Kelenic has yet to homer and is down to .274/.329/.329 with a .055 ISO and 91 WRC+ after a few cold games, he is very cheap at the end of this lineup.

Play: Reynaldo Lopez, Kutter Crawford in smaller doses, Braves bats/stacks, minor shares of contrarian Red Sox are OK but the run total is very low

Seattle Mariners (+129/3.95) @ Minnesota Twins (-140/4.64)

  • Roller coaster starter Bailey Ober is on the mound for the hometown Twins, he has the opposing Mariners relegated to a 3.95-run implied total, though that may have more to do with their ongoing weak performance at the plate than the pitcher’s overall quality. Ober has a 22.4% strikeout rate with a 5.6% walk rate over 31.2 innings in six starts this year, depth is one of his more reliable traits on the mound. The righty has worked to a 4.55 ERA but a 4.12 xFIP while allowing a 12.2% barrel rate but only 35.6% hard hits and 87.7 mph of exit velocity with four home runs allowed on the season. Three of those home runs came in his first start of the year, a 1.1-inning meltdown against Kansas City in which he allowed eight earned runs on nine hits while striking out just one and walking one. Ober allowed the other home run in his most recent start, with four strong performances in between. Against the lousy White Sox last week, Ober allowed four earned runs on six hits, including the home run, while striking out just three but walking zero in 6.0 innings. Over the four starts in the middle, Ober had not allowed more than two earned runs with strikeout totals of eight, seven, and six in three games. Ober projects to a strong number on both sites tonight, he is facing a free-swinging Mariners squad that gave up another big pitching performance to Simeon Woods Richardson last night, Ober could easily repeat that feat and he has the upside to pitch into the seventh or beyond if things go well. The Mariners are flashing a bit of power again tonight but they are an underwhelming group of hitters on the whole, a few hedge stacks are advisable but it is best not to get carried away with them.
  • Josh Rojas has a 185 WRC+, only he and Cal Raleigh in the fifth spot in the lineup have been better than average for run creation so far this season. Rojas has three home runs and three steals and he fills out infield positions for cheap pricing. Julio Rodriguez is cheap for his talent at $3,300/$4,800 but he has struggled early in the season again this year. Rodriguez is slashing a disappointing .254/.299/.304 with one home run and seven stolen bases. The outfielder finished last season with 32 home runs and 37 stolen bases while creating runs 26% better than average after a similarly cold start, we retain faith in the turn but would like to see something soon. Jorge Polanco has five home runs but sits below the Mendoza line while carrying a 93 WRC+, he is cheap for a bit of second base power. Mitch Haniger costs just $3,000/$3,600 in the outfield, he also has a bit of value-based power appeal but he has done little else at the plate this season, which can be said for all of these hitters. Raleigh has eight home runs and a .224 ISO but a .206/.295/.430 triple-slash that limits his overall quality. Ty France is a contact-based hitter who has not been making enough contact, he is a middling option at first base where we would like more power potential. Mitch Garver has an 8.90 in the home run model, the third-highest mark on the team behind Rodriguez’s 12.02 and Raleigh’s 10.49. Garver has hit three long balls on the season but he also sits below the Mendoza line over 115 plate appearances and has created runs 24% below average. Luke Raley has cheap left-handed power in the outfield and Dylan Moore can be frisky for the right price at four FanDuel positions, he is a more limited option for $3,000 at shortstop on DraftKings.
  • When speaking in glowing terms about the Mariners’ rotation and their potential impact on the Twins’ production this week during yesterday’s show, Emerson Hancock was a bit of an oversight. Hancock is not nearly the talent that the other Mariners starters are, he has a 4.75 ERA with a 4.57 xFIP and a limited 17.6% strikeout rate over 30.1 innings in six starts this season. Hancock has induced just a 9.0% swinging strike rate with a 26.5% CSW while allowing a 9.4% barrel rate and 45.8% hard hits, he is a gettable pitcher. Hancock allowed five runs, though only one of them was earned, on five hits while striking out four and walking four over 3.2 innings against Atlanta last week, he worked 6.0 in each of three consecutive starts before that outing. The righty struck out exactly four in each of those starts, booking the quality start each time with a pair of added win bonuses. The Twins have been one of the better run-scoring teams in baseball over the past few weeks, they present a challenge to a mediocre pitcher, but Hancock is at least a viable bargain-bin option at $7,100/$6,200, mostly at the latter price on DraftKings.
  • Minnesota has scored 156 runs overall this season, just 14th in baseball, but their 107 runs since April 15th are the second-most in baseball behind only the 120 scored by Philadelphia. The Twins have hit 20 home runs over that stretch, tying them for 10th-most, they have scored runs via both power and sequencing in this stretch. At 4.64 implied runs, the Twins rank sixth out of tonight’s 16 teams, they have potential against a pitcher with this makeup, Hancock’s arsenal grades out to just an 86.93 Stuff+ mark and he is about to lose his job when Bryan Woo returns this weekend. Edouard Julien has seven home runs but a limited .204/.323/.444 triple-slash with a .241 ISO and has created runs 23% better than average while barreling 15.6% of his batted-ball events. Julien is a premium talent at second base, if he learns to strike out a bit less and hit for a better average he will make a big leap and he currently costs just $3,300/$4,300. Trevor Larnach has an 8.1% barrel rate and 54.1% hard hits over a small sample of 52 plate appearances in which he has blasted two home runs while slashing .348/.404/.522 and creating runs 66% better than average. Larnach has a 7.39 in the home run model and Julien is at 7.51, the two lefties are an interesting combination to start a Twins stack. Ryan Jeffers is an affordable catcher option at $3,400/$4,600, there is value in his power bat in a high-end lineup spot for the cheap price where his position is required, Jeffers is a playable catcher one-off on DraftKings. Max Kepler has an 8.40 in the home run model, the lefty slugger has two home runs and a .311/.386/.492 slash-line over 70 plate appearances in a good start to the year. Kepler has created runs 53% better than average and has always been good for moderately priced left-handed power. Carlos Correa has created runs 33% better than average over the 74 plate appearances he has managed, he is still a good ballplayer when he is healthy and he is somewhat unfairly priced down to $2,800/$4,100 as a bargain shortstop. Alex Kirilloff has hit two home runs with a .189 ISO on 8.5% barrels and 43.7% hard hits over 106 chances this season. Willi Castro has four stolen bases with two home runs and a 121 WRC+ over 127 plate appearances while filling in as an everyday player while others are injured. Castro is intriguing, he stole 33 bases with nine home runs in just 409 plate appearances last year and fills three positions for just $3,000 on FanDuel while slotting into shortstop or the outfield for $3,800 on DraftKings. Carlos Santana has a low strikeout rate and four home runs but has been limited at just 76 WRC+ and Jose Miranda rounds out the lineup with a playable hit tool and a bit of added right-handed power for a cheap price.

Play: Bailey Ober, Twins bats/stacks, Emerson Hancock bargain bin SP2 darts on DraftKings, minor shares of Mariners with a bit of power upside

Milwaukee Brewers (+112/4.36) @ Kansas City Royals (-121/4.74)

  • Seth Lugo has worked to a microscopic 1.60 ERA with a revealing 4.22 xFIP and just a 17.6% strikeout rate over seven starts. Lugo has been working deep into games this season, he has thrown 45.0 innings and he went 7.0 in three of his last four games. The righty has pitched into the sixth inning in every start this year, completing it six of seven times and booking six quality starts along the way. His lone poor outing was a 5.1-inning outing against the high-grade Orioles lineup, he allowed four earned runs on two home runs and nine hits while striking out just one and walking one in a laborious but not disastrous start. In his other six starts, Lugo has allowed just four earned runs. Combined. While he has not been reliably high-end for strikeouts, Lugo does have a 28.2% CSW with an eight-strikeout game and a nine-strikeout game in his two most recent starts. Before those outings he had not managed to book more than four strikeouts in a game this year, but he pitched to a 23.2% strikeout rate over 26 starts and 146.1 innings last year. Lugo is pricey at $9,700 on FanDuel, where the quality start upside is strong, his $7,200 cost on DraftKings is baffling, even with a low strikeout rate he has been far better than that and he is facing an overperforming Brewers team with numerous middling bats and scuffling young players. Lugo is a terrific SP2 option for the cheap DraftKings price, he is easily playable at the high mark on FanDuel but there are probably better ways to spend the salary.
  • Milwaukee opens with Sal Frelick, a cheap outfielder with an 88 WRC+, zero home runs, and four stolen bases over 131 plate appearances this year. Frelick is a speed and correlated scoring option who lacks the on-base skills to hold down a leadoff role. William Contreras is one of the top catchers in the game, he has a strong position in the lineup hitting second daily and makes for a playable pay-up one-off at the position. Contreras leads the team with a 161 WRC+ over 155 plate appearances while slashing .328/.406/.507 with five home runs. Tyler Black is projected third in the lineup, the lefty has made 20 plate appearances in the Show to this point, he has a 3.70 in the home run model but had racked up five dingers in 117 plate appearances at AAA after hitting 18 in more than 500 chances across AA and AAA last season. Black is very affordable in a good spot in the lineup in a playable but non-priority Brewers stack. Willy Adames has six home runs and five stolen bases with a strong triple-slash that will likely decline over time. Adames is showing real power and speed at the plate and his price has not gone up on DraftKings, he is affordable at $4,400 and has a 7.11 in the home run model tonight. Brice Turang has stolen 14 bases with a .296/.364/.407 triple-slash and probably makes a better leadoff option than Frelick. Turang is a $3,000 second baseman or shortstop on FanDuel and a $4,500 DraftKings second baseman. Rhys Hoskins has hit six home runs and has a .202 ISO on 13.8% barrels, he costs just $3,100/$4,200 at first base and should be included in most versions of a Brewers stack. Oliver Dunn has a home run and two stolen bases but a limited 73 WRC+ over 78 plate appearances. Blake Perkins has been better than heralded rookie Jackson Chourio at the bottom of the lineup. Perkins has four home runs and three stolen bases and has created runs 29% better than average while Chourio sits at just 76 WRC+ with four homers and six stolen bases. Both outfielders are playable as wraparound options in stacks.
  • Colin Rea is typically targetable with stacks, he does not project well for $8,000/$6,700, even as a bargain bin option. Rea has a 2.67 ERA but a 4.60 xFIP with a limited 16.0% strikeout rate and a 7.2% swinging-strike rate over 33.2 innings in six starts this season. The righty has allowed a 10.1% barrel rate with 89.6 mph of exit velocity leading to a 3.47% home run rate in a small sample. Last year, Rea allowed a 4.45% home run rate on 90.4 mph of exit velocity and a 43.0% hard-hit rate. The righty is capable of snapping off a good start, he had a better 21.3% strikeout rate and a 10.2% swinging-strike rate in the larger sample last season and was effective in his most recent outing. Rea worked 6.0 clean innings, facing 25 Rays hitters and striking out five with two walks and four hits but no runs allowed. Over six innings against the Yankees in the start before, the righty gave up three home runs while striking out four, walking three, and allowing five earned runs on four total hits. Rea also melted down for power against the Orioles earlier in the year, allowing two home runs, though he only yielded three total runs in that start. The righty has a strikeout high of six, in a 5.2-inning outing against the Cardinals, he worked 6.0 innings three times with two quality starts. Rea is difficult to endorse for shares on either site, the lean is far stronger toward Royals bats again tonight.
  • Maikel Garcia has four home runs and eight stolen bases but just an 88 WRC+ he is cheap and playable at third base as long as he remains in the top spot in the lineup but he has been an up-and-down producer. Bobby Witt Jr. is a superstar shortstop for $4,200/$6,100, he has four home runs, 12 stolen bases, a 14.2% barrel rate, and a 55.8% hard-hit rate over 156 chances in which he has created runs 55% better than average. Vinnie Pasquantino has a 9.87 in the home run model, slotting in third on the team behind Witt’s 11.36 and the 10.52 carried by star catcher Salvador Perez in the next lineup spot. Pasquantino has four home runs and a .222/.324/.393 triple-slash while making terrific frequent contact at the plate. Perez has hit eight home runs and has a .232 ISO and a 165 WRC+ while remaining affordable at $3,500/$5,000 amid the strong start. Michael Massey hit his third home run last night, he is up to a .235 ISO with a 133 WRC+ over 53 chances at the plate and he still costs just $2,700/$3,300 as an appealing left-handed option to fill second base in a good power spot. Massey has a 6.22 in the home run model from the fifth spot. Nelson Velazquez and MJ Melendez land at 8.85 and 7.78 in the home run model in the next two spots, with Hunter Renfroe not far behind at 7.84. None of the trio has been reliable this season but they all have believable power potential on any given slate with additional upside coming from the matchup. Velazquez has been stuck at just two home runs as his other numbers have dropped over the past few weeks, the same is true for Melendez at four home runs. Renfroe has three long balls with a lousy .161/.228/.290 triple-slash. This group of hitters has been a bit of an issue with sequencing and keeping the lineup rolling, the Royals may swap Dairon Blanco into the lineup again, he is an interesting option for cheap speed upside if that happens. Kyle Isbel has three home runs and three stolen bases but just a 69 WRC+ with a .252 on-base percentage over 104 plate appearances, he is a mix-in option from the ninth spot.

Play: Seth Lugo value on DraftKings (“fine” but not great for the salary on FD), Royals bats/stacks

San Diego Padres (+139/4.09) @ Chicago Cubs (-151/5.01)

  • Cubs starter Shota Imanaga has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over his first six MLB outings. Imanaga has a 0.78 ERA and a 3.17 xFIP with a 26.5% strikeout rate and a 3.0% walk rate over 34.2 innings. The southpaw has yielded just a 5.4% barrel rate but 40.9% hard hits and 89.2 mph of exit velocity on average in a limited number of batted ball events and his Stuff+ rating sits surprisingly low at 99.39. Imanaga has been far better than that on the mound, the rating is an imperfect measurement that does not account for timing and delivery mechanics that Imanaga can use to keep hitters off-balance. At $10,600/$10,300 he is correctly priced and projected as one of the top options on either site against a deep Padres lineup that has gotten extremely interesting with their new leadoff hitter in place.
  • Luis Arraez costs just $2,900/$4,400 which is far too cheap for a player who has won batting titles in consecutive seasons. Arraez is slashing .303/.350/.375 with a 110 WRC+ with most of that coming with the Marlins, he is incorrectly priced for his new spot ahead of Fernando Tatis Jr. in this lineup. Tatis has seven home runs and five stolen bases but a .248/.327/.443 triple-slash with a .195 ISO. The star outfielder has still created runs 26% better than average but his price is down to just $5,000 on DraftKings, he is a value at that price, even against an excellent pitcher. Jake Cronenworth has a $3,000/$4,300 price tag across sites, he has hit six home runs and created runs 45% better than average and has had no issues holding down the third spot in the lineup. Manny Machado has dipped to just $4,500 on DraftKings, he is another star-caliber hitter who is far too affordable on that site. Machado is a $3,500 option at third base on FanDuel, he has five home runs and .152 ISO oin a slow start but has still managed to create runs 10% better than average. Jurickson Profar has been 77% better than average in an unexpectedly excellent start to the season. Over 146 plate appearances, he has five home runs and two stolen bases with a 40.6% hard-hit rate while striking out just 14.4% of the time and walking at a 12.3% clip. Profar is a value bat in Padres stacks in a bad spot against Imanaga. Xander Bogaerts and Ha-Seong Kim have been disappointing to start the season, this team will surge into another gear when they truly get going at the plate. Both infielders have value for their cheap pricing and upside for counting stats, Kim has five home runs and seven stolen bases and a positive WRC+ despite a slow start, Bogaerts has been a bit worse. Luis Campusano is a playable part at catcher and Jackson Merrill remains affordable despite a good start with a 109 WRC+ from late in the lineup.
  • Righty Randy Vasquez has made two starts and thrown 7.2 innings this season, working 5.0 with three strikeouts and four runs allowed on five hits against the Blue Jays, though only one of the runs was earned, and then melting down at Coors Field for four earned runs on six hits with two strikeouts and two walks on the 25th. Vasquez also worked four AAA starts this season, pitching to an 8.40 ERA and 5.58 xFIP with a 21.3% strikeout rate. This does not seem like the spot for Vasquez shares, the Cubs have the second-highest run total on the board at 5.01.
  • Nico Hoerner continues to leadoff and get on base at a solid .353 clip but he has been stuck at four stolen bases for a few games. Hoerner swiped 43 bags in this role last year, he created runs two percent better than average in 688 plate appearances and has been better in that department this year at a 117 WRC+ over 153 chances. Mike Tauchman continues to produce at the plate, the left-handed journeyman has three homers and two steals with a terrific .412 on-base percentage and has settled into the two spot in the Cubs daily lineup. Tauchman has a solid 9.3% barrel rate with an 18.5% strikeout rate and 16.8% walk rate over 119 plate appearances, he is cheap for the quality at $3,000/$3,900. Ian Happ has underwhelmed at the plate with only one home run and a .081 ISO while creating runs one percent below average but he continues to get on base at a sturdy .349 clip. Happ has power he has just slumped over a few weeks, last season he hit 21 home runs and stole 14 bases while creating runs 18% better than average in 691 chances. Christopher Morel has an 8.71 to lead the team in the home run model tonight. Morel has hit eight homers and has a .228 ISO with a 117 WRC+ over 146 plate appearances this year, he is a $3,500 outfield or third base option on FanDuel and a very affordable $4,400 third baseman on DraftKings. The Cubs seem like they will be a popular stack at the value pricing on the DraftKings slate tonight. Michael Busch costs just $3,000/$4,100 with first and third base eligibility on the blue site and just third base on DraftKings. Busch has ripped six home runs and a .220 ISO on 14.3% barrels but has also struck out at a 33.3% pace while walking in 7.6% of his plate appearances. Dansby Swanson is cheap for the multi-category upside, he has four homers and four steals with an 87 WRC+ this year but hit 22 dingers and stole nine bases last year while creating runs four percent better than average and was a 25/18 player the year before. Patrick Wisdom has an 8.26 in the home run model, he has one homer in 28 chances this season and hit 23 in 302 tries last year. Wisdom is a premium power bat for a very cheap price, he had a 19.5% barrel rate and 54.7% hard-hit rate last season. Pete Crow-Armstrong and Miguel Amaya check in at the bottom of the lineup, both players have WRC+ marks of just 62, Crow-Armstrong has a homer and two steals in his 41 plate appearances and Amaya has hit one home run in his 80 chances.

Play: Cubs bats/stacks, Shota Imanaga, some contrarian Padres bats/stacks are OK as a value mixer

New York Mets (+106/4.18) @ St. Louis Cardinals (-114/4.40)

  • Cardinals righty Miles Mikolas has a 5.68 ERA with a 3.99 xFIP and a 17.7% strikeout rate with a 4.3% walk rate over 38.0 innings in seven starts this season. Mikolas continues to be a more effective real-life pitcher than a DFS option on the mound, he can provide depth but even that is unreliable and his strikeout high for the season is just five. Mikolas has completed six innings three times in seven tries, booking a quality start in each outing, he has not been bad but his DFS upside is typically low, even for $7,300 on FanDuel. At a mere $6,000 on the DraftKings slate, however, Mikolas is at least a consideration in the value bin, his ability to take down five clean innings with upside for six with five strikeout sand limited damage has a bit of value, but he does allow a significant amount of contact on the mound where it matters. Mikolas has a 1.39 WHIP despite the low walk rate, he has allowed six or more hits in all but one of his seven starts.
  • The Mets have some potential to surge against Mikolas but he has not been completely blown up this season. The righty has allowed five runs twice but has otherwise worked to low run totals despite all of the hits he gives up. Mikolas will face Brandon Nimmo who has a .228/376/.394 triple-slash with upside for more. Nimmo has four home runs and two stolen bases and has created runs 33% better than average, he is a strong leadoff option on the left side and he has a 12.6% barrel rate and 49.5% hard-hit rate to start the season after a good 2023 campaign. Starling Marte is back to solid contributions for mid-range power and stolen bases, he has four home runs and seven steals in 140 chances this season and has created runs four percent ahead of the curve. Francisco Lindor has six homers and four steals but just a 95 WRC+ in a continued slump but he does not seem far off given a strong premium contact profile and just a 15.6% strikeout rate. Lindor’s batting average on balls in play sits at just .202, he has been very unlucky early this year. Pete Alonso has a 10.8% barrel rate but oddly just a 28.4% hard-hit rate this year. That has still added up to eight home runs and a .212 ISO with a positive WRC+ but Alonso has scuffled a bit in his triple-slash and overall production. The first baseman is affordable for his power upside at $3,400/$5,100 against this pitcher. JD Martinez has yet to homer in 36 chances but he hit 33 last year and is one of the better power hitters of the past decade-plus. Martinez is cheap at $2,800/$4,000. Brett Baty moved up to a more appropriate spot in the batting order with Jeff McNeil sliding down yesterday. Baty has a bit of lefty power at the plate, he has hit three home runs with an effective triple-slash in a good start to the season. Harrison Bader, McNeil, and Omar Narvaez are skippable parts late in the Mets lineup, though any can contribute on any given slate.
  • Jose Butto has an impressive 27.4% strikeout rate with a 2.57 ERA but a 4.11 xFIP and a limited 87.69 via Stuff+. Butto has probably overperformed his talent to this point, his 12.4% walk rate is problematic and revealing and he has allowed a 43.1% hard-hit rate that makes his 1.77% home run rate over five starts and 28.0 innings a bit lucky. Butto costs $8,900 on FanDuel and $8,000 on DraftKings, where he is a bit more playable, he grades out for a mid-level projection on both sites. The righty struck out six over 6.0 against the Cubs, allowing just one earned run on four hits in a strong performance in his most recent game. In the start before that, he gave up both of the homers he has allowed this season with four strikeouts, three walks, and four earned runs on four total hits against this same struggling Cardinals lineup. Butto is playable but expectations should probably be limited.
  • The Cardinals have been the second-worst offense in baseball this season, ahead of only the White Sox, despite having far more talent in the lineup than many teams. Brendan Donovan has not gotten it going at .216/.294/.358 with a 90 WRC+ and three home runs over 153 plate appearances. Willson Contreras has been easily the team’s best player, he is another strong catcher option in a high-end position in the batting order. Contreras has six homers and a .264 ISO with a 166 WRC+ over 127 plate appearances. Paul Goldschmidt has a problematic 4.7% barrel rate with two home runs and a lousy .203/.297/.273 triple-slash with a .070 ISO and 71 WRC+ after 147 plate appearances. Nolan Arenado has been better as a hitter but not for power, he also has two home runs and just a .105 ISO with a 1.8% barrel rate and 27.7% hard-hits, the third baseman’s power has completely abandoned him in many games early in 2024. Arenado has still managed to create runs 16% better than average on a strong triple-slash, he has been productive enough to remain playable and he is discounted on both sites. Alec Burleson has two homers and an 83 WRC+ over 84 chances, Lars Nootbaar has one home run with a 62 WRC+ in his 91 tries, and Masyn Winn has dropped to 99 WRC+ over 113 plate appearances. Nolan Gorman has an 8.13 in the home run model, the lefty power hitter fills second base for a fair price on DraftKings and adds third base positioning on FanDuel. Gorman led the team with 28 home runs last year but has just four with a .155 ISO and 71 WRC+ while slashing .182/.256/.336 in 121 plate appearances this season. Michael Siani rounds out the lineup for a cheap price, he has a 58 WRC+ in 58 chances.

Play: some Cardinals bats/stacks, some Mets bats/stacks

San Francisco Giants (-152/5.58) @ Colorado Rockies (+139/4.55)

  • Home starter Dakota Hudson is an unreliable option in a Coors Field game. Hudson has given up 13 runs over 13.1 innings in his three combined home starts this season, he has a 5.93 ERA and 5.04 xFIP with a 12.8% strikeout rate and a 12.1% walk rate. This is not a good pitcher but he typically keeps the ball down to an average launch angle that yields more hits and runs than it does home runs. The visiting Giants have mid-range power throughout the lineup and Hudson has given up three homers in his six starts this year, but his average launch angle sits at 8.2 degrees this season and was just 4.6 last year and 6.3 the season before. His home run rate of 2.13% is in line with a 2.54% mark last year and 1.51% the season before in larger samples.
  • The Giants have the slate’s highest implied team total at 5.58, they seem destined to score runs one way or another and are a prime stack on this slate. Jung Hoo Lee is slashing .252/.304/.319 with a .067 ISO and 84 WRC+ with two homers and two stolen bases in his first 148 MLB plate appearances. The KBO star is expected to hit but we have seen players take time to adjust from that league in the past, he may be ill-suited for the leadoff role the longterm but he is a playable DFS option at Coors for a fair price. Lee’s 42.4% hard-hit rate and 8.1% strikeout rate mean the ball will be in play in virtually every plate appearance against the lousy pitcher, if he is somehow lower-owned than some teammates in the popular stack he is a player who can be pressed for advantage atop the lineup. Thairo Estrada has five home runs and a .186 ISO with a 100 WRC+ in 134 plate appearances with mid-range power and speed in the longterm. LaMonte Wade Jr. is getting on base at a .469 clip and has created runs 70% better than average with a strong triple-slash over 96 chances this season, he is a great option at just $3,000/$4,000, the Giants are not appropriately priced-up for a Coors game. Wilmer Flores checks in at $2,800/$4,600, he has hit just one homer and has a .095 ISO this season but went deep 23 times with a .225 ISO in 454 tries last year. Michael Conforto has a 10.3% barrel rate and 45.4% hard-hit rate with five home runs in 135 productive plate appearances this year. At the same time, Matt Chapman has been less productive overall but still maintains significant power upside. Chapman has hit four home runs but has just a .137 ISO on 9.2% barrels and 45.9% hard-hits over 148 plate appearances. Mike Yastrzemski hit 15 home runs in 381 plate appearances last year, he has three this year with an 84 WRC+ in 81 opportunities. Blake Sabol and Nick Ahmed round out the projected batting order, Sabol hit 13 cheap catcher home runs in 344 plate appearances last year, Ahmed has rarely been a significant contributor at the plate.
  • The Rockies are a stack to target against the power that Kyle Harrison has allowed in his short career. Harrison is a high-end prospect on the mound, he has delivered mixed results in his 14 MLB starts and Coors Field does not seem like the spot to target him for significant investment. Harrison made seven starts last season, allowing a 5.44% home run rate on 9.3% barrels while pitching to a 4.15 ERA but a 5.02 xFIP with a 23.8% strikeout rate. Over seven outings this season he has yielded a 3.14% home run rate but that comes on 9.3% barrels with 46.3% hard hits and a 91.3 mph average exit velocity. The southpaw has a 23.9% strikeout rate with just a 9.6% swinging-strike rate and 26.5% CSW over 38.0 innings, pitching to a 3.79 ERA and 3.98 xFIP. Harrison has not been bad, but he has not been lights out and there is realistic potential for the Rockies to get him for power and run scoring.
  • Colorado is not a good baseball team but they have a few hitters who are off to solid starts or offer cheap potential at the plate, they are also showing power upside in the home run model today. The team checks in with a 4.55-run implied total that benefits from the hitting environment almost as much as the opposing team. Ezequiel Tovar has three home runs and three steals but has dipped back to just 80 WRC+ with a .303 on-base percentage. The shortstop hit 15 home runs and stole 11 bases in an otherwise disappointing season last year but he has raw talent in a good matchup. Brenton Doyle has an 8.12 in the home run model, Tovar is above him at 8.29, and three players are above the “magic number” in this lineup. Doyle has three long balls and four stolen bases while creating runs one percent below average in what counts as a good start on this team. The outfielder remains cheap on DraftKings at $4,400 but is priced up at $3,600 on FanDuel. Ryan McMahon has been productive in same-handed matchups early this season and has been hitting everyone to start 2024. Over the course of his career, McMahon has not been good against fellow lefties, but he checks in at a 10.86 in the home run model and is slashing .304/.395/.488 overall this season. Elias Diaz has a 7.88 in the home run model for just $4,800 where catchers are required and $3,200 where they are not. Diaz has hit two home runs while creating runs six percent better than average with a strong slash-line this season. Elehuris Montero is today’s overall home run pick with a team-leading 11.53 in the model. Montero has two homers this season with a 5.9% barrel rate and 37.6% hard-hit rate, he hit 11 long balls in 307 chances in the Show last year and blasted an additional 15 in just 163 AAA opportunities. Montero has always hit for power in the minors but has been inconsistent at this level in a few chances, he is slashing just .200/.252/.276 with a .076 ISO and 37 WRC+, so this is very much a buyer beware option. Brendan Rodgers has not been good with a single home run and a 69 WRC+ in 110 tries, the bottom of the lineup is more interesting. Rookies Jordan Beck and Hunter Goodman are joined by Sean Bouchard who has made just a handful of plate appearances over the past two seasons. Bouchard has an 8.93 in the home run model, he has one on the board with a .194 ISO on 9.5% barrels in a tiny sample this season and hit four in just 43 chances in the Majors last year. Beck has made just 21 ineffectual plate appearances since his call-up, he is a mid-level prospect who had a 25/20 season across high-A and AA last year and had five early home runs with five stolen bases in AAA to start this season. Goodman is another interesting right-handed power bat, he hit seven home runs in just 91 opportunities at AAA this season and had 34 in 467 plate appearances – 400 with 25 homers in AA and 67 with nine homers in AAA – in the minors last year, adding one in 77 chances in the Show in a cup of coffee. Goodman has a 10.86 in the home run model for just $2,700/$3,600, he would be an even better option if he manages to climb out of the ninth spot in the lineup.

Play: bats bats bats.

Miami Marlins (+245/2.84) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (-275/4.77)

  • Righty Yoshinobu Yamamoto has a 30.0% strikeout rate with a 5.7% walk rate and a 2.91 ERA over seven starts and 34.0 innings this season. The ERA is inflated and the innings count is a bit light because of a messy first outing in the Korea Series, in which Yamamoto gave up five earned runs on nine hits in just 1.0 inning. Since that outing he has given up a total of six earned runs in a spectacular stretch of starts. The righty allowed three earned runs and two home runs to the same Padres team the second time he faced them, and he gave up three earned runs with a homer to the Mets in the following start on April 19th. Those were the only three home runs he has allowed this season and those account for all six runs after the first start, Yamamoto has four appearances in which he has shut the other team out over 5.0 innings twice and 6.0 innings twice. Against a weak Marlins lineup that has gotten weaker recently, this is a terrific option on the mound, Miami is limited to just a 2.84-run implied total, Yamamoto will be justifiably popular as the top pitcher on both sites.
  • The Marlins are a weak contrarian position and not much more. Jazz Chisholm Jr. has an 8.14 to lead the team in the home run model, and Jake Burger is back with some power upside at 7.55, but Yamamoto has been excellent at keeping the ball down with just an 8.4-degree average launch angle allowed and both players are strikeout targets. Bryan De La Cruz has hit six home runs while creating runs 13% better than average in a good start to the season, he is cheap and playable if one chooses to take this contrarian angle against an excellent pitcher. Josh Bell has a 6.07 in the home run model but has not hit for much power or productivity this year with four homers but a .110 ISO and just a 78 WRC+. Jesus Sanchez has two home runs in 98 plate appearances, he is inconsistent but does have cheap lefty pop in stacks. Tim Anderson has been awful for more than a full season now, he is difficult to recommend to even the most contrarian-minded opportunist. Nick GordonVidal Brujan, and Nick Fortes are low-end options to round out the lineup.
  • The Dodgers are elite, Edward Cabrera will be highly challenged to provide quality in his fifth start of the season. Cabrera is a talented young starter who was injured to begin the season, he made just four starts and thrown 19.1 innings this year but his strikeout rate is a fantastic 35.3% in the small sample. The righty had a 27.2% strikeout rate over 99.2 innings in 20 starts last year, his 12.1% swinging-strike rate was similar to this season’s 12.6% mark and his CSW has leaped from 28.4% to 34.6% in the tiny sample. Cabrera struck out nine Rockies but walked four and allowed four earned runs on three hits and a homer in a start in Miami in 4.0 innings in his most recent outing, he worked just 4.1 against the Nationals before that with four strikeouts and two walks, allowing five earned runs and six total on four hits. Cabrera struck out seven Cubs at Wrigley in 5.0 effective innings and had a season-high 10 strikeouts in his season debut against the Giants on April 15th. Overall he has been up and down with a 6.05 ERA but a stellar 2.61 xFIP, his 11.1% barrel rate and 31.1% hard-hit rate with 84.8 mph of exit velocity are also a bit of a mismatch. Cabrera is undeniably talented but in the head-to-head, we tend to agree with Vegas that the Dodgers bats will win the matchup.
  • Mookie BettsShohei Ohtani, and Freddie Freeman, plus Will Smith. Enough said. Max Muncy adds eight home runs and a .282 ISO with a 152 WRC+ from the five spot in the lineup, he has a 7.71 in the home run model but lands as the team’s first strikeout target in the lineup. The combined strikeout rate for the four hitters ahead of Muncy is just 14.6% with a 12.6% walk rate. They have combined for 24 home runs – Ohtani leads the way at 11 – with a ridiculous .422 on-base percentage and 179 WRC+. Muncy strikes out at a 28.4% clip this year and was at 26.4% last season, he and Teoscar Hernandez are a deadly lefty-right power combination in the heart of the lineup, but Hernandez also strikes out a lot at 31.0% this year and 31.1% last year. Andy Pages has four home runs in 78 plate appearances sine his big call-up, he has been as good as advertised for power and better with the bat overall in the small sample and he costs just $3,300/$4,000. Gavin Lux and James Outman are a pair of cheap young lefty hitters with far more to offer than their 38 and 71 WRC+ marks would suggest. The Dodgers are playable from 1-9 in virtually any combination of their lineup on most slates, their knack for limiting strikeouts is likely to expose Cabrera’s flaws on the mound, even at a 4.7-run implied total they are one of the more appealing stacks on the board.

Play: Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Dodgers bats/stacks

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