Friday night was fun. Sometimes you can analyze, analyze, analyze (i.e. these Sunday slates) and sometimes you can trust fundamental processes and take your hacks (i.e. my Friday night approach), and you may reach different outcomes. No matter the outcome, with all the variance in baseball, I can promise the outcomes won’t be logical.
I finished tied for 3rd in Friday night’s $6 Swing for the Fences tournament on DraftKings, good enough to cash a $6 entry (3 total, $18) into $7,500 and only a few points away from the top $100,000 prize. It was my best finish of the season. A Padres-Nationals 5-2 game stack paid off, with Lance McCullers and Dylan Cease (facing off) as my two SPs, and a random Cavan Biggio throw-in there. As a 3-5 entry player, I tend to get in for more or less money depending on the time I have to prepare for the slate. For this specific slate, I chose to simplify with the game stacks where it made sense and I had exposure to Padres-Nats, Braves-Rays, and Royals-Orioles. Below are the screenshots I shared in the Discord channel.
One of my core tenets in MLB DFS is to game stack more than the next guy. I don’t always do it but the correlation sometimes plays out this way and if one team is pouring on runs, you see the other team cashing in as well. My approach Friday night was simple: 3 game stacks, high-end pitching (with high K%), and a few one-off randomizers (I call them Alen Hansons, for the loyal readers out there).
There is absolutely no way to predict a team will score 24 runs in a game. But what we can do (and what I hope will continue to lead to more success) is take a slightly different approach than our peers. By game stacking, and also in this lineup having two pitchers who are facing one another (many still shy away from this for some reason), we can create quick lineups which can have massive upside and some slanted points of view.
I’m not saying I know the formula on how to repeat this, but I do know I’ll continue to game stack, continue to throw in my Alen Hansons, and pay for pitchers who can strike people out (another one that seems to lose its luster). And I’ll be sending a care package to Josh Harrison, who could have become a legend with a 9th-inning home run.
As of this writing (late Saturday), the Sunday main slate sets up with some straightforward Aces (Scherzer, Wheeler, Burnes, Rodon) to complement a lot of below-average arms (Harvey, Allard, Rich Hill, Hernandez, LeBlanc, Happ). At first, glance, deviating off this list a bit to the middle tier of pitchers to stack bats against seems like a low-owned strategy. We also have some repeat matchups from just a few games ago (Happ vs. Tigers, Peralta vs. Twins, Walker vs. Pirates, Wheeler vs. Marlins). Walker in particular was very chalky and did not perform well, he might be a nice arm to target Sunday.
Let’s look to see if we can find some regression signs (stats from June 22-July 17):
Rich Hill vs. Braves, and JA Happ vs. the Tigers seem like the two pitchers to target. Ryu’s form has been horrendous over this stretch as well, and finally, Carlos Hernandez against the Orioles with his +50% fly ball rate and 0 home runs allowed should give up a long ball or two on Sunday.
Good luck today! See you all at the top of the leaderboards!