You are currently viewing How To Win In Fantasy Baseball – A Guide for Draftkings and Fanduel

How To Win In Fantasy Baseball – A Guide for Draftkings and Fanduel

  • Post category:MLB

When it comes to fantasy sports, there’s nothing like baseball. We’re talking 162 games and hundreds of slates that give you the potential for a life-changing win. There’s a lot to keep up with in MLB DFS; injuries, rotation changes, and a plethora of statistics that cover every aspect of the game. Each slate opens the door for hundreds of players to score big, so the range of outcomes are pretty ridiculous. 

If you’re new to fantasy baseball, or perhaps just looking to fine-tune your strategy, we’ve got you covered. The remainder of this guide will give you all the info you need to be more competitive in tournaments on Draftkings and Fanduel. 

Contest Selection

If you’re really trying to stay in the DFS game long term, then contest selection is imperative. Fantasy sports platforms are profit driven, and your typical contest is not designed with the player’s ROI in mind. Most contests with large prize pools are very top heavy – this means that the top 10 finishers collect most of the prizes while the remainder of the placing entries are left with scraps. It’s no surprise that these same contests are often the ones with the most entrants and lowest % of paid entrants, thus giving you the worst chance of winning. 

There are a few easy ways to ensure you’re entering the right contests, but my main piece of advice is to STOP CHASING THE LARGE GPPs. If you’re trying to build a bankroll, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage by strictly opting for large, top-heavy tournaments. Below are some bullet points that will further help you with contest selection. 

  • Only play contests that you can afford to max enter (i.e. avoid playing 150-max entry contests unless you plan to enter 150 lineups). You’re putting yourself at a disadvantage if you’re not max-entering a contest. 
  • Look for contests with a small number of entrants, ideally more than 100 but less than 7,000. An average lineup might not place in a large field GPP, but it’s a lot more likely in a small field. 
  • Play cheap single entry, 3-max, and 20-max contests to lessen the competition.
  • Look at the payout structure prior to entering and opt for contests that pay at least 2x your entry fee for min-cashing (winning the minimum amount for placing). 
  • Play contests that pay-out at least 10% of the top prize to 10th place while paying out >20% of all entries. 

To cap this off, an ideal bankroll-building contest would be something like a $20 3-entry max for MLB. These contests normally pay out 10% of the overall prize pool to first place and have a good payout structure otherwise. Best of all, your typical field size is around 500-600 entries. 


Nothing like pitching will make or break your lineup in fantasy baseball. Each slate typically features anywhere from 8 to 28 pitchers; only a couple hold the keys to glory. Before we get into pitcher selection, it’s essential to understand the differences in the position on each big platform.


You select two pitchers for a classic MLB DFS slate on Draftkings. Everyone has their own opinion, but the general consensus is there’s more strategy involved with two pitchers in play. Drafting the two highest-scoring pitchers automatically gives you a great chance at cashing, but the chance of this decreases with each game added to a slate. 

Draftkings is interesting because you don’t necessarily NEED to have the two highest scoring pitchers on a given slate. The two spots allow you to strategize and perhaps capitalize on scoring elsewhere. You can do this in several ways, but two of the most common are the star/scrub approach or opting for two mid-range pitchers. 

All in all, there’s a plethora of ways to approach pitching on Draftkings. Ideally, you want to focus on the highest scoring pair, but there’s really a lot you can do in terms of lineup construction. 


Pitching is a completely different ball game on Fanduel – no pun intended. DFS players choose one pitcher on Fanduel, which means you really have to get this right if you’re looking for a big win. A given pitcher can truly break a slate on Fanduel due to the differences in scoring and lack of another pitcher for backup. 

On Fanduel, you’re basically looking for a proven starter or an ace. You want someone who will pitch >6 innings to get the quality start bonus and hopefully get the win. Strikeouts are also worth more on Fanduel, so it’s no understatement that you’ll need the full package. 

I won’t go too in-depth on the scoring, but on the bright side, Fanduel makes it easier to weed out bad pitchers. I suggest building lineups around 3-5 pitchers with a track record of longevity and strikeout upside. These factors combined with a good matchup give you a high chance of selecting the optimal pitcher.

Pitcher Selection

Taking the above into consideration, the below bullet points will help you with selecting your pitcher(s). 

  • On both sites, looking for pitchers with proven longevity and strikeout upside is a good start. 
  • Look for solid pitchers in a good matchup. This can be reflected by sportsbook odds (more on this below) or season-long statistics. 
  • Opt for good pitchers that are playing in “upgraded” ballparks. Certain ballparks have less homerun prevalence based on their design, and this can contribute to a quality pitching outing. 


Fantasy baseball is similar to fantasy football in the sense that stacking is important. The majority of winning lineups on Draftkings and Fanduel use some type of stacking strategy. If you’re new to DFS, stacking implies using several players on the same team in the same lineup to capitalize on scoring correlation.

Draftkings allows you to stack 5 players from the same team (6 including a pitcher) while Fanduel allows you to stack 4 players. When you stack a team, you’re looking to strategize based on the batting order and each player’s position eligibility. For example, by drafting batters 1-5 from a given team, you’re banking on batters 1-3 getting on base for the remaining two to bat them in. It’s not always as cookie-cutter as drafting the first five in a batting order, but stacking helps everyone score fantasy points if the offense is active.

Popular Stacks:

5-3 (Draftkings only): Stacking five players from one team with three players from another. 

4-4: A balanced stack of four players from two different teams.

4-3-1: Essentially a 4-4 stack but subtracts one team’s player for a one-off from a different game. 

3-3-1-1: 3-man stacks from two different games with two different one-offs. 

Choosing One-Offs

A “one-off” is a player that you draft because of their likelihood to exceed their value by a substantial margin. If you choose to go this route, you’ll normally have your stack(s) in addition to one or two one-off picks. It’s unlikely that you’ll see a team with all one-off picks considering that stacking is a proven strategy to generate the points needed to win. 

So how do you choose one-offs? Well, it’s really not that difficult, other than the actual decision making process. A good place to start is analyzing matchups to look for a bad pitcher against an above average team. You can then single out the players that are likely to do well based on the matchup or their recent performances. There’s really no secret formula when it comes to picking a one-off, but certain players will fit the bill more than others. 

By nature, your one-offs are usually going to be some of the highest priced players on the slate. It’s worth noting, however, that a one-off can be selected for the complete opposite reason. For example, if an MLB player is given a $2k salary but put up 20+ fantasy points in 5 straight games, they’re probably going to be in consideration as a one-off. 

If you’re struggling to wrap your head around the idea of a one-off pick, just think about guys like Aaron Judge, Yordan Alvarez, or Byron Buxton. Regardless of the matchup, they’re liable to put up 20+ fantasy points on any given night because of their skill set. These are the type of players you should look to be rostering. 

Recency Bias

There’s nothing that can make or break your strategy like recency bias. By definition, recency bias implies that you’re more likely to favor something based on recent events as opposed to historical events. In terms of fantasy baseball, an example is choosing to ride with a team that’s on a 10-game win streak even though they lost 10 straight beforehand. The same principles hold true for player fantasy performances. 

In my opinion, recency bias tends to work out more in baseball compared to other sports. To put this into perspective, I’m more likely to roster an MLB player who’s on a 5 game hitting streak and less likely to roster an NFL player who posted 200+ receiving yards the week prior. All of this boils down to hitting being a solo activity in baseball. You don’t have to rely on another teammate to help you do well. When it seems like a player is heating up in baseball – it’s because they probably are!

Although recency bias is worth taking into consideration, it can also be the source of your big downfall. If you blindly go into each slate only utilizing recent performances as a deciding factor, you’re going to lose a lot of money. If anything, this strategy is better to keep in your back pocket as a catalyst when you’re finalizing your lineup building process. 

Using Odds To Your Advantage

I’ve touched on this briefly above, but reviewing sportsbook odds is a great way to research a MLB DFS slate. Odds will always be your best indicator as to how a game will play out, whether you’re looking at the moneyline odds or total runs. 

A good place to start is using moneyline odds to decide on your pitching for the slate. If a certain team is -200 odds or greater to win a game, there’s a pretty good chance that the starting pitcher has a favorable matchup. You can also conclude that the favored team might be worth stacking. 

When analyzing odds, it’s important to take everything into consideration as opposed to one line. For example, a team might be -200 to win, but the total is set at 7 runs. You need to think critically in a situation like this, because the pitcher might be a good play but with a low run total you’re not giving yourself an edge by stacking that team. 

Things are not always cookie-cutter in fantasy baseball, but the below points will help you use odds to your benefit. 

  • For pitching, focus on matchups that have moneyline odds of >-200 and low run totals. 
  • Look at the odds for 2+ total bases for stud players in good matchups. If they’re lower than usual, you might be on to something.
  • If the odds favor a high-scoring game, consider a game-stack that includes players from both teams.
  • Analyze the strikeout props for each pitcher on a slate to get a better idea of expected performance. 

Putting It All Together

Now it’s time to actually build a lineup given all this information. You can do this however you please, but your methods may vary across Draftkings and Fanduel. 

  • Reserve entries in the contest(s) you’ve decided on.
  • Narrow down your pitching for the slate. You can use a combination of matchup data, odds, and recency bias to come to a conclusion. Stick with anywhere between 3-5 pitchers depending on the slate size if you’re mass-entering. The number of pitchers in your pool will likely be less on Fanduel. 
  • Decide on your stacking strategy. If you’re new to this concept, start off by experimenting with 5-3 stacks on DK and 4-3 stacks on FD. 
  • In the event that you need a one-off, scan the entire player pool and come up with a handful of names. Remember to look for insane value in addition to your proven superstars. Narrow down your one-offs based on the number of lineups you’re entering. 
  •  See how your initial research lines up with the Vegas odds for a particular game. Comparing your information with unanimous odds is a good way to support or refute the ideas you have. 


This wraps up the entirety of DFS City’s fantasy baseball guide. I sincerely hope this guide helped you in some way, and if it did, please share it with anyone else who might benefit! 

Remember, the majority of DFS players are not profitable. If you really want to take fantasy sports seriously, it’s imperative to manage your bankroll and be smart with contest selection. There’s no doubt that you will lose more than you win if you’re only playing big GPPs. 

Thank you for reading! Make sure to check out our content for all other sports as well.