What is the probability that any player you roster in a DFS sport ends up giving you zero fantasy points? Well, that kind of depends on the sport doesn’t it? If we are talking about NFL DFS, the chances are largely dependent on usage and opportunity for the player you are rostering. If you end up taking a third wide receiver on a team that doesn’t throw the ball a whole lot (Titans, I’m looking at your outdated scheme here) than your chances of getting a goose egg are significantly higher than if you take Antonio Brown.
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But MLB is a much different beast when it comes to range of outcomes for any and every player you are making decisions on. The floor for hitters is literally zilch. There is always a scenario that exists in the baseball realm in which your $5000 stud ends up 0-5 with two flyouts and three strikeouts. For pitchers, the floor is even worse! We can end up in a situation where Chris Archer gives up four runs in the first based on any number of determining factors, being followed by a home run and an RBI double, resulting in a negative outing. When we are considering floors in MLB, the answer is a big ‘ol zero for everyone.
Over the offseason, Mike Leone did a lot of work with this concept and found ways to identify floors and ceilings based on historical similarities between players and the situations they are in on any given slate. Thanks to his work, DailyRoto has a really awesome group of Range of Outcomes Projections for each slate that can help us to visualize the relative percentage outcomes for every player available.
For instance, we know the floor for Mike Trout is zero fantasy points, but what are the percentages for the rest of his outcome totals based on similar historical matchups?
So even if Mike Trout has a floor of zero fantasy points, he also has a 52% chance to exceed double digits in this particular position.
That’s pretty, pretty good. In fact, it’s the based odds on the slate to hit 10+ fantasy points based on this data. At $5500, you may be thinking “Well of course he has great chances to hit double digit fantasy points, that’s why he is so expensive James!”
Not everyone is created equal, and the percentages agree.
This is a fantastic tool with a lot of different applications. Being able to visually understand the difference in projection outcomes for each individual player on a slate (Hitters and pitchers alike) can lead you to make more informed decisions in cash games based on floor and GPPs based on ceilings. Range of Outcome projections are built for every player on the slate and are available every day at DailyRoto.com with a premium subscription.
I’m more of a Budweiser guy myself
We a little under two weeks into the MLB season and have just experienced our first Coors slates of the year. Coors, as most everyone knows, is the best hitting environment in the league for a plethora of reasons, all which are undeniable because #science. And as much as I like science, I really don’t like eating Coors chalk. I never have, and I more than likely never will. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and honestly I would rather take a hard cider.
So with that in mind, I’m going to be avoiding the high priced bats in Denver today as the Rockies face off against the Padres. Here are the splits and #StatsThatMatter for the pitchers in this matchup:
I totally understand that Clayton Richard gives up a lot of contact, but he doesn’t give up a lot of good contact whatsoever. In 2017, Richard induced a 58.8% ground ball rate, good for 12th in the entire league including relivers, and only behind Dallas Keuchel, Marcus Stroman and Lance McCullers Jr. in regards to starters. As you can see, his numbers are nothing to laugh at against LHH either, with a good strikeout rate and an even higher ground ball rate. People generally seem to assume that if a pitcher gives up contact that we should stack against him, but if every ball gets driven into the ground the best you can hope for is a singles party and that isn’t going to take down a GPP (just ask the Pirates).
Jon Gray, on the other side, is having a rough start to the year but had a lot of success against the Padres in his last start and I would expect similar results here, with maybe an extra earned run on the card just due to the stadium. His strikeout rate against the split here not only mitigates a lot of the worries that I have against a Padres team that depends on the longball to do damage, it also offers a nice dose of upside. That is especially true if you are trying to take a chance on a $7900 price tag with your secondary pitcher on Draftkings.
Some GPP Considerations
A couple of my favorite play on the slate, broken down by fielding position:
Top Infielder: Paul Goldschmidt
In the spirit of avoiding the Coors bats based on things that I deem relevant, I’m going to endorse Paul Goldschmidt as my favorite infield bat on the slate. Goldy is playing in a large park at San Francisco, but he gets a very tasty matchup against Derek Holland. Over the last year, Goldschmidt is hitting the ball at a 49% hard hit rate with a respectable 38% fly ball rate, and when he isn’t hitting the ball hard and far he has a 16% walk rate leading him to .422 OBP. Derek Holland is very bad in just about every stat in this split, allowing a .408 wOBA and 2.25 HR/9 over the last year. He’s everything you could want to attack and I’ll have Goldschmidt loaded up to do so.
Top Outfielder: Michael Conforto
Michael Conforto came back from injury and called out Stephen Strasburg in his first game, resulting in a home run. Conforto has been a fantasy darling when healthy and is poised to have a fantastic year, and I don’t think that changes in a matchup with Marlins “Ace” Jose Urena. He is allowing a relatively low .331 OBP, but his xFIP of 6.287 over the last year tells us that a lot of that is based on luck and BABIP numbers rather than how he pitches. His 34% hard hit rate and 42% fly ball rate allowed in split matched with Conforto’s 164 wRC+ and 1.012 OPS should result in fireworks. If Urena gets knocked out early the Marlins bullpen is laughably bad, giving Conforto (and a Mets stack) lots of upside.
Top Pitcher (Not named Scherzer): Zack Godley
I’m not going to use this space to talk about Max Scherzer or Garrett Richards because it’s not as if you don’t already know that both of them are fantastic plays. If I was talking about Cash games, that is the obvious choice. But in GPPs I think that Godley is worth a look. Playing against the Giants in San Francisco, Godley may not have the highest strikeout potential on the slate, but I do think he has a very solid floor. Over the last year he is allowing below a .300 OBP and sporting a 9.5 K/9 in both sides of the split. The Giants offense has been ugly to start the year with only two games of real damage, and with an average ISO of only .158 next to an average wRC+ of 103 (super average) We could see Godley work deep into the game and have his way.