CheeseIsGood's Million Dollar Musings: Opening Day

Is your lineup Premium Approved? In this space, either CheeseIsGood or STLCardinals84 will break down the slate from top-to-bottom like no one else in the industry can – exploring the matchups from every angle, steering you toward the best plays on the day, and helping you become a better and more complete DFS player as you continually expose yourself to the “process” and the “why,” rather than just looking at the “what.” Have a boat? We’ll teach you how to fish.

Opening Day

For those of you who have been with me in the past, welcome back! If you’re new to the Musings, here’s a little bit of what to expect: A lot of baseball stats, a lot of words, a lot of bad jokes, and potentially, introducing for the first time ever… a couple of good jokes?!

Seriously though, the intent of this article is less about giving you picks on a day’s slate, and more about helping you understand the research and thought process behind MLB DFS. You can use this article as a way to cut down on the time you need to spend in research each day, but ideally I want to help you learn how to better do your own research. By reading throughout the season you will learn what stats I value, how I weigh them, and how that all plays into building lineups based on the slate at hand.

I’m going to jump right in as if it’s midseason, so if you have questions on what something means, how to read certain stats, etc., don’t hesitate to ask. You can always post questions in the comments section at the bottom of this article, and we’ll get it sorted out. I also have a Musings Primer article HERE that will give you a little more info on what to expect, as well as a glossary of some of the stats I use in this article.

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About the Author

  • Dave Potts (CheeseIsGood)

  • One of the preeminent baseball minds in all of fantasy, Dave Potts, aka CheeseIsGood, has won contests at the highest levels of both season-long and DFS. He is a two-time winner of a million dollar first place prize in DFS having won the 2014 FanDuel baseball live final and he followed that up with a win at the 2015 DraftKings baseball live final. In addition, he’s won the Main Event championship in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship and the NFBC Platinum League, which is the highest buy-in entry league. He can also strum a mean guitar and carry a tune and if you’re lucky, you’ll see him do so on one of his GrindersLive appearances.

    Follow Dave on Twitter – @DavePotts2

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Comments

  • Jnvrmind

    And Cheese takes the mound … great to have you and baseball back.

  • roholman09

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  • RU18QT

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    where were the good jokes?

    Great article and it’s nice to see you back in action and I’m excited to read your stuff this year

  • stoutdawg

    Cheese, Great article and looking forward to reading it all season long. I don’t know how much this will change your analysis, but the White Sox play in KC on opening day.

  • CheeseIsGood

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    @RU18QT said...

    where were the good jokes?

    Great article and it’s nice to see you back in action and I’m excited to read your stuff this year

    I’m saving those for later!

  • chuckyduce

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    Where do you source your data about batters vs. fly/ground ball pitchers and how much stock do you put in it? Thanks.

  • CheeseIsGood

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    @chuckyduce said...

    Where do you source your data about batters vs. fly/ground ball pitchers and how much stock do you put in it? Thanks.

    I use baseball-reference, and don’t put too much weight on it, mostly looking for the extremes. But it’s useful when someone is facing an extreme GB/FB like the MLW vs Clayton Richard situation.

  • RG423

    If you take a quick gander at Urena’s game logs vs. the Cubs last season, and assume his salary was similar to now, he would have achieved 5x and 7x value in the two games you can see on FD logs…for those who like to take chances

  • joeycis

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    First time reading the “Musings” and not sure what I waited for. Super pumped for Friday.

    Any thoughts on Chase Anderson versus San Diego on Fanduel?

  • CheeseIsGood

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    @joeycis said...

    First time reading the “Musings” and not sure what I waited for. Super pumped for Friday.

    Any thoughts on Chase Anderson versus San Diego on Fanduel?

    He has the best matchup of the mid-tier pitchers, I’d put him right there with Danny Duffy, totally reasonable to take a chance, although I much prefer paying up on FanDuel. If his strikeout increase from 2017 holds, coupled with the Padres continuing to K at a high rate, he could certainly pay off the salary. I like it, don’t love it.

  • stlcardinals84

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    @joeycis said...

    First time reading the “Musings” and not sure what I waited for. Super pumped for Friday.

  • zbark2

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    Cheese, will there be a premium podcast for the opening day slates??

  • jsams4

    Its Time!

  • gswenson0607

    Cheese,

    I’m jumping into my first season of MLB DFS after being a 15-year Season long MLB player, so I have a totally basic question – What makes a player a strong individual play as opposed to being best suited for a stack?

    Is it based on correlation with other players, lineup placement, and quality of the players around him in the batting order, et al? Or something else? I’ve played other DFS sports extensively and im looking to wrap my head around this one fully before Thursday. Thank you in advance

  • CheeseIsGood

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    @gswenson0607 said...

    Cheese,

    I’m jumping into my first season of MLB DFS after being a 15-year Season long MLB player, so I have a totally basic question – What makes a player a strong individual play as opposed to being best suited for a stack?

    Is it based on correlation with other players, lineup placement, and quality of the players around him in the batting order, et al? Or something else? I’ve played other DFS sports extensively and im looking to wrap my head around this one fully before Thursday. Thank you in advance

    It’s important to note that different players have different definitions of what makes a guy an individual play vs stackable, or cash vs GPP. Some people always stack in tournaments, some people rarely.

    When I’m talking about tournaments, and refer to a guy as a good individual play, I mean that there is reason to think he can have a good game by himself even if his team overall does nothing. The one power hitter who matches up well with an opposing pitcher and has best home run potential, but maybe the team overall isn’t well suited for a big day. That guy is an individual play.

    Or in other cases, a team overall is in a position to have a good day, but they have a player who doesn’t have a strong individual matchup with the pitcher. I would say, only play him in a stack.

    And then, there are the role players, guys with no power, but are cheap and put the ball in play. There is not a lot of upside to playing them by themselves in tournaments, but you would add them to stacks for correlation.

  • PScotty85

    First year taking the plunge with the RG premium content, really enjoyed this article so looking forward to the season.

    What do you think about the Cleveland Bats against King Felix? The lefties are pretty cheap on Fanduel so I think I can pick up a couple bargains there, and since SAFECO isn’t a big hitters park I think most of them will slide under the radar. Just thinking about putting one guy from the Indians on my roster, maybe Kipnis or Alonso?

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    @PScotty85 said...

    First year taking the plunge with the RG premium content, really enjoyed this article so looking forward to the season.

    What do you think about the Cleveland Bats against King Felix? The lefties are pretty cheap on Fanduel so I think I can pick up a couple bargains there, and since SAFECO isn’t a big hitters park I think most of them will slide under the radar. Just thinking about putting one guy from the Indians on my roster, maybe Kipnis or Alonso?

    I’ll be updating that tomorrow. I was originally planning on Paxton pitching for Seattle, so yes, Cleveland is somewhat in play now that it’s Felix. Check back Tuesday afternoon for a writeup on these guys.

  • CheeseIsGood

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    @zbark2 said...

    Cheese, will there be a premium podcast for the opening day slates??

    Yes, we will have a premium podcast for Opening Day. Will be up by Wednesday, possibly Tuesday.

  • Fresnocop

    Excited for the season to start, aaaaand reading the Musings is always the best. Nice to see the Batman jokes still in there for us old folks that remember the show. 🎉🎉⚾️🎉🎉👏👏👏

  • Clecavs

    Hey Cheese- Keep hearing great things about you…For your “Core Plays,” are these guys must plays for (FD) cash or just guys you should have heavy exposure to?

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    @Clecavs said...

    Hey Cheese- Keep hearing great things about you…For your “Core Plays,” are these guys must plays for (FD) cash or just guys you should have heavy exposure to?

    The Core Plays that I’ll have listed on Lineup HQ aren’t specifically cash or GPP, but rather, the best overall plays on the day. In general, the top pitcher is going to be my cash game play, and the cheaper guy is a GPP play, but that will be further discussed in this article. With the hitters, if I have a cheaper play listed as a Core play, yes, he would be a cash game lock for me. For example, Ryan Braun on Fanduel for Opening Day, and Mike Moustakas on DK/Fantasy Draft for Opening Day. With more expensive bats, such as Bryce Harper ( changed to Giancarlo Stanton) and Carlos Correa, I will try to fit them in cash games, but often will only be able to afford one of the two in a cash lineup. Every Core play I would play in cash if salary allowed, and if not, they would be high exposure GPP plays.

  • jsams4

    Any thoughts on the COL/AZ (Hitters)? Or are you steering clear of that game totally? Thx…

  • CheeseIsGood

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    @jsams4 said...

    Any thoughts on the COL/AZ (Hitters)? Or are you steering clear of that game totally? Thx…

    I can make a case for Rockies right-handed bats, notably Nolan Arenado, and maybe Trevor Story or Ian Desmond in tournaments. Corbin is basically an average pitcher to RHB. But really, there’s enough I like elsewhere, I find it very easy to take a wait and see approach with the humidor in Arizona, leaving us basically guessing how that park is going to play.

  • CUTiger81

  • Clecavs

    Hicks/Duda or J.Jay/T.Backam for cash?

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