Differences in Daily Scoring Systems — Pitchers

I frequently hear/read about the importance of strikeouts on DraftKings. A strikeout is worth two points on DK, so hitting double digit strikeouts is a good way for a pitcher to put up a good total for the day. But 10-plus strikeouts is obviously a good thing no matter how much a strikeout is worth. That’s why I’ve always found the seemingly shared idea that strikeouts are king on DK to be a bit strange. On the other major DFS platform, FanDuel, a strikeout is worth only one point, but the average pitcher score on FD is a lot lower than it is on DK, so the simple “2>1” math isn’t really relevant.

Aside from some bonuses on DK for complete games, shutouts and no-hitters, the only three ways for pitchers to accumulate points are strikeouts, innings pitched and wins. To determine whether strikeouts really are more valuable on DK I took a look at all qualified starters and added up all of their point contributions in each of the scoring categories on both platforms. I then divided the points accumulated in each category and divided them by the total points accumulated to get an idea about where pitchers derive most of their value on each platform.

The first thing I found was that if the strikeout is king on DraftKings, it is also king on FanDuel. Strikeouts represent 40.5462 percent of the positive points accumulated by pitchers under the DK scoring system. I took that out to the fourth decimal point because strikeouts represent 40.5819 percent of the positive points accumulated under the FD scoring system. If you’ve been chasing strikeouts on DK and placing less importance on them on FD, stop. They’re equally as important on each site.

The biggest difference between the two sites is wins. If you’ve played on both sites, you probably already know wins are more important on FD, but I’ll go ahead and spell out the math. The average pitcher score on DK is about 55% higher on than it is on FD, but a win is worth four points on both sites. Obviously four points is more valuable when the average pitcher score is 10.5 on FD compared to DK where the average score is 16.3.

That said, points from wins only make up about 11.7 percent of the positive points accumulated by pitchers on FD, so pitching deep into games and racking up strikeouts are still much more important factors. You can and should check out Vegas money lines to see which pitchers have the best chance of picking up those extra four points, but it shouldn’t be a determinative factor when picking pitchers. That’s even more true on DK where points accumulated from wins represent just 5.9 percent of the positive points accumulated by pitchers on DK. Given the fickle nature of wins, little importance should be placed on wins when playing on DK.

As for innings pitched, they’re bit more helpful on DK than they are on FD, but they’re the most important factor on both sites. Aside from being the category in which pitchers accumulate the most points, more innings pitched also means more chances to record strikeouts and a better chance at receiving a win. I know this isn’t exactly breaking news, nor was some of the other information discussed above, but at least I now know for sure that strikeouts aren’t really more important on DK.

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

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Great article. Had been wondering about this sort of thing for a while now.