Expert MLB DFS Advice: Welcome Back, Mike Soroka (May 29)

With the main MLB slate dominating the afternoon, today’s evening slate is down to just four games. Still, there is a plethora of MLB DFS value options, and as always, we will use matchups, park factors and weather to identify the best spots. Let’s break down the MLB DFS slate on Monday and peruse the news and notes that will help us build lineups.

MLB DFS Value and Advice | May 29

Atlanta Braves (Mike Soroka) at Oakland Athletics (Paul Blackburn)

The Braves have the best stack score and the highest top stack percentage in the Top Stacks tool tonight against Blackburn and a terrible Oakland bullpen. Blackburn has not made an appearance for Oakland yet this season, but he has a 5.61 xFIP in five starts for its Triple-A team. In 21 starts last year, Blackburn had a respectable 3.89 xFIP and a strong 47.4% ground ball percentage. Still, Atlanta has a ton of upside in its lineup, and Oakland’s bullpen frequently allows for add-on runs later in the game.

Soroka has not made an MLB appearance since making three starts in 2020. He missed the entire 2021 season with injury and then made only six minor league starts last season. Through eight starts at Triple-A this season, he has struck out 23% of hitters and has a 3.54 FIP. There is a lot of volatility here since he has had such a long layoff, but he has had major league success in his career when healthy. He made 29 starts for the Braves in 2019 as a 21-year-old and struck out 20.3% of hitters and had a 3.45 FIP. He is a strong SP2 option tonight, as he gets a great landing spot against Oakland in his return.

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Los Angeles Angels (Griffin Canning) at Chicago White Sox (Michael Kopech)

Kopech has the second-highest chance of being a top-2 pitcher tonight at 32.6%, according to the Top Pitchers Tool. Kopech has been volatile this season. He has an elevated 5.64 FIP and 4.82 xFIP and has allowed 1.88 home runs per nine innings while walking 12.1% of hitters. He has had strong strikeout stuff, though, posting a 25.1% strikeout percentage. It is also worth noting that there was some speculation that he was tipping pitches, and he has turned in back-to-back dominant outings. He struck out 10 Royals while allowing one hit over eight innings two starts ago and followed it up with nine strikeouts and two hits in seven shutout innings against Cleveland in his last start. It could certainly be a coincidence, but there is a chance that there was something to the pitch-tipping rumors and there is a better version of Kopech going forward. He has the underlying talent to be a very good pitcher.

Canning has only struck out 19.1% of hitters and has a 4.75 FIP this season. He is a contrarian SP2 option, as he is only projected for about 9% ownership and has about a 20% chance of being a top-2 pitcher, but the White Sox bats look more appealing. Canning has been especially vulnerable to right-handed power over his last couple of seasons, which makes Tim Anderson, Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez stand out as strong individual plays.

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Washington Nationals (Trevor Williams) at Los Angeles Dodgers (Bobby Miller)

Miller is still only $5,400 tonight, and he gets a matchup against one of the worst offenses in baseball. The Nationals can be difficult to strike out, but they are not productive and have just a 3.4 implied run total against the rookie right-hander. Miller projects for between a 20% to 23% strikeout percentage in the majors, depending on the projection model. He has the third-highest top-2 pitcher percentage and the highest top-2 value percentage by more than double any other pitcher on the slate. Not surprisingly, he is expected to be the highest-owned pitcher on DraftKings. The Dodgers rank second in stack score, as they have plenty of power that can take advantage of Williams. He has allowed a .243 xISO to lefties, a .346 xwOBA and a .247 xISO to righties, and he has a .335 xwOBA this season. Williams has a 23.7% strikeout percentage against righties but just 12.6% against lefties. The Dodgers lineup looks good top to bottom, but Freddie Freeman stands out in particular.

New York Yankees (Domingo German) at Seattle Mariners (Bryce Miller)

Miller has the highest chance of being a top-2 scoring pitcher tonight, while German is fourth. German offers the more appealing salary on DraftKings at $8,500, compared to Miller’s $10,600. Miller has been excellent through his first five starts with Seattle, striking out 25.5% of hitters and posting a 3.83 xFIP. The Yankees are a tough matchup, however, and it is important to keep in mind that three of Miller’s first five starts have come against the Athletics or the Tigers. He held his own in tough matchups against Atlanta and Houston as well, but he probably would not be this expensive if he had faced average opponents through his first five starts. Seattle and New York have the two lowest stack scores on the slate, as neither team is particularly inexpensive and they are playing in an extremely pitcher-friendly park.

Adam Scherer
Adam "ShipMyMoney" Scherer has been playing and analyzing DFS full-time since quitting law school in 2016. He has qualified for the 2016 FanDuel MLB Playboy Championship, the 2016 DraftKings Fantasy Baseball World Championship (3x) and the 2019 DraftKings Fantasy Basketball World Championship. You can find him on Twitter at @ShipMyMoneyDFS or by emailing [email protected].

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