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Daily Fantasy MLB Strategy: Predicting HRs

There are two stats in MLB that are crucial for winning GPPs in Daily Fantasy Baseball: the HR and the SB.

Both stats involve some amount of luck, especially with HRs, but there’s actually a great way to predict who will it a HR from slate to slate, and it involves using 2 tools you can find right here on Daily Fantasy Winners.

 

If you’d like to watch my video on this topic, you can play it below:

 

Tool: High Home Run Allowed Pitchers

The first tool is labeled MLB Pitcher: Home Runs Allowed, and you can find it (for free) under the Fantasy Tools tab. Essentially, this is a table that estimates which pitchers will allow the most HRs by using Steamer projections for that pitcher and then mitigating for that pitchers home park. For example, a player like Chad Bettis for the Rockies may allow quite a few HRs, but because he plays at Coors Field, this number is actually inflated quite a bit. Our numbers actually have him on the lower end of the spectrum. Dan Haren, on the other hand, isn’t a pitcher you hear much about when considering who to target HR hitters against, but he’s actually one of the most HR prone pitchers in baseball when park factors are considered.

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Applying the Data

So, now we have a park neutral assessment of which pitchers allow the most HRs. Now, let’s target guys like David Ortiz and Carlos Gonzalez against Jered Weaver (The most HR prone pitcher in baseball) every game, right!?

Actually, it’s not that simple. There are two incredibly important things we need to consider after we’ve found a High Home Runs allowed pitcher to target:

1) Where is the pitcher playing? And what are the park factor considerations of that park?

2) Which handedness of batter does well against this pitcher?

For answering the first question, I recommend heading to Fangraphs to their Park Factors page. This table shows which parks are better for HRs for a given hitter, the higher the number the better. As you can see, the Yankees, Orioles, Rockies, Brewers, and Reds home parks are great for lefty hitters, while the Reds, Rockies, Brewers, Phillies, and White Sox home parks are great for righty hitters.

For the second question, you can stay right here at Daily Fantasy Winners to the MLB Pitcher Splits page, also under Fantasy Tools. This tool is updated daily, and shows how well a pitcher does against a certain handedness of hitter. Sometimes, it’s not as simple as a right handed pitcher dominating right handed hitting, or a left handed pitcher dominated left handed hitting. Some pitchers have what are called reverse splits, where the same handedness of hitter actually performs better. A great example is Anibal Sanchez, a high HR allowed right-hander who actually allows more HRs to righties.

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Once we have all of our data, it’s simple to apply. Find a high HR allowed pitcher at a “Hitter’s” Park (meaning, good for hitters rather than good for pitchers), and then target the handedness of batter that pitcher struggles against.

In today’s slate, we have a complex application that illustrates this process perfectly. The Red Sox are at home, a great HR park for righties and poor for lefties. They face a right handed pitcher named Mike Wright, who is very high on our Home Runs Allowed table. Most DFS players might target David Ortiz in this match up, but I actually like the righties on the Red Sox much more. Wright is actually a reverse splits righty, and should struggle hard at Fenway Park.

The massive amounts of data in DFS Baseball can be overwhelming to look at, but with the right tools, finding some great plays based on the data can only take a few minutes. Finding these HR hitting plays can be huge when trying to win a GPP, so I highly recommend getting to know these tools and using them every day.

View all posts by Max J Steinberg
Max J Steinberg

About the Author

Max J Steinberg Max Steinberg is a professional poker player and a top Daily Fantasy player who uses his creativity and mathematical abilities he cultivated as a poker player to win money on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He already has several big tournament scores to his name including the Victiv Bowl and countless MLB Monster wins. Follow him on twitter @maxjsteinberg.

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