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 homerun 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
Yea, so, we’re done with Yu Darvish this season after one game, eh? In hindsight, that was a dumb play by me, but we learned from it and that’s the most important part of MLB DFS, especially early in the season.
Was still able to cash with this lineup:
Let’s get into today’s picks, which will be for the 12 pm, main slate.
Michael Pineda $7.4K
The Indians will be a good team to target early on this season. They have a ton of holes in their lineup. That will be the case again on Sunday when they face-off against Michael Pineda, who seems to be returning to form.
He missed 2018 with Tommy John, but his velocity is almost all the way back. In 2017, Pineda had a K% above 20 and in 2016 it was nearly 30. The hope is Pineda can have success against an average lineup on Sunday.
The Indians also have the fourth lowest implied run-total on Sunday at 3.45.
Other Targets – Jon Gray 9.4K
Yoan Moncada $4.1K
Many of us White Sox fans heard all spring that Moncada would be a different player in 2019 and so far those claims have been true. Moncada, who led the league in strikeouts in 2018, has yet to strikeout this season. He also has four hits over his first two games.
On Sunday, he has another good matchup against right-hander Jorge Lopez. In 2018, Moncada posted a .328 wOBA against right-handed pitching. Continue to ride him in a plus matchup today.
Jesus Aguilar $4.7K
Both the Brewers and Cardinals should score some runs on Sunday. The run total is set at eight, which I think is a bit low. Two players that will be very popular are Travis Shaw and Paul Goldschmidt. One way to be contrarian is to plug Jesus Aguilar into your lineups.
He didn’t play on Saturday and has started off the season pretty slow, going 1-8 in his first two games. Keep in mind this is a player with a ton of power. He had a wOBA of .368 against right-handed pitching in 2018. He also had an ISO of .263.
*Just in case you didn’t know what number was a good ISO.
Other Targets – Danny Jansen $3.8K, Yonder Alonso $4.3K, Corey Dickerson $4.3K
⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️@schools_01 Best Buy’s for today’s DK early featured slate.
OF – Joey Rickard -$3.2k
1B – Joey Votto – $4.3k
SS – Jorge Polanco – $3.4k
— The Chalk (@TheChalkTLS) March 31, 2019