Home I All Guides I DFS Guides I DFS I Baseball: Importance of DFS Pitchers
The key to accumulating points in any fantasy sport is ‘opportunity’. You have better odds with the wide receiver who averages 10 targets or the small forward who launches 28 shots a game. There is perhaps no other sport where opportunity is such a discrepancy than MLB baseball. Specifically between the DFS pitchers on your roster and the batters.
A simple look at the numbers shows you just how important a quality pitcher is to your DFS success. A batter has to do the most that he can with 4 plate appearances a game whereas a pitcher gets 3 opportunities per inning to accumulate stats – he even gets points for just finishing the inning. A hitter will get doused in champagne for hitting two singles in a 2-4 day. The DFS stats show a pitcher earns pretty much the same amount of points just for hurling two innings.
Granted, there are variables to consider. For one, you can ‘miss’ on a batter or two since eight of them fill your roster. Taking a pitcher that gets rocked, however, will likely doom you for the day since there are only two on your team. Which brings up another negative point – batters can’t lose points even if they strike out. DFS Pitchers, however, have multiple opportunities to lose points in every inning, depending on how many batters they face. Pitchers get docked for:
If you need to break out the abacus to calculate your pitcher’s ERA for the day, you’ll probably want to log off and start researching tomorrow’s matchups. If the opposing team is going Gas House Gorillas on your starting pitcher, you could legitimately be looking at a -20 or more in a single inning!
Past performances are your farm system when it comes to daily fantasy baseball. Compare which DFS pitchers have been on fire and see when they meet up with teams that are struggling to hit. The sportsbook odds are a good indicator of which pitchers should be in line for a win in the upcoming day. A -285 moneyline, for example, is as good a sign as any that the starting pitcher is a heavy favorite for at least the DFS points earned from a win (on paper). Make sure to look at totals too. Stay away from pitchers where the number is high (wind could be blowing out or other factors).
Which brings up another factor: look at who puts up the pitching stats that are going to earn you points. We know how a daily pitcher can lose points, but they also gain points with:
So you want an innings eater that is going to get his outs from K’s instead of slow dribblers to the second baseman. Two areas to research are the last 3 pitching outings as well as the last 5 years versus the opposing team’s batters. The last 3 outings will tell you if a pitcher is struggling with command or possibly working through an unpublicized injury. The past 5 year data indicates if somebody just has the others’ number – whether that is pitcher or batters.
There are different lineup strategies depending on if you are playing guaranteed prize pool games (GPP) and trying to beat out 50 or 2,000+ other people, or if you’re playing head to head or 50-50 games where you only have to finish in the top .500. Selecting MLB pitchers for 50-50 games is easy – find a stud and put the pieces in place behind him. To be successful at a GPP game however you need to evaluate:
Make sure to make a list of the entire day’s starting pitchers and go over their past 3 performance / 5-years against team. It also helps to check the day’s weather. Make sure to evaluate if stadiums favor the guy on the mound or the guys with the bats.
There is no exact science and it is possible to win DFS baseball with a subpar performance from your pitcher as long as your batters come through – but it’s much easier not to have to.
Make sure to check out our guide on how to stack lineups for DFS baseball
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