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!