Fantasy Baseball for Smart People: The Art (and Science) of Being Contrarian

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The daily fantasy sports marketplace is rapidly changing, and there’s currently more incentive than ever to be a contrarian DFS player. But what does a true contrarian strategy look like, and what are the smartest ways to go against the grain?

In Fantasy Baseball for Smart People: The Art (and Science) of Being Contrarian in DFS, Jonathan Bales maps out your plan of attack, providing equal parts strategy and analytics to help you become a profitable player. From the philosophy of antifragility to innovative stacking techniques to weather-adjusted ballpark stats, you’ll learn both the art and science of daily fantasy baseball.

Using historical data on what actually works on daily fantasy sites like DraftKings and FanDuel, The Art (and Science) of Being Contrarian in DFS is built on the premise that the best DFS players test their beliefs and constantly adapt in an ever-changing landscape. This book will teach you the tenants necessary to evolve, survive and thrive in DFS.



1 My Intro

A brief synopsis of what you’ll learn, along with some funny ways I used to try to make money


2 A Comprehensive Overview of My Approach to Daily Fantasy Sports

The title says it all. This chapter includes:

  • Why DFS is both art and science
  • How to embrace randomness and uncertainty
  • The principles of antifragility
  • How to use game theory in DFS
  • Bankroll management examples and advice


3 The Smartest Ways to Be Contrarian in MLB

A list of my favorite ways to be a contrarian daily fantasy baseball player (with specific advice), including:

  • How and when to stack
  • When it’s smart to not stack
  • How to use randomness to be contrarian
  • Using public psychology to gain an edge
  • How to employ a unique barbell strategy


4 Off the Bat: Using Data to Select Hitters

This is a data-fueled chapter geared toward showing you which numbers are actually leading to value on DFS sites. You’ll learn:

  • The stats that best predict hitter success, and how sites price batters
  • When to emphasize lineup order
  • How to use the Vegas lines
  • Which ballparks are best/worst for batters
  • How to use weather to select the right offenses


5 Throwing Heat: The Numbers That Matter for Pitchers

This section is similar to Chapter 4, but for pitchers. You’ll learn:

  • The stats that best predict pitcher success, and how sites price pitchers
  • How to find strikeouts
  • The importance of umpires (and which ones are best for pitchers)
  • When to emphasize recent performance
  • My thoughts on BvP data


6 Into the Lab: A Random Collection of MLB Thoughts and Data

Sample content from FantasyLabs, including:

  • When to target pitchers at Wrigley Field
  • How to use batted ball data
  • If visiting teams struggle their first game at Coors Field
  • How to value strikeouts on DraftKings and FanDuel
  • When to not trust the Vegas lines