DraftKings Contest Review – Pitcher List Freeroll 4/5

Erik Smith reviews Pitcher List's DraftKings freeroll and analyzes the top two lineups.

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In addition to our regular previews of the upcoming slates on DraftKings every Sunday, we will be reviewing a featured contest from the prior week. Daily fantasy players often get caught up in the cycle of preparing for the current day, building lineups, making last minute changes, watching the games, and following their winnings, without taking a step back to look at what strategies were effective for the day’s contests. We will try to shed some light on winning plays and trends, as well as see where players went wrong.


Pitcher List Freeroll, Friday 4/5, 7:05 PM slate


We started out the first of our Pitcher List Friday Freeroll series with a five-person tournament. Four of our DFS writers and one of our readers joined for a test run of the format that will continue throughout the year. Despite the small field, there were some very strong lineups entered.


Winning Lineup Analysis


I took home first place in this Pitcher List contest with one of my better lineups of the week, and you can see that I very much followed my advice from my Friday preview. I entered this same lineup in a $3 single entry GPP with 198 entries and finished third place, so this was a high score for a five-person tournament.

I nailed my pitching, which is always a good start, as Shane Bieber and Joe Musgrove were the two highest-scoring pitchers on the slate. The early-season trend of attacking weak offenses continued, with Bieber taking care of a weak Blue Jays lineup, while the Reds were shut out for their third consecutive game thanks to Musgrove’s gem on Friday. It’s tempting to think that a struggling offense is “due,” giving you second-thoughts when playing Musgrove against a lineup that had just been shut out in consecutive games. This kind of thinking, however, can cause you to miss out on strong matchups. It’s better to attack a struggling lineup until they come out of it, netting you several strong days before their bats finally wake up.

My offense was centered on a Brewers stack against Jose Quintana, a pitcher who I was not impressed with while writing Pitcher List’s GIF blurbs during the offseason. The Brewers have been good against lefties this year, with the added bonus of getting them at home in a hitter-friendly ballpark in a dome to avoid the early season offense-suppressing cold weather. It was pointed out that Quintana was excellent against the Brewers last year, which is true. But putting too much stock into the small sample of pitcher vs. team or batter vs. pitcher can be misleading. Despite Quintana’s success against the Brewers last year, he still had games allowing two and three home runs against their lineup. Quintana lasted only three innings this time against the Brewers, allowing eight hits, three walks, and eight runs.

I couldn’t find a way to fit David Peralta into my lineup, who was one of my top plays of the slate. But because I liked the matchup at home against Rick Porcello, I pivoted to Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar, which paid off big time. We often get stuck on one player we love in a matchup, but the unpredictable nature of baseball means that we should be open to multiple options in potential high-scoring games.


Second Place Lineup Analysis


Typically, I’ll review the winning lineup in addition to my own lineup. Since my lineup was the winner this week, I’ll review the second place lineup. This week’s second place lineup comes from Pitcher List’s Andrew Gould. His point total would have been good for ninth place in the single entry tournament mentioned earlier, so this was another strong lineup.

It should come as no surprise to see the top two lineups leaning heavily on players from the Red Sox vs. Diamondbacks and Cubs vs. Brewers matchups. Vegas projections set the BOS/ARI game as the highest scoring game on the slate, while CHC/MIL was tied for the second highest projection. While no one projection should be blindly trusted, projected run totals are a great place to start, and can help you narrow your focus on games with bigger upside.

Ryan Braun was an excellent pick, and one I regretted not fitting into my lineup after he homered. Mitch Moreland was a smart, affordable option in a projected high scoring matchup. The difference between the first and second place lineups in this tournament ultimately came down to my selection of Marte at shortstop, showing how thin the margins can be in DFS. This easily could have been the winning lineup instead of my own.


Contest Overview


Scores in this Pitcher List freeroll ranged from 159.85 to 89.85 points. There were 37 different players rostered across the five entries. Bieber was the most owned player, rostered in four of the five lineups. In total, 11 players were rostered in more than one lineup. Below are the players that provided the best bang for their buck on Friday’s 7:05 PM slate. Stay tuned for future Pitcher List contests every Friday of the season.

Fewest $ Spent Per Point
Player %Drafted FPTS Salary
Ketel Marte 20.00% 34 4000
Alex Avila 20.00% 25 3400
Ryan Braun 40.00% 23 4200
Mookie Betts 20.00% 28 5400
Mike Trout 20.00% 28 5600
Hernán Pérez 20.00% 19 3800
Mitch Moreland 40.00% 18 3900
Joe Musgrove 40.00% 32.8 7600
Lorenzo Cain 40.00% 17 4000
Joey Gallo 40.00% 16 4700


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is eriks44) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games on which I offer advice. Although I have expressed my personal views on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings, and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

Graphic by Justin Paradis (@FreshMeatComm on Twitter).

Erik Smith

Ohio University graduate. Former food service employee in Yellowstone National Park. Now lives in Asheville, NC, right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. DFS enthusiast and Reds fan.

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