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Ground Ball and Fly Ball Pitchers and Hitters

In Daily Fantasy MLB, most statistics are out there for everyone to see. So when we find a statistical edge no one is talking about, it can be the difference in finding that great play no one will use and winning that big tournament. One factor I’ve yet to see talked about in Daily Fantasy circles is groundball vs flyball hitters in pitchers. In The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball by Tom Tango (tangotiger.net), which is a fantastic book by the way for anyone into baseball statistics, Tango writes about a phenomenon of ground ball and fly ball pitchers facing ground ball and fly ball hitters. The phenomenon is simply this: Fly ball hitters (usually great hitters) seem to do much better against ground ball pitchers, and ground ball hitters (usually poor hitters) seem to do much better against fly ball pitchers. So in order to find some sneaky good plays tonight, I found some of the worst GB% and best GB% pitchers tonight and their favorable hitting counterpart.

Fly Ball Pitchers:

Yusmeiro Petit (Opp – Phillies)

Target: Ben Revere ($2,800) – Revere is one of the most ridiculous GB hitters I’ve ever seen. He should benefit tremendously from the Petit matchup.

Nick Martinez (Opp – Yankees)

Target: Kelly Johnson ($2,300) – Johnson possesses the highest FP/$ out of any 3rd baseman tonight (yes, even higher than Ryan Zimmerman). He’s also an extreme GB hitter. It could be valuable to actually play him over Zimmerman tonight to free up one more spot for another National.

Hector Santiago (Opp – Orioles)

Target: Manny Machado ($3,400) and Adam Jones ($4,100) – Jones is the more obvious target as the better hitter, but his GB rate is astonishingly high making this more compelling of a play. Machado is unbelievably projected to have more total bases than Mike Trout tonight by The Greek sportsbook, and it may have to do with this factor. Machado is an extreme GB hitter.

Ground Ball Pitchers:

Scott Carroll (Opp – Royals)

Target: Mike Moustakas ($2,700) – You absolutely have to take all of these picks with a grain of salt, but Moustakas is an extreme flyball hitter, a lefty, and the Royals lineup is projected to do quite well. I probably won’t play him, but I’m interested in how this pans out.

Edit: It looks like Moustakas has moved up to 5th in the lineup and is actually solid value at .88 FP/$. I’ll be using him in a GPP or two.

Roberto Hernandez (Opp – Giants)

Target: No one – Sadly there are no extreme FB hitters on the Giants. But Pablo Sandoval is the closest of the players who will be in the lineup, so I don’t mind him as a play especially since he was already a quality play tonight.

Jacob Turner (Opp – Braves)

Target: Evan Gattis ($3,700) – I believe Gattis is way too expensive to play. However, he is a FB hitter and is a threat to hit a HR at any time. I think he’s an intriguing GPP play especially with catcher being pretty weak tonight.

Before I end this article, I would just like to remind everyone to take these picks with a grain of salt. None of these are the best plays from a statistical standpoint, but they could be sneaky ones. If other factors indicate they may be good plays, I say roll with them. Good luck!

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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