The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players. 

Wednesday features an eight-game slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Pitchers

Studs

Two pitchers on today’s slate own a salary of at least $10,400 on DraftKings:

  • Shane Bieber (R) $11,500, CLE vs. CWS
  • Madison Bumgarner (L) $10,400, SF @ STL

Bieber is the clear class of today’s pitching slate. He’s been excellent this season, pitching to a 3.27 ERA and 3.31 FIP while striking out 11.10 batters per nine innings. He’s been dominant from a fantasy perspective over his past 10 starts, as he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +5.93 on DraftKings.

He takes the mound today in an elite matchup vs. the Chicago White Sox. They’ve struggled mightily against right-handers over the second-half of the season, ranking just 28th in wRC+. Bieber leads the slate with an opponent-implied team total of 3.1 runs, and his moneyline odds -299 rank first as well. Historically, pitchers with comparable marks in both categories have averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.22 on DraftKings (per our Trends tool).

Bieber also possess arguably the most strikeout upside on the slate. The White Sox’ projected lineup has posted a strikeout rate of 27.3% over the past 12 months, and Bieber’s K Prediction of 7.3 ranks first among today’s pitchers. He dominated the White Sox in their only other meeting this season, allowing two runs while strikeout out eight over eight innings pitched.

Bumgarner is a much tougher option to make a case for. He’s taking on the St. Louis Cardinals, who have been mediocre against left-handers over the second-half of the season. That said, Bumgarner is still a +117 underdog, and his opponent-implied team total of 4.3 runs is merely tied for seventh on the slate.

The bigger issue for Bumgarner is that he’s taking the mound on the road in St. Louis. He’s been a completely different pitcher at home vs. on the road this season, with his ERA dropping to 4.68 outside of Oracle Park. Busch Stadium isn’t exactly a hitter’s paradise, but it’s still a much tougher environment to pitch in.

Values

Jake Junis has struggled for much of the season, pitching to a 4.93 ERA and 4.78 FIP, but he still deserves some consideration today given his matchup. He’s taking on the Detroit Tigers, who have been the best matchup in fantasy for right-handed pitchers this season. Their projected lineup has been dreadful over the past 12 months, posting a .254 wOBA and 27.5% strikeout rate, and they’ve averaged the fewest runs per game this season. Unsurprisingly, right-handers have averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.55 on DraftKings when facing the Tigers in 2019.

Junis has respectable Vegas data in this matchup considering his salary. He owns a 4.0 opponent implied team total and -216 moneyline odds, and his K Prediction of 6.02 ranks fourth on the slate. Junis also represents one of the better pure values on DraftKings, where his $7,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 73%.

Hyun-jin Ryu got off to an amazing start this season, but he’s come crashing back to reality over his past 10 starts, as he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of -8.38 over his past 10 starts on DraftKings. He’s also pitched to a 3.23 ERA over the second half of the season, a far cry from the 1.54 ERA he posted in the first half.

That said, he’s in a nice bounce-back spot today vs. the Colorado Rockies. They’ve struggled offensively when playing away from Coors this season, ranking just 26th in wRC+ vs. left-handed pitchers. They’re currently implied for just 3.5 runs, which is the second-lowest mark on the slate. Pitching for the Dodgers and their juggernaut offense also gives Ryu -274 moneyline odds.

He’s a strong option today on FanDuel, where his $8,400 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 83%.

Hyun-Jin-Ryu

Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Hyun-Jin Ryu

Fastballs

Eduardo Rodriguez: If you’re a believer in recent Statcast data – and our Trends tool suggests that you should be – Rodriguez is your guy today. He’s limited his past two opponents to an average distance of just 164 feet over his past two starts, which represents a decrease of -37 feet when compared to his 12-month average. He has a tough matchup today vs. the Twins, but that should result in reduced ownership for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs).

Trevor Williams: His low strikeout ability typically limits his appeal, but he has more upside than usual today vs. the Miami Marlins. They rank 29th in wRC+ against right-handers this season, and their projected lineup has posted a 27.2% strikeout rate over the past 12 months.

Zac Gallen: He’s one of the better strikeout pitchers on the slate given his 12-month K/9 of 10.86. He has nice upside today vs. the San Diego Padres, who have posted the second-highest strikeout rate against right-handers this season.

Notable Stacks

With the Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into DFS lineups. Today’s top five-man DraftKings stack per the Bales Model belongs to the Los Angeles Dodgers:

  • 1. Joc Pederson (L)
  • 2. Corey Seager (L)
  • 3. Justin Turner (R)
  • 4. Cody Bellinger (L)
  • 5. A.J. Pollock (R)

Total Salary: $24,200

Joc-Pederson

Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Joc Pederson

Today’s slate isn’t expected to be all that high scoring, but the Dodgers stand out as one of the biggest exceptions. They’re currently implied for 6.1 runs, which is tied for the highest mark on the slate. Their top batters also present nice value on DraftKings, with Seager, Bellinger and Pollock each owning a Bargain Rating of at least 67%.

They have an excellent matchup today vs. Rockies right-hander Antonio Senzatela. He’s pitched to a 6.95 ERA this season, including a 6.71 ERA on the road. He’s also averaged the same number of walks as strikeouts per nine innings. The Dodgers rank second in wRC+ against right-handers this season, and this one of the worst right-handers they’ve faced all season.

Pederson sat out yesterday’s contest after crashing into a wall on Monday, but he stands out as an elite option if he’s able to suit up today. He’s destroyed right-handed pitching over the past 12 months, posting a .369 wOBA and .306 ISO, and he’s crushed the ball over the past 15 days. He’s posted an average distance of 259 feet, which represents an increase of +39 feet when compared to his 12-month average. Historically, leadoff batters with comparable distance differentials and implied team totals have averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.51 on DraftKings.

The Dodgers also own the top four-man FanDuel stack, so let’s focus on the Kansas City Royals instead. Their top stack is a little more reasonably priced across the industry:

  • 1. Whit Merrifield (R)
  • 2. Adalberto Mondesi (S)
  • 3. Jorge Soler (R)
  • 6. Ryan O’Hearn (L)

Total Salary: $13,800

The Royals’ implied team total of 6.1 runs is tied with the Dodgers for the top mark on the slate, but they’re easily the better value. Their Team Value Rating of 91 on FanDuel and 89 on DraftKings both rank first on the slate by a comfortable margin.

They’re taking on Tigers right-hander Edwin Jackson, who has been one of the worst pitchers in baseball this season. He’s posted a 9.35 ERA and 7.52 FIP while allowing an average of 2.94 HRs per nine innings. Only two qualified starters have allowed more than 2.00 HRs per nine innings this season, so Jackson is allowing HRs at a pretty unprecedented rate.

Among the stacked batters, O’Hearn enters this contest in the best recent form. He’s posted an average distance of 233 feet and hard hit rate of 62% over the past 15 days, both of which represent massive increases when compared to his 12-month averages. O’Hearn has also managed a .312 wOBA and .202 ISO against right-handers over the past 12 months, so he can do some damage in this matchup.

Other Batters

Oscar Mercado stands out as one of the better values of the day on FanDuel, where his $2,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 84%. He’s expected to occupy the second spot in the lineup today vs. Ivan Nova, and the Indians are currently implied for 5.5 runs. Historically, batters with comparable lineup spots, salaries, and implied team totals have averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.37 on FanDuel.

Bumgarner has been dominant this season against left-handed batters, but he’s had his struggles against righties. They’ve posted a .353 wOBA against him outside of San Francisco, which bodes well for Paul DeJong. He’s posted a 117 wRC+ when facing a left-hander at home this season, and his $3,700 salary on DraftKings comes with a Bargain Rating of 94%.

You don’t get a ton of opportunities to buy low on Mike Trout, but today could be one of them. The Angels are implied for just 4.3 runs, giving Trout an ownership projection of just 5-8% on FanDuel. He’s taking on A’s right-hander Tanner Roark, and Trout has posted a .491 wOBA and .406 ISO against right-handers over the past 12 months. Both of those are the top splits-adjusted marks on the slate.

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: Royals 1B Ryan O’Hearn (66)
Photo credit: Denny Medley-USA Today Sports