Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Stacked Team Experiment

Everyone in daily fantasy baseball is smitten with the concept of the "stacked" roster. You load up with hitters all from one team, with the hope that they post a huge score that day. This methodology seems to have won a few tournaments lately.

So what if you could cover all of the outcomes? Taking an example from roulette, which has three possible color outcomes (red, black and green), what if you could bet all the outcomes and still make a profit?

Last night was the ideal scenario to try this in daily fantasy baseball.

There were only 7 games on the schedule last evening. There was also a very strong top projected pitcher (Tommy Hanson).

So in a $5 tournament I decided to stack all 14 rosters playing that evening. I entered 14 times for a total of $70.

Now there were some circumstances where I couldn't use ALL hitters from a team. I filled in those spots with quality players from other teams. Also, if I had substantial money left over, I upgraded the bottom feeders with better players from another squad.

So every team was covered, I just had to sit back and collect my cash, right? here are the results:

Minnesota + Hanson 32.75 (176th place)
Detroit + Hanson 35 (153rd)
Cleveland + Hanson 57.5 (7th) $30
Toronto + Hanson 38.25 (113th)
San Diego + Marcum* 39 (103rd)
Atlanta + Hanson 36.50 (131st)
Pittsburgh + Hanson 34.25 (160th)
NY Mets + Hanson 46 (38th)
Milwaukee + Hanson 39.25 (99th)
Cincinnati + Hanson 33.5 (166th)
San Francisco + Hanson 42.25 (69th)
St. Louis + Hanson 38 (116th)
Colorado + Hanson 30 (217th)
Los Angeles + Hanson 20.75 (259th)

(*Since the Padres were facing Hanson, taking Hanson on this roster would have negative expectation. If SD hits a ton, Hanson likely gets shelled. If Hanson throws a shutout, the Padres likely put up squadoosh.)

So as you can see, stacking every team gave me only one cash with a net loss of $40.

Now, before you can utter the words "sample size", let me say a few things. Stacking every team does give you the possibility of a positive outcome, but only if you catch lightning in a bottle.

And that is my point - stacking rosters is a high risk, high reward strategy. however, it is not the highest EV strategy to winning a large field event. You need the best pitching & hitting combinations to get closest to an optimal score. In order to do that, diverse rosters are better on most nights.

Disagree? Tell me why in the comments.

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