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May 27, 2014
Daily League Strategy
Get Your Phil
DraftStreet offers one of the best lineup constructions in the industry allowing for three pitchers, two starters and a starter/reliever. Additionally, they don’t overvalue the win as it is worth just two points. The rest of the scoring and roster setup can be viewed here if you aren’t already familiar with it.
Yu Darvish ($26,256) has the easiest matchup among the aces with a trip to Minnesota, as they’ve fallen on hard times in May, but he’s also $2,500 more expensive than anyone else. His counterpart, Phil Hughes ($15,969), is certainly pitching like an ace of late with a 1.60 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 30-to-1 K:BB ratio in his last 39 1/3 innings spanning six starts. I’m definitely looking his way even with the Rangers hitting better in May.
Tim Hudson ($14,976) against the Cubbies will be a very popular pick while David Phelps ($13,750), Jon Niese ($13,498), and Wade Miley ($13,491) are off-the-radar value plays who are either pitching well of late, facing a juicy matchup, or both.
Speaking of lefty-mashing catchers, Jonathan Lucroy ($6,724) isn’t exactly a budget option as the fourth-most-expensive backstop, but the .924 OPS against lefties for his career makes him worth the price. Wei-Yin Chen spent his first two seasons as a homer-prone lefty and while he’s sliced his home run rate this year, he’s still allowing 11 hits per nine.
Still prefer to spend the big bucks at first base? Paul Goldschmidt ($9,924) very rarely mistreats his daily fantasy users and we’ll see if he can crack his first bomb off of a lefty in 2014 as he faces Eric Stults. Despite the home run drought, he’s still posting a .910 OPS against them, well in line with his career .985 mark.
Juan Francisco ($5,738) has been insane against righties this year with an 1.159 OPS and seven of his eight homers. He’s being perfectly deployed by the Jays as a platoon player. The matchup is far from easy with Cobb on the mound, but I think we’re getting more than a fair discount to accommodate for the difficult matchup making him still worth looking at on Tuesday.
If you find yourself needing a high-upside budget-friendly bat for your Utility pick, you might consider double-dipping at the hot corner and looking at Manny Machado ($4,910) or Evan Longoria ($4,801). Machado’s bottom line is ugly so far this year, but he’s played just 22 games as he comes back from injury. He has a solid little nine-game hitting streak going and I’ve been riding him for a while now at his depressed price. He’ll be up in the $7000s before we know it and possibly higher if he really catches fire, so enjoy the discount now while you can. Longo has always raked lefties with a .922 OPS against them and he’s certainly seen Buehrle enough to have a book on him with 34 PA against one another.
A lot of the bargain options in the outfield have a tough matchup, but with three spots to fill, you’ll likely have to gamble on at least one of them. My favorites include Carlos Gonzalez ($5,954) even against a tough Hamels, Billy Hamilton ($5,684) and Jay Bruce ($5,386) facing off against Greinke, and Henderson Alvarez isn’t as fierce a matchup for Jayson Werth ($5,259) compared to what the others have, but he’s got just a 731 OPS against righties so far this year and he’s sputtered a bit in May, hence the decreased price.
Want a bargain bin hero play? Alejandro De Aza ($4,521) hasn’t done much of anything since popping three homers in the first three games, but he’s 11-for-33 against Justin Masterson, whose struggles against lefties have returned with a vengeance this year. The 33 PA sample isn’t large enough to be predictive, but Masterson’s chronic struggles against lefties are worth betting on and the career success for De Aza just helps push me closer to using him.