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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (9/19/19): MLB DFS Lineups
Thu, 19 Sep 2019 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

We have a very quiet Thursday in major league baseball. Just nine games which are fairly evenly spaced throughout the day makes for a couple of underwhelming slates. The early slate is made up of three games before a five-game slate kicking off at 6:35 pm. As always here we are chasing the biggest prize pool and will, therefore, turn our attentions to the evening slate.

Thursday's evening slate brings us three monster favorites in the form of the Yankees, Indians, and Twins. Of those three two of the pitchers terrify me in Masahiro Tanaka and Kyle Gibson, and you will not find them in any of my lineups today. The best game of the day is in Chicago, where the Cubs square off against the Cardinals in a clash to potentially take control of the NL Central. Totals wise we have two games projected to go over 10 runs, Minnesota and Baltimore, with the other three games projected to see nine or more runs, so it should be a fun day in the majors despite the small slates.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 9/19/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays Be sure to also check out all the Vegas Odds for today's slate.

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Mike Clevinger, CLE (vs. DET) - $11,400
Well, what is there to say really? This was between Clevinger and Jack Flaherty, and in the end, it came down to a higher upside pitcher facing a worse offense. It really is that simple on a slate where the mid-range pitching is not pretty that you just pay up for a man of this talent.

Drew VerHagen, DET (@ CLE) - $5,200
I am breaking a lot of rules here. Picking pitchers against each other and picking someone I really think is bad. However, in order to get Clevinger, I needed to cut costs everywhere I could and VerHagen is a perfect way to do that. At just $5,200 he actually offers you upside as well. In 37 2/3 inning since the start of August, he has allowed 10 earned runs and struck out 34 hitters. The Indians lineup is not the most terrifying in the world and VerHagen offers the chance for a two or three times return on investment at a dirt-cheap price.

DraftKings Infielders

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[click here to read the rest of the DraftKings Daily Fantasy Picks article on RotoBaller.com]



FanDuel MLB DFS Lineup Picks (9/18/19): Daily Fantasy Baseball Advice
Wed, 18 Sep 2019 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

While we have a full 15-game schedule ahead of us, there are games spread all throughout the day. We have a five-game day slate and a 10-game nightcap. We’re going to try to offer up plays from both slates, so you can pick and choose which you want to play. With that in mind, let’s get to some of our best plays of the day.

We look pretty clear in terms of weather, so let's get into the action.

Be sure to also check out all the Vegas Odds for today's slate.

FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Gerrit Cole, HOU vs. TEX ($12,100)
How can we possibly fade Cole on this slate? This dude has been the best pitcher in the league this season and is facing one of the worst lineups in baseball here. Let’s start with that matchup, with the Rangers ranked 21st in OBP, 29th in K rate and 20th in wOBA. That spells disaster against a guy like Cole, with the Astro righty pitching to a 2.62 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 39 percent K rate. That strikeout rate happens to be the best mark in the Majors and it’s scary that Cole has double-digit Ks in six straight outings. That’s why Cole and the Astros enter this matchup as a –500 favorite.

Homer Bailey, OAK vs. KC ($8,200)
Bailey has been a different pitcher since joining the A’s and it’s really no surprise when you consider that Oakland Coliseum is one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the Majors. That pairs beautifully with Bailey’s stuff, with the right-hander pitching to a 2.25 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 8.7 K/9 rate over his last six starts. Those brilliant numbers are scary for a struggling offense like this, with the Royals ranked 25th in wOBA, 27th in runs scored, 26th in OBP and 27th in OPS. All of that has Bailey entering this fixture as a –230 favorite.

FanDuel DFS Infielders

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[click here to read the rest of the article on RotoBaller.com]



FanDuel MLB DFS Lineup Picks (9/17/19): Daily Fantasy Baseball Advice
Tue, 17 Sep 2019 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

Welcome to free money Tuesday! FanDuel knows what's up, as everyone has their balances full after week two of NFL. FanDuel is offering an "enormous" Grand Slam to draw in some of that money and we should see plenty of stupid money in tournaments. As for tonight's slate, it will be a fun one.

We have a game in Coors Field, but also five or six other offenses that are worth considering. As for pitcher, Justin Verlander is on the slate, but he's expensive and you do need to pay for some bats tonight. Let's dive right in and find a top play at each position.

Be sure to also check out all the Vegas Odds for today's slate.

FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Yu Darvish - CHC vs. CIN - $10,400
Yu Darvish has finally looked like the pitcher the Cubs we’re hoping for, and he’s done it for longer than just a couple games. He struck out 14 Padres in his last outing and has his insane strikeout stuff working. He’s given up a combined one earned run over the last three games, and this match-up against the Reds is the easiest one yet. They rank 26th against righties on the season with a team .293 wOBA and 25% strikeout rate. There’s no such thing as safe when it comes to Yu Darvish, but this is as safe as it gets.

Marco Gonzales - SEA @ PIT - $7,300
Gonzales has struggled a bit recently, but those struggles have come in tough match-ups (Astros, Rangers). Gonzales has done good work in games that you’d expect, and he gets another one of those tonight in Pittsburgh. The Pirates are terrible against lefties, ranking 29th in all of baseball with a .282 team wOBA. Gonzales has actually been a reverse splits pitcher, so the tons of righties they’ll pile into the order will actually hurt them. Gonzales is affordable on both sites and a great way to save at pitcher on this slate.

FanDuel DFS Infielders

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[click here to read the rest of the article on RotoBaller.com]



Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball Part 14 - Statcast Expected Stats
Sat, 14 Sep 2019 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

(Originally published 3/25/19)

Statcast is a valuable tool for fantasy analysis, and it can be easy to look at a stat called "Expected Batting Average" and blindly use it as your projection moving forward. Of course, proper use of these metrics is a little bit more nuanced than that.

Our series on how to make sabermetrics more accessible to fantasy owners continues with a closer look at one of the newer Statcast metrics. To check out my previous explanation of Statcast for Pitchers, click here.

Let's begin by identifying what the Expected Metrics are and how they work.

How To Use Statcast's Expected Metrics In Fantasy

The first is xBA, or Expected Batting Average. This statistic is calculated using Hit Probability, itself a stat measuring how often a batted ball with a particular exit velocity and launch angle has fallen in for a hit since Statcast was introduced in 2015. For example, a line drive to the outfield that has historically fallen in for a hit 80 percent of the time counts as 80% of a hit by Hit Probability.

As of January 2019, the Hit Probability formula was modified to include the batter's Statcast Sprint Speed, more accurately representing their ability to beat out a ground ball. xBA is simply a batting average produced using Hit Probability, actual K%, and official ABs. If you play in a traditional 5X5 roto league, this is the Expected Stat you'll probably use the most.

Next up is Expected Slugging Percentage, or xSLG. It is calculated in the same manner as xBA, except that each batted ball is weighted according to its probability of being a single, double, triple, or home run instead of just a hit. If your league counts slugging percentage, you might get good use out of this stat. It can also be one tool to help you identify if a particular pitcher is getting hit hard or simply getting unlucky, though there are limits to this type of analysis.

Finally, we have Expected Weighted On Base Average, or xwOBA. It is calculated the same way xSLG is, except real-world walks and HBP are added to the equation. Each result is also assigned a linear weight with more math than the simple multiplication used to calculate slugging percentage. This is the stat with the most real-world value, but doesn't translate that well to fantasy unless you play in a realistic Points format.

The principle value of all three metrics is ...

[click here to read the rest of the article on RotoBaller.com]



DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (9/13/19): MLB DFS Lineups
Fri, 13 Sep 2019 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

Welcome to Friday baseball! I hope all of you are having a wonderful week and let's hope it gets even better entering the weekend. I may be able to help with a few plays to boost your bankroll. This slate is an interesting one, and it's worth multi-entering a few tournaments.

We have quite a few pitchers worth considering, but I would say a couple stand out above the rest. As for hitting, there aren't too many gas cans to pick on. There are a few, and we'll make sure we target them. Let's dive in and find a top play at each position!

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 9/13/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays Be sure to also check out all the Vegas Odds for today's slate.

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Gerrit Cole - HOU @ KC - $12,200
I actually live next to the Houston Astros spring training facility and loved driving up there to watch this pitching staff throw bullpens. Cole stood out like no other. His basic bullpens grew crowds from the team and staff daily. If you want a few cool videos of him throwing bullpens, find me on Twitter. As for tonight, it doesn’t get much better than Cole here. He’s struck out a whopping 43 batters over the last three games and now sees a match-up with the lowly KC Royals. They rank 18th in baseball against righties, but drop to 26th in power and strikeout 24% of the time. Cole is in a tier of his own on this slate.

Andrew Heaney - LAA vs. TB - $9,900
Andrew Heaney is quite an interesting pitcher. He seems to be all over the place production-wise, but is getting through five innings no matter what and has been solid. He now gets to match-up wit the Tampa Bay Rays, who’s best bats are all left-handed. They rank 23rd against lefties in baseball with a .299 wOBA and 24.7% strikeout rate. Heaney strikes out 10 batters per nine innings and has shown us crazy upside very recently. The ballpark helps and certainly hurts the Rays. Heaney is solid at his price as an SP1 or 2.

DraftKings Infielders

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[click here to read the rest of the DraftKings Daily Fantasy Picks article on RotoBaller.com]



DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (9/12/19): MLB DFS Lineups
Thu, 12 Sep 2019 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

For the first time in what feels like forever we have a completely split slate on a Thursday. In fact, the two slates are exactly even, with both having seven games on each slate and equal money to be found on both slates. However, as usual, our focus will be on the featured evening slate, starting at 7:05 pm EST.

The Dodgers and the Astros are by far the biggest favorites on this slate, as the only teams with odds better than -200. No other team has odds better than -140 and we should be in for some intriguing games. We could also be in for plenty of runs scoring with five of the seven games on the slate having a total of 10 or above. Even then the games in Houston and Cincinnati sit at 9 and 9.5 respectfully, so there is a chance there are plenty of runs in those games as well. The good news is that when you have a high-scoring day expected, every option is in play and you can value virtually anywhere.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 9/12/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays Be sure to also check out all the Vegas Odds for today's slate.

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Patrick Corbin, WAS (@ MIN) - $10,500
The obvious pick on this slate is Justin Verlander, but at $12,500 that is a significant chunk of your bankroll. For $2,000 less Corbin is also an interesting prospect given his form in the second half. In his last 15 outings, he has scored 20 points or more on 13 occasions and he has a 2.85 ERA since the All-Star break. He has not been as successful on the road as at home, but earlier this season he had an ERA over 6.00 on the road, which is now down to 4.45. The Nationals have kept the Twins in check a little in this series and Corbin should have a great chance of winning up against Kyle Gibson.

Julio Teheran, ATL (@ PHI) - $8,500
No pitcher has been disrespected more this season in DFS than Teheran. He has scored over 20 points in half of his last 12 games and has a 3.31 ERA on the season. He has been especially good in the second half of the season with a 2.59 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings. This will be a tough start on the road in Philadelphia, but against Drew Smyly he should have a great chance of coming away with the win.

DraftKings Infielders

. . .

[click here to read the rest of the DraftKings Daily Fantasy Picks article on RotoBaller.com]



FanDuel MLB DFS Lineup Picks (9/11/19): Daily Fantasy Baseball Advice
Wed, 11 Sep 2019 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

With a Coors Field game on this slate, we’re going to take a different approach. What we’re going to do is offer up two cheap pitchers, so that you can fill your lineup with Rockies and Cardinals. So, let’s get into those value arms.

The MIN WSH game has a lot of rain in the forecast, so be sure to monitor that before submitting lineups

Be sure to also check out all the Vegas Odds for today's slate.

FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Joe Musgrove, PIT at SF ($7,600)
While Musgrove has been the model of inconsistency this season, we have to like him in a situation like this. Let’s start with that matchup, with the Giants ranked 26th in runs scored, 27th in OBP and 28th in both OPS and wOBA. Those are horrifying numbers for an offense who has to play in the toughest ballpark in the Majors, particularly against a guy like this. That definitely has to make us believe that Musgrove can throw one of his gems, scoring at least 28 FanDuel points in 16 of his 26 starts this season. Vegas agrees, giving San Fran an implied run total right around four.

Reynaldo Lopez, CWS vs. KC ($8,600)
Lopez is coming off a one-hit complete game in his most recent start and it appears that he’s hit his stride in the second half. Despite allowing six runs just two starts ago, Lopez is pitching to a 3.38 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 8.9 K/9 rate over his last 11 starts. Lopez actually has at least 19 FanDuel points in all of those starts aside from that dud against the Braves and we have to believe that he’ll duplicate that prior form here against the Royals. For the year, Kansas City ranks 27th in runs scored, 25th in OBP, 27th in OPS and 23rd in wOBA. In his last two starts against the Royals this season, Lopez has a 1.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 9.2 K/9 rate

FanDuel DFS Infielders

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[click here to read the rest of the article on RotoBaller.com]



FanDuel MLB DFS Lineup Picks (9/10/19): Daily Fantasy Baseball Advice
Tue, 10 Sep 2019 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

Welcome to Tuesday baseball! While football season is upon us, the baseball season grind continues. FanDuel hasn't let up, either, with plenty of big dollar tournaments to help boos your bankroll as the season winds down. We also call this free money Tuesday in DFS, as all the NFL money pour s into accounts and some people want to play some more. They'll look up an MLB optimizer and hope for the best. Let's get into some of the top plays at each position.

We also have a game in Coors Field, and I could fill up this entire article with guys from the Cardinals and Rockies. If you want to play any of them, they are in play. It's as simple as that.

Be sure to also check out all the Vegas Odds for today's slate.

FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Walker Buehler - LAD @ BAL - $11,600
You certainly wish this game was in Dodger Stadium, for a multitude of reasons. However, this match-up may be good enough to outweigh the ballpark. The Orioles don’t have a crazy strikeout rate at just under 24%, but I think Buehler can do wonders on that front by himself. They rank 25th against righties in wOBA and wRC+, and they’ve also been worse in the second half. On the other side of things, Walker Buehler still strikes out 10+ batters per nine on the road and has rarely seen such a quality match-up. The Orioles are still projected for under three runs and there’s always a real chance for a CGSO when a guy with this caliber of upside is facing such a putrid lineup. If you’re playing cash games, I don’t see getting away from Buehler.

Chase Anderson - MIL @ MIA - $6,300
I know Anderson has been pretty bad, but look at those match-ups he’s had to deal with. This Marlins team is the worst team he’s faced all season long and all we’re asking for is a serviceable start. Something Chase Anderson has done many times against far superior lineups. The Marlins still rank dead last in baseball against righties with a team .282 wOBA and 25% strikeout rate. We’ve been doing it all season and I doubt the Marlins get any better in 2020. Any game-changing talent they have is at least a couple seasons from the majors. Chase Anderson has held both sides of the plate to a sub .320 wOBA and strikes out a decent amount at eight per nine. Anderson is too cheap on FanDuel and a great way to go if you want to pay up for bats.

FanDuel DFS Infielders

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[click here to read the rest of the article on RotoBaller.com]



Putting a Microscope on the ADI and the VMI
Sat, 07 Sep 2019 (by Clifton Neeley of baseballVMI.com)

(Originally published in 2017)

I have previously stated that our website has been tracking pitches since 2014. I have been tracking team production against the ADI and VMI since 2001 and 2005 respectively. The pitch tracking system which is now in place allows me to input the actual pitches, pitcher, pitch speed and hitter plus his production. We did not begin applying the ADI to every pitcher until 2015—and, then only on a few of the teams. So I am learning new things on an annual and sometimes monthly basis. Of course we are working on a win-loss predictive index, but at this time, it is not ready for publication.

Below is a chart of the end of year percentages of hits to strikes thrown in the primary ADIs and in the VMI ranges with “probable” ADI ranges listed. I say probable, because any ADI will eventually produce a zero VMI, as the team of hitters adjust to this amount of ball movement:

[click to view the entire article]


Visual Memory by Clifton Neeley, creator of the Visual Memory Index© and author of the web-site www.baseballvmi.com. Clifton pitched and played baseball and fast-pitch softball in the mountainous southwest Colorado area from 4,000 feet in Grand Junction to 6,000 feet in Durango to 9,000 feet in Telluride prior to his college experience in baseball.

FanDuel MLB DFS Lineup Picks (9/6/19): Daily Fantasy Baseball Advice
Fri, 06 Sep 2019 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

We've got another exiting Friday full of baseball ahead of us with all 30 teams in action!

Tonight's main slate starts at 7:05 pm eastern and includes all 15 games.

Be sure to also check out all the Vegas Odds for today's slate.

FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Dinelson Lamet - SDP vs COL - $8,400
You can't go wrong with Clayton Kershaw at starting pitcher tonight, but there are plenty of discount options to consider if you don't want to pay for the most expensive player. Lamet is a top alternative, as he's in a spot for a huge start at home against the Rockies. Colorado has been the league's second-weakest lineup on the road with a measly .289 wOBA, and they'll be in an extreme pitcher's environment in San Diego. Lamet has tons of strikeout upside with his 31.4% K-rate, and he just posted 10 strikeouts his last time out. The Rockies have a 26.6% K-rate on the road, the third-worst mark in baseball. Lamet can be extremely valuable at this price.

Brendan McKay - TAM vs TOR - $7,100
McKay is a contrarian pick, as he's been getting beat up lately and has poor numbers on the year. However, he can excel in this matchup against the Blue Jays, who are a bottom tier team against lefties with a .309 wOBA. McKay is at home in a pitcher-friendly park, and his low price will allow you to load your lineup up with high-end bats.

FanDuel DFS Infielders

. . .

[click here to read the rest of the article on RotoBaller.com]



DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (9/5/19): MLB DFS Lineups
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

Thursday once again brings us a bit split slate, with five games on the early slate and seven on the later slate. The later slate is where the money is slightly more slanted too, and therefore, that is where our attention will focus today.

The late slate has two favorites who are below -200 in the Rays and the Astros. Only one of those two options really has a pitcher on the mound that is worth trying to take advantage of, as Austin Pruitt has been inconsistent this season. Interestingly, all seven games on this slate have a projected total of nine or above, which is largely due to a lack of absolute stud pitchers on the slate. However, today has a feeling of having a few tight games, as there is also a lack of really dreadful pitchers taking to the mound today.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 9/5/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays Be sure to also check out all the Vegas Odds for today's slate.

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Jose Quintana, CHC (@ MIL) - $10,500
Quintana is not the sexy option, but he offers the best floor/ceiling combination on this slate. Four of his last five starts have seen him scored 19 or more fantasy points, including three straight starts in which he scored over 30 fantasy points. His numbers on the road have been better this season, with a .365 ERA and an average of a strikeout per innings. On an interesting slate for pitching Quintana offers a wonderful mix of safety and upside, at a solid price.

Wade Miley, HOU (vs. SEA) - $9,900
Again Miley is not a sexy option, and he does not have the same ceiling that Quintana does, but he has the ability to be an extremely solid option. This season Miley has a 2.22 ERA with 69 strikeouts in 73 innings. He is facing a Seattle team which is ice cold right now, having scored three or fewer runs in eight of their last 10 games. Miley has also been in good form since the All-Star break, with a 2.65 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 54 1/3 innings.

DraftKings Infielders

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[click here to read the rest of the DraftKings Daily Fantasy Picks article on RotoBaller.com]



FanDuel MLB DFS Lineup Picks (9/4/19): Daily Fantasy Baseball Advice
Wed, 04 Sep 2019 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

This is a unique slate and that’s why we’re going to take a different approach here. In fact, we’re going to recommend to cheap pitchers, so that you can get as many elite bats into your lineup as possible.

In terms of weather, it looks like a pretty clean slate with not a whole lot to worry about.

Be sure to also check out all the Vegas Odds for today's slate.

FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Trevor Williams, PIT vs. MIA ($7,400)
While a 5.26 ERA and 1.39 WHIP tell an ugly story, Williams has traditionally been a much better pitcher than that. In fact, his 3.11 ERA and 1.18 WHIP last season made him a breakout starter for the Pirates and we’ll look for him to regress closer to those numbers over the final month. His recent form indicates that he’s headed the right direction, with Williams scoring at least 25 FD points in five of his last eight starts while pitching to a 2.08 ERA and 0.85 WHIP over his last two starts. One of those happened to be in Coors Field, as facing the Marlins in PNC Park is quite the treat after that. In fact, Miami currently ranks bottom-two in runs scored, OBP, OPS, wOBA and xwOBA. In addition, the Pirates enter this matchup as a -190 favorite.

Michael Wacha, STL vs. SF ($7,100)
Wacha has been driving me crazy for a few years now but he’s worth a risk at this price in this sort of matchup. Let’s start with that matchup, with the Giants ranked 26th in runs scored, 27th in OBP, 26th in OPS and 27th in wOBA. That should be beneficial for a pitcher who’s got a 3.05 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 9.7 K/9 rate over his last four starts. We have to hope that Wacha has recaptured the form that he had early on in his career, generating a 3.21 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over his first three seasons.

FanDuel DFS Infielders

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[click here to read the rest of the article on RotoBaller.com]



DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (9/3/19): MLB DFS Lineups
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

With games spread all throughout the day, we’re going to offer up some plays from both slates. That way, anyone who plays will have something to look forward to. With that in mind, let’s get into our pitchers...

There should be a way to gain some edge in cheaper contests, and I would endorse joining as many $1 and $2 contests as you can today. There will be some dead money for sure. Let's jump in and find a top play at each position.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 9/3/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays Be sure to also check out all the Vegas Odds for today's slate.

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

James Paxton, NYY vs. TEX ($11,200)
This has double-digit strikeouts written all over it. Let’s start with this matchup, as Texas 9.9 strikeouts per game are the second-worst mark in baseball. That doesn’t even take into consideration their struggles against lefties, sitting 27th in OBP against them this season and bottom-10 in xwOBA. That’s a recipe for success for a guy like Paxton, with the Yankees lefty posting an xFIP barely above 3.00 since 2017 en route to a 31 percent K rate. That’s why he and the Bronx Bombers enter this matchup as a –325 favorite.

Trevor Richards, TB vs. BAL ($N/A)
Richards is probably the sneakiest pitcher on the board. While he’s expected to have an opener, it’s hard to fade a guy with this much potential. Over his last six appearances, Richards is pitching to a 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 11.0 K/9 rate. That’s all you can ask for from a player this cheap, particularly in such a tasty matchup. Richards plays host to the Baltimore Orioles, who currently rank 19th in K rate, 24th in runs scored, 23rd in OBP, 25th in OPS and 26th in xwOBA. The potential for a win with an opener is huge too, with Richards and the Rays entering this game as a –200 favorite. If you're playing in the showdown slate, Richards is impossible to fade as your star player.

DraftKings Infielders

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[click here to read the rest of the DraftKings Daily Fantasy Picks article on RotoBaller.com]



Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball Part 13 - Statcast for Pitchers
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

(Originally published 3/19/19)

Previously, we looked at Barrels, a stat combining exit velocity and launch angle to measure how often a batter makes quality hard contact. As much as batters want to hit a Barrel every time, pitchers want to avoid them at all costs. Yet there is some evidence that pitchers do not have the same influence over Barrels as a batter does.

While Khris Davis and J.D. Martinez tied for the league-lead with 69 Barrels hit last year, Mike Fiers led all pitchers by coughing up 55. Neither performance was an outlier, so it seems to take fewer Barrels to lead pitchers in Barrels given up than it does to lead hitters in Barrels hit. This fits well with DIPS theory, which states that batters can do more to influence batted balls than pitchers can.

It's also not fantasy-relevant, as Mike Fiers just isn't that appealing a fantasy option. The rest of the leaderboard consists of names such as James Shields (52), Mike Minor (50), and Jacob Junis (46), all of whom have low-end appeal in our game if they have any at all. Even if a good pitcher finds their way on this list, it doesn't mean what you might think.

How to Interpret Batted Ball Statistics

Let's look at a hypothetical pitcher we'll call "Pitcher X." Pitcher X had a great 2015 season (2.60 ERA, 3.16 xFIP) allowing 26 Barrels. He only allowed 11 Barrels in 2016, but his numbers regressed to a 3.88 ERA and 4.02 xFIP in roughly half the IP. Pitcher X got rocked in 2017, allowing 45 Barrels en route to a 4.26 ERA and 3.81 xFIP. If you took that as a red flag and avoided Pitcher X in last season's fantasy drafts, you missed out on Gerrit Cole's 2.88 ERA and 3.04 xFIP in 2018. Clearly, there's nothing predictive here.

The rate stat, Brls/BBE, might seem like a better option. The 2018 Brls/BBE leaderboard is full of boring names (Matt Koch 12.8%, Jarlin Garcia 11%, Mike Minor/Mike Magill 10.8%, etc.), so let's look at 2017 data for an interesting example. Jered Weaver tied for the league-lead in rate of Barrels allowed with 11.8%, and he was obviously terrible. The person he tied with was Craig Kimbrel, one of the best relievers in baseball.

The Barrels hardly hurt Kimbrel's final stat line, as he posted an elite 1.43 ERA (1.50 xFIP) with 35 saves in 2017. Kimbrel had previously been great by Brls/BBE, posting a 5.8% mark in 2016 and 4.7% in 2015, so nothing in his track record should have raised a red flag. Indeed, there was no need for a red flag even in retrospect. Kimbrel was great again last season (2.74 ERA, 3.13 xFIP).

Maybe we need to simplify this and just use ...

[click here to read the rest of the article on RotoBaller.com]



DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (8/30/19): MLB DFS Lineups
Fri, 30 Aug 2019 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

What's up guys! Welcome to Friday baseball on DraftKings! With the hurricane breathing down my neck, I'll do my best to find the top plays on this slate. In all seriousness, the baseball grind is still on and there is plenty of money to be made. With all eyes on football, we may very well see an edge decrease in baseball

Tonight, we're working with 13 games and plenty of pitching to pay for. We'll have to decide what to do at SP2, as there are plenty of pitchers worth paying up, but even more bats. Let's dive in and find the top play at each position.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 8/30/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays Be sure to also check out all the Vegas Odds for today's slate.

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Dinelson Lamet - SDP @ SFG - $10,700
This is the most expensive we’ve seen Dinelson Lamet, so let’s hope that keeps the masses off of him. Lamet is extremely talented and only struggles with being able to last deeper into games. The San Francisco Giants have ranked 28th in baseball with a team .282 wOBA and 25% strikeout rate. Lamet hasn’t been the most consistent option, but he’s been unlucky with a .251 BABIP and has seen his pitch count slightly increase. The upside is huge here and the Giants are such a putrid offense that even Dinelson Lamet is pretty safe.

Kyle Gibson - MIN @ DET - $9,500
It’s getting old targeting the Tigers every night, but they are a historically bad team. They’ve ranked 29th in baseball with a .279 team wOBA and 25% strikeout rate. They’re only getting worse and this AT&T ballpark in San Fran is made for pitching. Kyle Gibson is about as boring as it gets, but he eats up innings and is capable of striking out a guy per innings. He’s affordable and helps you pay up elsewhere.

DraftKings Infielders

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[click here to read the rest of the DraftKings Daily Fantasy Picks article on RotoBaller.com]




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Friday's Starting Lineups

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