Thursday features a five-game slate starting at 6:35 p.m. ET.
MLB DFS Pitching Picks
MLB DFS Stud Picks
Kodai Senga ($10,300) New York Mets (-130) at San Francisco Giants
This is an awful pitch slate, with Senga holding the best projections but being considerably overpriced for his mean outcome. Still, we’re all working with the same player pool, so he’s standing out compared to the rest of the field.
The 30-year-old rookie was a star in Japan before signing with the Mets this offseason. He’s been solid but not spectacular through three starts, with a 3.38 ERA and wins in two of those games. However, he’s due for some regression in the ERA department, with an xERA more than a full run higher.
He also has a 30% strikeout rate, which also seems due for some regression. His swinging strike rate is just 11.2%, which suggests a strikeout rate in the mid-20s. Of course, he could pick up the swinging strike rate as he adjusts to the MLB, but it’s probably a safer bet that the strikeouts come down a notch.
Senga leads both THE BAT and FantasyLabs projections for median and ceiling on Thursday.
MLB DFS Value Picks
Roansy Contreras ($6,400) Pittsburgh Pirates (-162) vs. Cincinnati Reds
After a solid rookie season in 2022, Contreras has taken a step back to start 2023. He has a 6.00 ERA through three starts and just a 15.9% strikeout rate. However, he’s faced the Astros, Cardinals, and Red Sox, making a matchup with the Reds a considerable step down in competition.
Cincinnati ranks in the top-10 in strikeout rate and bottom-10 in wRC+ against right-handers so far this season. That should help Contreras return to at least his 2022 numbers, where he picked up 8.15 K/9 and had a 3.79 ERA. At his price point on Thursday, that would make him an excellent value.
He’s also at home in Pittsburgh, with the best Park Factor for pitchers on the small Thursday slate. He leads both projection sets in Pts/Sal, making him a great cash game play. He also has one of the highest ownership projections on the slate for arms, though, so he’s not an ideal GPP option.
MLB DFS GPP Picks
Sean Manaea ($9,900) San Francisco Giants (+105) vs. New York Mets
A confluence of factors is suppressing Manaea’s ownership on Thursday. First is the popularity of his opponent Senga. Some players look to avoid rostering opposing pitchers against each other, and the salary between the two is difficult to work around.
Next is the matchup against the Mets, one of the better offenses on the evening slate. However, they’re not quite as scary against lefties like Manaea. New York strikes out about five percent more, with a slight decrease to their wRC+ as a team.
That makes Manaea a viable option, even though paying close to five figures in salary for an underdog is uncomfortable. Given the limited options, he’s worth considering in larger GPP fields.
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 Los Angeles Dodgers:
The Dodgers have a solid 5.3 run implied total as they travel to the Windy City to take on the Cubs. That wind is an important factor today, as forecasts have it blowing out to right field at double-digit speeds. That’s a huge boost to left handed bats, and this stack has three of them.
Cubs starter Jameson Taillon ($8,000) has also struggled against left-handed hitters throughout his career, allowing a .323 wOBA compared to just under .300 against righties. It’s not a massive split, but still worth noting when those lefties include Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy.
While it’s not great hitting weather, this game also has the best Weather Rating for batters of any on the slate: part of why it also has the highest total. With the visiting Dodgers guaranteed ninth inning at bats, they’re the best team to stack.
Our PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy simulations table also likes the Dodgers’ chances of racking up hits against Taillon:
Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks
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.
Bryson Stott 2B ($3,900 DraftKings; $2,900 FanDuel) Philadelphia Phillies vs. Colorado Rockies (Ryan Feltner)
Stott is off to a torrid start to his sophomore season, hitting .365 with one home run and three steals already. It’s hard to see him continuing at that pace — his .455 BABIP is certainly unsustainable — but he’s still underpriced even if you factor in a decent amount of regression.
He also benefits by hitting in front of Trea Turner and Kyle Schwarber, giving him more pitches to hit and a good chance of being driven home if and when he gets on base. He’s the leadoff hitter for the team with the highest implied total on the slate, making him a steal at under $4,000 on DraftKings.
Juan Soto ($5,000 DraftKings; $3,500 FanDuel) San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks (Kyle Nelson)
Soto has the best median projections of all hitters in both THE BAT and FantasyLabs projection sets. However, he’s nowhere near the top of the salary range on either site, coming in at roughly -$1,000 off the lead on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
This is the cheapest he’s been all season on DraftKings and probably the cheapest he ever will be. Don’t miss that opportunity just because of a cold start: his BABIP is more than 100 points off his career average, despite a career-best hard-hit rate so far.
Cody Bellinger OF ($3,700 DraftKings; $3,300 FanDuel) Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (Michael Grove)
It’s a revenge game for the long-time Dodger, who hosts his former team for the first time at Wrigley. Bellinger has found new life with the Cubs, hitting .284 through 17 games with three home runs and three steals. His BABIP is well above his career levels, but it might not be just a case of good luck; the new shift rules certainly benefit the lefty power hitter. He was shifted on in all but ten of his plate appearances last season.
Add that to the favorable wind conditions and an unimposing pitching matchup, and Bellinger is far too cheap on DraftKings, where he has a 90% Bargain Rating.