Prepping for Friday’s Big Contests
Before we get started, what a wild night Thursday. I literally had one team (in a 50/50 league, no less) that had Devin Mesoraco (grand slam) and Alejandro de Aza (grand slam) and still didn't cash. At Fanduel, I had two teams post more than 50 points and finish well short of the money in tournaments - I've had two top ten finishes in that range in the past week.
In yesterday's column, we targeted both the Padres and White Sox as potential team stacks. Each team scored 11 runs. Neither posted the highest total of the night. That would be the San Francisco Giants (?). Five of the runs came against starter Anibal Sanchez (four in the sixth... he'd allowed three earned runs in four previous starts against San Francisco), who still managed to net a positive point total with seven strikeouts. To give an indication of how crazy the scoring was yesterday... well, here. Just look!
|Team||Runs Scored Thursday||Avg. Runs/Gm.|
|San Francisco Giants||14||3.9|
|San Diego Padres||11||3.1|
|Chicago White Sox||11||4.1|
|St. Louis Cardinals||9||5.3|
|New York Mets||5||4.1|
|Los Angeles Angels||3||3.6|
* We've excluded the Indians and Tigers (2-1 Tribe) because it was an afternoon game.
Miraculously, there was just one home run in the Giants and Marlins 21 combined run bloodbath. It came off the bat of Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton, and boy did he crush that thing. It actually bounced off of the bar in the upper levels in left center field. In fact, 21 of the 28 combined hits were singles (to go with 10 combined walks), so for the most part, fantasy owners were nibbling their way to a high score.
Michael Bourn (yes.... that Michael Bourn) hit his third home run since Tuesday night, but the Braves got swept at the hands of the Reds anyway thanks to Devin Mesoraco's first home run of the season... a bomb of a grand slam which just stayed fair. In fact, let's check out some of this craziness.
Catchers who homered Thursday night: Joe Mauer, Devin Mesoraco, Nick Hundley, A.J. Pierzynski, Yadier Molina
It was just an utter mess. I looked at my lineups at around 9:00 and got excited because I realized that more than half the guys I'd picked were having big nights. Then I saw the scoring around the entire league. Surely, this means that Friday will yield less total runs than the six night games Thursday did, so........
Big Contests Friday
DraftDay: DOCOFS Main Event
If you don't already have your seat for the DOCOFS Main Event, you're out of luck. The contest filled up early Thursday morning, which led them to create a second chance which will be played on Sunday. With a $25,000 prize pool, the DOCOFS Main Event is the biggest event in the industry. However, it's not the only big one.
Fanduel: DFBC Qualifier
Fanduel runs their DFBC Qualifier every Friday night, so get your entry - or entries - in there if you think you have what it takes to earn a shot at $100,000 in July. I love the site and I continue to routinely throw an entry in for the DFBC Qualifier every week, but be forewarned that it isn't just unlimited entry. With as much as there is at stake in a tournament like this, throwing one lottery ticket in for $10 is worthwhile. Throwing 2 or 3 probably isn't worth it given what some of the big boys play.
I've recently begun listening to the Rotogrinders podcast, which runs Monday through Friday and covers daily fantasy sports. While I obviously do my own research, every tool can help. I'll occasionally find a guy that I missed. I'll get an idea of what other people are thinking (while I loved the Padres for Thursday, they loved the Mets rookie pitcher going against the Padres). Even more than that, I'll have another outlet where I can hear some of what's going on in the industry. Unnecessary promotion aside, let's get to the heart of this.
They have the winner of the DFBC qualifier on every week, and I listen because it's interesting to hear how they pulled it off. Sometimes it's just dumb, blind luck. Sometimes they have other areas (day vs. night... left vs. right.. home/road splits) that they're researching a little more heavily than I do that could be useful for future research. Half the time it's a team stack that won it, and they happened to pick the right team.
Anyway, one of the first questions that always seems to be asked is this: "So how many entries did you go with this week?" I can't remember which champion it was, but one of them actually said that he'd gone a little easier that week after putting in 70 entries in an earlier contest. When big stacks are pushing 5 horses into the field, it's one thing. When they're pushing 70 in, you're talking about so many possible lineup combinations. Skill starts to become an afterthought at that point.
I completely get it from the site's perspective. It's a huge boost for them. If one guy wants to throw in 100 different lineups, that's $10,000 going into the funds for the contest. Given that there's a prize pool of over $1,700 (excluding the trip to Vegas that they value at $15,000 to enter a tournament with a $250,000 prize pool) for each qualifier, they want as many entries in the tournament as possible. From the player's perspective, it certainly heavily favors players with large stacks.
Oh well... Rant over... I'll be throwing my best lineup that I can come up with out there for the DFBC qualifier, but that's it. You're all welcome to throw in 3, 5, 10, or 2,000 lineups out there if you'd like.
Daily Joust: King James Tourney and Bounty Badge
Daily Joust runs their King James $1,000 tournament every Friday, which nets a seat in the Super Joust to the winner and also has a bounty badge on a top player at their site. I'll admit that I hadn't been playing too much over there until the past week. I've really gotten into the solo contests, though, and I took my first run at their 50/50 Survivor Tournament a couple of days ago (made it to Day 3, which means I've made my money back.... we'll see if it ends tomorrow!). As there are some games that are different from what you can find at other sites, we're going to run an issue devoted to them some time early next week.
While the DOCOFS is the biggest money tournament of the night, I didn't manage to qualify with the crazy night Thursday. We'll be using Fanduel's salaries as we prep you for the DFBC.
Possible Team Stacks
Detroit - The Tigers have been scuffling a bit lately. They haven't scored more than four runs in any game since last Friday against Pittsburgh. Still, a date with the Twins and their league worst 5.38 ERA should help to turn things around. They'll start with Anthony Swarzak tomorrow, who has been pitching primarily in middle relief so far this season.
Yankees - Since getting lit up by the Orioles and Rays on the road, Tyson Ross has been surprisingly solid, allowing just five runs in his past three starts. Still, two of those starts were against the Angels and Giants, who are both among the ten worst offenses in the league in terms of runs scored. The Yankee bats have been relatively quiet lately, but they exploded Wednesday night for eight runs. Even in pitcher-friendly O-Co Coliseum, nobody should be surprised if they put 7 or more runs on the board.
Pirates - The sleeper squad for tomorrow. Ryan Dempster will be one of our three down. While he's off to a hot start, he has a 5.57 ERA in 49 appearances (24 starts) against the Bucs. Clint Barmes, Rod Barajas, Andrew McCutchen, Casey McGehee, Nate McLouth, and Neil Walker have all hit .300 or better with at least one home run against him in their career.
Yovani Gallardo ($7,600) - Gallardo and Tim Hudson are my pitching plays of the day, but Gallardo edges him out for the mention here. In five lifetime starts against the Diamondbacks, Gallardo has a 1.20 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP, and 32 strikeouts in 30 innings. He's never so much as settled for a no decision against them either.
Ichiro Suzuki (3,400) - Ichiro hits well against a lot of guys, but he's batting .350 (28 for 80) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, and 2 home runs lifetime against Ervin Santana. Since we can never really expect Ichiro to hit a home run, his stolen base production factors in a little more heavily than most. He's a perfect 9 for 9 in stolen base attempts against Ervin.
Neil Walker ($2,800) - With a 7 for 15 lifetime line against Ryan Dempster that includes three extra base hits (1 HR), Walker should be a nice cheap 2b option so that you have plenty to spend elsewhere.
Ryan Dempster ($6,500) - Dempster could be a popular pitcher tomorrow based on his low salary and his hot start (despite not having won a game, he's got a 2.28 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP, and close to a strikeout per inning) and the fact that he's facing one of the worst offenses in the league. The Bucs have hit Dempster pretty well throughout his career, including last season when they got to him for a 5.25 ERA.
Ryan Zimmerman ($3,200) - Zimm has started the year slowly, which is nothing new. While this is around the time he usually starts to heat up, Zimmerman is 8 for 46 lifetime against Tim Hudson with just one extra base hit (a double). Find your third baseman elsewhere.
Jason Hammel ($6,700) - At such a cheap salary despite his 12.9 FD points per start, Hammel could be a popular play against the Royals. However, he's shown some signs of returning to being... well.. Jason Hammel in his past two starts, allowing 9 runs in 10.1 innings against the Yankees and Nationals. While his splits against the Royals come mainly from back when he was in Tampa Bay - a long time ago, in other words - they aren't real pretty. He has a 6.75 ERA lifetime against Kansas City.