MLB DFS: DraftKings & FanDuel Strategy – Quick Picks – Saturday Afternoon Slate 3/30/24

The Friday main slate features eight games on both DraftKings & FanDuel, starting at 6:50 ET. With most of the teams on the slate using their second or third best pitcher we are working with another day of similarly projected options atop the board, at a variety of prices from site to site, with more value seemingly on the DraftKings two-pitcher slate than on the FanDuel board where there is a broad mid-range. In place of the full strategy article, today’s rundown is presenting top picks and thoughts for each game.

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: General Strategy Notes

  • Always Be Stacking – It’s not as good an acronym as the one in Glenngarry Glenn Ross but it is just as critical. MLB DFS is all about positive correlation and capturing the most point-scoring possible from every event in a highly event-based and volatile sport. As opposed to the minor stacking that we find in NFL DFS or the lack of stacking at all in NBA DFS, making the most of every home run is the only approach to building lineups for baseball. The goal is to capture not only the raw points of a home run hitter but also the upside of the baserunners who provided scoring in how they reached base and will provide additional scoring on the home run via RBIs for the hitter and runs scored for the baserunners. With that in mind, it makes far more sense to roster groups of hitters together, with a slight preference for directly adjoining hitters in a lineup where possible, to capture the full upside of a team scoring a high number of runs. Every lineup should feature at least one stack. Our typical approach is for double stacking, whether that means a 4-4 or 4-3-1 construction on FanDuel with 5-3 and 5-2-1 builds available on DraftKings. Individual upside can be captured in a 5-1-1-1 build on any given DraftKings slate but the approach adds more variance to a lineup.
  • Do NOT focus on individual batter vs pitcher matchup results “BVP” this is bad data that is tremendously lacking for sample size even for late-career players who have faced one another numerous times. Baseball statistics take a long time to normalize.
  • Batting average is not a key metric, nor is ERA, we prefer to focus on predictive stats and batted ball events.
  • Pitching can be treated as a source of value to reach high-cost stacks on many slates, low-cost pitchers often provide strong paths to success simply by providing access to otherwise unavailable hitting combinations. Premium pitching talent should always be considered regardless of price and, almost, regardless of matchup.
  • MLB DFS lineups do not demand a full salary spend, particularly when utilizing two full stacks in a lineup.
  • Remember, baseball is incredibly variable, if a hitter does his job right just 30% of the time he is a potential Hall of Fame candidate.

MLB DFS: Game by Game Main Slate Overview – 3/30/24

Milwaukee Brewers (+108/3.92) @ New York Mets (-117/4.17)

  • Mets starter Luis Severino has not worked much over the past few seasons due to constant injuries. The righty made 18 starts last year, working 89.1 innings of ugly pitching that amounted to a 6.65 ERA with a 4.83 xFIP, an 18.9% strikeout rate, and a 5.52% home run rate on 10.4% barrels and 44.5% hard hits. Severino was better in his 19 starts in 2022, posting a 27.7% strikeout rate over 102 innings with a 3.18 ERA and 3.38 xFIP. The talented righty had a relatively smooth Spring, if he is able to regain his previous form he is a strong option at $7,700/$6,100, the DraftKings price is particularly low for the potential upside.
  • The Brewers lineup features an exciting young top prospect among a list of grizzled veterans and mediocre options. Outfielder Jackson Chourio is projected to hit sixth, he costs just $2,500/$2,800 despite being one of the most highly regarded prospects in the game. Chourio has an elite blend of power and speed, he should be an MLB DFS darling at much higher prices in short order, get him while he is cheap. The Brewers stack is reasonably priced with a bit of home run upside, targets from the top of the lineup should include William Contreras as a fairly priced catcher with a great bat for the position, veteran Christian Yelich who still hits everything very hard and had 19 home runs with 28 stolen bases in a solid 2023, and slugger Rhys Hoskins who signed with the Brewers after missing all of last season. Hoskins hit 30 home runs for the Phillies in 2022 and 27 the season before, he is a good right-handed power hitter.
  • Sal Frelick slots into the projected leadoff spot for Milwaukee, he has a good on-base percentage with minor power and decent speed, he is playable in stacks with hitters mentioned above. Willy Adames provides home run upside with little else, Jake Bauers has affordable moderate power with a good contact profile (18.7% barrels and 48% hard hits last year) from the left side. Joey Ortiz and Brice Turang could be sneaky cheap options in the infield from later in the lineup but they drop potential plate appearances compared to other positional options.
  • Brewers starter DL Hall will be making his first MLB start on Saturday. The highly regarded prospect was the big get in the Corbin Burnes trade with Baltimore, he worked 19.1 lights-out innings out of the bullpen last season. Hall had a 28.4% strikeout rate with a 3.26 ERA and 3.11 xFIP in the small sample of relief work and he had a 4.31 xFIP with a 32.3% strikeout rate in 49 innings over 11 starts and six relief appearances in AAA. Hall is a bit of a dice roll given a somewhat unpredictable pitch count, he is fully stretched out as a starter but the team could land on the cautious side if given the choice to send him back out for a sixth inning and third time through the lineup, for example. Still, Hall costs a mere $6,100 on FanDuel and is an absolute steal at just $4,600 on DraftKings where he should be the top priority value starter on the slate.
  • New York has plenty of power in the lineup with Pete Alonso and Francisco Alvarez both landing above the “magic number” in our home run model. Alonso hit 46 long balls last season and is one of the most accomplished power hitters in baseball over the past few seasons. Alvarez had a surprising 25 homers as a rookie but struggled as a complete hitter with just a .209/.284/.437 triple-slash. Francisco Lindor added 31 homers to the tally last season, he is a leading candidate for shortstop shares on most slates that include the Mets and he is a fundamental component of most Mets stacks. Brandon Nimmo slashed .274/.363/.466 and created runs 30% better than average last year, the left-handed outfielder is a good option ahead of the team’s power core in the leadoff spot, he costs just $3,300/$4,400.
  • Later lineup targets for the Mets include speedy veteran Starling Marte and lefty Brett Baty, who come fairly cheap on this slate. Marte had a bad season in 2023 but is a bounceback candidate for mid-range power and excellent stolen base potential. Baty managed just nine home runs with a .110 ISO and 68 WRC+ but his bat should prove better than that in the long term, his 43.4% hard-hit rate last year is an encouraging sign.

Play: DL Hall value, minor shares of either stack/one-offs

Update Notes:

Detroit Tigers (-132/4.58) @ Chicago White Sox (+122/4.02)

  • Michael Soroka is another pitcher who has not worked much over the past few seasons. Soroka threw 32.1 innings over six starts last season and now finds himself in a regular role in the White Sox rotation. The righty had a 20% strikeout rate while working to an unsightly 6.40 ERA and 4.69 xFIP with a 6.21% home run rate in the tiny sample. He did not pitch in the Show in 2022 or 2021. Soroka debuted in 2018 with five starts and made 29 starts for Atlanta in 2019, working 174.2 innings with a 20.3% strikeout rate. Soroka threw just 13.2 innings in 2020, did not work at any level in 2021, threw 25.0 innings between high-A and AAA in 2022, and added 87.0 innings and 17 starts in AAA last year on his long road back to the big leagues. Soroka has a lower-end projection compared to most of the good options on this slate, he is difficult to recommend outside of cheap dart throws for $6,800, there are better SP2 options.
  • The Tigers are carrying a solid 4.58-run implied team total into this matchup with several of their players flashing solid marks in the home run model. Lefty Parker Meadows is projected to lead off, he is a popular candidate for production in the range of 15 home runs and 25 stolen bases for the season, he hit three homers and swiped eight bags in his 145 plate appearances in 2023. Spencer Torkleson and Riley Greene are emerging stars for Detroit, Torkelson rescued his future after an ugly debut season, righting the ship to hit 31 home runs with a .213 ISO and 107 WRC+ last year while Greene slashed .288/.349/.447 with a 119 WRC+ over his 416 plate appearances from the left side. Kerry Carpenter is our home run pick from this team today, the lefty hit 20 homers with a .278/.340/.471 triple-slash and a .194 ISO in 459 plate appearances last year. Rookie Colt Keith is another solid left-handed bat to remember when building lineups, he is expected to mash in the Show, the 22-year-old went 1-4 in his MLB debut. Veterans Mark Canha and Javier Baez, who showed a bit of life in the team’s first game, are veteran presences who can be deployed at cheap prices.
  • Veteran right-hander Kenta Maeda takes the mound for Detroit for $8,200/$8,400. Maeda made 20 starts last season and had a strong 27.3% strikeout rate with a 4.23 ERA and 3.98 xFIP while inducing a 12.8% swinging-strike rate, he is an underappreciated talent when healthy and he has a prime matchup today. Maeda projects in the middle of the board for $8,200/$8,400, he is a playable option against a lousy White Sox lineup
  • The Chicago lineup runs about five deep. Superstar Luis Robert Jr. is playable virtually any day of the week, he hit 38 home runs and stole 20 bases in a breakout 2023 and he typically hits third, ahead of Eloy Jimenez and behind the pairing of Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada who are more playable for their correlated scoring upside in that spot in the lineup. Andrew Vaughn has mid-range right-handed power and is expected to grow into a more fearsome slugger, he knocked 21 balls over the wall in 615 plate appearances while slashing .258/.314/.429 last season. Wildcard options further down the lineup include Dominic Fletcher, who slashed .301/.350/.441 in a tiny sample of 102 plate appearances last year, and veteran shortstop Paul DeJong who still offers some right-handed pop.

Play: Tigers bats/stacks, Kenta Maeda

Update Notes:

Los Angeles Angels (+154/3.75) @ Baltimore Orioles (-169/4.86)

  • Second-year starter Grayson Rodriguez is all upside for the growing Orioles. Rodriguez made 23 starts and threw 122.0 innings in the Show last season, working to a 4.35 ERA and 3.78 xFIP with a 25% strikeout rate. Those numbers include a bumpy first few starts that saw Rodriguez return to the minors for some seasoning, over 76.2 innings in his “second half” the righty had a 2.58 ERA with a 24% strikeout rate and a 3.70 xFIP. Rodriguez projects well against an Angels team with a mix of veteran bounce-back candidates and young talent, plus a generational superstar who is not nearly finished at the plate. The Orioles righty is a better investment at $7,900 on the DraftKings slate than as a $9,200 FanDuel single-starter option, but he can succeed on either site
  • The Angels have Mike Trout, if nothing else. Trout lands at an 11.79 in today’s home run model, he smashed one out of the ballpark in his first plate appearance of the season and still has all-world talent when healthy. Trout is no bargain at $6,000 on DraftKings, but his $3,700 FanDuel price is at least a few bucks short of the mark. Anthony Rendon just seems finished but he is likely to hit atop this lineup ahead of fellow reclamation project Aaron Hicks. Both veteran players are inexpensive but they are not high-priority bats outside of completing stacks. Taylor Ward and Brandon Drury offer solid right-handed pop later in the lineup, Nolan Schanuel is an interesting young left-handed hitter, and Miguel Sano is another reclamation project with righty power upside.
  • Right-handed starter Griffin Canning had an underappreciated 2023 season, making 22 starts and throwing 127.0 innings with a 4.32 ERA, a 3.82 xFIP, and a solid 25.9% strikeout rate. Canning was hittable for power, he allowed a 4.10% home run rate on a concerning 9.8% barrels, 42.4% hard hits, and 91mph of exit velocity on average, so not everything was good, but he offers cheap potential at $7,500/$8,000. Still, we prefer the upstart young Orioles lineup in the head-to-head
  • The projected Orioles lineup has Cedric Mullins in the leadoff spot, the former 30-30 candidate got his season started on the right foot after an ugly 2023 saw him deliver just 15 home runs and 19 stolen bases with a .233/.305/.416 triple-slash. Adley Rutschman plays every day and is one of the best bats at the catcher position in all of baseball, he is always in consideration for a positional one-off or in stacks of Orioles, his DraftKings price of $5,000 is expensive but potentially not high enough where the position is required. Gunnar Henderson and Anthony Santander both rate above a 10.0 in the home run model today, they are excellent options for power, as is right-handed slugger Ryan Mountcastle later in the lineup. Lefty Ryan O’Hearn had a career year last year over his 368 plate appearances, hitting 14 home runs and creating runs 18% better than average, if he repeats the task he will provide good value throughout the year. Colton Cowser had a fantastic Spring, he will look to continue that in the regular season after an ugly 77 plate appearances in a cup of coffee as one of the team’s top prospects last season. Cowser is a very strong value target if he is in the lineup, he costs just $2,000 on both sites.

Play: Orioles bats/stacks, Colton Cowser value, Grayson Rodriguez

Update Notes:

Atlanta Braves (-127/4.53) @ Philadelphia Phillies (+117/4.07)

  • Righty Aaron Nola remains a top starter in baseball but he could not have a worse matchup with the Braves in town. Atlanta is pulling down a 4.53-run implied team total against the veteran who posted a 4.46 ERA with a much better 3.63 xFIP and a 25.5% strikeout rate last year. Nola costs the full amount at $10,300/$9,900 today, his path to success is not impossible but it is fraught with peril for the pricing, making him difficult to recommend for this start.
  • The Braves are always in play, the team totals out to the highest average hitter projection on the slate as a group but they, like their opponent, have a tough road against a strong starter. Ronald Acuna Jr. has the highest raw projection on the slate, and most slates throughout the year. Acuna hit 41 home runs and stole 73 bases in a ridiculous 2023 campaign, he costs $4,400/$6,500 atop the lineup. Ozzie Albies is a premium second baseman with 30 home run power, Austin Riley offers even more power from the right side at third base, and Matt Olson obliterated 54 long balls last season and fills first base for $4,100/$5,900. The Braves top-end is extremely expensive but well worth stacking when possible. The lower prices on Marcell Ozuna, who hit 40 home runs last season, Michael Harris II, who hit 18 homers and stole 20 bases after a brutal start to the season, and Jarred Kelenic, if he is in the lineup, help to average-down the cost of the top players. Orlando Arcia and Travis d’Arnaud are strong options in this lineup at low salaries as well, d’Arnaud is one of the best power-hitting catchers in baseball, he just happens to be a backup
  • Lefty Max Fried is another talented starter, this could be a solid pitching duel on the right day. Fried costs less than his opponent at $9,500/$9,100 and he has a slightly better matchup but the Phillies are no one’s idea of a pushover, it is difficult to recommend Fried in this spot as well. The lefty had a 25.7% strikeout rate over his 77.2 innings and 14 starts last season, working to a 2.55 ERA and 3.10 xFIP while limiting home runs to just 2.25% on a 3.8% barrel rate. Fried has always been good at checking home run upside by cutting launch angles and keeping the ball down, which will be a key to success against the hard-hitting Phillies.
  • The impact of Fried’s talent for limiting power is evident in the home run model, Kyle Schwarber leads the Phillies at 6.89 and no other player on the team is above even a 5.0 today. Trea Turner has a good blend of power and speed at shortstop, he is prohibitively expensive at $6,400 on DraftKings today however. Alec Bohm is a solid hitter with upside for more than the 20 home runs that he hit last season, he is inexpensive at $3,200/$3,900 from anywhere in the lineup. Bryce Harper is a star at first base for $3,800/$5,800, he hit 21 home runs in 546 plate appearances last year with a .206 ISO and 142 WRC+ and has a good chance to get back to more power an additional year removed from injury. Nick Castellanos is a good right-handed outfield bat, JT Realmuto remains a premium catcher option, and the team offers interesting options from the last few spots in the lineup as well, only the power-sapping matchup limits the appeal of the Phillies stack in this spot.

Play: All four corners are at worst playable in difficult matchups with quality on all sides.

Update Notes:

Cleveland Guardians (-139/4.36) @ Oakland Athletics (+128/3.73)

  • Oakland lefty JP Sears had an up-and-down campaign in 2023. Sears made 32 starts and threw 172.1 innings, working to a 4.54 ERA but a 5.10 xFIP with a 21.9% strikeout rate. He showed some quality in spots and he had an 11.3% swinging-strike rate for the season, but did not find enough success in the zone to push his strikeout totals high enough to truly matter. Sears also had a problem with power, allowing an 11.1% barrel rate on a 22.6-degree average launch angle to amount to a 4.63% home run rate. Sears is projecting highly against a Guardians team that has a bit of a power limitation but one that does manufacture runs, he is at least on the SP2 board for $7,500 on DraftKings but he is not our top contender for those shares
  • The Guardians lineup was productive last night and they could have another strong day if the power comes through against the southpaw. Steven Kwan opens the lineup as a correlated scoring play for stacking purposes only. Jose Ramirez had a solid Friday and is coming off of a 24-28 season in which he created runs 23% better than average but saw a dip in overall power. Ramirez is the only price member of the Guardians at $3,800/$5,900, which leaves Josh Naylor too cheap at $3,400/$4.600. The first baseman has a very good bat and upside for more power than we saw last season from the left side. Andres Gimenez drops in the lineup against same-handed pitching, and there are only pieces and parts available the rest of the way. Cleveland has matchup-based upside but the lineup is still full of holes.
  • Tanner Bibee is the top starter on this slate against a pushover Athletics lineup. While lefty Logan Allen did not have a monster start last night against this team, he still only allowed three runs, his limited strikeout output tanked the fantasy score more than anything. Bibee, a righty, has better stuff than his teammate and it was on display for most of last year’s 25 starts. Bibee posted a 24.1% strikeout rate with a 2.98 ERA but a 4.22 xFIP over that stretch as a rookie, he is a very strong MLB DFS option at $9,700 on both sites today.
  • The Athletics are never easy to endorse. Ryan Noda is a good leadoff option with a bit of left-handed power and excellent on-base skills, he can provide upside on his own or in a short stack with Zack Gelof, who has a good shot at a 20-20 season, JJ Bleday, another lefty with moderate power, Brent Rooker, a flawed righty with power upside, and Seth Brown, who hit 14 home runs from the left side last year. JD Davis adds another interesting right-handed bat to this lineup, he blasted two home runs in Friday night’s game and has had a career-long track record of being underappreciated for his excellent premium contact skills. Shea Langeliers can be thrown into the mix for his power potential as a cheap catcher if he plays today, but this is not a target for stacking in anything but a contrarian sense

Play: Tanner Bibee aggressively

Update Notes:

Washington Nationals (+148/4.24) @ Cincinnati Reds (-161/5.37)

  • Right-handed starter Hunter Greene is another top target on this slate despite the ugly ballpark conditions. Greene is facing a low-rent Nationals team and he costs just $8,500 on the DraftKings slate. The split FanDuel slate has him priced at a lofty $10,800, which is far more difficult and possibly unnecessary to reach. Green had a terrific 30.5% strikeout rate over 112.0 innings in 22 starts last season, working to a 4.82 ERA and a stronger 4.01 xFIP. He is not a perfect starter, he walked to many at 9.6% and his 1.42 WHIP is ungainly at best, but his 13.4% swinging-strike rate is elite and he has a good matchup today.
  • Washington’s offense stands to benefit from the hitter-friendly conditions in Cincinnati but this is a tough matchup for the weak ballclub. Top options from this team for contrarian play include CJ Abrams, who had good mid-range power and excellent speed (18-47 last year), Lane ThomasJesse Winker for a salary bargain with power upside from the left side, and Joey Gallo who has monumental power but could strike out 12 times in three plate appearances. Keibert Ruiz is a strong catcher with upside at a cheap price and Joey Meneses joins Eddie Rosario as sneaky names worth mentioning in this lineup.
  • The Reds will be facing left-handed Patrick Corbin today, which is good news for Reds fans. Cincinnati ranks second on the stacks board, they are a fantastic option in this spot and they are carrying a 5.37-run implied team total that leads the entire nine-game slate. Corbin made 32 starts and threw 180.0 innings last year, he had a 5.20 ERA and 4.76 xFIP with a 4.18% home run rate allowed. The lefty has been a target for bat for the last few seasons after losing all of his talent in a mishap with a wandering sorcerer on a dark deserted road in the middle of nowhere in the middle of one fateful night.
  • The following Reds hitters are far to cheap and, therefore, highly appealing: Jonathan India ($3,000/$3,900), Christian Encarnacion-Strand ($3,000/$4,100), Jeimer Candelario ($2,900/$4,400). Encarnacion-Strand leads the team with a 12.15 in the home run model today, India is a good table-setter with individual upside, and Candelario has excellent home run power against the lefty as well. Elly De La Cruz is pricey at $3,600/$5,700 but the discounts on his teammates help average the cost down and the Reds are very easy to reach when rostering DL Hall at SP2 for an extreme discount. The projected Reds lineup also includes Spencer Steer who hit 23 homers and stole 15 bases last season, Stuart Fairchild, who has a bit of cheap upside for MLB DFS scoring, and solid catcher Tyler Stephenson.

Play: Reds bats/stacks, Hunter Greene

Update Notes:

Minnesota Twins (-120/4.20) @ Kansas City Royals (+111/3.88)

  • Righty Seth Lugo takes the hill for Kansas City after a quietly successful 26-start campaign in 2023. Lugo posted a 3.57 ERA and 3.76 xFIP with a 23.2% strikeout rate last year but his underwhelming swinging-strike rate and CSW% do not look great next to his premium contact numbers, which include a 9.6% barrel rate allowed and 90.7 mph of exit velocity on the average, amounting to a 3.15% home run rate allowed. Lugo is not without a path to success but his $8,500/$8,300 prices feel a bit off against a quality Minnesota team, despite some available strikeouts.
  • The Twins will be without injured Royce Lewis, but the lineup includes a few quality power bats and some targetable values. Edouard Julien hit 16 home runs and posted a .195 ISO with a 136 WRC+ over 408 plate appearances last year, he is slated to lead off for $2,900/$3,200 at second base. Julien hits ahead of the power combo of Byron Buxton and Max Kepler in the projected lineup. Buxton has star-level talent when he is healthy, he hit 17 home runs and stole nine bases in just 347 chances last year, but was never fully engaged in the season and had an ugly triple-slash. Kepler blasted 24 home runs from the left side and had 30-plus potential for just $2,900/$3,700 in the outfield. Carlos Correa and Carlos Santana offer veteran quality with upside for a return to old form, Correa in particular is a strong option for a bounceback season after a mostly lost year in 2023. Matt Wallner hit 14 home runs in 254 plate appearances last year, the lefty is our home run pick from the Twins today with a 6.52 in the home run model. The remaining options in the lineup are more mix-and-match flavored, but they are all affordable and there is quality from 1-9 for Minnesota in a good matchup.
  • Right-handed hurler Joe Ryan is an underrated star talent on the mound. Ryan hada  29.3% strikeout rate but a 4.51 ERA obscured a bit of his quality, the 3.76 xFIP in his 161.2 innings and 29 starts is a much more telling mark. Ryan walked just 5.1% of opposing hitters last season and induced a terrific 13.8% swinging-strike rate. His 4.76% home run rate allowed was a bit problematic, but home runs are tricky and there is a very good chance that Ryan will improve upon the power he allowed. For $10,100/$9,300, Ryan is one of the more expensive options on the slate but he also has one of the best matchups of the day and lands at a competitive projection.
  • Kansas City has a few hitters who limit strikeouts, including Bobby Witt Jr., Vinnie PasquantinoAdam Frazier, and Kyle Isbel, which helps bring the averages down around their more free-swinging teammates, but only Witt and Pasquantino have much DFS relevance. Witt is the team’s star, he hit 30 home runs and stole 49 bases and is one of the leading candidates for shortstop shares on any slate but he is pricey at $3,800/$6,300. Pasquantino is easy to afford at just $3,000/$4,600, he has power upside beyond what we have seen and very good bat-to-ball skills for the price. Maikel Garcia started his season strong, he is a cheap correlated scoring option off the top of the lineup while Sal PerezMJ Melendez, Nelson Velazquez and Hunter Renfroe are high-strikeout power bats with home run potential later in the lineup. The Royals are not a priority stack in this matchup but there is individual home run potential if Ryan struggles with the long ball again.

Play: Joe Ryan, Twins bats/stacks

Update Notes:

Toronto Blue Jays (+105/4.19) @ Tampa Bay Rays (-114/4.40)

  • Zack Littell is one of the more targetable pitchers on the full slate. Littell had a 4.10 ERA and 4.15 xFIP with just a 19.5% strikeout rate over 90.0 innings and 14 starts last season. The righty allowed a 3.43% home run rate on 8.3% barrels and a 41.9% hard-hit rate with 89.6 mph of exit velocity. Littell is facing a hard-hitting Toronto team that is looking to get back on track in 2024 after several of their key players were not quite up to their typical form throughout the season last year, they have a significant ceiling on this slate. Littell is not a strong option for shares at $6,900/$6,500 outside of SP2 dart throws for the cheap salary, we strongly prefer Toronto bats in the head-t0-head
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is our overall home run pick of the day and the highest-rated option in the home run model at 13.80. Leadoff hitter George Springer joins him above the “magic number” at 11.41 in the home run model. Springer costs just $3,300/$4,900 and Guerrero checks in at an affordable $3,600/$5,500, the FanDuel price is simply too low for his talent. Bo Bichette had the best season of the Toronto stars last year, slashing .306/.339/.475 and creating runs 25% better than average, the shortstop costs $3,400/$5,400, he is also far too cheap on FanDuel. Justin Turner remains unfortunately positionally blocked with Guerrero on DraftKings, both are eligible only at first base, he is a strong click in stacks with the team stars on the FanDuel slate for $2,900 with first and third base eligibility and a utility spot. Turner is a $4,500 price-based alternative on the DraftKings slate but even he would tell you that he is no Guerrero these days, despite still being a very good low-strikeout hitter. Daulton Varsho had a rough 2023 but he has power and speed for a fair price for MLB DFS purposes. The bottom four hitters in the projected Toronto lineup are less appealing.
  • Yusei Kikuchi is a lefty who has historically allowed too much power but also manages to find strikeouts and work through the home run blips to post strong numbers. Kikuchi projects well today against a quality Rays team that does offer strikeout upside to opposing pitchers. The southpaw had a 25.9% strikeout rate with a 12.2% swinging-strike rate in 167.2 innings and 32 starts last year but he allowed a 3.86% home run rate on a 9.0% barrel rate. That power mark represents an improvement over a messy 5.07% home run rate in 2022 and a 4.05% mark in 2021. Kikuchi has a good projection for $8,900/$8,700, he is in the mix for a few shares today.
  • Tampa Bay’s diverse, flexible, surprising, underappreciated lineup can throw a wrench into any pitcher’s plans. The team is greater than the sum of its parts, but the top two hitters would be stars on any squad. Yandy Diaz and Randy Arozarena are very good options in any matchup, they are both flashing home run marks between eight and nine, and Isaac Paredes lands at a 10.07. There is power potential in the Rays’ projected batting order, Diaz is a fantastic table-setter when he is not hitting the ball out of the park, and Arozarena offers both home run upside and speed. Harold Ramirez hits lefties very well and is a good overall line drive hitter who only lacks home run upside. Amed Rosario is a former top prospect who has had double-digit home run and steal totals in several of his MLB seasons but fell short of expectations, he is cheap in this Tampa lineup and could catch some of the magic that this team has sprinkled on similar players in seasons past. Curtis Mead has upside, Jose Siri has upside, and Rene Pinto is an underrated catcher option.

Play: Blue Jays bats/stacks, some Rays bats/stacks, Yusei Kikuchi in moderate doses

Update Notes:

Pittsburgh Pirates (+104/4.20) @ Miami Marlins (-113/4.39)

  • The final game of the slate features lefty Ryan Weathers for Miami. Weathers is not a good option for MLB DFS purposes or much else. The lefty had a 16.7% strikeout rate in 57.2 innings and 12 starts last year while working to a 6.55 ERA and a 5.56 xFIP, he is a target for Pirates bats
  • Pittsburgh has potential against this bad lefty. Connor Joe is cheap in the leadoff spot with eligibility at first base or in the outfield for $2,300/$3,400. Switch-hitting Bryan Reynolds lands at a team-leading 11.30 in the home run model today for only $3,600/$5,000. Ke’Bryan Hayes was a preseason favorite for a continued breakout and he has delivered over the first two games with a hot start. Hayes hit 15 home runs and stole 10 bases last season and has 25-20 potential given his 48.4% hard-hit rate last year. Andrew McCutchen offers excellent veteran quality and on-base skills for correlated scoring, Edward Olivares is cheap with mid-range power and speed potential, Henry Davis has $3,100 catcher eligibility on DraftKings but is no longer outfield eligible, the former top prospect is still available at both positions on the blue site and is cheap on both. Oneil Cruz costs $3,500/$5,100 at shortstop, the uber-talented player can explode on any given slate, he has excellent power and stolen base upside. Michael A. Taylor hit 21 sneaky home runs in 388 plate appearances, mostly from the ninth spot, last season, he is a power bat who loses a bit of appeal for the bad lineup spot, but he is never popular or pricey
  • Righty Jared Jones is a highly-ranked organizational prospect for Pittsburgh making his MLB debut. Jones had a 28.3% strikeout rate with a 4.72 ERA and 4.33 xFIP over 15 starts in AAA last season, his run marks were better in his 10 AA starts before his promotion. The righty has a reasonable path to a successful day but his MLB DFS prospects are a bit difficult to nail down, he is a $7,400 option on DraftKings and there are better SP2 plays for cheap prices, at $6,300 on FanDuel the depth of start is a concern.
  • Miami does not project for an overly strong day, no one in the lineup is flashing much in the home run model, Jazz Chisholm Jr. leads the team at 8.65 for the afternoon. Chisholm is a star-caliber talent who needs to make a full season worth of plate appearances, in just 384 last year he hit 19 home runs and stole 22 bases. Luis Arraez is a hit tool specialist ahead of decent power bats Josh BellBryan De La Cruz, and Jake Burger, who hits after Chisholm in the fifth spot. The bottom of the Marlins lineup includes targetable Jesus Sanchez and Tim Anderson, who has gotten his season off to a decent start after a brutal 2023.

Play: Pirates bats/stacks

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