DFS Primer: Forget About the Numbers
March 31, 2016 | Jason Bales
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Welcome to Spring Training, rookie! This article is intended for novice daily fantasy baseball players. If this does not describe you, this article will probably not be very useful. The information presented throughout this series may be rather obvious for the experienced fantasy player, but, again, this is not the target audience. If you are experienced, feel free to read through this article as a refresher prior to that start of the season, or to hear some opposing opinions regarding previously held game strategy. Now, let’s get you in shape for this fantasy season!
His batting average is .310. He has four hits in 15 at-bats against Johnny Cueto in his career, two of which are home runs. His mother’s maiden name is Jones. Of these three very important determining factors, which one should not be used to determine whether or not to pick a certain player for your lineup? Obviously, this is a bit of a joke. Seriously, how important are non-stat factors though? That is what we are going to be talking about here.
How important are non-stat factors?
Okay, a player’s mother’s maiden name really does not help too much with determine the right play on any given night. However, other non-stat factors are definitely important. For rookies, are they going to be playing at home or away? Generally speaking, young blood performs better in front of a home crowd. Baseball players are still human beings and non-stat factors are going to impact the way that they play. Does Bryce Harper have the stomach flu? Is Dee Gordon worrying more about his pregnant wife than about baseball right now? Is the Chicago White Sox locker room in shambles after a very stupid decision to not allow a player’s child in the locker room? You get the point. All in all, pull your head out of the numbers every once in awhile. Sometimes it is just as important to determine whether or not the temperature is going to be hot or cold, the roof is going to be open or closed, the pitcher just recently broke up with his beloved girlfriend, etc.
One thing I like to keep in mind is that the visiting team will always get at-bats in the ninth inning, regardless of the score of the game. I use this as a tie breaker if I can’t decide between two players. Also, keep in mind the differences between home ballparks. Everyone knows about Coors Field, but Arizona’s home field, Chase Field, and Milwaukee’s Miller Park both have been great spots for hitters, too.
You certainly have to look at non-stat factors when dealing with fantasy. Some people swear that there is no such thing as a “hot streak” in the MLB, but I disagree. I love taking hitters who are on fire. Players swear that they can see the ball better when hitting when they are playing well, and I believe them. It’s also smart to look at ballpark factors, injuries, and non-stat factors like those each night.