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MLB Starting Lineups: Value, Importance, and Timing

Stephen Keech (SBK)

Stephen Keech (sbk5065 on most sites) is a Penn State graduate from the city of Champions. He is a lead RotoGrinders Contributor and manages Player News, Projections and Starting Lineups for NFL, MLB and NBA.

It may seem trivial to consider a starting lineup in 2020 as a critical edge in DFS, and yet there are still reasons to consider it as such. It’s nowhere near what it used to be, but the need to maximize this information still exists in a number of ways. In this article we will explore the value of lineups.

Why does batting order matter?

The more plate appearances a player has, the more chances he’ll have to produce fantasy points. It’s a simple concept that tells us why batting order is important. The higher that player hits in the lineup, the better chance he has of seeing a fifth or even sixth at bat – something DFS players covet. This doesn’t mean that the leadoff batter is the best target in every lineup – lots of other factors need to be considered – but knowing a team’s batting order will make your decisions simpler.

Bottom Line: Projected batting order is fundamental to a DFS projection and therefore critical.

How are the projected lineups determined?

We take a combination of recent lineups against pitchers of that same handedness, player news, projected rest days, injury updates and combine that information to make the best possible estimate of a team’s projected lineup. While projected lineups are very often in need of adjustment, they do provide a starting point to begin preparing for a slate. The problem is, we can’t accept any imperfection between projected lineups and actual when it comes time to submit our rosters.

Bottom Line: Building lineups with projected lineups is risky, and often just for preparation. We must understand that lineups eventually become confirmed, and leverage exacting projections and order information to make the most correct decisions possible.

Where do you find lineup information on RotoGrinders?

The first and easiest place is on the Starting Lineups Page.

Besides the main starting lineups page, you can find lineups via LineupHQ, where we list them to make the lineup building process easier. There are numerous advantages to lineup updates in LineupHQ that impact your daily routine:

— Instant access to the latest changes.

— Reduced chance of human error. Ensure you have starting players in your lineup.

— Adjusted projections based on lineup order.

— Ability to automatically create stacks based on player order.

Bottom Line: Lineup order is easily accessible on RotoGrinders both for information (lineups page) and direction application to roster builds in LineupHQ as they release. Getting lineup information as quickly as possible can only increase your chances of success.

When are lineups confirmed and when is the best time to build lineups?

Lineups are generally confirmed about three to four hours prior to that game’s first pitch, but some teams may confirm them five or six hours beforehand.

On a normal 15-game night slate that locks at 7:00 PM EST, we tend to have most lineups confirmed by about 5:30-6:00 PM with the last of the west coast lineups rolling in around lock. Ideally you’d have each team’s lineup confirmed before building your own, but that’s not always possible.

Doing the majority of your building in the hour leading up to lock is when you’ll have the most confirmed information at your disposal. If you do build lineups prior to all lineups being confirmed, you’ll need to make sure you’re not rostering any bench players after everything is in.

Bottom Line: Wait until you have as much lineup information as possible to create finalized lineups. You won’t always have all the information no matter how long you wait, but focus on LineupHQ setup early in the day. Focusing less on making actual teams and more on proper setup will allow you to quickly build and edit lineups in the hour leading up to lock.

Expected Starting Pitchers and Openers

It didn’t become as prominent in the MLB until this past season, but it’s become somewhat common for team’s to use relievers to “open” games before handing things over to a long reliever or a continued string of bullpen arms. It hasn’t been hard to identify these players – teams will make it known that the pitcher isn’t likely to go more than an inning or two, and even if they don’t, logic can usually take care of the rest. If a listed starter hasn’t thrown more than two innings in an appearance all year, it’s safe to assume that trend will continue unless it’s noted otherwise.

Bottom Line: Be careful not to over value the idea that pitcher listed as the “starter” will be guaranteed to pitch as long as he possibly can. MLB teams have developed new strategies to start games, and the RG lineups page will make note of these situations when they are known.

Lineup Alerts

Anyone playing MLB DFS should have lineup alerts coming to their mobile device. At RotoGrinders, we confirm lineups as quickly as possible as they are confirmed by league sources, giving you the information as soon as it drops. Not only does this help to ensure you won’t end up rostering players who aren’t starting, but it gives you as much time as possible to utilize the information to your advantage. Those into sports betting could benefit from these alerts to try to take advantage of lines before they are updated – a quick alert about a starting pitcher scratch that heavily impacts the betting line can be very valuable.

Bottom Line: Instant access to information can only enhance your odds, and subscribing to mobile alerts will keep you informed no matter where you are.

Resources

Starting Lineups Page.

LineupHQ

RotoGrinders Alerts App IOS

RotoGrinders Alerts App Android

LineupHQ Express – Available in the RG alerts app

It may seem trivial to consider a starting lineup in 2020 as a critical edge in DFS, and yet there are still reasons to consider it as such. It’s nowhere near what it used to be, but the need to maximize this information still exists in a number of ways. In this article we will explore the value of lineups.

Why does batting order matter?

About the Author

  • Stephen Keech (SBK)

  • Stephen Keech (sbk5065 on most sites) is a Penn State graduate from the city of Champions. He is a lead RotoGrinders Contributor and manages Player News, Projections and Starting Lineups for NFL, MLB and NBA.

Instructor

Stephen Keech (sbk5065 on most sites) is a Penn State graduate from the city of Champions. He is a lead RotoGrinders Contributor and manages Player News, Projections and Starting Lineups for NFL, MLB and NBA.

Courses by Stephen Keech

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