Fantasy Baseball Daily Fix: April 18, 2013
Yup, I’m back for another run of the daily fix. Unlike Wednesdays, Thursdays always present a special challenge in the daily fix, but that can be to your advantage if you plan ahead. Mondays and Thursdays are typically off days in the MLB schedule. Most teams will have one or the other off in a typical week. So, this Thursday we find eight teams idle in ML action. You can look at it as having fewer guys to choose from, but everyone playing against you on DraftKings have the same limitations. Make sure you are organized and you have a built in advantage.
Today, I’ll be playing in the MLB $600 Moon Shot (Early Only). What I have done is create kind of a spreadsheet with the players’ total averages against righties and lefties. The first thing I will do is cross out the ones that will be idle for the day. Then, I cross out the ones that are injured or on the disabled list/suspended list. That leaves me with a list I can work with and pick from. If you are playing in a contest of over 100 people, you can bet that someone will turn in a lineup with someone that definitely will score zero points at some positions. That can only help you vault up the leader boards. Anyhow, this is what you have all been waiting for.
Catcher: Matt Wieters vs. David Price
It’s very rare that we see back-to-back lefties in action, but the Rays are not exactly your typical rotation. Just like with Matt Moore yesterday, we cannot necessarily guarantee anything with Wieters going up against Price. He does have a .324 career total average against lefties, so the odds are better. Playing DraftKings is a lot like playing any other money game. If you use the same strategy every time out, your chances of succeeding increase.
First Base: Edwin Encarnacion vs. Chris Sale
Again, we see a tough lefty on the docket, but Encarnacion is beginning to heat up and he has a career .346 total average against lefties. There can be a ton of value early on in playing guys that have gotten off to a slow start. Most players will avoid guys like that. One of the ways in which you can guarantee yourself a victory is by playing guys that go off that few of your competitors will think to start.
Second Base: Ben Zobrist vs. Miguel Gonzalez
Unlike the first two on our list, Zobrist is not a guy going up against a Cy Young candidate. This isn’t to demean Miguel Gonzalez, but he doesn’t have the electric stuff that David Price and Chris Sale have. Furthermore, Zobrist is one of those guys that manages to produce from against all pitchers. He has a career .302 TAV against righties, but is equally good against lefties. It helps that he is off to a good start.
Third Base: David Freese vs. Cole Hamels
I always get a little nervous when I see pedigreed pitchers with astronomical ERA numbers early. Regression is always a big fear when the month of April is still going on. That being said, Freese has a strong record against lefties (.308 career TAV) and maybe Hamels will struggle for one more day. If it were a sure thing they wouldn’t call it gambling now would they?
Shortstop: J.J. Hardy vs. David Price
Normally, I would be inclined to play someone like Troy Tulowitzki, but that 50,000 cap can really be a bear at times. Hardy is very affordable and he does better against lefties than against righties, so this is a decent enough play. I don’t expect much, but it’s important to get the other guys into the lineup.
Outfield: Melky Cabrera vs. Chris Sale
Okay, maybe we are betting too heavily on Chris Sale struggling, but I go where the data leads me and it leads me to Cabrera. Cabrera has a .324 TAV against lefties in his career and he has gotten off to a decent start in Toronto. Unfortunately, with injuries and off days, the pickings among outfielders is rather limited. Cabrera can score a number of different ways though, so he is a decent enough play.
Outfield: Shin Soo Choo vs. Jose Fernandez
Choo murders right-handers and the early part of 2013 is really no different. Jose Fernandez is sporting the 0.82 ERA early in the 2013 campaign, but it will be his third career start. Teams will start to get a book on him and he will come back to the pack eventually. I suppose it is possible he could be the second coming of Juan Marichal, but odds are decidingly against that.
Outfield: Matt Joyce vs. Miguel Gonzalez
This is your blue plate special. Joyce has a career .303 total average against righties, so you’ll be one of the few to play him because you’ll be choosing history over recent performance. Joyce has gotten off to a slow start like many of the Rays, but you can rest assured that this will change and change soon. Whether it changes today is anyone’s best guess, but that is why they call it gambling.
Pitcher: Jose Fernandez vs. Cincinnati Reds
He will likely be facing another rookie, so chances are good one of them will have an off day. I did start Choo against him, so this is another example of me hedging my bets. I made a crack about Fernandez not being Juan Marichal. That may not be, but he is one of the better pitching prospects in baseball and he does have a big arm. Being young makes him affordable. Being good makes him a good play.
Pitcher: Pat Corbin vs. Phil Hughes
Yesterday saw us with the MLBtv game of the day. This is hardly a candidate as Phil Hughes seems to be struggling mightily these days. The best reason to pick a pitcher is because you think his team will win. The second best reason is because his opponent’s lineup has so many holes that it looks like swiss cheese. The Yankees will be good again someday, but it won’t be on this day. At least, it won’t on paper.
Yesterday was another pitcher’s day in the big leagues as we saw two 1-0 shutouts before the night games even started. The Reds and Phillies were playing two because of early season weather issues and so they were probably thankful to see a 1-0 game in the opener. The game took a mere two hours and 26 minutes.
The Braves and Royals were involved in their own pitcher’s duel that saw Mike Minor’s impressive win streak come to an end. It certainly wasn’t his fault as he gave up only one run in six innings. Wade Davis continued his solid early season work as he improved to 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA. Maybe that Wil Myers trade really was worth it after all.
Other stars include A.J. Burnett. He has gotten off to another good start as it looks more and more like he simply has an aversion to New York. It was simply another outing where the opposing pitcher deserved better. Shelby Miller pitched well again (thus proving why he was the Cardinals best pitching prospect).
MLBTV Game of the Day
It isn’t a banner day for match-ups, but there is a really nice match up between Chris Sale and R.A. Dickey. Two contrasting styles go head to head for what happens to be MLB’s game of the day. The Blue Jays are 6-9, so they desperately need to leave the series with a win.