The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players. 

Friday features a 13-game slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Pitchers

Studs

Four pitchers on today’s slate own a salary of at least $10,000 on DraftKings:

  • Jacob deGrom (R) $11,300, NYM vs. ATL
  • Lance Lynn (R) $10,500, TEX @ CWS
  • Hyun-jin Ryu (L) $10,200, LAD vs. NYY
  • Jose Berrios (R) $10,000, MIN vs. DET

Jacob deGrom headlines the stud tier on today’s slate, and he’s in the midst of another terrific season for the New York Mets. He’s posted a career-best 11.26 K/9, and his 2.61 ERA is the fourth-best mark in the league. The Mets ace is also one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball, allowing two earned runs or fewer in 15 of his past 16 starts.

With that in mind, he’s hard to dislike even in a difficult matchup vs. the Braves. His 3.2 opponent implied team total ranks second on the slate, while his -182 moneyline odds rank sixth. deGrom has historically crushed with comparable Vegas data, posting an average Plus/Minus of +4.10 and a Consistency Rating of 71.2% on DraftKings (per the Trends tool). He also leads all pitchers with a K Prediction of 7.7.

Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom.

Lynn is an interesting pivot for those looking to avoid deGrom’s high ownership in guaranteed prize pools (GPPs). He has a lot of positive factors in his favor vs. the Chicago White Sox.

For starters, the White Sox have been brutal offensively against right-handers since the All-Star break, ranking dead last in wRC+. They’ve also struck out at the fifth-highest rate over that time frame.

Lynn should also benefit from getting to pitch on the road in Chicago. He’s been much better when pitching away from home this season, posting a 3.17 ERA while increasing his K/9 to 11.04.

He’s a better option today on FanDuel, where his $9,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 83%.

Ryu has dominated opponents all season, resulting in a league-best ERA of 1.64. His ERA drops to 0.81 when pitching at home, which is where he’ll take the mound today vs. the Yankees.

That said, the Yankees are an absolutely brutal matchup for any pitcher in any venue. They’ve been extremely potent against left-handers since the All-Star break, posting a 172 wRC+. That’s the best mark over that time frame by a wide margin.

The Yankees have also cut their strikeout rate to just 19.7% against left-handers over the second half of the season, and Ryu is not exactly a strikeout pitcher to begin with. He’s posted a K/9 of just 7.64 this season, which gives him very little upside in this matchup.

Berrios rounds out the stud tier, and he has arguably the best matchup of the day vs. the Detroit Tigers. They’ve been abysmal against right-handers this season, and their projected lineup boasts a .267 wOBA against right-handers over the past 12 months. Berrios’ resulting opponent implied team total of 3.3 runs ranks third on the slate, while his -322 moneyline odds rank first.

He’s an elite option at just $8,800 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 91%. Historically, pitchers with comparable Vegas data and Bargain Ratings have averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.26.

Values

There are some strong options to pay up for today, but Jack Flaherty might be the best pitching option on the slate. He’s priced at a slight discount compared to the stud tier, and he’s been arguably the best pitcher in baseball over the second half of the season. He’s increased his K/9 to 11.42 while limiting opposing batters to a .207 wOBA, resulting in an ERA of just 0.83.

Flaherty takes the mound at home today in an elite matchup vs. the Colorado Rockies. They’ve been dreadful when facing a right-hander on the road this season, ranking 29th in wRC+. Flaherty leads all pitchers with a 3.1 opponent implied team total, and he’s a strong -246 favorite as well.

Flaherty’s Statcast data from his past two starts is also excellent. He’s limited opposing batters to an average distance of 198 feet, exit velocity of 88 miles per hour and hard hit rate of 34%, all of which represent decreases when compared to his 12-month averages.

This is a smash spot.

Eduardo Rodriguez is another pitcher with an excellent matchup today. He’s taking on the San Diego Padres, and their projected lineup has struggled to a .287 wOBA and 27.2% strikeout rate against southpaws over the past 12 months.

Rodriguez should also benefit from getting to pitch in San Diego. It rewards him with a Park Factor of 84, which is one of the best marks on the slate. ESPN also ranks Petco Park as the fourth-best venue for pitchers this season.

Zack Greinke deserves some consideration on DraftKings, where he’s one of the best pure values of the day. He’s currently priced at just $8,800, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 98%.

He also has a solid matchup vs. the Los Angeles Angels. He owns a 3.4 opponent implied team total and -267 moneyline odds, both of which are top-four marks on the slate.

The only real knock on Greinke is his lack of strikeout upside. He’s a low-strikeout pitcher at this point in his career, and the Angels have been one of the toughest teams to strike out this season. He’s a better option for cash games than GPPs.

Fastballs

Vincent Velazquez: He’s the best option on DraftKings if you’re looking to spend down at SP2. He has an elite matchup vs. the Miami Marlins, who have allowed the second-highest average Plus/Minus to right-handers this season.

Jordan Lyles: He’s had some nice starts since getting traded to the Brewers, and he’s a -148 favorite vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks. He should command minimal ownership for GPPs, but he does have some upside.

Notable Stacks

With the Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into DFS lineups. Today’s top five-man DraftKings stack per the Bales Model belongs to the Philadelphia Phillies:

  • 1. Rhys Hoskins (R)
  • 2. Bryce Harper (L)
  • 3. J.T. Realmuto (R)
  • 5. Jean Segura (R)
  • 6. Cesar Hernandez (S)

Total Salary: $22,100

The Phillies could be a bit overlooked on today’s slate. They’re currently implied for 5.1 runs, which ranks as just the sixth-highest mark.

That said, they have an excellent matchup vs. Marlins right-hander Hector Noesi. He’s been dreadful in three starts this season, pitching to a 9.39 ERA and 8.36 FIP. He’s also really struggled with the long ball, allowing batters to post an average of 3.52 HRs per nine innings.

Hoskins is not your typical leadoff hitter, but he stands out in this matchup. Noesi has allowed a .409 wOBA to right-handed batters this season, and Hoskins has posted a .359 wOBA and .253 ISO against right-handers over the past 12 months. He also enters this contest with solid recent Statcast marks, and his $4,200 salary on DraftKings comes with a Bargain Rating of 94%. He’s one of the best hitting options on the slate.

The Phillies also own the top four-man FanDuel stack, so lets focus on the Milwaukee Brewers instead:

  • 1. Trent Grisham (L)
  • 2. Yasmani Grandal (S)
  • 3. Christian Yelich (L)
  • 4. Keston Hiura (R)

Total Salary: $14,500

The Brewers are currently implied for 5.6 runs, which is the fourth-highest mark on the slate. They’re in a nice spot today vs. Diamondbacks right-hander Merrill Kelly, who has pitched to a mediocre 4.63 ERA this season. The Brewers have feasted on right-handers in Milwaukee since the All-Star break, ranking sixth in wRC+.

Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich

Grisham has struggled a bit over the past 15 days, but his Statcast data suggests he’s due for some positive regression. He’s hit the ball hard over that time frame, resulting in a 15-day/12-month hard-hit differential of +16%. He’s an excellent value across the industry, but his $3,500 salary on DraftKings is particularly appealing.

Other Batters

The Minnesota Twins lead the slate with an implied team total of 6.3 runs, which will likely make them a popular target on today’s slate. That said, Jake Cave is a cheap way to get exposure to them at relatively low ownership. He’s expected to occupy the ninth spot in the lineup, but Cave’s 10 Pro Trends are still tied for the most among batters on DraftKings.

Historically, batters in the bottom-third of the lineup with a comparable salary and number of Pro Trends have averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.12 on DraftKings.

Jarrod Dyson stands out as one of the best pure values on FanDuel, where his $2,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%. He’ll be on the positive side of his splits vs. Lyles, and Dyson is also one of the best stolen base threats on the slate. He’s averaged .169 steals per game over the past 12 months, which ranks seventh among projected starters.

Good luck, and be sure to check out The Action Network if you’re looking for more in-depth MLB analysis.

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.

Pictured above: Cardinals SP Jack Flaherty (22)
Photo credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports