Man vs. THE BAT '17: Week 16 (Slates 105-111)

Welcome to Man (that’s me) vs. THE BAT, Derek Carty’s projection system!

The basics of the blog series are pretty cut-and-dried: (1) A GPP lineup from yours truly, just your average mini-grinder, ranked #23 in the cracked out donut-craving division; and (2) An optimal lineup from data generated by THE BAT (utilizing THE BAT projections and the RotoGrinders lineup builder).

For as many slates as I can muster, I enter each lineup in the same FanDuel large-field GPP (most days it’s just me and my main Squeeze). My process calls for me to enter the Man lineup late the night before or early in the morning, and then I run an optimized lineup for THE BAT after locking in and/or excluding certain positions based on THE BAT’s projections (e.g., may choose to lock in best value SP, highest projected 1B, and/or the highest projected stack). I do all of this to the best of my ability given time constraints with work/kids/life. Although I do not have time to replicate this series with DraftKings and FantasyDraft, I’ll try and reflect from time to time on my experiences with those sites with a mix of THE BAT and my own GPP prowess (or lack thereof).

Disclaimer: Please do not interpret this series as necessarily being representative of either the success or failure of THE BAT. It’s a fun experiment that I hope you will enjoy following. I enjoy writing it, and I enjoy being more reflective about my GPP process. Plus, I also hope to give you a glimpse into what I believe is a really good projection system that Derek has developed in THE BAT. I’m pulling for both of us; I just keep it at my house.

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Oh, the dog days of summer!

Much as I suspect you thought, I thought the same — surely dog days of summer refers to it being so dang hot that dogs dig a hole under the porch and lie around all day.

Nope.

I let Becky Little from NatGeo educate me on this one, and it turns out that “dog days of summer” comes from the Greeks and Romans and is due to the positioning of the dog star Sirius in the sky. The dog days occurred in late July and were not only considered the hottest time of the year but were also believed to be associated with death, devastation, and catastrophe.

So, yeah, it is on that note that we enter the last couple of days of the “dog days of summer” and hope for better times ahead void of death and devastation!

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Slate 105 – Sunday, July 30, 2017 (main 10-game slate):

Man 73 vs. THE BAT 73.1
$X Squeeze
Minimum cash line: 136.7
Winner: poolman74, 282.5

Cash: SE Double-Up, -$31 (Cash line: High 113.3, Low 107.2)

THE BAT locks: Another one of those slates where there was no clear-cut SP, so I decided to go with the two of the top projected hitters by THE BAT in Trout and Freeman…and then just see what happens with starting pitcher. For today’s slate, that meant one of THE BAT’s ’16 man crushes in Mr. Drew Pomeranz.

O, no!

Good gracious sakes alive, this is not how you want to return after a day off. I managed to nail my SP in young Luis Castillo. I had not watched him pitch previously, and I did on this slate. Legit talent. Love his stuff, love his mound presence. Unfortunately, he was the only one who ‘hit’ on this slate, as evidently most of my guys toted toothpicks to the dish. My primary strategery for Man was lefty wood in lefty friendly Miller Park versus a dude sometimes ‘lacking’ against LHBs. Uh, yeah, that didn’t work out so well! No need to break down the rest of these horrible plays.

For THE BAT, it somewhat hit in that we had three players in the one 21-run game (LAA v. TOR). Trouble was, Cole Kalhoun produced a zero, thanks to an early inning exit from the game. (Did you even notice that I transposed the letters in his name?) Yeah, not a fan. I was initially, but he’s burned me one too many times. If he does well, I scoff. I would have scoffed here, but instead, I thought, “Figures!” What else went wrong? Well, Pom wasn’t wonderful, that’s one thing; but, 33 points plays had others hit, so I can’t blame Drew.

Let’s just move on into the week.

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Slate 106 – Monday, July 31, 2017 (main 8-game slate):

Man 120.8 vs. THE BAT 136.5
$4 Squeeze
Minimum cash line: 146.1
Winner: tylerkanne24, 274

Cash: SE Double-Up, -$22 (Cash line: High 153.1, Low 149.7)

THE BAT locks: Severino was the SP lock, in being the highest projected pitcher on the slate. I then also locked two Mariners in Cruz and Cano who were projected to go HAM in a good spot in hitter-friendly Texas.

Just a little Semien short!

Whereas your boy tylerkanne24 rode Mr. Marcus Semien to a cool Squeeze payday of 20G, we were not able to pull off an improbable comeback of our own for cash games with mashing Marcus. Ugh.

If there is an area where I can critique THE BAT this far into the season, I think it’s the slow roll in coming around on Astros. They are having a monstrous season, and if I go back and track the number of times they’ve been prominent in THE BAT lineup, I’d bet it’s very low comparatively speaking. Take this slate: Brandon Moss now stinks as a baseball hitter. Sure, he might catch fire and blast a couple later in the week (edited to add: Yes, he did), but at this stage, he stinks. Derek Fisher ($2600, 34.2 FDPs) was a way better play than Moss on this slate. I know hindsight is 20/20, but when I break down game theory and realize that no one had Moss (5-8% cash games) while lots had Fisher (35-40% cash games), that 31-point difference gives us an easy cash (and also explains the higher cash line for cash games than the Squeeze). Ugh.

For Man, I was scuffling again, but I felt really good about the spots that both the Royals and the Indians were in on this slate. Uh, yeah, between the two clubs they scored a grand total of 3 runs! So, I was effectively drawing dead with 5 guys in my lineup. I also felt like attacking a newly watered down White Sox lineup was wise with Estrada. And, it was…but, the BJ’s bullpen blew it.

Good gracious sakes, am I ever glad that July is over! Wow. Of the 24 slates played, 13 (over 54%) resulted in a full cash shutout for both GPPs and cash games and essentially destroyed the ROI. THE BAT cashed in cash games in only 7 of the 24 slates (29%) and in GPPs 2 of the 24 slates (8.33%). By comparison, I was better with Man lineups in cashing GPPs for 5 of the 24 slates (20.8%), but that was still below average based on last year and the rest of this year (around 27-29%).

Ugh, thank Mother Earth that July and the “dog days of summer” are over!

August, here we come…

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Slate 107 – Tuesday, August 1, 2017 (main 15-game slate):

Man 99.6 vs. THE BAT 131.3
$3 Baby Squeeze
Minimum cash line: 149.3
Winner: camkbeach, 285

Cash: SE Double-Up, +$25 (Cash line: 127.6 for $25 SEDU only)

THE BAT locks: Despite a slate loaded with pitching, Scherzer still was projected above the rest, so I locked him and moved on. Bryant and Cruz were the highested projected hitters, which I liked a lot given their comparatively lower salaries (i.e., than we normally see for like a Trout, Blackmon, etc.). Those two allowed for a bit more leeway for THE BAT in producing the rest of the lineup without tee-total punts.

Weirdest slate of the season?!

Yes, despite the question mark included above, I think we can confidently say that is so. Scherzer leaves the game after one inning due to injury, and you think, “Drawing dead” only to then see Sale, Carrasco, and Taillon (3 of the 5 on the “next best” list) get lit up. And, to mitigate the Scherzer damage further, the 2 others on that “next best” tier in Archer and Nola did not manage to surpass the 20-something mark. The ‘aces’ on the night? “Sure to Give Up” Homer Bailey and “You’ll End Up with Less” Chacin. Wow!

I’m not sure we really need to try and break down this slate, lest we throw ourselves out of whack and end up needing a chiropractor. I’ll just say that I was ecstatic to cash that one $25 cash game in which I entered THE BAT’s lineup.

Go on, take your money run…

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Slate 108 – Wednesday, August 2, 2017 (early 3-game slate):

Man 138 vs. THE BAT 104.1
$4 Squeeze
Minimum cash line: 129.8
Winner: jjames15, 179.7

Cash: SE Double-Up, -$25 (Cash line: High 125.1; Low 116.6)

I normally try to limit my early slate play to 4 games or more, but with the excitement over July ending and August starting, I had to play this slate.

THE BAT locks: With the projections being a toss-up between SPs Tanaka and Erv Santana, I decided to lock in the top two highest projected hitters in Judge and Dongalson. With those two locked, THE BAT chose for me and selected He’s Not My Hero, He’s Not Your Hero, He’s Masahiro Tanaka.

Yeah, definitely not my hero!

Like I thought, Erv Santana proved to be the choice. Of course, Tanaka did not pitch poorly in posting 40 FDPs, but the 18-point difference would have placed THE BAT at least in a split for cash games rather than being shut out.

But, all was not lost entirely, for my Man lineup finally came through this week with a minimum cash thanks to Erv’s 58 and my Blue Jays stack finally paying off with Josh D and Pearce carrying us with 52+ between them. 110 with 3 dudes is a good start; of course, I’d have preferred more than 28 more from the other 6 bums. It’s hard to fathom that only 41.7 points separated us from $10K. That 179.7 high score for this Squeeze was the second lowest winning score of those we’ve played in this series. I am sure jjames15 doesn’t give a rat’s arse how low his winning score was on this short slate. $10K is $10K. It is crazy, when you think about it though, that a bloke won $10K on a random Wednesday morning playing fantasy baseball. I love it!

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Slate 109 – Wednesday, August 2, 2017 (main 12-game slate):

Man 72.2 vs. THE BAT 143.2
$4 Squeeze
Minimum cash line: 114.6
Winner: favre4prez11, 227.2

Cash: SE Double-Up, +$23 (Cash line: High 95.4, Low 95.2)

THE BAT locks: Whenever I see an SP topping THE BAT’s list who is not a bonafide ace, I get a little queasy, and it was no different on this slate. Is Dallas Keuchel ready to return to ace status? THE BAT thinks so, but admittedly, I was a little unsure about locking him in here, but I did. Dallas K was followed up with two of the top projected hitters according to THE BAT in Trout and Bellinger.

Is THE BAT back?

I sure hope so, and this slate seemed to suggest it might be. For 2 of the 4 cash games we entered here, THE BAT’s lineup finished 1st. Of course, I’d feel a heck of a lot better about that meaningless placing as #1 if it translated into a GPP #1. It did not, thanks mainly to Mr. Dallas Keuchel and his 12 FDPs. Thanks to Dallas K, it resulted instead in a near-minimum cash. Damn, large-field GPPs are tough!

Of course, not THAT tough. Two changes here: Godley for Keuchel (+31) and Dee Gordon for Cano (+31) equals 205 and a 9th place ($500) in this Squeeze. Ha ha ha, oh the “What if’s?”

For Man, we need another one of those “O, no!“s again. Geez almighty, 2 slates in one week where my offensive guys are just that in terms of how bad they stink. I again nailed a good young arm, this time Luke Weaver, and failed to do jacksquat on offense with only 25.2 FDPs (compared to 24 earlier in the week). Ugh.

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Slate 110 – Friday, August 4, 2017 (main 13-game slate):

Man 76.7 vs. THE BAT 149
$7 Mama Squeeze
Minimum cash line: 136.7
Winner: poolman74, 282.5

Cash: SE Double-Up, +$32 (Cash line: High 142.2 , Low 142.2)

THE BAT locks: Uh, oh. Another non-ace at the top of THE BAT projections (Eduardo Rodriguez). It didn’t work out particularly well with Dallas K (or Tanaka either, for that matter), so I was a little wary. Therefore, I decided to lock the top two highest projected hitters for THE BAT in Trout and Arenado and then see who THE BAT would choose. Oh yeah, as I suspected due to the projections, definitely Ed-Rod!

A blogging boost!

After taking Thursday off to recover and trying to get my wits back, I woke up Friday morning to start my lineup-building process and saw a larger bankroll than that which I left in my FanDuel account on Wednesday and thought, “I’ll be darn, FanDuel must have accidentally paid out golf contests again!”

Ha ha ha. Remember, I said ‘trying to get my wits back’!

My second thought was more sane. A Rotogrinders blog award? Heck yeah, way more sane!

I am stoked to say that I was awarded the Rotogrinders July Blog of the Month Runner-Up. Click here to read about the other winners. I’ll move my weekly appreciation thread up a bit and say that I truly appreciate this platform and program that Rotogrinders has created and maintained and that FanDuel is now sponsoring. It’s a great way for aspiring writers to test the waters, and for those who write for a living (like me) to have a fun side project to write about what they love doing as a hobby. And if you haven’t checked out the other bloggers, there are some gems out there, and the awards link above is a great place to get started. Thanks again, Rotogrinders!

On to the games…

Let’s call this the “Dan is Back!” slate. Or, maybe the “Dan Back rocks!” slate.

Ha ha ha. Just don’t pronounce it like it reads! Maybe the “Dan Back rocks!” slate works better? At any rate, Mr. Dan Back did rock this slate, finishing 3rd in the Mama Squeeze for $5K and winning the $77 Grand Slam for a cool $50K. For a guy I feel like I know since I’ve listened to his podcast almost every day for going on 3 years, I was super stoked to see his name that high on the leaderboard, and since I knew he was sound asleep by the time the final bell rung, I drank a strawberrita in his honor (his favorite drink). Ha ha ha, I didn’t really. Where the hell would I get a strawberrita?

While we did not hit Dan Back level, THE BAT was hitting on all cylinders on this slate to the tune of a GPP minimum cash and cash game success. We’ll take it and march on confidently here in August.

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Slate 111 – Saturday, August 5, 2017 (main 12-game slate):

Man 56.4 vs. THE BAT 132.6
$6 Mama Squeeze
Minimum cash line: 132.9
Winner: booourns, 218.2

Cash: SE Double-Up, +$14 (Cash line: High 119.5, Low 119.5)

THE BAT locks: As I said on Sunday, THE BAT had a man crush on Drew Pom last year, so I was not as worried about him as I have been with other non-aces. So, I locked him, and then with the relative costs savings, I felt confident locking the top two projected hitters in Trout and Freeman.

Poker Saturday with an eventual hit in cash!

Today was the day of my first annual Summer Patio Poker Tournament, so I probably should have taken the day off. But, I wanted to play and see if we could keep the hot streak going with THE BAT. Much like my Poker play, we were not able to hit enough to salvage a tournament cash (barely losing out), but we did manage to break through in cash. Similarly, I finished out of the money in the tourney, but it was not barely as it was for THE BAT (132.6 with a 132.9 cash line). I was second out in the tournament after some horrendously poor cards, but I finally managed to break through in the cash game.

After emptying my wallet, I managed to go on a helluva run and “win” the cash game with chips totaling $112 (a full $12 profit). Somehow, the bank money did not work out, so I technically only walked with $2. Ha ha ha. Beats the alternative, I suppose. My one tilt though was in the big blind spot in the cash game, in the midst of my big run: I’d just taken about $50 or so from the cockiest Poker player in our group (he can back it up, but he’s still from the “Poker jerk” ilk). I called a relatively tame raise from the big blind spot with only 5-8. Flop was A-5-8. Oh, my. Money spot for sure if someone is holding an Ace! I bet my standard $7.50 to be sure I chased away chasers. Sure enough, all others folded, and then “Poker jerk” himself says, “I let you have those other ones, but no chance here” (he’d folded on my $12.50 turn bets earlier, even though I was 100% certain I had him with a boat and nut straight, respectively). I smiled confidently, for I just knew I was about to take even more money from him in uber-tilting fashion. But, then the turn! Ugh. Worst possible. An ace. Old Well. Of course, I lost that hand, but it turned out to be just a minor blip in a good cash night.

For THE BAT, Pom was wonderful on this slate, and he ultimately helped to carry us to a cash game win.

I did not point out the weird anomaly yesterday of both contests having the same cash line of 142.2, as I ended up only entering two multi-entry Double-Ups due to being late in getting my entries in to the site. But, on this slate, I entered 4 different single-entry contests, and they each had the same exact cash line of 119.5. Weird! You may also wonder why I only went with $14 in cash game entries. Yeah, that was accidental. It should have been $25, but I mistakenly entered an $11 Quintuple-Up rather than what I was trying to enter, an $11 Double-Up. Ugh.

I mean, you have got to be kidding me with my Man lineup. Did I seriously have another “O, no!” slate? Geez almighty, yes, I did! That makes 3 slates this week where my O scored 30 or less FDPs. With 8 offensive players, that’s an average of 3.75 points per player. 1 hit or 1 run scored per player. Wow, incredible ineptitude!

In the overall series, THE BAT has taken a commanding overall lead with this 6-1 week.

The weekly summary is below.

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Overall Scorecard (through 111 slates):

Man

H2H Record: 46-65
Avg Score: 126.82
GPP Cash rate: 25%
Net Profit/Loss: (-$86)

vs.

THE BAT

H2H Record: 65-46
Avg. Score: 135.46
GPP Cash Rate: 27%
GPP Net Profit/Loss: (-$159)
Cash Game Rate: 55%
Cash Net Profit/Loss: (-$23)
Net Profit/Loss: (-$182)

TOTAL NET: (-$268)

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Here’s a link to the full spreadsheet for your reference. If you see any mistakes, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Thank you for reading, thanks to FanDuel for sponsoring, and thanks to RotoGrinders for the blog platform!

I’d love to hear from you —> comment below or follow me on Twitter @yoteach7.

About the Author

  • Brian Greenwood (yoteach)

  • Dr. Brian Greenwood, an associate professor of sport management in the “real” world, is yoteach in DFS. Greenwood played season-long casually for over 20 years until joining the DFS and RotoGrinders community in the fall of 2013. Greenwood became so intrigued with the culture and strategic intricacies surrounding DFS that he even decided to commission an observational research study through full participant inquiry (i.e., immersion in the experience). Since the start of the study, he’s been writing field notes daily and hopes to eventually publish articles and a book on his experiences. That is, if he ever hits the elusive GPP win (i.e., the “Quad” of $1000+)! As a professor, his official expertise lies in youth sports and active learning in higher education.

Comments

  • joeycis

    • Blogger of the Month

      Blogger of the Month

    Always such a fun read. Great as always and congrats on the award.

  • yoteach

    • Blogger of the Month

      Blogger of the Month
    @joeycis said...

    Always such a fun read. Great as always and congrats on the award.

    Thanks a ton! I really appreciate the read and the kudos.

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