Baseball season is finally here and so is DraftKings baseball.
Throughout the year, I will be writing a daily article to help you win more money at MLB DFS. The plays will be based solely on DraftKings pricing, but most players will have value on other DFS sites as well.
Call me crazy, but the baseball season is my favorite time of year…Why? Because it’s every single day. So, if you have a bad night, don’t worry, tomorrow you’ll have the opportunity to redeem yourself. It’s not like football where there’s a build-up of anxiety leading up to Sunday.
Wait, no one else gets anxiety about fantasy sports? I’m the only psycho?
Anyway, my picks will be a mix of high-priced players and those that are less expensive. As a bonus, I will list the three most important stats that I and other successful fantasy baseball and DFS players use to help build line ups.
1. ISO-Isolated Power
To avoid sounding like a total idiot let me give you the FanGraphs definition of ISO.
Isolated Power (ISO) is a measure of a hitter’s raw power and tells you how often a player hits for extra bases. We know that not all hits are created equally and ISO provides you with a quick tool for determining the degree to which a given hitter provides extra-base hits as opposed to singles.
Basically, ISO evaluates a player’s raw power. There is a strong correlation between home run and ISO leaderboards, so naturally, we want to target players with a high ISO because they’re more likely to hit home runs or extra-base hits.
2. wOBA – Weighted On-Base Average
Weighted On-Base Average combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value. While batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage fall short in accuracy and scope, wOBA measures and captures offensive value more accurately and comprehensively.
wOBA is a bit more complicated. wOBA combines OBP (on-base percentage) and SLG (slugging percentage), which makes it more valuable. If a player has a high wOBA more times than not they are a productive player that has fantasy value.
K% – Strikeout Rate
I don’t need fancy FanGraphs for this one. K% is pretty simple…Think of it as the number of times a pitcher strikes out hitters. It really doesn’t get much easier than K%. Everyone should want to target players with a high K%. Why?
Strikeouts are valuable to fantasy players. The higher the K%, the higher the strikeout total, the more fantasy points by the pitcher. Easy as 1, 2, 3…
Let’s get to the picks.
*Picks are for the 3 pm main slate
Jose Berrios $9K
While everyone flocks to Justin Verlander, Corey Kluber, and Blake Snell, we can be a bit contrarian by going with Jose Berrios as our No. 1 starter. The Twins will be at home, meaning the game will be a bit chilly, which also means that scoring runs will be at a premium.
Berrios was also much better at home than on the road last season. He had a WHIP of .97 and 118 Ks at home compared to 1.36 and 84 Ks on the road. He also had a K% of 25.4 in 2018, which is good for 9th best on the slate.
Carlos Rodon $7.5K
I’ll be honest, I don’t love this pick, but this slate is far from easy when it comes to finding value at starting pitcher. Rodon is going to throw a lot of pitches, the hope is that he can make the most of his time against the Royals.
The numbers from Rodon last year were mediocre, and that’s being generous. Still, he has a tasty matchup against the Royals. I’m banking on 5-7 SOs from Rodon in KC. That would be plenty to cover his $7.5K price tag.
To start off the season, I love to target players that have had a strong spring. It can carry over into the regular season and give us an edge because not everyone pays attention to spring training.
Eddie Rosario $3.5K
Rosario is having one of the best springs of any player in baseball. He also has a lot more talent around him in the Twins line up with the additions of Nelson Cruz and Marwin Gonzalez.
At $3.5K, Rosario is underpriced to start the year and we have to take advantage.
Albert Almora Jr. $3.2K
With an implied team-total of 4.84 runs, the Cubs will be popular for DFS players everywhere on Thursday. Kris Bryant and Javier Baez will lead the way in ownership, but Albert Almora Jr. could be less owned with just as good of a matchup against Mike Minor.
In 2018, Minor had a K% of 20.6% and gave up 16 home runs at home. The warm Texas weather is going to make his matchup against the Cubs a difficult one. I expect Almora to get on base and score some runs, which is just what we need from his $3.2K price tag.