This series uses the FantasyLabs Tools to analyze three key MLB players in the day’s slate.
Luke Weaver: Pitcher, Cardinals
There are a lot of strong pitching options today, but Weaver arguably possesses more strikeout upside than anyone. His 7.5 K Prediction leads the slate, and he also has incredible recent Statcast data with a batted-ball distance of 175 feet, an exit velocity of 85 miles per hour, and fly-ball and hard-hit rates of 34% and 21%. Pitchers with comparable K Predictions and Statcast data have historically provided tremendous value on DraftKings (per our Trends tool):
Weaver’s a better value on FanDuel, where his $6,200 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 95%, but he is squarely in play on both sites. His matchup isn’t great against a projected Phillies lineup with a 25.1% strikeout rate and .340 weighted on-base average (wOBA) against right-handed pitchers over the past 12 months — the Phillies are implied for 4.0 runs — but his year-long 1.34 WHIP, 0.83 HR/9, and 9.91 SO/9 mitigate his matchup concerns.
Justin Smoak: First Baseman, Blue Jays
Per our Vegas Dashboard, there are three teams implied for at least 4.8 runs. Of that group, the Blue Jays offer the most value on DraftKings with their Team Value Rating of 81:
Smoak will square off against Athletics right-hander Andrew Triggs, who in just over four innings allowed three home runs and six earned runs in his last start. Smoak has hit righties well over the past year with a .373 wOBA and .278 ISO. After a fantastic start to the season, he’s continued to crush the ball over the past 15 days, sporting a recent average distance of 248 feet, exit velocity of 94 mph, and fly-ball rate of 56%. It’s a great overall spot for Smoak and the Blue Jays, as Triggs’ 98-mph exit velocity and 48% hard-hit rate are among the two worst marks on the slate.
Joey Gallo: First Baseman/Outfielder, Rangers
With the Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into DFS lineups. The top five-man DraftKings stack in the CSURAM88 Model belongs to the Rangers, who are implied for 4.8 runs and could be a strong pivot off chalky Red Sox and Blue Jays stacks:
They have a lot of upside against White Sox righty James Shields, who owns a mediocre 1.49 WHIP and 1.74 HR/9 over the past 12 months and surrendered five runs on seven hits in his last start.
One player who especially stands out for Texas is Joey Gallo, projected to hit fifth (per our Lineups page). He has smashed the baseball recently, boasting an average distance of 247 feet, exit velocity of 97 mph, and fly ball and hard-hit rates of 42% and 52%. His +32 Recent Batted Ball Luck suggests that he is hitting the ball better than his short-term fantasy production indicates. Historically, similarly unlucky DraftKings batters with comparable lineup spots, implied team totals, and Statcast data have averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.11.
Good luck today, and be sure to check out The Action Network if you’re looking for more baseball coverage!
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: Luke Weaver
Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports