2013 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

Fantasy Baseball Daily Fix: April 3, 2013

Please watch this clip for approximately six seconds.

Okay, now watch it again and imagine Deniro yelling YUUUUUUUU about four octaves higher, but instead of at Billy Crystal, directed at a laptop with the ‘Stros/Rangers game on. Good, you now understand how my night went.

The only knock on Darvish’s absolute domination last night is that it came against the Triple-A Astros offense (perhaps there’s some credence to the team changing its name to the AAAstros) but you can only pitch against the team that shows up, and pitch Yu did. His final line of 14 K’s, 0 BB’s and 1 hit allowed actually doesn’t do the start justice—Darvish pitched with the kind of tactile ruthless efficiency usually reserved for Kevin Spacey roles. The Rangers hurler needed just 111 pitches to make it through those near-perfect eight and two thirds innings, and managed to throw 78 of those for strikes to only 33 balls. I know it’s early, but this may be the start of a special season for Darvish in Texas.

On the offensive side, Lance Berkman looks like he may be primed to have a bounce-back season a la his 2011 campaign. In his five plate appearances, Berkman reached base four times—thrice off of singles, and once with a walk. His ability to command the strike zone still remains present, and as long as his bat speed stays as solid as it was last night, hitting in Arlington, as well as in a very deep lineup, should help Berkman to a really nice year.

Park factors? Mike Morse certainly hasn’t heard of ‘em—or at least he isn’t letting them affect his approach, as he jacked two bombs in Oakland last night. The question with Morse has never really been the talent, but while he is healthy, there’s no question that he can provide a consistent stream of homers and RBIs.

A lot of analysts speculated that Michael Saunders’s 21 steals last season were flukey—and rightfully so given that he hasn’t stolen more than 20 in a season since high-a—but it seems the Mariners outfielder has just added a new facet to his game, as he stole two bases to start off his season last night. He clearly has power, and if this speed stabilizes itself as a part of his game, Saunders could easily finish as a 20-20 guy, and a possible top 30 outfielder.

I like a lot of things in the world, but there’s very, very little I like more than being proved right (which is inherently why I love fantasy baseball). Hisashi Iwakuma is one of the guys I touted as a breakout candidate this preseason, so I was nothing short of thrilled to watch him torch a very solid A’s lineup last night. He didn’t walk a single batter, and his control will definitely be his calling card throughout the season, but Iwakuma also impressively struck out 7 in his 6 innings of work and did so quite efficiently, finishing with just 88 pitches thrown.

PETE KOZMA HIT A HOMER!!!!!!!!! This really has no fantasy relevance whatsoever, but it’s just nice to know that a thing like that can happen.

Finally, happy birthday to Don Sutton! Sutton turned 68 last night, and is still one of just 10 pitchers in major league history to record at least 300 wins and 3000 strikeouts. Fun Sutton fact: the date of his MLB debut is also the same day that Greg Maddux was born.

DraftKings.com Team of the Day

Today, I’m playing the MLB $5 Double-Up! contest. The entire $360 prize pool is guaranteed no matter the number of entrants, check it out!

All 30 clubs play tomorrow, so there are essentially an infinite number of ways to make up your daily fantasy lineup. Generally, my strategy in daily formats is to look for value in the consistently deep pitcher and outfield spots. Today, I had trouble finding lower down pitchers I liked, so I actually spent heavily there and found value at outfield and middle infield.

Gio Gonzalez | P | Nationals | $ 10,400 – The Marlins lineup is atrocious, but as we saw in Strasburg’s start against them, they don’t strike out as much as you’d think. Still, a top 20 pitcher at home against the Marlins is too enticing to pass up, especially when he’s going against Kevin Slowey (yes, he’s still in the majors, I was surprised too).

Tommy Milone | P | Athletics | $7,800 – He posted a 2.74 ERA and 1.05 WHIP at home last season, and he’s facing the Mariners there tomorrow. Sign me up. 

Buster Posey | C | Giants | $4,600 – The pricing disparity at catcher is too small to not just pay for the position’s one bona fide stud, and if he’s going against Josh Beckett, that’s just gravy on the turkey.

Joey Votto | 1B | Reds | $5,100 – C.J. Wilson is extremely erratic, particularly when he’s pitching on the road. Votto is as consistent as they come, and that dichotomy drew me to this play.

Chris Nelson | 2B | Rockies | $3,200 – He looked really solid against the Brewers yesterday despite a respectable overall outing from Marco Estrada. I was looking to save money with this pick, and he was head and shoulders above the other guys in his price range, like Skip Schumaker or Maicer Izturis.

Manny Machado | Orioles | $3,200 – Seems underpriced by about 600 bucks (Todd Frazier and Pedro Alvarez are at $3,800). Jeremy Hellickson is good but not great, and at this number I’ll definitely gamble with Machado. Underrating young or unknown players seems to be a theme with daily games like this.

Troy Tulowitzki | Rockies | $4,900 – When he’s healthy, you can’t go wrong with Tulo, and particularly in points-typed formats, he is significantly better than the next best shortstop. Going against Wily Peralta doesn’t hurt, either.

Michael Saunders | Mariners | $3,300 – Stole two bags last night and seems primed for a breakout year. I know I’m starting Milone, but I needed to save some money in the outfield and Saunders has huge upside at this price.

Bryce Harper | Nationals | $4,800 – Usually I’d shy away from a guy the day after a huge game, but we saw what Harper did to Ricky Nolasco… imagine what he’ll do to Kevin freakin’ Slowey. (Yup, still in the majors. I KNOW, RIGHT?!?!)

Jackie Bradley | Red Sox | $2,000 – Either the system just hasn’t caught up yet, or this is a different Jackie Bradley, but he is currently being valued as a guy who isn’t even in the majors. This was the easiest pick of the day by far.

Previous post

2013 Fantasy Baseball: Week 1 Tools of the Trade

Next post

Draft Kings NHL Games Roster for April 3rd- The Trade Deadline