Note that the final article update will be posted one hour prior to lock.
Season Records Updated 6/13
FanDuel GPP 23-36 (39%); DraftKings GPP 26-31 (45%)
FanDuel Single Game Slate
Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – 10:10 pm eastern
Lock of the Slate:
GPP Flier for Large-Field Tournaments:
^^^Final FanDuel Content will be posted here 20 minutes prior to lock.^^^
DraftKings Showdown Slate
Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – 10:10 pm eastern
Starting Pitcher Rating Scale:
1- Fade pitcher on DK and consider heavily stacking opposing offense on FD and DK
2- Negative-leaning matchup for pitcher; consider multiple opposing batters on FD and DK
3- Fairly equal matchup for pitcher/batters; start/fade of pitcher on DK is dependent on lineup construction
4- Edge given to pitcher; consider limiting exposure to opposing batters on FD and DK
5- Lock in pitcher on DK and consider avoiding exposure to opposing offense on FD and DK
The Dodgers are listed as the solid -170 favorite with a game run total of 8 runs.
Jon Lester (Cubs) – After going five straight starts in April and May without allowing a home run, Lester has once again fallen victim to the longball. He has given up six of them to go along with 34 hits in his five most recent starts. Lefties have combined for a .292 AVG compared with just .257 for lefties, but it’s the lefties who have accounted for all nine of the home runs hit against him. Looking at the Dodgers batters against lefties during the past month, the most successful have been Cody Bellinger (.408 wOBA), Alex Verdugo (.348 AVG) and Max Muncy (.333 AVG). Unfortunately for us tonight, they are lefties and I want to target batters who have power upside against Lester. Having given up no homers to lefties all season, I can’t go against that trend now. I do like David Freese tonight as a chalky option, but I don’t mind eating it when he has posted a .381 wOBA/.280 ISO against left-handed pitchers since May 13th. Justin Turner will be chalky but his numbers have been very un-Turner-like against lefties (.741 OPS/.095 ISO). It may end up being a slate where I piece together righties not so much for their stats, but based on who fits after targeting the Cubs batters I want against Kershaw.
Dodgers Offensive Rankings Since May 13th vs. Left-Handed Pitchers:
.252 AVG (17th), 10 HR (17th), .312 wOBA (19th), 20% K Rate (21st), 9% Walk Rate (12th)
PITCHER RATING: 3+
Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers) – Kershaw continues to chug along as a solid starter. The days of more than a dozen K’s in a game are gone, but he has successfully adapted his repertoire to his current skill set. He has posted quality starts in nine of 10 starts this season, but never recorded more than eight strikeouts in any one start. In his seven most recent starts, Kershaw has allowed at least six hits in all but one of them. His opponent batting average is within five points to lefties and righties, but it’s the righties who have accounted for all eight of the home runs. The Cubs have some solid BvP against Kershaw. Collectively, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Willson Contreras average a home run every seven at-bats against him (Four home runs in 29 lifetime at-bats). I am not huge on paying up for a lefty in Rizzo’s price range for my main build, but Baez and Contreras are certainly in play. Also, Kris Bryant has crushed lefties in the past month .627 wOBA/.636 ISO). It’s a small sample size but I am willing to get back on the Bryant Bandwagon tonight. Other solid batters against lefties in the past month include Contreras (.449 wOBA/.375 ISO), David Bote (.407 wOBA/.182 ISO), and Javier Baez (.363 wOBA/.250 ISO). Bryant, Contreras, and Bote all have hard contact rates over 50% in that time.
Cubs Offensive Rankings Since May 13th vs. Left-Handed Pitchers:
.254 AVG (16th), 7 HR (23rd), .332 wOBA (11th), 30% K Rate (1st), 10% Walk Rate (7th)
PITCHER RATING: 3
FINAL DK UPDATE WILL BE POSTED BELOW IN YELLOW APPROXIMATELY ONE HOUR PRIOR TO LOCK
Captain Candidates on DK:
Cubs Batters to Target on DK:
Dodgers Batters to Target on DK:
Puzzle Pieces on DK (They may not have the best skill set, but they fit the build needed for the slate.):
Some Housekeeping Items and Reminders
What daily content will you be providing?
*FanDuel “Single Game Slate” Lineup and Strategy
*DraftKings “Showdown Slate” Strategy
*Bonus Lineups – without an article – for additional FanDuel Single Game Slates throughout the season. (These will be communicated through my Twitter page @canofcorn82. Be sure to turn notifications on for any late breaking news and changes to lineups/suggested players)
For specifically which slates will you be providing lineups and articles?
I will be providing content for the latest scheduled slate each day (Sunday through Thursday) on both FanDuel and DraftKings. I am trying to make my schedule as consistent and transparent as possible so there should never be any guessing as to which slate’s contests to reserve. Look at each site independently.
*The last FanDuel Single Game slate of the day is the one for which you can reserve contests and expect content from me.
*The last DraftKings Showdown slate of the day is the one for which you can reserve contests and expect an article from me.
*Note that these slates may or may not feature the same MLB game. Also, if there are multiple slates starting at the same time and also scheduled to be the last of the night, I will communicate early in the day which one I will be playing.
*If there is only one game scheduled on that site’s Single Game/Showdown slate list, then that is the one for which I will provide content.
Should I enter cash games or tournaments?
Single Game and Showdown slates are incredibly entertaining and provide a DFS sweat unlike any other. They can also be among the most frustrating because of the high level of variance involved. You can be sitting at the top of a tournament in the 9th inning and still somehow find yourself entirely out of the cash by the end of the game. But you can also be on the other side of it and find yourself rising quickly to the top during a late-inning rally.
Due to the high amount of variance, I strongly suggest building your bankroll through cash games on the main slate with MAS47. I will be taking chances and building lineups “for a takedown” and not just to finish in the top half of entries. Therefore, I do not recommend entering any cash games. Although any lineup has the ability to take down a large tournament, the most profitable for me on these slates include GPPs with a three-entry max. Taking down a tournament with several hundred entries (with lower max entries) is much more realistic than a tournament with 30,000 entries (150-entry max).
Playing a slate with only one game is quite different than a main slate that obviously has many more players and situations from which to choose. If it was as easy as picking the “best” hitters in the top/middle of the lineup all the time, then everyone would do that and be winning a lot more money. In reality, there should be at least some piece of your lineup to differentiate it from the field. That doesn’t mean you should purposely avoid the studs. It just means don’t feel like you always have to take every single one of them.
Personally, I love targeting players in the bottom third of the batting order to fill out the final piece of my lineup. They come at an extreme discount in ownership (usually under 15% ownership, and often even lower). If you are targeting an offense because they are facing a particularly bad starting pitcher, keep in mind that the players at the bottom of the order are still facing that same bad pitcher. They may not have the same kind of name recognition as batters near the top, but when one of them has a solid game at low ownership it immediately puts your lineup in potential takedown territory.
Making Purposeful Pivots
GPP prize pools for these slates are generally much less than for main slates. With the volume of members reading this article and playing in the same handful of tournaments, your potential 1st place prize money has a chance to be considerably watered down.
Take for instance a small $3 GPP with 148 entries and payouts of: 1st- $100; 2nd- $60; 3rd- $40; 4th & 5th- $20. At first glance, it sounds like a great way to potentially turn $3 into $100 with a field of less than 150 total entries. However, if there are just five RotoRadar members with the same lineup, that means a tie for 1st will split the prize money five ways. That suddenly turns your $100 takedown into a much-less-exciting $48 payday. That GPP is now not nearly as enticing since you need everything to go perfectly on that slate just to get a 16x return on your investment. Personally, if I am going to place 1st, I want a bigger return than that.
Before you get too upset at this problem, consider ways to avoid it altogether. Try pivoting off a player to someone else who may have been highlighted in the article but just didn’t make it into the final lineup. Your lineup will then become unique from others who are just playing the one provided FanDuel lineup. Another option is to pivot your MVP and All-Star players to someone else who was already in the lineup. The margin for error can be so razor thin on these slates that one pivot can easily be the difference between not cashing at all versus finishing in the top 1%. Don’t be afraid to go against the grain and put your own spin on the final provided FanDuel lineup.
Understanding FanDuel’s Scoring System
There is going to be an extreme level of variance this year for FanDuel’s Single Game slates and here is why. The new MVP spot doubles the points for that player and the All-Star spot uses a 1.5 multiplier. That means you could be on the best producing players but if you don’t have them in those spots you are done. Check out this example:
Player A rosters Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron in regular roster spots, but not at the extra multiplier spots. Each player hits a home run in the first at bat. That puts player A at 37.4 points (18.7 for each home run).
Player B rosters Babe Ruth at MVP, and Hank Aaron at All-Star. Babe Ruth earned 37.4 (double points at MVP) for his home run while Hank Aaron earned 28.05 (1.5 times value at All-Star) for his home run. That puts player B at a total of 65.45 points.
Player A was spot on with research and nailed both players with home runs. However, he is now 28.05 points out of first place just because of where he placed the players on his roster.
The point is emphasized even more when an MVP player has a monster night. There was a game last year when Matt Carpenter hit three home runs, two doubles, scored four runs, and had seven RBI’s. A player who simply rostered Carpenter but not at a bonus multiplier spot would receive a whopping 82.5 points. If he was rostered at MVP, that’s ANOTHER 82.5 points. You could have played Carpenter at MVP and gotten no production from any other player, and your score would be 165. The other player who has Carpenter at 82.5 could have also picked players that combined for four additional home runs but it still wouldn’t have been enough points to win! To recap: MVP Carpenter plus a bunch of nobodies > Carpenter plus players with four additional home runs.
This revelation will definitely influence my strategy going forward. Paying up for a stud at MVP and All-Star while punting at least one of the other positions is the new way to go. Last year, players priced at $9,000 and above far outproduced the cheaper priced players. It is important to get the players who are scoring the most points in the top two positions.