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A Fantasy Baseball Question

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A Fantasy Baseball Question

Unread postby comish » Tue May 14, 2013 11:11 am

If we have nay mods still in operation and not on a month long bender that wish to zap this to the section down below, I fully understand. It does, by a bit of a stretch, have some practical general baseball conversational value IMO though.

I allowed myself to get sucked into playing daily fantasy baseball for $$$$$, and am doing reasonably well. I use, like I'm sure everybody else does, a website where you punch in parameters and it spits out value plays of the day at each of the necessary positions.

My question is:
Since it is day by day and not a full season:

Is it better to set the parameters at the 2013 projections for each player OR set the parameter based on how they are actually doing this season.

A good example of the difference it makes is today. By using the PROJECTION setting, many of the top starts popped out as being Phillies players...I'm sure you know why, nobody figured Tribe hurler Kazmir to be any good this year....yet he has been impressive so far. When I changed the parameter to SEASON, the Philly players were no longer in the top rung of starts for today.

I guess I just need to hear from some of you out there who adhere to the: Players normally come back to their career norm axiom.

Funny thing is, I've been using the PROJECTION setting thus far and have raked....am I just getting lucky?

Thanks in advance
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Re: A Fantasy Baseball Question

Unread postby swerb » Tue May 14, 2013 12:37 pm

My five pesos: to make $ long term on daily leagues, you have to be able to actually watch the games, and not just go by by projections or YTD stats that factor in actuals vs the law of averages.

But if you got time to do that, you're better off just betting on the games. Easier to predict team outcomes to individual outcomes, and the vigorish is much lower gambling. Most daily fantasy baseball sites I've seen have a pretty healthy rake if you really break down the #'s.

No steroids in the game makes it easier though. Levels the playing field.

And STAY AWAY from Phillies hitters tonight. GO TRIBE.
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Re: A Fantasy Baseball Question

Unread postby pup » Tue May 14, 2013 3:21 pm

To me, the money comes from making the decision that you are facing right now.

Plenty of people are going to go straight projections...they are based on years of statistical analysis. Kind of like playing poker straight by pot odds.

Plenty of people are going to go by season. What better way to decide what an individual is likely to do today other than what they have done recently.

The skill in these games is meshing the two together.

I would lean towards larger sample historic numbers, but only if they are direct in regards to the batter and the pitcher.
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Re: A Fantasy Baseball Question

Unread postby skatingtripods » Tue May 14, 2013 3:22 pm

For one thing, bookmark www.fangraphs.com and look at the RotoGraphs section. They'll always advise you on guys to avoid, pick up on the cheap, or starters to look at in upcoming starts.

Allow me to give you an example with tonight's game. Obviously, we've seen how Kazmir is throwing. You can decide if it's legit or not. But, in regards to the Phillies...

As a team, they're batting .228 (25)/.283 (28)/.372 (22)/.656 (26) against lefties (MLB ranks in parentheses). One regular, Domonic Brown, is posting a wRC+ above league average against them at 112, or, 12% better than the average Major Leaguer. Ryan Howard has struck out in 46.2% of his plate appearances against lefties. Chase Utley has a wRC+ of 54, or 46% worse than average. Kazmir should be a good play tonight because the Phillies suck against lefties and their two big bats, Utley and Howard, are awful against LHP.

When you say the projections, I assume you mean daily projections. If we're talking yearly projections, I don't think that those hold a lot of value on a day-to-day basis. Daily projections can be hit or miss.

In a daily format, you're better off looking at matchups and how a guy is swinging the bat of late. For pitchers, it's more detailed than that. There are a lot of stats (BABIP, FIP, xFIP) to keep in mind. I look harder at starting pitchers from a regression standpoint than hitters. A pitcher can regress in one start if he gets bombed and if it looks like regression is coming, I'll bet against them until it does. Hitters are more gradual because of larger sample sizes.

Also keep park factor in mind. Park factor is how good a park is for hitters or pitchers. PNC Park, the parks in California, Seattle, Citi Field (Mets), and Miami's Ballpark are all good pitcher's parks. Arizona, Wrigley, Texas, Coors are good hitter's parks. Those make a difference. Be wary of starters in hitter's parks.

Know if a team strikes out a lot. The Braves strike out a lot. They face Patrick Corbin tonight, who has only a 19.6 K%, and 6.99 K/9. They have only faced Corbin once and it was a relief appearance. Teams, historically, struggle the first time they see a lefty. (BTW, Kazmir is another example tonight - the White Sox were an example last night and I won a bet on the Twins and Pedro Hernandez).

Guys' splits are a big deal in daily formats. If it is a budget type of thing, you can pick up a platoon player like Nate Schierholtz (Cubs) for cheap against a righty. He has 17 extra base hits this season in 90 AB against RHP.

To answer your ultimate question about guys regressing to the norm, it's not an across the board thing. Some guys, generally older, will regress more. Other times, guys are developing as hitters. Things like batting average and RBIs fluctuate a lot. Things like BABIP, K%, and BB% generally don't. Because you're talking about counting stats in fantasy baseball, there is little predictive value.

You can apply betting concepts to this too. For example, getaway day games tend to stay under the total because guys take quick swings and are ready to get out of town. You don't really want to select batters playing a getaway day game. But pitchers can do real well. Watch out for teams on the last night of a road trip. The ball carries significantly better in Anaheim and Oakland during the day than it does at night. Avoid ground ball pitchers on turf. Avoid fly ball pitchers in hitter's parks.

A lot of that is common sense stuff, but it can make a difference.
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Re: A Fantasy Baseball Question

Unread postby comish » Wed May 15, 2013 7:29 am

Muchas Gracius to you both
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