THE BAT - How Our Most Advanced DFS MLB Projections Are Created


THE BAT is the brainchild of Derek Carty, who spent years honing his statistical chops as the Fantasy Manager for Baseball Prospectus and The Hardball Times (now part of FanGraphs), working alongside and learning from some of the greatest sabermetric minds in the game, many of which are now making decisions for MLB clubs.

THE BAT is actually an acronym, short for The How to Excel (at DFS) Baseball Algorithmic Tool. But what exactly does this mean?

THE BAT starts as a comprehensive projection system in the vein of PECOTA or ZiPS, and then adds additional layers for daily players. It considers a plethora of factors relevant on a daily basis, such as:

— Opposing Hitter/Pitcher
— Ballpark
— Weather
— Umpire
— Catcher (Framing, Throwing, and Intimidation)
— Bullpen
— League
— Home Field Advantage
— Platoon Splits (Hitter/Pitcher/Park/Umpire/Catcher)
— Role
— Lineup Position
— Quality of Surrounding Lineup
— And more…

While already the most comprehensive daily model on the market, THE BAT is constantly being added to and upgraded with additional features and under-the-hood upgrades. Underscoring everything is meticulous methodology and statistical processes Carty learned and developed in his years working for the premier sabermetric destinations on the web.

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A Few Unique Components Behind THE BAT

In addition to a number of DFS-specific layers, THE BAT has a number of other innovative and accuracy-improving features. Above we mentioned many of the stats THE BAT considers, but that barely scratches the surface. Below are details on just a few more of the unique factors that power THE BAT’s projections.

Statcast Data: THE BAT now includes launch angles, exit velocities, barrels, sprint speeds, and lots more as part of its brand new 2020 upgrade, called THE BAT X! Read even more details about this upgrade here.

Player Profiles: THE BAT projects players, in part, based on their profiles. For example, a speedy line-drive hitter that bats leadoff and sprays the ball all over the field will be projected for more singles and steals than a slow, overweight cleanup hitter who makes lots of hard contact.

Arm Angle and Pitch-Mix Dependent Platoon Splits: Platoon splits have a ton of variance, so to cut down on it THE BAT uses a pitcher’s arm angle and pitch mix, along with his actual data, to derive projected righty/left splits. Lower arm angles and pitches like sinkers and sliders lead to wider splits, while higher arm angles and pitches like change-ups and curves lead to smaller or reverse splits.

Catcher Intimidation: Not only does THE BAT account for the strength of a catcher’s throwing arm, but it also accounts for the catcher’s reputation, for his ability to intimidate runners into not attempting a steal in the first place. Salvador Perez throws out a high percentage of runners, but runners are often too scared to test his arm at all—and you can’t steal a base if you don’t make an attempt.

Catcher Framing: Catcher arms affect stolen bases, but THE BAT also accounts for the ability (or lack of ability) of a catcher to frame pitches—that is, to make balls look more like strikes for his pitcher, leading to more good outcomes (like strikeouts) and fewer bad outcomes (like walks and home runs).

Minor League and Foreign League Data: Increasing the accuracy of young players that don’t have a long major-league track record by incorporating their stats from minor and foreign leagues (with the appropriate adjustments, since it’s much more difficult playing in the majors).

Comprehensive Weather Factors: Weather is one of the most important yet overlooked factors that affect performance. THE BAT accounts for everything that matters, from things as obvious as temperature to things as obscure as air pressure. Wondering how much that 15-mph wind in Wrigley will affect the game? THE BAT has you covered.

Role-Adjusted Pitcher Projections: It’s much easier for a reliever to come in for a single no-hit inning than it is for a starter to go seven shutout frames. This is accounted for, and pitchers who have served in both roles have their data adjusted to represent the role they’ll be pitching in that particular day. For example, “(player-popup)Adam Warren”:/players/adam-warren-13500’s stellar relief work would be discounted a bit when he is being projected as a starter.

Batter/Pitcher Matchup-Based Defense: The daily defensive layer is applied based on the batted ball and spray tendencies of the particular batter and pitcher. A pull-heavy, fly-ball lefty will hit a lot more balls to the right fielder than he will to the shortstop. Meanwhile a pull-heavy, ground-ball righty will hit many more balls to the shortstop and fewer to right field. THE BAT accounts for this, weighting the importance of each defender for each batter individually based on where the ball is most likely to be hit. And, of course, contact tendencies are also incorporated; defense will be less important for a “Three True Outcomes” hitter like Chris Davis who doesn’t put the ball in play much than it will be for Jose Altuve who makes lots of contact.

Position-Adjusted Age Curves: Age curves are adjusted to account for the position of each player. For example, the wear and tear of the catching position will cause backstops to age more rapidly than first basemen.

Filtering Out What’s Unimportant: Studies have shown popular “analytical” crutches such as hot streaks, batter vs. pitcher data, un-regressed platoon splits, career in park, home/road, and various other slicing-and-dicing splits to be useless and downright detrimental. Thus, while THE BAT incorporates lots of things that are important, it further increases its accuracy by ignoring the things that aren’t.

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A Few Testimonials

“DerekCarty and #TheBAT is an excellent product that keeps you on target through the emotional swings of 162 games! Pos and Neg regression is real and #TheBAT will make you profit from it the way I did in 2018 by 20x my Opening Day investment. The Podcasts are gamechanging.” —Between The Numbers

“I cannot say enough about THE BAT and Derek Carty. I am a disabled 55-year-old with two beautiful granddaughters living with me. Won $38,000 using THE BAT last year. Paid for a once in a life time trip to Disney World and put the rest in a college fund. THE BAT has changed my life. And Derek …… well he is absolutely the rare person in DFS. By far the most honest, smartest, and just a great person . THE BAT has changed my life for the better.” —rzsedge

“Been a loyal BAT subscriber for 2 seasons and all I have to say is if you play MLB DFS and don’t use the BAT by DerekCarty you’re doing it wrong. It literally pays for itself and then some. By far the best research tool out there” —Mutch

“The only thing better than THE BAT’s projections is its customer service. Day or night, Tuesday or Sunday, if you’re having technical problems, see a bug, or just have a suggestion, Derek and the RG team are exceptionally responsive and helpful. Tweet him, beep him, if you wanna reach him and odds are he’ll reply ASAP.” —randommlbprojs

A Tutorial From Derek Carty Himself

There’s a lot going on under the hood…but lucky for you, Derek Carty is the mechanic and you’re the beneficiary.

Gain an edge in your DFS MLB games this season!
Step up to the plate and purchase THE BAT now!

About the Author

Derek Carty (DerekCarty)

Derek Carty is the creator of THE BAT X (for MLB) and THE BLITZ (for NFL) projection systems, widely considered the gold standard for projections and the driving force behind multiple Milly Maker winners. You may also know him from, from his time on Baseball Tonight and SportsCenter, or from his early career managing the fantasy sections for Baseball Prospectus and The Hardball Times. While perhaps best known for DFS, he also has an elite track record in both sports betting (career ~13% ROI on thousands of publicly-tracked bets as of the end of the 2023-24 NFL season) and season-long fantasy expert leagues (11 titles while placing in the top 3 in roughly half of all leagues). On the sports betting side, you may recognize his work from EV Analytics, ScoresAndOdds, Covers, and Unabated. For season-long fantasy, THE BAT X is prominently featured at FanGraphs. While known mostly for his analytical skills, he’s also proud to be the only active fantasy or betting analyst to have graduated from MLB’s exclusive Scout School. Follow Carty on Twitter – @DerekCarty