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MLB DFS Picks Breakdown (Tuesday, June 7): Justin Verlander or Carlos Rodon?

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.

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MLB DFS Pitching Picks

MLB DFS Stud Pick

Justin Verlander ($10,600) Houston Astros (-252) vs. Seattle Mariners

After making just one start in 2020 and missing the entirety of the 2021 season, Verlander is back as the Astros ace this year. His numbers are decidedly worse than before his Tommy John surgery, with a 3.37 SIERA and 25.3% strikeout rate. Of course, he won the Cy Young in his last full season, so some regression should be expected.

Astute readers may notice that those are still excellent stats. His fantasy scores are similarly impressive, if a bit inconsistent. Three of his 10 starts have produced at least 30 points, with a fourth checking in at 29.9. He’s been held under 20 DraftKings points in half of his starts, which is disappointing relative to his salary.

Still, a case could be made that he’s the best pitcher on the board today. It’s a somewhat difficult matchup with the Mariners, but Vegas is putting a lot of respect on Verlander’s name. The Astros have the best moneyline odds, and the Mariners have the lowest team total on the slate.

Given his projected ownership — which leads the slate — I can certainly see a case for fading JV in GPPs. There are other pitchers with (nearly?) as good stuff in slightly better situations. If I had to pick just one pitcher to lead the slate in scoring, though, it’s Verlander.

He ranks second in both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT projection sets, with different options ranked number one in each system.

Carlos Rodon ($10,300) San Francisco Giants (-226) vs. Colorado Rockies

Rodon has the top median projection in THE BAT’s projections, narrowly edging out Verlander. He has similarly outstanding numbers on the year, with a 3.25 SIERA and an excellent 30% strikeout rate. Vegas is also high on Rodon, with a similar moneyline and opponent team total as Verlander.

Analyzing the matchup is where things get tricky, though. Rodon is taking on the Rockies, who rank bottom-10 in wRC+ on the season but fifth in wOBA. Most of that discrepancy is due to their home ballpark being Coors Field; wRC+ factors the stadium into the equation, whereas wOBA does not. Colorado ranks 26th in wOBA on the road.

However, the Rockies have hit lefties well, even when adjusting for the ballpark. Their wRC+ against southpaws ranks eighth in the league. All things considered, they should be viewed as a somewhat difficult matchup for left-handed pitchers like Rodon.

Of course, he could still certainly get it done as he has so often this year. Rodon has similar ownership projections to Verlander, so it’s essentially a toss-up across the board. Pairing them together will certainly be somewhat unique, though, as the salary makes it difficult.

That could be a way to have a unique lineup construction on Tuesday’s massive slate.


MLB DFS Value Pick

Jeffrey Springs ($6,300) Tampa Bay Rays (-160) vs. Saint Louis Cardinals

Springs started the season being used as an opener/reliever for the Rays, with his first seven appearances lasting two or fewer innings. Since then, he’s been slowly stretched out into a traditional starter. He’s thrown at least five innings in his last three starts and at least four innings in five straight.

While he’s not likely to last as deep into the game as a Rodon or Verlander, his numbers are every bit as good. He has a sub-3.00 SIERA on the season and a 28% strikeout rate. While those numbers have dipped slightly when being used as a starter, they’re still among the slate’s best.

That makes him an obvious value at $4,000 cheaper than the top pitchers on the slate. If he can get through five innings strong, he should have no problem paying off his small salary. St. Louis is implied for just 3.4 runs against the Rays today.

Springs has the best Pts/Sal projection in THE BAT’s projections.


MLB DFS GPP Pick

Tarik Skubal ($9,800) Detroit Tigers (-123) at Pittsburgh Pirates

Skubal is projecting for minimal ownership on today’s slate, thanks to his salary being in the same range as Verlander and Rodon. The Tigers’ ace-in-the-making has been nearly as good, though, averaging over 25 points per start in the month of May.

He also has easily the best matchup of the slate’s top arms. The Pirates rank bottom-five in both wOBA and wRC+ in the majors and strike out at a top-five rate. Skubal has also been able to last deep into games despite his 27% strikeout rate. Over his last five starts, three have lasted at least seven innings (and one was cut short due to taking a comebacker off the leg.)

With high-end numbers, a soft matchup, and minimal ownership, Skubal is pretty easily the best GPP play on the slate.

He trails only Verlander and Rodon in median projections in THE BAT’s system while coming in a bit lower in the FantasyLabs set.

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 Houston Astros:

  • Jose Altuve (1) ($5,000)
  • Michael Brantley¬† (2) ($3,900)
  • Alex Bregman (3) ($4,900)
  • Yordan Alvarez (4) ($5,900)
  • Kyle Tucker (5) ($5,600)

Despite the massive slate, there aren’t a ton of high-total teams on the board. Houston is one of just three offenses implied for five or more runs on Tuesday as they host the Mariners and Chris Flexen ($6,200). Flexen has been mediocre this season, with ERA and SIERA numbers both in the mid-fours.

Of course, that’s against average competition. The Astros are anything but ranking as a top-five or so offense by most metrics. Alvarez is tied for second in the majors with home runs at 16, Tucker is one of only eight big-leaguers with at least 10 steals on the season, and Altuve has an OPS over 1.000 since coming back from injury at the start of the month.

Houston will probably be slightly less popular than usual, given the expensive pitchers on the slate. THE BAT has every member of it outside of Altuve below five percent ownership.

This stack certainly isn’t cheap but could be a nice leverage spot if you can save salary elsewhere.


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 another of the teams with a five-run total, coming in at a slate-leading 5.7. They’re taking on Cole Irvin ($8,000) of the Oakland A’s. The lefty has good numbers at first blush — with a 2.96 ERA on the season. However, his 4.58 SIERA tells a different story.

Atlanta’s talented lineup should be able to capitalize on the difference and force some regression. Albeis stands out with his extreme platoon edge against lefties. The switch-hitting second baseman has a career .920 OPS against southpaws, compared to just.745 against righties.

Of course, the hope is the Braves score enough to chase Irvin from the game early anyway, which they could certainly do with all of the talented bats in their lineup. They’re slightly pricier than the Astros stack, leading to similarly low ownership projections.

That makes them a great GPP pivot tonight.

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Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks

Jose Ramirez 3B ($6,100 DraftKings; $4,600 FanDuel) Cleveland Guardians vs. Texas Rangers (Taylor Hearn)

Ramirez has the best projections of any infielder in both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT’s systems today, as he draws a soft matchup with Hearn. Hearn has an ERA over five on the season. He could also be called upon to eat a few more innings than normal since the Guardians and rangers have a doubleheader today.

The real reason to play Ramirez lies in his abilities, not the matchup. He’s one of three players in the majors with an OPS over 1.000, is tied for fifth in home runs, and is second in RBI in 2022. HE adds some additional upside with his legs too.

His seven steals are a top 25 mark.

Kyle Schwarber OF ($4,300 DraftKings; $3,600 FanDuel) Philadelphia Phillies at Milwaukee Brewers (Jason Alexander)

Schwarber has 14 home runs on the season, despite a ridiculously poor .197 batting average. Some of that is a natural consequence of his hard-swinging style. He has a strikeout rate over 30%, which generally doesn’t bode well for the batting average. However, he’s also due for some regression. His .217 BABIP is more than 50 points below his career mark, and his xWOBA is 50 points higher than his wOBA.

It’s as good a day as any for that regression to kick in as he takes on Brewers rookie George Costanza Jason Alexander. Alexander has just one big-league start under his belt, where he pitched seven innings of two-run ball. It’s probably not a good sign that the 29-year-old is just making his debut, and he wasn’t even listed as a top-36 prospect on the Brewers this season.

Schwarber has the right mix of value and upside to be a one-off in GPPs today, or you could build some Phillies mini-stacks at a relatively reasonable salary.

Cavan Biggio 1B/2B ($2,300 DraftKings; $2,200 FanDuel) Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals (Brad Keller)

The Blue Jays are the only team with an implied total of five or more not previously mentioned in one of our stacks. They’re also the only road team on the slate implied for at least five — though the Yankees (at Minnesota) don’t have full data available yet.

This entry is really about the Blue Jays generally, but on DraftKings, Biggio might actually be the best price-considered option. Keller has struggles against lefties, allowing an extra 25 or so points of wOBA in his career. Toronto’s projected lineup is pretty righty-heavy, but Biggio is one of a few lefties.

He’s also extraordinarily cheap, which will help open up a lot of salary on today’s slate. Biggio is hitting just .156 on the season but a much better .272 in his nine games since returning from injury. He’s also yet to hit a homer on the year, despite hard hit and barrel rates above his career average. He has 31 career homers in roughly 1.5 full seasons heading into this season, so the power should return soon.

Thanks to his near-minimum salary, Biggio is among the top options at both first and second base for Pts/Sal projections.

 

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.

Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

MLB DFS Pitching Picks

MLB DFS Stud Pick

Justin Verlander ($10,600) Houston Astros (-252) vs. Seattle Mariners

After making just one start in 2020 and missing the entirety of the 2021 season, Verlander is back as the Astros ace this year. His numbers are decidedly worse than before his Tommy John surgery, with a 3.37 SIERA and 25.3% strikeout rate. Of course, he won the Cy Young in his last full season, so some regression should be expected.

Astute readers may notice that those are still excellent stats. His fantasy scores are similarly impressive, if a bit inconsistent. Three of his 10 starts have produced at least 30 points, with a fourth checking in at 29.9. He’s been held under 20 DraftKings points in half of his starts, which is disappointing relative to his salary.

Still, a case could be made that he’s the best pitcher on the board today. It’s a somewhat difficult matchup with the Mariners, but Vegas is putting a lot of respect on Verlander’s name. The Astros have the best moneyline odds, and the Mariners have the lowest team total on the slate.

Given his projected ownership — which leads the slate — I can certainly see a case for fading JV in GPPs. There are other pitchers with (nearly?) as good stuff in slightly better situations. If I had to pick just one pitcher to lead the slate in scoring, though, it’s Verlander.

He ranks second in both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT projection sets, with different options ranked number one in each system.

Carlos Rodon ($10,300) San Francisco Giants (-226) vs. Colorado Rockies

Rodon has the top median projection in THE BAT’s projections, narrowly edging out Verlander. He has similarly outstanding numbers on the year, with a 3.25 SIERA and an excellent 30% strikeout rate. Vegas is also high on Rodon, with a similar moneyline and opponent team total as Verlander.

Analyzing the matchup is where things get tricky, though. Rodon is taking on the Rockies, who rank bottom-10 in wRC+ on the season but fifth in wOBA. Most of that discrepancy is due to their home ballpark being Coors Field; wRC+ factors the stadium into the equation, whereas wOBA does not. Colorado ranks 26th in wOBA on the road.

However, the Rockies have hit lefties well, even when adjusting for the ballpark. Their wRC+ against southpaws ranks eighth in the league. All things considered, they should be viewed as a somewhat difficult matchup for left-handed pitchers like Rodon.

Of course, he could still certainly get it done as he has so often this year. Rodon has similar ownership projections to Verlander, so it’s essentially a toss-up across the board. Pairing them together will certainly be somewhat unique, though, as the salary makes it difficult.

That could be a way to have a unique lineup construction on Tuesday’s massive slate.


MLB DFS Value Pick

Jeffrey Springs ($6,300) Tampa Bay Rays (-160) vs. Saint Louis Cardinals

Springs started the season being used as an opener/reliever for the Rays, with his first seven appearances lasting two or fewer innings. Since then, he’s been slowly stretched out into a traditional starter. He’s thrown at least five innings in his last three starts and at least four innings in five straight.

While he’s not likely to last as deep into the game as a Rodon or Verlander, his numbers are every bit as good. He has a sub-3.00 SIERA on the season and a 28% strikeout rate. While those numbers have dipped slightly when being used as a starter, they’re still among the slate’s best.

That makes him an obvious value at $4,000 cheaper than the top pitchers on the slate. If he can get through five innings strong, he should have no problem paying off his small salary. St. Louis is implied for just 3.4 runs against the Rays today.

Springs has the best Pts/Sal projection in THE BAT’s projections.


MLB DFS GPP Pick

Tarik Skubal ($9,800) Detroit Tigers (-123) at Pittsburgh Pirates

Skubal is projecting for minimal ownership on today’s slate, thanks to his salary being in the same range as Verlander and Rodon. The Tigers’ ace-in-the-making has been nearly as good, though, averaging over 25 points per start in the month of May.

He also has easily the best matchup of the slate’s top arms. The Pirates rank bottom-five in both wOBA and wRC+ in the majors and strike out at a top-five rate. Skubal has also been able to last deep into games despite his 27% strikeout rate. Over his last five starts, three have lasted at least seven innings (and one was cut short due to taking a comebacker off the leg.)

With high-end numbers, a soft matchup, and minimal ownership, Skubal is pretty easily the best GPP play on the slate.

He trails only Verlander and Rodon in median projections in THE BAT’s system while coming in a bit lower in the FantasyLabs set.

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 Houston Astros:

  • Jose Altuve (1) ($5,000)
  • Michael Brantley¬† (2) ($3,900)
  • Alex Bregman (3) ($4,900)
  • Yordan Alvarez (4) ($5,900)
  • Kyle Tucker (5) ($5,600)

Despite the massive slate, there aren’t a ton of high-total teams on the board. Houston is one of just three offenses implied for five or more runs on Tuesday as they host the Mariners and Chris Flexen ($6,200). Flexen has been mediocre this season, with ERA and SIERA numbers both in the mid-fours.

Of course, that’s against average competition. The Astros are anything but ranking as a top-five or so offense by most metrics. Alvarez is tied for second in the majors with home runs at 16, Tucker is one of only eight big-leaguers with at least 10 steals on the season, and Altuve has an OPS over 1.000 since coming back from injury at the start of the month.

Houston will probably be slightly less popular than usual, given the expensive pitchers on the slate. THE BAT has every member of it outside of Altuve below five percent ownership.

This stack certainly isn’t cheap but could be a nice leverage spot if you can save salary elsewhere.


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 another of the teams with a five-run total, coming in at a slate-leading 5.7. They’re taking on Cole Irvin ($8,000) of the Oakland A’s. The lefty has good numbers at first blush — with a 2.96 ERA on the season. However, his 4.58 SIERA tells a different story.

Atlanta’s talented lineup should be able to capitalize on the difference and force some regression. Albeis stands out with his extreme platoon edge against lefties. The switch-hitting second baseman has a career .920 OPS against southpaws, compared to just.745 against righties.

Of course, the hope is the Braves score enough to chase Irvin from the game early anyway, which they could certainly do with all of the talented bats in their lineup. They’re slightly pricier than the Astros stack, leading to similarly low ownership projections.

That makes them a great GPP pivot tonight.

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

Jose Ramirez 3B ($6,100 DraftKings; $4,600 FanDuel) Cleveland Guardians vs. Texas Rangers (Taylor Hearn)

Ramirez has the best projections of any infielder in both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT’s systems today, as he draws a soft matchup with Hearn. Hearn has an ERA over five on the season. He could also be called upon to eat a few more innings than normal since the Guardians and rangers have a doubleheader today.

The real reason to play Ramirez lies in his abilities, not the matchup. He’s one of three players in the majors with an OPS over 1.000, is tied for fifth in home runs, and is second in RBI in 2022. HE adds some additional upside with his legs too.

His seven steals are a top 25 mark.

Kyle Schwarber OF ($4,300 DraftKings; $3,600 FanDuel) Philadelphia Phillies at Milwaukee Brewers (Jason Alexander)

Schwarber has 14 home runs on the season, despite a ridiculously poor .197 batting average. Some of that is a natural consequence of his hard-swinging style. He has a strikeout rate over 30%, which generally doesn’t bode well for the batting average. However, he’s also due for some regression. His .217 BABIP is more than 50 points below his career mark, and his xWOBA is 50 points higher than his wOBA.

It’s as good a day as any for that regression to kick in as he takes on Brewers rookie George Costanza Jason Alexander. Alexander has just one big-league start under his belt, where he pitched seven innings of two-run ball. It’s probably not a good sign that the 29-year-old is just making his debut, and he wasn’t even listed as a top-36 prospect on the Brewers this season.

Schwarber has the right mix of value and upside to be a one-off in GPPs today, or you could build some Phillies mini-stacks at a relatively reasonable salary.

Cavan Biggio 1B/2B ($2,300 DraftKings; $2,200 FanDuel) Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals (Brad Keller)

The Blue Jays are the only team with an implied total of five or more not previously mentioned in one of our stacks. They’re also the only road team on the slate implied for at least five — though the Yankees (at Minnesota) don’t have full data available yet.

This entry is really about the Blue Jays generally, but on DraftKings, Biggio might actually be the best price-considered option. Keller has struggles against lefties, allowing an extra 25 or so points of wOBA in his career. Toronto’s projected lineup is pretty righty-heavy, but Biggio is one of a few lefties.

He’s also extraordinarily cheap, which will help open up a lot of salary on today’s slate. Biggio is hitting just .156 on the season but a much better .272 in his nine games since returning from injury. He’s also yet to hit a homer on the year, despite hard hit and barrel rates above his career average. He has 31 career homers in roughly 1.5 full seasons heading into this season, so the power should return soon.

Thanks to his near-minimum salary, Biggio is among the top options at both first and second base for Pts/Sal projections.