Going All In: Thanks for Nothing Matt Harvey
You know the deal by now. And you also know that high priced pitching just hasn’t made sense this year. However, what does it mean for cashing out and making money? That’s important, right? Well, I decided to start including whether a lineup cashed or not, notated by $$ after the score. The reason is because some nights, a score of 120 on DraftKings could cash and other nights not. The same goes for all three sites on how there are some nights when everyone is scoring big or barely anyone is (see: last night on DraftKings… ouch).
DraftKings: Arrieta+Harvey 128.25 $$, Elias+Wacha 138.35 $$ (-10.10)
Notes: Jake Arrieta and Matt Harvey both had good outings (26.7 and 29.55), but Roenis Elias and Michael Wacha weren’t far behind (21.8 and 23.55). This was the first time I ever used Elias, and it was purely the matchup against the Rays at home. The big boost came from Kolten Wong, Matt Carpenter and Michael Brantley.
FanDuel: Harvey 41.25 $$, Rodon 42.25 $$ (-1.00)
DraftKings: Anderson+Odorizzi 121.80 $$, Lincecum+Quintana 120.45 $$ (+1.35)
Notes: The high priced pitching lineup might have outscored the lower one more if not for Jake Odorizzi‘s early exit. In fact, let’s all agree Odorizzi would have gone 7-8 IP (per norm). We can split the difference for 1-2 earned runs or a win (Rays won 1-0 so if Odorizzi gave up even one, no win). Odorrizi’s score would get a 15-point boost or so just for comparison. Adding Yasmany Tomas and Troy Tulowitzki to the second lineup was the difference there.
FanDuel: Odorizzi/Ross 39.75, Anderson 45.91 $$ (-6.16)
Notes: Huh? Well, we’re subbing in Tyson Ross to give a better comparison. Tyson Ross was just $$400 more and scored 14.0 instead of Odorizzi’s 8.33. The lost outing was a killer on FanDuel, and even with Ross’ extra points, this lineup still wouldn’t have cashed (first one so far). Brett Anderson‘s did, thanks to being able to afford Jose Reyes, Brett Gardner and A.J. Pollock (yes, that’s a tourney where I cashed with it too).
FantasyAces: Odorizzi+Ross 43.25, Anderson+Lohse 61.35 $$ (-18.10)
DraftKings: Bumgarner+Salazar 152.35 $$, Hutchison+Salazar 158.60 $$ (-6.25)
Notes: This was one of the days where there wasn’t a ton of high priced options, and Danny Salazar‘s price plus matchup (Orioles at home) made him too good to pass up for the high priced team as well. The main difference was saving a bit from Madison Bumgarner to Drew Hutchison, who had 7.75 less points, but adding Jose Bautista into the lineup more than made up for it.
FanDuel: Bumgarner 48.00 $$, Salazar 55.25 $$ (-7.25)
DraftKings: Sale+Hamels 140.90 $$, Bolsinger+Miller 140.90 $$ (+/- 0.0)
Notes: I actually had a Chris Sale and Mike Bolsinger lineup that did even better at 158.15. I just wasn’t a big fan of Cole Hamels today, but again, I’m trying to avoid biases when I can. In the end, a tie! This is the second time this year, and I didn’t think it would happen ever. Yet, the big gains from Chris Sale over either cheaper pitcher (44.4 points!) were offset by Todd Frazier, Jose Bautista and using Danny Valencia in the outfield (allowing for Frazier at 3B).
FanDuel: Sale 40.75, Bolsinger 44.25 $$ (-3.50)
Notes: Nope. That’s not a mistake. The Chris Sale lineup didn’t cash, but the Bolsinger one did! I was shocked. Sale had a terrific 25.0 points, and while Michael Bolsinger was good, he only had 17.0. But it was all about Josh Donaldson. Sure, Jose Bautista outscored Odubel Herrera, but Donaldson blew away Trevor Plouffe, who finished with -1.0. Also, just as a FYI, the Sale game was 50 players, Bolsinger 100.
FantasyAces: Sale+Hamels 74.00 $$, Bolsinger+Miller 68.25 $$ (+5.75)
Notes: We know the deal here now. Donaldson was huge in the cheaper pitcher lineup too, although cheap hitter Cameron Maybin tried to make up for most of it in the high priced pitcher lineup. Both cashed, so all is good.
DraftKings: Keuchel+Kluber 120.10 $$, Rodon+Rodriguez 149.60 $$ (-29.50)
Notes: Corey Kluber was supposed to be the lock of the day! Facing the Mariners at home, a team terrible against righties with a high K%, and he disappointed. Meanwhile, Carlos Rodon and Eduardo Rodriguez notched identical 23.3 scores. Maybe I’m really good at picking mid-tier pitchers? In any case, Todd Frazier and Miguel Cabrera boosted the lineup too and made up for the difference of Yan Gomes to Stephen Vogt (see, sometimes the low priced hitters are better too).
FanDuel: Kluber 43.25 $$, Rodriguez 45.75 $$ (-2.50)
Notes: Not a lot of people believed in Rodriguez, but against the Orioles, even on the road, I thought his stuff was good enough for a good showing, and it was. If only he could have seen some run support! And no, the hitting wasn’t a big difference here. I had Yan Gomes and Giancarlo Stanton in both lineups. It was actually all due to Rodriguez who scored 13.0 to Kluber’s 9.0.
DraftKings: Harvey+Bauer 52.75, Anderson+Quintana 88.80 $$ (-36.05)
Notes: Wow. Just, wow. Matt Harvey posts a negative score, Trevor Bauer barely breaks positive and Brett Anderson was the best option. Jake Arrieta, Edison Volquez and Taijan Walker were among today’s best plays, so you can see how rough things were, especially when 88.80 points cashed! As I’ve mentioned before, cheaper pitchers also allow you to make up for a rough outing easier, as Anthony Rizzo, Stephen Vogt and Brandon Moss all scored in double-digits.
FanDuel: Harvey 11.25, Hudson 20.50 (-9.25)
Notes: This is a new low. Just 11.25 points, not that Tim Hudson’s group did much better. With Harvey, no hitter topped 3.25 and four had 1.5 or less (even negative… thanks Kole Calhoun). On Hudson’s side, Anthony Rizzo had four… woohoo!… and there were more positive scores, but it all didn’t matter in the end. Woof.
FantasyAces: Harvey+Bauer 21.00, Velasquez+Quintana 44.00 $$ (-23.00)
Notes: Another terrible showing for the Harvey and Bauer duo. With Vincent Velasquez and Jose Quintana, the majority of points difference comes from the pitchers (23.75 to 3.50). Starling Marte and Brandon Moss helped, but J.B. Shuck had a decent outing on the expensive pitcher side.
DraftKings tracking -541.85 or -12.04 FPPC (Fantasy Points Per Contest)
FanDuel: -205.23 and -4.37 FPPC
FantasyAces: -111.40 and -3.59 FPPC
Notes: The week was going great, cashing almost everywhere/always until yesterday. Matt Harvey and Trevor Bauer just killed things. Overall, the gap keeps widening for DraftKings and FanDuel. FantasyAces is joining the duo, as for the second straight week the cheaper pitching has done better. The site was trending towards breaking even with high priced pitching, but not of late. If you look at cashed lineups too, six times the high priced pitching failed and the lower priced pitching only missed once. It’s going to be hard for high priced pitching to make up ground at this point, but there is still time.
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.