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
Kevin Gausman ($9,700) Toronto Blue Jays (-178) vs. Chicago White Sox
Gausman leads both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT projection systems for median and ceiling projection on Tuesday’s slate. His numbers on the season are outstanding, with a career-low 2.55 SIERA, career-high 17% swinging strike rate, and a strikeout rate approaching 30% through nine starts.
Those are all elite numbers, and Gausman has the best resume on the main slate. While Vegas doesn’t have him as the best pitcher available, Gausman’s 3.5-run opponent implied total and moneyline odds are strong. If anything, Vegas is being somewhat kind to Chicago. While they were expected to be one of the better lineups heading into the season, they currently rank 26th in wRC+ and 28th in wOBA.
That leaves us with the best pitcher on the slate — based on this season’s numbers — taking on one of the worst offenses available. If there’s a hole to poke in Gausman, it’s the conditions in Toronto. Both the Park Factor and the Weather Rating slightly favor hitters, but not by enough to be a significant concern. Gausman is an excellent choice for all contest types and should have relatively reasonable ownership given the number of arms available today.
Cristian Javier ($9,600) Houston Astros (-133) at Oakland A’s
Javier has posted similar numbers to Gausman on the season in a somewhat limited sample size. Javier actually has the better strikeout rate, but he trails Gausman in swinging-strike rate and SIERA. He also definitively has a better matchup vs. the Oakland Athletics.
Oakland ranks dead last in wOBA while posting a wRC+ better than only the Tigers. On top of that, conditions are better for pitchers tonight in Oakland, with this game featuring the second-best Park Factor and Weather Rating on the slate. Those factors together explain Oakland’s Vegas total, at 3.4 runs, is the second-lowest on the slate.
The concern with Javier is his longevity. At $9,600, only getting five or so innings out of Javier is hard to stomach. He’s averaging just over four innings per start on the season coming into this one. However, there’s a reason for optimism. He worked 11.2 innings over his last two starts and seems to be getting stretched out as the season progresses. Houston likely has him on a short leash, but if he’s shutting down Oakland, he should be able to go deeper in this one.
Javier is a solid choice on tonight’s slate, either with Gausman or as a pivot. His upside is probably higher, given his massive strikeout numbers on the season, but he carries a bit more price-considered risk. Regardless, he ranks third in both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT in median projection.
MLB DFS Value Pick
George Kirby ($6,600) Seattle Mariners (TBD) at Baltimore Orioles
Kirby has just 20 big-league innings under his belt (across four starts) with a 4.50 ERA. However, his SIERA is a much better 3.19, suggesting he’s been unlucky. Where he’s undoubtedly been unlucky is the schedule he’s faced so far. Three of his four starts have been against top-10 offenses in Boston, Tampa Bay, and the Mets.
That’s not the case this time, as he gets the ball against one of the league’s worst lineups in the Orioles. In his only other start against a lower-tier offense, Kirby struck out nine against the A’s over five innings. He’s definitely underpriced if he can replicate that feat again tonight.
Kirby’s strikeout numbers aren’t great outside of the Oakland start. However, his stuff is borderline elite, with an average fastball velocity of over 95 mph and plus breaking pitches per FanGraphs. This is a perfect opportunity to be early on a young arm who should get better as the season progresses. Kirby leads the FantasyLabs projections for Pts/Sal.
MLB DFS GPP Pick
Julio Urias ($9,100) Los Angeles Dodgers (-335) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Urias hasn’t been great this season, with a 4.29 SIERA and a sub-20% strikeout rate. Both of those marks are considerably worse than his career numbers. It’s possible he’s just off to a rough start and should get back to better things soon.
A matchup with the awful Pirates is the perfect opportunity for him to do just that. Pittsburgh ranks bottom-five in wOBA and wRC+ on the season while striking out at the third-highest rate in the majors. They’re implied for just 2.9 runs tonight, the lowest mark on the slate.
Urias is probably a hair overpriced for his likeliest outcome given his mediocre strikeout numbers. That should keep his ownership manageable, making him a strong GPP play considering his upside. With the matchup, approaching double-digit strikeouts while lasting six or seven innings isn’t out of the question. He owns the sixth-highest median projection in the FantasyLabs Models while ranking second in THE BAT.
Blake Snell ($8,100) San Diego Padres (+110) at Saint Louis Cardinals
Snell has made just two starts in 2022 after missing the beginning of the season due to injury. He’s allowed six runs over nine innings, but his 3.65 SIERA is still solid. Matchups with solid offenses in Philadelphia and Milwaukee didn’t do him many favors in those two starts, not that St. Louis is much relief in that department.
There have been bright spots, though. He’s struck out 12 across nine innings of work, with a swinging strike rate around his excellent career average. He also lasted 5.1 innings in his most recent start. After failing to complete the fourth inning in his first start of the year, that’s a good sign.
Snell certainly seems to be trending in the right direction, making it an excellent time to buy in early on him. His $8,100 salary could be the lowest we see from him the rest of the season if he has a strong showing today. He’s one of only four pitchers with a K Prediction over six, with the rest costing at least $9,600.
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 Colorado Rockies:
- Charlie Blackmon (1) ($4,700)
- Connor Joe (2) ($4,600)
- C.J. Cron (3) ($5,500)
- Ryan McMahon (4) ($5,100)
- Randall Grichuk (5) ($4,000)
The Rockies’ 5.6-run total trails only the Dodgers for best on the slate as they take on the Marlins at home. The obvious appeal to the Rockies stack is that they’re playing at Coors Field. However, they also have an excellent pitching matchup.
The Marlins called up Edward Cabrera ($5,400) to start on Tuesday, his first in the majors of 2022. He had been in Triple-A for a reason after running up a 5.31 SIERA through seven games last season. He wasn’t even particularly dominant in the minors this season, with a 4.56 ERA at Triple-A Jacksonville in 2022.
The Rockies stack is very reasonably priced, considering the matchup and venue. At an average cost of $4,800, it’s feasible to work in the full stack of the first five Rockies. They should be popular today, but this might be a situation where we differentiate our lineups elsewhere.
Keep an eye on the weather report, though. This game has some significant rainout risk, but that could mitigate the ownership concerns.
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 (outside of Milwaukee), when generated by ceiling belongs to the Los Angeles Dodgers:
It’s no surprise to see the Dodgers leading THE BAT’s ceiling projections again. As previously mentioned, they have the highest implied total on the slate for their matchup against the Pirates, at 5.7 runs. As always, they won’t come cheap, with an average cost of $5,700 per player.
The only potential surprise is seeing Chris Taylor crack the top-five Dodgers bats. Since he’s hitting seventh, he generally gets beat out by another hitter. He’s certainly deserving, though, with a .785 OPS on the season. Still, paying over $5,000 for a number seven hitter generally isn’t ideal.
The Dodgers are also at home, meaning one less trip to the plate should the massive favorites be leading going into the ninth inning. I can’t believe I’m writing this in an MLB article, but there’s also potential blowout risk, as some of the Dodgers hitters could take an early seat if the score gets out of hand. Of course, that’s only likely to happen if they’ve scored double-digit runs up until that point.
Besides the obvious strength of LA’s lineup, the matchup with Mitch Keller ($6,800) of the Pirates is another good sign for the Dodgers. While Keller has shown flashes throughout his career, he has a 6.05 ERA on the season and a 6.03 ERA in his young career. Don’t expect those numbers to improve tonight.
Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks
Byron Buxton OF ($5,700 DraftKings; NA FanDuel) Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers (Joey Wentz)
Game two of the Tigers-Twins doubleheader is not on the board for FanDuel tonight, so Buxton is a DraftKings only option. Buxton’s horrible run of luck has been well-documented at this point, with a sub-.200 BABIP despite excellent speed. He’s started to turn it around a bit, with three hits in his last 16 plate appearances following a brutal 0-29 stretch.
He’s still nowhere near what his underlying metrics should be, though. The Twins are hoping yesterday’s day off (save a pinch-hit appearance) will help Buxton reset, and he should be back in the lineup for both games of the doubleheader with the Tigers. He’s facing Joey Wentz ($5,700) of the Tigers in Game 2, who allowed six runs in less than three innings in his lone big league start.
Wentz wasn’t much better in the minors either, with a 4.73 ERA at Triple-A this season. This isn’t some hot prospect who had a rough first start. Wentz is an emergency fill-in for the beat-up Tigers rotation. He’s also a lefty, which is another good thing for Buxton. His splits aren’t extreme, but he’s done better against southpaws in his career. Buxton leads all hitters in THE BAT’s median projections.
Luis Urias SS ($4,500 DraftKings; $3,400 FanDuel) Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs (Justin Steele)
The Brewers have a healthy 5.1-run total as they take on the Cubs in Chicago, following a doubleheader yesterday. Chicago is starting Justin Steele ($7,800), who has a 5.40 ERA on the season. Chicago’s bullpen is also fairly depleted after throwing nine total innings across two games yesterday.
That makes all of the Brewers intriguing today, but Urias is my favorite of the bunch. He has excellent platoon splits against lefties like Steele, with a career OPS of .838 (compared to .689 against righties.) He’s also had bad luck this season, with the lowest BABIP since his rookie year at .268. Given his above-average speed, I’d expect his BABIP to settle in near .300 by the end of the year.
That all combines to make him underpriced for his likely production today. He’s especially valuable on FanDuel, with a 72% Bargain Rating and multi-position eligibility.
J.D. Davis 3B/OF ($2,600 DraftKings; $2,300 FanDuel) New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals (Patrick Corbin)
Davis is the poor man’s Buxton today in terms of being woefully unlucky so far in 2022. His hard-hit rate is a ridiculous 64.2% — the best of his career — and his barrel rate is also a career-high. Despite that, his HR/FB ratio is just 7.7%, well below his 19% career average.
He has a matchup with the highly inconsistent Patrick Corbin ($5,900), who had a strong start at Coors in his last outing but had given up ten runs over his prior two starts. Davis is a far better play on DraftKings, where his salary is cheap enough to take a flyer on and hope for some power.