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
Corbin Burnes ($10,100) Milwaukee Brewers (-135) at San Diego Padres
There are seven pitchers priced at $9,000 or higher on Tuesday’s slate. With all the top options in play, picking amongst them will be a difficult task. However, Burnes has the best numbers of the lot. His Vegas data is outstanding, with the Padres implied for only 3.1 runs against him. While we’d generally prefer better odds if spending up for pitching, the Brewers are favored in this one.
His metrics stand out immensely as he has the best SIERA, strikeout rate, and swinging-strike rate (dating back to the beginning of 2021) of any starter in play tonight. Burnes ‘strikeout rate of 31.5% — while excellent — is the lowest of the past three seasons. His swinging-strike rate is at a career-high though. As good of a fantasy option as he’s been, the underlying metrics suggest he should be even better.
That’s a scary thought, considering he’s averaging nearly 24 fantasy points over the past month, with a similar number of the past calendar year. The matchup with San Diego isn’t a reason to stay away either. Offensively, they’ve been a roughly league-average team this season. The fact that it’s in San Diego is a boost, with positive Park Factor and Weather Rating scores for pitchers.
As long as ownership stays as evenly distributed as it’s currently projected, I see no reason to fade Corbin. However, if he looks to be significantly higher owned than the field, other options might be better.
Yesterday was a perfect example of why — Gerrit Cole stood out as the obvious top play and carried over 70% ownership in single-entry GPPs. Cole was outscored by Zack Wheeler. Still, Burnes looks to be the top option, and he leads the FantasyLabs projections for median and ceiling.
MLB DFS Value Pick
Blake Snell ($7,300) San Diego Padres (+115) vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Opposite Burnes, we have Blake Snell taking the mound for San Diego. Just like with Burnes, the weather and park conditions are favorable to Snell. Snell and the Padres are only slight underdogs, with Milwaukee implied for just 3.5 runs. However, Snell is significantly cheaper and projects to have the best Pts/Sal score on the slate.
There’s some risk with Snell, though. He made his season debut in his last start and looked like a player who’d missed significant time. Snell was unable to complete the fourth inning, allowing three runs along the way. He did record five strikeouts among his 11 outs, which is cause for optimism.
We should expect Snell to look better his second time around, but he’ll need to last deeper in this one to be worth rostering. His ownership should be minimal given that Burnes has one of the highest projected ownership on the slate, and players are somewhat hesitant to roster opposing pitchers.
Sonny Gray ($6,800) Minnesota Twins (-259) vs. Detroit Tigers
It’s rare to see a pitcher as cheap as Gray with massive moneyline odds, but that’s the case today with Gray. That speaks to the strength of his matchup against the struggling Tigers, but Detroit did score four runs on 10 hits last night against the Twins.
Regardless, Gray is clearly the best play on the slate from a Vegas standpoint. Only Burnes is expected to hold his opponent to fewer runs today, and Gray is the slate’s biggest favorite. He’s extremely affordable as well, freeing up salary for high-priced hitters and stacks.
Gray has also been solid so far this season, with a strikeout rate over 28% and the lowest SIERA since his rookie year.
He trails only Snell in the FantasyLabs Pts/Sal projection, with Snell being the riskier option by a long shot. Gray is the Pts/Sal leader in THE BAT’s projections.
MLB DFS GPP Picks
Dylan Cease ($9,800) Chicago White Sox (-175) vs. Boston Red Sox
Cease has continued to improve every season in the majors, with 2022 being no different. His 2.54 SIERA is a career-low, and he’s posting career-best numbers in strikeout and swinging-strike rate. Six of his eight starts have produced at least 20 DraftKings points, with four of those going for 26 or more.
Cease is expected to go a bit overlooked by the field due to a somewhat difficult matchup with the Red Sox. Boston has mediocre offensive numbers on the year. However, they turned a corner in May. Boston ranks top five in both wOBA and wRC+ this month.
Still, good pitching tends to have the edge over good hitting. Vegas certainly seems to think that will be the case, with Boston implied for just 3.4 runs. If Cease can live up to that total while continuing to strike out 30% or more of his opposing batters, he’s in for yet another big day.
Framber Valdez ($8,200) Houston Astros (-215) vs. Cleveland Guardians
Valdez is another young arm who looks to be entering his prime, with a career-best 3.36 SIERA so far in 2022. The 28-year-old lefty has seen a slight dip in his strikeout rate, but we shouldn’t be too concerned. His swinging-strike rate is nearly identical to his career mark, so the strikeouts should return.
Valdez has a sneaky-good matchup today with the Guardians. While Cleveland has an above-average offense, on the whole, they’ve struggled in a big way against left-handed pitching. They’ve hit just .205 against southpaws, the worst mark in the majors.
Valdez should be able to take advantage of that. He has a top-five median projection on the slate but is coming in noticeably cheaper than the arms ranked above him (except Snell.) His ownership is also projected to be fairly moderate, making him a good mix of value and leverage for GPPs.
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 Arizona Diamondbacks:
- Daulton Varsho (1) ($4,900)
- Pavin Smith (2) ($3,400)
- Ketel Marte (3) ($4,500)
- Christian Walker (4) ($4,500)
- David Peralta (6) ($3,800)
The Diamondbacks-Royals game produced 14 runs last night, with nine of them coming from the Diamondbacks. I mentioned yesterday the excellent hitting conditions in Arizona, and if anything, it’s even better tonight. That’s a big boost to this stack, which is already in a great spot thanks to the pitching matchup.
They’re taking on Jon Heasley ($5,400) of the Royals, who has a 6.14 SIERA over five career starts in 2021 and 2022. While he’s still young, he’s hardly a prospect. Heasley was a 13th-round pick who FanGraphs had as the 29th best prospect in the Royals system. The Royals bullpen is also in trouble, having to work 4.1 innings last night after Arizona chased starter Zack Greinke early. If Heasley suffers a similar fate, this stack could feast against Royals relievers.
Despite all that, the stack is still very affordable, with an average cost of $4,200. Varsho, in particular, stands out. He’s listed as a catcher but is a hybrid catcher/outfielder in real life with excellent speed. Not too many backstops lead off and have legitimate base-stealing upside, but Varsho does.
Arizona is implied for 5.1 runs on today’s slate, trailing only the Dodgers. I’d anticipate higher ownership on the Dodgers stacks given their name recognition and the fact that they’re on the road. That makes Arizona the better option for GPPs.
Top Stacking Pick from THE BAT X
The top DraftKings stack from THE BAT, when generated by ceiling belongs to the Los Angeles Angels:
The Angels are implied for 4.9 runs as they play host to the Rangers and starting pitcher Dane Dunning ($7,600). Dunning has actually been solid this year, with a 3.58 SIERA. The fact that the Angles implied total is so high says a lot about the strength of their lineup.
Led by superstars Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, Los Angeles has the league’s best wRC+ on the season and trails only the Dodgers in wOBA as a team. They’re also tied with the Yankees for the MLB lead in home runs, which is great from a fantasy perspective
This is a pure “bet on talent” stack today, with the Angles playing at one of the toughest hitter’s parks. The Weather Rating is also mediocre, with unseasonably cool temperatures expected in Los Angeles. Still, the talent is certainly there, so they shouldn’t go overlooked today.
Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks
Byron Buxton OF ($5,900 DraftKings; $3,900 FanDuel) Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers (Beau Brieske)
Buxton disappointed yesterday, failing to get on base in the Twins’ 5-4 victory over the Tigers. He has a chance for redemption tonight, with the Tigers pushing starter Beau Brieske’s ($7,400) start back to today after being expected to get the nod yesterday. Brieske has an ERA and SIERA over five on the season. The Twins superstar should have no problem doing some damage this time around. He trails only Ohtani in THE BAT’s median projections.
Freddie Freeman 1B ($5,500 DraftKings; $3,900 FanDuel) Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals (Josiah Gray)
Gray is one of the softest pitching matchups on the slate, with a 5.05 ERA coming into the contest, trailing only Brieske. He’s struggled against lefties, in particular, making Freeman and Max Muncy ($5,100 DraftKings; $3,000 FanDuel) appealing from the Dodgers. Left-handed hitters have a .383 wOBA against him in his career.
With the Dodgers being on the road and having the slate’s highest implied total, they’re a strong play in general, but Freeman is my favorite among them on DraftKings. I prefer Muncy on FanDuel if just playing one of them. The savings are significant enough there to go with him despite lower projections.
Tommy LaStella 2B/3B ($2,700 DraftKings; $2,700 FanDuel) San Francisco Giants vs. New York Mets (Chris Bassitt)
LaStella is dramatically underpriced on DraftKings, where he has a 91% Bargain Rating. He’s expected to lead off for the Giants against the Mets, who are starting Chris Bassitt ($9,600). While San Francisco has just a 3.7-run implied total, they’re favored in the game. Getting a leadoff hitter from a favored team — with multi-position eligibility — is very appealing at his price tag. That salary provides much-needed relief on today’s slate, where tons of expensive hitters have great matchups.