DFS MLB Strategy 4/7: Rankings the Pitchers on FanDuel

Note: The Weather in LA is looking better, Zach Greinke is the top pick if the weather is fine. Look for @kevinrothWx tweets for the best weather reports for Daily Fantasy.

With weather postponing the Cubs Cardinals game, and imminent rain in LA making Zach Greinke and Tyson Ross dicey plays, there are few choices for pitcher on FanDuel. Before I go into my picks, I want to note a few things about choosing a pitcher on FanDuel:

1) FanDuel has an unbalanced scoring system, favoring pitcher. Pitchers score more points per dollar than hitters.

2) There are usually great values at hitter on FanDuel, as opposed to DraftKings where there aren’t as many value plays.

3) Pitchers are only scored on Innings Pitched, Runs Allowed, Strikeouts, and they get a bonus 4 points for Win.

Because of this, I almost always ignore price when it comes to choosing a pitcher on FanDuel, and stick to picking the best projected pitcher available, taking match up heavily into consideration. Going cheap on pitcher in order to use the big hitters you love is almost always a losing proposition.

One last thing I want to state has to do with the bonus 4 points for the Win. Many daily fantasy players value pitchers that are large favorites to win highly, because that extra 4 points goes a long way. But I think this is wrong thinking. I think of the 4 points for the win from a probability and equity standpoint. Meaning: If a player has a 25% probability of winning the game, his equity for the Win is 1, if a player has a 75% probability of winning the game, his equity for the win is 3.

Most good pitchers fall into the 35-60% chance of winning range from game to game, meaning that the difference in equity for the Win between two good pitchers is only 1 point at most. Keep in mind the greater innings a pitcher can pitch influences his chance for the win, so don’t just look at moneylines. With all this said, my picks should make a lot more sense.

These picks assume the weather is too rough to pick Greinke or Ross, if the weather outlook clears up in LA, Greinke is the clear top play.

1) Matt Latos ($8,600) – Latos is not the Strikeout pitcher like Wood, Bovada has him at 5 SOs for the game. But he’s also projected to have over 6 innings a start and has the pleasure of facing a horrible Braves lineup at home.

2) Nate Karns ($6,200) – Bovada only has Karns at 4.5 SOs for this game, but I think they’re wrong here. Fangraphs projects him for have an 8.5 K/9 this season and the Orioles are a high strikeout team. He’s a small underdog but he does have the benefit of playing at home. I also just trust the Rays front office here, they’re not throwing out a mediocre pitcher as their #2 starter.

3) Alex Wood ($8,500) – Wood is the most skilled pitcher available. Even though he’s an underdog, his strikeout projection of 6 from Bovada is highest among our choices. He’s also an innings eater, and is projected by Fangraphs to average over 6 innings a start this season.


Jesse Hahn ($7,600) – This may come as a surprise since my guess is most strategy sites will be recommending Hahn, and he likely will be the most highly used pitcher. But Hahn is a mediocre pitcher with a low K/9 and is projected to have less than 6 innings a start by Fangraphs. Texas’ lineup may have been no hit through 7 innings last night, but they are a quality lineup. And while the A’s are big favorites, Hahn is not a big favorite to win if he only goes 5 or 6 innings. Fading Hahn, especially in top heavy GPPs, could reward you handsomely.

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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