Fantasy Baseball owners love to align themselves with winning MLB teams, by acquiring their top players. It only makes sense, really, when you think about it. And it’s not just because Fantasy Baseball players are fair-weather fans, rooting for the best teams only.
The reasoning behind this is sound – good baseball teams give good hitters more at-bats to do more good things.
And good baseball teams give good hitters more chances at wins and saves because their offense or bullpen supports their pitchers.
Vegas Helps Daily Fantasy Baseball Owners
We rely on Vegas to help Fantasy Baseball players in a variety of ways, including helping us set our Daily Fantasy Baseball lineups.
Help with Your DFS Hitters
By looking at the Vegas lines, you can tell several things, like which games are expected to have the most runs scored. Check the over/under lines, which is what Vegas’ best handicappers believe would be the combined runs scored by both teams on that day with those pitchers.
Usually, you’ll see over/under lines set at about 7 or 8, or sometimes 6.5 or 7.5. (Obviously, the handicappers aren’t envisioning a team scoring a half-run, but the money bet on both sides tells them that the number should be somewhere between 7 and 8. That pinpoints final runs scored for both teams at about three or four runs.
On Monday, April 20, for instance, we saw an inordinate amount of high-scoring games on the docket, as four games have over/under lines of over 8.0.
- San Diego at Colorado (O/U 9.5)
- Baltimore at Boston (O/U 8.5)
- Y. Yankees at Detroit (O/U 9.0)
- Cleveland at Chicago White Sox (O/U 9.0)
This means DFS owners should’ve looked to load up on hitters from both of these teams, especially the Padres-Rockies game at Coors Field. Making “stacks” of players from these lineups is a good way to compound a good rally, where three players getting hits will get you extra points on each run and RBI.
If you come across over/under lines of under 7, like 6 or 6.5, then you’re looking at a quality pitcher’s duel, and you should avoid most of the hitters in those lineups.
Like on Wednesday, April 22, when the LAD/SF over/under line was 6. Vegas expected a low-scoring game between stud pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner. (The score ended up being 3-2, in favor of the Giants.)
Help with Your DFS Pitchers
We know that some Daily Fantasy sites score more for certain events than others, like an inning pitched, an earned run or a win.
By knowing the scoring system well on the site you use, you can also use Vegas to help you make better lineup decisions.
For instance, FanDuel awards four points for a win, as does DraftKings. But FanDuel only deducts one point for an earned run, whereas DraftKings takes away TWO points per ER. That means it’s much more important to get a pitcher with a better chance of allowing fewer runs on DraftKings, but getting a pitcher that ends up on the winning side is a much bigger deal on FanDuel.
By looking at the money lines set by the Vegas handicappers, we can see which MLB team is expected to win the game on any given day.
The money line means what you would win if you were to wager $100, with the 10-percent rake already removed. So if you see a money line off +135, that means if you bet $100 on that team, and they did win, you would win $135. But if you saw a money line of -145, then you’d have to bet $145 in order to win $100, since they are the favorite.
You’ll usually see money lines for closely matched teams at about -115 and +105.
So in other words, Vegas helps you learn which pitcher’s team should get the win. Obviously, that doesn’t include facts like the ability to strike batters out, bullpens or home ballparks. But it does include the opposing pitcher and probable lineups.
Make sure you use Vegas to help you win at Daily Fantasy Baseball, so you can win some money — to take a trip out to Las Vegas!
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.