April 24, 2014
Daily League Strategy
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I find the days with limited games to be a fun sort of challenge. These are the types of days where guys in the mold of Drew Hutchison become legitimate options as the limited player pool requires a degree of creativity if you want to win.
C Derek Norris (OAK $6,141)
Bret Sayre turned me on to Norris in the preseason and he’s been a valuable play in both traditional fantasy and daily leagues for me.
1B Adrian Gonzalez (1B $7,666)
Gonzalez had a four-game home-run streak that ran from April 9-13. When he gets hot, he gets hot, and he also hits RHP to the tune of a .301/.379/.531 slash line over his career. I’m hoping he gets hot right here.
2B Jose Altuve ($5,383)
Scott Kazmir has been tough this year and Altuve’s .671 OPS isn’t special, but the speed still is. Altuve leads the AL in stolen bases with nine. This is a low-price gamble that Altuve can get on base and not K enough to post positive value.
3B Juan Uribe ($5,559)
I’ve used Juan Uribe a lot this year. He usually comes in fairly cheap, and he usually produces. He’s on a bit of a slide right now, but I think he rights the ship against the Phillies.
SS Xander Bogaerts ($5,187)
Bogaerts has a modest six-game hitting streak going, and I like the matchup against CC Sabathia, who has given up 28 hits in 26 innings of work. The power is a modest concern, but I think I can win with Xander.
OF1 Bryce Harper ($5,116)
Harper hasn’t provided much of anything, as he’s only hit one home run and stolen one base while being a non-factor in the runs and RBI categories. The price was the main draw, to be honest, and it’s a gamble I’m more than willing to take.
OF2 Yoenis Cespedes ($7,111)
I’ve picked a group of guys that I’m just going to use every time out unless the matchup dictates I shouldn’t or they just start playing poorly. Cespedes is one of those guys.
OF3 Yasiel Puig ($7,377)
I sort of leaned heavy on Dodgers and A’s, but that happens on days with light games. Puig has yet to really get going this year; he’s sitting at two home runs and one stolen base. I’m probably going to select him for a few days to try to catch his lightning in my bottle.
UTL Ben Revere ($5,727)
Revere has exactly one stolen base since April 8. I can’t see that trend continuing for much longer, and I think he gets on and steals a few bases today.
SP1 Jordan Zimmermann ($17,410)
Zimmermann has 23 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings. The ERA (3.92) and WHIP (1.49) are eh-to-ugly right now, but I believe in the skillset, and I think he can turn in a fine performance against the San Diego Padres, who are anemic on offense right now.
SP2 Dan Haren ($17,222)
The Phillies offense is a concern. Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Ryan Howard are all experiencing a bit of a revival this year, but I’m clutching to the idea that good pitching beats a good offense (so long as Ben Revere goes 2-4 with 2 SBs and scores the Phillies lone run).
P Drew Hutchison ($9,715)
I built the pitching staff first, keeping my available balance in mind. I could have gone a different direction and sacrificed offense by going with a high-priced starter like Kazmir or guaranteed pitching stats by going with a closer and freeing up money for my offense that way. Instead, I’m rolling with the guy who is having a decent year but is facing a fun offense in Baltimore. I’m hoping that most everyone in my group runs with a homogenous set of pitchers and that my staff Is different enough to break the mold. It’s a risky move, but I prefer to think of it as a bold one.
After all, fortune favors the bold.
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Mauricio Rubio is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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