What is … The Dongers Club?

Another season is upon us and I will once again be keeping with the same core structure that has made my daily Dongers Club articles so consistent throughout the years.  This is a sample write-up that serves to explain the type of content which is in The Dongers Club.

The Goal of my Articles 

is to always provide clarity and quality advice/analysis no matter what the sport.  In Baseball I love larger slates more than the average person, and one reason for this is that I find I am good at avoiding the mistakes that others fall into when there are more games on a slate.  So when doing my MLB article you will find that I am going to keep it short (but not too short) and sweet (but not too plain) when breaking things down.  I understand that many people are reading my article sometimes 15-30 minutes before the slate locks and you only have a few minutes to quickly gather information and don’t want to sit through 8 paragraphs breaking down a pitch which some kid is going to throw 10 times before being pulled in the second inning.  So I write towards that, but at the same time, the most important aspect of the Dongers Club is to not be vanilla every single day of the year.  Baseball is a long season, we gotta enjoy it.

When does the article post …?

Consistently I post the article 2-3 hours before the slate locks.  So on Monday-Friday that’s going to be posting between 4:30 and 5:00 pm EST.  Why do I wait instead of doing it in the morning?  Lineups and weather.  Mostly the lineups though.  I typically know who is likely to play for each team on a given day but one thing that I hate having to do is write-up a pitcher or team or player and then adjust it due to the game being PPD or a lineup scratch, etc.  So I prefer to wait for most of that noise to get out.  You will be able to count on your hands the number of times the article is not posted ~2 hours before a slate locks (excluding Sunday’s).  Some early slates will differ, but for the Main slates, you have a 2 hour warning.

What is my #1 pet peeve …?

Here’s something that I don’t say enough but if you catch me on the wrong day it will tick me off.  Do not send me a screenshot of your lineup with players I specifically referenced as bad plays and ask if I like the lineup.  Do not send me a message asking who I like tonight.   Do not send me a message asking something which is specifically answered in the damn article.  I have honestly had someone say to me “well, I just got off work and didn’t have time to read the article”.   And I’ll be perfectly blunt with you right now.  Tough shit.  On average I spend about 30-45 minutes going through the slate and writing up my article per day and really that’s on the high end if I am being honest because I type fast and I have a specific process on analyzing the slate.  I don’t spend hours each day researching the slate because researching players should be done during another time and not in prep for the slate coming up.  I (and you) am better served when I open up the slate of games, see the Match-ups, the Pitchers, the Stadiums and the Weather and roll from there knowing what is baked into my brain/gut and also what is baked into the data on the dashboard.  Honestly, the main reason I built the dashboard/model was to centralize data into one place to reduce analysis time.  But back to the “time” part of this.  You can’t spend 5 minutes to open the article read through it and then pull up the model which I have spent countless hours upon but you have time to shoot me a message asking who I like?

If you want to ask me questions throughout the week (Sunday night is the BEST time for MLB research) or need help getting better with lineup construction, research, etc. I am all ears at any time.  But asking me at 6:52 my thoughts on the slate when it locks in 10 minutes or asking me to pick between Player A and Player B when I listed Player A as #1 and Player B is nowhere in my article is going to get you nowhere.  How would you feel If I answered with the guy not in my article?   I would be a fucking Fraud doing that and so I won’t do it.  Because I am playing guys in my article!  Now, will I have a lineup or two throughout the season with players I didn’t mention, yeah.  It’s gonna happen and you should be free thinking to do the same as well.  But I assure you, I’m not intentionally sitting here thinking of players to use which I don’t write up and it is extremely rare when I do that.  Not to mention, I won’t be bragging about my winnings off a player not in my article.  Want proof?  July 24th, I won 50k last year.  Every player in the lineup was in my article, as usual.  So again, don’t ask me who I like more between Mike Zunino and Terry Steinbach…..   (it’s an example people, Terry Steinbach doesnt play anymore.  But if you see reference to that it probably means the Oakland catcher….)…

Alright, on with the core of the article.

SLATE INTRO

70% of the time this will be brief or not much at all.  Friday’s typically tend to be a little more rant worthy and sometimes Monday’s as well.  But in general, it’s a quick summary of what is going on for the day and any news you need to be aware of.

WEATHER

I have a golden rule when it comes to weather that we will have to monitor with a compressed schedule this year.

If it starts it plays, if it delays we fade.  Now it’s not the perfect rhyme/rule like but it’s close enough.  So with that, I will mention games with chances of rain in them and if they wind up with a delayed start, then 90% of the time I say avoid it all together if it was a spot we have concerns over.

The reality is there is no god damn need for a DFS Weatherman once you get past April in most areas.  So generally I am very conservative when it comes to weather/rain and I do not overthink wind that much.  The bigger impact is heat and cold weather.

PITCHER 1

This is going to be the favorite pitcher.  Sometimes it’s a guy who is head and shoulders above the rest and sometimes you could swap #1 and #3 easily.  I’ll specify that and I will explain why I like the guy from things that include the data, the ballpark, the opponent (big on this), the recent form of the pitcher, the weather, you name it, there are various reasons for a pitcher and I will explain why — to include which site they are better on if applicable.  Out of the three core pitchers I mention, you will be able to use them on DK or FD unless otherwise specified.

PITCHER 2

Same as Pitcher 1, only I don’t like the guy as much.  Maybe he pissed on my dog once, I dunno, but he’s #2 but only in the ranking sense, not in the bathroom sense, or so we hope.

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Oh yeah, there are GIFs sometimes….  We call it GIFtastic articles….

PITCHER 3

Same as Pitcher 1 and 2, but more common that the third pitcher is a value arm or a ‘Longshot’ arm.  To me a value arm on FanDuel is someone who is below $8,000 as generally you are a donkey to try and roster a deep value 5k pitcher on FanDuel, so the sweet spot there for value is 7k to 8k.  On DK the value depends upon SP1 honestly.  If our SP1 is $8,500 then SP2 can easily be $7,500 but if SP1 is $11,500 then we might be looking at more options in the $5,000 range when they are present.  Generally you are going to find that I do not take the risks with SP2 that others take when it comes to a punt 4k arm.

Below those top three I may mention quick hit thoughts or fades below this.  Larger slates people want more than just three recommendations, smaller slates we might need to focus more on ownership aspects when it comes to leverage.  But for the core plays, P1/P2/P3 are my guys.  If you are doing multi-lineups then the additional notes comes into play.

Others refer to these as … “Stacks”.  But really we are talking about which Lineups we want to focus on for offense.  Like the pitching, I want to keep this on three focal point teams if I can but in reality it’s going to expand to 4 or 5 most of the time.

TEAM 1

The first three teams are the ones which I would go heaviest on.  Either up to 4 or 5 players from that team or having them in the most lineups.   When I list the teams though I will mention the 2 players from that team which I believe are the core plays and why.  The idea of stacking is not a single lineup play.  To me when you are stack(ing) you are rolling out multiple versions of an ‘Angels’ stack so that you can get exposure to various combinations in the lineup.  If you are building one lineup you need to know who are the 2-3 must owns from that team, and so I focus on that.

TEAM 2

Same as #1, only #2.

TEAM 3

This is where we get our contrarian team of the night most of the time.  Again, if they are contrarian or leverage and that’s the logic I will specify such.

TEAM 4

If applicable … Like the 7th game of a series.

We go position by position listing the guys who are at the top of my list.  Often this is somewhat close to the model for the first two players and then a third is from my instincts or maybe a value play that is a one off idea.  Yes, it syncs with the model because I wrote the damn model, so the model and I are gonna be in concert some — but not always.

CATCHERS

These guys play the catcher position.  If you are new to Baseball, those are the guys who wear all the gear and don’t have to touch one of the bigger pillows….  Lots of Wilson Ramos (if he plays) on Monday’s, Robinson Chirinos on Friday’s and cheap catchers on Sunday’s.

FIRST BASE

I can assure you that 80% of other articles will list Vlad Guerrero, Freddie Freeman and Matt Olson 1-2-3 at 1B in their articles every day this year.  Not here, we don’t do shit like that.  When it’s justified to play them we mention it, but when that Christian Walker game hits like a cold beer on a Friday afternoon, we mention it and we put him #1.

SECOND BASE

Welcome to 2022.  This marks the 6th consecutive season where Second Base will once again be dogshit 80% of the time.  This is assuming that FanDuel does not come out here and start doing MPE for the entire league once again this year and my god if they do that then screw them.  Oh, the position breakdowns are based upon where the player really plays when they have 2 positions listed on DK/FD or where I think you should be using them on that slate.

THIRD BASE

Okay, sooooo, I like Nolan Arenado.   I am a Royals fan but in terms of non Royals, my all time favorite Baseball players are Andre Dawson and Nolan Arenado.  But once again, we don’t lock in blindly and I will pat myself on the back that Nolan had the highest Chairman success rate of anyone last season.

If you don’t know what the Chairman is, keep reading.

SHORTSTOP

Deepest position in fantasy.

OUTFIELD – Mt. Rushmore

We do three things in the outfield spot.  Mount Rushmore is going to list the 4 top OF on the slate.  OF is a deep position and sometimes your top OF needs to include a $3700 guy ($2800 on FD) in it.

OUTFIELD – Tier 2

I honestly want to make this the one off OF tier.  Guys who aren’t a part of a stack but I think are going to do something good.

OUTFIELD – Value

Cheap fill in’s.  If you are constructing a 3-3-2 type lineup or a 2-2-2-2 or a 4 & 1 one off type lineup it’s always best when your OF mixes between High $, Mid $ and Low $ plays.

The Dongers Club section is where I list 9 players whom I have a little tinkle in my belly about on that slate.  They’re likely gonna include players mentioned in the lineups to target or one position breakdowns because once again I don’t like to be a random fraud.  But hey, if the position sucks I might go into left field with a call every now and again.

The Chairman is the top overall play.  We expect him to homer.  We expect him to do good things.  And generally, he delivers.  The full Dongers Club includes one per position and we want that 3+ homer night from the Dongers Club.

CHAIRMAN OF THE DONGERS CLUB

  1. Chairman
  2. Next
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  9. The Bonus ….

Consider this the cliff notes or the final thoughts section.  It is intended to maybe summarize the information that has been outlined above.  It will change from slate to slate but here are things which generally are covered down here.

  1. Best combination of SP1/SP2 to use from the three mentioned
  2. Best leverage pitcher overall on the slate (if applicable)
  3. Best leverage stack overall on the slate (if applicable)
  4. Specific Fades/Final Thoughts
  5. Top Bets on the night.  ML, Total, Props, etc.
  6. and any other things which you can ask me to start to cover as the season moves along …

If you are interested, I hope to have you as a Member of the Dongers Club this season.

We run a Dongers Club Appreciation Contest every month for Members on DraftKings.  It’s a free invite and many times I put out specific rules like no pitchers over 10k or you must stack 5 players from one team and we run 1-3 contests to total up the scores across the way and I send out some Swag Prizes to the winners.

In August we run a final season contest and it included over 1k in prizes last year.  Nobody else is doing that.  They’re asking for your NFL money before the All-Star Break when they plan to swap out the person providing you content with some other random schmuck you had never heard of.

If you want to join:  here’s the link.

If you dont, fine by me.  I am just giving you the choice to make.

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I will be doing a video overview of the Dashboard, Optimizer and Tools which will come out a few days before Opening Day and will make that free for all to see as well.

Good luck and let’s Play Ball.

srenner

Founder and CEO for The Daily Ambush. Author or The Dongers Club (MLB), The Ambush (NFL), The Slapshot (NHL) and The Tailgate (CFB).