Good Sunday to you, FanDuel DFSers. Grab yourself a bloody and let’s settle in for the first Sunday slate of the baseball season. What a fantastic day to be alive.

But, first let’s discuss finances, shall we?

Each Sunday of the FanDuel series we’d like to briefly dive into a topic slightly deeper in the world of DFS. We can discuss strategy, explore different contests, take a look at tools offered here at Razzball, and hopefully have a great time making consistent improvement to our DFS process.

On this first Sunday of the season, before we look at individual players, let’s take a quick look at the foundation of every successful DFS strategy, just to make sure we are on the same page. What we are talking about as the foundation of a successful DFS process, of course, is bankroll management – identifying, and managing, risk. This is something we hear often, and the thought of it, as is likely the case right now on this beautiful Sunday, wafts about us like a freshly laid turd.

But it is not a turd!

It is a process to take in, to accept, to live by. Managing our risk is of paramount importance if we are to be successful, long-term, DFSer’s. Don’t we want to be successful DFSer’s? Yes, obviously. Good. Because if we do not manage our risk we will eventually lose everything.

So, how do we not fail completely and lose everything? We manage our risk; it’s simple.

Yeah right, simple…and yet, all we have to follow is a single rule. Just one single rule: the Pareto Principle! This is very exciting! Or not – definitely not. But it is fundamental to bankroll management.

The Pareto Principle, or what we will call The 80/20 Rule, is applied in this way: a minimum of 80% of our bankroll is safe. This 80% of our money is going to be exposed to no, absolute zero, risk. We want to make this a habit starting immediately, and we want this to become the most important part of our DFS process going forward. We will follow this rule together; it’s a pact. Sold American. Using 20% of our bankroll, we will allocate 80% to low variance contests, what we refer to as Cash, and 20% to high variance contests, what we call GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) or MME (Mass Multi-Entry). And, finally, of these amounts we should risk no more than 20% on any one slate.

Here is the basic breakdown of our bankroll allocation on any given day, from this day forward:
– 80% of our bankroll, at minimum, should go untouched
– 16% allocated to Cash contests (H2H, 50/50, Double Ups, Beat the Score), with at most 3.2% risked entering any one contest or slate of games
– 4% allocated to GPP/MME contests (Tournaments, Multipliers, Satellites), with at most 0.8% risked entering any one contest or slate of games

Quick example: Let’s assume we are treading water in large format tournaments, cashing in 25% of GPP entries, with an average payout four times the entry fee. Using The 80/20 Rule as outlined above we can effectively eliminate our risk of ruin. Let’s assume, on the other hand, we were to risk 10% of our bankroll on any given slate. What happens to our risk of ruin then? It jumps to over 60%, friends – not good – and, taking this scenario just a little further, with 15% at risk, our ruin becomes a virtual certainty. A sealed fate. Very sad, right?

So, which DFS fate do we want for ourselves?

Let’s use this foundation to stay in the game together and grow our bankrolls. 80/20 for life. We’ve got this.

Now let’s get to the games and make some money.

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Sonny Gray, SP: $6,800 – Even with the wind to right at 12mph conditions in Cincinnati should provide an advantage to the pitchers today, with a dense air mass aiding pitch movement. We should expect to see weaker contact and higher strikeout totals than usual, helping to keep the ball in the park. Lean Sonny Gray slightly over Trevor Williams in GPP.

Trevor Williams, SP: $7,200 – see above.

Carlos Carrasco, SP: $10,200 – Cash play. The safest play today among pitchers. Wind is out to center at 6mph, but with temperatures in the 30’s again conditions should favor pitching over hitting. Others in our SP mix include J.A. Happ (assuming it plays) and Jon Gray.

Gary Sanchez, C: $3,200 – If the game is played today there is opportunity to take advantage of low ownership and stack the Yankees against Dylan Bundy in GPP. Sanchez-Stanton-Judge-Gardner looks good to me.

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B: $4,400 – Looking like a beast early on and leads the Cardinals today against Corbin Burnes, who is making his first career big league start.

Matt Carpenter, 3B: $4,200 – A Cardinals stack of Goldschmidt-Carpenter-DeJong-Ozuna seems promising vs a first-time starter in Milwaukee.

Paul DeJong, SS: $3,000 – Could be less owned than Wong after his hot start, and holds better value and greater upside.

Giancarlo Stanton, OF: $4,500 – Neither he nor Judge have fared well against Bundy to this point, but the sample size is small, and we should like our odds of things changing in our favor here.

Aaron Judge, OF: $5,100 – Yes, please.

Brett Gardner, OF: $2,900 – .817 OPS vs Bundy over 20 at bats. For $2,900 Gardner should hit value often enough to justify a spot in our Yankee stack.

Additionally, in GPP look to utilize Toronto righties against Matt Moore today, and if you’re playing the late slate stack the Cubs against Lance Lynn in Arlington.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

Though we may see a rain delay in New York, postponement is not the likeliest outcome. Consider using this to your advantage in large format tournaments where ownership may slip due to rainout concerns.

Doing Lines In Vegas

If the over/under for Pittsburgh at Cincinnati comes in at 8.5 runs, the under should hold some value. Wind blowing out to left is working against this bet, but should be held in check by well-above-average pitch movement.
In Minnesota, with what should be slightly better hitting conditions than yesterday, look for the over to hit more often than not and for Carrasco to carry Cleveland to victory. The Cleveland money line at -105 looks like a bargain.