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Going All In: Weak Week For High Priced Pitchers

Going All In: Weak Week For High Priced Pitchers
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Going All In: Weak Week For High Priced Pitchers

This past week was a big one for “team lower priced pitching.” All three sites netted better performances when avoiding the highest priced options. May 19 was a big reason for all three sites, and it helped FantasyAces reverse the recent trend of favoring high priced pitchers.

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.

May 14

DraftKings: Cueto + Ross 96.40, B Anderson + Hutchison 115.30 (-18.90)

Notes: Not only did Brett Anderson and Drew Hutchinson match Johnny Cueto and Tyson Ross on DraftKings, but the savings came up big in the Red Sox and Reds bats.

FanDuel: Cueto 27.50, B Anderson 29.08 (-1.58)

Notes: A lot of the bats offset each other this night, and the main difference (Todd Frazier) was barely enough to top Cueto’s advantage.

FantasyAces: Cueto + Ross 41.50, B Anderson + Kelly 50.25 (-8.75)

Notes: Todd Frazier and Hanley Ramirez over Mike Napoli and Kevin Pillar were the big difference makers.

May 15

DraftKings: Kershaw + Teheran 99.55, Odorizzi + Rodon 99.10 (+0.45)

Notes: Even though the pitchers didn’t come close, Adrian Beltre and George Springer nearly made up the difference themselves.

FanDuel: Kershaw 35.41, Phelps 41.25 (-5.84)

Notes: Clayton Kershaw had over four points more than David Phelps, but Buster Posey and George Springer stepping in for Yasmani Grandal and Kyle Blanks was a big boost.

FantasyAces: Kershaw + Bumgarner 47.00, Teheran + Rodon 50.25 (-3.25)

Notes: Normally, it’s tougher to make up pitching on FantasyAces, but with Buster Posey, Adrian Beltre, Jose Abreu and George Springer collecting 27.25 points between them, the gap was closed and passed.

May 18

DraftKings: Harvey + Sale 98.20, Lackey + De La Rosa 98.60 (-0.40)

Notes: How’s that for nearly identical back-to-back days? Most of the big bats didn’t do too much more than the value ones today.

FanDuel: Harvey 25.25, Lackey 25.25 (+/- 0.00)

Notes: We have our first tie… too bad neither was good enough for the money. Matt Harvey‘s points over John Lackey were perfectly offset by Ryan Braun and a few other tweaks. There wasn’t a ton of wiggle room even with the $2,500 savings.

FantasyAces: Harvey + Sale 68.25, Lackey + Pomeranz 50.25 (+18.00)

Notes: There was no making up the difference from Matt Harvey and Chris Sale having huge games. Drew Pomeranz was the main culprit, only registering 5.50 points.

May 19

DraftKings: Gray+Anibal 44.10, Hammel+Frias 84.05 (-39.95)

Notes: I don’t want to talk about it. Truthfully, the majority of people felt the burn this night. Francisco Liriano, Sonny Gray, Anibal Sanchez… they all got lit up. The worst part is that only Josh Donaldson didn’t do much of anything in the Toronto stack, which I went heavy with. Fortunately, Jason Hammel and Carlos Frias were better and going a bit bigger with non-Blue Jays helped in the other… but not enough to cash. Rough day.

FanDuel: Gray 33.75, Hammel 39.50 (-5.75)

Notes: And we have Gray’s disappointment again. Hammel was the main difference, as using Josh Reddick and Edwin Encarnacion didn’t help.

FantasyAces: Gray + Liriano 22.50, Hammel + Wacha 47.25 (-24.75)

Notes: I’m trying to block this day from my memory. If you avoided the big names, you likely cashed or did very well. This difference in points is all about using Hammel and Michael Wacha over the big disappointments.

May 20

DraftKings: Ross + Odorizzi 76.85, Martinez + C Anderson 85.45 (-8.60)

Notes: Many of the expected bats didn’t produce as expected. Whether you took Orioles, Brewers, Pirates and especially Red Sox, several players did little. Danny Santana and Adam Jones were behind the small cheaper pitcher lineup.

FanDuel: Ross 22.50, Martinez 30.08 (-7.58)

Notes: The main difference here came from Carlos Martinez outscoring Tyson Ross, and J.D. Martinez in the lineup replacing Steve Pearce. There was little difference otherwise.

FantasyAces: Ross + Odorizzi 49.25, Martinez + Rodon 56.25 (-7.00)

Notes: Jake Odorizzi not even doing betting than Carlos Rodon hurt, and with bigger bats in tow that actually produced, the less expensive pitching lineup wins.


DraftKings tracking -325.60 or -11.23 FPPC (Fantasy Points Per Contest)

FanDuel: -115.09 and -4.11 FPPC

FantasyAces: -49.25 and -2.46 FPPC

Notes: DraftKings widened its gap thanks in large part to May 19 where Sonny Gray and Anibal Sanchez bombed. FanDuel slightly increased to the lower priced pitching again with only one day not in favor of it… and it was a tie. On FantasyAces, we have the first week moving back towards lower priced pitching in a while. This had been trending back to higher priced pitchers, but May 19 made up the difference and more of May 18, and then yesterday kicked in even more.

Going All In