- Process Reorientation
- Daily DFS
- Wednesday Picks
1. Process Reorientation
Towards the beginning of May, I began to field multiple different lineups on FanDuel (usually five) and DraftKings (usually four). The idea behind the diversity was simple and mathematically supported – more entries give you a better chance at spiking the big one. However, it seems to me that by focusing my time an energy on multiple lineups, I got away from my core process. While the math still supports multiple variations when playing GPPs on FanDuel, I will be reducing my entries to two variants per platform.
This is not to say you should follow suit. Rather, this is an example of honest self reflection. Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Learn and improve where you can, but don’t fight a losing battle. In this case, I know time constraints have led to rosters that are maybe 90 percent of my best work. I think I’ll benefit long term by putting forth my best with fewer rosters.
2. Daily DFS
We have 15 games in the late bucket. Mr. Late Bucket. Mr. Bucket. On a more serious note, there are WAY TOO MANY STACKS today. I’m tempted to pen the entire section in ALL CAPS. (random fact: did you know the brain is really bad at processing all caps? I bet you did.)
The Red Sox will face lefty T.J. House today. He has some pretty absurd ground ball numbers through two starts and three appearances (65.9 GB%). His swinging strike rate also stands at a lofty 13 percent despite a pedestrian 16 percent strikeout rate. We might be looking at a useful fantasy pitcher here, but let’s gather more information first.
I bet you know what I’m going to say about David Buchanan. He doesn’t strikeout or walk anybody, so he’ll live and die according to the whims of the BABIP gods. I suppose there are worse ways to pitch, like the way Carlos Marmol does it. The Nationals oppose Buchanan today.
RotoGraphers have been trying to wish Erasmo Ramirez into relevance since his first promotion. Unfortunately, what’s most relevant about Ramirez is his penchant for allowing home runs. As with the previous two seasons, some peripherals suggest there’s a better pitcher inside Ramirez. His 6.00 ERA, 5.80 FIP, and 4.76 xFIP aren’t too bullish.
Both Tim Lincecum and Homer Bailey have featured home run problems in 2014 (also in other seasons). Great American Ballpark is considered, oh, slightly friendly to home runs. Or put another way, the park is the second or third most friendly to long balls. Neither guy is a bad pitcher per se, the stadium matchup just doesn’t fit their apparent weaknesses.
Joe Saunders is a friend to the right-handed hitter. The Orioles feature a few of those. The fabled northpaws have scorched Saunders to the tune of a .289/.350/.477 line over nearly 4,500 plate appearances. To add fuel to the fire, the Rangers’ park is pretty hitter friendly.
As if we don’t already have enough choices, rookie Chase Anderson is making his first visit to Coors Field. I always like to target such visits. Since he’s a changeup specialist, maybe he won’t be as adversely affected as say a sinkerballer. But Anderson’s also allowed a line drive or fly ball on over 70 percent of his balls in play. That’s absurdly high even in a small sample.
Last one, I promise. It’s Hector Noesi at Dodger Stadium. Usually Noesi is one of the best targets, but with so many choices I might look elsewhere. After all, he has pretty good stuff despite consistently horrendous results.
3. Wednesday Picks
Today is littered with pitchers I’m hesitant to recommend for or against. Some are typical exploits with good matchups like Daisuke Matsuzaka. Others are guys I’d usually start with iffy matchups or poor recent performance like Tony Cingrani.
Pitchers to Start: I’ve watched a few of Jason Vargas‘ starts this season. Aside from a sharp cutter*, his stuff isn’t visually impressive. I have been surprised by his overall pitchability. He’s really showing a strong feel for commanding the zone, which I guess is necessary when your fastball hangs around 87 mph. *
Funny thing is, I’ve seen him throw at least 10 cutters this season, but none of the classification systems agree list more than two thrown. I wonder how they’re classifying the pitch that moves a foot towards the right-handed batter…
If you use him long enough, what Marco Estrada giveth, Marco Estrada taketh away. Not too many pitchers can simultaneously look so effective and so hittable. In a sense, he reminds me of Joe Blanton. You might want a friendlier comp when thinking about starting a guy, but Blanton was quietly effective throughout the prime of his career. In any case, this is one of the many outings I’m on the fence about today.
Pitchers to Exploit: The most tiresome thing about this column is finding a new way to make the same recommendation over and over again. So how about this – target Vidal Nuno when he starts. Tomorrow is one of those days.
Hitters (power): Derek Norris is available in over half of Yahoo! leagues. Remedy that mistake in time for tomorrow – he mashes left-handed pitching.
Maybe Corey Dickerson will start. Maybe he won’t. It’s unpredictable.
Hitters (speed): Craig Gentry will either bat leadoff or ninth. He’ll have the platoon advantage either way.
Gerardo Parra should be handling leadoff duties at Coors tomorrow.
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 modest weather threats in New York, St. Louis, Atlanta, and Washington D.C. As always, keep an eye on them.
The Link. Not only do you have a billion stacks to choose from tonight, there’s an awful lot of green on the factor grid. I hate these kinds of days, they’re almost a pure lottery.
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