DFS Baseball 101: How to Play on DraftKings
DFS Baseball 101: How to Play on DraftKings

This article is part of our DFS Baseball 101 series.

So you've decided to try daily fantasy baseball this season - excellent! Enjoy all the thrills and enjoyment of season-long fantasy baseball wrapped up into one night. For season-long fantasy baseball players who have played in daily transaction leagues or in a head-to-head format, you'll recognize a number of similarities and common strategies that will translate into building daily fantasy baseball lineups. Proven strategies like streaming starters in Petco Park, or starting your hitters playing at Coors Field can help you be just as successful in your season-long league as on DraftKings. Check out these tips to help get you started in daily fantasy baseball:

Game Selection

DraftKings provides a solid selection of daily fantasy baseball game types:

• Featured - this section features the top daily fantasy tournaments and qualifiers currently available on DraftKings. Buy-ins range from $1 to more than $1,000.

• Beginner - this is the place to get your feet wet. The games to choose from range from small tournaments to low buy-in head-to-head contests. New players on the site get to play 50 games in the Beginner section before graduating to the main pool.

• Tournaments/Leagues (also known as Guaranteed Prize Pools or GPPs) - these games offer large payouts for the top finishers. Leagues vary from 3-100 players with varying prize pools depending on the number of entries. You can also create your own league to invite friends to play against or challenge players from across the country.

• Head to Head - play against a single opponent, winner take all (minus the rake). You can play these for free or as little as $1.

• 50/50s & Double Ups - These are generally set up as smaller tournaments. In Double Ups, if you score better than half of the field, you double your money. The same principal applies for Triple Ups and Quintuple Ups, where they pay one-third or one fourth of the field.

• Double Ups, 50/50s and Multipliers - these are generally set up as smaller tournaments. In 50/50s, you win if you score better than half the field, taking back roughly $1.90 for every $1 entered (the extra $0.10 is the rake). You can double your entry fee in Double Up contests, but you have to finish higher than just the top-half. The same principal applies for Triple Ups and Quintuple Ups. DraftKings also offers 10x boosters, which are small tournaments where anywhere from the top three up to the top 10 are paid out in the prize pool, with each player who finishes in the money winning 10 times the amount of their buy-in.

• Satellites and Qualifiers - also knowns as "Sats" or "Qs," this is the area where players can join smaller tournaments to win entry tickets along with cash to enter into a larger, more expensive tournaments which generally have a significantly larger prize pool.

So which game do you choose? That depends on whether you prefer the larger tournaments that give you a chance at a big payday, or if you want better odds of finishing in the money with leagues, head-to-heads or double ups. Many players who love playing daily fantasy baseball enter tournaments and the smaller entry formats, also known as "cash games."

Check the Weather
Once you've chosen your game format and are ready to start building your lineup, make sure you check the weather forecasts, which you can do for each game here. This will help you avoid players who may not accumulate stats due to a weather postponement. As with any weather forecast, information can be fluid, so it's best to do one final check 30 minutes before lineups lock, which is usually 7:00 p.m. ET. If you see a weather forecast that is troublesome for a 10:00 p.m. ET game, it may be best to avoid using players in a potential rainout.

Check Vegas Lines
Once you've sorted through any potential weather issues, finding the top available starters and the highest projected scoring matchups can be done quickly and easily by checking the Vegas odds. One of the best resources to do this can be found on our odds report page. This will help you identify which starting pitchers are the biggest favorites and which games have the highest scoring potential. In many cases, the biggest starting pitching favorites will also be the highest-priced pitchers on DraftKings. For batters, you can figure out which teams to target by looking for the games with the highest run totals. A quick look at this info will help you filter down the top starters and batters to use, as well as those to avoid.

Confirm Starters in Daily Lineups
If this sounds like a basic concept, that's because it is. Start by checking the daily lineups page to confirm which players are starting. We also have a very useful (and free) RotoWire Daily Baseball Lineups app available for download. In most cases, lineup information for all teams is available by 6:30 p.m. ET. Using these resources will make sure you always have starters in your daily fantasy baseball lineups.

Check Injuries
Looking for all the latest injury information? We have you covered right here. Your approach to injuries should basically be the same as your season-long league, only with more options than most waiver wires. DraftKings will try to notify you if someone in the player pool has an injury, but sometimes you'll want more information. Using the latest injury information and RotoWire's Daily Lineups app will ensure your lineup is comprised of players who are both healthy and active.

Daily Fantasy MLB Tools
Our lineup optimizer will put together some of the top projected players available under the salary cap in one lineup. Feel free to swap, add and remove players to create the lineup you want to play. Check out the value report to see who we project to have the most value and score the most points per dollar of salary. If you want a closer look at individual players stats, we have a daily projections page that can help you find those diamonds in the rough. For those who want to focus on pitching versus hitting, we have a detailed Batter vs. Pitcher report that will help you identify who's hot and who's not according to their matchup that day.

Need More Help?
We've got you covered. RotoWire has a dedicated section on our website called Ask An Expert that allows subscribers to send in questions and get the specific help they need. Simply choose your sport, write in your question and we'll have one of our fantasy experts get back to you. It's that simple!

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Joshua Hayes plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: fsinsiders, DraftKings: fsinsiders, Fantasy Aces: fsinsiders.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joshua Hayes
Josh Hayes hosts the RotoWire DFS Podcast, is a contributing host on the RotoWire Fantasy Basketball Podcast, and writes multiple FanDuel-oriented articles. Josh also appears frequently on 120 Sports, dispensing fantasy advice for NFL, NBA and MLB games.
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