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Strategy Articles

 By the Numbers Special Edition: Finding Undervalued Pitchers
Posted by Benny Ricciardi on Monday, April 24, 2017 - 09:53

I always think it is a good idea to be the first one to hop on a trend. Sometimes you can ride them out and bank a lot of money before other people catch on. One such example was using the big right-handed strikeout pitchers of the Indians this weekend. Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco both threw up gems and were much lower owned than they should have been. The question is why?

The reason why they were such a good play is because of how bad their opponent has been early this season. The White Sox are the best matchup in the league for a right-handed strikeout pitcher. They have the combination of stats I like to look for when searching for teams to target against. I want a team that is in the top half of the league for strikeouts. I also want them to be at least 10% below the median for wOBA and wRC+ against the handedness of pitcher they face. What we are trying to do here is find the teams who are bad at hitting the baseball, so we can limit the damage they can potentially do. We also get the most upside due to the high strikeout rate. It seems so simple, but you would be surprised how often it leads to positive upside performances from under owned pitchers.


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 MLB Sabermetric Primer
Posted by Ray Flowers on Friday, April 14, 2017 - 09:11

You likely know most if not all of the below measures. They may not speak directly to the fantasy game, but they will allow you to understand player performances in a more complete way. Nothing fancy here, just quick hitting breakdowns of some of the main measures,

 

SABERMETRICS DEFINED

Sabermetrics is the analysis of baseball through objective evidence focusing specifically on statistical information. The term itself is derived from the acronym SABR (Society for American Baseball Research), which comes from the group of baseball historians who were the originators of most of these “fancy math” equations (the term was coined by the most famous sabermetrician, of them all, Bill James).

 

HITTING 

BASE OUT PERCENTAGE (created by Barry F. Codell)  


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 Cash Lineups and Bankroll Management
Posted by Vlad Sedler on Friday, April 7, 2017 - 09:17

The wacky world of DFS baseball can be overwhelming, tilting and extremely volatile – especially if you’re playing for the first time or have only just dabbled. Between all of our tools, articles, the daily livestream video, cheat sheet, and of course the optimizer, Guru Elite has all of the resources you need to become a better MLB DFS player.

Figuring out the right combination of players to roster can feel daunting, but being able to navigate around the site and establishing your own process is absolutely crucial to success and formulating some semblance of consistency. Having a process with lineup building will organize your thoughts, help you focus and set you on the right track towards cashing on a more consistent basis.

This article will review my research process for cash games, but first, it’s important to overview bankroll management and types of games. For those of you who have been at this for a while, consider it a “back-to-basics” refresher.


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 Understanding Game Theory in MLB DFS
Posted by Benny Ricciardi on Sunday, April 2, 2017 - 13:00

This is an article I wrote two years ago while I was working at Rotocurve. It is about game theory in MLB DFS. I made some adjustments to it and also wrote a follow-up piece about how different levels of players can use game theory to their advantage. That article really does not make much sense unless you read the original piece, so here is that piece...

The words “game theory” are mentioned so frequently in Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) that the average new player must think everyone in the industry has a PhD in economics. You do not need a higher level degree in order to understand it. You do not even need to understand it in order to apply it. It does help to know what Game Theory is if you want to apply it correctly though. That is what I am going to do teach you here.

Game Theory is a rather complex idea. It studies the science behind how people make strategic decisions. In plain English, Game Theory dictates what actions each player should take to produce the best possible results for themselves. In DFS terms, this means Game Theory is what we should be using to decide who to roster (actions we take) in order to win the most money (best possible result). If that sounds like something you would be interesting in learning, feel free to read on.


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 Vlad's Values: Week 1 Preview
Posted by Vlad Sedler on Sunday, April 2, 2017 - 02:22

I’ve been buried in baseball prep since December. I’ll be managing eight teams this season including NFBC’s Main Event (live Vegas draft; 1.6k entry 125k prize), partnering with Main Event winner Rob Silver in Jonah Keri’s League of Leagues, and I am honored to be invited to participate in one of fantasy baseball’s oldest and most prominent experts’ leagues, Tout Wars (the auction format). Needless to say, I’ll be knee-deep in season-long management, but over the last couple of years I’ve noticed that being so in tune with the season-long game has been very helpful for my DFS prep. Luckily, we’ve got some of the most successful players in the industry as owners and on staff. Not to mention the souped-up optimizer, powered by FantasyCruncher and layered by the algorithmic wizardry of Rob Penn’s (@MLBModel) algorithm.

Simply put, you guys will be in good hands this season. MLB DFS is a slow burn. You won’t win every day, but if you keep up with MLB lineups, pitching matchups, splits, Vegas lines/totals, employ bankroll management and stick to correct game selection and your process, you may be surprised at your end-of-season ROI (not to mention some GPP sweats, or perhaps, big hits). If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out Ryan Hodge’s (@RyanHodge) Daily Fantasy Baseball 101 article which cuts out all the B.S. and tells you what is important to pay attention to in MLB DFS.

As I get ready for my big drafts over the next 10 days, I wanted to get some thoughts out before the season starts as well as bring your attention to some cheap Week 1 value guys you can take advantage of.


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 Baseball Betting 101: Understanding MLB Betting Odds
Posted by Rob Penn on Friday, March 24, 2017 - 11:52

I think one of the single biggest misunderstandings that the DFS community and the general public has is where betting odds come from and how they are shaped. To be clear: THEY DO NOT COME FROM VEGAS! To understand betting odds it is important to understand the life cycle of a line.

 

Life Cycle of an MLB Money Line

  1. BetOnline (BOL) is almost always the 1st to open MLB numbers. They generally do this by 3PM the day before. Don’t be fooled though. These lines are as soft as they come and only low limit action is allowed on them. They do this mostly for PR reasons and the openers at BOL have 0 reliability for understanding a team's implied odds. As soon as 1 of the 2 big boys open up numbers (Pinny or CRIS), BOL moves numbers to match. If your market is small enough you can find nice value on these lines since the limits are too small for the sharps to hit they generally remain soft until the real numbers open. You should never use BOL numbers for anything DFS related.

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 Baseball Betting 101: Types of Bets
Posted by Rob Penn on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 15:22

Money Line

Unlike NBA and NFL where bettors typically wager against-the-spread (ATS), MLB bettors primarily rely on moneyline (ML) wagers. The moneyline in MLB is usually a dime line, which in general, is the lowest vigorish of all the major sports. What a dime line means is if a team is -140, the dog would typically be +130 (a difference of 10 cents, hence “dime”). Granted, at many of your recreational books (square books), you may still see them hanging 15-20 cent lines, since players at those books don’t know any better.


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 Daily Fantasy Baseball 101
Posted by Ryan Hodge on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 12:26

I don’t care if you play DFS because you are chasing the millions that DraftKings will pay out, or because your coworker emailed you an invite to a league. All that matters to me is equipping you with the tools to succeed. Because let’s be honest, if you lose to your know-it-all cubicle mate, or blow your mortgage chasing a live final, It doesn’t really matter why you set that first line up. Opening day is around the corner and it is time to get busy. I am going to keep this short, sweet, and to the point.

Its a grind. Use wOBA, ISO, and large sample sizes for your batters. Handedness and line up position/order is key. Don’t play more than 15% of bank roll. Pay for pitching. Stack every team in Coors, every time. BvP is f*cking 98.7% useless (sorry Tommy). FanGraphs is your friend. Vegas is your best friend.


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