As is the goal in real life, the goal in daily fantasy with pitchers is to avoid giving up hits, walks and runs while pitching deep into the game and striking out a lot of batters. But which of those objectives helps a pitcher earn the most fantasy points per game in Draftstreet’s daily salary cap format?
I tested how well certain statistics correlated with fantasy points per game. I tested hits per nine, walk rate, strikeout rate, and innings pitched per game started. The strongest correlation was with IP/GS. That was followed by hits per nine, strikeout rate and then walk rate. This makes fairly obvious sense. The longer you pitch, the more chances you have to rack up strikeouts and get a win. Not to mention the fact that you get 0.3 points with each out you record.
After you identify the starters who have the ability to go deep into games, take a look at the teams that tend to work pitchers the most. Teams that see a high number of pitches per plate appearance are more likely to work starters out of the game sooner. So far this season, the best teams in that department are Boston, Oakland and Cleveland. The Twins and Mets are a surprising fourth and fifth on that list. On the other end of the spectrum, the Giants, Cardinals, Marlins, and Angels have been the worst.
The Daily Five
Justin Masterson – $15,632
It’s never a big risk recommending the most expensive pitcher of the day, but I think some people may shy away from the most expensive options and try to find some bargain pitchers. In this case, you shouldn’t do that. Among the starting pitchers in today’s pool, Masterson has the highest number of innings pitcher per game started. And he’s facing a not particularly patient Yankee team (21st in pitches seen per PA) who is below average against righties (93 wRC+ vs. RHP).
Trevor Cahill and Bronson Arroyo are second and third among today’s pitchers in terms of IP/GS. And both are facing teams toward the bottom end of the patience scale. But Cahill is facing the Cardinals who are 3rd best against RHP (112 wRC+), and Arroyo is facing the Rockies who are also above average against RHP (104 wRC+).
Kyle Kendrick – $11,219
Kendrick comes in 4th in IP/GS today. He’ll be facing the Marlins, who are, again, third worst in pitches seen per PA. And as you’re surely aware, their lineup is as bad as it gets. They’re currently dead last in wRC+ against RHP.
A.J. Burnett – $15,530
Burnett is next in line today with the 5th best IP/GS number. He’s facing an Atlanta team that is league average in terms of pitches seen per PA. But they’re also 2nd worst in terms of swinging strike percentage. Burnett is top 20 in swinging strike rate among qualified starters. There is a ton of strikeout potential here.
Mark Reynolds – $6,456
Reynolds has certainly cooled down over the last month or so, but it’s strange that he’s not even one of the ten most expensive 1B options on a day where we only have nine games given his 13 home runs this year. Moreover, he’s facing a lefty, and he has a 156 wRC+ vs. LHP this year. This seems like much too good of a price.
Dayan Viciedo – $6,111
Viciedo’s career slash line against LHP is .356/.392/.601. His career slash line against RHP is .224/.273/.365. Today he is facing a lefty, Joe Saunders.
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