I’ve been in a cranky and somber mood since I heard the news: DraftStreet has been sold to DraftKings. At the beginning of this season I learned of the world that is Daily Fantasy Baseball. I’ve played on average about five games per night since. It’s the greatest world I’ve ever known.
When I look back on my life – my life in baseball – I will have a VERY special place in my heart of this half season I got to enjoy on DraftStreet and the excitement it brought to common weeknights with a short slate of games or the huge weekend tournaments.
Daily Fantasy will not be the same, no site out there pulls every little intricacy together as well as the site I fell in love with in April. The greatest things in life certainly don’t last.
All that remains are the memories, the sweet memories. I still remember the night I took down one of the greats, a guy I admire a lot in the Daily Fantasy realm:
As for DraftKings, this isn’t going to work, probably for the reason I am not fully comfortable playing there. I’m a daily fantasy turtle without a shell right now. This is out of the Forbes article I linked, and I think it simply holds a lot of truth:
“We spent a long time with IAC evaluating DraftStreet and whether to make a bid,” added Eccles of FanDuel. IAC committed to investing in DraftStreet in 2013. ”Ultimately we declined to bid for them. Around 70% of the revenues on both DraftStreet and DraftKings comes from players who already have FanDuel accounts. So we would be spending money for players we already had. Additionally, the top reasons for people to play on DraftStreet included their unique pricing and roster configurations, snake drafts and pickems. So trying to bring over the players when you don’t have those games is a mistake.”
There are no shortcuts in life. You can buy a client base of a site but without giving us the things that made us love – and made us so loyal in playing on that site – you simply won’t sustain any amount of consistent success.
Daily fantasy will never be the same. I’m just so happy to have known my times on the ‘Street. Now I must think of all the foes I’ll never conquer and the scores I’ll never be able to settle.
Short and compact tonight, just like a Chase Utley cut! No, he’s not part of the Daily Wolf Pack.
Mike Leake ($12,349) – Would you believe Leake’s fly-ball % is down almost a full ten percent since he debuted as a rookie? It’s 24.8% this season. The Giants are full of pesky veteran hitters, but it’s a big park they’re playing in tomorrow night and I would take the under total bet even with Ryan Vogelsong starting on the other side. It’s going to be that kind of game. Leake eats innings and should keep the ball in the yard. I tell you what I wouldn’t do – I sure the Hell wouldn’t run Vogelsong out there for $2,000+ more. I like Leake a lot better tomorrow, for once.
Melky Cabrera ($7,555) – Scott Carroll, poor Scotty Carroll has got like; no chance tomorrow. The Blue Jays are going to score a pile of runs and the Melk-man is going to be in the middle of all of it. He’s sitting on 98 hits for the season, he’ll be at or over 100 by night’s end tomorrow. He sports a .311 average against righties. Pay the premium and let the man fill your stat sheet.
Ike Davis ($5,025) – Man, it feels like shit to endorse Ike Davis in any manner. The guy is hitting .050 against lefties which would matter if he was facing a lefty tomorrow, but he’s got Dice-K in his sights. Righties support his entire stat-line, they are his lifeline in this world. He only exists to hit them. For most first base options with home run potential you’ll pay a premium, but not for stinky Ike. We won’t go as far as saying he will homer, but we have a feeling. Now we’re gonna go take a shower.
How about a couple Milwaukee mini-stack options to get to Christian Friedrich in Coors Field-lite:
Mark Reynolds ($6,129)
Khris Davis ($6,486)
Rickie Weeks ($4,968)
We’re rolling out a new column here that should be a semi-regular feature at Diamond Hoggers. We’ll talk through some of the players involved in the following day’s Draftstreet Daily Fantasy Baseball slate, we’ll roll out a few winning plays, and send you folks home happy.
If you like fantasy baseball, and you’re not familiar with Draftstreet you pretty much have two solid pieces of advice you should take from us: 1) stay away from it, because it’s more addicting than crack; or 2) head over to Draftstreet and tell them Diamond Hoggers sent you, if you do they’ll give you a deposit bonus that will give you some free play for when you fail. It’s like golf, and real baseball. Failure is part of the damn game. Now be a good recruit and play hundreds of games a month, okay?
We’re rolling out our model today that we like to call the “WOLF” model. The WOLF model was inspired by our good friend Corey, who has written for this site and also introduced us to Daily Fantasy Baseball. He’s also known by those who know him as ‘The Wolf of Draftstreet’. Without getting to far off track, please pay attention to the acronym, for this model will help you identify key plays each day in daily fantasy:
W – wOBA. Weighted on-base average. If you can figure out the guys who project well for the following day’s wOBA, you have a great baseline for who is going to be a big hit on the street. Basically, these are the guys who aren’t going to make outs; and it gives weight to them if they do big shit like extra base hits. Don’t know about wOBA? Daddy’s got your wOBA right here. Learn it, love it.
O - Opposing Pitcher. Fairly self explanatory. You’ll want to target 4th or 5th starters that have garden-variety stuff. When you’re choosing your hitters for the next day, build a lineup with cheaper hitters that can get rich off an off-brand like Colby Lewis or Fausto Carmona. No one wants to go into the Lions Den that is a lineup facing Clayton Kershaw or Adam Wainwright. The biggest heroes ever written about always died in the end. Don’t do it.
L – Lineup. You need to invest the time each night to take a look and see if there are cheap players at a money spot in the lineup. Let me toot my own horn here, as last night I spotted Logan Morrison in the fifth spot in the Mariner lineup just before lineups were due. Morrison in the seven hole is worthless to me. Now Morrison in the middle of the order like that against a righty; for $3,098 I think it was, sign me up. Look for pesky lead-off men who might sneak in an extra plate appearance. There’s value there. If someone is outside that top five spots in the order, they should take a hit in value in your model. Excuse me, OUR model.
F – Field. Where are they playing? Is it in a run-scoring environment? Is this a hitter’s heaven like Coors or Great American for run totals or is it a boring morgue like Oakland or Petco? Anyone who has played on the ‘Street regularly knows a classic Coors Field Game can change your fortunes if you’re part of it or fuck things up royally if you don’t get a piece of the action.
Now for the daily set of picks, we’ll call it the Daily Wolf Pack:
Anibal Sanchez ($17,097) – 2.33 ERA, 59 strikeouts in 69 innings and he’s got the chance to get you over 10. The bottom line is the Rangers are heading in the wrong direction, the arrow of the Rangers is headed downward. The public perception is the Rangers are a strong offensive team; they really aren’t this year and they’re not hot. If you want to avoid ace prices and build your pitching staff around a safe option without premium pricing, this is the guy to start with.
Dexter Fowler ($5,305) – Sometimes, there are splits you just can’t ignore. Dexter is a .347 hitter against left-handed pitching, he’s got nearly a 1 to 1 BB to K ratio (12/15) against southpaws. We think highly enough of Braves starter Alex Wood, but Fowler should be in that top three of the lineup, so at that price he’s worth the play.
Kole Calhoun ($4,968) – I’ve watched this young man a lot, and he’s got some thunder in his bat. As long as he’s hitting in front of Trout, he’s going to get some fastballs he can handle. He’ll be facing a righty in his home park, and he’s a .273 hitter against them. He’s not going to blow up for 20 points, but he’s not going to log very many goose-eggs either. This is a good price for a lead-off guy.
Dan Haren ($14,294) – Look, he’s a shithead who has the tendency to give up some gopher balls, but the bottom line is the Dodgers need this game badly and they can probably count on the veteran to give them a quality start against a lineup whose top hitters are surprisingly better off lefties in a mediocre hitter’s park. Roll the dice on Haren – since you’ll need to on someone – and spend the money on building a great lineup with….
Mike Trout ($9,664) – It’s the world’s best hitter against an off-brand making his second career start. He’ll do something. Mike Trout is part of any model.
Good luck, and good luck build a winner with the WOLF model!
I owned Wilin Rosario last year in fantasy baseball, and I have to say it opened my eyes to one of the few things in baseball I apparently had been missing. This fuckin’ guy gets A LOT of days off where he’s not in the lineup. Seriously, he makes Bryce Harper look like an everyday player.
I meant to do this post two days ago, when Rosario got the night off after catching a whole six innings the night prior. I missed the boat, but I didn’t stress out about it; because you see I knew that Wilin Rosario would be sitting again soon. Tonight, that moment came once again.
I honestly wanted to put Walt Weiss in a very foreign choke hold of sorts last season because Rosario would be starting to get hot, and slated to face a left-handed pitcher at Coors Field. And then Walt Weiss would pull Rosario out of the lineup because he had a cold or needed his rest, etc.
It was absolutely mind-numbing. I wish I was exaggerating to tell you that Rosario seemed to play about three to four days a week on average in his good weeks. That was when he didn’t have an infected wisdom tooth, common cold, pulled hamstring, viral infection, water fungus on his fuckin’ elbow, day game after a night game, or asshole Weiss just sitting him because he played two days in a row.
I honestly got into the habit of rostering two catchers in fantasy baseball to safeguard against ‘Chicken Soup’ Rosario; and I am so thankful I did it because I was rewarded with Jonathan Lucroy this year late-round (lucked into that one) but this year with Lucroy and the Cather Du’ Jour on the roster I really don’t have a need for two catchers because Lucroy plays every night.
Look – I get that Rosario is a terrible defensive catcher – but his days off are absolutely excessive. Even though he has the immune system of a man with a T-Cell count of 12; I think it would be reasonable if he was in the lineup just a little bit more often.
Chicken Soup Rosario, sitting on his roost again. Watching over his flock of Rockies.
We’re starting off something new here that we expect to do once a week or maybe even twice a week if it’s good fun. We are big fantasy baseball folks here; we’re just going to do some commentary on a lot of the league and where we gauge the pulse with guys right now.
Starting us off today is the man pictured above; OSWALD!
Oswaldo Arcia – Hit a nice line drive home run into the second deck off his homer-friendly friend Vidal Nuno last night. I feel like it’s his time to do some damage. Last year he was off the grill a little early. Right now he’s just right – ripe for 15-20 HR perhaps hitting in the middle of the Minnesota order. If he’s still on your waiver wire don’t leave him there.
Xander Bogaerts – .380 OBP SS. How many of them are there in baseball? Two of them right now. He’s over .300, there aren’t a lot of those either. He’s hitting second in that order for a reason and he’s going to stay there. I am sick that I dealt him.
Mike Trout – how about that slumping Mike Trout. Boy he sure does suck! Another monster home run last night in Oakland, he’s hit in 11 straight and is over .400 during that time. Listen to the spoiled Mike Trout fantasy owners crybaby about how he’s not stealing enough. He’s like that chick that is hot in every way but you don’t like how much she calls. When Trout calls, don’t ice it. If you can even get a chick like him to call you.
Yangervis Solarte – He honestly reminds me of Robbie Cano when Cano was coming up in the world like a regular Tony Montana, trying so sell cocaine and make his way. We’re talking 2006 Cano. He is a very good offensive player right now in a perfect park for his swing, and he has Swiss-Army knife eligibility (2B/SS).
Adam Lind – When Jose Abreu went down, I needed a 1B fix. Do you see what he’s doing to right-handed pitching right now? Murdering it. He came into today hitting .384 against righties.
Francisco Liriano – Got it together a little bit last night against the Dodgers, working the change-up. I still notice he can’t get left-handed batters out with any regularity, his biggest difference from last years days of dominance. It is tempting to see what’s possible when he’s slightly on.
Oscar Taveras – Welcome to the big league fraternity, kid. Just when you thought the Cardinals weren’t that impressive of an offense they’re bailed out by two youngsters who you know will be impactful the rest of the way in Kolten Wong and Oscar the Cardinal.
Kolten Wong – Speaking of…. I have this simulator where I traded for him and he was a remarkably solid player for a solid 12 to 14 seasons offensively. I think the simulator knew something.
Dexter Fowler – He’s cooled off some, but in his last 16 games he’s walked 15 times and is hitting .291. That lineup is mostly harmless, but like the sweet peregrine falcon at the zoo, you stick your hand in that cage and one time it will tear your finger clean off. That’s Dexter Fowler.
Adam Eaton – You’re going to have to start earning your keep around here, Mighty Mouse.
Ian Kennedy – I never thought much of him in the past, and I saw him on the waiver wire and gave him a shot. All he’s done since then is strike out 44 batters in 36 and 2/3 innings, walking 11. Those are winning numbers and I don’t care where you get them from.
Erick Aybar – This Punch and Judy has 29 RBI so far. Monitor these next few weeks. If you need runs he’s a capable guy off the waiver wire.
Mike Napoli – I just plucked him off the waiver wire and stashed his ass. I’m quite excited about it. He should be back soon. He hit bombs for a few weeks without use of a pinky. It was at the expense of Juan Francisco, whom I cut. I’m still excited.
Chad Qualls – Make sure this guy isn’t plankton on the bottom of the waiver wire sea floor. He added a couple of saves this past week, including a four-out save last night. The Houston pen is usually not worth thinking about, but Qualls seems to have a lock-down on the job.
Devin Mesoraco – Grand slam last night. I can’t stay it enough; this guy is a monster and would be an All-Star without the hamstring injury earlier in the year. He’s done exactly this at every level. This isn’t going away.
Hanley Ramirez – I watch his AB’s every night and I think he’s one of the most overrated players in the game. Why do people value this guy like he’s one of the elite? He’s not. The swing is stiff and rigid. Try to sell him to someone who thinks he’s elite. Don’t be that guy.
Corey Kluber – There isn’t a pitcher in the game today who is more dominant. There is no debate right now. Right now is over in the blink of an eye but for this last six week run, he’s been unreal; making your pitching staff much better than you thought it would be.
Justin Verlander – He’s not striking people out anymore, and he’s walking people to boot. Don’t get excited yet about those seven strikeouts in 7 and 2/3 last night. We’re a long way from being back.
Yasiel Puig – I think you’re looking at the number one overall player in fantasy for 2014, is what I think when we talk about this prize-winning Puig.
Tomorrow, someone gets the Pantheon in Fantasy Baseball. Someone is walking out of the DraftStreet vault with $20,000 big ones. It will probably be won by the guy who rolls with the unlikeliest of sources for points. The last guy who won a Big Score rolled with some schlep named Charlie Blackmon – and all he did was go 6 for 6 and win the guy a sack of green.
So if you wake up Friday feeling lucky, head over to DraftStreet and register. Tell them Diamond Hoggers sent you and they’ll give you a $25 bonus. Spend the money you would have used seeing a movie with some chick who won’t kiss you at the end of the night and roll with Rick Porcello like we did. You might just take home $20,000.
A few weeks back some unheralded, bearded gnome went 6 for 6 in a Coors Field Friday game. On that day something special was born. We get the feeling watching Blackmon each night that this little run he has going on could last all year long. Sure, he’ll slump like every hitter does. His BABIP isn’t going to remain a sterling .391 all season – congratulations to you numbers guys for your ‘out on a limb’ proclamation there.
But the Rockies have a good lineup. And they play in Coors Field half the time. If you have a mind like a steal-trap, you might remember what we said about Coors Field and it’s effect on a Rockies hitter every so often back in our 2014 Rockies Team preview:
Anyone here watch WWE wrestling? You know how Vince McMahon can kind of just create a star out of whoever he wants? That’s kind of what Coors Field does for certain offensive players seemingly with it’s imaginary hand.
[talks about Rockies hitters, doesn't mention Blackmon]
But one of these guys we aren’t talking about will see their numbers jump exponentially. One of these guys is going to be a waiver pick-up in your fantasy league, and they’re going to help a league-mate in a big way.
And wouldn’t you know, that 2014 and Coors Field has chosen Charlie Blackmon. He’s going to do this all year long barring an injury. He’s going to be the little turd that’s been polished into one of the top players in fantasy baseball.
But enough of the touting – lets get to the nickname. We play in a fantasy league with a colorful character who remarked last year that ‘he was always finding the next great porn star off the waiver wire while the rest of us in the league were always finding washed-up crackwhores’. Didn’t he put it nicely?
This has led us to embrace it to a degree and give Charlie Blackmon the name that best fits him. Charlie Blackmon will from now on be known as ‘The Aging Porn Star’. That’s right folks. He’s got a few more feature films left in him in 2014 before he turns to interracial and once he gives that up he’ll never be heard from again. The year 2014 is Charlie Blackmon’s one shot at the title. You take one look at him and you know he’s not built for a 10-year career. You know he’s not going to go down as a Rockies great. His star will burn bright and it will burn quick but then he’ll be into obscurity and never heard from again. He’s got the shelf-life of a porn star, and thus the greatest nickname he’s ever been given.
Fantasy Baseball as I know it will never be the same.
Take a guy with an addictive personality who will bet on anything; and put him on this site. What you have is me – sitting up late at night, researching what Norichika Aoki has done lifetime during day games against left-handed pitchers in even-numbered years.
And then I swap out the entire lineup I’ve researched so hard for some fly by night guy who I just feel is overdue. It’s madness. It’s a street where no one is your friend, and it’s every many for himself.
Since Opening Day began and I gave this daily fantasy baseball site a shot, I haven’t been able to stop. In fact, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.
During my workday I’m sitting at my desk, and I’m wondering Jordan Lyles’ odds at shutting down the opposition. I never thought I would use my money to depend on Jordan Lyles. And then I found myself on DraftStreet. And I placed in my first two tournaments.
It’s like online poker, only the cards are replaced by my favorite thing in life: baseball players. And even though I don’t own Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout in any of my real big money leagues (and never will), I make sure to own one of them at least nightly.
And I’m no longer depending on that ace on the river to take down the sit and go poker game. Quite the opposite in fact. I’m depending on a shithead like Miguel Gonzalez against the Tigers to take down the $100K ‘Big Score’ tournament for me. And I failed miserably. Miguel Gonzalez was bad to the point that when my wife got home from her long day at work, I did not have much to say. She asked what was wrong, and I told her that sometimes things do not go as they should. I lied, because in this case things went exactly like they should. The gambler in me played Gonzalez on the grandest of Daily Fantasy stages, and I did not learn to tell about it. Lesson learned.
Today my family gathers for lunch. I arrive and don’t have much to say. My aunt asks me if my wife and I had an argument, and I tell her the truth; we haven’t argued in weeks. If they only knew the reason for my smug demeanor was that Justin Masterson got tuned up all afternoon by the Twins and Billy Butler couldn’t buy a fucking hit against Chris Sale (who he has owned lifetime).
On Draft Street, up is down and down is up. The man who played Edison Volquez against the Cardinals today and Scott Feldman against the Angels walked away with my money. And I’m pissed about it. Yet, because I am a glutton for punishment, the only thing I could think about tonight was building tomorrow’s winner.
I have thought less about my yearly teams this year than I have my entire life – and the sad thing is those teams are performing admirably. DraftStreet is the Rubik’s Cube I vow to solve before I draw my last breath. It is a challenge I cannot stop striving for the top for. I will crack ‘the model’ if I have to work day and night to do so. I can do this. I don’t think there is a human being on this earth who thinks about this twisted game of baseball as much as I do – it’s a matter of time until I find out the grid on DraftStreet.
As frustrating as it can be, if it weren’t so much damn fun I wouldn’t be this into it. If you play Daily Fantasy Baseball on DraftStreet, you’ll love it. Where else does Charlie Blackmon become baseball’s prized golden-goose? Where else can I find myself being the biggest Brandon Belt fan on the planet? Adeiny Echeverria made me as proud the other night during his four-hit performance as anyone has in a long time playing fantasy. And Jared Saltalamacchia was not far behind.
Have a seat in my fantasy baseball clubhouse son. I want to have a talk with you. You’re a good looking Dominican boy, a clean boy. I just used a really high waiver claim on you in the finest of leagues. I’m gonna need you to go out there this year and show us all that 100 MPH fastball you’ve got and post that 9-plus K/9 I know you have in you. Can you do that for me son?
That’s right, go out there and be dominant to the point that they push that 200-inning limit that is being thrown about in the media reports. Make that Ned Yost a big fat liarsbreath. I wanna see him push that arm to the limit. Lets see how many it can withstand. Do I hear 230? I think I might.
You see son, I don’t make a habit of trusting young pitchers when I’m trying to win at something. It just isn’t good for business. But I trust you. That’s not like me. There’s something different about you. I feel like you could be a member of my fantasy squad for a very, very long time.
Now head down there; that hallway, to my imaginary fantasy baseball clubhouse buffet. Enjoy the spread. You like how I treat my players? You’re going to like it more if you strike out 10 in your debut that first week because I’ll be treating the boys to steak. That’s right.
The world is your oyster young man. I know they probably didn’t show you a lot of oysters over there in the Dominican where you came from. But you stick with me and my evil cartel of banditos, you’re going to have a lot of oysters.
Back on February 28th of 2012, a legendary fantasy league was spawned. It was spawned partly by horrible human error on behalf of greater than three or four league members.
You see, in Ottoneu’s auction draft format, a team owner must ‘nominate’ a player for bidding during the draft. At our inaugural draft I was in need of a catcher, and was quite happy to see a J. Mauer still available! The bidding picked up fast and furious, and soon I was right-clicking my mouse with the ferocity of a little old lady that desperately needed the tea set at the estate sale. What I ended up with was no antiquity.
Just got Joe Mauer for $14, b/c he’s listed as “Jake Mauer” #steal
I spent $14 on Joe Mauer’s brother who probably builds birdhouses. And I still didn’t realize what the Hell had happened so I tweeted to brag about it. Somehow, this guy had slipped his way into the player draft pool and had several owners bidding for his services without knowing that he was the manager of the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
Except I didn’t get Joe Mauer – I just didn’t get stuck with Jake – and Ottoneu was nice enough to credit me back my $14 Ottoneu currency. And because we’re all gluttons for pain, several of us added Jake Mauer who provides no fantasy value to our rosters for $1 at various times the past few years, carried him for a few weeks and them dropped him; like throwing a timeless keepsake back into the ocean.
After that we decided to name our Ottoneu league “Jake Mauer” simply put. You can find us discussing the league on twitter with the hashtag #JakeMauer.
Tonight is the third annual draft. Due to this famed man who will probably spend a lifetime residing in Minnesota – our lives are forever changed. If you’re out there Jake; come forward and speak.
The following is a reenactment of actual events. I was preparing for fantasy baseball drafts this upcoming weekend and decided to climb into a mock. After performing the first two picks like a pro mock-drafter, I began to stray from the board.
We don’t recommend trying this at home. Unless you’re bored.
I went on to select Liam Hendricks with my fourth rounder and could no longer take the abuse. The abuse that I probably deserved.
I snickered to myself a few times, and then went back down to my parent’s basement.
If you’re getting ready for that fantasy draft (we have three next weekend), make sure you’re keeping up with the Fanduel series.
We’re a little surprised that no one considers taking Harper in round one a ‘reach’. It’s definitely classified as such. If he’s there and it’s the end of the first round and you’re deciding between him, a bat like Beltre, or an arm like Kershaw, you sir are about to reach. We say he’ll be worth it.
It’s always nice to have friends in high places. One of my good buddies just saved me the trouble of my yearly tradition of dropping $8.99 on a fantasy magazine I’ll mostly only read in the bathroom and then go completely against on draft day.
So when you buy this year’s copy of Rotoworld Fantasy Baseball, give Mike’s Top Prospects article a read. If you’ve spent any time here listening to the podcast in the past you know Mike is good shit when it comes to talking baseball and prospects.