The Bats

Elvis Andrus, SS ($4000)

vs. LHP: .280/.352/.361, with 45-of-84 SB in 1144 PA

vs. RHP: .266/.326/.337, with 155-of-196 SB in 2747 PA

Andrus is not the player that we all anticipated, as the kid who brought .340 OBP's to the yard and wreaked havoc atop the Rangers batting order has gone backwards with the bat as he has aged. The 26-year old still has plenty of time to make good on his promise, but the odds of his doing so in a Ranger uniform are growing slimmer by the day, and the Rangers have finally accepted the truth and slid him down the batting order. Without the inflated runs count he becomes a serious liability, as a player with no power and few counts who's inefficiency on the basepaths makes him a risk for negative points when he does get on base. He gets the theoretical boost to his OPS through the platoon advantage, a factor which should come in handy today against Tommy Milone, but the ensuing dent to his thievery essentially negates any gains.

Join Doug in playing Baseball Prospectus Beat the Expert League on Draft Kings – click here for tournament lobby.

Details ($3 Entry):

  • Baseball Prospectus Private Daily Fantasy League
  • Starts tonight
  • Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 10: 8 fielders and 2 pitchers
  • Roster Format: 2 pitchers, 1 C, 1 1B, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 SS and 3 OF

Joey Butler, OF ($3800)

vs. LHP: .333/.367/.561 in 60 PA

vs. RHP: .306/.359/.444 in 78 PA

Butler was brought up as a lefty-masher, but he has displayed the skills to stick to pitchers from both sides during his brief stay. He brought a surprising power-speed combo to the table, with four homers and three steals in his first 33 big-league games. At 29 years old he may not be much of a keeper asset in season-long leagues, but for DFS he carries tremendous value for a very reasonable price, especially considering that the patchwork Rays have recently been sticking with Butler in the number-two spot in the order. With Butler having hit three of his four bombs and stolen all three of his bases against southpaws this season (he's 0-for-2 on steal attempts versus right-handers), and his going up against the 5.17 ERA of John Danks this evening, he presents a tremendous opportunity – seize it while the price is still friendly.

The Arms

Madison Bumgarner, SF vs. ARI ($10200)

Bummer has shown no ill effects from his yeoman-like workload last fall. In fact, his velocity has gone up from his 2014 peak (which happened to take place in the postseason). His walk rate is the lowest of his career, the K rate is within a big game of a batter-per-inning pace, and the only knock against him is an extra homer or two that has left the yard. He has a tough matchup today against the Diamondbacks, a team that leads the National League in runs per game. They're not just a product of their environment, either, as the club OPS is virtually the same whether looking at home versus road or right-handed pitchers versus southpaws. Paul Goldschmidt has faced Bumgarner more times in his career than any other pitcher (37 plate appearances) with middling results – Goldy has a .194 average but two doubles and a pair of homers, and the game could come down to who wins the matchup of the starts.

Hector Santiago, LAA vs. OAK ($7200)

Santiago's ERA of 2.55 is a full run lower than either of the previous two seasons, but the peripheral stats are pretty much in line with previous performance (which had been good for an ERA in the 3.50-3.75 range). The southpaw has upped his cutter usage this season, doubling his frequency of the pitch with solid results, including a ,204 batting average and .327 slug when the pitch ends an at-bat. The Athletics have struggled against left-handers this season, with a 635 OPS versus southpaws that is 98 points lower than versus right-handers,

Recency Bias

Ian Desmond, SS ($3700)

It's easy to take a step back and let hindsight guide our eyes to Desmond's four-year run of decline, but he was a relatively consistent option heading into this year. The batting average, on-base and slugging percentages are each on a four-season dip, but Desmond had been good for 20 homers and 20 steals every season along the way, that is until a 2015 season that has seen just five homers and one steal from Desmond through 60 games.

The slash currently stands at .237/.280/.373 on the season, and he has been particularly atrocious since the calendar flipped to June, going 6-for-36 with one double and one home run. Nats manager Matt Williams has responded by moving Desmond down in the batting order, from his previous spot in the two-hole to the sixth and eventually seventh spot in the lineup, and the continuous price drop is looking less and less like a bargain with each passing day.



Resources used for this article:

Baseball Prospectus Stats and Player Cards

Draft Kings player prices

Brooks Baseball


Thank you for reading

This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.

Subscribe now
You need to be logged in to comment. Login or Subscribe