Daily Fantasy Strategy — April 7 — For Draftstreet

Last year I took a look at the catchers and pitchers who were the worst at preventing stolen bases. The idea was that you could pick good base stealers when someone in the opposing battery was friendly to steals. Recently a reader asked me to update that study to include 2013’s stats. I was planning on doing just that, but the more I think about it, the more I realize it’s not a strategy you should employ on Draftstreet.

On a quick side note, if I had updated that study, it would have been more beneficial to just look at pitchers. As Blake Murphy pointed out on Thursday, Max Weinstein has recently done some research showing that the pitcher bears more of the responsibility of preventing stolen bases.

But the bigger reason the study isn’t worth updating is because of what I discussed last Monday, lineup stacking. Research has shown that upside increases the bigger your stack, and Draftstreet only allows you to use four players from the same team in a lineup. Research has also shown that downside decreases with each step down from no stacking to four man stacks before it starts to rise. That makes four man stacks an obvious strategy.

In a Draftstreet lineup that has nine slots for hitters, it makes the most sense to use two four-man stacks or three three-man stacks. If you use the three-man stacks, there’s not an extra slot in your lineup into which you can slot a speedster with a good matchup. And if you’re using two four-man stacks, you usually don’t have the flexibility for that last hitter slot to get a speedster into it. You should be picking your two stacks, picking your three pitchers, and then filling your last slot with the most expensive guy that fits in your remaining budget and has the platoon advantage.

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The Daily Five

Below is a chart with projections (courtesy of Steamer projections broken down to a per-game basis) and the cost per projected point for each starting pitcher today. If I could afford any three, I’d prefer to go with Tony Cingrani, Michael Wacha, and Ubaldo Jimenez. But the three I ended up with in the most lineups today are Cingrani, Wacha and Jordan Lyles. I always start my lineups by filling up my lineup with my three and four man stacks and then going with the best pitchers I have money left over for.

Angels Stack – Vegas has this game being one of the four highest scoring of the day and the Angels favored to be on the better side of things. The Angels are also a good stack because it’s easy to get four players who hit right in a row. Because they’ll be facing a right-handed pitcher in Jarred Cosart, you can use the first four of their lineup with left-handers Kole Calhoun and Josh Hamilton along with Mike Trout and Albert Pujols who can handle right-handed pitching. Or to save a little coin you could use their nine-hole guy, Erick Aybar, with Calhoun, Trout and Pujols.

White Sox Stack – The ChiSox are visiting Colorado where virtually every game played is projected to be the highest scoring game of the day by Vegas. Today is no different as subpar starters Lyles and Felipe Paulino take the hill. Lyles is projected in the chart above to be the third lowest scoring starter of the day. But as mentioned above, I still ended up using him in a few leagues because he only has to get three and a half points or so to be worth it at a price of just $6,434. He could get to 3.5 points even if the White Sox do a little damage. It’s not a perfect four hitters in a row, but you can get four of their first five with Adam Eaton, Conor Gillaspie, Jose Abreu and Adam Dunn. That’s three of four with the platoon advantage.

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

10 Responses to “Daily Fantasy Strategy — April 7 — For Draftstreet”

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  1. Nick says:

    Am I wrong, or is it unlikely that Dunn starts while playing without the DH position available?

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  2. chri521 says:

    Thanks Brett twas me who had asked about the SB% against. So using Blake’s 1 year data would a Yankee stack vs. Ubaldo today make sense or is the weather a deterrent?

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  3. cnote66 says:

    what about BOS stack versus Scheppers?

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  4. MH says:

    I just first want to say how much I love these. I’m just getting into daily fantasy baseball a bit more seriously this year and these are all invaluable and I (and I’d like to think the community at large) appreciate all the work it takes to churn these out every day (or at least a few times a week for each writer).

    There’s a topic I’ve been curious about and figured I’d throw it out there as a discussion suggestion. If I was better with this stuff and had more time to research and write (which I may soon!) I might give it a shot on my own, but figured I’d at least throw it out to you guys as food for thought:

    Is there a way to predict when relievers are more likely to be used? This isn’t necessarily about save chances even, more about when they’re likely to be used in non-save situations based on recent workloads. A good reliever like could pretty easily justify his price without even getting a save, just by throwing a clean inning. The problem is knowing when they’re likely to be used even if a non-save situation comes up. While managers don’t usually like to use closers in non-save situations, they also don’t usually like to let them go too many days without pitching. How much does each day of rest increase the odds that a closer will be used on a given day even if a save situation doesn’t come up?

    For example, Trevor Rosenthal hasn’t pitched in four days. How much does that increase the chance that Mike Matheny will get him into the game regardless of the situation tonight?

    Even in cases like this, there are still only a handful of relievers that seem worth betting on, but it seems like it could be an slightly undervalued niche of the market.

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  5. El Brontolone says:

    Are you advising stacking for GPPs or across the board? I would think it is a pretty bad/volatile strategy for H2Hs and double ups.

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