MLB DFS: Power Index – 4/30/23 – DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slates

The Sunday afternoon main slate is scheduled to have nine games, but could easily wind up with only six with a fair amount of rain across the Northeast. The Guardians vs Red Sox, Pirates vs Nationals, and Braves vs Mets games are all in danger of postponement. Otherwise, the slate looks like a great one to attack, with several strong spots for power, a mixed bag of arms, and one of the top pitching options in fantasy baseball available.

Main Slate Power Index – 4/30/23 – DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slates

The power index represents a team’s opportunity for home run upside in the matchup against the scheduled starting pitcher. This is not a direct guideline for stacking, but it can be utilized to determine the most likely sources of power-based contact, hitters who are not homering are frequently hitting doubles and driving in runs, and providing valuable MLB DFS scoring. The “Full” column is the average of our home run opportunity score for each player in the lineup from 1-9, while the “Top 6” column averages only hitters 1-6, where teams typically place their biggest bats.

The Angels are facing Colin Rea which has them looking quite a bit different than they have against higher-quality pitchers over the past few days. Los Angeles’ star-studded lineup tops the board in one of the safe games on the slate, making them an easy recommendation. The Brewers righty offers very little on the mound, he is a non-prospect who has pitched internationally and has struggled in three starts so far this season. Rea has thrown 15.2 innings and he has allowed a 3.17% home run rate on the back of 50% hard hits and a 93 mph average exit velocity allowed. The exit velocity mark is important against power hitters like those in the Angels lineup, and with his inflated 11.1% walk rate, Rea could get in trouble quickly and he has no way out of it, with only a 14.3% strikeout rate. Los Angeles moved rookie Zach Neto to the leadoff role last night to decent returns, Neto has no home runs and just a .082 ISO for the season, he lands at a 7.96 in our home run model. While he is not a major home run threat at this point, the unseasoned rookie has a highly-regarded hit tool. Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani are Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, they have a 22.48 and 19.90 in today’s home run model which should be fairly self-explanatory. For the season, Trout has seven home runs and a 182 WRC+ with a .291 ISO, Ohtani has six longballs with a .226 ISO and a 138 WRC+. Anthony Rendon remains cheap at $4,000/$2,800, particularly on the blue site. The third baseman is slashing .246/.368/.290 and is up to a 94 WRC+ on his way to above-average production. Eventually, he will probably think about hitting a home run, Rendon has an 11.42 in the model today. Hunter Renfroe is tied with Trout at seven home runs for the season, he has a .269 ISO with a 49.4% hard-hit rate and an 8.6% barrel rate and he makes a nice pairing with Brandon Drury late in lineups. The multi-position infielder costs $4,000/$3.200 and now has five home runs with a .244 ISO and a 50% hard-hit rate this season after finally getting his feet under him. Luis Rengifo and Gio Urshela have been flip-flopping in this lineup, Rengifo is the better bat between the two, he hit 17 home runs last year but his power has been out so far this season with just one on the board and an unsightly .194/.333/.254 triple-slash. Taylor Ward drops in the projected lineup with Neto leading off, he would be more appealing up top where he is a strong correlation play with the team’s stars, and he has 20 home run upside of his own, but Ward has scuffled to start the season with just three home runs and a .104 ISO. Matt Thaiss closes out the projected lineup, he has a .200 ISO with one home run in his 31 plate appearances this year, he hit two homers in 81 opportunities last year, and has a 6.79 in the home run model, he is not much of a play behind the plate outside of the matchup benefits.

With the game in Washington, DC looking like a washout, we will be spared the need to decide whether to believe in the Josiah Gray turnaround or not on this slate. Instead, the attention of home run hunters turns to Toronto, where the hard-hitting Blue Jays are facing Marco Gonzales who has had his issues with home run rates the past two seasons. Gonzales has not been lousy for premium contact, he allowed just a 34.5% hard-hit rate with an 86.7 mph average exit velocity last year but had a 3.83% home run rate. In 2021 he allowed a 4.96% home run rate on just a 37% hard-hit and 88.1 mph average exit velocity, though the 11.4% barrel rate that season is a strong clue. Gonzales is a flyball-oriented pitcher who tends to lose a few too many into the seats, in the very rough 2021 he had a 20.6-degree average launch angle, that mark was cut to 14.5 degrees with a 7.2% barrel rate last year, with the marked improvement in the home runs allowed, and so far this season it is at 14.9 degrees with a 3.2% barrel rate and just 28.6% hard hits. Gonzales has a 19.5% strikeout rate with a 4.30 xFIP and has allowed only a 2.30% home run rate in his 21.2 innings over four starts. The lefty has not been bad, but the Blue Jays are very good and the model likes their upside for power. The three Blue Jays sluggers who each have five home runs this season are all on the board as big options today, with Bo Bichette at 10.57 in the home run model, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at 15.33 to lead the team, and Matt Chapman at 10.69. Joining that powerful trio as bookends are George Springer and Daulton Varsho who have both been off to slow starts in 2023. Springer is sitting at just .210/.272/.305 with a .095 ISO and only three home runs this season, he has just a 29.4% hard-hit rate but has still managed a 10.6% barrel mark and should turn things around soon enough. The proven outfield star hit 25 home runs last year with a .205 ISO while creating runs 32% better than average, the year before it was 22 home runs with a .291 and 40% better. Varsho has a pair of home runs and he is slashing .191/.287/.298 with a .106 ISO but was much better with 27 home runs and a .207 ISO last year. Varsho’s contact profile has slipped to just a 5.9% barrel and 29.4% hard-hit rate so far this season but he is showing signs of life and he comes cheap for the upside if he plays. Alejandro Kirk is a decent home run option as a catcher, he has two this season and is slashing .263/.419/.386 with an average contact profile, he managed 14 longballs in 541 plate appearances last season. Whit MerrifieldDanny Jansen, and Santiago Espinal round out the lineup with a 4.42, 8.43, and 3.39 in our home run model.

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