Daily Fantasy Strategy — May 12 — For Draftstreet

I’ve mentioned this before, but whenever I’m doing my daily prep I use some baseline projections I calculate from the Steamer RoS projections. Every Sunday I take the updated Steamer RoS projections, run the relevant statistics through the DraftStreet scoring system, and then cut them down to a per-game basis. I use these per-game projections to help me determine value. For starting pitchers, I make daily adjustments for matchups and then compare the adjusted projections to salaries to determine the best value. For hitters, I look at opposing pitchers and Vegas game lines to see which teams might have the best offensive days, and then compare the RoS projections to salaries to determine the best value.

If you’d like to use these projections in the same way, I have provided them after the jump.

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The Daily Five

Bartolo Colon ($12,425) – In each of the two previous seasons, Colon posted a sub-3.50 ERA despite his SIERA and xFIP being around or above 4.00. He did it by limiting base runners with a minuscule walk rate and by keeping balls in the park. But this year his ERA sits above 5.00 thanks to a HR/FB rate and a BABIP that are much higher than they were the last two years.

It maybe shouldn’t be a surprise that those numbers are higher with the Mets than they were with the A’s. Citi Field actually played above average for home runs last year for hitters from both sides of the plate while the Coliseum in Oakland suppresses home runs quite a bit. And Oakland’s defense was the second best defense last year (according to defensive efficiency) while the Mets rank 19th in that statistic this year. But his HR/FB rate is double what it was last year and his BABIP is 42 points higher. Those numbers shouldn’t be expected to regress all the way back to where they were last year, but he should have some positive regression coming. Plus his walk rate is as minuscule as ever (2.8%).

Steamer and ZiPS both have Colon with a sub-4.00 ERA and 1.22 WHIP the rest of the way. There’s no reason to shy away from a guy like that when he’s facing a Yankees team that is below average against right-handed pitching. Especially when he’s the fifth cheapest starter of the day.

Cesar Ramos ($10,824) – Despite having a sub-3.00 ERA, Ramos has not been good this year. His SIERA is over 5.00 because he’s only struck out two more batters than he has walked. He was much more successful the last two years as a reliever. But he’s facing a Mariners team that has been third worst in the league against left-handed pitching so far this year.  That makes him worth a shot since he’s the cheapest pitcher of the day. It’s a total gamble (meaning he’s only an option in large tournaments), but if he musters even five points, you’ll be getting good value for your money.

Tim Lincecum ($16,201) – Lincecum is the second pitcher I’m recommending today who has an ERA over 5.00. And like Colon, Lincecum’s HR/FB rate and BABIP are out of whack. Lincecum has devolved into a guy who is going to have an above average HR/FB rate and BABIP. But both are likely higher than they should be, especially his .393 BABIP.

The bad luck that Lincecum and Colon have had has driven their prices down and makes them good values with good matchups today. Lincecum’s matchup is even better than Colon’s as the Giants will be facing the Braves who have been the fourth worst team in the league so far against right-handed pitching. That’s because it’s a lineup full of right-handed hitters along with Freddie Freeman and a struggling Jason Heyward.

In those matchup-adjusted, per-game projections I was discussing earlier, Lincecum is projected to be the highest scoring pitcher of the day and the fifth best value. I think a couple of other starters are safer bets to be the highest scoring starters of the day, but the price is right on Lincecum.

Nationals Stack – Washington at Arizona is projected to be one of the three or four highest scoring games of the day by Vegas. The Nats are heavy favorites and have the much better starter going in this game, so the odds are that they will be the ones doing most of the scoring. When they faced a right-handed starter on Saturday without Adam Laroche, Jayson Werth, Wilson Ramos, Ian Desmond and Nate McLouth hit four through seven in the order. McLouth is the only one with the platoon advantage in the group, but the three right-handers all have a wRC+ above 110 vs. RHP since the start of the 2012 season. That group of four will only cost you $20,597 making them the best value stack of the day.

Blue Jays Stack – Out of all the stacks I considered today, no group had a higher per-game projection than Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. All four will have the platoon advantage as Bautista and E5 hit from the right side, and Reyes and Melky ar eswitch hitters (who don’t have much of a platoon split). They’ll face left-hander C.J. Wilson who doesn’t scare me considering his struggles with right-handed hitters as shown below.

Handedness K/9 BB/9 K/BB HR/9 K% BB% AVG BABIP LOB% FIP xFIP
vs L 9.67 3.09 3.13 0.43 26.5 % 8.5 % 0.194 0.261 68.2 % 2.8 3.15
vs R 7.43 3.98 1.87 0.8 19.2 % 10.3 % 0.249 0.297 73.0 % 4.03 4.1

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

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