Daily Fantasy Strategy – 6/26 – For Draftstreet

We’ve talked about weather in this space a few times before, but (being my day job and all), I figured it could use some occasional expansion — you know — for those that really feel the absolute need to micromanage (be honest, that’s like half of the Rotographs demographic!). If you are like me and check your Draftstreet team (or daily fantasy lineups) somewhere between 6 and 7 PM ET, you probably want to do a quick check of the radar to look for any high impact rain events. I prefer to use the National Weather Service for a variety of personal reasons, but the vast majority of radars that weather sites use all use the same (WSR-88D) data, so it’s mainly a matter of taste (and ability to deal with blinking “click me!” ads). The below is just a quick example of the national radar mosaic I grabbed from the NWS around 9 AM ET this morning.


For fantasy purposes, we’re mainly concerned with A) large areas of rainfall or B) bright echos which are yellow/orange/red in color. The first is self-explanatory; large areas of rain overrunning a city could mean standing water on the infield and dangerous playing conditions. The second may not signal prolonged, steady rain, but intense bursts of precipitation as well as the potential for lightning, hail, or tornados (all of which typically require open-air stadium evacuations).

In the above example, if this were to be a radar slide from 6:30-6:45 PM (it’s not, so don’t worry!), I’d probably pull all guys playing Chicago out of my Draftstreet lineup. I don’t want to run the risk of a total washout (and it’s pouring in Chicago this morning). Even if the game is merely impeded by the rain, it greatly increases the likelihood that a starting pitcher only goes two innings if the tarp needs to come out.

Places that may be in danger of some weather issues when you check in on the weather this afternoon? Boston (4 PM start), New York, and Chicago. None have slam dunk rainout potential, but all could have some nasty storms around late in the day.

The Daily Five

J.P. Arencibia – $7,857 (Blue Jays have apparently decided that J.P. needs a day off. Boo-urns.)

It appears Arencibia may have finally (kinda sorta) figured out how to walk again, watching his BB% almost triple from an absurdly ugly 2.0% during the first two months of the year to a, still ugly, but more passable, 5.6% during June. With it, he’s seen a small uptick in wOBA, although he still is a bit off his BABIP-fueled April mark. A boom-or-bust, semi-value play, he’ll be facing Roberto Hernandez. The ex-Fausto Carmona has actually pitched better than most figured this season, but his K% has now fallen each month.

Ian Desmond – $7,685

After a sluggish May, Desmond has really found his stroke lately, doubling his 2013 tater total in this month alone. His K%/BB% splits look pretty steady all year, but BABIP killed him last month. While the pendulum has swung the other way, his price may still be a bit deflated. Another decent value play, this time against Wade Miley.

Mike Trout – $9,963

Maybe it’s just me, but any time you see Mike Trout below $10,000 against a left-handed pitcher (even one who has looked as impressive as Jose Alvarez), you should probably just jump on it. (Yes, I know people like to argue that Trout has reverse splits, but I’d argue the .371/.309 righty/lefty BABIP split drives the BA/OPS numbers).

R.A. Dickey – $8,592

OK. Maybe it’s because I just finally got around to watching “Knuckleball” last week (albeit half-awake on a trans-Atlantic flight). The reigning National League Cy Young winner has had a rough go of it (so far) in his return to the American League, but one team he has had success against in 2013 is the Tampa Bay Rays, posting a 1-0 mark with a 2.57 ERA and 10 punchouts in two starts. I’ll admit this is more of a gamble on volatility, but at less than half the price of an “elite” starter, I’ll take it and bank the extra cash.

Roy Oswalt -$7,939

Erm. I want to stop, I really, do. The aging Oswalt versus the Red Sox? I shouldn’t. But this is the same Oswalt (outside of the .667 BABIP) that looked like he turned back the clock last week against the Nats, whiffing nearly half the batters he faced in part thanks to a fastball velocity he hasn’t seen in nearly four years. I’d be in love with him if he was pitching in San Diego, but at least he’s not at Coors tonight. Roll the dice on him if you want to look for whiff upside and save a chunk of change on a starter to upgrade elsewhere.

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.

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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.

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There are few things Colin loves more in life than a pitcher with a single-digit BB%. Find him on Twitter @soxczar.

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Arencibia isn’t in today’s starting lineup …