Baseball is a great sport for DFS (daily fantasy sports). Most nights, there are so many games that you can find a ton of great picks, and employ whatever strategy you desire. There are also always some fantastic, contrarian moves that can make you look like a genius when all is said and done. Moreover, the depth to which you can analyze and strategize is simply endless.
These are your most important DFS selections. DraftKings and FanDuel score differently, with DraftKings placing a bit more emphasis on strikeouts, and FanDuel awarding more points for the win. DraftKings also awards points for complete games, no hitters (good luck predicting that one), and other categories, and deducts points for things like walks and hits. There are some common strategies to both sites, though.
You will need to be comfortable with a few strategies for pitchers because it’s not feasible to pick two really high-priced players in these slots. One popular strategy is to pair a high-end pitcher with someone who’s in the bottom quarter of salaries. To do this, you will need to have your finger on the pulse of the mediocre teams or newer pitchers, so that you can pick one high-end pitcher and one much less expensive pitcher with a good match-up.
Another strategy is to pick a couple picks with middle of the road pricing. If you do this, you need to pick pitchers who are going to get the win. They are probably in the middle of the pecking order, because they usually only last five innings, or do not accrue much in the way of secondary statistics. On DraftKings, assignment to the middle of the pack usually means lower strikeouts, innings, or both. In this case, you could try to identify a pitcher who doesn’t usually light it up with strikeouts, but is facing a team prone to these failures.
The strategy here is going to vary significantly if you are playing a 50/50 “double up” or a large tournament event. For a 50/50, you can select some brand names, and you can spread your picks out over a variety of teams. For a tournament, you must consider some contrarian plays, as you can’t usually do well in the tournament if you have the same picks as 40 percent of the other entrants. You are also going to have to consider “stacking” your lineup, which means selecting multiple players from the same team that you think could have a big day.
For all formats, it is always a good idea to take a look at batter versus pitching statistics, but make sure there is a relevant sample size. Your outfielder that is three for four off the pitcher is probably not any more likely to have a good night than any other player on the field.
Where to spend your money is, of course, the big question. I think there is tremendous value in knowing who the hot hitters are around the league, and spending your money on them. It is a bit of an understatement to suggest that hitting in baseball can be streaky. If you play DFS every day, you will intuitively know who is hot and who is cold. It is good advice to study recent game history to dive deeper.
My favorite strategy is to find one or two less expensive outfielders who are on a hot streak, so that I can pony up for a couple more expensive and more proven, consistent players. There are a lot of games every night, and six outfielders playing in each. That means there are always decently-priced outfielders who are playing way above their pay grade.
There are some positions, like catcher and second base, where there aren’t that many great offensive players overall in the league. In a tournament, you can buck up for these, so that you are not yielding advantage to the field, or you can sandbag a little, spend your money elsewhere, and hope that your contrarian picks in these positions pay off.
Always check the weather … twice, maybe three times, on any game day when you are playing DFS. Look at the hourly forecast on a real weather site, like www.weather.com. If you want to play meteorologist, look at the radar and the way storms have moved the last two hours. Don’t trust the DraftKings’ weather forecast. Check the real hourly forecast (and radar) a few minutes before your first games begin. You might want to check before later games, too, if you have games you can switch your picks to in case of emergency. Bottom line: if you have games that are rained out, you are going to lose. The same is true if your starting pitcher only goes four innings and then a two-hour rain delay rolls in and he is sent to the clubhouse. Don’t gamble on the weather, as that is a guaranteed loser. It’s okay to make contrarian picks in your lineup; it’s not okay to be the only person who thinks that a game isn’t threatened by rain. Getting zero stats because your genius picks are eating sunflower seeds waiting for a summer thunderstorm to pass isn’t fun. In fact, it will earn you a losing ticket, and that isn’t why you come to FantasyDFSExperts.com. Winning is far more fun.
If you can pay attention to the news in the hour leading up to the first game, you can usually find some substitutes who are going for a cheap price, and are likely to deliver value at their position now that their name has been called. While this works for any position, I think you are more likely to succeed with these “fancy” picks at batting positions. My cutest and smartest pitching picks are prone to failure, and such high-profile failures can easily bring down your whole lineup.
In the end, remember that we play DFS for fun, and winning is more fun than losing. Hopefully, this overview on Fantasy DFS Baseball gives you a good big-picture view of the game. Our paid content is designed to provide you timely and insightful professional picks that we hope will be worth far more than you paid for them every week, month or year. Click here to give our paid service a try. (insert link here)