As I am sure you are aware, we have a new promotional partner this season as FanDuel and Mastersball have teamed up to make this your best fantasy baseball season ever. If you have not yet taken advantage of this deal and are a first-time FanDuel user, you can still get a free Platinum subscription by opening an account at FanDuel and depositing $25 using the promotional code "masters". Not only will you get free access to our Platinum content (a $34.95 value), FanDuel will add an additional $7.50 to your account. All totaled, you will get $67.45 worth of value for your $25 deposit. Click HERE to sign up and get your free Platinum subscription.
FanDuel has set up a one-day contest exclusively for Mastersball. For $10, you can vie for your share of the $2000 being awarded. First place gets $450, second wins $300 while third takes home $200. A total of 26 places will be paid. Below is the team I have entered into the contest. Do you think you can beat me? Prove it and enter a squad and let's settle it on the diamond. Click on the FanDuel link below to enter the exclusive Mastersball contest for this evening, Friday April 12.
I'll talk more about the strategy of daily games in future columns, but in a nutshell, here is what you need to know.
Hitter versus pitcher history regardless of sample size
Perceived hot and cold streaks
Admittedly, these are non-intuitive and there are exceptions but the exceptions are only for extreme cases.
Lefty hitters facing righty pitchers and righty pitchers versus lefty pitchers
Hitters at home in favorable parks
Hitters facing lesser quality pitchers
That's it - nothing more, nothing less.
For those unaware of the FanDuel format, it's a salary cap game where you fill in a standard nine man lineup (no DH or relief pitcher) by keeping the cumulative salaries under a set amount. The powers that be at FanDuel set the salaries in accordance with player quality, but based on match-ups, injuries, etc., you can find spots to (hopefully) gain an edge. The salaries are set up so that you will have primarily very good players, but you will need to skimp on a couple of spots and look for the most bang for the buck. The site does the math for you as well as providing the scheduled opposition pitcher for each hitter that night so you can set your entire lineup without ever leaving the site. Everything you need is there. Setting your squad can take as little as five minutes - it's that easy.
OK, here's my squad:
P Tommy Hanson HOU@LAA $6,600 - When I choose a pitcher, I lean heavily to using a home starter in a pitcher's park against a weak team. Check, check and check. Long-term, I am very concerned about Hanson. But for one night, against the Astros? Sign me up.
C Salvador Perez TOR@KAN $2,900 - Perez is a lefty swinger facing the southpaw J.A. Happ so that fulfills almost all of the criteria except Kaufmann Stadium is a pitcher's venue. I'll trade that for the rest.
1B Adam LaRoche ATL@WAS $3,100 - Lefty LaRoche will hit against righty rookie Julio Teheran. Again, the park is the only negative in this selection. Walks score points and I like the chance for Teheran to be a little wild and LaRoche is patient so I could get some cheap points from walk and runs scored.
2B Robinson Cano BAL@NYY $4,500 - Lefty Cano versus righty Miguel Gonzalez in Yankee Stadium, this is as close to a no-brainer as there is on the board.
3B Pedro Alvarez CIN@PIT $2,700 - I said to ignore cold streaks and this is practicing what I preach. Lefty Alvarez struggles versus southpaws but his opponent will be righty Mike Leake, not the most imposing competition. This is a perfect time for Alvarez to break out the power stick.
SS Asdrubal Cabrera CWS@CLE $3,500 - Lefty Cabrera against righty Jose Quintana is another enticing match-up despite Progressive Field favoring pitchers. Quintana is not a strikeout guy so Asdrubal should be able to put the ball in play and have some success.
OF Drew Stubbs CWS@CLE $2,700 - Stubbs is another example of ignoring recent performance and focusing on match-ups. The left-handed Stubbs can score fantasy points with speed or power and since you don't lose points if the batter whiffs, he doesn't hurt you in FanDuel like in some other games. I'll take my chance against the hittable Quintana.
OF Bryce Harper ATL @ WAS $4,900 - I'm not taking Harper because he is hot, I'm taking him because I love his match-up versus Teheran and sense Washington may score some runs.
OF Giancarlo Stanton PHI@MIA $4,100 - Another hitter off to a slow start, but I'll take the slugger facing John Lannan. Even if he walks, he'll score points.
My total was exactly $35,000 which is the limit. I admit I'm a little uneasy about Alvarez and Stubbs, but you need to save budget somewhere and I like the chances of these speculative choices.
Remember, all you need to do to enter is click on the FanDuel banner below. Good luck to all those participating.