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  • ballhard26

    I have been playing DFS since last January on FanDuel. At the time, I had a wealth of NBA knowledge and some free time on my hands. I’m a pretty decent mathematician with solid Excel/VBA skills and I put them to good use. I was pleasantly surprised with my success over the course of the season.

    At some point, I must have tricked myself into thinking that I could duplicate my success in baseball. This has proven to be difficult. Baseball is far more volatile, seems to require much more nightly research, and a significant understanding of the subtleties of the game. Although I’ve tried a few different analysis methods, I haven’t found anything that I can confidently say gives me a better chance to win on a given night.

    I’m fully prepared to pack it in until October, but I thought I would see if any experienced players had any advice or answers for me.

    1. Does anyone consistently win playing baseball without making multiple nightly lineups?
    2. Does anyone know of a way to quantify the unpredictability of a hitter or pitcher on a given night? As far as I can tell, it seems that you can’t even predict just how unpredictable a player might be.
    3. How many years do you guys use in analysis? Do you weight recent stats (as in the last few weeks) higher?
    4. Has anyone had success in creating an automatic lineup creator (i.e. a macro that formulates 10 potential lineups)?
    5. How do you handle players that are making their major league debut? Are minor league stats sufficient to profile a player, or should some adjustment be made?
    6. Any suggestions on literature that has made a difference in the way you see baseball?

    Thanks.

  • 8MileAllstars

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but it sounds like you really don’t know much about baseball itself. Try getting more acclimated to the game as a good first step.

  • deebarizo

    Play more lineups to lower volatility. For example, last time I played, I played 29 unique lineups and 48 different players.

  • soonerdawg

    Excellent advice deebarzio…..i have my own process of selecting games, i’d say on a given night i have shares in 30 to 50% of the games…..it’s something I only started toying with, and my sample size is embarrassing since I started tracking, but what I’m tracking is coalescing pretty well with what I was suspecting…..tonight I have 29 different players, 26 unique lineups, although that washington game being PPD at the last minute messed things up a bit, did a massive player export at the last minute, and all those lineups had Hammel :(….going to be some work in the morning making notes to keep things accurate….I think one tweak I’m going to do is stop playing #9 hitters, I roll with them when they come up on my projections despite my better judgment, I say, “Oh well, small sample size, I will do what my system tells me”….stabbing myself in the dick, a couple of lineups I had tonight are 10 points the worse for that

    One thing I’m trying to get right is the “punt” play, don’t think I understand that strategy as well as I should….tonight, A. Hill was the only 2B I had come up on my list, so I rolled with him in every L/U….on the other hand, I had 4 catchers show up on the list (Cervelli, Realmuto, Phegley, & Ellis), but due to the Dodgers not releasing their LU until 15 minutes before lock, I ended up with the fewest shares of Ellis, and of course he homers in the 1st…..but WTF you gonna do, I almost plugged Grandal in as my punt catcher

  • deebarizo

    Also, how does your wealth of NBA knowledge compare to your MLB?

    If you have much less knowledge of MLB, you’re probably going to struggle. Just read everything you can about MLB to build up your MLB knowledge base. That’s what worked for me.

  • 8MileAllstars

    @soonerdawg said...

    Excellent advice deebarzio…..i have my own process of selecting games, i’d say on a given night i have shares in 30 to 50% of the games…..it’s something I only started toying with, and my sample size is embarrassing since I started tracking, but what I’m tracking is coalescing pretty well with what I was suspecting…..tonight I have 29 different players, 26 unique lineups, although that washington game being PPD at the last minute messed things up a bit, did a massive player export at the last minute, and all those lineups had Hammel :(….going to be some work in the morning making notes to keep things accurate….I think one tweak I’m going to do is stop playing #9 hitters, I roll with them when they come up on my projections despite my better judgment, I say, “Oh well, small sample size, I will do what my system tells me”….stabbing myself in the dick, a couple of lineups I had tonight are 10 points the worse for that

    One thing I’m trying to get right is the “punt” play, don’t think I understand that strategy as well as I should….tonight, A. Hill was the only 2B I had come up on my list, so I rolled with him in every L/U….on the other hand, I had 4 catchers show up on the list (Cervelli, Realmuto, Phegley, & Ellis), but due to the Dodgers not releasing their LU until 15 minutes before lock, I ended up with the fewest shares of Ellis, and of course he homers in the 1st…..but WTF you gonna do, I almost plugged Grandal in as my punt catcher

    Ellis always catches Kershaw. If you don’t know that kind of basic MLB stuff you should familiarize yourself more with the game and spend less time on stats.

  • soonerdawg

    @8MileAllstars said...

    Ellis always catches Kershaw. If you don’t know that kind of basic MLB stuff you should familiarize yourself more with the game and spend less time on stats.

    excellent point

  • RealJB17

    I would say the biggest different between NBA and MLB is how spending for the starts is no guarantee. In basketball when you pay up for a top of the line guy he is usually going to get his. However in baseball you always see a min salary guy at $2,200 go and outscore a guy who’s worth way more. For example today LaRoche at $2,300 vs Goldschmidt (most expensive 1B on the board). You never see that in NBA its just in baseball anything can happen so you have to research everyone and no guy is ever truly matchup proof.

  • garbage9922

    • 2016 DraftKings FHWC Finalist

    @8MileAllstars said...

    Ellis always catches Kershaw. If you don’t know that kind of basic MLB stuff you should familiarize yourself more with the game and spend less time on stats.

    Yes, just like on July 3rd, 2015, when AJ Ellis caught the game but box scores were altered to make it look like Yasmani Grandal caught Kershaw. Human memories were altered as well.

    Of course you are correct that if Ellis plays, it’s often a Kershaw start. But always is a dangerous word.

  • tommygmets86

    In terms of “unpredictability” you have to appreciate how different baseball is than any other sport. Some things are guaranteed in other sports pending injury. LeBron will be an important player for the Cavs on any given night with the highest usage rate. Antonio Brown will get at least 6-8 targets and have a chance to do a lot with those. In baseball, you have Mike Trout, who could be facing the worst pitcher in the league in Coors Field, and he can just happen to get fooled by a few good pitches, or just get some deep fly ball outs/outs on hard hit balls. Then, Eric Campbell, the worst player in baseball, will step up to the plate in the ninth inning today and hit the first homer a Met has hit in ten games. Baseball is incredibly random and unpredictable. That’s not saying you can’t be good at baseball dfs: you absolutely can, but you need to understand that you’re going to be dead wrong about a lot of your hunches +intuitions

  • Bdwestcoast

    I’m not good at this. But I can tell you 2 things you have to do %100 correct to even have a chance.
    1a) confirm lineups
    1b) check the weather

  • Thomas21

    1. I’ve had better success using 1 single lineup rather then making multiple lineups.
    2. Look at K%, contact rate, and ISO for hitters and their splits. Players like Joc Pederson are extremely volatile because he has a high k rate, low contact rate, and a high ISO.
    3. I use stats from last year and this year. I do weigh this year more but last year is important as well.
    4. I do not have Excel so no.
    5. Minor league stats are a large part of the puzzle for rookies but some adjustments should be made due to the team that rookie is playing that specific day. For a specific example, Miguel Sano mashed lefties in the minors but if he’s hitting against Dallas Keuchel or similar pitchers to him, he’s not likely to hit a HR.
    6. I would suggest to read Jonathan Bales’ book on DFS for Baseball. He goes over what is important for DFS baseball.

    Also, ALWAYS pay attention to the weather. I can’t stress how important that is. Follow Kevin Roth on twitter for updates after his post on the main forum to get a better idea of how the weather is forming closer to start time.

  • soonerdawg

    and you know what? another damn thing that pisses me off, is I always use an “A Team”, so “A Team” gets at least one bullet into everything before I start mixing it up….and said “A Team” tends to be in the bottom half of the rest of my lineups, another reason to play multi entry GPP….gave up on cash games, got sick of “A Team” sucking the fat one in $40 worth of H/H while #19 team killed it in GPP and I still lost money….screw the damn “A Team”, more like “ASS TEAM

    screw you “ASS TEAM”….all 17 of you

  • jimmyrad

    @ballhard26 said...

    a significant understanding of the subtleties of the game.

    Yes, this is very important, imo. The general lack of understanding on baseball nuance and sample sizes is the only reason an old neanderthal like me has a chance.

  • stonejack26

    @soonerdawg said...

    and you know what? another damn thing that pisses me off, is I always use an “A Team”, so “A Team” gets at least one bullet into everything before I start mixing it up….and said “A Team” tends to be in the bottom half of the rest of my lineups, another reason to play multi entry GPP….gave up on cash games, got sick of “A Team” sucking the fat one in $40 worth of H/H while #19 team killed it in GPP and I still lost money….screw the damn “A Team”, more like “ASS TEAM

    screw you “ASS TEAM”….all 17 of you

    Post of the year?

  • yoshi2132

    its all about hitter vs pitcher

  • fathalpert

    • Moderator

    • Blogger of the Month

    @yoshi2132 said...

    its all about hitter vs pitcher

    I only factor in BvP when the sample size is large enough but even then, I still take it with a grain of salt. BvP on a guy like Verlander or Lincecum can be misleading if it heavily weights the seasons where he was dominant and is now no longer the same pitcher.

  • chiwork

    There is a lot of bad information in here. The only thing that is correct by everyone 100% of the time here is that you need a deep baseball knowledge.

    Similarly during basketball season some guy was posting “revenge game” angles as a means for playing guys, that type of analysis is laughable.

    There is no secret focus in baseball. The top guys play a million lineups a night because once you mix guys that should perform up enough, you end up hitting.

    Let me explain: Chris Collabello and Joshn Donaldson have a huge split for lefties (for example). If you look at the top players (maxd, ashlarry, etc) they will typically always play these two guys versus lefties mixed into their lineups. If those 2 play lefties 10 straight days, maybe 3 of the days they will be the top play for the position. Once they shake around those guys with other guys that SHOULD BE PERFORMNING, they have 900 opportunities to match 30-40 guys into the perfect combo. High volume guys are playing percentages on the percentages (stats) of baseball. People who think they are secret geniuses who have some revolutionary model are mistaken.

    More than anything though, you have to realize that dfs baseball is a failing gambit for a small stakes player that is pushing his limits to try and win big. As other people have mentioned, in no other DFS sport can the best player and a lower tier player have interchangeable results on at least a 25% of their games. Lebron and Curry wont get outscored by Terrance Ross and Darren Collison every 4 or 5 games. The only way to account for the fluctuation is only play small, play a huge volume, or get a bigger bankroll.

    I typed that off on my phone while taking a lap at the office so I’m not saying every single word is 100% gospel but thats my take on it and I think others will agree.

  • btwice80

    @chiwork said...

    There is a lot of bad information in here. The only thing that is correct by everyone 100% of the time here is that you need a deep baseball knowledge.

    Similarly during basketball season some guy was posting “revenge game” angles as a means for playing guys, that type of analysis is laughable.

    There is no secret focus in baseball. The top guys play a million lineups a night because once you mix guys that should perform up enough, you end up hitting.

    You claim a lot of bad information in the thread, and then you claim the top guys play a million lineups. Many of the top guys, including plenty of the absolute highest volume players only play one or two lineups per site.

  • chiwork

    @btwice80 said...

    You claim a lot of bad information in the thread, and then you claim the top guys play a million lineups. Many of the top guys, including plenty of the absolute highest volume players only play one or two lineups per site.

    Are you kidding? 1 or 2 lineups? Out of all the things from my opinion from that post you attack that one, that was probably the one thing that is practically undeniable.

  • Olhausen

    @btwice80 said...

    You claim a lot of bad information in the thread, and then you claim the top guys play a million lineups. Many of the top guys, including plenty of the absolute highest volume players only play one or two lineups per site.

    Agreed, especially when that user joined on June 2nd.

  • btwice80

    @chiwork said...

    Are you kidding? 1 or 2 lineups? Out of all the things from my opinion from that post you attack that one, that was probably the one thing that is practically undeniable.

    One of your very first points was an extreme generalization that has as many if not more exceptions than those to whom it applies. I am not kidding. I’m quite familiar with patterns of most of the top players, and yep, lots of them play one or two lineups. It’s undeniable.

  • Jmccorkel5

    That is a great point. I get caught up in the stats and tendencies sometimes and lose focus on a very important fact liKe Ellis always catches Kershaw so I don’t f up n put grandad in. Thanks will pay more attention to the game itself an not just stats

  • NCRick

    One or two lineups (but many entries if you wish) is the way to go for the common man. At the same time, these players trying to be maxdulary with 500 lineups are good for the game, so if thats you please keep doing it.

  • Smylym

    It’s what makes baseball sooooo GREAT!!

  • Crackbone

    This is my first year playing DFS, and I’ve been profitable @ baseball so far.

    It comes down to selecting the right matchups if you’re playing cash games and sticking to a formula that works.

    Now, it doesn’t work every night due to the volatility of baseball, but if you stick to a system, and you don’t let the losses take you off your formula, you can make pretty good money playing.

    As far as the volatility goes, it’s your best friend when it comes to playing tournaments. If you’re playing GPPs, learn to love the volatility. It’s what gives you a chance to cash big every night.

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