MLB DFS Strategy for Wednesday 9/16/15

Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Season long fantasy sports leagues have been around for decades now and have really revolutionized the way both casual and hardcore sports fans look at the game.  But a more recent adaptation of fantasy sports is the daily fantasy sports (DFS) approach where you are only committed to a single day’s worth of games at a time and can win some serious cash on a daily basis.

***All player salaries reflect DraftKings pricing and the given strategy is more specific toward GPP (guaranteed prize pool) tournaments rather than cash games (head to head, 50/50, etc.).   Continue reading

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MLB DFS Strategy for Monday 9/14/15

(Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)(Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

Season long fantasy sports leagues have been around for decades now and have really revolutionized the way both casual and hardcore sports fans look at the game.  But a more recent adaptation of fantasy sports is the daily fantasy sports (DFS) approach where you are only committed to a single day’s worth of games at a time and can win some serious cash on a daily basis.

***All player salaries reflect DraftKings pricing and the given strategy is more specific toward GPP (guaranteed prize pool) tournaments rather than cash games (head to head, 50/50, etc.).   Continue reading

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire (9/11/15): Canha Can Do

Mark Canha

Last week’s headliner, Franklin Gutierrez, didn’t end up providing any value at all over the last week because of an injury, but outside of Gutierrez, last week’s recommendations as a whole basically killed it. So hopefully you all we are able to capitalize on some of those players.

We have just a few weeks left in the season, so this is the time where you can’t be afraid to waive certain players that are battling nagging injuries or are slumping pretty badly, because it is all about maximizing what little opportunities remain. So scavenge that waiver wire, play those streamers, and win your league! Let’s look at some players who you might want to have on call, but first check out how last week’s recommendations did.

***NOTE: To qualify as a waiver wire recommendation, a player must be owned in less than 50% of Yahoo and ESPN leagues and less than 60% of CBS leagues (players typically have higher ownership levels on CBS). Continue reading

MLB DFS Strategy for Wednesday 9/9/15

Source: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Season long fantasy sports leagues have been around for decades now and have really revolutionized the way both casual and hardcore sports fans look at the game.  But a more recent adaptation of fantasy sports is the daily fantasy sports (DFS) approach where you are only committed to a single day’s worth of games at a time and can win some serious cash on a daily basis.

***All player salaries reflect DraftKings pricing and the given strategy is more specific toward GPP (guaranteed prize pool) tournaments rather than cash games (head to head, 50/50, etc.).   Continue reading

MLB DFS Strategy for Monday 9/7/15

Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY SportsPhoto Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Season long fantasy sports leagues have been around for decades now and have really revolutionized the way both casual and hardcore sports fans look at the game.  But a more recent adaptation of fantasy sports is the daily fantasy sports (DFS) approach where you are only committed to a single day’s worth of games at a time and can win some serious cash on a daily basis.

***All player salaries reflect DraftKings pricing and the given strategy is more specific toward GPP (guaranteed prize pool) tournaments rather than cash games (head to head, 50/50, etc.).   Continue reading

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire (9/4/15): Frankly, You Should Pick Up Franklin Gutierrez

Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the final month of the fantasy baseball season and chances are that many of the team managers in your league who are no longer in contention have checked out and stopped paying attention to the waiver wire. It’s an unfortunate circumstance in my opinion, as I like to play in leagues where teams remain competitive till the very end, but it does improve the chances of winning because that just means less competition when racing to the waiver wire to pick up some useful players.

So this week I am bringing to you another set of 6 hitters but only 5 pitchers this time because there just wasn’t a decent 6th pitching recommendation that I haven’t already given. These players could be of fantasy use to you for the upcoming week or even the remainder of the season. Let’s review last week’s recommendations first (see last week’s full article here) and then we will look at this week’s recommendations. Good luck!

***NOTE: To qualify as a waiver wire recommendation, a player must be owned in less than 50% of Yahoo and ESPN leagues and less than 60% of CBS leagues (players typically have higher ownership levels on CBS). Continue reading

MLB DFS Strategy for Wednesday 9/2/15

www.newsday.com / Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

http://www.newsday.com / Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Season long fantasy sports leagues have been around for decades now and have really revolutionized the way both casual and hardcore sports fans look at the game.  But a more recent adaptation of fantasy sports is the daily fantasy sports (DFS) approach where you are only committed to a single day’s worth of games at a time and can win some serious cash on a daily basis.

***All player salaries reflect DraftKings pricing and the given strategy is more specific toward GPP (guaranteed prize pool) tournaments rather than cash games (head to head, 50/50, etc.).   Continue reading

Fantasy Baseball Strategy: Make It a September to Remember

When the calendar flips over to September, that signifies that there is approximately one month left in the MLB season and things in the fantasy baseball land for season long leagues become pretty tense. It is the time of the season where you really need to make some calculated moves and you can’t be afraid to take some risks depending on the position that you’re in. Whether you’re in a head-to-head league vying for playoff glory or if you’re in a roto league trying to squeeze out every extra roto point, intelligent decisions down the stretch (and some good fortune) will provide you the best opportunity to achieve fantasy greatness. Here are some September tips and nuances to be aware of to help guide you.

Pay Attention to September Call-Ups

Once September 1 rolls around, MLB rosters expand to the entire 40-man roster, as opposed to the 25-man roster that they normally play with up until that point. This means that any player that is on a team’s 40-man roster is eligible to be called up from the Minors without the team having to make a corresponding move to send another player down to the Minors or to place another player on the DL. This gives MLB teams the opportunity to give young players some Major League experience for the final month of the season and it also allows for MLB teams to have some extra reinforcements to give their regular starters more rest or to utilize players for specialty roles such as pinch-running, pinch-hitting, defensive replacement, or situational pitching.

So there are going to be some prospects who are promoted to the Majors during this period (whether it is on September 1 or later in the month) who are going to step into significant roles for their team to become very fantasy relevant and could potentially provide excellent returns.  Whether it is an out of contention team giving auditions to their prospects or a contending team trying to put their best players on the field to vie for a post-season berth, there’s always going to be players who are called up in September who can make a positive fantasy impact. So pay attention to who is being called up and what role they are going to have on their team because you may be able to snag them off the waiver wire.

As previously mentioned, September call-ups gives MLB teams more opportunity to give their regulars some more rest and also to utilize players in specialty roles such as pinch-hitting and pinch-running. So some of the regular big name players may end up losing some starts or being replaced late in the game. With some extra speed guys off the bench, players like David Ortiz or Albert Pujols will get pinch ran for even more often late in the game, which takes away run scoring opportunities. While this won’t significantly impact your fantasy decision making on which players to start, it is definitely something worth knowing and being aware of.

Player Injuries

Another impact of September call-ups that is often overlooked or never thought of until the situation actually arises is the situation pertaining to player injuries. If a player incurs an injury in the late days of August leading up to September or in the actual month of September, then that player likely will not be placed on the disabled list. This is because with the MLB rosters expanding to 40 players on September 1, there really is no incentive or necessity to place an injured player on the DL when teams can freely promote any player that is already on the 40-man roster. It is a real unfortunate and annoying situation to deal with when you have an injured player that you don’t want to waive because you want his potential production for when he is healthy again, but you also don’t want him clogging up a spot on your roster, especially when your league has DL slots. In this situation, you just need to use your best judgment and decide what would be best for your team.

Utilize Schedules and Matchups to Your Advantage

While this is a strategy that should be used all season long, it really comes pronounced in the final month of the season when you need to make that final push. Glance at teams’ schedules and see what the rest of the season has in store for them. If a team has a road trip to Coors Field then maybe there’s some available hitters from that team who should have the opportunity to produce in the thin air. If a pitcher who is dominant at home but horrible on the road is projected to make 4 of his final 5 starts on the road, then use that knowledge to your advantage whether it means you bench him for the road starts or just outright waive him, which brings us to the next section…

Don’t Be Afraid to Waive Players

In the right situation, even if it carries some risk, you have to be open to the idea of waiving certain players. With only a month left in the season, this is when you really want to ride the hot hands and/or those who have favorable matchups. Injured players, players in prolonged slumps, or players in unfavorable situations are not going to do your fantasy team much good. So with only a month left in the season, there is much less risk to waiving a star caliber player who is not producing. This notion becomes a bit more cloudy in keeper or dynasty leagues, but waiving star caliber players in redraft leagues definitely needs to be given thought.

This doesn’t mean because Mike Trout only hit .218 with 1 HR in August you go and waive him for Franklin Gutierrez who hit .339 with 7 HR in August (though Gutierrez does make for a nice player to utilize against left-handed pitching). But for a better example, let’s take a look at Hanley Ramirez in the 2015 season. Ramirez produced well early on, but then he was hit with various injuries and he has missed 26 games of the season through August 31 (without ever being placed on the DL) — at least 20 of those 26 games missed were due to injury with the remaining games being routine days off. At the writing of this article, Ramirez has missed the last 4 games due to shoulder fatigue and he has hit just .183 with 0 HR and 7 RBI since the All-Star break. If and when Ramirez does return to the starting lineup, there’s really no telling if he can begin to produce again considering his awful performance in the second half with his nagging injuries likely hampering him. And even if he does eventually return, with the Red Sox out of contention he will likely be given extra rest. So it just seems like a poor outlook for him and I wouldn’t be afraid to cut fantasy ties with him if a viable replacement is available (I already have waived Hanley in a league).

Maximize Games Played/Innings Output

In many types of fantasy leagues, especially those with daily lineup changes, there are set limits on how many games you can use at each fantasy position and how many innings your fantasy pitchers may accrue for a team. In the final month of the season, this is where you really have to make it count and try to use as many games and innings as possible in an intelligent way. This doesn’t mean you go and pick up just any player and insert them into your starting lineup just for the sake of using more games or innings. Rather be smart about it and utilize some of the tips that were previously mentioned here to build a starting lineup for each day or week that will also give you an opportunity to use up as many games and innings as possible.

GOOD LUCK!

MLB DFS Strategy for Monday 8/31/15

Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Season long fantasy sports leagues have been around for decades now and have really revolutionized the way both casual and hardcore sports fans look at the game.  But a more recent adaptation of fantasy sports is the daily fantasy sports (DFS) approach where you are only committed to a single day’s worth of games at a time and can win some serious cash on a daily basis.

***All player salaries reflect DraftKings pricing and the given strategy is more specific toward GPP (guaranteed prize pool) tournaments rather than cash games (head to head, 50/50, etc.).  

STRATEGY FOR MONDAY AUGUST 31, 2015

I like to start my MLB DFS research by checking in on the weather, and check out some tips at The Backwards K on how to utilize the weather when constructing MLB DFS lineups.

As always, check in on the weather at least a couple hours or less before game time to get a better picture of any potential weather concerns, but it’s also good to know if the weather is going to be hot, cold, windy, or humid because these are all factors that could influence our DFS lineup decisions.  Daily Baseball Data is a great spot to get an hour-by-hour forecast of each game. Continue reading

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire (8/28/15): Bear Arms with Berrios’ Arm

Credit: Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports

Credit: Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports

Greetings to the all the fantasy baseball folk, I’m back with another edition of the Fantasy Baseball Waiver wire! Unless you’re contending near the top of the standings in your fantasy baseball league, chances are that you’ve already begun to forget about the baseball season and are gearing up for a fantasy football draft deciding which quarterback is going to have the big breakout (I personally think Ryan Tannehill is going to be a fantasy gold). But if you’re still paying attention to your fantasy baseball team, there may be some players available on the waiver wire for you to snag to aid you in your run for the championship.

Last week’s recommendations didn’t go over so hot, but that’s largely a byproduct of the fact that I’ve already recommended a lot of the best waiver wire options in the past few weeks and I am trying to avoid any repeat mentions so I am scraping the bottom of the barrel here. However, in the recommendations below, I will have a couple of repeat mentions, but they are players who have yet to debut in the Majors. So first, let’s review last week’s recommendations (check out last week’s full article here) and we’ll give a new set of 6 hitters and 6 pitchers who could be useful to your fantasy squad.

***NOTE: To qualify as a waiver wire recommendation, a player must be owned in less than 50% of Yahoo and ESPN leagues and less than 60% of CBS leagues (players typically have higher ownership levels on CBS). Continue reading

MLB DFS Strategy for Wednesday 8/26/15

Embed from Getty Images

Season long fantasy sports leagues have been around for decades now and have really revolutionized the way both casual and hardcore sports fans look at the game.  But a more recent adaptation of fantasy sports is the daily fantasy sports (DFS) approach where you are only committed to a single day’s worth of games at a time and can win some serious cash on a daily basis.

***All player salaries reflect DraftKings pricing and the given strategy is more specific toward GPP (guaranteed prize pool) tournaments rather than cash games (head to head, 50/50, etc.).  

STRATEGY FOR WEDNESDAY AUGUST 26, 2015

I like to start my MLB DFS research by checking in on the weather, and check out some tips at The Backwards K on how to utilize the weather when constructing MLB DFS lineups.

As always, check in on the weather at least a couple hours or less before game time to get a better picture of any potential weather concerns, but it’s also good to know if the weather is going to be hot, cold, windy, or humid because these are all factors that could influence our DFS lineup decisions.  Daily Baseball Data is a great spot to get an hour-by-hour forecast of each game.

Today’s article will focus on the 13 games starting at 7:05 PM EST/4:05 PM PST. Continue reading

MLB DFS Strategy for Monday 8/24/15

Votto Frazier

Season long fantasy sports leagues have been around for decades now and have really revolutionized the way both casual and hardcore sports fans look at the game.  But a more recent adaptation of fantasy sports is the daily fantasy sports (DFS) approach where you are only committed to a single day’s worth of games at a time and can win some serious cash on a daily basis.

***All player salaries reflect DraftKings pricing and the given strategy is more specific toward GPP (guaranteed prize pool) tournaments rather than cash games (head to head, 50/50, etc.).  

STRATEGY FOR MONDAY AUGUST 24, 2015

I like to start my MLB DFS research by checking in on the weather, and check out some tips at The Backwards K on how to utilize the weather when constructing MLB DFS lineups.

As always, check in on the weather at least a couple hours or less before game time to get a better picture of any potential weather concerns, but it’s also good to know if the weather is going to be hot, cold, windy, or humid because these are all factors that could influence our DFS lineup decisions.  Daily Baseball Data is a great spot to get an hour-by-hour forecast of each game. Continue reading

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire (8/21/15): Yes Play for Mr. Gray

Embed from Getty Images

To all the fantasy baseball faithful, it’s a new week, a new friday, so a new edition of the Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire is here as well. A lot of last week’s recommendations were big ones and many of them can still be picked up in your league probably. So go ahead and see below how those recommendations did (check out last week’s full article here) and we’ll give a new set of 6 hitters and 6 pitchers who are widely available and could be of some good use down the fantasy stretch run here.

But before we get down to it, let’s do a brief overview on what’s going on right now in MLB that can affect all of us waiver wire fiends. We are heading into the final days of August and what that means for MLB teams is they pretty much have a firm idea on what direction they want to go in for the remainder of the season, whether it is to make some trades to acquire some extra depth or needing a player for an injury replacement, or to trade away some of their veterans and give some of their youngsters the opportunity to play everyday. Moves like these create some interesting opportunities for fantasy baseball managers to make some keen waiver wire pickups, so it’s surely no time to stop paying attention if you’re still in the thick of it in your league.

So continue reading on for a review of last week’s recommendations and this week’s all new recommendations! Continue reading

MLB DFS Strategy for Wednesday 8/19/15

Bautista Donaldson

Season long fantasy sports leagues have been around for decades now and have really revolutionized the way both casual and hardcore sports fans look at the game.  But a more recent adaptation of fantasy sports is the daily fantasy sports (DFS) approach where you are only committed to a single day’s worth of games at a time and can win some serious cash on a daily basis.

***All player salaries reflect DraftKings pricing and the given strategy is more specific toward GPP (guaranteed prize pool) tournaments rather than cash games (head to head, 50/50, etc.).  

STRATEGY FOR WEDNESDAY AUGUST 19, 2015

I like to start my MLB DFS research by checking in on the weather, and check out some tips at The Backwards K on how to utilize the weather when constructing MLB DFS lineups.

As always, check in on the weather at least a couple hours or less before game time to get a better picture of any potential weather concerns, but it’s also good to know if the weather is going to be hot, cold, windy, or humid because these are all factors that could influence our DFS lineup decisions.  Daily Baseball Data is a great spot to get an hour-by-hour forecast of each game.

Today’s article will focus on the main slate of games for the day, which begins at 7:05 PM EST/4:05 PM PST and consists of 10 MLB games. Continue reading

Sometimes A Pitcher Is Only As Good As His Defense, Part 2 (and other notes from 8/17/15)

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A couple months ago on June 23 in part 1 of “Sometimes A Pitcher Is Only As Good As His Defense,” I took a look into the high BABIP’s (and subsequently inflated ERA and WHIP numbers) that several of the Cleveland Indians starting pitcher possessed and made the correlation that it was largely in part due to a poor defense that was playing behind those pitchers. At the time, the Indians had a very porous defense that was ranked 27th in DEF rating (a measurement system to reflect how many runs a team’s defense saves). But since then, the Indians have crawled all the way up to be right around a league average defense at 16th in DEF rating and out of the red and into the green with 0.5 runs saved on the season.

Surely there has to be some sort of underlying reason for the Indians improvement in defense, and one of the apparent factors was a player promotion. On June 14, the Indians promoted their top position prospect, Francisco Lindor, to the Majors to become their everyday starting shortstop in place of Jose Ramirez. Lindor had widely been known for his defensive wizardry coming up through the Indians Minor League system and he has most definitely brought that with him to the bigs as a 21-year old rookie. Out of all shortstops in the Majors (minimum 450 innings played), Lindor has the 8th highest DEF rating with 7.4 runs saved — and what makes this even more impressive is that he wasn’t even in the Majors for the first 2+ months of the season. For comparison, fellow top shortstop prospect, Carlos Correa of the Astros, was called up a week before Lindor and he ranks just 19th on the list with 2.7 runs saved despite making the highlight reel on a regular basis.

Another reason for the improved defense of the Indians on a more recent note has to be with the slew of trades that they made. At the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31, the Indians dealt away both Brandon Moss and David Murphy, and then they also traded Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher. Swisher was mostly used as a DH for the Indians so he’s not very relevant in this conversation, but Moss, Murphy, and Bourn are all players who played a good amount of games in the outfield for the Tribe and they all had negative scores in UZR/150. UZR/150 measures the runs above average per 150 defensive games. So surely, none of these players were doing anything of significance to earn a steak dinner from any of the Indians starting pitchers, and just removing them from the picture altogether has had to have been a nice change of pace on the defensive side of things for this ball club.

So with Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Danny Salazar having pitched another very solid game on Monday (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K with the W), the three Indians pitchers (Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco being the other two) who were battling inflated BABIP’s and poor overall statistics early on in the season have all been on a roll lately and have seen big improvements in their ERA, WHIP, and BABIP. Let’s take a look at each pitcher’s numbers in those categories since through June 23 (when I first wrote about this situation) and since June 23.

Danny Salazar — Through June 23: 4.06 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, .323 BABIP / Since June 23: 2.03 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, .176 BABIP

Corey Kluber — Through June 23: 3.65 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, .335 BABIP / Since June 23: 2.92 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, .259 BABIP

Carlos Carrasco — Through June 23: 4.35 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, .347 BABIP / Since June 23: 2.80 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, .238 BABIP

So as you can see, each of the three pitchers performed pretty similarly through June 23 and have also been in sync since June 23. That’s rather remarkable and is likely not all a coincidence. A good portion of the credit for their improvement since June 23 has to be given to the pitchers themselves for persevering through some rough times and for their skills as pitchers with great K/BB ratios, but this type of a turnaround likely would not have occurred without the improvement in their team defense. With the Indians’ new defensive arrangement going forward, these pitchers should be receiving a lot of help for the remainder of the season and make for elite fantasy plays.

Now let’s take a look at the rest of Monday’s action.

Continue reading