We’re a quarter of the way through the season and if you haven’t already, it’s time to evaluate your Fantasy Baseball progress. Owners in traditional season-long roto know this. I’m not sure everybody who plays Daily Fantasy Baseball does this often enough.
Each season takes on a life of its own and you need to know if you’re in tune with the 2015 season. If you play on multiple sites, you should be tracking each one separately. This might help you make some changes to your strategy in order to increase your success.
I know I had to change my FanDuel strategy after I started the year off in a rut. In all forms of Fantasy baseball, I’ve always been successful finding lower priced pitchers who ended up performing like top tier pitchers. This year has been a tough year on that front and I’ve had to turn to more reliable pitchers, especially since I play mostly 50/50 contests. After a rough April struggling to break even, I’ve started cashing in more consistently in May. The growing bankroll means I’ll be able to play in a few more of the larger tournaments.
Anyway enough about me. Make sure you take a good look at your success rate and see if you need to make any changes. For now, here are the links you need to go out and put up a winning DFS lineup today:
Links for MLB Weather:
Batter vs. Pitcher: I’m not much of a believer in Batter vs. Pitcher numbers. You can read why here. Still, a lot of people use this data, so here are the two that are most useful in my opinion.
Also Check out these helpful tools:
FanDuel Strategy for the Day
My FanDuel strategy always starts with pitching, but today is one of those days where there are no clear cut tiers. Matt Harvey is the most expensive pitcher today and has a nice matchup against Dan Haren and the Marlins. Of course Harvey got rocked last time out and there’s talk he’s going through a dead arm phase. Sounds risky to me.
Sonny Gray is up next and it appears the ankle injury he suffered in his last start won’t be an issue… Probably.
James Shields and Cole Hamels are probably the safest plays of the day. Shields matches up against Francisco Liriano and the Pirates, while Hamels draws the Rockies and Chad Bettis.
After that it’s on to a bunch of inconsistent, but high upside plays in Liriano, Stephen Strasburg, and Trevor Bauer.
Normally you see one or two starting pitchers owned by a very high percentage of players on a given day. I think the love is going to be spread far and wide today.
Top Stacking Options for the Day
Normally I focus on 50/50 contests, but today I’ve got entries in Tout Wars Daily and the $200K Fri Grand Slam, so stacking is definitely an option. With that said, the mish-mosh of starting pitchers today makes identifying obvious stacks a challenge.
The one clear option is stacking the big Blue Jay bats against Trevor May and the Twins. This game is in Minnesota, which dampens my enthusiasm a bit, but I’ll still keep it in mind as I’m building my lineups.
I’m not sure there’s another stack I’m all that excited about. You really want to try to win with a Philly stack against Chad Bettis? Good luck.
Top Starting Pitchers for the Day
The following rankings take into account skill of pitcher, quality of opposing offense, quality of opposing pitcher, ballpark factors, and of course price at FanDuel.
- Sonny Gray ($10,100) vs. New York Yankees – Gray has been a bit lucky in 2015, but his home ballpark will help alleviate any concerns about a sudden correction. Gray has a 1.19 ERA at hose this season, but surprisingly, his ERA has been a bit better on the road over the course of his career. I’m not a big Sonny Gray fan, but today he may represent the best combination of safety and upside. Tout Wars Daily is a smaller tournament, so Gray may be a nice pick there.
- Cole Hamels ($9,800) vs. Colorado Rockies – This is one of the few games so far this season where the Phillies are the favorites. The Rockies are both the 23rd ranked offense on the road and against left-handers. Add in the inconsistent Chad Bettis and Hamels’ own talents and this matchup looks pretty nice.
- James Shields ($9,300) vs. San Diego Padres – Shields, as usual, has been a workhorse this season. The difference this year is that his 11.84 K/9 adds more upside to the mix. The wild card in this matchup is Francisco Liriano. When he’s on he’s every bit as good as Shields. Which Liriano do we get?
- Trevor Bauer ($8,600) @ Seattle Mariners – I normally focus on three pitchers I like, but I’m gonna toss Bauer into the mix with today’s weird mix of starting pitchers taking the hill. I prefer using pitchers in their home ballparks, but Bauer has a 4.46 home ERA this season, compared to a 0.44 road ERA. It’s a small sample size, and not backed up by career trends, but at least he seems comfortable this year. He might be a nice tournament picl today when I expect the starting pitcher selections to be very spread out.
Top Options at Each Position
Here are two choices at each position; one is the best bet for production and the other is a lower priced option with a favorable outlook.
Wilson Ramos ($2,800) vs. Anthony DeSclafini (RHP) – I gotta be honest. I’m not seeing any great matchups at catcher. When that’s the case I simply go with the lowest priced catcher with some offensive upside. Ramos has been decent this year and there’s room for more.
Yan Gomes ($2,700) vs. Taijuan Walker (RHP) – Gomes hasn’t gotten untracked yet following his DL stint. Still, he’s a very offensive minded catcher and Walker has been allowing plenty of baserunners.
Mike Napoli ($3,300) vs. Yovani Gallardo (RHP) – I was a fan of Napoli early in the season and he let me down. Now it looks like he’s on one of his patented tears. Gallardo has been up and down this year, but he’s definitely not a pitcher to avoid. I think the Red Sox will score plenty tonight and Napoli is just as likely as any other Red Sox player to be involved.
Chris Davis ($3,300) vs. Nate Karns (RHP) – Davis has been pretty bad this year, but there’s no denying he’s a streaky hitter. Which is why his three homers over his last three games intrigues me. If this is the beginning of a Chris Davis power binge, I want to be in on it at $3,300.
Brian Dozier ($3,900) vs. Mark Buehrle (LHP) – I am not a fan of Dozier in roto; but then again I can’t use him only against left-handed pitchers in roto. Dozier is quietly up to nine homers on the season and is an elite option against lefties. He’s also become somewhat of an OBP machine over the last two years and FanDuel’s scoring is set up basically as an OBP league.
Dustin Pedroia ($3,200) vs. Yovani Gallardo (RHP) – Pedroia has been solid, but this is more about my expectations for this game. Pedroia is probably a better pick for 50/50 contests, but in smaller tournaments, he’s still a solid play.
Josh Donaldson ($4,800) vs. Trevor May (RHP) – Well, that price shot through the roof real quick. I prefer using Donaldson mostly against left-handed pitching, but May has been very shaky. I may go cheap here and spend more in the outfield, but this is still a nice matchup for Donaldson.
Maikel Franco ($2,500) vs. Chad Bettic (RHP) – Not loving many of the matchups at third base today, but Franco has been solid since his recall and Bettis usually puts plenty of runners on base. Today is certainly feeling like a tournament day and Franco is a very good cheap option at the hot corner.
Wilmer Flores ($2,400) vs. Dan Haren (RHP) – Flores is a bit hit or miss and his 2015 platton splits don’t match up with his career numbers. Of course with shorstop being a black hole, I’ll take Flores and his upside over all of the higher priced shortstops.
Marcus Semien ($2,900) vs. Chris Capuano (LHP) – I refuse to pay a lot for a shortstop with the decrepit state of the position. If you checked out my 50 Hitters to Use Against LHP, though you would know that Semien is a much better hitter against LHP. And let’s just say Capuano is not exactly Kershaw-esque.
Jose Bautista ($4,700) vs. Trevor May (RHP) – Good right-handed pitchers have started getting Bautista out with more regularity. Is May a good pitcher? Not yet. As it was early in the week it’s just a matter of which Toronto big boppers you want in your lineup. I left Bautista out this Tuesday and regretted it.
George Springer ($3,900) vs. Carlos Rodon (LHP) – With a lefty on the mound some of Springers SB potential is taken away, but his power potential also goes up a notch. Besides the White Sox are unlikely to let Rodon go too deep in the game, so a SB could pop up late for Springer.
Hunter Pence ($3,100) vs. Mike Foltynewicz (RHP) – As long as Pence is this cheap he’ll be seeing a lot of my lineups. Foltynewicz throws hard, but Pence can hit a fastball. Mostly this just about Hunter Pence and the variety of ways he usually finds to contribute.
Hanley Ramirez ($3,000) vs. Yovani Gallardo (RHP) – The story goes that Dustin Pedroia came in early yesterday and watched video of Hanley Ramirez. He noticed something amiss in Ramirez’s stride and shared it with him in BP. Voila, Hanley hits a double in his first at-bat and homers later on. Maybe I’m a sucker, but I’ll take Hanley at this price in a game I expect to possibly become a slugfest.
My Lineup for the Day
As promised in the intro, here is the lineup I’ll be using tonight. Of course I’ll be visiting RotoWire and BaseballPress.com to make sure all of my recommendations take the field tonight. If one of my picks isn’t in the lineup, I’ll try to select options from my other recommendations. And of course I also reserve the right to tweak things if I hear other news during the day.
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