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Moxyball DFS University: An Introduction to MLB DFS on FanDuel & DraftKings

Moxyball DFS University: An Introduction to MLB DFS on FanDuel & DraftKings for the 2016 Season

It’s almost that time of year. What time of year, you ask?

The best Sunday of the year: MLB Opening Day.

With Opening Day just around the corner, we wanted to give you a vital introduction to daily fantasy baseball.

Both FanDuel and DraftKings have made changes to their MLB programs, so this article should help get you ready for an exciting season of daily fantasy baseball.

Before you can get started with any DFS sport you need to know the scoring and roster construction.

Here’s a look at how the scoring system works on both FanDuel and DraftKings:

Fantasy Points
StatisticFanDuelDraftKings
BATTERS
1B33
2B65
3B98
HR1210
RBI32
R32
BB32
SB65
HBP32
PITCHERS
W124
ER-3-2
K32
IP32.25
HA-0.6
BBA-0.6
HBP-0.6
CG2.5
CGSO2.5
NH

5

Before we go on to the roster construction on both sites let’s look at some key changes that FanDuel and DraftKings have made for the 2016 MLB season. 

  • On FanDuel they tripled the scoring from last year (so don’t be caught off guard when your lineups score 100+ points on a regular basis)
  • FanDuel removed the -.25 points for recording an out from hitters this year
  • On DraftKings they removed the negative points for caught stealing
  • On DraftKings pitchers get bonus points for complete games, complete games shutouts and no hitters

Some of the above changes are more meaningful on a day-to-day basis than others, but it’s critical that you have a strong handle on the scoring intricacies.

Now let’s take a look at the roster construction of each site:

FanDuelDraftKings
PP
CP
1BC
2B1B
SS2B
3BSS
OF3B
OFOF
OFOF
OF

Note the key differentiator from a positional perspective between the 2 sites – on FanDuel you only start one pitcher while on DraftKings you start two.

Player Restrictions (particularly noteworthy for “stacking” purposes)

  • FanDuel: Maximum of 4 players from any one team
  • DraftKings: Maximum of 5 players from any one team

So now you have the basics down pat, especially when it comes to roster construction and key scoring changes that have been made on both sites.

Tips for Getting Started

  • Starting lineups are key in MLB. Unlike other sports where even if your player is not starting he still has a chance to pick up fantasy points, that is much less the case with MLB DFS. Sure, someone can come in as a late-game replacement or for an injured player, but there is far more risk associated with exposing yourself to that scenario. You want players that are in the lineup and preferably hitting at the top of the order. The higher the player is in the order the more plate appearance they will see and more plate appearances equal more opportunities for fantasy points.
  • Weather also plays a consideration in MLB DFS. Unlike other sports, sometime like rain can have a significant effect – especially if it’s heavy enough to cancel or postpone a particular game. Weather cancellations lead to zeros from the players in that game. The best source for weather information is to follow Kevin Roth on Twitter.
  • Vegas totals are excellent leading indicators for DFS production. In general, you want to target pitchers in low scoring games and hitters in high scoring games.

Roster Construction Tips

  • Pitchers are the most important player for MLB DFS – particularly when it comes to cash games. Target a pitcher that is not only going to get you the win but also likely to pitch deep into the game and give you plenty of strikeouts (7+ is an excellent projection to look for). The more innings pitched and more strikeouts a pitcher gets, the more points you will score. It’s just that simple.
  • Home Runs are not the only thing you want to look for. Sure, home runs lead to plenty of points in a flash – but getting on base and scoring runs is plenty valuable, too. Don’t overlook batters with high on base tendencies (especially in cash games).
  • Remember to target hitters at the top of the lineup like we discussed earlier in the article. More at bats equals more opportunities to score fantasy points. An easy concept to understand, but critical to long-term success.
  • Stacking hitters is a common and viable roster construction strategy. Hitters from the same team are directly correlated with one another. When a player gets a run batted in, another player is going to get credited with a run. If you have both players on your team you get credit for both of those statistics. For those familiar with NFL DFS, the concept is similar to a quarterback throwing a touchdown pass to a wide receiver.
    • Note – stacking in baseball tends to be a slightly more favorable strategy in its basic form, as you typically won’t see prolonged success with QB/RB/WR stacks, for example.
  • Ballparks matter, as do ballpark factors. Unlike basketball where it really doesn’t matter where a player is playing, MLB ballparks can either add or take away from your hitters. Some ballparks are built to produce more runs or are played in altitude where the baseballs travel farther – like Coors Field. On the other side of the coin, some parks tend to be more favorable to pitchers and give up fewer runs – like Petco Park.

This article may not cover absolutely everything you need to know, but it’s a great place to start.

Make sure you bookmark Moxyball and come back daily. We have exciting content plans that will help you become a stronger DFS player to ultimately win more DFS cash!

SPECIAL EARLY BIRD OFFER: Don’t miss your chance to save over 70% off the regular price for Moxyball’s premium MLB DFS content. Become a Moxyball Insider for the 2016 baseball season today and lock in a limited time price offer that expires on opening day! Click here for more details.

Ready to get started? Contests are available in the FanDuel and DraftKings lobbies! 

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About Zachariah Qualtieri

Zach is a contributor to Moxyball and Daily Fantasy Cafe. He is a three time winner of a large field GPP and has a 67.8% cash rate in cash games across all sports. He is one of the top ranked analysts across all platforms. He specializes in NBA where he is ranked in the top 200 of all DFS players. When not playing or writing about fantasy sports he enjoys spending time with his 6 year old son.

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