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MLB DFS Picks Breakdown (Tuesday, Aug. 23rd): Plenty of Aces to Choose on Tuesday

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

Tuesday features a 15-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.

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MLB DFS Pitching Picks

MLB DFS Stud Picks

Robbie Ray ($9,900) Seattle Mariners (-275) vs. Washington Nationals

There are tons of aces on Tuesday’s 15-game slate, many of whom are in good spots. Ray is my favorite option of the bunch, though, for a few reasons.

Ray has been as good as any pitcher in baseball when he’s been on this season. His overall numbers are less impressive, but that’s based more on inconsistency than a lack of upside. Over his last three starts, he’s picked up 27 strikeouts in 19.2 innings, so he seems to be rolling at the moment.

Next, he has one of the slate’s better matchups. Washington has a 91 wRC+ against left-handed pitching on the season, and most of that was before they traded away their two best hitters. Carlos Rodon ($11,000) of the Giants is facing the Tigers. While that matchup seems great at first glance, Detroit hits lefties far better than Washington on the year.

Finally, Ray’s price gives him an edge over some of today’s top arms. While he’s not cheap at $9,900, it’s a noticeable savings from Rodon, for example. Ray has the best Pts/Sal projection of any pitcher priced over $8,100 in the FantasyLabs models.

He also leads both FantasyLabs’ and THE BAT’s projections in median and ceiling, so both systems are in agreement. He’s a strong option for all contest types, thanks to his strikeout upside and excellent matchup.

Justin Verlander ($10,500) Houston Astros (-351) vs. Minnesota Twins

Verlander is one of three pitchers (along with Ray and Rodon) with a 20-point median projection in both THE BAT and FantasyLabs projections set. That’s despite a difficult matchup with the Twins, who rank inside the top seven in wRC+ both overall and against right-handed pitching.

Vegas certainly expects good pitching to have the edge over good hitting in this matchup, though. Minnesota’s 2.8-run implied total is the second-lowest on the slate, and the Astros have the longest moneyline odds, which is understandable, given Verlander’s excellent performance this season. His ERA is just 1.95.

I have my concerns about Verlander, though. He’s been held under 18 DraftKings points in his last two starts and has just a 25% strikeout rate on the season. At his price point, he needs to rack up the Ks to be a good play — just limiting runs isn’t enough.

Still, the Vegas data indicates Verlander is a safe play at the very least. He makes sense for cash games instead of the inconsistent Ray. I’d only consider him for GPPs if his ownership projection was considerably lower than that of Ray or Rodon, though, which isn’t presently the case.


MLB DFS Value Picks

Zach Logue ($5,400) Oakland A’s (+125) vs. Miami Marlins

Logue leads both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT’s projections in Pts/Sal on Tuesday. That’s despite a mostly disappointing rookie season in which he has a 6.35 ERA and a 15.3% strikeout rate.

The reasoning behind that is that it’s an ideal matchup for the left-handed Logue. Miami ranks dead last in the majors against southpaws with a 70 wRC+. For some context, the historically bad Tigers offense has an overall wRC+ of 77. Rostering lefties against the fish is a cheat code.

As an added bonus, this game ranks near the top in both Park Factor and Weather Rating for pitchers. That’s important for a pitcher with Logue’s profile: he allows a ton of fly balls and not many strikeouts. The extra outfield (and especially foul) territory in Oakland should earn him some extra outs.

While his upside is somewhat limited, he’s an excellent option in GPPs if trying to roster expensive stacks. Of course, the bigger appeal is cash games, though.


MLB DFS GPP Picks

Max Fried ($9,400) Atlanta Braves (-278) at Pittsburgh Pirates

Fried is projecting as the odd man out from an ownership standpoint, with Verlander, Rodon, and Ray all projected for roughly double his ownership on Tuesday. That creates an interesting opportunity for GPPs.

From a raw projection standpoint, Fried is coming in just as strong as any of the other arms mentioned. He trails only Rodon — and by half a point — in the FantasyLabs models while coming in roughly two points behind each of them in THE BAT.

However, he has nearly as strong numbers as them, with a 2.60 ERA and 2.87 xERA. While his strikeouts are somewhat limited at 23.9%, that’s still a solid mark — and not far behind Verlander, who has a much tougher matchup. Fried’s matchup is arguably the best of any top pitcher, as the Pirates, 83 wRC+ against lefties, ranks bottom-five in the league.

Additionally, PNC Park is the best park for pitchers on the slate, giving Fried another slight bump. Given his savings — both ownership and salary — relative to the other top options, he’s an awesome GPP play.

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 Colorado Rockies:

  • Jose Iglesias (1) ($4,400)
  • Charlie Blackmon (2) ($4,800)
  • Brendan Rodgers (3) ($5,100)
  • Randall Grichuk (4) ($4,500)
  • Ryan McMahon (5) ($4,600)

The Rockies are back at Coors Field for a series against the Rangers. They’re kicking things off tonight with a 5.5-run implied total against starter Dane Dunning ($6,900). Dunning has ERA, xERA, and SIERA numbers in the low fours on the season.

I do have some concerns, though. Dunning is excellent at keeping the ball on the ground, with a 54.3% groundball rate. While he doesn’t miss a ton of bats, keeping the ball down is nearly as good when facing teams at Coors Field.

Still, it’s a relatively weak slate for offenses today, so the Rockies may just be the best bet. They have the highest implied total of any team on the slate, and some of their at-bats will come against the Rangers bullpen and not Dunning. They’re a solid choice at relatively affordable prices, given their Vegas odds.


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 Texas Rangers:

It’s no surprise to see the other team playing at Coors Field also projecting as a top stack. Particularly considering the cheap salary on the first five Texas hitters. At just $23,000 combined, they’re a massive bargain for a team implied for over five runs.

Like their opponents, they have a sub-optimal pitching matchup. The Rockies are starting German Marquez ($6,800), their nominal ace. Marquez, like Dunning, is an effective groundball pitcher but doesn’t strike out many hitters. He has an ERA over five this year, but his advanced metrics are significantly better.

Texas has been the better offense against right-handed pitching though, so they’re my preferred Coors stack. The salary savings and the guaranteed ninth inning at the plate factor in to that decision as well.

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Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks

Ronald Acuna Jr. OF ($5,600 DraftKings; $4,100 FanDuel) Atlanta Braves at Pittsburgh Pirates (JT Brubaker)

The Braves are another team I’m considering for stacks tonight, as they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates. Despite the pitcher’s park, they have a solid 4.8-run implied total against JT Brubaker ($7,200), who has a 4.19 ERA on the season.

Braves stacks start with Acuna though, who’s returned to form in the past month or so. His OPS in August is .896, and he’s added 25 steals in 88 games this season. I’ll continue to play Acuna in all contest types until he’s the most expensive hitter on the slate or facing a dominant pitcher. Neither is the case today.

He leads all hitters in median projection in both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT projections.

Emmanuel Rivera 3B ($2,600 DraftKings; $2,400 FanDuel) Arizona Diamondbacks at Kansas City Royals (Jonathan Heasley)

The Diamondback’s sophomore third baseman is simply too cheap for his role and matchup today. He’s currently projected for the number two spot in Arizona’s lineup, and they have a 4.8-run implied total in Kansas City tonight. That’s thanks to a matchup with Jonathan Heasley ($5,700) of the Royals. Heasley has a 5.61 ERA on the season, with his advanced metrics not much better.

Rivera is a solid hitter in his own right, with a .747 OPS on the season. That’s nothing special, but it’s far better than we normally see from sub-$3,000 hitters, especially in an ideal matchup. The rest of the Diamondbacks are also worth considering as a sneaky stack option on Tuesday.

Andrew Benintendi OF ($3,800 DraftKings; $2,800 FanDuel) New York Yankees vs. New York Mets (Taijuan Walker)

The Yankees draw the Mets’ fifth starter tonight in Taijuan Walker ($8,300). Walker has a solid 3.36 ERA, but both his xERa and SIERA are over four, so some regression is due. With the Yankees implied for 4.6 runs tonight, they could very well be the team to force that regression.

Benintendi has been one of the bright spots of the struggling Yankees as of late, with four hits — three for extra bases — in his last two appearances. He’s hitting .303 overall on the season and .318 against righties. His production has been far better than his salary would imply, making him a solid choice, particularly for cash games.

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

Tuesday features a 15-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models & projections

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

MLB DFS Pitching Picks

MLB DFS Stud Picks

Robbie Ray ($9,900) Seattle Mariners (-275) vs. Washington Nationals

There are tons of aces on Tuesday’s 15-game slate, many of whom are in good spots. Ray is my favorite option of the bunch, though, for a few reasons.

Ray has been as good as any pitcher in baseball when he’s been on this season. His overall numbers are less impressive, but that’s based more on inconsistency than a lack of upside. Over his last three starts, he’s picked up 27 strikeouts in 19.2 innings, so he seems to be rolling at the moment.

Next, he has one of the slate’s better matchups. Washington has a 91 wRC+ against left-handed pitching on the season, and most of that was before they traded away their two best hitters. Carlos Rodon ($11,000) of the Giants is facing the Tigers. While that matchup seems great at first glance, Detroit hits lefties far better than Washington on the year.

Finally, Ray’s price gives him an edge over some of today’s top arms. While he’s not cheap at $9,900, it’s a noticeable savings from Rodon, for example. Ray has the best Pts/Sal projection of any pitcher priced over $8,100 in the FantasyLabs models.

He also leads both FantasyLabs’ and THE BAT’s projections in median and ceiling, so both systems are in agreement. He’s a strong option for all contest types, thanks to his strikeout upside and excellent matchup.

Justin Verlander ($10,500) Houston Astros (-351) vs. Minnesota Twins

Verlander is one of three pitchers (along with Ray and Rodon) with a 20-point median projection in both THE BAT and FantasyLabs projections set. That’s despite a difficult matchup with the Twins, who rank inside the top seven in wRC+ both overall and against right-handed pitching.

Vegas certainly expects good pitching to have the edge over good hitting in this matchup, though. Minnesota’s 2.8-run implied total is the second-lowest on the slate, and the Astros have the longest moneyline odds, which is understandable, given Verlander’s excellent performance this season. His ERA is just 1.95.

I have my concerns about Verlander, though. He’s been held under 18 DraftKings points in his last two starts and has just a 25% strikeout rate on the season. At his price point, he needs to rack up the Ks to be a good play — just limiting runs isn’t enough.

Still, the Vegas data indicates Verlander is a safe play at the very least. He makes sense for cash games instead of the inconsistent Ray. I’d only consider him for GPPs if his ownership projection was considerably lower than that of Ray or Rodon, though, which isn’t presently the case.


MLB DFS Value Picks

Zach Logue ($5,400) Oakland A’s (+125) vs. Miami Marlins

Logue leads both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT’s projections in Pts/Sal on Tuesday. That’s despite a mostly disappointing rookie season in which he has a 6.35 ERA and a 15.3% strikeout rate.

The reasoning behind that is that it’s an ideal matchup for the left-handed Logue. Miami ranks dead last in the majors against southpaws with a 70 wRC+. For some context, the historically bad Tigers offense has an overall wRC+ of 77. Rostering lefties against the fish is a cheat code.

As an added bonus, this game ranks near the top in both Park Factor and Weather Rating for pitchers. That’s important for a pitcher with Logue’s profile: he allows a ton of fly balls and not many strikeouts. The extra outfield (and especially foul) territory in Oakland should earn him some extra outs.

While his upside is somewhat limited, he’s an excellent option in GPPs if trying to roster expensive stacks. Of course, the bigger appeal is cash games, though.


MLB DFS GPP Picks

Max Fried ($9,400) Atlanta Braves (-278) at Pittsburgh Pirates

Fried is projecting as the odd man out from an ownership standpoint, with Verlander, Rodon, and Ray all projected for roughly double his ownership on Tuesday. That creates an interesting opportunity for GPPs.

From a raw projection standpoint, Fried is coming in just as strong as any of the other arms mentioned. He trails only Rodon — and by half a point — in the FantasyLabs models while coming in roughly two points behind each of them in THE BAT.

However, he has nearly as strong numbers as them, with a 2.60 ERA and 2.87 xERA. While his strikeouts are somewhat limited at 23.9%, that’s still a solid mark — and not far behind Verlander, who has a much tougher matchup. Fried’s matchup is arguably the best of any top pitcher, as the Pirates, 83 wRC+ against lefties, ranks bottom-five in the league.

Additionally, PNC Park is the best park for pitchers on the slate, giving Fried another slight bump. Given his savings — both ownership and salary — relative to the other top options, he’s an awesome GPP play.

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 Colorado Rockies:

  • Jose Iglesias (1) ($4,400)
  • Charlie Blackmon (2) ($4,800)
  • Brendan Rodgers (3) ($5,100)
  • Randall Grichuk (4) ($4,500)
  • Ryan McMahon (5) ($4,600)

The Rockies are back at Coors Field for a series against the Rangers. They’re kicking things off tonight with a 5.5-run implied total against starter Dane Dunning ($6,900). Dunning has ERA, xERA, and SIERA numbers in the low fours on the season.

I do have some concerns, though. Dunning is excellent at keeping the ball on the ground, with a 54.3% groundball rate. While he doesn’t miss a ton of bats, keeping the ball down is nearly as good when facing teams at Coors Field.

Still, it’s a relatively weak slate for offenses today, so the Rockies may just be the best bet. They have the highest implied total of any team on the slate, and some of their at-bats will come against the Rangers bullpen and not Dunning. They’re a solid choice at relatively affordable prices, given their Vegas odds.


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 Texas Rangers:

It’s no surprise to see the other team playing at Coors Field also projecting as a top stack. Particularly considering the cheap salary on the first five Texas hitters. At just $23,000 combined, they’re a massive bargain for a team implied for over five runs.

Like their opponents, they have a sub-optimal pitching matchup. The Rockies are starting German Marquez ($6,800), their nominal ace. Marquez, like Dunning, is an effective groundball pitcher but doesn’t strike out many hitters. He has an ERA over five this year, but his advanced metrics are significantly better.

Texas has been the better offense against right-handed pitching though, so they’re my preferred Coors stack. The salary savings and the guaranteed ninth inning at the plate factor in to that decision as well.

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

Ronald Acuna Jr. OF ($5,600 DraftKings; $4,100 FanDuel) Atlanta Braves at Pittsburgh Pirates (JT Brubaker)

The Braves are another team I’m considering for stacks tonight, as they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates. Despite the pitcher’s park, they have a solid 4.8-run implied total against JT Brubaker ($7,200), who has a 4.19 ERA on the season.

Braves stacks start with Acuna though, who’s returned to form in the past month or so. His OPS in August is .896, and he’s added 25 steals in 88 games this season. I’ll continue to play Acuna in all contest types until he’s the most expensive hitter on the slate or facing a dominant pitcher. Neither is the case today.

He leads all hitters in median projection in both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT projections.

Emmanuel Rivera 3B ($2,600 DraftKings; $2,400 FanDuel) Arizona Diamondbacks at Kansas City Royals (Jonathan Heasley)

The Diamondback’s sophomore third baseman is simply too cheap for his role and matchup today. He’s currently projected for the number two spot in Arizona’s lineup, and they have a 4.8-run implied total in Kansas City tonight. That’s thanks to a matchup with Jonathan Heasley ($5,700) of the Royals. Heasley has a 5.61 ERA on the season, with his advanced metrics not much better.

Rivera is a solid hitter in his own right, with a .747 OPS on the season. That’s nothing special, but it’s far better than we normally see from sub-$3,000 hitters, especially in an ideal matchup. The rest of the Diamondbacks are also worth considering as a sneaky stack option on Tuesday.

Andrew Benintendi OF ($3,800 DraftKings; $2,800 FanDuel) New York Yankees vs. New York Mets (Taijuan Walker)

The Yankees draw the Mets’ fifth starter tonight in Taijuan Walker ($8,300). Walker has a solid 3.36 ERA, but both his xERa and SIERA are over four, so some regression is due. With the Yankees implied for 4.6 runs tonight, they could very well be the team to force that regression.

Benintendi has been one of the bright spots of the struggling Yankees as of late, with four hits — three for extra bases — in his last two appearances. He’s hitting .303 overall on the season and .318 against righties. His production has been far better than his salary would imply, making him a solid choice, particularly for cash games.