Fantasy baseball: How to use the Daily Notes file

Before you finalize your lineups each day of the fantasy baseball season, make sure to check out ESPN's Daily Notes. Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

We made it, friends.

The first normal offseason in quite a few years is in the books, and it's time to play ball! Your Daily Notes team is looking forward to helping you take home your league championship. Most of this daily file's format will be the same as last season, but since we did fine-tune a few areas, we thought we'd give you a description of each section and how to best apply it to the management your fantasy baseball team.

The three basic sections of each day's file remain the same:

  • What you need to know

  • The daily starting pitcher chart

  • Derek Carty's matchup tips

Let's take a brief tour of each of these sections and let you know what you should expect to find.

What you need to know

Every day of the regular season, we highlight at least five things you need to know about that day's slate. These articles will be posted in the afternoon for the next day's game (for example, Thursday's slate is posted Wednesday) and then updated in the morning with any pertinent changes based on the previous day's action.

A new feature for the 2023 season is a "bullpen review," which will be included with the morning update. We will highlight the bullpens most likely to generate either a save or hold, and those whose primary relievers may not be available due to heavy recent workloads.

In other words, we'll identify some relievers who have pitched in consecutive games, or two of the prior three contests since they're likely to need some rest before pitching again. With this information, you can target other relievers from that team's bullpen with a chance to pick up a save or hold. Remember, holds are now worth two points in our new standard scoring system.

In addition to any relevant changes and these bullpen notes, any extreme weather scenarios will be part of the morning update, which we expect to have published in time for you to make any required changes before lineups lock for the day.

Daily starting pitching chart

We have made a few tweaks to our chart to make it easier to read and more useful to you, the fantasy baseball manager.

As in the past, each probable starting pitcher is ranked by their projected ESPN fantasy points, dictated by their matchup. New this season will be their roster percentage in ESPN leagues. With smaller roster sizes in the 2023 standard ESPN game, more pitchers will be available to stream on a daily basis than in year's past.

The W% column represents the team's chances of winning, and not necessarily the starting pitcher's chances. This is based off Bill James' Pythagorean Theorem calculation using ESPN projections for runs scored and allowed. Keep in mind that Caesars Sportsbook, which provides us with the ML (money line) and O/U (over/under), use other factors to come up with their numbers, so they don't always sync with ESPN's projected scores.

When it comes to relievers, one way to capitalize on the information in our chart is to use W% and ER (earned runs allowed) to pinpoint those relievers with the best chance of a save or hold. Research shows that saves and holds correlate best with W% and ERA, which is a better indicator than run differential, since close games clearly result in more saves. Note that the ER column refers to the starting pitcher, but it can be assumed that teams are likely to yield fewer runs in games where they are favored to win, since the club's better relievers tend to finish out those games.

The IP, ER and K columns are all specific to the starting pitcher and are already incorporated into their projected fantasy points. However, they are also useful for DFS and betting purposes. While DFS sites all use different scoring systems, IP, ER and K are usually an integral part of them. These numbers can also aid you in prop betting, especially those of the over/under variety.

Derek Carty's matchup tip

Using daily projections from THE BAT X projection system, Carty provides information for daily fantasy, DFS and betting tips. Matchups, home venue, umpires and the weather are all incorporated into the output. The best and worst batters and pitchers at specific rostership levels will be provided for traditional daily fantasy leagues. DFS pitchers and stacks will be provided along with a "betting tip of the day" concentrating on prop bets.