Daily Fantasy Strategy – 8/15 – For Draftstreet

A few times recently in this space I’ve highlighted the impact that multi-home run or multi-stolen base games can have on your daily fantasy output. Well, after the day Joe Mauer put up yesterday, I thought I’d pull the same data for four- and five-hit games.

Believe it or not, there have been 265 instances of a player notching four or more hits in a game already in 2013. That’s more than multi-home run games or multi-stolen base games, though the fantasy impact falls somewhere in between.

Multi-SB Multi-HR 4+ Hit
# 161 169 263
Team W-L 99-62 130-39 185-80
Avg DS Pts 8.6 17.4 11.8

That’s impressive and not all that rate, although I’d posit four-hit games are almost impossible to predict. But hey, if you had Joe Mauer yesterday (16.25 points), there’s a good chance you were in the money.

Additional note: There have been 15 instances of five- or six-hit games but teams have gone just 8-7 when having such a player. Those players have averaged 15.7 fantasy points, or still less than a multi-homer game averages.

The Daily Five
Sonny Gray – $9,654
Make sure you look in the “RP” bin for Gray as he’s not listed as a starter today. He draws the strikeout-friendly Houston Astros (25.3% K-rate against right handed pitchers, .292 wOBA). That match-up has extra weight as Gray, himself, shows strong strikeout potential, having punched out a batter an inning as Triple-A this season and whiffing five Blue Jays in six innings in his lone start this season.

Tyson Ross – $13,222
This might be your last chance to grab Ross in non-daily leagues as well. Ross was great in 2011 but struggled in 2012, leading to him being more swing-man than starter this year. He hasn’t disappointed, with a 3.60 FIP and a 2.75 ERA, numbers that actually improve as a starter. Ross has also struck out nearly a batter an inning as a starter this year and draws the New York Mets at Petco Park, a favorable match-up.

Derek Norris -$6,423
Norris has been smashing lefties all season and the San Francisco Chronicle noted he’s expected to play on Thursday. Norris sports a .414 wOBA against southpaws and walks nearly as much as he strikes out, significantly lowering any downside to the play.

Matt Joyce -$6,435
Joe Saunders, his lack of Ks and his 5.33 road-ERA aren’t to be trusted anywhere outside of Safeco Field, so dial up any Rays you deem a bargain. I’ll be grabbing Joyce, a righty-masher with a .356 wOBA against northpaws and an extra base hit every 10 at bats.

Note: made a mistake here, Saunders is a LHP. Match-up info still applies but the Joyce recommendation gets downgraded. Alternatively, Josh Willingham is similarly priced and not a bad play.

Gordon Beckham – $7,695
Last week I trusted Big Pelf and felt like an idiot immediately after hitting publish. So I’ll go on tilt here and lay money against him, even though it’s the White Sox and our options aren’t robust. Beckham has quietly been very good against righties (and overall, really), posting a .365 wOBA against them in a sample that’s now over 200 plate appearances. There doesn’t appear to be a lot of pop right now but his HR/FB rate is comically low compared to prior years, and he’s maintaining that strong wOBA without the benefit of home runs – if the power can tick upwards just a bit, he could be a bargain in the coming weeks.

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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 freelance sportswriter based out of Toronto. Formerly of the Score, he's the managing editor at Raptors Republic and frequently pops up at Sportsnet, Vice, and around here. Follow him on Twitter @BlakeMurphyODC.

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Joe Saunders is a lefty.