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 stay in California with the third AL West team in our previews – the Oakland Athletics.
The A’s were one of the biggest surprises of the 2012 season. They shocked the world with 94 wins and a division title after winning the last six games of the regular season. They eventually lost to Detroit in the ALDS, but it was a great season for them. They signed Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima and traded for both Chris Young and Jed Lowrie this offseason. Oakland showed last year that they shouldn’t be underestimated, and with these offseason additions and couple of key players returning from injuries, they will try to repeat the success of 2012 this year.
Yoenis Cespedes – LF: The young Cuban is off to a good start in his MLB career. He had a very good season in 2012 with a hitting line of .292/.356/.505. He had a slow start his first two months, but that is not a concern for me because he needed some time to adapt to a new league. He will be a very good play as long as his price isn’t too high.
Jed Lowrie – IF: Lowrie displayed surprising power last season, managing to hit 16 home runs and batting .244/.331/.438. He had an awesome start in his last two seasons, hitting .333/.389/.500 in 37 games in April over that span. He isn’t the most exciting player, but considering his tendency to start hot he will be a very good fantasy play in April at somewhere in the middle salary tier.
YOU SHOULD AVOID:
Seth Smith – OF/DH: Smith’s numbers took a hit in his first season in Oakland when he hit .240/.333/.420. He has some good power but with his down 2012 season, his slow start, and his high strikeout numbers (3.91 AB/K), he is not a good player for daily fantasy.
Hiroyuki Nakajima – SS: Nakajima is an interesting player with great statistics from the NPB league. Historically, Japanese hitters have had a hard time to adjust to the MLB, which is the main reason why I am staying away until he proves he can hit well in MLB. If you can get him for a super low price, he may be a worth a look as a risky value play for GPP, but there are no guarantees.
Scott Sizemore – 2B/3B: Sizemore missed all of the 2012 season after he tore his ACL on the first day of spring workouts. Reports say he is fully recovered and ready for spring training, but there is no reason to take a chance on a player coming off a serious injury in the first few weeks. He should come cheap, which will make him and interesting value play, but it’s too risky until he proves he is healthy. For instance, I would much rather take Nakajima than him if their respective prices are anywhere close.
PITCHER/HITTER MATCHUP TO WATCH
John Jaso – C: Jaso is one of the few catchers who can hit for average and won’t kill your team with strikeouts. He had a nice season last year with a slash line of .276/.394/456. He is a lefty hitter who struggles against southpaw pitchers, however, as his numbers vs. RHP are even better, hitting righties at a .302/.419/.508 clip last year. I am not sure if he can repeat or even come close to those numbers, but even if he is a little worse he is an interesting play against right-handed starters.
IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT
Brett Anderson – SP: Anderson is a very talented young pitcher whose career has been derailed by injuries to this point. He managed to pitch only 19 games the last two seasons. A good sign is that he was able to pitch in the postseason last October, and there hasn’t been any reports about any setback since, so he should be healthy going into this season. It’s possible that his price will be really low, and he could be one of the best value plays until his price rises again. Of course, he has to stay healthy to earn our trust.
TARGET AT HOME
Jarrod Parker – SP: Parker is another young A’s pitcher with great potential. He posted a 3.47 ERA in 29 starts during his rookie season last year, and he was much better with a 2.61 ERA in 15 home starts in the pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum. His price should sit somewhere in the middle tier, and he will be a very good play when pitching at home.
Tommy Milone – SP: Similar to Parker, the home ballpark does wonders for Milone. He finished his rookie season with an ERA of 3.74 in 2012, but look at the difference in his home/away splits: in Oakland, he sports a 2.74 ERA while his away ERA sits at 4.83. He should be cheaper than Parker, and it is evident that both will be good value plays with great upside in home starts.
Hope you’ve enjoyed our Oakland Athletics preview. Stay tuned for other MLB 2013 season previews, and don´t forget to check out our other articles here at Daily Fantasy Radio!