MLB DFS Strategy for Wednesday 9/30/15

STRATEGY FOR WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 30, 2015

Greetings all! I’m short on time here, so today’s article isn’t going to have the same format or as detailed analysis and information. Also, keep in mind that the weather in the eastern part of the nation this week might be a bit wet, as evidenced by the three games that were rained out and postponed yesterday, which surely crushed many hopeful DFS lineups. The weather across the slate looks pretty clean for now in terms of getting all the games in, but some strong winds may play a factor. ALWAYS be aware of the weather! So with that being said, let’s get down to it.

PITCHERS

  • Masahiro Tanaka ($10,200) is the highest priced pitcher of the day, but he runs into a Red Sox team that is on a 5-game winning streak with 32 runs generated during that time. Despite a 3-0 record against the Sox this season, Tanaka has not pitched particularly well against them with a 5.20 ERA and he has been nursing a hamstring injury. The Yankees really need a win here to shift their momentum heading into the post-season, but I don’t like the outlook for Tanaka against the surging (better late than never) Red Sox.
  • The lefty Drew Smyly ($9,900) has a home matchup against a Marlins team that is very unimposing and has been featuring a lot of left-handed bats lately. Like fellow lefty Matt Moore, Smyly should have a decent amount of success against the fish and he also carries a good deal of strikeout upside.
  • Jon Lester ($9,600) is seemingly coming at a reduced price in a road game at Cincy and I think that he makes for a nice play. The veteran lefty has seen the Reds three times this season and had two really nice DraftKings scores and one game was a bit of a dud, but I like his chances to produce a third good score. Lester has done a pretty good job at limiting the damage from the Reds’ best hitters and they are a team that can strikeout a lot, as evidenced by Lester’s 10 K performance against them earlier in the season.
  • Garrett Richards ($9,200) is pitching for an Angels team that is surging and very hungry for a post-season berth. He is the number one guy in their rotation and there’s no bigger game for the Angels this season than this one as they head into a 4-game series at Texas to conclude the regular season. The A’s generally don’t strikeout a whole lot, but Richards’ teammate Nick Tropeano punched out 11 A’s yesterday as perhaps the A’s have mailed it in. Richards has nice upside and has been pitching pretty well as of late.
  • Jordan Zimmermann ($8,100) is taking on the not so powerful Braves who he has baffled this season with a 1.97 ERA in 5 starts. Not usually known for his big strikeout appeal, Zimmermann has struck out nearly a batter per inning in the second half of the season (82 K in 84 IP) and definitely has some appeal here at a cheaper price and against a poor offense.
  • It may seem like a bargain for Scott Kazmir ($7,600), but I would not trust the lefty here. He hasn’t been sharp at all in September, the Astros are the worst road team in the AL (which hurts his chances at a win), and the Mariners have some right-handed bats that could really put a hurting on Kazmir (Nelson Cruz and Franklin Gutierrez). Avoid.
  • If you want to go cheap then I would suggest Andrew Cashner ($6,100) and Logan Verrett ($4,000). Cashner has been a huge disappointment this season, but on paper this is a pretty decent matchup pitching at Petco Park against a Brewers offense that is missing Ryan Braun. Cashner still carries a good amount of risk, but he does have big game potential. Verrett will likely be pretty highly owned due to his dirt cheap minimum price and a matchup against the lowly Phillies, but we can’t ignore him and the opportunity that he has. Verrett had a similar opportunity last week against the Braves and didn’t capitalize on it, but I would expect better of him this time and he has a great chance at a win.

HITTERS

  • The Mets seem like some pretty obvious stack option taking on the flyball heavy, unimpressive rookie Alec Asher. (NOTE: Beware of heavy winds blowing in from LF though)
  • The Angels will see the washed up veteran lefty Barry Zito, which presents a great opportunity for those right-handed bats.
  • The Rangers feature a lot of left-handed bats in their lineup, so taking on the lefty Matt Boyd may not seem ideal, but a few of those lefties have done well against Boyd this season. Rougned Odor and Mitch Moreland in particular have homered against him.
  • Mike Pelfrey has been absolute garbage on the road for the Twins this year with an ERA over 5.00, so the Indians seem like an ideal target that can be stacked with all those left-handed/switch-hitting bats they have. (NOTE: Beware of heavy winds blowing in from RF though)
  • Sneakily we can consider the Red Sox against the top priced pitcher Masahiro Tanaka who the Red Sox have hit well, as previously mentioned. (NOTE: Beware of heavy winds blowing in from LF though)
  • Also sneaky consideration should be given to the Mariners with those right-handed sluggers Nelson Cruz and Franklin Gutierrez having great potential. Gutierrez in particular is 10 for 23 with 3 HR against Kazmir.

***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.).  

***Article written before confirmation of starting lineups

***All stats from FanGraphs

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MLB DFS Strategy for Monday 9/28/15

Source: www.sportsnet.ca

Photo Source: http://www.sportsnet.ca

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 SEPTEMBER 28, 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

MLB DFS Strategy for Wednesday 9/23/15

Source: Ben Margot/Associated Press

Source: Ben Margot/Associated Press

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 SEPTEMBER 23, 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

MLB DFS Strategy for Monday 9/21/15

Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-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.).  

STRATEGY FOR MONDAY SEPTEMBER 21, 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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)

Embed from Getty Images

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

MLB DFS Strategy for Monday 8/17/15

Source: Associated Press

Source: Associated Press

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 17, 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