Breaking Down the New DraftKings MLB Showdown

DraftKings is bringing back its popular single-game, Showdown format to MLB contests this season. The first major contest is the $25K Japan Series Opener.

The single-game concept isn’t new to DraftKings MLB offerings, but the format has changed this year to match that of the NFL and NBA contests. Gone are relief-pitcher friendly bonuses for things like saves and holds, and the same scoring from classic slates has replaced it.

Also added is the Captain (CPT) designation in each lineup, which enhances scoring for one player by 1.5x in exchange for an equivalent price increase (1.5x).

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About the Author

  • Kevin Cole (colekev)

  • Kevin Cole previously worked on Wall Street as an equity and credit analyst before transitioning to data-related sports analysis. For a number of years, Kevin has specialized in creating predictive sports models that includes published work at Pro Football Focus, Rotoworld, numberFire, and RotoViz. He is now the Director of Data and Analytics at RotoGrinders.

Comments

  • D4RKSH33P

    Thanks for this. I enjoyed digging into relief pitchers last year to some ok results after reading your article. It will be at least interesting to see how this goes.

    Without the bonuses, a perfect inning (3 strike outs) by a closer will only net 8.25 DK points now. Compare that to an RBI double or a run scored after a double (7 points). Compare the likely hood of those two outcomes in a given game and it is easy to see how a hitter is more likely to be optimal. Even giving up one hit and striking out 2 is worth 5.6 points. Currently the pricing of relievers is similar to when they got the bonus too.

  • humanash

    Thanks for this, great stuff! I was actively wondering what the actual results/stats from last season would look like with the new scoring applied before I read this article.

    I thought I was going to follow you lumping all the batters into one category, but I got lost when “Bat1”, “Bat2”, “Bat9” all have different percentages as optimal captain. I can see scenarios where the top scoring hitter is not the optimal captain for salary reasons, but surely that can’t mean that the 9th top scoring batter is optimal captain more often than the 3rd top scoring batter, right? Can you clarify the designations? In the first chart it seems that Bat9 should be Captain a decent chunk of the time, why is Bat9 so much better than Bat3 and Bat4 and what makes them different?

  • rreader

    @humanash said...

    Thanks for this, great stuff! I was actively wondering what the actual results/stats from last season would look like with the new scoring applied before I read this article.

    I thought I was going to follow you lumping all the batters into one category, but I got lost when “Bat1”, “Bat2”, “Bat9” all have different percentages as optimal captain. I can see scenarios where the top scoring hitter is not the optimal captain for salary reasons, but surely that can’t mean that the 9th top scoring batter is optimal captain more often than the 3rd top scoring batter, right? Can you clarify the designations? In the first chart it seems that Bat9 should be Captain a decent chunk of the time, why is Bat9 so much better than Bat3 and Bat4 and what makes them different?

    “Here is the ratio of rosters with each of the positional categories by salary.” It says that it’s sorted by salary just before the chart. You can’t use the players scoring during the game as way to make optimal lineups before the game, but knowing how often the cheapest batter on a team is the captain is beneficial.

  • HighPlainsRider

    I’ll give myself up to look like a dope. In today’s game, 4/6/19, Dodgers vs Rockies, there are two pitchers starting: Buehler and Gray. Where does one find the relief pitchers if they aren’t listed as the choices?

  • rreader

    @HighPlainsRider said...

    I’ll give myself up to look like a dope. In today’s game, 4/6/19, Dodgers vs Rockies, there are two pitchers starting: Buehler and Gray. Where does one find the relief pitchers if they aren’t listed as the choices?

    Deselect Remove Non-Probables (above the player pool on the app, below it on desktop) and then scroll to the bottom of the player pool. They’re usually the cheapest players.

  • HighPlainsRider

    @rreader said...

    Deselect Remove Non-Probables (above the player pool on the app, below it on desktop) and then scroll to the bottom of the player pool. They’re usually the cheapest players.

    Thank you.

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