Today’s Top MLB DFS Game Environments: Cardinals-Dodgers & More Opening Day Magic (March 28)

When playing MLB DFS, you quickly find out that there are some underlying components that determine the number of runs scored in a game. Sure, batter vs. pitcher stats and matchups matter, but if it were that simple, everybody would be good at MLB DFS. In this breakdown, we will take a deeper dive into the external factors that have an impact within an MLB game by analyzing weather, park dimensions and bullpen rating, among other things. Let’s take a look at two MLB DFS game environments that can benefit from positive external factors.

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Today’s Top MLB DFS Game Environments (March 28)

St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers

Total: 8.5

The Dodgers have a chance to flex their muscles today in a matchup against Miles Mikolas, who is projected to go 5.2 innings, record 3.6 earned runs and strike out 3.5. The weather in Los Angeles is nothing to be afraid of with the wind blowing slightly out to right field at about 5 to 9 mph and the weather to be a cool 67 F at the time of first pitch. Dodgers Stadium is fairly 50/50 when it comes to being a hitter-friendly park, ranking 16th among the MLB in park factor.

With the weather being on our side for this matchup, the Cardinals bullpen isn’t anything to write home about; last season it had a 4.47 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP, eighth worst in the MLB in both categories. The Dodgers are projected for 5.4 runs today and come out as the second-highest-rated team in our Top Stacks Tool at 10.9%.

Staying on the Dodgers side, my favorite player from this team will be Max Muncy at $4,800 on DraftKings. He’s projected to bat fifth in this order, which would be amazing considering the RBI potential he will be given with guys like Will Smith and Mookie Betts batting in front of him. He gets a great matchup against Mikolas, who is coming off a season where he allowed a .285 average and a .488 slugging to lefties in 2023. Keeping in mind that Mikolas struggles with lefties, we can go ahead and target guys like Shohei Ohtani at $6,400 and Freddie Freeman at $5,900 as our top spend-up options in Dodger stacks. In reality, you can’t go wrong targeting any Dodger, but I will be heavier on the left side of the plate tonight.

The Cardinals are in what can be considered a tough spot against Glasnow, who is projected for 20.29 DraftKings points tonight and is one of the top-rated pitchers for the main slate, but Glasnow puts his socks and shoes on the same way as you and I do. Brendan Donovan at $3,600 is a cheap run-back for a Cardinals-Dodgers game stack. Donovan is projected to lead off for the Cardinals and performs well against some of Glasnow’s main pitches, the slider being his best. Donovan had a .294 batting average and all 11 of his home runs against righties in 2023.

Nolan Arenado at $5,000 on DraftKings is a GPP run-back for this game, as he is another player who matches up well against Glasnow. Arenado is a reverse-split hitter, meaning that, even though he is a righty, he hits right-handed pitchers better than left-handed pitchers. Arenado had a .280 batting average against righties compared to his .220 batting average against lefties in 2023 and had 21 of his 26 home runs come against right-handed pitchers. Arenado likes to hunt for the breaking ball, which will play into this matchup where Glasnow likes to mix in a breaking ball at a 56% frequency. If Arenado is able to catch one of Glasnow’s curveballs, it could become a souvenir.

Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds

Total: 9.5

This game has the highest total on the slate at 9.5 and should be a very popular spot for the DFS lineups across any contest. Starting off with the weather, you’ll need a jacket with it projected to be 57 F at the time of first pitch with 5 to 9 mph winds blowing out to left field. The game is being played at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, which ranked third in hitter-friendly parks last season, with a 107 park factor. Neither team’s bullpen was outstanding performance-wise, as the Nationals bullpen had a 5.02 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP and the Reds bullpen had a 4.11 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.

The Reds are incredibly cheap today and are projected for a slate-high 5.6 runs in a matchup against Josiah Gray, who is projected for 4.3 innings, 3.3 earned runs and 13 DraftKings points. The Reds will be very popular with people trying to find cheap options to mix with Dodgers bats, so finding the needle in the haystack from this team will be the key to unlocking the slate.

Starting from the top of the order, Will Benson at $3,300 is in a great spot with his price being great and him projected to bat second. Gray was mediocre against lefties last season, giving up a .242 batting average, but he allowed 13 home runs to the left side of the plate, four more than his nine against righties. Benson has the advantage in this matchup with his .297 batting average against righties in 2023 and all of his home runs coming against right-handed pitchers. His best pitch to hit will be Gray’s slider, as Gray mixes it in at about 31%, the most out of his repertoire.

Jake Fraley at $4,300 is another lefty on the positive side of his splits against Gray. In 2023, Fraley had a .263 batting average and all 15 home runs against right-handed pitchers. Coincidentally, Fraley is another batter who will be looking for Gray’s slider, as it is one of the pitches he swings at most (61%). I look to have these guys in majority of my Reds stacks for today, with their price and matchup being some of the best on the slate.

The Nationals face off against Frankie Montas, who is making his first regular season start since 2022 and is projected for 5.2 innings, three earned runs and 5.1 strikeouts. Montas started five games in Spring Training and gave up a .279 batting average, 5.94 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. Much like the Reds, Washington has some very friendly prices that allow us to get to some top spend-up options in other spots.

C.J. Abrams at $4,600 is projected to lead off while also being the highest-projected player at 9.84 DraftKings points for Washington. He is on the positive side of his splits, where he batted .274 against righties in 2023 and hit 15 home runs. Lane Thomas at $4,300 is projected to bat second and will be in play today despite being on the opposite side of his splits. Thomas had 19 of his 28 home runs came against righties in 2023 and will have an advantage on Montas fastball today, a pitch that Thomas swings at 44% of the time.

Switch-hitter Keibert Ruiz at $3,700 is projected to bat fourth and will be in a great spot. Ruiz benefits from Montas mixing in the fastball quite often, as Ruiz has a 56% swing rate at fastballs and arguably gives him the best pitch to hit. Target the top of this Nationals order tonight in a soft matchup against a potentially regressing Montas.

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