After a nice first two months of the season, June is killing me. Much of the gains I made early in the year have been given back over the last three weeks. My double up success rate has deteriorated, and I’ve hardly sniffed a cash in GPPs. I’m frustrated, but I have to fight the urge to mail it in. I’ve still had success on the whole, even if I haven’t been able to continue to multiply my bankroll like I had hoped.
I can’t be the only one feeling like this. If you’re on a bad run, I encourage you to stick with it. I’m hoping things improve as the season drags on and the data I use on a daily basis becomes more reliable. Each year I compete in the FantasyPros.com weekly football ranking contest, and I have performed much better in the second half of the season in each of the last three years. I attribute this to the data I use simply being more reliable as the season goes on. My approach to baseball DFS is almost as dependent on data, and it stands to reason that as it gets more reliable, my performance will improve. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.
The Daily Five
Jeff Samardzija ($17,560) – Of the expensive pitchers today, I had a hard time choosing between Shark and Zack Greinke. I like Felix as well but think Shark and Greinke are much better values. Shark scares me a bit because the wind may be blowing out at Wrigley. But ultimately I like him more than Greinke a) because he’s cheaper and b) because his opponent (Reds) strikes out more than Greinke’s (Royals).
Matt Cain ($15,455) – I was once again left choosing between two starters in the mid-price range, Cain and Gio Gonzalez. Despite the fact that we’re going on a full year and a half now of Cain not being Cain, I went with him simply because he’s got the better matchup in the better ballpark. Nobody has been worse against right-handed pitching than the Padres this year. And AT&T park is still helping Cain out. It’s not like his recent problems have just been on the road; he has been worse at home, too. But he hasn’t been as bad at home. Specifically, his HR/FB at home is 10.6% since the start of 2013 compared to 13.3% on the road.
Marcus Stroman ($11,154) – This time I was choosing between Stroman and Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi has a little better matchup and is in a little better park, but they both have good matchups and are both in bad parks. Don’t let Stroman’s five-plus ERA scare you off because most of the damage done against him came in a couple of relief appearances in mid-May. In his four starts since, he’s got three quality starts and has struck out 19 and walked five in 21.2 innings. Ultimately, I think he’s the better choice because he’s about $1,500 cheaper than Eovaldi.
Cardinals Stack – Coors. Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin hasn’t had a strikeout rate above league average since 2010 and hasn’t had a groundball rate above league average since 2011. In the three years since, he owns a 4.53 ERA at home. Admittedly, he has managed to keep the ball in the park at about a league average rate at home, but he has still allowed plenty of runs. I like stacking the four Cards I expect to be atop their lineup: Matt Carpenter ($6,251), Matt Holliday ($7,208), Matt Adams ($6,958) and Allen Craig ($5,902).
Rays Stack – A lot of jokes are made about the Rays offense (example below courtesy of Jason Collette), but they’re basically league average against right-handed pitching. Today they’re facing a right-handed starter who is decidedly below league average, Edinson Volquez. Over the last three seasons, their four best qualified hitters against RHP have been Matt Joyce ($4,928), Ben Zobrist ($5,305), Evan Longoria ($6,532) and James Loney ($5,898). All four have a wRC+ vs. RHP of 118 or better since 2012. That combo will only cost you a combined $22,663.
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