Biggest Winners for Maximizing Fantasy Points in MLB DFS

Want to get more fantasy points in your MLB DFS leagues? We've got 4 key metrics we look at that continuously bring in the fantasy points.

Matt Brown
By Matt BrownPublished: May 30, 2024
Biggest Winners for Maximizing Fantasy Points in MLB DFS

There are countless DFS strategies and approaches that can propel you to the top of the rankings. In Major League Baseball DFS, knowing which areas drive the most fantasy points can significantly enhance your lineup and push your team past the rest of the league.

So, what should you look for when it comes to your draft picks? We’ve got four key areas we look for in any MLB DFS lineup.

Batting Order Position

When it comes to batters, there’s nothing more telling than the position a player occupies in the batting order. It tells us a lot about a player, but you generally have to look deeper than just projected points to find this.

Players batting higher in the order, typically in the 1st through 5th spots, tend to have more plate appearances. This translates to more opportunities to score runs, get on base, and accumulate total bases.

Key Spots in the Order

The 3rd and 4th spots are generally more productive for fantasy. These positions are often occupied by the team's best hitters, known for their ability to drive in runs and hit for power — a lethal combination when it comes to FP. The 3rd hitter is generally a well-rounded player, combining a good batting average with power, while the 4th hitter, or cleanup batter, is usually a pure power hitter tasked with driving in runners (1-3 in the lineup) on base.

Take Mike Trout, for example, when he's batting 3rd for the Los Angeles Angels (he’s on the 10-day DL right now, but we’re talking about when he’s healthy). He consistently racks up points due to his high on-base percentage (OBP) and ability to hit for both power and average.

Similarly, a cleanup hitter like Aaron Judge can be a goldmine in the 4th spot, often hitting home runs and driving in multiple runs per game. He tends to bounce back and forth between the 3rd and 4th spots.

The bottom line — you can’t go wrong with anyone in the 1-4 spots in the lineup.

The Impact of Power Hitters

This might seem a bit obvious, but power hitters are essential in DFS due to their ability to rack up points quickly through extra-base hits and home runs. Two critical stats to look at when finding a player with true power are Isolated Power (ISO) and Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA).

Understanding ISO and wOBA

ISO measures a player's raw power, calculating the number of extra bases a player records per at-bat. A high ISO (over .170) indicates a player who frequently hits doubles, triples, and home runs. Right now, Jason Heyward is leading the MLB with an eye-popping 1.500 ISO. He’s a gem regardless of his salary. However, keep in mind that many sites don’t offer the ISO metric, but you can find it at FanGraphs.

wOBA, on the other hand, gives a more comprehensive picture of a hitter’s overall offensive contributions by weighing different types of hits differently. A wOBA over .340 is considered excellent and indicates a player who consistently contributes to their team's offense. Through 2 months of the MLB season, Shohei Ohtani is crushing it with a .432 wOBA, with Aaron Judge right behind him with a .430.

This highlights their ability to hit home runs and get on base frequently, which means they can score a lot of fantasy points, making guys like that a prime target in DFS lineups.

Stacking Offenses for Maximum Impact

Stacking involves selecting multiple players from the same team. We tend to see this in NFL DFS, but it’s really effective in baseball DFS, especially those batting consecutively.

This strategy capitalizes on the correlation between players' performances. When one player gets on base, the following hitters have a chance to drive them in, accumulating points for both runs and RBIs. One swing of the bat could mean additional runs and bases for your lineup. It requires a bit more research, but it’s totally worth it.

Ideal Stacks

The ideal stack typically involves the 3-4-5 or 1-2-3 hitters in the lineup. These players are usually the team's best offensive contributors, and batting consecutively increases the chances of them driving each other in. Remember, you’re capitalizing on the playing of one player to benefit another.

Take a look at the Cleveland Guardians during a hot streak. Stacking hitters like Jose Ramirez (3rd), Josh Naylor (4th), and David Fry (5th) can lead to a high-scoring DFS lineup. When Ramirez gets on base, Naylor and Fry have a higher chance of driving him in, leading to multiple points from runs and RBIs. The points continue to manufacture themselves.

Investing in Top Starting Pitchers

While hitters often get the spotlight, having a top starting pitcher is critically important, especially in cash games where consistency is key. Forget the bullpen; we’re talking SPs. Aces who can pitch deep into games with high strikeout rates provide a high fantasy floor, balancing the volatility of hitters.

Starting pitchers tend to be a bit more consistent with their outings, so a good starter is a quick way to guarantee fantasy points even when batters have a bad outing.

Criteria for Top Pitchers

Look for pitchers with high strikeout rates, low ERA, and the ability to pitch deep into games. We’re talking 7+ innings on a regular basis.

A high strikeout rate indicates a pitcher can generate points quickly while pitching deep into games, which maximizes their opportunities to earn points for innings pitched and potentially wins. Think of how we discussed batters in the batting order. More opportunities mean more points, and going deep into the game means they’ll have more opportunities.

A pitcher like Seth Lugo, known for his high strikeout rates and durability, can be a cornerstone of a DFS lineup. His ability to consistently go seven or more innings with double-digit strikeouts provides a stable foundation, allowing you to take calculated risks with your hitters.

While Lugo currently holds the top spot for innings pitched, if you go a step further, you’ll see that Tyler Glasnow comes in just behind him with 74 innings pitched but has a strikeout rate of 11.6 per 9 innings, whereas Lugo is 7.6 per 9 innings. Both are great options, but Glasnow edges out Lugo by a slim margin.

Draft Your MLB DFS Lineup Like a Boss

Maximizing fantasy points in MLB DFS requires a strategic approach that typically includes thinking outside the box. We’re not saying that you should disregard generic stats but instead go slightly deeper.

By focusing on key areas such as batting order position, power hitters, stacking offenses, and investing in top starting pitchers, you can make a massive impact on your lineup and absolutely crush the competition.

With these strategies and metrics, you're well on your way to making the most of your DFS experience and potentially winning big.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown

Head of DFS

Matt's deep-rooted enthusiasm for sports betting and daily fantasy sports infuses the EatWatchDraft team with valuable expertise in football, hockey, and baseball. His forward-thinking perspectives are grounded in a solid academic foundation, including a B.S. in Aeronautical Computer Science and an M.S. in Project Management. This combination of sports passion and technical knowledge fuels Matt's innovative input to the platform.