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Daily Fantasy Baseball DFS Strategy for 2023

Daily fantasy sports can be a great change of pace from the standard year-long fantasy formats. Players can decide when and how often they create lineups while starting fresh every day. DFS formats are much more volatile as players’ performances vary so much on a day-to-day basis. That’s why it’s important to go in with the best strategy possible for the highest chance of cashing out.

The season is not here yet, but why not get a head start and jump in a Fantrax Classic Draft contest? Get a jump on the season with a Best Ball league or maybe a Draft and Hold. Or put some green on the line with a new season-long league to try and conquer. There’s no better time than now to get your baseball on!

Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy for 2023

As DFS continues to grow, there are several styles and platforms available. This includes daily drafts against other competitors, “parlays” of individual player props, and several other types. Here, we’ll focus on the standard daily fantasy format. DFS players will build a lineup based on a set salary cap and compete against others in paid competitions. These games have been popularized by DraftKings and FanDuel, and those platforms will be referred to throughout this strategy guide. Between these two sites, there are a handful of different contests, including:

  • Standard/Guaranteed (GPP): A pool of players compete against each other for prizes. The top scorer wins the most money, followed by second place, third, etc.
  • 50/50: Half of the player pool wins the same prize amount while the bottom half loses.
  • Double-Up: Similar to 50/50, players compete to double their buy-in amount. Less than 50% of players will win in these competitions.

Buy-ins range from a few cents to several thousand dollars, giving everyone an option to play within their means. Many contests also allow users to submit multiple lineups, which will come in handy for stacking different lineups and matchups. Despite the many similarities between FanDuel and DraftKings, the lineups, salaries, and scoring are very different.


DraftKings gives users a $50,000 salary cap to draft 10 positions while FanDuel provides $35,000 for nine spots. The customization on FanDuel is much greater. Users aren’t forced to draft a catcher thanks to the C/1B slot and instead will add a UTIL, which can be any batter. DraftKings requires two pitchers in each lineup, which is the position that carries the highest salaries and average scores.

DK PointsFD Points

Power is vital in these daily formats. On both platforms, stolen bases are worth the same as a double and have half the value of home runs. FanDuel also gives slightly more points to RBI compared to runs scored. For example, if an MLB hitter goes 2-for-4 with a homer, two RBI, and one run, he’d score 19 DK points and 25.2 FD points. Fortunately, hitters can’t score negative points, so players with big power and strikeout numbers are still worth drafting.

DK PointsFD Points

Pitcher scoring is much more different between these two platforms compared to hitters. DraftKings penalizes pitchers for hits and walks, on top of earned runs, while FanDuel only penalizes for the latter. However, on the rare occasion where a starter throws a complete game, shutout, and/or no-hitter, they’ll get bonus points on DraftKings. As an example, a pitcher that earns a win with a final line of 6 innings, four hits, two walks, two runs, and eight strikeouts would score 46 FD points but just 25.9 DK points.

Lineup Stacking

Creating a “lineup stack” is one of the most popular and effective DFS strategies. Like double-dipping with a quarterback and his top receiver in daily football formats, stacking a baseball lineup can allow you to rack up multiple points from one event. For example, Paul Goldschmidt drove in Tommy Edman 19 times last season and was driven in by Nolan Arenado 27 times. Using these three players in one lineup on a day when the Cardinals’ offense is scoring in buckets will provide a big advantage. As easy as this strategy seems, the lineup can quickly turn into a dud when the team goes cold.

For multiple reasons, it’s not possible to stack a team’s entire lineup in one DFS entry. First, these platforms don’t allow it. DraftKings has a maximum of five hitters from a single team while FanDuel requires users to have at least three MLB teams represented in each lineup. Second, when stacking from a team with elite hitters, there wouldn’t be enough salary to cover the entire lineup.

With this in mind, what’s the best way to stack? It begins with finding the best matchup, which we’ll dig into next. Once you’ve pinpointed a good matchup, it’s time to choose which players to include. The best strategy is to take players that are connected in that day’s lineup. For example, a team’s 1-4 hitters will usually provide the most points but they’re expensive, so stacking the 3-6 hitters would also make sense.

Exploiting Matchups

All daily fantasy contests, regardless of the sport, are about finding the best matchups to take advantage of. This is especially important when stacking because the risk/reward is much higher. Picking out a good matchup is much deeper than simply “good team vs. bad team.” Of the several variables that factor into these matchups, the most important include:

  • Batter vs. Pitcher: Seeing which hitters and pitchers fare well against one another can be telling for future success. Both Baseball Savant and Swish Analytics have good BvP tools to use.
  • Park Location: Not all parks are treated the same when it comes to offense. Park Factors are a good way to see which home stadiums are producing the most runs (and homers).
  • Platoon Splits: Most left-handed hitters perform drastically better against right-handed pitching
  • Weather: Temperature, precipitation, and most importantly, wind all factor into how effective offenses will be.

Looking ahead to Opening Day, one potential matchup to stack would be the Rays against Eduardo Rodriguez. They have four hitters with an average over .300 and at least 13 plate appearances against him, plus Brandon Lowe, who is hitting .250 with three homers. Overall, Rodriguez has allowed a .344 average and .522 slugging against current Rays hitters, though his expected numbers are a bit more forgiving. Another option would be the Braves facing Patrick Corbin, but that will likely be a more expensive endeavor.

Because it’s not possible to completely fill a lineup from one team, there will be a random hitter or two from elsewhere in the league. Obviously, these players will often have a higher variance so it’s important to find key matchups here as well. The same rules still apply: looks for hitters facing pitchers that they’ve had success against, games in offense-heavy parks, etc. A potential Opening Day option here would be Jean Segura. Stacking the Marlins against Max Scherzer is probably unwise, but Segura has gone 13-for-36 (.361) with one home run against him in his career.

Roster Construction

With a salary limit, you won’t be able to fill your lineup with superstars. Even getting multiple top players will put the rest of your lineup at a disadvantage, so it’s all about making choices on where to stay cheap. Often this means “punting” a position or specifically using a cheap option at that position to better utilize that money elsewhere. Before getting to the batters, it’s usually best to make a pitching decision first.

Pitchers usually provide more points than each individual batter, hence their higher price tags. There are two schools of thought regarding pitching: take a top ace with confidence or look for a cheaper, high-variance arm. DraftKings lineups require two pitchers and taking two aces would put the rest of the lineup at a serious disadvantage. Again, we want to look for good matchups here, including park factors, previous success against the hitters he’ll be facing, etc. Max Fried is set to take on a Nationals lineup that’s hit just .200 against him. The only player in Washington with any success against him is Victor Robles (.360 in 28 plate appearances).

Just as power is important for batters, pitchers with high strikeouts rates are ideal for daily formats. Keep in mind that FanDuel only takes away pitchers’ points for earned runs while DraftKings takes away 0.6 points for every hit and walk (on top of an earned run penalty). So on FanDuel, someone like Hunter Greene, who doesn’t have a great WHIP but posts strong strikeout numbers, has more value than he would on DraftKings.

One position that’s often punted is catcher. In general, catchers just don’t have a ton of appeal in fantasy because they usually can’t put up numbers like players at other positions do. JT Realmuto is DraftKings’ most expensive catcher on Opening Day at $5,200. However, William Contreras, Alejandro Kirk, and Sean Murphy can all be selected while saving $1,500 or more. They’re each in solid lineups and provide good pop for the position.

More Strategy

Like preparing for the standard fantasy season, underlying numbers are good for finding potential breakouts. It’s obviously much harder to pinpoint when the breakout will come in daily formats, but the process is generally the same. Players with better expected numbers, low BABIPs, and good batted-ball data can all be under-the-radar value picks. Pairing this information with strong matchup plays could result in a big point total on the right day.

DFS is all about volume but it’s important to play within your means. There are fantasy “experts and gurus” that will talk about the money they win in daily formats. While they’re often much better than the average fantasy player, they also create far more lineups. Not everyone can afford to do this and it’s important not to get ahead of yourself. If it’s a day with a big slate and you love a few matchups, go ahead and drop a few lineups. But on days where nothing stands out, it’s fine to step back and go at it again another day.

For the biggest payouts, standard DFS contests, or Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPPs), are the way to go. Players have lower odds of landing a payout but the top performers can be paid hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the buy-in and contest size. In this format, it’s often smart to go against the grain a bit. The big winners often have players that post big numbers that day despite having a low draft percentage. On days when there’s a very clear and obvious matchup to stack, many players will try to take advantage of it, limiting the ceiling for their potential payouts as their competitors will likely have similar builds.

Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites over the last few years, and we’re not stopping now. We are the most customizable, easy-to-use, and feature-rich platform in the industry, offering the greatest fantasy experience for your dynasty, keeper, redraft, and best ball leagues. Fantasy sports doesn’t sleep, and neither does Fantrax, with seasons running 365 days a year. Take your fantasy leagues to the next level now at!
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