Building a Successful DFS MLB Model - 4/4/17

Four time DFS final qualifier smadog takes you on his quest to build a successful, self-sustaining, DFS MLB Model.

Analyzing My Lineup for 4/3/17

Well, day one is in the books… let’s take a look and see how we did.

While we failed to cash in almost all of our contests (less one $2 50/50 woo hoo!), I am very happy with the process. We received minor production out of every spot in our lineup. The one position I felt the most uncomfortable with was Catcher. The model had Russell Martin and Yasmani Grandal .57% points away. I went with Martin as I valued the $200 in savings. Thames was a nice pivot off of Joseph and delivered big time. Travis and Donaldson rounded out a fairly heavy emphasis on Toronto in a matchup with a sneaky good pitcher in Kevin Gausman. While I was a little worried about the having too many eggs in the Blue Jays’ basket (pun totally intended), I decided to trust the model and let it roll. Turner scored 12 points in his first AB and failed to produce after that. Benintendi came through huge with a big 3 run HR and Toles provided decent value at a minimum punt play. If Yasmani Grandal does not double dong here, I think we are in the black for the day.

The model was fairly accurate with the hitters after day one and I want to share with you the top 5 players the model scored at each position (we’ll look at 15 outfielders since we play 3). When looking at the model, the OVR % (Overall) is the key indicator we are focusing on. This number is basically a percentage that is equal to the accumulated points earned / total points possible across all relevant data points. The FDP column is the number of FanDuel points the player earned.


Name Team Salary OVR % FDP
Russell Martin TOR $2600 46.25% 6
Yasmani Grandal LAD $2800 45.63% 40.9
James McCann DET $2200 43.01% PPD
Matt Wieters WAS $2700 41.30% 6.2
Jett Bandy MIL $2400 40.87% 6

First Base

Name Team Salary OVR % FDP
Joey Votto CIN $4000 51.87% 0
Lucas Duda NYM $2500 48.20% 19.5
Tommy Joseph PHI $2100 47.29% 0
Miguel Cabrera DET $4000 45.77% PPD
Adrian Gonzalez LAD $2800 45.56% 18.4

Second Base

Name Team Salary OVR % FDP
Brian Dozier MIN $3400 49.67% 9
Daniel Murphy WAS $3500 47.77% 9.5
Devon Travis TOR $2400 47.60% 6
Neil Walker NYM $2600 46.19% 6.2
Ian Kinsler DET $3200 43.56% PPD


Name Team Salary OVR % FDP
Trea Turner WAS $3700 50.72% 12
Corey Seager LAD $3600 49.86% 28.7
Trevor Story COL $3600 48.11% 9.2
Asdrubal Cabrera NYM $2800 46.51% 21.7
Jorge Polanco MIN $2200 46.17% 15.7

Third Base

Name Team Salary OVR % FDP
Josh Donaldson TOR $3800 54.11% 12
Miguel Sano MIN $2700 48.36% 28.4
Nolan Arenado COL $4000 47.71% 12.4
Justin Turner LAD $3500 44.40% 24.9
Mike Moustakas KAN $2500 43.84% 18.7


Name Team Salary OVR % FDP
Jose Bautista TOR $3500 52.41% 3
Bryce Harper WAS $4500 50.54% 18.7
Curtis Granderson NYM $2800 50.32% 6.5
Jay Bruce NYM $2800 49.70% 15.7
Jackie Bradley Jr. BOS $3400 49.23% 15.2
Ryan Braun MIL $4000 48.21% 3
Joc Pederson LAD $2800 48.03% 32.7
Andrew Toles LAD $2000 47.09% 9.2
Steve Pearce TOR $2900 46.83% 12.2
Andrew Benintendi BOS $2900 46.64% 25.7
Robbie Grossman MIN $2600 46.33% 12.7
Adam Duvall CIN $3300 45.93% 9
Scott Schebler CIN $2800 45.56% 9.2
Adam Eaton WAS $3300 44.60% 21.2
Mikie Mahtook DET $2500 44.53% PPD

After reviewing each position, I am satisfied with the results the model gave us after one day. We weren’t on the right combination of players, but we had the foundation for a great lineup. For a detailed breakdown of my play with the model, check out my results sheet Smadog FanDuel Model Results .

On to the Games for 4/4/17

Yesterday we had 5% ($75) of the bankroll in play with 80% ($60) dedicated to cash games and 20 % ($15) committed to GPPs. We are going to go with a similar split tonight (5% / 80% / 20%). The San Francisco / Arizona game features a 9 Over / Under and will be one of the games we are targeting tonight. Right Handed Giants bats are squarely in play against Patrick Corbin who has given up a .355 wOBA and 36% Hard Hit % to Righties over the past two years. Another game currently sitting at a 9 Over / Under is the Cleveland / Texas game. Martin Perez is on the bump for the Rangers and is another Pitcher we can target with RH bats as he has given up .340 wOBA to Righties and sports a 4.77 xFIP against them as well.

Before we get to the selections, I want to share a preview of the tool I am using to help sort and filter my data.

This is a snapshot of an “Awesome Table”: view I use to easily manipulate my data. I am hoping at some point to have a condensed version of these tables available for my readers to interact with, but that will be a discussion for another day. For now, let’s take a look at some of the top plays on FanDuel tonight.


Kenta Maeda – $8600 – I am going back to well today with another Dodgers starting Pitcher. Picking on a rebuilding Padres lineup is going to be a theme early in the year. Dodger Stadium grades out as the 2nd best pitcher park in my model (1.1% points behind Angel Stadium). The Padres are projected to score the lowest runs on the day (2.98) and are currently a heavy underdog as the Dodgers are a -220 favorite. Maeda does a great job of neutralizing Righties as evidenced by his 2.85 xFIP and .253 wOBA against. He will have to be careful with Lefties Yangervis Solarte and Ryan Schrimpf. Schrimpf has an absurd .324 ISO vs. Right-Handed Pitching and will be one of Maeda’s biggest challenges tonight.


Buster Posey – $3300 – 48.30 OVR% – Posey is the 1st of 3 San Fran bats that will be featured today. Like I mentioned earlier, targeting Corbin with Righties will be a favorable play tonight. Posey sports a .374 wOBA and .180 ISO against Lefties. If you are worried about having too much exposure to the Giants in Chase Field, another great option at Catcher is Gary Sanchez – $3400. Sanchez has a ridiculous (and unsustainable) .448 wOBA and .349 ISO vs. Righties. Sanchez actually grades out slightly higher than Posey in the model (49.25 OVR), but I feel the dependability of Posey gives him the slight edge.

First Base:

Anthony Rizzo – $4100 – 51.89 OVR% – First Base is another position where I am paying for one of the top two studs. Rizzo is in a very underrated spot facing a Adam Wainwright who gives up a .354 wOBA / 4.34 xFIP to Righties. Rizzo also smashes Righties identified by his .394 wOBA and .264 ISO vs. Righties. Edwin Encarnacion – $4400 – 49.44 OVR% is also in a great spot against Martin Perez. E5 comes in right behind Rizzo on the model and should be in a great spot to rake. I do think Encarnacion will be higher owned and might be the safer cash game play, but I ultimately think both are great on all formats.

Second Base:

Logan Forsythe – $2800 – 47.79 OVR% – I am looking to save some at second base and Forsythe is my pick tonight. I am looking to target a few cheap Dodger Righties against Clayton Richard who gives up .346 wOBA / 4.43 xFIP to Righties. Forsythe owns a 376 wOBA and .255 ISO against Lefties and should be batting leadoff tonight.

Third Base:

Eduardo Nunez – $2700 – 46.26 OVR%Eduardo Nunez is the 2nd San Fran hitter I am targeting against Patrick Corbin. Nunez does sit behind both Nolan Arenado – $4000 – 49.29 OVR% and Jonathan Villar – $3600 – 46.55 OVR %, but the salary savings of Nunez is salivating. While Nunez does hit Righties better (*.331 wOBA vs Righties / .305 wOBA vs Lefties), the power and speed combination Nunez provides should be more than sufficient.


Hunter Pence – $2500 – 47.92 OVR%Hunter Pence seems like a free square tonight sitting at only $2500, in a hitter’s park against a sub par Lefty. Pence should be slated in the 3 hole tonight and rounds out a trio of featured Giants bats. Another great bat around the same price range is Franklin Gutierrez – $2600 – 50.33 OVR%. Gutierrez is also in a great spot as he is another Lefty smasher who features a .389 wOBA and .255 ISO vs. Lefties.

Kyle Schwarber – $3400 – 51.93 OVR%Kyle Schwarber is another Cubs bat that should be considered when building your lineup. Schwarber has a hefty .400 wOBA and .272 ISO vs. Right-Handed pitching and should be in a great spot against Wainwright. If you are looking to spend up, Mike Trout – $4900 – 51.14 OVR% is always in play against a Lefty as has a great track record vs. Lefties as shown by his .425 wOBA and .256 ISO vs. Left-Handed pitching. I really wish I could play all four featured outfielders and will have a tough decision to make come lineup lock

I’ll be back on Friday for to wrap up Tuesday’s games and take a look at Friday night’s slate. Good luck grinders and thanks for reading!

About the Author


  • Drew1up

    Good stuff man! I’m interested in seeing how the tweaks effect the outcomes. (Its interesting that, excluding OF, the #2 ranked player for each position performed better than #1. Not sure if you could still get Kershaw but let’s see if that continues.)

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