Welcome to another edition of the 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 weeks?
The last AL West team in our previews is the Texas Rangers.
Last year, the Rangers didn’t repeat the success of 2010 and 2011, losing the last three games of the season to Oakland. In losing the division, then were then forced into the single-game elimination wildcard game which they lost to Baltimore. Consequently, the experts have considered them to be losers this offseason as they have seen the departure of a few key players in Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Michael Young, among others, while the acquisitions of A.J. Pierzynski and Lance Berkman don’t quite make up the difference. Despite the perceived down offseason, the Rangers still have a solid team and will again be a contender in the AL playoff mix.
Adrian Beltre – 3B: Beltre is a great hitter with a .314/.353/.558 slash line over last three years, and his 2012 numbers were pretty similar to his 3-year average and show good consistency. As a result, his price will be high, but you have to pay for a .320 hitter with 36 homeruns last year.
Yu Darvish – SP: The Japanese phenom is off to a good start in his MLB career. He posted a 3.90 ERA in 29 starts last year, and while his ERA wasn’t among the league leaders, he did strikeout 221 batters in 191.1 innings of work which represents an outstanding 10.4 K/9. His high strikeout numbers make him a very interesting daily fantasy baseball play because he has the potential to score the most fantasy points any given night if everything goes right. He will get his strikeouts even on a bad night and should score you some points.
YOU SHOULD AVOID
David Murphy – LF: Murphy had one of the best seasons of his career last year, hitting .304/.380/.479. He is an under-the-radar kind of guy, but despite his great year he doesn’t present a good daily play at the beginning of the year because of his slow starts. His April numbers were a lot worse than his season numbers in each of last three years. Between that and the fact that his high price tag representative of his overall solid 2012 campaign, you should look for better plays elsewhere, at least at the start of the year.
Matt Harrison – SP: Harrison has been great since his return to the rotation in 2011 after spending the 2010 season in the Rangers bullpen. He’s posted a 3.34 ERA in 62 starts over that span. His strikeouts, however, are below average at 5.8 K/9 over that same time frame. You may be able to justify playing him because of his stellar stats the last two years, but his upside is limited, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up in higher salary tier.
Derek Holland – SP: Holland is coming off his worst season since 2009, posting a 4.67 ERA in 27 starts last year. I can’t explain the reason for his off year, but there is no reason in daily fantasy baseball to play a starter with an ERA worse than 4.50 and a respectable, but not great, 7.4 K/9 unless absolutely necessary.
Martin Perez – SP: Perez is just 21 years-old, and he is considered to be one of the best young pitchers in the game. He pitched 38 innings for the Rangers last year over six starts and six relief appearances, but he struggled and finished with a 5.88 ERA in the six starts. I am sure he can figured it out in his first full season in the Majors, but I recommend for you to wait at least 3-4 starts and see what he does before putting him into your daily lineups.
PITCHER/HITTER MATCHUP TO WATCH
Ian Kinsler – 2B: Kinsler’s 2012 season was not as productive as that of 2011. He hit .256/.326/.423 over 157 games, but he remained one of the better hitters versus lefties at .350/.425/.563 in 160 AB against only 18 strikeouts. His 2010 numbers vs. LHP were even better, so last season doesn’t represent an outlier. Match Kinsler up in daily play when you see the Rangers against a southpaw starter.
Nelson Cruz – RF: Cruz’s production slipped in each of last two seasons, hitting only .260/.319/.460 last year. He was most recently linked to the Miami PED clinic scandal, so there is a chance that off-the-field speculation may affect his on-field numbers. However, he is still solid against lefties at .309/.390/.554 against them last year, which happened to be his worst hitting season over the last three years. It’s safe to say that he is still a nice play versus LHP.
Mitch Moreland – 1B: Moreland is the third Rangers player with a significant difference in R/L splits. He is better against righties, as you can expect from lefty batter, managing to hit .281/.328/.470 in 281 AB against them. This makes him a good play, considering his price should be significantly lower than that of top-tier first basemen.
Hope you’ve enjoyed our Texas Rangers preview. Stay tuned for other MLB 2013 season previews, and don’t forget to check out our other articles here at Daily Fantasy Radio!