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Daily Fantasy Baseball: Identifying Quality Matchups for Pitcher Selection

Even the best pitchers struggle in bad matchups. How do we identify these to optimize pitcher selection in daily fantasy baseball?

Entering the 2015 season, there wasn't much debate that Clayton Kershaw was the best pitcher in baseball. He was coming off of a season in which he had a SIERA of 2.08 and an ERA of 1.77. He was the reigning Cy Young, and he was a daily fantasy baseball darling.

Thus, when he and the Los Angeles Dodgers mosied down to Phoenix to face the Arizona Diamondbacks early in the year, Kershaw was easily the most expensive pitcher on the board. This is something you'd want to plug into you roster without fail, right?

You didn't want him that night.

The Diamondbacks pounced on Kershaw, chasing him after 6 1/3 innings, but not before he had allowed 5 earned runs on 10 hits with 5 strikeouts to 3 walks. Sub-Gucci, indeed.

What caused this collapse of a generational talent? The answer is nothing, really. It just wasn't a great matchup.

Just as you do in all other daily fantasy sports, you need to consider matchups in MLB DFS. You'll also need to look at things such as park factors and weather, but we'll touch on both of those at another time.

What constitutes a "good matchup" for a pitcher? There are plenty of factors to consider, but let's start with the three that I look at first.

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