The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Tuesday features a 15-game slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
All 30 MLB teams are in action tonight, but the pitching options are still pretty weak. Only two starters are priced above $9,500 on DraftKings:
- Lance Lynn (R) $11,200, TEX vs. ARI
- Walker Buehler (R) $10,200, LAD @ PHI
Lynn has quietly been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season. He’s pitched to a 2.87 FIP and 9.89 K/9, and he leads all AL starters in wins above replacement. He’s been absolutely dominant since the start of June, posting a 2.20 FIP and 10.6 K/9, resulting in an average Plus/Minus of +7.28 on DraftKings.
Lynn is in an interesting spot against the Diamondbacks. Their projected lineup has fared well against right-handed pitchers over the past 12 months, posting a .334 wOBA. He’ll also have to deal with the premium hitting conditions in Arlington, resulting in a Weather Rating of just 16. Add it all up, and Lynn’s opponent implied team total of 4.5 runs is pretty pedestrian.
Lynn also doesn’t appear to offer a ton of strikeout upside. The Diamondbacks own the eighth-lowest strikeout rate against right-handers this season, making Lynn’s K Prediction of 7.2 feel slightly aggressive.
He makes some sense on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 93%, but there are better options available.
Buehler got off to a rough start this season, but he’s been a fantastic fantasy option for most of the year. He’s posted a negative Plus/Minus in just two starts since the beginning of May, and one of them came against the Rockies at Coors Field. Overall, he’s posted a 2.85 FIP this season, which ranks fourth among qualified starters.
With that in mind, he’s pretty reasonably priced at $10,200 on DraftKings and $10,000 on FanDuel. His opponent implied team total of 4.0 runs is the third-lowest mark on the slate, and the Phillies have been mediocre against right-handed pitchers this season.
The only concern with Buehler is his recent Statcast data. He was solid in his last start vs. the Diamondbacks, racking up nine strikeouts en route to 22.35 DraftKings points, but he did allow a lot of hard contact. Opposing batters posted an average distance of 235 feet, exit velocity of 93 miles per hour and hard-hit rate of 52%, all of which represent increases when compared to his 12-month averages.
I’m still buying Buehler at his current price tag, but he does carry some risk.
Brandon Woodruff figures to be the chalk pitcher on this slate, particularly on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 89%. He’s been striking out batters in bunches this season, and he has nice strikeout upside vs. the Braves. Their projected lineup has whiffed in 27.0% of at bats against right-handers over the past 12 months, giving Woodruff a slate-high K Prediction of 8.3.
His Vegas data in this matchup is also solid. He’s a -172 favorite, and his opponent implied team total of 4.1 runs ranks fourth on the slate. Historically, pitchers with comparable Vegas data and K Predictions have averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.61 on DraftKings (per our Trends tool).
Jordan Yamamoto is one of the more interesting pitching options. He’s been nothing short of spectacular through his first five MLB starts, posting a 1.24 ERA and 9.31 K/9. His Statcast data from his last start is also excellent, particularly his 181-foot average distance.
Can he continue his dominance vs. the Padres? I’m skeptical. The Padres have been strong offensively when playing outside of Petco Park, and they’ve displayed a lot of power against right-handed batters in particular. Yamamoto was not a highly regarded prospect, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him coming crashing back to reality eventually.
Still, it’s hard to ignore him on such a weak pitching slate. His K Prediction of 7.9 ranks second only to Woodruff, while his 4.2 opponent implied team total is tied for fifth.
CC Sabathia is well past his prime at this point, but he has some viability against the Rays. Their projected lineup has struggled to a .299 wOBA against southpaws over the past 12 months, and the Rays own the second-highest strikeout rate against left-handers this season. Sabathia has been solid in four previous starts against the Rays this season, pitching to a 2.63 ERA. He doesn’t provide a ton of upside, but he’s usable in cash games.
Logan Allen: If I’m targeting a pitcher in Marlins-Padres, it’s going to be Allen. The Marlins’ projected lineup has been awful against left-handers, posting a .282 wOBA and 28.0% strikeout rate over the past 12 months, and their implied team total of 3.9 runs is tied for the lowest mark on the slate.
Jack Flaherty: He has arguably the best Vegas data on the slate, owning a 3.9 opponent implied team total and -180 moneyline odds against the Pirates. With that in mind, his $7,400 salary on DraftKings is reasonable.
- 1. Brandon Belt (L)
- 2. Buster Posey (R)
- 4. Alex Dickerson (L)
- 6. Kevin Pillar (R)
- 7. Brandon Crawford (L)
Total salary: $22,700
The Giants swept both legs of Monday’s doubleheader vs. the Rockies, but it was a tale of two entirely different games. They exploded for 19 runs in the first game but were limited to just two runs in the second.
Still, offense is expected virtually every night at Coors Field, and tonight is no exception. The Giants are currently implied for 6.9 runs, which trails only the Rockies’ implied team total of 7.8. The Giants Team Value Rating of 89 also ranks second on DraftKings, and $22,700 is not expensive for a full Coors stack.
They’re in a nice spot vs. right-hander Peter Lambert, who has pitched to a 6.67 ERA and 6.72 FIP this season. His ERA balloons to 9.17 when pitching at Coors, and he’s allowed opposing batters to post a .459 wOBA over 17.2 home innings.
Everyone who plays for San Francisco is in play tonight, but Belt stands out as the strongest option. He’s excellent when facing a right-hander away from home throughout his career, and he’s hit the ball extremely hard over his past 10 games. He’s also priced at just $4,800 on DraftKings, which is cheap for a leadoff hitter at Coors Field.
On FanDuel, the top four-man stack belongs to the Colorado Rockies:
- 1. Charlie Blackmon (L)
- 2. Trevor Story (R)
- 4. David Dahl (L)
- 6. Daniel Murphy (L)
The Rockies are not sneaking up on anyone tonight, especially since there is no stud pitcher to absorb ownership. They should be an extremely popular target, but avoiding projected No. 3 hitter Nolan Arenado should help. Still, Blackmon, Story and Dahl are all projected for at least 10% ownership, so keep that in mind with the rest of your lineup selections.
They’re taking on left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who has pitched to a 6.42 ERA through 67.1 innings this season. He’s struggled in particular with the long ball, allowing an average of 2.27 HRs per nine innings. He’s also pitched to a 9.72 ERA when away from home this season, so he could be in a lot of trouble at Coors.
Blackmon is on the wrong side of his batting splits vs. Pomeranz, but he still stands out as an elite target. He’s posted a .365 wOBA and .231 ISO against southpaws over the past 12 months, and he’s historically provided a higher Plus/Minus against left-handers than right-handers when playing at Coors. He’s also seen his average ownership drop from 14.2% to 7.0% against a left-hander, which only increases his appeal.
Why is Joc Pederson so cheap on FanDuel? He’s priced at just $2,700, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 96%, and he’s on the positive side of his batting splits against Phillies right-hander Vincent Velasquez.
Pederson scored 25.2 FanDuel points in a similar situation yesterday, so there’s no reason not to go back to the well.
The Giants and Rockies are going to command massive attention on today’s slate, which is going to cause most of the other high-priced options to be under-owned. Christian Yelich fits that description in a strong matchup vs. Bryce Wilson. He’s posted a ridiculous .509 wOBA and .408 ISO against right-handers over the past 12 months, and Wilson has pitched to a 6.14 ERA over 14.2 major league innings. He’s struggled in particular against left-handed batters, allowing them to post a .429 wOBA and slug two HRs in just 6.2 innings.
Finding viable cheap options is going to be important on today’s slate, and Robinson Cano is worth a look at just $3,300 on DraftKings. He’s hit HRs in back-to-back games, and he also recorded four hits in his most recent contest. He’s on the positive side of his splits vs. Michael Pineda, who was hit extremely hard in his last outing. He allowed opposing batters to post an average exit velocity of 98 miles per hour and hard hit rate of 57%, both of which represent significant increases when compared to his 12-month averages.
Good luck, and be sure to check out The Action Network if you’re looking for more in-depth MLB analysis.
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Pictured above: Coors Field
Photo credit:Ron Chenoy-USA Today Sports