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

Saturday is a busy day in the MLB. Both DraftKings and FanDuel offer a full 15-game main slate starting at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Pitchers

Studs

  • Mike Clevinger (R) $10,400, CLE vs. KC
  • Luis Castillo (R) $9,800 CIN vs DET

Clevinger is coming off a great year that was started late due to a back injury. He had a 2.71 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 15.7 SwK and 165 BPV in 126 IP.

The 29-year-old backs his career-high SwK with four elite pitches: A slider (23% SwK), curveball (16% SwK), change-up (14% SwK) and four-seam fastball (13% SwK). He was nothing short of nasty and should challenge for the Cy Young this year. He gets his first start of 2020 against Kansas City. This is one of Clevinger’s favorite teams to face as he went 3-0 in three starts in 2019 with a 0.96 ERA against Kansas City. In his career vs. the current Kansas City roster, Clevinger has a 1.88 FIP and 30% SwK.

Clevinger is the highest-priced pitcher on Fan Duel and he is worth every penny. He also draws Kansas City at home wherein 2019 he had a 1.78 ERA compared to a 3.58 ERA on the road. All signs point to Clevinger continuing what teammate Shane Bieber did yesterday to Kansas City.

Back Clevinger with confidence.

Castillo comes into his first start of 2020 off a career year. In 2019, he had a 3.40 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 16.4 SwK and 124 BPV in 196 IP. The 27-year-old gets to open the 2020 season at home where he has been dominant in the last two years. He has a 3.29 ERA at home compared to a 4.54 ERA on the road.

Castillo gets to face the Tigers, who have struggled when facing Castillo. In his career vs. the current Detroit roster, he has held the Tigers to .154 average. He has a 20% SwK and 2.26 FIP. Castillo comes into this one priced as the third-highest priced option on FanDuel at $9,800.

He finished 2019 strong with a 156 BPV in the second half. He had a filthy 17% SwK in the second half and looks like he is in for a breakout year behind a strong Cincinnati lineup. Look for Castillo to get off to a quick start in 2020 and back him today against Detroit.

Value

  • Max Fried (L) $7,500, ATL vs. NYM

Fried showed flashes of being an elite SP in 2019. He finished the year with a 4.02 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 11.9 SwK and 132 BPV in 166 IP. He had a few hiccups in the middle of the season but came on strong in August and September. He had a 176 BPV in August and a 141 BPV in September.

When you dig further into Fried, you will see that he had an xERA of 3.54, which is 0.48 lower than his ERA. Fried also had a 20% HR/F, but an xHR/F of 16%. His ability to avoid barrels (4.4%-barrel rate) suggests that he was unlucky in 2019. In his final six starts, Fried walked only six batters. That output over a full season would be a 4.3% BB%.

Another encouraging sign is that he recorded a double-digit SwK in both August and September on each of his four primary pitches.

Fried opens up 2020 in New York to face the Mets. The 26-year-old fared well against New York in 2019. He went 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA, 3.19 xERA and 141 BPV. In his career against the current New York roster, he has a 28.8% SwK with a 2.33 FIP. Fried is priced at a very reasonable $7,500. Look for Fried to continue to grow in 2020 starting today against New York.

Fastball

  • Ryan Yarbrough (R) $6,500, TB vs TOR

Yarbrough comes into 2020 as a full-time starter. In 2019 he had 28 appearances, 14 as a starter and 14 as the bulk reliever after the opener. The 28-year-old had a 4.13 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 10.6 SwK, and 121 BPV in 142 IP.

Do not let the 4+ ERA scare you away.

He has pinpoint control and improved throughout the year in every category. Yarbrough’s skills surged in the second half with a 135 BPV in 81 IP. He is a sneaky play against a Toronto team that has struggled against Yarbrough in 2019. Yarbrough was 3-1 with a 2.18 ERA against Toronto in 2019 and has held the current Toronto roster to a lifetime .200 BA. He can be found for $6,500 on FanDuel.

Yarbrough is a sneaky play who is worth the gamble.

Notable Stacks

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

  • 1. Andrew McCutchen(R)
  • 2. Rhys Hoskins (R)
  • 3. Bryce Harper (L)

Total Salary: $13,600

Today’s top three-man stack on FanDuel (per the Bales Model) also features the Philadelphia Phillies:

  • 1. Andrew McCutchen(R)
  • 2. Rhys Hoskins (R)
  • 3. Bryce Harper (L)

Total Salary: $10,100

Philadelphia is coming off a disappointing opening day loss and will look to rebound today against Miami. Philadelphia will look to bounce back as they face Miami left-hander Caleb Smith.

Smith comes into this one with a career 4.70 FIP vs. the current Philadelphia lineup. Smith is about a below-average starting pitcher, who had a 4.52 ERA in 2019. McCutchen comes into this one with .591 BA and 1 HR in his career vs Smith. Look for him to excel in this spot.

Batters

Freddy Galvis had new career highs in HR (23) and RBI (70) in 2019. He will look to build off his 2019 career year with an even better 2020. The 30-year-old gets to face Ivan Nova today, who he has had success against. In 17 career ABs against Nova, Galvis has hit .529 with 1 HR. You can find Galvis on FanDuel at the cheap price of $2,400.

Khris Davis had a down year in 2019 with 23 HR, 73 RBI and a .220 BA in 481 AB. The 32-year-old spent most on the season battling various injuries (hip and hand injuries suffered in May). Before the injuries, he slugged 10 HR in April, but just 13 HR in his last 362 AB. Davis had a great three-year run from 2016-2018, during which he lead all of MLB with 133 HR.

I am willing to give Davis an injury mulligan in 2019. He gets to face Dylan Bundy today, and Davis has found a lot of success in his career vs Bundy. Davis has hit .462 with 3 HR in 13 AB vs Bundy. Davis can be found at a reasonable price of $2,700 on FanDuel.

J.D. Martinez is coming off another strong year with 36 HR, 105 RBI and a .304 BA in 575 AB. The 32-year-old loves to hit at Fenway, where he has 44 HR and a .305 BA over the last two years. He gets to face Alex Cobb today who he has owned in 16 career AB. Martinez has hit .563 with 1 HR in his career vs Cobb. Looking closer at the numbers Martinez has been a bit unlucky as his xBA vs Cobb is .617.

If you’re looking to back a big bat today look no further than Martinez, who is priced at $3,900 on FanDuel.