Kicking Off the Grind
If you play daily fantasy baseball or tinker with your traditional fantasy team, knowing park factors is a part of success over the long haul. FanGraphs Guts! has all kind of factors, but I prefer to focus my attention on the Basic, HR, and HR by split factors. Winning in a daily fantasy league tends to depend on home runs more than other types of production (at least on the offense side).
First Tool – Park Factors
To that end, I intend to manage a daily spreadsheet that notes park factor. I’ll also update weather conditions daily and it will be available via Google Doc (the delivery system may change). The weather factor will be an estimate of game time conditions from The SI Weather’s Home Run Weather app. You can use the app itself to get updated information. The end product will look like this:
You’ll notice that the iframe is a bit ugly, so I might just direct you to the link. I’ve color coded based on which locations appear the best for home runs on a given day. These color codes are my data-informed opinion – no specific science was used. That may change at some point. The colors also do NOT include any consideration of the pitcher match-ups. A red stadium could be a great stacking option if Philip Humber is starting. As this is a work in progress and designed to help you, I appreciate (and indeed request) any feedback to make this better.
Do note, weather can have a substantial effect on the color rating. If the game was today (yesterday when you get this), Texas rates as a 10/10. Chicago rates as a 2/10. I would downgrade Chicago to yellow in that case. Retractable roof stadiums will be tricky as I don’t have any special information if the park will be open or closed (or how that affects park factors).
Second Tool – Projected Offense and Defense
I have simplified an already existing table located on our Depth Charts page. The below includes only our 2014 projections with projected fielding added (there’s my value add!). It should be sortable. The columns I would recommend sorting upon are Runs Scored per Game (RS/G), Runs Allowed per Game (RA/G), and team fielding (Fld). RS/G tells you who the high octane offenses are, RA/G tells you the teams that get mashed a bit, and Fld tells your fielding value.
Generally, you’ll want to find hitters from high runs scored teams that are facing teams that allow a lot of runs – especially if it’s a poor fielding team with a crappy pitcher that day. Pretty intuitive. You’ll want pitchers on teams that don’t allow a lot of runs, especially if that correlates with a strong fielding score (if it doesn’t it might be because the top of the rotation is stacked). Ideally, said pitchers will be facing teams that score few runs. If their team also scores a lot of runs, that should help their odds at a win. That said, I recommend focusing on maximizing IP over pitcher’s team RS/G.
For example, it looks like the Astros will be a fantastic team to stack against based on runs allowed and terrible defense. The Rays generally won’t be a good team to stack against, plus their home stadium stifles power.
We’ll be going seven days a week this season, so it will be a true Grind. Tomorrow we’ll get more specific to FanDuel and their particular settings in the run up to the first big day (Monday). Let me know if you have any questions or areas of concern that you would like to see covered.
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