DraftKings Contest Review – Pitcher List Freeroll 4/26

Erik Smith reviews the Pitcher List Friday Freeroll Series on DraftKings and analyzes the top lineup.

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In addition to our daily previews of the upcoming slates on DraftKings, every Sunday we will be reviewing our Pitcher List Friday Freeroll Series. 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 4/26, 7:05 p.m.


Our fourth contest in the Pitcher List Friday Freeroll Series on DraftKings featured 43 entries. Players are competing for a monthly prize, with the highest score for April receiving a Pitcher List T-shirt. Pitcher List staff will be playing as well, though they will not be eligible for prizes.


Winning Lineup Analysis



Pitcher List staff writer Scott Chu, otherwise known as Chuseph, took home the win in the last contest of April with a score of 174.45 points. Scott writes the Batter’s Box as well as an occasional Tuesday Statcast piece. I reached out to Scott and asked him about his priorities while building this lineup, and he had the following to say:

I’ve been trying to do this DFS thing for the last five years (it’s the first thing I ever wrote about, back when I was emailing Word docs to the guy who runs Dailybaseballdata.com to post on Fridays) and if I learned anything, it’s that pitching is everything. You start by picking pitchers, then go to picking hitters against bad pitchers.

I wanted to avoid the obvious chalk pitching (Max Scherzer) and felt like not enough people were noticing the reasonably priced Matt Strahm and Jerad Eickhoff, who each have strikeout upside and strong matchups.

As for hitting, picking on guys like Norris, Cobb, Anderson, and Duffy made a lot of sense. I deliberately spread out my offense because I felt there were a lot of exploitable matchups out there tonight, and people can get a little too stack-happy in these tournaments. Stacks are great, but they’re a very risk-reward play. With so many mediocre pitchers going, I wanted to diversify my portfolio a bit.

The real victory, though, was seeing my name next to Yancy’s [Yancy Eaton, second place in the tournament]. I think he’s the coolest.

Scott’s strategy with pitching has been a winning one thus far in 2019, fading the expensive aces and finding cheaper imitations. While Scherzer ended up being one of the highest scoring options on the slate, he was matched by pitchers like Hyun-Jin Ryu, Marcus Stroman, and Eickhoff, all with price tags between $2,800 and $2,200 cheaper than Scherzer’s. This strategy can obviously backfire, as shown by Carlos Rodon‘s performance on Friday night, where he was drafted in 28% of the tournament’s lineups and scored -6.45 DraftKings points. But winning tournaments requires a higher variance strategy, so don’t be scared off by the times it goes horribly wrong. It only takes a win or two to make up for the losing lineups.


Contest Overview


Scores in the fourth Pitcher List freeroll ranged from 174.45 to 44.35 points. There were 145 different players rostered across the 43 entries, including 17 of the 28 available pitching options on the slate. Below are the players who provided the best bang for their buck in Friday’s contest, as well as the 10 most-owned players from the contest.

Fewest Dollars Spent Per Point
Miguel Cabrera2.33%313600
Tim Anderson4.65%364900
Jose Abreu2.33%334500
Austin Barnes2.33%233400
Yan Gomes11.63%223300
Francisco Lindor6.98%304500
Nelson Cruz25.58%314700
Jesse Winker2.33%233800
Curt Casali2.33%193200
Yasiel Puig2.33%233900


Most-Owned Players
James Paxton48.84%22.559600
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.37.21%54300
Carlos Rodon27.91%-6.458100
Nelson Cruz25.58%314700
Max Kepler20.93%174200
Eric Sogard18.60%193800
Jerad Eickhoff18.60%29.957900
Eddie Rosario18.60%165300
Mike Trout18.60%55600
Ronald Acuna Jr.18.60%05100


April Recap And Winning Lineup


Our first monthly contest is in the books, thank you to everyone who joined. April’s prize, a Pitcher List T-shirt, is awarded to the highest single score of the month. Our winner is Playahata1332, with a score of 179.2 back on April 12. Please contact me in the comments or on Twitter to claim your prize. Below are the top 10 scores for the month of April.



If you would like to join our freeroll, first sign up for an account by clicking the DraftKings banner in this article. Once you have a DraftKings account, or if you already have one, click here to join the Pitcher List Friday Freeroll Series. Our May contest will kick off on Friday with a different format for choosing the winner; stay tuned on Twitter for more information. Thank you to everyone who has joined so far, and good luck in May’s contest.


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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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