Thread: MLB News

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I wasn't sure where to post this. Listening on the radio to the Texas-Toronto game today, I was struck that the Toronto radio guys sound like Vin Scully and Patrick Davitt (of BaseballHQ Radio), except for the things they said.

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Oct 10 '15

The New York attorney general began an inquiry Tuesday into the prospect that employees of daily fantasy football siteshave won lucrative payouts based on inside information not available to the public, asking two leading companies, DraftKings and FanDuel, for a range of internal data and details on how they prevent fraud.

Word of the inquiry came as the revelationthat DraftKings and FanDuel allowed their employees — many with information not available to customers — to play at each other’s sites and win large amounts of money continued to rattle the sports world.
James Morgan jem1776
Oct 7 '15

As one of my friends described it, DFS can be going down the rabbit hole if you don't have the right perspective. 

For those new to it, there are essentially "tournaments" where you can put in multiple entries with a skewed prize pool and "cash games" which are essentially a chance to double or almost double your money, but all winners get the same amount of out.

So $2 in a tourney is more likely to lose, but has a top payout of $1500.

$2 in a cash game has a 50% chance of getting you $3.80 (or 45% chance of winning $4 depending on the site/type).

I've played mostly on Fan Duel.

As for time, you can spend all day juggling the lineups, writing your own tools, taking free (or paid) expert advice and still crap out.

Last week was illustrative. 

I played $15 in cash games on successive nights that were "double up" which means there are 115 players in the game and 50 of them will come out with double their money.

The first night I went with a cheaper pitcher (J-Zim) and lots of hitting. More than 78% of the pool (they list this in the games) went with Kershaw.  J-Zim got me 8 and the hitters did pretty well, but at that point I was at the mercy of Kershaw who thankfully didn't have a great game so I beat everyone by being contrarian.

The next night I went with Arrieta who did well, but not killer.  Had my lineup set early on based on some numbers that I liked and then changed it towards the end of the day by looking at "better" sources.  My original lineup would have easily won while my modified lineup didn't.

Bottom line: Like playing the stock market, it requires you to have a system that works for you and the emotions to stick to your system.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Sep 18 '15

I've been playing Fanduel now and then for a couple seasons ... after having tossed in 25 bucks last year when they were offering a free year on Rotoworld including the draft package if you put in some bucks.

After playing probably 40 or 50 tourneys over that time - I'm at $6.

It's entertaining, but it's a bunch of work to prep a lineup.  So when I'm busy, I don't get to it.

Not surprised about the percentage of prize money going to a small percentage of players - I'll bet that a huge percentage of the money spent to play each day is from the same small percentage.  The ones running big spreadsheets that factor in not only handedness, and ballpark, and pitcher... but umpire tendencies, and weather, and players day/night performance, etc, entering multiple lineups in each contest.  Which probably gives them a few percentage point advantage over the guys like us - and when you throw in a lot of volume with a few percentage point advantage you make money.

Per Peter's comments - I think that the distinction with a difference comes in trying to cut out space that allows people to invest in the stock market without it being considered "gambling".

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Sep 17 '15

The stat about the top 1.3% winning 90% of the profits is somewhat loaded because of the huge payouts. One person wins them, and if they have multiple entries it's skewed even more. FWIW, I've played almost exclusively in tournaments, have cashed in 23% of my entries (Fanduel and Draft Kings combined) and I'm about $1k in the hole. But all it takes is that one big score...which is exactly what thousands of broken down horse players have said for many decades.

Gene McCaffrey GeneM
Sep 17 '15

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit to learning new words ...


Vig or Vigorish

... good ones!  Thanks, PK :-)

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Sep 17 '15

 I've entered draftkings 10 different days spending a total of $18, finished 2nd once, 78th once, and 94th once and won nothing the other 7 days and I've still made a profit of $50. I think risking a little to win a lot is a worthwhile gamble.

van wilhoite LVW
Sep 17 '15

My personal experience of the daily baseball game is negative. By the way.

You have to do all the work of your preseason evaluation of players, and then sift them through the handedness and home/away filters for each day (versus the salary). 

Then submit your team and lose, or win a lot. Or a little. It's a betting challenge, but it does nothing for my focus on the actual games. 

As long as I have free entries I'll play, but the idea of investing real cash in it is a sucker's move. Unless you have an angle. 

Good luck.

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Sep 17 '15

This is the other part of the equation. Reports are that the profits in DFS are going wildly disproportionately to the top 1 or 2 percent. That demonstrates skill, perhaps, or a structure that pays off to big investors over grinders or dilettantes .  

Betting patterns matter more than handicapping. It seems.

In the "Championship" game FanDuel recently ran, you needed to qualify to enter by winning a series of matches. Some were small stakes, some were higher stakes. That seems like it should be democratic, but multiple players in the finals (which may have been 24 teams) had multiple entries. One of those won, but we have no idea how much that owner spent to win the Mil. 

I like gambling, but I hate the vig, so I stay away from these provocations. Generally. And bookies always. 

I read an interview with one of the guys who had two entries in the $1M championship at FanDuel and he said his success was based on embracing the variance. In DFS, Variance is the Borg.

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Sep 17 '15

The small sample size of daily makes it more chance than skill based.  Over the long-term skill in projection and roster management pays off, but there is still a lot of luck, especially as it relates to injuries and trades to the other league.  The long-term skill factor reveals itself in my long-term league in which the most successful 3 franchises have won 10 out of 22 years with those same franchises have 12 second place finishes, and 10 third place finishes.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Sep 17 '15