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 up on our trek through the NL Central is the 2012 Division Champions, the Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds won 97 games last year but lost to the Giants in the NLDS. They’ve had a pretty quiet offseason to this point, only signing free agent Jonathan Broxton and trading for Shin-Soo Choo from Cleveland. They’re aiming for a third division title in the last four years and hope to make a deeper run into the postseason.
Joey Votto – 1B: Votto missed 50 games last season thanks to a knee injury, but he is still one of the best hitters in the game. He’s led the league in OBP the last three years, and he had an OPS better than .947 over the last four seasons. If you want a high salary star in your lineup, Votto will not lead you astray.
Todd Frazier – 3B: Frazier had a great rookie season last year and finished third in Rookie of the Year voting. While his strikeout numbers are a concern (K/4.1 AB), it’s tough to ignore his upside after hitting .273/.331/.498 with 19 HRs and 67 RBIs last season. He may be better suited for GPP lineups due to strikeouts but should provide a good option for his price.
Johnny Cueto – SP: Cueto is the ace of the Reds rotation and rightfully so. He’s shown great consistency the last two years with a 2.58 ERA over 57 starts. Last April he posted a 1.39 ERA and will be a great play if his price is anything less than top tier.
Homer Bailey – SP: Bailey has always had the potential to be a really good pitcher, but injuries have derailed his career up to this point. 2012 was his first healthy season, and his stats dramatically improved as he posted a career best 3.68 ERA in 208 innings. If he can stay healthy again this year, I expect those improvements to continue. He will provide a good option if he’s priced in the low- to mid-salary tier.
YOU SHOULD AVOID
Shin-Soo Choo – CF: Choo had a bounce back 2012 season after a down year in 2011. He hit .283/.373/.441 which makes him a very good CF option for yearly fantasy players, but there is a couple of reasons you should avoid him in daily fantasy. He’s a slow starter, as we saw April being his worst month last year. He will probably need an adjustment period after moving from the AL to the NL, and his 150 strikeouts from last season will hurt your daily lineups.
Ryan Ludwick – LF: Ludwick is coming off his best season since 2008 as he managed to hit .275/.346/.531 last year. Despite those numbers, you want to avoid him in April because, like Choo, he is really slow starter. His April averages were .198 and .190 the last two years, respectively, and there is absolutely no reason to put a sub.200 hitter into your lineup.
Mat Latos – SP: Latos is an exciting young pitcher and seems like a great daily fantasy play on the surface. Digging into his April stats, you will see he is atrocious in the early going, posting a 5.73 ERA in 13 starts the last three years. I have no idea why he is so bad, but I wouldn’t trust him against AA competition in April, let alone against your daily fantasy opponents. If the trend continues, and his price reflects the slow start, he will be a great play later in the season when he gets back on track.
Bronson Arroyo – SP: Arroyo is a workhorse who has pitched at least 199 innings each of the last eight years. He was better last year than in 2011, but he has one problem for daily fantasy – he doesn’t strike anybody out! His K/9 was under six each of the last four years, severely limiting his daily fantasy upside. Arroyo almost needs a near-perfect start to become a leader in fantasy points any given night.
Aroldis Chapman – SP: The young Cuban is a special case as he is set to move his electric stuff from the bullpen to the starting rotation. We’ve seen this move fail with other hard-throwing relievers in recent years (Daniel Bard, Neftali Feliz), but Chapman was a starter in Cuba so he has experience on his side. If he is able to find success, he has the stuff to become one of the top left-handed starters. I’d recommend waiting a couple of starts before playing him, but he can be high risk-high reward pick for GPP lineups in April.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Cincinnati Reds preview, and stay tuned for other 2013 MLB Season Previews. Also, remember to check out our other articles at Daily Fantasy Radio.