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

Thursday’s main slate features five games starting at 7:10 pm ET.


The four pitchers projected to score the most fantasy points in our Player Models are:

  • Triston McKenzie (R)
  • Eduardo Rodriguez (L)
  • Mike Minor (L)
  • Shane McClanahan (R)

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Triston McKenzie is coming off back-to-back great outings for the Cleveland Indians. In his last two starts, McKenzie threw a combined 15 innings of three-hit baseball where he allowed only one earned run while striking out 19. Today, he will be on the mound facing the Kansas City Royals, hoping to continue his strong form. While both teams are practically eliminated from playoff contention, the Indians have won seven of their last 10 games and are looking to complete a sweep on the Royals. The Bales Model considers McKenzie a middle-of-the-pack pitcher today by rating. However, he does have the highest Ceiling Projection on the slate.

Another pitcher with an unattractive ERA is Eduardo Rodriguez from the Boston Red Sox. In 126.2 innings, he has a 5.12 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 10-7 record, and 150 strikeouts. Rodriguez did allow two home runs in his last start, but he also threw his highest pitch count all season. A high pitch count usually equates to a higher possibility to score fantasy points. Rodriguez is projected for the second-highest pitch count on the slate today as he takes on the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays are projected for a moderately high implied run total tonight (4.6 runs), but they rank second in team strikeouts (1,296). If Rodriguez can keep batters guessing he has the ability to put up a large sum of fantasy points today.

The second highest-rated pitcher in the Bales Model today for DraftKings is Mike Minor from the Kansas City Royals. This game is projected to be a pitching duel with McKenzie pitching opposite of him. Minor’s 5.30 ERA and 1.27 WHIP aren’t great, but he has done a great job of damage control recently. Oddly enough, Minor has allowed two home runs in four of his last five starts. That statistic is not ideal as the Indians rank 11th in the league with 170 team home runs.

The highest-priced pitcher on the main slate today is Shane McClanahan from the Tampa Bay Rays. McClanahan has won each of his last five outings. It is worth noting that three of those wins came against the Baltimore Orioles who have the worst record in baseball (41-91). Assigned with a tougher task today, McClanahan will be on the mound against the Boston Red Sox who are projected for the lowest implied runs total on the slate (3.5 runs).


Carlos Carrasco is a pitcher worth strong consideration today as he will be on the hill against the Miami Marlins. For a few reasons, Carrasco is by far the highest-rated pitcher on Bales Model tonight on both DraftKings and FanDuel. The first is that his moderately low price makes him a nice bargain play. Second, the Marlins have struggled to score runs recently, they have put up nine runs total in their last four games. Lastly, the Marlins strike out more than the norm. After 133 games played, the Marlins rank third in the league with 1,274 team strikeouts.

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Notable Stack

With the Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into DFS rosters.

Today’s top projected-points stack comes to you from the -165 Atlanta Braves:

  • Joc Pederson (L)
  • Jorge Soler (R)
  • Freddie Freeman (L)
  • Austin Riley (R)

The Braves are projected for the highest implied runs total on the slate today (7.1 runs). After three consecutive road losses to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Braves batters get the luxury of playing at Coors Field. This team is stacked from top to bottom with heavy-hitters who all have the ability to go yard. Although he did not allow a home run last outing, Chi Chi Gonzalez from the Colorado Rockies just ended a streak in which he allowed at least one home run in nine straight games. On FanDuel, this stack will cost you $14.2K in salary and are projected for a combined 49.7 fantasy points.

Per the FanasyLabs Trends tool, hitters featured in games with comparable implied run totals have averaged a solid 12.89 FanDuel points per game with +2.14 Plus/Minus.

Other Hitters

The highest-rated floor play in the Bales Model tonight that is not playing at Coors Field is Peter Alonso from the New York Mets. Alonso is in search of his 30th home run this season as he will be up to bat against Sandy Alcantara from the Miami Marlins. After the day off yesterday (the game was postponed), Alonso will be looking to start the month of September hot.

Another batter worth considering is Whit Merrifield from the Kansas City Royals. Merrifield’s numbers are down recently, but he has collected at least one hit in six of his last seven games. Hoping to put some of these hits together and increase his .280 batting average, Merrifield is projected to bat leadoff for the Royals.


Finally, here is a handful of batters to consider while completing your lineups today that are projected for a high fantasy points/salary:

  • Brandon Nimmo
  • Jordan Luplow
  • Ben Gamel
  • Jeff McNeil
  • Colin Moran

Pictured above: Freddie Freeman
Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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.