Not many topics in daily fantasy sports get people as riled up as the multi-entry debate: are users who use just a single entry or two at a disadvantage when others fire a whole bunch of lineup combinations into a single tournament?

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There’s really no debating that two lineups are better than one in terms of winning a GPP, but two lineups also represents twice as much financial risk. The number of teams you can throw into a tournament is really a reflection of how much risk you’re willing to take on.

I think a better way to determine if multiple entries are “fair” is to ask the question: would I rather enter a tournament in which there are a bunch of users who have tons of lineups or would I prefer to be in a single-entry GPP? For me, the answer is actually the former. I like when users fire a whole bunch of entries because, in my opinion, it raises my expected value.

Think about what happens when you create even two or three lineups. The first lineup is probably your “beast-iest” lineup, so to speak, with all of your best plays. The second lineup is a bit worse, and the third a little worse than that. Every time a user multi-enters a tournament, he’s (in theory) moving away from what’s “optimal” more and more in order to help diversify.

That diversification might be good for him in terms of reducing his risk, but it’s also good for us and our single entry (or handful of lineups). Really, we should be happy when we see users who have dozens or even hundreds of lineups in a tournament because it means they probably have a whole lot of teams that have a negative expected value. Compare that to a single-entry GPP in which each lineup represents a user’s “best shot.”

So let’s celebrate the multi-entry users; they certainly have a better chance to win overall since they have more teams, but arguably worse odds of winning on a per-lineup basis, which is all we really care about.

 

The Teams

LA Angels (vs Odrisamer Despaigne)

I’ve mentioned in the past that I like to stack offenses in late games. I especially like when their lineup is posted late because it often reduces ownership. I can guess the lineup with a decent level of accuracy, and if I’m wrong, simply make a late swap once the batting order is released.

The Angels are projected well in Vegas at 4.6 implied runs. Most of their batters are close to even splits, with David Freese being the only guy who really struggles against righties. I’d probably still use Freese in an Angels stack because of his spot in the order.

 

Pittsburgh Pirates (vs Jose Urena)

First off, note that you’re going to need to monitor the weather in this game. There’s a chance of storms, though as of right now, it doesn’t look like this contest has a serious chance of getting postponed.

The Pirates have a bunch of lefty bats that crush right-handed pitching, and I think they’ll be only moderately owned given the other options available in tonight’s large slate. I also think PNC Park is probably the most underrated hitter’s park in baseball.

 

The Players

1B Lucas Duda, NY Mets (vs Jerome Williams) – $4500

I imagine there are going to be two players at this position who dominate lineups tonight: Edwin Encarnacion and Paul Goldschmidt. The Blue Jays will be heavily stacked and Goldy is probably the best lefty masher in the league. I will have exposure to Goldschmidt just because he’s so insane against lefties and it’s super high-variance to fade him, but if you want to go against the grain, Duda is an option. He also has awesome splits tonight with a .261 running 12-month ISO versus righties.

 

1B/3B Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh (vs Jose Urena) – $3900

Third base is very similar to first base tonight in that I think a couple players are going to dominate ownership. Josh Donaldson will almost assuredly be in the most lineups, and rightfully so. He’s basically the Goldschmidt of third base in that he crushes left-handers. With Toronto in a great spot as a team, you could make an argument that Donaldson will be the most popular player used tonight. Todd Frazier should also see heavy usage at third base.

Meanwhile, Alvarez has a .371 wOBA and .248 ISO versus righties over the past 12 months. He’s in a great park with a “plus” hitter’s ump behind the plate in David Rackley.

 

OF A.J. Pollock, Arizona (vs Jaime Garcia) – $4200

Quick, who has the highest wOBA against a particular handedness of pitcher over the past year? You might think I’m referring to Pollock, but it’s actually Goldschmidt against lefties. But right behind him is Pollock and his .518 wOBA versus southpaws. Even in St. Louis, I love Pollock’s upside, price, and projected ownership tonight when everyone is on Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Jose Bautista, and Giancarlo Stanton.

 

P Matt Shoemaker, LA Angels (vs San Diego) – $7300

Clayton Kershaw is the best play tonight and I certainly won’t be fading him, but you already knew that. Shoemaker, who has performed 1.84 points per game below salary-based expectations this season, is my second-ranked pitcher, however. He has a recent 8.6 K/9 and will face a strikeout-prone San Diego lineup. His salary has dropped $500 over the past month and Vegas currently has Los Angeles at (-165) to win with the Padres at just 3.7 implied runs. Shoemaker is a good option when you want to go heavy on bats.