DraftKings MLB Strategy: Analyzing Winning GPP Lineups (5/30/2021 – 6/05/2021)

MLB DFS: Breaking down tournament winning DraftKings MLB lineups and fantasy baseball strategy (5/30/2021 – 6/05/2021)

How do you win MLB tournaments on DraftKings? Lets dig in and find out


5-30-2021 MLB $175K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st]

This week we’ll start with the main contest from 5-30-21 ( $18 entry fee, 11437 total entries, 150 max entries ) 10 games on the slate.  This contest ended up with 30 users max entering 150 lineups, while only 7 of those turned a profit. Of the top 5 placing lineups, 4 were entered by 150 max users. Ultimately BRORANNOSAURUS_FLEX won the day with 150 entries into the contest, 144 players used, and 17 unique teams stacked. BRO_FLEX cashed 40 lineups and took home the 50k purse.

 

Breaking it all down.

In this series of articles I’ll be referencing the batting order positions within the stacks as “no gap”, “1-gap”, “2-gap”, “3-gap”. This is describes the total number of spots skipped in the batting order of the stack. Example: a stack containing 1-2-5-6 or 1-2-4-6 would both qualify as “2-gap”, this also applies to wrap-around stacks so a 9-1-2-3 would qualify as “no gap

The SP1/SP2 combo used up $19,700 of the total $50k salary.  The lineup is also sporting a “no gap” 4 player HOU stack 3-4-5-6, spending a total of $15,300 in salary.  For secondary stacks we have a “3 gap” 3 player TOR stack 1-4-6, spending a total of $11,900 ( CLE vs TOR was the second game of a double header on this slate ). As for one off players, Eric Haase of DET batting 6th $2,900.  In total the lineup used $49,800 in salary and carried 106.6% in ownership percentage sum. For reference other lineups in the contest ranged from 18.7% ownership to 234.2%

Takeaways and observations.

This wasn’t the highest scoring slate ever, and when that happens contrarian lineups shine. As we’ve touched on numerous times in this series when popular plays on the slate do well, the points needed to actually win a tournament rises significantly. That was not the case on this slate as the top 5 owned batters only combined for 20 total points. This lineup spent most of the salary cap, kept it simple at pitching, and secured 39 fantasy points from the secondary TOR stack at only 4% combined ownership. 6% of the field rostered a 4-3 stack and collectively 4-3 was the only profitable stack type on the night.  That helped push this build over the top, managing to win by 1 fantasy point.

 


5-31-2021 MLB $200K Check Swing [$50K to 1st]

Next the main contest from 5-31-21 ( $12 entry fee, 19607 total entries, 150 max entries ) 9 games on the slate.  This contest ended up with 43 users max entering 150 lineups, while only 5 of those turned a profit. Of the top 5 placing lineups, 3 were entered by 150 max users . Ultimately pianoclub won the day with 150 entries into the contest, 118 players used, and 14 unique teams stacked. pianoclub cashed 67 lineups and took home the 50k purse.

 

5-31 Winner

Breaking it all down.

The SP1/SP2 combo used up $17,400 of the total $50k salary, once again falling in line with our How to Spend on Pitching analysis. The primary stack is a “2 gap” 4 player CHC stack 2-3-4-7, spending a total of $18,500 in salary.  For the secondary stack we have “2 gap” 4 player CIN stack 1-4-5-6, spending a total of $13,300. In total the lineup used $49,200 in salary and carried 148.8% in ownership percentage sum. For reference other lineups in the contest ranged from 21.9% ownership to 260.8%

Takeaways and observations.

 Leaving only $800 in salary on the table, rostering a cheap and popular CIN stack, and a 73% owned SP1. This lineup is set up well with “good” plays. Now to round it out as a “good” tournament lineup we see expensive and tough-to-fit CHC batters and a less than popular Johnny Cueto. Package it all together in one of the least popular, yet very viable constructions on DraftKings the “4-4” stack. Only 33 lineups out of 19607 featured a CHC-CIN 4-4. Each of those factors combined gave this build enough differentiation to win, and this lineup managed to do so by 4+ fantasy points.

 


6-01-2021 MLB $222K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st]

Next we go to the main contest from 6-1-21 ( $18 entry fee, 14509 total entries, 150 max entries ) 14 games on the slate.  This contest ended up with 41 users max entering 150 lineups, while 9 users turned a profit. Of the top 5 placing lineups, 4 were entered by a 150 max users . Ultimately youdacao won the day with 150 entries into the contest, 139 players used, and 23 unique teams stacked. youdacao cashed 55 lineups and took home the 50k purse.

 

6-1 winner

Breaking it all down.

The SP1/SP2 combo used up $18,300 of the total $50k salary. The primary stack is a “1 gap” 5 player DET stack 1-2-3-4-6, spending a total of $15,500 in salary.  For secondary stacks we have a “1 gap” 2 player WSH stack 1-3.  As for the one off players we have Acuna batting 1st for ATL. Also worth noting the secondary stack and one-off come from the same game, creating a larger game stack.  In total the lineup used $49,900 in salary and carried 110.6% in ownership percentage sum. For reference other lineups in the contest ranged from 7.5% ownership to 188.7%

Takeaways and observations.

This is an awesome tournament lineup to break down. We have a very cheap 5-man DET stack providing enough salary relief to spend big on other players. Chalk pitching combo, and finally the most interesting part of the lineup: spending $16,100 in salary on the most expensive bats available in the ATL vs WSH game. Only .8% of the field went with a 5 man DET stack and only .1% rostered a DET 5-2.  This lineup had more than enough differentiation to win, as it won by 10+ points.

 


6-02-2021 MLB $200K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st]

Next we go to the main contest from 6-02-21 ( $18 entry fee, 13071 total entries, 150 max entries ) 8 games on the slate.  This contest ended up with 38 users max entering 150 lineups, while 7 of those users turned a profit. Of the top 5 placing lineups, 4 were entered by 150 max users. Ultimately CoachS111 won the day with 150 entries into the contest, 106 players used, and 14 unique teams stacked. CoachS111 cashed 48 lineups and took home the 50k purse.

 

6-2 winner

Breaking it all down.

The SP1/SP2 combo used up $20,200 of the total $50k salary.  The lineup is also sporting a “2 gap” 5 player LAD stack 1-2-3-4-7, spending $22,800 in salary.  For secondary stacks we have a “3 gap” 2 player OAK stack 4-9, spending a total of $4,600. As the final piece of the lineup we have Jeffers batting 8th for MIN.  In total the lineup used $49,600 in salary and carried 130.4% in ownership percentage sum. For reference other lineups in the contest ranged from 12.4% ownership to 243.3%

Takeaways and observations.

We continue to see that being contrarian at the pitching position isn’t winning, this lineup spent way up for pitching and also managed to fit a very expensive LAD 5 man. The most interesting part of this build is the fact that both Primary and secondary stacks are paired with their starting pitcher. Certainly an unpopular construction that gave this lineup enough differentiation to win. Winning lineups have unique and uncommon elements to them from a lineup construction stand point. It’s important to keep this in mind while building your own lineups each night. Playing contrarian doesn’t just mean fading the top owned stack, or stacking against a chalk starting pitcher. There’s game theory elements at the lineup construction level to take advantage of without rostering low probability of success players. 3.2% of the field rostered a 5 man LAD stack, and only 1% rostered a LAD 5-2.

 


6-03-2021 MLB $150K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st]

Next we go to the main contest from 6-03-21 ( $18 entry fee, 9803 total entries, 150 max entries ) 8 games on the slate.  This contest ended up with 32 users max entering 150 lineups, while 3 of those users turned a profit. Of the top 5 placing lineups, 2 were entered by a 150 max user and a single bullet user stealing 5th place . gmoneyez won the day with 2 entries into the contest, 19 players used, and 5 unique teams stacked. gmoneyez cashed 1 lineup and took home the 50k purse.

 

6-3 winner

Breaking it all down.

The SP1/SP2 combo used up $20,400 of the total $50k salary. The lineup is also sporting a “3 gap” 3 player ARI stack 2-5-7, spending a total of $10,400 in salary.  For secondary stacks we have a “1 gap” 2 player PIT stack 1-3, spending a total of $7,300. For one-offs we have Perez batting 3rd for KC, Donaldson batting 2nd for MIN, and Fraley batting 8th for SEA.  In total the lineup used all $50,000 in salary and carried 209.6% in ownership percentage sum. For reference other lineups in the contest ranged from 17.7% ownership to 251.6%

Takeaways and observations.

This lineup appears to be hand built and is constructed with a 3-2 stack. It’s also on the upper end of ownership sum for the contest. This lineup is basically hit the nuts so we won’t spend to much time on it. Everything went this lineups way, winning easily by 20 points.

 


6-04-2021 MLB $200K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]

Next we go to the main contest from 6-04-21 ( $18 entry fee, 16339 total entries, 150 max entries ) 15 games on the slate.  This contest ended up with 42 users max entering 150 lineups, while 8 of those users turned a profit. Of the top 5 placing lineups, 3 were entered by a 150 max users . Ultimately ianj300 won the day with 150 entries into the contest, 176 players used, and 26 unique teams stacked. ianj300 cashed 48 lineups and took home the 50k purse.

 

6-4 winner

Breaking it all down.

The SP1/SP2 combo used up $20,600 of the total $50k salary. The lineup is also sporting a “no gap” 5 player PIT stack 1-2-3-4-5, spending a total of $18,400 in salary. As for the one-offs, we have Schoop batting 2nd for DET,  Correa batting 2nd for HOU, and Taylor batting 8th for KC.  In total the lineup used all $50,000 in salary and carried 96.2% in ownership percentage sum. For reference other lineups in the contest ranged from 6.4% ownership to 257.9%

Takeaways and observations.

Another awesome tournament lineup to break down. Pitching continues to be not that interesting, don’t over think it when building lineups. As far as the stacking goes, we have a nice no gap 5 man stack. No secondary stacks in this one. As we have mentioned previously in this series the idea of a 5-0 stack is to open up to the chance of capturing ceiling performances from singular batters across the slate. The one-off’s here did not disappoint.  Massive 2 HR game from Schoop, smashing his $3,800 price at 5% ownership, Correa joined the party with 2 HR’s of his own at 3% ownership, and Taylor did just enough with 3 RBI’s. Furthermore, only 1% of the field rostered a 5 man PIT stack, while only .3% rostered a 5-0 PIT stack.  The unique choice of a 5-0 PIT stack along with nailing those one-off’s pushed this lineup over the top, winning easily by 7 points.

 


6-05-2021 MLB $150K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st] (Early)

Last but not least, we’ll review the early slate ( larger prize pools ) from 6-06-21 ( $18 entry fee, 9803 total entries, 150 max entries ) 9 games on the slate.  This contest ended up with 24 users max entering 150 lineups, while 4 of those users turned a profit. Of the top 5 placing lineups, 4 were entered by 150 max users and impressively jimbob2125 claimed 2nd & 3rd with unique lineups. The man, the myth, the legend would ultimately steal the show. rbx88 won the day with 150 entries into the contest, 104 players used, and 13 unique teams stacked. rbx88 cashed 60 lineups and took home the 50k purse.

 

6-5 Winner

Breaking it all down.

The SP1/SP2 combo used up $17,100 of the total $50k salary. The lineup is also sporting a “no gap” 5 player MIA stack 2-3-4-5-6, spending $19,100 in salary. As for the one-offs, we have a Bichette batting 2nd for TOR, Yelich batting 3rd for MIL, and Benintendi batting 3rd for KC.  In total the lineup used $49,800 in salary and carried 128.8% in ownership percentage sum. For reference other lineups in the contest ranged from 12.3% ownership to 250.6%

Takeaways and observations.

4 out of the top 5 placing lineups in this contest were 5-0 stacks and it was a day where you needed to pick up some one-off points to separate yourself from the pack of highly correlated lineups. 2% of the field rostered a 5 man MIA stack, while only 1% of the field went with a 5-0 MIA stack. The pitching combination was also fairly unique. Mahle was projected for around 25% ownership but only coming it at 14%. 5% of the field rostered a Giolito Mahle combo. This lineup had just enough to hold off the competition, winning by 1 fantasy point.

 


Final Thoughts

In this weekly article we will continue to try and answer the questionHow do you win MLB Tournaments on DraftKings?

Another great week of lineups reviews in the books. The easiest take-away this week (and last) is how good the chalk pitching has been lately, until we start to see this trend reversing it’s a good idea to keep it simple when building your lineups. Focus your efforts on team stacks while keeping unique roster construction in mind. Hopefully this article sparks some ideas to improve your own MLB DFS process. Looking forward to next week where we will break it all down again.


All data was gathered and analyzed using Lineup Study on FantasyCruncher. Lineup Study is a FC PRO add on,  Gain full access to Lineup Study, our platform to research and learn about your opponents. Analyze how the top players are building their lineups to take your game to the next level. Stop guessing and start learning.

About Dustin Shook

Dustin is an experienced DFS player who has had success across multiple sports and platforms. Dustin is a GPP specialist focusing on game theory and data analytics. When he's not grinding daily fantasy sports contests, Dustin enjoys R programming and hanging out with his son. He can be found on twitter @dshook420

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