Welcome to another edition of the 2013 MLB Season Preview – MLB Daily Fantasy 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?
Our next preview comes out of the NL Central- the St. Louis Cardinals.
Despite losing superstar Albert Pujols and manager Tony LaRussa, the Cardinals finished 2012 at second place in their division with 88 wins. The defending champs beat the Braves in the Wild Card game and made it to Game 7 of the NLCS where they lost to the Giants. They head into the 2013 season with a very similar roster, having only signed three free agents this winter (Randy Choate, Ty Wigginton and Rony Cedeno). Mike Matheny’s team will attempt to make their third playoff appearance out of the last four seasons in 2013.
Allen Craig – 1B: Craig is a name casual baseball fans may not know, but I love him as a daily fantasy option. He hit .307/.354/.522 in his first full MLB season in 2012. He came out strong, and after his injury and rehab stint in April, hit .373/.424/.765 in May. He is great against lefties (.354/.381/.630.), shouldn´t be too expensive and provide a great option if you want to save some salary cap on your first baseman.
Yadier Molina – C: Yadier is the best defensive catcher in baseball, and his offensive numbers have been great the last two year as well. He hit .310/.362/.484 over that span, and struck out only once for every ten at-bats over that same stretch. His price should be pretty high but there aren’t many catchers who you can count on most nights.
David Freese – 3B: Freese became a hometown hero for Cardinal fans during the 2011 World Series, and he also managed to play well in 2012. He hit .293/.372/.467 last season and has been pretty consistent last three seasons. His April splits are great with a batting average of .350 during the last two years, making him a really good play for daily fantasy in the early going.
Lance Lynn – SP: Lynn was asked to step into the rotation after Chris Carpenter went down with an injury early last season, and did much better than expected. He managed to win 18 games with 3.67 ERA in 29 starts, and his K/9 was also very good at 9.3. There is no guarantee he can repeat those numbers, but he should be an interesting option if his price isn’t too inflated.
YOU SHOULD AVOID:
Rafael Furcal – SS: Furcal had a solid season with a great start in 2012, hitting .333/.392/.460 over first two months of the year. While these number are great, he can’t do much else than hit for average and with little power. He also injured his elbow in August (a torn UCL) but decided not to have surgery. He expects to be ready for spring training but there is no way he should be considered for daily fantasy lineups in the early going.
Daniel Descalso – 2B: Descalso was one of the worst hitters among everyday starters in the league at .227/.303/.324 with 4 HRs and 26 RBI in 143 games. He is not worth a roster spot even with zero salary.
Jamie Garcia – SP: Garcia is a very good pitcher when healthy, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case last season. He was shut down two times in 2012 due to shoulder issues but was able to avoid surgery. He says he expects to be ready for spring training, but I recommend you to wait a couple of starts and see if he is healthy before you put him in your lineup.
Jake Westbrook – SP: Westbrook had his best season since 2008 last year, posting a 3.97 ERA in 28 starts. He is a sinkerballer and doesn’t strike out a lot of people, so his playing style isn’t suited for daily fantasy. There is almost no upside for a pitcher who had an ERA under 4.00 only once in last 3 years and struck out 5.4 batters per 9 innings over that span.
IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT
Chris Carpenter – SP: Carpenter was able to start only three games in the regular season last year due to a shoulder injury, but he claims to be healthy heading into this season. If you can get him for a discounted price, he might be worth a look as a high risk/ high reward pick for GPPs. I wouldn’t touch him on sites where he is near full price.
UPDATE 2-6-13: Carpenter felt pain and discomfort in his previously injured shoulder during his three bullpen sessions this week. As a result, he was shut down immediately and will likely miss the season. His current condition sounds serious, and could very well be career ending. It remains to be seen if he will return in 2014, but don’t look for him when setting your daily fantasy lineups this season.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this St. Louis Cardinals preview. Stay tuned for other MLB 2013 season previews, and don´t forget to check out our other articles Daily Fantasy Radio!