MLB DFS Picks and Pivots:
Welcome back to everyone with another FanDuel MLB DFS Picks and Pivots where we kill some quarantine downtime by diving into the MLB DFS simulations that FanDuel is offering each and every day.
Unlike some of the other simulations we have seen during this time, these FanDuel simulations for MLB have a bit more structure and FanDuel has broken it all down for us here but the basics are as follows:
1. Starting pitchers and batting orders have already been set with no pinch-hitting, so all hitters will get a full game of at-bats.
2. Each plate appearance is simulated by numberFire and accounts for things such as park factors, platoon splits of Home/Road or Righty/Lefty and individual skill and match-up.
3. A pitcher’s volume will be based on “dynamic pitch counts” which means you are likely taking on added unknown risk for arms that did not have defined starting roles in 2019.
What have we seen so far?
Monday’s slates once again sat with winning scores right at 250 which has become a common landing point for these simulations thus far.
The early slate saw three arms atop the leaderboard – one we expected with Mike Clevinger (61 FD points) and two we likely did not – as Kohl Stewart shut down the Yankees on his way to 50 fantasy points with 7 K’s and Josh Lindblom who struck out 7 Reds on his way to 41 fantasy points.
The key offense ended up being an idea we floated here yesterday in Picks and Pivots – as we had two chalky/obvious SP1’s in Clevinger and Berrios and could you get some leverage stacking against them on a short slate. Well, those who paired Clevinger with the Indians offense against Berrios were rewarded, as they put up 10 runs with HR’s from Jose Ramirez and Oscar Mercado.
The Main Slate once again saw pitching rule the leaderboard, as Ryan Yarbrough, Julio Teheran and Chris Paddack all went for 50+ fantasy points and with only one offense scoring more than 6 runs (the Cubs), most of the winning lineups had a random grouping of one-offs with guys like Paul Goldschmidt and Kyle Schwarber both knocking a pair of HR’s.
Today’s MLB DFS Slate:
We get another day of split slates and 10 FREE lineups we can build on FanDuel as a result and it all begins with a LOADED five-game early slate that is stacked with ace arms including Gerrit Cole, Max Scherzer, Lucas Giolito and Shane Bieber. These smaller slates in my mind are the best window into these simulations as we narrow down the range of outcomes and can think through strategy a bit more.
Now you could try to find leverage by stacking against these arms or pivoting down but if I am being honest – the match-ups for Cole (against Baltimore) and Scherzer (Miami) are ones that even in simulation land become hard to overlook as building block plays. The prices are high for both, but the fact they sit just $200 apart on FanDuel allows you to mix and match as needed over the five free entries that you are given and that is an approach I would not deviate from.
Locking in one of these high-priced arms means you will have to be a bit more thrifty in your lineup construction utilizing a mid-range stack along with some value in order to make it all work. The one mid-range stack that stands out to me is the Chicago White Sox who give you a power heavy top 4 in Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez all with the platoon splits on opposing LHP Yusei Kikuchi who gave up 2 HR/9 to hitters from both sides of the plate in 2019 so this is a spot where although the top 4 is the priority, I think you can get creative and even bottom stack with cheap L/L pieces like Nomar Mazara.
Speaking of bottom stacking, with a heavy investment in your arms today, one strategy to find a cheap stack is to go with a “wrap-around” stack that allows you to take 8/9 hitters and pair them with top of the order bats to give you some salary relief. With all batters guaranteed to get a full game of at-bats, this may be the perfect time to load up on bottom of the order hitters especially if they get you to Cole/Mad Max.
Staying in the same White Sox-Mariners game, you can go with an 8-9 stack of Shed Long and Dee Gordon who will cost you just $2.1K-$2.2K each and wrap them around with Mallex Smith/Mitch Haniger at the top of the lineup. Even flip back to the White Sox for a second, you can go with a 6-9 stack of Grandal, Robert, Mazara and Garcia which gives you a different look to a White Sox stack and conversely frees up salary to improve on your second stack.
Hope you all are staying safe and enjoying these free DFS contests – hopefully building some bankroll for when the real thing returns and we can win some real money! Have a great day all!