The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Friday features a 14-game slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Three pitchers on today’s slate own a salary of at least $10,100 on DraftKings:
- Jacob deGrom (R) $11,200, NYM vs. ATL
- Jose Berrios (R) $10,800, MIN @ CWS
- Lance Lynn (R) $10,100, TEX @ TB
The Mets season has turned into a disaster, but don’t blame deGrom. He’s come on strong after a slow start to the season, pitching to a 2.66 ERA while striking out 9.89 batters per nine innings. He also ranks third in WAR among NL pitchers, trailing on Max Scherzer and Hyun-Jin Ryu per Fangraphs.
He’s in a nice spot today vs. the Atlanta Braves. Their projected lineup has struggled vs. right-handers over the past 12 months, posting a .284 wOBA and 22.8% strikeout rate. deGrom’s opponent implied team total of 3.7 runs is tied for the top mark on the slate, while his K Prediction of 8.3 ranks second. Historically, pitchers with comparable marks in both categories have averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.94 on DraftKings (per the Trends tool).
deGrom is one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball — he’s allowed two earned runs or fewer in 10 of his past 11 starts — which makes him a strong option in all formats.
Berrios left his last start in the eighth inning due to a blister, but he doesn’t expect it to be an issue moving forward. He’s pitched well recently, logging six straight quality starts, and he’s averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.48 on DraftKings over that time frame.
He has a quality matchup today vs. the Chicago White Sox, whose projected lineup has struck out in 27.2% of at bats vs. right-handers over the past 12 months. Berrios isn’t usually a big strikeout pitcher — he owns a K/9 of 8.34 this season – but he has nice upside in this matchup.
There’s currently no Vegas data available for this contest because the White Sox have yet to name a starting pitcher, but Berrios should also check in with one of the lower implied team totals on the slate. The White Sox have been mediocre against right-handed pitchers this season, and Berrios limited them to one earned run over 6.2 innings in their last meeting.
Lance Lynn has quietly been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season. His 4.32 ERA obviously isn’t great, but his 3.06 FIP suggests he’s been much better than his traditional numbers indicate. He has to pitch approximately half his starts in Arlington, which is one of the most hitter-friendly environments in baseball. He’s also posted a BABIP of .338, which is the second-highest mark in the league among qualified pitchers.
He won’t have to deal with Arlington today vs. the Rays in Tampa. It’s a big upgrade, resulting in a Park Factor of 84.
Lynn also has significant strikeout upside in this matchup. He’s averaged 10.40 strikeouts per nine innings on the road this season, and the Rays projected lineup has struggled to a 26.4% strikeout rate vs. right-handers over the past 12 months. Lynn’s resulting K Prediction of 7.8 ranks fourth on the slate.
He’s a particularly nice value today on FanDuel, where his $9,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 89%. He should also command minimal ownership, making him an appealing option for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs).
Mike Clevinger could very easily be considered a stud on today’s slate. He has one of the most appealing matchups of the day vs. the Baltimore Orioles, who rank 26th in wRC+ against right-handers this season.
He ranks either first or second in each the three big pitching categories: opponent implied team total (3.7 runs), moneyline odds (-202), and K Prediction (8.9). Pitchers with comparable marks in all three categories have historically been strong investments, posting an average Plus/Minus of +1.62.
The only real concern is that this will be just Clevinger’s second start since returning from the Injured List. That said, he did throw 91 pitches in his first outing, so its possible that he’s not limited at all on today’s slate. He’s tough to ignore at his current price tag across the industry.
Vincent Velasquez looks like the best pure value option on the slate. He’s taking on the Miami Marlins, who have been one of the best possible matchups for right-handers this season. Their projected lineup has managed a splits-adjusted wOBA of just .265 over the past 12 months, and right-handers have averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.88 on DraftKings through 59 starts this season.
Velasquez is an inconstant pitcher, but one thing he can do is pile up strikeouts. He owns a K/9 of 10.34 this season, and the Marlins own the sixth-highest strikeout rate against right-handers this season. The result is a K Prediction of 8.1, which makes Velasquez an appealing target at just $7,000 on DraftKings.
Yonny Chirinos: He’s one of the best values of the day on FanDuel, where his $6,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 98%. He also owns solid marks in opponent implied team total (3.8 runs) and K Prediction (6.5) in a nice matchup vs. the Rangers.
Wade Miley: He pitches for the Houston Astros, which means he’s going to have excellent Vegas data virtually every time he takes the mound. Today is no exception, as Miley owns -219 moneyline odds and a 3.8 opponent implied team total vs. the Seattle Mariners. His $7,100 salary on FanDuel also comes with a Bargain Rating of 94%.
- 1. Joc Pederson (L)
- 2. Alex Verdugo (L)
- 3. Justin Turner (R)
- 4. Cody Bellinger (L)
- 6. Chris Taylor (R)
Total Salary: $26,900
The Dodgers did not disappoint in the first game of their series at Coors, scoring 12 runs and bashing six HRs. They’ve been one of the best offensive teams in baseball this season, so it wasn’t surprising to see them thrive in the best hitting environment in baseball.
They’re in another excellent spot on today’s slate. They’re taking on right-hander Antonio Senzatela, who has pitched to a 6.21 ERA at Coors this season. He’s struggled in particular against left-handed batters in that situation, allowing them to post a .409 wOBA. The top of the Dodgers lineup features a bunch of lefties who do damage against right-handers, which could spell trouble for Senzatela. Unsurprisingly, the Dodgers’ implied team total of 7.4 is the top mark on the slate.
The only real concern with the Dodgers is their cost. Their top stack costs $26,900, which leaves an average of just $4,620 for both pitchers and your final three batters. You’re going to have to get a little creative to make it work, but the Dodgers undoubtedly possess the most offensive upside on the slate.
If you’re looking to go in a cheaper direction, consider the Toronto Blue Jays. Their top stack costs just $12,600 on FanDuel:
- 1. Cavin Biggio (L)
- 2. Vlad Guerrero Jr. (R)
- 3. Lourdes Gurriel (R)
- 5. Rowdy Tellez (L)
Total Salary: $12,600
The Blue Jays are currently implied for 5.3 runs vs. the Kansas City Royals, which is merely tied for seventh on the slate. That said, they do seem underpriced relevant to their total, and their Team Value Rating of 90 ranks third on FanDuel.
They’re taking on left-hander Danny Duffy, who has pitched to a 5.21 xFIP this season. Two of the Blue Jays top hitters are both left-handed batters, but there’s no reason to fear Duffy in a lefty-lefty matchup. He’s allowed a .377 wOBA to left-handed batters this season.
Tellez in particular has smoked the baseball over the past 15 days, posting an average distance of 257 feet. That represents an increase of +30 feet when compared to his 12-month average, and batters with comparable distance differentials and implied team totals have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.33 on FanDuel.
If you want to stack Coors in a contrarian way, consider targeting the Rockies. They have a tough matchup vs. Ryu, but Coors can turn even the best pitchers into punching bags. Charlie Blackmon is very reasonably priced at $4,400 on FanDuel, and he’s posted solid Statcast marks over the past 15 days. He has appeal even on the wrong side of his batting splits, as he’s posted a wRC+ of 223 vs. southpaws at home this season.
Sticking with the Rockies, Mark Reynolds has solid upside at just $2,900 on DraftKings. He’s posted a solid .330 wOBA and .179 ISO against southpaws over the past 12 months, and he’s projected to bat sixth in the Rockies lineup. Historically, batters with comparable lineup spots and salaries have averaged an Upside Rating of 18%. He’s a cheap way to get exposure to the best game on the slate.
Scotty Kingery has been raking for the Phillies recently, posting an average distance of 255 feet, exit velocity of 95 miles per hour, and hard hit rate of 55%. He’s also provided nice value as the Phillies’ leadoff batter recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of +1.34 on FanDuel. He’s a nice option at $3,300.
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Pictured above: Dodgers OF Joc Pederson (31)
Photo credit: Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports