Welcome to another edition of 2013 MLB Season Preview – MLB 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?
We will start our AL previews with the newest member of AL West, the Houston Astros.
The Astros had the worst record in MLB last year with only 55 wins, and it doesn’t look like it will be any different in their first year in the AL. They are trying to build a competitive team for the future but still have a long way to go. Free agent signee Carlos Pena gives them some needed veteran presence on a very young team, while their payroll is expected to settle in the $25 million range (amazing, when considering that Alex Rodriguez is set to make $30 million and he will be on the DL for majority of 2013 season).
Jose Altuve – 2B: Altuve is the biggest talent on this Astros roster. The 22-year-old second baseman made the All-Star team last year when he hit .290/.340/.399 and stole 33 bases. He has good potential to improve these numbers this season, and he will be a good play if his daily fantasy baseball price isn’t too high.
Matt Dominguez – 3B: Dominguez is another good young player, with only 154 at-bats under his belt. He hit .284/.310/.477 in 27 games last year and is set to be the everyday third baseman for the Astros in 2013, so he will get a chance to showcase his talent. He should be at or near the minimum price on every site which will make him an interesting value play with the right matchup.
YOU SHOULD AVOID
Carlos Pena – DH: Pena is an all-or-nothing kind of a guy. He will hit a home run every now and then, but he strikes out most of the time- his production slipped in 2012 to .197/.330/.354 with 182 strikeouts. He isn’t a good option for daily fantasy because he has more ways to hurt your team than to help it. He won’t give you anything else than the occasional home run, and there is a good chance he will erase that HR in your box score with couple of strikeouts. It’s safe to say I won’t be putting him into my lineup all season, and you should do the same.
Brett Wallace – 1B: Wallace hasn’t been able to meet the expectations the Astros had when they traded for him three years ago. He owns a .250/.323/.377 line for his 3-year career which is just not good enough for a power position like first base. He should come pretty cheap, but he just has such limited fantasy upside that it doesn’t translate into making him a good value play.
Justin Maxwell – CF: Maxwell’s power numbers came out of nowhere last year when he hit 18 HRs while batting .229/.304/.460 in 124 games. I don’t think he will hit that many home runs again this season, but even if he can he does not present a good fantasy play. He had an alarming 2.76 AB/K ratio last year, and he isn’t a big basestealing threat. There is too much risk with very little upside that you shouldn’t even think about putting him in your lineups.
Chris Carter – 1B/DH: Carter is another power hitter with a bad average and lots of strikeouts. He hit .239/.350/.514 in 218 ABs with Oakland last season, striking out 83 times which represents 2.63 AB/K. These types of hitters are not good for daily fantasy because their power is nullified by low average and high strikeout numbers.
Jordan Lyles – SP: Lyles is just 22 years old, so he has his whole career in front of him, but he struggled in 2012 when he posted 5.09 ERA in 25 starts last year. Considering the move to the tougher American League and his average strikeout numbers (6.3 K/9), there will be a lot of better, cheaper value plays to choose from over him.
PITCHER/HITTER MATCHUP TO WATCH
Jason Castro – C: Castro bounced back quite nicely last year after he missed all of 2011 with an injury. He hit .257/.334/.401 last season, but he is one of those left-handed hitters who just can’t hit lefties- his numbers against RHP are much better at .286/.373/.458. He should be pretty cheap in daily play and may be worth a look going against mediocre right-handed starters.
TARGET AT HOME
Lucas Harrell – SP: It may be crazy to think about playing an Astros pitcher this season, but Harrell is the one exception when pitching at home. He had his first full season as a starter in 2012 with a respectable 3.76 ERA, and he was great in his 13 home starts with a 2.34 ERA. He won’t be the greatest play, but if his price is low enough he can help your team to win.
Hope you’ve enjoyed our Houston Astros preview. Stay tuned for other MLB 2013 season previews, and don’t forget to check out our other articles here at Daily Fantasy Radio!