Chris is on vacation, so I’ll fill in with a brief bare-bones version of my DFS travails. After quadrupling my initial buy-in of $75 in April, I’ve given nearly all of it back. Bankroll management has been a significant issue – I can’t resist playing tournaments, and my cash/tournament ratio has worsened over the course of my six-week downswing. But that’s not all – the threshold to cash has also gotten tougher, roughly from the point where FanDuel lowered the pricing on their hitters, though I’m not fully sure if that’s merely correlated or a cause. It seemingly was a shoe-in to cash at around 40 points in cash games, and that hasn’t been the case. What’s interesting is that my average score hasn’t declined during my downswing – just the scores of my competition have improved over that time.
That was a lot of work for $2.50. I set 20 lineups last night, two of which were free rolls, two of which cost $25, one of which cost $10 and the rest (15) were $5. That’s $135 invested, and I took back $137.50. I had $1,007.60, now I have $1,010.10. I was hoping for something more dramatic ahead of my two-week vacation, but once David Robertson blew Chris Sale’s win, I was lucky to break even.
I’m going on vacation for a couple weeks on Monday, so these are my last lineups until July. Accordingly, I set 20 of them – might as well have a last hurrah before I take off:
Coming into the year I was cool on Sonny Gray at the draft table because of what I believed to be an inflated cost against what we had seen from him to that point. He was being priced as a top 20 starter and I thought he needed to actually improve upon his 2014, not just repeat it, to justify such a price tag. How’s top 3? Is that good? Does that work? Gray has pitched at an ace level through the first 14 starts of the season by recapturing most of the strikeout rate we saw in 64 innings back in 2013.
Gray had a 26% rate in 10 starts and two relief appearances with the A’s that year and the results were just as good with a 2.67 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Last year he showed he can hold up over a full season with 219 innings and his 3.08 ERA and 1.19 WHIP were great, but a 20% strikeout rate kept him from the upper echelon of starters and made him more of a fantasy #2. That felt right. With his premium groundball rate (56%), he can afford to be a little lower on the strikeouts and still post tremendous results.
Week 10 RWBC Recap
Last Friday’s contest was quite interesting with daily players drooling over ace pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez on the evening slate. Kershaw earned a win following 11 punchouts against the Padres, whereas the Astros annihilated “The King” to the tune of eight runs on five hits, knocking him out of the game after one third of an inning and leaving 12.6% of RWBC contestants unhappy. While Felix may never pitch that poorly ever again, it’s important not to overlook Houston hitters, as they currently rank first in the majors with 97 team home runs, 13 more than the next best (Dodgers).
Chris Coghlan is a former Rookie of the Year. That probably surprises some of you now that you remember he won it back in 2009 ahead of several at least equally deserving and most likely much more deserving players such as Randy Wells (3.2 WAR in 165.3 IP), J.A. Happ (2.93 ERA in 166 IP), Tommy Hanson (2.7 WAR in 127.7 IP), and of course Andrew McCutchen, who enjoyed a 3.4 WAR season that year, easily eclipsing Coghlan’s 2.7 WAR in 72 fewer plate appearances.
Coghlan rode a .321 AVG to the award and honestly, no one really cares. He has failed to live up to whatever expectations that award bestows upon a guy with a whopping -1.4 WAR in the subsequent four seasons before a solid 2.3 WAR with the Cubs last year. His presence back on the radar is due at least in part to last year’s flourish, but mostly due to the fact that with eight home runs he is just one away from tying his career-high.
Even with 10 Garrett Richards and two Trevor Bauer lineups, I managed only two cashes Tuesday night, and both of those by narrow margins. I invested $100 (two $25 50/50s and 10 $5 MLB Rallys) and took back just $55 for a loss of $45. I had $1,052.60, now I’m back down to $1007.60, not including rake back and free rolls.