Daily Fantasy Strategy — July 7 — For Draftstreet

A week ago today, in this very space, I devoted a couple hundred words convincing y’all to start Joe Saunders at the low, low price of $3,658. Saunders gave up  four home runs, seven runs total and has since been released by the Rangers. So yeah, good call by me. But I can live with being very, very wrong in a public forum because I hedged against the Saunders call, stacked some Orioles in a GPP lineup, and ended up winning the $2 GPP last Friday. Give me money over being right any day.

Obviously I wasn’t the only one who stacked Orioles against Saunders, and some other things had to go my way for me to hit. But the results have me wondering if hedge plays are the way to go in GPPs. To give another example from personal experience, I ended up pretty Brewers-heavy in my lineups for the July 4th $50K Big Score, and they mustered just two runs on six hits. Despite having the Brewers in roughly half my lineups, I did not have the opposing starter, Alfredo Simon, in a single lineup. It would have been nice to have his 8.33 points in a non-Brewers lineup.

To be fair, I was also pretty Dodgers-heavy in my lineups, and I wasn’t about to throw Jair Jurrjens into a lineup. But Simon has had success this year, albeit success not backed up by peripherals. Anytime you’re heavy on a lineup and there’s at least some reason to think the starter could be decent, you should probably throw the him in at least one other lineup. In fact, once your lineups are drawn up, look and see if you’re heavy on any particular play and try to hedge it in one spot. And for clarity, this only applies to GPPs. Which, by the way, I think may be the way to go unless you’re a shark/grinder. But that’s another conversation for another day.

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The Daily Five

Scott Carroll ($2,700) – Carroll is just now reaching the bigs after seven years in the minors, and he’s got an ERA over 5.00 in 57 innings. But this price is still too low. In his seven starts, Carroll has averaged 3.79 points per game in Draftstreet scoring. If he manages to score 3.79 points today, it’ll only cost you $713  per point. The Steamer rest-of-season projections have him averaging 2.88 points per start from here on out. Even if that’s all he can pull off, he’ll still cost you less than $1,000 per point.

Red Sox Stack – Make sure to hedge if you play Carroll. The Red Sox have several hitters who have been quite a bit above league average over the last three years against right-handed pitching (as Red Sox), David Ortiz ($8,967, 164 wRC+ vs. RHP), Daniel Nava ($5,261, 131 wRC+), and Mike Napoli ($5,977, 126 wRC+). That should be 2-4-5 in the Boston lineup. Either A.J. Pierzynski or Stephen Drew should be hitting sixth and would be fine options if you want to make it a full four-man stack.

Justin Masterson ($10,134) – Steamer and ZiPS both like Masterson to rebound and be a league average starter ERA-wise the rest of the way with an above league average strikeout rate. And the Yankees have been 9% below league average against right-handed pitching this year. That’s good enough for me to take a shot on Masterson as the seventh cheapest pitcher of the day.

Yankees Stack – If you use Masterson and would like to hedge that play as well, Mark Teixeira ($7,155) and Brett Gardner (8,068) have been the best lefties for the Yankees this year. They should be hitting first and fourth with Jacoby Ellsbury ($7,629) in between them. Either Brian McCann ($6,579) or Carlos Beltran ($5,753) should be hitting behind them in the five hole. Stack the 1-3-4-5.

Rockies Stack – How about a non-hedge play? Not that anyone needs to be told to look at the Rockies in Coors, but they have four hitters who should be hitting in some order in the first five spots in their lineup with a wRC+ of 120 or better against right-handed pitching this year: Charlie Blackmon ($6,459), Justin Morneau ($7,343), Troy Tulowitzki ($8,748) and Corey Dickerson ($7,319). That quartet comes in at a hair under $30,000, which is a number you almost always eclipse with a Rockies stack at home.

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

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Typically I just fade your plays, I don’t call that a hedge. I crushed all over the board with Saunders stacks, didn’t ship the whole thing though. Congrats on a win and keep on chugging.