The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players within our MLB Player Models.
Wednesday features an eight-game slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
MLB DFS Pitching Picks
MLB DFS Stud Pick
Kodai Senga ($9,200) New York Mets (-105) at Chicago Cubs
It’s a tough day at the top of the pitching price range, as most of the top pitchers on the slate have difficult opposing matchups. That’s certainly the case for Senga, who takes on a Cubs team that ranks top 10 in wRC+ against right-handed pitching on the season.
However, with Vegas firmly on the side of Senga, we can feel reasonably comfortable about rostering him today. The Cubs’ 3.4-run implied total is bottom-three on the slate, and good pitching tends to win against good hitting. Senga is certainly an example of good pitching, with a 29.4% strikeout rate and sub-4.00 ERA in his first year stateside.
Additionally, there’s a game theory aspect at play here. Senga was originally set to pitch yesterday but had his start delayed a day. Because of that, DraftKings lowered his salary by $200. While not a huge amount, it’s a nice discount considering his outlook is unchanged from yesterday.
The BAT and FantasyLabs projections differ on a few pitchers today, but one spot where they agree is Senga. He comes in second in both projection sets for median — with different leaders in each system.
MLB DFS Value Pick
Nestor Cortes ($8,100) New York Yankees (-135) vs. Baltimore Orioles
That the Orioles — one of baseball’s best offenses — are implied for less than four runs today is a testament to Cortes. He’s having a bit of a down year by traditional metrics, with an ERA over 5.00 and a 23.5% strikeout rate, but he’s been far better than that.
Cortes had a sub-3.00 ERA each of the last two seasons, with strikeout rates in the upper 20s. This season his underlying metrics — namely swinging strike rate and xERA — suggest that he should be a lot closer to those numbers than he actually is. His xERA is 3.79, and his swinging strike rate is between his 2021 and 2022 marks.
All of which makes this a valuable buy-low opportunity for Cortes, who spent the early part of the season being priced at or around $10,000. He’s likely to end up back there soon. He leads THE BAT in both median and Pts/Cal projection on Wednesday’s slate.
MLB DFS GPP Pick
Sandy Alcantara ($8,300) Miami Marlins (-170) at Colorado Rockies
Rostering good visiting pitchers at Coors Field has been one of my favorite GPP strategies this year. The Rockies offense is so bad that even the thin air at Coors sometimes isn’t enough, and it doesn’t matter how far the ball carries if you don’t hit it in the air (or at all.)
Plus, we generally get considerable discounts in both salary and ownership on pitchers in Colorado. Which is why I’m all about Alcantara for GPPs tonight. He’s taken a step back this season, but like Cortes, his underlying numbers are much better than his traditional stats this year.
More importantly, though, Colorado has a bottom-five offense against right-handed pitching. That’s the type of matchup where positive regression tends to shine through, which is what I’m banking on if I’m rostering Alcantara tonight.
Our PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy simulations also like Alcantara tonight:
MLB DFS Hitters and Stacks
With the Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into DFS rosters.
Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 300 lineups.
The top DraftKings stack in the FantasyLabs MLB Tournament Model when generated by rating using an aggregate projection set belongs to the Miami Marlins:
Miami continues to pop in our models, as they have for all three of their games at Coors Field against the Rockies. They’ve been a bit of a disappointment so far — scoring just seven runs in two games — though both Soler and Cooper hit home runs yesterday, making the overall production from the stack reasonable.
Their 6.3-run implied total is the highest it’s been in this series, and it’s also nearly a full run higher than any other team on the slate. That helps to justify the expense — though there are other ways to stack the Marlins at a more reasonable price point.
Outside of the location, the real appeal is the matchup with rookie pitcher Karl Kauffman ($5,000). Kauffman has just one big league start under his belt, and he allowed five runs while failing to make it through the fifth inning. It’s probably not just big league debut jitters, either. Kauffman’s prospect report projects him as a below-average MLB starter.
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Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks
One of the great features of being a FantasyLabs Pro member is the option to purchase additional items in the FantasyLabs Marketplace.
In addition to our in-house MLB projections, THE BAT X from Derek Carty of RotoGrinders is available in our marketplace. With this purchase, you can use his projections alone or create aggregate projections within our Player Models.
For this example, we created a 50/50 blend with THE BAT X and the FantasyLabs projections to pinpoint some hitters that stand out.
Lane Thomas OF ($4,100 DraftKings; $3,000 FanDuel) Washington Nationals vs. San Diego Padres (Ryan Weathers)
The Nationals have a very solid 4.6-run implied total today, which, given their poor overall offense, says a lot about opposing starter Ryan Weathers. Weathers has a 3.42 ERA on the season, but his xFIP and SIERA are both on the wrong side of 5.00.
He’s also a lefty, which is very good news for Thomas. Thomas has a career .296 average against southpaws, compared to just .224 against righties. He also has the speed and power combination (seven homers and four steals this season) to provide some upside for DFS lineups at a solid price.
Jake Cronenworth 1B/2B ($4,200 DraftKings; $2,800 FanDuel) San Diego Padres at Washington Nationals
On the other side of the Nationals game, the visiting Padres are implied for an excellent 5.7-run team total tonight. That makes Cronenworth a value, given his No. 2 spot in the Padres lineup. He’s sandwiched between bigger names with bigger salaries, but that should help him see more pitches to hit, and have more scoring/RBI opportunities.
Cronenworth leads all second-base eligible hitters on DraftKings in THE BATs median projection while coming in more than $1,500 cheaper than the most expensive options. His dual eligibility is an added bonus since it allows him to be more easily maneuvered around Marlins stacks.
Javier Baez SS ($4,600 DraftKings; $2,900 FanDuel) Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals (Zack Greinke)
Since his stint on the bench earlier in the season, Baez has turned things around in a significant way. He has three home runs through 19 games in May — a 25 homer full season pace — while improving his batting average to .256. Not great, but considerably better than his March and April numbers.
The price tag is a bit out of hand on DraftKings, but FanDuel has been a bit slower to react to this resurgence. He has an 89% Bargain Rating there and is firmly in play with a solid pitching matchup against Greinke.