The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Tuesday features a 15-game slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Four pitchers on today’s slate own a salary of at least $10,000 on FanDuel:
- Clayton Kershaw (L) $12,200, LAD vs. TOR
- Shane Bieber (R) $11,000, CLE @ NYM
- Sonny Gray (R) $10,400, CIN vs. SD
- Stephen Strasburg (R) $10,000, WSH @ PIT
The Kershaw renaissance continued in his last start, when he recorded 10 strikeouts over seven scoreless innings. That outing dropped his ERA to just 1.42 since the All-Star break, which is the fifth-best mark in the league over that span.
He’s in an elite spot today vs. the Toronto Blue Jays. Their projected lineup has struggled to a .294 wOBA and 36.8% strikeout rate against left-handers over the past 12 months. Kershaw’s resulting opponent implied team total of 3.0 runs and moneyline odds of -316 both rank first on the slate. Historically, pitchers with comparable marks in both categories have averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.54 on FanDuel (per our Trends tool).
His Statcast data from his past two starts is also solid. He’s limited opposing batters to an average distance of 192 feet, which represents a decrease of seven feet when compared to his 12-month average. He’s an elite option in all formats.
Bieber is another pitcher who has put together an excellent string of performances recently. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +8.91 over his past 10 starts on FanDuel, and he’s pitched to a 2.88 ERA since the All-Star break. That said, he’s been hit hard over his past two outings. He’s allowed opposing batters to post a hard hit rate of 51%, which represents an increase of seven percent when compared to his 12-month average.
Bieber is also in a tough spot vs. the Mets. They rank seventh wRC+ against right-handers since the All-Star break, and their projected lineup has posted a 23.6% strikeout rate over the past 12 months. They’re currently implied for 3.9 runs, which is the highest mark among the stud tier.
Gray has bounced back this season after struggling in 2018 with the Yankees. He’s increased his K/9 to a career-best 10.45 while dropping his ERA to just 2.98.
Gray has an interesting matchup vs. the Padres, who have been significantly better when playing away from Petco this season, but their lineup is also a lot less intimidating without stud SS Fernando Tatis Jr. and OF Franmil Reyes. Their projected lineup has posted merely a .289 wOBA and 24.5% strikeout rate against right-handers over the past 12 months. Gray’s opponent implied team total of 3.8 is tied for sixth on the slate, while his K Prediction of 7.4 ranks first. He has nice upside for guaranteed prize pools, particularly on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 83%.
Strasburg rounds out the stud tier, and he’ll be looking to improve upon his poor recent results. He’s posted a negative Plus/Minus on FanDuel in each of his past three starts. That makes him an interesting buy-low target vs. the Pirates, who have struggled offensively over the second half of the season, ranking just 23rd in wRC+ against right-handers.
Dallas Kuechel is always a risky fantasy option because of his low strikeout potential, but he has an excellent matchup vs. the Marlins. Their projected lineup has posted a .277 wOBA and 31.0% strikeout rate against left-handers over the past 12 months, and their implied team total of 3.6 runs is the third-lowest mark on the slate. Kuechel is also a massive -257, and pitchers with comparable Vegas data and salaries have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.14 on DraftKings. He’s a solid SP2 option for cash games.
Aaron Sanchez is even cheaper than Kuechel at $6,800 on DraftKings, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 99%. He’s in arguably the best spot of the day vs. the Detroit Tigers, who have been absolutely miserable this season against right-handed pitchers. They rank dead last in wRC+, and right-handers have averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.26 when facing the Tigers this season.
Sanchez unsurprisingly has outstanding Vegas data in this matchup. His 3.4 opponent implied team total and -263 moneyline odds both rank second on the slate. He should be one of the highest-owned options in all formats.
If you’re looking for a slightly sneakier pitcher for GPPs, consider Jalen Beeks. He’s not going to start the game, but he is expected to see the majority of the innings today for Tampa Bay. That gives him an increased chance at picking up a win, and the Rays are currently -190 favorites vs. the Seattle Mariners.
Beeks has also compiled solid Statcast marks over the past 15 days, limiting opposing batters to a hard hit rate of just 27%. He likely won’t pitch more than five innings, but he doesn’t need to at just $4,400 on DraftKings.
Dylan Bundy: He’s someone you’d usually rather stack against than roster in DFS, but he’s worth consideration today given his matchup vs. the Royals. Bundy has also posted a 15-day/12-month distance differential of -33 feet, and his K/9 of 9.15 this season gives him some upside as well.
Cole Hamels: He’s one of the better pure values on FanDuel, where his $7,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 73%. He also has an excellent matchup vs. the San Francisco Giants, resulting in a 4.4 opponent implied team total and -196 moneyline odds.
- 1. Joc Pederson (L)
- 2. Max Muncy (L)
- 3. Justin Turner (R)
- 4. Cody Belinger (L)
- 6. Corey Seager (L)
Total Salary: $22,100
The Dodgers are currently implied for 5.6 runs, which is tied for the seventh-highest mark on the slate. That doesn’t exactly jump off the page, but that should result in reduced ownership. The opportunity to buy low on an excellent offense is always appealing for GPPs.
They’re taking on Blue Jays’ right-hander Sean Reid-Foley, and the Dodgers rank third in wRC+ against right-handers this season. Reid-Foley has pitched to a 3.00 ERA through his first 30.0 MLB innings, but his advanced numbers suggest he’s been far worse. He’s gotten lucky in a variety of areas, and his 6.18 xFIP is drastically higher than his traditional ERA.
Muncy stands out as an elite option in this matchup. Reid-Foley has allowed left-handed batters to post a .366 wOBA this season, and Muncy has posted a .396 wOBA and .275 ISO against right-handers over the past 12 months. Muncy has also swung the bat well recently, posting an average distance of 239 feet, exit velocity of 98 miles per hour and hard-hit rate of 56%, all of which represent increases when compared to his 12-month averages. He’s underpriced at just $4,600 on DraftKings, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 87%.
On FanDuel, the top four-man stack belongs to the Atlanta Braves:
- 1. Ronald Acuna (R)
- 2. Ozzie Albies (S)
- 3. Freddie Freeman (L)
- 6. Matt Joyce (L)
Totally Salary: $14,500
The Braves are currently implied for 6.0 runs vs. Marlins right-hander Elieser Hernandez, which is the third-highest mark on the slate. They also represent one of the best pure values on FanDuel, where their Team Value Rating of 89 ranks second.
Hernandez has struggled this season, pitching to a 5.40 ERA and 6.22 FIP. The Braves rank seventh in wRC+ against right-handers this season, and that number jumps to fifth when playing at home.
The Braves also enter this contest in elite recent form. Each of the stacked batters has outperformed their 12-month average distance over the past 15 days, headlined by Joyce’s mark of +29 feet. He’s an excellent value at $2,300 on FanDuel and should help diversify Braves’ stacks.
The Rangers are playing at home in Arlington, which rewards them with the best Weather Rating on the slate. They’re implied for 5.7 runs vs. Angels right-hander Jaime Barria, which makes Shin-Shoo Choo an elite target. He’s posted a .380 wOBA and .202 ISO against right-handers over the past 12 months, and Choo has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.21 on FanDuel when facing a right-hander at Arlington.
Trent Grisham remains massively underpriced at $2,800 on DraftKings. It results in a Bargain Rating of 99%, and he’s expected to occupy the leadoff spot in the lineup today vs. Michael Wacha. Historically, leadoff hitters with comparable salaries and implied team totals have averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.76 on DraftKings. He’s hard to avoid for cash games.
Adeiny Hechavarria is expected to bat seventh for the Miami Marlins, but his 11 Pro Trends are tied for the most on the slate. Batters with comparable lineup spots and implied team totals have historically fared well, posting an average Plus/Minus of +1.11, and he should command minimal ownership for GPPs. His Statcast data from the past 15 days is also excellent, and he’s very reasonably priced at just $3,500.
Good luck, and be sure to check out The Action Network if you’re looking for more in-depth MLB analysis.
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Pictured above: Astros SP Aaron Sanchez (18)
Photo credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports