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MLB Daily Plays for April 3rd

Starting Pitcher Rankings (no afternoon game rankings)

Gio Gonzalez1. Gio Gonzalez WAS vs MIA- The Marlins aren’t any good. Anybody pitching against them is a solid play. Gio won’t be cheap for sure. Even if he can’t wiggle past Giancarlo Stanton, he should still dominate.

2. Matt Harvey NYM vs SD- I love Matt Harvey if you didn’t know. The only pitch he struggles with locating is his change-up. He is ridiculously cheap on Fanduel ($6,100) and ridiculously expensive on a site like Draftstreet (14,901). I’d still roster him in both with this dreamy matchup, playing at home versus the Padres.

3. Brandon Morrow TOR vs CLE- Morrow finally showed us in his shorter 2012 campaign what can happen when all his skills align. He showed dominance and Cy Young caliber stuff. Cleveland has some decent lefty bats or else Morrow would probably be my number 2 on this list.

4. Wandy Rodriguez PIT vs CHC- Playing at home against a team he’s had success against. Starlin Castro is the only bat I could see giving him real problems.

5. Tom Milone OAK vs SEA- Career 2.64 ERA versus the Mariners with over a strikeout per inning on average. He was much better at home (2.74 ERA) than he was on the road. If he can navigate the powerful righties of Seattle he could be in for a nice game. Note: I think you can find value in the other four above, but I figured this information was still important. I will NOT be rostering Milone.

Worst Five

1. Kevin Slowey- Slowey gave up a .345 AVG to lefties in 2011 and didn’t pitch in 2012. This won’t be pretty. Stack the Nationals.

2. Tim Lincecum- He’s garbage these days. Start your Dodgers.

3. Wily Peralta- The Rockies bats are hot, and they are going to get to him. The question is whether Wily can hang enough strikeouts up to get a little value.

4. Ubaldo Jimenez- The Jays don’t have any good left-handed batters, but they can hit for power. Ubaldo isn’t good at much these days, but he is good at giving up home runs. You should be rostering the power hitters of the Jays.

5. Clay Buchholz- Yanks light him up, but he was a great player over the last three months of 2012

Value Plays-

*Please do not roster a team of strictly value guys. I did not include any higher priced guys. However today there does seem to be a lot of talented players priced lower than they should be. For that reason, I will be spending a lot on starting pitching on all sites.

Matt Wieters C BAL @ TB- Wieters price is extremely low on all sites. I think he’s on the verge of finally coming into that top prospect hype that has followed his career. As we saw yesterday, he can hit the best in the game (HR off David Price). He draws a tough pitcher in Hellickson. I don’t think anybody can pass on the price tag though. Every person will be rostering Wieters. Don’t be that guy.

Jesus Montero C SEA@OAK- Montero has performed well against Milone in the past. This is another guy that you’ll see on everybody’s team everywhere. On a site like Draftstreet I will probably be rostering Wieters and Montero in a lineup because the value is so good. Only warning on Montero is that I’ve watched all his at bats this year, and he’s looked overmatched and lost. There is something to be said for that even though the match-up is enticing.

Brandon Belt 1B SF @ LAD- This is simply a lefty/righty play with Belt going against Beckett. Belt is so cheap and was smoking hot this Spring.

Ryan Howard 1B PHI @ ATL- Howard is priced at 4,918 on Draftstreet, and he’ll probably not even return that value with his propensity to strikeout against lefties, but that price is laughably low. If you are rostering three starters on Draftstreet I could totally understand rostering Howard. First and foremost, get Belt and settle for Howard.

Dan Uggla 2B ATL vs PHI- Uggla loves to face Halladay (1.019 OPS) but has also struggled with strikeouts against him. Halladay isn’t ‘The Doc’ anymore. I think Uggla could go yard for the second game in a row. Remember these are value plays.

Danny Espinosa 2B WAS vs MIA- He let me down on Opening Day, but I think he has built in profit at his position, price, match-up, etc… I don’t hold grudges.

Juan Francisco 3B ATL vs PHI- There’s not much value at the 3B position most places today. You are going to have to once again spend on the hot corner. If you decide to skimp, I like Juan Francisco. Francisco loves to hit righties, and Halladay could be in for a rough day.

Pedro Alvarez 3B PIT vs CHC- He’s strictly a speculative home run play. I think he could go deep. I also think he could go 0-4 with 3 Ks. Tread carefully.

Starlin Castro SS CHC @ PIT- He’s still priced like a middle tier shortstop, and he is a lot better than that. Take advantage of the price while you still can. It’s only going to rise from here.

Andrelton Simmons SS ATL vs PHI- Apparently, Draftstreet’s algorithm still thinks that Halladay can pitch.  Simmons is still way too cheap atop this Braves lineup even if you don’t like his match-up.

Michael Morse OF SEA @ OAK- See yesterday’s two homer performance then roster immediately.

Marlon Byrd OF NYM vs SD- If Byrd draws another start, 3,177 is way too low a price for anybody to pass up on. He’s the perfect guy to use if you want to go expensive in the pitching department.

Shin-Soo Choo OF CIN vs LAA- Choo gets the bad side of  a lefty/lefty split. He faces a solid lefty in C.J. Wilson, but he does have a home run against him in his 11 at bats. He’s only 5,554 on Draftstreet. That’s a travesty for what Choo offers on a nightly basis. Of all the risks to take, this may be the one with the highest upside.

Starling Marte OF PIT vs CHC- Welington Castillo will not be able to throw out Marte if he reaches base. I also think Marte could flash his power stroke. I think Pittsburgh wins this game, and I like to roster players from teams that I think are going to win. Makes sense, right?

Brett Gardner OF NYY vs BOS- I guarantee a stolen base. That’s all I can guarantee so Gardner’s price tag on Draftstreet of 5,731 only has profit if he scores a run to go along with that steal and hit/walk.

**STACK ALERT**

“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 Washington Nationals vs  MIA Kevin Slowey
  • All Los Angeles Dodgers vs Tim Lincecum
  • Atlanta Braves left-handed batters vs PHI Roy Halladay
  • Toronto Blue Jays power hitters and value speed vs CLE Ubaldo Jimenez
  • Elite Colorado Rockies hitters @ MIL Wily Peralta

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About Ben Pritchett

Member of the FSWA. Top 4 2012 Most Accurate Fantasy Baseball Expert. Top 3 Finisher in the 2012 DSFC football championship. Written for The Hardball Times and Daily Joust.

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