Make sure you keep a close eye on our MLB weather and line movement tools. If you have any questions, you can always hit me up @chrismeaney. In today’s MLB DFS breakdown, we discuss the best plays for today’s slate, including Manny Machado, Juan Soto and Matt Olson.
Chicago White Sox (3.3) @ Washington Nationals (5.3)
Reynaldo Lopez (RHP) @ Stephen Strasburg (LHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: WAS -263
Pitcher Breakdown: Reynaldo Lopez enters with a 51 FB%, which has led to 15 home runs. The 78 hits he’s given up on the season are tied for the sixth-most.
Stephen Strasburg may be considered a contrarian play due to his high price tag. Believe it or not, you can sometimes get a stud pitcher with a low ownership on a massive slate like this, especially on FanDuel where you only roster one arm. It’s definitely a good spot for Strasburg as he enters with a career-high 11.16 K/9. The White Sox’s have the third-highest strikeout percentage in the league, so that’s a plus for the Nationals’ pitcher as well. Don’t overlook the fact he gets to face a pitcher tonight and not the DH, the White Sox’ usually throw out there.
Batter Breakdown: Left-handed bats are slashing .313/.401/.567 with a .404 wOBA against Lopez. Juan Soto is a bat I don’t mind spending up for today and like most days, it’s easier to fit him and Anthony Rendon on FD. Trea Turner, Adam Eaton and Matt Adams are all checking in as decent value plays on FD. Brian Dozier in tournaments is someone to consider as well, due to all the fly balls Lopez allows.
Atlanta Braves (5.4) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (3.7)
Max Fried (LHP) @ Steven Brault (LHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: PIT +180
Pitcher Breakdown: Max Fried has been hit around lately and he’s been issuing more free passes of late than at the start of the season, but this is a decent spot for him and he’s someone to think about on DK where he’s a bit cheaper. Overall, the Pirates rank 21st in strikeout rate (21%), but they have the 10th highest K-Rate (25%) against LHP. Against lefties, PIT ranks 28th in wOBA, 28th in ISO and 27th in wRC+. Fried has a good shot at a win as well. I like him even more with Josh Bell out of the lineup.
Steven Brault does not have a good shot at a win as he enters with a 5.87 ERA and 26:18 K:BB ratio over 30.2 innings this season. Brault has allowed 31 hits, 20 runs and five homers this season and he’s failed to complete six innings. He checks in with a 42 percent hard-hit rate and 40 percent fly ball rate.
Batter Breakdown: The Braves simply crush lefties as they rank sixth in average and wOBA vs LHP. Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies all check in with a .300 plus BA vs LHP. Acuna Jr. has a .418 wOBA, while Freeman’s sits at .408. Then there’s Austin Riley: .667 wOBA, .389 average and five homers vs southpaws. There’s still a bit of a discount with Riley on FD, but you’ll have to spend up for everyone on DK. I’d take some shots in tournaments with Albies, Nick Markakis and Josh Donaldson. They will probably be forgotten about in the ATL stacks and they are cheap.
New York Yankees (5.3) @ Toronto Blue Jays (3.8)
Masahiro Tanaka (RHP) @ Clayton Richard (LHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: TOR +178
Pitcher Breakdown: Masahiro Tanaka is absolutely in play against the Toronto Blue Jays, who could only must up nine runs over a three-game series in Colorado. Tanaka has had his ups and downs, but the Jays have the fifth-highest strikeout rate and they don’t have a ton of threats in their lineup. Tanaka is also priced decently.
Clayton Richard only has two starts and he’s only given up a total of five hits in those two starts, but he failed to make it past the fourth in either outing. Richard has six walks and five strikeouts in his eight innings and he enters with an 84 percent contact rate – 84 for his career. Most of the contact he’s allowed this season have come on the ground, but this is a guy who has struggled to keep the ball in the park since 2017 (44 HR).
Batter Breakdown: Last season, right-handed hitters rocked Richard as 17 of the 19 homers he allowed came against them. Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres and Luke Voit are obvious calls, but Aaron Hicks is a bit cheaper and may go low-owned. It’s been a slow start, but he’s reached base safely in five of his past six games and he has six RBI over that span.
Tampa Bay Rays (5.4) @ Detroit Tigers (3.2)
Blake Snell (LHP) @ Ryan Carpenter (LHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: DET +240
Pitcher Breakdown: Blake Snell is a good pivot from Strasburg and like the White Sox, the Tigers also strikeout a ton: 26% which is the second-highest mark. Snell’s 35 K% is the second-highest in baseball and he comes in having allowed two or fewer runs in nine of his past 10 starts.
Ryan Carpenter has started four games (19 innings) and he’s allowed 22 hits, 16 earned runs and six homers – at least one in each start. His 84 percent contact rate, 42 percent hard-hit rate. 25 percent line drive rate and 40 percent fly ball rate does not help his case.
Batter Breakdown: Austin Meadows and his AL-high .357 average are just about impossible to fit into lineups due to his extremely high price tag. I get wanting to, but maybe it’s time to fade him as regression will eventually take place. Nonetheless, the Rays 5.4 team implied total is warranted and there’s value with Yandy Diaz and Avisail Garcia on FD.
Minnesota Twins (4.3) @ Cleveland Indians (4.8)
Devin Smeltzer (LHP) @ Shane Bieber (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: CLE -132
Pitcher Breakdown: There’s been a lot of buzz in the fantasy community surrounding Devin Smeltzer as he’s been the hot pick up since his six-inning shutout performance against Milwaukee. Smeltzer only allowed three hits in his debut while striking out seven. He’s put together some high strikeout seasons in the minors, but his debut was a bit surprising considering he only had 15 punch-outs over 24.2 Triple-A innings to go along with a 5.64 xFIP. I like the matchup overall against CLE and I’m intrigued, but I won’t have a ton of exposure. I won’t completely fade him, but I think he’ll be popular and I’m not completely sold.
Shane Bieber will get overlooked and he probably should against the Twins, who lead baseball in runs and enter with the third-lowest K-Rate. Bieber has a rock solid 85:17 K:BB ratio over 68.2 innings, but he has some red flags. His 41 percent fly ball rate has led to 13 homers (three in his last start) and he has a 43 percent hard-hit rate for his career (41% this season). In other words, the Twins could get to him as other big teams have this season (BOS, ATL & HOU). Bieber is really just a contrarian GPP play and one that isn’t cheap.
Batter Breakdown: For whatever reason, the Twins are road dogs again tonight and if you remember, they were in all four games against the Rays and they won three of four. On DK, three of their first four hitters are $5K, so there’s no discount. On FD, it’s a different story. Max Kepler, Nelson Cruz, C.J. Cron and Miguel Sano check in at a reasonable price. Maybe you fade on DK, but roster on FD.
The Indians have a 4.8 team implied total so Vegas isn’t really giving Smeltzer the respect that the rest of the fantasy community is. I’m not on board a CLE stack, but Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez are still priced low. Both would make for contrarian GPP plays that I’m not sure many will be on.
San Francisco Giants (3.2) @ New York Mets (3.8)
Madison Bumgarner (LHP) @ Noah Syndergaard (RHP)
Over/Under: 7 Moneyline: NYM -142
Pitcher Breakdown: Madison Bumgarner ranks 12th with 74 hits allowed and Noah Syndergaard ranks fifth with 79 hits allowed. Pretty surprising numbers at this point in the season. Both pitchers can rack up the Ks, but there have been a lot of red flags in their games, especially from Bumgarner. The Giants’ pitcher has a 45 percent hard-hit rate and 27 percent line drive rate. I’m not stacking either offense and I’m not rostering either pitcher. If I had to choose one, it would be Syndergaard, but I’m putting my money elsewhere.
Miami Marlins (3.7) @ Milwaukee Brewers (5.4)
Pablo Lopez (RHP) @ Chase Anderson (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: MIL -200
Pitcher Breakdown: Pablo Lopez has coughed up eight homers this season and six in his last four outings. Lopez has been yanked early in two of his last four outings and he enters with an 8.26 ERA on the road compared to a 1.84 ERA at home. I don’t think much else needs to be said as Milwaukee has one of the better offenses in baseball and they play in one of the most hitter-friendly parks. Oh, Lopez has a 47 percent hard-hit rate.
Chase Anderson has a bad case of the splits as well, which dates back to last season where he had a 5.03 home ERA and 2.74 road ERA. You’re really just chasing a win here by rostering him, but he’s failed to pitch into the six this season.
Batter Breakdown: Christian Yelich is $5.9 on DK, so he’ll put a huge dent in your wallet. I wouldn’t completely ignore him, as it’s lefties who have hit Lopez hard this season. Everyone is upset that Travis Shaw is back and that Keston Hiura is no longer around, so I doubt anybody wants to play Shaw. Well, I do. He’s a lefty that’s cheap and likely feels a bit of pressure to perform. Eric Thames is $2.9 on FD and $5.0 on DK. He’s just one of several MIL players to see a gap in prices between the sites: Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas.
I wouldn’t completely ignore the Marlins, especially if you are looking for some value. Harold Ramirez has pushed his average to .373 and he’s the 15th ranked fantasy player over the last two weeks: .415 average, .456 OBP, 22 hits, 11 runs and 10 RBI.
Colorado Rockies (4.2) @ Chicago Cubs (6.5)
Jeff Hoffman (RHP) @ Kyle Hendricks (RHP)
Over/Under: 10.5 Moneyline: CHC -235
Pitcher Breakdown: Kyle Hendricks is the only pitcher to think about in this matchup, and you don’t have to think for long. Hendricks is just too expensive and he’s a better season-long player than DFS player. His 7.84 K/9 is just not appealing and you’re really just hoping for the win.
Jeff Hoffman will make his first start on the road this season, which is good for him because he’s allowed 20 hits and 12 runs over 15 innings.
Batter Breakdown: Javier Baez broke out of his slump yesterday with a bomb, and he’s a bit cheaper than Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. Kyle Schwarber still has a bit of value from the leadoff spot and Carlos Gonzalez (revenge game) is as cheap as can be if you’re looking for a punt play with a bit of upside. The Cubs’ 6.4 team implied total is the highest on the board.
Baltimore Orioles (5) @ Texas Rangers (5.6)
Dylan Bundy (RHP) @ Drew Smyly (LHP)
Over/Under: 10.5 Moneyline: TEX -134
Pitcher Breakdown: How about the run potential in this game? Dylan Bundy enters with a 44 percent fly ball rate, which has resulted in 13 homers (41 last season), while Drew Smyly checks in with a 48 percent fly ball rate, which has led to 10 homers. Smyly allowed 32 homers in his last full season (175.1 innings in 2016), so the secret is out with both of these pitchers and it’s Smyly who has been worse. He has a league-high 56 percent hard-hit rate to go along with a 26 percent line drive rate.
Batter Breakdown: Renato Nunez is cheap on FanDuel and he has seven bombs vs LHP this season and Hanser Alberto is basically free on FanDuel. Alberto has a league-high .391 average against southpaws.
On the Rangers side of things, the only value bats on DraftKings are Rougned Odor and Asdrubal Cabrera. I don’t mind taking a shot here with Odor because he’s been so bad, but hitting home runs is just about all he does well. You can stack this game very easily on FD and I think that’s the way to go.
Boston Red Sox (5.9) @ Kansas City Royals (4.2)
Eduardo Rodriguez (LHP) @ Glenn Sparkman (RHP)
Over/Under: 10 Moneyline: KC +165
Pitcher Breakdown: Eduardo Rodriguez is nothing more than a GPP option and you can treat him that way for the rest of the season. E-Rod allowed 15 hits and 11 runs in 11 innings to Toronto and Colorado, only to follow it up with a stellar performance in Houston. You just don’t know which guy you’re going to get, so proceed with caution. I’ll say this, he’ll likely get a win tonight.
I say that because he’s going up against Glenn Sparkman, who only lasted one inning last week in Chicago. The White Sox scored four runs on three hits, including a homer in the first and that was it for Sparkman.
Batter Breakdown: There isn’t a huge sample size with Sparkman, but he has an 81 percent contact rate over 65 innings and he’s given up six homers over that span. Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers and Michael Chavis are wrongly priced on FanDuel. Surprise, surprise.
Cincinnati Reds (4.3) @ St. Louis Cardinals (4.2)
Luis Castillo (RHP) @ Genesis Cabrera (LHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: STL +100
Pitcher Breakdown: Luis Castillo is a GPP option for those who like to play multiple lineups. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I have too much respect for the Cardinals. They don’t strikeout much and they take their walks. Castillo has 82 strikeouts over 69.2 innings, but he’s walked 32 and 13 in his past four outings.
Genesis Cabrera only lasted 3.2 innings in his MLB debut as he coughed up three runs on five hits, including a homer. Cabrera has had some awful walk rates throughout the minors.
Batter Breakdown: A Cardinals stack isn’t really on my radar, but I’ll take some shots on a few discounts bats from this game such as Paul DeJong and Yasiel Puig. Eugenio Suarez is always a good play vs a lefty.
Los Angeles Dodgers (5.7) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (3.9)
Hyun-jin Ryu (LHP) @ Tom Clarke (RHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: ARI +190
Pitcher Breakdown: I wonder how chalky Hyun-Jin Ryu will be tonight? Early indication has me fading him. I know he’s in a good spot to pick up the win against Tom Clarke, but the matchup isn’t a plus one and Ryu has been much better at home over the years than on the road. His 2.22 ERA on the road this season is still unreal, but he has a 1.01 ERA at home. Last season, he had a 1.15 ERA at Dodger Stadium and a 3.58 ERA on the road.
Batter Breakdown: Dodgers bats on FD remain cheap, cheap, cheap. Corey Seager is a steal, while Joc Pederson and Max Muncy check-in decently priced as well.
More on Ryu and the Diamondbacks vs LHP. When looking at who has the most hits against LHP this season, you’ll see that four of the top six batters are from Arizona. Eduardo Escobar has a league-high 34 hits and Ketel Marte has the second-most with 27. Nick Ahmed has 25 and Adam Jones has 24. Escobar and Ahmed rank fourth and fifth in wOBA vs LHP. I’m not saying to stack ARI bats as they have also faced a lot of lefties this season, so it helps, but maybe fade Ryu more than you have in the past.
Oakland Athletics (4.2) @ Los Angeles Angels (4.3)
Frankie Montas (RHP) @ Griffin Canning (RHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: LAA -111
Pitcher Breakdown: Frankie Montas was a fade last week against the Angels and he had his worst showing of the season. Part of the reason for the fade was his price and the fact the Angels hit RHP well. Montas is still very expensive on DK and I don’t feel great about him being my one arm on FD. This will be the third time this season he’s had to face Mike Trout and the Angels.
Griffin Canning has been very impressive this season as he enters with a 3.06 ERA over 32.1 innings. He’s allowed five or fewer hits in all six of his starts and no more than three hits in each of his past three outings. That includes his most recent start which came against OAK where he only allowed one run on three hits over six innings. BUT, he’s do for some regression. Canning has an 89 percent strand rate and 48 percent fly ball rate, which has resulted in six homers. The homers seem to be his weakness and the A’s have a few heavy hitters in their lineup.
Batter Breakdown: Matt Olson is $3.8 on DK and $2.9 on FD, so that’s an easy play. Khris Davis is $3.6 on DK and $3.6 on FD, so there’s another one. Matt Chapman is also easy on the wallet. All three are heavy fly ball hitters.
Houston Astros (5.5) @ Seattle Mariners (4.1)
Wade Miley (LHP) @ Andrew Moore (RHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: SEA +158
Pitcher Breakdown: Wade Miley is a better real-life pitcher than a fantasy one, so I don’t have much interest in him. I can get behind rostering him as second pitcher on DK, especially during the late slate. He’ll save you some cash.
Batter Breakdown: The Mariners have allowed the most hits in baseball, so the Astros are always going to be in play regardless of who is missing from their lineup.
Philadelphia Phillies (3.4) @ San Diego Padres (4.2)
Jerad Eickhoff (RHP) @ Chris Paddack (RHP)
Over/Under: 7.5 Moneyline: SD -150
Pitcher Breakdown: The hot start for Jared Eickhoff is completely over as he’s allowed at least four runs in each of his past four starts. That’s 17 runs and 10 homers in his past 18.1 innings. That’s what a 45 percent fly ball rate will do to you. He also has a 42 percent hard-hit rate. He’s also faced some really tough teams. That’s the bad. The good is that he has the potential to rack up 7-10 strikeouts and he’s cheap. He could give you eight K with three solo shots. If they are solo, you’ll take it.
Chris Paddack has a 47 percent hard-hit rate which is one of the highest marks in the league, but he’s been more consistent this season. It hasn’t been all good of late, though, as he’s allowed five homers in his past three outings and the Yankees lit him up for four runs on six hits, including three bombs in his last start.
Batter Breakdown: The Phillies couldn’t do a thing against Eric Lauer last night, who leads the league in contact rate, so I can’t imagine them having a ton of success with Paddack. That said, baseball is a wonderful game and PHI has a few solid fastball hitters in their lineup, so it wouldn’t shock me if they had some success. I’m shying away, but consider Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins in tournaments to go against the grain.
Manny Machado was a GPP option for us yesterday and he hit a grand slam, so he may be a bit more popular tonight against fly ball pitcher Eickhoff. Manny is still very affordable on both sites, especially on FD. Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes are in play as well.
In Case You Missed It:
Best Overall Pitcher: Blake Snell
Best Value Pitchers: Masahiro Tanaka, Jerad Eickhoff, Max Fried & Devin Smeltzer
Pitchers I’m feeling: Blake Snell, Stephen Strasburg, Masahiro Tanaka, Max Fried, Devin Smeltzer & Jerad Eickhoff
Contrarian GPP options: Jerad Eickhoff & Shane Bieber
Pitchers to fade: Hyun-jin Ryu & Luis Castillo
Best Overall Hitters: Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto, Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Austin Meadows, Jorge Polanco, Christian Yelich, Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Javier Baez, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Eugenio Suarez, Cody Bellinger, Mike Trout & Alex Bregman
Best value Hitters (DK): Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Marwin Gonzalez, Jose Ramirez, Travis Shaw, Kyle Schwarber, Javier Baez, Hanser Alberto, Rougned Odor, Yasiel Puig, Paul DeJong, Matt Olson, Khris Davis, Shohei Ohtani & Manny Machado
Best value Hitters (FD): Matt Adams, Dansby Swanson, Austin Riley, Josh Donaldson, Aaron Hicks, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Yandy Diaz, Avisail Garcia, Max Kepler, Nelson Cruz, Marwin Gonzalez, Miguel Sano, Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Harold Ramirez, Travis Shaw, Eric Thames, Daniel Murphy, Kyle Schwarber, Carlos Gonzalez, Hanser Alberto, Renato Nunez, Rougned Odor, Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, Michael Chavis, Yasiel Puig, Matt Carpenter, Corey Seager, Matt Olson, Khris Davis, Shohei Ohtani, Derek Fisher, Manny Machado, Hunter Renfroe & Franmil Reyes
Home Run Call of the Day: Manny Machado
Others HR calls to consider: Juan Soto, Ronald Acuna Jr., Gary Sanchez, Avisail Garcia, Eddie Rosario, Christian Yelich, Mike Moustakas, Eric Thames, Javier Baez, Renato Nunez, Rougned Odor, J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts, Eugenio Suarez, Cody Bellinger, Matt Olson, Khris Davis, Alex Bregman, Hunter Renfroe & Franmil Reyes
Stack ranks: MIL, CHC, WAS, TEX, LAD & ATL
Underrated stack: MIN, BAL & SD
Stacks to fade (GPP): HOU & TB
Bet of the Day: NYY -190
Others to consider: MIN +119, ATL -185, MIL -194, BOS -180 & OAK -106
Chris Meaney is a DFS contributor for The Quant Edge, covering fantasy sports. Chris covered NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB as the producer, writer and host at FNTSY Sports Network. He was lead host of the daily live shows, “Fantasy Sports Today” and “Home Ice Advantage.” Chris has written for The Athletic, the Associated Press, the New York Daily News, Fantasy Footballers, NBA Fantasy, Play Picks, Fantrax and more. @chrismeaney.