How To Play Daily Fantasy Baseball
Have you ever played rotisserie or fantasy baseball? You usually have a set amount of money to “purchase” several Major League Baseball players. Your fantasy dream team will consist of a specific number of pitchers and outfielders, first baseman, etc. And you must stay under a specified salary cap when assembling your team. Each MLB player is assigned a financial value, which goes up and down over the course of the year. Players are awarded fantasy points every time they get a hit, throw a strikeout, steal a base, and so forth. If your team outscores the other teams in your league, you win. And while this is an incredibly addictive and exciting fantasy baseball format, it is tough to stay interested through the grueling 162 game MLB season when playing in a fantasy baseball league.
That is where daily fantasy baseball comes in. You still have a salary cap with which to choose your team, but you can assemble new teams each and every day during the season. This means you have no long-term commitments if players on your team fail to perform or get injured. You do not have to worry about cutting them or finding someone else in your league to trade with, as your team plummets to the bottom of your fantasy league. Daily fantasy baseball is played in many different formats, and allows you to become a dream team fantasy manager of a team that you hand pick for one day. If your team outscores the other fantasy teams in your league, you are instantly paid cash money. Sound easy? It is easy and fun to play, but if you want to cash in big, you need to know particular daily fantasy baseball strategies.
Winning Fantasy Baseball Strategy
Playing daily fantasy baseball means you can spend as little or as much as you like, even just $1 per fantasy team. You can create multiple entries (which fantasy pros highly recommend) once you find an attractive tournament or league, and each and every day you can start over with a new team. Fantasy pros that pull down five figures every week will tell you that you should treat daily fantasy baseball like an investment. And that means looking for value all the time. Follow the proven and tested winning fantasy baseball strategy tips below which are used by professional DFS players to make a living, and you will positively impact your bottom line.
Hold Multiple DFS Accounts
There are several top-level daily fantasy sports sites where you should hold an open account. In 10 or 15 minutes, you can browse every site where you have an account to find the perfect matchup or contest. And guaranteed prize pools (GPP) frequently have fewer entries than is needed to generate the guaranteed prize money. This means the site makes up the extra guaranteed cash, creating a positive overlay for you, the player. It is free to open DFS accounts, they all offer free welcome bonus money, and you can make a last-minute deposit with your credit card when you find a league or tournament that is just begging for you to take home the cash. This means you never miss a perfect opportunity at exploiting your baseball knowledge for profit.
Go Big or Go Home in Big Fields
TommyG1979 is a professional daily fantasy baseball player that has made a very good living by using an “all or nothing approach” in big tournaments and leagues. He tends to finish in the very top or very bottom of those tournaments, because he says many players will be using the same pitchers and skill position athletes. He looks for value in players coming off of an injury or players who have been underperforming and are facing favorable matchups. He highly recommends drafting players “no one else will have” in large field leagues and tournaments.
Know Your On-Base Percentages
Daily fantasy baseball awards points for hits, total bases, RBI, stolen bases and runs, and some even give you points for walks. Simply taking a quick glance at a player’s on-base percentage when comparing him to another gives you an all-around idea of his ability to get on base. (Fantasy pro tip: You can get some extreme value when you have little money left in your salary cap by looking at on-base percentage when choosing those “bottom of the barrel” players.)
Take Time Off
This tip also comes from daily fantasy pro TommyG1979. The fact that there are tournaments, leagues and H2H matchups going on literally all day long during baseball season, means that you can get addicted quickly. He says that the beauty of daily fantasy sports is that you can take a day or a weekend off from time to time to stay fresh. If you notice you are on a losing streak, take a couple of days off and watch no baseball at all. You will come back to the DFS baseball scene mentally fresh, meaning you will perform better.
Practice Smart Money Management, Even If You Are “Hot”
You should never throw good money after bad, meaning if you are on a losing streak, don’t try to double up to get even. But you should also never throw good money after good, unless it is part of a preformed plan and fits your money management system. Professional daily fantasy baseball players continually speak about never having more than 15 or 20% of your entire bankroll invested at any time. And they recommend usually playing only 5 to 10% of your bankroll on any given day.
Aside from money management, you will find that successful DFS experts have short memories. You have to be able to make the right decision in a particular situation regardless of your previous outcomes, win or lose. Smart fantasy baseball players respond to statistics and trends the same way every time. You have to forget previous outcomes and analytically play the current situation.
Learn Where You Play the Best, Stakes-Wise
Lower stakes ($1 to $10) are where you will find the weaker players. The high and extremely high stakes ($50 and up) are where you will most frequently find professional fantasy players. Somewhere in the middle is a nice mix of each. Find out where you feel most comfortable mentally, and where your statistics show that you win most frequently. Become a specialist in that area, and as you learn to dominate that particular entry fee level and contest type, slowly begin entering more teams as your bankroll allows, to take the greatest advantage of your ability.
Understand, and Live By, Righty / Lefty Splits
With season-long fantasy baseball, batting statistics wash out because players might be involved in five, six or even seven games week. But the awesome nature of daily fantasy baseball allows you to play right-handed hitters against left-handed pitchers, and vice versa. There are literally thousands of fantasy stats sites (and most of the top ranked daily fantasy sites also provide stats) where you can check out the righty/lefty splits for any player. (Fantasy pro tip: In many cases this is the single most important consideration when forming your lineup.) In 2013, Oakland 3B Josh Donaldson hit an incredible 50 percentage points higher against lefties than righties, with a lot of power. You need to know that, and act on it accordingly.
Baseball Is Different Than Other Sports, Because of the Ballparks
Every National Football League field is 100 yards long, from one end zone to the other. Every National Basketball Association rim is exactly 10 feet from the floor, and the court measures 94 feet in length. However, the shape of Major League Baseball parks is anything but consistent. The new Yankee Stadium is one of the easiest places to hit a home run out of, thanks to the fabled jet stream at work there. Also, the straightaway left and right field fences are closer than they were before, and the walls are shorter.
The Tampa Bay Rays play in Tropicana Field, where the left field corner fence is just 315 feet from home plate. The right corner sits just 320 feet away. And if you are looking at starting a dead-pull power hitter, this is the place to plug them into your lineup. The outfield wall moves to about 370 feet in the power alleys, giving pull hitters an advantage over others. Know the dimensions and special characteristics of each and every major league ballpark to gain an advantage here.
Do Not Overestimate Batter Versus Pitcher Statistics
We just told you that you should understand the stats a particular batter has against left-handed pitchers versus right-handers. Also, we commented about the unique nature of each individual MLB stadium. Those two statistics are much more important than a batter’s head-to-head history against a particular pitcher, especially if that batter has not seen the pitcher very many times.
50/50 Games and H2H Matchups Are Your Friends
When you first get started playing daily fantasy baseball, it is important to get some wins under your belt. This makes you feel confident, and you can start working on a particular strategy in a more comfortable mental state. In a 50/50 league, you only have to finish in the top half of the field to advance. In H2H matchups, you only have to beat one person. These are great ways to slowly work on your game and start building some victories, as well as your bankroll. (Fantasy pro tip: Most fantasy pros started out this way. They recommend this to slowly build your bankroll, so you can start taking shots at the big tourneys where the huge paydays are.)
Never Pay for Catchers, and Always Pay for Strikeouts and Wins
Catchers in fantasy baseball are like kickers in football. Consider them a necessary evil. But almost every single time without exception, it is smarter to purchase a low dollar catcher in a good matchup, rather than spending a lot of money on a big name catcher. Just as you should spend little money here, go ahead and spend money every time on a top-flight pitcher going against a bad team. That’s going to get you innings pitched, wins and strikeouts, and that is your bread and butter base for success.
Daily Fantasy Baseball Trivia: Did you know FanDuel offers thousands of one day fantasy baseball leagues … every day? They also pay out up to $1 million in prize money daily, and you can get on board for as little a $1.