Daily Fantasy Strategy – 6/7/13 – For Draftstreet

The platoon advantage is a well established concept. And it’s one of the most important factors, if not the most important factor, when picking hitters in daily fantasy contests. When I pick hitters, I start at the bottom of the list at each position and scroll up until I find a hitter that is facing a pitcher of the opposite handedness who also happens to not be very good.

The problem with this strategy is that not all hitters have a normal platoon split, and others have about the same level of success against both LHP and RHP. The other issue is with switch hitters. Every day I have to look up a switch hitter’s splits from each side.

Below are two charts I’ve created to make this process easier. The first shows the players who are either better against pitchers who throw from the same side from which they hit or players who have roughly equal success against pitchers of either handedness. The second shows the splits for switch hitters.

The sample includes all hitters with 300+ PA against both LHP and RHP since 2011. I used wOBA to compare the splits.


Name L/R/S wOBA v. LHP wOBA v. RHP wOBA Gap
Mike Napoli R 0.36 0.405 0.045
Adam Jones R 0.32 0.362 0.042
John Buck R 0.266 0.307 0.041
Marco Scutaro R 0.32 0.345 0.025
Elvis Andrus R 0.299 0.319 0.02
Adrian Beltre R 0.369 0.388 0.019
Miguel Cabrera R 0.422 0.437 0.015
Chris Johnson R 0.315 0.326 0.011
Ben Revere L 0.292 0.281 0.011
Dan Uggla R 0.32 0.329 0.009
Ichiro Suzuki L 0.294 0.286 0.008
Aaron Hill R 0.334 0.34 0.006
Josh Willingham R 0.361 0.366 0.005
Paul Konerko R 0.36 0.365 0.005
Dustin Ackley L 0.29 0.287 0.003
Mark Reynolds R 0.341 0.344 0.003
Mark Trumbo R 0.341 0.343 0.002
Cameron Maybin R 0.298 0.298  0
Ian Desmond R 0.325 0.324 -0.001
B.J. Upton R 0.316 0.315 -0.001
Albert Pujols R 0.363 0.361 -0.002
Jhonny Peralta R 0.337 0.334 -0.003
Alcides Escobar R 0.295 0.292 -0.003
Michael Morse R 0.372 0.362 -0.01
David Wright R 0.371 0.358 -0.013
Alex Rios R 0.334 0.321 -0.013
Starlin Castro R 0.333 0.32 -0.013
Austin Jackson R 0.345 0.33 -0.015
Reed Johnson R 0.344 0.328 -0.016


Name L/R/S wOBA v. LHP wOBA v. RHP wOBA Gap
Matt Wieters S 0.423 0.299 0.124
Shane Victorino S 0.396 0.312 0.084
Neil Walker S 0.274 0.348 0.074
Jimmy Rollins S 0.273 0.342 0.069
Cliff Pennington S 0.243 0.298 0.055
Mark Teixeira S 0.39 0.336 0.054
Danny Espinosa S 0.343 0.293 0.05
Coco Crisp S 0.291 0.34 0.049
Carlos Santana S 0.383 0.337 0.046
Alberto Callaspo S 0.335 0.306 0.029
Nick Swisher S 0.377 0.349 0.028
Jed Lowrie S 0.347 0.325 0.022
Ben Zobrist S 0.368 0.348 0.02
Chase Headley S 0.344 0.361 0.017
Angel Pagan S 0.307 0.324 0.017
Erick Aybar S 0.306 0.323 0.017
Melky Cabrera S 0.366 0.35 0.016
Justin Smoak S 0.294 0.308 0.014
Jose Reyes S 0.348 0.359 0.011
Carlos Beltran S 0.366 0.375 0.009
Dexter Fowler S 0.364 0.366 0.002
Jemile Weeks S 0.303 0.302 0.001
Asdrubal Cabrera S 0.336 0.336  0
Emilio Bonifacio S 0.311 0.311  0
Maicer Izturis S 0.296 0.296  0

The Daily Five

James Shields, $16,292

This is your bi-weekly reminder to spend big on pitchers. They score more points, so you want to spend more on quality pitchers to give yourself the best chance at having one of the highest point scorers. Of the expensive starters today, Shields has the best matchup against Houston with maybe the exception of Matt Harvey against the Marlins. But I’m going with Shields because I like Harvey’s opponent.

Jose Fernandez, $11,899

And Harvey’s opponent is Mr. Fernandez. The kid impressed in his first two starts of the season but struggled in his next few starts. But when the calendar turned to May, he showed improvement. His xFIP improved from 3.84 in March to 3.60 in May, and his K% jumped 1.6% and his BB% fell 1.5%. And he looked great in the first start of June when he held the Mets scoreless with eight strikeouts while allowing just four base runners over seven innings. He’ll face those very same Mets today who are 26th in the league in wRC+.

Alberto Callaspo, $6,132

Callaspo is a swtich hitter who appears in the second list above. He has been quite a bit better against LHP the last few years, and he’ll face one today in Boston, Felix Doubront.

Alex Gordon, $7,457

This is a good opportunity to remind everyone that it’s not a great idea to worry about streaks too much in daily contests. Sure, Gordon is hitting just .184 over the last 14 days, but he has a .379 wOBA against RHP over the last two-plus years. Trust the larger sample size, and start Gordon in a good macthup against bad right-hander Jordan Lyles.

Jedd Gyorko, $6,181

This seems like one of the bargains of the day. Draftstreet is really good about setting prices daily and not letting bargains slip through the cracks. They’re obviously aware of the platoon advantage, and they adjust prices accordingly. They’re also very aware of the quality of the opposing pitcher. But I think they missed this one. Gyorko is only the 15th most expensive 2B despite the fact that he has a favorable platoon matchup against LHP Jorge de la Rosa. And it’s in Colorado. The only thing I can figure is that the Draftstreet pricers see de la Rosa’s 3.10 ERA and assume he is a quality opponent. But I see his 4.52 SIERA and his below average K% and BB% and I know that he’s not a quality opponent. Gyorko’s teammate, Everth Cabrera, is also a nice bargain at SS for $5,495.

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This post, covering one of the leading sites for daily fantasy, is sponsored and made possible by the generous support of Draftstreet. FanGraphs maintains complete editorial control of the postings, and brings you these posts in a continued desire to provide the best analytical information on the latest in baseball.

You can find more of Brett's work on TheFantasyFix.com or follow him on Twitter @TheRealTAL.

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your sample sizes are probably too small to matter here. according to tom tango’s work, you’ll need to regress your righties by about 2000 PAs and your lefties by 750 or so (not sure the exact number but it’s somewhere close). you might do better using a stat that stabilizes more quickly, like HR rate.