2013 Fantasy Baseball Daily Fix: July 2, 2013
Instead of just giving you one lineup for the DraftKings Team of the Day, I thought it would be helpful to give you options in various price ranges at each position. I like to spend big on pitching and find value at the plate, but if you like to do things differently, you can do so with these recommendations. But I have included asterisks next to the names of players on my team for the day.
Luxury pick: Stephen Strasburg* ǀ $10,500 ǀ vs. Milwaukee – You wouldn’t know it from his player rater number on ESPN (2.11 over the last 30 days), but Strasburg has been as beastly as ever this year. He has a 2.41 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 24.3% strikeout rate, and 51.7% groundball rate. Unfortunately, he’s only getting 2.60 runs of support per game, which is the lowest among all qualified starters. But a win on DraftKings is only worth four points, so it’s not imperative that a pitcher get one to have a good day. The most important factors are that Strasburg is pitching well (sub-2.00 ERA in May/June), and his match up isn’t a bad one (the Brewers are 22nd in wRC+ vs. RHP).
Reasonable and reliable pick: Patrick Corbin* ǀ $8,500 ǀ @ Mets – Corbin wasn’t as good in June as he was in April and May, but he was still pretty damn good. He posted a 3.05 ERA with a 3.81 xFIP. His K% and GB% were down, but his control was still great. There may be some more regression coming, but it’s unlikely that the Mets take on the form of the regression monster. The Mets have the 7th worst wRC+ vs. LHP and the 5th highest K% vs. LHP.
Cheapest guy I could pick: Corey Kluber ǀ $6,400 ǀ @ Kansas City – I’ve talked a lot about Kluber recently because I’m an absolute sucker for good strikeout and walk rates. And Kluber has them. His K% is 23.2%, and his BB% is 4.4%, which gives him a ridiculously good K%-BB% of 18.8. Today he’ll face the Royals who are the 4th worst team vs. RHP like Kluber (according to wRC+).
A quick note on how I pick hitters before we get to the lineup. My basic strategy when picking hitters is very simple. I’m looking for a guy I know is capable of being a good hitter who is facing a bad pitcher of the opposite handedness. And if the hitter happens to have been performing well lately, or if the game is in a favorable ballpark for hitters, that’s a bonus. If I name a player below, you can (almost always) assume he meets these criteria. I’ll only highlight a few of the selections rather than repeating the same analysis for each player.
Reasonable and reliable pick: Matt Wieters ǀ $3,800 ǀ vs. John Danks – Wieters is a switch-hitter who fares much better from the right side, which is where he’ll be hitting from against left-hander Jordan Danks today.
Reasonable and reliable pick: Eric Hosmer* ǀ $4,100 ǀ vs. Corey Kluber –I don’t like to pick hitters that will be facing pitchers I recommend. But to avoid a hitter just because I’m also picking the pitcher he is facing is bad strategy. It’s as bad as not starting a stud receiver in fantasy football because he’s matched up against the defense that you own. But I watch these games every night and don’t like having mixed interests. I want to root for something. But Hosmer is on fire, and the price is too good.
Luxury pick: Jason Kipnis ǀ $5,900 ǀ vs. Luis Mendoza – We are all fully aware that no one is hotter than Yasiel Puig right now. Puig has a 234 wRC+ over the last 30 days. But Kipnis is the closest thing to as hot as Yasiel Puig as he has a 231 wRC+ over the last 30.
Reasonable and reliable pick: Matt Carpenter* ǀ $4,200 ǀ vs. Jered Weaver
Luxury pick: Manny Machado ǀ $4,900 ǀ vs. John Danks
Cheapest guy I could pick: Ryan Roberts* ǀ $2,300 ǀ vs. Erik Bedard – Roberts was demoted when Wil Myers got the call, but he’s back up with Evan Longoria ailing. He got the start at 3B last night and hit a home run off lefty Dallas Keuchel. It doesn’t seem like Longoria will be ready to play the field today, so I expect Roberts to get the start against another Houston left-hander. If you’re not comfortable with Roberts or if he doesn’t start, Danny Valencia is a decent cheap option ($3,500). He’s the third Baltimore right-hander I’ve mentioned facing the left-handed Danks.
Reasonable and reliable pick: J.J. Hardy* ǀ $4,000 ǀ vs. John Danks – Hey look! Another Oriole righty against John Danks!
Cheapest guy I could pick: Yunel Escobar ǀ $3,700 ǀ vs. Erik Bedard
Adam Jones ǀ $5,200 ǀ vs. John Danks – No one is starting Danks tomorrow, right?
Reasonable and reliable picks:
Wil Myers* ǀ $4,000 ǀ vs. Erik Bedard
Jay Bruce* ǀ $4,000 ǀ vs. Tim Lincecum
Cheapest guys I could pick:
Zoilo Almonte ǀ $2,700 ǀ vs. Samuel Deduno
David Lough ǀ $3,400 ǀ vs. Corey Kluber – I’ve been riding Lough for awhile now. He hits from the left side, so he’s on the good side of a platoon situation in Kansas City, and he’s made the most of the playing time. Over the last 30 days he’s hitting .322 with a couple of homers, a steal, 11 runs, and 11 RBI. He started out going for about $2,700 a day. Then he was at $3,000 for awhile. But even at $3,400 he’s still a nice cheap option.