Welcome to the MLB DFS Slate Breakdown! In this article, I’ll offer my favorite cash and GPP plays to go along with the top stacks on our slate. You can find all of our Core Plays throughout MLB Premium Package, or you can click here to join our free Discord!
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MLB DK Pitcher Table
Nola’s seen mixed results throughout the 2021 season. He’s posted a 4.48 ERA with a 3.29 xFIP and a 30.3% strikeout rate through 30 starts. He’s also coming off of a 29.8 DK point performance against the New York Mets. Nola gets a solid matchup against the Pittsburgh Pirates, who’ve recorded a .308 team wOBA and a 20% strikeout rate over the last 14 days. He’s a -267 favorite in a game set at 8.5 runs, and Nola’s grossly mispriced, specifically on DraftKings tonight.
McCullers is another solid pitching option on a limited slate. Through 26 starts, he boasts a 3.11 ERA with a 3.66 xFIP and a 27.5% strikeout rate. He’s also posted 20+ DK points in 3 consecutive starts. McCullers gets a great matchup against a struggling Los Angeles Angels team tonight. Over the last 14 days, they own a .289 team wOBA with a 21.2% strikeout rate. He’s a -162 favorite in a game set at 8.5 runs, and I feel McCullers is slightly safer than Luis Castillo in this particular matchup tonight.
Other GPP Targets: Luis Castillo, Alex Cobb
Top DraftKings Batters
MLB Top Batters
Top FanDuel Batters
FD MLB Top Batters
Realmuto’s finally priced appropriately on this slate, but he still makes an elite option. He’s hitting for a .325 average with a .525 slugging percentage and a .897 OPS over his last 10 games. He boasts 5 extra-base hits (1 home run), 9 RBIs, and 4 stolen bases over that span. Realmuto gets a great matchup against Connor Overton and Luis Oviedo, who are expected to share pitching duties tonight. Regardless of who’s on the mound, the edge goes to Realmuto, who’s expected to hit fourth in the Philadelphia Phillies lineup. He’s an elite option in all leagues on this slate.
You’re going to need to save some salary on this slate, and Miller is one of the more interesting options. He’s been struggling, posting a .192 average with 3 extra-base hits (1 home run) and 1 RBI over his last 10 games. With that being said, Miller boasts plenty of upside for his price tag, especially against right-handed pitching. He’ll match up against Connor Overton and Luis Oviedo, and the remainder of the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen. On this small of a slate, you can always consider cheap options in the top stacks, especially if they’re hitting fifth like Miller projects.
There are a few great options at the top of second base, but I’m going to off a salary relief option here. Solak’s been struggling over his last 10 games, recording a .156 average with 1 extra-base hit and 2 RBIs. He’s flashed upside at times throughout his career, specifically against left-handed pitching. He gets a great matchup against Zac Lowther, who’s arguably the worst pitcher on this slate and struggled with home runs in limited innings in 2021. Solak’s expected to hit fifth in the Texas Rangers lineup, and he’s a solid alternative if you can’t get to the higher-priced options here.
Suarez is finally playing well for the Cincinnati Reds, recording a .308 average with a .577 slugging percentage and a .996 OPS over his last 10 games. Over that span, he posted 3 extra-base hits (2 home runs) and 2 RBIs. Suarez’s performed well against left-handed pitching throughout his career, and he gets a great matchup against Patrick Corbin tonight. He’s expected to hit fifth in the Cincinnati Reds lineup, and Suarez is a great option for his current price tag.
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Farmer’s found plenty of success in recent games, as he’s hitting for a .359 average with a .564 slugging percentage and a .939 OPS over his last 10 contests. He possesses 4 extra-base hits (2 home runs) and 6 RBIs in those games. Farmer’s looked great against left-handed pitching, and he gets a great matchup against Patrick Corbin tonight. He’s expected to hit second in the Cincinnati Reds lineup, and he can be used in all leagues with a cheap price tag.
The Phillies are the obvious outfield on this slate, as two of their three outfielders are cheap enough to easily fit into lineups. Odubel Herrera and Andrew McCutchen can be considered in all leagues as players around the $4k price tag. Bryce Harper is significantly more expensive, but he’s playing well enough to be used in all leagues. The edge clearly goes to any of these options over Connor Overton or Luis Oviedo.
I initially wanted to outline Nick Castellanos here, as he’s an option that can always be considered against left-handed pitching. He hasn’t been overly dominant in recent games, but I’m willing to pay up for him against Patrick Corbin. I changed it to the entire Cincinnati outfield because they have two minimum-priced options. Jose Barrero and Delino DeShields are both expected to draw starts. Neither’s been playing overly well in recent games, although they’ll open up plenty with their salaries, and they’re playing in one of the top offenses on this slate.
“Team Batting Score” – A metric that quickly highlights overall team batting based on Runs Created (RC+) by team and comparing it to the average and standard deviation of all other MLB Teams
“Opp. Pitcher SP Score” – A weighted metric that evaluates today’s starting pitchers based on xFIP and Games Started (currently using partial end of 2020 data blended with the 2021 season)
“Opp. BP Score” – Similar to SP Score but weights the xFIP for the team’s bullpen
Team Batting vs. Opp. Pitch
DraftKings Team Stacks
DK MLB Stacks
FanDuel Team Stacks
FD MLB Stacks
“T2” (and T3/T4/T5) represents the Top 2 projected hitters for the team on the left (not necessarily the top 2 hitters in the batting order)
Stacking is an extremely important element to MLB DFS. In MLB, all of your players are correlated to each other. Outside of solo home runs, they need each other to succeed. If you look at the top of all of the big GPPs every night you will see stacks dominating the leaderboard.
When using our stacks chart, we want to identify teams that are projecting well but the ownership does not reflect their chance of success.
We only have a five-game slate tonight, limiting our choices for stacks. There are a few obvious ones, and my three favorites are listed below.
DraftKings 5-Man Stack Ideas
PHI – Herrera/Segura/Harper/Realmuto/Miller
CIN – India/Farmer/Castellanos/Votto/Suarez
TEX – Taveras/Kiner-Falefa/Ibanez/Garcia/Peters
DraftKings 3-Man Stack Ideas
PHI – Herrera/Segura/Realmuto
CIN – Farmer/Castellanos/Suarez
TEX – Ibanez/Garcia/Peters
Written by Justin Bales (Follow @BalesSJustin on Twitter)