Strategy Tip: What Have You Done for me Lately?

In three years of playing daily fantasy baseball, I’m ready to declare something.  And I must provide the caveat: this is based on feel, not empirical evidence.  I generally tried to provide daily fantasy baseball strategy based on statistics, not just feel.  However, in this case, it’s feel not data.

You will benefit more from hot streak hitters than you will from history versus a particular pitcher.

Spend the bulk of your time studying who’s been hot lately.  It’s amazing how long a hot streak can last.  With a handful of guys, it might last damn near the whole year.  Don’t think a guy can’t keep doing what he’s doing.  Trust recent history.  If your guy is hot, go with it!

You can study the match-ups all day long, but, in the end, if your guy is 0 for his last 14, stay away.  A guy might hit .500 off a particular pitcher, but if he’s in a slump, it won’t matter.  Maybe the last two times your guy faced that pitcher he was hot and that’s why the numbers are so good.  Your guy facing the pitcher at issue tonight is how reversion to the mean happens.

I’m not suggesting batter-pitcher history is irrelevant.  Quite the contrary.  It’s probably second most important behind how the hitter has been performing lately.  Recent performance, however, is number one!  Ie the title of the post – What have you done for me lately?

Most hitters are neither hot nor cold.  Most hitters are run of the mill.  If they’re a .270 hitter, they are 4 for their last 15 or something similar.  If they’re a .320 hitter with power, they are 6 for their last 17 with a homer.  Neither hot nor cold.  With these neither hot nor cold hitters, history becomes crucially important.

But faced with recent history or distant history, I’m going with recent, even if it means ignoring the matchups.

 

May 24, 2012

Results – It was only half a schedule and I was right.  There wasn’t much pitching.  Except for Haren.  What a ballgame from Haren, something I hadn’t expected.  Homer Bailey also pitched well enough to get me a head to head win on Fanduel and save my night.  Mauer did homer, but Dunn and Hairston did nothing.  The Marlins did okay hitting, but Sanchez was horrible, all because of a wild fifth inning in which I thought Vogelsong was going to hit the showers but ultimately resulted in Sanchez’s early exit.  And with that run-on sentence, I’ll try to do better tomorrow.

Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks

Pitching

  • Anibal Sanchez for Fanduel.  Jason Vargas for DraftStreet.
  • Truthfully, this is kind of a hold our nose and vote kind of pitching night.  I don’t like anyone too much.  I definitely don’t like the Haren / Vogelsong “easy” picks.  Both are on the road.  Seattle could surprise Haren and Vogelsong has tough matchups.  We’ll see.  Note, the differences between Sanchez and Vargas contribute directly to Fanduel strategy vs. DraftStreet strategy.  Sanchez more likely to have K’s and get the win (because of Vogelsong’s rough history with Marlin hitters) and Vargas more likely to pitch solid all around.  We’ll see.  It’s a tough night for pitching.

Hitting

  • Mauer – Again.  Yes, Mauer, again.  Find me a better catching candidate, I’m starting to get bored.  Just kidding.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  • Adam Dunn – that MN starter might have a tough one on the road.  I love the resurgent Adam Dunn.
  • Marlins hitters v. Vogelsong – I think the Giants starter has a tough night.

Value

  • Scott Hairston – hitting cleanup vs. the Padres at home.

Pick of the Day

  • Adam Dunn.  1 HR or 2?

Yesterday’s picks crushed.  That’s probably why I’m taking a few liberties tonight and relying a little more on the gut.  Only a little more.  When Vogelsong is out in the fourth, you’ll know that came from numbers.

From a housekeeping standpoint, honestly I’m still figuring out the best format for my picks, how long it takes, how many times per week.  Ultimately, however much I do it, I will put out the picks about 30 minutes before gametime.  Last night’s picked were published after the start of the game, which is of help to no one other than me.