I’m looking at three no-name starters to lead me to the promised land on Friday.
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)
I’ve been backing Perez at this sub-$6,000 price tag for a while now and he hasn’t had a huge game yet, but he has given positive value in all but three games this year.
SECOND BASE – Mark Ellis ($4,852)
Ellis is back to give Kolten Wong a spell against lefties and the Cards are facing Gio Gonzalez. Ellis has done his best work against lefties the last few years, so I like him as a budget option today.
THIRD BASE – Pedro Alvarez ($6,547)
He’s only hitting .161, yet he’s averaging 3.58 points per game at DraftStreet thanks to five homers and 10 RBI and runs scored, plus a couple of stolen bases. Kyle Lohse has been strong early on this year, but he’s prone to the long ball—even if it’s a solo shot in a good outing.
SHORTSTOP – Xander Bogaerts ($4,039)
He’s cheaper than he was for us on Monday and he’s actually driven in his first two runs and popped his first homer since then. He’s just a great bargain option to deliver at least something (thanks to his walks) and yet also has the big breakout potential.
OUTFIELDER1 – Shin-Soo Choo ($7,775)
Choo hit his first homer on Thursday afternoon and he has a great matchup to stay hot with Felipe Paulino coming into town. I’ve championed Paulino in the past, but his early season struggles upon returning from Tommy John surgery aren’t terribly surprising to me.
OUTFIELDER2 – Dayan Viciedo ($4,971)
The Tank against lefties… it’s the way to go (except for Jon Lester last night). Viciedo has a career .917 OPS against lefties including 16 HR in 346 PA compared to 29 in 931 against righties.
OUTFIELDER3 – Chris Colabello ($4,648)
He just keeps driving in runs, and that’s because he’s getting the opportunities. He’s batting fourth with Brian Dozier (.356), Joe Mauer (.389), and Trevor Plouffe (.418) posting OBPs near .400 just ahead of him.
STARTING PITCHER1 – Drew Smyly ($15,124)
He finally gets to start! The Tigers odd early-season schedule that has included a ton of day offs and two postponements have pushed Smyly’s first start to mid-April. A rain delay and a high pitch count for Anibal Sanchez has afforded Smyly the opportunity to log a pair of three-inning relief efforts so he hasn’t just been rotting away in the bullpen. I was hoping for a cheaper price, but there is still value here.
STARTING PITCHER2 – Alfredo Simon ($14,498)
Simon has impressed me in his two starts as the Reds’ fifth man while Mat Latos recovers. He’s keeping the ball down and missing enough bats, but most impressive piece of his success has been the low walk rate. He had issues with walks as a reliever, but early on, he’s walking just 3.6 percent of the batters he’s facing and the Cubs aren’t exactly a scary matchup.
PITCHER – Nate Eovaldi ($14,458)
Eovaldi has deserved a much better fate than his 4.19 ERA and his 1.03 WHIP; an MLB-best 19.0 K:BB ratio and an NL-best 2.06 FIP seem to back that up. The Mariners give him a chance to get that ERA closer to the FIP.
Money left in lineup: $20
Taking a look at the weekend slate, here are some things to consider:
Saturday Slugfests: MIN (Correia) at KC (Chen), BAL (Bud Norris) at BOS (Doubront), and PHI (Kendrick) at COL (Lyles)
Sunday Slugfests: TOR (Morrow) at CLE (Carrasco), CWS (Johnson) at TEX (Ross), and I guess I have to list CIN (Bailey) at CHC (Jackson), but I don’t think Bailey is anywhere near an 8.16 ERA pitcher, so I wouldn’t exactly stack Cubs.