MLB DFS Strategy

Pitching Breakdown 8/12/17

Hello class! Today we will be talking about percentages. Not the “if Mike and Sally have a pie with 12 pieces and Mike eats 8, what percentage of the pie does Sally get to eat” type of percentages. We will be talking about the “if Chris Tillman is facing the Phillies, what percentage of people are willing to take a risk on him” type of percentages. What I am going to do is try to predict the ownership percentages for the pitchers on the upcoming slate (GPP only). This will help us decide who we want to take in GPPs to differ our lineup from the rest. Having a lower owned player who does well gives us the edge we need to get towards the top of the leaderboard. All players will be listed by salary from most expensive to least expensive. Let’s get to it!

DISCLAIMER: I tend to make BOLD predictions that usually don’t coincide with projection websites. I like to think of myself as a realist in my belief that not all of the 5k pitchers will hit 20 points on every single slate. I also don’t believe that all pitchers max out around 40 points. In real life anomalies happen and I try to predict them. That being said, let’s get right into it.

The Chalkboard

Aaron Nola ($9,500) NYM @ PHI – 4%

Why? – It will be hard for people to justify paying up for Nola when Hyun-Jin Ryu is cheaper and has a better matchup. He will be played by some because he will be low owned and has upside.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – Nola is far from my favorite option on the board, but I may play him in one of my lineups. Ryu is the obvious option on the board and it’s hard to justify paying $1,300 more for a pitcher in a much worse matchup. On top of his subpar matchup, Nola is worse against lefties than righties and the Mets have a ton of great lefties. That being said, his home splits are much better than his away splits and he will be lower owned. Those are the reasons why I may opt to take a shot on him.  (Projected points: 35)

Jon Lester (9,300) CHI @ ARI – 5%

Why? –  He’s facing the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Arizona has a huge chance to blow him up which will make most people fade him.

Like/Dislike? – Like-ish – This is not an ideal situation for Lester. I’m going to take a shot on him for the sole reason that he will be low owned. He has tremendous upside, but it’s very possible that he only pitches 4 innings and gives up 4 runs. Only play him if you’re willing to accept that he may get destroyed here. (Projected points: he could either get you 10 or 50)

Carlos Martinez ($9,200) ATL @ STL – 14.5%

Why? – Atlanta just doesn’t strikeout a ton and everybody knows it. That means that he doesn’t have as much strikeout upside as he usually would. He is $1,000 more than Ryu and people would rather go with the obvious choice.

Like/Dislike? – Like, wait….dislike, wait…Like! final answer – As you may have guessed, I’m so torn on Martinez tonight. First I liked him. Then I looked at his splits and shifted to dislike. I have settled on liking him tonight which may blow up in my face. He’s similar to Lester tonight in my mind but with less risk and less upside. The Braves have been awful lately and I hope for my sake that it continues tonight. He is worse against lefties than righties which is why I almost faded him here. I thought about it and in reality, what amazing lefties do the Braves have? Freddie Freeman, that’s it! Sure, Matt Adams is good, but he isn’t elite. In my opinion, this is a perfect spot to differ your lineup. I think that the winning lineup will have either Lester or Martinez.  (Projected points: 46)

Hyun-Jin Ryu ($8,200) SDP @ LOS – 33.5%

Why? – He is easily the biggest favorite on the slate and the Padres have the lowest implied run total. He’s been stellar in his last 2 start and he will easily be the chalkiest pitcher tonight. It’s hard to predict how high his ownership will go tonight. He’s the obvious choice and lots of weather concerns tonight. I’ve settled at 33.5% but think it may raise higher than 40%.

Like/Dislike? – Like – EAT IT! EAT THE CHALK! That’s how I feel tonight. This is it. This is my hell. Most of you know that I hate playing the chalkiest pitcher, but this matchup is making it nearly impossible. Here is how I really feel. I will play him in at least one lineup because he has everything he needs to succeed in this game, BUT I do not think he is the best option on the slate tonight.  (Projected points: 40)

P.S. I wasn’t going to add this because I know it’s going to sound insane, but I think that this could be a trap which is another reason I’m limiting my exposure. In the words of the Black Eyed Peas “I’ve got a feeling. That tonight Ryu will get blown up.” I don’t have any evidence that he will get blown up which is why I almost didn’t write this. I would have kicked myself if he ends up having a terrible game and I didn’t say anything.

Dylan Bundy ($8,100) BAL @ OAK – 2.5%

Why? – Ryu is $100 more. People will pay up for a much better situation.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike-ish – Oakland has been much better as of late. They still strikeout a lot, but there are better options on the board. You could take him if you wanted a very very low owned pitcher with some upside. (Projected points: 32)

Mike Fiers ($7,700) HOU @ TEX – 3%

Why? – This game has the highest O/U on the slate and weather is a concern. This will cause most to fade Fiers.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – I’m not going to touch Fiers with the way Texas played last night. Paired with the weather concerns, there is way too high of a risk here.  (Projected points: 34)

Patrick Corbin ($7,700) CHC @ ARI – 4%

Why? –  He got decimated against the Cubs less than 2 weeks ago and is in a seemingly worse situation. Some will pick him because of his strikeout potential, but most will stay away.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – Playing against the Cubs at home is a really bad situation for Corbin. I’m not going to him here. (Projected points: 28)

Jhoulys Chacin ($7,600) SDP @ LOS – 1%

Why? – He’s playing against the best team in baseball. Enough said.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – The strikeout rate is there and he had a solid game against them before. There are just way too many reasons not to play him. Hard fade.  (Projected points: 22)

J.C. Ramirez ($7,400) LAA @ SEA – 1.5%

Why? – There are better options around this price and Angels pitchers always go under-owned.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – I can’t play a RHP against the Mariners. Every player in their lineup can hit home runs.  (Projected points: 16)

Sean Manaea ($7,200) BAL @ OAK – 3.5%

Why? – He is the underdog in this one which will cause him to be overlooked. People will look at his last couple of starts and fade him.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – I like him as a punt option, but I don’t like that the wind is blowing out at 14mph. I also don’t like how many hits he’s given up recently. I do however like his strikeout upside. I think he’ll have a solid outing, but I also think there are better options around this price.  (Projected points: 30)

Jeff Hoffman ($7,100) COL @ MIA – 7%

Why? – He has been great in his last couple of starts. People will pick him as their main punt play.

Like/Dislike? – Like – I like him quite a bit here. His negative point games have brought his FPPG average down, but both of those games were at Coors Field. He is away in this one and he could have another impressive outing here.  (Projected points: 32)

Ian Kennedy ($7,000) KAN @ CWS – 4.5%

Why? – The White Sox have been better in the past couple of games. I still think a few people will take him in hope that the White Sox regress to their early season form.

Like/Dislike? – Like – I’m hoping he gets back into form tonight. I am going to pivot between Kennedy and Hoffman to hopefully gain some ownership leverage. (Projected points: 32)

Brent Suter ($6,900) CIN @ MIL – 1.5%

Why? – Many better options around this price. Not worth it.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – Jimmy Nelson just got blasted by the Reds last night. I will be shocked if tonight is much different. (Projected points: 12)

Steven Matz ($6,800) NYM @ PHI – 1.5%

Why? – People will fade him because of the weather and because the Phillies have been playing much better lately.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – I kind of like him, but I think he has a better chance of putting up 20 points than 40. (Projected points: 22)

Edwin Jackson ($6,700) SFG @ WAS – 3%

Why? – The weather is concerning once again. I think he will be owned around 3% out of fear of another postponed game.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike- I’m scared of the weather once again. I got burned in one line last night and I’m not going to let it happen again. (Projected points: 28)

Tyson Ross ($6,600) HOU @ TEX – 1%

Why? – People don’t play pitchers against Houston.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – I am one of the people who doesn’t play pitchers against the Astros. Not enough for me to like him here. (Projected points: 10)

Scott Feldman ($6,600) CIN @ MIL – 3%

Why? – He is pitching against Milwaukee, but just came off of the DL. A couple people will play him for strikeout potential in large scale GPPs.

Like/Dislike? – Like – High upside punt play going against a high strikeout team. I don’t know how many innings he’ll pitch though. One lineup with him in it should suffice. (Projected points: 27)

Justin Nicolino ($5,700) COL @ MIA – 0.5%

Why? – Marlins pitchers are always low owned. This shouldn’t be an exception.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – The Rockies are worse away from Coors, but I still expect them to hit the shit out of Nicolino tonight. (Projected points: 8)

Lucas Sims ($5,700) ATL @ STL – 4%

Why? – He has pitched 6 innings in his only 2 starts. He’ll be an attractive punt option.

Like/Dislike? – Like – He’s the only option in the 5k range that I like. The matchup is scary, but I could see him throwing another 6 innings. (Projected points: 26)

Erasmo Ramirez ($5,600) LAA @ SEA – 1%

Why? – Sims is a better option at this price leading people to fade Ramirez.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – I would fade Ramirez regardless of whether there was another option at this price that I liked. The Angels have been on fire since the return of Mike Trout and they won’t stop tonight. (Projected points: -3)

James Shields ($5,600) KAN @ CWS – 0.5%

Why? – Kansas is amazing against righties and Shields is terrible.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – You will rarely, if ever, see me playing James Shields. I don’t care how  “good” of a matchup he has. #NotMyPitcher (Projected points: 20)

Recap: Favorite Options

Safest play: Hyun-Jin Ryu ($8,200)

Highest upside: Jon Lester ($9,300)

Highest upside contrarian pick: Ian Kennedy ($7,000)

Highest upside punt play: Lucas Sims ($5,700)

Safest punt play: Scott Feldman ($6,600)

Feeling Lucky?: Dylan Bundy ($8,100)

Favorite Overall: Carlos Martinez ($9,200)


That’s it for this breakdown. I hope this article gave you some insight on some lower owned options that could give you an edge on the competition. Follow me on Twitter @JoeJBerg and let me know if this article helped you out. I would like to once again thank Sean Kane for allowing me the opportunity to give some of my advice through these articles. Let’s go win some money and show everybody the Lineup Logic crew means business!

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