Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategies
Playing daily fantasy baseball leagues for real money takes different research than a typical fantasy baseball pool.
There are people that start to play daily fantasy baseball and lose their initial deposit only to never play again. However, the resilient fantasy player will look to find weaknesses in various daily fantasy sports sites and exploit them to make a financial gain.
When starting to play for money, take note of all the daily fantasy baseball strategies that we’ve described below to help you avoid some mistakes that will cost you wins in your fantasy picks.
Know your opponents
If you challenge or join players in a small 2, 4 or 6 team league, knowing if you are playing a “newbie” or a veteran shark can help your odds of winning. Picking opponents that are skilled at daily fantasy baseball lowers your chances of winning. By seeking out opponents that are still new to daily fantasy baseball you improve your odds of outscoring your opponents who may not yet have learned the intricacies of the particular fantasy site.
By choosing your fantasy opponents wisely and matching up with the newer players on the site or ones with a limited track record you are certain to increase your odds of winning and your return on investment.
Choose The Right Daily Fantasy Baseball Site
Different daily fantasy baseball sites have variations on rake and structure.
Some sites such as Fantasy Feud are friendlier to new players, offering more free or low buy-in games which allow you to get your feet wet with daily games and to learn the ins and outs.
As for site structure, some fantasy sites are good for players that can consistently pick the stars that will excel on a given night and then again some fantasy sites are better for players that have a knack for picking scrubs or the diamonds in the rough that will help put their team over the top.
Select Your Daily Fantasy Baseball Team
Pitchers – For most daily fantasy baseball sites, the starting pitcher accumulates the most amount of points. Starting pitchers are allotted points for innings pitched, strikeouts and wins. Deductions are made for hits, runs and walks.
When looking at your salary cap, make a list of which pitchers are the favorites to win that night. Your research should then focus on the following other factors:
- Opposing Team’s Hitting – If a pitcher is facing a weak hitting team, there is a better chance that the pitcher you choose will give up less hits and/or runs. There is also an increased probability of more innings pitched, more strikeouts and eventually a win for that pitcher.
- Home or Away and Stadium – Some pitchers pitch well at home with the backing of a crowd and some pitchers fare better on the road. The specific stadium is also a major factor. Is it a hitter’s park or a pitcher friendly park? Other factors to consider are whether it is an indoor or outdoor game. If outdoors, what is the weather like that night? Is there a chance of rain that could cause a rainout, is it humid which causes a baseball to jump a bit further off the bat? Is it windy?...if so, is the wind blowing in or out?
In choosing your pitcher these are all important factors to take into consideration.
Your ideal choice for a starting pitcher for a daily fantasy baseball victory is a strikeout pitcher facing a soft hitting lineup in a pitcher friendly ballpark against an opposing pitcher with a high ERA and WHIP. Find a pitcher that matches this criteria as closely as possible and then you have set your starting pitcher.
Hitters – Don’t look at the salaries of the hitters first - look at the average fantasy points per game. The salary is often reflective of a players average fantasy points, but sometimes fantasy sites neglect to update the salary cap or raises the price of a particular player because of his historical stats from past years.
Having already looked at starting pitchers for the day, you want to choose hitters facing poor pitchers and not the other team’s ace.
- Look For Hitter Friendly Ballparks – If the hitter is facing a high ERA pitcher in a hitter friendly park, the odds for huge fantasy points exists.
- Is The Hitter On A Hot Streak Or In A Slump – Always ride a streak, and if a hitter is hitting well facing a bad pitcher in a hitter friendly park, all signs point to huge fantasy points. Alternatively, a hitter mired in a slump may still be days away from a breakout. Stay away from a slumping player but take note of them for later when the slump ends.
- Make Sure Your Hitter Will Be In The Lineup That Night – There is nothing worse than doing all of your research and finding out the coach gave your chosen player a night off. Check other fantasy news sites and MLB team pages to research if the player is scheduled for a night off.
- Is The Hitter Facing A Righty Or A Lefty – Even a bad pitcher can give fits to a hitter who can’t hit an opposing pitcher because of which arm he throws with. Check the stats the hitter has against righties and lefties and use that in your calculations.
Other Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategies
- Don’t Play Weekend Games – On weekends, games start at 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 10pm (all EST). Usually your complete lineup must be set before the start of the first game of the day (1pm on weekends). The downside is that updates to the major league starting lineups for late games don’t come out until a few hours before the starting time and if one or two players that your picked are given an off day, you will lose valuable fantasy points with them not playing...thus eliminating some of your top daily fantasy baseball strategies.
- Pick Weekday Games On Days Where There Are No Afternoon Games - This way you can focus on all the games starting relatively at the same time and know definitively if your players will be starting or if any games were cancelled due to weather. Also, avoid players from games where threatening weather is likely.
- Pitcher, Pitcher, Pitcher – Picking the best fantasy pitcher of the night usually leads to a win for you. The hitters will help, but unless you pick all the best hitters that day, you need your pitcher to come through in order to win.
- Look For Hidden Gems – Sometimes a minor league call up or a player who has returned from the Disabled List has a lower salary number and it may take a few days for that particular site to update the numbers. Because you will need to throw in a couple low salary players, these picks can make or break your team. Find one or two!
- Play At Multiple Fantasy Sites – If you sign up to a few daily fantasy baseball sites, you can analyze which site has better value that night. If you have a lineup in mind, on one site there may not be enough cap space to draft the team that you want, but on another site you may get all the players you want to fit under the cap. Keeping a funded account at a few big fantasy sites allows you to get the best value for your dollar. To further that point, if you have a strong lineup for that day and have kept your eye on the other players that play on the site, you might be able to set up a head to head match up against a player whose tendencies towards picking fantasy players would benefit your lineup instead.
- Use Gambling Odds To Help Choose Your Pitchers – Along with all of the points mentioned above, taking a look at the daily baseball odds will help focus on who the sportsbooks favor to have a better night. If a team is an overwhelming favorite to win that night, look at the game and see which players would benefit your draft team.
- Play Free Fantasy Baseball Games For Money - Many sites out there offer free fantasy baseball games for real money. This is a great way to build a bankroll as you can simply copy and paste lineups you used in your cash games and make extra money if you do well by playing free money games.
Using all these daily fantasy baseball strategies combined will give you a jump on the competition and get you into the win column playing daily fantasy baseball for real money.
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