The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Sunday features an eight-game main slate starting at 1:35 p.m. ET.
MLB DFS Pitching Picks
MLB DFS Stud Picks
Dylan Cease ($9,800) Chicago White Sox (-175) vs. Chicago Cubs
Cease may be the third-highest-priced pitcher on the slate, but he has the highest ceiling in both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT’s projections. That may be a little surprising, seeing as though Cease got rocked in his last outing with seven earned runs allowed in only three innings of work against the Red Sox.
This matchup is much different, as the Cubs have a 3.4-implied-run total and have the highest strikeout/at bat on the slate, and it isn’t particularly close. Cease’s ERA is inflated due to his poor outing last game, but he still has a 35.3% strikeout rate heading into this fantastic strikeout matchup against the Cubs.
If you take out his last start, Cease has recorded 48 strikeouts in his last five games. During that time, he is averaging 25.8 DraftKings points per game. He will be relatively popular, but it is tough to avoid Cease in this matchup as the best pitching option on the slate in a high strikeout potential spot.
Max Fried ($9,200) Atlanta Braves (-222) vs. Miami Marlins
Fried has the best Vegas data on the slate, which is why he is the second-most-popular pitcher in this matchup against the Marlins, who are implied for 3.3 runs. Fried has been as consistent as they come, as he has pitched six or more innings in each of his last seven starts despite not throwing 100 pitches.
The southpaw relies on his low hard-hit rate, as he does a great job keeping the ball in the yard with a 0.65 HR/9. His strikeout rate is 23.3%, which is respectable as well, especially in this matchup against the Marlins who have a 24% strikeout rate as a team this season paired with a .148 ISO.
Fried has not lost a start since his first two outings, so a victory is very much on the table as he will certainly have a quality start. There is plenty of stats to back up Fried in this spot against the Marlins, but the best has to be the Vegas data, as the Braves are a -222 favorite to win today.
MLB DFS Value Pick
Tristan McKenzie ($7,600) Cleveland Guardians (-166) at Detroit Tigers
Priced more in the mid-range, McKenzie has the highest Pts/Sal and projected Plus/Minus on the slate. He comes in with the highest ownership, but it is deserving in this matchup against the Tigers, who are only implied for 3.4 runs. This is a great spot to target the young right-hander.
The Tigers have the worst team wOBA and the second-highest strikeout/at bat on the slate. They have only scored 123 runs this season, which is 30 runs worse than the second-lowest team. The Tigers are also the only team with under double-digit steals and an ISO below .100.
Despite McKenzie’s 3-3 record, he has a career-best 0.83 HR/9 paired with a 22.4% strikeout rate. He has completed six or more innings in each of his last four starts, so he will have a great shot to extend that today against the Tigers. This spot is all about the matchup, and the Tigers present the best.
MLB DFS GPP Picks
Shane McClanahan ($10,500) Tampa Bay Rays (-139) vs. New York Yankees
McClanahan is the highest priced pitcher on the slate, but he has the fifth-highest ownership due to this matchup against the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees lead the league with 65 home runs, but there is some upside here as they have a 22.1% strikeout rate.
McClanahan has a ridiculous 37.4% strikeout rate, which is more than likely why the Yankees have a slate-low 3.1-implied-run total. It is rare to see this high-powered offense that low, which shows how much respect is given to McClanahan. This is a great GPP spot to target McClanahan.
He has recorded a positive Plus/Minus on DraftKings in each start this season. After a rocky 2021 season, McClanahan has been so much better to start this season. Don’t be intimidated by the matchup or the high salary. McClanahan is a great way to get different on the mound tonight.
Corbin Burnes ($10,200) Milwaukee Brewers (-143) at St. Louis Cardinals
Burnes is another high-priced pitcher who isn’t getting a lot of ownership due to the great options that are below him in better spots. After winning the Cy Young in the National League last season, Burnes has fallen off just a little bit this season, allowing a 39.6% hard-hit rate and 1.25 HR/9.
Despite being hit a little harder, Burnes has no problem pitching deep into games and still has above a 30% strikeout rate. The one main concern is that his left-on-base percentage is at 91.1%, which is extremely high and rather lucky. However, being a high-strikeout pitcher comes in handy in tough situations.
The Cardinals have the fourth-lowest strikeout/at bat and the third-highest team wOBA on this slate, making this a tougher matchup. Burnes and the Brewers are still favored, as the Cardinals have a 3.3-implied-run total. All in all, he still has major upside even at his high salary in this spot today.
MLB DFS Hitters
Top Stacking Pick from THE BAT X
The top DraftKings stack from THE BAT, when generated by projected ceiling, belongs to the Boston Red Sox:
Back to the Red Sox we go, as it is hard not to with how well they are playing lately. They have been a little boom-or-bust lately, especially in this home series against the Orioles. However, it is impossible to ignore their upside as they take on left-hander Bruce Zimmermann ($5,500).
The Red Sox have a 5.9-implied-run total, the highest on the slate, and they should be able to tattoo balls off of Zimmermann today. He has allowed seven home runs in his last three games, four coming in his last start against the Yankees. The Red Sox have struggled a bit with left-handers, but they should have zero trouble today.
J.D. Martinez is the top target, as he continues to lead the league with a ridiculous .376 batting average and a .443 wOBA. He has at least one hit in 26 of his last 27 games, showing how consistent he is as a hitter this season. Not only Martinez, but the Red Sox are filled with powerful right-handed bats.
That is where Zimmermann is going to find his most trouble. Of his 20 earned runs allowed, 19 of those have come off the bat of a right-hander. He has a 15.8% strikeout rate against right-handed batters while allowing a .348 wOBA and a .480 slugging percentage. Great spot again for the Red Sox.
Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks
Juan Soto OF ($5,300 DraftKings; $3,700 FanDuel) Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies (Kyle Freeland)
Soto has been struggling mightily recently, getting just five hits in his last 44 plate appearances. As a team, the Washington Nationals have the second-worst record in the league. Soto leads the team with eight home runs, but seven of those have come against right-handed pitchers.
Not having the platoon advantage will cause his ownership to dip, but facing Freeland who has given up a better .wOBA and slugging percentage to left-handed hitters is a major positive. On the season, Freeland is allowing a career-high 41.2% hard-hit rate. Don’t let the platoon edge fool you.
Soto is grading out extremely well in THE BAT as one of the better options that is not on the Red Sox offense that I wrote up earlier. His recent struggles will keep Soto’s ownership in check, but he has significant upside as the Nationals are implied for 4.7 runs tonight with Soto leading the way.
Myles Straw OF ($3,400 DraftKings; $2,900 FanDuel) Cleveland Guardians at Detroit Tigers (Elvin Rodriguez)
Straw is the most popular batter that is not in the Red Sox lineup tonight, as he is projected to bat leadoff for the Guardians against right-hander Elvin Rodriguez, who is off to a rough start. In his first full season with the Guardians, Straw has struggled a little bit with only a .286 wOBA and 98 wRC+.
The real draw for Straw tonight is this matchup against Rodriguez, who has a blistering 9.39 ERA in only 7.2 innings pitched. This will be his second-straight turn in the Tigers starting lineup, and he has allowed four earned runs in each of his other two starts. Great spot for Straw to bounce back.
There isn’t a lot of power in Straw’s bat, so he may not be able to take advantage of Rodriguez’s 2.35 HR/9, but he should be able to still crush the ball given Rodriguez’s 47.8% hard-hit rate. The recent failures aren’t scaring the public off of Straw in this matchup, so don’t be afraid of it either.
Carlos Correa SS ($5,300 DraftKings; $3,400 FanDuel) Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals (Zack Greinke)
Looking at any Twins player in this matchup against Greinke feels very enticing. Correa seems like to the best bet to give Greinke trouble with the Twins projected for 5.1 runs. He has two or more hits in three of his last four games, as he seems fully healthy from his finger injury that kept him out for a while.
Greinke is a shell of his former self and is priced as the second-lowest pitcher on a slate with 16 starting options. Seeing his name that far down may draw some ownership, but don’t fall into that trap. The 38-year old has an 11.3% strikeout rate and just gave up seven earned runs against the Diamondbacks.
Correa is a great way to get different, as most will go to Xander Bogaerts, who is only $100 more expensive in a better stacking spot with the Red Sox. Both have been very good lately, so paying up for either is a great choice on this slate. Don’t forget the Twins and Correa in this spot against Greinke.
Jon Berti 2B/3B ($2,800 DraftKings; $2,200 FanDuel) Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves (Max Fried)
This value option may be nullified if Jazz Chisholm Jr. is able to play. Monitor the starting lineups page to see if it is Berti or Chisholm starting at second base for the Marlins. This will be Berti’s third game back since returning from the COVID-19 list, and he has performed well in back-to-back games.
Berti has double digit DraftKings points in each game, and it helps that he has recorded a steal in both. Batting leadoff provides a ton of value at his salary, and being the road team could get him an extra at-bat. He is a great way to get different when fading Fried, and having dual eligibility only increases Berti’s value on this slate.
On the season, Berti has a career-high .227 ISO and .417 wOBA in 54 plate appearances. The matchup against Fried isn’t ideal from a hitting and basestealing perspective, but Berti is simply too cheap. The Marlins only have a 3.3-implied-run total, but Berti is still a great salary saver to pay up for pitching.