It’s been a great year, and it’s been a pleasure talking to you all throughout the course of the season. But as much as I thank you for all the comments, feedback and conversation over the year, I have to thank all my favorite plays this season for the joy, and sometimes heartburn, they gave me.

SP: Zack Greinke, Corey Kluber, Chris Sale: Some nights I gave the ball to Greinke with no hope to cash in my lineups. The bats were cold, the chips were down…all was lost. But Greinke came through anyway, all season long. First month Kluber had the underlying metrics without the results, mid-season Kluber found the groove and made late season Kluber jealous. And Sale….well, nice knowing that it never mattered how many runs you have up, because those Ks….those sweet Ks, always delivered. Thanks, fellas.

C: Kyle Schwarber: The Swarb has a warm back rub when the day was so tense. Sweet, delicious power in a catcher, forever eligible on DraftKings. The stuff cash was made of.

1B: David Ortiz: Last season he led in both hard hit rating and expected power and he spent the last 2/3 of the season getting back to that. Never age, Papi, never age.

2B: Luis Valbuena, Cesar Hernandez: Valby has been a vs. RHP crutch since his time in Chicago last year. He goes for the downs every time up and does it enough to make it worth rostering him, though he cost a bit more as time progressed. Cesar was a sub-3K dynamo for far too long, ripping base hit and steals at the top of the Phillies lineup. Cesar the Great? He sure was.

SS: Carlos Correa, Andres Blanco: Correa came up and raked and hardly ever stopped. His price eventually rose to All-Star heights, but he was fun to own for long time. and Andres Blanco is my favorite vs. LHP masher at SS and is always priced like he’s homeless. Gotta love the vs. LHP Phillies.

3B: Alex Rodriguez, Yangervis Solarte: ARod was fairly modestly priced all season and early on, he was a monster and great fun to roster as the Yankees were crushing. Solarte started leading off in San Diego and was a base hit, hard hit metrics darling and paid off often at his price tag, which always hovered around 3K.

OF: From Joey Butler and Grady Sizemore to Nelson Cruz and Mike Trout all the way through The Grandy Man, JD Martinez and Gerardo Parra, the Milwaukee version, the outfield produced so much good times, it’s hard to single anybody out. Thanks fellas.

Let me know who your favorites were in the Comments area and enjoy the last couple of days of baseball. I’m going to treat the Saturday slate as if these teams will all give a darn, but check the lineups for fun and games. Thank you all!

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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“We all started mainlining fame when we hit it big. I didn’t want to say goodbye to the lights, the drugs, or most importantly, the groupies. Sure, Slater and Screech told me I was out of control popping at least 4 or 5 caffeine pills a night and then hitting the slums of whatever city Zack Attack was in that night to find some anonymous woman to sleep with. But when you’re the biggest backyard birthday party band in the world, how could I not? I could afford any legal over the counter pill I wanted. But all I really wanted, was approval from Mr. Belding.”

– Zack Morris, lead singer, Zack Attack

Much like his fair haired brother in Los Angeles arms, Zack Morris, Zack Greinke has been on the attack all season, sporting a ridiculously low 1.61 ERA. But, just as danger waited around the corner for Morris as he chased the fruits of his fame, so too might Greinke have a crashing to earth experience himself.

Greinke has been carrying a FIP of 2.77, an XFIP of 3.22 and a SIERA of 3.31, meaning that, good as he is and has been, he probably shouldn’t have been that good. Still here he is pitching well and posting solid, if unspectacular DraftKings points. Over his last 15 games, Greinke has put up 26.38 DK points. It’s really good, but at his price of over $13,200, it needs to offer more than that. We’ve been paying up for aces and haven’t been disappointed lately, like Arrieta last night. Greinke is neither pitching as well as Arrieta lately nor does he have as good a matchup, but he is an overwhelming favorite and the Diamondbacks have the lowest team total at 2.5 runs. And being not as good as Arrieta is hardly a conviction of poor play. Greinke has been more than just solid and he is going at home, which has been a bottom ten ballpark for hitting this season. For cash games, he’s a solid play.

You might think that the fact that Greinke just pitched against the Diamondbacks 10 days ago might mean trouble, since often when a team sees a pitcher so close together, the hitters are more locked into that SP since they just saw him recently. However, Greinke had a similar situation in August against the Reds. On 8/16, Greinke held the Reds to one run over seven innings in Los Angeles. Then, eleven days later he faced them again. This time, Zack attacked (oh yeah!) and this time held the Reds completely scoreless over seven innings. He struck out eight and nine in those two outings.

I’m rostering Zack in cash games but looking at lower cost alternatives to get the Coors bats (which I don’t preview in this piece because you don’t need to be told to roster those guys, I’m sure.) in the lineup as well as some other high cost, high yield bats I’ll discuss down below.

You may think it’s time for the Zack Attack to crumble, but I think there’s one more hit song for sure.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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I start my lineups these days in one place: the starting pitcher. They’re the fulcrum upon which all things must work. You can find way more diamonds in the rough among the hitters than you can on the hill, so it behooves you to focus on this position first before attacking the rest.

That doesn’t mean you can’t target hitters, especially when there are Coors games and the like, but those hitters aren’t going to lift you as high if there is a SP in your slots working a negative number.

That said, it doesn’t mean you should just pop the first two pitchers you come to in the salary list and then mine the lineups for values. That happens sometimes, but what you should really do is look at the SP trends, matchups, splits, parks, swinging strike and K-rates to whittle down the slate to a few good men you could live with for the night.

Oh I’ve gone through this process and ended up with some strange birds on the hill. There was a night this season where Joe Blanton, patron saint of gas cans, actually went into Safeco and helped me to a nice payday. Recently, even, Kris Medlen has been helpful with his low salary and decent performances, allowing me to target more prime bats.

As I look at the slate for Wednesday, I was hoping I could log on, take a quick glance and know where I was going, but I couldn’t. This was because the best two SP on the slate happened to be the highest paid as well:

David Price, SP: $12,500

Jake Arrieta, SP: $14,000

Price in Atlanta and Arrieta in Pittsburgh were, at first glance, the best SP, so I had to dig deeper just to be sure and, sure enough, they came through the process on top.

Since they are so high priced, about 6K more than I like to dedicate to the cause, I didn’t automatically ink them in the lineup until I could see if there was indeed enough value in the hitters to make it work. Looking down the list, it was clear that I could roster two or three Phillies, who can hit a lefty fairly well and have a nice home park, to make it happen. Facing Gio Gonzalez, who has a mid 4s SIERA and nearly 800 OPS vs. righties over the last 30 days also made it easy to go that route.

So I did. It looks like a newb move, rosting the top two SP of the night, but you have to trust your process. Other nights, I would lay up short well short of this $$ commitment at SP, but tonight, it’s pay up.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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It’s a simple concept/guideline for life. Don’t make the circle try to fit into the square hole. It’s related to Occam’s Razor which says that the simplest explanation is the one that should be chosen. In DFS this means, don’t overthink things. Take what’s out there on a given slate, and don’t try to manufacture something or divine something that isn’t there. For example, you are looking at a slate and there are only a couple of pitchers that make sense, but you start thinking about diversifying and other techniques that you’ve picked up throughout the season and you begin to talk yourself into a couple of other starters to give you this diversification even though your research, and your gut, told you that there were only the two starters you liked. This is the way you turn your perfectly good knowledge into lost contests with your new creations that didn’t need to be there to begin with.

The alternative in that situation, if you feel like you shouldn’t put all your bankroll eggs for the night into a single SP basket, would be not to play the volume you normally would. If you feel that strongly about diversifying, but the SPs aren’t there to do it, emanate some inner strength and simply not play the additional volume you would’ve if you did have other SPs you liked.

The same goes with hitters. In a bunch of columns this season, I’ve varied the number of guys I’ve listed here. Today, for example, there are probably fewer than in past weeks. Why? There are fewer players I like on the slate, because of the matchup, prices, tap dancing skills, hat size, whatever. Therefore, I am likely going to play fewer lineups, contests, etc, based on this, although it’s tempting to play my full budgeted bankroll for the night because I like the action. But to do that would be me trying to fit an octagon into a triangle hole. Or something. Just don’t.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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To play or not to play, that is the question. When there are home games at Coors, you can be faced with that question. Do I do what it takes to roster guys in games at Coors, or do I do my best to build out a more balanced lineup with more reasonable prices?

Alas, in cash games, you will probably have to have some exposure into the game in Denver. Afterall, it’s likely the highest run total of the night and you always want to have some exposure in that game, whether it’s in Denver, Toronto, New York or wherever.

In tournaments, though, it’s a little more difficult to decide, so I default to wanting to have it all. I make sure I at least have one tourney lineup with players in the Coors game and another one without or with less. Everyone is going to be in on them, so in tourneys it makes a lot of sense to pass, but you don’t want to be too cute and miss out when you could have had some players in that matchup.

Tonight, the Rockies are actually very reasonably priced, and will be well owned. How much you have in your lineup will depend on the value you can find elsewhere. I’ll make some picks below that will highlight some less expensive players that would enable more Coors players and some alternates if that’s not what you want to do.

Again, in cash games, you’ll want some of these guys, but maybe not stacking the whole team. To play or not to play, or do both. It’s the American way.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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You never stop learning. Ever. The baseball season is a long race and while you think you may know what a player is or what you can expect, you have to keep checking in on trends to make sure you didn’t miss a zig when you been watching them zag all season.

Today’s J.D. Martinez is tomorrow’s Ryan Zimmerman. You may disregard a player like Brandon Moss, but if you are watching his power metrics and hard contact rate holding at an above average rate, you may just roster him in a tournament and watch him go deep with pride, as he did Thursday night.

Stay vigilant. Players returning from injury, like Stephen Strasburg, may have tightened up something that they weren’t getting right pre-injury. For Stras, it’s his curveball that he’s found that has jumped his swinging strike rate from 7-8% pre-injury, to 13 percent over his last several starts.

David Wright is a has-been who can’t be counted on anymore. *You check the numbers, find out he’s raking* Welp.

Making this part of the routine makes the DFS season fun and takes advantage of fish who have taken their eyes off baseball right now to bone up for the NFL season. Reel them in and cash on them — it’s what David Wright would want you to do.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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One of the statistics that a lot of daily fantasy players look at is Weighted On-Base Average, or wOBA for short. wOBA attempts to credit extra base hits and find the statistical balance between the values of all the possible ways to get on base. This number attempts to show the true value of a hitter, or pitcher, in its form.

Daily fantasy players look at wOBA but more specifically they look at what the wOBA is in terms of the handedness of the pitcher they are facing. Most players, as we know, will do better against the opposite handedness of pitcher. Examples are that Lefties hit Righties better and vice versa.

So to see who might have the best advantages for a given night, one would look at the combination of how the SP fares against the different handedness of pitchers and how the hitters fare against those pitchers.

For example, Wednesday’s games have a couple of LHP going and some of these guys can really hammer left-handed pitching. Goldschmidt, for example, will go against J.A. Happ, who is left-handed and is okay overall against right-handed hitters. Goldy, though, has a massive .479 wOBA against lefties. For context, Josh Donaldson, another known lefty hammer, has a .439 wOBA against lefties and the league average for wOBA overall is around .315.

So, even though Goldy’s price tag is high, you might want to make sure you find a way to get him in the lineup against lefties. The splits say so.

The same goes for SP. Keuchel gets the Rays who are tough on the road against LHP but Dallas has a remarkable .249 wOBA at home this season. LHP Adam Morgan, who we will call out a couple of times below, has a .358 wOBA against righties. For comparison, Keuchel, also left-handed, has a more reasonable .284 wOBA against righties.

So look around, find some winning matchups and win all the monies! Good luck!

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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There are 14 games on the slate Friday night, and four of them are over an eight run number for the night. Also, there are no games less than seven runs tonight. This bodes well for DFS players who want a fat slice of those run totals for their teams. So many variables go into a big number and one is venue. The top ballparks for offense this season are: Coors Field (Rockies), Globe Life Park (Rangers), Fenway Park (Red Sox), Miller Park (Brewers), Chase Field (Diamondbacks), and the Rogers Centre (Blue Jays). Understanding what’s happening in these parks (wind, roof, etc.)  is a needed piece of prep for the night’s slate. The other is level of pitching competition. Sure, a team can go off against any old gas can, but who are they up against tonight? Finally, though this is not an exhaustive list here, a key area is the proficiency of the team at the plate. If you have a lineup full of hitters who aren’t producing, the number will reflect that. When considering this line from these agencies, one must be very diligent, watching the lineups come in and making sure you’re getting someone from that lineup into your cash games (50/50s, HTH) and making sure they are higher in the lineup in order to get extra at-bats. At DraftKings, where you aren’t penalized with negative points for outs, the extra plate appearances are definitely worth seeking out..

So choose wisely, keep an eye on the lineup as they come in on Twitter, websites and the like. Be ready to pivot to a player if he’s suddenly sitting in the 1-spot after seeing a majority of the at-bats this season a lot further down the lineup. On a night when there should be soon high scores, it’s going to pay to be on the offensive…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Drew Hutchison has been somewhat of a gas can this year….on the road. That’s right, away from the hitter-comfy Rogers Centre, D-Hutch has been atrocious on the road. Consider these away stats:

.433 wOBA/,429 OBP/.592 SLG

4.66 xFIP/5.40 FIP/9.6 K-BB%

It’s gross. And it’s in line with his whole career numbers, though not as individually garish as the 2015 stats are.

So how is he at home, where he’ll be taking the mound Wednesday. Surely in such an offensive haven as the Rogers Centre, Hutchison may pitch better than on the road, but it’s negligible, right? Again, please consider:

.266 wOBA/.282 OBP/ .315 SLG

3.50 xFIP/2.80 FIP/ 15.9 K-BB%

Look around the league and you may find guys like this; SPs who are super at home, no matter the park they call home, but are stinkers on the road. Last season, Jorge De La Rosa had much better numbers at home than on the road, scary when you consider his home park is Coors Field.

So Hutchison is better at home than on the road and he’s not just better, he’s a good pitcher at home, raising his K-rate and lowering his other qualitative numbers at home. He’s a big favorite (or at least Toronto is a big favorite) and should be able to dial up the 15 or so points he’d need at this rock bottom price of $5,400 to make value. Since most of the DFS players are going to remember all the shellackings that has been administered to Hutchison on the road, and the offensive numbers at the Centre, he’s always very low owned. He’s not a solid cash game (50/50, H2H) play, but he’s on my tournament rosters. Come join me, if you dare!

Hutch likes to pitch at home,

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Tuesday night, there was much action piling into the DFS Volkswagen that was the Toronto Blue Jays hitting. Many saw the matchup against rookie LHP Adam Morgan and stacked their rosters full of Jays accordingly. Not an inexpensive stack, the Jays proceeded to roll up runs in the first two innings, including a dinger from freshly minted leadoff man Devon Travis. The rout was on, yes?

No. The Jays scored exactly zero runs after the second inning, landing at a total of two runs. Six hits, two runs. Chris Young almost did that himself for the Yankees in Texas.

Looking at the docket for tonight, there are the Blue Jays again, like Lucy and the football, inviting you to run up on them again and try to kick that football through the posts and take down all the tourneys.

But you are weary from landing flat on your back Tuesday night. Two runs. Six hits. And that was against a rookie LHP at the Rogers Centre. Optimal situation and they laid down. You begin talking yourself into Jose Reyes being the key to the whole thing and that chemistry will be irrevocably switched like what happened to the Oakland A’s last season when the hot A’s dealt Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox and suddenly the Swingin’ A’s swung no more.

It’s understandable to be wary of going all in on Toronto just one day after you felt used and ashamed from striking out with them last night. Surely the Yankees look like a good place to lay all my monies, right? Well, yes, that’s a good place, too, but you shouldn’t take your red pen and cross off the Jays.

Jerome Williams is not good either and the situation is good again for the home-roosting Jays, so as we’ve said many times in this space, put on your anti-memory hat and make sure you have some exposure to this game and its players. And since fewer players, still highly owned I’m sure but less than Tuesday for sure, will be willing to dive into a less optimal scenario again so soon, you may have a better edge than if you had done this the night before.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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