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MLB DFS Picks Breakdown (Thursday, June 9): The Braves Are Heating Up

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

Thursday features a five-game main slate starting at 7:10 p.m. ET.

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MLB DFS Pitching Picks

MLB DFS Stud Picks

Max Fried ($9,500) Atlanta Braves (-276) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Fried is the perfect intersection of talent and matchup on Thursday’s slate. The other aces on the board are in much more difficult spots in terms of their opponent, while Fried draws the bottom-feeding Pirates. Pittsburgh ranks 28th in wRC+, 27th in wOBA, and strikes out at the third-highest rate in the MLB.

Fried isn’t quite as dominant as pitchers in his price range generally are, with a 22% strikeout rate on the season that’s more or less in line with his career average. His 3.25 SIERA is very strong, but he’ll need to rack up more Ks to reach a ceiling.

That makes Fried a safe but somewhat lower upside option on today’s slate. That’s perfect for cash games, especially considering what Vegas thinks of this game. Pittsburgh has a slate-low 3.3-run total, and Atlanta is the biggest favorite on the board.

Fried leads both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT projection sets for median projection today.

Gerrit Cole ($10,400) New York Yankees (-215) at Minnesota Twins

Cole is the higher variance option of the top-flight pitchers today. He currently has a 31.5% strikeout rate, his fifth consecutive season over 30%. He also has a dominant 2.71 SIERA, easily the top mark on the slate. The risk comes with the matchup, though. Minnesota is a top-five offense in the MLB by most metrics.

Cole has largely beat up on bad teams this season. He’s made only two starts against top-ten teams by wRC+ (Boston and Toronto) and averaged just 10.58 DraftKings points in those starts. Of his 11 starts, he’s faced bottom-10 teams six times: The Orioles and Tigers twice each, as well as the White Sox and Royals.

That gives me a bit of pause on Cole against a tough offense like the Twins. His starts against Boston and Toronto were early in the season, which could explain his struggles. Or, his stats could be artificially high based on the matchups he’s lucked into. It’s far more likely to be the former, but it’s a tiny red flag on Cole.

Either way, he ranks behind only Fried in median projection in the FantasyLabs projections while coming in third in THE BAT’s. If his ownership comes in below Fried’s, he’s a great GPP play.


MLB DFS Value Pick

Kris Bubic ($5,000) Kansas City Royals (-110) vs. Baltimore Orioles

Bubic’s overall numbers on the season are pretty awful. He has a 5.91 SIERA and an ERA over nine through seven appearances. However, he hasn’t been consistently bad, just wildly inconsistent. In his last start, he held the Astros scoreless through five innings and lasted five against the Yankees with “only” three earned runs a few starts before that.

His chances of having a good game are significantly higher tonight, thanks to a matchup with the Orioles. We know how bad Baltimore’s lineup is at this point, and that’s with half of their games being played in the hitter-friendly confines of Camden Yards. This game is in Kansas City, in a ballpark with a 69 Park Factor and 48 Weather Rating that are both second on the slate.

Bubic is just $5,000, so he doesn’t even need a massive score to be a good play at the price tag. While he may not have big-league talent, that might not matter in this spot. He leads both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT systems in Pts/Sal projection.


MLB DFS GPP Pick

Shohei Ohtani ($8,100) Los Angeles Angels (-131) vs. Boston Red Sox

It speaks to the respect Ohtani garners as a pitcher that the Angels are favored tonight. They’re currently in the midst of a 14 (!) game losing streak that saw manager Joe Maddon relieved of his duties. Meanwhile, Boston is one of baseball’s hottest teams, riding a seven-game winning streak.

Yet, markets think the Angels are more likely to win this one. Ohtani has been filthy this year, with a 2.61 SIERA and 33% strikeout rate. That strikeout rate isn’t just because he’s running good, either. His 15.1% swinging-strike rate is the best mark of his career.

The biggest knock on Ohtani is the relative caution with which the Angels approach his starts. He averages more than half an inning less per start than Cole for example, as his two-way role and injury history keep him on a shorter pitch count than most aces.

We can accept that given the significant salary savings from Fried/Cole down to Ohtani. He’s also projecting for the lowest ownership of the trio, making him a great GPP option. He trails only Cole and Fried in median projection in the FantasyLabs set and only Fried in THE BAT.

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 Cleveland Guardians:

  • Myles Straw (1) ($4,100)
  • Amed Rosario  (2) ($4,200)
  • Jose Ramirez (3) ($6,300)
  • Josh Naylor (5) ($4,200)
  • Oscar Gonzalez (6) ($2,200)

The Guardians aren’t a team that frequently pops up as a top stacking option. They’re a capable offense, though, ranking somewhere in the top half of the league depending on your preferred measurement. They have a tremendous matchup tonight with Oakland’s James Kaprielian ($5,700), which has them standing out.

Kaprielian has a 5.16 SIERA and an ERA over six coming into this one. He’s averaging less than five innings per start, which is another boost to the Guardians. Oakland’s bullpen has the seventh-highest ERA in the big leagues this season.

Cleveland’s 5.0-run implied total is second-best on the slate, and this stack is affordable and expected to garner modest ownership by the field. They’re a perfect pairing if going with two expensive or chalky pitchers today.


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 Atlanta Braves:

The Braves are a less surprising addition to the list. They’ve been one of baseball’s hottest teams in June, averaging over seven runs per game. While some of those games were at Coors Field, they’re still averaging nearly seven runs in their other contests.

That production comes at a price, though, with this stack costing over $5,400 per player. That makes them a better option to pair with cheaper pitchers like Bubic rather than the Cole/Fried/Ohtani type arms.

They also have a solid matchup with PIttsburgh’s JT Brubaker ($7,500). Brubaker isn’t terrible, but his mid-four SIERA and ERA are certainly not numbers we should feel pressured to fade. He’s also been fairly lucky to start the season. His flyball rate is over 40% — the highest of his career — but his HR/FB ratio is down more than 10% from last season. While the league-wide rate is down, it’s not down that much. The league-wide rate is 11% in 2022, down from 13.6% percent last season and 14.8% percent in 2020.

Atlanta should also be a fairly popular option today, making full stacks difficult from both salary and ownership standpoints. Still, they’re the likeliest team to hang some crooked numbers today, so at least some of their hitters should find their way into your lineup.

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Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks

Salvador Perez C ($4,900 DraftKings; $3,100 FanDuel) Kansas City Royals vs. Baltimore Orioles (Bruce Zimmerman)

Kansas City is implied for 4.9 runs against the Orioles today as they take on lefty Bruce Zimmerman ($6,500). It’s a very weak slate for catchers overall, with only one option projected for more than eight points in either the FantasyLabs or THE BAT projection sets.

That’s Perez, who has a pretty sizable lead over his closest competition in both systems. Rostering Perez is a bit of a game theory play today. He’s not a great value relative to hitters at other positions, but he’s a significant edge at a position where many lineups will have a punt option. Think Travis Kelce at tight end in NFL DFS.

Of course, you don’t have to play a catcher on FanDuel, making Perez more interesting on DraftKings — though his 93% Bargain Rating on FanDuel keeps him in the conversation there as well.

Tyler Nevin 1B/3B ($2,300 DraftKings; $2,300 FanDuel) Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals (Kyle Bubic)

While Bubic is popping as a good value, he’s still one of the worst pitchers on the slate. That’s why the Orioles’ offense is implied for 4.9 runs, despite their struggles this season. Anytime we have a bad southpaw taking the mound, it’s worth it to dig for hitters with solid platoon splits against lefties.

Unfortunately, Baltimore doesn’t provide many of those. Their better hitters are either worse against left-handed pitching or have fairly balanced splits. Nevin is the exception, albeit over a minimal sample size. In only 33 career plate appearances, he’s hit lefties for a .357 average and 1.133 OPS.

While it’s unlikely those numbers remain that good in the long run, Nevin’s prospect report has him as a slightly above-average MLB hitter. He has a great matchup and a near-minimum salary. That’s enough to make him a salary-saving punt with sneaky upside and multi-position eligibility on DraftKings.

Ramon Laureano OF ($4,100 DraftKings; $2,800 FanDuel) Oakland A’s at Cleveland Guardians (Konnor Pilkington)

Laureano is the A’s best hitter, though that’s not saying much. He’s taking on the Guardians and lefty Konnor Pilkington ($7,100). Pilkington is off to a great rookie season, with a 2.65 ERA and 29% strikeout rate. However, he has just one start over four innings, so those numbers should come down when he goes deeper into games.

Laureano also has solid platoon splits against lefties, with an .821 career OPS. I don’t have any interest in him on DraftKings, but he’s cheap enough on FanDuel to be worth a look.

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

Thursday features a five-game main slate starting at 7:10 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 Picks

Max Fried ($9,500) Atlanta Braves (-276) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Fried is the perfect intersection of talent and matchup on Thursday’s slate. The other aces on the board are in much more difficult spots in terms of their opponent, while Fried draws the bottom-feeding Pirates. Pittsburgh ranks 28th in wRC+, 27th in wOBA, and strikes out at the third-highest rate in the MLB.

Fried isn’t quite as dominant as pitchers in his price range generally are, with a 22% strikeout rate on the season that’s more or less in line with his career average. His 3.25 SIERA is very strong, but he’ll need to rack up more Ks to reach a ceiling.

That makes Fried a safe but somewhat lower upside option on today’s slate. That’s perfect for cash games, especially considering what Vegas thinks of this game. Pittsburgh has a slate-low 3.3-run total, and Atlanta is the biggest favorite on the board.

Fried leads both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT projection sets for median projection today.

Gerrit Cole ($10,400) New York Yankees (-215) at Minnesota Twins

Cole is the higher variance option of the top-flight pitchers today. He currently has a 31.5% strikeout rate, his fifth consecutive season over 30%. He also has a dominant 2.71 SIERA, easily the top mark on the slate. The risk comes with the matchup, though. Minnesota is a top-five offense in the MLB by most metrics.

Cole has largely beat up on bad teams this season. He’s made only two starts against top-ten teams by wRC+ (Boston and Toronto) and averaged just 10.58 DraftKings points in those starts. Of his 11 starts, he’s faced bottom-10 teams six times: The Orioles and Tigers twice each, as well as the White Sox and Royals.

That gives me a bit of pause on Cole against a tough offense like the Twins. His starts against Boston and Toronto were early in the season, which could explain his struggles. Or, his stats could be artificially high based on the matchups he’s lucked into. It’s far more likely to be the former, but it’s a tiny red flag on Cole.

Either way, he ranks behind only Fried in median projection in the FantasyLabs projections while coming in third in THE BAT’s. If his ownership comes in below Fried’s, he’s a great GPP play.


MLB DFS Value Pick

Kris Bubic ($5,000) Kansas City Royals (-110) vs. Baltimore Orioles

Bubic’s overall numbers on the season are pretty awful. He has a 5.91 SIERA and an ERA over nine through seven appearances. However, he hasn’t been consistently bad, just wildly inconsistent. In his last start, he held the Astros scoreless through five innings and lasted five against the Yankees with “only” three earned runs a few starts before that.

His chances of having a good game are significantly higher tonight, thanks to a matchup with the Orioles. We know how bad Baltimore’s lineup is at this point, and that’s with half of their games being played in the hitter-friendly confines of Camden Yards. This game is in Kansas City, in a ballpark with a 69 Park Factor and 48 Weather Rating that are both second on the slate.

Bubic is just $5,000, so he doesn’t even need a massive score to be a good play at the price tag. While he may not have big-league talent, that might not matter in this spot. He leads both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT systems in Pts/Sal projection.


MLB DFS GPP Pick

Shohei Ohtani ($8,100) Los Angeles Angels (-131) vs. Boston Red Sox

It speaks to the respect Ohtani garners as a pitcher that the Angels are favored tonight. They’re currently in the midst of a 14 (!) game losing streak that saw manager Joe Maddon relieved of his duties. Meanwhile, Boston is one of baseball’s hottest teams, riding a seven-game winning streak.

Yet, markets think the Angels are more likely to win this one. Ohtani has been filthy this year, with a 2.61 SIERA and 33% strikeout rate. That strikeout rate isn’t just because he’s running good, either. His 15.1% swinging-strike rate is the best mark of his career.

The biggest knock on Ohtani is the relative caution with which the Angels approach his starts. He averages more than half an inning less per start than Cole for example, as his two-way role and injury history keep him on a shorter pitch count than most aces.

We can accept that given the significant salary savings from Fried/Cole down to Ohtani. He’s also projecting for the lowest ownership of the trio, making him a great GPP option. He trails only Cole and Fried in median projection in the FantasyLabs set and only Fried in THE BAT.

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 Cleveland Guardians:

  • Myles Straw (1) ($4,100)
  • Amed Rosario  (2) ($4,200)
  • Jose Ramirez (3) ($6,300)
  • Josh Naylor (5) ($4,200)
  • Oscar Gonzalez (6) ($2,200)

The Guardians aren’t a team that frequently pops up as a top stacking option. They’re a capable offense, though, ranking somewhere in the top half of the league depending on your preferred measurement. They have a tremendous matchup tonight with Oakland’s James Kaprielian ($5,700), which has them standing out.

Kaprielian has a 5.16 SIERA and an ERA over six coming into this one. He’s averaging less than five innings per start, which is another boost to the Guardians. Oakland’s bullpen has the seventh-highest ERA in the big leagues this season.

Cleveland’s 5.0-run implied total is second-best on the slate, and this stack is affordable and expected to garner modest ownership by the field. They’re a perfect pairing if going with two expensive or chalky pitchers today.


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 Atlanta Braves:

The Braves are a less surprising addition to the list. They’ve been one of baseball’s hottest teams in June, averaging over seven runs per game. While some of those games were at Coors Field, they’re still averaging nearly seven runs in their other contests.

That production comes at a price, though, with this stack costing over $5,400 per player. That makes them a better option to pair with cheaper pitchers like Bubic rather than the Cole/Fried/Ohtani type arms.

They also have a solid matchup with PIttsburgh’s JT Brubaker ($7,500). Brubaker isn’t terrible, but his mid-four SIERA and ERA are certainly not numbers we should feel pressured to fade. He’s also been fairly lucky to start the season. His flyball rate is over 40% — the highest of his career — but his HR/FB ratio is down more than 10% from last season. While the league-wide rate is down, it’s not down that much. The league-wide rate is 11% in 2022, down from 13.6% percent last season and 14.8% percent in 2020.

Atlanta should also be a fairly popular option today, making full stacks difficult from both salary and ownership standpoints. Still, they’re the likeliest team to hang some crooked numbers today, so at least some of their hitters should find their way into your lineup.

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

Salvador Perez C ($4,900 DraftKings; $3,100 FanDuel) Kansas City Royals vs. Baltimore Orioles (Bruce Zimmerman)

Kansas City is implied for 4.9 runs against the Orioles today as they take on lefty Bruce Zimmerman ($6,500). It’s a very weak slate for catchers overall, with only one option projected for more than eight points in either the FantasyLabs or THE BAT projection sets.

That’s Perez, who has a pretty sizable lead over his closest competition in both systems. Rostering Perez is a bit of a game theory play today. He’s not a great value relative to hitters at other positions, but he’s a significant edge at a position where many lineups will have a punt option. Think Travis Kelce at tight end in NFL DFS.

Of course, you don’t have to play a catcher on FanDuel, making Perez more interesting on DraftKings — though his 93% Bargain Rating on FanDuel keeps him in the conversation there as well.

Tyler Nevin 1B/3B ($2,300 DraftKings; $2,300 FanDuel) Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals (Kyle Bubic)

While Bubic is popping as a good value, he’s still one of the worst pitchers on the slate. That’s why the Orioles’ offense is implied for 4.9 runs, despite their struggles this season. Anytime we have a bad southpaw taking the mound, it’s worth it to dig for hitters with solid platoon splits against lefties.

Unfortunately, Baltimore doesn’t provide many of those. Their better hitters are either worse against left-handed pitching or have fairly balanced splits. Nevin is the exception, albeit over a minimal sample size. In only 33 career plate appearances, he’s hit lefties for a .357 average and 1.133 OPS.

While it’s unlikely those numbers remain that good in the long run, Nevin’s prospect report has him as a slightly above-average MLB hitter. He has a great matchup and a near-minimum salary. That’s enough to make him a salary-saving punt with sneaky upside and multi-position eligibility on DraftKings.

Ramon Laureano OF ($4,100 DraftKings; $2,800 FanDuel) Oakland A’s at Cleveland Guardians (Konnor Pilkington)

Laureano is the A’s best hitter, though that’s not saying much. He’s taking on the Guardians and lefty Konnor Pilkington ($7,100). Pilkington is off to a great rookie season, with a 2.65 ERA and 29% strikeout rate. However, he has just one start over four innings, so those numbers should come down when he goes deeper into games.

Laureano also has solid platoon splits against lefties, with an .821 career OPS. I don’t have any interest in him on DraftKings, but he’s cheap enough on FanDuel to be worth a look.