This article is part of our DFS Baseball 101 series.Before we get started this week, I will warn you – this article is VERY TECHNICAL. You will need to be at least an intermediate level of Excel in order to pull this off. We might have a video posted on how to do this sometime in the future to help.
This is an advanced strategy that I use to find value on FanDuel especially for cash games, but it can also be used in tournaments.
FanDuel and DraftKings baseball salaries are NOT created equal. FanDuel salaries are based on recent performance only with the exception of Coors Field and most recently hitters against Clayton Kershaw. (FD dropped all Giants hitters facing Kershaw to the minimum salary of $2,000). DraftKings salaries are based on park factors, quality of the opposing pitcher and the handedness matchup. A left-handed hitter will have a much lower salary against a left-handed pitcher versus a right-handed pitcher. FanDuel salaries are considered STATIC, whereas DraftKings salaries are DYNAMIC. A player on DK might be $3,400 one day and $5,400 the next based on matchup. A player on FD MIGHT see an increase of $500 because they had three hot games in a row.
Having this knowledge in hand, we can trust that the sharper/smarter salaries are from DraftKings and we can use this to exploit player pricing and value on FanDuel. This is especially important in cash games because we are spending a huge amount of money on pitching and finding the best priced hitters is critical for success long term.
Step-by-Step Guide to Pull the FanDuel and DraftKings Salaries from Rotowire
1. Go to the Rotowire Daily page.
2. Then click on the MLB Optimizer.
3. Click on FanDuel and the batters tab.
4. Copy/paste all of the data into Excel.
5. Sort name alphabetically A to Z
6. Insert column next to the FanDuel salary (This will be for DraftKings)
7. Click on DraftKings tab and the batters tab.
8. Copy/Paste all of the data into Excel below your FanDuel data.
9. Move DraftKings salary data over 1 column to the right so it will line up next to FanDuel salaries when you sort.
10. Sort name alphabetically A to Z.
11. In Excel, Go to Home/Conditional Formatting/Duplicate Values (Highlight in Red) on the player names.
12. Look for any cells that are white and change the names to be the same. Make sure all of the names are the same. You can copy/fill down on a player name to the next cell.
13. Move the DraftKings salary prices so that they are aligned next to the FanDuel salaries. You can do this by dragging and dropping.
14. Just keep name, team, position, opponent, FanDuel salary, DraftKings salary, ML and O/U on your spreadsheet.
Your spreadsheet should look something like this when you are done:
|NAME||TEAM||POS||OPP||FD||DK||ML (?)||o/u (?)|
|Tommy Joseph R||PHI (R)||1B||TOR (R)||$2,800||$4,700||182||9|
Once I build the shell, then I add in the calculations to find the best values of the day. I take .85 x the DraftKings salary to get the true FanDuel salary. On average FanDuel hitting salaries are 85 percent of the DraftKings hitter's salaries. Then I look at the true dollar difference between the FanDuel salary and the True FD Salary. Next I add in the percent of the FanDuel salary vs. the DraftKings salary and also take the true dollar difference. All of these calculations are designed to find the best value plays on FanDuel.
Here is what my spreadsheet looks like when I am done adding my calculations.
|NAME||TEAM||POS||OPP||FD||TRUE FD$||DIF||DK||% DK||DIF DK vs. FD||ML (?)||O/U (?)|
|Tommy Joseph R||PHI (R)||1B||TOR (R)||$2,800||$3,995||$1,195||$4,700||60%||$1,900||182||9|
True FD $ =SUM(DK*0.85)
DIFF = DK – TRUE FD $
% OF DK = FD/DK
DIFF DK VS FD = DK-FD
Here were the top plays from Monday that I used in my FanDuel lineups
|NAME||TEAM||POS||OPP||FD||TRUE FD$||DIF||% DK||DIF DK vs. FD|
|Tommy Joseph R||PHI (R)||1B||TOR (R)||$2,800||$3,995||$1,195||$4,700||60%||$1,900|
|Danny Valencia R||OAK (R)||3B||TEX (L)||$3,300||$4,420||$1,120||$5,200||63%||$1,900|
|J. Saltalamacchia B||DET (B)||C||CWS (R)||$2,000||$2,890||$890||$3,400||59%||$1,400|
|David Peralta L||ARI (L)||OF||LAD (R)||$2,600||$3,400||$800||$4,000||65%||$1,400|
|Todd Frazier R||CWS (R)||3B||DET (L)||$3,400||$4,165||$765||$4,900||69%||$1,500|
|Matt Kemp R||SD (R)||OF||MIA (L)||$3,000||$3,740||$740||$4,400||68%||$1,400|
|Josh Phegley R||OAK (R)||C||TEX (L)||$2,400||$3,060||$660||$3,600||67%||$1,200|
|Mallex Smith L||ATL (L)||OF||CIN (R)||$2,500||$3,145||$645||$3,700||68%||$1,200|
|Khris Davis R||OAK (R)||OF||TEX (L)||$3,200||$3,825||$625||$4,500||71%||$1,300|
|Chris Herrmann L||ARI (L)||C||LAD (R)||$2,800||$3,400||$600||$4,000||70%||$1,200|
|Jake Lamb L||ARI (L)||3B||LAD (R)||$3,100||$3,655||$555||$4,300||72%||$1,200|
|Adam Duvall R||CIN (R)||OF||ATL (R)||$3,400||$3,910||$510||$4,600||74%||$1,200|
|Jean Segura R||ARI (R)||2B||LAD (R)||$2,900||$3,400||$500||$4,000||73%||$1,100|
|Derek Norris R||SD (R)||C||MIA (L)||$2,700||$3,145||$445||$3,700||73%||$1,000|
|Joey Votto L||CIN (L)||1B||ATL (R)||$3,400||$3,825||$425||$4,500||76%||$1,100|
|Jay Bruce L||CIN (L)||OF||ATL (R)||$3,900||$4,165||$265||$4,900||80%||$1,000|
|Marcus Semien R||OAK (R)||SS||TEX (L)||$2,900||$3,145||$245||$3,700||78%||$800|
|Tim Anderson R||CWS (R)||SS||DET (L)||$2,200||$2,295||$95||$2,700||81%||$500|
Notice all of the players' salaries are less than 85 percent of the DraftKings salaries. Also, I looked for RHB vs. LHP and LHB vs. RHB almost exclusively as well because that is not priced into FanDuel. There ended up being three teams that I focused on with stacks (Oakland, Arizona, and Cincinnati) based on price and matchup. The A's had a rookie LHB, Arizona was against Mike Bolsinger at home, and the Reds got Aaron Blair. Two out of three hit big (Reds, A's) whereas the DBacks were still OK.
Some additional players made it into the cheat sheet based on lineup order. Mallex Smith and Tim Anderson were announced in the leadoff spot for their respective teams, which immediately put them at the top of my rankings. Smith had a huge night and Anderson was relatively quiet, but Smith's score easily paid off for both plays.
The other situation I was watching was the catchers. Saltamacchia and Phegley were in great spots against the opposing pitchers and came as ridiculously low prices. Both were announced in and I played them. Phegley hit a home run and paid off nicely.
The key to the hitters is that it allowed me to use Max Scherzer and Zack Greinke on a night where there was very little pitching to be had. Both of the pitchers came through and combined with the hitters made it a good night on FanDuel with 190.8 (Zack – GPP), 202.9 (Max – Cash) and 152.2 (I took Cain).
If you are pressed for time and do not want to spend hours on researching each day, then this could be the system for you. Now bear in mind, I had GREAT results on Monday night. This doesn't always happen, so stick with what works for you, but this is a great way to build lineups and put yourself in the best position to win consistently.
Please feel free to post any questions on this article as I know there is a lot of technical steps involved.