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
Gerrit Cole ($11,200) New York Yankees (-200) vs. Minnesota Twins
Cole’s salary alone is evidence of his dominance this season. It’s rare to see a pitcher over $11,000 on DraftKings, but that’s the case with the Yankees ace tonight. He’s backed that up with a 3.18 ERA and — more importantly — strikeout rate over 30% on the season.
Those strikeouts are crucial to living up to his massive salary. He has a 7.93 K Prediction on Tuesday, good for the second-highest mark on the slate. He also has excellent Vegas data, as a solid -200 favorite. The opposing Twins’ 2.8-run implied total is the lowest on the slate.
On the other hand, Minnesota is far from an easy matchup. They rank top 10 in wRC+ on the season. Crucially, they also rank 20th in strikeout rate. While Cole is certainly likely to find success here, his odds of a massive ceiling game are brought down a bit due to the matchup.
Thanks to his massive salary, I’m treating Cole as more of a GPP option tonight. I’d be willing to eat his price tag in cash games in a softer matchup, but the Twins aren’t as likely to produce a massive score for Cole. He leads both the FantasyLabd and THE BAT median projections but ranks down the list in Pts/Sal in both systems.
Note: Be sure to monitor the weather for this game.
Framber Valdez ($10,000) Houston Astros (-275) vs. Texas Rangers
Valdez trails only Cole in THE BAT’s median projections — while also coming in behind Shane Bieber in the FantasyLabs system. His discounted price tag from both of the other top options makes him an appealing play today in a solid matchup against Texas.
The Astros have the best moneyline odds on the slate tonight, and Texas’s 2.9-run implied total is nearly as low as the Twins against Cole. From a betting market standpoint, Valdez is nearly identical to Cole tonight, if not slightly better.
The real difference is in his strikeout potential. His K Prediction is notably lower than both Cole’s and Bieber’s at 6.3. That tracks with his season-long rate of 22.6%, which is roughly league average. His lower salary means we don’t need quite as many Ks from Valdez, but his chances of helping you take down a GPP are lower.
Still, he’s a rock-solid play for cash games with some GPP appeal. He’s currently projected for slightly lower ownership than Cole, but that could change throughout the day. If he projects at a significant ownership discount, I’d be willing to pull the trigger on him in GPPs.
MLB DFS Value Picks
Mike Mayers ($4,800) Los Angeles Angels (-138) vs. Detroit Tigers
Mayers is an obvious value play on Tuesday. That comes at an opportune time, with a plethora of pricey pitchers headlining the slate. His $4,800 price tag opens up a lot of salary elsewhere in your lineup, and he’s in a solid spot.
His Angels are only slight favorites against the Tigers, but Detroit is implied for just 3.8-runs. That kind of Vegas data generally comes with a price tag of around $8,000, so Mayers sub-$5,000 figure is a deep discount. Most of the appeal to Mayers is the matchup. The Tigers offense has been historically bad this season and is far worse against right-handed pitchers like Mayers.
Mayers has made just two starts on the season, having been used as a reliever prior to that. Those came in difficult spots against the Rays and Yankees. He fared well against Tampa Bay but struggled against New York. The Tigers are a far cry from either of those teams though, so a solid five innings is a reasonable expectation.
He’s the clear leader in Pts/Sal projection in both the FantasyLabs and THE BAT projection systems and an excellent option to pair with Cole or Bieber.
MLB DFS GPP Picks
Shane Bieber ($10,600) Cleveland Guardians (-190) at Kansas City Royals
On paper, Bieber is just as strong a play as Cole. That’s notable, thanks to the $600 in salary savings for Bieber, making him my preferred high-end option tonight. Vegas has them in similar spots, with Bieber and the Guardians -190 favorites and the Royals implied for 3.2 runs.
Bieber also leads our K prediction on Tuesday. While his season-long strikeout numbers aren’t as prolific as Cole’s, he was and is a positive regression candidate thanks to his outsized swinging strike rate (relative to the strikeout number.) Swinging strikes are a leading indicator of strikeouts, and Bieber’s 14.1% mark is higher than Cole’s 13.6%.
He’s lived up to that positive regression in recent starts, with a total of 20 strikeouts in his last two outings, both lasting seven innings. He’s scored at least 22.95 DraftKings points in six straight starts, despite some challenging matchups in the span. Kansas City ranks 22nd in wRC+ on the season.
Bieber narrowly trails Cole in the FantasyLabs median projections, with his salary discount making him the better Pts/Sal option. He’s my preferred GPP option on Tuesday, thanks to significantly lower ownership. He’s also a solid choice for cash games, thanks to his Pts/Sal projection.
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 Milwaukee Brewers:
- Christian Yelich (1) ($4,400)
- Willy Adames (2) ($5,500)
- Rowdy Tellez (3) ($4,400)
- Hunter Renfroe (4) ($4,500)
- Kolten Wong (5) ($3,700)
The Brewers are traveling to Colorado today, which means a game at Coors Field. They have a massive 6.6-run implied total. Despite that, their top-five hitters are all fairly reasonably priced, with the entire stack coming in at $22,300 on DraftKings.
They’re fairly obviously the best stack on the board today, so playing some combination of Brewers hitters is essentially a lock today. Colorado is starting Chad Kuhl ($5,600). Kuhl is a mediocre arm at best, with ERA, xERA, and FIP numbers all over five.
Even more encouraging for the Brewers is Kuhl’s batted ball data. His 41.1% flyball rate is above the league average, and he has a pitiful 17.1% strikeout rate. That’s not a good combination at Coors Field.
Top Stacking Pick from THE BAT X
The top non-Brewers DraftKings stack from THE BAT when generated by ceiling belongs to the Los Angeles Dodgers:
This game is yet to be put up by most sportsbooks, thanks to some uncertainty around the Giants’ starting pitcher. It’s probably a safe bet that the Dodgers will have one of the best totals tonight, though. Teams don’t generally have a “TBD” in the starting pitcher spot and then roll out their ace.
The Dodgers have the league’s best offense by wRC+ and OPS, making them perpetually worth considering in DFS. On a night where ownership should condense heavily elsewhere, there’s an even stronger case for playing the Dodgers.
Check back later in the day once the Giants’ pitching situation is sorted out, and projections on the Dodgers should be a bit sharper. Until then, keep them on your radar.
Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks
Mike Trout OF ($5,600 DraftKings; $4,100 FanDuel) Los Angeles Angels vs. Detroit Tigers (Eduardo Rodriguez)
The Angles molly-whopped the Tigers for 10 runs last night, featuring three hits from Trout, including a double and a home run. That should continue on Tuesday, as the Tigers are starting left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez ($7,400). In limited action in 2022, Rodriguez has failed to live up to expectations, with a 4.17 ERa and sub-20% strikeout rate.
Trout is the preferred Angel against lefties this season, with a 1.080 OPS. The Angels are implied for 4.7 runs, but when facing southpaws, we can shift the expected production from Shohei Ohtani ($6,300 DraftKings; $4,200 FanDuel) to Trout a bit. The left-handed hitting Ohtani does better work against righties
Nick Madrigal 2B ($2,300 DraftKings; $2,200 FanDuel) Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds (Justin Dunn)
A popular strategy on Tuesday will likely be stacking two of the more expensive pitchers — Cole, Bieber, and Valdez. To do so — and still get some exposure to the Brewers or other top stacks, we’ll have to save some salary somewhere. A $2,300 leadoff hitter at a thin position — on a team with a 4.3-run implied total — is a great place to start.
That’s the situation for Madrigal on Tuesday, who’s facing the Reds and Justin Dunn ($5,800). Dunn has a 4.63 ERA on the season, but leading indicators suggest that’s been the result of some positive variance. His xERA is 6.46, and his FIP is 6.93.
It doesn’t get much harder for Madrigal after Dunn departs, either. The Reds bullpen ranks 29th in the MLB with a 4.73 ERA.
Ryan McMahon 3B ($4,800 DraftKings; $2,900 FanDuel) Colorado Rockies vs. Milwaukee Brewers (Brandon Woodruff)
The Rockies aren’t expected to draw much attention today, with a somewhat difficult matchup against Brandon Woodruff ($9,400) of the Brewers. Colorado is implied for “only” 4.7 runs, which is low by Coors standards.
On the other hand, Woodruff is a flyball pitcher, with 44.1% of his balls in play coming as flyballs. He also misses a ton of bats, with a 28.7% strikeout rate. That makes the Rockies hitters fairly boom-or-bust today, but I’ll be taking a stab at McMahon.
His 13.3% HR/FB ratio on the season is due for some positive regression — considering he plays half of his games at Coors Field — and he’s Colorado’s leadoff hitter. I’m considering all of the Rockies today in GPPs though, given Woodruff’s pitching profile.