- New York’s Back Baby
- The Daily Grind Invitational and Leaderboard
- Daily DFS
- SaberSim Observations
- Tomorrow’s Targets
- Factor Grid
1. New York’s Back Baby
New York has cleared the DFS industry to resume its operations, including DraftKings, FanDuel, and a few other less popular sites. New York is a big source of DFS revenue. If you happen to live in the state, expect to see a new wave of terrible ads.
Daily fantasy was temporarily banned after the NY Attorney General ruled it was gambling. Because, yea, it’s gambling. For whatever reason, some dumbass(es) decided this concept of “game of skill” is what separates gambling from not-gambling. It’s a false dichotomy.
Any time you bet money to win money, it’s gambling. Not legally speaking because, you know, skill is somehow relevant. Yes, stock market day traders are gambling too. When you buy a thousand shares of that penny stock, you’re gambling. You’re also making a really bad decision.
For games like DFS or poker where there’s a high learning curve (relative to a completely random game like roulette), “skill” only separates you from the competition when you have more of it than your opponents. We’re seeing in DFS that skill has become pretty evenly distributed.
To blindly site a twitter stat I saw earlier this year, only nine percent of participants are profitable. Of those nine percent, presumably only some small fraction are profitable year-to-year. So, let’s say two percent of participants have some kind of secret sauce to keep their heads above the water. The rest of us are floating in one giant pool, fighting over a couple pool noodles. If we’re lucky, one will drop into our hands.
Digression aside, I’m glad DFS is legal again in New York because it should be legal. It’s gambling, but it doesn’t matter – it’s also fun and entertaining.
2. The Daily Grind Invitational and Leaderboard
Spx333 staved off the suddenly unbeatable johnnyboy for yesterday’s victory. Jose Fernandez, Mike Trout, and Albert Pujols led the way. He managed to build a pretty decent looking lineup despite using Fernandez and Darvish. The leaderboard is updated.
Did I mention it’s a DraftKings week? We’re back there again today, and we’ll probably be there tomorrow.
3. Daily DFS
Early: The tiny two game early contest includes Daniel Norris versus Jose Berrios. It’s hard feel confident about either side of that matchup. I don’t suppose we can roster Francisco Rodriguez instead? The other game – Drew Pomeranz opposite Jake Odorizzi – offers a little more meat for consumption. Even so, I’m wary of any non-elite pitcher versus the Sox. Since we know everybody will be in on Pomeranz, GPP players are basically forced to try a suboptimal matchup.
Stack Targets: Norris, Berrios, Odorizzi
Late: Max Scherzer is the ace of the slate, but let’s talk about Robbie Ray. He’s opposed by the Braves in what should be the easiest win on the board. After a huge game in San Diego, his price is up above $10,000 on DraftKings. As much as I like Ray, volatility remains a big part of his profile. He’ll be popular despite the price, and there’s still a good chance for a meltdown.
J.A. Happ, another lefty who feels like he should be cheaper, is opposed by Jered Weaver and the Angels. Happ has pitched exceptionally well in the second half, although he did allow three solo home runs in his last start. He hasn’t had a truly bad outing since pitching at Coors Field in late June.
Speaking of hot hands, Cole Hamels has pitched well in the second half. He has a challenging assignment against a multi-faceted Indians lineup. They have a stressful blend of power, speed, contact skills, and plate discipline. There’s no single formula to defeating them.
Tom Koehl is bland, but sometimes bland is good. If he tosses seven innings with five strikeouts and a couple runs allowed, he’ll have a good chance at earning the win. He won’t keep pace with the top pitchers available.
4. SaberSim Observations
Scherzer, Ray, Pomeranz, Odorizzi, and Moore round out the top five. Hamels and Adam Wainwright are next on the list among the evening crowd. It’s been such a frustrating year to use Waino.
Angels, Mariners, Blue Jays, Brewers, Pirates, Twins, Tigers, Rangers, and Cardinals comprise the chief-most stacks per our Simming buddy.
5. Tomorrow’s Targets
Pitchers to Start: I can’t remember the last time I honestly thought about using Ryan Vogelsong. He’s not a good pitchers anymore, but there’s at least a ray of hope opposite the strikeout prone Brewers. Maybe he can manage six innings with six strikeouts and a win. Or maybe he’ll get hammered.
Pitchers to Exploit: For whatever reason, my fingers believe the the Rockies are preparing to start Jeff Hossman tomorrow. The Pale Hoss was surprisingly solid for the Rockies Triple-A affiliate. He posted a 4.02 ERA with over a strikeout per inning. In many ways, it blew his 2015 debut season out of the water. His major league debut last week left much to be desired. There’s some stuff, but it wasn’t used coherently. I don’t expect the Nationals to welcome him to sea level. Hoffman strikes me as the kind of pitcher who will have a long adjustment period.
Also consider: Yovani Gallardo, Luis Cessa, Pat Dean, Ian Kennedy, Ricky Nolasco, Adam Morgan, Jarred Cosart, A.J. Griffin, Matt Garza, Ross Detwiler, Luke Weaver, Brandon Finnegan, Braden Shipley, Bud Norris, Mike Montgomery, Joel de la Cruz
Hitters (power): Wilmer Flores occasionally bat cleanup when facing left-handed pitchers. Morgan is pretty terrible at the whole pitching in the majors thing. The Mets may actually have a big game.
Also consider: Nick Markakis, Trayce Thompson, Enrique Hernandez, Brandon Drury, Josh Bell, Domingo Santana, Tyler Naquin, Lonnie Chisenhall, Asdrubal Cabrera, T.J. Rivera, Justin Ruggiano, Pedro Alvarez
Hitters (speed): Speaking of exploiting Morgan, Jose Reyes bats leadoff. He’s shown a little power and speed this year, although I view his outcomes as rather fortune. The biggest real-looking change in his profile is a five point jump in his strikeout rate.
6. The Factor Grid
The table below indicates which stadiums have the best conditions for hitters today. The color coding is a classic stoplight where green equals go for hitters. The weather conditions are from SI Weather’s home run app. A 10/10 means great atmospheric conditions for home runs. A 1/10 means lousy atmospheric conditions.
This post is not brought to you by any DFS platform. The current author is quite pleased to present a DFS ad free environment.
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