Daily Fantasy Baseball: Analyzing Trends in Multi-Home Run Games
I've said a lot of dumb things in my life, but few are dumber than the slander I dumped on Lucas Duda prior to the 2015 MLB season.
While talking with someone about season-long drafts, we were discussing the depth at first base. Sure, it's a lame conversation, but this was right after we had spent an hour tackling the plot holes in My Little Pony Tales, so I'm considering it a step up for us.
Anyway, I was trying to argue that I needed to take a first baseman early. My reasoning was that I didn't want to end up with a guy like Duda as my first baseman.
Then Duda went out, launched 27 taters into the night sky, and finished his second consecutive season with a slugging percentage above .480.
Good call, Jim!
What makes this especially annoying on my part is that I easily could have seen it coming. It turns out that Duda presents a lot of the traits we should be looking for when we are trying to identify home-run hitters. Among the non-elite guys, he may actually be the prototype, and this has serious applications to daily fantasy baseball.
If you can pinpoint a guy in your selection process who goes out and hits a pair of home runs on a given night, you will be sitting pretty for a heavy payout. It doesn't happen too terribly often, meaning that when you catch that lightning, it's going to give you heavy separation from the pack.
However, what's the best way to figure out when a hitter is going to have such a night? I wanted to find this out. So, I went back through each instance during the 2015 season in which a hitter had a multi-home run game. I wanted to see what the wind speeds were, where they were hitting in the lineup, what type of pitcher they were facing, and what attributes the hitter himself brought to the table. This way, we could develop a blueprint for predicting when these games are going to occur.
After going through each of those games, there were some pretty clear takeaways. Let's go through them to hopefully make this process a bit easier and prevent me from speaking ill of any guys who present this type of makeup.
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