Welcome to another edition of 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 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 take a look at the only MLB team from Pacific Northwest, the Seattle Mariners.
The Mariners finished last in their division with 75 wins last year, scoring the fewest runs in American League in 2012. They addressed their offensive struggles this offseason when they traded for couple very good hitters in Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse, and the M´s recently extended their ace Felix Hernandez. With a couple of great prospects almost ready to begin their MLB careers, there is hope for a better future for the club.
Kendrys Morales – DH/1B: Morales came back last year after breaking his leg during a walk-off celebration in 2010. He had a down season, but still managed to hit .273/.320/.467. He claims to finally be 100% healthy, so there is a good chance he will return to his 2010 form. His power numbers might take a slight hit thanks to the pitcher-friendly Safeco Field, but he will be a good play in the higher-middle salary tier.
Felix Hernandez – SP: King Felix is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and he just got paid with a seven year, $175 million extension. He pitched 715.1 innings with 2.92 ERA and 8.5 K/9 during the last three seasons. You’ll have to pay top price for him, but he can give you a lot of very good innings, strikeouts and a strong chance for a win.
Hisashi Iwakuma – SP: Iwakuma started the 2012 season in the bullpen and struggled at the start of his first MLB season. He was moved to the starting rotation in July, and was lights out the rest of the year. He posted a 2.65 ERA in 16 starts with a respectable 7.4 K/9. I expect his price to be low, and he could be one of the best value plays until his price rises.
YOU SHOULD AVOID
Dustin Ackley – 2B: Ackley is a very talented young second baseman that experienced a sophomore slump after a nice rookie season in 2011. He only hit .226/.294/.328 in 153 games last year. I expect him to figure it out this season, but until he proves he can hit like in 2011, you can’t trust him.
Justin Smoak – 1B: Smoak was considered one of the best prospects in baseball a couple years ago, but he hasn’t lived up to the expectations yet. He hit .217/.290/.364 last year, which is even worse than his 2011 numbers. At age 26, it’s a little early to say he won’t improve, but his numbers aren’t good enough for a first baseman and he isn’t a good option for daily fantasy.
Michael Saunders – RF: Saunders had his best season in 2012 after he played just 58 games in 2011. He hit .247/.306/.738 last year, displaying solid power with 19 HRs. He struck out once every 3.84 at-bats, which is a major concern for daily fantasy. His power is not good enough to overcome his low average and high strikeout numbers, making him a risky play.
Joe Saunders – SP: Saunders was very good after his trade to Baltimore last August. He posted a 3.63 ERA in seven starts for the Orioles, and added two great starts in the postseason. A move to the pitchers park in Seattle should also help his case, but he’s still not a good fantasy play with such low strikeout numbers. His K/9 over last three years is just 5.1, seriously limiting his fantasy upside.
Blake Beavan – SP: Beavan started 26 games with a 4.43 ERA last season. He has only struck out 3.9 batters per nine innings over his two-year career. Having pitched less than six innings per start last year, Beavan is not a good play even for the minimum salary.
PITCHER/HITTER MATCHUP TO WATCH
Jesus Montero – C: Montero hit .260/.298/.386 in his rookie season last year. He has problems hitting right-handed pitchers, which means his numbers against lefties are pretty good. He finished with a .322/.366/.463 slash line in 177 ABs against southpaws, and only struck out once every 6.32 ABs vs. LHP. Montero’s strong numbers for a power hitter make him a very good play against left-handed pitchers.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the Seattle Mariners preview, and stay tuned for other 2013 MLB Season Previews. Also, don’t forget to check out our other articles at Daily Fantasy Radio.