The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Monday’s main slate features seven games starting at 7:05 pm ET. We’ll be using Bales Player Model to highlight some of the top options to consider.
The four pitchers projected to score the most fantasy points today in our Player Models are:
- Freddy Peralta (R)
- Robbie Ray (L)
- Sean Manaea (L)
- Nestor Cortes (L)
Four starts ago, Freddy Peralta left after two innings due to shoulder discomfort. He missed some time and, upon his return, struggled in two starts, pitching only two and 3 2/3 innings, respectively while posting scores of 0.9 and 11.26 DraftKings points. Everything looks fine and dandy now, though, as he went six innings and struck out nine Tigers to post 29.1 DraftKings points in his most recent start. When healthy, Peralta has been one of the best pitchers in the league, posting season numbers of 12.25 K/9, 0.81 HR/9, 3.05 FIP, and 14.1% swinging-strike rate.
The Vegas Dashboard has the Cardinals projected for only 3.3 runs, which is tied for the lowest on the slate. There are some things to consider, though. The Consistency rating is only 53% on the year for Peralta and in six career starts against the Cardinals, Peralta has a 16.7% Consistency rating and a Plus/Minus of -8.71 per the Trends tool.
That said, the Player model has Peralta with the highest Projected Plus/Minus on the slate at 7.9.
Robbie Ray has an 84% Consistency rating on the season and 80% over the last month. That is something I never imagined writing, but here we are. The walks and control have always been an issue for Ray, which had always made him such a volatile pitcher. The BB/9 was a whopping 7.84 last season and 4.34 and 5.09 in the prior two seasons. This year, that number is all the way down to 2.23.
The long ball has always been an issue, but since he’s allowing fewer free passes the impact has been mitigated. As a result, he’s posting a career-low 3.36 FIP and the swinging-strike rate is at a career-high 15.8%.
He gets a fantastic matchup today as the Rays are third in strikeouts against left-handed pitching and 17th in ISO. Over the last three seasons, Ray has faced Tampa Bay five times. Per the Trends tool, he has posted a 100% Consistency rating and a Plus/Minus of 14.42 points. One of those starts was when he had horrific control issues.
Ray is the highest-priced pitcher on the slate but he still garners a 77% Bargain rating.
As with Peralta, Sean Manaea has had some consistency issues. The Consistency rating on the year is only 56% and over the past month, 50% of his outings have been Duds. Out of the top four projected pitchers, Manaea has the highest HR/9.
Not all is bad, though, as the matchup is a good one. The Mariners are only implied for 3.5 runs and Manaea has been successful against them recently. Per the Trends tool, over the last three seasons, he’s faced the Mariners four times, posting a 75% Consistency rating and a Plus/Minus of 10.81. The Mariners are fourth in strikeouts against left-handed pitching and 21st in ISO.
Nestor Cortes is the cheapest of the four pitchers at $8,600, yet the Bargain rating is only 44%. He’s not a huge strikeout pitcher as the swinging-strike rate is only 10% and the K/9 is 9.83. The Rangers also are 17th in strikeouts against left-handed pitching. The Rangers are 29th in ISO against left-handed pitching, though, and Cortes allows 1.24 HR/9.
Cortes has been fortunate in his 79 2/3 innings pitched, as the BABIP is only .255 and the LOB% is at 86.5%. The FIP is 3.71 while the ERA is 3.09. Some regression should be in store at some point, but the Rangers are pretty inept on offense so that party probably won’t start today. The Vegas Dashboard has the Rangers implied for a paltry 3.4 runs.
Ranger Suárez had been in the bullpen for much of the season but since joining the starting rotation on August 2nd, he’s posted a 2.68 FIP in nine starts. The K/9 is only 9.07 and the walk rate is a little elevated at 3.5 but he’s allowed only one home run in 43 2/3 innings, primarily due to his 57.3% GB%.
The Orioles are tough against left-handed pitching as they are 13th in strikeouts and 10th in ISO. That said, Suárez has exceeded points expectations 88% of the time in his starts and produced a Plus/Minus of 5.08.
At $6,500, he has a 99% Bargain rating and is projected for the second-highest Plus/Minus on the slate at 7.5. It helps that the Vegas Dashboard has the Orioles implied for only 3.3 runs today.
With the Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into DFS rosters.
The top projected stack is……Drum roll, please? Houston. Shocker. Every time the Astros are on the slate, the Player model loves this stack. And for good reason, because they have a great offense and usually have a high implied run total. A five-player Astros stack will cost $23.5K on DraftKings with a projection of 48.8 points.
- Yuli Gurriel (R)
- Jose Altuve (R)
- Alex Bregman (R)
- Carlos Correa (R)
- Yordan Alvarez (L)
The Astros are implied for 5.4 runs, tied for second-highest on the slate. They get to face, uh, I mean tee off on Angels pitching today. Jaime Barría gets the start and he has a 5.47 K/9, 3.47 BB/8, 1.28 HR/9, and a 5.07 FIP. The swinging-strike rate is 7.8%. To be fair, he’s only allowed four earned runs in seven innings pitched against the Astros this season.
Yuli Gurriel is the second-highest rated first baseman in the Bales Model. Against right-handed pitching, he has a .314/.377/.425 slash with a .110 ISO. He will bat fifth in the lineup.
Unlike Gurriel, Jose Altuve has more power against righties. The slash is .275/.362/.503 with a .223 ISO. He will bat leadoff in the order, and it helps that the Astros are the visiting team.
Alex Bregman bats second in the order and, while he’s better against lefties, he’s no slouch against righties. The slash is .276/.344/.429 with a .153 ISO.
Carlos Correa bats third and he has more power against righties than lefties. The slash is .275/.352/.512 with a .237 ISO.
Yordan Alvarez is the cleanup hitter for the Astros, and for a good reason. He has 31 home runs and 98 RBI on the season. For a power hitter, the .276/.347/.533 slash is mighty impressive. Barría is much worse against lefties than righties as the FIP is 5.98, K/9 is 3.86, and HR/9 is 1.65.
Freddie Freeman has a .308/.408/.531 slash with a .223 ISO against right-handed pitching. He gets to face Humberto Mejía, who has the highest-WHIP on the slate at 1.54 and second-highest HR/9 at 1.63. The Player model also has him projected for a -4.51 Plus/Minus. Once he’s out of the game, the Diamondbacks’ bullpen has the highest FIP in the league.
Speaking of negative Plus/Minus, A.J. Alexy is projected for -9.11, the lowest on the slate. Aaron Judge should feast in this one. Against righties, Alexy does have a 10.57 K/9 but the BB/9 is 8.22, HR/9 is 2.35, and FIP is 7.33. Judge has a .283/.360/.530 slash with a .247 ISO. It’s remarkable that his numbers against left-handed pitching are almost identical.
Kolten Wong will likely bat leadoff for the Brewers and face Jake Woodford, who has a 6.75 K/9, 1.88 HR/9, and 4.68 FIP against lefties. Wong has a .263/.333/.442 slash with a .179 ISO against right-handed pitching. He also has 10 stolen bases on the season so there are multiple paths to fantasy goodies.
Eddie Rosario will likely bat seventh for the Braves. He has a .265/.318/.480 slash with a .215 ISO against right-handed pitching and is only $2,500.
After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players. Be sure to stay ahead of your competition with our industry-leading DFS-focused news blurbs.
Photo Credit: Mark Blinch/Getty Images
Pictured: Robbie Ray