Welcome to another edition of the 2013 Daily Fantasy Baseball Season Preview – Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy.
With the baseball season just a couple of months away, we’ll go through the roster of every MLB team and break it down from a daily fantasy baseball standpoint. Which players can help your teams win and which ones will you want to avoid in the first couple weeks?
Next in line for our NL East team previews are Atlanta Braves.
The Braves won 94 games last season, the same amount as the World Series champion San Francisco Giants, but lost in a wild card game to the St. Louis Cardinals. Braves fans will have to get used to life without Chipper Jones, who spent his entire 20-year major league career in Atlanta. The most important acquisition is free agent center fielder B.J. Upton who will replace still unsigned free agent Michael Bourn.
UPDATE: Braves traded Martin Prado and prospects for OF Justin Upton and 3B Chris Johnson today!
So what do these changes mean for daily fantasy players, and which names from the Braves roster should you remember?
Andrelton Simmons – SS – A Curacao native, Simmons has just 166 MLB ABs under his belt. He is a good contact hitter, and better versus lefties, posting a .305/.338/.458 line against them last season. He is probably not going to go nuts with fantasy points, but he will be an interesting cheap option versus southpaw starters, as well as on Monday and Thursday where there are fewer games.
Kris Medlen – SP – The 27 year old was promoted to the starting rotation from the Braves bullpen in August and his stats are mind-blowing. He’s 9-0 with an 0.97 ERA in 12 starts during 83.1 innings of work. He also had 84 strikeouts during that span. I am not sure what his salary will be come opening day, but there is nothing to suggest he shouldn´t be great this season. He won´t keep his ERA under 1, but he should be a great fantasy play.
Julio Teheran – SP – The best prospect entering the 2012 season had a wholly underwhelming season. I don´t have any idea why he struggled, but he is still only one year removed from being a great minor league pitcher. He is set to start the season as the no. 5 starter in Atlanta and should be for the minimum price across all the sites. There’s a good chance he can forget last season and move towards becoming the stud most believe he can be.
YOU SHOULD AVOID
B.J. Upton – CF – Upton is not the best fantasy player by any means. He average is below .250 the last 4 years and he struck out more than 150 times over that span. He has a very good power and speed, but can easily can kill your team by going 0-4 with 4 Ks. This will also be his first year in the NL after 8 seasons in Tampa so he will have to adjust.
Justin Upton – LF – The Upton brothers are reunited and both made my avoid list. Justin is a great player, and he finally can put all the trade rumors behind him and focus 100% on baseball. I think he will be a good pick for yearly fantasy, but he’s had a slow start in each of the last 3 seasons so it would be good to wait and see how he starts 2013. He may very well be an excellent pick in later months, but I’ll be avoiding him to start the season.
Juan Francisco – 3B - Francisco is in line to replace Chipper Jones at 3rd base. He had 192 ABs for the Braves last season hitting .234/.278/.432. He has some power but there is no reason to touch him with plenty of other cheap options available. UPDATE: Nothing is settled at this point, but Francisco may have just lost his starting spot to newly acquired Chris Johnson.
Tim Hudson – SP – Tim is a good veteran who knows how to pitch. He is still a decent player, but his ERA and K/9 have regressed the past two seasons. He is 37 years old now so there are no guarantees. I don´t hate him, but there should be much safer option around his price.
Pitcher/Hitter Matchups To Watch
Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman – RF and 1B – A duo of talented, young left-handed hitters, both players suffer from the same problem. They can´t hit lefties. Heyward´s 2012 LHP/RHP averages are .224/.300 and Freeman´s .237/.276 with even bigger difference in 2011. Make sure they´re playing against a righty before putting them into your lineups.
Chris Johnson – 3B – It´s too early to tell, but I can´t see any reason why Chris Johnson shouldn´t start at 3B over Francisco at least versus right handed pitching. He had a sneaky good campaign last season, with great splits versus RHP where he hit .295/.338/.481. I am not sure if he can do it again, but assuming his price will be in a lower tier means he may be a very good play in the right matchup.
IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT
Brian McCann – C – McCann is a 6-time All Star who had by far his worst season as a pro last year. If you can get him super cheap he might be worth a look. Keep in mind his production started to slip in August 2011 so there is no guarantee he will get better.
Hope you´ve enjoyed this Atlanta Braves preview. Stay tuned for other MLB 2013 season previews. Don´t forget to check out our other articles Daily Fantasy Radio.