DFS Plays of the Day – 5/23/23

Featured DFS plays for OwnersBox, DraftKings, and FanDuel for Tuesday

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Slate Details


OwnersBox – Main slate (10 games) – starts 7:05 PM EDT
DK/FD – Main slate (10 games) – starts 7:05 PM EDT


Weather Impact


Chance of rain at Coors Field for the MIA@COL game, but the storm should sweep through earlier in the day if it happens at all.




A good slate of aces on the schedule today, all led by Spencer Strider. Strider is as electric as they come and provides value even in “down” games thanks to his filthy 14.98 K/9 this season. Sure, you’ll have to pay a premium price for his services, but you know exactly where his floor is while the ceiling is game breaking. I often like to put my pitchers into tiers every day and today Strider is in a tier of his own.

That might sound sacrilegious to Gerrit Cole fans, but that’s not a knock on the Yankees’ ace. Cole has also been excellent this season and has only given up more than two earned runs once so far. I just can’t justify putting Cole into the same tier thanks his 9.77 K/9, which is the lowest he’s posted since 2017. If you want to run with Cole in your lineup, I won’t say you’re making a mistake, but considering that his price is about equal to Strider, I just don’t see the value.

Two more players in Cole’s tier interest me far more. My favorite for the day is Eduardo Rodriguez. ERod had a six-start stretch from April 12 to May 10 where he allowed just two total runsthat’s a 0.43 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings. Those numbers didn’t come cheap either with excellent performances against the Orioles (twice), Mets, and Blue Jays. Rodriguez is largely overlooked because he plays for the woeful Tigers and he was roughed up last time out against the Pirates. The cutter was lacking in that start, but it still has a -5 run value overall (tied for second-best in the league) and his four-seamer has an incredible -9 run value, which is tied for the fourth-best overall PITCH in the league. Starting today against the Royals gives ERod a chance to get back on course.

The other from that tier is Yu Darvish. He’s been pretty up and down all season, but the quality of his stuff is still there. He’s getting a lot of whiffs, he’s limiting hard contact, and he’s facing a Washington Nationals team that has scored the seventh fewest runs this season.

Kodai Senga is coming off an impressive start against the first-place Rays where he allowed just one run over six innings while striking out a career-best 12. He’s a strong value play against the Cubs. And that works in both directions as Chicago’s Drew Smyly should get a look on the other side of the diamond. Smyly has a 2.86 ERA and four quality starts in his past six games, but you sacrifice strikeout upside with the Southpaw.

Another pitchers’ duel might be in play in Minnesota. Sonny Gray stumbled a little bit in May with a 3.77 ERA through three starts after completely dominating the league in April with a 0.77 ERA over 35 innings. He’ll take on the Giants, who are third worst in the league with 9.64 strikeouts per game but are also 6-1 over their past seven games. Surprisingly, Minnesota strikes out even more often and that’s great news for Alex Cobb who isn’t a huge strikeout guy but is certainly capable. Cobb’s 1.94 ERA is second best in the majors among qualified starters, but his 3.98 xERA shows why he’s down at the bottom of this writeup instead of near the top.




We all know that Coors Field is a great place to target whenever possible and that’s extra true today. The thin air in Denver is particularly harsh on breaking balls. They just don’t break in Coors like they do elsewhere. It’s really an awful setup for a pitcher like Austin Gomber, who heavily features a curveball and slider. Gomber has a 6.70 ERA and 1.53 WHIP overall this season and is, not surprisingly, much worse at home with an 8.75 ERA and 1.69 WHIP. Brutal.

Gomber’s loss is your gain. Well, it’s really Jorge Soler’s gain. Soler is hitting just .241 overall, but with a lefty on the mound he’s up to .406/.513/1.125. He’s also feeling pretty good at the plate right now with three home runs over his past seven games and 12 overall. Play Soler. Just do it.

He’s not the only Marlin who enjoys a good lefty. Bryan De La Cruz (.344/.364/.500), Luis Arraez (.343/.361/.343), Jon Berti (.371/.405/.486), and Garrett Cooper (.423/.483/.500) have their fair share of knocks on southpaws this season, too. De La Cruz went 4-for-4 with a pair of runs last night in the series opener, Arraez has been smacking everything this season (though just one home run), and Berti is hitting leadoff. Cooper is running cold right now, so proceed with caution.

I’m less inclined to play Rockies’ bats against Miami rookie/top prospect Eury Perez, who has been pretty strong in his two starts this season. Perez also relies fairly heavily on his breaking pitches, so he is not a pitcher I’m looking to start today, but I’m also not willing to bet against him and his 97 mph average fastball. Though I might make an exception for Randal Grichuk. Grichuk got a breather Monday and he’s hitting .344 overall. He deserves more than one home run this season with the power he’s been putting behind the ball. Elias Diaz also has been hitting well lately with six hits and six RBI over the past four games. He went 2-for-3 with a double and a home run last night.

Colin Rea is being pressed back into service as a starter in Milwaukee after getting recalled from Triple-A over the weekend. There’s a reason Rea was in the minors as he wasn’t very good earlier this year with a 5.52 ERA in six starts. But right now the Brewers just need a warm (and healthy) body to put on the mound in front of the Houston Astros like a sacrificial lamb. Yordan Alvarez had a two-homer game yesterday (including a grand slam) and is heating up with three in his past three games. Mauricio Dubon comes cheap and what he lacks in power he makes up for pure hitting ability. That being said, Dubon crushed his first homer of the year against the Brew Crew last night, pulling a Corbin Burnes slider 409 feet to left-center. Kyle Tucker and Jose Altuve complete a pretty nice Astros stack.

J.P. France is fairly vulnerable on the other side for Houston after giving up six earned runs and three home runs his last time out against the Cubs. Rowdy Tellez has home runs in back-to-back games and Christian Yelich’s batted-ball profile is just screaming for positive regression.

I’m also looking at a Red Sox stack against Griffin Canning, who continues to struggle since working his way back into the majors after a back injury wiped away his 2022 season. Rafael Devers, Masataka Yoshida, and Justin Turner are the plays.

Marco Gonzalez knows all too well how good the Red Sox offense can be after giving up 8 earned runs in just 1.2 innings his last time out. In theory, he should have a much easier time against the Athletics tonight, but the A’s hitters are licking their chops just as much. The Brent Rooker experiment is at an end, but I still want a piece of him with a left-hander on the mound. Rooker is hitting .318/.426/.682 against lefties and just .257/.361/.495 against righties. Esteury Ruiz is a stolen base machine and that absolutely plays in the DFS game. He’s also on a seven-game hitting streak. Seth Brown made his return to the lineup last night after being on the IL since early April. He definitely won’t hit for average, but the home runs are coming.

Finally, Bobby Miller will make his major league debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight. Miller is one of the organization’s top prospects but has not exactly impressed in the minors this season. He has a 5.65 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and a 12:6 K:BB ratio in 14 1/3 innings at Triple-A. It won’t be any easier for him up with the big club against the Atlanta Braves. Ronald Acuna is always a strong play, if you can afford it. I’m also looking to get some mix of Matt Olson, Sean Murphy, Austin Riley, and Marcell Ozuna in my lineup.


Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Ryan Loren

Ryan Loren is a baseball writer for Pitcher List and a Detroit sports fan struggling to remember what it's like to root for winning teams.

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