Felix Hernandez Kills High Priced Pitching While Mid-Tier Guys Shine
Quick recap this week. We’ll be back for more in-depth analysis at the end of the month, but I’m building most of the RotoExperts Fantasy Football draft kit… so I’ve been a bit slammed. You can tell by the lighter slate of games played too. But it’s still good news for you, as come the first week of July, you’ll have all the Fantasy Football knowledge you need to dominate 2015.
DraftKings: Kershaw+Hernandez 60.35, Locke+Santiago 90.75 $$ (-30.40)
Notes: I didn’t really want to do it, but I did anyway. I figured, even being anti-high priced pitching I couldn’t pass on a lineup with Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez. Well, we all should have. It’s part of the reason scores in the 80s and 90s cashed. Hernandez had -17.45 points, which more than torpedoed Kershaw’s 30.8 points. Elvis Andrus was the only real hitting boost, but it was more about both pitchers posting positive scores instead of King Felix (demote him to jester this day!).
FanDuel: Price 31.00 $$, Locke 30.75 $$ (+0.25)
Notes: David Price dominated with 21.0 points, but skimping on hitters left Elvis Andrus as the only one to top 3.5 points (with a couple negatives). Jeff Locke only managed 8.0 points, but Brian Dozier, Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper made up for those quiet bats in the first lineup.
DraftKings: Liriano+Tanaka 113.55 $$, Chen+Lackey 118.35 $$ (+5.80)
Notes: Francisco Liriano was huge this night with 44.2 points, more than covering good outings from Wei-Yin Chen and John Lackey, plus the inclusion of Andrew McCutchen.
FanDuel: Liriano 36.00 $$, Chen 40.50 $$ (-4.50)
Notes: As mentioned, Liriano dazzled with 24.0 points on FanDuel, but Chen wasn’t far behind with 21.0. Adding in Andrew McCutchen was the main kicker in helping Chen’s lineup win.
FantasyAces: Liriano+Tanaka 62.25 $$, Chen+Hahn 59.70 $$ (+2.55)
Notes: I’ve noticed that FantasyAces seems to have the least variance for good pitching. You get hit hard for a bad outing, but given the overall scoring, there isn’t as much of an impact to hit a stud. Liriano had 26.25 with a win, 8 IP, 12 Ks and 0 ER. Meanwhile, someone like Taijuan Walker was only 10 points behind with one less inning pitched, an earned run allowed and just six strikeouts. That 10-point difference would mean more on FanDuel but not when average cashing scores are in the high 50/low 60 range… or more.
DraftKings: Harvey+Richards 133.90 $$, Bauer+Morton 133.30 $$ (+0.60)
Notes: A very close one. Matt Harvey and Garrett Richards had 52.9 between them, and Trevor Bauer and Charlie Morton had 46.7. Slight edge to the high priced pitchers, but we got a small boost from Orioles’ hitters to nearly equal the difference.
FanDuel: Harvey 49.00 $$, Richards 57.00 $$ (-8.00)
Notes: This is one of those nights where a second tier pitcher can be just as good as the top tier but do so much more in the way of hitting. Harvey had 17.0 points and Richards 15.0. However, Richards let me go heavy on Orioles, which obviously paid off with Chris Davis and Manny Machado. That was the real kicker here. Andrew McCutchen helped a tad too, but nowhere near what the O’s did.
FantasyAces: Harvey+Richards 88.25 $$, Bauer+Morton 94.75 $$ (-6.50)
Notes: This is another example of the lesser pitching differences, as Harvey and Richards totaled 34.25, while Bauer and Morton had 34.00. It actually looks as though wins are rather important here. Chris Davis and Todd Frazier kicked it up a notch for the second lineup, although no one can complain about either one this night!
DraftKings: Kershaw+Hernandez 126.95 $$, Pineda+Hutchison 144.10 $$ (-17.15)
Notes: Even after being burned by the Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez duo earlier (thanks again Felix), I wasn’t scared in going back to the well. As good as both were, Michael Pineda outdid both of them, and tossing in Ben Zobrist and Josh Donaldson provided extra oomph.
FanDuel: Kershaw 42.75 $$, Hutchison 47.16 $$ (-4.41)
Notes: Kershaw actually had a worse showing than Drew Hutchison did. Add to that, we had Josh Donaldson, Ben Zobrist and George Springer give a boost.
FantasyAces: Kershaw+Pineda 63.00 $$, Martinez+Chavez 72.00 $$ (-9.00)
Notes: Carlos Martinez nearly matched Kershaw, and Jesse Chavez outdid Pineda. The pitchers were extremely close but a few Blue Jays and George Springer helped lineup No. 2.
DraftKings tracking -583.00 or -11.90 FPPC (Fantasy Points Per Contest)
FanDuel: -221.89 and -4.35 FPPC
FantasyAces: -124.35 and -3.66 FPPC
Notes: DraftKings slid back a bit on a per game basis (barely, last week was at 12.04 FPPC). Nevertheless, it’s still holding steady around 12 points per lineup, which can turn a decent pitcher outing into a great one… that is to say, you get 17-18 points from your second level starter, but the 12 point boost makes it feel like a terrific outing. FanDuel has nearly the same FPPC difference as last week, even though all but one lineup proved better for lower priced pitching. The high priced pitching lineup that won only did so by 0.25. FnatasyAces swung back away from high priced pitching thanks to two nice games from the mid priced options. Great week of cashing out even with the limited action I saw due to draft kit stuff.
As a reminder, this Thursday piece is a continuing examination of the merits of spending on DFS high priced pitching. (You can always look back here for the introduction.) This entire season, I’ll be tracking lineups on DraftKings, FanDuel and FantasyAces. There will be two competing lineups on each site, one using the highest-priced pitchers and another avoiding those. As a FYI, “highest-priced” means the Top 1-3 guys on most days. In addition, many of the hitters will remain the same to get a decent lineup-to-lineup comparison with the saved money used at 1-3 spots to improve the hitting choices.
For the method in choosing pitchers, it’s not arbitrary. I use the DailyRoto pitcher rankings to break ties or close calls. I’ll never take the highest-priced pitcher if he’s not even a recommended play, and I won’t use a cheap pitcher that should be avoided. In addition, when you see skipped days, that could be for various reasons: too many weather concerns, small slate to get a fair comparison, I wasn’t home for enough research (happens often on Sundays). Hey, we still have lives too.