Daily Fantasy Strategy – 7/6 – For Draftstreet

Ahh, Rangers Ballpark. You wonderful, offense-inflating yet confusing masterpiece.

The home of the Texas Rangers has been the subject of some discussion in response to some of my recommendations of late. At times, admittedly unsure of the “best” wind conditions for the park, I have touted players because of a jet stream effect and/or because of a wind blowing out to right field.

It’s been suggested that the jet stream effect is most impactful when the wind blows in from center, causing a stream out to right. To me, this is the same as a wind to right, but I’m nothing close to a meteorologist. Since I couldn’t find an article (in an admittedly quick search) explaining the conditions there, I grabbed some data via the BRef Play Index to try and make heads or tails of the park.

I pulled all team games at Rangers Ballpark from 2011-13 with a wind that was not blowing left-to-right or right-to-left. I put them into six buckets and found the average offensive stats in those conditions. The results are in the table below.

Rangers Ballpark, 2011-13
Results HR/gm R/gm SLG n
To LF 2.6 13.8 0.473 5
from RF 2.57 11.21 0.462 63
from LF 2.95 11.11 0.465 19
from CF 1.83 9.5 0.403 12
To CF 2.2 9.4 0.44 5
To RF 2.53 9.06 0.432 17
Lg Avg 1.96 8.58 0.402

So, it looks like our limited sample with the wind blowing to left has been most favorable, but we can probably scream small sample size there. Perhaps most importantly is that the wind directions that play most favorably also happen to come with our largest samples – when the wind is blowing in from right or left, the Ballpark plays up.

Note: This study is pretty quick and limited – smarter minds than mine would have to dive into the scientifics of wind and jet streams to conclude with any certainty. We do the best with the tools Puig gave us.

The Daily Five
Joe Kelly – $8,950
Kelly checks in with a bottom-third price, the only member of the cheap-10 club with a favorable match up. Kelly, making just his second start of the season and first since June 5, isn’t really a concern for short innings – he’s pitched five or more in two straight relief appearances, spaced out just a little more than a regular rotation turn. If you count those two long relief outings as starts, he’s allowed just two earned runs over 16 innings in his “extended swingman plays,” with nine strikeouts to four walks. This is also a guy who made 16 starts last season with relative success. Oh, and the match up – the Miami Marlins, proud owners of a .278 wOBA against right-handed pitchers.

Adrian Beltre – $7,960
Hey, the wind is blowing in from left-center, dingers in Texas! Then again, Dallas Keuchel is a safe bet to give those up just about anywhere. I can’t figure out why Beltre is priced below the game average given the situation and his .364 wOBA against lefties. I thought for sure I’d have to recommend a Lance Berkman bargain. Take the discount and dial Beltre up.

Cody Ross – $7,524
With 100-degree heat in Chase Field, I suggest we make Drew Pomeranz show us something before we hesitate in picking on him. Cody Ross and his .419 wOBA would like your attention – almost his entire drop-off this year can be explained from his sample against righties.

Wilson Ramos -$7,386
Hey, it’s America Weekend, I’ve gotta recommend a National in Washington. The 91-degree game time temperature and a strong wind blowing out don’t hurt, either, and neither does having Jason Marquis on the bump as opposition. Marquis’ ERA is really hiding the fact that he’s terrible – a walk per strikeout kind of terrible. The Nats are not a deadly team but they have some pop, including Ramos, who’s hit three home runs in 15 games and comes at a fine price.

Yovani Gallardo -$9,261
Gallardo draws the weak-hitting Mets, with a .294 wOBA against right-handers and a 22.4% strikeout rate. YoGa hasn’t been as good as in past years but he also hasn’t been as bad as his 4.78 ERA suggests. His swinging strike and strikeout rates are down but he still manages over seven per nine innings and his batted ball profile is well suited for Miller Park. This could be a showcase game for him, too, if you’re the type to think he might want out and would play better because of it.

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

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Blake Murphy is a freelance sportswriter based out of Toronto. Formerly of the Score, he’s the managing editor at Raptors Republic and frequently pops up at Sportsnet, Vice, and around here. Follow him on Twitter @BlakeMurphyODC.

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