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MLB DFS: Model Picks, Value Plays and Top Stack for August 31

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 slate.

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Real-time DFS models & projections

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

Bargain Rating Value 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

Chad Pinder ($2,000): Outfielder, Oakland Athletics

After a prolonged dry spell through most of August, Chad Pinder is poised to continue his recent string of above-average efforts and cap the month with a top-rated fantasy performance against Anibal Sanchez and the Washington Nationals.

Pinder has been trending positively over his recent sample, coming into Wednesday’s contest with hits in four of his past five outings. Moreover, his scoring metrics are up over that stretch, with Pinder scoring three times and driving in two. Still, the Oakland Athletics outfielder remains shy of his expected slugging percentage, implying that more productive at-bats are on the horizon.

We’re anticipating that progression to continue against Sanchez, who has struggled to limit scoring since returning to the majors. In eight starts this season, the 38-year-old has a .414 expected slugging percentage, failing to keep batters off guard with his low-90s fastball.

Pinder is a fastball hitter, delivering his best hard-hit ratings against four-seamers and cutters. That’s bad news for Sanchez, who throws those two pitches more than any other offering from his repertoire.

Pinder leads our Projected Plus/Minus projections, making him the top bargain at DraftKings.

MLB DFS FanDuel Bargain Value

Tyler O’Neill ($3,100): Outfielder, St. Louis Cardinals

There’s not a more muscly dude in the MLB than Tyler O’Neill. Although that hasn’t yielded the results we’ve seen in years past, the St. Louis Cardinals outfielder has delivered some quality performances over his recent sample and should continue to progress against the Cincinnati Reds.

Consistency has limited O’Neill’s effectiveness at the plate this year, but he’s on the right side of that coin over the past 30 days. Over that stretch, the former third-round pick has accumulated a .483 slugging percentage, with 17 runs scored and seven runs batted in.

That’s been a welcome change for O’Neill, who is below his career averages and expected slugging percentage; however, in reconciling his advanced metrics with his season-long averages, sustained productivity should be expected. O’Neill has an elite 11.7% barrel percentage to go along with his 42.9% hard-hit rate and .428 expected slugging percentage, suggesting this is just a stepping-off point for the Cardinals’ slugger.

Mike Minor runs his four-pitch mix down broadway, and O’Neill will take those offerings for a ride on Wednesday.

The Canadian leads THE BAT X Points/Salary and Projected Plus/Minus projections, making him our preferred bargain on FanDuel slates.

MLB DFS Ceiling Projection Picks

Pitcher

Gerrit Cole ($10,800 DraftKings, $11,100 FanDuel) vs. Los Angeles Angels

It’s no surprise that Gerrit Cole is rounding into form as the New York Yankees speed toward the postseason. The former first-overall selection has limited opponents to one or fewer runs in three of his past four starts but only has one win to show for his efforts. Cole is overdue for better outcomes and should thrive against the Los Angeles Angels.

For the fourth time in five seasons, Cole ranks in the top 8% of MLB pitchers in strikeout percentage. The Yankees’ ace has a five-pitch mix, inducing a 28.0% whiff percentage or better on all five offerings. Additionally, Cole is operating below his expected earned run average, suggesting that more quality outings are expected as actual balances with his advanced metrics.

The Halos have all but given up on the 2022 season, compiling the seventh-worst on-base plus slugging percentage and most strikeouts over the last 30 days. They are in an even worse spot against Cole, who has 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings on the road this season.

Cole hasn’t given up more than five hits over his past four starts, allowing just 0.91 walks and hits per inning pitched and a 2.04 earned run average. That’s indicative of what to expect against the Angels, albeit with a better outcome. We like Cole’s ceiling the best on the evening slates tonight.


Hitter

Julio Rodriguez ($6,200 DraftKings, $3,600 FanDuel) vs. Detroit Tigers

Rookie sensation Julio Rodriguez continues his onslaught Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers. The Seattle Mariners outfielder has outstanding underlying metrics and has been running hot over his past few games, making him the top hitter available on both platforms tonight.

The right-handed hitting Rodriguez ranks in the 90th percentile or better in hard-hit rate, barrel percentage, and average exit velocity. Additionally, he has taken up the leadoff spot for the Mariners, giving Rodriguez the most opportunity to produce. The AL Rookie frontrunner has made the most of those opportunities, ranking first or second in virtually every offensive category on the Mariners.

Rodriguez has his power swing working lately, with his last three hits going for extra bases. Included in that are two home runs and a double, with Rodriguez coming around to score all three times. We’re anticipating more of the same versus southpaw Tyler Alexander. Alexander ranks in the bottom 2% of pitchers with an expected slugging percentage of .500, which is contributing to his expected earned run average of 5.51, putting him among the bottom 5% of the MLB.

Given his lofty metrics and ideal circumstances, we rate Rodriguez as the best available option tonight against the Tigers. That’s reflected in THE BAT X projections as J-Rod looks to maintain his current form and reach his fantasy ceiling.

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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 X 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 X using median projections belongs to 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.

Chicago Cubs probable starter Luke Farrell has been ineffective in two appearances this season and faces a stiff challenge against a hard-hitting Blue Jays squad.

As usual, George Springer is projected as the leadoff man, setting the stage for a parade of above-average hitters. Of course, Springer is no slouch in the batter’s box, sitting second on the Jays in on-base plus slugging percentage with a team-leading 11 stolen bases.

He’s followed by Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is the pacesetter in slugging percentage, hits, home runs, runs batted in, and runs scored. Vladdy is the centerpiece on offense and should have no problems teeing up Farrell’s low-90s fastball.

Lately, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Alejandro Kirk have spent most of their time in the three and four holes, with both players augmenting the offense. Gurriel Jr. has knocked in 51 baserunners, coming around to score 50 times. Kirk has nearly identical numbers, albeit with slightly more power, slugging .437 with 48 RBIs and 51 runs.

Jays shortstop Bo Bichette completes the Blue Jays’ stack. Bichette ranks third on the team in extra-base hits, swatting 32 doubles and 17 long balls, contributing to his .423 slugging percentage.

THE BAT X lineup builder is littered with Jays’ stacks, highlighting their boom potential tonight against the Cubbies.

 

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 slate.

Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models & projections

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

Bargain Rating Value 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

Chad Pinder ($2,000): Outfielder, Oakland Athletics

After a prolonged dry spell through most of August, Chad Pinder is poised to continue his recent string of above-average efforts and cap the month with a top-rated fantasy performance against Anibal Sanchez and the Washington Nationals.

Pinder has been trending positively over his recent sample, coming into Wednesday’s contest with hits in four of his past five outings. Moreover, his scoring metrics are up over that stretch, with Pinder scoring three times and driving in two. Still, the Oakland Athletics outfielder remains shy of his expected slugging percentage, implying that more productive at-bats are on the horizon.

We’re anticipating that progression to continue against Sanchez, who has struggled to limit scoring since returning to the majors. In eight starts this season, the 38-year-old has a .414 expected slugging percentage, failing to keep batters off guard with his low-90s fastball.

Pinder is a fastball hitter, delivering his best hard-hit ratings against four-seamers and cutters. That’s bad news for Sanchez, who throws those two pitches more than any other offering from his repertoire.

Pinder leads our Projected Plus/Minus projections, making him the top bargain at DraftKings.

MLB DFS FanDuel Bargain Value

Tyler O’Neill ($3,100): Outfielder, St. Louis Cardinals

There’s not a more muscly dude in the MLB than Tyler O’Neill. Although that hasn’t yielded the results we’ve seen in years past, the St. Louis Cardinals outfielder has delivered some quality performances over his recent sample and should continue to progress against the Cincinnati Reds.

Consistency has limited O’Neill’s effectiveness at the plate this year, but he’s on the right side of that coin over the past 30 days. Over that stretch, the former third-round pick has accumulated a .483 slugging percentage, with 17 runs scored and seven runs batted in.

That’s been a welcome change for O’Neill, who is below his career averages and expected slugging percentage; however, in reconciling his advanced metrics with his season-long averages, sustained productivity should be expected. O’Neill has an elite 11.7% barrel percentage to go along with his 42.9% hard-hit rate and .428 expected slugging percentage, suggesting this is just a stepping-off point for the Cardinals’ slugger.

Mike Minor runs his four-pitch mix down broadway, and O’Neill will take those offerings for a ride on Wednesday.

The Canadian leads THE BAT X Points/Salary and Projected Plus/Minus projections, making him our preferred bargain on FanDuel slates.

MLB DFS Ceiling Projection Picks

Pitcher

Gerrit Cole ($10,800 DraftKings, $11,100 FanDuel) vs. Los Angeles Angels

It’s no surprise that Gerrit Cole is rounding into form as the New York Yankees speed toward the postseason. The former first-overall selection has limited opponents to one or fewer runs in three of his past four starts but only has one win to show for his efforts. Cole is overdue for better outcomes and should thrive against the Los Angeles Angels.

For the fourth time in five seasons, Cole ranks in the top 8% of MLB pitchers in strikeout percentage. The Yankees’ ace has a five-pitch mix, inducing a 28.0% whiff percentage or better on all five offerings. Additionally, Cole is operating below his expected earned run average, suggesting that more quality outings are expected as actual balances with his advanced metrics.

The Halos have all but given up on the 2022 season, compiling the seventh-worst on-base plus slugging percentage and most strikeouts over the last 30 days. They are in an even worse spot against Cole, who has 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings on the road this season.

Cole hasn’t given up more than five hits over his past four starts, allowing just 0.91 walks and hits per inning pitched and a 2.04 earned run average. That’s indicative of what to expect against the Angels, albeit with a better outcome. We like Cole’s ceiling the best on the evening slates tonight.


Hitter

Julio Rodriguez ($6,200 DraftKings, $3,600 FanDuel) vs. Detroit Tigers

Rookie sensation Julio Rodriguez continues his onslaught Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers. The Seattle Mariners outfielder has outstanding underlying metrics and has been running hot over his past few games, making him the top hitter available on both platforms tonight.

The right-handed hitting Rodriguez ranks in the 90th percentile or better in hard-hit rate, barrel percentage, and average exit velocity. Additionally, he has taken up the leadoff spot for the Mariners, giving Rodriguez the most opportunity to produce. The AL Rookie frontrunner has made the most of those opportunities, ranking first or second in virtually every offensive category on the Mariners.

Rodriguez has his power swing working lately, with his last three hits going for extra bases. Included in that are two home runs and a double, with Rodriguez coming around to score all three times. We’re anticipating more of the same versus southpaw Tyler Alexander. Alexander ranks in the bottom 2% of pitchers with an expected slugging percentage of .500, which is contributing to his expected earned run average of 5.51, putting him among the bottom 5% of the MLB.

Given his lofty metrics and ideal circumstances, we rate Rodriguez as the best available option tonight against the Tigers. That’s reflected in THE BAT X projections as J-Rod looks to maintain his current form and reach his fantasy ceiling.

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 X 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 X using median projections belongs to 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.

Chicago Cubs probable starter Luke Farrell has been ineffective in two appearances this season and faces a stiff challenge against a hard-hitting Blue Jays squad.

As usual, George Springer is projected as the leadoff man, setting the stage for a parade of above-average hitters. Of course, Springer is no slouch in the batter’s box, sitting second on the Jays in on-base plus slugging percentage with a team-leading 11 stolen bases.

He’s followed by Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is the pacesetter in slugging percentage, hits, home runs, runs batted in, and runs scored. Vladdy is the centerpiece on offense and should have no problems teeing up Farrell’s low-90s fastball.

Lately, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Alejandro Kirk have spent most of their time in the three and four holes, with both players augmenting the offense. Gurriel Jr. has knocked in 51 baserunners, coming around to score 50 times. Kirk has nearly identical numbers, albeit with slightly more power, slugging .437 with 48 RBIs and 51 runs.

Jays shortstop Bo Bichette completes the Blue Jays’ stack. Bichette ranks third on the team in extra-base hits, swatting 32 doubles and 17 long balls, contributing to his .423 slugging percentage.

THE BAT X lineup builder is littered with Jays’ stacks, highlighting their boom potential tonight against the Cubbies.