MLB DFS: What You Need to Get Started

Danna Hanashiro

Regular season of baseball is almost here, and lets get you started on a few things to be prepared for with your MLB DFS lineups.

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For those of you who haven’t played MLB DFS, it’s a grind, much like NBA DFS. It’s a long season, and it gives you a chance to find out what works best for you. When it comes to lineup construction, and choosing which contests to enter, you’ll have ample opportunities to figure things out.

Vegas

When getting started, I like to look at the Vegas numbers the night before games. This allows me to follow where the moneylines, over/unders, and game totals start, and which way they swing throughout the day. Starting here points me into a direction when constructing my lineup. The moneylines and over/unders can direct you toward which pitchers to target, and who to stay away from. The team and game totals indicates where to look for your batters. One thing of note; just because a team is a favorite, doesn’t mean that their pitcher will get the win. I strongly consider a pitcher for a win if the moneyline is at -170 or higher (that’s a personal threshold of mine). There are times when I do target a pitcher who is on the opposite end of a favorable moneyline, and that’s where your research comes in handy.

Park factors and weather

Park factors and the weather are two elements to keep in mind. If you’re not familiar with park factors, keep an eye and ear out for their mentions and you’ll pick up on it quickly. AT&T Park, Oakland Coliseum, and Tropicana Field are some of the pitcher’s parks in the league. Coors Field, Chase Field, and Rogers Centre are some of the hitter’s parks. As you can deduce, when possible, you’ll want to roster pitchers pitching in pitcher’s parks, and hitters hitting in hitter’s parks. You’ll also want to become familiar with which stadiums are open air, domes, or have retractable roofs. If there are weather concerns within range of a stadium during game time, you may want to avoid players in those games. On the other hand, you could take a chance on those players and they would be GPP plays for you because of their upside while everyone else is fading them.

FanDuel changes

FanDuel has made some changes for the upcoming MLB season that include the option of entering into contests with late swap, and the addition of quality starts as a scoring category.

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This is the first time that FanDuel will be offering Late Swap for any of their contests. What’s interesting is that there is an option for non-late swap contests as well. Late swap contests allow for you to roster players from the later games without knowing what the starting lineups will be, with the advantage of being able to swap out players who aren’t starting for those who are. You can build lineups with players from games with risky weather threats and swap them out if there are delays or postponements.

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Quality Start is a new pitching category that has been added for four points. Keep in mind that a pitcher needs to pitch at least six innings and give up no more than three earned runs to qualify for a quality start. To obtain the points for the win and quality start, you’ll want a pitcher who is able to meet the quality start criteria, while choosing a game where a pitcher’s offense can score enough runs for him to get the win. One strategy would be to target a pitcher with a lower salary who is able to at least get the quality start or win, and the salary savings can go towards offensive positions. The best way to find out which approach works best is to put your lineups to the test and also analyze the highest scores in your contests to see how their lineup was constructed.

These are some tips to help you get started, and can surely help throughout the season. Stay tuned for FakePigskin’s MLB DFS articles. Feel free to comment and follow me on Twitter!

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