Yu Darvish- RHP (9,500)- TEX@HOU-
I was one of the first to tout the legitimacy of Darvish’s skill set last year. I stuck through the early, rough patches, and now he’s on the verge of putting all the pieces together. He mixes in more pitches than you can count and throws them all with elite movement. Last year, Yu struggled with control, but always exhibited un-hittable offerings throughout the year. Through September and into this Spring we have seen Yu settle down nicely into a future Cy Young contender. Yu gets to start 2013 in Houston. Oh wait.. He’s playing the Astros. Don’t worry about all that skills stuff I just wrote. He’s playing the Astros. Where do I sign?
R.A. Dickey- RHP ($6,900)- TOR vs CLE
Toronto wanted Dickey because he owns the dome. Dickey wanted to play in Toronto because he owns the dome. It’s time for us to look past the World Baseball Classic showing and recognize that Dickey still throws an 80 mph knuckleball, and he faces Cleveland which has yet to see anything like that pitch. I think Dickey will struggle towards the end of the season as the American League adapts. But you people forget that Dickey led the NL in strikeouts last year en route to his Cy Young. $6,900 for a reigning Cy Young playing at home that led the league in strikeouts seems like highway robbery to me. For now ignorance is bliss with Dickey. I think he has a nice showing and may fit easier into budgets than Darvish.
- Marco Estrada - RHP ($6,600) – MIL vs COL
- Jarrod Parker – RHP ($6,200) – OAK vs SEA
A.J. Pierzynski- ($3,200) TEX@HOU-
No-brainer play of the day. Pierzynski rakes against right-handed pitching especially bad, righties like Harrell. In fact he hit 24 of his 27 homers against righties in 2012. A.J. is priced way to low for this kind of matchup. At 36, he’s no spring chicken, but this isn’t yearly fantasy so you don’t need to worry about anything except for here and now. It doesn’t get much better than this.
- Jonathan Lucroy ($3,300) – MIL vs COL
- Buster Posey ($3,900) – SF @ LAD
Allen Craig ($3,500) - STL@ARI-
Finding the perfect first baseman was pretty difficult for me. I’m not in love with any of the options. Craig gets the nod because I love his skill set at this price. Cahill has been awesome this Spring and looks to be really pounding that sinker into the ground early which is odd for sinker ball pitchers as the sinker is somewhat of a “feel” pitch that takes time to regain control after the offseason. ::breath:: Cahill has not pitched well against righties over the last two years. If anybody can get to him on the Cardinals on this day, it will be Craig.
- Mitch Moreland ($2,500) – TEX@HOU *if starting*
- Kendrys Morales ($3,300) – SEA@OAK
- Edwin Encarnacion ($4,300)- TOR vs CLE
Marco Scutaro ($3,100) – SF@LAD-
Marco Scutaro hit .382 at Dodger Stadium last year which is the best he hit at any ball park. He gets the Korean lefty Hyun Jin Ryu, and I think that should be seen as favorable. I expect Ryu to have some nerves, and Scutaro has ice in his veins. Scutaro hasn’t been awe-inspiring this Spring and won’t hit you any home runs for you. I think he has a chance to do the other things and at a 3,100 dollar price tag, he should free you up some space for Darvish or one of those high salary superstars at the other positions.
- Ian Kinsler ($3,900) – TEX@HOU
- Aaron Hill ($3,600) – ARI vs STL
- Rickie Weeks ($3,700) – MIL vs COL
Aramis Ramirez ($4,000) – MIL vs COL-
For the second straight day, Aramis makes this list. I love Aramis against left-handed pitching (Jorge De La Rosa), but this is more of an indictment against the Colorado pitching staff as a whole. Aramis owns Belisle and Wilton Lopez out of the bullpen. I doubt we’ll see De La Rosa ever get comfortable or go deep in this game against the formidable righties of Milwaukee. Weather permitting, Aramis is my play of the day as this game could get nasty really fast.
- Adrian Beltre ($3,900) – TEX@HOU
- Matt Carpenter ($3,200) STL@ARI
- Pablo Sandoval ($3,700) SF @ LAD
Jean Segura ($3,200) – MIL vs COL-
Stolen bases and runs. When you are buying Segura as your shortstop, those are the categories you are going after. Wilton Rosario is better than you think at throwing runners out, but I expect a rout of the Rockies so there should be plenty of runs to go around. You could justify Reyes and Lowrie quite easily over Segura. Betting on stolen bases is really hard to do. So if you have the money, Reyes is probably the better play, but I think I’ll stick to the cheap/risky strategy here and go Segura or Lowrie.
- Jose Reyes ($4,000) - TOR vs CLE
- Jed Lowrie ($3,100) – OAK vs SEA
Jose Bautista TOR vs CLE $4,400
Jose Bautista and players like him are the reason I started writing about fantasy baseball and fantasy sports in the first place. Nothing gets me more excited than to see players overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Nowadays, there is a lot of pressure on Bautista to lead this Jays team to the promised land. I think he has every bit the ability he had pre-wrist surgery. You might be better served to spend this kind of dough on Braun as everybody else will be buying Braun in the DFBC. To separate your line-up from the field with an equally dangerous daily player to Braun, I would target Bomb-tista. You can’t tell me these guys aren’t going to be looking to put on a show, eh.
Leonys Martin TEX@HOU $2,800
EDIT – MARTIN IS NOT STARTING – CRAIG GENTRY IS STARTING
I don’t think Lucas Harrell has the chops to stick in this game. Rangers are still quite powerful, and I like the idea of using Martin as the nine-hole hitter with Kinsler leading off. If Martin gets on base, look for Ron Washington to move him often. Jason Castro does not have the good of an arm, and Harrell isn’t that quick to the plate. Don’t forget that Martin has a little pop in his bat and could drive a double into the deep, open alleys at Minute Made.
Ryan Braun MILvs COL $4,500
This is exactly what I wrote yesterday, and it remains true on today as well. “It’s Ryan Braun, and Colorado doesn’t have a pitcher that can assuredly shut Braun down. He could put up the biggest day of all hitters, but you better bring your wallet as he is the second most expensive hitter behind Mike Trout $4,700.”
Josh Reddick OAK vs SEA $3,200
Reddick is a roll-of-a-dice. He has ridiculous power that can even reach in Oakland’s spacious dimensions. Unfortunately, that is all he is. At $3.200, you are gambling that he can hit one home run for you and set up your other higher priced players. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma hasn’t been very dominant this Spring, and I’m banking on a lag to start this season. It may be a bit of a perfect storm I’m waiting on, but sometimes you have to take a risk like this to win a tournament like the DFBC.
- Hunter Pence ($3,500) – SF @ LAD
- Melky Cabrera ($3,600) – TOR vs CLE
- Emilio Bonifacio ($3,200) – TOR vs CLE
- David Murphy ($3,300) – TEX@HOU
- Carlos Gomez ($3,300) – MIL vs COL
“Stacking” is the term given to playing multiple players from the same team in your lineup. In baseball, it can especially be effective because you get credit for bringing in other players via RBI and scoring runs. So if you stack a few players from the Mets and they score 10 runs, the odds are that your Mets players will have a nice night because of hits, RBIs, and runs scored.
- All Texas Rangers @ HOU Lucas Harrell
- Milwaukee Brewers right-handed batters vs COL Jorge De La Rosa
- Elite Toronto Blue Jays hitters vs CLE Justin Masterson
- San Francisco right-handed batters vs LAD Hyun Jin Ryu
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