The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Sunday features a two-game slate starting at 4:37 p.m. ET.
Sunday’s slate features a quality group of starting pitchers:
- Walker Buehler (R) $9,500, LAD @ ATL
- German Marquez (R) $9,000, COL vs. MIL
- Sean Newcomb (L) $8,100, ATL vs. LAD
- Wade Miley (L) $4,300, MIL @ COL
Buehler pitched a gem in the NL West tiebreaker and has emerged as one of the best young pitchers in baseball. He was dominant over the second half of the season, pitching to a 2.03 ERA and limiting opposing batters to a .229 wOBA.
He has arguably the best matchup of the day against the Atlanta Braves, whose projected lineup owns the worst splits-adjusted marks in wOBA and strikeout rate. Unsurprisingly, Buehler leads all pitchers in opponent implied team total (3.5 runs) and moneyline odds (-171). He also has decent strikeout upside, evidenced by a K Prediction of 7.0.
Marquez struggled in his last outing, but still owns a phenomenal average Plus/Minus of +10.61 over his past 10 starts on DraftKings. His Statcast data over his past two starts is particularly impressive, resulting in a 15-day/12-month distance differential of -16 feet.
Unfortunately, he’ll be taking the mound in the most unfriendly pitching environment in all of baseball. Marquez was markedly worse when pitching at Coors Field this season: His home ERA of 4.74 was nearly two full runs higher than his road mark of 2.95.
Still, Marquez owns solid upside for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs) given his strikeout upside. His 12-month K/9 of 10.56 is the top mark on the slate, as is his K Prediction of 7.3.
Newcomb will be trying to keep the Braves’ season alive at home, but he struggled during the second-half of the season: His ERA jumped to 4.58 in 59.0 innings after the All-Star break.
That said, he did show some signs of improvement over the past 15 days, limiting his past two opponents to a hard hit rate of only 11%. The Dodgers have also been merely average against left-handed pitchers this season, ranking just 14th in wOBA. Newcomb had some success vs. the Dodgers during the regular season, owning a 3.86 ERA and 9.0 K/9 through two meetings.
Miley is the cheapest option on the slate by a significant margin and will face one of the toughest tests in baseball. The Rockies have absolutely destroyed left-handed pitching at Coors this season, owning a .380 wOBA and .230 ISO. Miley did pitch to a 2.57 ERA during the regular season, but his xFIP of 4.30 suggests he wasn’t nearly as effective as his traditional metrics indicate.
Even if he can limit the Rockies when they’re putting the ball in play, he doesn’t figure to offer much in terms of upside. He posted a K/9 of just 5.58 during the regular season, giving him a K Prediction of just 3.3 on today’s slate.
- 1. Chris Taylor (R)
- 2. Justin Turner (R)
- 3. David Freese (R)
- 5. Kiké Hernandez (R)
- 6. Matt Kemp (R)
Total Salary: $20,700
The Dodgers are one of the deepest teams in baseball, so look for them to roll out a righty-heavy lineup vs. Newcomb. Each of the stacked batters will have the splits advantage on Newcomb, who has allowed a .324 wOBA to right-handed batters over the second-half of the season.
The stacked batters are also collectively in good recent form, with only Taylor failing to outperform his 12-month average distance over the past 15 days. Kemp in particular has scorched the baseball, posting a 243-foot distance, 97 mph exit velocity and a 66% hard hit rate over the past 15 days.
The Rockies should be the most popular target of the day given their matchup at Coors Field, which makes the Dodgers a nice pivot for GPPs.
Charlie Blackmon could be an interesting target for the Rockies. He’s on the reverse side of his batting splits, so he’ll likely command lower ownership than some of the big right-handed bats. That said, he’s posted a 15-day/12-month distance differential of +20 feet, so he does enter Sunday’s contest in solid recent form.
Two Coors Field batters own a Bargain Rating of 99% on FanDuel: Ian Desmond and Ryan Braun. Of the two, Braun looks like the more appealing target given his recent Statcast data. He’s posted a ridiculous 80% hard hit rate and 100 mph exit velocity over his past seven games, which will obviously play at the best hitter’s park in baseball.
If you’re looking for a way to make your lineup more contrarian, consider adding a batter from the Braves. They’ll likely be the lowest-owned team on Sunday’s slate, with none of their batters projected for more than 20% ownership on DraftKings. None of their batters really stand out from a Statcast perspective, either, but Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis and Ender Inciarte have all hit well against right-handed pitching over the past 12 months.
Pictured above: Charlie Blackmon
Photo credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports