The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
There are 15 games today starting at 1:05 pm ET in the all day slates. The seven-game main slate begins at 7:05 pm ET.
Five pitchers cost more than $10,000 on DraftKings and $9,000 on FanDuel. Carlos Carrasco, Dallas Keuchel, and Rich Hill are excluded from the main slate:
Zack Greinke has the best Vegas data among all pitchers in the main slate, and he’s the only one facing a team implied to score fewer than 4.0 runs. That said, his recent Statcast data isn’t elite, and he’s been less productive away from Chase Field this season, averaging a -1.63 DraftKings Plus/Minus and 50 percent Consistency Rating. Greinke costs a season-high $12,800 on DraftKings, but he costs less than $10,000 on FanDuel for the eighth straight start — a stretch during which he’s averaged a +5.31 FanDuel Plus/Minus and a 85.7 percent Consistency Rating.
Jacob deGrom is facing a team implied to score 4.1 runs, and he’s pitching in a night game away from Citi Field, which has historically resulted in a -2.16 DraftKings Plus/Minus. However, deGrom has been much improved under similar circumstances this season:
deGrom leads all pitchers in the main slate with a 7.0 K Prediction despite facing a projected Braves lineup with the lowest SO/AB rate. The same lineup possesses the second-lowest wOBA, and deGrom has reduced hitters to a 19 percent fly ball rate and 26 percent hard hit rate over the fortnight.
In two starts against the Diamondbacks since returning from a shoulder injury, Madison Bumgarner posted 20.95 and 22.15 DraftKings points. However, in his last two starts, Bumgarner was tagged for 11 combined runs, 15 hits, and four homers. When Bumgarner has faced a team with a similar implied total to Arizona’s 4.1 mark today, he’s recorded a -1.61 DraftKings Plus/Minus with a 40 percent Consistency Rating.
All three expensive main slate options have their warts, but Greinke has the strongest case with slate-best marks in Park Factor (94), opponent implied total (3.5), and K Prediction (7.0). His average ownership in guaranteed prize pools (GPPs) will likely be contingent on Coors Field’s popularity. Pitchers with comparable DraftKings salaries, K Predictions, and opponent implied totals have averaged a +1.05 DraftKings Plus/Minus and met salary-based expectations less than half the time. Paying up for Greinke on DraftKings may actually be the contrarian move. His lower $9,800 FanDuel salary could boost his ownership in all formats there, which Pro subscribers can review shortly after lineups lock on our DFS Ownership Dashboard.
The projected Braves lineup presently contains four left-handed hitters and a switch hitter, and deGrom has limited left-handed hitters to a 0.298 wOBA — the 16th-lowest mark for qualified starters this season. Nonetheless, deGrom’s road SO/9 rate this season is close to 1.50 points lower than his home mark, and he’s allowed more than half of his homers away from Citi Field. deGrom is a tough buy on FanDuel as the most-expensive pitcher, but on DraftKings he costs less than $12,000 for the second time over the last two months and provides a $1,000 savings compared to Greinke’s cost. He may offer higher upside than Greinke at a lower ownership figure.
If there is one subset of pitchers who deserves immediate recognition, it’s left-handed home starters against the Diamondbacks:
Bumgarner is the cheapest of the expensive main slate pitchers, yet he may have the lowest average GPP ownership of the trio due to his poor recent form. He could be dealing with a lineup sans J.D. Martinez, who was scratched prior to Friday’s contest with a stiff neck. If he’s unavailable, the Diamondbacks would lose the hitter with the highest wOBA and ISO in the main slate, which would improve Bumgarner’s prospects. The Diamondbacks would also lose one of three hitters with a positive batted ball distance differential and a hard hit rate of at least 45 percent over the past 15 days.
Zach Davies costs a season-high on DraftKings and FanDuel, and he has the sixth-highest salary, but the drop-off from the five most-expensive pitchers is dramatic enough to place Davies in the value section. The Brewers and Marlins are playing in Miller Park despite the Marlins being the home team, and Davies is facing a team implied to score 4.1 runs — the same as deGrom’s and Bumgarner’s opponents. Over his past 10 starts, Davies has averaged a +9.01 FanDuel Plus/Minus while exceeding salary-based expectations eight times. He’s struggled to produce consistent value at Miller Park this season, but his recent Statcast data is among the best on the slate: He’s allowed a 189-foot batted ball distance and a 17 percent fly ball rate.
Kyle Hendricks costs no more than $8,600 on DraftKings and FanDuel, and he’s pitching at home, where he’s averaged a +5.42 FanDuel Plus/Minus since the beginning of 2015. He hasn’t been as dominant at Wrigley Field this season, but he’s maintained a 66.7 percent FanDuel Consistency Rating. He’s not available in the main slate, but he could be a perfect SP2 to pair alongside Carrasco in the early slates. Both pitchers have similar elite recent Statcast data with one noticeable difference: Hendricks has limited hitters to a low 152-foot batted ball distance.
Marco Estrada: Among main slate pitchers, Estrada has the lowest batted ball distance, exit velocity, and hard hit rate allowed over the past 15 days. Working against Estrada is his opponent implied total of 5.0 runs and projected precipitation of around 56 percent. Estrada has been inconsistent all season and thus is suited better for GPPs.
Alex Cobb: In 12 home starts, Cobb has exceeded salary-based expectations 11 times and averaged a +5.65 DraftKings Plus/Minus and 4.9 percent GPP ownership. He may not have elite strikeout potential, but he’s surpassed 20.0 DraftKings points in five of his last eight home starts — including a 25.45-point performance against the Red Sox.
The Rockies will likely be a popular stack on all sites based on their implied team total, and they are facing Jordan Lyles, who they released earlier this season after four years on the roster. Lyles has the highest WHIP (1.774) and HR/9 rate (1.996) on the main slate, and the hitters in the stack have averaged a +1.06 FantasyDraft Plus/Minus when projected with a similar Vegas total. Charlie Blackmon has been close to automatic when batting leadoff against a right-handed pitcher, averaging a +2.10 FantasyDraft Plus/Minus with a 53.8 percent Consistency Rating, and he’ll likely be among the highest-owned hitters on the slate.
The Rockies predictably have the highest-rated DraftKings stack in the CSURAM88 Model, but their opponents have the next highest-rated stack that costs nearly $5,000 less:
The Padres are one of four teams implied to score at least 5.0 runs in the main slate, but they were limited to one run at Coors Field on Friday. Rockies left-hander Tyler Anderson allowed a 44 percent hard hit rate in his most recent outing, but he’s held a higher home SO/9 rate and lower HR/9 rate this season compared to on the road. Right-handed hitters have been much more potent against Anderson, accounting for 10 of 15 homers he’s allowed and a .384 wOBA. The Padres have the 10th-highest ISO and fifth-highest fly ball rate against lefties since the All-Star break, and the hitters in the stack have averaged a +1.36 DraftKings Plus/Minus with a 49.3 percent Consistency Rating against left-handed starters over that span.
The Yankees’ implied total has increased 0.3 runs since the line opened, vaulting their number to 5.8 runs — the highest mark in the non-main slate. Jeremy Hellickson, the Orioles’ starter, hasn’t struck out more than two batters in five straight starts, and over his last six outings, he’s allowed 10 homers, a 49.1 percent fly ball rate, and a .365 wOBA. Aaron Judge and Todd Frazier account for two of the five hitters with double-digit DraftKings Pro Trends in the afternoon slate, and Judge has compiled a +3.01 DraftKings Plus/Minus with a 50.8 percent Consistency Rating at home this season. He and Frazier, who is dealing with a back issue, lead the Yankees in recent Statcast data.
The Brewers provide the highest FanDuel Team Value Rating, and even though they were shut out in their last game against a left-handed starter, they remain a solid GPP pivot. They are presently implied to score 5.0 runs — the third-highest mark in the main slate — and are facing a left-handed pitcher in Adam Conley who has allowed a 244-foot batted ball distance and 47 percent fly ball and hard hit rate in his last two starts. He’s also surrendered 11 homers in his last nine starts. Travis Shaw possesses a negative wOBA and ISO differential against lefties, but he leads all hitters with 10 FanDuel Pro Trends and all third basemen with a 249-foot recent batted ball distance. Consider him an affordable pivot away from Nolan Arenado, who costs $2,000 more on FanDuel.
Good luck, and be sure to do your own research with the Labs tools!
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