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DraftKings Championship Series: Fantasy Baseball World Championship Live Final Recap

Matt Meiselman recaps the events of the DraftKings Fantasy Baseball World Championship live final.

Friday’s Fantasy Baseball World Championship was always going to be a tournament to remember, with a $1 million top prize and a ticket to the DraftKings Championship Series Tournament of Champions going to the winner. The event consisted of 63 of the world’s best baseball DFS players — making up 100 total seats — competing live from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. This event wound up being especially memorable though because the final tally resulted in an unprecedented tie for first place between two competitors with two distinct lineups.

The DraftKings Championship Series is the king of competitions, minting 100 millionaires in the 2021-22 season. For more info on the series and all of the events, visit our DraftKings Championship Series Information page.

A Rollercoaster of a Slate

The Fantasy Baseball World Championship slate consisted of 10 games, with start times ranging from 7:05 p.m. ET to 8:15 p.m. ET, and there was plenty of turmoil within the first few minutes. The two highest-owned players in the contest were Robbie Ray ($10,700) at 63%, and Ian Anderson ($6,600) at 48%. Both of those pitchers were hit hard early, giving up three and two runs in their respective first innings. Ray managed to escape with 13.75 DKFP from his start while Anderson actually rebounded all the way 25.05 DKFP, so the chalk held serve, much to the relief of many of the competitors in attendance. Pitching choices wound up being a non-factor for the most part, as all of the top-selected pitchers wound up having at least serviceable games.

Offense, on the other hand, is really what made this contest interesting. The scoring seemed to come in waves, with a slow start where the most popular stack from the 7 p.m. window — the Toronto Blue Jays — went scoreless the first couple of turns through the batting order. At the 40-minute mark of the slate (7:45 p.m. ET), there wasn’t a single lineup in the field that had reached 25 total fantasy points. That all changed once the second block of games started at 8, as the Twins and Royals put up a bunch of runs in the early parts of their games, and the popular Brewers lineup finally started to get it together in theirs. A three-run home run from Andrew Benintendi in particular — who was 30% owned — kicked off a surge of fantasy scoring. After that, however, a seemingly endless stretch of baseball occurred where nothing was happening in any of the games.

By 9 p.m. ET, the two names at the top of the leaderboard were GambleCampbell and cowboys282. Both lineups had Ray, Anderson and a combination of Royals, Blue Jays and Brewers hitters, but the two lineups shared only five common players out of the 10 total selections. From there, a second home run from Brewers third baseman Eduardo Escobar pushed both of those lineups even further ahead in the standings, and although there were still plenty of lineups in contention, it was becoming clear that these two were the favorites to win the big prize.

As the games started to wind down, everyone in attendance grew increasingly fixated on the Twins and the Royals. cowboys282 was leading by a few points, but GambleCampbell had the potential to pass him with a few extra Royals hitters remaining in his lineup. The game ultimately went to extra innings, and an infield hit from Royals shortstop Nicky Lopez in the 10th inning brought GambleCampbell to within two fantasy points. Salvador Perez then proceeded to ground out in an at-bat which would have moved him up to first place, but there was still another chance for the Royals to score if they could avoid losing the game in the bottom of the frame.

After a leaping catch by Lopez kept the game alive and forced an 11th inning, Benintendi came through again. Although both lineups had Benintendi, the lead-off homer in the subsequent inning came with Perez beginning on second base, and those two points (for Perez’s run) brought GambleCampbell up to first place — tied with cowboys282 for the FBWC victory. And that’s where it ultimately ended, as no more fantasy points were scored by either lineup, and the two competitors wound up splitting the victory in the unlikeliest of scenarios.

The Winning Lineup(s)

It wasn’t a million dollars, but GambleCampbell and cowboys282 were still huge winners on Friday night, both taking home just north of $760K. They’ll also both still have an opportunity to earn their seat to the DraftKings Championship Series Tournament of Champions, with an upcoming contest to break the tie (specifics of this are still TBD).

For more info on the series and all of the events, visit our DraftKings Championship Series Information page.

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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.

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