The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Friday features a 14-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Three pitchers on today’s slate own a salary of at least $10,000 on FanDuel:
- Hyun-jin Ryu (L) $10,800, LAD @ WSH
- Zach Greinke (R) $10,200, ARI @ MIA
- Lance Lynn (R) $10,000, TEX @ OAK
Ryu has been an excellent fantasy value this season, posting an average Plus/Minus of +3.59 on FanDuel. He leads the league with a 1.76 ERA, while his 2.85 FIP ranks third. He’s been a pedestrian strikeout pitcher, posting a K/9 of just 8.20, but he makes up for it with one of the best batted-ball profiles in baseball.
He’s been particularly good in that department recently. Ryu has limited his past two opponents to an average distance of 158 feet, exit velocity of 89 feet and hard hit rate of 32%. His recent distance is particularly impressive and represents a decrease of -35 feet when compared to his 12-month average. Historically, pitchers with comparable marks have averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.12 on FanDuel (per the Trends tool).
Unfortunately, he’s in a tough spot today vs. the Washington Nationals. Their projected lineup has posted a .321 wOBA against right-handers over the past 12 months, and they’re currently implied for 4.2 runs. Ryu has had an opponent implied team total above 4.0 in only five starts this season, and one of them was in Coors Field. He carries more risk than usual on today’s slate.
Greinke figures to be the chalk starting pitching option today. He’s in an elite spot vs. the Miami Marlins, who rank dead last in runs per game this season. Their projected lineup has struggled against right-handers in particular over the past 12 months, posting a .300 wOBA and 30.3% strikeout rate. Overall, he leads all pitchers in opponent implied team total (3.2 runs) and K Prediction (8.1), while his moneyline odds rank second. Historically, pitchers with comparable marks in all three categories have averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.08 on FanDuel.
Greinke should also benefit from getting to face the Marlins in Miami. It results in a Park Factor of 83, which is one of the top marks on the slate.
Lynn has been one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season. He’s pitched to a 3.93 ERA with the Texas Rangers, and his 3.00 FIP is one of the best marks in the league. He’s also increased his K/9 to 10.13, and he leads all AL pitchers with 4.6 wins above replacement. Lynn has been a particularly strong fantasy asset recently, averaging a Plus/Minus of +8.23 over his past 10 starts on FanDuel.
That said, he has a brutal matchup today vs. the Oakland Athletics. Their projected lineup has posted a .341 wOBA and 22.9% strikeout rate against right-handers over the past 12 months, and they’re currently implied for 4.7 runs. Lynn is also a slight underdog given his +105 moneyline odds.
Still, he deserves some consideration for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs) on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 83%. He’s currently projected for just 5-8% ownership, and his K Prediction of 7.9 ranks second on the slate.
Joey Lucchesi checks a lot of boxes on today’s slate. He has an elite matchup vs. the San Francisco Giants, who have been dreadful against left-handed pitchers over the past 12 months. Their projected lineup has posted a .252 wOBA and 28.3% strikeout rate over that time frame, and they rank 29th in wRC+ against southpaws this season. They’re currently implied for just 3.7 runs, which is the second-lowest mark on the slate.
Lucchesi has also posted solid Statcast marks over his past two starts. He’s limited opposing batters to an average distance of 204 feet and hard hit rate of 34%, both of which represent decreases when compared to his 12-month averages. Those starts have also come against solid offenses in the Cubs and Braves, which makes his recent marks even more impressive. He should have a much easier time today vs. the Giants.
Don’t overlook Ryan Yarbrough today just because he isn’t starting. He’s expected to see the majority of the Rays innings out of the bullpen, and he’s been outstanding recently. He’s allowed just three earned runs over his past 24.1 innings pitched, and his Statcast data from his past two outings is phenomenal. Opposing batters have managed an average distance of 163 feet, exit velocity of 84 miles per hour and hard hit rate of 3%, all of which are among the best marks on the slate.
Yarbrough is also in a great spot vs. the Toronto Blue Jays. They rank just 27th in wRC+ and have posted the eighth-highest strikeout rate against right-handers this season. Yarbrough is a particularly strong option on FanDuel, where his $7,100 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 85%.
Zack Wheeler: He has a great matchup vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates, resulting in -170 moneyline odds and a 3.9 opponent implied team total. That said, he’s expected to be limited to around 80 pitches, so he doesn’t offer much upside for GPPs.
Nick Tropeano: He’s been a disaster this season, pitching to a 10.49 FIP through 8.2 MLB innings, but he does have a great matchup vs. the Orioles. His -210 moneyline odds are the top mark on the slate, while his 3.9 opponent implied team total is tied for third.
- 1. Ji-Man Choi (L)
- 2. Austin Meadows (L)
- 5. Avisail Garcia (R)
- 7. Joey Wendle (L)
- 9. Willy Adames (R)
Total Salary: $17,800
The Rays are currently implied for 5.2 runs, which is tied for the sixth-highest mark on the slate. That said, they represent one of the best pure values on DraftKings. Their Team Value Rating ranks second, and their top stack will set you back just $17,800. They’re very easy to pair with an expensive pitcher or two on today’s slate.
They’re taking on Blue Jays right-hander Jacob Waguespack, who will be making just his third start at the MLB level. He doesn’t profile as a big league starter, and he’s pitched to a 5.68 ERA through 19.0 innings this season. He’s struggled in particular in righty-righty matchups, allowing right-handed batters to post a .435 wOBA and club three HRs over 10.1 innings.
That bodes well for Garcia, who enters this contest in good recent form. He’s posted an average distance of 227 feet over his past 10 games, resulting in a 15-day/12-month distance differential of +18 feet.
If you’re looking to go with a value option at pitcher on FanDuel, consider pairing him with the Minnesota Twins:
- 1. Max Kepler (L)
- 2. Jorge Polanco (S)
- 3. Nelson Cruz (R)
- 5. Miguel Sano (R)
Total Salary: $14,900
The Twins are currently implied for 5.7 runs, which ranks second on today’s slate. They’re taking on White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease, who has pitched to a 6.19 ERA and 5.41 FIP this season. The Twins rank first in the league in ISO against right-handers, so they can do some serious damage in this matchup.
Kepler will be on the positive side of his splits vs. Cease, and he’s posted a .357 wOBA and .259 ISO against right-handers over the past 12 months. He’s also swung the bat well recently, outperforming his 12-month averages in distance, exit velocity and hard hit rate over the past 15 days.
Joc Pederson is in a potential smash spot vs. Anibal Sanchez today. Left-handed batters have crushed Sanchez this season, averaging 2.09 HRs per nine innings, and Pederson has displayed immense power against right-handed pitchers. He’s posted a .313 ISO against right-handers in 2019, and each of his 23 home runs have come against right-handed pitchers.
Francisco Lindor is one of the best values of the day on DraftKings, where his $4,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 91%. The Indians are currently implied for 5.0 runs vs. Royals right-hander Jakob Junis, and Lindor has posted a 125 wRC+ against right-handers this season. He’s also posted solid Statcast data over the past 15 days, outperforming his 12-month averages in distance, exit velocity and hard hit rate.
Tom Murphy is an interesting target at the catcher position. He’ll be on the positive side of his batting splits vs. Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris, and Murphy has posted a .378 wOBA and .260 ISO against left-handers over the past 12 months. He’s also expected to occupy the No. 5 spot in the lineup – which is nice for a catcher – and his Statcast data suggests he’s been one of the unluckiest batters in fantasy over the past 15 days.
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: Rays P Ryan Yarbrough (48)
Photo credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports