Correcting common mistakes made when building lineups

How’s it going lineup logic team? Last week I talked about some strategies you could use to help you place higher in tournaments. This week I want to point out and help correct some of the mistakes I have seen in tournament lineups barely missing cash. I’ve noticed in many lineups, including my own, people seem to make some very avoidable mistakes. In this article I will be covering what I believe those mistakes are and how best to avoid them. Understanding the mistakes you make will help you to grow as a player and help you profit more often.

Entering too many lineups: losing money 101

I fall victim to this more than any of the other advice I will be giving you. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT enter more lineups than you are comfortable with. Also, don’t spend more money than you are comfortable with losing. I will generally enter around 10 different lineups on any given night, but sometimes I see a higher payout for first place and enter more letting my greed get the best of me. Whenever I enter more than 10 lineups I tend to regret it. Entering too many lineups will cause too much variance and too much time needed to perfect those lineups. If you don’t have the time to perfect your lineups, you will end up building sloppy teams with bad picks. Don’t rush the process! You will end up picking a player just because their cost is the closest to the salary cap, even if you hate the matchup. Would you open a business before perfecting a business plan? If you did, you would end up losing money and going broke. The same concept can be applied to lineup construction. Before you click save on your next lineup ask yourself this. Would I be comfortable giving this lineup to a friend risking their own money? Do you truly believe this lineup has the potential to win this tournament? If the answer is no, edit until you can comfortably say yes to each of these questions.

To fade or not to fade?

I’m sure the majority of people reading this know what fading is, but I’ll briefly go over what it is to fade a player. Fading is to not play a player because you don’t believe they will give you the best chance of winning. This seems like a pretty open and shut case, but it’s not. I see too much unnecessary fading going on and I am here to put an end to it. What I am talking about is when people fade without any thought about why. When you aren’t playing bats from a certain team, why are you fading them? Are you scared of the weather, the ballpark, the over/under or the pitcher? If you are scared of the pitcher, are you rostering said pitcher in any of your lineups? If you aren’t, why are you fading the bats? It’s a question that I have gotten in the habit of asking myself and has helped immensely. Here’s an example: Milwaukee at home vs Zack Godley (ARI). Now I would bet that Milwaukee bats go around 5-10% owned and Godley about 3% owned in this scenario. Godley with strikeout upside vs Milwaukee with Home run upside. Why would all of these players be faded when the upside for both is huge? Go with your gut and don’t completely fade games like this.

Play Bad Teams…yes, I’m serious

You probably think I’m a lunatic and you’re probably right because this isn’t for the faint of heart. What I am telling you to do is to play the Phillies, Padres or (insert bad team name here). I’m not telling you to play these teams against Kershaw, Sale or (insert great pitcher here). Although, what I am saying is to play them against bad/semi-bad pitchers. This goes along with my last point of unnecessary fading. People will automatically fade these teams without giving them a second thought. They scroll past their names like an unopened snapchat from their ex for fear of the outcome. Let me give you an example before you kick me to the curb. Let’s say the Phillies, I love picking on the Phillies, are going up against Ubaldo Jimenez. I guarantee less than 5% of people roster any one the Phillies bats. It’s a dream matchup, yet people can’t give this terrible team a shot. I have noticed that bad teams will go drastically lower owner because no one wants to take a risk on them. We need to remember that these guys are professional baseball players for a reason. I would go as far to say that Ubaldo Jimenez would be higher owned than the Phillies bats. This is ridiculous seeing as he is 10 earned runs away from getting cut and working at Burger King. Next time a bad team is going against a bad pitcher, try rostering a couple bats and watch the runs pour in at 1.3% ownership.

The low men on the totem pole

I mentioned this is my last article, but I thought it was important enough to go over again. Start picking players lower in the batting order. In the words of a great shoe manufacturer, JUST DO IT! We all saw Enrique Hernandez hit 2 homers batting 7th against the White Sox. We knew the Dodgers had a high implied run total, we know the White Sox are bad, so why didn’t we roster lower order bats. He was owned at less than 5%, but we could have guessed he’d get 4 at bats. This isn’t a perfect example because nobody could have predicted his 2 home run game. It is just an example of why ignoring players batting 7th, 8th and 9th could come back to bite you. We need to notice anytime a game has a high run total and capable batters lower in the order.

How to use this?

These are just some of the most common mistakes people make when building their lineups. Now that we have a general idea of what we don’t want to do, let’s try to use some of these tips along with some from last week to build a lineup.

We are going to start out picking a pitcher we believe will go lower owned that has high strikeout upside. I couldn’t decide between Masahiro Tanaka and Zack Wheeler, so let’s build a line using each. Let me be clear when I say that I hate tonight’s slate for pitching and the safest choice is Chris Archer. I think Archer will be owned around 30-35% and that is why we are not choosing him in this scenario. For the first lineup I will go with Zack Wheeler at $7,500. Oakland strikes out a lot and I think he has the potential to post a solid outing. Next I’ll choose a bad team with high upside to stack. I would pick the Phillies in this scenario, but the weather is a huge concern and I don’t want to take a chance on it. I love Philly if this game plays, but I don’t want to build with them as of right now. Unfortunately, there aren’t any other bad teams that I am comfortable rostering on the upcoming slate. Instead, I will stack players from a team with a high run total that might go overlooked.  Let’s take a couple of bats from the Royals. I know the Royals will probably be a little higher owned, but we can take certain bats that people may overlook. I’ll start with 1B Eric Hosmer at $3,600 who may end up being a steal tonight. The reason I believe Hosmer will go overlooked is because of his Day-To-Day tag on Fanduel. People tend to automatically fade players marked Day-to-Day out of fear the player won’t suit up. Hosmer was DTD for Friday’s game because of a personal matter, but ended up pinch hitting in the game. This leads me to believe there is absolutely no reason he won’t suit up tonight as usual. Next I will pick OF Lorenzo Cain at $3,100. Cain will always go under-owned and for a good reason. There is no reason to trust this guy, but he has a 0.328 batting average at home and I’m going to take a shot on him tonight. I am going very chalky with my next pick in 3B Mike Moustakas at $3,400. This is just way too cheap for a guy who has a good chance to hit a home run against a terrible pitcher. I’m going to take a 2 man stack from the Tigers against Kyle Gibson. I’m more scared of this game than I should be, but I can’t trust Detroit bats against righties. I just can’t do it. I’m hoping these two guys will be in the lineup because I just don’t think very many people will play them. I’m talking about C Alex Avila at $2,400 and 2B Dixon “don’t call me Manny” Machado at $2,100. If you haven’t looked at Machado’s splits against righties, then please do so now. This guy is an animal! He will be a steal if he plays in tonight’s game. This gives me enough salary to go nuts with a Colorado stack. I am going to take a 3 man stack of SS Trevor Story at $3,900, OF Gerardo Parra at $3,900 and Charlie Blackmon at $5,100. The Rockies at home vs a mediocre pitcher shouldn’t need any explanation.

Lineup 1

P- Zack Wheeler $7,500

C- Alex Avila $2,400

1B- Eric Hosmer $3,600

2B- Dixon Machado $2,100

3B- Mike Moustakas $3,400

SS- Trevor Story $3,900

OF- Lorenzo Cain $3,100

OF- Gerardo Parra $3,900

OF- Charlie Blackmon $5,100

total- $35,000

I’m going to make this next one short and sweet and just show a build of my next lineup because time is of the essence.

Lineup 2

P- Masahiro Tanaka $8,800

C- Tucker Barnhart $2,200

1B- Justin Bour $3,300

2B- Dee Gordon $2,900

3B- Eugenio Suarez $3,100

SS- Zack Cozart $3,300

OF- Adam Duvall $3,300

OF- Marcell Ozuna $3,700

OF- Giancarlo Stanton $4,300

I love the Cincinnati vs Miami game again tonight and will be using a lot of bats from each team spread around all of my slates. Those of you who read my article last week know how much I hate 4 man stacks, but I love the amount of power and home run potential in this lineup. I wish everybody luck in their contests and hope you are able to understand and correct some of the mistakes you may have made in the past.



About the author, Joe Berg:

I am a 24 year old from Southwest Wisconsin and have been playing DFS on Fanduel since 2014. Before this year I mainly stuck to NFL, but started listening to Lineup Logic and decided to get into NBA and now MLB. I’ve gotten top 3 in large scale GPPs in NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL with an overall profit of around $9,000. I love playing GPPs and hope my advice can help you hit some big wins. I just wanted to thank Sean Kane for allowing me the opportunity to share my thoughts and advice with all the loyal Lineup Logic listeners.

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