Welcome to another edition of 2013 MLB Season Preview – MLB Daily Fantasy Strategy.
With the baseball season just around the corner, 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 final team in our MLB preview series is the only Canadian team in the majors, the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Jays had a disappointing season last year as they battled numerous injuries and finished fourth in the division with just 73 wins. However, they’ve had the most eventful offseason in the MLB. GM Alex Anthopoulos took advantage of one of the best farm systems in the game and pulled the trigger to acquire top talent from the Marlins in Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and Emilio Bonifacio. Unwilling to stop there, Toronto signed Melky Cabrera and acquired 2012 NL Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey from the Mets. The new coaching staff, led by returning manager John Gibbons, will have to make the stars work as a team. While there are still questions to be answered about this club, the Blue Jays seem to have a legitimate shot at a postseason berth for the first time since 1993.
Jose Reyes – SS: Reyes finally managed to stay healthy last year and hit .287/.347/.433 in 160 games for the Marlins. His game is well-suited for daily fantasy baseball because of his base-stealing potential and his ability to stretch hits into doubles and triples. His April splits are not exceptional, but he looks great in spring training and in the WBC. I would be confident playing him in a good matchup.
Edwin Encarnacion – 1B/DH: Encarnacion had a breakout season last year, hitting .280/.384/.557 with 42 HR and 110 RBI. I expect him to continue to hit well in a packed Blue Jays lineup this year, and he could be a nice cheaper alternative to premium first basemen.
Brandon Morrow – SP: Morrow figured it out in his third season as a starter for the Blue Jays and finished with career-best 2.91 ERA last year. His K/9 dropped from 10.2 in 2011 to 7.8 because he was focusing on pitching to contact and limiting pitches per inning, but he still has the stuff to blow the baseball by hitters. He has proven that he can pitch in the AL East and will be an interesting play with big upside.
YOU SHOULD AVOID
Colby Rasmus – CF: When Rasmus was traded to Toronto in 2011, everybody thought the change of scenery would help him. Sadly, that has yet to be the case. He hit .223/.289/.400 in 151 games last year, and although he has some good power, the average and OBP is just too low to make him a good daily fantasy play.
Ricky Romero – SP: Romero is coming off of a horrific 2012 season where he posted a 5.77 ERA and led the league in base on balls with 105 in 181 innings. He had a shoulder surgery in the offseason, so there is a chance this year that he can become the solid pitcher he was in his first three big league seasons. He will start the year as a No. 5 starter, a far cry from his Opening Day start last year, so that could relieve some of the pressure off of him. However, you simply can’t put him in your lineup until he shows some signs of the old Romero.
PITCHER/HITTER MATCHUP TO WATCH
Brett Lawrie – 3B: After a rocket start to his career following his call-up in 2011, Lawrie came back down to Earth last season when he hit .273/.324/.405. He injured his ribs around a week ago, and even though he should be ready for Opening Day, this isn’t an ideal scenario. He was great against lefties in 2012 with a solid .319/.361/.452 split. I suggest to play him only against lefty starters until he gets it going.
Adam Lind – DH/1B: Lind is another case of left-handed hitters having troubles vs. LHP. He finished last year at .255/.314/.414, but he had a better split vs. RHP at .276/.339/.457. He’s stated that there was some confusion with the old coaching staff but indicated the situation was better now. He’s looked very solid in spring training, so we might come to expect better numbers when put in ideal situations. Lind is an interesting, under-the-radar kind of play vs. righties in daily fantasy baseball lineups.
IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT
Jose Bautista – RF: Bautista played just 92 games last year due to a wrist injury that required surgery. He claims to be 100% now, but I would play him only on sites where a lower price reflects his missed time due to injury. The other premium priced hitters are going to be the safer bets for the first couple of weeks, but if Jose gets it going like he can, be ready to jump on the train fast.
Melky Cabrera – LF: It’s hard to say what Cabrera is going to do after the suspension for PED. He hit .346/.390/.513 for the Giants last season before being forced to miss the rest of the season. He isn’t likely to take any significant hit because PEDs tend to increase power and not improve coordination and plate discipline, qualities in which Cabrera thrives at the plate. If you can get him on the cheap, he would be a good play. If he is priced near the higher tiers, wait a couple of weeks and see how he starts the year.
Hope you’ve enjoyed our Toronto Blue Jays preview, as well as all of our MLB 2013 season previews. Check out our other articles Daily Fantasy Radio.