Lineups are pouring in. Let’s hunt for some values.
The No. 1 strategy in MLB daily games is getting points out of your pitcher and the best way to do that is to lock down a stud like Clayton Kershaw or David Price. (See which pitchers I think are the best plays today).
To roster one of those beasts, you’re going to have to go cheap at most of your hitter spots. But if you find enough values you can get yourself a Mike Trout or a Miguel Cabrera. (These are the hitters I’m targeting today.)
That’s what this hunt is about. Finding absolute bottom of the barrel options provided opportunity at Draft Kings.
We’re looking for starters under $3,000. They may not have great spots in the lineup, but we’re looking for lineup relief and a chance at some decent stats:
This list was last updated at 12:45 p.m. April 6
C Caleb Joseph, BAL, $2,800, or C Ryan Hanigan, CIN, $2,700 — I’m going with John Jaso almost across the board today, but if I need to go to the basement at catcher I’m going with one of these guys. Joseph, starting for the injured Matt Weiters, actually has a decent wOBA matchup against Chris Archer so he’s probably worth the extra $100.
1B Tyler Moore, WAS, $2,700 — Moore is starting in left field and batting eighth for the Nationals. He faces Bartolo Colon, the eighth-best wOBA matchup of the day. He had a strong spring, but other than that I don’t know a ton about Moore.
2B Dan Uggla, WAS, $3,000 or Devon Travis, TOR, $3,000 — As of this writing, there are no confirmed starting second basemen under $3,000, so we’re going as low as we can. Uggla is 35 and played in just 52 games last season, but he was once a slugger with 30-homer power facing 41-year-old pitcher. Stranger things have happened. I know little about Travis. He’s never played above the double-A level, but he has some hitting upside from what I’ve read.
UPDATED 2B: Johnny Giovatella, $2,500, is confirmed as the starter for the Los Angeles Angels. He had a great spring and was an on-base, base-stealing threat in the minors. Alberto Callaspo, $2,800, is starting for the Braves.
3B Xander Bogaerts, BOS, $3,500, or Cody Asche, PHI, $3,400 — Like with the 2Bs there’s not a confirmed starter under $3,400 at 3B. There are two Padres candidates — Yangervis Solarte and Will Middlebrooks — but they’re facing Clayton Kershaw in San Diego’s pitcher’s delight of a park. According to reports Bogaerts has been working on his swing. Hamels is tough, but not a terrible wOBA matchup for him. Meanwhile, Asche gets a great on-paper matchup against Clay Buchholz.
UPDATED 3B: Kelly Johnson, ATL, $2,900, and Ryan Flaherty, BAL, $3,100 are starting. Neither is an offensive wizard, but Flaherty had a decent spring.
SS Freddy Galvis, PHI, $3,200, and Yunel Escobar, WAS, $3,200 — Again, no confirmed players under $3,000. Jose Iglesias is $3,100, but I’d pay the extra $100 for either of these guys if you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel for your SS today. Galvis gets to face the aforementioned Buchholz and Escobar gets the aforementioned Colon, both positive matchups on paper.
OF Eric Young Jr., ATL, $3,300, OF Jake Marisnick, HOU, $3,200, Jordan Schafer, MIN, $3,300 — Again we don’t have any confirmed value plays under $3,000, so we we’ll go with what we have. Young is batting leadoff, so he’s the top option out of this crew. He hit .229 with 30 stolen bases last season. The Braves are bad. Schafer also had 30 steals last year and hit .238. Marisnick is known more for his defense.
Good luck today and every day. Enjoy the baseball.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: EP has been playing fantasy sports since 1996. He is among the top third of overall players at RotoGrinders.com. He won two NBA GPPs this season, his first dedicating significant time to NBA lineups, and is among the top 32% among hockey players. He’ll use the same methods during MLB season.