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Best Practices for MLB Season-Long Drafts

Howdy! Thank you for checking out my best practices for MLB season-long drafts. If you are like me, a long-suffering New York Mets fan, you spent the offseason rejuvenated by the idea that has been circulated via a meme on Twitter that much like Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption, we [the Mets fans] have “crawled through a river of shit [The Wilpons] and came out clean on the other side [Steve Cohen]”. To give you an idea the type of fan I am, my son regularly wears my old 1988 NL East Champs t-shirt, my wife has graciously allowed me to keep the seats I purchased from Shea Stadium in 2008 in our backyard despite multiple moves and houses, and my two offseason Mets-related purchases were a Barstool Sports “Uncle Stevie” t-shirt and a Pitching Ninja “Amazin’ Edition” t-shirt.

If you are also like me and live in the northeast, March means winter is ending, the snow is melting, and baseball is fast approaching. It also means that it’s time to figure out your plans for that year’s rendition of season-long fantasy baseball. I’m not even talking about player rankings or draft strategies; I’m talking about just figuring out how many leagues you will play in and when those drafts will be.

Some of these concepts may seem simple and not worth your time – but they are important – and we must start somewhere. In future articles I will go more into the nuts and bolts of season-long fantasy baseball but let us start here for now.


As we all know, DFS is on the rise. The ability to start with a clean slate every day (and not play every day) is extremely appealing. Conversely, it’s not appealing to draft a season-long team that is ravaged by injuries and poor play which effectively ends your fantasy season in May. However, I’m a firm believer that you can enjoy both DFS and season-long fantasy at the same time. The key is diversification. Much like having multiple entries in a DFS contest, I always agree to be in at least three season-long leagues in MLB, NBA, and NFL. I know this may seem time consuming to some, but if you are reading this article you are probably like me and can manage it.

This is especially true since two of my three leagues are “weekly lineup” leagues, so during the week I can afford to only monitor my teams’ performance from afar and partake in waivers, if needed, without feeling any kind of daily grind or pressure in the event life gets in the way. This diversification allows me to be more successful over time, as all my potential profit is not tied up in one league. If I win one of the three leagues, I make money. Even if I don’t win a league, usually if I finish in the money in one or two of the three leagues, I either make money or break even overall. Yes, there are occasional dry spells, but there are also really big highs, like in 2019 (the last full MLB season) where I finished in 1st, 1st, and 2nd in my three MLB season-long leagues.

I believe it’s also important that the leagues you join are fundamentally different. It wouldn’t be enjoyable if each league were exactly the same. One of my leagues is an AL-Only keeper auction 5×5 roto league with 9 keepers, 23 players starting (including 2 catchers) and no bench. Another is a keeper auction head-to-head points league with 3 keepers. The last league is not a keeper league, but I have been in it for 20+ years, it’s usually a daily lineup league, and it has oscillated between roto and head-to-head depending on the year and the number of teams. These differences make each league feel fresh and managing them feels more like a hobby and less like a chore.


“How do fantasy baseball players keep in contact?” “They touch base every once in a while!” (My website biography warns of “Dad” jokes!)

Being in three leagues also obligates me to being available for three separate drafts. Personally, I enjoy drafting more than most; it never feels like an obligation to me. However, the key to a successful draft is all common sense based: be available (don’t auto-draft) and avoid having multiple drafts at the same day/time. Most leagues try to make the draft as close to the start of the season as possible (so all injuries are known, and opening day rosters are set) but this can lead to fantasy leagues vying for the same prime draft slot.

My advice is to either be the commissioner of the league so you can have final say on scheduling the draft and can avoid conflicts or be vocal early and often with the league and/or the commissioner on your availability. I prefer the latter, as the extra time commitment and headaches the commissioner has to deal with is not worth it to me. Out of my 9 season-long MLB, NBA, and NFL fantasy leagues, I am only the commissioner in 1 and I only became the commissioner to keep the league together and save my friend’s sanity. However, I make myself helpful and indispensable to the commissioners in the other 8 leagues, because I am genuinely a nice guy and because it will usually buy me some draft scheduling preferences.

Once you have your drafts at different days/times, you have set yourself up for success. Each league having its own date/time is a great way to give each league the attention it deserves. However, now I have three separate nights in late-March where my normal routine is altered. For those of you like me with a spouse or a significant other (and young kids), please, please, please, make sure you clear your availability with your partner, and have it marked in your shared Google calendar or old-school written on your refrigerator as soon as your league schedules its draft. I will even mark it as “tentative” in our shared Google calendar to help avoid any surprises and allow for preparation – both actual and mental! Real life fights over fantasy sports don’t help you in real life or in fantasy sports, and you aren’t going to draft a successful team if you don’t have a successful team/situation in your house at the time of the draft.

Lastly, speaking of your house. In pre-COVID-19 times when leagues routinely got together to draft, I learned the hard way a few times that I will do everything in my power to avoid hosting the draft. I love seeing my friends, but I have never been successful in a league in a season where I hosted the draft. You wind up having to spend time actually hosting, which takes away from the key objectives of the draft – compiling an awesome team and making fun of everyone else and their teams! Good luck on choosing your leagues and scheduling your drafts. I hope my best practices for MLB season-long drafts help you.

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FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups: Slate Summary for August 5

We finally have a large FanDuel MLB slate to play through! But, while there are 16 games on the MLB schedule, only 14 games fit into the key FanDuel MLB slates.

We start the night off with the Nats and Mets at 6:05 PM ET, which fits only in the Early Only and All Day slates. The Red Sox and Rays also only fit into those slates.

Considering the options in the Early Only slate, I’m likely to have a few GPP and cash lineups, so I’ll provide thoughts on roster sports for that slate.

From there, though, we have a bigger 12 game slate, with plenty of solid starting pitchers to snag, and a bunch of teams to stack on offense. Let’s start off, with top pitching for each slate.

Top Pitching Plays

Honestly, the Main slate SP is quite simple. Max Scherzer ($11,000) should out-pace the other three starting pitchers with enough FanDuel MLB points that paying for his chalk is worth it. Drink it up!

Max Scherzer     12.84             0.935.4%5.4%       0.219            1.04          0.322        2.92         2.82Early
Mike Clevinger     11.82             0.933.1%7.7%       0.212            1.08          0.301        2.89         3.20Main
Yu Darvish     11.50             1.631.3%7.4%       0.211            1.09          0.269        3.91         3.32Main 
Tejay Antone     10.38             2.129.4%5.9%       0.067            0.46                 –          2.08         3.71Main

The Main slate is a little more complicated. But, there’s a clear way to delineate the best options. Mike Clevinger ($9,600) is one of the better SPs on the mound tonight, but the Reds have fared well against RHP’s on the road this season.

Instead, I’d rather save $100 and go with Yu Darvish ($9,500), his 31.3% K-rate, and 3.32 xFIP against a Royals roster with a low 84 wRC+ against RHP’s at home and a 25% K-rate.

Given his stats since early 2019 and the match-up, Darvish is likely the best play of the night at the SP position. However, Tejay Antone ($5,500) offers some insane value on FanDuel MLB in this slate as well.

It may seem risky to plug a pitcher who’s only faced one big-league squad in his career, but Antone fanned five Cubs hitters in 4.1 innings, giving up only one hit, one walk, and one earned run in his first ever MLB start.

Against the current Cubs offense, that’s impressive! But, it gets better!

The Indians actually have a dreadful 80 wRC+ at home against RHP’s this season. And, their 23% K-rate makes Antone seem awfully under-priced in this slate.

Again, there’s risk with Tejay because we’ve only seen one start from the RHP. But, given the metrics, this sure seems like one of those unique situations were we get a solid unknown pitcher at a very low MLB DFS price.

Hitting Stacks, Value, and Best Plays

For the Early Only slate, the offense is pretty easy. Stack the chalky Nats with guys like Juan Soto ($3,900), Trea Turner ($3,400), Adam Eaton ($2,700), and Starlin Castro ($2,400).

Next, find some affordable bats from the Rays, and maybe through in a Red Sox or two into the lineup as well. Xander Bogaerts ($3,600) has a solid righty-lefty match-up, although Yabrough is a tough pitcher.

Rick Porcello        7.44             1.618.5%6.3%       0.281            1.45          0.316        5.79         5.17WASEarly
Julio Teheran        8.35             1.121.5%11.0%       0.225            1.32          0.266        3.81         5.26MarinersMain
Trevor Williams        7.13             1.718.1%7.1%       0.277            1.42          0.304        5.38         5.26TwinsMain

For the Main Slate, your route depends on if you took Antone or Darvish as your SP. With Antone, stacking the expensive Twins is an absolutely must. I’m plugging Nelson Cruz ($4,100) into both lineups, and will add Max Kepler ($3,100) and Jorge Polanco ($3,200) with the Antone lineup.

With Darvish in my SP slot, I’m going to use Mariners bats for affordability. But, in the Antone lineup, I’m flipping those picks to guys like David Dahl ($3,800), Mike Yastrzemski ($3,900), Jose Altuve ($3,600), Alex Bregman ($3,900), and Anthony Rizzo ($3,800).

FanDuel MLB August 5 Lineup Summary

Major League Baseball is finally back to a big schedule for Wednesday, but FanDuel MLB options narrow quickly for the Early Only, All Day, and Main slates.

For the Early Only, put most of your chips on the Nationals, as they’re hosting a struggling Mets ball club with Scherzer as a clear top SP for the slate. Stack the Nats bats, then move to the Rays, and finally add a sprinkle of top Red Sox plays.

The Main slate is a little more complex. You have some solid overall fantasy baseball pitchers in this slate, but Darvish has the greatest MLB DFS ceiling, and Antone has the greatest value.

With Darvish, I’m stacking the Twins and Mariners. But with Antone, I’m stacking Twins and flipping my Seattle bats to buy some of the most expensive options at every position. But with the price-tag, I’m looking for consistently great MLB DFS plays this season, like Yas, Rizzo, and others.

Thanks for checking out this article on FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups – August 5! Our team will continue to bring you daily content, tools, and projections and a community that will help you make this your best MLB season yet.

Also, make sure to check out WinDailySports.com for more content in the near future, follow me me on Twitter @MattyMcMatt17 and our team @WinDailySports, and hop into our Expert Chat for one on one conversations!

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FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups: Slate Summary for August 3

With the Cardinals continuing to test positive for COVID-19, we’re once again down to a smaller FanDuel MLB slate than originally planned. There’s an All Day option including Sonny Gray and the Reds hosting the Indians.

That aside, we only have an eight-game ‘Main’ FanDuel MLB slate for Monday, August 3rd 2020. Fortunately, with Cole, deGrom, Gray, and other great arms on the mound, this smaller slate should still see a smoother spread of ownership.

Additionally, we also have several horrendous starting pitchers to target for stacking, which also makes our offense easier to spread out over rosters, as well. Alright, let’s start with a brief look at pitching….

Top Pitching Plays

Gerrit Cole ($11,000) and Jacob deGrom ($10,700) are obviously the top pitching plays of this slate. However, the obvious factor makes them a bit chalky, and their match-ups aren’t ideal.

I suspect some MLB DFS players will then pivot down to Walker Buehler ($10,000) to save some cash, but Buehler understandably struggled against the Astros. And the Padres offense, while not as great as the Astros, is 7th in baseball with a 145 wRC+ against RHP’s. So it’s a false lure.

Gerrit Cole   13.6        2.1      1.25 39.30%5.90%  0.182        0.88      0.265    2.53     2.59
Jacob deGrom   11.2        1.9      0.80 31.70%5.50%  0.200        0.95      0.276    2.39     3.13
Walker Buehler   10.6        1.8      1.02 29.00%5.10%  0.221        1.04      0.288    3.29     3.37
Chris Paddack     9.7        1.9      1.42 26.70%5.30%  0.205        0.98      0.242    3.20     4.00
Alec Mills     9.6        2.8      1.29 25.90%7.50%  0.214        1.10      0.262    2.79     4.06

Chris Paddack ($9,100) is where your eyes take you next, and he’s had a solid start to this wacky-ass season. But, again the match-up against the Dodgers offense is terrible.

That brings me back to Alex Mills ($7,000), who I’ve touted before. Sure, Mills isn’t of the caliber SP as the other four I’ve mentioned, but he has a nearly 26% K-rate since earlier last season, a low 1.10 WHIP, and a fairly decent 4.06 xFIP.

And, the match-up against Mills is ideal. The Royals offense has looked OK at times, but they have a 25% K-rate against RHP’s both home and away, and their wRC+ is 90 against RHPs away from home, even worse at home.

So, this is an ideal time to utilize the value from Mills, once again, considering his pitching metrics and match-up.

Hitting Stacks, Value, and Best Plays

The Twins and Cubs are a bit pricey to stack, but they have some of the juiciest SP match-ups in this slate. The Twins, in particular with nelson Cruz ($4,200) crushing baseballs lately, are facing Derek Holland and his 2 HR/9 Innings over the last season and a half.

Justus Sheffield     9.0        5.1      1.15 21.20%12.00%  0.296        1.77      0.365    6.00     4.80 OAK
Danny Duffy     8.0        3.0      1.41 21.10%7.90%  0.244        1.27      0.280    4.44     5.09 CHC
Johnny Cueto     7.6        4.9      1.52 19.40%12.60%  0.227        1.39      0.250    5.32     5.13 COL
Derek Holland     8.7        4.8      2.10 21.90%12.10%  0.244        1.47      0.267    5.90     5.25 MIN
Chi Chi Gonzalez     6.6        4.7      1.57 16.60%11.90%  0.242        1.46      0.257    5.29     5.33 SFG

I’m not sure I’m ready to pay up for Nolan Arenado ($4,000) until he can show me he’s heating up this season. But, the Rockies should have one of the better fantasy baseball stacks on Monday night, so at least David Dahl ($3,900) and Charlie Blackmon ($4,300) are worth the price.

For value, though, I really like the A’s and Giants in this slate. Yes, Mike Yastrzemski ($3,800) has become and expensive OF pick, but his lefty bat is also hitting .343 with two home runs and 10 runs, leading off for the Giants. and the RHP Rockies SP Gonzalez should allow Mike to keep piling on that nearly 16 FanDuel PPG average this season.

For some value in the Rockies and Giants game, consider lefties Raimel Tapia ($2,500) and Steven Dugger ($2,500).

My favorite play for the A’s is right-handed hitter Ramon Laureano ($3,400) facing lefty Justus Sheffield. You can tag on any other lefty bats from there.

FanDuel MLB August 3 Lineup Summary

Don’t over-complicate the situation at pitcher. You could spend hours trying to figure out which of deGrom, Cole, Buehler, and Paddack will have a great night.

Instead, I’m going with the simple value play that Mills offers against the Royals. We should get a solid 30+ FanDuel MLB points out of this pick, with plenty of cash for expensive stacks.

With plenty of money to use for offense, you can start with value picks in the Giants and Rockies game, while adding big plays like Yas and Blackmon. Laureano is still a great value from the A’s lineup as well.

The Twins and Cubs could appear a bit expensive for this slate, but they also have the highest upside. Don’t hesitate to pick someone like Nelson Cruz, if you can afford him!

Thanks for checking out this article on FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups – August 3! Our team will continue to bring you daily content, tools, and projections and a community that will help you make this your best MLB season yet.

Also, make sure to check out WinDailySports.com for more content in the near future, follow me me on Twitter @MattyMcMatt17 and our team @WinDailySports, and hop into our Expert Chat for one on one conversations!

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FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups: Slate Summary for July 30

Several of yesterday’s picks worked out well. It was nice to have solid arms to consider rostering for FanDuel MLB lineups, after some terrible options earlier in the week.

Max Scherzer was one of our top plays, and he piled up ten K’s in just 7.1 innings, adding another four points for a quality start. Gerrit Cole’s 42 FanDuel MLB points were solid, but considering we had to pay $11,700, Max was a better starting pitcher option.

The Mets were a decent stack, considering the value, but Isiah Kiner-Falefa ($2,200) was one of our top value plays and he had a single, walk, two runs, and two stolen bases for 24.4 FanDuel MLB points.

For Thursday, we’re again looking at a split slate option, but this grouping is less appealing. With only ten games on the MLB schedule today, two are slated for the ‘Early’ MLB DFS plays, and the others are available for the Main FanDuel MLB slate.

So, I’m much more inclined to load up on Main slate lineups and I’ll likely just play a couple GPP’s in the Early Only and All Day slates.

Alight, who do we like?

Top Pitching Plays

We were all over Shane Bieber ($10,700) and his awesome start to the season last week. The set-up against the Royals struggling bats against RHP’s on the road, lead to an inclination that Shane would have a big night.

He did, he piled up 14 K’s in just six innings. The problem with Bieber this Thursday night is that he’s facing a significantly better Twins offense in Minnesota.

Bieber is still one of the top arms on the mound for this slate, but he’s not one of the best fantasy baseball options.

NameFD SalaryK/9HR/9K%WHIPBABIPERAxFIPOpponentSlate
Brady Singer $        7,200   12.60           –   35.00%       1.00      0.273    3.60     2.55 DETMain 
Shane Bieber $      10,700   11.15      1.27 31.00%       1.05      0.300    3.19     3.14 MINMain 
Dinelson Lamet $        9,200   13.04      1.38 33.80%       1.26      0.318    3.92     3.32 SFGMain 
Luis Castillo $      10,100   10.85      1.01 29.40%       1.14      0.267    3.34     3.40 CHCEarly

Luis Castillo ($10,100) is in a similar spot to Bieber, starting the season off with a fantastic match-up, fanning 11 Tigers batters, but now facing a more difficult foe in the Cubs. But, if you play any ‘Early Only’ FanDuel MLB GPP’s, Castillo is our favorite move.

For the Main Slate, though, I’m more inclined to use better value from Dinelson Lamet ($9,200) or even better value from from Brady Singer ($7,200).

Singer doesn’t have as good a track record, hardly any at this point, but both Singer and Lamet have a K-rate over 30%, and they’re each in great match-ups. Lamet should mow down the Giants, and Singer has the Tigers, who struggle against RHP’s.

I’m most likely to pick Singer for my GPP moves, and Lamet for my cash plays.

Hitting Stacks, Value, and Best Plays

For Thursday’s slate, I narrowed down the pitchers with the worst xFIP’s. Additionally, I am looking at, among those pitchers, who has the highest HR’s/9 innings? Well, we have six options, which is a long list for stacking.

Martin Perez    7.24      1.22 18.00%       1.52      0.316    5.18     4.70 MetsMain 
J.A. Happ    7.81      1.90 20.70%       1.30      0.280    4.91     4.78 OriolesMain 
Ivan Nova    5.44      1.50 14.00%       1.45      0.317    4.73     4.95 RoyalsMain 
Marco Gonzales    6.47      1.00 16.80%       1.31      0.295    4.04     5.13 AngelsMain 
Erick Fedde    4.83      1.32 12.50%       1.45      0.280    4.39     5.19 Blue JaysEarly 
John Means    7.03      1.34 19.00%       1.14      0.256    3.60     5.48 YankeesMain 

Unfortunately, I only see one obvious stacking play for the ‘Early’ slate, the Blue Jays facing Erick Fedde at ‘home’ in Washington, DC.

Fedde won’t fan a lot of batters, but his 1.45 WHIP is fairly gross. He’s also giving up a lot of hits, and 1.32 HR/9 innings is appealing. The Blue Jays have already hit several long-balls against Nats pitching this week. They’re also very cheap on FanDuel MLB.

For the Main slate, I’m sticking with the Angels. Gonzales is only giving up 1 HR/9 since early in 2019, but his .295 BABIP is very appealing. Additionally, he’s a lefty facing right-handed batters like Mike Trout ($4,500) and Anthony Rendon ($4,000).

And the Halos have some cheap hot-hitting options like David Fletcher ($3,000) leading off for the Angels, likely, against tonight.

Speaking of value, over the last year Ivan Nova and J.A. Happ have been giving up nearly two home runs per nine innings. They are two of my favorite pitchers to stack against.

The Orioles and the Royals are two younger teams you typically don’t think of when looking for offensive stacks. But the O’s are facing Happ and the Royals are looking to stay hot against Nova tonight.

That gives us some cheap options like Renato Nunez ($2,600) hitting well lately in the three-spot for the O’s and, assuming he’s healthy, Jose Iglesias ($2,800) red-hot right now around the sixth spot of the order.

Whit Merrifield ($3,300) is one of the hottest MLB DFS players in fantasy baseball right now, and he should continue with his hitting streak on Thursday night.

Merrifield may look more expensive than Nunez and Iglesias, but considering his FanDuel MLB point return per $1K, his ROI is tremendous. Not quite as hot, but Jorge Soler ($3,700) is a similar, but more expensive play.

The Yankees, like the Angels, remain a great stack on Thursday night. And the great thing about Singer’s SP value tonight, along with the value plays and stacks we just mentioned, allows you to have Rendon, Trout, and maybe Giancarlo Stanton ($3,800) all in the same lineup.

July 30 Lineup Summary

With only two games in the slate, and competing options at SP, I don’t love the Early Only slate. I’m going to focus most of my money on the Main slate. I may throw in some GPP lineups, with Castillo as my SP, and the Blue Jays as my main stack.

The remaining eight games fortunately have a lot of awesome value, stacking, and top play options to make the Main FanDuel MLB slate more exciting.

Lamet is arguably the best pitching option, considering Bieber’s rough match-up, and Singer is a fantastic MLB DFS value against the Tigers right-handed hitters.

There are so many great stacking options, its almost overwhelming! We’re going to start off by plugging value plays from the Orioles and Royals lineup. From there, I’m focused on the Angels and Yankees as my top plays for the night.

If you need a pivot from any of those four teams, consider some Mets stack or value plays.

Thanks for checking out this article on FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups – July 30! Our team will continue to bring you daily content, tools, and projections and a community that will help you make this your best MLB season yet.

Also, make sure to check out WinDailySports.com for more content in the near future, follow me me on Twitter @MattyMcMatt17 and our team @WinDailySports, and hop into our Expert Chat for one on one conversations!

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FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups: Slate Summary for July 28

I love that we effectively have baseball every day, starting around mid-afternoon, throughout the entire week of this wacky season. However, from a FanDuel MLB perspective, it does complicate things a bit.

Sure, I don’t have to play the All Day, or sometimes ‘Early Only,’ slate each day. But, there are times when some of my favorite offensive MLB DFS stacks are available early or the ONE SP I’ve been waiting to roster is finally fantasy baseball available!

Today is different. Today, I wish it were tomorrow…because this slate is horrendous! However, I do think we’ve found a few nuggets for our FanDuel MLB plays.

First of all, we do have three slate options. There’s an ‘All Day’ slate which is the only one capturing the Indians hosting the White Sox in Cleveland.

That slate also captures the Blue Jays in Washington playing, current World Series Champs, the Nationals. And, assuming there’s no longer COVID concerns, the Yankees in Philly playing the Phillies.

However, you can also get a small ‘Early Only’ slate with ONLY the two games in Philly and DC. Personally, given the COVID-Marlins concerns around Philly right now…that slate seems awfully risky to play.

Then, we have the Main slate, which now often appears to be slated for 6:40pm each day. For this post,that is my main focus, but I’ll also talk about the All Day slate so we capture each of the more popular FanDuel MLB options for the day.

FanDuel MLB: Top Pitching Plays

First of all, I wouldn’t consider the ‘Early Only’ slate for Tuesday. There is at least a 50/50 chance the games in Philly (100%, it’s already postponed) and DC are delayed, if not postponed, due to showers and storms developing right around game time.

Basically, the messy weather we had in the Ohio Valley yesterday is transitioning to the East Coast this evening.

That’s unfortunate, because if you’re playing the All Day FanDuel MLB slate, Gerrit Cole ($11,700) is was BY FAR the best pitching play of the day. So, for now, I would plug Cole into your All Day lineups, but be prepared to flip to one of our other top options as we get weather reports closer to 6pm ET today.

So, the obvious next place our minds would pivot to for SP’s is Walker Buehler ($10,500). But, there’s two major caveats! First of all, the Astros are one of the the worst offenses to target a RHP against. The wRC+ was above 100 last year, and their K rate was around 17%. MUCH WORSE, Buehler is on a pitch-count cap for his first several starts in 2020.


Paying $10.5K for a limited pitcher with a terrible match-up is non-optimal in fantasy baseball!

So, where does that take us? Well, it’s not a place I thought I’d go. Looking for low x-FIPs and K-rates above 25% last season, I really only found three other solid options.

Carlos Martinez9.93.40.3726.50%9.00%0.2181.180.2983.173.76
Alec Mills10.52.81.2527.60%7.20%0.2311.170.2992.753.98
Austin Voth9.12.71.0325.30%7.50%0.2091.050.2573.304.44

Of this group, Carlos Martinez ($7,100) would normally make me the most comfortable, but against the Twins, in Minnesota, there’s just no solid reason to roster Martinez.

Which REALLY narrows down my options to Austin Voth ($7,100) for an All-Day move or …checks notes…checks notes again….Alec Mills ($6,300) against the Reds in Cincinnati.

OK, it’s going to take convincing to play either of these guys. So, I’ll start with Mills, who frankly may be one of the best options in this slate, quietly.

In his last two major league starts, late last September, Alec fanned 15 Cardinals hitters in just 9.2 innings. He gave up only seven hits but did walk four batters. Still, he kept his earned runs down to only ONE!

In fact, Mills had a sub-3.00 ERA last season for a reason, he never gave up more than three runs in any one outing. Also, Mills had a 10.5 K/9 inning rate, higher than practically all options in this slate.

The Reds are one of the teams with the most buzz this season, but against RHP’s in their own ballpark, they had a 91 wRC+ and 23.8% K-rate, 10th worst in baseball. So, Mills even has a decent match-up to consider.

Like Mills, Austin Voth ($7,100) was quietly holding down the fort for the Nationals last September, as they battled through injuries. Voth had five starts in September, gave up only four total runs, and fanned 24 hitters in just 23 innings.

Also, Austin’s match-up is quite good. The Blue Jays had an 89 wRC+ against RHP’s on the road last year, and their 26.1% K-rate was fifth worst in baseball under the same circumstances.

But, like Cole, the problem with Voth is the weather. We have to keep an eye on the radar heading into the 6pm hour to understand if he’s worth rostering. If he is, Voth and Mills are likely great value plays at the SP position today.

Here’s a quick SP summary for these slates:

All Day – Cole (top play) or Voth (value). If weather is a problem for both, then Mills.

Main Slate – Mills is your man for all things pitching!

FanDuel MLB: Hitting Stacks, Value, and Best Plays

I was pleasantly surprised Derek Holland is still pitching in the majors. Holland was one of my favorite pitchers to stack an offense against, and he is again today.

Derek gave up over two home runs per nine innings, had a 1.51 WHIP, and 6.08 ERA last season. Many of those stats were the result of relief pitching action, but that doesn’t modify the outcome to me.

Holland is getting crushed, and the Brewers are an offense to stack for this slate, against Holland. Hopefully the Pirates keep him on the mound long enough to really let the runs pile up!

Derek Holland4.82.1321.80%12.00%0.2511.510.2766.085.25Brewers
Kyle Wright6.01.8319.40%14.00%0.3041.880.3518.695.44Rays

Kyle Wright isn’t as well known, but in some aspects his pitching statistics are worse than Holland’s. The Rays get to face a pitcher with a 1.83 HR/9 las season, high 14% walk rate, .351 BABIP, and super high 5.44 xFIP.

A couple of other stacks I’d consider are the Nationals, Mets, and Angels. Within those lineups, you can find some potentially dynamic value plays, like Yoenis Cespedes ($2,600) and Victor Robles ($2,700).

Maikel Franco ($2,200) could stay hot in Detroit and Matt Adams ($2,100) is one of my favorite bomb-hitter value plays when in the lineup facing a righty, as a LHB.

For top plays, assuming you’re going the value route with pitching Mike Trout ($4,500) is in a juicy spot in this slate. While I’m not stacking the Indians, I’d consider Jose Ramirez ($3,600) to stay hot for the ‘All Day’ slate only. And, Paul Goldschmidt ($3,700) and Trea Turner ($3,700) are each heating up for the Main & All Day slates.

FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups – July 28 Summary

This is a brutal slate to peg. We also know the Marlins and Orioles game is cancelled, and the Yankees Phillies game has been canceled as well, and there are storm concerns for DC.

That said, Alec Mills is an exciting SP option for the Main slate, and Austin Voth is worth a play in the All Day slate in the same position. We love the Brewers and Rays stacks in all formats, along with the Nationals (All Day Only), Mets, and Angels. 

Our favorite pitchers provide plenty of value to snag top plays like Ramirez and Trout, or Turner and Goldschmidt. Franco, Adams, Cespedes, and Robles all carry some FanDuel MLB value as well.

Thanks for checking out this article on FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups – July 28! Our team will continue to bring you daily content, tools, and projections and a community that will help you make this your best MLB season yet…and…OH, btw, use promo code “23” and you can join for your first month for just 23 CENTS. Literally cents.

Also, make sure to check out WinDailySports.com for more content in the near future, follow me me on Twitter @MattyMcMatt17 and our team @WinDailySports, and hop into our Expert Chat for one on one conversations!

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FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups: Opening Day 2020 Recap

Before we talk about FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups – July 24, lets recap Opening Day *COVID 2020. It was predictably unpredictable. There were storm threats in the Washington, D.C. area causing many FanDuel MLB players to worry the slate could get cancelled.

Fortunately, the Nats and Yankees were able to start on time, and finished, but the game was called after the 5th inning, due mostly to the dugouts flooding along with a second line of storms (not originally visible on radar). To finish the game, they would’ve had to start play again after midnight.

So, it was called, and the Yankees won 4-1 in just five innings. However, the game in Los Angeles was played through a complete nine innings, and was a LOT of fun to watch!

Still, the Dodgers and Giants weren’t able to avoid fantasy baseball controversy on Thursday. With under an hour until MLB DFS lock, the Dodgers announced they suddenly put Clayton Kershaw on the IL, with a back issue.

Our ‘safe’ FanDuel MLB arm now off the board, and many of us were scrambling. However, if you followed our MLB chat on DISCORD, you likely got some good pre-lock advice.

Wilmer Flores was no longer as attractive of a play, now facing a right-handed starter for the Dodgers. So, I made a pivot move to Tyler Wade at 2B, for only $2,000 on FanDuel MLB…that’s actually $100 CHEAPER than Flores. Suddenly, we had an even better value play!

Wade delivered, getting a single and walk along with a run scored in just five innings. So, for only $2K, we got 9.2 FanDuel MLB points. I’ll take that EVERY SLATE!

Many of our WinDaily content providers harped on the fact that Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole were your top plays. Honestly, I felt Cole was the best of the four arms on the mound Thursday night.

But, even with four walks and four earned runs, Max as the best hurler, piling up 37 FanDuel MLB points due to his eleven strikeouts in just 5.1 innings. Scherzer is back folks, and he should be high on your board every outing!

Cole was a solid play, but 33 FanDuel MLB points was disappointing, considering the expectations. But, our Dodgers stack paid off, depending on who you had in your four-man offensive group.

Cody Bellinger was disappointing, with only nine points on top of a $4.5K salary. But, if you had Kike Hernandez in your lineup, for only $2.6K, he piled up 44.9 FanDuel MLB points with a home run, five RBI’s, and two runs. Hernandez is also someone to watch for fantasy baseball this season.

Speaking of players to watch, Giancarlo Stanton is clearly ‘back’, and Aaron Judge looks enormously smooth last night as well.

Alright, enough about Opening Day, lets start looking at our options for a more exciting, and bigger, day 2 of the 2020 FanDuel MLB season!

FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups – July 24

For the FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups – July 24, the schedule starts at 4:10pm ET in New York, on Friday afternoon. The Mets are hosting the Braves. That’s follow with two more games before 7PM ET, when the FanDuel MLB Main slate begins.

I’m going to focus mostly on the Main slate, as that has more options. However, I’ll make a few comments for those of you excited to play an ‘All Day’ or ‘Early Only’ lineup, because you’re some sort of Mets or Reds homer, and you know Sonny Gray and Jacob deGrom are on the mound!

FanDuel MLB: Top Pitching Plays

For the All Day slate, starting at 4:10pm, Jacob deGrom ($10,700) is by far the most attractive play at pitcher. The Braves aren’t typically a lineup I’d target any pitcher against, but this match-up actually sets up well for a good deGrom fantasy baseball day.

The Braves have a 97 wRC+ against RHP’s away from Atlanta. That’s roughly mediocre. To give you an idea of where that lands them, 10th in MLB, it’s just behind the Mets offense, in the same situation.

Jacob deGromMets11.250.8431.70%5.50%0.2050.970.2822.433.11
Justin VerlanderAstros12.111.4535.40%5.00%0.1710.800.2182.583.18
Shane BieberIndians10.881.3030.20%4.70%0.2291.050.2963.283.23
Charlie MortonRays11.10.6930.40%7.20%0.2141.080.2983.053.28
Hyun-Jin RyuDodgers8.030.8422.50%3.30%

deGrom has the lowest xFIP (3.11), during the 2019 season, of all starting pitchers in this slate. And this is a STRONG SP slate!

Jake is fanning hitters at nearly a 32% rate, second highest in this slate, but is also giving up only 0.84 home runs per nine innings, one of the lowest rates and significantly lower than Justin Verlander ($11,200).

Speaking of Verlander, he’s in a similar situation to deGrom, in that he’s facing a mediocre offense against RHP’s on the road, has a high K-rate, but Justin is more likely to give up bombs and runs.

Comparing to the results last night, while Verlander is very much like a Scherzer, piling up FanDuel MLB points with K’s, deGrom will give you most of those points, while also very likely adding points with low earned runs and a win.

So, you’re getting nearly the same amount of points for $500 cheaper on FanDuel MLB. If you’re playing the All Day slate, find a way to get deGrom in your lineup!

Charlie MortonRays11.10.6930.40%7.20%0.2141.080.2983.053.28
Hyun-Jin RyuDodgers8.030.8422.50%3.30%
Sonny GrayReds10.520.8729.00%9.60%0.1931.080.2552.873.65
Matthew BoydTigers11.561.8930.20%6.40%0.2441.230.3074.563.88

For the ‘Early Only’ slate, you have to play Sonny Gray ($9,700) at home against the Tigers. Detroit bats have an insanely high 27.4% K-rate in 2019 against RHP’s on the road.

Meanwhile, Gray’s 29% K-rate suggests he’s going to have near, or at, double-digits in strikeouts. Along with a win, Gray should easily be the top SP in the ‘Early Only’ slate.

That said, Gray is also a solid pivot from deGrom, if you’re looking for lower ownership and need another $1K to use for offense in the All Day slate.

Justin VerlanderAstros12.111.4535.40%5.00%0.1710.800.2182.583.18
Shane BieberIndians10.881.3030.20%4.70%0.2291.050.2963.283.23
Lucas GiolitoWhite Sox11.621.2232.30%8.10%0.2031.060.2733.413.66

For the Main slate, let’s not get cute. There are some interesting cheaper ‘value’ plays you could consider, but there’s enough good pitchers in this slate that you can snag a top play with sub 20% ownership.

We already talked about Verlander, he’s possibly the best overall fantasy baseball play on Friday night. But, Shane Bieber ($10,200) and Lucas Giolito ($9,500) are potentially better values in the Main slate.

Unfortunately, Giolito is facing a Twins offense who had a 120 wRC+ and very low 20.7% K-rate when facing RHP’s on the road. In fact, the Twins are honestly a solid offense to consider stacking, even against Lucas, who was one of the best MLB DFS pitchers in the second half of 2019.

That leads us to Bieber. Shane had a solid 3.23 xFIP last season, and very good 30.2% K-rate. Bieber also had a low 1.05 WHIP, which matches up well to the Royals terrible 86 wRC+ on the road against RHP’s like Bieber.

Also, the Royals 25.4% K-rate in this scenario was the 7th worst in MLB last season. Don’t overthink the SP position for the main slate, it’s Verlander or Bieber, and Shane gives you the better plays on offense.

Quick Recap on SPs:

All Day – deGrom

Early Only – Gray

Main Slate – Bieber

And of course Verlander is viable in All Day and the Main Slate.

FanDuel MLB: Hitting Stacks, Value, and Best Plays

Jeff SamardzijaGiants6.951.3918.90%6.60%0.2221.110.243.525.02Dodgers
Marco GonzalesMariners6.521.0217.00%6.50%0.2611.310.2953.995.11Astros
Danny DuffyRoyals7.921.4520.70%8.30%0.251.310.2854.345.14Indians
Sandy AlcantaraMarlins6.891.0518.00%9.70%0.2391.320.2713.885.17Phillies

Alright, of the starting pitchers in the All Day and Main slates, Alcantara, Duffy, Gonzales, and Samardzija (aka ‘Shark’) are the four worst SP ini those slates.

That lines us up to consider stacking the Phillies, Indians, Astros, and Dodgers. That’s a pretty wide range of talented fantasy baseball options.

At first I was worried about affordability, because several of these teams have star players who often come with large FanDuel MLB price-tags, because they’re popular picks.

However, there are affordable stacks in all of these lineups. For example, Cesar Hernandez ($2,500) 2B is likely leading off for the Indians, and he should be followed by Jose Ramirez ($3,500) 3B. There’s a lot of speed and power in that combo.

While Bryce Harper ($3,900) OF and Rhys Hoskins ($3,400) 1B are attractive power bats in this slate, a cheaper Andrew McCutchen ($2,800) OF re-entering the Phillies lineup likely at lead-off, makes the Phillies top of the lineup more affordable.

Probably one of the most underrated bats in the Astros lineup, is Michael Brantley ($2,900) OF. Brantley doesn’t have a ton of power, but he gets on base often and has plenty of speed. With a run or a couple of RBI’s Brantley is a cheap double-digit FanDuel MLB play.

Finally, the Dodgers are often consistently one of the best MLB DFS stacks over the last couple of years. With Shark on the mound, that continues today. A.J. Pollock ($2,900) OF and Corey Seager ($3,200) SS are two mid-salary range plays I like to blend in with the bigger star-power bats in that lineup.

FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups – July 24 Summary

So, for the All Day slate, we’re looking at deGrom as our top pitching play, while considering Verlander for both All Day and the Main slate. Sonny Gray is our favorite option for the smaller ‘Early Only’ FanDuel MLB slate, and Bieber and Giolito are also attractive SP’s for the Main slate.

For the All Day and Main slate offensive positions, we like the Phillies, Indians, Astros, and Dodgers. They may sound expensive, but there are plenty of great value plays in each of those lineups.

If you’re playing the smaller ‘Early Only’ Fan Duel MLB slate, just don’t stack the Tigers, and play any decent lineup along with Gray as your SP.

Thanks for checking out this article on FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups – July 24! Our team will continue to bring you daily content, tools, and projections and a community that will help you make this your best MLB season yet…and…OH, btw, use promo code “23” and you can join for your first month for just 23 CENTS. Literally cents.

Also, make sure to check out WinDailySports.com for more content in the near future, follow me me on Twitter @MattyMcMatt17 and our team @WinDailySports, and hop into our Expert Chat for one on one conversations!

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FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups for Thursday, July 23

It’s here! It’s finally here! This is really happening…I think. It IS 2020, so who the hell knows what happens next. But, it feels like this really could happen. After almost FOUR MONTHS of waiting, we now have a MLB Opening Day set for Thursday, July 23rd. Which means, we finally have FanDuel MLB in 2020!

We’re safe to begin discussing top pitching plays or sneaky SP value moves for FanDuel MLB. We can talk about our favorite FanDuel MLB stacks again, value nuggets to make great plays affordable, and players most likely to hit bombs!

If feels so great to pour over advanced MLB statistics again, digging for the right FanDuel MLB GPP moves, hoping no one else found them. Or, who’s the chalk for cash games and is that THE route I want to take?

Unfortunately, we only have two games on Thursday night, so frankly, the options do feel quite limited. However, we do have some appealing FanDuel MLB options, like a $3 buy-in for $1M payout.

At the time of writing this article, there are still plenty of spots open in the $1M tournament. Also, I haven’t seen this many DFS multipliers available in many months! Lastly, I was also given free money from FanDuel, to spend on MLB…so, that’s always a plus! Check to see if you got some too!

Alright, alright, alright…let’s get to the Daily Lineup top plays of the slate.

FanDuel MLB: Top Pitching Plays

Honestly, Friday’s Main FanDuel MLB slate will be more fun to play. While we have some great starting pitchers on the mound to start the season this Thursday night, picking between just four pitchers makes differentiating your lineup for GPP or Cash, quite difficult.

The top three starting pitchers are obvious, Gerrit Cole ($11,400), Max Scherzer ($10,700), and Clayton Kershaw ($10,300). FanDuel MLB has them priced in the correct order.

Cole was, arguably, the best MLB DFS pitcher last season, Scherzer has a competing K-rate, and Kershaw had a great second half of 2019, but still struggles at time (compared to his career).

It may be July, but I did look at the first half stats of last season because it often takes time for some pitchers to hit their stride.

Interestingly, Max started the season well (2.83 xFIP) and struggled in the second half (4.81 xFIP) of the season. Although, some of that was due to injury but also, likely, wear and tear from the 1st half of the season.

Cole started the season almost as well as Max, then became one of the hardest pitchers in baseball to hit, during the second half of 2019. So, while Mad Max often starts well, Cole is still the better overall pitcher.

Also, Scherzer was violently crushed by Phillies bats in his ‘camp’ debut late last week. That worries me. Max is an incredible competitor and likely will bounce back, but the Yankees offense stacks up better compared to the Phillies.

For GPP, the obvious pivot from ‘great’ is Cueto. But, over each of the four careers, Cueto’s overall metrics are nowhere near close to any of the top three picks. He’s worth a flier, but likely a better offensive stacking target (will get to that in a minute).

This leads me to Kershaw as a potential move from Cole. As a Nats fan, it’s very difficult to suggest Cole or Clayton have a better outing than Max to open this season. And, Kershaw’s xFIP, and overall metrics, aren’t as good as Max’s over the last two seasons.

However, Cole should be the top MLB DFS play, with Kershaw as a second, safer option. Scherzer is the riskier play, but still has high upside. And, Cueto is your desperate GPP move.

Scherzer’s WHIP and low HR/FB rate early last season were the best in baseball. But, from the second half of the season, into this preseason and ‘camp’ period, we’ve seen a higher WHIP and HR/9 inning rate. Hence the risk.

So, here’s how I’d break down the SP plays for FanDuel MLB:

Cash: Cole, top play, or Kershaw, safe play.

GPP: Scherzer or Cueto. It’s likely Scherzer and Cueto have the lowest ownership in most slates, oddly with Cueto having higher ownership in GPP. Of the two, Scherzer is oddly somehow the sneakier GPP pick.

FanDuel MLB: Hitting Stacks, Value, and Best Plays

Picking your SP for Cash or GPP, will help you define your offensive focus for the rest of your roster.

Newbie note, you shouldn’t pick too many, or any, offensive players facing your SP. However, there are some caveats.

They’re going to be chalky, but the Dodgers are the glaring obvious offensive stack play for this slate.

Even better, with Cueto as a RHP, I’d focus mostly on finding a way to plug Corey Seager ($3,200) SS, Joc Pederson ($2,800) OF, and Cody Bellinger ($4,500) OF into your lineups. With some of our value plays, you can even have these three in the same lineup as Cole, for a SP pick. Yes, really!

Now, you can continue to focus on lefties against Cueto, but Justin Turner ($3,100) 3B is a right-handed bat likely slated in third position of the Dodgers lineup.

If the Dodgers get hot, Turner is likely a part of the production, and still worth a solid mid-range salary to complete your Dodgers stack.

If you have a cheap enough SP, and a boat-load of value in the rest of your offensive picks, you should also consider Max Muncy ($3,900) 1B to complete your Dodgers stack. However, between Muncy and Bellinger, Cody is your safer play.

To afford some of the big bats with the expensive arms, we’re going to need offensive value plays. There’s plenty in this slate, which suddenly makes the Opening Day for FanDuel MLB more interesting.

First of all, as our Win Daily Sport MLB DFS buddy Brian Tulloch mentions in his MLB DFS Picks and Pivots post, Wilmer Flores ($2,100) is a ‘must have’ when facing lefty bats.

To summarize a different way, if Flores only faced right-handed pitchers, he’d never see the light of day in the majors. However, if he only faced lefty pitchers, he’d likely be a hall of fame hitter. The kid crushes lefties! And, he’s dirt-cheap in this slate (likely intentional).

Another, more sneaky, value play is Brett Gardner ($2,700) OF likely hitting 3rd in a great Yankees lineup with a lefty bat against Scherzer. There’s risk here. In 19 plate appearances, Gardner struck out five times, and reached base six times with three walks and three singles.

Those aren’t sexy stats, but they haven’t faced each other in five years, and all three of Gardner’s hits (and one walk) were within his last eight plate appearances against Scherzer, once with the Nats. This is a potential sneaky low-ownership value play in a very obvious slate.

Also, while we love Cole for this small slate, there are two big Nationals Caveats I have to consider. First of all, Howie Kendrick ($2,500) 2B is quite possibly the most underrated DH in the National league for this COVID season.

Kendrick has been nearly the sole offensive production for the Nats during camp, and the righty could be a sneaky value play at 2B or Utility for FanDuel MLB. Kendrick is 2-6 with a double and 3 RBI’s in his last two games facing Cole. And he’s been red-hot to start this July season.

From the other side of the plate, and with Eric Thames ($2,400) 1B is now a National. He’s also a lefty monster bomb bat facing a right-handed pitcher. But, again Cole is one of the top DFS MLB pitchers.

Still, one thing we haven’t really covered yet (mostly b/c I think all pitchers are in the same situation and therefore it doesn’t impact the SP play much), is that the Starting Pitchers will likely get less time on the mound for a 60-game season in MLB.

So, while guys like Thames and Kendrick may seem counter to the Cole top play at pitcher, especially for cash games, it’s potentially still a good offensive pick for the slate.

We likely won’t see Cole on the mound for more than five innings, which means Thames and Kendrick will get a shot at any of the other Yankees relief pitchers. And…there are holes there!

FanDuel MLB Opening Day 2020 Season (*COVID) Summary

Cole is your best overall SP, but Kershaw will help you differentiate at least with GPP plays, and potentially make some sneaky moves into the top cash-game slots.

Cueto is likely going to be a popular GPP desperate grab, but Scherzer is oddly your better GPP play for this slate.

With that in mind, remember that none of these pitchers may pitch more than five innings, but they’re all in a similar position. That point is mute for MLB DFS.

For offense, you can’t ignore the chalky Dodgers in a small slate like this. Just pack it up, water it down, and drink the chalk for the night!

But there are several interesting offensive differentiations to consider, especially for value. Flores is an obvious top value play, but not all MLB DFS players are on to that pick.

Also, guys like Kendrick, Gardner, and Thames are sneaky plays as well. Any one, or all three, could explode your lineup to a top spot with just one at-bat.

Our team is ready to bring you daily content, tools, and projections and a community that will help you make this your best MLB season yet…and…OH, btw, use promo code “23” and you can join for your first month for just 23 CENTS. Literally cents.

Also, make sure to check out WinDailySports.com for more content in the near future, follow me me on Twitter @MattyMcMatt17 and our team at @WinDailySports, and hop into our Expert Chat for one on one conversations!

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New York Mets Fantasy Season Outlook

As a diehard Mets fan, bleeding Orange and Blue, there is nothing I look forward to more than seeing the Amazin’s back on the field and with an abbreviated season heading our way (fingers crossed), it means we get the return of my other love – fantasy baseball! So here is a New York Mets Fantasy Season Outlook!

For fantasy baseball players, when they think of the Mets, they are going to immediately turn to Jacob deGrom and Pete Alonso and rightfully so as consensus top 20 players even in an abbreviated season. There is nothing to say about deGrom or Alonso that hasn’t been said and drafting them inside the top 20, you will likely get a strong return on their value but there is one player right now that I think is not being hyped up nearly enough and could return elite fantasy baseball value in 2020 – Michael Conforto.Right now, Conforto is being drafted outside the top 25 OF’s and barely within the top 100 overall which seems like a mistake for a 27-year-old player hitting his prime after a season in which he knocked 33 HR’s and 92 RBI’s.The circumstances surrounding Conforto heading into this season could not be better, as the Mets will get one of the biggest boosts in baseball with the addition of a DH, swapping out a pitcher for the likes of Yoenis Cespedes. The Mets lineup heading into 2020 is strong across every spot and that day in and day out grind on pitchers without the “benefit” of facing an opposing teams SP in the batter’s box, I believe will make for inflated offensive numbers in the heat of the summer.

Last year, the most common Mets line-up included Todd Frazier and the pitcher’s spot in the line-up and now in 2020 you swap those out for a duo of Cespedes and JD Davis and well, you can start to see how there is simply no break for opposing arms facing this lineup.

If you look at Conforto’s splits, it won’t shock you to see that his K rate drops and his slugging % and ISO metrics jump materially when he is up in the count, specifically early in the count as we saw him generate well over a third of his HR/RBI output when he got up in the count 1-0. This is where the lengthened line-up and the addition of guys like Yo and JD behind him will pay massive dividends as he gets to take advantage of hitter’s counts with more threats around him and more high leverage, run-producing situations.

I also think the fact that Conforto will play 40 of the 60 games against the NL East gives him a familiarity with the parks and pitchers he will face for the large majority of the season, helping bring some continuity to 2020 in which any sort of normalcy will be a big boost to players in this new world.
One interesting note, the last two seasons Conforto has been a huge second-half player with a massive jump in 2018 as his ISO jumped well over .100 points to .266 and we saw a similar improvement in the second half of 2019. You could argue that resurgence comes with the weather warming up which in theory would translate to this year with all games coming in the heat of the summer or you can take the approach that he takes a while to get going – which in a shortened season could be an issue as every game on the schedule has a higher degree of importance.

There is one constant though in the numbers for Conforto – a consistent upward trend and sometimes as Mets fans, we may forget he is still just 27 years old. Heading into this season with McNeil/Nimmo ahead of him and Alonso/Yo/Cano/JD/Ramos right behind him – there is going to be some serious per game run production hitting in the middle of a lineup that showed it was a top 10 offense across every metric in the second half of last year, ranking top 10 in runs, RBI, team ISO and team wOBA. With the addition of a DH, and one as talented as Yoenis Cespedes, I want as many underrated pieces of this Mets offense as I can get!

And hey – LFGM!

Thanks for enjoying this New York Mets Fantasy Season Outlook! Make sure to follow us on twitter at @WinDailySports and me at @2LockSports! There is more FREE content over at WinDailySports.com and you can chat with our Fantasy Pros one on one in our Expert Discord Chat!

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Fantasy Baseball Pitching Targets

In my last article, we discussed the strategy that I was approaching the 2020 MLB season with. The basic premise is to fade the super high end pitching options at cost and draft hitters instead. That still leaves you having to fill out a rotation. This article will put forth some fantasy baseball starting pitching targets that lay further along in the draft.

For the purposes of this exercise, let’s assume the draft has gone well for the first few rounds. You loaded up on hitters for the first five rounds and you landed a Tyler Glasnow as your first starter. After that, I try to pair Glasnow with two “safer” pitchers. Maybe the upside isn’t wildly high but I feel confident in the two to put up solid numbers through 60 games. The other two I’ll try to make some upside picks to possibly get ace-like performances in the short sprint of 60 games.

Safe Fantasy Baseball Pitching Targets

Sonny Gray, Cincinnati Reds – ADP of 100th overall

This really isn’t an expectation that Gray repeats his ERA of 2.89 last season, and he’s likely not going to strike out over 10 batters per nine innings. Gray lands here due to his track record over seven seasons, producing an ERA of 3.55 or lower in five of them. Considering one season was with the Yankees and it was clearly not the right fit makes me even happier to draft Gray.

His ground ball rate has always been at 50 percent or higher, which is the kind of pitcher you want when he pitches in Great American Ballpark. The launching pad in Cincinnati checked in as the fourth highest home run rate via FantasyPros.com ball park factors.

The FIP for Gray last season was 3.42 which is probably more about where he’ll land this year. The LOB% (left on base percent) was nearly 80 percent so there’s some regression due but I will happily take a starter with a 3.50ish ERA and striking out about a hitter per inning around pick 100.

Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs – ADP of 156th overall

You better believe I’ll be the first one to tell you that Hendricks is among the most boring options in fantasy. He’s not a strikeout pitcher, there’s likely not a ton of upside and he’s not going to win categories by himself. What he does offer is stability.

In his six seasons with Chicago, he’s pitched at least 139 innings every one with the exception of his rookie season. His ERA has never been above 3.95. Even the FIP has never been over 3.88, which helps suggest Hendricks knows how to limit runs.

Additionally, it’s at least worth noting that all four of the other teams in the NL Central finished in the bottom half in runs per game in 2019. Even with a Brewers team that was close to average and a revamped Reds lineup, the division simply isn’t an offensive powerhouse.

It doesn’t hurt that the Pirates have maybe three major league hitters in their lineup. Of the 60 games this year, 40 are against the Central (and they play the Royals and Tigers, bottom five teams in runs per game in 2019). He’s got no sizzle but Hendricks should help establish a floor for your pitching staff.

Upside Fantasy Baseball Pitching Targets

Frankie Montas, Oakland A’s – ADP of 110th overall

What better place to swing for upside than a pitcher who has already shown he can do it. Montas was electric in his 96 innings for the A’s last season before serving a suspension for PED usage. The ERA was 2.63, the FIP was 3.00 flat and he was striking out over a hitter per inning. On top of that, he had a top 20 splitter in the league according to FanGraphs.

Per BrooksBaseball.net, Montas threw the splitter about 18.6% of the time in 2019 and his whiff percentage is eye-popping. It sat at 22.7% and was easily his best mark of his repertoire. Not only that but hitters only had a .155 average and a .262 slugging percentage against the pitch. His splitter and slider are both lethal, helping push his K rate to 26.1%.

His suspension might actually work slightly in his favor this season. With only playing 60 games and Montas not coming off a large workload, Oakland should be able to lean on him. I don’t believe he’s being valued properly in drafts right now.

If you miss out on Montas (he and Gray are so closely bunched in ADP that getting both might be tough), I suggest Shohei Ohtani. The layoff has given him time to recover from Tommy John surgery and the plan is he gets eight starts this year. He’d have to be great in those eight but you can use him as a hitter as well, adding value to the pick.

Dinelson Lamet, San Diego Padres – ADP of 121st overall

Just go ahead and give me all the Lamet shares this year, please and thank you. He’s the exact style of pitcher to try and match with a Hendricks type, with his K rate of 33.6% in 73 innings last season. The Padres are pushing to make the postseason this year and the leashes should be off their young staff. This includes 27 year old Lamet, who dazzled as a strikeout pitcher returning from Tommy John in 2019.

With a minimum 70 IP, only 10 pitchers had a higher K% than Lamet in 2019. Of those 10, the only starters to best him were Gerrit Cole, Chris Sale, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Mike Clevinger. The four healthy pitchers in that group go as top 10 options while Lamet is barely cracking the top 125. Even with an ERA of 4.07 like last year, he would represent value. Both the FIP of 3.91 and the xFIP of 3.44 suggest he may have been slightly unlucky. The BABIP of .311 certainly supports that notion also.

If Lamet can prevent a few more runs this season, he could be primed for a monster run and is a fantastic fantasy baseball pitching target later in your draft.

Thank you for reading Fantasy Baseball Pitching Targets! Feel free to tweet me @bucn4life with any and all questions, check out the MLB page on WinDailySports.com and let’s chat in the WinDaily Discord as well!

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Fantasy Baseball Targets for Redraft Leagues

The time is almost here to start drafting for fantasy baseball and the only thing we as an industry can say with certainty is “I don’t know.” That may seem a bit odd, but my belief is any responsible analyst can use that phrase in this situation. It’s a 60 game season. It’s also the first of its kind in this sport. We’re basically in the Wild West and taking our best guesses as to what the season holds. I’m going to focus on four of my favorite fantasy baseball targets for redraft leagues today.

Overall Strategy

An aspect of the shortened season that may be more important than ever is the draft capital spent on each player. For this article, we’re using ADP (average draft position) from the National Fantasy Championships website. When talking ADP, I always prefer a site where the leagues are high stakes as a portrait of where players get drafted.

One of the first things we notice is there are six pitchers going in the top 20. While it’s always attractive to anchor your staff with a Gerrit Cole or a Walker Buehler. The ace every fifth day is comforting and a safety blanket for your squad. For me, that’s not going to be the case this season.

Don’t get me wrong, Cole and the other top tier aces are likely going to pitch well…when they pitch. Let’s break down some math here. MLB is playing a total of 60 games. If a pitcher starts every fifth game, that would leave him with 12 starts.

Teams have already discussed being cautious with their starters the first couple times through the rotation. If two of these starts are almost surely not going past five innings, that leaves you with 10 starts of “normal” ace pitching. Now let’s assume at least one start will be rough because this is baseball. Paying top dollar for stud pitching for 10 games at best seems very, very dicey. With that information in the bank, let’s talk about some targets that could really make a difference for your team.

Anthony Rendon, 3B, Angels

ADP of 20th overall

The obvious retort to my philosophy of not spending on pitching is who else are you taking and Rendon is the answer at the top end. Rendon moved out West and should continue to be a stud in every format of fantasy baseball redraft leagues. He’s going after the aforementioned six pitchers but I’d rather have 60 games of Rendon than 12 from Cole and the like. Rendon hasn’t hit under .270 since 2015 and he’s hit a consistent 20 or more home runs in every season since then.

On top of that, he’ll be hitting with the greatest player in the game today, Mike Trout. Depending on how the Angels lineup is structured, he’ll either have more RBI chances hitting after Trout or see some nice pitches with Trout waiting in the wings. Throw a player like Shohei Ohtani in the mix and that 2-3-4 for the Angels looks pretty formidable. I’m quite comfortable drafting a player with a career OBP of .369 any year. This year, I’m plenty happy to rank him ahead of the elite pitchers.

Yordan Alvarez, DH/OF, Astros

ADP of 40th overall

Drafting Alvarez is not really a referendum on pitchers around him. This is more because Aaron Judge is going one spot ahead and I’d much prefer Alvarez. Lest we forget, Judge has been injured for quite a while. The Yankees also weren’t exactly forthcoming with the specifics. Way back at the beginning of March, they conceded he had a stress fracture in his rib. They claimed he’d be reevaluated in two weeks. Fast forward to the end of June and Judge is hitting off a tee.

Judge absolutely has the track record on his side in a vacuum. That shouldn’t be glossed over and in most cases, I may find myself siding with experience over a second year player like Alvarez. However, the Astros offense as a whole is excellent. Alvarez himself was wildly impressive in 87 games in the bigs last year, slashing .313/.412/.665 in 369 plate appearances. He bashed 27 home runs and drove in 78 runs. It stands to reason with the offense returning for the most part those opportunities should be there this year as well.

The narrative of the Astros being punished by opposing pitchers might take a backseat in this format as well. Can teams afford to give away games by throwing at Astros hitters? The answer is likely no. Even if they do, that’s ducks on the pond for Alvarez. With Judge still not 100 percent healthy, give me the young Astros slugger.

Matt Olson, 1B, Athletics

ADP of 50th overall

Going around the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Patrick Corbin and Lucas Giolito might leave Olson in the rearview at this stage of the draft. However, he is a prime target to fill the first base spot in your lineup. Olson only played in 127 games last year due to an injury to his hamate bone in his right hand. Despite an injury with a reputation for hurting power production, Olson hit a career high 36 bombs.

A nice feature for Olson is he’s not a total liability against southpaw pitching, even as a lefty hitter himself. Would you love it if the average was higher than .223? Sure, but the OPS of .767 isn’t terrible and 11 home runs in 173 plate appearances doesn’t kill him. He can be started against any handedness. He’s currently being drafted as the fourth first baseman after Cody Bellinger, Freddie Freeman and Pete Alonso. The discount in capital spent on these four players could wind up making Olson quite the bargain.

Tyler Glasnow, SP, Rays

ADP of 69th overall

Despite not wanting to spend a high pick on pitching, at some point the positions on your roster have to get filled. Enter Glasnow, who looked like he was on the way to a dominant season last year before injury derailed him. Call me a bitter/biased Pittsburgh Pirates fan if you must but the proof is in the numbers (and I’m happy to see Glasnow succeed in a real organization).

Glasnow threw 60.2 innings last season to the tune of a 1.78 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 33 percent K rate and a minuscule 0.59 HR/9. Oh, did I mention his walks dropped to a career low 6.1 percent? It was his best mark of his career by a long shot, having been above 11 percent the rest of the time. Glasnow has always had the raw skill and it certainly seems that Tampa has found the way to harness it whereas Pittsburgh could not.

The AL East is sure to be a dogfight and it would be a little surprising if the Rays used the kid gloves on their co-ace alongside Blake Snell. Speaking of Snell, he’s going 31 picks higher and Glasnow could potentially best him in many pitching categories. He told reporters in February that he was 100 percent healthy and sparkled in his spring innings before the shutdown. I’m drafting with confidence.

Thank you for reading Fantasy Baseball targets for redraft leagues! Feel free to tweet me @bucn4life with any and all questions, check out the MLB page on WinDailySports.com and let’s chat in the WinDaily Discord as well!

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