Daily Fantasy Baseball: Identifying Trends in Big Games from Pitchers
There are countless aspects of daily fantasy sports that will get your blood boiling.
Your power forward gets in foul trouble early in the second quarter? Fist meets wall.
Your young running back coughs up the ball early and finds himself in the doghouse? Hide the bobbleheads.
Oh, hey, that batter you spent $5,000 on? Yeah, Kevin Kiermaier just robbed him of a three-run homer. It's best to just lay down for a bit.
All of this unpredictability should make us covet the times when things get a bit easier. We can find this in selecting pitchers for daily fantasy baseball.
It turns out that -- when we're trying to nail down which pitchers are going to have big-time games -- there are a lot of signs that can tell us it's coming. We'll still have our sources of frustration (looking right at you, Tyson Ross), but there's a formula for success, and following it has tremendous upside.
To develop this formula, let's look back through each game from the 2014 and 2015 seasons in which a pitcher posted at least 66 points on FanDuel. This only happened 134 times over the two seasons, so these are the top-flight performances we're looking for to win a tournament.
For each occurrence, I looked at the weather, the pitcher's ability, the production of the opposing offense against pitchers of that handedness, and the run and home run park factors of where the game was played. This was based on three-year averages of ESPN's park factors, which you can find in this Google doc. The averages are from 2013 through 2015 seasons.
Without further ado, let's dig in. Which stats should we be emphasizing when looking for high-upside pitchers in tournaments?
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