Welcome to another edition of the 2013 MLB 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 standpoint. Which players can help your team win, and which ones will you want to avoid in the first couple of weeks?
The second team in our NL West previews is the Colorado Rockies.
Colorado really struggled last year in winning only 64 games, which was good for last place in the NL West. Unfortunately, they haven’t done much to improve their team this offseason. Their biggest move up to this point was trading for reliever Wilton Lopez. Although a couple of players will be returning from injuries (Tulowitzki, De La Rosa), there isn’t much hope for big improvement this season, and they should end up near the bottom of the standings again.
Carlos Gonzalez – LF: CarGo is one of the premier hitters in the league, hitting .303/.371/.510 in 2012 and .313/.371/.547 over the last three years combined. He had a slow start in 2011, but his ’10 and ’12 numbers prove that it was just an anomaly. His home splits are much better, so daily fantasy baseball players should target him in home games. You will have to pay a steep price to roster him daily, but he is one of the stars worth that kind of price.
Josh Rutledge – 2B: Rutledge was called up last July and played 73 games for the Rockies. He hit .274/.306/.469 with a great start right out of the gate. He struggled in September (definitely something to watch out for), but if he can keep his numbers near his line from last season he will be a nice play for a minimum price.
Michael Cuddyer –RF: Cuddyer had a down season in his first year as a Rockie after spending his first eleven seasons in Minnesota. He hit .260/.317/489 with 16 HRs and 58 RBI in just 101 games. I expect him to improve on these numbers this season because of a better familiarity with NL pitching and hopefully better health. He had two nice starts in the last three seasons, so he should be a very solid play in April.
YOU SHOULD AVOID
Todd Helton – 1B: Helton will be 40 in August, so he is not getting any younger and his stats prove it. He had by far the worst season of his 16-year career in 2012 hitting just .238/.343/.400 in 69 games. And to hit rock bottom, he was arrested February 6th for suspicion of DUI. There is no way I am touching him in daily fantasy, and you should stay far away as well.
Dexter Fowler – CF: Fowler is coming off of his best season in 2012. He hit .300/.389/.474 in 143 games, so he looks like a great daily fantasy play. However, look a little deeper and you will see that April was by far his worst month of the season and that he posts better numbers in the second half of the season throughout his career. If he can repeat his 2012 numbers, he will be a sick play later in the season, but history has shown us that he needs time to get it going.
Chris Nelson – 3B: Nelson, like Fowler, had a breakout season last year with a .301/.352/.458 split in 111 games. But just like Fowler, he too had a bad start with a .226/.305/.320 slash line in April and was even worse in May. He should be a great play later in the year, but stay away until he gets hot. His home/away splits are also interesting at a .347/.257 average in favor of the home park, something to keep in mind in your daily fantasy baseball lineups.
Entire Pitching Rotation – SP: This is a special case of fading an entire pitching rotation in one fell swoop, but there is no other choice. The Rockies gave up an MLB-worst 890 runs last season, and there is nobody from the rotation you can play with confidence. Of course, part of the reason is that they play 81 games in the most hitter-friendly park in the MLB, but aside from that, this staff has also had its share of injuries over the past few years. You really can’t expect much from them; Jhoulys Chacin posted their lowest ERA at 4.43. Fade them all and target the hitters against them, especially in Colorado.
PITCHER/HITTER MATCHUP TO WATCH
Wilin Rosario – C: The young catcher had a very successful 2012 season with a .270/.312/.530 line. However, he was much better against lefties at .348/.381/.759. He struggled in April and May but was great later in the season, a good sign for a young hitter like Rosario. It’s hard to ignore a 1.140 OPS against lefties- keep him in mind as the season progresses.
IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT
Troy Tulowitzki – SS: When healthy, Tulo is arguably the best-hitting shortstop in the game. He was limited to just 47 games due to injuries in 2012, but he has been medically cleared to play in the WBC next month, a good sign for the upcoming season. He will be a great play on sites where you can get him for a discounted price, but it wouldn’t be smart to risk paying a full salary for him until he proves he is healthy and back in his superstar form.
Hope you’ve enjoyed our preview of the Colorado Rockies. Stay tuned for other MLB 2013 season previews, and check out our other articles Daily Fantasy Radio!