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MLB DFS Sims: How To Use SimLabs To Dominate This Baseball Season

Simulations have run wild across the DFS industry. We’ve joined in on the fun, building class-leading simulation products for the NFL, NBA, Golf, and now for the 2024 season: MLB.

There’s certainly an argument that this will be the most valuable application of simulations. Managing correlations in the NFL is much more straightforward, and we typically have an entire week to build lineups. Ditto with golf, which features weekly contests and effectively zero correlation between players.

NBA DFS typically comes down to last-minute adjustments as teams announce injury and roster news, which makes the edge more based on late swaps than anything else.

However, MLB DFS has moving parts everywhere. Correlation through stacking (including stacking hitters with their pitchers) is extremely important. As is ownership — due to the high-variance nature of baseball, even the best plays fail more often than not, so being contrarian is important.

Having a tool that weighs those factors along with, of course, our expert projections is a game-changer for MLB DFS players.

Of course, as with any tool, it’s only as useful as the person operating it.

As with the other SimLabs products, there are plenty of customization options available for advanced players. We’ll go over the best ways to attack MLB slates using this tool and how to use it for various contest types and sizes.

Become an All-Access Member Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models & projections

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

Building Around Stacks With MLB DFS Sims

Stacking is extremely important in MLB DFS. If you’re reading this, you probably already know that. Unlike in other sports, the lack of a time limit in baseball means that players don’t “cannibalize” each other’s production. In basketball and football, there’s a correlation based on the team’s overall offenses performing well. However, only one player can score at a time.

In baseball, that’s not the case. Every time one player from a team gets on base, he boosts the expectations for his teammates. Not only does he provide RBI opportunities, but batting averages rise with runners on base, and the more pitches the opposing team has to throw, the harder it becomes.

MLB SimLabs has a unique feature compared to our other products. Not only can you lock or exclude individual players, but you can lock or exclude entire offensive teams in the settings:

This is the perfect tool if you believe you have an edge in hitter projections. Have a certain team you’re high on? Lock them into SimLabs and let the tool do the rest. Want to mix and match a few teams? Exclude everyone else. The possibilities are endless, but it’s a great way to allow DFS players to focus on one part of the game while allowing projections to fill in the rest.

Building Around Pitchers

On the other hand, say you feel better about pitcher selection. If that’s where your edge is, SimLabs takes care of that as well.

A dilemma I find myself in often is deciding between three (or more) pitchers for the two spots in a lineup. Using SimLabs, you can exclude all the pitchers you don’t want exposure to in your build. SimLabs can then balance out exposure based on how often each appears in the optimal build based on your other settings.

My favorite part of starting with pitching is that it solves multiple dilemmas on the hitting side. Not only will it figure out which teams are likeliest to appear in the optimal lineup with your pitcher(s), but it takes the guesswork out of which type of stack you need.

Depending on the slate, there’s a variety of stack types that can be used. Typically, stacking five hitters from one team and three from another is considered ideal, but “5-2-1” and “4-4” stacks, among many other builds, are also viable in some situations.

Which situations? I don’t entirely know…but SimLabs can figure it out for you.

Research With MLB DFS Sims

Say you aren’t convinced about letting a machine build your lineup, and you still want to do it by hand. That doesn’t mean SimLabs isn’t worth it for you, either!

Besides being a lineup builder that can expedite your DFS process, it’s also a valuable research tool for players who still want to hand-build lineups.

I mentioned above that weighing ownership is extremely important in MLB DFS. How chalky is too chalky? Which players are likely to justify their high ownership or outperform their low ownership?

SimLabs has a quick way to answer those questions:

Using the “Optimal vs. Projected Ownership %” tool in the dashboard, we can quickly visualize the value of players relative to their projected ownership. For example, on April 2nd, the most popular pitcher is projected to be Yu Darvish. However, Logan Webb is a better tournament play, despite his lower score projections. That’s because he appears in the optimal lineup at a higher rate than the field is likely to play him, while Darvish projects to be over owned.

MLB SimLabs gives you that option for every position, allowing you to quickly see the slate’s best plays. Of course, you could then take that information and lock one or some of those players and let SimLabs do the rest — or you could head to our lineup builder with that information.

The projected cash lines are also a valuable research tool for cash game players. The screenshot above shows the cash game option selected, including the likely scores you’ll need to take down double-ups and similar contests. That can help you decide between high-variance power hitters or lower-upside contact hitters, for example.

By clicking over to the GPP side in the dashboard, we can see a similar breakdown with the likely score needed to win tournaments. This is especially helpful for single-entry GPP players so they can balance upside and risk.

Saving Time With MLB DFS Sims

Of course, for most people, the best part of SimLabs won’t be any of those things. It will be the ability to build competitive lineups quickly.

As with all of our SimLabs products, simply by selecting the size of the contest (large field, small field, or single entry), how much variance you want in your lineups, and how many lineups you want to play, you can quickly generate a number of quality lineups.

You can also export those lineups into our models, allowing you to make any last-minute tweaks necessary in case of lineup changes or weather issues — rather than having to re-simulate and re-enter all of your lineups.

Good Luck!

Simulations have run wild across the DFS industry. We’ve joined in on the fun, building class-leading simulation products for the NFL, NBA, Golf, and now for the 2024 season: MLB.

There’s certainly an argument that this will be the most valuable application of simulations. Managing correlations in the NFL is much more straightforward, and we typically have an entire week to build lineups. Ditto with golf, which features weekly contests and effectively zero correlation between players.

NBA DFS typically comes down to last-minute adjustments as teams announce injury and roster news, which makes the edge more based on late swaps than anything else.

However, MLB DFS has moving parts everywhere. Correlation through stacking (including stacking hitters with their pitchers) is extremely important. As is ownership — due to the high-variance nature of baseball, even the best plays fail more often than not, so being contrarian is important.

Having a tool that weighs those factors along with, of course, our expert projections is a game-changer for MLB DFS players.

Of course, as with any tool, it’s only as useful as the person operating it.

As with the other SimLabs products, there are plenty of customization options available for advanced players. We’ll go over the best ways to attack MLB slates using this tool and how to use it for various contest types and sizes.

Become an All-Access Member Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models & projections

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

Building Around Stacks With MLB DFS Sims

Stacking is extremely important in MLB DFS. If you’re reading this, you probably already know that. Unlike in other sports, the lack of a time limit in baseball means that players don’t “cannibalize” each other’s production. In basketball and football, there’s a correlation based on the team’s overall offenses performing well. However, only one player can score at a time.

In baseball, that’s not the case. Every time one player from a team gets on base, he boosts the expectations for his teammates. Not only does he provide RBI opportunities, but batting averages rise with runners on base, and the more pitches the opposing team has to throw, the harder it becomes.

MLB SimLabs has a unique feature compared to our other products. Not only can you lock or exclude individual players, but you can lock or exclude entire offensive teams in the settings:

This is the perfect tool if you believe you have an edge in hitter projections. Have a certain team you’re high on? Lock them into SimLabs and let the tool do the rest. Want to mix and match a few teams? Exclude everyone else. The possibilities are endless, but it’s a great way to allow DFS players to focus on one part of the game while allowing projections to fill in the rest.

Building Around Pitchers

On the other hand, say you feel better about pitcher selection. If that’s where your edge is, SimLabs takes care of that as well.

A dilemma I find myself in often is deciding between three (or more) pitchers for the two spots in a lineup. Using SimLabs, you can exclude all the pitchers you don’t want exposure to in your build. SimLabs can then balance out exposure based on how often each appears in the optimal build based on your other settings.

My favorite part of starting with pitching is that it solves multiple dilemmas on the hitting side. Not only will it figure out which teams are likeliest to appear in the optimal lineup with your pitcher(s), but it takes the guesswork out of which type of stack you need.

Depending on the slate, there’s a variety of stack types that can be used. Typically, stacking five hitters from one team and three from another is considered ideal, but “5-2-1” and “4-4” stacks, among many other builds, are also viable in some situations.

Which situations? I don’t entirely know…but SimLabs can figure it out for you.

Research With MLB DFS Sims

Say you aren’t convinced about letting a machine build your lineup, and you still want to do it by hand. That doesn’t mean SimLabs isn’t worth it for you, either!

Besides being a lineup builder that can expedite your DFS process, it’s also a valuable research tool for players who still want to hand-build lineups.

I mentioned above that weighing ownership is extremely important in MLB DFS. How chalky is too chalky? Which players are likely to justify their high ownership or outperform their low ownership?

SimLabs has a quick way to answer those questions:

Using the “Optimal vs. Projected Ownership %” tool in the dashboard, we can quickly visualize the value of players relative to their projected ownership. For example, on April 2nd, the most popular pitcher is projected to be Yu Darvish. However, Logan Webb is a better tournament play, despite his lower score projections. That’s because he appears in the optimal lineup at a higher rate than the field is likely to play him, while Darvish projects to be over owned.

MLB SimLabs gives you that option for every position, allowing you to quickly see the slate’s best plays. Of course, you could then take that information and lock one or some of those players and let SimLabs do the rest — or you could head to our lineup builder with that information.

The projected cash lines are also a valuable research tool for cash game players. The screenshot above shows the cash game option selected, including the likely scores you’ll need to take down double-ups and similar contests. That can help you decide between high-variance power hitters or lower-upside contact hitters, for example.

By clicking over to the GPP side in the dashboard, we can see a similar breakdown with the likely score needed to win tournaments. This is especially helpful for single-entry GPP players so they can balance upside and risk.

Saving Time With MLB DFS Sims

Of course, for most people, the best part of SimLabs won’t be any of those things. It will be the ability to build competitive lineups quickly.

As with all of our SimLabs products, simply by selecting the size of the contest (large field, small field, or single entry), how much variance you want in your lineups, and how many lineups you want to play, you can quickly generate a number of quality lineups.

You can also export those lineups into our models, allowing you to make any last-minute tweaks necessary in case of lineup changes or weather issues — rather than having to re-simulate and re-enter all of your lineups.

Good Luck!

About the Author

Billy Ward writes NFL, MLB, and UFC DFS content for FantasyLabs. He has a degree in mathematical economics and a statistics minor. Ward's data-focused education allows him to take an analytical approach to betting and fantasy sports. Prior to joining Action and FantasyLabs in 2021, he contributed as a freelancer starting in 2018. He is also a former Professional MMA fighter.