The FantasyLabs MLB Player Models house numerous data points to help you construct your MLB DFS rosters.
They house our floor, median, and ceiling projections for each player, but that’s just the beginning of what you’ll find inside. You’ll also find our Trends tool, stacking tool, and more.
Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 300 lineups, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to hand-build your teams for cash games or small-field tournaments.
Let’s dive into some MLB plays that stand out in our Player Models for today’s main slate.
Bargain Rating Picks
You might be asking: what is Bargain Rating, and why should I care?
Bargain Rating shows how much of a bargain a player is on one DFS site versus others. If a player is significantly cheaper on one site than the other, they will have a favorable Bargain Rating on the site where they’re more affordable and a poor Bargain Rating on the site where they’re more expensive. It’s a straightforward metric, but targeting players at reduced price tags is almost always a strong strategy in DFS.
Bargain Rating strongly correlates with player value, which you can quickly see with our predictive projected Plus/Minus metric.
Seeing how Plus/Minus helps you project how many points a player is expected to score compared to what their salary implies them to score, this is a good company for Bargain Rating.
MLB DFS DraftKings Bargain Value
Tucupita Marcano ($2,100): Shortstop, Pittsburgh Pirates
Marcano is projected to bat lead-off for the Pirates, who have an implied run total of 4.6 runs against Cardinals right-hander Jack Flaherty. At $2,100 on DraftKings, Marcano is one of the better values on the slate, as he has a 96% Bargain Rating and the highest Projected Plus/Minus in our blended projections. His five Pro Trends at the shortstop position are a great value.
Marcano has nearly cut his strikeout rate in half from last season, from 24.9% to 13.3%. Through 38 games played, Marcano has a .473 slugging percentage and a .204 ISO with three home runs and three stolen bases. He can provide fantasy scoring in a variety of ways at the top of the Pirates lineup. His 10% projected ownership is quite high for a 13-game slate.
Marcano will have the platoon advantage against Flaherty, who has pitched very well recently after a tough start in May. Flaherty’s 4.81 ERA and 3-4 record through 11 starts makes this an exploitable matchup for Marcano. He has back-to-back seasons with above a 13% walk rate, which provides steal upside.
Marcano will get plenty of opportunities at a cheap salary.
Royce Lewis ($3,100): Third Baseman/Shortstop, Minnesota Twins
Welcome back Royce Lewis! In his three games since returning from injury, Lewis has at least one hit and one run scored in each game. He has two home runs and six RBIs over that time while averaging 15.3 DraftKings points per game. His salary has climbed to $3,100 on DraftKings, but he has an 86% Bargain Rating and is projected for a slate-high 14% ownership.
The Twins have a 4.6 implied run total at home against Guardians right-hander Aaron Civale who will be making just his third start of the season and his first since April 7th. Both of his April starts were against the Mariners, where he had one good and one bad outing. Civale’s leash may be short, but Lewis will probably get at least two appearances against him.
Lewis has already come up with several clutch hits in his three games back, which is why he is now projected to bat in the heart of the Twins lineup. He also has the speed to grab a stolen base if the opportunity presents itself, even though he doesn’t have one yet. There is a lot to like about this young phenom. The price hasn’t quite caught up to the upside that Lewis has.
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MLB DFS Ceiling Projection Picks
Framber Valdez ($10,100 DraftKings, $11,200 FanDuel) vs. Los Angeles Angels
The top two pitchers on the slate are facing each other in what will likely be a pitcher’s duel due to the 7.5 implied run total. Valdez will get the slight edge over Ohtani despite having a slightly lower projected strikeout rate. The Astros are -130 favorites against the Angels, who have a 3.6 implied run total. It also helps that Valdez is significantly cheaper on DraftKings.
Valdez has recorded a positive Plus/Minus in eight of his 11 starts with a very impressive 2.38 ERA. His career-high 26.9% strikeout rate and career-low 5.2% walk rate are big reasons for his success this season, leading to a 1.04 WHIP. He has allowed just one run in his last 15 innings pitched. Valdez has also averaged eight strikeouts per game in his last five starts.
The Angels have the sixth-best batting average in the league against left-handed pitching but still have an above average strikeout rate. Valdez faced the Angels less than a month ago and went eight innings allowing only one run and recorded a season-high 12 strikeouts.
It was the second time in his last four starts that Valdez recorded over 40 DraftKings points.
Bryce Harper ($6,000 DraftKings, $3,600 FanDuel) at Washington Nationals
It is quite impressive that Harper still has above a .304 batting average when he only has two hits in his last 17 at-bats. A matchup against Nationals right-hander Josiah Gray and his career-low 19.1% strikeout rate is just what the doctor ordered. This is a great spot for Harper to get back on track, who has the highest ceiling in our blended projections for both sites.
Harper’s price tag on FanDuel at $3,600 is an absolute steal. His first baseman and outfield eligibility also makes it easy to fit him into all lineup builds. Harper has a 99% Bargain Rating and is projected for an extremely high ownership. Expect Harper’s .163 ISO to climb throughout the year, and there’s a chance it starts tonight.
Not only does Gray have a career-low strikeout rate, but he also has a career-high 11.6% walk rate and a 1.41 WHIP. His barrel percentage allowed is way down, and he has done a great job of keeping the ball in the yard, but that will be difficult to do against one of the best hitters in baseball. Getting the platoon advantage, Harper should exploit the right-hander in this spot.
More MLB DFS Hitters and Pitchers
For this example, we created a 50/50 blend with THE BAT X and the FantasyLabs projections to pinpoint some hitters that are standing out with this blend.
Clayton Kershaw ($9,000 DraftKings, $10,300 FanDuel) vs. New York Yankees
Kershaw’s salary has dipped considerably on DraftKings down to $9,000, which is resulting in a 76% Bargain Rating. He leads all pitchers on DraftKings with six Pro Trends in a home matchup against the Yankees. The veteran southpaw has a 6-4 record in 11 starts with a respectable 3.32 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. He also has an impressive 29.4% strikeout rate this year.
The Yankees activated Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson today, but both haven’t played since early April. Even though, on paper, this lineup looks dangerous, those two may be a little rusty and will certainly bring up the Yankees team strikeout rate. Kershaw has the second-highest projected ownership on both sites and is a great second pitcher option on DraftKings.
Wander Franco ($5,400 DraftKings, $3,900 FanDuel) at Boston Red Sox
The Rays look like a great team to stack, as five of their hitters have six or seven Pro Trends in THE BAT X projections. It shouldn’t be a surprise they are the first team to 40 wins this season. Franco leads the team in hits and plate appearances as the 22-year-old has at least one hit in seven-straight games and two or more hits in four of his last seven games played.
The Red Sox Garrett Whitlock will take the mound for the fifth time all season. Whitlock has a 5.14 ERA and a 2.14 HR/9 as he has allowed five home runs already in his four starts. He is allowing a 10.9% barrel percentage making this a horrible matchup for Whitlock. Make sure Franco is healthy to play, but he looks great along with the rest of the Rays batters tonight.
Ryan McMahon ($4,600 DraftKings, $3,600 FanDuel) at Kansas City Royals
McMahon has cooled off a little bit from his four-straight games of home runs in late May, but he has still recorded double-digit DraftKings points in seven of his last nine games. His career-high .220 ISO and 105 wRC+ will put him in a good spot in this matchup against Royals right-hander Jordan Lyles who has allowed a career-high 2.34 HR/9 and a 7.30 ERA this year.
Seven of McMahon’s eight home runs this season have come against right-handed pitchers as his ISO climbs from .143 to .250. Getting the platoon advantage is huge for McMahon, who is swinging a hot bat. The Rockies are worse on the road, but they have a 4.7 implied run total in this matchup against Lyles. Good time for McMahon to start a new home run streak.