Exploiting the MLB Scoring System

Welcome to FantasyDraft 101, the only series designed to teach you how to play daily fantasy sports and win on FantasyDraft.com. The articles are designed to fd-101-300x300teach the basics step-by-step in order to educate beginning players and assist them in becoming the best competitor they can be. With little to no prior knowledge on the topic, these are the fundamentals to setting competitive daily fantasy baseball lineups.

Learning the Scoring System and How to Exploit It

FantasyDraft.com is equipped with a unique scoring system for daily fantasy baseball. The strategy for setting lineups on FantasyDraft is slightly different as opposed to certain other sites. Although it is common in the industry, FantasyDraft does not deduct points for a batter making an out. This means in theory the floor for any given hitter is zero fantasy points as opposed to -2 on certain alternate sites (assuming a player goes 0-8 in an extra inning game). This will later prove to be untrue because of a certain scoring aspect. Before we get to analyzing the strategy to the scoring system too heavily, let’s first take a look at how it works:

OverallScoring

 

Hitting Points

Hitters are awarded for getting on base in any manner besides an error. They are also awarded for scoring a run. The more impactful the base hit, the more points are awarded for the outcome. For instance, a home run is worth more fantasy points (FP) than a triple which is worth more fantasy points than a double, etc. Once the player makes it on base, they are awarded five points for a stolen base. Reasoning through this, a single, stolen base and run (10 FP) is worth nearly as much as a home run (14 FP). This allows for players with a variety of skill sets to be worth consideration. The problem with base stealers is that two FP are subtracted if a player is caught stealing. In other words, they are tagged out and do not successfully steal the base when they attempt to. As mentioned above, if a player reaches base on an error and is then caught stealing, they would then have a cumulative score of -2 FP. With the scoring system structured as such, players with a great chance of getting base hits are the safest bets. In larger contests such as guaranteed prize pool (GPP) tournaments, players with the ability to hit home runs or swipe multiple bases should be targeted instead.

Pitching Points

The manner in which points are awarded to pitchers is very different from hitters. First of all, pitchers batting in the National League do not receive FP for any of their outcomes as a hitter. Instead, pitchers gain points with every out they register on the mound but can also lose points as they allow negative outcomes. On other sites, allowing baserunners is not accounted for meaning you can start a pitcher who allows 15 hits in 5 innings and none of the hits factor in as a negative. I much prefer the overall evaluation of the outing like FantasyDraft does. When a pitcher allows a hit or walk, 0.6 FP are subtracted from his overall score. Therfore, finding a pitcher who limits the opposing team to reach base is a top priority. Since every out is worth 0.75 FP, the upside to pitch deep into games is also a big plus. Whenever a pitcher is on a “pitch count,” it means the manager will not hesitate to pull the pitcher early in the game. He does not come with the upside that a veteran like Felix Hernandez does. Maybe the most important statistic however, even beyond innings pitched, is strikeouts. Complete games, complete game shutouts and no-hitters along with wins are tough to predict on a nightly basis. The easiest part of the scoring system to predict is strikeouts and they are weighted rather heavily. While an out earns a pitcher 0.75 FP, a strikeout earns them two additional FP. A groundout equals 0.75 FP while a strikeout equals 2.75 FP (two plus 0.75) total. Finding pitchers who will strike out six or more batters is key for determining a player’s floor. Strikeouts can turn mediocre outings into solid ones and can turn solid outings into great ones. Wins are a nice icing on the cake and can be factored in if you have faith in a pitcher’s offense. Example: the White Sox are playing the worst pitcher in baseball on a day that Chris Sale pitches. His perceived value is a little higher with the scoring system because of the four point win upside.

Relief pitchers are allowed on the site but should never be rostered. Many of them will pitch one inning maximum which does not give them enough opportunity to rack up the innings or the strikeouts. Even though they are always incredibly cheap, resist the urge to use them. Great relievers like Craig Kimbrel can be tempting but it is never even known if he will pitch that day! You will end up with a zero more times than not and that will not allow you to consistently finish in the PayoutZone.

We will discuss other factors that contribute towards setting nightly lineups in future articles. With a basic understanding of the scoring, it should be a much easier concept to grasp.

If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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