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MLB DFS: Model Picks, Value Plays, and Top Stack for August 30

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.

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Real-time DFS models & projections

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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

Nick Gordon ($2,000): Outfielder, Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins have bounced back into the AL Central race as they have won four-straight games. They are in another solid spot implied for 4.9 runs in a matchup against Red Sox right-hander Kutter Crawford. Finding a player in a great spot at minimum price on DraftKings with so much to pay up for on this slate with pitching is a huge advantage. That is what Nick Gordon provides tonight.

In his second full season in the major leagues, Gordon has career highs nearly across the board. His best attribute has to be his speed, as he is tied for the team lead in stolen bases. Crawford has been much worse away from Fenway Park this season, allowing a 6.27 ERA and .370 wOBA. He is equally as bad against left-handed hitters. A perfect combination for Gordon to have a great night in the heart of the Twins lineup.


MLB DFS FanDuel Bargain Value

MJ Melendez ($2,500): Catcher, Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals rookie catcher MJ Melendez has been fantastic in his first season in the major leagues. He has 14 home runs and a .182 ISO, which is pretty solid for a catcher. Melendez has a 44.2% hard-hit rate with a 10.7% barrel percentage and has an RBI in five of his last six games. Projecting to bat lead-off on the road is another major positive when choosing to play Melendez. He is too cheap for this opportunity.

Melendez will draw the platoon advantage against White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito. This hasn’t been a strong year for Giolito when looking at his past seasons. He has a 25.3% strikeout rate and a 5.14 ERA, which are worse than any of his past three seasons. Giolito still has a winning record, but this is a matchup where Melendez can take advantage of his power and hopefully many at-bats in the lead-off spot.

MLB DFS Ceiling Projection Picks

Pitcher

Aaron Nola ($10,600 DraftKings, $11,000 FanDuel) vs. Colorado Rockies

Leading the way in not only THE BAT but also for our in-house projections for the top pitcher is Phillies ace, Aaron Nola. Despite currently having his first losing record of 9-10 since 2016, Nola has a 3.08 ERA paired with a 28.5% strikeout rate. He leads the team in strikeouts as he has averaged 8.1 strikeouts per game in his last eight starts. Nola is the most expensive pitcher on both sites, but that is pretty clearly deserving as he has the highest ceiling in our models.

After leading the Diamondbacks 7-0 in the fourth inning last night, the Phillies absolutely took a tailspin losing 13-7 as they allowed six runs a piece in the bottom half of innings four and five. A surprising outcome given that the Phillies are fighting for a playoff spot while the Diamondbacks are coasting into the offseason. This is Nola’s first start against the Diamondbacks this season, but it’s hard to steer away from Nola given that he is coming off of a five-hitter complete game where he racked up 11 total strikeouts.

His upside is tremendous in this spot.


Hitter

Shohei Ohtani ($6,300 DraftKings, $4,200 FanDuel) vs. New York Yankees

The Los Angeles Angels get Mike Trout back in the lineup, and they start winning again, shocker. Even though Trout is a good play in his own right, we’re looking at Shohei Ohtani tonight. Ohtani leads the team in every hitting statistic and is coming off a home run in back-to-back games. He has five hits in his last eight plate appearances and will get the platoon advantage against Yankees right-hander Jameson Taillon.

Taillon leads the Yankees in wins with 12 but has difficulty putting away batters with a 20.2% strikeout rate. He has allowed at least three earned runs in four of his last five starts, including at least one home run in each start. Don’t be shocked if Ohtani takes Taillon deep for three-straight games with a long ball. Taillon has allowed a 1.62 HR/9 against left-handed batters compared to a 1.16 HR/9 against right-handed batters.

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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 New York Yankees. 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.

Despite losing their last three games, the Yankees still hold the top stack of the night, according to THE BAT. It is tough to get away from this powerful lineup, especially facing a pitcher who is making his second start of the season supporting a 2.10 HR/9. This is a great spot for the Bronx Bombers once again.

Even with a 4.9 implied run total, this stack is cheaper than it may seem. Obviously, Aaron Judge is by far the most expensive bat in this stack, as he hit his 50th home run last night. After a few disappointing losses in a row, it’s hard to hold down this lineup for too long.

Andrew Benintendi will bat lead-off for the Yankees. Benintendi has just crept over 100 total at-bats since joining the team in late July. He has found major success against right-handed pitchers this season with a .351 wOBA, 129 wRC+, and a .797 OPS. Benintendi’s ISO has increased this month and all, but one of his home runs have come against right-handed pitchers.

Aaron Judge, as previously mentioned, continues to swing a hot bat. He leads the team in nearly every hitting statistic as he is three home runs shy of his career-high. Intentionally walking Judge and getting the Barry Bonds treatment is a little bit of a concern, but it is impossible not to have him in this heavy-hitting Yankees stack.

Giancarlo Stanton finally returned after his month-long injury absence. This will be his fifth game back, as he has just two hits in his last 16 at-bats. A perfect time to jump on Stanton at his relatively low price tag, given the upside and power that he can provide. The only problem is he fills up another outfield position.

Batting clean-up is another player with the platoon advantage tonight with Anthony Rizzo. He hit his 29th home run last night, which is the second-most on the Yankees behind Judge. Rizzo has a career-high .262 ISO in his first full season with the Yankees, so add him to the list of power-hitters in this lineup.

The last player in this Yankees stack is Josh Donaldson as THE BAT skips down to the No. 6 batter. In his first season with the Yankees, Donaldson has maintained his hitting stats with another season with a double-digit barrel percentage. He also has set a career-worst 27.3% strikeout rate. If Donaldson can make contact against a poor pitcher tonight, he is a great fifth man into this Yankees stack.

Angels right-hander Mike Mayers will draw his second start of the season and just his fifth start in his seven-year career. Mayers 4.46 ERA and low 21.9% strikeout rate does not pose fear in many batters. He has also allowed a 44.2% hard-hit rate. Pitching at home has been a nightmare for Mayers this season, allowing an 8.80 ERA and 3.52 HR/9 in 15.1 innings pitched compared to a 0.95 ERA and a 0.95 HR/9 on the road in 19 innings. There are many reasons to love this Yankees stack tonight.

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 & projections

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

Nick Gordon ($2,000): Outfielder, Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins have bounced back into the AL Central race as they have won four-straight games. They are in another solid spot implied for 4.9 runs in a matchup against Red Sox right-hander Kutter Crawford. Finding a player in a great spot at minimum price on DraftKings with so much to pay up for on this slate with pitching is a huge advantage. That is what Nick Gordon provides tonight.

In his second full season in the major leagues, Gordon has career highs nearly across the board. His best attribute has to be his speed, as he is tied for the team lead in stolen bases. Crawford has been much worse away from Fenway Park this season, allowing a 6.27 ERA and .370 wOBA. He is equally as bad against left-handed hitters. A perfect combination for Gordon to have a great night in the heart of the Twins lineup.


MLB DFS FanDuel Bargain Value

MJ Melendez ($2,500): Catcher, Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals rookie catcher MJ Melendez has been fantastic in his first season in the major leagues. He has 14 home runs and a .182 ISO, which is pretty solid for a catcher. Melendez has a 44.2% hard-hit rate with a 10.7% barrel percentage and has an RBI in five of his last six games. Projecting to bat lead-off on the road is another major positive when choosing to play Melendez. He is too cheap for this opportunity.

Melendez will draw the platoon advantage against White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito. This hasn’t been a strong year for Giolito when looking at his past seasons. He has a 25.3% strikeout rate and a 5.14 ERA, which are worse than any of his past three seasons. Giolito still has a winning record, but this is a matchup where Melendez can take advantage of his power and hopefully many at-bats in the lead-off spot.

MLB DFS Ceiling Projection Picks

Pitcher

Aaron Nola ($10,600 DraftKings, $11,000 FanDuel) vs. Colorado Rockies

Leading the way in not only THE BAT but also for our in-house projections for the top pitcher is Phillies ace, Aaron Nola. Despite currently having his first losing record of 9-10 since 2016, Nola has a 3.08 ERA paired with a 28.5% strikeout rate. He leads the team in strikeouts as he has averaged 8.1 strikeouts per game in his last eight starts. Nola is the most expensive pitcher on both sites, but that is pretty clearly deserving as he has the highest ceiling in our models.

After leading the Diamondbacks 7-0 in the fourth inning last night, the Phillies absolutely took a tailspin losing 13-7 as they allowed six runs a piece in the bottom half of innings four and five. A surprising outcome given that the Phillies are fighting for a playoff spot while the Diamondbacks are coasting into the offseason. This is Nola’s first start against the Diamondbacks this season, but it’s hard to steer away from Nola given that he is coming off of a five-hitter complete game where he racked up 11 total strikeouts.

His upside is tremendous in this spot.


Hitter

Shohei Ohtani ($6,300 DraftKings, $4,200 FanDuel) vs. New York Yankees

The Los Angeles Angels get Mike Trout back in the lineup, and they start winning again, shocker. Even though Trout is a good play in his own right, we’re looking at Shohei Ohtani tonight. Ohtani leads the team in every hitting statistic and is coming off a home run in back-to-back games. He has five hits in his last eight plate appearances and will get the platoon advantage against Yankees right-hander Jameson Taillon.

Taillon leads the Yankees in wins with 12 but has difficulty putting away batters with a 20.2% strikeout rate. He has allowed at least three earned runs in four of his last five starts, including at least one home run in each start. Don’t be shocked if Ohtani takes Taillon deep for three-straight games with a long ball. Taillon has allowed a 1.62 HR/9 against left-handed batters compared to a 1.16 HR/9 against right-handed batters.

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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 New York Yankees. 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.

Despite losing their last three games, the Yankees still hold the top stack of the night, according to THE BAT. It is tough to get away from this powerful lineup, especially facing a pitcher who is making his second start of the season supporting a 2.10 HR/9. This is a great spot for the Bronx Bombers once again.

Even with a 4.9 implied run total, this stack is cheaper than it may seem. Obviously, Aaron Judge is by far the most expensive bat in this stack, as he hit his 50th home run last night. After a few disappointing losses in a row, it’s hard to hold down this lineup for too long.

Andrew Benintendi will bat lead-off for the Yankees. Benintendi has just crept over 100 total at-bats since joining the team in late July. He has found major success against right-handed pitchers this season with a .351 wOBA, 129 wRC+, and a .797 OPS. Benintendi’s ISO has increased this month and all, but one of his home runs have come against right-handed pitchers.

Aaron Judge, as previously mentioned, continues to swing a hot bat. He leads the team in nearly every hitting statistic as he is three home runs shy of his career-high. Intentionally walking Judge and getting the Barry Bonds treatment is a little bit of a concern, but it is impossible not to have him in this heavy-hitting Yankees stack.

Giancarlo Stanton finally returned after his month-long injury absence. This will be his fifth game back, as he has just two hits in his last 16 at-bats. A perfect time to jump on Stanton at his relatively low price tag, given the upside and power that he can provide. The only problem is he fills up another outfield position.

Batting clean-up is another player with the platoon advantage tonight with Anthony Rizzo. He hit his 29th home run last night, which is the second-most on the Yankees behind Judge. Rizzo has a career-high .262 ISO in his first full season with the Yankees, so add him to the list of power-hitters in this lineup.

The last player in this Yankees stack is Josh Donaldson as THE BAT skips down to the No. 6 batter. In his first season with the Yankees, Donaldson has maintained his hitting stats with another season with a double-digit barrel percentage. He also has set a career-worst 27.3% strikeout rate. If Donaldson can make contact against a poor pitcher tonight, he is a great fifth man into this Yankees stack.

Angels right-hander Mike Mayers will draw his second start of the season and just his fifth start in his seven-year career. Mayers 4.46 ERA and low 21.9% strikeout rate does not pose fear in many batters. He has also allowed a 44.2% hard-hit rate. Pitching at home has been a nightmare for Mayers this season, allowing an 8.80 ERA and 3.52 HR/9 in 15.1 innings pitched compared to a 0.95 ERA and a 0.95 HR/9 on the road in 19 innings. There are many reasons to love this Yankees stack tonight.