Fantasy baseball is right around the corner and a lot of people will be playing daily fantasy baseball for the first time. Perhaps you just started playing DFS this last football season and dabbled in basketball but are looking forward to baseball. You are not alone because baseball is actually the 2nd biggest fantasy sport next to football.
I’m going to break down the very basics of what it takes to be successful at daily fantasy baseball and how it’s different from football and basketball. This way you won’t be the “hunted” the first couple of weeks this baseball season.
What Makes Baseball Different?
In daily fantasy sports we often refer to a player’s floor and ceiling when we are deciding who we want in our lineup. One of the biggest factors in determining a batters floor is what counts against them.
It’s important to know how the site where you are playing scores.
How are “outs” calculated against you?
Some sites treat them all equal and subtract 0.25 per out regardless of how they happen. Other sites only take away points if your batter strikes out or hits into a double play. Then you have some sites that don’t do anything if your players gets out. This is huge when trying to figure a players floor “outs” because some players strikeout a lot and if that is counting against them, their floor drops dramatically.
Baseball is a little different also because a player’s emotions towards another team can’t affect their fantasy production like they can in basketball or football. A player in basketball can have a feud against a former team and take more shots to prove a point against them (aka revenge factor).
Some people don’t believe in the revenge factor in football but somehow Steve Smith managed to have the game of his life against the Carolina Panthers this last year. Make of it as you will but that isn’t the case in baseball. A player can’t determine that they are upset at another team and purposely hit more homeruns against them.
Another unique aspect to daily fantasy baseball is due to the fact that it is the only fantasy sport where you can have a player get you zero points and you still have a good chance of cashing in your cash games. I’ve seen players get scratched and not play, yet they still performed better than other players who went 0-4 on a site where you lost a quarter of a point per out.
The term stacking really was really developed from baseball. If you aren’t aware of what stacking is check out our Daily fantasy Sports terms. It refers to taking multiple players from the same team. Stacking is very popular in baseball because you get all the points if your players are working together.
For example, your player hits a double so you score 2 points. If you have the next batter up on your fantasy team as well and he hits a single which scores the runner at second, you get 1 point for the run (from your previous batter), 1 point for the single as well as 1 point for the RBI. If you stack a team and they go through the batting order in an inning, you are in great shape!
Pitchers are Everything!
If there is one thing you get out of this article I hope it’s this, TAKE WHO YOU THINK IS THE BEST PITCHER ON THE BOARD!
Again, you need to know how the site you are playing on rosters teams. It’s a big difference if you can roster two pitchers compared to just one. Some sites allow you to roster three with the option of a relief pitcher so really study the site before you play.
The pitcher position is the only position where fantasy points are guaranteed, and in cash games it’s not very smart to fade the top options of the night especially on single pitcher sites. A pitcher, more than a batter, is where you want to use tools like figuring out their floor and ceiling.
I’ve seen high priced batters in a great spot go 1-5 with a single. Your pitcher picking up a win is usually worth one batter hitting two doubles. Not to mention one strike out is equivalent to a single on some sites. Don’t downgrade a top pitcher (in cash games) for one of these batters.
I highly suggest if there is a top tier batter that you think you must have then you downgrade other hitters in order to get him in your lineup. You can survive your cash games if a batter gets you 0 points, but you don’t have a chance if your pitcher gives you zero or negative points.
Gathering information on teams is fairly simple as you just have to wait for lineups to be released. You don’t need to worry about too much breaking news like you do in other sports.
There really aren’t that many game-time calls, but rather you deal with players getting a day off. Nevertheless, players’ taking a day off is common but you usually have time to adjust accordingly.
Weather is More of a Factor
One thing that makes fantasy baseball different than every other sport is weather reports!
You may want to put a weather website on your favorite list because you will need to make sure games don’t get postponed.
You Can Really Play Daily
The other great thing about baseball is if you have a bad day, there is always tomorrow. You don’t need to dread a loss for an entire week like you do in NFL.
Baseball split-days mean you can play twice in one day! You can actually play four different games sets in one day if you include the afternoon only, late night only, and all day games!
There are plenty of opportunities to play so get onboard early!