6 Desirable Traits of Daily Fantasy Baseball Pitchers

Apr 06

6 Desirable Traits of Daily Fantasy Baseball Pitchers

Pitching matters. That’s the basic gist of this entire Daily Fantasy Baseball article, if you’d like to save yourself five minutes and move on. Starting pitching matters – specifically – Daily Fantasy Baseball pitchers. This isn’t to just say that starting pitchers matter the most and you should pay the highest salaries. It’s more that – pitching matters in not only how you select your pitchers, but also how you select your hitters. As a matter of fact, I already posted an article that explains why pitchers matter more in Daily Fantasy Baseball leagues than they do traditional formats. For my Daily Fantasy Baseball reports that I’ll be posting each Wednesday and Saturday every week on SoCalledFantasyExperts.com, I’ve decided to break pitching down in several ways. This should not only help us choose the best starting pitchers for our Daily Fantasy lineups, but we’ll also be able to uncover especially bad pitching matchups that we should exploit with some hitters. In this article, we’re going to express the things that will matter to us the most when it comes to selecting our Daily Fantasy Baseball pitchers. We’re going to reference the big three Daily Fantasy Baseball sites: FanDuel.com, DraftKings.com and DraftDay.com. Traits to Target in Daily Fantasy Baseball Pitchers So here are the things I’ll be tracking in my reports, which should hopefully, result in better pitchers in your lineup. And I’ll also share the worst pitching matchups on those days, which would result in better hitters in your lineup. 1. A Pitcher-Friendly Park Obviously, a ballpark with flyball dampening air, deep fences and wide foul-ball areas helps your pitchers more than thin air that allows balls to fly deep, short fences where fly-outs become homers and small foul territories. Don’t worry as much about a home or away pitcher as much as you want a pitcher in a good stadium on that day. Here are the five parks from last season that rank the lowest in ESPN’s Park Factors page: Safeco Field Petco Park Citi Field Dodger Stadium Angel Stadium of Anaheim 2. Facing Lineups with Lower wOBA We know of wOBA (weighted on-base averages) as a better way to define individual offensive stats more than just slugging percentages,...

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CBSSports Fantasy Baseball Leagues: By the Numbers

Apr 03

CBSSports Fantasy Baseball Leagues: By the Numbers

If you play in any CBSSports Fantasy Baseball leagues, you might not know about an awesome page at your disposal. It shows you the percentages of all the other Commissioner leagues on CBSSports.com, as far as the league types, player pools, positions, rules, scoring and all that other stuff. So I thought I’d share those numbers with all of you! Since the late ‘90s, I’ve always considered CBSSports Fantasy Baseball leagues to be the best — including the time I wrote there from 2003 to 2008. Even now, I’m still friends with many of the people that still work on the site, from the writers to the newsroom to guys in marketing to customer service to programmers. I take some pride in their work! With that aside, though, I have always considered CBS to be the spot where true Fantasy Baseball players go, just like how I think MyFantasyLeague.com is the spot where real Fantasy Football players go. Many people might not realize there are a ton of interesting numbers data mined out of the CBS Commissioner product. Take these numbers and do with them what you will. For me, I find many of them very interesting as this hobby evolves from year to year. Understand that CBS doesn’t share how MANY leagues they run each year, just like ESPN, Yahoo! and other league services. So what we get to see is the percentages of leagues that do this or that. CBSSports.com Fantasy Baseball Leagues To find this page on your CBSSports.com Fantasy Baseball league, go to “League” on the top nav bar, then click on “League Details,” then click on “Glossary.” Voila! Player Pool Mixed Leagues: 77% AL-only: 9% NL-only: 10% Custom: Less than 5% I always found it weird that there were just a few more NL-only leagues than AL-only leagues, but I chalk that up to the fact that until just recently, there were 16 NL cities and 14 AL cities in Major League Baseball. That means more NL fans, obviously. I bet we’ll see the numbers shift back to even within five years, now that Houston is in the AL West. Lineup Deadlines Once Per Period: 71% Daily Lineups: 28% It’s tough to imagine these...

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63 Fantasy Baseball Team Names: Hey Baby, What’s Yo’ Name!

Mar 13

63 Fantasy Baseball Team Names: Hey Baby, What’s Yo’ Name!

Yeti Vedder helps. That’s what he does. He helped you name your Fantasy Football team, and now he’s offering up some ideas for Fantasy Baseball team names. As a matter of fact, we’d love to hear some of your submissions for great Fantasy Baseball team names! Either comment below or send a tweet to us @DavidGonos — let’s hear it! [Editor’s Note: Who doesn’t love some great new Fantasy Baseball team names!?! I actually just finished an article over at SoCalledFantasyExperts.com, where I listed 151 Horribly Awesome Fantasy Baseball Team Names You’ll Want to Use! I thought I’d also share a few of the newer ones over here – and add a few more that I came up with! So here are the new Fantasy team names I thought you’d like: Betances With Wolves Rock Joc Joc Itch Shock Joc Scherzer Skins Get a Kluber Samardzijumanji The Seven-Year Yelich Rebel Yelich Runnin’ With the Devin Mesoraco We Need a Masahiro! Wacha This a-Way Betances Are Soler Power And here are a bunch of new ones: We’ve Got Quackenbush! Well Rendon Yans are Contagious Anibal Steroids King Kang We Got a Zunino Hip, Hip, Yadier! Veal Saltalamacchia Grandal Turino Teenie Wieters HR to the Rizzo Fatt Adams Hosmer Simpson No LoMo Gyorkoffs Blackmon is White, Mon! How Many A.J. Pollocks Does It Take? God Bless Angel Pagans! If Loving the Cardinals is Wong, I Don’t Want to Be Wainwright If you didn’t like any of those new ones, maybe you’ll like some of these ones from before!] “Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks, I don’t care if I never get back.  So let’s root, root, root for the home team, if they don’t win, it’s a shame! For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out, at the old ball game!” That’s right folks! It is Yeti Vedder’s favorite time of year! Baseball is back and that means Fantasy Baseball is also back. Everyone looks forward to drafting their team. It’s an art you take seriously. While my man David Gonos can help you with all of your Fantasy Baseball team issues, I am here for a...

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The Fall After the Rise of the Tampa Bay Rays

Mar 12

The Fall After the Rise of the Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays were once known for their stellar minor-league system, when players like Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton, David Price, James Shields and Desmond Jennings were leading this team into the playoffs more than any other American League team between 2008-13. This organization was shrewd enough to supplement those homegrown prospects with great young players that they traded for, including Ben Zobrist, Wil Myers and Chris Archer. But some bad drafts and the inability to pay big salaries made this franchise come back to the pack in the American League. Andrew Friedman and Joe Maddon are now working with the Dodgers and Cubs respectively, and they have much more money to work with. Those bad drafts, though, could keep this franchise a tick or two behind where they were the past seven seasons, even if Friedman/Maddon stayed on. It All Started (and Ended) in 2008 I point to the 2008 MLB Amateur draft as the beginning of the end, strangely enough. The Rays had the No. 1 overall pick because they were the worst team in baseball in 2007, and they had just dumped the name “Devil Rays” to start the 2008 season. That year, they went all the way to the World Series to start an amazing string of reaching the playoffs in four of their next six seasons. But in that June draft, the team that had so smartly chosen players like Longoria and Price with high draft picks, they selected high school shortstop Tim Beckham. But really, it’s not as much about who they chose – as it is about who they didn’t choose. Here are the first 10 picks: Tim Beckham, SS, Tampa Bay Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pittsburgh Eric Hosmer, 1B, Kansas City Brian Matusz, LHP, Baltimore Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Kyle Skipworth, C, Florida Yonder Alonso, 1B, Cincinnati Gordon Beckham, SS, Chicago White Sox Aaron Crow, RHP, Washington Jason Castro, C, Houston Some players taken later in that first round: 11: Justin Smoak, 1B, Texas 16: Brett Lawrie, 3B, Milwaukee 18: Ike Davis, 1B, N.Y. Mets 19: Andrew Cashner, RHP, Chicago Cubs 28: Gerrit Cole, RHP, N.Y. Yankees It’s well known that the Rays were choosing between Beckham and FSU...

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Draft Wizard Review: Free Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft Tool for 2015

Mar 05

Draft Wizard Review: Free Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft Tool for 2015

Spring Training has officially begun and the Fantasy draft season is here! I thought I’d share with you a mock draft for Fantasy Baseball I did on the free Draft Wizard app powered by FantasyPros. This mock draft tool is just absolutely fantastic – and I think their draft simulator is probably the greatest tool we’ve come across in the past five years. I can’t really think of an equivalent game-changer – maybe when RotoNews.com came out with player updates back in the mid-‘90s? So in this article, I’m going to review some of the nuances of the Draft Wizard, and try to explain why you should give it a shot. There are certainly some “pay” features at the end, but only if you’re interested. You can run a mock draft for free – and you’ll also get a lot of analysis of how you did at the end for free. I’ll talk about the pay features at the bottom, and why some of these can make a big difference for you. FantasyPros Draft Wizard’s Free Mock Drafts for Fantasy Baseball First, go to the site and click the “Start a Mock Draft” button. Easily enough. As you can see in the picture on the right, you’ll now have the ability to set the number of teams in your league, which positions you’ll have to draft to fill out a legal lineup, which spot in the draft you’d like to draft from, and even how many bench spots you want. You’ll also see at the top, a button that says, “Add new league.” This allows you to pick which website hosts your league (like CBS, ESPN, Yahoo!, etc.), and then you can manually configure your draft, so that it goes the number of rounds you need it to go. You can even NAME the teams or managers that will be drafting against you, if you like – in the correct draft order! If your league is a keeper league – you can set what the keepers will be for each team, so they will be removed from the draft pool! I love this feature, since a regular mock draft rarely allows the ability to consider keepers. I decided to...

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Early Spring Training Camp Odds and Ends

Mar 03

Early Spring Training Camp Odds and Ends

As MLB Spring Training gets under way this week, Fantasy Baseball players can begin preparing in earnest for the season to come, and that means tracking some of the players and storylines that have already begun flooding from down south. A few players in particular could see their draft stock rise (or fall) dramatically in the coming weeks, and we’ve highlighted a couple names we’ll be watching closely below. Second Base, Los Angeles Angels MLB odds listed at TopBet show that the Angels are a favorite to win the World Series in 2015, and whoever ends up slotting in at second base for Los Angeles will be a relatively valuable Fantasy commodity. The Angels scored the most runs in the league last season and even a middling bat will put up numbers in that offense. The front runner heading into camp is Josh Rutledge, but that could change in a hurry if Grant Green or Johnny Giavotella outplay Rutledge by a significant margin in camp. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds Votto missed most of last season with strained muscles in his knee, as the 31-year old struggled through a slow healing process. The former NL MVP is obviously a world-class hitter, but it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to recover his swing this season after such a tough injury. If Votto starts hammering the ball early this spring, his draft position will rise by the week. First Base, Oakland Athletics Similar to the Angels’ situation at second, the outcome of the Athletics’ deliberations at first is going to be a very Fantasy-relevant story in the next few weeks. Ike Davis may have the inside track on the position coming into to camp, but there is plenty of competition, between rookie Mark Canha, Nate Freiman, and even catcher Stephen Vogt will see time there. If any of them can prove they deserve a daily start, they will be valuable in Oakland’s high-powered offense. Photo Credit: Keith...

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2015 Fantasy Baseball Second Basemen Rankings

Feb 27

2015 Fantasy Baseball Second Basemen Rankings

Before we take a deep look at the 2015 Fantasy Baseball Second Basemen Rankings, I thought it would be smart to look back at what happened to the second base position in 2014. Entering the season, Michael Beller and I had a Fantasy Debate on Sports Illustrated about which second baseman should be drafted first: Robinson Cano or Jason Kipnis? But instead, it ended up being guys like Jose Altuve, Anthony Rendon and Brian Dozier atop the second base rankings. So what happened to those guys? Where’d You Go, Cano? Let me first begin by telling you that I had Cano – and I was the winner in that debate. (We won’t mention Beller beating me in the Carlos Santana vs. Joe Mauer debate.) Once Cano left Yankee Stadium to play in the cavernous Safeco Field, it was obvious his power numbers were going to dip some. But really, many of Cano’s home runs from 2013 would have been hit of Safeco Field, also, so I did not think the drop off would have been that significant. I was wrong. (Somebody mark down the time and date that I just admitted that!) Cano went from 27 home runs in 2013 down to nearly half (14) last season, and that just crushed anyone that took a chance on him in the first or second rounds of their Fantasy drafts last spring. The smart fellas over at FanGraphs pointed out that Cano’s power outage could be blamed on his age, as their “ISO Component Aging Curve” shows, in spite of their bad spelling. Jeff Zimmerman points out that Cano’s drop in bombs was age related, and it just happened to coincide with the fact that he changed teams. Going forward, Zimmerman also believes that the drop in power will also mean a drop in IBB (20 in 2014), and that could hurt his on-base percentage overall. 2015 Fantasy Rankings: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | SP | RP   2015 Fantasy Baseball Second Basemen Rankings These rankings were built for Rotisserie leagues, but a good hitter is a good hitter, so most of it can be translated over into Head-to-Head leagues, as well. 2015 Fantasy Rankings: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | SP | RP Good luck this season – and we hope these 2015...

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