Yesterday's piece implored the readers to trust that Joc Pederson can hit anyone at any time, and he proved it in the day's double-dip with the Rockies. He hit a bomb off of southpaw Jorge De La Rosa in the first game and then did more yardwork when he took right-hander David Hale 480 feet deep in the nightcap. Ride the tide while the water is still in and the air is still thin.
George Springer, OF ($4700)
vs. RHP: .233/.320/.451 with 13-of-15 SB in 388 PA
There are many aspects to Springer's .224/.346/.406 line this season that have been a disappointment, especially after the speed-and-power combination that he flashed before getting hurt in 2014. The sophomore outfielder has been quietly effective, with enough walks to post a solid OBP and a 182 ISO that's nothing to sneeze at, but it's not quite the Joc line that his fantasy owners had envisioned when they selected him in full-season leagues. He is 11-for-12 on stolen base attempts and has 10 doubles to go with his seven bombs, resulting in a solid 8.3 FPPG at Draft Kings this season. However, that point total has not justified his cost throughout the season, as Springer has been consistently overpriced despite an absence of hot streaks on his game log. Some managers might be tempted, with Springer having an inverse split while facing right-hadner Miguel Gonzalez of the Orioles today, but for an extra $100 a manager can have Mike Trout. Go get Trout.
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Details ($3 Entry):
Todd Frazier, 1B/3B ($4500)
vs. LHP: .269/.331/.498 with 8-of-12 SB in 532 PA
vs. RHP: .257/.328/.455 with 28-of-40 SB in 1526 PA
The general reaction to Frazier's breakout campaign of 2014 was that he played over his head, and therefore he was likely to come back to earth this season. Frazier must not have received that directive, because he has bypassed the .500 slug zone and has a slugging percentage of .604 this season, including 16 homers, 11 doubles, and a triple. Even the stolen bases are intact, as the player that stole 20 bags last season (14 more than he had in any previous campaign), is already 6-for-7 on steal attempts this year. He's facing Cole Hamels today, a tall order for any player regardless of their platoon splits, but Frazier is the most likely Red to handle the Phillies' southpaw ace.
Mike Moustakas, 3B ($3200)
vs. LHP: .220/.276/.340 in 579 PA
vs. RHP: .252/.305/.404 in 1612 PA
vs. Corey Kluber: .481/.533/.778 in 30 PA
The ultra-low cost reflects the fact that Moustakas is facing the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner today, but he has had no trouble sticking it to Corey Kluber in the past, even as it overlapped with the third baseman's more difficult seasons. Moustakas doesn't have to do much to justify his price tag, and history suggests that he could put a surprisingly strong stat-line for tonight's ballgame.
Nate Karns, TB at LAA ($6400)
It would appear that Karns has put up supposedly-unsustainable hit rates for two years running, and the small sample size involved (69.0 combined innings) adds weight to the theory that regression is forthcoming. His comkbined BABIP over the last two campaigns is a laughable .217, and even though the strong defense of Tampa Bay (they rank second in the majors in defensive efficiency this season), Karns' figure is prohibitively low. Even if we assume that he is regressing to a below-average .270 BABIP to account for the Tampa defense, his performance on contact is too strong to trust without a much more robust sample. It's very much a Drew Smyly situation, in that low hit rates might be part of his repertoire, but the results on contact are too extreme for any pitcher to maintain.
Jason Vargas, KC vs. CLE ($6300)
The Indians have struggled versus lefties this year, as virtually all of their heavy hitters lose the platoon advantage when an opposing southpaw toes the rubber. That effect is counteracted by the low quality of the southpaw in question today, as Vargas' 5.16 ERA this season is a bit high but not dramatically worse than par for the course of his career. Vargas could put up a surprisingly solid day, particularly if he minimizes the walks to help bring that frequency more in line with previous seasons, but the more meaningful implication for most DFS managers is that Ryan Raburn will likely be hitting in the Cleveland cleanup spot with the opposing left-hander on the mound.
Albert Pujols, 1B ($4400)
Pujols has been practicing one particular technique this season, and it finally appears to be working. He entered last Thursday's action with a disappointing line of .235/.284/.418, but after swatting six homers in six games, his new line for 2015 stands at .254/.303/.508, gaining 90 points of slugging percentage over the course of just six games. Pujols has made a habit of looking for pitches up-in during an at bat, and though he has seemingly leaned on that strategy for his entire career, it wasn't clicking for most of this season… that is until a week ago. Of those half-dozen bombs, five were hit on pitches that were either down the middle, up, or in of the number five on the strike zone keypad.
Unsurprisingly, Pujols has leaned on pull power to drive up his slugging percentage. Of the 14 homers that he has hit this season, all but two have been pulled towards left field, and the two exceptions were still hit left of centerfield. Pujols hasn't hit any doubles during his recent surge, with an all-or-nothing approach that revolves around his finding one pitch that he can deposit into the left-field bleachers. Facing the aforementioned Karns today, Pujols will have the chance to run his streak to seven-in-seven if Karns lets a pitch slip or has a late arm on a pitch, and though he rarely makes that mistake, Pujols only needs one.
Tonight's game in Denver (LAD-COL) could be dodgy, with scattered thunderstorms of varying ferocity. There is a ton of fantasy intrigue in this ballgame, so keep a close eye out if you plan to roster any Dodgers or Rockies – check here for updates
Scattered thunderstorms could also be raging across Kansas City (CLE-KC) with similar risk of delay as the game in Denver – check here for updates
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