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?
Let’s move on in our AL Central previews to the Kansas City Royals.
Kansas City ended the year at third place in the Central Division with 72 wins. They have a very talented, young core of position players, so their focus in the offseason was addressing their starting rotation. They restructured it in acquiring Ervin Santana from the Angels and James Shields with Wade Davis from the Rays. If things go right for this team, they could be aiming for their first winning season since 2003.
Alcides Escobar – SS: Escobar found his bat last year after struggling in his first two full seasons in the bigs. He hit .293/.331/.390 in 155 games last season while stealing 35 bases. He is still just 26 years-old, so there is a good chance he will continue to hit well this year. He will be a nice play if he can come close to his 2012 numbers, and I believe he can.
Billy Butler – DH/1B: Butler isn’t considered to be an elite hitter despite his consistently good performance. He hit .313/.373/.510 last season, and he owns a .306/.371/.483 line over the last four years. I don’t expect his price to be in the top tier because he is not a household name like Pujols, Votto or Fielder, and if so, he will be a good play at an even better value.
Salvador Perez – C: Perez is one of the best-hitting, young catchers in the league. He owns a .311/.339/.471 in his two-year major league career so far. He battled through some injuries last season that limited him to just 71 games. If he can stay healthy this season, his potential is through the roof. He also struck out only once every 9.3 AB, so he is a solid play for daily fantasy. Similar to Butler, he could be much cheaper than the better known catchers in the league (Posey, Wieters, Santana), and his production shouldn’t be too far behind these guys.
James Shields – SP: Shields was traded after seven seasons in Tampa, so there is some concern as to how he will adapt to his new team and division. That being said, his production over the last two seasons has been great as he posted a 3.15 ERA in 477 innings over that span, totaling 14 complete games and six shutouts. Shields will give you a high volume of innings every start, while his K/9 ratio is also very good at 8.5. He is one of the best options when it comes to innings and consistency.
YOU SHOULD AVOID
Eric Hosmer – 1B: Hosmer was the #8 prospect in the country before the 2011 season, and he was very solid in his rookie year when he hit .293/.334/.465 that year. His numbers fell significantly last season, however, when he posted a .232/.304/.359 line. It’s hard to pin down the reason behind that fall- was it the “sophomore slump” or have pitchers figured him out?- but I would wait and see how he starts the year before playing him in your daily fantasy baseball lineup.
Jeremy Guthrie – SP: Guthrie was surprisingly productive since his trade to KC last year. He posted a 3.16 ERA in 14 starts as a Royal, his best stretch in years. Sadly, I am not convinced he can repeat this success. Regardless, his style of pitching doesn’t translate to good daily fantasy play, with a lack of strikeouts as the main culprit as evident by his 5.3 K/9 ratio over the last three years.
Ervin Santana – SP: Santana is coming off of a bad 2012 season where he finished with a 5.16 ERA in 30 starts. He gave up the most HR in the league with 39 and has been home run-prone throughout his career. Being traded to a hitter-friendly ballpark is scary for pitcher like him and should scare away his daily fantasy baseball owners alike.
Bruce Chen – SP: Chen was able to stay healthy all season for the first time since 2005, but he didn’t pitch as well, posting a 5.07 ERA in 34 starts. He has been a mediocre pitcher his whole career, and there is not much hope for any significant improvement.
PITCHER/HITTER MATCHUP TO WATCH
Alex Gordon – LF: Gordon turned his career around two years ago after he struggled in his first four seasons in the Majors. He managed to hit .298/.372/.478 over the last two seasons. He is a better play vs. RHP, hitting .320/.398/.510 in 412 AB vs. righties last season. In the “righty” kind of matchup, Gordon will be a very good daily fantasy play.
Hope you’ve enjoyed our Kansas City Royals preview, and stay tuned for more MLB 2013 season previews to come. Don’t forget to check out our other articles here at Daily Fantasy Radio!