The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Monday features a seven-game slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
- Patrick Corbin (L) $10,800, WSH vs. ATL
- Caleb Smith (L) $10,600, MIA vs. ARI
- Chris Paddack (R) $10,200, SD vs. BAL
Corbin has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the past month. He’s pitched to a 1.74 ERA during the month of July while increasing his K/9 to 11.61, resulting in an average Plus/Minus of +4.45 on DraftKings.
Corbin also has solid Statcast marks from his past two starts. He’s limited opposing batters to an average distance of 206 feet, exit velocity of 90 miles per hour and hard hit rate of 33%, all of which represent decreases when compared to his 12-month averages.
Corbin is in a solid spot today vs. the Atlanta Braves. Their projected lineup has struggled against left-handers over the past 12 months, posting a .300 wOBA and 34.4% strikeout rate. Corbin’s opponent implied team total of 4.3 runs is pretty pedestrian – it ranks just sixth on the slate – but he does possess excellent strikeout upside. He could be a bit underowned in guaranteed prize pools (GPPs).
Smith has been one of the lone bright spots for the Marlins this season. He’s pitched to a 3.30 ERA and 11.00 K/9 in just his second year in the big leagues. Some of his advanced metrics suggest he’s been a bit lucky, but he’s still had a strong year.
He currently leads the slate with an opponent implied team total of 3.7 runs. That said, his matchup vs. the Diamondbacks is far from a good one. They currently rank third in wRC+ against left-handed pitchers, and they own the ninth-lowest strikeout rate. Smith is more appealing today on FanDuel, where his $9,400 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 91%.
Paddack looks like the strongest pitching option on the slate. He’s pitched to a 2.84 ERA this season, including a 1.96 ERA during the month of July. Opposing batters have also managed a wOBA of just .216 against him over that time frame.
He’s in a phenomenal spot today vs. the Baltimore Orioles. They’ve struggled against right-handers this season, ranking just 23rd in wOBA, and their projected lineup has posted a 28.2% strikeout rate against right-handers over the past 12 months. There’s currently no Vegas information available for this game – the Orioles have yet to announce a starting pitcher – but expect Paddack to have one of the lowest opponent implied team totals on the slate.
Paddack also benefits from this start being in San Diego. He’s been much better at home this season, pitching to a 2.36 ERA, and Petco has been one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in baseball. He’s an elite option on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 92%.
Jamie Barria is in an elite spot today vs. the Detroit Tigers. They’ve been dreadful against right-handers this season, ranking dead last in wRC+, and right-handers have averaged a Plus/Minus of +5.00 on DraftKings.
Barria has arguably the best Vegas data on the slate. His -231 moneyline odds ranks first, while his 3.9 opponent implied team total ranks third. Historically, pitchers with comparable marks in both categories have averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.19 on DraftKings (per the Trends tool).
The only real concern with Barria is his lack of upside. He’s not much of a strikeout pitcher – he’s averaged a K/9 of just 7.87 over the past 12 months – and he’s averaged only 86 pitches over his past two starts. He hasn’t pitched more than five innings in any start this season. He’s a much stronger option for cash games than GPPs.
Sonny Gray leads the slate with a K Prediction of 6.9 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also possesses strong Vegas data – he owns a 4.0 opponent implied team total and -192 moneyline odds – and the Pirates have lost eight straight games. They averaged just 3.75 runs per game over that time frame, so this is a really nice matchup for Gray.
Jon Gray: He’s the rare pitcher who actually pitches better at Coors Field. His home ERA this season is 3.90 while his road ERA sits at 4.17. He has a difficult matchup vs. the Dodgers, but he has decent strikeout upside and has posted a 15-day/12-month distance differential of -14 feet.
Brad Keller: He’s also posted a 15-day/12-month distance differential of -14 feet and has a strong matchup vs. the Toronto Blue Jays. Their projected lineup has posted a .316 wOBA and 28.3% strikeout rate against right-handers over the past 12 months, and Keller leads all pitchers with eight Pro Trends on DraftKings.
- 2. Joey Votto (L)
- 3. Eugenio Suarez (R)
- 5. Josh VanMeter (L)
- 6. Scooter Gennett (L)
- 8. Tucker Barnhart (S)
Total Salary: $19,100
The Dodgers and Rockies lead the offenses on today’s slate, but choosing to stack either will cost you a ton of salary. That’s not ideal given the weak pitching options. The Reds are significantly more affordable, and their implied team total of 5.6 runs still ranks fourth on the slate. Their Team Value Rating of 83 ranks third on DraftKings, making them an excellent choice to pair with a stud pitcher or two.
They’re taking on Pirates right-hander Jordan Lyles, who has pitched to a 5.36 ERA this season. Left-handed batters in particular have raked against him, posting a .416 wOBA while clubbing an average of 2.01 HRs per nine innings. Four of the above batters will have the splits advantage against Lyles, and the Great American Ballpark has historically been one of the most hitter-friendly venues in baseball. That could spell trouble for Lyles on today’s slate.
Gennett in particular stands out as an elite value. He’s been limited to just 18 games this season because of injuries, and he’s struggled at the plate over that small sample size. That said, he has historically hit well against right-handed pitchers, and he’s very affordable at just $3,400 on DraftKings. He’s also swung the bat well over the past 15 days, exceeding his 12-month averages in distance, exit velocity and hard hit. He’s been one of the unluckiest batters in the league over that time frame and seems due for some positive regression moving forward.
The Reds also own the top stack on FanDuel, but lets focus on the Dodgers instead. They own the top Coors Field stack if you’re looking to target that game:
- 1. Joc Pederson (L)
- 2. Alex Verdugo (L)
- 3. Justin Turner (R)
- 4. Cody Bellinger (L)
Total Salary: $16,500
The Dodgers have been an offensive juggernaut this season. They rank fourth in the league in runs per game, and they’ve averaged more runs per game when playing away from home. They also rank second in wRC+ against right-handed pitchers, so they’re in a very good spot today vs. Gray. Their implied team total of 7.0 ranks first on the slate, and they’ve averaged 9.0 runs per game through their first seven games at Coors this season.
Bellinger is putting together an MVP-caliber season for the Dodgers, and he’s absolutely destroyed Gray throughout his career. He has nine hits through just 14 at bats, resulting in an OPS of 1.738. He’s expensive at $4,900, but he can do some serious damage in this matchup.
Alex Gordon might be overlooked today in a lefty-lefty matchup vs. Thomas Pannone, but he stands out as a strong value on FanDuel. He’s priced at just $2,800, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 92%, and he’s projected to bat second for a team with an implied team total of 5.1 runs. Historically, batters in comparable situations have been excellent targets on FanDuel, posting an average Plus/Minus of +1.94.
JaCoby Jones is an excellent salary-saver on DraftKings, where his $3,400 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 96%. He’s expected to bat leadoff against Barria, and he’s posted a respectable .307 wOBA and .183 ISO against right-handers over the past 12 months. He should command minimal ownership – Barria is expected to be one of the highest-owned pitchers on the slate – and he should allow you to pay up for an expensive stack or pitcher.
The Angels are currently implied for 6.5 runs vs. Jordan Zimmermann, which makes them a team worth considering on today’s slate. Shohei Ohtani stands out as one of their best options. He’s absolutely crushed the ball over the past 12 days, posting an average distance of 241 feet and exit velocity of 96 miles per hour. He’s also fared well against right-handers over the past 12 months, posting a .410 wOBA and .309 ISO.
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Pictured above: Reds 2B Scooter Gennett (3)
Photo credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports