The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Thursday’s main slate features nine games starting at 7:05 pm ET. We will be using Bales Model to highlight some of the top options to consider.
The four pitchers projected to score the most fantasy points today are:
- Shane Bieber (R)
- Robbie Ray (L)
- Rich Hill (L)
- Tarik Skubal (L)
Cleveland’s Shane Bieber has finally returned after a long stint on the injured list and in his first healthy start six days ago, pitched a perfect three innings with three strikeouts. Although he has only pitcher 93 2/3 innings this season, his 12.1 K/9 ranks atop the leaderboard on a slate full of strong strikeout pitchers. Today, Bieber faces the Kansas City Royals, who are one of two home underdogs on the slate (+137). It is unclear exactly how long Bieber will be allowed to pitcher tonight, but do expect him to be very effective.
The highest priced pitcher on the slate for both DraftKings and FanDuel is Toronto’s Robbie Ray. In 188 innings, Ray has a 2.68 ERA, 13-6 record, 244 strikeouts and 1.04 WHIP. The high strikeout figure ranks second out of all MLB pitchers and the ERA is good for fifth. Ray has 23 quality starts this year, and the Blue Jays are in desperate need for a win tonight against their American League East rival New York Yankees. They are currently one game back in the AL wild-card race. Ray is only highly rated on Bales Model for DraftKings today where he is considered a 77% bargain.
The highest-rated pitcher on Bales Model for both DraftKings and FanDuel is the Mets’ Rich Hill. In 153 2/3 innings, he has a 3.87 ERA, 6-8 record, 1.19 WHIP and 144 strikeouts. Tonight, Hill has a very favorable matchup against the Miami Marlins. Hill faced the Marlins recently and allowed one run with eight strikeouts in six innings. The Marlins are projected for the lowest implied runs total on the slate (3.4 runs).
Detroit’s Tarik Skubal deserves some consideration due to his high projected points/salary today. He offers plenty of value due to his moderately low price point, and 70% fantasy year consistency. Skubal is projected for low ownership as he will be on the mound against the Minnesota Twins. My only concern with Skubal is that he has allowed 32 home runs this season including two in a start against the Twins earlier this year. It is worth nothing that this game does have projected rain on the radar. Please monitor the status closer to first pitch.
A value option worth considering tonight is Arizona’s Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner’s former team has the best record in baseball, but when players face their former team, there is extra incentive and motivation to perform at a higher level. In August, Bumgarner had one of his best starts of the year against the Giants as he allowed one run with four strikeouts in seven innings.
Today’s top projected points stack comes to you from the -216 Boston Red Sox:
- Hunter Renfroe (R)
- Rafael Devers (L)
- Xander Bogaerts (R)
- J.D. Martinez (R)
The Red Sox are projected for the highest implied runs total on the slate today (6.1 runs). On FanDuel, this stack will cost you $15K and is projected for a combined 54.6 fantasy points. Not only are the Red Sox projected for the highest total, but they also are the largest favorites on the slate. They are currently sitting in the last AL wild-card spot by half a game. The Orioles have an MLB worst 5.79 team ERA, have allowed the most home runs against (246), and highest opponents’ batting average (.272).
One of the highest rated batters on Bales Model today for both DraftKings and FanDuel is Mookie Betts from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Betts has 22 home runs and 56 RBIs. Interesting to note, Betts has only two extra base hits in his last two games, however those two have come in his last two games. Betts seems to be swinging a hot bat at the right time before playoffs start.
Finally, here is a handful of batters to consider while completing your lineups today that are projected for a high fantasy points/salary:
- Kole Calhoun
- Ryan McKenna
- David Peralta
- Oscar Mercado
- Brandon Nimmo
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.
Photo Credit: John Fisher/Getty Images
Pictured: Rich Hill