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Wednesday 29th Mar 2017

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Unless you win $200,000 in which case you're allowed to take a little of it home with you. How are you going to win $200K? Winning FanDuel's Daily National Fantasy Baseball Championship, that's how.

But the only way to do that is to win a qualifier. Fortunately, your friends at Mastersball can help you with that by clicking on the link below.

WEATHER ALERT! It is going to be wet on the East Coast. The tilts in Washington, New York and Boston will all be threatened with rain so it is best to focus elsewhere. Fortunately, there is a full slate of games so a multitude of nice choices remain. Here's how I intend on booking my trip to Sin City.

P James Shields HOU@KAN $7,900 - There is a bunch of top starters toeing the rubber tonight. What I did was fill in my hitters first, adding as many bargains as I could and then see which pitchers could fit within the cap. I actually had $8,400 after the first run thus was able to make adjustments elsewhere. I left such stalwarts as Matt Harvey, Cliff Lee, Adam Wainwright, Gio Gonzalez, Chris Sale and Justin Verlander on the table. I would have shunned Harvey and Gonzalez for weather reasons but the rest were all in play. My desire to find a spot for CarGo kept me away from the very top guys. I had the ability to slide in Hyun-Jin Ryu for exactly $8,400 but opted for Shields and the extra $500 to upgrade elsewhere. Innings are valuable in FanDuel and I like Shields to go deep into tonight's game.

C Victor Martinez CLE@DET $2,800 - Ubaldo Jimenez has found himself again, but on the road against the vaunted Tigers' attack, I'll roll with a reasonably priced V-Mart.

1B Prince Fielder CLE@DET $4,400 - Even though I was looking to squeeze enough budget to afford one of the elite pitchers, I knew Shields was there as a fall-back and you can't go completely cheap with the bats as in order to win, you need a couple to have multiple point evenings, along with your pitchers with 15+ points. Prince is capable of the double digit production I need.

2B Jedd Gyorko SDP@COL $3,300 - Using Gyorko on the road breaks one of my tenets but when the road is a mile high, I'll make an exception. Jorge De La Rosa's surface stats are good, but his peripherals are mundane so I'll take a shot the rook gets a hold of one.

3B Nolan Arenado SDP@COL $2,200 - Arenado has been scuffling since his early success but at this price, I'll take a shot his recent resurgence has boosted his confidence. Edinson Volquez is not the same guy away from PETCO Park.

SS Didi Gregorius SFG@ARI $2,900 - I don't love this pick, but it is a salary-saver and fits the criteria, even though the left-handed hitting Gregorius will be facing solid righty Matt Cain. I still believe Cain is one of the best, but he has been dealing with a case of gopheritis.

OF Jay Bruce STL@CIN $3,600 - Those of you that follow the total body of my work are either laughing or asking WTF? This is likely the only night all season I will be rooting for Bruce as I infamously have him as a rest-of-season bust on the ESPN rankings. I never said he was going to strike out every time up, just a lot so tonight can he one of the nights he doesn't. It is Adam Wainwright 60 feet and 6 inches away, but I'll go with it anyway. Truth be told I hate this pick but the money works and the choices are limited with the potential  East Coast wash-outs.

OF Scott Van Slyke ATL@LOS $2,500 - This is completely a salary play but the match-up works, especially since it is Paul Maholm on the bump.

OF Carlos Gonzalez SDP@COL $5,400 - I realize the chance that lightning strikes twice in a week is slim, but in case it does, I want to be the one that gets hit.

That's what I have, what about you? Click on the FanDuel logo to reserve a spot in the DNFB qualifier. You have until 7 PM ET on Friday to adjust your lineup.


FanDuel wants to fly you to Las Vegas to compete with 44 others for a chance as 200K. All you need to do is enter the $10 Daily Fantasy Baseball Championship (DFBC) Finals linked under the logo below.

  • Friday night, May 31
  • $10 to enter
  • 250 prizes paid
  • Odd week this time around as there are a number of excellent pitchers starting on the road which is a double whammy - not only does this make it harder to find a pitcher working at home, but also limits hitters since most are squaring off against a decent starter. Here's my initial team. I'm feeling a little frisky so I'm going to enter a couple more later. I'll post them in the comments between 6 and 7 PM ET.

    P Corey Kluber TAM@CLE $5,600 - Check out the peripherals, Kluber has walked just one while fanning 23 the previous three games.

    C Victor Martinez DET@BAL $2,600 - V-Mart is on the road but he's hard to pass up at this rock bottom price. I'll take my chances against Miguel Gonzalez.

    1B Adrian Gonzalez LOS@COL $4,200 - Another road hitter, but when the road is in Colorado, I don't sweat it. Gonzalez needs more help from his friends but against Jon Garland, he doesn't need much help.

    2B Freddy Galvis MIL@PHI $2,200 - Strictly a salary fit so I can really load up the outfield.

    3B Chase Headley TOR@SDP $2,900 - Extremely low price for a home hitter facing rookie Chad Jenkins. Yummy.

    SS Everth Cabrera TOR@SDP $4,200 - This isn't the type of pick I usually favor as the price reflects how well Cabrera is playing now and not his true level, but I wanted a chance to go on record as saying I am beginning to believe the power surge is real.

    OF Mike Trout HOU@LAA $5,700 - Dallas Keuchel - 'nuff said.

    OF Coco Crisp CWS@OAK $4,200 - When healthy, Covelli is one of the best fantasy players in the game.

    OF Torii Hunter DET@BAL $3,400 - My only same handedness match-up, this is the best fit for the money.


    FanDuel is giving you another chance to be their guest in Las Vegas and win one of 45 seats in the Daily Fantasy Baseball Championship (DFBC) Finals. A total of $2Million will be awarded with the champion pocketing a cool $200K.

    • Friday night, May 17
    • $10 to enter
    • 250 prizes paid

    Please click on the FanDuel logo below to enter. Reserve your spot now and you can tweak your lineup right up until 7:00 PM ET.

    Before I divulge my attempt at glory, I must admit that I had my first disastrous day playing FanDuel earlier this week as I thought I had a pair of winning lineups during the afternoon games on Wednesday. Well, the road teams prevailed in a big way which croaked both my pitching and hitting. Fortunately, I'm still up on the season but I have some work to do to build the bankroll back up. The lesson, however, is to be careful managing your bankroll and stay disciplined. While the analogy is not perfect, there's a reason a stretch in the desert of Las Vegas is inundated with a whole bunch of pretty buildings with colorful lights, fountains and smelly guys flipping cards with scantily clad woman in your general direction.

    The other lesson is if you have a system that has been successful, don't abandon it after one rough day. So I will continue to focus on home match-ups with LHB vs. RHP and RHB vs. LHP.

    P Jaime Garcia MIL@STL $6,900 - Pitching was a little tough this time but I settled on a mid-priced option instead of trying to go really cheap (Jarrod Parker KAN@OAK $5,200) or top-tier (Cliff Lee CIN@PHI $8,500). Garcia's strikeout rate is pedestrian but he should be able to go deep into the game and his mates have a chance to score some runs facting Wily Peralta.

    C Carlos Ruiz CIN@PHI $3,000 - Ruiz hasn't really gotten it going since returning from his suspension but I'll take my chance against the impressive but still young Tony Cingrani.

    1B Chris Davis TAM@BAL $4,400 - I'm slow to come around but I am encouraged with Davis' better contact. I'm hoping he squares one or two up squaring off against Jeremy Hellickson who has been known to serve up a gopher on occasion.

    2B Josh Rutledge SFG@COL $3,500 - This pick is dedicated to my contribution to the mid-May re-ranks I participated in at ESPN. I'm taking some serious heat (and loving every second of it) with my man-crush for Rutledge front and center. Heck, I'm going to enter an entire FanDuel team of players for which I am being ridiculed for their ranking. So much for staying disciplined with my bank roll!

    3B Nolan Arenado SFG@COL $2,400 - I'm not warm and fuzzy about this pick mainly because Madison Bumgarner has the stuff to tame Coors not to mention make rookies look silly. But, the price and handedness is right so we'll roll the dice.

    SS Asdrubal Cabrera SEA@CLE $3,500 - I thought about pig-piling (I believe the technical term is stacking) against Brandon Maurer and I still may, but for now we'll settle for one Indian.

    OF Justin Upton LOS@ATL $4,600 - This is more a win the whole thing as opposed to a win a 50/50 or double up contest but Vegas is calling and you need to take a chance on some players capable of going off. Hyun-Jin Ryu has been impressive and has done a decent job of keeping the ball in the yard, but Upton is match-up proof and my choice to have a night.

    OF Carlos Beltran MIL@STL $3,600 - I expected more from Wily Peralta so maybe if I bet against him here, when he throws a gem he'll help my regular fantasy squads.

    OF Nick Markakis TAM@BAL $3,100 - Many times when you're down to one spot, there are no options that profile in a positive manner. Other times you're handed the perfect choice.

    If you'd like to join me in the quest for a trip to Las Vegas with a crack at 200K, click the FanDuel logo and I'll see you on the scoreboard.


    This week's promotional contest is another shot  at a seat in the Daily Fantasy Baseball Championship (DFBC) Finals. If you win the league, FanDuel will fly you to Vegas and you'll be one of 45 lucky individuals vying for the 200K top prize. A total of $2Million will be awarded.

  • Friday night, May 24
  • $10 to enter
  • 250 prizes paid
  • This is an interesting week as after my initial run-through, I found several players I liked - especially pitchers. There's a good chance I enter a few lineups tonight. When you're working with a limited bankroll, part of managing it properly is to pick and choose when to play. There are a couple of touchy weather situations this evening, but since I know I'll be at my PC from 6 PM to 7 PM ET, I know I'll be able to make adjustments (if necessary) though I plan on avoiding the most tenuous situations in Boston and Queens.

    Gratuitous plug time - I'll soon be contributing to a new site dedicated to daily games strategy, DFSEdge. One of the cool tools on the site is a listing of the game with the lineups once they are announced, but the weather situations are already up, including wind direction.

    Here's one of the lineups I'll be entering this evening.

    P Brandon McCarthy SDP@ARI $6,100 - There are some pricey options such as Jordan Zimmermann and Anibal Sanchez as well as a cheaper Bronson Arroyo (who was in my original line-up) but I switched to McCarthy who is gaining comfort in the desert and is facing the rather anemic Padres. He won't rack up the whiffs, but I'm hoping for some innings and perhaps a victory.

    C Alex Avila MIN@DET $2,600 - I'm willing to bet not many are joing me in playing Avila, who has been quite slow out of the gate and may sit against some lefties, as he has the past two nights. But I'll take my chance Avila snaps out of his funk against Samuel Deduno.

    1B Paul Goldschmidt SDP@ARI $5,000 - Goldschmidt has odd splits in that he fares better on the road even though Chase Field is a hitter's haven. Still, I like his prospects this evening as he faces Eric Stults.

    2B Jose Altuve OAK@HOU $3,300 - Tommy Milone is around the plate, Altuve makes frequent contact, a hit or two is a strong possibility. Add in a steal and run and Altuve is a nice option.

    3B Kyle Seager TEX@SEA $3,400 - Seager is back near the top of the order which is helpful. Hopefully this means he'll have an extra crack at Justin Grimm.

    SS Elvis Andrus TEX@SEA $3,500 - This is one of two instances of an away player cracking the lineup. The reason for this is I am leery to play Stephen Drew since the weather in Boston is shaky. Plus, I'll take a solid lead-off man against a ninth hitter.

    OF Shin-Soo Choo CHC@CIN $4,900 - Scott Feldman has really surprised, but I'll trust Choo to take care of business as he has done all season.

    OF Bryce Harper PHI@WAS $4,000 - Assuming Harper can avoid running into walls, I like this spot against Kyle Kendrick (though I am a fan of Kendrick and feel he's for real).

    OF Aaron Hicks MIN@DET $2,200 - I had $2,200 remaining and Hicks is a starter so I eschewed my lean to home players and will hope Hicks continues his recent success albeit facing the tough Anibal Sanchez.

    Good luck to all those entering their own squads.

    Please click on the FanDuel logo below to enter. Reserve your spot now and you can tweak your lineup right up until 7:00 PM ET.

    Todd will be not only entering the DFBC, but will also enter several other contests and will donate his winnings to this cause. Check back tomorrow and see how he plans on helping Madi get a D.A.D.



    This week's featured promotion is a qualifier for the Daily Fantasy Baseball Championship (DFBC) Finals. Only $10 to enter and you can win a trip To Las Vegas and  one of 45 seats in the DFBC Finals. The grand prize is $200K with over $1M in total awarded.

    Click on the FanDuel logo below to reserve your team. You have until 7 PM ET Friday night to make changes.

    In previous discussions, I have alluded to a means to in essence hedge your bet when it comes to entering one of these standard contests with a high prize going to the top finishers. FanDuel offers a variety of contests, two of which greatly increase your odds of winning. There's a double up where almost half the participants double their money as well as a 50/50 where half the entries win slightly less than double the entry. If you have the confidence you can place in the top half of entrants, you can hedge your entry into the big money contest. If you fail to cash in the big money event, at least you get your entry back in the double up or 50/50.

    I've been doing this since the very beginning and have failed to cash in my "hedge" league only once in seven tries. And since I have cashed in a few of the big money leagues, I have built up a bit of a bankroll. Here's the thing. You don't have to play in the big money games. Instead, stay disciplined and play the double ups and 50/50's, perhaps multiple times in the same night. You won't hit the big score some of us are looking for with the leagues that pay several hundred dollars to the winners, but you'll almost certainly net a tidy little profit each week. I've been following the exploits of some folks doing just this and it has been very successful for them. Think of it this way. It's sort of like playing roulette but with a means to slightly increase the odds so you know if the ball will land in black or white. I'm playing two games of roulette. First I'm betting on a single number then I'm betting black or white.

    If you focus solely on the high-odds, low return on investments games, here are a couple of tips to help insure success:

  • NAIL the pitcher (I hope Alyssa Milano isn't reading this so she doesn't misinterpret), even if it means building a weaker offense. All you want to do is finish with a total that is fundamentally above average. With the way FanDuel scores points, a winning pitcher that goes deep into a game and fans some guys along the way is GOLD. Choosing wisely can get you halfway to cashing so all you need is one or two of your hitters to have a good day and...$cha-ching$! Don't worry about bang for the buck. Choose the ace at home against weaker competition regardless of salary. This may hinder your chance to rack up a high score, but you don't care.
  • Make sure you have a complete lineup by watching weather reports and not taking chances on players you aren't positive will be playing that night. You'd be shocked how many have dead spots in their lineup, increasing your odds of placing in the top half.
  • Along those lines, if you aren't going to be around an hour or so before the games begin, don't play that night unless you are 100 percent sure everyone you choose will be active. You have until the first game begins to make changes.
  • Similarly, you don't HAVE to play every day. If there isn't a pitching matchup you favor, sit this one out. No worries, they'll be other days.
  • Here's my lineup for this evening's contest. Good luck to all those entering. Maybe I'll see you in Vegas!

    P Max Scherzer CLE@DET $8,700 - I originally had the less expensive Alex Cobb at home versus San Diego, but I found a bunch of cheap hitters so I upgraded to the more dominant Scherzer.

    C Miguel Montero PHI@ARI $2,500 - In my column yesterday, I alluded to the fact that studies show perceived hot and cold streaks are not predictive. It doesn't get much colder than Montero.

    1B Prince Fielder CLE@DET $5,000 - I'll take my chances with Prince versus the raw but talented Corey Kluber.

    2B Dustin Ackley OAK@SEA $2,600 - We're at the point of the season where some slow starters have salaries reflective of their struggles. This is a great way to find bargains (and on the flip-side, avoid overpaying for lesser players are to good starts). I'm hoping Ackley hits near the top tonight, but regardless, I like his chances against Dan Straily.

    3B Mike Moustakas NYY@KAN $2,800 - Like Ackley, Moustakas is better than he has displayed thus far but is carrying a low salary. Both are lefties at home facing righties so this is a perfect place to exploit the low salaries. Moustakas is facing Phil Hughes who has been known to surrender a dinger or two.

    SS Alexei Ramirez LAA@CWS $2,600 - This is the one match-up I'm not sure about as scheduled starter Tommy Hanson is on bereavement leave. However, I can't imagine I'll change it irrespective of who starts especially if Ramirez continues to bat second.

    OF Alex Gordon NYY@KAN $3,900 - My favorite play of the night.

    OF Jacoby Ellsbury TOR@BOS $3,600 - Toronto is summoning the 39-year old Ramon Ortiz from the bullpen to replace Brandon Morrow this evening. Heck, I may have to enter another lineup with the maximum allowed four Red Sox just for kicks.

    OF Andy Dirks CLE@DET $3,200 - With the right-handed Kluber on the mound, the lefty swinging Dirks should get his hacks.

    That's it gang, my ticket to Vegas!

    Click the logo below if you want to go instead.


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