The Daily Grind: Fiers, Wright, Wilson


  1. The Rake
  2. Daily DFS – Fiers, Collmenter
  3. GB / FB Splits
  4. Tomorrow’s Targets – Wright, Wilson, Moreland, Burns
  5. Factor Grid

1. The Rake

Let’s continue talking about the future of DFS. As greater parity is established in the DFS world, the current rake will prove a deterrent to market entrants. If you’d like to learn more about rakes, here is way too much information on the subject. In short, it’s the money the site takes as its commission.

I already won’t play head-to-head cash games because of the rake. Based on my skill level, I’ve determined that it’s mathematically impossible to earn a worthwhile ROI playing cash games. At least not without a healthy dose of long term luck. Frankly, I’d have to improve just to break even.

A representative H2H contest from FanDuel would have you bid $1 to win $1.80. That’s a 10 percent rake. Even the most bloodthirsty poker sites only skim five percent. For now, I won’t begrudge the heavy payout to the site. The industry is new. FanDuel and DraftKings have taken on the burden of introducing the general public to DFS via advertisements and promotions. It’s expensive work.

At some point, a market entrant will say “hey, we can still profit handsomely while taking a three percent rake. We’ll let the others pay for market education.” It’s a lot easier to earn a five percent or better ROI when only three percent of the pot vanishes into the ether.

Ultimately, I’m confident that the market equilibrium calls for a rake well below the current norm established by FanDuel and DraftKings. Whether those two behemoths allow equilibrium to set in is another story. In particular, DraftKings likes to purchase their top competitors.

StubHub provides a cautionary tale. The ticket broker takes a ridiculous commission on both sides of the transaction. I often sell $70 Phillies tickets on the site for my mom. StubHub makes about $30 per ticket if I list the price such that I break even. They established themselves as the official ticket broker of most major sports which has allowed them to maintain their usurious fees. FanDuel and DraftKings may well carve out a similar “official” niche albeit the scope is smaller.

2. Daily DFS – Fiers, Collmenter

Yesterday’s Grind

Early: Based on how the sites are divvying up the day, nine games are early. Two are in the afternoon Bermuda Triangle. They’ve disappeared from the DFS docket.

Ryan Vogelsong is opposed by Mike Fiers in Milwaukee. This is an exploitable pairing on any day. However, Fiers will pitch on three days rest in place of Wily Peralta. Research has shown that short rest negatively affects performance. Obviously, there are contrary anecdotes (i.e. Madison Bumgarner last October). The important thing for DFS owners is that history is on the side of a Giants stack.

Late: That leaves us with four late games. The two worst pitchers of the contest are Alex Wood and Josh Collmenter. Expect to see many Cardinals stacks against Collmenter. The Dodgers also have plenty of interesting right-handed hitters to plug against Wood. You may want to fade by targeting someone like Jon Lester of Garrett Richards.

Stack Targets: Scott Kazmir, Sean O’Sullivan, Rick Porcello, Phil Hughes, Marco Estrada, Jeff Samardzija, Brad Hand, Kyle Kendrick

3. GB / FB Splits

The following hitters are recommended based on the works of Shane Tourtellotte and Dan Fansworth. They show ground ball hitters perform better against fly ball pitchers and vice versa. Using three-year values for hitter OPS and pitcher GB%, here are today’s top recommendations. Use this link for Jeff’s full list.

A couple viable stacks are revealed by our favorite custom splits. Keep in mind, the Royals bullpen saps the potential of the Yankees offense.

Garrett Jones, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Chase Headley vs. Chris Young
Josh Reddick vs. Alfredo Simon
Adam LaRoche, Adam Eaton, and Jose Abreu vs. Marco Estrada

4. Tomorrow’s Targets – Wright, Wilson, Moreland, Burns

Pitchers to Start: We’re fortunate to have a couple easy stream starters tomorrow. It’s a very thin day even with a doubleheader.

Mike Wright has pitched well in two starts. The righty reminds me of Collin McHugh in that he seems to work up in the strike zone. A .184 BABIP and 100 percent left on base rate have allowed him to shutout the competition through 14.1 innings. While I don’t expect the shutout streak to continue, he might be lucky enough to face the White Sox B squad.

Also consider: Buck Farmer, Chris Heston

Pitchers to Exploit: C.J. Wilson has the misfortune of being a left-hander opposed by the Tigers. Detroit has a 126 wRC+ against southpaws. Wilson looks like the good version of himself, but that was never enough to overcome the current Tigers lineup.

Also consider: Chris Beck, CC Sabathia, Kendall Graveman

Hitters (power): Mitch Moreland is off to a warm and toasty start against right-handed pitching. The first baseman is hitting for average and power. While that won’t continue indefinitely, it could continue tomorrow against Steven Wright. Or perhaps he’ll be flummoxed by the knuckle ball. Flummoxed is a satisfying word.

Also consider: Mike Aviles, Ryan Raburn, Max Muncy, Mark Canha, Travis Snider

Hitters (speed): It is said that speed kills. Speed is also the only reason Billy Burns is a major league ball player. I assume the switch-hitter will bat leadoff against Sabathia. It’s unclear if death will play a role in this game.

Also consider: Jace Peterson, Rajai Davis, Alejandro De Aza, Adam Eaton

5. 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.

I’d advise you to steer clear of the game in Baltimore, but very few DFS contests include it.

The Link. Atmospheric conditions are prime for home runs.

This post is not brought to you by any DFS platform. The current author is quite pleased to present a DFS ad free environment. 

You can follow me on twitter @BaseballATeam

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8 years ago

The legality of these sites will be their undoing as profitable businesses since nothing prevents a competitor from offering better odds.

Part of the reason casinos LIKE being heavily regulated is that it allows them collude to set odds in a way that ensures they aren’t bidding against one another to lower the odds. In Vegas, casinos offer different lines on contests but I don’t think its a coincidence no casino has ever attempted to undercut another with -105 vigs or decent futures odds the same way some offshore books have.

If the people who run these sites are smart, they’ll influence regulators to keep a very high bar on who is allowed to run these contests (perhaps even requiring explicit approval or sponsorship from the leagues) in order to keep their vig high. That’ll be a disaster for anyone who actually tries to make money on DFS contests, however.