Sorare MLB Slate Breakdown | The Wait Is Over
The wait is finally over. The 2023 Major League Baseball season begins tomorrow, and for the first time ever, all 30 MLB teams will be playing.
In addition, this season marks the first full MLB season with Sorare MLB contests. The game officially launched last year, although not until after the All-Star break.
My goal for these slate breakdowns is to create an all-in-one place for new users to get an overview for each Game Week and use that information to pinpoint marketplace inefficiencies and construct a winning team.
I will be focusing on the limited tier cards when referencing market prices as this is where the majority of Sorare users will be playing, and where there is the most liquidity in the market.
You can find my slate breakdowns every Monday and Friday of the MLB season here on Lucky Trader, or subscribe to my newsletter to get them in your inbox.
The best part about Fantasy Baseball on Opening Day is that each team deploys their number one arm, giving us a plethora of options to choose from. With this being the case, it makes sense to start off by targeting a pitcher toeing the rubber today.
That being said, with Sorare MLB slates spanning either three or four days worth of baseball games, it's fairly likely that any pitcher will make a start at some point within a given Game Week
Here are a couple guys that stand out at the top:
Jacob deGrom vs PHI
deGrom has the best 2022 numbers on the board with an incredible 42.7 K% and 1.53 xFIP. The Phillies were middle of the pack in strikeout rate last year, however, the lineup will look a bit different this year with the addition of #TeamUSA Hero Trea Turner, and the absence of both Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper. deGrom is the top option at the position but the Sorare market has his priced appropriately at ~$65.00
Limited Price: ~$65
Shohei Ohtani at OAK
Ohtani placed fourth in K% last season at 33.2% and third in xFIP at 2.65. Fangraphs has Oakland with the sixth-most strikeouts against right-handed pitching in 2022, however, half of the projected lineup wasn’t on the team last year. Either way, this lineup is bad, the ballpark is terrible for offense, the Angels are a -250 favorite, and Ohtani is an elite pitcher. Sorare players will just have to decide if they want to play him at Starting Pitcher or Corner Infielder. He’s the highest priced player in the market, but deservedly so.
Limited Price: ~$241
Other Top End Pitchers and their Sorare Price:
~$52 Max Scherzer at MIA
~$63 Gerrit Cole vs SF
~$56 Corbin Burnes at CHC
~$57 Sandy Alcantara vs NYM
While it would be nice to have the guys at the top, we also want to search the market for discounts on players who are in good spots for the given Game Week, or who look like solid season-long holds.
Here are a couple of cheaper guys in good matchups for Game Week 1:
Blake Snell vs COL
I was pretty surprised when I went to check Snell’s price in the market and saw his Limited card at about a $15 floor. He has an issue with walks at 9.5% but this is also a guy who finished eighth in the league last year in K% at 32%. The most intriguing part is the home-matchup versus Colorado, a team that is notorious for playing poorly on the road. Snell is one of my favorite buy-low options right now.
Limited Price: ~$15
Hunter Greene vs PIT (and beyond)
I hope this can be the year for Hunter Greene. At just 23 years old, he is one of the hardest-throwing pitchers in the league and has tremendous upside. His numbers are actually very similar to Snell’s except for a slightly higher xFIP and a much bigger home run problem. The good news is that the Pirates won’t hit for much power, the bad news is that this ballpark is great for hitting home runs. This is one of those spots that I like both Greene and the Pirates bats. Just know that with Greene this could go south very quickly, but I still like him as a season-long stash.
Limited Price: ~$40
Call To the Bullpen
I’ll admit it, I don’t know all that much about relief pitchers. In my experience playing Daily Fantasy Sports, relief pitchers were not required to build a lineup. That being said I love the added strategy of including relievers in this new format and am excited to dive in this year
In my Pre-Season Strategy Guide, I mentioned how a good strategy is to target relievers and closers from teams that are projected to win.
Picking a long-reliever from a bad MLB team is a losing bet because they will most likely be brought in for mop-up duty in a game that is already out of hand, canceling out any chance for the coveted win.
The way to ensure this won’t happen would be to pick a closer who will almost never find himself in such a scenario.
We won’t have the Vegas lines for any of the games from Friday-Sunday but we can use our best judgment as to which teams are most likely to win the series.
I think a good strategy could be to target pitchers from the Braves against the Nationals, and the Rays against the Tigers
A.J. Minter at WSH
It looks like Minter will begin the season as Atlanta’s closer after it was announced that Raisel Iglesias will start the season on the Injured List. Minter is one of the more expensive relievers on the market but it is justified for being on the Braves.
Limited Price: ~$13
Other Braves Relievers Include:
~$3 Collin McHugh
~$3 Joe Jimenez
~$3 Dylan Lee
~$1 Lucas Luetge
Peter Fairbanks vs DET
I always love rostering pitchers from Tampa Bay. The coaching staff always seems to know exactly how to coach their players and they all benefit from playing inside the pitcher-friendly Tropicana Field.
Fairbanks looks to be the Rays’ closer this year and his Sorare price reflects that. I think it makes sense to plug him in for Game Week 1 where he should have at least one opportunity to close out a game against the lowly Tigers.
Limited Price: ~$9
Other Rays Relievers Include:
~$3 Jalen Beeks
~$1 Colin Poche
~$1 Shawn Armstrong
~$2 Ryan Thompson
Hitting the Market
The strategy in targeting hitters in Sorare differs from daily fantasy in that individual pitching matchups don’t matter nearly as much.
Hitters will accumulate fantasy points over the course of three to four games which means we have to consider if a player will succeed over the course of an entire series.
The best strategy in my opinion would be to roster guys who are playing a series in a hitter friendly ballpark (Coors Field, Great American Ballpark, Fenway Park, etc.).
Another strategy would be to roster players who are facing a team with a weak starting rotation (The Nationals come to mind).
I wrote in my Pre-Season Strategy Article that full-stacking in Sorare MLB is probably a less important strategy than in DFS due to their being no salary cap. A better strategy would be to mini-stack two or three players from the top of a lineup.
A couple offensive stacks to target in Game Week 1 are the Braves and the Pirates.
The Nationals are rolling out Patrick Corbin as their Opening Day starter. Corbin was objectively the worst starting pitcher last year. That goes to show you how bad this pitching staff is, and yet all they did was add Trevor Williams this offseason. Nationals park is neutral for offense but we saw teams tee off against this squad last year.
~$128 Ronald Acuña
~$69 Matt Olson
~$58 Austin Riley
~$7 Marcell Ozuna
~$67 Michael Harris Jr.
Keep in mind this is maybe the most powerful lineup in the MLB, which is reflected in the prices. It’s also worth noting that three of the players in the top five are outfielders and none take up the ugly Middle Infielder spot. Ozuna’s price is very affordable and I think he makes for a nice play, however he has seen a decline in production the last few years as well as several off-the-field issues limiting his playing time.
Pittsburgh gets a series against the Reds at Great American Ballpark in Game Week 1. I love the idea of playing these guys for a few reasons:
1) The whole team is cheap in the Sorare market except for Oneil Cruz, however he has some of the most upside at the Middle Infielder position.
2) This team should have five left handed bats at the top of the lineup and outside of Nick Lodolo (who I love as a starter) the Reds have all home run-prone right handers in their starting rotation.
~$49 ONeil Cruz
~$20 Bryan Reynolds
~$6 Andrew McCutchen
~$3 Ji-Man Choi
~$10 Jack Suwinski
This team welcomed McCutchen and Choi in the offseason, and although I don’t think the Pirates have a great offense as a whole, I like the spot in Game Week 1.
There you have it, the first Sorare MLB Slate Breakdown for Game Week 1.
I will be releasing these every Monday and Friday prior to lineup lock to help you all with preparing for the slate and setting your teams
I love this new format for fantasy baseball and I hope to see everyone at the top of the leaderboards
Thanks for reading!