In the late 1980s to early 1990s, Major League Baseball, through Bud Selig, commissioned Dr. Robert Adair, Professor of Physics at Yale University, to write a book on the “Physics of Baseball.” Presumably, this book was to help in the decision as to whether Denver, Colorado, should be considered as a place to receive a major league franchise.
Now. . . baseball players are not extremely scientific as a group; probably most of them spent their high school years similar to me—daydreaming during science and math classes about the next baseball game—and girls. College. . .? Much the same, therefore most of us majored in P.E. and coaching. So, only two things from Dr. Adair’s book were actually remembered: 1) A baseball would fly about 9% further in Denver when hit; and 2) A baseball pitched at 90 mph in four-seam fashion does not rise, even though it lifts. All else has been lost, probably because it was too in-depth for most of us.
Prior to the Colorado franchise, the lightest air in MLB was in Atlanta (hot, humid and elevated to 1,000 ft.). The fastball in these conditions lifts, or hops, approximately 1 inch less than at sea level and about the same as in most mid-western venues during the summer weather patterns. So, baseball was just baseball. No money ball. No extensive computer statistical analysis. No science. No mention of PED’s. And, no one knew that the fastball was straighter by 1” less lift on the 4-seamer, yet Atlanta became known as the “Launching Pad” of baseball.
Air resistance is actually a big deal. Even in Coors Field in summer temperatures-- Larry Walker said, “The fastball is by far the most difficult pitch to hit”--and it only deviates from a straight line by about 3 inches (upward) and 5 inches (sideward) at a 3/4 arm slot. To be within 1/16” of center on a fastball, the hitter must remember the pitch track from previous experience; so, during the first 20 feet of the pitch, he is looking for spin to determine the pitch type. Then, the second 20 feet or so, he is deciding location within the strike zone. Finally, in the last 10 to 20 feet he is looking for amount of movement caused by air resistance.
Little does the hitter know the air began pushing the ball off track in the first 20 feet, so if his team has recently switched locations or the temperatures declined from yesterday, then the hitter’s memory needs to be “adjusted.” Even 1 inch additional movement from the invisible air creates a problem for the hitter.
Hope you all enjoy my quick pick analysis, today I am going to be using the values on Fanduel.com.
Getting things started, I’m going to make one to two picks for each position, stating why I would choose each and providing a higher end dollar player and a value dollar player who is more cap friendly.
Michael Wacha $8100 Wacha pitching on the road has decent K/9 rating at 8.9, an average whip at 1.18 and a decent ERA 2.78. What stands out is that he is facing a weaker counterpart in Niese, which could lead to an easier win and 4 points.
Justin Masterson $6400: Not a super value pitcher and a risk based on recent performances, however he tends to be streaky. With that said it is a huge buying point with his K/9 at 9.8 and a home record of 8-4 over 112.0 innings and a lower BAA of 0.237. If he can break out and pitch the way he has for most of his career today, it would make him the value pitcher of the day.
Devin Mesoraco $3300: Lately he has been hot as hell going 12/19 with only K and driving in 5 and scoring 4 times himself.
Adrian Gonzalez $ 4400: Looking at his past record against Hamels, has hit against him well and would be on my list of two as the high dollar player. Drawback here is the amount of times he has struck out against Hamels - 9 times in 27 AB’s.
Mark Teixeira $2700: At a great value if he is in the lineup today. He has past success against Lackey, batting 0.313 - however again also has a high amount of K’s.
Dustin Pedoria $3300: This higher dollar value player is pretty consistent and has been batting pretty hot lately (9 for 25 at 0.360BA) and scores a lot with his starting lineup position being higher in batting order.
Howie Kendrick $3000: Another current hot hitter batting 12 for 28 (0.429) If he continues, his value is going to grow to that of the elite 2nd basemen in the league. He also had some success against Gio Gonzalez about a quarter of the time.
So now I am going to do something cruel and stop, if you liked my analysis and want more you can find me on twitter @circus_freak. Follow me and request the rest of my picks for the day. Thank you for reading, remember check the lineups and the weather.
Daily Batter vs. Pitcher Analysis for April 22
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 (by Philip Nacamuli)
We've got a full slate of action today ladies and gentlemen. A game to really pay attention to today is the matchup between Giants and Rockies. Vegas has the Giants as a slight favorite and the O/U is sitting pretty at 10. Let's look for a ton of runs to score in that game. Stacking SF/COL players tonight has the potential to really pay off.
The weather for a few of the games looks a bit iffy right now but that doesn't take away from the fact that there are some really great Batter vs Pitcher matchups today! Let's get right into them!
Today's featured matchup is also our value matchup of the day! This showdown is between Mike Aviles and James Shields. Aviles is 10-30 (.333) against Shields with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 3 XBH. He is a really great inexpensive option today and he should free up a lot of salary to get some bigger bats or a more expensive pitcher in your lineup. Just make sure that he is in Cleveland's starting lineup tonight before locking him in because he has had the past few days off.
Some other notable matchups are Daniel Murphy vs. Adam Wainwright (6-11 (.545), 2 RBI, 3 XBH), Yonder Alonso vs. Yovani Gallardo (6-15 (.400), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 XBH) and Wilin Rosario vs. Madison Bumgarner (7-21 (.333), 3 RBI, 1 XBH).
As always, I wish you all the best of luck in each of your games today!
[For more expansion on Philip's analysis for today, follow this link.]
Philip Nacamuli is a New Jersyan mathlete who lives, eats and breathes baseball. When he is not watching a Mets game he's usually sitting at his computer tinkering with his spreadsheets. After being part of the daily fantasy community several years Phil decided that he would combine his love of math and baseball and his Daily Batter vs. Pitcher and Last 14 Days Analysis was born! Since the beginning of the 2014 MLB season, Phil has been helping newcomers to the daily fantasy sports scene by posting his critically acclaimed Daily Batter vs. Pitcher and Last 14 Days Analysis on Reddit and answering any questions that newcomers may have. You can find Phil on Twitter as @phillyCHEEEEEZ, on Reddit as /u/phillyCHEEEEEZ or at bars in the North-Central Jersey area proclaiming how this year is actually going to be the Mets' year.
Monday brings the running of the 2014 Boston Marathon, which means an early 11:05am start for the Red Sox and Orioles. It's the only non-7:00pm EST or later start, so I'll be ignoring it today and instead entering a bunch of late games with normal start times. Frankly, I just want to make sure all of the players I pick are playing, so I need to wait until rosters are announced.
Now, let's get into Monday's optimal lineup and a few matchups I'll be taking advantage of (more best/worst values to come by 10:00am EST)
Weather Warnings: None
Wind Blowing In:CHW@DET
Wind Blowing Out:ARI@CHC, SF@COL, TEX@OAK
Monday's Optimal Lineup Late Game Lineup for DRAFTSTREET
I wanted to start more Giants and take advantage of the great matchup against the left-handed De La Rosa and the extremely favorable atmospheric conditions - BaseballVMI.com suggests that San Fran's hitters will thrive adjusting from the significantly harder PETCO Park and San Diego's weather conditions to Coors' more favorable conditions - but I don't love any matchup other than Posey.
Adams is low priced but has solid potential as a left-handed batter against the right-handed Mejia, and he's batting .357 on the season.
Kinsler is playing in a park where the weather report says the wind will be blowing in, but today's second base matchups are underwhelming so I'll pay a premium for a right-handed hitter against the left-handed Danks, against whom Kinsler is a 1.295 OPS with 4 HR in 33 PA.
Arenado has limited experience against Vogelsong (1-for-2) and doesn't put up points in bunches, but he's good for 2-4 points almost every single game and comes at a solid price.
Owings at under $3,000? Sure. He got Sunday off, only pinch hitting late.
Smith is a decent power threat in a great park for home runs against a pitcher that, though he does induce a lot of ground balls, is not as good as his numbers suggest.
In every daily fantasy lineup you need to have some boom-or-bust potential, especially if you're entering multi-player tournaments, and Upton is that in today's lineup. Aside from a three-game slide against the Phillies, Upton has been on a tear. He has four 10+ point games in his last 10.
Rios let me down yesterday, but at just over $6,000 he provides a nice mix of both reliable production and solid upside. The sample size against Straily is small, but he's 4-for-10.
Butler is cheap because he hasn't done much hitting, but he's on a five game hitting streak and a two-game multi-hit streak. He hasn't struck out in 8 career PA versus McAllister.
Hernandez against the Astros is as sure-a-thing as you can get, and I feel OK paying the hefty price because I like the next two cheap options as well.
The Mets aren't a well-oiled hitting machine, so I like the matchup. Lyons has looked impressive in the minors, particularly with his control, and he pitched to a 3.84 xFIP in 12 games (eight starts) last season.
Just as the Giants find themselves in a favorable matchup going to Coors, the Phillies find themselves in an infavorable matchup leaving Coors (the ball will move a little more in the not-so-thin air, and they will need a game or two to adjust to it). For that reason, I'm taking Maholm. The Ks won't be there, but he could surprise us with a 7-8 point effort.
Baseball Professor is sabermetric-slanted fantasy baseball blog with fresh content updated daily. Their fantasy analysts provide you with everything you need to run your team on a daily basis, including their SP Matchup Ratings, Fantasy News and Notes, and a no-fluff daily podcast (or as they call it, a Profcast). Get the fantasy info you want at www.baseballprof.com.
For example, here is a FanDuel report showing point data for past games against starting pitchers who throw with the same hand as the current day starter. Hover over a player’s name in the table to see the details of the next listed opposing starter. If it’s a right-hander, then that player’s point data in the table is only for games in which he started against a right-hander. Note that this is not a pure lefty-righty split; it is based only on the throwing arm of the starter. If a lefty starts a game but is later relieved by a righty, all stats for that game are categorized as lefty starter stats.
As always, click on any column heading to sort the table by that column.
If you click on any player name, you’ll go to the day-by-day point history for that player. This table now shows the throwing arm of the opposing starter for each game – and if you hover over the L/R indicator, you can also see the starting pitcher’s name.
I used to provide the ability to filter for only hitters who were facing opposite handed starters. With this latest update, I’ve eliminated that capability, as I believe that the new approach is much more relevant. I considered leaving the old approach in as an option, but was afraid that the distinction might be too confusing. I think that once you get accustomed to the new approach, you’ll find it to be of significant utility.
A SIMPLE 5 STEP GUIDE TO DAILY MLB STRATEGY
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 (by Gareth Bethell)
This is a basic guide for beginners who are new to Daily Fantasy Sports but can also be used by experienced players who are trying to get back to basics after a losing streak or simply as a daily checklist:
Check Vegas lines – It’s in the best interest of the bookies to make lines as accurate as possible; after all that is how they make their money. This means that a game with a high total runs line is probably a good place to look for batters, and a big favorite with a low total would be a good place to target a pitcher.
Check starting lineups – While it’s not a total lineup killer in MLB to select a batter that is not starting, it certainly limits your upside. It’s highly advisable to check the lineups once they’re announced to make sure your selections are starting and to check for hidden gems – players who are batting towards the top of the order who don’t regularly get a start that are available for minimum price on your chosen site.
Become a meteorologist – There is nothing more frustrating than selecting your pitcher only to have the game rained out, all but killing your chances of making any money that day. You can check the hourly forecast here as well as wind speed and direction.
Build around your pitcher(s) – Pitcher is by far and away the most consistent provider of points of any baseball position. If you’re playing head-to-head, 50/50s or double-ups then it’s nearly always in your best interest to select a stud pitcher. If you’re playing a large field tournament then there are certainly times you can punt your pitcher and select a cheaper option to load up on batters.
The Art of Stacking – The idea behind ‘stacking’ is to roster several players from one team. The idea is to ‘double up’ on points when you get a batter driving home a run by another player from the same team. Many sites now have rules limiting how many players you can roster from a single team to counter the full roster stack. However, you can still run out mini-stacks with 2,3 or 4 players from a team. There is some data out there that suggests that this strategy could lead to success but there are also days when individual matchups prevail. The secret sauce is knowing when to do what!
Don’t forget that there are many different options out there in terms of Daily Fantasy websites. Each one has different nuances to the scoring and rosters so try as many as you can to find which one suits you best.
Gareth Bethell has been involved in fantasy sports in one form or another since around 2001, playing mainly season long soccer back in his native UK. Having moved to the USA about 5 years ago, he quickly found season long NFL fantasy leagues and then made the transition to daily fantasy back in 2012. These days you can find him playing MLB, NBA and NFL on most of the major daily fantasy sites.
Chu’s Choices for Draft$treet for Friday, April 18th.
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 (by Scott Chu)
Usually, I try to target a >$12,000 SP to throw into my rotation and try to catch lightning in a bottle. For today’s slate, I just can’t. I hate all those guys. Jarred Cosart is initially intriguing, but I’m not going to put my hard earned cash at stake for a guy with a 4.7 BB/9 and 5.5 K/9 in 13 career starts. Here are some guys I will probably pay for, though . . .
Alfredo Simon, RHP, CIN – $14,498: There are three good reasons to pick Alfredo for your leagues today. First, the Cubs have had 352 AB’s against right-handed pitching, and have struck out an awful 25.6% of the time to go along with a slash line of .222/.287/.335. Second, it’s going to be cold (~36°F at game time) and windy (11mph wind blowing straight in from CF), which can’t be fun to hit in. Third, some guy on a website told you so and if it backfires you don’t even have to take any of the blame. What have you got to lose?!
Chris Tillman, RHP, BAL – $14,375: Since the beginning of 2013, Chris Tillman has faced Boston 7 times (including once on Opening Day). In those 7 games, he’s given up 12 runs and racked up 41 K’s. Further, BoSox hitters in their careers are hitting a paltry .200/.273/.303 against him as a team. Tillman’s last 2 outings against the strong bats of Toronto and Detroit have gone at least 8 innings, with the only run scored in either game being a solo shot from then red-hot Torii Hunter. The cold weather helps too. Buy with confidence.
Rangers Stack: Felipe Paulino has given up 6 runs in each of his last two starts against CLE and COL, and the Rangers’ bats are finally heating up. Texas hitters haven’t seen much of Paulino, but Prince Fielder ($7,411) is 4/8 with 2 HR and 5 walks. Paulino’s also got a bit of a gopher ball problem, with 4 HR’s against him already in 14.2 innings of work (3 coming in his last start). Although I mentioned Fielder, righties have hit him to the tune of .286/.355/.407 in his career, with a whopping .414/.485/.483 line this season. No player costs more than $7,811 (Kouzmanoff).
Pirates Stack: Neil Walker, Jose Tabata, Andrew McCutchen, and Pedro Alvarez are hitting a combined .384 AVG against Kyle Loshe with 4 HR and 10 2B in 112 AB. Loshe went 8.2 innings of 1 run ball against the Pirates last Sunday, but I’d be surprised if he can work that magic against this lineup again. The prices are REALLY friendly (a combined $25,343).
Quick Hits: Giancarlo Stanton is 3/5 against Chris Young, all for power (2 HR and a 2B). Over/Under in Vegas for the PHI@COL game is 10.5 runs, so you might consider a hitter or two in that game. Daniel Murphy and David Wright have blasted Harang in the past, and the Harangutan can’t keep this pace forever (.200 BABIP for opposing hitters in ’14, .308 career).
Scott Chu is a red-headed Irish Korean twin son of deaf parents who in his spare time likes play soccer, spend time with his red headed Irish Korean son, root for the Tigers, and stare at box scores. You can find him on Twitter as @DrChuseph or at parties by looking for a loud, pale ginger who keeps reciting Simpsons and Futurama quotes.
Today there are 5 early games across the boards. Having loaded up on games on FANDUEL, we have come up with great picks for the early games. Below are players who show great value today.
For pitching, our number 1 guy is Justin Verlander. He owns the tribe and has the tribe batting .211 in his last 11 starts. Right now the Detroit VS Cleveland line is at -149 with Detroit being the home favorite. START VERLANDER. If you’re looking for value in pitching, go with Ian Kennedy. For his price tag on Fanduel at 6k, he’s showing great value today. He’s facing Colorado which he has them batting at .240 in his last 11 starts. Right now the Padres are favorite at -132. This line is tempting but not our favorite, we exclusively pick our Vegas lines daily and narrow it down to 1 – 2 solid picks, come check us out and don’t hesitate to start winning.
Below are hitters that show great value and should be put in your lineups.
M. Kemp, J. Uribe, H. Ramirez. I expect these guys to produce some good numbers today. (Dodgers lineup is not out yet but I expect these guys to be playing)
M. Morse, H. Pence, B. Posey. If there is any matchup in the early games that caught my eye on hitters, it’s SFG VS LAD. Right now this game is favored by the SFG at -129 (I would stay away and put your money elsewhere)
Late Games With 6 late games tonight, listed are players you should plug in your lineups that show great value tonight and expecting them to produce some good numbers tonight: E. Longoria, D. Pedroia, R. Braun, C. Gomez., A. Ramirez.
Last Thursday, I put out a general invitation to anyone who was interested in becoming a DBD correspondent. The response was quite good, and tomorrow starts a new era of fresh content provided by a variety of contributors - from other sites devoted to daily contest baseball, to avid fantasy players, to baseball enthusiasts in general. I hope to provide a rotating mix of recommendations, ideas, strategies, and miscellany.
If you've gotten in the habit of by-passing this page en route to your favorite destination, that's understandable - but starting tomorrow, you might want to at least scroll down to see what's here.
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 (by Guru)
Last night's Pitt@Cincy game was suspended after ten home runs and seven innings, and will be finished this afternoon.
For daily baseball contests, I think the usual treatment is that the contests are closed at the end of the night - so that anything that happens in today's conclusion is ignored. But you should refer to each contest site for a definitive rule.
For statistical purposes at DailyBaseballData, stats for suspended games that are completed during the same series will be updated following the completion of the game. That means that the stats (and contest points) reported for those games may differ from those actually applied in contests.
Starting to Sort Things Out
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 (by RotoGuru)
Finally, I have the sortable stats up and running at RotoGuru.com. While the generally layout and functionality is similar to that of recent seasons, there are some new features this year that should be of particular value in supporting daily contest lineup decisions.
Here's a quick rundown on the current capabilities:
The six affiliated contest sites (Fanduel, DraftStreet, StarStreet, FanTrowdown, DraftKings, and DraftDay) are incorporated, including point histories and salaries.
Points are totaled (and averaged) over four different periods: YTD, 30-day, 15-day, or 7-days. Pick your favorite period(s), or switch back and forth.
You can see the salary changes for the past day, past week, or YTD. This may be a useful screen to see which players are trending. You can also see (via color coding) if a player's current salary is his max or min for the season.
You now have the option to view points for all games, or just points for games in which a player started. The latter option conveniently allows you to screen out data for games in which a player did not start.
The schedule filter allows you to see only players for teams scheduled to play on a given day.
You can select to see only scheduled starting pitchers. You can also select to see only hitters who are facing an "opposite handed" starter. In each case, if you hover your mouse over the player name, the underlying matchup details should appear.
Links to each player's detailed game-by-game history are provided, as well as quick links to that player's info page at ether RotoWorld or RotoWire.
You can sort the table on any linked column.
You can show all players, of just those who are currently on an active 25-man roster. Active players reflect reporting at MLB.com, and are updated hourly.
You can filter out players with salaries above a specified threshold.
Hopefully, the selection options are relatively intuitive. Contest salaries should be updated for the new day at 11pm ET each night, and point data should be updated at 4:15am ET.
Since the updates are now set up to run automatically, there is always a chance that some data will be screwed up if the various data feeds fail. I'll do my best to make sure that all data is getting populated on schedule, but if you notice anything that looks goofy, please let me know via email. Your eyes are my best spot-checking tool. Don't assume that I'm already aware of any apparent glitch.
With this "basic" version of the sortable stats now up and automated, I hope to add some additional filtering capabilities - particularly regarding lefty/righty matchup histories. Not sure how soon that will be incorporated, though.
In search of a few good correspondents
Thu, 10 Apr 2014 (by RotoGuru)
The focus at DBD is to assemble and consolidate statistics in a way that facilitates decision-making for setting daily baseball lineups, particularly for daily contests where you have complete flexibility from day to day. DBD offers a variety of tools to support that analysis.
As the sole manager of DBD, I feel that my time and efforts are best devoted to managing the data assimilation, looking for alternate formatting options, expanding the range of stats analyzed, and generally keeping things running smoothly.
What has been missing from DBD for some time is a flow of articles, recommendations, and ideas that provide fresh daily narrative content. In order to get this from "wish list" to actual practice, I’m now looking to recruit a few “correspondents” who will provide a variety of fresh perspectives. I would expect each correspondent to provide no more than 1-2 articles per week. Articles could be narrowly focused on a single daily contest format, or generally suited to any lineup-setting decision. They would typically appear in this “blurb” space, and could be rather short (top recommendations for today) or they could be lengthier discussions of strategies or new analytical approaches. They could be duplicates of articles already published on your own site or blog, or completely unique material. Ideally, I’d have one fresh article each day, posted sometime in the morning, from a variety of rotating correspondents.
At this point, I’m not looking to pay cash for these submissions. However, I can offer the opportunity to promote your own web site or blog via links and/or other attributive statements associated with each posted item. Free advertising, so to speak.
If you are interested in pursuing this, please send an email to email@example.com, and we can begin the discussions. Thanks! - Dave Hall
Publishing Periodic Player Points
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 (by RotoGuru)
I’ve made some significant progress in retooling my baseball stats processing at RotoGuru. The stats now cover all six of the affiliated daily contest sites listed above, and are now updated automatically early each morning. While the sortable stats reports are not yet available for 2014, I do have the following pages/reports ready:
Daily point recaps - a listing of all player points for each game for each contest scoring system, showing listed position eligibility, salaries, and stat details.
Individual player detail pages, with links to related player pages at many other sites, plus a day-by-day history of stats, fantasy points, and salaries.
I'm doing my own independent point calculations based on publicly available stats applied to the published formula for each contest site. Based on some limited spot checking, they appear to conform to the official point calculations at each affiliated site. If there are differences (that aren't related to occasional stat differences), please let me know. It's possible that I've misapplied some factor, or that one of the contest sites has made a formula change of which I'm unaware.
Daily contest salaries and position eligibilities are based on feeds from each of the sites. These seem to be complete and accurate, although occasionally I may be missing a player based on a change in name spelling or some other feed anomaly. If you notice any discrepancies, please let me know via email. Do not assume that I am aware of the issue; usually, I'm not!
Now that I have this data assembled and organized, the next step is to feed it into the traditional sortable stats reporting. That should be done within the next week, and this year will include some new filtering capabilities that should be useful for daily contest analysis.
Taking a step back
Tue, 01 Apr 2014 (by RotoGuru)
In getting the various reports ready for 2014, I've come to realize that I need to redesign and automate some of the processing that used to have some manual steps involved. Some of these processes are very much at the front end - including keeping track of active rosters and team affiliations. I hope to rebuild most of that framework within the next few days. But that will defer the production of sortable stats for a few more days.
It will serve all of us better to automate as much of the routine as possible. Arguably, I should have been working on this last month. But frankly, there's noting like working with live data - and that's what I have now.
What does this mean for you? If some players seem to be missing from certain reports, or if some players are listed with incorrect team affiliations, be patient.
Back to the salt mines...
Mon, 31 Mar 2014 (by RotoGuru)
As far as I know, all of the links in the left three menu bars should be working now - Batter vs Pitcher, Weather, and Other Tools. (Some of the BvP position coding for FanDuel and DraftStreet will be incorrect, however.)
Sortable stats will not be up for a little while. I'm still working out some kinks there. Hopefully, I'll have those up by the end of the week.
Note that I'm expanding the range of covered daily sites to six. Perhaps more to come. But for now, let me get the six up and running in the sortable stats before looking beyond those.
Please let me know if you see anything that seems to be off.