Whether you are new to Daily Baseball, or you have been playing for years, it makes no difference – today’s article is about to reveal to your great pieces of information and advice in terms of MLB, daily fantasy baseball picks, lineups, success strategies and advanced baseball stats. One question that a lot of people pose quite often is related to the legitimacy of the game. Despite the fact that we are not experts in the field of law, as far as we know from our experience with Fantasy Baseball, there are a couple of requirements to be met for you to be able to play. The first criterion refers to the necessary relationship between the skill level and the prospects for winning. The second one excludes the possibility of having a point spread (check in our glossary) determine the result of the contest. Last, but not least, it is obligatory for participants to be familiar with the prices that are offered. Based on these three criteria we can draw the conclusion that DFS Baseball can be considered legal, unless you live in Arizona, Montana, Louisiana, Iowa, or Vermont. Remember, there is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) there.
What Makes DFB Better Than The Full-Season Leagues
Another concern that players come across before they make up their mind to join DFS Baseball is related to the lack of clarity regarding what makes it so different from the full-season MLB leagues. Well, let us provide you with some facts about a few key advantages of Daily baseball that are going to make it crystal clear at a glimpse of an eye.
- While you can expect to be able to play in up to two season-long leagues at once, DFS Baseball provides you with much higher chances of winning real cash, since contests are no longer than a day and the low entry fees of around a dollar allow you to play multiple times without risking a significant loss (as the review says).
- Drafting a team in Fantasy Baseball requires around fifteen minutes whereas in a full-season league you might need to invest multiple hours, if not days, to accomplish the same. Putting so much time into such activity doesn’t sound very practical when we all need to cope with various responsibilities on a daily basis, right.
- Similar to the low time investment that is required of you when being part of Daily Fantasy Baseball, you are also not obliged to keep your participation if you don’t want to do so any longer. However, this doesn’t refer to full-season MLB daily fantasy leagues where you join and remain committed until the end of the season.
- One of the disadvantages of season-long leagues regarding the draft is that it is a snake one. This means that there is no guarantee at all that you can keep a player as long as you want him. Not at all. Your competitors might manage to draft him first leaving you empty-handed. Fortunately, playing DFS Baseball allows you to enjoy this predictability and have your players on your team if you are capable of paying their salary cap.
If you have previously played in a long season baseball league, you have probably experienced the need to lose precious hours in getting informed about stats to draft a team you were hoping to perform greatly and bring you high returns on investments. However, chances are also that something went wrong with the plan at some point and that you were forced to watch the rest of the season full of anger or despair. No wonder that so many people have moved to Daily Fantasy Baseball to avoid these pitfalls. And why not – you can win daily, and it does not require a lot of time or effort. Interestingly enough, there are also fans who have decided to keep on playing in the full-season leagues and at the same time benefit from the amazing opportunities that go hand in hand with Daily Baseball. Our goal is to provide you with the facts that can help you make an informed decision.
What Does It Take To Start Playing DFS Baseball
If you haven’t given DFB a try so far, you will be amazed to see how simple it is to play in practice. And if you already have experience with it, you know for sure what we are talking about. As a first step, you need to select a site. We consider FanDuel, DraftKings and Victor quite good options since not only can you choose from a wide variety of contests that are guaranteed, but it is also effortless to get your winnings. If you happen to be eager to get informed about other alternatives, check our list of top 10 fantasy sports sites, most of which allow you to play MLB baseball, as well.
After having made up your mind on a site and having created an account, you need to make a deposit via Paypal or a credit card. This will allow you to move on with the selection of a contest to take part in. Having in mind the wide range of contests you can come across on the sites listed above, it is worth giving you a piece of daily fantasy baseball advice: in the beginning, go for a contest that requires a low entry fee. Once you have chosen a contest, you will need to draft your team by selecting runners, hitters, and pitchers. To keep yourself updated during the games, you can either check them live via TV, or you are able also to take a look at the rankings on the site you use. Last, but not least, do not ignore the importance of optimism and celebrating even your micro wins. This can help you experience maximum satisfaction from playing and stay motivated even in times when a game does not go as you would like it to.
In addition to the simple steps described above, let us also outline specifically how you can join a contest at FanDuel (for example) once you are done with the account creation and the deposit. Here are the main steps to make:
- Go to the main Lobby.
- Look at the box headers on the left called “ALL SPORTS” and “ALL CONTEST TYPES.” First, select the box “MLB” that is to be found under “ALL SPORTS” and then go for the header “ALL CONTEST TYPES” which will help you see the available baseball contests.
- Find the column heading called “ENTRY” that is located at the top of the list. Doing so will help you get the games sorted by the money you need to pay as an entry fee in ascending order.
- Pick up the contest that meets your preferences and goes to the right to click “ENTER”.
- Check all the details about the specific contest (how many people can participate, the amount of the ones that have already joined, who the players to choose from are, as well as all you need to know about the payout schedule and the salary cap. Once you start drafting players, there will be a change in your lineup that is also to be seen there.
- Drafting your team is the next step. In order to do so, it would be helpful for you to get informed about some relevant details about each player such as name, salary, position, how many points he has scored per game (FPPG), how many games he has participated in so far and which ones he is about to join now. All this information is provided in the so-called player list displayed in the left part of the page. Although it is not a requirement, we encourage you to have specifically a look at the tiny tabs in green to the top that will tell you what the positions are. Also, do not always forget to keep in mind your remaining salary that is displayed at the top of your roster, and that will change based on your choices. Clicking the ”ENTER” button is the final step in the process of drafting a team. Therefore, check twice before you do it so that you do not make any mistake due to lack of attention. If you have managed to join the contest, you will get a confirmation.
- We are done. We told you it is easy and simple, right. The only thing left is to wait until the game begins.
How do Points Get Scored in Daily Baseball
There are no guarantees in life. DFB is no exception. However, even if it is not humanly possible to be 100% sure about the outcome of the game before it has finished, we are eager to provide you with some pieces of advice that could help you maximize your chances of winning.
If you are not clear about the waypoints get earned, the logic is as simple as at a basketball game. The players you have selected are the ones scoring the points in various ways, among which we can list hits, runs, RBI’s, stealing bases, strikeouts, innings pitched complete games and shutouts. For more details, check this source: MLB DFS Chart. To give you a more precise overview of what to pay attention to, let us outline the following three tips:
- Make sure you check whether there are some young players on the list that have been transferred from the minors not a long time ago. Doing so can help you manage your budget since you might need more money for the top stars, while the salaries of such young talents are usually more affordable. What is even more relevant than the lower cost, is, however, the fact that the first performances of these young guys tend to be quite good and even impressive.
- Something crucial to keep in mind is also that you can’t afford to pay attention to the hitters. While a lot of people place a lot of importance on the sluggers, it can turn out to be much more beneficial for you to select skilled hitters who can pull walks and who can go up against pitchers with high ERAs. You do not want to witness how the hitter you have paid so much for spends so much time at the plate swinging for the fences just for the sake of striking out, do you?
- Last, but not least, if you happen to be able and willing to invest more money in the contests, make sure you allocate it properly. Picking up good pitchers is a nice way to do so. However, take two things into consideration. First, there are players whose performance gets poorer here than what they were initially able to accomplish. Second, do not go for a pitcher who is capable of pitching a shutout, but for someone who is not about to lose too many hits or send walkers to the bases.
Again, playing Daily Fantasy Baseball is not a rocket science. So, more or less you already got familiar with the most relevant information to start and even win. So, it is time for action. But before that, let us go through an aspect of the process that often gets neglected.
Why Check The Advanced Baseball Stats
Just like the fantasy football gamblers, it took a while before the fans of MLB started acknowledging the relevance of advanced baseball stats, like the fantasy football gamblers, now there are a bunch of people in the media who are eager to include this valuable knowledge when covering a sports event. What makes the stats such a precious source of information, you may ask. Well, stats like ISO, wOBA, wRC+ and FIP are a critical ally in the process of predicting the outcomes of the coming games. However, this does not happen in the form of being encouraged by the experts to bat on this or that specific night. It takes analysis. However relevant the advanced stats might be, what is also significant, is to have an understanding of the time required for their normalization. To consider the stats useful, they need to have been gathered within a period that makes sense. Having in mind the value that the advanced stats can add in the process of prediction, no wonder how many season-long fantasy baseball fans, as well as Daily Fantasy Baseball gamblers, make use of them to research about pitcher value, platoon players, hitters, rookies, and prospects. This is how they do it.
Using Advanced Stats to Identify Pitcher Value
No matter how many starting pitchers you need to roster based on the requirements of the site you use (one or more), you can’t afford to make a poor choice. Therefore, a lot of Daily Fantasy gamers (especially those who like Nascar) look at the lines and over/under totals at Vegas to be able to make up their minds. Additional indicators that are considered to play a key role are walk and strikeout rates, a pitcher’s FIP, xFIP and other ERA estimators. If you want to check what kind of performance to expect or to validate a recent one, you can have a look at the so-called PITCHf/x data. For example, these stats can reveal to you the factors that caused a pitcher to perform in a specific way regarding strikeouts. On the other hand, if the number of punchouts has increased, this might be caused by the higher velocity that a specific player has managed to achieve. Namely, the increase in velocity is considered to be one of the reasons for Scott Kazmir’s return from his trek through Indy ball and Collin McHugh’s transformation from journeyman to the exceptional starter. To demonstrate another way in which the PITCHf/x data can be of service, let us have a closer look at McHugh’s case. There were a lot of people who did not manage to benefit from the opportunity of roasting this very potential pitcher whose salary was cheap because they did not pay attention to the fact that McHugh improved his play by becoming so much faster.
Having in mind that there are Daily Fantasy Baseball sites where you can get high scores for the strikeouts, you need to be able to make accurate projections. Ok, then why not simply relying on the strikeout rates? One argument against this suggestion is the fact that strikeout rates might mislead you in the beginning phase of the season. Instead, what we would advise you to do, is to check the swinging strike percentages on the FanGraphs leaderboard since a pitcher with a high percentage might turn out to be heading for his breakthrough. Additionally, it is wise to pay attention to pay attention to batted ball data and ballpark factors. Gamers often do not select pitchers at parks that seem to be homer-friendly. However, this seems a reasonable choice only as long as the profile of the potential starter is flyball. You wonder why? Well, otherwise under some circumstances a groundball pitcher can perform greatly even if the ballpark does not support the run enhancement. Here are some precious tools that can help you identify the right pitchers and hitters for you to build up your lineup: MLB Projections, MLB Stack Generator, and MLB Lineup Optimizer.
Using Advanced Stats to Utilize Platoon Players
If you are a gamer or even just a fan of baseball, the chances are that you are familiar with the names of superstars like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, Erick Aybar, Howie Kendrick and Michael Cuddyer. What about platoon players? Platoon situations can lead to great financial benefits, in spite of which not everyone knows how to take advantage of them. Let us check specifically how it goes. It is highly likely that a platoon player can get replaced by a pinch-hitter if he is weak against the hand that a late inning reliever of the other team happens to be throwing with. So, as it can be expected, there will be volatility and a lower floor because a platoon player can lose a plate easily, and gamers can benefit from such situations. However, to be capable of predicting the risk at DFB, it is worth checking the GPPs. For example, in the case of high upside GPPS include volatility. A player whose performance can serve us, as an illustration, is Van Slyke who managed to accomplish one hundred and thirty plate appearances against left-handed pitchers two years ago by hitting .315/.415/.630 with a .315 ISO, .447 wOBA, and 193 wRC+. Quite impressive, isn’t it? What is even more amazing is the fact that as a platoon hitter his salary is not as high as one of the top stars. This means that you have a great opportunity to benefit if such a player manages to get the full complement of plate appearances in a game or to put up numbers before he gets removed for a pinch-hitter. In this way not only will you get a nice return on investment, but you will also have more cash to invest in the Trouts, Harpers, and Stanton of the game.
Jonny Gomes, John Jaso, Derek Norris, Mark Canha and Ike Davis are some of the names of platoon player you can identify. Do not make the mistake of underestimating their potential, given the fact that such promising players hit in favorable lineup spots with above average hitting skills and in the same time they do not cost a lot!
Using Advanced Stats to Spot Rookies and Prospects
Another exciting aspect of Fantasy Baseball gaming is related to utilizing rookies in contests (something a single person game like golf can’t do). Although it is not so simple to extract a success formula how to do it, we can’t deny that there is something cool about dealing with baseball prospects and with new things in general. Rookies need time to demonstrate their capacity and to upgrade their skills. When it comes to pitchers, however, you can monitor their pitch usage and velocity thanks to the PITCHf/x data provided on sites such as Brooks Baseball, Baseball Savant, and FanGraphs. Going through the info about the pitch’s movement, batted ball profile, ability to miss bats, expected a way of attacking hitters, etc. could help you get an overview of the effectiveness of each respective pitch. If a pitcher relies on a sinker, this can mean he is about to pitch to groundball contact. In comparison, it is highly likely to miss bats if he tends rather rely on breaking balls.
Another source of information you can check are the scouting reports for all types of players, pitchers included. Even if scouting is not considered to be a precise science, there are sites like MLB.com, FanGraphs, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus that can support you in the process of identifying what a player’s ceiling is and tell which extend he is ready for the big league. Players who are considered to be polished can be expected to move more smoothly to the majors than the so-called raw ones.
Apart from going through scouting reports, you might be willing to compare a rookie’s results in the majors to what they’ve previously accomplished in the minors. Minor League Central is the place to check since there you can find detailed single-season splits by minor league, as well as advanced stats like plate discipline and batted ball data. Having access to such info can support you tremendously in the process of identifying which rookies to set your hopes on.
Using Advanced Stats to Research on Hitters
In fantasy sports like hockey and baseball there are hitters. Whatever approach you take at DFB, when you are about to research on hitters, pay attention to indicators such as Vegas over/under totals, ISO, wOBA, and wRC+. What is also necessary to be checked, is the handedness of the pitcher the hitter is facing, as well as variables that are related to the park itself. Even if these indicators might be considered to be the most crucial ones everyone is advised to start with, there is a wide variety of additional factors to be taken into consideration, some of which you cannot find in Daily Fantasy advice sections. One of them is the data about the batted balls off the pitcher that can help you figure out which the relevant targets are. In the case of a pitcher whose flyball rate is big, the chances are that he is much more likely to serve up a homer in comparison to another player with a moderate rate. What is more, you have the opportunity to make use of line drive rate. Despite the longer period required for its normalization, it might be beneficial for you to check the records from the past three years. You will not regret it.
As you can probably guess, similarly to pitchers, it is also wise to check hitter batted ball data because it might lead to a better financial outcome for you as a gambler. We encourage you to keep an eye on the data for a three years period if you happen to check the line drive rate. However, you can make use of in-season groundball and flyball rates when you are conducting your research on a daily basis because this data requires less time for normalization. When it comes to finding out the hitters with the fewest outs on popups given away, what would help you, is to also check the so called infield flyball rate.
For those of you who are eager to dive even deeper in the Daily Fantasy Baseball research process, we can reveal that there is the possibility to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of each hitter regarding pitch types. Let us take Drew Stubbs as an example. If you check the FanGraphs page, you will see clearly that he has found it difficult to deal with sliders, curves, and changeups, but in the same time he has turned out to be quite skilled when it comes to fastballs. This means that a player with such a profile can theoretically be used effectively against starters like Bartolo Colon and Lance Lynn, who are known for the plenty of fastballs they throw. However, it doesn’t seem to be very wise to let him play against a pitcher like Collin McHugh who is great at sliders and curves.
Interestingly enough, if we have a look at the data for the last year, we will soon notice that Drew Stubbs has managed to post positive run values against sliders, curveballs, and changeups although they are not considered to be his cup of tea. You may ask yourself how come? Well, there is a tiny factor that has played its role- his team has changed. Initially, he played for the Rockies whose games take place at Coors Field, where the air is said to affect secondary offerings in a negative way. As a result, such players can easily end up being underpriced even though they have the potential to perform even better than they do now under different circumstances.
Time to Sum Up a Conclusion
As you can see, there is so much potential that lies in checking advanced baseball stats. Instead of making random guesses about the eventual outcome of the contests and risking cash for nothing, make use of the available data and get to know the players. Taking into consideration that more and more gamers are adopting this approach, it might be helpful to dive even deeper and come across some additional info that not everyone has gained access to so far. However, the purpose of this article was to provide you with an overview of the basic steps and directions to explore. We wish you good luck, hoping that now that you have finished reading today’s pieces of advice, you feel much more confident about MLB, picks, and daily fantasy baseball lineups.
DFS Baseball References
- Daily Fantasy Baseball Tips & Strategies (Sports Illustrated Article)
- Get Daily Fantasy Baseball Advice (All Season Long at Fox Sports)