Avert Your Eyes
Let’s look at three pitchers for tonight’s MLB DFS slate. (Sorry if this hurts your eyes. Pitching is not great tonight).
The column on the far right labels the number of a player’s “Pro Trends,” which are auto-updating valuable DFS trends that we have identified for you. For example, through our free Trends tool, we know just how valuable pitcher’s parks are: Pitchers at FanDuel playing in a top-five pitcher’s park have seen a historical +2.47 Plus/Minus bump.
Nate Karns leads all pitchers at FanDuel tonight with seven Pro Trends, which actually isn’t that impressive and speaks to how rough that position is for tonight’s slate. In fact, only two other pitchers have at least five Pro Trends.
The reason I’m writing this article is to explain the best use of the Pro Trends. The number, in itself, is merely a number. Sure, we can use it to identify value broadly:
And you can see that the more Pro Trends a player has, the better that player has historically performed.
However, take our example in the first picture above: We have Josh Tomlin and Marcus Stroman, both with five Pro Trends. In case you were wondering, five Pro Trends has historically led to a +1.47 Plus/Minus for FanDuel pitchers. However, do they have the same Pro Trends? Should we really judge their “5” Pro Trends in the same way?
Let’s click on that number in our Player Models and see what they are specifically.
As you can see, the total Plus/Minus on Tomlin’s five Pro Trends is +4.96, compared to a total Plus/Minus of +2.25 for Stroman. That is a sizable difference and one that should be noted when comparing these pitchers and their situations in the slate.
Wait, There’s More
Of course, Pro Trends aren’t necessarily supposed to be additive like that; in fact, you can create your own trends, save them, and they’ll go into the “My Trends” column of the Player Models. The broader point here is that all of our tools here at FantasyLabs are just that: Tools. They are meant to be used by someone who can yield those tools. They aren’t self-operating.
Even research as simple as identifying the number of Pro Trends for a player shouldn’t be taken for granted. As you see above, just because two players have the same number, that doesn’t mean that they’re in identical situations or that they’re equally good plays. That’s why our Player Models have so many columns and sliders: Daily fantasy sports are nuanced and require analysis of a vast amount of variables, Pro Trends included.
One of Tomlin’s Pro Trends — his ballpark today (+2.47) — is nearly more important than all of Stroman’s Pro Trends put together. We preach “process” all the time here at FantasyLabs and that is shown here: The data behind each Pro Trend is much more important than a singular number in your Player Model.
Next time you’re building lineups, really dig into the data. Look through every single column and row. Don’t take anything for granted, and, who knows, you might just become a more profitable DFS player.