Watching the Weather: A Key for Playing DFS for Baseball

MLB Weather

While a lot of other daily fantasy sports aren’t terribly dependent on the weather, baseball is. Find out how to not get in trouble with your DFS lineup because of Mother Nature.

No raining on your DFS parade

Even though the weather can make things more difficult in fantasy sports like football, games are almost always played, no matter how bad the conditions are.

But all it can take to ruin your MLB DFS lineup at DraftKings or FanDuel is one game postponed because of rain or otherwise inclement weather. You set your lineup in the morning, only to check in that evening to see your players aren’t playing because of rain, or a downpour that is being played through is affecting your players’ performance.

So how do you avoid this predicament? Here are some tips.

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Check the weather before DFS contests start

This should be a no-brainer, but most casual players are probably guilty of not doing this. If you’re playing MLB DFS for real money, you absolutely need to check the status of the weather before your lineup goes live. If there’s any chance a game is going to be delayed and ultimately postponed, you should often be taking that game out of the equation for purposes of setting your lineup.

The biggest thing to remember if you set your lineup early in the day is that you shouldn’t forget about it leading up to the first start time of the day — usually 7:05 p.m. Eastern on a normal, non-travel day, and sometimes earlier depending on the schedule (i.e. 1:05 p.m. on Sundays).

How do you check the weather status, without going to weather.com for every city where an MLB game is being played? The best place to start is to check in on DFS content sites, and specifically the MLB Forum at RotoGrinders.com. There is almost always a thread where the weather conditions at MLB parks are addressed. For example:

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It will give you a quick glance at which games are possible red flags for picking players. Kevin Roth is a meteorologist who has started carving out a niche for himself as a DFS weatherman. You can also get updates on troublesome games on his Twitter feed.

Rotowire also offers daily weather reports on all the MLB games here.

Lowering your fantasy point ceiling

If there is a rain delay in the middle of a game, that could have an adverse affect on any starting pitchers you have in those contests. A game could start and get delayed for an hour or more in the early innings. That almost always means the starting pitcher will not take the mound again if and when play resumes. If that happens, you will miss out on lots of value for your pitcher.

It’s also important to note that if a game is not completed on that day, most DFS sites will not count any fantasy stats accumulated toward a contest. So even if a game starts, if it doesn’t finish, that’s not good for your fantasy players in the affected game.

Don’t stack if the weather is dicey

If a game has a chance of not happening, then you definitely want to avoid stacking your lineup (i.e. picking multiple players from the same team to increase the ceiling of your fantasy score). A stacked lineup that gets rained out will almost certainly ruin your chances of placing in the money of nearly any DFS contest.

Use the “late swap” feature

DraftKings is one of the sites that allows you to change your fantasy lineup, even after the first contests have started. The “late swap” feature can be a useful tool if a weather is an issue on a given day.

For example, if a game with an 8:05 p.m. Eastern start looks like it is going to have problems getting underway, you could change out players from any of the other 8 p.m. starts, or consider options from the 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. games from the Mountain and Pacific time zones.

Other weather considerations

Whether or not the weather stops a game from being played at all is not the only weather issue you should keep an eye on for the purposes of setting a lineup.

  • Pitching can be difficult if a game is played while it is raining, as it becomes more difficult to grip the ball and pitch accurately. Pitchers who will have to work through wet conditions will often see their statistics suffer.
  • Wind can be a factor to pay attention to. If the wind is blowing out of parks — especially smaller stadiums where home runs are more likely to be hit — you should look for power hitters with good salary-cap value.

Whatever you do, make sure you are at least making a cursory check of the weather conditions around the MLB before you set your DFS lineup. Otherwise, you may just be wasting an entry fee.