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 those that are less expensive. Most people can figure out who the top plays on a given slate are, it’s a bit tougher to find the diamonds in the rough. 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.
*Pick are for Monday’s main slate starting at 6 pm CT.
Julio Urias $8.7 K
There are plenty of cheap options on Monday’s slate, but two stand out to me, one of them being Julio Urias, who has a good matchup against the Giants.
Urias had a tremendous spring. He also seems to be fully recovered from his shoulder surgery in 2017. Urias’ fastball is sitting in the mid to high 90s. That’s a recipe for success. He’s also developed his slider, which you can see in the video below.
This Julio Urias slider has me thinking of Blake Snell.
— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) March 27, 2019
This kid is going to have a big, big season, and he’s way underpriced at just $8.7K.
Kyle Hendricks $7.2K
Speaking of underpriced pitchers, Kyle Hendricks is just that on Monday night. He may be the ace of the Cubs’ staff, yet he continues to get overlooked.
— The Loop Sports (@TheLoop_Sports) March 31, 2019
Hendricks numbers on the road aren’t as good as his numbers at Wrigley, but it’s early in the season and he’s facing a Braves team who was just swept by the Phillies. The professor is worth every dollar at just $7.2K.
David Bote $3.9K
While the Cubs’ bullpen has been a complete mess to start the season, their offense has been on a tear, scoring 28 runs in the first three games of the season. On Monday, they will face-off lefty Sean Newcomb.
Joe Maddon should get his right-handed batters in the lineup.
In 2018, Bote had a wOBA of .372 against left-handed pitchers. He also hit .275 against lefties compared to .226 against righties. Bote will save you some cash so you can pay up for Kris Bryant or Javier Baez.
Newcomb gave up 11 homers last year to right-handed hitters.
Justin Turner $4.2K
Like Bote, Justin Turner will face-off against a lefty in Pomeranz. Turner mashes against left-handed pitching. He posted a wOBA of .433 against southpaws last season. Just to show you how good that is, check this graph out via FanGraphs.
Turner also had an ISO of .244 when facing a lefty.
He got a normal rest day on Sunday. On Saturday, Turner had three hits to go along with five RBIs and three runs scored.
He’s my favorite play on Monday night.
Let’s keep in mind Pomeranz also isn’t very good. Righties hit 12 homers off Pomeranz while posting a .401 wOBA in 2018. It’s safe to say we should target all the righties in the Dodger lineup on Monday night.
Other Targets – Chris Taylor $4.1K, Mark Zagunis $3.9K