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?
Moving on to the NL Central, let’s take a look at the Chicago Cubs.
It´s been 104 years since the Cubs won the Fall Classic, and it looks like this drought won´t end anytime soon. The Cubs lost 101 games last year in their 3rd consecutive losing season. They have some young, exciting players, but they are still trying to find their team’s identity and turn their fortune around. They gave a four year contract to Edwin Jackson and also signed four cheaper players in Scott Feldman, Carlos Villanueva, Scott Hairston and Nate Schierholtz.
Starlin Castro – SS: Castro is only 22 and already has 2 All-Star appearances under his belt. He is .297 career hitter,his power numbers have improved each year and he stole 47 bases the last two seasons. Castro is a fast starter, with April being his best month of the season the last two years, posting a .348 and .333 average, respectively. It´s possible that his price will be really high on some sites but he is one of the players you really want to target.
Anthony Rizzo – 1B: Rizzo struggled in the Majors in 2011 and started 2012 in triple A. He was called up in June and managed to hit .285/.342/.463 in 85 games, while also having good strikeout numbers for a first baseman. He had much better numbers against right handers, so that’s the matchup you should look for. Rizzo’s price should be low enough to make him a good play, and he also has a lot of potential to improve his numbers.
Matt Garza – SP: Garza missed almost entire back half of last season with an elbow injury. Typically I recommend avoiding players coming off injury, but not Garza. According to reports, his elbow is fine and he will be able to have a normal off-season routine. He had great home splits with 2.12 ERA in 7 home starts last year. Garza is a good #1 pitcher when he’s healthy, and there is a chance you could get him for a discounted price.
Jeff Samardzija – SP: Samardzija turned his career around last season, posting a respectable 3.81 ERA over 28 starts in his first year as a starter. He was much better in 2nd half of the season with 2.58 ERA. That´s usually not a good thing when we are looking for plays in April, but this improvement is a really good sign for him in his first season as a starter. Samardzija also struck out 9.3 batters per 9 innings. There is no guarantee he will pitch as well this year, but I love his upside and value with a lower to middle tier salary.
YOU SHOULD AVOID:
Alfonso Soriano – LF: You may be surprised to see Soriano´s name in the “avoid” section, but he belongs here. While his power numbers have improved each season since 2009, he had 153 strikeouts last year and is a slow starter. At 37 years old, I have a strong feeling his production will start to slip soon. He might prove me wrong, but I’m staying far away.
David DeJesus – CF: DeJesus had a great 2010 season, but hasn´t come close to it since and only hit .263/.350/.403 last year. He is much better against RHP, so he could be a decent play later in the year. Given DeJesus’ slow starts the past two years, you should definitely avoid him in April.
Scott Feldman – SP: Feldman returned to Rangers starting rotation last year, posting an ugly 5.48 ERA in 21 starts. While there is a chance he will be better off pitching in the NL, it’s not something I would bet on. There is absolutely no reason to consider playing Feldman, and I might suggest targeting hitters facing him.
Carlos Villanueva – SP: Villanueva has been in and out of the bullpen his whole career, but the Cubs have said they plan to use him as a 5th starter. He has been better as a reliever, with 4.50 ERA, than he has shown to be as a starter. While his K/9 improved from 5.2 to 8.4, he still isn’t a good option right now. He might improve this season with an established role, but don´t even think about playing him in April.
PITCHER/HITTER MATCHUP TO WATCH
Wellington Castillo – C: Castillo became the starting catcher after Geovany Soto was traded in July. He played only 52 games, but still managed to hit a mind-blowing .476/.532/.667 against lefties. Of course 44 at-bats is a very small sample size, but these numbers are off the charts. If he continues this trend next season (of course he can´t keep hitting .476 over the long run), we will have a sneaky deep sleeper play for daily fantasy.
I hope you enjoyed this Chicago Cubs preview, and stay tuned for other 2013 MLB Season Previews. Also, don´t forget to check out our other articles on Daily Fantasy Radio.