Strategy Guide to Winning DraftKings Baseball

DraftKings has placed themselves as the best destination for daily fantasy baseball!
Honing perhaps the best heads-up and tournament action, DraftKings is one of the most popular destinations for fantasy leagues. It is visited daily by players of all skill levels and even by professionals themselves who are looking to have a good time and also enjoy the unique system that they use for scoring. Just like any other fantasy league, it favors those who put in a lot of research time very carefully make their picks. Of course, just like the others, a slight change in daily fantasy baseball can have a drastic impact on one’s strategy. Note that the content below is intended for newbie’s, novice daily fantasy baseball players.

Let’s break down the starting requirements on DraftKings
The startup requirements on DraftKings are as follows: two pitchers, one catcher, one first baseman/DH, one second baseman, one third baseman, one shortstop and three outfielders. You’ll notice that on DraftKings you’re required to start with two pitchers, instead of only one like other sites require. This puts an immediate pressure point on the pitchers and modifies the strategies that you might be tempted to use the first time you play.

The importance of the pitchers is greatly increased and this also has an impact on the way you should address your hitters. You could start off with two elite pitchers, but then it would be difficult to put top hitters on team, since you already have two aces in your lineup. This changes the game dynamic too. Similarly, if you start with two sluggers for pitchers, the site compensates for that by providing more cap room, which means giving each player a salary that’s a slightly lower percentage of the total cap.

draftkings-baseball-lineups

Now let’s take a peek at the scoring system… Looking at these numbers, the importance of pitchers is again highly prioritized.

Hitting
1B = +3PTs
2B = +5PTs
3B = +8PTs
HR = +10PTs
RBI = +2PTs
R = +2PTs
BB = +2PTs
HBP = +2PTs
SB = +5PTs
Caught Stealing = -2PTs
Pitching
W = +4PTs
IP = +2.25PTs (only complete innings count)
K = +2PTs
ER Allowed = -2PTs
Loss = -2PTs
Hit against = -0.6PTs
Base on balls = -0.6PTs
Hit batsman = -0.6PTs
Complete game = +2.5PTs
Complete game + Shutout = +2.5 PTs
No hitter = +5 PTs

DraftKing’s scoring system is greatly different from other site’s so the experience will also be different. For instance, while most sites offer 4 points for a home run, DraftKings will award 10 points. Those numbers don’t count as much if taken out of context, but rather it’s the relationship between each category that matters. If a site were to give 20 points for a home run and 16 points for a triple, instead of the 10 and 8 points respectively, their relationship would remain intact, so the points would be worth equal in both given situations.

Let’s see how the hitting stats on DraftKings compare to those on other sites

As we can see, there are no major differences here, DraftKings awarding higher points for singles, triples and steals, and awards lower points for runs, walks, RBIs and doubles. Note that DraftKings does not penalize Strikeouts.

Looking at the pitching stats on DraftKings…

We can notice that DraftKings penalizes more for negative outcomes and that it rewards more for positive outcomes. From our experience with DraftKings, it doesn’t penalize pitchers for losing games and that can be of great help for poor teams. Of course you will still want to get those points for the win since you get so many of them, but losing on DraftKings doesn’t hurt as much as it does on other sites.

In regards to stacking
Stacking is a very popular strategy where you pick players from the same MLB team in order to increase your upside. The limitation that DraftKing imposes is that of having players from at least 3 MLB teams in your lineup. This limitation does not eliminate stacking altogether, as teams can stack heavily if you focus on that.

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