The MLB DFS 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.

Pitchers

Studs

Four pitchers on today’s slate own a salary of at least $10,000 on DraftKings:

  • Chris Paddack (R) $10,600, SD @ SF
  • Luis Castillo (R) $10,400, CIN @ CLE
  • Patrick Corbin (L) $10,300, WSH @ CWS
  • James Paxton (L) $10,100, NYY vs. NYM

Paddack is the most expensive pitcher on the slate despite the fact that he’s making just his 12th appearance in the big leagues. He’s been impressive as a rookie, pitching to a 2.97 ERA and 9.79 K/9, and he has an elite matchup vs. the San Francisco Giants. Their projected lineup has been anemic vs. right-handers over the past 12-months, posting a .252 wOBA and 23.6% strikeout rate. Their implied team total of 3.6 runs is tied for the lowest mark on today’s slate.

Unfortunately, Paddack doesn’t appear to offer as much strikeout upside as you’d expect from a stud pitcher. He owns a K Prediction of just 5.8, which is merely tied for 13th on the slate. Historically, pitchers with comparable K Predictions and salaries have struggled to a Plus/Minus of -1.04 (per our Trends tool).

Paddack is best used on FanDuel, where his $9,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 92%.

Castillo has been dominant this season, pitching to a 2.38 ERA, but he seems like a prime regression candidate moving forward. His FIP of 3.42 is more than a full run higher than his traditional ERA, and he’s benefited from a low BABIP of just .243. He’s also walking 4.28 batters per nine innings, which could eventually come back to bite him.

He’s in a tough spot vs. the Cleveland Indians, whose projected lineup has struck out in just 22.1% of at bats vs. right-handers over the past 12-months, giving Castillo a mediocre K Prediction of 5.8. He’s also getting very little respect from Vegas, owning an opponent implied team total of 4.4 runs and moneyline odds of +107.

Credit: Geoff Burke-USA Today Sports. Pictured: Patrick Corbin

Corbin has been solid in his first year with the Nationals, and he’s in a great spot vs. the White Sox. Their projected lineup has struggled vs. left-handers over the past 12 months, posting a wOBA of .294 and strikeout rate of 26.8%. Corbin has posted a K/9 of 10.42 over the same time, so he has nice strikeout upside in this matchup. His K Prediction of 8.0 ranks second on the slate.

He’s also a -180 favorite, and pitchers with comparable moneyline odds and K Predictions have historically posted a Plus/Minus of +2.57 on DraftKings.

Last but not least is Paxton, who might be the most appealing pitching option on the slate. He’s been dominant from a strikeout perspective over the past 12 months, posting a K/9 of 12.27, and he’s taking on a Mets’ team that has the ninth-highest strikeout rate against southpaws this season. His resulting K Prediction of 8.7 ranks first on the slate.

He also owns arguably the best Vegas data among Tuesday’s starters. He owns a 3.8 opponent implied team total and -194 moneyline odds, and pitchers with comparable Vegas data and K Predictions have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.48 on DraftKings.

The only concern with Paxton is his potential workload. He’s made just two starts since returning from the IL, and he’s pitched 4.2 innings or less in each of them. That said, he did throw 83 pitches in his last start, so it wouldn’t be a huge jump for him to get near 100 on today’s slate. He carries some risk for cash games, but his upside for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs) is immense.

Values

Jake Junis doesn’t wow you in any one particular category, but he has solid marks across the board. He’s taking on the Detroit Tigers, giving him an opponent implied team total of 4.0 runs and moneyline odds of -137. He also owns a K Prediction of 6.5.

He also enters this contest in good recent form. He’s limited his past two opponents to an average distance of 198 feet, exit velocity of 91 miles per hour and hard-hit rate of 37%, all three of which represent decreases when compared to his 12-month averages.

He’s a nice option at just $7,200 on DraftKings, making him a strong choice at SP2.

Trent-Thornton

Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Trent Thornton

Trent Thornton is another intriguing option. He’s taking on the Baltimore Orioles, whose projected lineup has posted a strikeout rate of 29.9% against right-handers over the past 12 months. That’s the worst splits-adjusted mark on the slate.

Thornton hasn’t exactly dominated at the major league level, but he has been adept at picking up strikeouts. He owns a K/9 of 9.60 this season, so he can do some damage in this matchup. His K Prediction of 7.7 trails only Paxton’s and Corbin’s on today’s slate. He’s another strong SP2 option on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 89%.

Fastballs

Trevor Bauer: He’s actually the most expensive starter on FanDuel at $10,800, and he’s projected for just 2-4% ownership. He has a tough matchup vs. the Reds, but this is a unique opportunity to buy low on arguably the best pitcher on the slate.

Martin Perez: He owns a Bargain Rating of 98% on DraftKings and is a -190 favorite vs. the Seattle Mariners. Historically, pitchers with comparable marks in both categories have averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.23.

Dakota Hudson: He’s in an elite spot vs. the Miami Marlins, and his opponent implied team total of 3.6 runs is tied for the lowest on the slate. He’s also been dominant from a Statcast perspective over his past two outings, resulting in a 15-day/12-month distance differential of -21 feet.

Notable Stacks

With the Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into DFS lineups. Today’s top five-man DraftKings stack per the Bales Model belongs to the Washington Nationals:

  • 1. Trea Turner (R)
  • 2. Adam Eaton (L)
  • 3. Anthony Rendon (R)
  • 4. Juan Soto (L)
  • 6. Brian Dozier (R)

Total salary: $23,500

There are a ton of cheap starters with upside on today’s slate, so it seems like a good day to load up on an expensive stack on DraftKings. The Nationals stand out as one of the best. They’re currently implied for 5.6 runs, which ranks fourth on the slate.

They exploded for 12 runs yesterday and are in another appealing spot vs. Manny Banuelos. He’s posted a 1.84 WHIP and 2.46 HR/9 over the past 12 months, and he’s pitched to a 7.36 ERA this season. He also posted a fly ball rate of 58% in his most recent start, which is not the ideal way to pitch in 2019. More fly balls usually leads to more home runs, and home runs lead to fantasy points.

Dozier stands out as one of the Nats’ best options. He’s on the positive side of his batting splits vs. Banuelos, with Dozier owning a .347 wOBA and .177 ISO vs. southpaws over the past 12 months. He’s also smashed the baseball over the past 15 days, posting an average distance of 254 feet and hard hit rate of 50%.

Today’s top four-man FanDuel stack belongs to the Boston Red Sox:

  • 1. Mookie Betts (R)
  • 2. Andrew Benintendi (L)
  • 3. J.D. Martinez (R)
  • 5. Xander Bogaerts (R)

Total Salary: $15,900

The Red Sox are implied for a whopping 6.1 runs, which trails only the Cubs’ mark of 6.2 at Coors Field. They’re taking on Rangers right-hander Ariel Jurado, who will be making just his fifth big league start this season. He’s been impressive so far, posting a 2.78 ERA, but his 3.87 FIP suggests he’s due for some regression.

That could start today vs. the Red Sox. They’ve been strong vs. right-handers this season, ranking 8th in wOBA and 10th in wRC+. They’ve been even better when playing at Fenway Park, ranking third in wOBA vs. right-handers when playing at home.

Benintendi has gotten off to a slow start this season – he’s batting just .265 – but he seems due for a breakout. He’s posted elite Statcast marks over the past 15 days, averaging a 256-foot distance, 95 mile per hour exit velocity, and 53% hard hit rate. All three represent significant increases when compared to his 12-month averages. He’s an excellent target at just $3,500.

Other Batters

The Twins have been an offensive machine this season, and Nelson Cruz stands out as one of their biggest bats. He recently returned from the disabled list, but his Statcast data from his past five games is typically reserved for video games: 309-foot distance, 103 mile per hour exit velocity, 75% hard hit rate. The Twins are implied for 5.6 runs today vs. Mike Leake, so Cruz has immense upside.

Kyle Schwarber has raked over his past three games, posting five hits, five RBIs, and two HRs. He went deep yesterday in his first game at Coors Field, and he’s in another nice spot today vs. Rockies right-hander Peter Lambert. He’s making just his second appearance at the major league level, and Schwarber has posted impressive numbers vs. right-handers over the past 12 months. He’s been priced up a bit on DraftKings, but he remains affordable at $3,900 on FanDuel.

Bryce Harper’s salary continues to plummet on DraftKings, and he’s now priced down to just $4,200. Still, he’s hit the ball hard recently, and he’ll be on the positive side of his batting splits vs. Diamondbacks right-hander Jon Duplantier. Harper may not be worth all the money that the Phillies gave him in the offseason, but he’s certainly a better hitter than his current salary indicates.

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: Nationals SS Trea Turner (7)
Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports