The Gut Check for September 23, 2020: MLB Edition

Hope everyone is enjoying their sports fix this fall, this is the Gut Check. My name is Shawn Cripps and I’m a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) by day and a DFS player by night. I’ve been playing DFS for the past 5-6 years, mostly on FanDuel, but I’ve started to dabble a bit with DraftKings over the past year. I’ve played mostly NFL, NBA and MLB but have tried other sports like KBO, PGA, NASCAR and MMA (especially during the pandemic). I’m not a high stakes player by any means, just really doing this for the fun of it (at most, probably $50-$200 a night with most of my action in GPPs). I’ve won a few GPPs with my approach over the years and hopefully you can take something away from what I write! I find that this blog is a great way to start your day. Now let’s get started!

I’ve mostly been a single entry style of player over the years but have now dabbled into multi-entering 20 to 25-max contests like the $2.22 Pick ‘N Roll and the $1 And-One, and 150-max contests like the $0.25 Fadeaway or $0.50 mini-Max among other GPPs. Overall, I’ve been pretty consistent. Not winning anything big by any stretch (and not losing a lot either) but if you decide to take the multi-entry plunge, I highly recommend using any lineup builder and building your own projections into your process. Staying on top of news is also very important and vital to your success in DFS. I use RotoGrinders and Twitter notifications on my phone to keep me up-to-date throughout the day, a highly recommended part of my process. For NBA, you have to be able to adapt to breaking news in a quick fashion and lineup optimizers certainly help in that regard.

The blog will be used to look back at the previous slate, my player exposures, and where I and/or the public went right or wrong. It goes without saying that news comes fast and furious throughout the day and can change pretty much everything in a given slate. If you enjoy the blog, feel free to drop a comment or a like. For past blog posts, feel free to look at my profile under my username srcripps. If you’re a Twitter user like myself, feel free to look me up at @CpaCripps.

Yesterday’s Results

I don’t normally play Single-Game/Showdown slates as it requires a tremendous amount of luck to get the right combination. I suppose you could say that for any slate really, but for the purpose of this blog entry today, I had all of my action in the MLB last night. I had 120 lineups in the 150-max $0.25 Pinch Hit on FanDuel. With $30.00 in entry fees, I managed to win back $26.05 for a loss of $3.95 (negative ROI of 13.17%). My account balances are in a big downswing since the NFL season started back up (too many Best Ball tournaments have taken most of my bankroll), so I’m trying to build it back up. I’m sitting at under $35 on both sites, so I don’t want to have to redeposit if I can help it. For regular readers of my blog, you know that I use a lineup optimizer to help me with my lineups along with projections. If you are multi-entering tournaments, I highly recommend using a lineup optimizer as it cuts down on time. Anything that cuts down on time and allows you to change things quickly is well worth the investment if you are using multiple lineups.

My top pitchers and top stacks were as follows:

Blake Snell 33%
Framber Valdez 26%
Drew Smyly 23%
Seth Lugo 8%
Zach Davies 5%

Atlanta Braves in about 35% of my lineups
LA Dodgers in about 24% of my lineups
Houston Astros in about 18% of my lineups
San Diego Padres in about 16% of my lineups
Baltimore Orioles in about 15% of my lineups

My best lineup in the $0.25 Pinch Hit was for 178th out of 47,904 lineups (winning $1.50, cashing 41 of my 120 lineups)

P Seth Lugo 47.0 (16.5% ownership)
C/1B Freddie Freeman 37.6 (33.5% ownership)
2B Ozzie Albies 27.9 (13.3% ownership)
3B Tommy Edman 6.5 (2.3% ownership)
SS Xander Bogaerts 12.4 (15.2% ownership)
OF Adam Duvall 9.2 (12.9% ownership)
OF Marcell Ozuna 56.9 (11.8% ownership)
OF Alex Verdugo 6.0 (4.3% ownership)
UTIL J.D. Martinez 21.7 (14.4% ownership)

Total 225.2 (Winning lineup was 265.9, cash line was 150.5)

Comments about last night’s slate: MLB is such a volatile sport to play in DFS. It’s rare when your instincts are right on point. Atlanta has been red hot when you look at their overall wOBA and ISO statistics and it was crazy to see Freddie Freeman owned in 1/3rd of the lineups last night. He came through for his owners but that had a big impact on the cash line when the chalk hit. On a 11-game slate, I tend to go with a 4-3-1 stack approach so if you look at the lineup above, I had a 4-man Atlanta stack with a 3-man Boston stack and one-off in Tommy Edman to go with my Seth Lugo pick at pitcher. The winning lineup had Lugo at pitcher and a 4-man Atlanta stack (the exact same hitters as I had too) that exploded for 11 runs last night.

Today’s Slate

I’ve cut back a lot on the NBA since they’ve been reduced to one game a night. I’ll throw in a lineup here or there but nothing really big. If you’re not winning 1st place, you’re probably losing money in a Showdown Single-Game slate.

We have a 8-game main slate tonight starting at 7:05 pm EST. My main focus will be on Minnesota and the Dodgers as they get to tee off on Casey Mize and Sean Manaea respectively. Atlanta is in a tough spot against Sixto Sanchez. Sanchez shut down the Braves just 15 days ago, allowing only 3 hits over 6 innings. Sanchez may be worthy of a GPP spot in your lineups if you’re brave enough to stomach it. I’ll have some Braves stacks but won’t go crazy with them like I did last night. I tend to prioritize pitchers more so on FanDuel because you’re looking for strikeout upside and look no further than Tyler Glasnow. Glasnow has a crazy 14.6 K/9 rate and tends to go deep into games. Great opportunity for the quality start bonus. He’s facing the Mets tonight, so I expect him to be the chalky pitching play. I will also sprinkle in some Kenta Maeda against Detroit, Max Fried against Miami, Nathan Eovaldi against Baltimore, and Kyle Hendricks against Pittsburgh as probable tier 2 pitching plays. If you’re paying down for pitching tonight, I’d look to Danny Duffy at $7.2K. He’s facing St. Louis who have been a disappointment batting-wise. Duffy has a nice 9.4 K/9 rate and if he can string together a few good innings, he could stretch it out to a quality start. He’d pay off that cheap price tag fairly nicely, which then allows you to pay up for the big stacks. Certainly a viable GPP strategy tonight!

Those are my initial takes on tonight’s MLB slate. Be aware of your bankroll, don’t risk more than you’re willing to lose. Feel free to leave a like/comment/question if you like the blog. Best of luck Grinders. Let’s win that DFS money!!!

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