April 11, 2014
Daily League Strategy
Sticking With Your Guys
I mentioned earlier this week about how sticking with a star player or two for several days can be advantageous even if they don’t deliver on the first day. You’ll see that trend pop up in our Friday lineup as a handful of the guys were also in the Tuesday rundown.
Lineup of the Day
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CATCHER – Salvador Perez ($5,399)
Perez is quietly on fire early on with the AL’s top batting average (.458) and baseball’s top OBP (.594). Obviously those numbers will come down, but even a 1-for-3 with a walk effort would work from the 12th-most expensive backstop.
FIRST BASE – Jose Abreu ($7,434)
Abreu is actually cheaper today than he was back on Tuesday when we used him (and he hit two HR for us!). He’s coming off another two-HR night on Thursday so let’s keep riding the hot hand as Carlos Carrasco doesn’t exactly strike fear in anyone.
SECOND BASE – Dustin Pedroia ($5,738)
Pedroia has obliterated lefties the last three seasons with his worst effort being 2012’s .305 AVG and .848 OPS. Perhaps a game against CC Sabathia is just what he needs to get going, as he’s off to a modest .565 OPS start with just a bundle of singles and exactly one RBI.
THIRD BASE – Trevor Plouffe ($6,541)
Plouffe does his best work against lefties and he gets one who is prone to rough spells in Bruce Chen. Plouffe is off to a good start this year, but he’s yet to pop his first homer. Here’s hoping we can cash it in against Chen tonight.
SHORTSTOP – Ian Desmond ($5,600)
Desmond is another guy we’re sticking with from earlier in the week and he’s even cheaper for us this time around! Hopefully he can stay hot after his grand slam on Thursday.
OUTFIELDER1 – Carlos Gomez ($7,189)
I’ve personally been using Gomez almost daily this year and he’s rewarded me with five multi-hit games, including three in a row. He’s been destroying lefties the last couple of years and his opponent on Friday, Francisco Liriano, is no expection: 8-for-16 with 2 HR and a 1.618 OPS. Remember, we don’t use batter-vs.-pitcher numbers to make our decisions because the samples are too small, but it doesn’t hurt to see that he destroys his opposing pitcher when we’ve already decided to use him.
OUTFIELDER2 – Alejandro De Aza ($7,782)
The unfortunate injury to Avisail Garcia solidifies De Aza’s spot in the lineup as he had been losing time to ensure that Dayan Viciedo gets some reps. Carrasco has been brutal against lefties in his career while all three of De Aza’s homers this year have come against righties.
OUTFIELDER3 – Michael Morse ($6,064)
Morse has risen from the dead, he rakes lefties, and Jorge De La Rosa has been brutal through two starts this year. For his career, De La Rosa has allowed an .807 OPS to righties compared to just a .640 against lefties.
UTILITY – Chris Davis ($7,623)
Like Plouffe, Davis is off to a solid start with plenty of base hits, but he’s yet to hit his first homer. Davis crushes righties, he kills it in Camden Yards, and his opponent for the night, Dustin McGowan, has a sharp platoon disadvantage against lefties (.828 career OPS, compared to .608 vs. righties).
STARTING PITCHER1 – Madison Bumgarner ($16,781)
I’m truly surprised to see MadBum south of $20,000 today. He’s one of the game’s best pitchers, he’s off to a great start, and he’s pitching at home where he has a career 2.89 ERA in 349 1/3 innings. It’s early, but the Rockies are already up to their old tricks with a stark home/road split posting just a .676 road OPS to date.
STARTING PITCHER2 – Rick Porcello ($13,568)
Porcello’s heavy ground-ball lean likely won’t allow him to take full advantage of Petco Park’s spacious , but he can take advantage of San Diego’s horrid offense. They haven’t been able to get anything going thus far with the league’s worst OPS against righties at .583. Sure it’s a small sample, but they had the league’s second-worst mark at 668 last year.
PITCHER – Tyler Skaggs ($10,137)
Skaggs was sharp in his debut, but the caveat of “in Houston” might make some cautious about investing. He gets another great matchup in the Mets, though. They haven’t been able to get anything going against lefties this year with a .564 OPS thus far and that just continues their trend of futility as they had the third-worst OPS last year with a .671.
Money left in lineup: $144
Don’t be afraid to utilize a player a day after a huge game. Too often I’ve heard something to the effect of “I was going to use him, but he’s coming off of a 4-for-4 night” as if that somehow precludes him from another huge night. That is faulty logic that can keep you from rostering a great option.
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Paul Sporer is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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