Daily Fantasy Strategy – 6/13 – For Draftstreet

What do you do when two pitchers square off? A lot depends on context, of course, but on Thursday two great pitchers square off in a favorable environment. Adam Wainwright takes on Matt Harvey in new York, where it’s expected to be just 64-degrees and with a 17 MPH wind blowing in to third base.

Two good pitchers, both in a friendly environment, but there’s, at most, one win up for grabs. In a daily format like Fangraphs The Game, this doesn’t matter as much, since you’re playing for the long haul and peripheral stats rule the day. But in a daily one-and-done format like DraftStreet, finding that elusive victory is important – they’re worth 1.5 points versus -0.75 for a loss. That 2.25-point swing is equivalent to three extra strikeouts.

So what do you do? You could double-down on the match up and hope to secure 0.75 points (a win and a loss), but I’d only recommend that if the set-up is too extreme to pass on.

Really, you want to identify who you think will win, if not, who sets up better for strikeouts. Matt Harvey, I love you, but it’s tough to see you and your 24-36 Mets upsetting Adam Wainwright and his 42-23 Cardinals.

The Daily Five

Adam Wainwright – $20,080
Sure it’s an exorbitant price, but you’re paying top dollar for perhaps the best pitcher in baseball so far, taking on one of the worst offenses in a fine environmental set up. Did you realize there’s a 1.75 FIP underlying Wainwright’s 2.34 ERA? It’s batty how good he’s been now that he’s gone from “good strikeout pitcher with good control and a good batted ball profile” to “good strikeout pitcher who walks less than J.P. Arencibia and has a good batted ball profile.” If you need further convincing, the Metshave a .291 wOBA as a team and are the league’s third most strikeout-prone offense.

Ryan Zimmerman – $7,563
It’s Jeff Francis, a lefty, in Coors Field, at 89-degree heat, with a mild wind blowing out to left field. Pick your righty on the Nationals, really. I went with Zimmerman because he has a friendlier price tag than The Rated R Superstar and I recommended Ian Desmond yesterday, but you could just as easily plug in any of them depending on your budget and preference. This won’t, nay, can’t be pretty.

David Murphy – $5,128
There’s a similar story here, with no Rangers really being a poor choice. Esmil Rogers has been a pleasant surprise for my Toronto Blue Jays, posting a 1.97 FIP through 7.1 innings as a starter. It doesn’t even fail the eye test too glaringly, as Rogers has legitimately looked decent. But going once through the order is favorable. Even if he did hold the Rangers to a single run over four frames in his last outing, I don’t trust that to happen again. Murphy, a lefty with some appreciable pop, should get the start and benefit from 91-degree weather with a light wind in from right which, if we believe a commenter from yesterday, helps push balls out to right-center.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia – $9,292
I like Kevin Gausman in the long term, but right now he’s just not doing a great job keeping the ball to the edges of the plate, leading to a 94% contact rate on pitchers in the zone. We know that Salty can take the ball for a ride, and hitting from the left side he’ll hope the 19 MPH wind blowing to the right field foul pole doesn’t pull any potential dingers foul. Scattered storms are possible but they seem like a potential delay rather than a cancellation concern.

D.J. LeMahieu -$6,840
LeMahieu can get on base and he can run. Ross Detwiler is off to a nice start, but one that probably isn’t quite sustainable. No, LeMahieu is unlikely to use the favorable park and temperature to hit one out, but he is a likely candidate to take advantage of Washington’s poor running game control. The Nats have allowed the 11th most stolen bases, not extreme, but they’ve caught fewer runners than all but one other team, throwing out just 13% of would-be thieves. LeMahieu is yet to be caught, and I expect that to continue.

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This post, covering one of the leading sites for daily fantasy, is sponsored and made possible by the generous support of Draftstreet. 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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Blake Murphy is a news editor at The Score, and is a freelance sportswriter covering baseball, basketball, hockey and more. Think Bo Jackson, without the being good at every sport part. Follow him on Twitter @BlakeMurphyODC.

12 Responses to “Daily Fantasy Strategy – 6/13 – For Draftstreet”

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  1. Wyman Manderly says:

    You know its going to rain all day in NYC?

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    • Blake Murphy says:

      Yup, but it’s a day game and it’s “scattered storms” until about 5, so I was hoping they get it in.

      Also, pro-tip: don’t write these things the afternoon before, because weather changes.

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  2. thalooch says:

    I don’t care if they’re playing in a sandbox vs a high school pitcher. Spending 9.3% of your salary cap on Salty is just asking to lose. The guy strikes out 33% of the time. That’s an automatic negative .75 pts every game he plays. And thats if he only K’s once.

    Look, love salty and his power, but the price is ridiculous. Just like Waino’s price. I’m never spending 20% of my cap on one pitcher. They are just far more likely NOT to hit value than to hit value.

    The key to the DFS games is value. On DS, you have a 100k cap, and you need to hit about 40 FP on average (depending on the day) to consistently double-up. So you need to turn 40% of that salary into FP. Waino therefore needs 8 FP. Salty needs roughly 4.

    You spend 29% of your cap on 2 players, salty and waino, and you’ve really limited your options for the rest of your team. When you dish out top dollar for “studs”, they absolutely HAVE to hit, or else you simply need to nail all of your value plays, cause the rest of your team is likely made up of those.

    Baseball is just far too variable on a daily basis to count on your studs hitting.

    Salty is 9.2k cause he had 2 big games recently.

    I’m going to take Posey, Salvy, or Wieters all day for those prices today.

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    • Blake Murphy says:

      Your points are fair, for sure. It’s a thin day, which changes the dynamic a bit. Wainwright hit 10.5 pts, so I’m fine with the $ on him on a thin SP day.

      Your Salty points are definitely more fair, especially the Ks setting the bar higher. Thanks for commenting – I’ll keep in mind to avoid the very-high K guys in the future.

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      • thalooch says:

        It’s not just the K’s, that’s definitely a factor, it’s more about outsmarting the pricing algorithm. Salty’s price is set high based on a limited sample size of Kevin Gausman’s lack of effectiveness as a pitcher and Salty’s very recent performance. If we think that very recent performance is an indication of near future performance, than we can justify paying an above average price for player.

        Now, DS is quite possibly the hardest site to build lineups on because their pricing is so dynamic and the prices are reflective of matchups. It makes it harder to find value plays because even marginal players will have their prices raised when presented with plus matchups in offensive environments (kind of like LeMahieu for 7k today)

        Now Waino hit 10.5 pts. Great. But the point isn’t about his performance today, its about how often he achieves the benchmark and the risk we are taking by committing such a large % of our cap to just one player. Now I wish I had some complex formula which could answer that question, or tons of results, but I don’t. I simply know from past experience that even the safest plays on paper can backfire and that putting 20% of your cap on one player is more risky than having a more balanced lineup.

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      • Blake Murphy says:

        Nice call on Posey, big game.

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  3. jcxy says:

    Excellent zimm call–talked me out of arenado! Hooray

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  4. Madoff Withurmoni says:

    I always fall into the David Murphy trap where he gives me 2 PA’s and gets yanked when the lefty comes in for the 7th or for a D-replacement. And with this likely being a bullpen game for the Jays, I’d expect something similar tonight. May only get 2 PA’s to make it work.

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  5. thalooch says:

    I think Beltre for 7.8k is as close to “must play” as it gets. Posey for 7.1k vs Morton who is making his 1st start since coming off Tommy John also looks like excellent value. Yes, Posey is a traditional lefty killer, however this year his splits are not nearly as pronounced and he can still hit righties.

    another Giant value pay is Brandon Crawford in the 2-hole, as he is having a nice offensive year hitting .306 vs RHP.

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  6. Charles horn says:

    A lot of nice picks but Rogers not as bad advertised with nice peripherals as noted. I rode with Valencia. Expect badbeat in extra innings since in first now.

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    • Blake Murphy says:

      Rogers is confusing. I’m a Jays fan so I WANT this to be real, but I have no idea how he survived in that environment without striking anybody out.

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      • ThaLooch says:

        A lot of it might have to do with that the Rangers are just in a funk offensively. I don’t think there is any sabermetric analysis/equivalent to this but for the past few weeks most of the time the rangers bats have certainly underperformed despite favorable offensive conditions.

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