The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Wednesday features a nine-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
MLB DFS Pitching Picks
MLB DFS Stud Picks
Justin Verlander ($10,500) Houston Astros (-333) vs. Texas Rangers
Verlander is far and away the best pitcher on this nine-game main slate. He is the biggest favorite by a mile and has the highest K Prediction. The Rangers are also implied for a hysterically-low 2.5 runs, and they have the lowest wOBA and the fourth-highest strikeout rate on the slate. There should be no surprise that Verlander is projected for the highest ownership on this slate.
The veteran right-hander is having the best season of his career at 39 years old, which is remarkable. Through 20 starts, Verlander has a 15-3 record with a career-best 1.73 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. Over the past four seasons, his strikeout rate has dropped to 25.5%, but he dominates this matchup in particular. In his two starts against the Rangers this season, Verlander has allowed one earned run in 13 innings paired with 16 strikeouts and two victories.
MLB DFS Value Pick
Noah Syndergaard ($7,900) Philadelphia Phillies (-130) vs. Miami Marlins
Both pitchers in this Phillies vs. Marlins matchup are viable for different reasons. Let’s start with Syndergaard, who is the favorite in this matchup as the Phillies have won 11 of their past 12 games. This will be his second start with the Phillies after being acquired at the trade deadline. His first start was very rocky as he allowed 11 hits and four earned runs with only two strikeouts.
This second time around should be much better due to the matchup against the Marlins, who rank second in strikeout rate and have the third-lowest wOBA on the slate. Hopefully, Syndergaard can build on his 18.2% strikeout rate this evening. Once regarded as one of the best pitchers in baseball, Syndergaard has taken a significant dip in fastball velocity down to an average of 94 MPH.
Despite the pedestrian strikeout numbers, Syndergaard is simply too cheap for this matchup.
Madison Bumgarner ($6,900) Arizona Diamondbacks (-161) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Madison Bumgarner is another former superstar who has fallen off recently. However, Bumgarner has been much better in 2022 following back-to-back atrocious seasons with the Diamondbacks. He has a 3.96 ERA and a 1.24 HR/9 allowed. His 15.8% strikeout rate is still a far cry from his peak, but this price tag is very inviting. Bumgarner is projected to be the second-highest owned pitcher on this slate due to his salary.
His matchup vs. the Pirates is basically as good as it gets. They have the highest strikeout rate combined with the second-lowest wOBA on this slate. The risk is still there as Bumgarner has allowed four earned runs in three of his last four starts, but the Pirates have scored the second-fewest number of runs this season. Bumgarner should breeze through a quality start and stands out as one of the top value pitchers on the slate.
MLB DFS GPP Picks
Sandy Alcantara ($10,300) Miami Marlins (+108) at Philadelphia Phillies
Alcantara may be viewed as more of a stud pick than a GPP pick, but this difficult matchup on the road against the Phillies has him in this slot. After a slow start to his career, Alcantara has obviously found something this season, posting a career-best 1.88 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. His 23.3% strikeout rate is around his career average, but his opponent barrel percentage has dropped down to 5% this season.
The biggest worry about Alcantara is this matchup against the red-hot Phillies. Even without Bryce Harper, the Phillies have averaged just over six runs per game over their last 12 games. However, if anyone can cool them down, it’s Alcantara. The Phillies are implied for just 3.7 runs this evening, and Alcantara owns the second-highest strikeout prediction on the slate. He carries more risk than usual, but the potential reward could be worth it.
Jose Berrios ($7,300) Toronto Blue Jays (-152) at Baltimore Orioles
Berrios is a very strong value play on DraftKings, where he has a 97% Bargain Rating. He is also projected for the fourth-most strikeouts on the slate against the Orioles. Being a -152 favorite is more indicative of the strong Blue Jays lineup, but it still gives Berrios solid win equity. Giving up the long ball has been his biggest problem this season, with Berrios posting a 1.83 HR/9 allowed paired with a 5.19 ERA and 1.35 WHIP.
The Orioles rank middle of the road in both home runs hit and ISO this season. They have picked it up recently, winning seven of their last eight games, but are still double-digit games back of the Yankees in the AL East. In his lone matchup against the Orioles this season, Berrios went seven strong innings with eight strikeouts allowing only three earned runs. He’s worth a shot, given his massive discount on DraftKings.
MLB DFS Hitters
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Outside of the St. Louis Cardinals — who rule this slate — the top DraftKings stack in the FantasyLabs MLB Tournament Model when generated by rating belongs to the Toronto Blue Jays:
- Lourdes Gurriel (1) ($4,000)
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (2) ($6,000)
- Alejandro Kirk (3) ($4,400)
- Teoscar Hernandez (4) ($4,600)
- Bo Bichette (5) ($4,500)
The Cardinals dominate the FantasyLabs Tournament and THE BAT models, but the Blue Jays are not too far removed with their 5.1-run implied total. The primary concern in this matchup is the weather, so keep an eye on the forecast as we get to lock. The Blue Jays are in a great spot if this game is a go.
Dean Kremer ($6,200) will take the mound for the Orioles, and he is one of the lowest-rated pitchers on the slate. After bouncing back and forth from the minor leagues to the majors, this will be Kremer’s 12th start of the season. He has a decent 1.32 WHIP but only a 17.8% strikeout rate and a 40.3% hard-hit rate.
Bichette is coming off a double-dong last night, while Kirk remains one of the best hitting catchers in a great lineup spot. Guerrero is the only player in this stack priced above $4,600, so there are several pieces to get to from a cash-game perspective. Make sure the game plays, but don’t sleep on the Jays.
Top Stacking Pick from THE BAT X
The top DraftKings stack from THE BAT, when generated by projected ceiling, belongs to the St. Louis Cardinals:
No shocker here, the St. Louis Cardinals are once again the top stack according to THE BAT and our in-house projections. Their 6.9-implied-run total towers above anyone else on this slate. The new leaders of the NL Central won seven-straight games before getting routed by the Rockies last night 16-5. A bounce back is in order.
Playing at Coors Field will always boost the opposing offense, which is guaranteed nine trips to the plate. Southpaw Kyle Freeland ($6,100) will take the mound for the Rockies, and his numbers at Coors Field are noticeably worse. Freeland has a 5.55 ERA and a 4.91 FIP at home compared to a 3.53 ERA and 3.52 FIP on the road this season. His strikeout rate also drops considerably down to 14.2%.
Goldschmidt is by far the most expensive batter in this stack, but rightfully so. He leads the Cardinals in nearly every hitting statistic and has a career-high .280 ISO this season. Not only are these five batters in play, but Yadier Molina ($2,100) and Lars Nootbaar ($2,000) are near the bottom of the pricing and are great cash-game plays.
Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks
Ronald Acuna Jr. OF ($4,900 DraftKings; $3,700 FanDuel) Atlanta Braves at Boston Red Sox (Nick Pivetta)
For some reason, Acuna Jr. continues to slide down the DraftKings salary scale despite putting up big numbers night in and night out. Seeing him on top of the ceiling projections despite all the love for the Cardinals bats shows how good of a play Acuna Jr. is tonight. He’s averaged 15.2 DraftKings points per game over his last five games while recording double-digit hits in three. He is cooking on this Braves road trip.
The Red Sox will put their “ace” Nick Pivetta ($8,300) on the mound in hopes of slowing down this Braves offense. Pivetta leads the Red Sox in wins, ERA, and strikeouts this season. However, recently he has been absolutely rocked. Over his last six starts, Pivetta has allowed 28 earned runs in only 29 innings pitched. Acuna Jr. should have no problem continuing his hot streak against Pivetta tonight. He is WAY too underpriced.
Elehuris Montero 3B ($2,700 DraftKings; $2,600 FanDuel) Colorado Rockies vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Jose Quintana)
The Rockies rolled the Cardinals last night 16-5, which is a reminder that even though the Rockies are bad this year, any game in Coors Field can absolutely pop off. Montero has been solid since being called up to the major leagues. He has two hits in four-straight games while getting double-digit DraftKings points in each. Montero had a .231 ISO in Triple-A this season, so the power is also there.
Respectable southpaw Jose Quintana ($7,500) will take the bump for the Cardinals as they hope he can perform a little better than his teammate Miles Mikolas, who allowed 10 earned runs in 2.2 innings pitched last night. This will be Quintana’s second start for the Cardinals, and he allowed only one earned run across seven innings in his first. Regardless of Quintana’s success, this is Coors Field, and Montero is way too cheap in this spot.
Vinnie Pasquantino ($2,100 DraftKings) Kansas City Royals vs. Chicago White Sox (Johnny Cueto)
Pasquantino is only DraftKings eligible but remains a fantastic value as he ranks first in THE BAT and second in our in-house projections in projected Plus/Minus. He has hit a home run in back-to-back games as his luck may finally be turning around. A .185 ISO this season is decent, but Pasquantino has a 49.6% hard-hit rate and an average exit velocity of 92.3 MPH. It wouldn’t be surprising if Pasquantino went on a hot streak.
Johnny Cueto ($9,100) is also only DraftKings eligible and is the most expensive he has been all season. In his first season with the White Sox, Cueto has a 4-5 record with a meager 16.6% strikeout rate. That number drops to 13.0% against left-handed hitters. Pasquantino getting the platoon advantage in this matchup is big as Cueto has allowed a 4.64 FIP to left-handed hitters compared to 3.56 FIP to right-handed hitters this season.