Looking at history is a great way to predict the future. Looking at prior gamelogs can give you a heads up on how players will perform in the future too, as many trends repeat themselves over and over. You can find trends based on many aspects, like betting lines, where the play, verse opponents and more.
In this article, what I did was take the game logs from the 2016 MLB season and did an analysis on it. (I got the gamelogs from http://www.dfsondemand.com , they offer good prices on gamelogs.) Below I will present the trends I found on hitters and pitchers in general, on individual player trends and team trends using Fanduel pricing and scoring.
Throughout this article, I break down the type of player for each stat. I break them down into average players, good players and all stars. I do this based on running fantasy point average so you can get a better breakout of how stats affect certain types of players.
The biggest trends I see for hitting is with Vegas odds. Many people do not go by Vegas odds, but if you look at history, they are very accurate and predictable.
Over/Under, which is what Vegas predicts as the total runs for the game, range normally from 6 to 13. While you would expect games with low Over unders to have players score less fantasy points, this analysis will prove it and show by how much.
So for Over/Unders of 7 or less, here is the breakdown:
You can see players on average score about 85% of what they normally do, or roughly 15% less. The best players score almost 20% less.
When the Over/Under is between 7.5 and 9.5, there isn’t much change. Maybe slightly for the best players when you start getting an OU of 9 or more.
However, when the Over under is 10 or more, it is pretty universal that all players score roughly 15% more than normal.
Next I looked at the line. The line is a positive if the team is an underdog. The larger the number, like +200, the more the underdog they are. It means you bet 100 to win 200 more. If the line is negative, then they are a favorite.
So I wanted to see if the favorites score more fantasy points than normal and they do.
When the player’s team is +150 or more, players score about 10 to 12% less.
And when a players team is favored at -130 or more, they score more. When they are favored by -200 or more, the best players score almost 20% more!
Now Im not showing this to prove the obvious, just to show how players react at certain game tones so you can use this when making your projections.
Next, I want to talk about Batting Order, and if it makes a difference in your lineup building.
If you look at the chart, you see the top 4 positions average 10 fantasy points or more per game and it goes downhill from there. So you’d think, yes there is a difference.
However, let’s look closer. If we go over to Pts/$, we see how they players score per their salary. And you will now notice that, except for number 9, the pts per dollar range from 2.98 to 3.23. That’s a very small difference compared to the first column we looked at.
Basically, yes the top players in the lineups will get more plate appearances per game and probably are better, however you pay more for them. The average salary of the top four players in the lineup is 3350 while for the next four it is 2750.
So I wouldn’t consider this an important factor unless you can find players for way less than what that batting order goes for. Like if you found a decent player all of a sudden leading off with a 2300 salary, then you should go for it. Otherwise, the stats don’t seem to point to looking at batting order.
Next I looked at home/away stats to see if it makes a difference and I determined it is very marginal but there is a small trend.
Here you can see players hit slightly better at home than away. It is very minimal though, like 1 to 2% but it is there.
Then I looked at Days rest. On average, how to players play after a day off? Or after playing yesterday? or after 5 straight days?
The main takeaways I see here are that players who come off a day off really score less for some reason. About 3 to 6% less. Really the best players did was when they played at least 1 game in a row. They scored marginally better, maybe 1%. Which isn’t much. But I guess our only take away here is to avoid players or teams who didn’t play yesterday.
Finally I look at how hot a player has been batting.
I looked at their last 3 games. Once a player scores about 100% more than they average for the season, they score about 10% more. That means, if a player normally scores 10 fantasy ppg, but over the last 3 games they averaged 20 or more, then they are on a hot streak and average more in their next game.
When a player scores 150% more than average, players score 12 to 15% more in their next game.
So that concludes my stat breakout of hitters in general. By looking at the stats, you can find some interesting trends which you can use in future games.
For pitchers, I looked at the same type of stats and first off was the Vegas odds. I pretty much found the same thing applied for pitchers. (the numbers after the category name refer to how many fantasy points per game they average)
For Over Under games of 7 or under, pitchers get maybe 10% more fantasy points.
and for Over Under games of 10 or more, they score almost 20% less, especially for the 2nd and 3rd tier pitchers.
For the Lines too, it’s very similar to what you might expect.
When a team is a heavy underdog of 150 or more, players score 20% less on average.
and when a team is favored by -130 or more, they score 10 to 20% more.
Next I looked at home field advantage and this has a lot more effect on player outcome than for hitters. However this may be build into the Vegas lines already, but it’s still good to know.
You can see at home, pitchers score 5% more per game and on the road score 5 to 10 percent less.
Finally I look at if pitchers are streaky. Like if they have been pitching well, are they likely to keep it up.
It does appear when a pitcher has been doing well, they continue to. Same with when they have been doing bad, only certain types of pitchers continue to slump.
When players average 150% more than normal, they do about 3% better. When their last game was 150% or more better, the superstars have no effect but the middle tier and low priced pitchers do continue to play well.
When players struggle, really only the superstar pitchers continue to struggle. They average 3 to 8% less the next game. The other levels seem to stay pretty steady.
Individual Hitting Trends
Now that I looked at trends in general, I want to look at individual player trends. That means, players on average will score more when favored. However, not every player acts that way. Below are some individual trends I found.
Best Players at home As you might expect, Colorado players lead that.
Best Players on the road:
Best Players when Over under is 11 or more
Best Players when Over Under is 7 or less
Best Player when a heavy favorite of -150 or more
Players who do the best with a Day of Rest. Looks like Miguel Cabrera likes his days off!
Players who do the worst after a day of rest:
Players with the most times scoring 5 times their salary. Trea Turner leads the list of players with at least 60 games played.
Pitcher Individual Trends:
Here are some trends I found for specific pitchers as not all players act the same in each circumstance.
Best Pitchers at home:
Best Pitchers on the Road:
Best Pitchers with Over Under of 7 or less:
Best Pitchers when favored over -150 or better:
Pitchers with most times scoring 5 times their salary
Finally I look for trends by team and I found a few interesting items:
First I looked at how many times a team scored 8 or 10 runs. This way you can see the best teams to stack. You can see Boston scored 10 or more runs 19 times, which is like 12% of the time. They even lead the way in 8 run games over everyone.
I also checked the number of times they have 4 players who score 5x their salary and number of times they have 5 players 5x their salary. This doesn’t directly correlate to runs scored as the Yankees had 15 times they had 5 guys who would 5x their salary even though they’re one of the lowest on 10 run games.
And the final item I looked at was Over Under and how they relate to having 5 players score 5 times their salary.
What I found was that obviously the higher the Over Under, the more chance you get 5 players with 5x salary. However, it’s not a sharp upswing. I mean, when you are playing a tournament and you see a game with an Over Under of say 10, many, many people will stack it. Rightfully so, they have the best odds to get high scoring players.
However, if you go down to a game with a 7.5 Over Under, there is not much of a drop off. A game of 10 OU will yield 5 players getting 5x salary 8.6% of the time while a game of 7.5% will yield the same 5.8% of the time. And when I did some further analysis, when you played the team that was favored in the 7.5 OU game, you get 5 players 5x their salary 11% of the time!
That’s not too much of a difference overall, however I can see many many more people stacking the game of 10 over the game of 7.5.
I plan to do some analysis on that in the future by analyzing tournaments.
So that concludes my analysis of the 2016 MLB baseball gamelogs. I hope this helps you to see how you can look at prior results and see how history WILL repeat itself. It is a great way to apply these trends to your games now.
You just need to find a few trends and stick with a plan. Be consistent and you will make winning lineups.
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