Daily Fantasy Strategy — May 22 — For Draftstreet

I wasn’t lying on Sunday, but apparently my “yips” persist when writing this column. There is a screengrab of my DraftStreet MLB profile after the jump because I’m starting to get self-conscious you’ll all think I’m an idiot. I mean, I am, but I’m not leading you astray, generally, I don’t think.

In any case, you probably care little for past success, and you want to know what will happen TODAY. Well TODAY is, luckily for us, a larger slate than we’re accustomed to seeing on Thursdays. There are 13 games, so a lot of our usual Thursday tips for playing with a smaller player pool can be cast aside, and you can just focus on setting the best lineup possible.

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Okay, I said after the jump. Look at this. Three times since May 9 have I failed to double-up (as I’ve admitted here before, I generally play double-ups due to bankroll constraints makings the ebbs and flows of tournaments less tolerable, which you can see has been especially painful of late), and two of those occasions were when I had to throw down my takes here. It’s like daily fantasy BABIP
draftSemi-related to the double-up note is that I’m trying to get a hold of DraftStreet data for you. What I want to look at is the difference in payout level for double-ups and standard formats (e.g. 45 points vs. 60 points to cash) as well as the scores that win each pool. Ideally, that will help you better set a $/point ratio you feel you need to aim for depending on your preferred format.

As an example: Over the last six double-ups I’ve played, the average score required to cash was 46.9, with a low of 37 and a high of 57. Obviously, this is too small a sample to base strategy off of, but you can see you need to land, at minimum, one point for every $2,500 of budget across the board, probably as high as one point for every $2,000 to be safe.

Have I really used my entire pre-amble to talk about my own successes and failings? Seems to be where I’m at in life. Apologies. Hopefully I knock these five recommendations out of the park, or in the words of Vince McMahon on an ill-fated investors conference call, I’ll let you put me in a hammerlock.

The Daily Five
Josh Tomlin – $10,184
It can take some guts to start the lowest-priced pitcher on a given day, especially against a solid offense like that of the Baltimore Orioles. With that said, Tomlin has impressed in three starts and, while the defense-independent stats aren’t quite as friendly as his 2.89 ERA thanks to a low strikeout rate, he really only needs to nab you six points or so here. Given the underlying talent, I think that’s in play.

Okay, Tomlin’s out. Wrote this Wednesday before he entered that game for a three-inning stint. Apologies. Off the top of my head, Jake Arrieta and Mark Buehrle are names int hat price range who look to have similar $/points for today.

Eric Stults – $11,484
Grabbing Tomlin and Stults at a combined $21.5K is admittedly risky, but the benefits are obvious: your pick of the litter for a third starter (I’m going Zack Greinke, myself) and some extra cushion for the handful of friendly stacking options in play. Like with Tomlin, Stults offers a somewhat stunted strikeout upside but in this case, a fairly safe floor – while the Cubs have hit southpaws well, Stults has been safe play in Petco and Vegas ranks this game not only as a low over/under of seven but also shows the Padres as heavy favorites.

Nationals Stack – I just can’t buy into Edinson Volquez, not even at his current 4.71 ERA mark. The troubled righty has been Santa Claus to left-handed hitters in 2013-2014, and the Nationals represent a favorable buy-low.
Ian Desmond – $6,658
Jayson Werth – $7,205
Denard Span – $5,488
(If you can confirm he’s playing, Danny Espinosa at $4,492 rounds it out nicely.)

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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Cmon Dorn
Cmon Dorn

Tomlin pitched 3 innings yesterday, doubt they will truck him out there again today.