The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Friday features a 13-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
MLB DFS Pitching Picks
MLB DFS Stud Picks
Charlie Morton ($9,300) Atlanta Braves (-180) vs. Miami Marlins
Morton leads both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT median projections on Friday as his Braves host the Miami Marlins. Miami is one of the weaker offenses, with an 88 overall wRC+ on the season. They’re implied for just 3.1 runs against Morton and the Braves, the lowest mark on the slate.
Morton has shown no signs of decline in his age 38 season, with a 28.6% strikeout rate and 3.41 SIERA through 25 starts. His 4.10 ERA isn’t great, but all of his underlying metrics suggest he’s been better than that. His xERA, FIP, and xFIP are all below 4.00 on the year.
Overall, $9,300 is an extremely reasonable price to pay for the highest projected pitcher on the slate, making him the clear top choice on Friday.
Besides leading the median projections in both systems, he checks in second in the Pts/Sal projections as well. He’s a great choice for all contest types, even as the slate’s most popular option.
David Peterson ($8,300) New York Mets (-286) vs. Washington Nationals
Peterson has arguably the best matchup on the slate tonight as he takes on the Washington Nationals. Washington has poor season-long numbers but have been even worse offensively since the trade of Josh Bell and Juan Soto around the deadline.
The Nationals’ 3.1-run implied total is tied with Miami for the lowest mark on the slate, and the Mets are the slate’s heaviest favorites. Those numbers are hard to ignore for a pitcher at Peterson’s price point.
It’s not just a matchup-based play for Peterson, though. He’s been solid since converting to a starting role, with a 3.09 ERA through 81.2 innings. He also has a very strong 27.7% strikeout rate, giving him plenty of upside against the Nationals tonight.
He’s the leader in THE BAT’s Pts/Sal projections tonight while trailing only Morton in median.
MLB DFS Value Picks
Jeffrey Springs ($7,300) Tampa Bay Rays (-125) vs. New York Yankees
Springs is getting a surprising amount of respect from betting markets today. His Rays are favored against the Yankees — who are implied for just 3.4 runs tonight. With New York coming into the game as the second-best offense in the league against left-handed pitching, that says a lot about Springs.
The former reliever has excelled in a starting role this season, with a 3.08 ERA while starting. He also brings a 26.6% strikeout rate, one of the better marks on the slate. Both of those numbers are roughly in line with his advanced metrics — Springs is the real deal.
So getting him at only $7,300 on Friday is a pretty obvious value play. Pitchers with metrics like his — even in difficult matchups — generally go for at least $9,000 on DraftKings. He leads the FantasyLabs projections in Pts/Sal while coming in fifth in THE BAT.
He’s still a risky option though, given the power in the Yankees lineup. That makes him a better GPP option on Friday — particularly since his ownership projections are fairly low tonight.
MLB DFS GPP Picks
Sandy Alcantara ($10,300) Miami Marlins (+150) at Atlanta Braves
It’s not often that we see an underdog pitcher projecting as one of the top options, but Alcantara is a special case. He’s a -900 favorite to win the national league Cy Young and for good reason. He comes into this game with a ridiculous 2.13 ERA and an average start over seven innings long.
That longevity is nearly unheard of in today’s MLB and gives him upside even without exceptional strikeout numbers. His K% is just 23.2% on the year. That’s solid but well below what we normally see from top arms. He did strike out 10 Dodgers in his last outing, so the potential is there as well.
It’s a difficult matchup tonight with the Braves, who are the eighth-best offense in the MLB by wRC+. At the same token, Alcantara scored 39 DraftKings points against the Dodgers last time out and topped 30 against the Padres three starts back. He can win even in difficult matchups.
Still, he’s slightly thinner today, thanks to the matchup. He’s checking in second in the FantasyLabs median projections and third in THE BAT’s, but he struggles a bit from a Pts/Sal standpoint.
He’s arguably the only true ace on the slate, though, and his upside is hard to ignore in GPPs.
MLB DFS Hitters
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 Boston Red Sox:
- Tommy Pham (1) ($4,500)
- Alex Verdugo (2) ($3,700)
- Xander Bogaerts (3) ($5,100)
- J.D. Martinez (5) ($4,400)
- Trevor Story (6) ($4,800)
Boston’s 5.6-run implied total leads the slate by a comfortable margin on Friday, making them an obvious top stack candidate. They’re hosting the Rangers, who are starting Dallas Keuchel ($5,000).
Keuchel’s downfall has been well-documented, and he has an 8.84 ERA coming into the contest. In fairness, he’s been better than that number suggests, with a 5.30 xERA and 5.02 SIERA. On the other hand, those are still pretty bad numbers.
Keuchel being a southpaw also favors the Red Sox, as they have a 114 wRC+ against lefties (102 overall.) Story, Martinez, and Boagerts all have fairly notable platoon splits and should be a priority even if the full Boston stack proves too expensive for your builds.
Top Stacking Pick from THE BAT X
The top DraftKings stack from THE BAT when generated by ceiling belongs to the Los Angeles Dodgers:
The Dodgers are implied for only 4.6 runs tonight — and the fact that “only” makes sense in that sentence speaks to how strong of an offense they have. They’re hosting the Padres and Yu Darvish ($9,800) on Friday night.
Darvish is having a solid year, with ERA, xERA, and SIERA numbers in the mid-fours. Still, it’s a big ask for him against the Dodgers, arguably the best lineup in the league.
Given the difficulty of the pitching matchup, ownership should be much lower than usual on Los Angeles. That makes it a great time to stack them since we very rarely get their top hitters in the single-digit range.
Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks
Carson Kelly C ($3,500 DraftKings; $2,300 FanDuel) Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers (Erik Lauer)
Carson Kelly is a $3,500 leadoff-hitting catcher, which is really reason enough to play him on Friday. Finding top-of-the-order catchers is always a challenge, with the only other option (MJ Melendez) checking in at an extra $1,000 on DraftKings today.
Kelly is in a good spot today, though. He’s facing left-hander Eric Lauer ($9,000) of the Brewers. While Lauer isn’t a particularly easy matchup in a vacuum, Kelly has major platoon splits. He has a .870 OPS in his career against lefties, compared to just .631 against righties.
Kelly is an even stronger play on FanDuel, where he holds a 76% Bargain Rating.
Brendan Donovan 3B/OF ($2,700 DraftKings; $2,500 FanDuel) St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs (Adrian Sampson)
Donovan is hitting .292 through the first 98 games of his rookie season, making his sub-$3,000 price tag stick out today. Especially considering he’s projected to hit second in the Cardinals lineup. His price tag reflects his lack of upside, as he brings little in the way of power or steals to the table.
Still, his position in a strong Cards lineup gives him plenty of chances to score runs, with St. Louis implied for five today. I’m also interested in their leadoff hitter, Lars Nootbaar OF ($3,000 DraftKings; $3,300 FanDuel) is also a solid option.
He, too, is underpriced for the role on DraftKings, though is a bit more expensive on FanDuel.
Rowdy Tellez 1B ($4,100 DraftKings; $2,800 FanDuel) Milwaukee Brewers at Arizona Diamondbacks (Zach Davies)
Tellez is the highest-rated first baseman in our DraftKings Tournament Model, regardless of which projection system is in use. He’s a fairly boom-or-bust option, hitting just .227 on the season but with 27 home runs. He’s in a good spot in Arizona, though, with this game featuring the best Weather Rating on the slate.
It’s also a non-threatening matchup with Zach Davies ($6,400) of the Diamondbacks, who has a 3.82 ERA — but 4.61 SIERA — on the season. Tellez is a strong FanDuel option, thanks to his 79% Bargain Rating.