During Football season, we brought you the Ownership percentage article and gave you some swerves to help you in your GPPs. During basketball, we broke down the projections for you and tried to point out guys in good spots. From our baseball research during the 2014 season, we came across a few things that increase your chances to win large field tournaments. We have designed our baseball article to work with the way players think for GPPs. Here’s how it works:
For starters, we will discuss the starters. Starting pitching is very important in daily fantasy MLB. We will talk about the guys we love, the value guys who can go for a high salary multiplier, and then the gas cans who we can target hitters against. For those of you who do play tourney’s, we will next discuss the stacks we have an eye on. Let’s face it, stacking does work in GPPs. We’ll talk about the chalk stack, then give you a few idea’s of less chalky stacks to differentiate yourself. Finally we will mention a couple other hitters we like you can mix in with those sacks. A few big bats and a few value guys to help round out those rosters. As for as daily fantasy goes, Baseball might be my favorite game to play. I couldn’t be more excited to transition over to MLB and help you guys make some money. Let’s get to it:
We are a few games into the season now and most teams are throwing there third or fourth starters. On Opening day we had our choice of Aces, but today the pitching choices are pretty slim. Here’s my favorite plays:
Stephen Strasburg, Washington
He’s the most expensive pitcher on all sites today, but also the likely high scorer on the day. Strasburg is a guy who averages more than a K per inning. Strikeouts are our friend in DFS, so he’s a guy who is always on the radar. He faces a Mets team today that has struggled to get hits against this staff so far and I think he keeps that streak alive. While he is expensive, he’s also the most consistent and safest points on the day. When you can roster a guy who is safe and has upside, it’s a no brainer given the other choices on today’s slate.
Ian Kennedy, San Diego
Kennedy is another guy I will be using today. Strasburg should be incredibly high owned today, but if you did want to fade him, than I think Kennedy is where you look. He gets to pitch the opener in the cavernous Pet Co park in San Diego, which is always a place we want to look at guys on the hill. He gets a solid Giants line up to go against, but he has pitched well against them at home in the past. His ceiling is not as high as Strasburg’s, but his price is also much lower, so he doesn’t need to have as big a game to reach value. He’s a big favorite on the day and I think the Padres bats are due to wake up. If you can afford it, pair them together, but make sure you have at least one of these guys on your rosters.
Shane Greene, Detroit
This is a guy I think could be the top value guy on the day. His price is cheap all over and he has a ton of upside off that low level. He is a big favorite on the day and averaged a K per inning last year in his time in the bigs. He does tend to let a few base runners get on, but with a low price and strikeout upside he should be able to not only reach but exceed value today. He is also a big favorite, so the win bonus is probable.
Daniel Norris, Toronto
The young prospect from Toronto looked real good in the preseason. Norris is a guy the Jays have been waiting to make the big club for a little while now. He averaged over a K per inning with an ERA of 3.28 and a WHIP under 1.10 during the spring. He is cheap all over as well and is just slightly below Green for me today on the list of guys who should give you the most bang for your buck.
There’s a lot of gas cans on the mound who could get lit up for a ton of runs today, so picking the chalkiest stack could be a little tough. In order to do so, I usually look at a combination of the total runs expected and the Vegas lines. A lot of players use the lines when making their decisions and the chalkiest stack tends to also be the one Vegas expects to do the best. Today that puts us on Detroit. The Tigers/Twins game has the highest total and one of the larger spreads. Kyle Gibson is a guy who gives up more than a hit per hitting. He is also a low strikeout guy which will help you on Ace’s or Fan Duel where strikeouts cost your hitters points. Even on DK though, he should be a guy you go after today. Detroit bats are not cheap and have not really been producing. The Chalkiest stack on the day doesn’t always win, so while many of our peers are going after the Miggy’s and JDs and Kinsler’s of the world, here’s a few other stack idea’s for you to roll out to differentiate yourself:
Boston Red Sox:
If you don’t think the Sox are pissed off about getting owned by Aaron Harang yesterday than you are kidding yourself. That line up has a lot of solid hitters and they just did not score any runs. If you watched that game, Harang had a few hairy situations he was able to get out of and the Red Sox had a few well hit balls that were right at some of the fielders. Baseball is not an easy game and that will happen sometimes. The take away for me though, is that today they will be lower owned and have an even better match up to exploit. Despite being a RHP, Buchanan got knocked around by righty hitters in 2014 to the tune of a .293 average and a home run allowed every 6.5 innings. Napoli, Pedroia, and Hanley are all big right handed bats that he should struggle with. Of course none of those guys are cheap, but you can create a nice Sox stack with some of the value pitchers included and still have money to pay up for a big bat or a Strasburg or Kennedy if you choose. I expect the Sox to put up some runs as they are throwing Masterson who should need all the run support he can get.
The A’s get Nick Martinez and another day of feasting on the weak Rangers starting pitching. Martinez was a guy many in DFS know well, because we targeted bats against him all last season. The A’s have put up some big run totals already to start this season,, so you know the are capable. Many people do not roster them due to a lack of household names, so you know they will be under owned. Lastly, they are all cheap, so you can stack the As bats and still go get a stud bat or two from elsewhere and afford to grab a Strasburg for safety and upside from your starters. I know it’s not sexy, but I am perfectly fine flying under the radar and winning ugly
No matter what site you do play on, there’s a limit to how many bats you can take from one team. Therefore while stacking has shown the best results in GPPs, you do need to include a few other guys in that mix. Here’s a couple of guys we have our eye on today who might be the guys you need to work in those line ups.
Billy Hamilton – Lefty lead off man gets a RHP today which is what he likes best. He likes it best because he has a higher OBP against righties and because RHP are easier to steal off of. Hamilton has the green light this year to run at will and so far he has done so. Stolen bases are an underrated way to boost your score and the guys who can get a hit, steal a bag, and come around to score are putting up double digit fantasy points by doing so. He’s been going off at lower ownership rates than I would expect and think he can produce a high upside game today in your GPPs and cash line ups.
Carlos Santana – I find myself with a lot of money and a hole to fill in my line ups when I stack certain teams and with Santana having catcher eligibility and a decent price, I find he fits nicely into some of those teams. He went yard yesterday and gets another young pitcher today in a solid hitters park. He tends to fly under the radar in spots where he still available as a catcher (DK) and am hoping the HR yesterday does not do too much to change that.
Stephen Vogt – Vogt is another guy with both catcher and 1B eligibility. He’s about a thousand dollars cheaper than Santana today and makes for a solid play as a catcher on DK if you need to save. His has the right splits match up against a gas can today. I wish he hit a little higher in the order, but I’ll take a 6 hole hitter against a guy who should give up a lot of runs here.
Mark Canha – The As young 1b/OF prospect has picked up where he left off in the spring. He has been raking since the calendar changed and may get another chance to do so tomorrow for that depleted OF. He is too cheap not to use if he gets another spot start, so feel free to roll him out there if that is again the case.
Conor Gillespie – Gillespie got the day off yesterday with a lefty on the hill, so today he should be back with a righty toeing the rubber. 3B is not a stacked spot today and it is somewhere I would look to save. I’m not as high on Edinson Volquez as some others are. Kaufman stadium is not an easy place to go yard, but it isn’t a horrible place to hit. Gillespie does not have much power, but can spray the ball all over the field. It actually plays more to his strength.
Getting your pitching right is huge in MLB DFS. Research showed us last year that we need to get about 4 points per dollar spent or more from our starters to keep pace and win a GPP. That can mean a great start by an expensive guy and a good start by a real cheap guys as well, which is why the most often pairing is one stud with one mid range pitcher.
Stacking a group of 4-6 hitters against a pitcher who should get rocked is a high variance type of play. There’s a lot of upside to it if you guess right, and a lot of downside if you are wrong. In a GPP though we need to go high risk, high reward if we want to make it to the top of the leader board. Therefore the next step to building a big winner is deciding which stack of players you want to go with. When deciding my stacks, the opposing pitcher is more important than the players I am choosing to stack together. Stacking is more about the skill level of the opposing pitcher than it is about the quality of your hitters.
The final piece of the puzzle is rounding out that roster with the OTHER BATS. On DK that usually means the two other bats from teams outside of your stack. On FD that means the four other open spots. This rules are not hard and fast, so you can go with a four or five man stack on DK and a three man stack on FD if you like another player better. Often times when line ups come out I will make a switch to a good value guy somewhere which opens up money for me to upgrade something else. As much as I love my stacks and the success I have seen them bring, do not be a slave to it. If you can afford to upgrade to a guy you like better, don’t not do it because it breaks up your stack. If anything, that little change may be enough to differentiate your roster and push you ahead of the other teams.