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MLB DFS Breakdown (Tuesday, Apr. 19): Corbin Burnes is Hard to Ignore

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

Tuesday’s main slate features eleven games starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.

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MLB DFS Pitching Picks

MLB DFS Stud Picks

Corbin Burnes ($10,500) Milwaukee Brewers (-275) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Burnes is clearly the top overall pitching play on the slate. The Pirates have an implied Vegas total of fewer than three runs and are massive underdogs against the Brewers. Picking on the Pirates will be a popular strategy all year — even with lesser pitchers than Burnes.

Burnes had a tremendous 2021, with a strikeout rate over 35% while holding opposing batters under a .200 batting average. He’s picked up right where he left off, with a 2.25 ERA and a strikeout per inning to start 2022. Burnes is the leader in our median, ceiling, and Pts/SAl projections for Tuesday’s slate.

There are other strong options at the top of the slate, but given the Vegas data Burnes is likely to be the clear leader in ownership. That’s probably worth a fade in tournaments on FanDuel (since we can only use one pitcher), but we can differentiate elsewhere on DraftKings. He’s a lock button cash game play on both sites.

Thanks to his slate-leading K prediction, he’s also extremely difficult to fade for DraftKings GPPs.

Robbie Ray ($9,800) Seattle Mariners (-138) vs. Texas Rangers

Ray is the second-best option today, with similar underlying metrics to Burnes. His opponents (the Rangers) are implied for only 3.6 runs, among the lowest totals on the slate. His 7.96 K prediction ranks just behind Burnes as well. He also trails only Burnes in median and ceiling projection.

Ray will probably come at an ownership discount as well, given his poor performance in his last start against the White Sox. He was much better in his first start of the season, though, throwing seven innings of one-run ball. Ray also benefits from the conditions in Seattle, with a Park factor and Weather Rating both over 70.

Ray is a solid pivot from Burnes, with Ray-Burnes pairings also likely to be fairly contrarian. While both pitchers will garner high ownership on their own accord, the combined price tag of over $20,000 makes it hard to fit them together. If there are cheap bats that perform well tonight, it could easily end up as the optimal pairing, though.


MLB DFS Value Pick

Cole Irvin ($6,300) Oakland A’s (-145) vs. Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles scored only one run against the A’s last night, as starter Frankie Montas shut them down. This time it’s Irvin’s turn. Irvin has struggled so far in 2022, with an ERA over five and a strikeout rate of under 13%. Both of those numbers are considerably worse than his numbers from last season, though, so brighter days are likely ahead.

Plus, there’s nothing like a game against Baltimore to break out of a slump. Home pitchers against the Orioles will be solid choices all year. The Orioles offensive weaknesses are somewhat mitigated in their hitter-friendly home park, but Oakland is far more pitcher-friendly.

Irvin leads our projections in Pts/Sal by a wide margin. He’s a solid pick to pair with one of the expensive pitchers on the slate, as the salary savings allows you to still roster hitters at Coors Field.


MLB DFS GPP Picks

Walker Buehler ($10,700) Los Angeles Dodgers (-149) vs. Atlanta Braves

Buehler is an interesting option tonight. He’s probably the best overall pitcher on the slate, but he’s also taking on one of the top offenses in baseball in the Braves. Vegas has the advantage going to Buehler, though, with the Dodgers as -149 favorites and the Braves implied for only 3.7 runs.

Buehler has had a slow — by his standards — start to the year, putting up under 30 DraftKings points in his first two starts. His strikeout rate is under 20% at the moment, well below his 26.6% career average. Of course, one of those starts was at Coors Field, so things should be looking up for Buehler.

He’s the definition of pay-up to be contrarian here, as he’s more expensive than Burnes and Ray while projecting somewhat worse. I’ve got no problem betting on talent, though, so if we can get Buehler at an ownership discount, he’s worth a look.

MLB DFS Hitters

Notable Stack

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

Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups.

The top DraftKings stack in the FantasyLabs MLB Tournament Model when generated by rating belongs to the Philadelphia Phillies:

  • J.T. Realmuto (1) ($5,300)
  • Rhys Hoskins (2) ($5,500)
  • Bryce Harper (3) ($6,100)
  • Nick Castellanos (4) ($5,900)
  • Kyle Schwarber (5) ($5,500)

Get used to seeing the Phillies make the top stacks list throughout their series at Coors Field. While the group disappointed yesterday — scoring only one run — oddsmakers have them implied for a slate leading six-run total tonight.

The matchup with lefty Kyle Freeland is a bit more difficult on paper than against Chad Kuhl yesterday. However, Kuhl throws right-handed, which benefits a few of the Phillies hitters. Castellanos and Hoskins, in particular, feast on left-handed pitching. Both hitters have career OPS numbers at least 80 points higher against southpaws.

Besides the platoon advantage, expect some natural regression for the Philadelphia lineup. We wouldn’t expect a lineup with as many power bats as they have to score only one run at Coors field very often. Hopefully, the high prices on these hitters keeps ownership at a reasonable level following last night’s dud.


Top Stacking Pick from THE BAT X

One of the great features of being a FantasyLabs Pro member is the option to purchase additional items in the FantasyLabs Marketplace.

A new addition to our MLB projections is THE BAT from Derek Carty of RotoGrinders. With this purchase, you can use his projections alone or create aggregate projections in our Player Models.

The top DraftKings stack from THE BAT, when generated by ceiling (outside of Phillies stacks), belongs to the Los Angeles Dodgers:

 


Outside of the game at Coors Field, the Dodgers have the best ceiling projections, according to THE BAT. They have a difficult matchup with Braves ace, left-hander Max Fried. Despite the matchup, the Dodgers are implied for a solid 4.5 run total.

The real appeal to the Dodgers stack is the minuscule ownership projections, though. THE BAT doesn’t have a single Dodger projected over four percent, which means the leverage would be tremendous if their lineup performs moderately well. While the platoon splits make Freeman a bit unappealing, Chris Taylor ($4,100) and Will Smith ($4,100) could be swapped in.

Both of those two bat right-handed, and Taylor, in particular, does his best work against left-handed pitching. Be sure to follow our Lineups Page as starters are released. It wouldn’t shock me to see a shuffling of the usual Dodgers order (perhaps with a day off for Freeman) given tonight’s matchup.

While the prices on the Dodgers makes them unappealing for cash games, they’re a solid contrarian option for GPPs. Even if they struggle against Fried, they could do damage against the Braves bullpen.

That bullpen had to pitch more than half the game yesterday, so they surely won’t be at full strength tonight.

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Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks

J.D. Martinez OF ($5,600 DraftKings; $3,700 FanDuel) Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Yuseki Kikuchi)

Martinez always needs to be considered opposite left-handed pitching. That’s the case tonight, as Kikuchi takes the mound for Toronto. Throughout his career, Martinex has an OPS 100 points higher against southpaws. Kikuchi isn’t an imposing matchup either, with a career SIERA north of 4.5.

At 4.9 runs, the Red Sox have the best implied total outside of the game at Coors Field. They also have the best combination of Park Factor and Weather Rating, at least for right-handed bats. All three righties in the early part of Boston’s lineup are in play here, but Martinez is my favorite of the bunch.

He’s a better pay on FanDuel, thanks to a 94% Bargain Rating.

Daulton Varsho C/OF ($3,600 DraftKings, NA FanDuel) Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals (Joan Adon)

I always make it an effort to highlight options at catcher, given the relative weakness of the position and their mandatory status on DraftKings. While Philadelphia’s Realmuto is the top overall option, I prefer Varsho when salary and ownership are factored in.

Like Realmuto for the Phillies, Varsho is expected to lead off for the Diamondbacks. That’s already a rarity for a catcher-eligible player, and with this game being on the road, he should have plenty of plate appearances. He also has a juicy matchup with the Nationals Adon, who has a 7.53 ERA through three career starts (two this season, one last.) Adon has already allowed three home runs through nine innings of work in 2022, with a swinging strike rate of under five percent. While he’s probably not as bad as those numbers indicate, it’s still a solid matchup for Arizona.

Varsho started the season slowly, going hitless through four games. However, he has a hit in five straight since then, adding a home run and a steal to the mix. His biggest problem has been strikeouts, with a strikeout rate over 30% on the season. Against a pitcher who struggles to miss bats, that’s less of a concern tonight. He’s my favorite catcher on the DraftKings main slate.

Note: This game is the second half of a doubleheader, keeping it off the FanDuel main slate. Lineups could also be tweaked for the later game, so be sure to double-check them before lock.

Luis Arraez 2B/3B ($2,500 DraftKings; $2,800 FanDuel) Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals (Carlos Hernandez)

If Arraez gets the nod to lead off for Minnesota as currently projected, he’ll be a must for DraftKings cash games. He has a 96% Bargain Rating there, where he’s outright cheaper than he is on FanDuel (an anomaly for hitters). The Twins have the highest road total outside of the Phillies on the slate.

They’re taking on Royals righty Carlos Hernandez, who has an ERA over eight to start the season. Arraez is a lifetime .300 hitter who lacks much upside by way of power or speed. That makes him better suited for cash games, where his multi-position eligibility helps him fit into any lineup.

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

Tuesday’s main slate features eleven games starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

MLB DFS Pitching Picks

MLB DFS Stud Picks

Corbin Burnes ($10,500) Milwaukee Brewers (-275) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Burnes is clearly the top overall pitching play on the slate. The Pirates have an implied Vegas total of fewer than three runs and are massive underdogs against the Brewers. Picking on the Pirates will be a popular strategy all year — even with lesser pitchers than Burnes.

Burnes had a tremendous 2021, with a strikeout rate over 35% while holding opposing batters under a .200 batting average. He’s picked up right where he left off, with a 2.25 ERA and a strikeout per inning to start 2022. Burnes is the leader in our median, ceiling, and Pts/SAl projections for Tuesday’s slate.

There are other strong options at the top of the slate, but given the Vegas data Burnes is likely to be the clear leader in ownership. That’s probably worth a fade in tournaments on FanDuel (since we can only use one pitcher), but we can differentiate elsewhere on DraftKings. He’s a lock button cash game play on both sites.

Thanks to his slate-leading K prediction, he’s also extremely difficult to fade for DraftKings GPPs.

Robbie Ray ($9,800) Seattle Mariners (-138) vs. Texas Rangers

Ray is the second-best option today, with similar underlying metrics to Burnes. His opponents (the Rangers) are implied for only 3.6 runs, among the lowest totals on the slate. His 7.96 K prediction ranks just behind Burnes as well. He also trails only Burnes in median and ceiling projection.

Ray will probably come at an ownership discount as well, given his poor performance in his last start against the White Sox. He was much better in his first start of the season, though, throwing seven innings of one-run ball. Ray also benefits from the conditions in Seattle, with a Park factor and Weather Rating both over 70.

Ray is a solid pivot from Burnes, with Ray-Burnes pairings also likely to be fairly contrarian. While both pitchers will garner high ownership on their own accord, the combined price tag of over $20,000 makes it hard to fit them together. If there are cheap bats that perform well tonight, it could easily end up as the optimal pairing, though.


MLB DFS Value Pick

Cole Irvin ($6,300) Oakland A’s (-145) vs. Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles scored only one run against the A’s last night, as starter Frankie Montas shut them down. This time it’s Irvin’s turn. Irvin has struggled so far in 2022, with an ERA over five and a strikeout rate of under 13%. Both of those numbers are considerably worse than his numbers from last season, though, so brighter days are likely ahead.

Plus, there’s nothing like a game against Baltimore to break out of a slump. Home pitchers against the Orioles will be solid choices all year. The Orioles offensive weaknesses are somewhat mitigated in their hitter-friendly home park, but Oakland is far more pitcher-friendly.

Irvin leads our projections in Pts/Sal by a wide margin. He’s a solid pick to pair with one of the expensive pitchers on the slate, as the salary savings allows you to still roster hitters at Coors Field.


MLB DFS GPP Picks

Walker Buehler ($10,700) Los Angeles Dodgers (-149) vs. Atlanta Braves

Buehler is an interesting option tonight. He’s probably the best overall pitcher on the slate, but he’s also taking on one of the top offenses in baseball in the Braves. Vegas has the advantage going to Buehler, though, with the Dodgers as -149 favorites and the Braves implied for only 3.7 runs.

Buehler has had a slow — by his standards — start to the year, putting up under 30 DraftKings points in his first two starts. His strikeout rate is under 20% at the moment, well below his 26.6% career average. Of course, one of those starts was at Coors Field, so things should be looking up for Buehler.

He’s the definition of pay-up to be contrarian here, as he’s more expensive than Burnes and Ray while projecting somewhat worse. I’ve got no problem betting on talent, though, so if we can get Buehler at an ownership discount, he’s worth a look.

MLB DFS Hitters

Notable Stack

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

Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups.

The top DraftKings stack in the FantasyLabs MLB Tournament Model when generated by rating belongs to the Philadelphia Phillies:

  • J.T. Realmuto (1) ($5,300)
  • Rhys Hoskins (2) ($5,500)
  • Bryce Harper (3) ($6,100)
  • Nick Castellanos (4) ($5,900)
  • Kyle Schwarber (5) ($5,500)

Get used to seeing the Phillies make the top stacks list throughout their series at Coors Field. While the group disappointed yesterday — scoring only one run — oddsmakers have them implied for a slate leading six-run total tonight.

The matchup with lefty Kyle Freeland is a bit more difficult on paper than against Chad Kuhl yesterday. However, Kuhl throws right-handed, which benefits a few of the Phillies hitters. Castellanos and Hoskins, in particular, feast on left-handed pitching. Both hitters have career OPS numbers at least 80 points higher against southpaws.

Besides the platoon advantage, expect some natural regression for the Philadelphia lineup. We wouldn’t expect a lineup with as many power bats as they have to score only one run at Coors field very often. Hopefully, the high prices on these hitters keeps ownership at a reasonable level following last night’s dud.


Top Stacking Pick from THE BAT X

One of the great features of being a FantasyLabs Pro member is the option to purchase additional items in the FantasyLabs Marketplace.

A new addition to our MLB projections is THE BAT from Derek Carty of RotoGrinders. With this purchase, you can use his projections alone or create aggregate projections in our Player Models.

The top DraftKings stack from THE BAT, when generated by ceiling (outside of Phillies stacks), belongs to the Los Angeles Dodgers:

 


Outside of the game at Coors Field, the Dodgers have the best ceiling projections, according to THE BAT. They have a difficult matchup with Braves ace, left-hander Max Fried. Despite the matchup, the Dodgers are implied for a solid 4.5 run total.

The real appeal to the Dodgers stack is the minuscule ownership projections, though. THE BAT doesn’t have a single Dodger projected over four percent, which means the leverage would be tremendous if their lineup performs moderately well. While the platoon splits make Freeman a bit unappealing, Chris Taylor ($4,100) and Will Smith ($4,100) could be swapped in.

Both of those two bat right-handed, and Taylor, in particular, does his best work against left-handed pitching. Be sure to follow our Lineups Page as starters are released. It wouldn’t shock me to see a shuffling of the usual Dodgers order (perhaps with a day off for Freeman) given tonight’s matchup.

While the prices on the Dodgers makes them unappealing for cash games, they’re a solid contrarian option for GPPs. Even if they struggle against Fried, they could do damage against the Braves bullpen.

That bullpen had to pitch more than half the game yesterday, so they surely won’t be at full strength tonight.

Get Your First Deposit Matched Up to $100!

Sign up and deposit up to $100

Your deposit will be fully matched

New users only

Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks

J.D. Martinez OF ($5,600 DraftKings; $3,700 FanDuel) Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Yuseki Kikuchi)

Martinez always needs to be considered opposite left-handed pitching. That’s the case tonight, as Kikuchi takes the mound for Toronto. Throughout his career, Martinex has an OPS 100 points higher against southpaws. Kikuchi isn’t an imposing matchup either, with a career SIERA north of 4.5.

At 4.9 runs, the Red Sox have the best implied total outside of the game at Coors Field. They also have the best combination of Park Factor and Weather Rating, at least for right-handed bats. All three righties in the early part of Boston’s lineup are in play here, but Martinez is my favorite of the bunch.

He’s a better pay on FanDuel, thanks to a 94% Bargain Rating.

Daulton Varsho C/OF ($3,600 DraftKings, NA FanDuel) Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals (Joan Adon)

I always make it an effort to highlight options at catcher, given the relative weakness of the position and their mandatory status on DraftKings. While Philadelphia’s Realmuto is the top overall option, I prefer Varsho when salary and ownership are factored in.

Like Realmuto for the Phillies, Varsho is expected to lead off for the Diamondbacks. That’s already a rarity for a catcher-eligible player, and with this game being on the road, he should have plenty of plate appearances. He also has a juicy matchup with the Nationals Adon, who has a 7.53 ERA through three career starts (two this season, one last.) Adon has already allowed three home runs through nine innings of work in 2022, with a swinging strike rate of under five percent. While he’s probably not as bad as those numbers indicate, it’s still a solid matchup for Arizona.

Varsho started the season slowly, going hitless through four games. However, he has a hit in five straight since then, adding a home run and a steal to the mix. His biggest problem has been strikeouts, with a strikeout rate over 30% on the season. Against a pitcher who struggles to miss bats, that’s less of a concern tonight. He’s my favorite catcher on the DraftKings main slate.

Note: This game is the second half of a doubleheader, keeping it off the FanDuel main slate. Lineups could also be tweaked for the later game, so be sure to double-check them before lock.

Luis Arraez 2B/3B ($2,500 DraftKings; $2,800 FanDuel) Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals (Carlos Hernandez)

If Arraez gets the nod to lead off for Minnesota as currently projected, he’ll be a must for DraftKings cash games. He has a 96% Bargain Rating there, where he’s outright cheaper than he is on FanDuel (an anomaly for hitters). The Twins have the highest road total outside of the Phillies on the slate.

They’re taking on Royals righty Carlos Hernandez, who has an ERA over eight to start the season. Arraez is a lifetime .300 hitter who lacks much upside by way of power or speed. That makes him better suited for cash games, where his multi-position eligibility helps him fit into any lineup.