Coors Field sucks. I can’t stand it. I have some data showing there’s still meat left on the bone when it comes to value (both in terms of player salaries and tournament ownership), but I still fade the game (or at least stack it in a contrarian way) because I want to benefit when the crowd doesn’t. Even if stacking Coors maximizes the chances of cashing (it does), I think you enhance your GPP win probability (by far) by fading the game and just praying it’s low-scoring.

Take home $100K in the MLB Sweetspot for just $20 — Draft Now!

So that didn’t work out for me all that well last night. But at least I didn’t get an email saying I won a low amount of money. Zero dollar return FTW!

I need to figure out a better way to deal with the variance that comes with Coors. Even if fading the game is +EV (or maximizes the chances of winning, anyway, which could be a different thing), it can take a toll on you. You’re basically just waiting and waiting for the game to go under by a wide margin—a time when you should be able to capitalize in a big way, securing a payoff that’s hopefully superior to the risk you’re taking on—but it’s admittedly a volatile strategy.

I guess what I’m trying to say is figure out if you want to live on the edge or not. Stacking Coors will help you maximize your cash rate; I personally believe fading it is still the way to go to win a large tournament—or at least incorporating elements of the game into a contrarian base. But once you decide what’s right for you, structure your decision around that game plan.

One of the benefits of not fading Coors is that you can probably be more aggressive with your bankroll. You won’t see such large swings, which means you can take more chances. If 60 percent of your money is on Coors and 40 percent elsewhere, you’re going to be in a better spot in terms of taking on more action than if you place just 10 percent on Coors. I prefer the latter, but it does mean I need to be more conservative with how I attack GPPs and qualifiers in terms of my bankroll management.

Always be cognizant of the variance you’re taking on—it isn’t the same for everyone—and consider how it might affect your risk of ruin.

 

The Teams

Houston Astros (vs Brian Johnson)

If you’re going to live dangerously, there’s no better team in the league for it. Playing at home against a lefty, the Astros—projected at 4.6 implied runs by Vegas—are in a great high-ceiling situation.

Individually, their players possess a ton of upside, too. I track the percentage of games in which players meet twice their expected production (based on their salary). The league-average for batters is 16 percent of games. Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Evan Gattis, Colby Rasmus, and Luis Valbuena all check in above that number, with Altuve (22 percent) and Correa (28 percent) well above the mean.

The roof should be open today in Houston with little threat of rain, there are 90 degree temperatures, and the wind should be blowing out to left at double-digit speeds. This has all the makings of a big home run game for the Astros.

Unless they strike out 27 straight times.

 

Baltimore Orioles (vs Nathan Eovaldi)

I love to jump on high-upside offenses when their price is deflated, and most Orioles bats have seen their cost drop of late on DraftKings. Not only does that allow for a lot of flexibility, but it has also historically led to value on the site.

The Orioles’ implied run projection has moved up 0.3 runs since being posted, now hovering around 4.2. Their top left-handed and switch-hitting bats hit righties better than lefties, and the switch-hitters will be in a better spot on the left side of the plate in Yankee Stadium. I think this is a good chance to get nice upside at what shouldn’t be very high ownership.

 

The Players

C Brian McCann, NY Yankees (vs Wei-Yen Chen) – $4000

I’m very confident McCann is going to be under-owned tonight, with the Rockies’ catcher options and perhaps the underpriced Matt Wieters getting the majority of the attention at the position. Plus, McCann is facing a lefty, which should automatically draw down his ownership. However, McCann has a running 12-month ISO of .200 against southpaws—not the largest sample but still relevant—so I think the idea that you need to avoid him simply because of the splits is incorrect.

 

2B/OF Steve Pearce, Baltimore (vs Nathan Eovaldi) – $3500

Second base is another position at which there are some clear values who will dominate tournament ownership: Jose Altuve against a lefty, Rougned Odor at Coors, and perhaps Jason Kipnis in Milwaukee. Meanwhile, Pearce faces a pitcher of the same handedness, just like McCann, but has a .215 running 12-month ISO versus righties. I already like Baltimore, and this is a chance to be contrarian at second base (I prefer Pearce there over the outfield).

 

3B Alex Rodriguez, NY Yankees (vs Wei-Yen Chen) – $4500

I guess I like this BAL-NYY game. Again, Nolan Arenado against a lefty and perhaps DJ LeMahieu will dominate ownership at third base. Manny Machado is a big value as well (though I obviously like him a lot). Meanwhile, I almost always think A-Rod’s ownership is too low (especially versus righties), but he crushes both hands of pitcher; the park and his .256 ISO against lefties are attractive.

 

P Joe Ross, Washington (vs NY Mets) – $5000

I’m not sure if Joe Ross is going to fly under the radar or not. He’s absolutely dominated his last two starts, going 15 1/3 innings and fanning 19 batters. He clearly has a ton of upside, especially against the Mets. Vegas has New York projected at 3.7 implied runs, which is quite low facing a pitcher who costs only $5000.

I think too many times daily fantasy players assess talent based on price, and they just won’t roster a pitcher who is really cheap. Clearly there’s some stuff we don’t know about Ross, but there’s so much other evidence he’s in a really good spot: his strikeout upside, the matchup, and even the fact that home plate ump Mike Muchlinski has been very a favorable one for pitchers.