Daily fantasy baseball challenges managers to follow trends and numbers


by Zach Redwood

Northeast Campus Editor


The draw to daily fantasy baseball seems to always be the convenience factor that the user gains while playing. With injuries and poor batting slumps out of the equation, managers can pick and choose which players they actually trust. As opposed to a season long league that leaves managers stuck with players that may be injured or just playing poorly.

In daily fantasy, any given night one player can explode for a multi-homer game and launch everyone who picked him into the money. Or, the tried and true first baseman that always produces points can go out and throw up a dud.

Taking the time to do the proper research before entering any contest is vital, so here are some tips that go into setting a daily fantasy baseball line up.

Assuming that Fan Duel and Draft Kings are being used and the state the user is in does not prohibit playing daily fantasy, the manager must pick a team of MLB players who have assigned prices to their names, while staying under the salary cap of $35,000 on Fan Duel and $50,000 on Draft Kings.

The MLB players all fill out nine positions on Fan Duel and 10 on Draft Kings who allows the use of a second pitcher. The players then score runs, hits, walks, strikeouts, home runs, etc., and managers receive points for the actions. Naturally, some tasks are worth more than others and that is what makes certain players so valuable.

As one logs on or opens the app to begin playing fantasy baseball, he or she is given a few different options. The time of day is a big deal when talking baseball. The manager must decide if they want to play the slate of daytime or night games. Both options have their advantages, although with television scheduling, the day games are few and far between. Except on the weekends, and then the option for day games are favorable.

The advantage of playing the daytime games is that they give the option to participate in the night games also, like an all-day option.

With more games available to pick from the manager has the array of all players playing that day. The night games however, only encompass the night games. So if he or she wants to more players to choose from, then playing the all-day options are suggested.

Or, if a manager is looking to “stack” a game, a user chooses players from a single game

Once the user chooses which slate they would like to play they are then pushed into the most complicated aspect of getting started, choosing which game type to play.

There are a handful of different types to choose, most costing from one to five dollars to play. Users can choose to spend money in a large tournament where managers are all competing against each other to have the most fantasy points at the end of the night. Or, there is the ‘50/50 double up’ option that pays the top half of entries double his or her entry fee.

Other entries include leagues that managers can join that usually consist of anywhere from three up to 100 members that either pay winner take all style or allow the winning to trickle down to the top 1-20 members.

These contests are great for users who want to play with his or her friends and not complete strangers. There is always something that much better about beating a friend in something as trivial as fantasy sports.

Some of the contests allow the user to make multiple entries. Meaning that one could potentially make as many entries into a contest as possible to increase his or her odds.

This is the ingrained attraction with spending small amounts of money on daily fantasy, it does not seem like that much of a risk, but it can be dangerous. One dollar here and five dollars there can put someone in the hole quick so it is recommended that beginners stay to spending small amounts of money and entering only a couple contests at a time as to gain a little confidence before going big.

The taste of winning brings customers back like a lottery scratcher, but in fantasy sports to keep winning is a work of art. The best way to pick a winning team is to follow the trends. Baseball is a game of ebbs and flows.

Players have weeks and days where they cannot seem to buy a hit. Hitting and pitching slumps are a huge part of baseball. When a player is slumping he usually takes a game or two to get back into form. A manager can assume that if a player had a multi-hit game or consecutive quality starts then he is a safe bet to play in fantasy.

Ideally a manager would have a team full of players that are currently on a hot streak.

Watching the box scores can help immensely when trying to pick a team. Hot streaks are crucial to picking the winning combination of players.

Those streaks tell a manager that the player is seeing the ball well; or that a player is dialed in on the mound. Some players are easier to judge but looking at the trends that each have exhibited over the past three or four games can help show who is hot and who is not.

Of course when playing fantasy, luck is always a part of the equation. Having that player that goes for 40+ points is no doubt going to put you ahead of most participants. Knowing who is going to explode next is tough, but looking at trends can again, propel users into the money.

Take this season for example. Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts popped three home runs out of the park on June 1, 2016. The next game Betts hit another two home runs out of Camden Yards. A savvy manager should have seen that Betts was feeling good at the plate and played him in 100% of line-ups that day.

The ballpark that the game is being played in can play a huge part in how many runs get plated. Take Colorado Rockies Coors Field for example. Coors is the MLB equivalent of Mt. Everest.

The stadium is over 5,000 feet above sea level, nestled in Denver, CO. This field is a hitter’s best friend and a pitcher’s worst nightmare.

The ball travels exponentially farther at Coors and that means much more home runs. Coors Fields’ outfield is on the bigger side and that gives hitters of all kinds a chance to produce.

During the last five seasons the spacious outfield has been second best in the majors for extra base hits.

When a pitcher throws at that high of an altitude, the ball does not break as sharply and the pitches will tend to stay up in the strike zone. Managers should avoid all Rockies and visiting pitchers while playing at Coors and it can be beneficial to stack all players playing in Rockies home games.

Chase Field in Arizona is the second highest field at 1,061 feet and has some similar characteristics. Managers should consider this as well when choosing starting pitching.

Lastly, the weather can put a damper on a line up very quickly.

One should check the weather report of the games they plan on using and take a look at which type of stadium the game will be played in. If the game is in a domed stadium, the user has no worries.

But if the game is somewhere like Seattle, WA, or anywhere with an open-air stadium, the user should make sure the chances for rain are not too high.

In review, when beginning to set a daily fantasy baseball line up one should pick their slate of games (day or night games), pick which game type they want (tournament, league, head-to-head, 50/50 or quintuple up), decide which games have the more favorable matchups, research and notice trends within players (slumps, hot streaks), check the venue (Coors Field), and of course, get lucky.

Take these tips and try daily fantasy baseball, good luck!