The Daily Grind: 4-18-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. How do you set your lineups?
  2. DFS Stacks
  3. Saturday Selections
  4. Sur la Table

FanDuel has unleashed the World Fantasy Baseball Championship; a week-long, $5,000,000 celebration of Fantasy Baseball in Las Vegas! The WFBC has something for everyone, from the $250,000 single-entry championship, to the live $3,000,000 DFBC Final in Las Vegas.

Remember to use promocode FANGRAPHS to get your huge 100% deposit bonus up to $200. Click here to win your seat ticket.

1. How do you set your DFS lineups?

I’m curious. I almost always pick a pitcher and then fit hitters around him. Some rare days, there is an extra juicy stack so I pick the hitters first – today is one of those days. I guess there aren’t that many other ways to build a lineup.

2. DFS Picks

Early: Apologies to the Reds and Cubs today, but nobody is counting your game. It’s a shame, Alfredo Simon is interesting.

Late: I’m tempted to stack the Blue Jays and Indians game despite the cold weather. For some reason, I have a gut feeling the weather will hurt the pitchers more than the hitters in this one. Personally, I’m going to ignore my gut because it doesn’t jive with my process.

I like Drew Smyly, but he hasn’t proven he can last beyond five innings yet. The bullpen is the soft underbelly of the Tigers roster at the moment. The Angels also feature a decent (or better) offense.

Felipe Paulino is still starting. And the game is at one of our two “green light” stadiums. Rangers stack, I choose you!

Wait, the other green light stadium features Jonathan Pettibone versus Tyler Chatwood. Yes, please.

Matt Cain isn’t what he used to be, you can try patching in a few Padres lefties.

3. Saturday Picks

Pitchers to Start: Corey Kluber is still floating on the wire in some leagues. I’m pronouncing him back in black.

Roenis Elias is getting close to sealing up a permanent spot in the rotation. He’s a ground ball oriented guy who has recording a reasonable whiff rate. His strikeout rate has left something to be desired. He’ll face the Marlins tomorrow.

Tim Hudson, if available, has been sharp this season. Maybe make him permanently unavailable.

Pitchers to Exploit: I usually recommend using Felix Doubront, but he doesn’t seem like the reasonably solid pitcher of 2012-13. The Orioles could unleash a few righty bats on him.

If it’s not three degrees again, the Bruce Chen versus Kevin Correia game looks exploitable.

Carlos Villanueva has not been sharp in the early going. He must be very close to losing his job, although the Cubs can afford to be patient.

Brett Oberholtzer has been surprisingly effective in his last two turns, but I’m still betting the A’s can touch him up. Ending that sentence with “up” makes it much less creepy.

Carson Cistulli throwback special Colby Lewis starts tomorrow against an effective White Sox lineup.

The Dodgers will face Michael Bolsinger tomorrow. I don’t have any notes on Bolsinger, but I assume his 89 mph fastball isn’t going to fool anyone.

More exploits: Kyle Kendrick and Jordan Lyles at Coors Field. Kendrick’s never had a particularly sinky sinker, so the rarefied air could do him serious harm.

Hitters (power): Corey Dickerson might start. Or he might not. That what we get for trying to use the Rockies 35 man outfield.

Cole Gillaspie and Alejandro De Aza gain the platoon advantage. They’ll play in a nice hitters park with a good matchup.

Tomorrow features a lovely matchup for David DeJesus and Matt Joyce.

Chris Carter and Jesus Guzman will have the platoon advantage against Scott Kazmir.

I hope Chris Heisey starts tomorrow. He might not.

Hitters (speed): Ben Revere and possibly Tony Gwynn Jr. will have a lot of outfield to work with. If they can spray one in a gap, they’ll be off to the races.

I guess Charlie Blackmon fits in the speed category. He’s certainly tearing off steals through the first couple weeks, although his foot speed isn’t flashy.

4. Table

The table below indicates which stadiums have the best conditions for hitters today. The color coding is a classic stoplight where green equals go for hitters. The weather conditions are from SI Weather’s home run app. A 10/10 means great atmospheric conditions for home runs. A 1/10 means lousy atmospheric conditions.

We have a bunch of cold games today throughout the Midwest and Northeast, but at least there isn’t any rain on the docket.

The Link. Cold weather and poor park factors leave us with two extremely obvious choices for offense today. I was forced to introduce an orange rating today because I couldn’t decide between yellow and red for a couple.

This post, covering one of the leading sites for daily fantasy, is sponsored and made possible by the generous support of FanDuel. 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.

Print This Post

Brad is a former collegiate player who writes for FanGraphs, MLB Trade Rumors, The Hardball Times, RotoWorld, and The Fake Baseball. He's also the lead MLB editor for RotoBaller. Follow him on Twitter @BaseballATeam or email him here.

11 Responses to “The Daily Grind: 4-18-14 – Presented by FanDuel”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. FeslenR says:

    I definitely attempt stacking against bad teams that have awful pitching-Twins, Astros come to mind.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. amoonguss99 says:

    I’m new at this (first DFS season) but I’ll throw out what I look at, and maybe you’ll have some other ideas / comments.

    For each pitcher now that there is enough data I look back at their last 3 xFIPs, and their 2013 wOBA platoon splits. I was talking with a friend earlier today if 2013 is too finite in terms of sample size, but some pitchers change too much overtime. Ex. Bedard career wOBA platoon is like .310 but in 2013 he had a reverse split of 0.368 to lefties in just 35 IP etc

    I think Vegas does a good job in accounting for park factors and bad pitching. Ex. today White Sox / Rangers O/U = 10, Phils / Rox O/U = 10.5… some betting websites have individual team totals as well, not sure how relevant all of that is…

    I also look at the pitchers opponents 2013 wOBAs and the hot / cold players in the last 7 days – still using wOBA…

    Other ideas I would like to incorporate would be pitcher type / pitcher velo and which hitters do better / worse vs… though the article that just came out today is a great step for that type of work.

    I guess most of that stuff is pretty obvious albeit time consuming… and sometimes just going off a gut feel might even produce better results. Very easy to get swamped with too much data in baseball.

    In terms of actually setting the LU, if I like an expensive pitcher he has to go first. If I’m split between a couple guys I’ll let cost dictate which guy goes. Ie today I like Gray @ $8000 (and everyone else prob) and that’s expensive enough to put him first and start working around cost constraints. If I went cheap (Eovaldi / Ross) I’d set the hitters first…

    I will say this is my best gambling hobby so far in terms of when I tilt I can’t submit more LU’s cause the games already started… :]

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • amoonguss99 says:

      I’ve also cashed before by just going to baseball press and throwing around ppl that I see in good LU spots and be done in 5 minutes… or spend an hr making a bigass spreadsheet and come in 9998/10,000 ;)

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Satoshi Nakamoto says:

    4 days ago on April 14th the Weather/Atmospherics for the Reds Pirates game was RED colored with the following numbers:
    97 90 93 88 8/10 to 4/10

    Both teams combined for 10 Homeruns before the game was paused.

    How often do multiple homeruns occur when the weather/Atmo is unfavorable for Homeruns?

    And if you’re facing a sit/start dilemma for a batter do you disregard the weather/Atmo info for massive power hitters who hit moonshots?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Brad Johnson says:

      That particular game was rainy – there was a delay in the 6th inning if memory serves. Multiple home runs occur all the time in games with bad park/weather conditions. By tracking those factors, you’re helping yourself over the course of a season, but the effect is very tiny on any given day.

      I don’t really give massive power hitters any special consideration. For example, the Marlins park can still steal plenty of bombs from Stanton. I do heavily discount middling power hitters when they’re in a cavern. Shane Victorino just isn’t a good bet to hit a home run in San Francisco (for example).

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Satoshi Nakamoto says:

    Are there any websites or resources that go into extreme detail regarding predicting baseball games? Fanduels? Something else?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Satoshi Nakamoto says:

    Wow! The two Green games for today were brilliant calls.
    And luckily for me I own Rosario, Cargo, Fielder, Choo, and Rios.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Satoshi Nakamoto says:

      Hmmmm, but now 2 dingers in the Oakland game which was listed as Red. Not sure I’m gonna be using these color coded charts for start/sit decisions.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>