The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
FanDuel’s and DraftKings’ nine-game main slates will begin at 7:05 p.m. ET. And FanDuel has a 14-game all-day slate starting at 12:35 p.m. ET.
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On FanDuel, there are four pitchers who cost more than $10,000:
- Blake Snell (L) $11,800, TB vs. TOR
- Walker Buehler (R) $11,000, LAD vs. NYM
- Chris Paddack (R) $10,200 SD @ NYY
Snell checks in as the highest-priced pitcher on the main slate. He’s dominated over his last four starts, striking out seven or more hitters in all four starts while allowing two or fewer runs. It’s an enticing matchup against a projected Jays lineup with a 26% strikeout rate and .309 wOBA against lefties over the past year, along with ranking 27th in Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) against it this season.
He also has exceptional Statcast data over his last two starts, allowing an average distance of just 190 feet, which is -12 feet lower than his 12-month average. Overall, Snell leads the main slate in K Prediction (9.7), moneyline odds (-219) and opponent implied run total (3.0). Per our Trends tool, pitchers with comparable data have been very consistent, averaging a +6.45 Plus/Minus with a 67.5% Consistency Rating.
If you’re paying up for pitcher, Snell is the clear-cut option, but you’ll likely need to choose between him or loading up on bats, especially on FanDuel where he has a 27% Bargain Rating.
Buehler got off to a slow start to the season, but he’s turned a corner after hitting value in each of his last four starts. He possesses a 7.2 K Prediction against a projected Mets lineup with a high 28.7% strikeout and subpar .308 wOBA against right-handed pitchers over the past year.
He’s in good form, evidenced by his 197-foot average distance, 87-mph exit velocity and 25% hard-hit rate allowed over the past two weeks. And the Dodgers are also heavy favorites as they’re sitting with -204 moneyline odds while the Mets are implied for a paltry 3.1 runs. He probably makes more sense as a DraftKings play, where he has a 96% Bargain Rating.
Paddack is likely too expensive at his FanDuel salary against a projected Yankees lineup that has a 22.2% strikeout rate and .342 wOBA against right-handed pitchers over the past 12 months. The Padres are also slight underdogs with their +128 moneyline odds. Overall, the Yankees rank seventh in wRC+ and are implied for 4.6 runs against Paddack. His high salary and middling projection has resulted in a -2.28 Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel.
If you want to punt your SP2 spot on DraftKings to get to some expensive bats, Pablo Lopez costs $6,600 and has a 90% Bargain Rating. He doesn’t have much upside with his 5.2 K Prediction against a team with a 23.3% strikeout rate, but the Giants do have a .243 wOBA and rank 28th in wRC+ against righties.
And the Giants are implied for just 3.7 runs. Pitchers with comparable salaries against teams with similar implied run totals have historically averaged a +1.71 DraftKings Plus/Minus. You could still punt with him on FanDuel if you wanted to forego the top-priced and mid-tier pitchers.
Madison Bumgarner: He makes sense on FanDuel as the best mid-tier option against a Marlins team that has a .295 wOBA and ranks 30th in wRC+ against left-handed pitchers. Bumgarner has been solid this season, pitching to a 3.66 xFIP with a 20.3% K-BB%.
James Paxton: He’ll be making his first start since May 3 after injuring his knee. If he’s back to normal, he should be a decent option Wednesday afternoon as he’s pitched to a 3.30 xFIP with a 25.2% K-BB% this season. The Padres are the only team on the early slate with an implied run total below 4.0 runs.
- 1. Jarrod Dyson (L)
- 2. Ketel Marte (S)
- 5. Christian Walker (R)
- 6. Blake Swihart (S)
Total salary: $19,300
The Diamondbacks will be in Coors Field against Jeff Hoffman, who has pitched to a 4.59 xFIP this season. And things probably won’t get much better at Coors, pitching against a Diamondbacks team that is implied for 5.7 runs. Although it’s worth noting its implied total has dropped 0.4 runs since betting lines opened.
Walker is the most intriguing hitter in this stack, who is the second-cheapest guy in this group. He carries a 91% Bargain Rating on DraftKings and has hit righties well over the past year, hitting them to the tune of a .339 wOBA and .241 ISO. He hasn’t been great over his past 10 games, averaging a -4.15 DraftKings Plus/Minus with a 10% Consistency Rating, but his +27 Recent Batted Ball Luck (RBBL) suggests he’s been unlucky. Maybe the hitter-friendly Coors Field can turn things around for him.
Hitters batting in the top five of the order with comparable RBBL at Coors have averaged a +2.81 DraftKings Plus/Minus.
One of the top non-Coors FanDuel stacks on the main slate in the Bales Model belongs to the Detroit Tigers.
- 1. Niko Goodrum (S)
- 2. Dawel Lugo (R)
- 5. Ronny Rodriguez (R)
- 6. Brandon Dixon (R)
Total salary: $10,900
This Tigers stack is incredibly cheap, which will allow some flexibility with the rest of your roster. There are some reasons for optimism for this stack. For starters, the Tigers’ implied run total has moved from 4.4 to 4.9 since the line opened.
Additionally, John Means has awful Statcast data over his past two starts, allowing opposing hitters to average a 235-foot average distance, 93-mph exit velocity and 52% hard-hit rate. Meanwhile, three of the four hitters in this stack own average batted-ball distance of 225 feet or more, along with exit velocities of at least 91 mph.
The Phillies are implied for 5.7 runs and own a top-four Team Value Rating on both DraftKings and FanDuel in our Vegas Dashboard. Bryce Harper has smashed left-handed pitchers over the past 12 months, hitting them to the tune of a .370 wOBA and .224 ISO. He’s also in good form with his 241-foot average distance, 96-mph exit velocity and 52% hard-hit rate. Andrew McCutchen is in similar with form, evidenced by his 236-foot average distance, 95-mph exit velocity and 48% hard-hit rate. Last, but not least, Jean Segura owns a .387 wOBA and .216 ISO against lefties over the past 12 months.
Hanser Alberto could be cheap exposure to the Orioles’ 5.2 implied run total. Alberto has done well against lefties over the past year, sporting a .430 wOBA and .169 ISO. He’s been on a solid run over his last 10 games, possessing a 60% Consistency Rating on FanDuel with an average +4.01 Plus/Minus. He’s an excellent value on FanDuel with his 88% Bargain Rating.
Dansby Swanson has a 77% Bargain Rating on FanDuel and is on a Braves team implied for 5.6 runs. He’ll be on the positive side of his batting splits, and he’s in good form, sporting a 233-foot average distance, 94-mph exit velocity — both of which exceed his 12-month averages. His +21-foot distance differential has historically yielded a +1.07 FanDuel Plus/Minus.
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: Niko Goodrum
Photo credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports