The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
We have a full night of baseball on our hands tonight with DraftKings and FanDuel offering 15-game main slates that start at 7:05 p.m. ET.
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On FanDuel, there are three pitchers who cost more than $10,000:
- Patrick Corbin (L) $11,400, WSH @ CIN
- Chris Sale (L) $11,200, BOS @ NYY
- Trevor Bauer (R) $10,500, CLE @ CWS
Corbin has been solid from a DFS standpoint this season, averaging a +6.09 FanDuel Plus/Minus with a 64% Consistency Rating. However, he’s overpriced as the most expensive pitcher on both sites. His 7.0 K Prediction leaves much to be desired, and Corbin is taking on a projected Reds lineup with a low 22.2% strikeout rate against lefties over the past 12 months.
His relatively low K Prediction for a pitcher with his salary and the Reds’ highish 4.5 implied run total has historically been a negative trend for pitchers. Per our Trends tool, pitchers with comparable salaries, K Predictions and opponent implied run totals have averaged a -2.94 FanDuel Plus/Minus with a 46.2% Consistency Rating.
Sale always has a high floor with his 33.7% strikeout rate this season, but he has a suboptimal matchup against a projected Yankees lineup that has just a 21.6% strikeout rate and elite .340 wOBA against lefties over the past 12 months. But the Yankees have struggled this season to generate runs against left-handed pitchers, ranking 24th in Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+).
Sale also doesn’t enter this game in his best form, sporting a 260-foot batted-ball distance, 94-mph exit velocity and 44% hard-hit rate over his past two starts. Further, Sale’s velocity is down nearly 1 mph over the same span. On a 15-game slate, Sale is probably an unnecessary spend for cash games.
Bauer has struggled to hit value over his last 10 starts, averaging a -6.52 FanDuel Plus/Minus with a 60% Consistency Rating. He owns a weak 4.48 xFIP, and while he still carries a 27.5% strikeout rate, he’s struggled with walks this season, evidenced by his 11.3% BB%, resulting in a subpar 16.3% K-BB%.
However, it’s still an intriguing spot against a projected White Sox lineup that has a 25.7% strikeout rate and .295 wOBA against righties over the past year, along with ranking 26th in team ISO against them this season. Bauer presently projects as the best pitcher on the slate, but he’s a better value on DraftKings with his 95% Bargain Rating, although he’s obviously still in play on FanDuel with his +11.99 Projected Plus/Minus.
Joey Lucchesi has a 91% Bargain Rating on FanDuel, where he costs just $7,600, though he’s still viable as an SP2 on DraftKings. The projected Marlins lineup has a low 23% strikeout rate, but they also carry a weak .288 wOBA and rank dead last in wRC+ and team ISO this season. Additionally, the Marlins are implied for a slate-low 2.9 runs. Pitchers with comparable salaries and opponent implied run totals have averaged a +4.52 FanDuel Plus/Minus since 2012.
Lucchesi is a very intriguing punt on FanDuel if you want to load up on bats, especially on a Coors slate with the Rockies sporting a 7.3 implied run total.
Caleb Smith: He’s been great this season, pitching to a 3.47 xFIP and 25.8% K-BB%. Smith is appealing for tournaments as the Marlins are +149 underdogs against the Padres (see live MLB odds here). He carries an 8.2 K Prediction against a projected Padres lineup that has a high 27% strikeout rate and mediocre .298 wOBA against lefties over the past 12 months.
- 1. Raimel Tapia (L)
- 2. Trevor Story (R)
- 3. David Dahl (L)
- 5. Daniel Murphy (L)
Total salary: $19,900
The Rockies are in a nuclear spot with their 7.4 implied run total against Edwin Jackson. He’s pitched to a 5.53 xFIP and 7.8% K-BB% this season. And over his past two starts, Jackson has allowed opposing hitters to average a 234-foot average distance, 94-mph exit velocity and 42% hard-hit rate. Those numbers probably won’t translate well to a hitters paradise like Coors Field.
Story has throttled right-handed pitchers over the past 12 months, hitting them to the tune of a .385 wOBA and .274 ISO. And his recent Statcast data should match up well with Jackson as Story possesses a 235-foot average distance, 95-mph exit velocity and 52% hard-hit rate.
This entire stack owns wOBAs of .331 or greater, and with the exception of Murphy, they all have ISOs of at least .241. The Rockies lead both sites in Team Value Rating by a substantial amount given their massive implied run total.
One of the top non-Coors FanDuel stacks on the main slate in the CSURAM88 Model belongs to the Kansas City Royals.
- 1. Nicholas Lopez (L)
- 2. Whit Merrifield (R)
- 3. Raul Mondesi (S)
- 4. Alex Gordon (L)
Total salary: $14,400
The Royals have a respectable 5.2 implied run total against Ariel Jurado. We have a limited sample on him, but he’s pitched to a 3.88 xFIP with a low 16.2% strikeout rate, which could bode well for the Royals since they’ve been a low-strikeout team against righties over the past year.
Mondesi will be on the negative side of his batting splits, but he still owns a .338 wOBA and .212 ISO against right-handed pitchers. Merrifield has also done an excellent job of at least getting on base, boasting a .362 wOBA.
Additionally, Mondesi and Merrifield rank inside the top three among hitters in stolen bases per game, which adds some extra value if they can get on base. Hitters with comparable stolen bases per game in games with similar implied run totals have historically averaged a +1.36 FanDuel Plus/Minus.
Max Muncy has an 82% Bargain Rating on DraftKings, and he’ll be up against Jake Arrieta, whose allowed an abundance of hard contact over his past two starts, evidenced by his 95-mph exit velocity and 42% hard-hit rate. While Muncy isn’t in the best batted-ball form, he’s throttled righties over the past year, owning an elite .416 wOBA and .302 ISO against them.
If you have the salary, Christian Yelich is intriguing against Chis Archer. Archer has been abysmal this season, pitching to a 5.47 xFIP and 8.7% K-BB. And over his past two starts, he’s allowing a 235-foot average distance and a 93-mph exit velocity with a 40% fly-ball rate. Meanwhile, Yelich owns a 94-mph exit velocity and 43% hard-hit rate with a 43% fly-ball rate. Not to mention his absurd .460 wOBA and .356 ISO against righties over the past 12 months.
If you don’t want to pay up for Nolan Arenado at third base, Jose Ramirez costs $1,800 less on DraftKings and $1,500 less on FanDuel. He’s up against Dylan Covey who has been as bad as it gets this year, pitching to a .6.68 xFIP and -4.3% K-BB%. Ramirez possesses a .353 wOBA and .213 ISO against righties, and he has the second-highest median projection in our models among third baseman.
Good luck, and be sure to check out The Action Network if you’re looking for more in-depth MLB analysis.
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.
Pictured above: Jose Ramirez
Photo credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports