Back to the Basics- Pitching 101

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PITCHING 101

With Korean Baseball (KBO) underway this is a good time to talk some DFS baseball strategy.  It may not by MLB but at the end of the day it is still DFS baseball.  So let’s get back to the basics and talk some Pitching 101.

Pitching is the most important position in DFS baseball. It does not matter who you have on your offense– if the pitcher sinks so do you. Selecting the right pitcher is the most crucial part of dfs baseball. Pitchers have the potential to score more fantasy points than any other position.  On the other hand, pitchers have the potential to lose more points than any position. This is more critical on FanDuel (a one pitcher site). The key is finding the highest scoring pitcher with the best value.

VEGAS

When selecting your pitcher, the first thing that I do is look at the Vegas odds for each game.  When playing cash games (H2H/Single Entry/Double Up/50/50) I look for high Odds to win (at least -140). On Fanduel you get 6 points for a win and on Draftkings you get 4.

Vegas odds will also help you in gpp’s. The less skilled players are still looking for the favorites to use in their lineups, but on the contrary you want to do the opposite.  Let the favorites go to high ownership and scoop up the non-heavy favorites as your lesser owned pitcher in your GPP. When your GPP pitcher throws a decent game, you will see the jump in the standings over all the high owned guys. Besides being a heavy favorite, you also want your Cash pitcher to be facing a team that has less than four implied runs.

WEATHER

A good way to get an edge is to check the wind and weather. This will be important during late June to mid-July when monsoon season takes over in South Korea.

Rain and the threat of delay/postponement.  They do the best that they can to get games in but that may be to the detriment of the starting pitcher.  A good pitcher will usually not come back out after a rain delay- especially early in the season.  If the game does get called off before regulation you will also lose all the points that your team accumulated.  So, if there is a chance of a delay only use that pitcher in a gpp.

STATISTICS

There are a million pitching stats out there.  Some are better than others in helping us try to predict how well our pitcher will throw.  I am still a “throwback” fan.  I grew up memorizing ERA’s and Slugging Percentages etc. But you cannot ignore Sabermetrics and the new baseball stat world.

K’s  Besides the win strikeouts are the most important stat.  They rack up points for your team quickly (FD-3 pts and DK- 2 points). Always look at their logs to see how they have been pitching recently.  I like to look for pitchers that at least strike out 20% of their batters.  I also go the other way and try to identify the teams that strikeout the most.

ERA  Pay attention to earned runs.  Fan Duel only takes away for earned runs (3pts/run).  Draftkings takes away 2pts/run but also will take away .6 points each for hit batters, walks, and hits against.  So, if you are playing on DK you need to look at a pitcher’s control. A good stat for this would be WHIP Walks and hits per inning pitched (walks + hits)/total innings pitched.

This is an example of making a mistake thinking that a pitcher is the same value on both sites.  A lot of times they aren’t.

GROUND BALL RATE   This measures the percentage of ground balls that a pitcher produces.  Pitchers with high ground ball rates tend to give up more hits but they allow fewer extra base hits.

FIP   (Fielding Independent Pitching) is the modern-day ERA but much more accurate.  FIP measures only what a pitcher can control. The ERA depends on factors beyond a pitcher’s control. A pitcher cannot control a bad defense behind him.  FIP takes luck and defense out of the equation and only measures how a pitcher is throwing with factors he can control.

WOBA (Weighted On Base Average) Measures a players overall offensive contribution per plate appearance. Check the WOBA of your opponent’s bats against right or left-handed pitching

SPLITS

There are pitchers that have huge differences between their numbers at home compared to away. Some pitchers get rocked in certain stadiums.

There are all kinds of splits. Another popular one is a righty pitcher facing a heavy left-handed lineup.  You probably don’t want to roll that pitcher out.    

BALLPARK FACTORS

Home/Away. Pitchers historically pitch better at home.  Of course, there are the certain ones that go the opposite way of logic.  But word of thumb is if you are choosing between two pitchers you take the home pitcher.

CHEAT SHEET

CASH PITCHERS

  • Home Team (or good reverse splits)
  • Pitcher friendly park?
  • No restrictions (can go past 6 IP and receive FD 4pt Quality Start)
  • Good Vegas odds (> -140)
  • Opponent <4 implied runs (Vegas)
  • Good weather
  • High K%
  • Low ERA

GPP PITCHERS

  • Low ownership but still decent starter
  • Elite K%
  • Can pitch deep into games
  • Low ERA

UNYHMNSL 101

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JSUOG

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