- Sharks and Minnows
- Daily DFS
- Thin Thursday
1. Sharks and Minnows
In the comments section yesterday, we discussed the implications of this article from the Wall Street Journal.
Commenter Allen wondered if the industry is sustainable if sharks keep hammering the micro buy-ins. As we discussed, because the time constraint for entering an additional lineup is small (especially when an algorithm hands you an optimized lineup), there’s nothing keeping the sharks out of our little Bunts and Squeezes. In online poker, the small EV would keep the big fish away, forming a nice safe minnow pond for the players who are good but not great. Since this column is a proponent of the 10 percent effort for 90 percent of the results approach to DFS, I suspect most of us fall into the good-but-not-great bucket.
I know I can win more money if I spend more time per day doing calculations. But I have fun playing DFS my way. Part of the fun is I do occasionally spike a lineup and take home a bunch of money. If more and more sharks keep entering our minnow ponds, it might drive new users away. Nobody wants to play a game they never win. Should the DFS platforms offer a sort of low-roller contest?
For the record, I enter $30-80 per day. Compared to the sharks, it’s a small buy-in. Plenty of DFS players work on less than $10 of entries per day.
2. Daily DFS
Early: Like the last two days, a couple early games won’t be available for DFS. Games in Toronto and Kansas City are off the table – sorry guys. On second thought, why am I apologizing, I didn’t make the schedule.
Late: Wei-Yin Chen can have a bit of trouble against right-handed hitters, so he’s definitely worth thinking about as a target. We know how power and Camden Yards go hand-in-hand.
Jacob Turner has been getting hit around in Miami, so I’m curious to see how he performs in an actual hitters park. He’s been every kind of hittable this season.
John Danks is your typical mid-tier pitcher, albeit one you don’t want on your fantasy squad due to a low strikeout rate. Unfortunately, a matchup in Chicago against the right-handed Tigers spells trouble. M-O-O-N, that’s trouble.
If you want to bet on Brandon McCarthy continuing to allow a ton of home runs, nobody will hold it against you. Personally, I won’t be making that bet.
Lefty Tyler Matzek will make his major league debut for the Rockies today. He’ll face the Braves – the team that mashes lefties best. Matzek is said to have good stuff and terrible control, so don’t expect predictability.
3. Thin Thursday
Pitchers to Start: I usually bet against Kyle Kendrick, but a matchup against the San Diego Padres makes me think he’s fringe usable. No Kendrick outing has high upside, but if he can work efficiently, he might last deep into the ball game.
Thanks to an improved walk rate and a game against the Cubs, Edinson Volquez is another fringy pick off the waiver wire.
If you want a trendier pick, Chase Whitley will face the Mariners. He’s been quite sharp in his five starts. His 2.8 percent walk rate will probably regress, but he’s also generated a 11.1 percent swinging strike rate and a measly 17 percent strikeout rate. It’s possible he’ll induce more strikeouts going forward.
Pitchers to Exploit: The Braves don’t hit right-handed pitchers worth a lick, but they’re still at Coors Field. Take a look against Jhoulys Chacin.
Kevin Gausman is coming off a strong outing against the Athletics. If he can survive against the Blue Jays tomorrow, he won’t be in this exploit section for awhile. I know we shouldn’t use two games against any team to inform our opinions, but Gausman is kind of a special case. His stuff has always been a lot better than his results. Therefore, it’s easier to believe good results.
Tommy La Stella (and Holt) isn’t really a speed guy, but he has some speed and he’s not a power play. Chacin’s control has been less than excellent this season and La Stella is the exact type of patient hitter to exploit it.
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.
It’s been a stormy month. The games in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati are at risk today. The Cubs-Pirates game is the only one with above a 50 percent chance of rain at this time.
The Link. Still a lot of green on the board. It appears as though Texas is the best place for home run friendly weather.
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