Miami Marlins' J.T. Realmuto rounds second base after he hit a home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Monday, July 2, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

FANTASY PLAYS: Factor weather before making lineups

July 03, 2018 - 7:36 pm
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One advantage you can hold over your opponents in daily fantasy baseball is understanding how each game environment compares relative to one another on a given slate.

Early in the season, the discrepancies between controlled stadium conditions such as domes and games played outdoors are often minimal. In fact, at the very beginning of the season, some frigid outdoor environments will bring worse hitting conditions than their counterparts in controlled conditions.

As the calendar turns to July, the temperatures rise around Major League Baseball.

Throughout last weekend, games on the East Coast and in Texas saw temperatures reach into the 90s while games in the Midwest were routinely in the upper 80s.

As the weather warms up, the baseball travels farther. That provides better scoring conditions for offenses and more difficult conditions for pitchers. This also provides an edge for the savvy daily fantasy baseball player.

There are two ways to take advantage of the discrepancy in weather.

The first is further emphasizing strikeouts when selecting pitchers in warm hitting conditions. Strikeouts are always important to emphasize in daily fantasy baseball. They are more predictable than run prevention. But the importance of strikeouts increases as the value of each batted ball due to weather goes up.

The second way to take advantage is to emphasize hitters in warm conditions and pitchers in controlled or temperate conditions. Typically, strong pitchers' parks such as Tampa Bay and Miami are even more valuable in the summer months when the baseline for offense is rising around the league.

Similarly, the West Coast often doesn't see the same sharp increases in temperatures that the East Coast does during the summer. San Francisco and Seattle provide even more valuable pitching environments as we get deeper into the season.

Keep the weather in mind when making your selections as a way to increase your chances against the competition.

GOLF

The Old White TPC Course will host A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier Classic this week for the PGA TOUR event as golfers have just a couple weeks left to fine tune their game before the British Open.

The Old White TPC Course is a 7,286-yard, par-70 that is the eighth-longest on tour in par-adjusted distance. The course features above-average fairway widths and typically plays in the easier half of courses on tour.

The course's length and easy-to-hit fairways benefit golfers with strong off-the-tee games and favor distance. Strokes gained off of the tee carry a weight of 17.4 percent compared to a tour average of 15 percent.

The top of the leaderboard always requires a hot putter, and that is particularly true this week. With a par-70 course and an easier scoring environment, the highly variant strokes gained putting statistic will be critical in separating players at the top. With birdies expected to be plentiful, fantasy golfers should focus their attention on getting all six of their golfers through the cut and playing on the weekend.

Bill Haas represents one of the best values this week in fantasy formats at a price of $7,200 on DraftKings. DailyRoto's fantasy golf projections give Haas a 66 percent chance to make the cut, which is the most favorable odds of any golfer priced below $7,200.

While Haas has had a bit of a down season by his standards, he is still ranked in the Top 100 in the OWGR and has made four of his last five cuts on tour. Haas is priced to play this week on DraftKings.

Although Haas is our favorite value, Tony Finau is our outright tournament favorite and offers a 5.24 percent probability to win the event alongside a 46.28 percent chance to finish inside of the Top 20 this week.

Finau checks all of the boxes this week, ranking inside of the Top 20 in the field in strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained approach and strokes gained around the green. This will set him up for plenty of birdie opportunities. Over the past 50 rounds, Finau ranks second in DraftKings scoring behind only Phil Mickelson. Finau's price is prohibitive, but he makes for a strong tournament play this week and is in the perfect spot to use for one-and-done and survivor pools.

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This column was provided to The Associated Press by DailyRoto, http://dailyroto.com

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