Going All In: High Priced Pitching Losing Out Even More On FanDuel
Interesting week, as we had some great days and one huge stinker of a day. Also, DraftKings closed the gap just a tad, but it actually grew on FanDuel. Let’s check the high priced pitching results.
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 all the pieces of the series) 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.
Note: All +/- is from the perspective of the high priced pitching team. So if the high priced pitching team gets outscored by 10 points on a day, you’ll see a (-10).
DraftKings: Archer + Burnett 54.05, Haren + Hudson 59.95 (-5.90) – it was a baaad day
FanDuel: Archer 10.08, Burnett 14.00 (-3.92)
Notes: The Orioles were a real spoiler in scoring, as were the Yankees. Both teams had heavy representation and did little. Hudson putting up a goose egg didn’t help, as Burnett and Jacoby Ellsbury were the only two that did much. On FanDuel, no hitter topped two points in either lineup except Ellsbury.
DraftKings: Gio + Harvey 130.85, Bauer + Nelson 138.00 (-7.15)
FanDuel: Gio 54.25, Nelson 56.75 (-2.50)
FantasyAces: Gio + Harvey 69.25, Bauer + Nelson 64.75 (+4.50)
Notes: Harvey not dominating the Phillies was a surprise. Nelson’s 11 Ks nearly made up for the win and lesser ERs by Gonzalez, while being able to have an outfield of Jose Bautista, Michael Brantley and Jayson Werth did the real damage. Big day on FanDuel, as Gonzalez only topped Nelson by three points, but Bautista over Brandon Moss was a +5.5 difference. The savings in pitching at FantasyAces wasn’t enough to provide much boost at hitting (two players swapped and only a few points added).
DraftKings: Cole + Greinke 95.30, deGrom + Sabathia 122.20 (-26.90)
FanDuel: Greinke 39.25, Sabathia 47.00 (-7.75)
FantasyAces: Greinke + Cole 55.00, Samardzija + Sabathia 58.25
Notes: Sabathia outscored the three other pitchers, and with Chris Davis, Manny Machado and Adam Jones in the lineup, the difference from deGrom to Greinke was more than made up. The biggest boost on FanDuel was CC Sabathia himself, and Bryce Harper sliding in with saved money helped too. Jeff Samardzija hurt the lineup, but having Stephen Vogt, Neil Walker and Gregory Polanco made up for it.
DraftKings: Sale + Archer 118.55, McHugh + Bolsinger 99.05 (+19.50)
FanDuel: Archer 39.25, Bolsinger 44.66 (-5.41)
FantasyAces: Sale + Archer 64.75, Heston + Eovaldi 81.75 (-22.25)
Notes: Sale had a huge game, and even though Bryce Harper did too, it wasn’t enough to make up for Archer having a decent game and both DraftKings options not doing well. Chris Archer barely outscored Mike Bolsinger, plus using Stephen Vogt over Derek Norris and not using Delmon Young (-1) helped quite a bit. This was the biggest FantasyAces difference to date with Heston being a big reason why. Having Stephen Vogt, Jimmy Rollins and Denard Span (over Wilson Ramos, Jung-Ho Kang and Delmon Young) was a big boost.
DraftKings: Harvey + Hamels 155.10, Hammel + Liriano 145.95 (+9.15)
FanDuel: Harvey 46.00, Liriano 52.00 (-6.00)
FantasyAces: Harvey + Hamels 63.50, Hammel + Nelson (+3.25)
Notes: Big days across the board. Interesting to see how a few tweaks on DraftKings (Joc Pederson > Justin Maxwell for example) didn’t make up enough ground, but the Buster Posey and Joc swap on FanDuel eclipsed the pitching difference. That’s likely because Harvey to Liriano was 14.40 points but just six on FanDuel and that you had to make up for two big pitching performances instead of one. On FantasyAces, it was similar to DK where using Marlon Byrd and Miguel Cabrera didn’t help enough.
DraftKings tracking -258.20 or -10.76 FPPC (Fantasy Points Per Contest)
FanDuel: -94.34 and -4.10 FPPC
FantasyAces: -23.50 and -1.57 FPPC
Notes: Not as in-depth as last week, but another aspect I’ve noted is that when pitchers hit big, the difference is harder to make up on DraftKings than FanDuel. This makes sense given the use of two pitchers versus just one on FD, but it’s also boosted by the scoring… and this is for big starts, as in low-20s or better. Mid to high teen scores on DK can be topped by a good game from one hitter. On FanDuel, a decent start can still hit low teens and a dominant start still doesn’t increase the score that much to where a one-homer night from a hitter makes up the difference. On FantasyAces, the high priced pitching looks as if it will win out. This is due to their pricing. First, there isn’t much savings in pitching, even with the studs unless you get a scrub pitcher, and second, the hitters are so closely priced that it’s hard to get 2-3 studs in place of other guys with the savings.