Welcome to another edition of 2013 MLB Season Preview – Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy.
With the baseball season just a few weeks 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 team win, and which ones will you want to avoid in the first couple of weeks?
The Boston Red Sox are the next team up in our AL East previews.
The Red Sox are coming of an extremely disappointing season, one that found them last in the division with only 69 wins. That was their worst win total in a 162 game season since 1960! The Red Sox have had one of the busiest off-seasons to this point. They traded for manager John Farell, signed five free agents in Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew, Johnny Gomes, Shane Victorino and Koji Uehara and acquired their new closer Joel Hanrahan from the Pirates. It’s hard to predict how good this new Red Sox team is going to be this year, but I don’t expect them to reach the postseason in the super competitive AL East.
Dustin Pedroia – 2B: Pedroia’s production slipped a little last year when he hit .290/.347/.449, but he’s still one of the best and most consistent hitting second basemen in the game. He also won’t hurt you with strikeouts (9.38 K/AB), and has good base stealing potential with 46 SB over last two seasons. He will be in a higher salary tier, but he has a nice upside and you know what you paying for.
David Ortiz – DH: Big Papi is already 37 but he is still a great hitter. He finished last year hitting .318/.415/.611 with only 51 strikeouts in 324 ABs, and even if he regresses a bit this season he is still going to be nice daily fantasy play. UPDATE: Ortiz was sent on precautionary MRI yesterday due to discomfort in his heels, and this may become a concern, but as long as he is healthy he is a nice play.
YOU SHOULD AVOID
Mike Napoli – 1B/C: Napoli had a bad season last year after his awesome year in 2012. He hit just .227/.343/.469 opposed to .320/.414/.631 in 2011. There have been also some injury concerns this offseason when he was set to sign a three year contract with Boston, but they shortened it to just one year because they didn’t like something in Napoli’s medical records. He will be a very risky play, and you don’t have to take that risk with 15 games played five times a week.
Stephen Drew – SS: Drew saw his numbers go down each of the last two years, only hitting .223/.309/.348 in 79 games between the Dbacks and the A’s last year. There is no reason to think about playing a sub .250 hitter with little power, even for a low salary.
Jarrod Saltalamacchía – C: Saltalamacchia has very good power, but that’s the only positive he offers your daily fantasy lineup. He hit .228/.288/.452 over the last two seasons, striking out once every 2.96 at bats over that span. He has the potential to contribute negative fantasy points almost every night, and that’s something you clearly want to avoid.
Jon Lester – SP: Lester struggled badly last year, posting a 4.82 ERA in 33 starts. This fall could be interesting because he has finished with an ERA better than 3.50 each year from 2008-2011. It’s unclear what caused the off year, but I want to see him a few pitch a few games before trusting him again. He should have a cheaper price tag, and may become an interesting play on some sites a little later in the yea if he can return to form.
Clay Buchholz – SP: Buchholz is another Red Sox pitcher that had a down season in 2012, finishing with a 4.56 ERA in 29 starts. His whole career has been up and down to this point, so it’s tough to speculate on how he is going to do this year. He is an unnecessary risk when it comes to daily fantasy baseball.
PITCHER/HITTER MATCHUP TO WATCH
Shane Victorino – RF: Victorino has been a different player over the last three years, hitting .264/.334/.432 over that span as opposed to .289/.351/.435 from 2005-09. While his overall production has gotten worse, he is still a killer vs. LHP. He has averaged .321, .308 and .318 against the lefties, making him a very good play in these matchups. His struggles vs. righties should keep his price in a nice range.
Johnny Gomes – LF: There are not many players with a more dramatic difference in LHP/RHP splits than Gomes. He hit .299/.413/.561 last season and .311/.407/.456 in 2011 vs. LHP, while hitting for less than .200 average against righties. He strikes out a lot, but will be worth a look in GPP lineups against southpaw starters.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Baltimore Orioles preview, and stay tuned for other 2013 MLB Season Previews. Also, don’t forget to check out our other articles at Daily Fantasy Radio.