Welcome to another edition of 2013 MLB Season Preview – Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy.
With the baseball season just a few weeks 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?
As we continue through the AL East, we take a look at New York Yankees.
The Yankees won the AL East last year with 95 wins, but got swept by Detroit in ALCS. They are trying to trim the payroll to avoid luxury tax in 2014, so they have been focusing on re-signing their “core players” in Andy Pettite, Mo Rivera and Hiroki Kuroda. The pinstripes signed Travis Hafner and Kevin Youkilis in the off-season, and they’ll be looking for them to fill the void left from injuries to Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez. This year’s Yankees don’t look as good as last year, but don’t count them out because they always seem to find a way to stay in the hunt.
Ichiro Suzuki – RF: Ichiro isn’t getting any younger, but he is still an exceptional hitter and his game is very well suited for daily fantasy baseball. He hit .283/.307/.390 last season with one strikeout for every 10.31 at bats, and stole 29 bases. Despite mediocre power numbers, he can really fill the stat sheet and is going to be a solid play on a most nights.
Robinson Cano – 2B: Cano is arguably the best hitting second baseman in the league, and you really can’t go wrong choosing a star like him. He’s proved to be one of the most consistent hitters around, batting .314/.365/.534 over the last four years. He was much better against righties last season, so that is the matchup you’ll want to target him in. While he’ll be one of the most expensive players available, he also provides one of the biggest fantasy upsides on a daily basis.
Brett Gardner – CF: Gardner isn’t the best player in the world, but his game is great for daily fantasy. He played only 16 games last season, due to injury, but he is healthy once again and playing well in spring training. He finished the 2011 season hitting .259/.345/.369, and added 49 SB. He will be a very good play, and you can likely get him for a discounted price as a result of the injury that held him out last year.
C.C. Sabathia – SP: Just like Cano, Sabathia is one of the “can’t miss” star players. He has been great throughout his career, posting a 3.38 ERA last season – which happened to be the worst ERA he’s had since the 2005 season. He also boasts a solid K/9 rate (8.9 K/9 in 2012), which is a key to any pitchers daily fantasy value. His salary will be sky high, but he will be worth it on nights you can find enough cheap sleepers to fill in around him.
Hiroki Kuroda – SP: Kuroda is not considered a star, and is kind of an under the radar player, but he has been posting consistent numbers ever since he came to play in the MLB. He finished last season with a 3.37 ERA in 219.2 innings, and had solid strikeout numbers at 6.8 K/9 last year. I don’t expect his price to be too high, and he may represent better value than Sabathia in good matchups.
YOU SHOULD AVOID
Kevin Youkilis – 3B: Youk has been a different hitter the last two seasons, batting .246/.355/.434 over that span. He’s only 33 years old, so it’s possible he can once again be that .300 hitter we used to know. However, until he shows significant improvement he isn’t a viable daily fantasy player.
Travis Hafner – DH: Hafner has always known how to hit, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. His performance took a huge hit last year when he hit just .228/.346/.438. He should be better than that, but there are no guarantees and as you may know these types of power hitting low average guys aren’t ideal for daily fantasy. There will be better options to put in your lineup than Hafner.
Ivan Nova – SP: Nova looked like a future star pitcher in 2011, posting a 3.70 ERA in 27 starts. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to live up to the expectations last year as he saw his ERA slip to 5.02, giving up 28 HR in 170.1 innings. He managed to improve his strikeouts from 5.3 to 8.1 K/9, but his poor 2012 season makes him too questionable for daily fantasy lineups.
PITCHER/HITTER MATCHUP TO WATCH
Derek Jeter – SS: Jeter is coming off the ankle injury he suffered during last year’s postseason. He was cleared to play on March 8th, so baring any setback he should be ready for opening day. He might be a risky play against righties, but he should be more than ok against LHP. He hit for a .321, .349 and .364 average the last three years, and even with a little deterioration in those numbers he still provides a good option in those matchups.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this New York Yankees preview, and stay tuned for other 2013 MLB Season Previews. Also, don’t forget to check out our other articles at Daily Fantasy Radio.