Daily Fantasy Strategy — For DraftKings — July 18

In case you haven’t heard, Draftstreet was purchased by Draft Kings. Therefore, all things formerly Draftstreet are now Draft Kings; you can transfer your account easily using this link.

It goes without saying that this column will change now; it’ll be used to recommendations for Draft Kings now. If you’ve never played on Draft Kings, it’ll be a learning experience for a little bit. And I’ll be learning with you. I’ve dabbled with the site before, especially during hockey and basketball season, but used Draftstreet mostly for baseball considering I was writing about it.

As far as I can tell, there are four main things to address: lineups, pricing, mobile app and scoring. With Draftstreet, you had the option to start three starters, if you wanted, or you could only buy two and purchase a reliever. Draft Kings isn’t set up that way. You get two pitchers; relievers no longer matter. Lineups will now be consisted of: P (2), C (1), 1B (1), 2B (1), 3B (1), SS (1), OF (3); utility spots are a thing of the past. Draft Kings also comes to their prices in a different manner, so seemingly perpetually underpriced guys on Draftstreet may not be quite as cheap anymore. As usual, there will be value to be found; we just have to sniff it out. They also give you a different some of money – $50,000, to make your lineup – so prices might look a little wonky in the beginning. Next, scoring is different, specifically one major point: strikeouts don’t hurt now. If you were nervous to roster high strikeout guys – George Springer, Chris Davis, etc. – using Draftstreet’s scoring, those concerns are basically alleviated. And, lastly, we now have a very nice, clean mobile app to use. I’ve used the app before, during the escapades mentioned above; it worked very well, was easy to navigate, and very handy, considering making last minute changes from a computer can be a pain at times.

And before we get into today’s picks, I’m making one change to the way I’ll write this column. I won’t be recommending stacks, at least for the time being. I haven’t had much luck in that area since the beginning of the season, so I’m going to begin choosing five guys to recommend. If a few of them end up being on the same team, great. If not, cool.

As I said earlier, we’ll be learning together so I’ll be tinkering with lineups a pretty good amount – splurging on pitching, skimping on it, stars and scrubs, etc. Let’s see what happens!

Probables Chart

As usual, the pitchers highlighted above are my favorite targets to stack against. Cincinnati’s lineup isn’t as strong as it used to be, due to injuries, but they still have some playable options, especially in Yankee Stadium.

Chris Tillman’s match-up isn’t a good one for him, considering his platoon splits and homer issues. Luckily for him, the game will take place in Oakland instead of Baltimore.

Lastly, it’ll be interesting to see which 2014 version of Clay Buchholz shows up today. He’s posted a 2.73 ERA (4.08 FIP) since returning from the DL in late June. The Royals’ offense has been middle-of-the-road versus right handed pitching, but they don’t strike out much, Buchholz’s upside might be a little limited if you slot him in.

The Daily Five

Anthony Rizzo – $5,300

Rizzo is so damn good. Trevor Cahill, on the other hand, hasn’t been good at all. They’re squaring off in a nice ballpark for offense, too.

Miguel Montero – $3,900

Other side of the above match-up. Montero’s posted a .373 wOBA versus right handed pitching this year; Edwin Jackson has allowed a .395 wOBA to left handed batters.

Bartolo Colon – $7,300

He’s facing the Padres in Petco. His strikeout rate isn’t too exciting, but he shouldn’t hurt himself, and given the Padres overall ineptness, it could be a decent night for punch outs, anyways.

Kolten Wong – $3,900

Wong’s power outburst before the All-Star break sure was exciting, and needed. His overall line is still kind of “meh,” but he’s swinging the bat really well right now. Granted, that isn’t a guarantee to continue, but given Dan Haren’s inability to miss bats, and his penchant for giving up long balls, I believe Kolten’s a nice play tonight. Arismendy Alcantara, who costs $3,700, is also a nice infield option.

Brandon Moss – $4,400

Among qualified batters, he has the seventh best ISO in the majors. He’s facing the aforementioned Tillman, whose strikeout rate is down nearly seven percent.

This post, covering one of the leading sites for daily fantasy, is sponsored and made possible by the generous support of DraftKings. 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.

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Landon is a senior writer at The Fantasy Fix. You can follow and interact with him on Twitter (@joneslandon).

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Max Beef
Max Beef

I was solely using DraftStreet so this will be interesting over at DraftKings. Definitely reducing volume and daily entry fees for a few days at least to get used to the new scoring format.

Good luck over there and don’t give up on stacking!