The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
FanDuel and DraftKings will offer a 13-game all-day slate, along with a four-game (FanDuel, 1:10 p.m. ET) and three-game (DraftKings, 3:05 p.m. ET) early slate.
Both site’s eight-game main slate starts at 7:05 p.m. ET.
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On FanDuel, there are two pitchers who cost more than $10,000:
- Justin Verlander (R) $12,000, HOU @ DET
- Zack Greinke (R) $10,500, ARI vs. PIT
Verlander sits among the top guys in our projections, but he’s not the top guy, which has resulted in a -0.85 Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel. Still, Verlander boasts one of the best combinations of floor and upside against a projected Tigers lineup that carries a 25.9% strikeout rate and .296 Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) against righties over the past year.
Overall, the Tigers have struggled to generate runs against right-handed pitching this season as they rank 27th in Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+), which makes Verlander’s spot even more appealing.
Verlander is a strong option with an 8.5 K Prediction, especially with the Astros checking in at -316 on the moneyline. Historically, pitchers with comparable salaries who are at least -300 favorites have averaged a +5.16 FanDuel Plus/Minus with a 72.4% Consistency Rating, per our Trends tool.
Greinke has been good this season, sporting a 3.19 xFIP and 26.2% strikeout rate. However, the Pirates don’t offer a ton of strikeout upside which is important when you’re paying over $10,000 on both DraftKings and FanDuel for a pitcher. Their projected lineup has a 23.7% strikeout rate and Greinke has a lackluster 5.7 K Prediction. While he may not have much strikeout upside, he did manage to strikeout seven Pirates in their outing earlier in the season.
Another thing in his favor is the Diamondbacks are sitting at -154 on the moneyline as the Pirates are implied for a meager 3.6 runs. Pittsburgh also has an offense that ranks in the bottom half of the league in team wOBA, ISO and wRC+ against right-handed pitchers this season. He’s probably the safest option on the early slate.
Patrick Corbin is a better value on FanDuel with his 77% Bargain Rating, but you’re still getting $1,000 of savings on DraftKings over Verlander. He tops our median projections and leads the day with a +16.03 Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel. Corbin boasts a massive 10.1 K Prediction against a Mets team that is sporting a 30.5% strikeout rate over the past 12 months against left-handed pitchers. A slight concern could be his 95-mph exit velocity and 48% hard-hit rate allowed to opposing hitters over his past two games, but that could be negated by the strikeout potential in this lineup in this spot.
J.A. Happ: He carries an 84% Bargain Rating on the early slate, and he’s probably the next-best option if you don’t want to pay for Greinke. Although, Happ will add some volatility to your lineup given he has an abysmal 38% Consistency Rating this year, compared to 78% for Greinkie. But the Yankees do check in as -254 moneyline favorites while the Orioles are implied for a slate-low 3.4 runs.
Mike Minor: He has some tournament appeal against a Royals team that ranks 26th in both wRC+ and wOBA against left-handed pitching this season. Minor has flashed some strikeout upside this year, striking out seven or more hitters in three of his six starts, and the Royals’ projected lineup has a 25.6% strikeout rate, which is the sixth-highest mark on the main slate.
Eduardo Rodriguez: Some of the Rockies can mash southpaws, but their team overall has been subpar on the road against left-handed pitchers, ranking 20th in both wOBA and wRC+ against them. He owns a decent 6.9 K Prediction, and Rodriguez has been solid over his past two games with his 185-foot average distance, 85-mph exit velocity and 8% hard-hit rate.
- 1. DJ LeMahieu (R)
- 2. Luke Voit (R)
- 3. Aaron Hicks (S)
- 5. Gleybar Torres (R)
Total salary: $18,700
It’s not surprising to see the Yankees rate out as the top stack since their 5.7 implied run total leads DraftKings’ early slate by 1.2 runs as of Wednesday morning. They’ll take on righty David Hess, who owns a low 6.75 K/9 and massive 2.05 HR/9 over the past 12 months.
Voit has pummeled right-handed pitchers over the past year, hitting them to the tune of a .397 wOBA and .269 ISO. Some of the hitters don’t stand out in their metrics, but it’s historically been +EV to target hitters in the top-five of the order in games with comparable implied run totals, as they’ve averaged a +1.20 DraftKings Plus/Minus since 2014.
One of the other top stacks on FanDuel’s main slate from the CSURAM88 Model belongs to the Atlanta Braves.
- 1. Ronald Acuna (R)
- 2. Dansby Swanson (R)
- 4. Josh Donaldson (R)
- 5. Nick Markakis (L)
Total salary: $13,900
The Braves are set to take on Michael Wacha, who has some abysmal Statcast data over his last two starts, allowing opposing hitters to average a ton of hard contact, evidenced by his 96-mph exit velocity and 45% hard-hit rate. The Braves have a Team Value Rating of 73 in our Vegas Dashboard as a result of their 5.2 implied run total, which is a 0.3 increase since their line first opened.
Wacha’s poor Statcast data could pair well with Acuna, who is throttling the baseball over the past two weeks, sporting a 274-foot average distance, 99-mph exit velocity and 62% hard-hit rate — all of which exceed his 15-day/12-month averages by a significant amount. His +60 Recent Batted Ball Luck (RBBL) also suggests positive regressive could be headed his way. Hitters with comparable Statcast data have historically averaged a +2.18 FanDuel Plus/Minus, per our Trends tool.
Overall, everyone in this stack is generating an abundance of hard contact over the past two weeks as they all possess hard-hit rates of 44% or higher, along with exit velocities of at least 94-mph.
If you need some salary relief, Enrique Hernandez is the top-rated second baseman in the Bales Model. He’s hit lefties well over the past yea with a .358 wOBA and .202 ISO. He’s in great form with his Statcast data, averaging a 245-foot average distance, 96-mph exit velocity and 51% hard-hit rate over the past two weeks. Hernandez owns a top-four Projected Plus/Minus on both DraftKings and FanDuel Wednesday night.
Other intriguing salary-relief options are also Rougned Odor and Nomar Mazara. The Rangers own a 5.0 implied run total against Jorge Lopez, so they’d be cheap exposure in the top six of the order against a pitcher who has allowed a .397 wOBA and .282 ISO over his past two starts.
Now that we’ve got the cheap bats out of the way, it’s time to take a peek at the expensive options. The Astros have an absurd 6.2 implied run total, which is the top mark on the main slate by 1.2 runs. Alex Bregman has smoked lefties over the past 12 months, boasting a .405 wOBA and .268 ISO against them. Furthermore, he continues to smash the ball, evidenced by his 247-foot average distance, 98-mph exit velocity and 55% hard-hit rate.
You can also make a case for teammate George Springer, who has averaged a +8.58 FanDuel Plus/Minus with an 80% Consistency Rating over his last 10 games. He also hits lefties well, owning a .373 wOBA and .200 ISO. Opposing pitcher Gregory Soto got lit up for seven runs over four innings in his first major league start recently, which resulted in a .512 wOBA and .333 ISO allowed to opposing hitters.
Good luck, and be sure to check out The Action Network if you’re looking for more in-depth MLB analysis.
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Pictured above: George Springer and Alex Bregman
Photo credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports