Daily Fantasy Strategy — July 22 — For DraftKings

So, last weekend we got our first taste of DraftKings. The results – mine, anyways – were kind of meh. Anthony Rizzo (Friday) and Paul Goldschmidt (Saturday) were easily my best picks of the weekend, combining to hit three home runs while reaching base in seven of their eleven plate appearances.

The pitchers I recommended struggled, especially Dallas Keuchel. I wasn’t able to watch his start, but he must not have been fooling anyone, considering he surrendered twelve hits in 5 innings; it’s a miracle he only gave up three earned runs. The night before, Bartolo Colon was rolling along (not a fat joke) nicely until the fifth inning, in which he surrendered four runs and any chance I had at placing highly in my contests.

All in all, it was a decent weekend. The DraftKings app came in handy, because I spent the majority of my weekend on an interstate.

Probables Chart

If the chart looks a little odd it’s because there is way more green than usual. Other than Adam Wainwright, Scott Kazmir, Jordan Zimmermann, and maybe Homer Bailey, you likely aren’t actively trying to avoid any one pitcher today.

Interesting thing of the day: J.A. Happ (since 2012), Jacob Turner, and Bruce Chen (since 2012) all have shown reverse platoon splits, albeit in limited sample sizes. Happ will face Boston. Turner and Chen will face Atlanta and Chicago (AL), respectively.

Targeting any pitcher above highlighted green is an option, but I especially like targeting the following (including the men above): Chase Anderson (both sides of the plate, but don’t assume left handed batters have a large advantage considering his change-up’s effectiveness: 22.4% swSTR on the year), Hector Santiago (RHB), Jake Peavy (LHB), Miguel Gonzalez (both sides; he’s facing the Angels), Nick Martinez (LHB), and Vance Worley (LHB).

As for pitching, if you’re looking to roll the dice, Danny Salazar is back today. Over his last nine starts (51 innings) in Triple-A, he’s posted a 3.35 ERA (3.59 FIP) while striking out nearly 30% of the batters he’s faced. Long balls will probably be an issue for Salazar until he figures something out. The Twins have only managed to hit 71 home runs so far, though, so if you’re going to risk using him, today’s not a bad option.

The Daily Five

Mike Napoli – $4,500

Napoli’s homered in two straight, and he’s facing a lefty today; he has a career wRC+ of 144 versus left handed pitching. Yes, Happ does have a reverse split over the past few seasons, but he’s still allowed a .337 wOBA versus right handed batters over his career.

Adam Jones – $4,700

Jones, like Napoli, has started his second half on a tear. Only Troy Tulowitzki has been better than Jones (238 wRC+) versus left handed pitching this year.

Jacoby Ellsbury – $4,700

Nick Martinez hasn’t been in the majors long, but he’s been awful versus left handed batters. Hopefully Ellsbury is able to put New York’s short porch to use today.

Derek Norris – $3,600

Oberhotlzer’s not awful by any stretch of the imagination, but Norris’ success versus left handed pitching (155 wRC+) weighs too heavily on my mind to pass him over. Especially considering many options are taken from us thanks to scary-ish weather forecasts.

Danny Salazar – $7,200

Ah, why not? Salazar burned me badly in April, without his blowups I might be a couple spots in higher in ERA and WHIP in two leagues. I can’t leave him be, though. His match-up isn’t bad; Minnesota does work the count, but hopefully he attacks the zone and forces them to swing the bat.

This post, covering one of the leading sites for daily fantasy, is sponsored and made possible by the generous support of DraftKings. FanGraphs maintains complete editorial control of the postings, and brings you these posts in a continued desire to provide the best analytical information on the latest in baseball.

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Landon is a senior writer at The Fantasy Fix. You can follow and interact with him on Twitter (@joneslandon).

8 Responses to “Daily Fantasy Strategy — July 22 — For DraftKings”

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  1. sneakyb97 says:

    Danny Salazar seems to be on everyone’s list today. In that case, do you like the idea of fading him in GPPs?

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    • Landon Jones says:

      It does make sense to avoid using him if you want to diversify a little. The biggest problem for me there is that there aren’t many cheap-ish options that I like today. I don’t hate Petit ($7,600), but he might not give you many innings; Jimmy Nelson ($6,700) seems risky, but his strikeouts should give him a decent floor; And, of course, Kyle Hendricks ($6,500) is an option simply because the Padres are horrid and he does get a good amount of whiffs.

      If you want a cheap option, out of those three I’d go with Petit or Hendricks; The Phillies and Padres rank 29th and 30th, respectively, versus right handed pitching.

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  2. diamondhoggers says:

    Ah why not on Salazar? Famous last words.

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  3. sneakyb97 says:

    Landon, your chart is full of very valuable info. I’ve been doing something similar using an excel download from your website, but the major issue I run into is it takes too much time to identify today’s pitchers in my spreadsheet. If there was an easier way to download the data just for today’s probable starters, that would help immensely. Do you have any suggestion for me?

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    • Landon Jones says:

      Unfortunately, I don’t know of a way. I usually have MLB.com open in one window in order to see the probables. I have our pitching leaderboard open in the other. Scrolling to the bottom of the leaderboard allows you to type in certain pitchers so that you can create a custom leaderboard. Then I just type each probable in and then strip all of the stats away except for the ones you see in the chart.

      It is a little time consuming, but I’ve gotten used to it so I can usually have the chart created in five minutes or so.

      That’s the easiest way I’ve found so far.

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  4. sneakyb97 says:

    Thanks Landon. I’ve tried that before and may go back to that method.

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