Our Blog


MLB DFS: Model Picks, Value Plays, and Top Stack for August 16

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 150 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.

Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

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

Vinnie Pasquantino ($2,100): First Baseman, Kansas City Royals

There haven’t been many positives coming from the Royals organization this season, but one of them has to be Vinnie Pasquantino having a stellar rookie season. His 50.4% hard-hit rate and 12.4% barrel percentage have been the story most recently. Pasquantino has a home run in five of his last seven games and has a positive Plus/Minus in each of those games. He is averaging 15 DraftKings points per game during that time.

Pasquantino will get another platoon-advantage matchup against Twins starter Sonny Gray. In his first season with the Twins, Gray has a 6-3 record and a 3.33 ERA through 17 starts. His 0.86 HR/9 and 1/16 WHIP are some of his better career numbers. However, Gray’s strikeout rate has dipped down to 22.9% this season which is low compared to his 28.9% strikeout rate average in three seasons with the Reds.

As long as Pasquantino remains this cheap, he will always be in play. He leads the slate with the highest Projected Plus/Minus and has a 98% Bargain Rating.


MLB DFS FanDuel Bargain Value

Marcus Semien ($2,400): Second Baseman, Texas Rangers

THE BAT and our in-house projections are in lockstep for tonight’s slate as they both agree that Marcus Semien is the best value on FanDuel with the highest projected Plus/Minus. He has hit a home run in three of his last seven games, including one last night against the Athletics. He has the most at-bats for the Rangers this season as he is projected to bat lead-off for the Rangers, who have a 4.5-implied run total, which is a little above average on this slate.

The Athletics, who have mailed in this season as they have lost nine straight and have the second-worst record in the league, will start for the fourth time in his career John Patrick Sears. This will be his second start for the Athletics since being acquired by the Yankees. Sears was decent in his first start against the Angels, allowing only two earned runs in 5.1 innings, but his 17.6% strikeout rate doesn’t put too much fear into opposing hitters.

Semien has the platoon advantage against Sears, which is another positive for the Rangers’ lead-off hitter.

MLB DFS Ceiling Projection Picks

Pitcher

Robbie Ray ($9,500 DraftKings, $10,300 FanDuel) at Los Angeles Angels

Despite being the sixth-most expensive pitcher on DraftKings and fifth-most on FanDuel, Robbie Ray has the highest ceiling in both THE BAT and our in-house projections. In his first season with the Mariners, Ray has a respectable 8-8 record with a 3.90 ERA. His 28% strikeout rate and 1.19 WHIP are more than good enough to exploit this matchup against the Angels, who continue to rank dead last in the league in strikeout rate as a team.

Ray has a slate-high 8.39 strikeout projection, while the Angels also have the second-lowest wOBA on the slate. Strikeouts are king in DFS, and Ray has delivered with double-digit strikeout performances in three of his last six games, while he also ranks top 10 this season in K/9.

There should be no surprise that Ray leads this slate in ownership. Incredible spot for Ray, who is a -180 favorite, while the Angels are implied for only 3.3 runs.


Hitter

Ronald Acuna Jr. ($5,400 DraftKings, $3,900 FanDuel) vs. New York Mets

Another player who ranks as the best ceiling option in both projections is Ronald Acuna Jr. His salary has risen, but Acuna Jr. is still dominating for the red-hot Braves, who have won seven-straight games. The Braves won 13-1 against the Mets last night as Acuna Jr. had three doubles and three RBIs. He has recorded double-digit fantasy points in seven of his last nine games and has been extremely consistent, which is needed for his price tag.

Acuna Jr. will face Mets’ right-hander Taijuan Walker who had an abysmal outing against the Braves just 11 days ago. In that game, Walker allowed eight earned runs as he only captured three outs in two innings. It was Walker’s first loss since early June, and the only time he has faced the Braves this season. This is a dangerous hitting team who leads the league in ISO, and the head of the snake who bats lead-off is Ronald Acuna Jr.

Get Your First Deposit Matched Up to $100!

Sign up and deposit up to $100

Your deposit will be fully matched

New users only

Top Stacking Pick from THE BAT X

One of the great features of being a FantasyLabs Pro member is the option to purchase additional items in the FantasyLabs Marketplace.

A new addition to our MLB projections is THE BAT from Derek Carty of RotoGrinders. With this purchase, you can use his projections alone or create aggregate projections within our Player Models.

The top five-man DraftKings stack from THE BAT using median projections in our stacking tool comes from the Toronto Blue Jays. When you load them into our Lineup Builder, you’ll have the option to hand-build the rest of your team or optimize the rest of it.

This 1-5 Blue Jays stack is the best that THE BAT has to offer tonight. As a team, they rank sixth in both runs scored and ISO this season and have a 94.2% chance to make the playoffs despite losing seven of their last nine games.

The Blue Jays are implied for 5.5 runs, which is the second-highest on the slate. They have a great matchup against Orioles right-hander Dean Kremer, so they are in a great spot to get back on track tonight.

Leading off for the Blue Jays is George Springer, who is back from his 10-day DL. In his return game last night, Springer had two hits and a walk against the Orioles, as he remains one of the scariest lead-off hitters in baseball. Having Springer back in the lineup makes the Blue Jays so much better.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the most expensive Blue Jays bat, but rightfully so as he leads the team in hits, home runs, and RBIs. The young phenom hit a home run last night, increasing his ISO to .220 this season. Guerrero Jr. has had a hard-hit rate well above 50% for the third-straight season.

Alejandro Kirk is one of the best-hitting catchers in the league, and batting No. 3 in this order gives him so much upside. He is impossible to ignore in this stack and fills a position that is sometimes difficult to manage. One of Kirk’s best attributes is his low 10.3% strikeout rate. Beneficial to roster a catcher who always puts the ball in play.

Teoscar Hernandez will bat clean-up for the Blue Jays with his career-best 53.3% hard-hit rate this season. Most of his production does come from extra-base hits as he ranks second on the team behind Guerrero Jr. in slugging percentage. A little expensive, but a great power bat.

Last in this stack is shortstop Bo Bichette. A little bit of a down year for Bichette with a career-low ISO and wOBA, but his hard-hit rate is at a career-best 48.2%. He had two home runs in one game against the Orioles a week ago. The upside is still there as he rounds out the Blue Jays stack.

As previously mentioned, Dean Kremer will take the mound for the Orioles. Through 12 starts this season, Kremer has a 4-4 record with a decent 3.69 ERA. Where he struggles is generating strikeouts as he only has an 18.5% rate. There is a lot of power in this Blue Jays lineup that Kremer hasn’t seen yet this season, despite playing in the same division. A rude welcome could be in store for Kremer with this heavy-hitting lineup.

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 150 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.

Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

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

Vinnie Pasquantino ($2,100): First Baseman, Kansas City Royals

There haven’t been many positives coming from the Royals organization this season, but one of them has to be Vinnie Pasquantino having a stellar rookie season. His 50.4% hard-hit rate and 12.4% barrel percentage have been the story most recently. Pasquantino has a home run in five of his last seven games and has a positive Plus/Minus in each of those games. He is averaging 15 DraftKings points per game during that time.

Pasquantino will get another platoon-advantage matchup against Twins starter Sonny Gray. In his first season with the Twins, Gray has a 6-3 record and a 3.33 ERA through 17 starts. His 0.86 HR/9 and 1/16 WHIP are some of his better career numbers. However, Gray’s strikeout rate has dipped down to 22.9% this season which is low compared to his 28.9% strikeout rate average in three seasons with the Reds.

As long as Pasquantino remains this cheap, he will always be in play. He leads the slate with the highest Projected Plus/Minus and has a 98% Bargain Rating.


MLB DFS FanDuel Bargain Value

Marcus Semien ($2,400): Second Baseman, Texas Rangers

THE BAT and our in-house projections are in lockstep for tonight’s slate as they both agree that Marcus Semien is the best value on FanDuel with the highest projected Plus/Minus. He has hit a home run in three of his last seven games, including one last night against the Athletics. He has the most at-bats for the Rangers this season as he is projected to bat lead-off for the Rangers, who have a 4.5-implied run total, which is a little above average on this slate.

The Athletics, who have mailed in this season as they have lost nine straight and have the second-worst record in the league, will start for the fourth time in his career John Patrick Sears. This will be his second start for the Athletics since being acquired by the Yankees. Sears was decent in his first start against the Angels, allowing only two earned runs in 5.1 innings, but his 17.6% strikeout rate doesn’t put too much fear into opposing hitters.

Semien has the platoon advantage against Sears, which is another positive for the Rangers’ lead-off hitter.

MLB DFS Ceiling Projection Picks

Pitcher

Robbie Ray ($9,500 DraftKings, $10,300 FanDuel) at Los Angeles Angels

Despite being the sixth-most expensive pitcher on DraftKings and fifth-most on FanDuel, Robbie Ray has the highest ceiling in both THE BAT and our in-house projections. In his first season with the Mariners, Ray has a respectable 8-8 record with a 3.90 ERA. His 28% strikeout rate and 1.19 WHIP are more than good enough to exploit this matchup against the Angels, who continue to rank dead last in the league in strikeout rate as a team.

Ray has a slate-high 8.39 strikeout projection, while the Angels also have the second-lowest wOBA on the slate. Strikeouts are king in DFS, and Ray has delivered with double-digit strikeout performances in three of his last six games, while he also ranks top 10 this season in K/9.

There should be no surprise that Ray leads this slate in ownership. Incredible spot for Ray, who is a -180 favorite, while the Angels are implied for only 3.3 runs.


Hitter

Ronald Acuna Jr. ($5,400 DraftKings, $3,900 FanDuel) vs. New York Mets

Another player who ranks as the best ceiling option in both projections is Ronald Acuna Jr. His salary has risen, but Acuna Jr. is still dominating for the red-hot Braves, who have won seven-straight games. The Braves won 13-1 against the Mets last night as Acuna Jr. had three doubles and three RBIs. He has recorded double-digit fantasy points in seven of his last nine games and has been extremely consistent, which is needed for his price tag.

Acuna Jr. will face Mets’ right-hander Taijuan Walker who had an abysmal outing against the Braves just 11 days ago. In that game, Walker allowed eight earned runs as he only captured three outs in two innings. It was Walker’s first loss since early June, and the only time he has faced the Braves this season. This is a dangerous hitting team who leads the league in ISO, and the head of the snake who bats lead-off is Ronald Acuna Jr.

Get Your First Deposit Matched Up to $100!

Sign up and deposit up to $100

Your deposit will be fully matched

New users only

Top Stacking Pick from THE BAT X

One of the great features of being a FantasyLabs Pro member is the option to purchase additional items in the FantasyLabs Marketplace.

A new addition to our MLB projections is THE BAT from Derek Carty of RotoGrinders. With this purchase, you can use his projections alone or create aggregate projections within our Player Models.

The top five-man DraftKings stack from THE BAT using median projections in our stacking tool comes from the Toronto Blue Jays. When you load them into our Lineup Builder, you’ll have the option to hand-build the rest of your team or optimize the rest of it.

This 1-5 Blue Jays stack is the best that THE BAT has to offer tonight. As a team, they rank sixth in both runs scored and ISO this season and have a 94.2% chance to make the playoffs despite losing seven of their last nine games.

The Blue Jays are implied for 5.5 runs, which is the second-highest on the slate. They have a great matchup against Orioles right-hander Dean Kremer, so they are in a great spot to get back on track tonight.

Leading off for the Blue Jays is George Springer, who is back from his 10-day DL. In his return game last night, Springer had two hits and a walk against the Orioles, as he remains one of the scariest lead-off hitters in baseball. Having Springer back in the lineup makes the Blue Jays so much better.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the most expensive Blue Jays bat, but rightfully so as he leads the team in hits, home runs, and RBIs. The young phenom hit a home run last night, increasing his ISO to .220 this season. Guerrero Jr. has had a hard-hit rate well above 50% for the third-straight season.

Alejandro Kirk is one of the best-hitting catchers in the league, and batting No. 3 in this order gives him so much upside. He is impossible to ignore in this stack and fills a position that is sometimes difficult to manage. One of Kirk’s best attributes is his low 10.3% strikeout rate. Beneficial to roster a catcher who always puts the ball in play.

Teoscar Hernandez will bat clean-up for the Blue Jays with his career-best 53.3% hard-hit rate this season. Most of his production does come from extra-base hits as he ranks second on the team behind Guerrero Jr. in slugging percentage. A little expensive, but a great power bat.

Last in this stack is shortstop Bo Bichette. A little bit of a down year for Bichette with a career-low ISO and wOBA, but his hard-hit rate is at a career-best 48.2%. He had two home runs in one game against the Orioles a week ago. The upside is still there as he rounds out the Blue Jays stack.

As previously mentioned, Dean Kremer will take the mound for the Orioles. Through 12 starts this season, Kremer has a 4-4 record with a decent 3.69 ERA. Where he struggles is generating strikeouts as he only has an 18.5% rate. There is a lot of power in this Blue Jays lineup that Kremer hasn’t seen yet this season, despite playing in the same division. A rude welcome could be in store for Kremer with this heavy-hitting lineup.