The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Tuesday features a 12-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
MLB DFS Pitching Picks
MLB DFS Stud Picks
Justin Verlander ($10,400): Houston Astros (-139) at Minnesota Twins
After missing essentially two full seasons, Verlander is back to his old self in 2022. The future first-ballot hall-of-famer has a sub-three SIERA, and is averaging nearly 24 DraftKings points per outing. He also has two starts over 30 points, so his ceiling is the roof.
The one knock on Verlander’s early-season performance is a slight dip in his strikeout and swinging-strike rate. His strikeout rate had been over 30% every season in Houston so far but has dipped down to a still solid 26%. His swinging-strike rate is at the lowest since 2014, so if anything, we could expect the strikeouts to fall a bit further. Still, this is based on a fairly small sample size, so both factors could turn around at some point this season. JV’s fastball velocity is currently sitting roughly where it has been since his 2016 resurgence.
Today he draws a somewhat difficult matchup in Minnesota, who are currently sixth in the MLB in wRC+. Vegas is firmly on Verlander’s side, though, with the Twins being implied for just 3.1 runs. The pitcher-friendly Park Factor and Weather Rating are also a plus for Verlander in this one.
Verlander historically has given up his fair share of home runs, as he’s mostly a fly-ball pitcher. This year his home run to fly-ball rate is the lowest it’s been since 2015, though — which has been the trend league-wide. Verlander ranks second in median and ceiling projection for Tuesday’s slate.
Robbie Ray ($8,300): Seattle Mariners (100) vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Ray is another high-end pitcher with a difficult matchup as he takes on the Phillies. Philadelphia is getting far more respect from Vegas than Minnesota, though, with a 3.7-run implied total and the Phillies as slight favorites. Of course, those runs could be expected to be scored against Seattle’s bullpen and not Ray.
Ray has a slate-leading K Prediction of nearly eight, as he’s struck out 30% of the hitters he’s faced over the past two seasons. Where he’s struggled somewhat is in run prevention, with a 4.38 ERA on the year through six starts. That’s prevented him from any monster fantasy performances despite his strikeout rate.
Our models like Ray, giving him the highest median and ceiling projection on the slate. While I prefer Verlander personally, the savings on Ray make him an intriguing option. He can help your lineup even with a slightly lower score than JV if the extra $2,100 in salary is used well.
MLB DFS Value Pick
Patrick Corbin ($5,700): Washington Nationals (125) vs. New York Mets
After appearing totally washed to start the season, Corbin has strung together consecutive solid starts. He has 36 DraftKings points between the two contests and lasted eight innings against the Rockies in his last outing. While he’s still hard to trust, it’s a good sign that he may be back on the right track.
Unfortunately, the going isn’t really getting any easier for Corbin this time around. He has the tall task of facing a top-five offense in the Mets. New York does struggle a bit against left-handed pitching, though, with a wOBA below .300 against southpaws on the year.
The trust factor will probably keep ownership reasonable on Corbin as well, given his abysmal start to the season. Despite his two strong outings, Corbin is still at his cheapest price of the season — thanks largely to the lack of ownership he garnered in those contests.
He’s the leader in the FantasyLabs projection system in Pts/Sal while coming in second in The BAT’s.
He’s a high-variance option, but one that could pay major dividends given his price tag.
MLB DFS GPP Picks
Mike Clevinger ($6,900) San Diego Padres (-159) vs. Chicago Cubs
Clevinger is another high-risk option, as he makes his second start of the season on Tuesday. It’s also just his second start since 2020, as he missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery. Clevinger looked like a pitcher who hadn’t thrown in the big leagues in 18 months in his last start, lasting just four and two-thirds while allowing three runs.
Still, he’s far more talented than his price tag would indicate, and his performances should steadily improve as he rounds into form. In 2019 (his last full season), Clevinger has a strikeout rate of almost 34% and a SIERA of 3.31. It’s probably unreasonable to expect him to hit those marks again, but he is just 31 years old and could approach them.
Clevinger also has a solid matchup with the rebuilding Cubs, who rank 21st in wRC+ on the season. Chicago is implied for just 3.4 runs, one of the lower marks on the slate. I still wouldn’t trust Clevinger for cash games, though, even with his excellent Pts/Sal projection.
He ranks third in the FantasyLabs projections while leading The BAT’s in that category.
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 Texas Rangers:
- Brad Miller (1) ($2,700)
- Marcus Semien (2) ($3,700)
- Corey Seager (3) ($4,800)
- Nate Lowe (5) ($4,000)
- Mitch Garver (6) ($3,600)
The Rangers’ struggling offense is implied for 4.4 runs on Tuesday. That tells you everything you need to know about the pitching matchup they’re being gifted, with Brad Keller ($7,300) on the mound for Kansas City. Keller has a 1.74 ERA on the season — but a SIERA of 4.11. With an ERA over five last year, it’s much more likely he’s just been lucky to start the season.
He also has serious issues with left-handed hitters, allowing a wOBA nearly 30 points higher than against righties. This stack features three left-handed bats (Miller, Seager, and Lowe) and is well-positioned to take advantage of that. Globe Life Field is a better hitter’s park for left-handed bats as well. This game also features the best hitting weather on the slate, with a 74 Weather Rating for batters.
This isn’t the most exciting stack, but they’re reasonably priced with a lot of factors going their way. Mini-stacks with just the left-handers also make some sense, and the reasonable cost allows you to get to other, pricier hitters.
Top Stacking Pick from THE BAT X
The top DraftKings stack from THE BAT, when generated by projected ceiling belongs to the Los Angeles Angels:
This is an extremely tough stack to fit, with an average salary over $5,400 per hitter. However, the Angels are the best offense in baseball through the first month of the year. They’re in play regardless of matchup. Today they draw a fairly tough one, with Corey Kluber ($8,500) of the Rays.
Kluber seems to have righted the ship — at least early on — after a few down years marred by injuries. However, his expected ERA (xERA) and SIERA are both more than a run higher than his current ERA. The Angels lineup should have no problem helping Kluber regress a bit today.
With their high salaries and modest (4.3 runs) Vegas total, the Angels will probably be lesser owned than normal today. I mentioned yesterday that with uber-talented players like Trout, they’re a good play anytime we can catch them at low ownership. He scored 27 points while being owned in the 10% range in most GPPs. That point stands for the whole Angels lineup today.
Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks
Mike Yastrzemski OF ($4,100 DraftKings; $2,800 FanDuel) San Francisco Giants vs. Colorado Rockies (Antonio Senzatela)
Yesterday we talked about Giants lefty-mashers with stark platoon splits; today it’s flipped. San Francisco is taking on the right-handed Antonio Senzatela, who has a 4.55 SIERA overall. He also has a wOBA allowed of .346 against left-handed hitting.
Enter Yastrzemski, who has some extreme splits of his own. His career wRC (weighted runs created) is 42 against fellow southpaws — but 146 against righties. He’s priced appropriately for that on DraftKings but stands out as a value on FanDuel. He has a 79% Bargain Rating there and is a very strong option.
Jesus Aguilar 1B ($3,800 DraftKings; $3,000 FanDuel) Miami Marlins at Arizona Diamondbacks (Madison Bumgarner
Bumgarner seems to be completely washed at this point, with a SIERA over five punctuating his steady decline over the last five or so years. The Marlins are implied for 4.4 runs against him today, which is one of the better marks for any away team on the slate.
Aguilar is one of the better ways to take advantage of that on DraftKings. He’s very reasonably priced, despite having the platoon edge over the left-handed pitcher. While his splits aren’t extreme, his OPS is 20 points higher lifetime against southpaws. With solid hitting weather and a friendly park for offenses, it’s a good situation for Aguilar and the Marlins.
His teammate Garret Cooper 1B ($2,600 DraftKings; $2,500 FanDuel) and Jorge Soler OF ($3,600 DraftKings; $3,000 FanDuel) are both solid DraftKings bargains as well. They all have solid platoon splits, making Marlins mini-stacks intriguing on Tuesday’s slate. (Though on DraftKings, Cooper and Aguilar can’t be played together due to both being first baseman. Cooper has outfield eligibility on FanDuel, plus FanDuel’s utility spot allows more flexibility.)
Giancarlo Stanton OF ($5,200 DraftKings; $3,500 FanDuel) New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Yuseki Kikuchi)
While teammate Aaron Judge ($5,900 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel) is projecting slightly better, Stanton is my favorite hitter on the Yankees today. He has ridiculous splits against left-handed pitching, with a career OPS of .993. He’s struggled a bit from a batting average standpoint this year, but he’s still hitting the ball hard. Stanton has six home runs already and the best hard-hit rate of his career so far.
Additionally, his BABIP is about 20 points lower than his career mark, so we should see his average improve a bit. With his ownership projecting to be somewhat lower than Judge, he’s the better play all around today. Not that they’re mutually exclusive, of course. Stanton, Judge, Josh Donaldson 3B ($4,500 DraftKings; $3,200 FanDuel), and DJ LeMahieu 2B/3B ($4,900 DraftKings; $3,300) all have excellent platoon splits for the Yankees today.