Fantasy Baseball 2014: Daily Dose, April 8th

Chris Davis

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

 

I’m getting hooked.

Fantasy baseball is already fun enough. The drafting, the immense amount of waiver claims, the trades, you name it. But my favorite part about any fantasy game is the mass amounts of numbers available to us. It makes writing about this stuff so much more fun, while making it all the more intriguing to read.

So here I am, already addicted the daily fantasy baseball. However, it may surprise you to find that I’m not so much addicted to playing it as I am writing about it.

Lucky you.

Projected Starters

Wei-Yin Chen (BAL) Ivan Nova (NYY)
Kyle Lohse (MIL) Kyle Kendrick (PHI)
Trevor Cahill (ARI) Tim Hudson (SF)
Martin Perez (TEX) Felix Doubront (BOS)
Henderson Alvarez (MIA) Gio Gonzalez (WSH)
Tyson Ross (SD) Corey Kluber (CLE)
Bret Oberholtzer (HOU) Mark Buehrle (TOR)
Bartolo Colon (NYM) Aaron Harang (ATL)
Charlie Morton (PIT) Edwin Jackson (CHC)
Chris Archer (TB) Yordano Ventura (KC)
Homer Bailey (CIN) Lance Lynn (STL)
Jose Quintana (CWS) Franklin Morales (COL)
Max Scherzer (DET) TBD
Hector Santiago (LAA) James Paxton (SEA)

 

Catcher

Matt Wieters @ NYY - Wieters has number one catcher upside for Tuesday afternoon. He will be playing in a pretty friendly hitter’s park. And while it’s a bit better for left-handed bats, it doesn’t matter, as Wieters has that luxury of being a switch-hitter. Meanwhile, the guy is absolutely, positively raking against Yankees arm Ivan Nova. In 29 career at-bats against the Yankees’ righty, Wieters is batting an insane .379 with 11 hits, three doubles, four home runs and seven RBI. And over the past three seasons in Yankee stadium, Wieters is batting a strong .293 with five home runs (82 plate appearances). You can get him for a lot cheaper than some of the top tier catchers, but could be returned with elite level value in a great matchup.

First Base

Chris Davis @ NYY - Okay, I promise I’m not picking on the Yankees here, but both Wieters and Davis have owned Nova throughout their careers. Wieters’ numbers were good enough, but when you add the fact that Davis is batting .348 with three home runs and nine RBI in 23 career at-bats, and I’m not at all opposed to an Orioles stack on Tuesday afternoon. We all know Davis has immense power, and is easily the top candidate to lead the majors in home runs. Yankee stadium is a friendly venue for such hitters, seeing the ninth-most homers per game a season ago (1.128). It’s also arguably the best park for premiere left-handed power hitters, and there may not be a better one in baseball then Davis. Consider him one of the top plays among hitters for Tuesday’s slate.

Second Base

Brandon Phillips @ STL - I’ll always have a place in my heart for Phillips, so here he is. Phillips can certainly be volatile on a given night, but I like him in this outing against the Cardinals. Phillips is power that not many second baseman have, hitting exactly 18 home runs in each of the last four campaigns. Meanwhile, he will go against Lance Lynn, a pitcher who typically favors the fastball. He threw the heater on 73 percent of his pitches last season, the second-most among pitchers. That, via Brian Gambling of ESPN. Phillips improved on hitting the fastball last season, making contact 64 percent of the time, the highest of his career.

Third Base

David Wright @ ATL - You want to pay for power at the hot corner, and while Wright’s power has been diminishing, he still makes for a very, very good play against the Braves. First of all, he is off to a solid start to the season, and with Curtis Granderson now in the lineup to protect him, he should continue to see plenty of at-bats. But look at this guy’s splits against veteran Aaron Haarang. In 21 career plate appearances, Wright is batting .524 with one homer, seven RBI and four doubles. He has great upside, too, averaging a healthy 1.60 fantasy points per at-bat against Harang. Despite tailing off a bit, Wright is still one of the more pure hitters in baseball, and while Harang is coming off a great first outing, I think Wright will continue to have his number.

Shortstop

Jimmy Rollins vs MIL - A bit of a gut call here, as Rollins isn’t the safest option. However, unless you are paying up for Hanley or Tulo, aren’t you practically gambling at the shortstop position anyway? The Phillies play their home opener after a delay on Monday afternoon, a game which Rollins tends to show out. In fact, since 2005, Rollins is batting an impressive .406 in Phillies home openers, while sporting a .441 OBA and .688 slugging percentage. Kyle Lohse will be on the hill, a pitcher that has done well against Rollins in his career, but I have a good feeling about J-Roll in this one. Lohse is a guy who can give up the deep ball, surrendering a strong 26 homers a season ago, an 18.8 average for his career. Meanwhile, Citizens Bank Park is great for power, seeing the most home runs per game last year (1.517). An under the radar play, Rollins could be worth a look.

Outfield

Carlos Gomez @ PHI - Staying in the same game here, Gomez is a very intriguing guy to watch this week against a Phillies team that isn’t exactly deep in the pitching department. Kyle Kendrick will be on the bump for this game, a guy who has allowed 10 more home runs, 77 more hits and has allows one more stolen base to right-handed hitters over the last three season than left. Gomez is one of the rare players in baseball with both 30 home run power and 30-steal speed. He’s already got two dingers and a stolen bag to start the season, and now he’ll play in Citizens Bank Park, a venue that saw the most homers per game last season. Also, catcher Carlos Ruiz is more known for his bat than his arm, allowing a healthy 63 stolen bases a season ago. Combined that with Kendrick’s inability to throw very hard, and Gomez could easily steal a base or two in this one.

Other OF: Jose Bautista, Andrew McCutchen, Alejandro De Aza.

Starting Pitcher

Gio Gonzalez vs MIA - For you seasonal players, Gonzalez will be one of the top pitchers in all of fantasy for Week 2, as he gets two starts. The first of which is a home outing against an improving, but still rather weak Marlins offense that he has had success against. Over the last three seasons, Gonzalez is sporting a 1.76 ERA, has won four of six starts and has struck out 44 batters against Miami. And via Brian Gambling (again), the Marlins batted just .187 against cureballs a season ago, the fourth worst in baseball. Gio, meanwhile, threw the curve 21 percent of the time, leading all qualified starters. There could be some serious strikeout potential brewing.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant SportsYou can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.


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