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April 15, 2014

Daily League Strategy

Struggling Stars

by Paul Sporer


The first couple of weeks have brought forth plenty of surprises that have inflated daily prices for the short term, but it’s also seen plenty of duds from studs, which have driven their prices down and created a great buying opportunity. Saving money at DraftStreet is especially crucial so that you can leverage the third pitching spot with a starter. Today, I plucked some struggling stars to break through and deliver big for us.

Lineup of the Day
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.

CATCHER – Salvador Perez ($5,770)
Perez has been on fire through the first 11 games, but his price is still very friendly and Lucas Harrell doesn’t seem ripe to cool Perez off anytime soon.

FIRST BASE – Prince Fielder ($6,087)
Call it a hunch! Blake Beavan has allowed a .305 AVG and .853 OPS to lefties over his career while Fielder simply cannot stay this cold.

SECOND BASE – Brian Dozier ($6,442)
He’s hitting just .191, but four of his nine hits have left the yard. Throw in three stolen bases and it’s easy to see Dozier’s upside, especially if he can show that power and speed in the same game. He destroys righty fastballs—a pitch Brandon Morrow has yielded a 1.300 OPS on early in 2014.

THIRD BASE – Evan Longoria ($6,124)
We haven’t seen a ton from Longoria in the power department, but he gets a homer-prone righty in a homer-prone ballpark on Tuesday. Thankfully, his .313 AVG hasn’t inflated his price, making him a bargain given the ultimate upside.

SHORTSTOP – Xander Bogaerts ($4,270)
Bogaerts hasn’t had that huge, day-changing game yet for daily players, as he’s both homer-less and RBI-less. He’s still been taking a solid approach to the plate, as we can see in his .283 AVG and .377 OBP. Even if he only delivers a two- or three-point night, that wouldn’t be awful given his low cost which afforded more punch at deeper positions.

OUTFIELDER1 – Ryan Braun ($8,440)
Shelby Miller has been a disaster this season and his curveball isn’t fooling anyone. Braun, meanwhile, is on fire right now and ripe to take advantage of Miller’s struggles. Braun has the huge 3 HR/7 RBI game accounting for a large portion of his value to date, but he’s also on an eight-game hitting streak, including a pair of triples.

OUTFIELDER2 – Jose Bautista ($9,666)
This one isn’t complicated. The homer-prone Hughes against the homer-happy Bautista is a no-brainer selection. Hughes hasn’t been sharp in either of his first two starts as a Twin.

OUTFIELDER3 – Adam Eaton ($6,402)
He has quietly been one of the best fantasy—daily or season-long—assets to start the season thanks to a league-high 14 runs—the product of a .327 AVG and 1.0 K:BB ratio in 62 PA. He has speed and power, the perfect combo for those transcendent single-game efforts.

UTILITY – Dee Gordon ($8,331)
I opted for speed here with my last two picks. While power is a big driver in the daily game, a speedy asset can definitely deliver big. Their speed can save them from a rough day as they might be able to sneak on once in an 0-for-4 via fielder’s choice, then steal two bases and score a run to salvage their point total. It’s early, but Gordon certainly looks better than ever with his approach at the plate, and it’s led to a league-high nine stolen bases.

STARTING PITCHER1 – Yordano Ventura ($14,444)
It certainly seems like the only real danger is potentially self-inflicted. Ventura showed excellent command and control in his 2014 debut, but he hasn’t showed it consistently enough yet to be an expectation. That said, it’s a shot you just have to take against Houston and still on the lower end of the cost spectrum.

STARTING PITCHER2 – Robbie Erlin ($13,135)
The Padres lefty doesn’t jump off the page, but he is a quality pitcher, especially in that park. Being both relatively new and a Padre keeps his price down.

PITCHER – Tom Koehler ($10,818)
Koehler is a perfect third starter. You don’t need a win from him—which is good given his supporting cast—and the solid 6 IP/2 ER efforts he’s given in his first two outings would be more than adequate at this price point. The last of those efforts was against these Nationals and included six strikeouts, too.

Money left in lineup: $71

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Paul Sporer is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Paul's other articles. You can contact Paul by clicking here

Related Content:  Fantasy,  DraftStreet,  Daily Leagues

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pac... (04/14)
<< Previous Column
Daily League Strategy:... (04/11)
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Daily League Strategy:... (04/18)
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