- Proof that I probably know what I’m doing
- How I like to play Daily Fantasy
- Some analysis of pitchers in FanDuel
- Some analysis of pitchers in normal fantasy (tomorrow)
- The chart returns
1. Proof of skill
In skills-based gambling, a generally accepted proof of skill is when your bankroll continuously grows. As we are entering the third day of daily fantasy, we have enough data to produce a trend line.
Some may quibble that this observed growth is not “continuous.” Some are correct. However, growth was very much present. Yesterday I entered a solitary $1 tournament on FanDuel against over 5,000 other players with a first prize of $700. I took home $700, which is to say I came in first place.
To accomplish a first place finish, I needed Brad Miller (or Howie Kendrick) to deliver an RBI hit and score a run. Miller made it easy by popping a ninth inning, two-run bomb. My opponents also made it easy by starting a variety of A’s and Indians players. Do recall that I warned you to stay away from that game.
I also won in all three Draft Kings leagues I joined, but the payout was much less because they were 50/50’s. The guy I consult won for the second straight day even though he ignored my advice and started Alex Cobb over Drew Hutchison.
2. How I like to play DFS
This column is called The Daily Grind. When it comes to traditional fantasy, I’m grinding it out every day. It’s the only reliable method to win as far as I’m concerned. With DFS, I’m decidedly not a grinder.
That title is reserved for those who enter dozens of contests everyday, usually at a high price point. I don’t want to be one of these professionals, nor do I want to play against them. I want to play against other people who like baseball, have some understanding about relative value, but look at it as a game rather than a job. So I mostly live in small, single entry tournaments like the $1 Bunt.
You’ll still run into the true grinders even at such a low price point because the marginal cost of copying a roster is almost nonexistent. However, you should find fewer of them and so long as it’s a single entry tournament, your odds won’t be completely killed. In fact, I’m pretty sure there are enough rubes (like the guys who didn’t bother to check the weather) to have a positive expected value on your entry.
3. DFS Pitchers
If you’re getting in for the early games, Aaron Harang is someone you might want to stack against. Felipe Paulino might be a sneaky low cost pick, but I think it’s safer to bet a bunch of runs will be scored in that game.
If we push back to the main slate of action, we find a lot of very cheap pitchers going today. The most talented pitcher in the $6,000 and under bin is Ubaldo Jimenez, but I worry about his matchup against the Red Sox. Similarly, Tyson Ross is a great breakout candidate this year, but the Dodgers run a bit of a juggernaut.
If you want to take a layup, there’s Gio Gonzalez for $8,000.
4. Plain vanilla fantasy picks (mostly tomorrow)
The A’s and Indians have a doubleheader today, so go stack as many of those buffoons as you possibly can. Unless of course your games played cap is under 162, in which case you have to be a little more selective in who you start.
Pitchers to use: I like Juan Nicasio against the Marlins. But not enough to use him myself, so keep that in mind.
If Yordano Ventura is still available in your league, you should pick him up. Then you should probably bench him against the Tigers.
Jose Quintana has a most lovely matchup against the nearly offense-free Twins. Snag him now.
Wei-Yin Chen and Felix Doubront are both solid, unspectacular pitchers. They’re also frequent guests of this column. They share a third thing in common, they face each other tomorrow. Bet on Doubront if you can.
Pitchers to exploit: I don’t know what to make of this Jason Hammel versus Wandy Rodriguez matchup. I saw Hammel pitch the other day and he looked alright. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Rodriguez. The numbers say there could be a bit of scoring.
5. Let me see that chart
Watch out for the game in Cincinnati today. There is a chance of thunderstorms. It’s probably not enough of a worry that you need to sit your traditional fantasy players, but I hate to take weather risks in DFS.
Miami and Houston have the best weather today. Based only on weather and park factors, the Yankees- Astros game looks particularly saucy for stacking.
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