The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Sunday’s main slate features 11 games starting at 1:35 p.m. ET to close out a late-summer weekend of baseball as teams start to make their push toward the postseason. As of this morning, all games are expected to play clean.
MLB DFS Pitching Picks
MLB DFS Stud Picks
Max Scherzer ($11,400) New York Mets (-358) vs. Colorado Rockies
New York Mets ace Max Scherzer looks to be in an ideal spot Sunday against a Colorado Rockies lineup with a 2.7-implied-run total. Priced at a sky-high $11,400 on DraftKings as the most expensive pitcher, Scherzer jumps to the top of our Player Model. A generational talent, Mad Max has made 18 starts this season, posting a 9-3 record, 2.33 ERA, 30% K rate, and 0.94 WHIP. Further, Scherzer has five or more strikeouts in nine of his last 10 starts and should make easy work despite facing a disciplined Rockies lineup with a 0.226 strikeout-per-at-bat average and a .313 wOBA.
Per the Trends tool, when favored at home, Scherzer averages 25.36 actual DraftKings points and a +3.18 Plus/Minus. Look for Scherzer to be an easy and popular choice at SP1 on Sunday who should see high ownership
Justin Verlander ($11,000) Houston Astros (-275) vs. Baltimore Orioles
Future Hall of Fame pitcher Justin Verlander should be an easy play at SP1 on Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles, who have a 2.9-implied-run total, which is one of the lowest on the slate. Having a dominant 2022 season, Verlander has a 16-3 record in 23 starts, with a 1.87 ERA, 26%K rate, and 0.85 WHIP. Projected for 7.13 strikeouts, Verlander gets an ideal matchup against a Baltimore Orioles lineup with a 0.256 strikeout-per-at-bat average.
A slight spend-down option from Scherzer, Verlander should be able to provide a floor for lineups, and it should be a difficult choice on which elite arm to choose.
MLB DFS Value Picks
Kohei Arihara ($6,700) Texas Rangers (-165) vs. Detroit Tigers
Texas Rangers pitcher Kohei Arihara projects as one of the top values on the slate Sunday, priced at $6,700 on DraftKings and facing a strikeout-prone Detroit Tigers lineup. Despite a higher 3.8-implied-run total, the Tigers have a 0.263 strikeout-per-at-bat average. That should signal fantasy viability for Arihara, given his extremely low salary on DraftKings and high strikeout upside, as he’s projected for 5.2 strikeouts Sunday. By no means is Arihara a safe play — the second-year starter has made just two starts in the Majors, posting a 1-1 record with a 2.31 ERA, 18.4% K rate, and 1.29 WHIP, and he might not be fully stretched out.
However, if Arihara can limit damage from the Tigers, he should allow rosters to unlock higher-priced bats.
MLB DFS GPP Picks
Dylan Cease ($10,600) Chicago White Sox (-195) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease looks to be an excellent GPP option at SP1 and should come in at lower ownership while also projecting for one of the highest ceilings on the slate. Making 25 starts this season, Cease continues to be a consistent arm, posting a 12-6 record with a 2.27 ERA, 31.8% K rate, and 1.17 WHIP. However, Cease faces a hyper-disciplined Arizona Diamondbacks lineup with a 0.225 strikeout-per-at-bat average and a .309 wOBA. Even with the 3.4-implied-run total, Cease certainly can reach an 85th-percentile outcome with huge strikeout upside, as he’s recorded at least five strikeouts in his last six of nine starts.
Cease should be considered a viable option at SP1 and warrants a second look.
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 use our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups.
The top DraftKings stack in the FantasyLabs MLB Player Model, when generated by median projection, belongs to the Toronto Blue Jays:
- Alejandro Kirk (4) ($4,500)
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (2) ($5,700)
- George Springer (1) ($5,400)
- Teoscar Hernandez (5) ($5,000)
- Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (3) ($4,400)
Implied for 5.6 runs, one of the highest totals on the slate, the tough Toronto Blue Jays look to be a top stack option Sunday and are in a prime position to generate runs against Tucker Davidson and the Los Angeles Angels. The Blue Jays are full of power at the top of the order, posting a 0.210 strikeout-per-at-bat average and a .344 wOBA, and they face a starting pitcher in Davidson who has a 6.23 ERA in six starts with an 11.3% K rate and 1.75 WHIP.
As previously mentioned, I prefer a hyper-correlated 1-2-3-4-5 stack when loading up bats on DraftKings. This Blue Jays stack comes at an expensive $25,000 price tag and may limit options at secondary stacks or top-tier pitching.
Top Stacking Pick from THE BAT X
One of the top DraftKings stacks from THE BAT, when generated by projected ceiling, belongs to the Philadelphia Phillies:
The Phillies’ top-of-the-order stack projects for one of the highest ceilings, according to THE BAT. Priced at a similar $25,900 on DraftKings to the Blue Jays, the Phillies’ powerful offense gets a matchup against Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Roansy Contreras with a 5.9-implied-run total, the highest on the slate. The Phillies are disciplined at the plate, posting a 0.250 strikeout-per-at-bat average and a .336 wOBA and look to be a nuisance for Contreras, who has a 3-4 record with a 3.86 ERA, 21.4% K rate, and 1.37 WHIP in 11 starts.
Expect the runs to come in bulk from this lineup.
Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks
Christian Yelich OF ($3,900 DraftKings, $3,200 FanDuel) Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs (Adrian Sampson)
Removing the Phillies and Blue Jays in search of possible one-off plays, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich has the highest rating in our model on DraftKings. Yelich should be a popular option Sunday against pitcher Adrian Sampson of the Cubs. Projected to bat leadoff, Yelich should kickstart the Brewers’ offense, which is implied for 4.8 runs. Look for the Brewers star to be a great one-off option Sunday with a $3,900 price tag on DraftKings.
Mike Trout OF ($5,500 DraftKings, $4,200 FanDuel) Los Angeles Angels at Toronto Blue Jays (Ross Stripling)
If we’re talking about ceiling outcomes, Los Angeles Angels superstar outfielder Mike Trout should be in the conversation Sunday, as he is projected for one of the highest ceilings. Facing pitcher Ross Stripling should be no problem for the virtually matchup-proof Trout, who is slashing .268/.362/.594 with 27 home runs. Trout is an easy choice for a ceiling outcome with home-run upside.
Romy Gonzalez 1B ($2,000 DraftKings, $2,000 FanDuel) Chicago White Sox vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (Zach Davies)
When looking for value, Romy Gonzalez jumps to the top with the highest projected Plus/Minus. Gonzalez, at the minimum price tag on DraftKings, is slashing .300/.348/.400 since being called up to the majors. Chicago has an implied total of 4.8 runs, and Gonzalez — who is projected to bat leadoff — should have an ideal outing in a matchup with a high implied total, which should also open up rosters to more expensive pitching options.