When building a lineup for baseball it’s been said a million times before and I’m going to make it a million and one.
Start by Taking the Best Pitcher Possible!!!
Now it does make a difference depending on what site you play on because some sites allow multiple pitchers, but I’m a firm believer in making sure you have (in your mind) the best pitching option on the board.
This is especially true if you play on a single pitcher site.
I personally like to use the time before lineups are announced to make sure I know who I going to have in the pitcher spot.
Be Different or Take the Popular Pick – Can You Do Both?
Now some will argue that if you are playing a GPP that you want to be different and I agree somewhat.
Truth be told, I’ve found that most people go into GPPs with that mind set, but you become different by playing the popular pick.
I’ve seen pitchers be 60% owned in 50/50 and only 15% owned in a GPP.
Kind of like the expression “you need to zig when everyone zags”.
Good Pitchers are Expensive for a Reason
There usually is a reason a pitcher is so high priced, and I don’t understand why you would get cute and ignore that.
For example, Felix Hernandez is 11,000 on FanDuel when I’m writing this article. He’s playing the Astros and the line is set at -260 with an over under of 6.5.
If you think about it, by spending nearly 1/3 of your salary cap on a pitcher you are probably going to be different than most people with your batters because you can’t afford the popular picks.
There usually is a reason a pitcher is so high priced, and I don’t understand why you would get cute and ignore that.Chris
Understand the Vegas Odds
Understanding Vegas odds and a pitchers K per 9 rate are two of the most important things on sites like FanDuel. On other sites, WHIP plays more of a factor because you are docked for hits and walks.
Regardless, every site gives points for a win and takes away points for an earned run.
Finding the game that has a low over under with a highly favored pitcher is crucial to your success in baseball.
Take this into account especially when there are two to three aces on the board.
Here’s an Example of Using the Odds
For example, today while writing this article, Yu Darvish is favored to win by -125 and King Felix is favored to win -260.
Both have about the same K/9 rate and both are very similarly priced (fanduel).
Obviously you want to take King Felix because the four points for a win goes a long way.
You Can Count on Pitchers to Produce More Consistently than Hitters
The main reason I always take the best pitching option is because you can always count on them to produce points.
While there are times that pitchers will be a complete bust, you have to play the odds.
I for one like the odds of a top pitcher performing great as opposed to a top hitter.
I can’t even stress how many times I’ve seen batters in perfect situations completely flame out.
Don’t Down Grade Your Pitcher to Get a Certain Hitter
I wouldn’t down grade a pitcher to fit in a top RH batter facing a LH pitcher with the wind blowing out.
If there is a “must own” batter see if you can compromise some of your other batters first before downgrading your pitcher.
Multi-Pitcher Sites are a Little Different Strategy
Now on multi-pitcher sites you can play a little different.
The win isn’t as crucial on sites that have multi pitchers, but the same rule applies.
Find pitchers with low O/U and preferably a close line.
This is especially true if you are going to use that third spot on a closer.
Selecting a Closer
I tend to avoid games with a high O/U and large line.
You want to find a closer that is on a team that is favored to win in the -125 range with an O/U of 7.
The last thing you want to do is take a closer and his team is up by six going into the 9th.
Vegas odds aren’t always correct but they are a great way to get an idea of the outcome of a game.
It’s one thing to know who the aces are, but knowing what kind of situation they are in is more important.
Remember, if a pitcher is 65% owned in a 50/50 and dominates like you expect him to, you have the advantage on 35% of the field. This makes the goal of a top 50% finish a lot easier.
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