Welcome to another edition of the 2013 MLB Season Preview – MLB Daily Fantasy 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 team win, and which ones will you want to avoid in the first couple of weeks?
The Cleveland Indians are the next team in our AL Central previews.
The Tribe won just 68 games last season, but they’ve had one of the busiest offseasons up to this point. They sent RF Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati and acquired Drew Stubbs and great pitching prospect Trevor Bauer, among others, in a series of trades. They’ve made a statement by signing three high-profile free agents in Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher,and Mark Reynolds. “Tito” Francona’s team hopes that these moves will pan out, and if they do, the Indians may surprise a lot of people this year like the Oakland Athletics did last season.
Michael Bourn – CF: Bourn is simply the best type of player for daily fantasy baseball because he can help your team in every scoring category. He hit .274/.348/.391 last year and stole 42 bases. He is also a fast starter with an April average of over .300 in two of the last three years. Strikeouts are the main concern with Bourn, at around 4 AB/K, and he will also have to adjust to American League pitching. Still, he has very good daily fantasy baseball upside.
Asdrubal Cabrera – SS: Cabrera is a very good, consistent shortstop. He hit .272/.335/.443 over the last two years, with very similar numbers between 2011 and 2012. His consistency is important for daily fantasy baseball because he will give you a solid game more often than not. His numbers throughout the year are also pretty even so you know what you are paying for.
YOU SHOULD AVOID
Mark Reynolds – 3B: Reynolds has a very good power stroke, but he can hurt your team more than help it. He hit just .221/.335/.429 last year, and he also led the league in strikeouts in four of the last five seasons. He struck out once every 2.63 AB over that span. He is an overall bad play, unless you want to go completely out of the box in a GPP lineup, but he can easily end up in negative fantasy points on a daily basis.
Drew Stubbs – RF: Stubbs is a similar type of player as Reynolds but without as much of the power bat. His numbers have been worse each year since his 2009 rookie year, and he hit just .213/.277/.333 in 2012. He is a base-stealing threat, but that’s not nearly enough to overcome his bad average and strikeout numbers.
Ubaldo Jimenez – SP: Ubaldo has fallen apart since his All-Star year in 2010 when he finished with a 2.88 ERA. He posted a 5.03 ERA over the last two years in 63 starts. There is no reason to even think about putting him into your lineup until he shows some signs of improvement, and I am not convinced he can find his groove again.
Justin Masterson – SP: Masterson has been up and down his whole career. He had his worst season with a 4.93 ERA after his best campaign in 2011 when he finished with a 3.21 ERA. You never know what you can expect from him. The best approach is just to wait and see how he starts in 2013. Don’t play him unless he shows his 2011 form.
PITCHER/HITTER MATCHUP TO WATCH
Carlos Santana – C/1B: Santana hit .252/.365/.420 in 143 games last year. He is a switch-hitter with his right side being his natural side, and thus his better success comes against lefties. He hit .273/.388/.420 vs. LHP last year, which isn’t a huge difference, but he struck out 1.44 times less against lefties, a definite improvement. He also hit .318/.428/.536 against southpaws in 2011, so his history shows he is a very good play vs LHP.
Jason Kipnis – 2B: Kipnis is your typical left-handed hitter that struggles against left-handed pitching, hitting .257/.335/.379 last year but with splits against right-handers at .280/.355/.432. His struggles against lefties could keep his price down, so he could become a nice cheap play depending on the opposing pitcher.
Michael Brantley – LF: Brantley’s numbers have improved in each of the last three years. He finished with a .288/.348/.402 slash line last year. Brantley is left-handed and, similar to Kipnis, is shows a much better batting approach versus RHP. He posted a .299/.359/.426 line against righties with only 30 strikeouts in 371 AB. He showed some surprising power against righties as well, hitting 25 doubles and 6 HR against them. He will be a very solid daily fantasy play when facing right-handed starters.
Hope you’ve enjoyed our Cleveland Indians preview, and stay tuned for other MLB 2013 season previews. Don´t forget to check out our other articles here at Daily Fantasy Radio!