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MLB DFS Picks Breakdown (Friday, July 1st): Lock In Corbin Burnes?

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The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.

Friday features a 10-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.

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MLB DFS Pitching Picks

MLB DFS Stud Pick

Corbin Burnes ($10,600) Milwaukee Brewers (-202) at Pittsburgh Pirates

The 2021 NL Cy Young winner has been just as good in 2022. Burnes comes into Friday’s game with a 2.69 SIERA and a strikeout rate above 32%. It’s hard to ask for much more from a starting pitcher, especially one averaging more than six innings per start.

He also has one of the best matchups on the slate vs. the Pirates. Pittsburgh ranks ahead of only Detroit and Oakland in wRC+, but they strike out at a higher rate than both. They rank second in the MLB in K%, behind only the Angels.

As a result, Burnes leads the slate with an 8.83 K Prediction in our MLB Models, one of the highest numbers in recent memory. His Vegas data is also excellent, checking in as a greater than -200 favorite with a slate-low 3.2 opponent implied team total.

In a high-variance sport like baseball, it’s hard to declare any player a lock. Burnes is about as close as you can get tonight. He leads both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT projections in median and ceiling and will be hard to avoid in all contest types.

Gerrit Cole ($10,800) New York Yankees (-214) at Cleveland Guardians

Cole’s numbers are also elite on the season, though they fall short of Burnes. He’s one of five qualifying pitchers with a strikeout rate above 30%, coming in just behind Burnes for the third spot. His ERA and SIERA are slightly higher as well.

He also has a more difficult matchup, with Cleveland being a roughly league-average offense on the season. They’re certainly not a team to avoid pitchers against, but their league-low strikeout rate against right-handers makes them a subpar fantasy matchup.

Cole would have much more appeal if Burnes weren’t on the slate or if he provided significant savings. That’s not the case, though, with the Yankees ace being more expensive than Burnes. Cole ranks second in the FantasyLabs projections for median and ceiling while coming in third in THE BAT’s.

Being a clearly worse value on paper makes Cole interesting for GPPs. THE BAT has his projected ownership roughly half that of Burnes, so it makes sense to pivot to Cole in some lineups if multi-entering.


MLB DFS Value Picks

Brad Keller ($5,700) Kansas City Royals (TBD) at Detroit Tigers

Keller is a matchup play against the Detroit Tigers. Detroit’s recent “hot” streak has seen their offensive rankings rise — they’re now only the second-worst team in baseball in wOBA. They’re still a team we want to attack with pitchers in DFS.

Even mediocre pitchers have appeal in this matchup, and Keller is definitely a mediocre pitcher. His ERA and SIERA are both in the mid-fours, while he holds just a 15.3% strikeout rate. His swinging-strike rate suggests room for mild improvement, but he’ll never be a top strikeout arm.

At his price point, though, he doesn’t need to be. He’s a logical pairing with one of the more expensive arms today and leaves enough salary to still roster top hitters. He leads both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT projections for Pts/Sal.

Michael Pineda ($6,600) Detroit Tigers (TBD) vs. Kansas City Royals

Pineda hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since mid-May, with a finger injury keeping him out of action. However, he’s had a few rehab starts in Triple-A and is set to be recalled on Friday to bolster the Tigers’ banged-up rotation.

Before his injury, he was mediocre in 2022, with a solid 3.22 ERA but just a 13.6% strikeout rate. Those numbers were both prime for regression, though: His SIERA was way higher at 4.84, but his 9% swinging strike rate would support considerably more strikeouts.

Rostering him in his first game back to the bigs is a bit scary, but he couldn’t ask for a much better matchup — since he obviously can’t pitch against the Tigers. Kansas City has a bottom-five or so offense this season. There are questions about how long of a leash he’ll have tonight, but his reasonable salary makes that less concerning.

He ranks behind only Keller in the FantasyLabs projections for Pts/Sal tonight. With Pineda not being named the official starter yet, betting lines aren’t up for this game. Depending on where the moneyline and total are set, he and Keller could easily swap spots, or Pineda could fall further down the rankings.


MLB DFS GPP Picks

Cristian Javier ($9,200) Houston Astros (-167) vs. Los Angeles Angels

Javier falls just short of the required innings to qualify for the starting pitcher leaderboards. If he qualified, he would tie Cole for fourth in strikeout rate, at an excellent 31.8%. That’s no small sample size number either; his number was 30.7% in just over 100 innings last season.

Javier started the season with a run of short starts but has averaged six innings per appearance in his last three. If he repeats that tonight, he could rack up a ton of strikeouts against the Angels, who own the highest strikeout rate in the league.

The Angels also have a solid offense, making Javier a high-variance option. Javier’s opponent implied team total of 3.6 runs a very strong number, but it’s noticeably worse than the figures for Cole or Burnes. He’s expected to be roughly half as popular as Burnes while coming in significantly cheaper.

Javier trails only Burnes in THE BAT’s projections for median and ceiling while coming in fifth in the FantasyLabs set.

MLB DFS Hitters

Notable Stack

With the Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into DFS rosters.

Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups.

The top DraftKings stack in the FantasyLabs MLB Tournament Model when generated by rating belongs to the Colorado Rockies:

  • Connor Joe (1) ($4,200)
  • Charlie Blackmon  (2) ($4,900)
  • Kris Bryant (3) ($4,400)
  • C.J. Cron (4) ($5,100)
  • Brendan Rogers (5) ($4,500)

The Rockies are at home for a weekend series with the Diamondbacks, with the usual inflated totals attached to this one. Colorado has a slate-leading 6.0 run implied total as they square off with Arizona starter Merrill Kelly ($7,900).

Kelly is a pitcher we like to stack against regardless of where the game takes place, so the Rockies are an obvious choice against him at home. Kelly has a 4.29 SIERA on the season but just a 5.8% HR/FB ratio. That’s roughly half the league average.

HR/FB rate should more or less regress to the league mean over time but is generally much higher at Coors Field. Kelly’s hard-hit rate is above the league average as well, so there’s no reason to think he’ll be an outlier in terms of home runs.

That makes the reasonably affordable Rockies stack a clear top option on Friday’s slate.


Top Stacking Pick from THE BAT X

One of the great features of being a FantasyLabs Pro member is the option to purchase additional items in the FantasyLabs Marketplace.

A new addition to our MLB projections is THE BAT from Derek Carty of RotoGrinders. With this purchase, you can use his projections alone or create aggregate projections in our Player Models.

The top DraftKings stack from THE BAT when generated by ceiling belongs to the Arizona Diamondbacks:

It should be no surprise that the Diamondbacks are popping in THE BAT, given they’re the road team in the series at Coors Field. They have arguably the better pitching matchup of the two teams, as the Rockies have Antonio Senzatela ($5,300) taking the mound.

Senzatela has ERA and SIERA numbers in the high fours while striking out just 12.5% of the batters he’s faced. He does well at keeping the ball on the ground, but we’d still hope a pitcher at Coors could miss a few more bats.

Colorado also features one of the league’s worst bullpens, with an ERA lower than only the Reds. Of course, those numbers are slightly inflated thanks to their home ballpark, but we shouldn’t discount that when this game is in Coors.

The salaries for Arizona are also more than reasonable. They have a 5.9-run implied total, the best mark among any road team. Despite that, you can still get this (or any) five-player Arizona stack for under $23,000. That’s fairly expensive for one of the league’s worst offenses — but a bargain considering the location and matchup.

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Sign up and deposit up to $100

Your deposit will be fully matched

New users only

Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks

Nick Allen 2B/SS ($2,000 DraftKings; $2,200 FanDuel) Oakland A’s at Seattle Mariners (Marco Gonzales)

Allen is just 20 games into his major league career but is hitting a reasonable .250 with a .724 OPS. While that’s nothing special, he provides some upside with his legs — he had 10 steals in 46 games at Triple-A this season.

He’s expected to bat leadoff at the stone minimum on DraftKings, which is always an appealing combination. Oakland is only implied for 3.5 runs, but they have a juicy matchup with Marco Gonzales ($7,400) of the Mariners. Gonzales has an ERA in the low threes, but don’t expect that to hold. His SIERA is over five, and his .243 BABIP against is unsustainably low.

Historically, min-priced leadoff hitters have averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.27 (per the Trends tool).

Hanser Alberto 2B/3B ($2,800 DraftKings; $2,000 FanDuel) Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres (Blake Snell)

It’s strange making it this far without mentioning a Dodger. They’re usually one of the top stacks on the slate, but that’s not the case tonight. They’re still implied for a healthy 4.4 run total, though, as they take on Blake Snell ($8,600) and the Padres.

The left-handed Snell is struggling this season, with a 5.60 ERA. While his SIERA is somewhat lower, he hasn’t been especially unlucky in either BABIP or HR/FB ratio. That makes all of the Dodgers intriguing tonight, but Alberto is my favorite.

Alberto has insane platoon splits against left-handed pitching, with a .325 career average compared to just .238 against righties. He has over 500 ABs against southpaws, so this isn’t exactly a sample size issue either. While his upside is limited, those are great numbers considering his salary.

Byron Buxton OF ($5,700 DraftKings; $3,800 FanDuel)  Minnesota Twins vs. Baltimore Orioles (Spenser Watkins)

Buxton is always in play, especially when he has such a great matchup. Spenser Watkins ($5,000) of the Orioles has both SIERA and ERA numbers over five this season — which is an improvement over his ERA of 8.07 as a rookie.

Minnesota’s 5.5-run total is the highest outside of the game at Coors, making all of their hitters attractive options. Buxton is the clear top choice, ranking second in median projection among all hitters in both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT projections on DraftKings.

His teammate Jorge Polanco ($3,900 DraftKings; $3,3400 FanDuel) is also a solid option. He’s underpriced on DraftKings, whereas Buxton is a better value on FanDuel.

The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.

Friday features a 10-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

MLB DFS Pitching Picks

MLB DFS Stud Pick

Corbin Burnes ($10,600) Milwaukee Brewers (-202) at Pittsburgh Pirates

The 2021 NL Cy Young winner has been just as good in 2022. Burnes comes into Friday’s game with a 2.69 SIERA and a strikeout rate above 32%. It’s hard to ask for much more from a starting pitcher, especially one averaging more than six innings per start.

He also has one of the best matchups on the slate vs. the Pirates. Pittsburgh ranks ahead of only Detroit and Oakland in wRC+, but they strike out at a higher rate than both. They rank second in the MLB in K%, behind only the Angels.

As a result, Burnes leads the slate with an 8.83 K Prediction in our MLB Models, one of the highest numbers in recent memory. His Vegas data is also excellent, checking in as a greater than -200 favorite with a slate-low 3.2 opponent implied team total.

In a high-variance sport like baseball, it’s hard to declare any player a lock. Burnes is about as close as you can get tonight. He leads both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT projections in median and ceiling and will be hard to avoid in all contest types.

Gerrit Cole ($10,800) New York Yankees (-214) at Cleveland Guardians

Cole’s numbers are also elite on the season, though they fall short of Burnes. He’s one of five qualifying pitchers with a strikeout rate above 30%, coming in just behind Burnes for the third spot. His ERA and SIERA are slightly higher as well.

He also has a more difficult matchup, with Cleveland being a roughly league-average offense on the season. They’re certainly not a team to avoid pitchers against, but their league-low strikeout rate against right-handers makes them a subpar fantasy matchup.

Cole would have much more appeal if Burnes weren’t on the slate or if he provided significant savings. That’s not the case, though, with the Yankees ace being more expensive than Burnes. Cole ranks second in the FantasyLabs projections for median and ceiling while coming in third in THE BAT’s.

Being a clearly worse value on paper makes Cole interesting for GPPs. THE BAT has his projected ownership roughly half that of Burnes, so it makes sense to pivot to Cole in some lineups if multi-entering.


MLB DFS Value Picks

Brad Keller ($5,700) Kansas City Royals (TBD) at Detroit Tigers

Keller is a matchup play against the Detroit Tigers. Detroit’s recent “hot” streak has seen their offensive rankings rise — they’re now only the second-worst team in baseball in wOBA. They’re still a team we want to attack with pitchers in DFS.

Even mediocre pitchers have appeal in this matchup, and Keller is definitely a mediocre pitcher. His ERA and SIERA are both in the mid-fours, while he holds just a 15.3% strikeout rate. His swinging-strike rate suggests room for mild improvement, but he’ll never be a top strikeout arm.

At his price point, though, he doesn’t need to be. He’s a logical pairing with one of the more expensive arms today and leaves enough salary to still roster top hitters. He leads both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT projections for Pts/Sal.

Michael Pineda ($6,600) Detroit Tigers (TBD) vs. Kansas City Royals

Pineda hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since mid-May, with a finger injury keeping him out of action. However, he’s had a few rehab starts in Triple-A and is set to be recalled on Friday to bolster the Tigers’ banged-up rotation.

Before his injury, he was mediocre in 2022, with a solid 3.22 ERA but just a 13.6% strikeout rate. Those numbers were both prime for regression, though: His SIERA was way higher at 4.84, but his 9% swinging strike rate would support considerably more strikeouts.

Rostering him in his first game back to the bigs is a bit scary, but he couldn’t ask for a much better matchup — since he obviously can’t pitch against the Tigers. Kansas City has a bottom-five or so offense this season. There are questions about how long of a leash he’ll have tonight, but his reasonable salary makes that less concerning.

He ranks behind only Keller in the FantasyLabs projections for Pts/Sal tonight. With Pineda not being named the official starter yet, betting lines aren’t up for this game. Depending on where the moneyline and total are set, he and Keller could easily swap spots, or Pineda could fall further down the rankings.


MLB DFS GPP Picks

Cristian Javier ($9,200) Houston Astros (-167) vs. Los Angeles Angels

Javier falls just short of the required innings to qualify for the starting pitcher leaderboards. If he qualified, he would tie Cole for fourth in strikeout rate, at an excellent 31.8%. That’s no small sample size number either; his number was 30.7% in just over 100 innings last season.

Javier started the season with a run of short starts but has averaged six innings per appearance in his last three. If he repeats that tonight, he could rack up a ton of strikeouts against the Angels, who own the highest strikeout rate in the league.

The Angels also have a solid offense, making Javier a high-variance option. Javier’s opponent implied team total of 3.6 runs a very strong number, but it’s noticeably worse than the figures for Cole or Burnes. He’s expected to be roughly half as popular as Burnes while coming in significantly cheaper.

Javier trails only Burnes in THE BAT’s projections for median and ceiling while coming in fifth in the FantasyLabs set.

MLB DFS Hitters

Notable Stack

With the Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into DFS rosters.

Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups.

The top DraftKings stack in the FantasyLabs MLB Tournament Model when generated by rating belongs to the Colorado Rockies:

  • Connor Joe (1) ($4,200)
  • Charlie Blackmon  (2) ($4,900)
  • Kris Bryant (3) ($4,400)
  • C.J. Cron (4) ($5,100)
  • Brendan Rogers (5) ($4,500)

The Rockies are at home for a weekend series with the Diamondbacks, with the usual inflated totals attached to this one. Colorado has a slate-leading 6.0 run implied total as they square off with Arizona starter Merrill Kelly ($7,900).

Kelly is a pitcher we like to stack against regardless of where the game takes place, so the Rockies are an obvious choice against him at home. Kelly has a 4.29 SIERA on the season but just a 5.8% HR/FB ratio. That’s roughly half the league average.

HR/FB rate should more or less regress to the league mean over time but is generally much higher at Coors Field. Kelly’s hard-hit rate is above the league average as well, so there’s no reason to think he’ll be an outlier in terms of home runs.

That makes the reasonably affordable Rockies stack a clear top option on Friday’s slate.


Top Stacking Pick from THE BAT X

One of the great features of being a FantasyLabs Pro member is the option to purchase additional items in the FantasyLabs Marketplace.

A new addition to our MLB projections is THE BAT from Derek Carty of RotoGrinders. With this purchase, you can use his projections alone or create aggregate projections in our Player Models.

The top DraftKings stack from THE BAT when generated by ceiling belongs to the Arizona Diamondbacks:

It should be no surprise that the Diamondbacks are popping in THE BAT, given they’re the road team in the series at Coors Field. They have arguably the better pitching matchup of the two teams, as the Rockies have Antonio Senzatela ($5,300) taking the mound.

Senzatela has ERA and SIERA numbers in the high fours while striking out just 12.5% of the batters he’s faced. He does well at keeping the ball on the ground, but we’d still hope a pitcher at Coors could miss a few more bats.

Colorado also features one of the league’s worst bullpens, with an ERA lower than only the Reds. Of course, those numbers are slightly inflated thanks to their home ballpark, but we shouldn’t discount that when this game is in Coors.

The salaries for Arizona are also more than reasonable. They have a 5.9-run implied total, the best mark among any road team. Despite that, you can still get this (or any) five-player Arizona stack for under $23,000. That’s fairly expensive for one of the league’s worst offenses — but a bargain considering the location and matchup.

Get Your First Deposit Matched Up to $100!

Sign up and deposit up to $100

Your deposit will be fully matched

New users only

Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks

Nick Allen 2B/SS ($2,000 DraftKings; $2,200 FanDuel) Oakland A’s at Seattle Mariners (Marco Gonzales)

Allen is just 20 games into his major league career but is hitting a reasonable .250 with a .724 OPS. While that’s nothing special, he provides some upside with his legs — he had 10 steals in 46 games at Triple-A this season.

He’s expected to bat leadoff at the stone minimum on DraftKings, which is always an appealing combination. Oakland is only implied for 3.5 runs, but they have a juicy matchup with Marco Gonzales ($7,400) of the Mariners. Gonzales has an ERA in the low threes, but don’t expect that to hold. His SIERA is over five, and his .243 BABIP against is unsustainably low.

Historically, min-priced leadoff hitters have averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.27 (per the Trends tool).

Hanser Alberto 2B/3B ($2,800 DraftKings; $2,000 FanDuel) Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres (Blake Snell)

It’s strange making it this far without mentioning a Dodger. They’re usually one of the top stacks on the slate, but that’s not the case tonight. They’re still implied for a healthy 4.4 run total, though, as they take on Blake Snell ($8,600) and the Padres.

The left-handed Snell is struggling this season, with a 5.60 ERA. While his SIERA is somewhat lower, he hasn’t been especially unlucky in either BABIP or HR/FB ratio. That makes all of the Dodgers intriguing tonight, but Alberto is my favorite.

Alberto has insane platoon splits against left-handed pitching, with a .325 career average compared to just .238 against righties. He has over 500 ABs against southpaws, so this isn’t exactly a sample size issue either. While his upside is limited, those are great numbers considering his salary.

Byron Buxton OF ($5,700 DraftKings; $3,800 FanDuel)  Minnesota Twins vs. Baltimore Orioles (Spenser Watkins)

Buxton is always in play, especially when he has such a great matchup. Spenser Watkins ($5,000) of the Orioles has both SIERA and ERA numbers over five this season — which is an improvement over his ERA of 8.07 as a rookie.

Minnesota’s 5.5-run total is the highest outside of the game at Coors, making all of their hitters attractive options. Buxton is the clear top choice, ranking second in median projection among all hitters in both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT projections on DraftKings.

His teammate Jorge Polanco ($3,900 DraftKings; $3,3400 FanDuel) is also a solid option. He’s underpriced on DraftKings, whereas Buxton is a better value on FanDuel.