MLB Strategy Article
In this article I will be covering a few topics to help guide you through MLB DFS to make sure you stay profitable. MLB can be a very tiring DFS sport where we see tremendous ups and downs and big losing streaks. I myself have been caught in some pretty big losing streaks in the past but I have adopted a certain way of playing that allows me to not hurt my wallet during those losing streaks. Lets dive in.
The First or Last Concept
I decided to truly adopt this concept this year when going after GPPs in MLB. Do we really play GPP’s to min cash and double our money every night? NO! If that were the case we should just invest all of our money into cash games. Its time we put our balls on the table and play like true degens. What do I consider a GPP? Pretty much any contest that has a significant prize difference for 1st to the cash line. Do I consider single entries GPPS? Yes. Do I play those with the same mentality? Yes. Why play this way with MLB? MLB is truly the only sport where anybody on any given day can put up a zero regardless of how expensive they are or how juicy the match up is. MLB is the perfect sport to be different on a nightly basis because you get to play the next night all over again and if you listen to my other topics on $$$ and ratios you will be able to control your bankroll and play comfortably every night.
First or Last strategy
Ok lets talk about how we approach our first and last strategy (F&L). F&L isn’t just about being contrarian and fading chalk because some nights I really like chalk bats or pitcher and it would be stupid to not play them if I truly felt they were going to smash so it is ok to play some popular plays. What is important is who you surround those chalk picks with. If you’re chalk pitcher or chalk stacks are surrounded by nothing but chalk then you stand no chance to take shit down. Did you ever wonder why some random low dollar player(s) end up being chalk (usually 2b or ss)? Its because everyone is trying to jam the same pitcher/stack combos so they have to play those low dollar guys and everyone always ends up on the same guy. I am a firm believer in heavy stacking so most of my FD GPP lines will have 4-3 and a 1 off. Stacking gives you the best opportunity to climb the leaderboards. The other way is to just randomly pick all the highest players which is damn near impossible. This is why I have been naming some low dollar stacks because I know most of you are just attracted to the chalk most nights so you need a way to differentiate. Like I said I don’t mind playing chalk if I like it but you better have some low ownership guys to go along with it or else you’ll be living in min cash world forever.
Late Swap strategy
So this will only apply if you have some stacks going in the late games. We can get a pretty good feel for where we are usually by 8-830 EST with our lineups unless we have some late night hammers going. Lets utilize late swap to our advantage instead of just giving up. If we have a low owned stack that didn’t do shit in the early games but our “chalk” stack we liked is in the late game then it is strategically better for us to swap them out with a low owned stack that can drive us up the leaderboards. If you have a chalk late stack and your early low owned stacks didn’t hit you probably don’t really have a chance to even min cash even if that chalk stack hits because everyone else will move up as well.
GPP Contest Selection
Obviously you want to have as little entrants as possible but lets face it that doesn’t attract you does it? You want that big prize and I don’t blame you. Just remember the more entrants you have the more unique combos you are going to see so you will have to get pretty wild with your lineup construction. I’m not going to try an talk you guys out of playing those massive GPPs because its fallen on deaf ears for 3 years now but at least make sure your playing them right.
Here are some GPP criteria that I look for.
Under 3K- This one is hard because there aren’t many great contest under this.
Entry Max- 5, 10, 20 entry max are best and make sure you are entering in the same contest multiple times and not splitting up into different contest. You get the best bang for your buck in the same contest.
Single Entry- People don’t consider these GPP but I do because theres a bigger prize the higher you place. SE also work well with the F&L concept as you usually seeing higher ownerships in those. So Low owned lineup can do really well in these.
Look for contest that pay out about 20% of the field and avoid contest that have crazy uneven pay structures. Ive seen contest where first gets like 4 times the amount of 2nd.
Last but not least….play the same contest every night.
How much $$$ to play every night.
Here’s what I’ll say to this. Some people will say don’t play more then 5-10% of your bankroll but what is your bankroll? Is it what’s in your FD or DK account because quite frankly I think of my bankroll as every amount of disposable income I have lol. So, play with what your comfortable losing every night. When we walk into casinos we bring a certain amount that we are comfortable playing with and we should do the same with DFS. What’s more important is that you play that same amount every night or less never more and you have the proper GPP to Cash ratio which we’ll cover next. But Rob I’m really feeling this slate man I wanna play more. Ok I get that and I’ve been there so here’s what you should do. I would say spend no more than 5% more then you usually play or change your ratio of GPP/Cash to heavier GPP since that’s where you have the opportunity of earning more money. I would suggest the latter as increasing your volume of play is a quick way to kill a bankroll.
Ratio of Cash to GPP
So my preference to this is 70% Cash to 30% GPP. Lets use the $100 a night figure for easy math. $70 in double ups and I can win $140 and $30 in GPP the sky’s the limit. If we hit our cash games and lose out on our GPPs we are still profiting $40 in this scenario. We should be hitting our cash games by at least a 65-70% rate so if you stick to this ratio you will be a profitable player even if you lose pretty much every GPP you play. Which is another reason I like the F&L approach because if I’m playing my cash games right and im playing the proper amount of money each night then I have no problem shooting for the stars in GPPs. CASH GAMES ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR EVERYDAY DFS PLAYERS. Make sure you are playing cash games the right way as well. If you guys have been listening to Gary and Rich there is no reason you shouldn’t be at that 70% cash win rate this year.
Cash Games Contest Selection
Double ups and 50/50- Doubles pay out a few % points below 50/50 but are true doubles where 50/50s pay 1.8X. I like to play in moderate size contest usually couple 100 people because when you play in those smaller ones the chalk becomes much more prevalent and if you miss it and it goes off your almost as good as toast where you have a chance to overcome it. Double/50/50 should see your lineups being full of chalk.
Triple ups- So these pay out 30% of the field and you can 3X your money. The ownerships usually swing the same as Doubles but you will need to differentiate a little bit more to cross the line.
10 mans- These contests pay out 30% (top three) with the winner getting a 4.5X return. These contest will probably feature a lot of the chalky low dollar plays and pitcher so you will have to differentiate yourself with some plays that only you are on.
Someone ask to talk about ownership. Here’s what I’ll say about ownership. It’s the single most important thing in cash games IMO. As I stated above for GPP’s I only worry about it if I am playing a chalky stack/pitcher then I want to differentiate elsewhere. You can use ownership to your advantage if you want to gamble against the field. If you see a super high owned pitcher going then a great leverage play is to play some batters that matchup up well against him because no one else will have them.
That’s it for now and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to hit me up.