Daily Fantasy Strategy – 7/19/13 – For Draftstreet

In the preseason, I took a look at the pitchers and catchers who are the best and worst match ups for base stealers. Today I want to update that piece. The home run is king in daily fantasy, but steals can help as well. Picking the best base stealers of the day won’t win you a lot of daily contests, but you can’t spend big on power hitters at every position. A steal will get you a couple of points on DraftStreet, plus it comes along with the point from the single or three quarters of a point from the walk that allowed the hitter to reach base.

To determine the most and least favorable pitchers for base stealers, I took a look at all pitchers who have faced 300 stolen base opportunities since the beginning of 2012, which yielded a sample of about 115 pitchers. Baseball-reference.com defines a stolen base opportunity as all plate appearances in which a runner was on first or second with the next base open. Below is a chart showing the pitchers with the best and worst ratios of stolen bases per stolen bases per opportunity, best meaning the least favorable to base stealers and worst meaning most favorable to base stealers.

SB per SBO

For catchers, I looked at all catchers who have caught at least 700 innings since the beginning of 2012 (43 catchers) and considered the percentage of time a base stealer was caught trying to run on a particular catcher as well as an advanced stat, rSB. The Fielding Bible describes rSB as giving the catcher credit for throwing out runners and preventing them from attempting steals in the first place. You can find this stat under the advanced fielding tab here on the site. Below are the lists of the best and worst catchers in this sample, best meaning least favorable to base stealers and worst meaning most favorable to base stealers.

rSB

The Daily Five

Left-handed Royal hitters, varying prices: Anibal Sanchez is the only pitcher from the “most favorable to base stealers” side of the list above. He is a right-handed pitcher, so some of the left-handed Royals who can steal bases could have value. Those guys are Eric Hosmer (1B, $6,525, 7 SB), Elliot Johnson (2B, $4,314, 12 SB), Alex Gordon (OF, $6,470, 5 SB), and Jarrod Dyson (OF, $6,839, 12 SB).

Coco Crisp, $7,789: Assuming Chris Iannetta starts for the Angels today, this will be a good base stealing match up for Crisp. He’ll also face right-hander Jered Weaver, and he’s been much better hitting from the left side in the last couple of years.

David Price, $16,795: Does his opponent have a below average wRC+ vs. LHP? Check. The Blue Jays have an 88 wRC+ vs. LHP. Is he avoiding bad conditions for pitchers (i.e. wind blowing out, high temperatures)? Check. With a 40% chance of scattered thunderstorms in Toronto, their retractable roof will presumably be closed meaning no wind and cooler temperatures.

Kyle Lohse: $12,006: Does his opponent have a below average wRC+ vs. RHP? Check. The Marlins have the worst wRC+ vs. RHP. Is he avoiding bad conditions for pitchers (i.e. wind blowing out, high temperatures)? Check. Again, with a chance of rain in Miami, their retractable roof will presumably be closed.

Mike Leake, $12,506: Leake has the good match up. The Pirates are below average vs. RHP, and they have the 5th highest strikeout rate vs. RHP. But the conditions won’t be ideal. The problem is that the conditions everywhere look to be less than ideal today. It will be cool in San Francisco, but Chad Gaudin and Ian Kennedy are the options there. No thanks. It’ll be cool in Colorado. But it’s Colorado. The roof will be closed in Houston, but Joe Saunders is going for Seattle against an Astros team that is actually decent against LHP, while Bud Norris is going for Houston against a Mariners lineup that is OK against RHP. Everywhere else will be hot with the wind blowing out in almost all parks. But it’ll be low-80′s in Cincinnati and the wind will be blowing more right to left than out, so these conditions aren’t as bad as elsewhere.

One Day FREE Fantasy Contest – $300 in cash prizes

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


6 Responses to “Daily Fantasy Strategy – 7/19/13 – For Draftstreet”

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  1. William says:

    Price hasn’t regained his velocity from last year. And last week the Astros scattered quite a few liners around the field. What’s your take? Do you really trust him to take on a better offense that could really do damage against those hittable pitches?

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    • Brett Talley says:

      I don’t think the Blue Jays are better offense at all against left-handed pitchers. The Astros have a .313 wOBA versus lefties, and the Jays have a .305 wOBA against them. So I’m not worried about the matchup.

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  2. Doug says:

    Thoughts on Samardzija v Rockies? At 10,781 this seems like incredible value for a guy who’s underperforming his FIP and xFIP. Rockies are 97 wRC+ v righties. I know it’s a risk in Colorado but the upside of K’s just seems too good to pass up at this price. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts here as compared to your two SP recs who face mediocre offenses but aren’t necessarily big K guys (which carry enormous point weight on DraftStreet).

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  3. El Brontolone says:

    I don’t know how much I love DPrice at that cost but when Mark DeRosa, Rajai Davis and Maicer Izturis are batting 4/5/6 it can’t be THAT risky.

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  4. thalooch says:

    i get your analysis with Leake but he is really really outperforming his peripherals. Has a 4.11 Siera and a 3.96 xFIP. I don’t think DS prices pitchers based on xFIP but rather on ERA which is 2.69, over a full run lower. His pedestrian k-rate may get a boost, but he could very easily get saddled with a loss given Liriano’s effectiveness.

    You just don’t touch pitchers in Coors, you don’t. Doubront for a similar price to Leake has a much better K-rate, is facing a Yankees team that is abysmal vs LHP and is a much better win candidate. Yes, the Park is not ideal, but its not THAT much of a difference than GAP.

    Kennedy is not that bad of a gamble at his price actually. Sure, he’s been awful but his gopheritis gets mitigated in SF, and not to mention the Giants with a team iso of .126 vs RHP are not huge power threats anyway.

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