MLB DFS: Power Index – 5/19/23 – DraftKings & FanDuel Main Slates

The loaded 12-game main slate gets underway at 7:05 ET on both DraftKings and FanDuel with a list of high-quality matchups that should yield a number of playable scores for MLB DFS both at the plate and on the mound. The deep slate has a wide range of pitchers that includes several big targets for home run upside who are trending toward the top of the board, although some, like Seattle’s Bryce Miller, represent more of a both-sides opportunity. The slate has several high-end arms and a number of options through the mid-range, meaning this is probably a good spot to spread shares and cover a broad range of potential outcomes.

Main Slate Power Index – 5/19/23 – 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 averages 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 most significant bats.

The Rangers are a great option for power upside tonight against the visiting Rockies. Rookie Karl Kaufmann will be making his MLB debut for Colorado tonight, the righty does not look like much of an option on the mound where he is available. Kaufmann has a 5.78 xFIP and 7.78 ERA in 37 innings of AAA ball so far this season, with just a 14.9% strikeout rate. Kaufmann is a control and command pitcher with a sinker-slider arsenal and he operates in the low-90s at maximum effort. The rookie is ranked outside the top-20 organizationally, he is not a highly regarded pitching prospect but is the type who could hang around as a quad-A low-end type. The Rangers are scoring 6.2 runs per game, tops in baseball, the team has a lineup packed with talent from top to bottom and they check in as an affordable option on both sites tonight in the premium matchup. Marcus Semien has hit seven home runs and stolen seven bases in his 201 plate appearances this year. The second baseman is a positional star who is typically one of the more expensive options where he plays, he costs $5,300/$4,200 tonight but looks worth the money with an 11.85 in our home run model ranking him second on the team tonight. Corey Seager has made just 53 plate appearances after missing most of the season with an injury, he has one home run with a 159 WRC+ in that stretch and he is a reliable star over the long term. Seager hit 33 home runs with a .211 ISO and 117 WRC+ over 663 plate appearances last season. In the small sample this year, Seager has a 19.4% barrel rate and 55.6% hard-hit rate this season, he was at 10.5% and 45.5% for the full sample last year. Seager sits one tiny step behind Semien with an 11.84 in our home run model. Nathaniel Lowe has hit five home runs on the year, he had 27 last season with a .191 ISO on a 9.9% barrel rate and 44.8% hard hits. This season the contact profile has dipped somewhat with a 7.6% barrel rate and 43.5% hard-hit rate which has amounted to a .176 ISO. The first baseman’s triple slash is down this season as well, last year he was a .302/.358/.492 hitter, this year he is at just .259/.339/.435, but he has improved both his strikeout rate and walk rate in the 192 plate appearances. Lowe is a good piece for stacks of Rangers and he is a viable one-off at first base. Outfielder Adolis Garcia has 13 home runs with a .283 ISO in 181 plate appearances in 2023, he has been mashing with a 15.8% barrel rate and 54.2% hard-hit rate for the year but he is not running as much this season. Last year Garcia stole 25 bases in 657 plate appearances, this year he has just three in the sample. The excellent outfielder is still cheap on DraftKings, he costs $5,100/$4,100 and leads the team with a 13.28 in our home run model. Josh Jung and Jonah Heim have been valuable contributors for the Rangers this season and they are solid MLB DFS options at good prices in the heart of this lineup. Jung has eight home runs with a .188 ISO but strikes out too much, Heim has six home runs and is slashing .308/.372/.511 with a .203 ISO and has created runs 44% better than average over 148 valuable plate appearances as a catcher. Heim costs just $3,900 where the position is necessary and $3,700 where it is not, he can be played on both sites. Ezequiel Duran has been very good this year, he is slashing .290/.323/.492 with a .202 ISO and he has created runs 22% better than average while hitting six home runs. Josh H. Smith and Leody Taveras round out the projected Rangers lineup, they have three home runs in a combined 207 plate appearances this year, but they have been productive for correlated scoring. Smith has a 110 WRC+ in 90 plate appearances and Taveras has created runs 17% better than average in his 117 opportunities.

The Mariners are in Atlanta to face a power-packed Braves squad that is pushing the top of the Power Index today. Atlanta’s lineup is loaded with devastating home run hitters to an almost unfair degree and they will be facing a rookie hurler on the mound tonight for Seattle. Righty Bryce Miller is making his fourth start of the season and of his career, but Miller is another exceptionally good Mariners’ pitching prospect and the model may be underrating his abilities in a small sample. Miller is a control and command ace with a premium arsenal of pitches who has been spectacular so far, pitching to a 0.47 ERA and 0.42 xFIP with a 28.1% strikeout rate over 19 innings and three starts. Miller has yet to allow a home run and has given up just 31.1% hard hits, though batters have managed an 11.1% barrel rate and 90.4 mph of average exit velocity which is pushing the home run projections for Atlanta. This seems like a both-sides opportunity, Miller is very good with strikeout upside against the free-swinging Braves for $9,400/$9,900 and he will probably be under-owned in this matchup, but he is most certainly not safe against the dangerous Atlanta lineup. Four players in the projected Braves batting order have double-digit home runs already. Ronald Acuna Jr. has 11 in the leadoff spot, he has also stolen 18 bases and he is slashing .345/.437/.613 over 197 plate appearances while creating runs 80% better than average. Acuna is worth the $6,400/$4,600 but that is an aggressively high price, so one would hope for lower-than-usual ownership of the superstar at the same time. Matt Olson has hit 11 home runs as well this season, he has a .261 ISO and 132 WRC+ and has barreled the ball in 18.4% of his batted-ball-events. Olson has a 53.1% hard-hit rate and walks at a fantastic 16.8% clip to keep himself involved when he is not hitting the ball over the fence (or striking out – 32.1%). The first baseman costs $5,300/$4,000 and is very much in play, he can and should be played in tandem with catcher Sean Murphy who has 10 home runs and a team-leading .307 ISO with a 162 WRC+. Murphy has been baseball’s best catcher at the plate this season, he has a ridiculous 21.5% barrel rate and a 44.1% hard-hit rate this year and strikes out just 21.9% of the time while walking in 13.5% of his plate appearances. Murphy is very good at $5,100/$4,000. Austin Riley is priced down at $5,100/$2,900, the FanDuel price is far too low, and the DraftKings mark is a big discount for this hitter as well. Riley has hit seven home runs this year while slashing .246/.326/.407 with a .162 ISO and 99 WRC+ over 190 plate appearances. The third baseman’s barrels are way down this year, he was at 15.7% with a 50.8% hard-hit in 693 plate appearances over which he hit 38 home runs last year but this year he is just at 7.7% and 41.9%, and his strikeout rate is up about three points. Eddie Rosario is slashing .252/.287/.423 with a .171 ISO and four home runs, he is cheap in the outfield as a veteran left-handed bat who can knock one over the wall, but he is the first player in the lineup who is not above the magic number in our home run model at just 7.19. Olson leads the team at 16.17 with Acuna nipping at his heels at 15.80, Murphy slots in with a 13.43 and Riley lands at 12.65 despite the early season slump. Ozzie Albies has 10 home runs on the board this season, he is a top second baseman every night that he plays. Albies costs just $4,800/$3,300, he has a .241 ISO and has created runs 12% better than average over 181 plate appearances this year and has been tearing the cover off the ball with an 11.3% barrel rate. Marcell Ozuna has a 15.6% barrel rate and 45.5% hard-hit mark for the year with eight home runs on the board in 117 plate appearances. Ozuna is slashing just .176/.282/.431 with an 88 WRC+ but his .255 ISO is meaty for such a cheap player. Michael Harris II has had a bad start to his year over 81 plate appearances and missed time with an injury, he hit 19 home runs and stole 20 bases last season and should turn things around, right now he comes cheap at $3,400/$2,700. Orlando Arcia is a sneaky-good hitter late in the lineup that most MLB DFS gamers probably write-off when stacking Braves. Arcia has four home runs in 84 plate appearances this year, he hit nine in 234 opportunities last year and he offers three-position eligibility on the blue site.

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