Fantasy Baseball

Fantasy Baseball Daily Fix: April 2, 2013

The First Pitch

We have to start today’s Fix with this video of Anthony Rizzo absolutely raping the first pitch he saw this season:

Bryce Harper didn’t hit a home run on the first pitch he saw, but he did hit a home run in each of his first two at-bats. To be fair, they came off the “imposing” opening day starter of the Miami Marlins, Ricky Nolasco. I swear that I could take Nolasco to the warning track. And I hit zero home runs in my entire little league career with just one homer in my college softball career. So kudos to Bryce, but I still think he was over drafted with an ADP of 30 and will continually be a good sell high candidate.

The other big performance of the day came from Clayton Kershaw who pitched a complete game shutout and hit a home run to break a 0-0 tie. That’s all well and good, but the guy who owns him isn’t trading him, you shouldn’t trade him if you own him, and he’ll always be very expensive in daily formats. So what’s the point in talking about him?

But there were a few guys who are sparsely owned and who will come cheap in daily formats.

Welington Castillo is the main catcher for the Cubs this year, and he started his season off nicely with a couple of doubles against A.J. Burnett. Castillo triple slashed  .275/.361/.483 in 427 AAA plate appearances and .265/.337/.418 in his short major league debut last year. He’s clearly got a little pop and should be a strong play in daily formats whenever facing a lefty. And he’s available in almost all shallow leagues and probably a fair number of deeper leagues. He’s worth a look if you need a catcher.

On the mound, Jhoulys Chacin resembled the guy who had an ERA in the mid-three’s in 52 major league starts between 2010 and 2011. Chacin held the Brewers to one run in 6.2 innings while giving up three hits, three walks and striking out six. When he was good, Chacin kept the ball on the ground a lot and struck out a fair number of batters (23.7% K% in 2010). You’ll have to keep an eye on those two particular numbers to see if he can be trusted again. If he’s keeping the ball on the ground and generating whiffs, he’ll certainly return some value, and he’ll likely be available in your league (currently 0.9% owned).

DraftKings.com Team of the Day

Today I’m playing the MLB $3 Double-Up! contest. The top 50% will win $5.40.

My daily fantasy strategy is short and sweet. Bargains are generally easier to find on the mound, so go cheap on pitching if possible so that you can spend the monies necessary to get a good hitter at each position. However, I couldn’t find two bargains in a day with only seven games. I was looking for Jason Hammel as a bargain option against Tampa Bay, but I could not find him or Nick Markakis in the player pool. This may just be a glitch that will be corrected tomorrow, so go with Hammel and upgrade some of my cheaper hitting options if you find him in the pool.

The only cheaper options I liked on the mound were Hisashi Iwakuma ($7,800) and Jarrod Parker ($8,500). Unfortunately, those two guys will face each other, and I didn’t want to cut the number of wins I could get from two to one. As a result, I splurged on R.A. Dickey ($10,800). I love the matchup against Cleveland and wouldn’t at all be surprised to see AL teams struggle against the knuckleballer the first time or two that they see him.

At the plate, I generally look hard at lefty/righty splits. If a guy is much better against one or the other and is facing a pitcher with a favorable handedness that day, he’s an option. And if he’s facing a lesser pitcher, he’s likely a pick for me. Below you’ll see my eight hitters and their handedness, their career wOBA against both left and right handed pitching, and the opposing pitcher they’ll be facing along with that pitcher’s handedness.

Player

Price

Bats

wOBA vs. LHP

wOBA vs. RHP

Opposing Pitcher

C – A.J. Pierzynski

$3,500

L

.300

.331

Lucas Harrell – RHP

1B – Paul Goldschmidt

$4,500

R

.443

.322

Jaime Garcia – LHP

2B – Rickie Weeks

$4,500

R

.339

.327

Jorge de la Rosa – LHP

3B – Kyle Seager

$3,900

L

.286

.333

Jarrod Parker – RHP

SS – Elvis Andrus

$4,000

S

.375

.334

Lucas Harrell – RHP

OF – David Murphy

$3,900

L

.298

.363

Lucas Harrell – RHP

OF – Josh Reddick

$3,700

L

.319 (2012)

.330 (2012)

Hisashi Iwakuma  – RHP

OF – Leonys Martin

$3,300

L

.199 (2012)

.268 (2012)

Lucas Harrell – RHP

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2013 Fantasy Baseball: Week 1 Tools of the Trade

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