MLB Fantasy Draft Weekend Recap 6/8/2015
One of the key aspects to daily fantasy sports contests is identifying the value matchups. The value matchups with respect to hitters are those that are high scoring. High scoring means there is a larger pool of total fantasy points for which your hitters have to draw from. Just because your player is in the high scoring game doesn’t guarantee he will bring you fantasy value, but it definitely helps your chances.
This is why the stack is such a prevalent strategy in mlb cash contests. If you can identify the team that will score big on the night and choose those hitters, their cumulative effect of hits, runs, and RBIs can be enough alone to push you into the money. However, a stack raises the risk of your lineup as if you misread the matchup and your team comes up short, your lineups is sunk.
On Saturday for instance, a stack on the Yankees that included Gardner, Teixeira, and McCann could have brought you a total of 6 RBIs, 5 hits, 1 home run, and a couple walks just between those three players. Or you could have pursued the tried and true Rockies stack of Gonzalez, Rosario, Blackmon, Lemahieu, and Arenado. Together these players had 12 hits, 9 RBIs, and 3 homers.
You will notice the ownership in one day fantasy contests are always higher with hitters on the Rockies than other teams. This is because they are a heavy hitting team and a Rockies stack is a common strategy for fantasy draft managers. However, the more people who pursue that strategy, the less profitable it is, since the most fantasy value is acquired in a value pick, that is rare within your mlb cash draft.
In order to determine the value picks for your own stack you need to do a little more work than simply using the vegas odds and spreads; because that is what all your competitors are doing. Simply stacking the vegas favored teams is no guarantee for success, even it that team does end up scoring big. By doing your own analysis, you can select a rare stack that will yield big returns in a daily cash fantasy contest.
Here are some of the criteria that is important. While you do want a team with effective batting stats, what is more influential is the opposing pitcher. The reason Rockies games always tend to be high scoring is not only due to their hitters, but also their poor pitching. As a team, their bullpen has the worst ERA of the league of 4.79 so far this season. Compare that to the ERA of the Cardinals at 2.58. That means any arbitrary opponent of the Rockies is twice as likely to score a run than they would be against the Cardinals. So a stack against the Rockies may be just as effective as a stack on the Rockies.
Depending on the strengths of the player you are considering, maybe it is more important to view hits allowed instead of ERA. The Twins for instance have a decent ERA of 3.84 but one of the worst Opponent Batting Averages of .273. This means that 27.3% of batters will get on base to some degree. If your player derives his fantasy value from getting on base many times per game, rather than hitting big, then a higher Opponent Batting Average is a better situation for that player.
It is also beneficial to look at the weather of a game, as that is often overlooked in MLB fantasy drafts. A strong wind blowing out of the stadium increases the chance of a home run compared to a wind blowing in. Different stadiums may help or hinder the chance of a home run. As far as temperature goes, cold is better for pitchers, and warm is better for hitters.
Let’s apply these concepts to Tuesday’s (6/9/2015) matchups. The teams with the 5 lowest ERA’s are Colorado, Milwaukee, Chicago White Sox, Toronto, and Arizona. Their respective opponents are St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Houston, Miami, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. These will be the sports value picks as far as hitters.
On the other end, you want the opposite for pitchers, low scoring and weak opposing pitchers. Just as the Rockies is the go to hitter stack, Seattle is my go to opposing pitcher. The Mariners have the second weakest hitters in the league (Phillies are worse). Other poor hitting teams are Tampa, Milwaukee, and Chicago White Sox (notice Milwaukee and the White Sox show up on both). Look for those opposing pitchers to have an easier time than the rest, which for you means they are value picks.