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 300 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 Thursday’s four-game main slate.
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
Jake McCarthy ($2,800): Outfielder, Arizona Diamondbacks
McCarthy is proving the sophomore slump is a real phenomenon. Last year, he finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting, ending the campaign with a .427 slugging percentage, 43 RBI, and 53 runs scored. So far in 2023, his slugging rate has dipped to .282, and McCarthy has already been demoted. Nevertheless, he’s back with something to prove, and we like McCarthy’s ceiling on Thursday.
The Diamondbacks outfielder has recorded multiple hits in his last two starts, driving in two and coming around to score once. In reconciling his actual metrics with expected values, more of the same is expected over his coming sample. McCarthy remains below his expected slugging percentage of .359 and further off his career norms.
His recent performances have moved McCarthy up the batting order, and he’s positioned for success again Thursday against Chase Anderson and the Colorado Rockies’ bullpen. Anderson pitches to contact, and as a unit, Rockies’ relievers have combined for the eighth-worst ERA in the MLB. That should allow McCarthy to continue his climb back to relevancy.
Daulton Varsho ($3,400): Outfielder, Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays’ bats have come alive lately, with the playoff hopefuls scoring 19 runs over their past four games. Varsho has recorded a hit in all four games and is poised to continue his hitting spree on Thursday.
More impressively, Varsho has asserted himself as a power bat in a potent Jays’ order. Two of his last four hits have gone for extra bases, elevating his slugging percentage to .440 over the previous month. Moreover, there is more room for growth as he remains below his expected slugging percentage.
The left-handed Varsho has an implicit advantage over righty Freddy Peralta in Thursday’s matinee. Varsho’s best performances have come versus conventional pitchers. He’s swatted 16 of his 17 extra-base hits off righties, knocking in 20 of his 22 RBI. We’re betting that trend continues with a strong showing at home.
MLB DFS Ceiling Projection Picks
Kevin Gausman ($10,600 DraftKings, $11,100 FanDuel) vs. Milwaukee Brewers
At times, ineffective pitching has hurt the Blue Jays’ chances of winning this year. However, that rarely happens when Gausman is toeing the rubber. Gausman has emerged as Toronto’s ace, and he’s projected to continue his early-season dominance against the Brewers.
Analytically, Gausman sets up as an elite strikeout pitcher. The former All-Star has a solid four-pitch mix, frequently turning to his split-finger fastball or 4-seamer. The righty induces a jaw-dropping 45.6% whiff rate on his splitter, contributing to an overall rating of 29.3% that puts him in the 72nd percentile. Additionally, his chase rate ranks in the top 5% of pitchers and is a factor in his 31.9% K rate.
Although he has yet to win at home, the Rogers Centre has been a safe haven for Gausman. He’s allowed just seven earned runs across 30.0 innings pitched for a sterling 2.10 ERA. Further, Gausman has an 11.4 K/9 rate at home while allowing just 0.90 walks and hits per inning pitched.
The Brewers aren’t an imposing lineup, compiling the fifth-worst OPS and sixth-most strikeouts. Gausman will help perpetuate those concerning stats, as he lives up to his billing as the best pitcher available on today’s early slate.
Fernando Tatis Jr. ($6,100 DraftKings, $3,700 FanDuel) vs. Miami Marlins
The Padres will look for a series win vs. the Marlins on Thursday, and Tatis should be a big part of their offense.
Tatis is hitting the ball hard over his recent sample. Four of his last seven hits have left the park, increasing his season-long slugging percentage closer to expected. Still, the two-time Silver Slugger has room to improve, remaining nearly 50 points below his expected number.
More importantly, his underlying metrics support ongoing brilliance at the dish. Tatis ranks in the top half of the league in most advanced categories, helping him round into his typical All-Star form.
Like most right-handed batters, Tatis thrives against southpaws, benefitting him against Jesus Luzardo on Thursday. His slugging percentage jumps to a mind-numbing .657 versus lefties, with four of his nine homers coming in just 38 plate appearances.
Tatis also stands out using our PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy simulations table:
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More MLB DFS Hitters and Pitchers
For this example, we created a 50/50 blend with THE BAT X and the FantasyLabs projections to pinpoint some hitters standing out with this blend.
Max Scherzer ($8,700 DraftKings, $9,200 FanDuel) vs. Philadelphia Philies
After years of dominating batters, Scherzer is finally showing cracks in his armor. Nevertheless, he’s recently regained his stride from the mound and remains one of the top arms available on the early slate.
Granted, it’s only been two games, but Scherzer has yet to give up a run a Citi Field this year. The former first-round pick has allowed just four hits while striking out 11 in 11.0 innings pitched in his friendly confines. Further, he’ll have a chance to build off those impressive metrics, carrying some momentum from his past few starts.
Scherzer has allowed just two earned runs over his last 18.0 innings pitched, punching out 19 and collecting two victories. Baserunners have been few and far between, with just 14 men reaching base over that stretch.
It’s evident that Scherzer benefits from pitching at home, and he’s looking like his old self over his recent sample. He should live up to his fantasy ceiling in this NL East showdown against the Phillies.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($5,400 DraftKings, $3,400 FanDuel) vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Guerrero is just two seasons removed from finishing as the runner-up in AL MVP voting. Although he has yet to recapture that form throughout an entire 162-game campaign, he’s showing signs of breaking out of a mini-slump.
Vladdy had three hits in the series opener against the Brew Crew, driving one in and scoring once. That ended a tough 3-or-21 stretch, in which he accounted for just one run over five games while uncharacteristically striking out five times. Still, Guerrero remains an analytics stud, and his three-hit performance is just a taste of what to expect Thursday against the Brewers.
The two-time All-Star sits in the 92nd percentile in expected slugging percentage and 96th percentile in hard-hit rate. Additionally, he’s tormenting right-handed pitchers, with all but one of his 19 extra-base hits and 31 of his 35 RBI coming versus righties. That’s a bad sign for Peralta, as Vladdy re-emerges as a primary contributor for the Jays.
Corbin Carroll ($5,000 DraftKings, $3,600 FanDuel) vs. Colorado Rockies
Quietly, Carroll has cemented himself as a top batter in the D-Backs lineup. He’s jumped to the front of the pack as the NL Rookie of the Year betting favorite and has seen a steady increase in his DFS salaries, validating his fantasy impact. Not surprisingly, he’s one of the best hitters available on today’s docket.
Carroll enters Thursday’s matinee on a modest four-game hitting streak, recording hits in seven of his past eight games. Over that stretch, the Diamondbacks outfielder has three doubles and two home runs, yielding six RBI and five runs scored. Circumstances favor him again as he faces off against a combustible Rockies’ bullpen.
The Diamondbacks also lead the slate in terms of implied team total. Carroll has been a significant contributor over the past week and should maintain his standing as one of the best young players in baseball.