The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Monday features a three-game slate starting at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Three pitchers stand above the others on today’s slate:
- Luis Severino (R) $9,400, NYY vs. BOS
- Michael Foltynewicz (R) $9,000, ATL vs. LAD
- Mike Clevinger (R) $9,000, CLE vs. HOU
Severino will take the mound for the Yankees in a massive game vs. the Red Sox. The series is tied at 1-1, so the winner of today’s contest will take a commanding lead. Severino struggled over the second half of the season but has seen better results lately, allowing just four earned runs and striking out 25 batters over his past 21.2 innings pitched. Unfortunately, his Statcast data from his last start tells a bit of a different story: He allowed his opponents to compile a hard-hit rate of 50%.
He’ll face a massive test against the Red Sox, whose projected lineup has posted a .341 wOBA against right-handers over the past 12 months. They’ve also posted a low strikeout rate of just 18.2%, so Severino has less strikeout upside than usual. He’s still getting a lot of respect from Vegas – he leads all pitchers with an opponent implied team total of 3.6 runs and moneyline odds of -181 – but he’ll need to be at his best to hit value against the Sox.
The Braves managed to stave off elimination yesterday vs. the Dodgers and will call on Foltynewicz with their season on the line again today. He was roughed up by LA in Game 1 of this series, allowing four earned runs over just two innings pitched, but his Statcast data from that contest suggests he was a bit unlucky. The Dodgers posted a hard-hit rate of just 28%, so they didn’t exactly make a lot of loud contact.
He leads all pitchers on today’s slate with a K Prediction of 6.4, so he has significant upside.
Clevinger will get the ball in a must-win situation for the Indians, who dropped the first two games of their series with the Astros. They’ve had two brutal matchups against Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, so today’s contest represents their best chance to get on the board. Clevinger is a slight -122 favorite, and his opponent implied team total of 4.1 runs ranks second on the slate.
Clevinger also enters today’s contest in solid recent form, outperforming his 12-month marks in distance, exit velocity, and hard-hit rate in his most recent outing.
- Rich Hill (L) $8,100, LAD @ ATL
- Nathan Eovaldi (R) $6,800, BOS @ NYY
- Dallas Keuchel (L) $5,700, HOU @ CLE
Hill is one of the best pure values of the day on DraftKings, where his $8,100 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 93%. His Vegas data is also strong despite being on the road: 3.7 opponent implied team total, -145 moneyline odds. The Braves offense has been mediocre against left-handed pitchers over the past 12 months, owning a .310 wOBA and 25.3% strikeout rate.
His peripheral statistics are also solid. He owns a K Prediction of 6.2 and a 15-day/12-month distance differential of -34 feet, and pitchers with comparable marks in both categories have historically posted a Plus/Minus of +1.16 on DraftKings (per the Trends tool).
The big problem with Hill is that he doesn’t typically pitch deep into games. Manager Dave Roberts likes to go to his bullpen early, and Hill has topped the 100 pitch mark in just three of 24 starts this season. He has managed to complete seven innings in each of his past two starts, but he averaged just 84 pitches over that time frame. He’s going to have to be economical if he wants to stick around in today’s contest.
Eovaldi appears to be in the worst spot of the day vs. the Yankees: He’s the biggest underdog and owns the highest opponent implied team total. That said, the Yankees have been known to strike out in bunches, and their projected lineup has the second-highest splits-adjusted strikeout rate on the slate over the past 12 months. Eovaldi isn’t exactly a strikeout pitcher – he’s averaged a K/9 of just 8.19 in 2018 – but his K Prediction of 6.3 trails only Foltynewicz’s.
His Statcast data from his past two starts is also phenomenal, leading all of today’s pitchers in recent distance (165 feet) and hard-hit rate (23%). He could make for an intriguing contrarian option in guaranteed prize pools (GPPs).
Keuchel will look to complete the sweep for the Astros but will have his work cut out for him against the Indians. Their projected lineup owns a .342 wOBA and 19.3% strikeout rate against southpaws over the past 12 months, and their implied team total of 4.5 runs is tied for second on today’s slate. The low strikeout rate in particular could be a problem for Keuchel’s fantasy outlook: He’s a low strikeout pitcher anyway, and his resulting K Prediction of 4.0 makes him very tough to roster.
- 1. Joc Pederson (L)
- 2. Justin Turner (L)
- 3. Max Muncy (L)
- 4. Manny Machado (R)
- 5. Yasiel Puig (R)
Total Salary: $24,400
The Dodgers’ top stack is expensive on today’s slate, but they have big upside vs. Foltynewicz. They’ve been the best hitting team in the National League against right-handed pitchers this season, owning a .341 wOBA and .203 ISO. Each of the five members of the stack have hit right-handers better than left-handers over the past 12 months.
They also enter today’s contest in good recent form: Only Machado has failed to exceed his 12-month average distance over the past 15 days, and Turner, Muncy, and Machado have each posted a hard-hit rate of at least 51%.
They’ve tagged Folty for eight earned runs and four HRs in just seven innings in 2018, so they have the potential to get to him once again today.
The biggest potential concern with the Dodgers is their ownership. Stacking the top-five batters in their offense will likely be chalky, so you should look to diversify your lineup with some contrarian selections at other positions.
Giancarlo Stanton has been pretty mediocre against right-handed pitchers over the past 12 months but is still worthy of consideration on DraftKings. He’s priced at $4,700, and his resulting Bargain Rating of 75% is the second-best mark among today’s projected starters. The Yankees’ implied team total is the top mark on the slate, and Stanton has posted a 15-day/12-month distance differential of +11 feet.
The best 12-month splits-adjusted wOBA on today’s slate belongs to Tyler Flowers. He’s absolutely destroyed left-handed pitching over the past 12 months and is priced at just $2,100 on FanDuel and $3,300 on DraftKings. He’s also posted an average distance of 276 feet and hard-hit rate of 54% over the past 15 days, both of which represent significant increases compared to his 12-month averages.
Josh Donaldson is another batter on the positive side of his batting splits today. He’s posted a .383 wOBA and .241 ISO against southpaws over the past 12 months and leads the Indians with a 52% hard-hit rate over the past 15 days. He can do some damage against Keuchel.
Pictured above: Rich Hill
Photo credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports