The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Monday features a nine-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
MLB DFS Pitching Picks
MLB DFS Stud Pick
Kevin Gausman ($9,800) Toronto Blue Jays (-182) vs. Boston Red Sox
The Blue Jays coming in as significant favorites against a strong Boston team says a lot about Gausman. Vegas is clearly on his side, with strong moneyline odds and the Red Sox implied for under four runs. He’s been excellent this season, with a 3.10 SIERA and 26.1% strikeout rate.
He’s also a candidate for some positive regression in the strikeout department. His 16.2% swinging strikeout rate ranks third in the majors among qualified starters, behind only Shane McClanahan and Corbin Burnes. Both of those pitchers have strikeout rates of at least 32%, so Gausman is due to see an uptick in that number.
While there’s no guarantee that will happen today, he’s still a solid play with a ton of upside. He should also come in at relatively reasonable ownership, thanks to the tough matchup and a string of disappointing starts. He hasn’t topped 20 points in any of his last five outings but scored at least 29 in four of the eight starts before that.
Gausman would be a great play if his ownership projections come in on the low end, but one I’m likely to fade if he’s more popular than expected. There are other solid choices on the slate, but none match his upside. He ranks second in both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT median projections.
MLB DFS Value Picks
Jordan Montgomery ($8,000) New York Yankees (-304) vs. Oakland A’s
At just $8,000, Montgomery is a solid mix of value and upside on Monday. His Yankees are the biggest favorites on the slate, with the A’s implied for a measly 3.2 runs.
Montgomery has been strong this season, with a 3.85 SIERA. Like Gausman, his swinging strike rate suggests he’s been getting a bit unlucky in the strikeout department. Opponents have swung and missed on 13.9% of his pitches, which is a career-high mark for him. Despite that, his 18.5% strikeout rate is the lowest of his career. Based on his swinging strike rate, it should wind up in the upper 20% range.
The real appeal, though, is the matchup, with the A’s being arguably baseball’s worst offense. The historically bad Tigers are the only team with a worse wRC+ number on the year, and Detroit is gaining ground fast. Oakland has the worst wOBA of any team and strikes out at a top-10 rate as well.
Any pitcher against the A’s should be considered, but Montgomery’s price point and upside make him a near-lock today. He leads THE BAT’s Pts/Sal projection while coming in third in the FantasyLabs set.
MLB DFS GPP Picks
Lucas Giolito ($8,300) Chicago White Sox (+112) at Los Angeles Angels
Giolito has a ton of upside on Monday’s slate. He leads our K Prediction with 7.69, and he’s the only pitcher over seven today. However, the Angels are implied for 4.6 runs, far more than we like to see against pitchers we put in our lineups.
Los Angeles has picked things up offensively of late but are a roughly league-average unit overall. Notably, they strike out at the highest rate in the majors. That makes this an extremely volatile matchup for Giolito, but that’s what we’re looking for in GPPs.
He’s been knocked around in his last two starts but has strong overall numbers on the season. His strikeout rate would be top-10 in the majors among qualifiers if he’d thrown enough innings this season, and his 3.69 SIERA is well below his 5.40 ERA.
Giolito is another arm I’d be thrilled with at low ownership but will shy away from if he’s popular. He leads the FantasyLabs projections for median and ceiling while coming in third in THE BAT’s ceiling projections.
George Kirby ($7,100) Seattle Mariners (-162) vs. Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore has the second-lowest implied total on the slate as they travel to Seattle to take on the Mariners. Kirby has put together a solid rookie season, with his ERA and SIERA in the low threes, while striking out 8.73 per nine innings.
He’s feasted on bad teams this season, with disappointing starts against the Red Sox (twice) and the Mets but double-digit fantasy points in every other contest. He’s topped 25 points against Oakland and these Orioles. That game was in Baltimore, and this contest being in Seattle means a much better pitching environment for Kirby.
The combination of solid numbers, a winnable matchup, and one of the best pitcher’s parks on the slate make Kirby a strong choice. He leads THE BAT’s Pts/Sal projections and leads the FantasyLabs model in Pro Trends among pitchers.
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 Los Angeles Dodgers:
- Trea Turner (1) ($6,000)
- Freddie Freeman (2) ($5,800)
- Will Smith (3) ($5,500)
- Max Muncy (4) ($4,900)
- Chris Taylor (5) ($4,300)
It’s going to be hard to get away from the Dodgers today, as the league’s best offense is playing in the league’s best hitting environment. They have a massive 6.9-run implied total at Coors Field, more than a full run above the next best team on the slate.
Besides the obvious, they also have a winnable matchup with the Rockies Chad Kuhl ($6,700). Kuhl has decent numbers in his first year with Colorado with a 3.95 ERA. However, he has some concerning underlying metrics. He’s striking out less than 20% of the batters he’s faced, and his SIERA is nearly a full run higher at 4.84.
Crucially, his hard-hit rate is about 10% higher than the league average, but his HR/FB rate is just 8.6%. The MLB average in that department is 11.3%, and we’d expect it to be considerably higher at Coors Field than elsewhere. With a flyball rate that’s also slightly above average, we should see some balls leave the park against him.
It’s rare to say that hitters are a must-play in such a high-variance sport, but the Dodgers might be. They’re fairly expensive, but we can find savings elsewhere. While I may consider pivoting to bottom-of-the-order Dodgers to save salary and ownership, I want as many LA bats as possible in my lineups tonight.
Top Stacking Pick from THE BAT X
The top DraftKings stack from THE BAT when generated by ceiling (outside of the Dodgers) belongs to the Angels:
THE BAT likes the Angels to get the better of Giolito today, and Vegas has the Angels implied for 4.6 runs. Trout and Ohtani lead all non-Dodger bats in median and ceiling projection, with Walsh and Rengifo popping as solid values for their salaries.
The decision to play Angels stacks boils down to what you think about Giolito’s recent form. He’s allowed 15 combined runs over his last two starts, each of which lasted five innings. If that trend continues, the Angels will help win some GPPs tonight.
As mentioned in his writeup, Giolito has solid overall numbers on the season. It could be a long night in Los Angeles if he can get back to form.
However, the salary and probable ownership savings make the Angels worth a look if building multiple lineups. They’ll provide a ton of leverage over the chalky Dodgers.
Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks
Yonathan Daza OF ($3,000 DraftKings; $2,700 FanDuel) Colorado Rockies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (Tyler Anderson)
With most of the attention on the visiting team, Rockies hitters could fly slightly under the radar. Daza represents the best value among them, as he comes in at only $3,000 on DraftKings despite strong projections. The matchup is relatively difficult with the Dodgers Tyler Anderson ($9,500), but it’s not a complete shy-away situation.
Anderson is a flyball pitcher with an unreasonably low HR/FB ratio of 7.8% and only moderate strikeout numbers. That’s a bad combination at Coors Field. He’s also a lefty, which is good news for Daza. Daza has hit southpaws for a .310 average in his brief career.
On the higher end of the salary range, Brendan Rodgers ($4,600 DraftKings; $3,100 FanDuel) is another Rocky with a significant platoon advantage tonight. Rodgers is the better FanDuel value, but Daza is preferable on DraftKings.
Charlie Culberson 3B/OF ($2,000 DraftKings; $2,000 FanDuel) Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals (Kris Bubic)
The minimum-priced Culberson is projected to bat eighth for the Rangers tonight against Kris Bubic ($6,100). Bubic has a 7.41 ERA on the season and a poor 4.94 SIERA. While going all the way to Culberson is scraping the bottom of the barrel, salary is tight when trying to fit Dodgers stacks.
His multi-position eligibility helps work him into lineups, but the real appeal is his platoon splits. He does his best work against lefties, with a career .736 OPS that’s more than 100 points higher than his numbers against right-handed pitching.
Cesar Hernandez 2B ($3,600 DraftKings; $2,500 FanDuel) Washington Nationals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Miguel Yajure)
The Nationals quietly have what may be the best pitching matchup on the slate against Miguel Yajure ($4,000) of the Pirates. While there’s some disagreement about who gets the start in Pittsburgh (MLB.com has it as TBD), if it’s Yajure, Nationals hitters should be considered.
Yajure has been used exclusively in relief this season but has an 11.32 ERA over 10.1 innings. He had three starts last season, with an 8.40 ERA over 15 innings. If he gets the start, it will probably be in more of an opener role, but the Pirates bullpen has a bottom-10 ERA as a group. All of this points to an elite matchup for Washington.
Hernandez is expected to lead off at just $3,600 in salary, representing the best value on the team. Other hitters are in play, too, with mini-stacks serving as an affordable complement to Dodgers or Angels lineups.