A fan’s view of how to make money on playing daily fantasy baseball at Draft Kings

Keep an open mind, I know many people here are opposed to gambling, and this is how you can spend less than a cup of coffee as an entrance fee into daily fantasy baseball. And if you’re good, you can make money back at it. My total investment on this night was $5.25.  This is my new hobby in retirement to put my baseball knowledge on the line to have some fun and even win back a few dollars. Now that Fan Duel and Draft Kings have become sponsors in professional sports, more people are participating. Some people are unaware of how to play the daily fantasy draft of players so here is how I plan my day. 

This is my fifth season playing Draft Kings. My inner Max Scherzer shows itself as I follow a routine. Some background, I fully retired from my third career in December 2019 given me the time to do daily fantasy on Draft Kings.

I play 4 games daily. I am not a big money player as I am a fiscal conservative and playing for big money would go against my comfort level.   However I do play a 25¢ game where there are about 19,000 players and you need to be in the top 25% of players to win. I play 2 $1 games — one with 12 players and the top 5 winning but a descending amount of pay-out skinnier taking about $3.10 and 5th place a $1.15; and a $1 game with 100 players and 50 winners all winning $1.80, and a $3 game with as many 20 players with top half winning $5.40. If we end up with an odd number of players you win just over $6. DISCLOSURE:  Draft Kings makes 10% on each game.

I have found it you score 100 points you most likely finish in the winning column and from 90 to 100 points about 25% wins, and under 90 points you generally lose.

This is daily fantasy baseball. You play 2 starting pitchers and choose 8 fielding positions.  You create your teams daily. If you play more than 1 game, you can change rosters. I don’t change rosters as I like to keep it simpler.

My goal is to get 35+ points from my pitchers and 65+ from my batters.

Pitchers can score both positive and negative points. Their positive scoring plays are strikeouts 2 points and recorded outs .75. Their negative points are .6 for a hit, a walk or a Hit by pitch. So you want starters that go about 6 innings and strikeout a fairly high rate of batters.

Batters only score positive points. They score 2 for a walk or a Hit by pitch, 3 for a single, 5 for a double, 7 for a triple or 10 for homer. They also get 2 for a run scored or and a RBI, and 5 for a stolen base. So a grand slam scores 20 points and more if the runner on base is also on your team.

I prefer playing the night slate of games during the week and Saturday and the early games Sunday.

Night slates start at 7:05 PM.

I am now journalizing and marking the time I do each part of my list daily.

3:15 PM – I check the weather as Draft Kings is unforgiving and if you have players whose game gets cancelled you are stuck with 0 for that spot. So I check to see if there is any rain systems that might cancel a game. Presently 2 games have chances of wash outs. So I plan not to use any player from the Tigers at White Sox or Phillies at the Cardinals.

3:20 – I see who the starting pitchers are tonight.  First thing I check are the weaker pitchers. If one of the 4 weakest are pitching to what I see as the best hitting stack of 4 or 5 players on one team, I then will build a team around the stack. Here are the teams I will build stacks around. In the AL the Yankees vs. a lefty; A’s, Astros, Twins vs. a lefty, Angels vs. a righty. In the NL the Phillies, Braves, Padres and Dodgers. If I have 2 stackable choices, I take the one that is an away team for the guarantee 9th inning at bat. You can only play 5 batters from a team.

3:25 – after looking at starting pitches I have to with Yankee stack again it is costly so I might only get 4 or them.

3:30 – I spotted 5 Yankees.  LeMahieu, Odor, Urshela, Judge and Stanton.
Next my 2 starting pitchers I took Glasgow despite the  $10,200 cost, and took Alex Wood as my second pitcher. Taking the Rockies’ opponent outside of Cours Field is fine. My goal is have the number be from the best 4 and the second from the next 4. If possible I want one of the two to be from a late game.

That leaves me needing a catcher, infielder and a SS with little available cash. I took Posey for a third straight game  , Brandon Crawford also a Giant, and Willie Calhoun of the Rangers.

3:40 – finalize the roster.

Will make sure everyone actually is playing around 600.

6:05 –  My main player for the Yankees stack, Aaron Judge is sitting, so I am switching to an Angel stack. So I  took Trout, Ohtani, Walsh, Fletcher, and Iglasias. I kept my pitchers. Got Jackson catcher of the Braves, kept LeMehieu but moved him to first, and kept Ushila at third.

6:10 will double check at 645 to see if everyone is playing.

6:45 – The line up is set.

7:05 – game starts

7:26 – End of first. My 4 started. My $3 only has 3 players. Winner takes all in 1st. My 13 player game 3 winner game I am in 3rd. The big game 10518th. 100 player game 80th.

7:43 – End of second. Dropped to 4th in the 13 player game, still 1st in game 1 11040 in big game. Moved up to 77th in 100 game.

8:13 – End of third. Uchela hits a 3 run homer. So now 13 player game 2nd, 3 player game first, but game in the money 3030, 100 person game 67th.

8:34 – End of fourth. angels score 4 in the first.  3 player game first, 13 player game second, but game 3547th 100 player game 57th

8:52 – End of 5th a couple hits since last time 3 player game 1st, 13 player 2nd, but game 2336th, 100 player 57th

9:07 – End of 6th pretty much the same as last time.

9:23 – End of 7th little change.

9:46 – End of 8th little change. Angels started great but quit after the first. Need to wake up.

10:02 – End of game Hate win 8-2.  The 3 person game still leading, the 13 player game 2nd, the big game 2534th, 48th in the 100 player game.

10:30 –  little change. Less points out there for me to get so I will have to hope to hold on.

11:00 – The 3 person game is basically come down to Tatis. I am up by 5 if Tatis is held to less than 5 I win $8.10 if he gets 5 we split that if he score 6 I win $0.  The 13 player game the guy in third has Tatis 5 behind just like the other game 4th has a 2 Padre stack and unless the DBacks start pitching he probably pass me.

The 100 player game I am in 50th.  My real problem the Angels played great in the first then stopped hitting.

11:35 PM – headed for bed. However I know will wake up and check where I am. Tatis is the key now. If  we can get him out in his fifth at bat I will have a positive outcome.  Some night I stay up and watch to the

I do have Alex Wood, but so do the guys right behind me.

My score tonight has been fine:  Pitchers 63.45 / Batter 63.00 = Total 126.45

It has been fun, and tomorrow afternoon I will start again.

2:10 AM I woke up and saw the Padres scored 3 in the 8th, an 2 in the 9th and thought Fernando Tatis Jr. probably did something. So went to the play by play and in the 8th he had sac fly for an RBI and 2 points. He didn’t bat in the 9th. So I knew I won.

10:00 AM review of the night. In the 3 man game winner game, all I won $8.10, and in the 13 player game I came in second $3.56 winnings, in the 50/50 game I came in 59th no winning. In the big quarter game I came 3002nd I won 50¢.  I played $5.25 and won $12.16. I know nothing big, but sure makes the night entertaining for me, and maybe it will for you too.

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