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For fans of professional wrestling, the year 2019 has been one of renewed hope for the future.  In an industry that has seen its share of ups and downs since the glory days of the late 90s, the launching of a legitimate rival company to the WWE’s dominance is cause for optimism.  Backed by Tony Khan, son of Jacksonville Jaguars owner Sahd Khan, All Elite Wrestling, or AEW, began its march into the public’s consciousness earlier this year, and has been making big waves ever since. Cody Rhodes, son of the legendary Dusty Rhodes, signed on as Executive Vice President, as well as a performer for the group immediately.  Following that, the signing of perennial champion and industry disruptor Chris Jericho away from the WWE added some serious credibility to the company in the eyes of the more casual fan.

Subsequently, by then signing one of the WWE’s brightest new stars in Jon Moxley, AEW immediately positioned itself as a company to watch. Prior to their television debut on the TNT Network, which last hosted wrestling in the year 2000 under the WCW banner, Tony Khan and company expressed a desire to bring back a more legitimate feel to what many believe had become a bit of a circus show.  Wins and losses would be counted, tracked, and factored into title opportunities in AEW. Time limits would return, and characters would be presented more realistically, shying away from the over-the-top gimmicks found in the WWE. 

It is a well established trope that competition brings out the best in everyone involved when it comes to business. Conversely, it has been suggested that a lack of competition in their industry had left the WWE mired in a state of complacency.  Fans had become louder in voicing their displeasure at arenas, oftentimes chanting “This is Boring” through main events, or mercilessly booing the supposed fan favorite, Roman Reigns. Despite the festering resentment from their core fan base, business has thrived overall for Vince McMahon’s empire, becoming a publicly traded company on the way to making the 74 year-old promoter a certified billionaire.

The WWE Network, an on-demand streaming video service that offers subscribers access to all current PPV events, and decades of past wrestling history, recently surpassed two million subscribers, ensuring WWE is going nowhere anytime soon.  Therefore, leading up to the launch of AEW, there had been an air of indifference coming from inside WWE offices about the new kid on the block. Besides, while AEW was preparing for their premiere episode, the WWE had just signed a multi-year, multi-billion dollar deal with FOX to air WWE Friday Night Smackdown. FOX executives had some requests, though, chief among them was a more legitimate sports based presentation style, with less of the soap opera-esque shenanigans.

Upping the ante a bit more, WWE also announced it’s developmental league, NXT, would begin airing weekly episodes of their show on Wednesday Nights on the USA Network, creating a “Wednesday Night War”, as their time slot on USA would be airing in direct competition with AEW’s new flagship, AEW Dynamite on TNT.   Fans responded to this news with a renewed enthusiasm for professional wrestling, and the ratings for each Wednesday Night show started off very strong. But how would the two companies continue to draw viewers? Was this the signaling of a new boom period, or just a short term, nostalgia-driven burst of energy?

 Around this time, rumors began circulating online that the WWE had begun looking into creating Fantasy Sports leagues for their fans.  Plenty of questions immediately arose regarding this idea. After all, how could a Fantasy League work in a genre with openly admitted predetermined outcomes? Further complicating things, over the last 20 years, the “rules” that had once been enforced in professional wrestling had largely become an afterthought.  Count-outs and disqualifications had long given way to the Jerry Springer style spectacle of steel chair shots and various other “no holds barred” chicanery.

Although the WWE provided no answers to these questions, simultaneously, it seemed AEW’s President, Tony Khan, was marinating a similar idea of his own.  In October of this year, in an interview with CBS Sports, Khan revealed that not only was the idea of Fantasy Wrestling being strongly considered, the logistics were being worked out already. With AEW’s focus being on a more reality based style from the company’s inception, and not as an audible called to appease network execs, they apparently were further down the path of bringing Fantasy Sports to professional wrestling, as Khan explained in the interview.  As Khan explained in the interview, in addition to his work with AEW, he also serves as the Jacksonville Jaguars Senior Vice President of Football Technology and Analytics. He also owns a company that provides data to major media outlets, placing him in a unique position to sort data for professional wrestling in a way it had never been done before. In the interview, he further hypothesized how something like this might work- tracking statistics like pinfalls, finishing maneuvers, kickouts, and a litany of other micro-stats that had thus far been ignored, let alone tracked for any further examination or use.

As a lifelong fan of professional wrestling, and a bit of a novice in Fantasy sports, the idea at first didn’t seem to be more than another gimmick that would fail in the never ending search for mainstream relevance by wrestling companies.  But, as I watched another plodding episode of Monday Night Raw, rife with overused cliches, endings, and storylines, I had a change of thought. Fantasy Sports and Professional Wrestling could be exactly the marriage needed to carry this industry to the next level.  

Traditionally, professional wrestling’s mainstream popularity has been one of cycles.  Every ten years or so, it seemed, wrestling would find itself in the midst of a boom period, propelled by a group of new stars that resonated with the audience.  From Hulk Hogan in the 80s to Stone Cold and the Rock in the 90s, these “boom periods” left their mark on culture, before a variety of reasons would see the genre fade back into the realm of ostracization by other “real sports”.  But what was the cause of those upswings in popularity? Well, the answer is actually pretty simple- each period of increased visibility was directly related to a change in philosophy by those in charge, or the “bookers”. More specifically, each big upswing in business occurred when wrestling companies embraced emerging technology and social trends. 

For example, in the 80s, prior to the phenomenon known as “Hulkamania”, wrestling had largely been a territorial game, with small rosters of independent companies running shows in their local areas. When Vince McMahon’s WWF took a national approach, running shows all over the country, and mixing it with the newest exciting technology of the time- music videos- wrestling became all the rage.  As much as it was the athletes competing in the ring that riveted fans, it was furthered by the complete transformation of how it was being presented that led to the increase in popularity. Similarly, in the 90s, another change in presentation would be the catalyst for the next big boom in business. With the WWE competing with World Championship Wrestling, or WCW, at the time, the two companies took the realism to another level, featuring increasingly edgy characters. As the internet began to permeate our day to day activities, websites reporting on rumors and the status of performer’s contracts, for example, became a larger part of the wrestling fan’s consciousness.

So when the two companies began capitalizing on and incorporating the backstage aspect of the business into the show, dollar signs followed.  Specifically, the biggest feud during this time was not between two wrestlers. Instead, it was between “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and the chairman of the WWE, Vince McMahon. This new dynamic, almost “behind-the-scenes-but-still-on-TV”, was nothing like what had preceded it. This new presentation allowed the WWE to defeat WCW in the ratings war, to the point where the WWE literally bought WCW out, and shut the rival company down. Since then, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, despite having an incredibly talented roster and no competition to stand in their way, fans have become increasingly dissatisfied with the product.

The fact is, WWE is still largely peddling in the type of content and presentation that led to it’s last big period of popularity. It’s an easy trap to fall into; if something worked once, there’s reason to believe it will work again.  But, as is always the case, the world continues to turn, and culture evolves along with it. The internet, at this point, has made it almost impossible for wrestling promoters to surprise audiences; storylines are constantly being leaked online before appearing on television. These factors present the perfect storm for change- the emergence of Fantasy Sports as a widely popular means of attracting and keeping fans tuned in to the day’s events across all major sports is not one that should be, or can be, ignored much longer. 

The popularity of Fantasy Sports has added a new dimension to every league, from the NHL to the NBA. The fact is, forcing the Professional Wrestling industry to again adapt to culture at large is a very good thing.  It would allow bookers to change direction with the way matches are planned and presented. It would certainly reduce the amount of “fluff” around the product, as fans would have a monetary interest in the actual matches, and what happens in those matches, as opposed to tuning in and being subjected to backstage segments that only serve as filler and time wasters to most. It would also give more power to the performers, as those with the more prolific skill sets would attract attention based on their earning potential. 

For example, a certain performer may not be the featured act, or main event, but his ability to win matches, execute certain maneuvers, etc. would both excite fans and ensure they stay tuned in. Furthermore, the focus on stats over storylines would force bookers to become more creative in their work, as well. The lack of consequences over match finishes has absolutely led to apathy amongst the fan base. This is actually no different than in other sports- who cares about a football game if your team is 0-12? Who cares about the first 100 or so games of a baseball season?  The answer? People with money invested in specific player’s performances. If wrestling were to introduce these statistics, and book their matches with a focus on the athlete’s performance, it would surely bring back some of their lapsed fans, and most likely attract a slew of new fans, some who are Fantasy Sports players first, and fans second. While some may have laughed at the idea of Professional Wrestling Fantasy Leagues, including myself at first, the fact is tying modern technology and culture to the genre has historically been the catalyst for it’s biggest successes. There are already a few people putting together Fantasy Wrestling Leagues, although without any official statistics being tracked, it is largely an unregulated guessing game.  Once the two major companies (WWE and AEW) begin tracking and making these stats available to fans, I predict a sharp increase in fan interest, and the next period of Professional Wrestling’s mainstream popularity.

What do you think? Are Fantasy Sports and Professional Wrestling a good fit? Would you get in on the action? Add your responses in the comment section below.

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WWE Special to Win Daily By President Powers

With a kickoff show that started at noon ET on Thursday, WWEfans will be treated to another Saudi Arabian spectacle, as the reigningchampion of sports entertainment presents the second annual “CrownJewel” event.  As usual, WWE doesn’t skimp on headline-worthymaterial, so names like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Tyson Fury, and Cain Velasquezhave done their part to draw eyes to the event already.  However, the moreinteresting, and in all honesty, historic news leading up to the show is thegroundbreaking Women’s Match- a first ever in Saudi Arabia, as strong culturaltraditions had prevented female competitors from wrestling at previous WWEevents.

As for the aforementioned big names, the show certainly appearsto have a ton of sizzle, but as you will see when looking at the current LasVegas Betting Odds, I wouldn’t expect a lot of surprises from this show. That’s not to say it won’t be entertaining, as they have used these SaudiArabian shows to entertain a less familiar audience with something akin to a”best of” type event.  Expect more “feel good moments”here than shocking developments and storyline advancement, for sure.  So,without any further ado, let’s take a look at the card for WWE Crown Jewel.

-WWE World Champion Brock Lesnar (-220) vs. Cain Velasquez(+160)

There are a lot of reasons to be interested in this fight, chiefamong those being the fact that this is quite literally Cain Velasquez’s firstmatch ever in the WWE, but it isn’t the first time these two titans havesquared off.  Many fans recall the beating Velasquez put on Lesnar tenyears ago in the UFC, which ended Lesnar’s reign as their Champion. However, 2019 Velasquez has looked like a significantly less menacing threat toLesnar, now the WWE’s flag bearer, than he did in 2009.  Word backstagewas when he debuted shirtless on Monday Night Raw a few weeks ago, VinceMcMahon himself was unhappy with the way Cain looked.  I have to believethat his subsequent appearances, where he appeared wearing street clothes,including a shirt, had to have come directly from the head honcho. 

Disregarding that rumor, it’s still hard to believe that theywould put their top title on someone wrestling their first match, especiallywith all the work they’ve put in to protect Lesnar. That said, WWE would bepretty short sighted to just have Lesnar beat Velasquez clean here, as theyjust signed him to a multi-year contract.  To bring such a high profileathlete into the fold, one who carries a strong aura of legitimacy, and then quicklyjob him out in his first match would seem self defeating.  So what do Ithink they’ll do? Well, the answer is rather simple, although I am not sure howit translates for those placing bets.  I expect Lesnar to getdisqualified, or some other type of “non-finish” where Velasquez winsthe match, but as per WWE’s rules (lol), titles can’t change hands via DQ, onlyby pinfall or submission. So, Cain wins, but Lesnar retains.

-WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins (-140) vs. “TheFiend” Bray Wyatt (Even)

 This match carries intrigue as well, although not for thereasons WWE executives would like.  At last month’s PPV, Hell In A Cell,Rollins defeated Wyatt via referee stoppage, as the whole crowd in attendancebooed loudly through the final five minutes of the match.  Of course,booing is usually a good sign, but not when the person being booed is the”babyface” the crowd is supposed to love.  The fact is, Wyatt’scharacter refresh that began earlier this year has gotten over tremendouslywith fans, and they were anticipating this match to be his coronation aschampion.  Instead, they got a ridiculous series of false finishes, and amotionless Wyatt being buried (literally, and perhaps figuratively) beneath astack of ladders while Rollins smashed them with a sledgehammer.  Thiscaused the referee to stop the match, awarding the victory to Rollins. 

Further agitating to fans was the fact that the whole point of a”Hell in a Cell” match is that you must have a winner.  So,heading into this rematch, it was announced that this match “can not bestopped for any reason”, ensuring a winner at Crown Jewel.  So,here’s how this one breaks down- Bray Wyatt needs to win this match, or elsethe WWE creative team will be throwing away the first big success story they’veallowed in years. Is another shmozz finish possible? Sure, if they are alrightwith pissing off more fans. Besides, Rollins works better as an underdogbabyface chasing the title, and Wyatt is absolutely deserving of a run with thegold. 

-Tyson Fury (-600) vs. Braun Strowman (+350)

The only thing that is a mystery about this match is how it willlook.  Although Fury is a natural fit in WWE, the reality is he has alegit championship boxing match in February, so for now, this is a one-timedeal.  Reports from inside WWE training facilities suggest Fury has beenall in regarding his training for this Strowman match, so hopefully, he’slearning how to throw a working punch.  If not, Strowman could be in for along night, as Fury remarkably matches up in size to the massive 6’8″”Monster Among Men”.  Also keep in mind, WWE doesn’t bring inbig name athletes for one time performances and have them lose- Lawrence Taylordefeating Bam Bam Bigelow in 1993, and the Wrestlemania debacle that saw FloydMayweather defeat the 7’4″, 500 pound Paul Wight both immediately come tomind.  I expect this match to be short, although I’m sure they’ll fluff itup with some stalling or trash talking in the beginning.  Bottom line,Fury is going to put Strowman down for the count in this one. 

-Team Hogan (-350) vs. Team Flair (+225)

This has been an oddly put together angle from jump, and I amsure it was only done to find a way to get Hogan and Flair on the cardand over to Saudi Arabia.  Thankfully, neither of the twolegendary geriatrics will be in the actual match, although the 70 year oldFlair did just do an interview where he made a point of saying the WWE doctorsdid medically clear him to work.  Although I am a huge Ric Flair fan, itcan’t possibly be considered safe to have him involved in any physicality,despite Flair’s repeated proclamation that he when he dies, he’ll either be”in this ring, or on top of a wild woman.”

Anyway, the teams here are fairly even matched, with Roman Reigns and Randy Orton serving as the respective captains for their teams- Reigns for Hogan, Orton for Flair.  Both teams are rounded out by some of the most gifted performers on the roster, including Ricochet, Drew McIntyre, Ali, Rusev, and Shinsuke Nakamura.  I expect this to be a very fun match to watch, with lots of high spots, interference from Flair and Hogan, and ultimately, the good guys leaving with the victory.  The Saudi Arabian shows in many ways are glorified house shows, and in a match like this with no real ramifications, this is an opportunity to make the fans happy.  I fully anticipate a Reigns/Hogan shared pose down at the culmination of this one. 

-Tag Team Turmoil Match to Determine “The Best Tag Team Inthe World”

The New Day vs. The Viking Raiders vs. Heavy Machinery vs. LuchaHouse Party vs. Roode & Ziggler vs. The Revival vs. The OC vs. The B-Team

(6/5) (3/2) (7/1)  (25/1) (7/1) (8/1) (10/1) (40/1)

Talk about a cluster…. This match has more question marks thanany other on the card, in my opinion.  Although I do believe the reigningtag team champions, the Viking Raiders will win this, I am clueless as to howthis match will actually work. This is a large collection of massivebodies, and I am under the impression all competitors will be in the ring atonce, rather than standard tag team rules- a rather odd way of determining whois the “best tag team in the world”, considering no one will betagging in and out.  Also, rumors of an impending New Day heel turn have beenabound for some time, and more so lately than ever now that Kofi’s title reignis over and New Day merch isn’t moving how it used to. 

Do they pull the trigger here and kick off what could be anexciting feud between them and the Viking Raiders?  Or do the favoritesprevail here, adding to the impressive list of accolades that the WWE has beentalking about on TV since they debuted.  It’s rare that WWE acknowledgestitles held outside of their own promotion, so I take them doing so for theRaiders as a sign they will win here, too, further establishing theircredentials as the top team in the WWE. 

-Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya (Added Last Minute, No Oddscurrently available)

This match is a groundbreaking moment for Saudi Arabia, andregardless of the winner in the ring, ultimately, the women of Saudi Arabia arethe intended winners.  Sure, allowing women to compete for the WWE is asmall step for Saudi women’s rights, but it is a step in the right direction,and even the longest of journeys are completed by many small steps. Kudos tothe WWE for pushing for this to happen, as it had been a publicly stated goalof the company since they first inked the 10 year deal to produce events forSaudi Arabia.  As for the match itself, I expect Charlotte Flair to win,as she has been positioned as the Queen of the Women’s division, and rightlyso, due to her consistently superb performances.  Natalya is an unsunghero of the women’s division, and a win here wouldn’t hurt Charlotte, either,but I still believe Charlotte will come out on top after a well fought contest.

20 Man Battle Royal to Determine Who Will Face AJ Styles forthe U.S. Championship

(Sunil Singh, Mojo Rawley, Erick Rowan, R-Truth, Sin Cara, TheBrian Kendrick, Titus O’Neil, Tony Nese, Akira Tozawa, Shelton Benjamin, ApolloCrews, Buddy Murphy, Andrade, Drake Maverick, Eric Young, Luke Harper, CedricAlexander, Heath Slater, Humberto Carrillo, No Way Jose.)

If you haven’t been watching WWE programming lately, this onemay appear to have the murkiest waters for making a prediction.  However,Humberto Carrillo has been featured prominently in recent weeks, taking bothStyles and Seth Rollins to the limit before coming up just short of avictory.  Personally, I think his push has something to do with rivalcompany AEW’s young upstart, Sammy Guevera, as Carrillo bears a strikingresemblance.  The only other standout of this lot in my opinion would beBuddy Murphy, another young star poised to break out, especially with PaulHeyman being a fan of his work and currently in charge of Monday NightRaw.  However, this isn’t Monday Night Raw, and between the momentum he’shad, and the already-there story between him and AJ Styles for later in thenight, I expect Humberto to be the winner here.

-Mansoor  (-1000) vs. Cesaro (+525)

If the ridiculous odds on this bout leave you perplexed, allowme to explain a bit.  Mansoor hails from Saudi Arabia. He last appeared onWWE television, at least to my knowledge, at the last event held in SaudiArabia, where he triumphed over a field of 50 other Superstars to win the”Greatest Battle Royal” earlier this year. The win at that event waslargely believed to appeal (appease?) the hometown crowd, and his appearance onthis card at all indicates a similar result here.  Luckily, the match willstill be entertaining, as Cesaro is one of the best performers on theroster.  The real shame is that Cesaro is booked to lose to Mansoorspecifically for that reason- his superior ability will allow him to carry theunproven Mansoor to a quality match, and to look believable in the loss. Hopefully, his talent is rewarded one day with a title run of some sort, butthat day will not be today. I predict Mansoor with the undeserving victory overCesaro. 

-U.S. Champion A.J. Styles vs. TBD (Winner of BattleRoyal) 

Regardless of who he faces here, I don’t see Styles dropping theU.S. Championship at Crown Jewel.  Rather, I think this will be a welldeserved showcase and triumph for A.J., who has been a fixture in thetitle picture since debuting with the company in 2016.  His reign willeventually end, and it may even be to Buddy Murphy or Humberto Carrillo, butevery show needs a couple of matches where the bad guy wins, and this will beone of them. 

 Overall, this should be a fun show to watch, with fairlypredictable outcomes throughout.  I’d probably be more interested inmaking side bets, like how many suplexes Lesnar delivers to Velasquez, or howmany times Ric Flair yells “Wooo!” from ringside.  Ultimately,the spectacle and sizzle around this event may prove to be more than thesubstance delivered, but often, that approach makes for greatentertainment. 

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DFS Insights and Tips from Pro Wrestler and MLB Expert Matt Striker.

Here are some of prime plays for July 5.

 Bats options for for Friday July 5, 2019:

I like NATS bats.

I also like BLUE JAYS bats as VGJ, BIGGIO,  JANSEN, GURRIEL are all in play for DFS.

Mini ORIOLES  stack, maybe 2 players to take advantage of Sanchez’s walk rate ? See what a NUNEZ, SMITH, ALBERTO stack will run you in your DFS lineups and see what you can build.


LAUREANO could be a one off in the OAK/SEA game.

I also may look at a CHAPMAN, SEMIEN, OLSON combo in that same game.

For Pitching-

  • KERSHAW could be in a good spot here. He closes out my top tier DFS pitchers for today.

E-ROD. He is priced right in DFS and I’d hope that he gives me some innings.

PEREZ May be under-owned vs. Texas.

TEHERAN is my value play of the day.

Feel free to hit me up @Matt_Striker_

Matt Striker on DFS on Win Daily


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DFS Insights and Tips from Pro Wrestler and MLB Expert Matt Striker.

“ I believe in America because we have great dreams, and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true.” 

                         -Wendell Willkie 

MIA@WSH Hernandez vs. Sanchez. 

This is Sanchez filling in for Scherzer. Wouldn’t it be cool for DFS if Anibal fanned like,18 ?! 

Not going to happen but I still like SANCHEZ. 

I wouldn’t mind NATIONALS bats here-although,I’d be aware of Hernandez’a K upside. 

CLE@KC Plesac vs. Bailey

If you’re thinking of a Plesac DFS play here just remember, last time out Plesac got knocked around

I know that the Royals bats aren’t that threatening but Mondesi is back and that may be what the team needs heading into, and out of the break. 

BAILEY has quietly, outside of a hiccup last go around, been very effective. 

Still, NO PLAY unless I find myself struggling to build a decent lineup. 

MIL@CIN Woodruff vs. Castillo.

Ooh, I don’t touch this one in DFS. I can’t say with conviction that I can see Woody mowing down the Reds bats. 

On the flip, I can say the opposite.    

So, yea. NO PLAY . 

DET@CWS  Boyd vs. Lopez

Both of these guys get pushed back due to weather. I said in a previous column that BOYD could be auditioning for a role with the Astros come trade deadline time. 

NICK CASTELLANOS hits Lopez well if you are looking for a DFS one off. 

CHC@PIT  Quintana vs, Lyles

Lyles threw over 100 pitches just back from an injury last outing. His team has been hot but  that doesn’t translate to playing a pitcher in this instance. 

JASON HEYWARD is hitting.429 vs. Lyles as a potential one-off or DFS stack anchor. 

Quintana has been mixing pitches a lot better as of late, what that means to the scorching Pirates still could be one of those things where you ride a JOSH BELL stack.  

Bell has seen Qunitana seven times and homered off of him once. You could have fun with this one. 

MIN@OAK      Berrios vs. Anderson

I smell trouble here. Anderson got roughed up his last time out surrendering seven to the Angels, now,he has his first start ever in Minnesota. TWINS BATS  should batter this young man, no ? He’s a rookie with an ERA over 7. 

There is also a DFS play here for BERRIOS as he continues to provide quality starts but be aware that guys like MATT CHAPMAN and RAMON LAUREANO have gotten to Berrios this season. 

STL@SEA     Wacha vs. TBD

Wacha has lowered his ERA by a full run by turning in 3 straight quality starts. Just food for DFS thought as I can’t really do anything without the rest of the equation here so, OFF THE BOARD for me. 

NYY@TB    Happ vs. Chirinos

YANKEES BATS are always in play, though Chirinos has faced the Bombers three times this year and has a modest ERA of three against them. D.J. LeMahieu has had the most success against Chironos if you choose to venture down that DFS road. 

BOS vs. TOR Velasquez  vs. Stroman 

I don’t know how healthy Stroman really is and Boston feels like they are starting to find themselves. 

Velasquez gets the nod for Boston and will be counted on to give the Sox innings. 

If you have been playing any combination involving VLAD GUERRERO, JR and CAVAN BIGGIO then you have probably been cashing out in DFS. 

GURRIEL has been hot with seven Rs over the last 14 days but let’s not lose sight of the 16 strikeouts to go along with it. 

DANNY JANSEN has been a sneaky value at his position as well. 

Keep an eye on this situation. . 

You could play RED SOX bats here if you felt so inclined, given the uncertainty of Stroman.

PHI@ATL Eflin vs. Soroka

Soroka is the man. He comes in with a Greg Maddux-like ERA of 2.13, but the Phillies lineup is volatile and not one for me to pick on in DFS. On the other side, JOSH DONALDSON has good career numbers vs. Eflin. 

SD@LAD  Lamet vs. Ryu

Yay! Dinelson Lamet. Boo. Hyun-Jin Ryu. I like Lamet’s K upside but maybe not against the Dodgers. Who knows how many pitches he is going to throw ?  I wouldn’t play it in DFS. 

As far as Ryu goes, I am sure he can quiet this Padres lineup that ranks 4th in strikeouts in all of baseball.  

Interesting play here, look at the prices and see if you want to pay up for HYUN-JIN RYU 

LAA@TEX  Canning vs. Lynn

Lynn has been good, his fastball has been good and he is certainly someone to keep an eye on for DFS value- just not tonight. 

Guys like JONATHAN LUCROY and SHOHEI OHTANI profile well vs. Lynn but they will be hard to stack since they are so far apart in the lineup ( 3,8 )  Also, when was the last time you had a lineup with Jonathon Lucroy in it ? 

Go on, have fun, you could try a Lucroy, FLETCHER, CALHOUN stack against a fastball pitcher in the heat. 

I would rather pay up and build the TROUT, OHTANI stack while finding value at pitcher in one of the other games.

I would definitely like to hear and see what you guys did with today’s pitching options. 

Hit me up @Matt_Striker_   

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DFS Expert/Pro Wrestler Matt Striker and FSWA Hall of Famer Scott Engel are featured in the 7/4 MLB DFS Podcast. Listen to get caught up on who they are planning to play today and tonight. They break down the large slate and engage in some interesting banter. Scott actually pulls a Jason Vargas like act on Striker at one point.

Sanchez and Lynn are Top Choices

Anibal Sanchez is maybe the best value for pitching on the slate against his former team. Scott also likes Lance Lynn a lot, but Striker may want to employ a contrarian stack against him. Should you really spend for Dodgesr bats tonight? Some Toronto bats may be in play. Listen closely to the 7/4 MLB DFS Podcast to find the hidden gems on the Daily Fantasy Baseball slate.

Sign up NOW for WIN DAILY Premium Gold right here! Projections, weather reports, wagering info, 24/7 expert chats and more!

Click play below to listen to the 7/4 MLB DFS Podcast.

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NYM @ PHI  Wheeler vs. Nola.
Last night If you had played a Phillies DFS stack of 5-6-7 ( Realmuto, Bruce, Hernandez)  you would have been greatly surprised at the turnout .

If you want guys like Kingery ( went 0 for 5 yesterday, btw ) or Alonso, think about how that may throw a lineup strategy out of whack. 

Wheeler trying to get back to form as is Nola, there is NO PLAY here. 

TEX@DET Jurado vs. Turnbull   

Check the weather.

 I like TEXAS bats. I like JURADO as well,  I think this could be an overlooked game, check the DFS pricing and see. 

Don’t sleep on something like this. 

TB@MIN Stanek vs. Perez  

A DFS stack around NELSON CRUZ may not be a bad idea but I would watch the EDDIE ROSARIO injury issue. 

PIT@HOU Musgrove vs. Peacock.

I do not know who thought it was funny to have the Pirates hang 14 on Houston yesterday but, whoa.

I could see a revenge game thing happening here. 

Maybe play an ASTROS bat DFS stack if the price is appealing. Don’t be afraid to look lower in the lineup.

SEA@MIL  Leake vs. Ch.Anderson.  BREWER S DFS bat stacks are always in play. Any time you can build something around YELICH, do so.


ATL@CHC Wilson vs. Chatwood. 
I always look for a hot and windy day in Wrigley. I can easily see Chatwood walking a guy or two to start the inning and then a three-run yoke to one of the many capable BRAVES bats. 

WSH@MIA  Strasburg vs. Alcantara
I think  NATIONALS bats are always a DFS play.  I also can see STRASBURG being a play as well.  Chalky game here.

LAD@COL  Beuhler vs. Lambert.

This is almost like a Cheech and Chong movie and Stacy Keach is playing Kirk Gibson and everyone is stoned. 

I like DODGERS bats here DFS wise against Lambert, who has an ERA over 5. 

Lambert is also a rookie and is scared of Coors as he has had two poor starts there.  

So, on paper, this game can be rolled up, twisted, have one end bitten off and then lit- and canoe up the side and then be covered with saliva until fixed properly as your smokeable stack of the day: DODGERS BATS. 

AZ@SF Young vs. Beede

The Diamondbacks are throwing their 2nd round pick from 2015.

 He is a lefty. We will see what it does to Giants bats in DFS.

 If you’re feeling froggy you can build a DFS lineup around YOUNG  but only if it’s 4th and final lineup of the day. 

OAK@LAA  Anderson vs Canning 

This is fun. 

The Angels are becoming fun and I like that. 

I like having a West Coast team that plays well and has the guy that everyone says is the greatest player of all times.

 You can have a nice ANGELS BAT stack here.  

 I wouldn’t get too crazy by adding Canning, only because Oakland  bats can pop off at any time. 


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$trike for the CA$H for June 18

Hi folks, the Neal Peart of DFS is back. ( Because I am always in odd time ) to break down another interesting slate.

There are some good pitcher plays as well as a bunch of bat stacks.

Let’s get to it :

PHI @ WSH  Arrieta vs. Corbin

Both starters are good , and on any other day they may even be a play but there is too much riding on this series and there are better places to put our money. NO PLAY

TB @ NYY  TBD vs. Happ

This is a volatile series, I expect there to be runs scored, Happ’s control worries me and you can go ahead and jump in the Encarnacion-mania and stack him, but for me it is  NO PLAY

DET @ PIT Norris vs. Keller

Return of Mitch Keller. Until he can prove himself I am staying away .NO PLAY

LAA @TOR  Skaggs vs. Stroman

Let’s play TORONTO BATS HERE. Skaggs has a generous 5.00 ERA

HOU @ CIN Verlander vs. DeScalfani

ASTROS BATS in this park seem to be a smart play.  VERLANDER is in play here as well.

NYM @ ATL deGrom vs. Teheran

Teheran has been stingy and the Mets don’t tend to give deGrom run support but I am staying away . NO PLAY

CLE@TEX Plesac vs. Sampson

Plesac threw over 100 pitches his last outing. What intrigues me here is that Indians batters have never seen Sampson before and that could result in some interest but for me- NO PLAY

CWS @CHC Nova vs. Hamels

CUBS BATS can be a play here against Nova, especially with a plus 6 ERA. Check the weather first.  Being 6-2 with an ERA under 3, HAMELS is a nice pick especially at his price.

BOS @MIN Price vs, Pineda

While Twins bats are intriguing, in addition to Price imploded his last time out, I still won’t have a play in this game. NO PLAY

MIA @ STL Yamamoto vs. Flaherty

CARDS BATS and FLAHERTY is my play here. Yamamoto is fun to watch but he is a Double A pitcher, keep that in mind.

COL@AZ Senzetela vs. Kelly

While I like Kelly after what the Rockies and Padres did in the last series I am a bit scared. Granted, it was at Coors but still, the bats are hot. Ketel Marte is hot, if you want to play him, otherwise- NO PLAY

BAL @OAK Ynoa vs. Anderson

I like A’s BATS at home here. I think Baltimore is always a good “pick on” team, especially with Ynoa’s plus 5 ERA and a shaky pen.

MIL@SD  Woodruff vs TBD

I like MIL BATS but again, keep in mind what happened w SD and COL. If you need to, you can play Brewers bats otherwise, NO PLAY

KC@SEA  Bailey vs. Kikuchi

Now that Seattle has dealt Encarnacion you may think that there are no bats in Seattle but I think they find a way to plate some against Bailey and his 5.37 ERA. SEA BATS only if you are looking for value.

SF@LAD   Anderson vs. Kershaw.

CHALK ALERT  LAD BATS and KERSHAW are the play here. Die on this hill until it proves no longer worth dying upon.  


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ATL@PHI  Musgrove vs. Teheran

Will the real Joe Musgrove please stand up ? He is 4-6, pitching to a 4.40 ERA, his FIP ( 3.78) is the outlier here that tells a better story. The difference between FIP and ERA tells me that Musgrove has been a victim of a bit of bad luck to go with some other issues. That isn’t enough for me to play him, it’s merely an observation.

 Teheran has pitched well, he has given up one earned run or less in his last seven appearances. Add that to the fact that the Braves as a team are 8-2 in their last 10 with a run differential of +23 and you could go Teheran as a play here. He is worth keeping in mind.

SEA@MIN  Kikuchi vs. Pineda

Kikuchi has struggled. The Twins are the best team in baseball. The Twins hit a lot of home runs. The Twins have a run differential of..PLUS 113 !! TWINS BAT Stack is the play.

AZ@WSH Greinke vs. Fedde.

Greinke is a good pitcher. Straight up. That’s not any crazy fantasy advice, it’s just a fact. He is coming off an extra day of rest. For Washington, Fedde has been quietly good. 2.7 ERA over four starts. These elements push me off this game. NO PLAY

TOR@ BAL   Stroman vs. Ynoa

The Orioles have been on a strange fantasy roll lately. It is something that I would like to examine at a later date. I have been sticking with trying to get some sort of Vlad mini-stack ( Vlad and whomever is hitting ahead or behind him ) when he is in the lineup.

TEX@BOS Sampson vs. Price

Price has a 1.88 ERA over his last nine starts. Sampson is, are you ready, 5-0, with a 1.99 ERA (!) A WHIP of nearly just 1, and 30 strikeouts. He is downright stingy. I am scared off. NO PLAY anywhere.

LAA@TB Skaggs vs. Yarbrough

I have always favored Ryan Yarbrough, but the handedness concerns me enough to stay away on that end. I find myself ending up on the practicality of TBB BATS , especially with a run differential of +95, they are hard to stay off.   TBB BAT STACK

STL@NYM Flaherty vs. deGrom

This is the equivalent of an old professional wrestling type feud. There is just a good rivalry here and this will be a great early June test for both clubs. I would never advocate going against deGrom and I don’t care much for Mets bats. NO PLAY

DET@KC Boyd vs. Bailey

Games like this frighten me. Boyd could be a good value play here as could Tigers bats, but I am not going to be forced into it unless I need to dip into this game to balance out a lineup. I would keep a keen eye on Boyd as a play

NYY@CWS Happ vs. Nova

These are the games where the Yankees are supposed to roll. NYY BATS are a play. I would be aware of Happ’s fly ball tendency.

SD@COL  Strahm vs. Gray

Every bat you possibly can. Every SD BAT stack, every COL BAT stack. Play the odds here.

CHC@LAD Lester vs. Kershaw.

Put your money elsewhere. Sit back and watch this game.

I realize that this a very bad heavy stack day for me and I am going to be looking for some value pitchers to fill in a bat cost-heavy lineup. Teheran could be a play, as could Boyd. I know they aren’t sexy but if I am going to build today’s games as I would like to, this is the approach that I need. I may play multiple lineups and go with one lineup built around Kershaw as well.

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$trike for the CA$H: Tuesday June 11

Hello sports fans! Hopefully you have been following along and making the plays listed here on the site because we have been raking. Yesterday, two of my three lineups cashed so I am playing with house money.

Today’s slate offers a few opportunities to increase our bank with several bat stacks and a few good pitcher options.

NYM@NYY DOUBLEHEADER Wheeler vs. Tanaka, Vargas vs, Paxton

Due to yesterday’s rainout we get a doubleheader.

Wheeler hasn’t been awful this year and Tanaka is seemingly always one pitch away from having his arm fall off. With that said, I have NO PLAY in the game.

The second game of this tilt is where I think we make our money.

The Mets will throw Jason Vargas against James Paxton. Look, you can write all of your fancy articles about Jason Vargas and focus on one or two obscure metrics to bolster your argument in his favor, but let’s face it- Jason Vargas isn’t very good at baseball. The only “Vargas” that I’d ever put any money on is Kevin’s neighbor, the FedEx delivery guy in the Seinfeld Bizarro Universe episode. Vargas! Feel free to hit me up @Matt_Striker_ and we can discuss this further. I say play NYY BATS here!

AZ@PHI Duplantier vs. Arrieta

I like PHI BATS here. I especially want to say to keep an eye on the Phils lineup. If Kapler ever decides to move Scott Kingery up in the lineup- watch out!

TOR@BAL Thornton vs. Means

Once again, I shall sing my favorite song of late ( in 7/4 time of course, since I am a RUSH fan ) Play Vlad stacks. I don’t care how you do it, but do it. While Means may not be terrible, on a whole the Orioles are. Have some fun with a TOR BAT stack here.

STL@MIA Hudson vs. Hernandez

With Caleb Smith hitting the IL ( boo) the Fish call up a RULE Five player to start vs the Cards. Ironically, Smith was a Rule Five selection in 2016 by MIL from the NYY. Another fun Rule Five fact is the Pirates selected Roberto Clemente from the Dodgers in 1954. Some other names found in Rule Five draft world lore are : Wander Franco, Justin Bour, Omar Narvaez, etc. That’s where it begins and ends for me with Elieser Hernandez. His numbers weren’t awful at the lower levels but nothing to make me say ” ooh, let me throw money on him”

For the Cards, Dakota Hudson has found his sinker ball command and it is inducing a lot of groundball outs, and for this reason I like HUDSON and STL BATS as the play here.

TEX@BOS Jurado vs. Hernandez

The BoSox will turn to Double A Portland Lefty Darwinzon Hernandez tonight. Emotions are high in Beantown between the upcoming Game Seven of Lord Stanley’s Cup and David Ortiz taking a bullet, so I am curious to see how this game plays out. Boston’s bullpen is just awful and if TEX bats can get to the bullpen, they may be very productive. Jurado has been very interesting as of late. If you’re feeling lucky play TEX BATS- but if you’re practical and conservative, then NO PLAY

OAK@TB Fiers vs. Stanek

TB will go with the opener here but it doesn’t really matter as every arm on this team can pitch and pitch well. I like TBB BATS here.

CIN@CLE Castillo vs. Bauers

If you would have come to me in April and told me the records of these two pitchers ( 6-1, 2.66 ERA & 4-6, 3.93 ERA ) I’d had said you had them mixed up, but sadly, that is not the case as Bauer has struggled to find himself. REDS BATS could be a play here but I cannot go against one of my favorite pitchers in the league in BauerOutage. So, I break my cardinal rule and go with my heart over my head here and say NO PLAY. Otherwise, feel free to play REDS BATS here.

PIT@ATL Archer vs. Folty

Archer looked good his last time out and Folty still scares me with his propensity to give up the long ball. PIT just saw Folty, so maybe they capitalize on familiarity. A PIT BAT stack could be a play here. Another issue for me is that all Braves pitchers feel the breath and hear the footsteps of the “bearded one”, as Dallas Keuchel looked good in a Triple A start and is ready to take his rotation spot, most likely from the awful, brutal, dismal, abhorrent, Kevin Gausman.

SEA@MIN Leake vs. Perez

Leake hasn’t looked bad recently while Perez faltered last time out. I still say that the homer-happy Twins are a play here. MIN BATS

WSH@CWS Corbin vs. Banuelos.

Banuelos? Banuelos ? Bang him in his juevos? This is the chalkiest of chalks here. CORBIN AND WSH BATS all day.

MIL@HOU Peralta vs Peacock

This will be a fun series to watch. There should be a lot of good baseball here. Milwaukee’s lineup can keep any pitcher in the game and for that reason I am staying away with a NO PLAY here.

DET@KC Turnbull vs. Junis

For as great as Hou vs. Mil should be, this series should be the antithesis. There very well could be 12 total runs in this game or there could be two. It’s too volatile for me to put my money on. Perhaps, you’re a better man than I . NO PLAY.

CHC@COL Quintana vs. Lambert

COORS ALERT ! COORS ALERT ! Stack Rockie and Cubs bats here. Quintana has been servicable but it’s Coors, so, yea…

SD@SF Paddack vs. Beede

Happy Chris Paddack Day everybody!! I have recently been writing on social media about how everyone that is giving Madison Bumgarner a hard time about barking at Max Muncy should go find MadBum personally. Find all 6 ft 5, 250+ lbs of him and tell him to his face how they feel. It’s easy to talk sh*t behind a computer, but go to a restaurant or hotel where Bumgarner is eating with Bruce Bochy and step to him then and see how tough you are. If anyone can it’s Chris Paddack- but you see, Paddack is a respectful Texas boy and he would never do that, but what he WILL do is shut the Giant bats down -big time. PADDACK is the play .

LAD@LAA Maeda vs. Pena

I won’t pick on the Angels bats because, well, you know, Mike Trout and stuff but I WILL pick on Pena and the Halos bullpen. I like LAD BATS here

Ok, that’s all for me. Remember-if you’re up, play with someone else’s money, if you’re down its always OK to sit out a day or two.

Winning should be fun- not stressful.

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I hope everyone had a winning weekend. Let’s continue the trend with a look at Monday, June 10th.

There are four bat stacks today and two possible pitcher plays. Odd day as no pitcher truly jumps off the board at me today.

AZ@PHI Clarke vs. Eickhoff.

I wouldnt mind some PHILLY bats here but I dont love this matchup. If you’re up big then by all means, play but if not, NO PLAY.

NYM@NYY Vargas vs. Tanaka

I will take NYY BAT stack here. While Vargas does have an ERA under 2 in his last seven starts, he is STILL Jason Vargas ! If you want to go all in on this game then maybe TANAKA is in play as well.

STL@MIA Wacha vs. Alcantara

I like STL BATS here, especially if you are up from the weekend. If you are being economical, then NO PLAY

TEX@BOS Minor vs. Sale

While enticing, this is a NO PLAY for me. Too any variables with the the guys pitching for both teams.

OAK@TB T. Anderson vs. Morton

The A’s are sending a guy to the mound making his first start, he also made some relief appearances in Pittsburgh and struggled at the AAA level . There may be a play here with TBB BATS. MORTON can quiet the opposition’s bats while the Rays work to get to Oakland’s stopgap.

PIT@ATL Musgrove vs. Gausman

Musgrove pitched well the last time he saw Atlanta, three runs over eight IP. While Kevin Gausman is, well, Kevin Gausman. NO PLAY

WSH@CWS Sanchez vs. TBD

I like WSH BATS here. Chalky play .

CHC@COL Darvish vs. Marquez

COL BATS are always a play at Coors.

LAD@LAA Ryu vs. Canning

Fun matchup here. While Ryu is pitching with his hair on fire, the LAA lineup can still be dangerous and I don’t bet against Mike Trout. NO PLAY

Ok, feel free to hit me up @Matt_Striker_ with your comments, etc.

Here’s to winning ! ( Raises glass )

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