MLB DFS: Model Picks and Value Plays for May 26

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 today’s 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

Dominic Smith ($2,000): First Baseman, Washington Nationals

Finding a minimum-priced hitter who has been as hot as Dominic Smith is rare. He has two hits in each of his last three games and has recorded a positive Plus/Minus on DraftKings in eight of his last 10 games. To no surprise with his salary, Smith has a 99% Bargain Rating and ranks in the top five in Projected Plus/Minus for our blended projections for this slate.

Smith is projected to bat seventh for the Nationals, who are implied for 4.6 runs against Royals right-hander Jordan Lyles. In his first season with the Royals, Lyles has an 0-8 record with a 7.15 ERA. Lyles has allowed multiple home runs in over half of his starts and four or more earned runs in eight of his 10 games. His 17.3% strikeout rate is one of the worst on the slate.

Getting the platoon advantage, Smith is in a great spot despite the low batting order position. Throughout Lyles’ career, he has allowed a 1.56 WHIP and 1.43 HR/9 to left-handed batters compared to a 1.31 WHIP and 1.34 HR/9 to righties. Playing this well, getting such a great matchup, and coming in at under 5% ownership, Smith at $2,000 looks like a great value play.

Donovan Solano ($2,100): First Baseman/Third Baseman, Minnesota Twins

Solano has been a great source of value on many slates, as his dual eligibility comes in handy when trying to build a stars and scrubs lineup. He has been on base in 10 of his last 11 games, and at $2,100 on DraftKings, Solano has a 91% Bargain Rating. The Twins only have a 3.7 implied run total, but Solano is projected to bat third, which brings in more opportunity.

The Twins will play at home against the Blue Jays, who are starting Kevin Gausman. He has a pedestrian 2-3 record in his 10 starts. Gausman has an incredible 31.9% strikeout rate and a decent 3.14 ERA but has allowed a career-high 8.6% barrel percentage. He has been much worse on the road, with a 4.09 ERA compared to a 2.10 ERA when pitching at home.

Solano’s first season with the Twins has been a rollercoaster, with a career-high strikeout rate but a 100 wRC+. His walk-rate is at an all-time high, and he ranks third on the team beyond Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa in doubles. This comes down to Solano being $2,100. Rostering Solano and Smith together will provide ample opportunity for the rest of your lineup.

He’s an intriguing play if you’re looking to fade the highly owned Gausman tonight.

MLB DFS Ceiling Projection Picks


Kevin Gausman ($10,300 DraftKings, $11,100 FanDuel) at Minnesota Twins

Speaking of Gausman, he is our highest ceiling pitcher on tonight’s slate. We discussed his troubles on the road and his 2-3 record, but the Twins’ 3.7 implied run total is the third-lowest on the slate. Gausman and the Blue Jays are a -158 favorite as he looks to build on his impressive last three games, where he has only allowed four earned runs in 21 total innings pitched.

Gausman’s 31.9% strikeout rate will be put to good use against the Twins, who have a league-high 26.1% strikeout rate as a team. Our models have Gausman projected for 8.35 strikeouts in this matchup, which is by far the highest on the slate. He has the highest salary of any pitcher on both sites, but Gausman also is projected for the most ownership among all pitchers.

Gausman has recorded nine or more strikeouts in four of his last six starts and has a great chance to strikeout double-digit Twins batters tonight. During that six-game stretch, Gausman has averaged 102.5 pitchers per start, which provides even more upside.

He has a great mix of a long outing with a double-digit strikeout ceiling. Gausman is the pitcher to pay up for.


Peter Alonso ($5,700 DraftKings, $4,300 FanDuel) at Colorado Rockies

The Mets have a plethora of players who have a high Projected Plus/Minus, but Alonso is leading the way for all hitters with the highest projected ceiling. Alonso has hit a home run in two of his last three games and has a .319 ISO this season. His 19 home runs leads the league by four, and now he gets a three-game series at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park.

Alonso has upside but is also very consistent, with at least one hit in nine of his last 10 games. The Mets have a seven implied run total, which is by far the highest on the slate. They will be the main team to stack in tournaments. Even though the Mets have several value pieces to build around, don’t forget about paying up for Alonso with his incredibly high upside.

The Mets will face off against Rockies right-hander Connor Seabold who has 11 appearances and four starts. Focusing on his four starts, Seabold has a 6.50 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP. He has allowed five home runs over that time in only 18 innings pitched. Alonso has a great chance to take Seabold deep or at least have a multi-hit performance in this strong matchup.

More MLB DFS Hitters and Pitchers

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.

For this example, we created a 50/50 blend with THE BAT X and the FantasyLabs projections to pinpoint some hitters that are standing out with this blend.


Hunter Brown ($9,900 DraftKings, $10,300 FanDuel) at Oakland Athletics

Finding a second starting pitcher to target on this slate isn’t easy, but it is difficult to ignore the upside of a pitcher going against the Athletics. Brown and the Astros are a -280 favorite to beat the Athletics, who have an implied run total of only 3.3 runs. Brown has recorded over 20 DraftKings points in five of his nine starts, including back-to-back starts with 17 strikeouts.

Brown has a 26.8% strikeout rate and is facing an Athletics lineup that has a team strikeout rate of 25.1%, which is the fifth-highest in the league. He has a 7.16 strikeout prediction, which is second only to Gausman on the slate. The Athletics have lost eight straight and have a league-worst 10-42 record with horrible team hitting statistics. It’s a great spot for Brown tonight.


Ronald Acuna Jr. ($6,400 DraftKings, $4,700 FanDuel) vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Acuna Jr. doesn’t have the ceiling projection that Alonso has on this slate, but he is in a great spot against Phillies right-hander Taijuan Walker. Anytime Acuna Jr. is on a slate. He looks like a phenomenal option. He ranks second in the league in stolen bases and third in hits. His ISO is up from last season, as the dual threat can get fantasy points in a variety of ways.

Acuna Jr.’s strikeout rate is also down to a career-low 14.1% as he has a career-high .419 on-base percentage. Batting at the top of the Braves lineup provides a lot of opportunity for Acuna Jr. to get on base and cause havoc. They are implied for 5.7 runs as Walker has a career-high 5.79 ERA this season. He is expensive, but the upside is worth it for Acuna Jr. tonight.

Fernando Tatis Jr. ($6,100 DraftKings, $3,600 FanDuel) at New York Yankees

Tatis Jr. looks like a great value on FanDuel at $3,300 with a 99% Bargain Rating. He has the third-highest projected ceiling on FanDuel, and his dual eligibility makes him easy to fit into all lineup builds. Similar to Acuna Jr., Tatis Jr. has stolen base upside on top of his power. He has a career-low 18.1% strikeout rate, so putting the ball in play has been his strong suit.

Randy Vasquez will make his debut for the Yankees after posting a 4.85 ERA in 42.2 innings pitched in Triple-A. This is a very tough lineup to face in your first major league start. Tatis Jr. in the leadoff spot can set the tone for the game and have several opportunities for fantasy production. Prioritize Tatis Jr. on FanDuel with his dual eligibility and cheap price tag.