To Fade or Not to Fade: The Rubik's Cube That Is MLB

I’ve been playing DFS for 3 years now. I’m a low level, low volume player who is looking for more consistency. Last year was my first year playing MLB DFS. Much like NFL and NBA, I hope to write my reflections here and become a better player. Join me as I reflect (and probably mock) my process and occasionally make a wrestling reference. So I have 1 question for you… Who wants to learn with Joe? (See what I did there?).:

On Christmas day, 2016, I received a Rubik’s cube. While it may seem odd, I actually asked for it. I was teaching middle school Social Studies at the time and trying to get my students to participate in a Genius Hour idea. The whole premise of a Genius Hour is to have students learn about something that interests them and potentially can be beneficial to others. However, my students were having a difficult time with how large this concept was and like any good teacher, I adapted to meet their needs. We narrowed the ideas down to something the students were interested in learning about. To model, I told them I wanted to learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube. With practice and loads of time, I learned how to solve the cube without any assistance or looking at algorithms. I even convinced some students to learn as well.

What does this have to do with DFS?

I feel like this is me with NBA DFS. NBA was inconsistent last year and even for the first half of this season. Much like the beginning of working with the Rubik’s cube, there was struggle and consistent practice until I learned a process that helped me solve it. At the All Star break, I read “Thinking in Bets” and re-evaluated my game selection, process, and overall thoughts on NBA DFS. After the break, I had a process that started to produce more consistency. The results were more consistent and I knew that I was on the right track.

Recently, I celebrated a birthday and received a 4×4 Rubik’s cube as a gift. It presents a different set of challenges and algorithms to learn. So far, I can solve the center part but haven’t been able to move past that. With time and practice, I will learn to solve it just like how I learned to solve the regular Rubik’s cube. This presents my most recent play in the MLB DFS world. It’s a world I dabbled in last year, but relied heavily on the process of others (I’m looking at you Dave Potts!). This year, I’m venturing off to create my own way of selecting hitters and pitchers. Much like the NBA, I notice that when I have my own system in place, I am more at peace with the results (good or bad). Thus far, I feel much like I do with the new Rubik’s cube, I can get certain parts, but the whole puzzle still eludes me. My objective this season is to really develop a process that works for me and one I can replicate as long as I play MLB DFS.

Last Night’s Slate

I felt good with last night’s slate because I had put my foot down in terms of what my process was going to look like. After reviewing the pitchers, my choices for me came down to Kershaw and Verlander. Ultimately, I decided to ride with Kershaw because…well it’s Kershaw and his price will only rise as the season wears on.

As for my hitters, I looked at ISO and wOBA to make some decisions. Shaw and Thames seemed like they were in good situations, but didn’t come through as I thought they might. I went with Gonzalez as a cheap way to get to the Astros, however, I missed the Josh Reddick explosion. Dexter Fowler worked to my advantage and Odor has a decent game. I went with Hoskins and Nimmo in the Mets/Phillies game but that also didn’t go as planned which is a shame, because I really liked Hoskins going against Harvey. It just wasn’t meant to be.


In reading the Slack chat, there was a lot of chalk that went off yesterday. I guess I just wasn’t on it. The other thing to remember is my approach to picking hitters does lend itself to potential low scoring days. Looking at only ISO and wOBA is far from advanced sabermetrics. As I become more comfortable with the stats, my process will expand.

Much like the 4×4, I’ll figure a way of solving this puzzle as well.

Leave me a comment below or hit me up on Twitter: JMcGrath330.

About the Author


  • coach232

    • Blogger of the Month

    Excellent Post bro. I too am trying to solve the puzzle. I am taking the old jigsaw method and getting the edges first and fill in as I go, having some success there. As a teacher, I love the Genius Hour idea. Will look to include that in my classes as the school year winds down

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