2013 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

Fantasy Baseball Daily Fix: April 17, 2013

Welcome to another stirring rendition of the daily fix. Today, I will be playing the MLB $1K Moon Shot ($1000 Guaranteed). I hope to add to my solid winnings over the last couple of weeks. If you want to get in on the action you can go to DraftKings and build yourself a profile and set up a deposit. Naturally, you can take our advice or not, but most of us are doing fairly well. The key with all daily games is to go in with a plan. My lineup will be coming up shortly, but before I give that to you I’ll review my plan in general.

The key to succeeding in DraftKings is understanding how to navigate through the 50,000 cap they give you. You get eight position players and two pitchers. You can play the Mike Trouts and Miguel Cabreras of the world, but you will have to scrimp and save somewhere. I begin by looking at the righty/lefty splits for that particular day and play the cheapest possibly player that mashes from that side. Then, I pick my pitchers last based on the amount of money I have left over and who I think has a good matchup for that day. It’s not completely scientific because of cap limitations, but everyone has to deal with the same cap and it has worked for me so far.

My Lineup

Catcher: Matt Wieters vs. Matt Moore

This was supposed to be Salvador Perez, but he is inexplicably not available. So, I go with Matt Wieters who also mashes against lefties. Matt Moore is not your typical lefty, so this is anything but a sure bet, but there are very few sure bets in daily baseball,

First Base: Paul Goldschmidt vs. C.C. Sabathia

Goldschmidt has a .359 career TAV against lefties. Sabathia is one of the better lefties in baseball, so this is not a sure bet, but Goldschmidt certainly profiles better than the other first sackers on this day. Prince Fielder and Joey Votto are also good plays, but they will come with an added cost. Goldschmidt is slightly better given the platoon splits and the added savings will help you down the line.

Second Base: Chase Utley vs. Mike Leake

Second base is a weaker position, so getting anyone with a career .300 TAV or better is difficult. Utley is slightly better than that against righties and Leake is not exactly what you would call Cy Young quality (0-0, 6.75 ERA). Chances are good that Utley will at least get you some points to add to the total.  Robinson Cano is a good play everyday, but he is also an expensive one.

Third Base: Jeff Keppinger vs. J.A. Happ

Again, we are going bargain hunting and we stumble upon another platoon advantage with Keppinger. Keppinger has a career .306 TAV against lefties and Happ is pretty much a middle of the road lefty. He profiles better than Evan Longoria on this particular day and comes in just a shade under Pablo Sandoval. In fact, Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Beltre are the only two on the board with higher TAVs against their current matchup, but they cost a lot more money and I’d rather keep the flexibility for the pitchers.

Shortstop: Pete Kozma vs. A.J. Burnett

With Jose Reyes, Erick Aybar, and Hanley Ramirez on the shelf you really have to dig deep and hold your breath at shortstop. Kozma has a career .308 TAV against right-handers even if its only in limited duty. In the absence of anything substantial (only Troy Tulowitzki and Jimmy Rollins have .280+ TAVs against their pitcher) I go with the cheaper option and punt quality for another spot.

Outfield: Dayan Viciedo vs. J.A. Happ

Ah, the beauty of platoon splits. Viciedo is a decent enough outfielder and his overall numbers are unspectacular, but something happens when he faces lefties. Maybe it’s spinach or someone makes him really mad and he turns big and green. Whatever the case, he sports a .376 TAV against lefties in his career. Considering his affordability. you will not do any better on days like today.

Outfield: Carlos Gonzalez vs. Jeremy Hefner

Normally, this would be Justin Ruggiano, but he is listed as day to day. There is nothing more embarrassing than playing someone that is hurt or being benched. CarGo provides us with the proverbial triple whammy. He is a hot hitter playing in the best hitter’s park in baseball, and playing against an inexperienced pitcher. That’s a no brainer.

Outfield: Andre Ethier vs. Tyson Ross

Ethier looks like an overrated outfielder because the Dodgers insist on playing him against everyone. If they sat him against lefties then he would look like a perennial all-star. He has a career .338 TAV against right handers and there are few right handers as ordinary as Ross (0-1, 4.82 ERA). Ethier is surprisingly affordable in draft kings given his general reputation and ability to mash against righties.

Pitcher: Ross Detwiler vs. Miami Marlins

Tne Marlins are so pathetic (how pathetic are they?) that I feel sorry for them as an Astros fan. They are 2-11 and have as many home runs as a team as Brett Gardner. Yes, I know I started Ruggiano against Detwiler, but he is not the whole squad and this is what I like to call hedging my bets. On a day to day basis you want to bet on pitchers that will likely win their matchup and the rest is just gravy.

Pitcher: Justin Masterson vs. Boston Red Sox

I thought long and hard about going with Max Scherzer because of all the strikeouts, but this one was just way too inviting. Masterson is pitching well and the Red Sox offense has been sputtering of late. Throw in the Alfredo Aceves factor and I figure Masterson should be spotted eight runs. Of course, this is when Aceves will likely throw seven shutout innings, but I have to go with the percentages and the percentages say Masterson has a cake walk.

Tuesday Highlights

It isn’t often that we are reminded about how fleeting sports are in general, but Monday was one of those days. Yet, it is in sports where we see the triumph of the human spirit so vividly. The Boston Red Sox took to the road on Wednesday and seemed to harness all of the emotion and feelings of civic pride into a convincing victory over the Indians.

Sure, beating the Indians might not be like beating the Yankees in the ALCS, but when you consider all of the emotional baggage they must have had going into the contest it is impressive just the same. Perhaps, taking a road trip at this time is just what the doctor ordered. They can go to the park with the constant reminder of Monday’s tragic events.

One thing is for sure, the Red Sox will be a factor in the AL East race this season and baseball is a lot more fun when the Yankees and Red Sox are both factors in the playoff race. Love them or hate them, they are always relevant. Monday’s events might be one of those things we look back on as a galvanizing experience for the Red Sox. No, that doesn’t come close to making up for those that were injured or killed in the bombing, but it’s as good as we can do in the sports world.

MLB.TV Game of the Day

As an Astros fan, I put the move of the Astros to the American League as one of the top five all-time acts of betrayal by the worst commissioner in sports. Daily interleague play is just another wart on the game, but Wednesday offers a unique matchup that should be worth watching. C.C. Sabathia and the Yankees are taking on Wade Miley and the Diamondbacks. The battle of lefties should be one of the more rewarding on the docket. Bud got it right for one day at least.

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