If you’ve played daily fantasy sports for more than one minute, you’ve probably heard other players and experts talk about the importance of their process—how they go about researching, setting and editing lineups, making late swaps, and so on.
I, too, am a believer in the process, especially in a sport like baseball. Daily fantasy baseball is all about quickly processing information. From around 4pm to 7pm ET, things can get a bit chaotic. Lineup cards are released, guys are scratched, players move up in the order, the Vegas lines move, the weather forecast shifts, and so on. The best players are those who can quickly and accurately take in all of this information, then harness it to make +EV decisions in a short period of time.
That task is made a lot more challenging if you don’t develop a routine. You need to know where to find little pieces of information, how to search Twitter for the latest news, when to start the lineup-building process, how to quickly get guys out of your lineups if necessary, and more. I really don’t think there’s a way to manufacture this process. Much of it just comes with playing experience.
Starting today, think about ways you can make your process more efficient. How can you cut down on the time it takes to look at the Vegas lines, for example? Which sources are most accurate with lineup cards? When should you start building lineups, and how can you best take advantage of all the late news that comes in within an hour of lineup lock?
If you can perfect your process, it can be really liberating so that you can spend time building the best possible lineups instead of trying to figure out why the Rockies still don’t have their lineup card in.
Chicago White Sox (vs Nick Martinez)
You can pretty much just take what I wrote about the White Sox yesterday and apply it to today. Jose Abreu might be back, but I’d still consider playing Adam LaRoche over him; it will probably differentiate your lineup a bit and LaRoche mashes righties. Chicago is projected at 4.5 runs today—one of the highest totals in baseball—but I think their ownership will be lower than offenses like Boston and Washington.
LA Dodgers (vs Chad Bettis)
I’m normally a contrarian tournament player, especially when it comes to stacking offenses, but I listed the Dodgers as a play last night just because they’re in such a great spot. It’s the same deal tonight; you pretty much can’t draw up a better scenario than a lefty-dominant lineup with upside facing a weak right-hander at Coors Field. The only thing that isn’t ideal is what we witnessed last night with certain batters getting pinch-hit for late in the game.
Tampa Bay Rays (vs Hector Santiago)
Are the Rays going to score a lot of runs tonight? I have no idea. But I do know they’re going to be unpopular, which means if they do score a lot of runs, you’ll be in a position to do really well. Compare that to the Dodgers—a team that will probably maximize the chances of cashing, but perhaps not winning. I like to play offenses like this in late games because almost no one is on them—even more so than usual since the lineup card will probably be released late.
OF David Peralta, Arizona (vs Michael Foltynewicz) – $4000
I listed Peralta here last night and he ended up being a late scratch. I’m assuming he’s going to play today, but you need to monitor his status. He faces a pretty weak righty and has a .371 wOBA and .212 ISO versus right-handers over the past 12 months. I think everyone is going to be on Dodgers and Rockies outfielders, which opens up the door to go against the grain at the position.
SS Ian Desmond, Washington (vs Mark Buehrle) – $4200
This pick is dependent on Desmond hitting second in the order, but I imagine that will be the case against a left-hander. Desmond has more power than all but a few shortstops when he faces a southpaw, making him a quality GPP play tonight in Toronto.
2B/3B Luis Valbuena, Houston (vs Miguel Gonzalez) – $3800
I like most Astros bats more against lefties, but Valbuena is one of the few who is far superior against righties. He has a .222 running 12-month ISO versus right-handers. It’s nice that Valbuena has multi-position eligibility, but I actually wonder if that increases ownership. It’s a theory of mine that I need to dig into more, but I have a feeling that players who can be started at more than one spot are easier to get into lineups, and thus see higher usage.
P Eduardo Rodriguez, Boston (vs Minnesota Twins) – $5400
In his first career start, Rodriguez struck out seven over 7 2/3 innings, allowing zero earned runs in the process. It’s a gamble, but Rodriguez is too cheap against Minnesota at only $5400. Vegas seems to agree, projecting the Twins at only 3.6 runs. I’m probably going to have Rodriguez in more GPP lineups than I should tonight.