The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate, using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Wednesday offers a split slate: There’s a seven-game early slate starting at 12:10 pm ET and an eight-game main slate starting at 7:05 pm ET.
Wednesday features a relatively strong group of pitchers, with four priced at $10,700 or more on DraftKings:
As usual, paying up for pitching is a lot more difficult on DraftKings. All four of the stud pitchers possess Bargain Ratings of no greater than 10 percent, and at $13,400 Carlos Carrasco has a Bargain Rating of zero.
Despite his season-high price tag, Carrasco stands out as a top option on the early slate. His opponent implied team total of 3.5 runs and moneyline odds of -203 are both tops on the slate, and his K Prediction of 7.0 ranks fourth. Historically, pitchers with comparable numbers in all three categories have been awesome values on DraftKings (per the MLB Trends tool):
Part of the reason for his strong data is his matchup against the anemic San Francisco Giants. Their .290 wOBA against right-handed pitchers is the worst mark on the year by a significant margin, and their ISO of .133 ranks last as well. Pitching at AT&T Park also rewards Carrasco with a Park Factor of 92, and pitchers in similar pitcher-friendly parks with comparable moneyline odds have a historical Plus/Minus of +4.69.
If there’s an area of concern with Carrasco, it’s his recent Statcast data: He’s allowed an average distance of 237 feet, an exit velocity of 94 miles per hour, and a hard hit rate of 46 percent over his last two starts, resulting in a Recent Batted Ball Luck score of -86. Those marks are all among the worst of the day, but facing a poor hitting team like the Giants could negate that. Either way, he should be one of the highest-owned pitchers of the day.
After a somewhat poor start to the season by his standards, Jacob deGrom has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over his last six starts:
For today’s contest, he leads the main slate with an opponent implied team total of 3.5 runs, and his moneyline odds of -167 and K Prediction of 7.7 both rank second. Comparable pitchers have historically done quite well:
Where deGrom separates himself from Carrasco is with his Statcast data, posting 15-day/12-month distance, exit velocity, and hard hit differentials of -1 foot, -3 miles per hour, and -6 percentage points. He should be extremely popular, especially on FanDuel, where he has a Bargain Rating of 91 percent.
Kenta Maeda has an opponent implied team total of 4.1 runs today, which is slightly higher than you might expect given his matchup against the White Sox. Their current .306 wOBA ranks as the sixth-worst this season against right-handed pitchers, and that number might overstate the abilities of their current lineup after trading away one of their best hitters in Todd Frazier. Outside of the total, however, there’s really nothing not to like about Maeda in this matchup. He leads the main slate in both K Prediction (8.3) and moneyline odds (-172), and pitchers with comparable numbers have historically crushed on DraftKings:
Additionally, Maeda has some of the best Statcast data around over the past 15 days, posting distance, exit velocity, and hard hit differentials of -23 feet, -5 miles per hour, and -13 percentage points. It should be noted that those numbers did occur over just one start and 86 pitches, but they’re impressive nonetheless. He’s also relatively cheap at only $7,800 on DraftKings, making him one of the top pitching options on the day.
Justin Verlander is another intriguing option on the main slate, but it has nothing to do with his recent fantasy numbers:
What Verlander has done recently is managed to throw a lot of pitches, with an average pitch count of 118 over his last two starts. Just being able to stay in a game that long has value; pitchers with comparable recent pitch counts have a historical Plus/Minus of +3.03 on FanDuel. He also has a 15-day/12-month distance differential of -18 feet, and factoring that in to the above trend yields a historical Plus/Minus of +4.00. His opponent implied team total of 4.7 runs does make Verlander a somewhat shaky proposition, however it should result in minimal ownership for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs). Pro subscribers can review ownership across various buy-in levels on our DFS Ownership Dashboard shortly after lineups lock.
Dan Straily: He’s second on the day with moneyline odds of -182, and his opponent implied team total of 3.6 ranks third. His K Prediction of 6.2 is also solid, although the same can’t be said of his Statcast data over his last two starts: His batted ball distance of 235 feet is the fifth-worst mark among all of today’s pitchers.
Zack Greinke: He has a tough matchup against the Reds at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, resulting in an opponent implied team total of 4.2 runs. Still, he’s a -157 favorite and has posted a 15-day/12-month distance differential of -23 feet. His K Prediction of 6.5 is also fourth on the slate, giving him plenty of appeal as a lower-owned pivot to deGrom in GPPs.
The Rockies are playing at Coors Field and lead the slate with an implied team total of 6.6 runs, so it’s not surprising that they grade out so highly. Per the Vegas Dashboard, they also have the highest Team Value Rating on the slate at 82, despite the fact that only Trevor Story has a Bargain Rating above 29 percent among the stacked batters. The Rockies are set to face Padres left-hander Clayton Richard, which is a big benefit for DJ LeMahieu, Nolan Arenado, and Story:
The two batters on the negative side of their splits, Charlie Blackmon and Mark Reynolds, are the two batters in the best recent form of the group. Blackmon has a batted ball distance of 259 feet over his last 11 games, and batters at Coors with comparable distances have a historical Plus/Minus of +4.37. Reynolds, meanwhile, has posted a 15-day/12-month distance differential of +29 feet, which has historically correlated with a Plus/Minus of +2.87 in Colorado.
The one major downside with the Rockies in this spot is that it’s impossible to stack them in full and still afford Carrasco, so you’ll have to choose between the two for GPPs.
On the main slate, the top six-man stack using our new FantasyDraft tools belongs to the Texas Rangers, but since they were covered in today’s MLB Pro Model Stacks article, let’s instead focus on the Detroit Tigers:
One interesting aspect of FantasyDraft is the lack of strict positional eligibility, making it possible to play both Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez despite both being listed as first basemen. The Tigers’ implied team total of 5.1 runs ranks third on the slate. Nick Castellanos homered twice and tripled in last night’s contest, increasing his 15-day/12-month distance differential to +23 feet. His Rec BBL score of +17 also suggests that there could be more fantasy points in his near future.
Stephen Drew has been occupying the No. 2 spot in the order for the Nationals recently, and at only $3,200 on DraftKings he’s affordable given his new role. He also has one of the highest Rec BBL marks on the slate at +71, and batters with comparable lineup spots and Rec BBL scores have a historical Plus/Minus of +1.73 on DraftKings.
Giancarlo Stanton hit another home run in last night’s contest, continuing his absolutely torrid pace over his last 10 games:
Despite the gaudy fantasy numbers, his Rec BBL of +2 suggests that his recent production has been no fluke. He’s posted an average distance of 255 feet, exit velocity of 95 miles per hour, and 45 percent hard hit rate over his last 11 contests, all of which represent pretty significant increases when compared to his 12-month averages. Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta has also allowed an average of 2.01 home runs per nine innings over the past 12 months, making him one of the most homer-prone pitchers on the slate.
The Red Sox lead the slate with an Opposing Bullpen Rating of 99, which they can potentially leverage if they can knock Blue Jays righty Aaron Sanchez out of the game early. One appealing batter for Boston is Mitch Moreland, who’s on the positive side of his splits facing a right-handed pitcher; he owns a 15-day/12-month distance differential of +13 feet.
After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players herein mentioned. Be sure to stay ahead of your competition with our industry-leading DFS-focused news blurbs: