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Tips and strategy for winning at MLB Best Ball

We go over some tips and strategy for playing MLB Best Ball on DraftKings.

J.P. Crawford and Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners look on during the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers at T-Mobile Park on September 28, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

For the first time, bettors will be able to play MLB Best Ball on the DraftKings app.

In Best Ball contests, participants will draft a lineup via a live snake draft and contests will last multiple weeks of the season. After the draft there are no trades or roster management. Each week of the contest your highest scoring players are automatically your starting lineup and count toward your team’s overall fantasy point total. Overall contest payouts are based on the cumulative fantasy points scored by your starting lineup each week.

Roster construction

Lineups will consist of 20 players and must include players from at least two different MLB teams. Starting lineups will consist of nine players. Each team will have three infielders, three outfielders, three pitchers and 11 bench players (IF, OF, P). Your highest scoring players are automatically your starting lineup. Your non-starting players will make up your bench and their fantasy points will not count toward your team’s overall fantasy point total.

Draft tips and tricks

Pitchers: Prioritize strong starting pitchers. Players in Best Ball earn 2.5 points for an inning pitched, two points for a strikeout and four points for a win, so the best kind of pitchers are ones who will go deep into games with an opportunity to win. Think workhorses like Sandy Alcantara or Justin Verlander. And while closers are a huge commodity in DFS or fantasy baseball, their value is almost nil in Best Ball, as there are no points given out for saves.

Position players: The more tools the better in Best Ball. Along with extra base hits being worth more (doubles are worth five points, triples are worth eight and home runs are worth 10), stolen bases are worth five, RBIs are worth two and runs scored are also worth two. So while it’s worthwhile to have a player who fits the profile of a stereotypical slugger, consistency at dish and on-base percentage are just as, if not, more important. Think someone like Julio Rodriguez, Mike Trout or Fernando Tatis Jr. Another note is all positions are lumped in together, which severely limits the value of a catcher, a position that can often end up being a black hole in DFS or fantasy baseball.

Summary

When drafting best ball teams, think about the players who will make the most of an impact. When building your pitching staffs, look for starters who provide either length of strikeouts (or preferably one who specializes in both). For position players, it’s all about making an impact on the game, as a player who slaps the ball all over the yard, scores runs and causes trouble on the base paths is worth more than the slugger who hits a home run every four games.