Daily Fantasy: Batter vs Pitcher Food For Thought

Originally published at DFSEdge.

There was an interesting little experiment that went on recently on a popular daily fantasy forum, intuitively titled the “Batter vs Pitcher Challenge.”  Essentially, for 10 days, two people each fielded a FanDuel team.  One would hand-select his favorite batters that day with good Batter vs Pitcher numbers and the other would hand-select batters with poor Batter vs. Pitcher numbers.

Batter vs Pitcher Stats = Fool's Gold

It’s no secret by now that I’m in the “BvP numbers don’t matter” camp (with the nuanced opinion that they may matter if you have scouting or other information to help validate them), so when the man behind the curtain here at DFSEdge, Robert Poe, pointed this out to me, I responded thusly:

"The sample will be small, so it won’t prove anything one way or the other, but it'll be interesting to watch. I expect the "Good BvP” group to do a little better since they're a bit more likely to be better hitters in general, but I'd be happy to place side-bets with any of these guys on the "Bad BvP” group with some odds."

The challenge ended a couple days ago, and sure enough, the “Good BvP” group won by a small margin—just 1 point per day, which is the difference between swapping David Wright for Aramis Ramirez as your third baseman each day.

Just some food for thought. In particularly, keep in mind whenever you see any BvP articles, in either support or otherwise, that players with good BvP numbers are generally slightly better hitters overall.  After all, if we’re working under the assumption that Batter vs Pitcher is useless, wouldn’t we expect good hitters to have more positive track records than bad hitters?

It was a slow day, as per usual, yesterday with just seven games on the schedule, one of which was called early on account of rain.

- Eric Young Jr. attempted his second steal as a Met, raising his Stolen Base Attempt rate to 11%.  It’ll come up from there, but my warning has proven warranted thus far.

- Bryce Harper returned after a month-long DL stint yesterday and hit his 13th home run.  I hope you picked him up for the minimum in Fantasy Aces games.

- Jose Fernandez, my Pitcher Pick of the Day yesterday, picked up the win after throwing 8 two-hit, shutout innings with 10 K and 1 BB.  You’re welcome.

- Rickie Weeks hit his 9th home run of the year and his 6th over the past three weeks last night.  He’s now starting every day at second base again with Scooter Gennett’s demotion last week, and he looks like a good daily play given his deflated seasonal line.

- Of zero relevance to you because he’s not particularly good at baseball relative to his peers, but my current favorite baseball personality, Munemori Kawasaki, was recalled this weekend and went 1-for-4 with an RBI last night.

- R.A. Dickey is finally starting to turn it around, pitching 7 two-run innings last night.  It’s hard to predict what knuckleballers will do, but I didn’t think he’d struggle this much in moving to the AL.  I like him as a value play in good match-ups going forward if his price tag has been depressed by the poor showing thus far.


As I alluded to in “What Was,” I've begun posting my favorite daily fantasy pitcher pick each day on Twitter (@DerekCarty). On days when I’m not talking about specific players on the site, if you’re not satiated by all the other great content, you can check out who I’m recommending and likely playing myself on any given day.

I’ve also started a series here at DFSEdge looking at the types of players that have added (or diminished) value on each of the major daily fantasy sites.  And I spilled some ink on my pocket-protector-less pocket while doing so, but I created a number of stats to help illuminate the differences between sites.  Yesterday was Daily Joust.

Fan Throwdown made some changes to its game yesterday, changing their salary cap to $100,000 and adding an additional pitcher spot.

And here’s your weekly reminder about your chance to play against me in Draft Street’s weekly $300 free roll Pick ‘Em (join with this link).

Let’s do some lists this week. Lists are fun.

My Top 3 Pitcher Picks Today
  1. Kris Medlen, Home vs. Miami Marlins
  2. Jeff Locke, Home vs. Philadelphia Phillies
  3. A.J. Griffin, Home vs. Chicago Cubs
  4. David Price, Away vs. Houston Astros (Bonus Pick, if you want to go big on pitcher today)

My Top 3 Stacking Opportunities Today
  1. Washington Nationals, Home vs. Wily Peralta
  2. Texas Rangers, Home vs. Joe Saunders
  3. Pittsburgh Pirates, Home vs. Jonathan Pettibone

Top 3 Injury Notes (of particular use for FantasyAces players)
  1. Alex Avila, Bryce Harper, and Brian Roberts were activated over the past two days
  2. Carl Crawford and Wilson Ramos went out on rehab yesterday. Jedd Gyorko’s remains stalled
  3. Derek Jeter could go out on rehab soon; it looks like he’ll return later this month

And, because I’m unapologetically opinionated, I’ll probably start handing out pop culture advice on occasion.  Trust me, I’m young and cool and know what I’m talking about.  #YOLO.  (I hope I did that right…)

My current musical obsession is Frank Turner, who I saw live a couple weeks ago and just bought tickets for again this weekend, so if you’re not familiar (he’s British and not nearly as big over here in the States, so you probably aren’t), here are…

My Top 3 Frank Turner Songs for Newbs
  1. Photosynthesis
  2. I Knew Prufrock Before Got Famous
  3. Recovery

And finally…

My Top 1 Song To Rock Out To On Repeat This Fourth of July
  1. Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus

See, I told you lists are fun. Fun, fun, fun, ‘til her daddy takes the T-Bird away. (See how hip and youthful I am?!  If you’re going to riff off "fun." and make a music joke, The Beach Boys are the obvious choice, right? Oh, yeah, ignore that errant period. I’m too lazy to go back and take it out.)