“Don’t listen to the person that has the answers, listen to the person that has the questions.” -Albert Einstein
If we picture intrinsic variance of DFS sports on a sliding scale, with NFL DFS smack dab in the middle, NBA would have taken us to the end of the spectrum to the left, or the least variance. We are now faced with the challenge of preparing our minds to tackle the hardest transition in DFS, going from NBA to MLB, as MLB sits on the far right of the spectrum as the DFS sport with the highest level of intrinsic variance. We’re going to see people struggle to adjust, which is exactly why I’m here (and why you’re here, for that matter!). The first month of the MLB season is my absolute favorite time of year for DFS (yes, even more than the first month of the NFL season!) because the Game Theory and DFS theory mistakes made by the field give us some of the highest EV of any time of year. NBA is also still going on, meaning people are spreading themselves across multiple sports. Not only are they spreading themselves across multiple sports, but the sports available to us are about as different as they come from a process standpoint.
Similar to the NFL and NBA, all of the sabermetrics and analytics I use in my process are available completely free to the public. If I can do it, so too can you. Models and projections save a little time and effort, but unless you build your own, you’ll be paying someone else to. The sites I use in my process are:
Baseball-Reference is the best place to go for pitcher stats and splits. Navigate to the site and enter a player’s name. Scroll down to “Player Value – Pitching” and “Advanced Pitching,” which will become your new best friend. Baseball-Reference also has data on players’ steal success rate and catcher caught stealing percentages, which is one of the more nuanced areas of projections.
Fangraphs will give you everything you need for hitting. Navigate to the site and enter a player’s name. Select the header tab “Splits” and select “Advanced,” which will become your second new best friend.
A lot of RotoGrinders is behind a paywall, but we’re not concerned with those areas (again, that’s why I’m here!). PlateIQ and starting lineups provide one-stop-shopping for easy-to-visualize lineup information (with player salaries) as well as top-level hitter/pitcher splits and sabermetrics. I wanted to get this out into the ether now as opposed to waiting, but BvP, or batter vs pitcher, stats mean next to nothing. Every provider has some form of this stat which can be traced back five to seven years when it was the new hotness but take my word on the fact that it means absolute zilch to our process.
My goal in this course is to get you thinking like an MLB DFS pro. I want to ask questions along the way to train your mind to be asking the right questions when you’re building rosters on your own. I’m not here to give you all the answers, because, well frankly, I don’t have them all. Anyone that says they do is either too full of themselves to strive for continued growth or is blowing smoke (or both?). We’ll start by taking a look at the basics before exploring positional scarcity, bullpens, what is important to us in MLB DFS from a sabermetrics, analytics and statistical mindset, discuss variance and how to harness/leverage it, explore stacking in-depth, discuss how to target one-offs and mini stacks, dive head first into our favorite topic: Game Theory and leverage, and wrap it up by explaining my daily process and time management. The majority of the course will focus on the principles of Game Theory (crowd psychology, population epistemology, doctrine of decision-making, von Neumann Theory of Games, etc.) and how to utilize those theories when building lineups.