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Daily Fantasy Baseball Pick'em League Strategies

Daily Fantasy Baseball Pick'em League Strategies
By Adam, Pro DFS Player,

On FantasyFeud, FantasyUp, and SportsTradex, one of the options for daily fantasy baseball leagues are Pick'em leagues. A Pick'em game has tiers of players, usually six to ten in each, and you choose one player from each tier. Scoring is the same as salary cap scoring, and you will see both hitters and pitchers in the tiers. Teams with the highest scores out of their players win the prizes.

The main aspect of this type of game is that instead of picking from the entire pool of players in the major leagues, you are presented with players, relative to the other players in their respective tiers. The good thing about this game is that it is less work than constructing a salary cap roster from scratch because there is less work to do.

You basically have to predict the performance of each player in the tier and choose who you think will perform the best. Easier said than done, but there is a strategy you can use when evaluating a player on a particular day.

Since each tier involves the same strategy, just different players to choose from, here are the steps to perform when picking from any of the eight tiers:

First, just eliminate any players who are injured, not starting, or may be in a potential rain out game. This is fairly obvious, but since tiers are created before the official lineups are announced by teams, you will find guys who are actually not playing today.

Next, go one by one and just get a basic idea of how each player is doing this year. These sites are very good at grouping players of similar talent into the same tier, so this one step will not lead you to a no brainer choice. Check out the information these sites provide regarding recent fantasy points per game and see who has been hot and who has not.

Next, use external factors like the pitcher each player is facing and the ballpark the player is playing in. Eliminate any hitter facing one of the elite pitchers, no matter how good that hitter is. Also eliminate any hitter that is hitting in a pitcher friendly ballpark. Hopefully, by now you have gotten rid of one or two players, making your choice much easier. Highlight players who are playing in hitter's ballparks and players who are facing subpar pitching. The same will go for pitchers: factor in opposing lineup strength and the ballpark. The talent of the pitcher is irrelevant at this step.

Next you want to check the lineups and eliminate hitters who are hitting sixth through ninth. They will potentially receive less at bats than hitters batting earlier in the lineup and will also get less opportunities for runs batted in and runs. Highlight hitters hitting first through fourth. Hopefully, one or two hitters are dropped in the order and you can just cross them off your list.

Now is the hard part... Chances are, most of the players in the tier are still there and they are all rostered, playing today in good weather, not facing an ace pitcher, not hitting in a pitcher's ballpark, and hitting in a good spot of the order. Since these players will be so close in talent, the next thing you can check is batter versus pitcher splits. If there is only one hitter in the tier who has at least 20 at bats against the pitcher and is hitting over .500 against them, just choose that player. The same goes for 20 at bats and a high strikeout rate; eliminate those players.

For pitchers you can do the same sort of thing. Check their history versus the team they're facing. If they have gotten rocked in the past, cross them off the list. If they have dominated their opponent in the past, choose him from the tier.

Up for debate is whether to choose a power hitter or a contact hitter. That choice is up to you. Do you feel lucky? Is the power hitter hitting in a ballpark that yields many home runs, as well as facing a pitcher who yields a lot of long balls? Is the contact hitter facing a pitcher who gives up a lot of hits, is cold, plays in a big ballpark, etc.? There is no right answer to this question, but you will be confronted with it many times when choosing your Pick'em league players.

In summary, the first step is to exercise the process of elimination based on ballpark, opposing pitcher or lineup, weather, batting order position, etc. Next it is a matter of choosing the player in the best scenario by using the appropriate splits like batter vs. pitcher and home vs. away. Hitters and pitchers tend to play better at home.

Good luck and as always, thanks for reading!

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