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

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Pitchers

Studs

On FanDuel, there are three pitchers who cost more than $10,000:

  • Chris Sale (L) $11,600, BOS vs. HOU
  • Hyun-jin Ryu (L) $11,000, LAD @ CIN
  • Noah Syndergaard (R) $10,400, NYM @ MIA

Sale is coming off an absurd 17-strikeout game against the Rockies, and he’s been rather dominant over his past four games, striking out 10 or more hitters in three of them. This season he’s pitching to a 2.85 xFIP, which is nearly 1.5 runs lower than his ERA, along with an elite 34.9% strikeout rate.

He’ll enter this game in good form, allowing opposing hitters to average a 191-foot average distance, 87-mph exit velocity and 25% hard-hit rate. That said, my lean is to save Sale for tournaments and opt for a cheaper option in cash games considering his price and matchup. The projected Astros lineup has a low 20.5% strikeout rate and an elite .352 wOBA against lefties over the past 12 months. Moreover, they rank second in team ISO and first in Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) against lefties this season.

While the Red Sox check in at -159 on the moneyline, the Astros are still implied for 4.0 runs. Historically, pitchers with comparable salaries, Vegas data and K Predictions (8.7) have underwhelmed, averaging a +0.65 FanDuel Plus/Minus with a 59% Consistency Rating, per our Trends tool.

Ryu has been as consistent as it gets this year, averaging a +8.57 FanDuel Plus/Minus with an 88% Consistency Rating. Overall, he’s sporting an elite 2.50 xFIP and an elite 27% K-BB%, the sixth-best rate in the league. However, his 5.4 K Prediction and Vegas data are slightly concerning for a pitcher who is this expensive. The Dodgers are -177 moneyline favorites, but the Reds are implied for 4.1 runs.

They don’t dominate lefties, ranking 17th in wRC+ against this, but they also don’t strike out a lot, evidenced by their 22.7% strikeout rate over the past year. Since 2015, pitchers with comparable salaries, K Predictions and Vegas data to Ryu have averaged a -3.99 Plus/Minus with a 51.2% Consistency Rating.

If I am paying up for a cash-game pitcher, it’s likely Syndergaard. Despite his disappointing season so far, his 3.49 xFIP and 20.1% K-BB% still rank just inside the top 25 among starting pitchers with at least 30 innings pitched.

The matchup against the Marlins is one of the best matchups on the board as their projected lineup 26.9% strikeout rate and .274 wOBA against right-handed pitchers over the past 12 months. They also rank dead last in team ISO and wRC+ against them this season. Overall, the Mets check in as the largest favorite against a team with the lowest implied run total on the main slate.

Values

Jerad Eickhoff could be a secondary option on FanDuel if you don’t want to pay for pitching and is a solid SP2 on DraftKings with his 71% Bargain Rating. Eickhoff has exceeded salary-based expectations in four of his five starts this season, averaging a +3.22 FanDuel Plus/Minus with an 80% Consistency Rating.

Next up is a projected Rockies lineup with a 27.3% strikeout rate and .294 wOBA against right-handed pitchers over the past 12 months. Not to mention ranking 26th in wRC+ against them this season. The Rockies are implied for 4.6 runs, but Eickhoff’s 7.4 K Prediction is the second-highest mark on the slate, which is solid for someone with his price tag.

Fastballs

Shane Bieber: He’s had a few rough outings of late, but he’s been decent this season, pitching to a 20.1% K-BB% and 3.98 xFIP. He’s sporting a 6.9 K Prediction against a projected Orioles lineup that has a 26.7% strikeout rate and weak .290 wOBA.

Charlie Morton: He’s not the safest option considering the projected Yankees lineup possesses a 22.1% strikeout rate and .341 wOBA, but Morton has an exceptional 29.8% strikeout rate this year. However, his 10.2% walk-rate is concerning against a team that hasn’t struck out often against righties over the past year.

Notable Stacks

With our Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into DFS lineups. The top four-man DraftKings stack from the CSURAM88 Player Model belongs to the Oakland Athletics.

  • 1. Marcus Semien (R)
  • 2. Matt Chapman (R)
  • 3. Stephen Piscotty (R)
  • 4. Khris Davis (R)

Total salary: $16,800

The A’s are implied for 5.8 runs against Gregory Soto, who has been lit up in his two starts this year, pitching to a 6.57 xFIP with a 0.0% K-BB%, yep you read that right, 0.0%… Overall, their Team Value Rating of 82 in our Vegas Dashboard trails only the Cardinals on DraftKings.

Davis was scratched on Saturday with a hip issue, so be sure to pay attention to his status leading up to lock. If Davis does play, it’s a great matchup for him with his .389 wOBA and .338 ISO against lefties over the past year. He’s also smashing the ball over the past two weeks with his 242-foot average distance, 98-mph exit velocity and 60% hard-hit rate. Additionally, Piscotty has throttled left-handed pitchers over the past year, hitting them to the tune of a .376 wOBA and .246 ISO.

This entire stack owns a Bargain Rating of 75% or higher on DraftKings.

One of the top FanDuel stacks on the main slate in the CSURAM88 Model belongs to the St. Louis Cardinals.

  • 1. Matt Carpenter (L)
  • 2. Paul Goldschmidt (R)
  • 3. Paul DeJong(R)
  • 5. Jose Martinez (R)

Total salary: $14,800

The Cardinals’ 6.4 implied run total leads the main slate by 0.6 runs, so it’s not surprising their Team Value Rating of 90 on FanDuel also leads the slate. This could be a rough outing for Drew Smyly and his 44% fly-ball rate over the past 12 months against this Cardinals lineup. Even worse, over Smyly’s past two games, he owns a 58% fly-ball rate.

Carpenter will be on the negative side of his batting splits, but he still possesses a .361 wOBA and .239 ISO against left-handed pitcher over the past year. He’s also in good form, owning a 236-foot average distance, 96-mph exit velocity and 45% hard-hit rate. On FanDuel, Carpenter leads all hitters in median, ceiling and floor projections.

It’s difficult not to consider this stack considering hitters batting in the top five of the order, who are featured in games with comparable implied run totals have averaged a +2.52 FanDuel Plus/Minus with a 48.7% Consistency Rating, per our Trends tool.

Other Batters

Max Muncy is too cheap on FanDuel with his 94% Bargain Rating. The Dodgers are implied for 5.5 runs against Tanner Roark, and Muncy has demolished righties over the past year, boasting a .409 wOBA and .302 ISO against them. Muncy has great Statcast data over the past two weeks, averaging a 231-foot average distance, 96-mph exit velocity and 54% hard-hit rate. His +1.91 Projected Plus/Minus leads all first basemen on Sunday. I also love Goldschmidt as a first-base play, but since the utility spot is in play there, you could roster both Muncy and Goldy.

Jason Kipnis has an 83% Bargain Rating on FanDuel, making him a decent salary-relief option. He’ll be on the positive side of his batting splits, owning a .364 wOBA and .214 ISO against righties over the past 12 months. The Indians are in a good spot on Sunday, checking in with a 5.6 implied run total. Kipnis’ +1.18 Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel is the second-highest mark among second basemen.

Bryce Harper has been struggling over his last 10 games, averaging a -1.70 DraftKings Plus/Minus with a 30% Consistency Rating, but the Phillies are implied for 5.3 runs and Harper will be on the positive side of his splits, boasting a .383 wOBA and .251 ISO. He’s also in good batted-ball form, possessing a 246-foot average distance, 98-mph exit velocity and 55% hard-hit rate. All of which exceed his 12-month averages.

Good luck, and be sure to check out The Action Network if you’re looking for more in-depth MLB analysis.

After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players. Be sure to stay ahead of your competition with our industry-leading DFS-focused news blurbs.

Pictured above: Max Muncy
Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports