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FanDuel MLB DFS Strategy: Invest in Pitching for DFS Success

FanDuel MLB DFS Strategy: Invest in Pitching for DFS Success

We’ve been putting out some great content on strategy related to FanDuel and DraftKings. If you’ve missed any of the content, please check out Chase James’ work here for a recap (contains some info on DraftKings as well).

After the first two weeks and some feedback from the readers, I wanted to take a dive in on what trends we are seeing, and what can we exploit to our advantage. So, let’s recap what we’ve seen so far.

My biggest takeaway so far, especially with the scoring change on FanDuel, is that you must be committed to investing in Starting Pitching. Here’s a very detailed and nerdy breakdown on the why.

Pitching Breakdown

Since we had nearly a full slate on Sunday, I took a look at the scoring by all of the pitchers (we did have a rainout with Baltimore-Texas, so you will see only 28 pitcher in this subset). Here is the scoring from Sunday:

NameFD Points
Matz60
Moore55
Chatwood54
Maeda51
Sanchez51
Corbin50
Lester49
Tanaka45
Gonzalez42
Nicasio39
Morton33
Fiers32
Quintana30
Bassitt30
Wacha30
Medlen28
Sanchez27
Gibson27
Wright27
Chacin25
Kluber24
Tropeano23
Iwakuma21
Samardzija18
Cosart17
Moscot14
Erlin12
Davies-8
Average32.4

You’ll remember from Chase’s article that we are going to use a baseline target of 120 points for cash games, and I think that’s a pretty fair one to use. On average on Sunday (again, this is just a one day sample), the average from the SPs was 32.4 points.  So, we are hoping to get about 1/4 of our scoring from our SP. $35,000/4 = ~$9,500. If we want to be conservative and say we want 1/3 of our scoring from our pitcher (as you will see above, that’s around the Gio cut line), that means we need about 40 points from our pitcher, or someone in the roughly $11,000-$12,000 range.

Why is this important? In general, people have a problem paying elite dollars for pitching. Anyone remember Chase’s first point from his article?

Minus the horrendous Cubs reference, here is what he had to say, which is clearly playing out:

Step #1) Get out your W flag – On no other DFS site is the pitcher’s bonus points for getting the win more important than on FanDuel. The +12 points for the W is essentially 10% of your our target score. 10%! I cannot stress enough how crucial getting these 12 points is for cashing regularly on FD.

I added a column from Sunday’s pitchers; notice a trend?

NameFD Points
Matz60W
Moore55W
Chatwood54W
Maeda51W
Sanchez51W
Corbin50W
Lester49
Tanaka45W
Gonzalez42
Nicasio39W

Eight of the top 10 scorers on FanDuel on Sunday won their start; eight! That cannot be ignored and Chase’s point is absolutely spot on. Your strategy should be to focus on who has the highest win probability, and feel free to invest in starting pitching. Don’t be scared by the salary prices; there may be some mid-priced options that you like from time to time, but overall, you need to invest here.

If you have any feedback, please leave some in the Comments section or hit me up on Twitter @MKupferle!

About Matt Kupferle

Matt is a staff writer for Moxyball, joining the team in May 2015. Matt is an avid fantasy sports fan and specializes in DFS MLB, NFL and CBB. This is Matt's first year writing and covering DFS, playing mostly on Yahoo and FanDuel, but enjoys the other sites as well. In his spare time, Matt loves spending time with his wife and three kids.

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