The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Tuesday features a 13-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
MLB DFS Pitching Picks
MLB DFS Stud Picks
Robbie Ray ($9,500) Seattle Mariners (-190) at Los Angeles Angels
Robbie Ray has been frustratingly inconsistent this season. For example, his last five games include two of at least 29 DraftKings points and two in which he “scored” in the negatives. Still, his overall numbers are strong. He has a 28% strikeout rate and 3.90 ERA on the season.
Both of his negative scores came against the Houston Astros, who rank top-three in the MLB against left-handed pitching. His matchup today is much more forgiving. He’s taking on the Angels, who have an 82 wRC+ against lefties, third worst in the league.
Vegas is backing Ray and the Mariners, with Los Angeles, implied for just 3.3 runs tonight. Additionally, at -190, Ray is one of the slate’s bigger favorites. The combination of solid Vegas data and strikeout potential — his K Prediction leads the slate — is a solid pairing.
Ray should be well worth his price tonight. He ranks first in median projection in the FantasyLabs models and second in THE BAT. Thanks to his reasonable price tag, he’s also in the top five in Pts/Sal projections in both models. He’s as close to a sure thing as there is tonight.
Nestor Cortes ($9,900) New York Yankees (-175) vs. Tampa Bay Rays
The projections are divided on Cortes today. THE BAT has him as the top overall option, with the FantasyLabs projections ranking him middle of the pack. His numbers support the former: He has a 26.8% strikeout rate and 2.67 ERA coming into the slate.
However, the matchup should give some pause. Tampa Bay is a slightly above-average offense, with a 101 wRC+ on the season. With Cortes coming in at a higher price point than Ray, it’s somewhat hard to justify paying up for him.
On the other hand, the Vegas data is virtually identical, so it’s not as if Ray is clearly a better play. If picking between the two of them, the better option might just be whoever comes in at lower ownership. That’s Ray at the moment, but it’s exceedingly close and could shift throughout the day, so keep an eye on our models.
MLB DFS Value Picks
Zach Plesac ($7,200) Cleveland Guardians (-220) vs. Detroit Tigers
Plesac is making his second consecutive start against the Tigers, this time at home. In his last outing, he pitched 6.1 innings of one-run ball, striking out seven tigers in the process. While his price is up slightly since then, he’s still cheap enough that a repeat performance would be excellent from a price-considered standpoint.
Plesac’s numbers aren’t great, with an 18% strikeout rate and both ERA and SIERA numbers in the low fours. Most of the appeal here is the matchup, with Detroit performing historically poorly against right-handed pitching on the season. They’ve struck out more than 25% of the time, with a 66 wRC+ that’s far worse than any other team.
Rostering reasonably priced righties against the Tigers has been a strong strategy all season and one I expect to pay off again today. Plesac is an excellent cash game choice. He leads THE BAT and ranks third in the FantasyLabs Pts/Sal projections. He has some tournament appeal, too, if he can replicate his strong performance from his last start.
MLB DFS GPP Picks
Justin Verlander ($10,600) Houston Astros (-125) at Chicago White Sox
Verlander has arguably the best numbers on the slate, with a 1.85 ERA heading into Tuesday. While he’s had a bit of luck there — his xERA and FIP are both 2.90 — that’s an awe-inspiring feat in his age-39 season. The one issue from a DFS perspective has been a decline in his strikeout rate. At 25%, it’s the lowest it’s been since 2015.
That can make it hard to justify spending into the five figures for Verlander since he needs to last deeper into games to pay off his salary. He can — and frequently has — do that, but it’s no sure thing. The matchup with Chicago isn’t much of a boost; they’re a roughly league-average offense on the year.
That makes Verlander a pure bet on talent play tonight. With ownership projections less than half of Ray and Cortes, he’s a solid leverage option if fading both of them. He won’t make my tighter builds tonight, but I’d consider him for multi-entry play.
Dylan Cease ($10,400) Chicago White Sox (+105) vs. Houston Astros
Cease is facing Verlander and the Astros tonight and may be the more talented arm at this point in their respective careers. A hard-throwing righty with a plus-curveball, Cease is somewhat reminiscent of a young Verlander. Cease has a 33% strikeout rate and sub-2.00 ERA coming into this one.
Of course, it’s a much more difficult matchup for Cease. He has to face the Astros lineup, the third-best offense in baseball by wRC+. That makes paying off his salary a tall task tonight. His projections in both systems are moderate, and Houston is implied for 3.7 runs.
Still, he has the best stuff on the slate and, unlike Verlander, pairs his run prevention with excellent strikeout numbers. He’s projected to garner minimal ownership tonight, so it would provide massive leverage if he has a good game. Cease has exceeded salary-based expectations in 11 of his last 12 starts, so betting against him could be costly.
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 Toronto Blue Jays:
- George Springer (1) ($5,300)
- Vladamir Guerrero Jr. (2) ($5,900)
- Alejandor Kirk (3) ($4,500)
- Teoscar Hernandez (4) ($5,100)
- Bo Bichette (5) ($4,900)
The Blue Jays are ahead of the field by a wide margin, with a 5.6-run implied total on a day where no other team is even at five. That obviously makes stacking their hitters appealing today — even at the expensive salaries they carry on Tuesday.
They have a solid matchup with Dean Kremer ($6,400) of the Orioles. Kremer has a 3.69 ERA through 12 starts, but his SIERA and xERA are both in the mid-fours. He’s a roughly league-average starter but not one that should dissuade anyone from rostering the Blue Jays’ top-five offense.
Most of baseball’s top lineups have exceedingly difficult matchups today, so finding the salary to get to Toronto could be more valuable than it appears on paper. They’re a solid choice for all contest types, with Kirk and Guerrero leading their respective positions in median projection and Hernandez and Springer ranking in the top five in the outfield.
Top Stacking Pick from THE BAT X
The top non-Blue Jays DraftKings stack from THE BAT when generated by ceiling belongs to the Atlanta Braves:
It feels a little point-chasey to stack the Braves again after their 13-run explosion last night. Still, they’re in another solid spot as they face the Mets and starter Taijuna Walker ($8,200). Walker is the Mets’ fifth starter, and the Braves have been fortunate to dodge the top of New York’s rotation to start the series.
This means we should take advantage of the matchup while we can for Atlanta — they face Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom on Wednesday and Thursday. Walker is a much easier task, with identical 4.19 SIERA and xERA numbers.
The Braves are also still too cheap, with Acuna projecting as the slate’s top hitter in THE BAT despite a $5,400 salary. He was regularly priced in the $6,000 range for much of the season, and our buy-low opportunities on him are rapidly running out.
Even if we can’t fit the whole Braves stack, Acuna is a great option.
Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks
Nick Madrigal 2B ($2,500 DraftKings; $2,600 FanDuel) Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals (Patrick Corbin)
Madrigal would be underpriced on DraftKings today if it were a neutral matchup. He’s projected as the Cubs’ leadoff hitter, and he’s a career .296 hitter through parts of three big league seasons. Of course, today is anything but a neutral matchup.
The Cubs are taking on the Nationals and Patrick Corbin ($5,800). Corbin has been awful this year, with an ERA over seven coming into the game. While he’s been a bit unlucky, his 4.96 FIP is still firmly on the “attackable” end of the spectrum.
Besides Madrigal, I’m interested in any Cubs hitters with solid platoon splits against left-handed pitching. Franmil Reyes OF ($2,800 DraftKings; $2,700 FanDuel) and Willson Contreras C ($5,700 DraftKings; $3,500 FanDuel) both fit the bill, with Contreras leading THE BAT’s projections at catcher.
Jose Ramirez 3B ($5,900 DraftKings; $4,300 FanDuel) Cleveland Guardians vs. Detroit Tigers (Garrett Hill)
The Tigers rotation is in shambles at the moment, with rookie (and former 26th round pick) Garrett Hill ($5,400) getting the start on Tuesday. Hill has a 4.66 ERA — but 6.28 xERA and 5.82 SIERA — through seven starts this season.
Ramirez is a borderline MVP candidate, with a .888 OPS to go along with 14 steals on the year. He’s never a bad play, but in a juicy pitching matchup like tonight’s, he’s a very good one. Cleveland is implied for 4.9 runs and could be a solid stacking team as well.
Luis Arraez 1B/2B ($3,800 DraftKings; $3,100 FanDuel) Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals (Zack Greinke)
Arraez’s price tag on DraftKings is curious today. He’s projected to lead off for the Twins, who have a 4.8-run implied total tonight. Arraez has been awesome in 2022, living up to his former high prospect status with a .332 batting average. While his power is somewhat limited, he still has a .838 OPS on the season.
He also has an excellent matchup with the past-his-prime Zack Greinke ($5,300). Greinke has a 5.27 xERA in 2022 and just a 13.5% strikeout rate. That helps Arraez, who projects as a better cash game play with his high-contact but low-power approach.