Daily Fantasy Strategy – 6/17/13 – For Draftstreet

Steve Saude has been looking at match up data to forecast strikeout rate. His posts are very advanced, somewhat confusing, and have lots of pretty graphs. You can read them here and here, and I suggest that you do. The main thing I took away was that batters and pitchers contribute equally to the outcome of his expected K% formula. Strikeouts are a big deal when picking daily pitchers, so we should be looking at how much the opposing team strikes out against pitchers of the same handedness to try and pick pitchers’ with high strikeout totals. We all look at a pitcher’s match up, but we should be looking at the K% of the opposing team in addition to their overall offensive performance. Below are each teams K% versus both left and right handed pitching along with their wRC+.


vs. L vs. R
Team K% wRC+ Team K% wRC+
Astros 25.30% 106 Astros 25.70% 81
Red Sox 23.50% 94 Braves 24.10% 108
Braves 23.00% 88 Indians 23.50% 107
Mariners 22.60% 95 Mets 23.50% 85
Mets 22.00% 81 Pirates 22.70% 91
Pirates 21.70% 86 Mariners 21.80% 94
Nationals 21.70% 67 Nationals 21.80% 87
Marlins 21.50% 70 White Sox 21.50% 78
Phillies 21.30% 95 Padres 21.00% 100
White Sox 21.30% 71 Twins 20.70% 94
Cubs 21.20% 86 Red Sox 20.60% 122
Indians 21.10% 113 Yankees 20.30% 87
Brewers 20.90% 107 Reds 20.20% 96
Twins 20.70% 87 Dodgers 19.90% 92
Yankees 20.00% 81 Blue Jays 19.70% 107
Reds 19.70% 102 Athletics 19.70% 96
Angels 19.70% 83 Diamondbacks 19.40% 97
Athletics 19.30% 112 Cubs 19.30% 91
Padres 19.00% 105 Phillies 19.20% 92
Tigers 18.50% 116 Rockies 18.50% 108
Rockies 18.30% 94 Cardinals 18.50% 115
Rangers 18.30% 90 Brewers 18.40% 95
Rays 18.10% 128 Rays 18.00% 105
Diamondbacks 17.50% 80 Royals 17.80% 80
Blue Jays 17.40% 79 Angels 17.70% 116
Orioles 17.30% 102 Rangers 17.60% 104
Royals 17.00% 102 Orioles 17.20% 110
Cardinals 16.80% 88 Marlins 17.20% 68
Dodgers 16.50% 101 Tigers 16.10% 110
Giants 16.40% 104 Giants 16.00% 103

We all know the Marlins are a good match up, but maybe they’re not the best match up for right-handers because they don’t strikeout much. And maybe the Royals aren’t as good of a match up as you might have thought given that they don’t strikeout much. On the flip side, the Red Sox and Braves seem like bad match ups, but don’t be afraid to start left-handers against them because they strikeout a lot.

The Daily Five

I recommend you spend more on pitching than hitting because pitchers score more points on average, so you need to increase your odds of getting big points out of a starter by spending on them. Let’s look at today’s most expensive starters and find the best match ups.

6-17 SP

Let’s start by cutting Turner, de la Rosa, and Harang off the bottom of the list. They suck. But back at the top, I’m not interested in Scherzer because he faces the Orioles who are above average vs. RHP and don’t strikeout much. Miller faces the Cubs who have a 91 wRC+ vs. RHP, but they don’t strikeout a lot. And that’s the same story for Shields against the aforementioned Royals.

But Patrick Corbin ($15,655) has a great match up. The Marlins are about 30% below average against both left and right handed pitching. But they strikeout much more against LHP. As a result, Corbin is my first pitcher for the day.

Liriano and Gee are no good because the Reds and Braves are both above average against pitchers of their handedness. And why is Gee the 6th most expensive pitcher of the day? I love him more than anyone, so I’m aware that he’s been better recently. But he hasn’t been that good, and the Braves are not a good match up for right-handers.

Mike Leake ($13,212) is the next guy with a good match up. He’ll face the Pirates who are 9% below average vs. RHP and who have the 5th highest K% vs. RHP. So there’s your second starter of the day.

Wood will face the Cardinals who are not nearly as good against left-handers like Wood as they are against righties, but they have the 3rd lowest K% vs. RHP.

The last three guys, Hudson, Norris, and Straily are all decent plays today. Hudson has the Mets who have the 4th highest K% vs. RHP and are 15% below average against them. Norris has the White Sox who have the second worst wRC+ vs. RHP as well as the 8th highest K%. And Straily has the Rangers who are slashing .222/.295/.371 in the last 14 days as a team. Whoof. But I’m going with Tim Hudson ($12,479) as my 3rd pitcher because he’s the only one of the trio with an xFIP under 4.00.

As for hitters, David Freese ($6,857) seems like a bit of a bargain. He’s only the 10th most expensive 3B, and he’s been on a tear lately. He’s hitting .379 over the last 30 days and .404 over the last 15. He’s also facing a lefty today, and he has a wRC+ of 131 against them for his career. Jason Kubel ($6,546) also seems like a nice deal. He’s hitting .343 over the last 15 days, he’s facing a righty and has a wRC+ of 120 against them for his career, and he’s playing at home where last year his wOBA was about 30 points better than it was on the road.

One Day FREE Fantasy Contest – $300 in cash prizes

Daily Fantasy is easy — you pick a lineup that’s good for one night only, and then you’re eligible to win cash. FanGraphs readers are hereby invited to enter a FREE one-day fantasy league with $300 in prizes.

CLICK HERE to sign up now!

This free contest will be Pick ’em style drafting. The way Pick ‘Em leagues work is you have eight tiers of players and each tier will have players to choose from. You select one player from each tier. Nothing to lose and it takes five minutes to build a team. You can adjust your roster up until the contest starts on this Friday, at which time your rosters will lock and the Live Scoreboard will be available.

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

Print This Post

You can find more of Brett's work on TheFantasyFix.com or follow him on Twitter @TheRealTAL.

12 Responses to “Daily Fantasy Strategy – 6/17/13 – For Draftstreet”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. Charles H says:

    These choices are ultimately not entirely consistent with Saude’s research that indicates Scherzer and Miller are superior picks to both Leake and Corbin not to mention that they are better pitchers.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • El Brontolone says:

      Charles – you take Max and Shelby and I’ll take Leake, Corbin and $8800 and we’ll see who wins.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Charles H says:

    Miller and Scherzer strike out about 30 percent of Batters while Leake strikes out 15 percent and I’m sure the Cubs strikeout just fine against good pitchers.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Brett Talley says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      You’re correct in your point that the pitcher’s K ability is very important if not more important. But I’m just trying to highlight that people should also be looking at how much the team a pitcher is facing strikes out. To make that point I had to pick some guys facing high K% teams today.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Charles H says:

    Fine but when Scherzer faced Baltimore this year he struck out ten and Lynn struck out 8 Cubs and Shelby should do the same. Leaks has struck out 7 Pirates this year in two starts and they hit .362 against him.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. chris says:

    Really think Corbin is risky today. Yes, it’s true that the Marlins strike out against lefties. But Corbin essentially throws fastball/slider exclusively, and without that strikeout pitch to use against all the right handed bats, his k/rate really suffers:

    10.55 k/9 vs lefties 21IP
    5.79 k/9 vs righties 65IP

    It follows that his numbers aren’t as good against right handed bats (though hes been pretty good anyway.) Given this I’m inclined to take the righties who can hit fastballs (ruggiano, ozuna,) if you need a cheap OF option… and needless to say, im looking for a big Stanton game.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. thalooch says:
    FanGraphs Supporting Member

    I know Corbin is facing the Marlins and all, but 15.6k is an awful lot to spend on a pitcher with an xFIP of 3.81 and SIERA of 3.87. Not to mention in a hitter’s park with a gametime temp of 105(even with the roof closed it should still be in the mid-80’s). His average strikeout rate of 19.3% is nothing to write home about either.

    He’s recently had some struggles vs the Padres, Cubs, and the Dodgers, not exactly offensive juggernauts, (although the Padres have been quite good vs LHP)

    It’s not inconceivable that a 2nd year starter is going to struggle as the weather heats up.

    I think the same thing can be said for Leake. I’m wary of overpaying for pitcher’s who may be pitching over the head and getting roughed up now that more favorable hitting conditions are underway, namely temperature. Especially in very favorable hitter’s parks.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. DL says:

    Where can I find that chart showing teams’ K rates and wRC+ vs L/R pitching?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. thalooch says:
    FanGraphs Supporting Member

    The guys I like: Bud Norris vs the AAA White Sux. Shields vs a strikeout prone Indians team that is trotting out Carlos Carrasco. Jason Vargas vs a Mariners team that K’s a lot to lefties and lacks a lot of punch. Not to mention Harang pitches quite poorly vs the Angels and this could be an easy W for Vargas.

    I am of the belief that it is far easier to pitch with a lead then in a tie game. If the lead is considerable, I think it gets even easier.

    The way the Rangers have hit, or shall I say have failed to hit of late, Straily makes for an interesting start as well, especially vs Nick Tepesch who’s been struggling.

    Lastly, my wildcard pick is Josh Johnson. We know he’s got strikeout stuff when he’s “on”, and the Rockies are not as scary without Tulo and away from Coors. He should get ample run support as the Blue Jays have been heating up and De La Rosa is not scaring anyone. However this is prob more of a GPP play than a 50/50 play.

    Lastly, no one is giving up more HR’s this year than Dan Haren. This is a good recipe for Phillies hitters in Citizen’s bank park. Last 3 years he’s been hit harder by righties than lefties, but I still think Rollins at 5.9k is a solid play. For 4.8k Delmon Young provides some upside as well.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Brett Talley says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      I have Rollins in my lineup as well.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • thalooch says:
        FanGraphs Supporting Member

        btw, my user id is “Thinair” on DS, if you ever want to see my lineups. I rarely get to put as much time/research into them as I want to (full time job, blah blah), but they’re fun and it’s a challenging site. I’ve had greater success on other sites where it’s easier to manipulate the pricing algorithm.

        Vote -1 Vote +1