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MLB DFS: Model Picks, Value Plays, and Top Stack May 19

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.

Now, let’s dive into some MLB plays that stand out in our Player Models for Thursday’s slate.

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Real-time DFS models

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

Christopher Morel ($2,000): Outfielder/Third Baseman, Chicago Cubs

Christopher Morel’s career couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. The 23-year-old came off the bench to pinch-hit on Tuesday night, sending his first big league hit into the stands for a round-tripper. Morel followed that up with a 1-for-3 performance yesterday with one walk. We like him to continue the hot start to his career against Zac Gallen and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Morel is making solid contact through his first few plate appearances. The newly-promoted prospect has an average exit velocity of 107.1 miles per hour with 100% hard-hit rate and 9.8 degree launch angle. That’s conducive to ongoing success.

Morel has already shown that he’s worth being priced above the DK minimum, so we’re not passing up his value on the evening slate. He leads our MLB Models in projected Plus/Minus.


MLB DFS FanDuel Bargain Value

Daulton Varsho ($2,800): Outfielder/Catcher, Arizona Diamondbacks

You’ll find the FanDuel bargain play in the other dugout of the Cubs vs. D-Backs matchup. Daulton Varsho has been Arizona’s best hitter, leading the team in on-base plus slugging percentage and hits. Curiously, the catcher/outfielder comes at a discounted rate against Marcus Stroman.

Stroman has struggled this season, giving up one of the worst hard-hit rates in the MLB. Hitters are tagging him 53.2% of the time, ranking Stroman in the bottom 4% of pitchers. Consequently, Stroman’s average exit velocity of 92.0 miles per hour puts him in the seventh percentile.

Those are good indicators that Varsho should enjoy success on Thursday night. The third-year player is finding his rhythm at the plate this season, putting up career-best metrics in hard-hit rate, expected slugging percentage, and barrel percentage.

That’s reflected in THE BAT X algorithm, ranking Varsho as the Projected Plus/Minus and Points/Salary leader.

MLB DFS Ceiling Projection Picks

Pitcher

Framber Valdez ($8,500 DraftKings, $9,700 FanDuel) vs. Texas Rangers

According to our projections, Houston Astros southpaw Framber Valdez has the highest fantasy ceiling on the evening slate. Valdez has been great all season but has looked particularly sharp over his last two starts.

The 28-year-old has struck out six or more batters in each of his previous two outings, for 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings. That has brought his season-long rating up to 7.2, which remains below his career average of 8.5. That implies that further progression is anticipated, and his effective strikeout performances should continue against a free-swinging Rangers team.

Texas has been all-or-nothing this week, striking out 31 times over their past three games. They’ve also struggled away from their friendly confines, recording the fourth-worst on-base plus slugging percentage as the visitors. Moreover, their starting lineup typically features four left-handed batters, giving Valdez a more pronounced advantage at the dish.

Valdez leads THE BAT X ceiling and median projections, and he’s also the top pitcher in the FantasyLabs projections.


Hitter

Rafael Devers ($5,800 DraftKings, $4,000 FanDuel) vs. Seattle Mariners

The Boston Red Sox is trending up, recording five or more runs in four of their past six games. The Sox are led by Rafael Devers, who has been unstoppable at the plate.

Devers comes into tonight’s contest on a 12-game hitting streak; however, his success isn’t limited to longevity. The reigning Silver Slugger is mashing the ball, recording seven multi-hit games and 12 extra-base hits over that sample.

His advanced metrics paint an even rosier picture, as Devers remains on pace to retain his Silver Slugger accolades. The 25-year-old ranks in the top 8% of MLB hitters in hard-hit percentage, expected slugging percentage, and exit velocity.

Mariners probable starter George Kirby is set to make the third start of his career, and Devers will make sure he gets a warm welcome in a hostile environment. Devers sits in the top three in our ceiling rankings but could end the night as the premier fantasy option.

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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 belongs to the Astros. 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.

 

The Astros tango with the Rangers on Thursday night, and runs could be plentiful for the home side. According to our lineup builder, the Astros are the preeminent stacking option, featuring several noteworthy hitters atop their batting order.

Jose Altuve continues to thrive as the Astros leadoff man, ranking second on the team in on-base plus slugging percentage and fourth in runs scored, despite playing in just 24 games.

He’s followed by Michael Brantley, the team leader with his .354 on-base percentage, setting the table for the power spots.

Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman have reaped the rewards of Altuve and Brantley’s efforts. Alvarez and Bregman are tied for the second-most runs batted in, and sit one-two, respectively, in runs scored.

Typically we include the five-spot hitter, however, we couldn’t look past Kyle Tucker, who projects sixth in the order. Tucker has driven in the most runs on the squad while flashing power with seven home runs and 14 extra-base hits through the first six weeks of the season.

Houston has scored the third-most runs in the American League this season and should climb the list with a strong performance against the Rangers.

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.

Now, let’s dive into some MLB plays that stand out in our Player Models for Thursday’s slate.

Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

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

Christopher Morel ($2,000): Outfielder/Third Baseman, Chicago Cubs

Christopher Morel’s career couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. The 23-year-old came off the bench to pinch-hit on Tuesday night, sending his first big league hit into the stands for a round-tripper. Morel followed that up with a 1-for-3 performance yesterday with one walk. We like him to continue the hot start to his career against Zac Gallen and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Morel is making solid contact through his first few plate appearances. The newly-promoted prospect has an average exit velocity of 107.1 miles per hour with 100% hard-hit rate and 9.8 degree launch angle. That’s conducive to ongoing success.

Morel has already shown that he’s worth being priced above the DK minimum, so we’re not passing up his value on the evening slate. He leads our MLB Models in projected Plus/Minus.


MLB DFS FanDuel Bargain Value

Daulton Varsho ($2,800): Outfielder/Catcher, Arizona Diamondbacks

You’ll find the FanDuel bargain play in the other dugout of the Cubs vs. D-Backs matchup. Daulton Varsho has been Arizona’s best hitter, leading the team in on-base plus slugging percentage and hits. Curiously, the catcher/outfielder comes at a discounted rate against Marcus Stroman.

Stroman has struggled this season, giving up one of the worst hard-hit rates in the MLB. Hitters are tagging him 53.2% of the time, ranking Stroman in the bottom 4% of pitchers. Consequently, Stroman’s average exit velocity of 92.0 miles per hour puts him in the seventh percentile.

Those are good indicators that Varsho should enjoy success on Thursday night. The third-year player is finding his rhythm at the plate this season, putting up career-best metrics in hard-hit rate, expected slugging percentage, and barrel percentage.

That’s reflected in THE BAT X algorithm, ranking Varsho as the Projected Plus/Minus and Points/Salary leader.

MLB DFS Ceiling Projection Picks

Pitcher

Framber Valdez ($8,500 DraftKings, $9,700 FanDuel) vs. Texas Rangers

According to our projections, Houston Astros southpaw Framber Valdez has the highest fantasy ceiling on the evening slate. Valdez has been great all season but has looked particularly sharp over his last two starts.

The 28-year-old has struck out six or more batters in each of his previous two outings, for 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings. That has brought his season-long rating up to 7.2, which remains below his career average of 8.5. That implies that further progression is anticipated, and his effective strikeout performances should continue against a free-swinging Rangers team.

Texas has been all-or-nothing this week, striking out 31 times over their past three games. They’ve also struggled away from their friendly confines, recording the fourth-worst on-base plus slugging percentage as the visitors. Moreover, their starting lineup typically features four left-handed batters, giving Valdez a more pronounced advantage at the dish.

Valdez leads THE BAT X ceiling and median projections, and he’s also the top pitcher in the FantasyLabs projections.


Hitter

Rafael Devers ($5,800 DraftKings, $4,000 FanDuel) vs. Seattle Mariners

The Boston Red Sox is trending up, recording five or more runs in four of their past six games. The Sox are led by Rafael Devers, who has been unstoppable at the plate.

Devers comes into tonight’s contest on a 12-game hitting streak; however, his success isn’t limited to longevity. The reigning Silver Slugger is mashing the ball, recording seven multi-hit games and 12 extra-base hits over that sample.

His advanced metrics paint an even rosier picture, as Devers remains on pace to retain his Silver Slugger accolades. The 25-year-old ranks in the top 8% of MLB hitters in hard-hit percentage, expected slugging percentage, and exit velocity.

Mariners probable starter George Kirby is set to make the third start of his career, and Devers will make sure he gets a warm welcome in a hostile environment. Devers sits in the top three in our ceiling rankings but could end the night as the premier fantasy option.

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 belongs to the Astros. 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.

 

The Astros tango with the Rangers on Thursday night, and runs could be plentiful for the home side. According to our lineup builder, the Astros are the preeminent stacking option, featuring several noteworthy hitters atop their batting order.

Jose Altuve continues to thrive as the Astros leadoff man, ranking second on the team in on-base plus slugging percentage and fourth in runs scored, despite playing in just 24 games.

He’s followed by Michael Brantley, the team leader with his .354 on-base percentage, setting the table for the power spots.

Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman have reaped the rewards of Altuve and Brantley’s efforts. Alvarez and Bregman are tied for the second-most runs batted in, and sit one-two, respectively, in runs scored.

Typically we include the five-spot hitter, however, we couldn’t look past Kyle Tucker, who projects sixth in the order. Tucker has driven in the most runs on the squad while flashing power with seven home runs and 14 extra-base hits through the first six weeks of the season.

Houston has scored the third-most runs in the American League this season and should climb the list with a strong performance against the Rangers.