MLB Punt Plays: Monday April 2

Welcome to the newest daily MLB article addition to FantasyDraft’s LockerRoom! Here you will find a breakdown of my favorite low budget MLB players for tonight’s main slate. Each article will focus on my favorite low salary starting Pitcher and my 3 favorite low salary batters. Although the title of the article is MLB Punt Plays, like the PGA Punt Plays written by another analyst of our DFS Karma team, they aren’t your traditional “Punts”. I truly feel that each player I include in this article is in a great individual spot and will allow you to fit in some of the other higher priced players. To ensure my players are always light on salary, my Pitcher will have a cap of $14,000 and each batter will be capped at $7,000 in salary.

 

P: Brian Johnson ($13,500)

Pitching is an absolute disaster on Monday as most of these teams are getting towards the back-end of their rotations. If you are choosing to dumpster-dive, Brian Johnson owns the best matchup against the Miami Marlins. The Marlins have ruined many DFS players rosters to start this season, getting to both Yu Darvish and Jose Quintana respectively to start the season. This is still an abysmal roster, and I’m not going to overreact to the first few games and say this is a good team. Johnson is pretty much an unknown from the major league perspective as he logged just 27 innings last season. When factoring in the losses of Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto (DL) this team is bad, very bad. Derek Dietrich and Justin Bour are the only players that have put up stable numbers against southpaws, though Lewis Brinson is a budding young player for them in the leadoff spot. Pitching is a mess in general, and there are really no sure things at the higher costing prices either. If you are looking to take a shot to cram in a number of high-priced batters I would take a flier on Johnson in tournaments (he doesn’t profile as a cash game play) knowing that he still has the best matchup on the board despite what they have done early on in the season.

INF: Justin Smoak ($6,700)

If any of you were watching baseball on Easter, like myself, you know that Justin Smoak turned in his first double-dong performance of 2018. Smoak, and his Blue Jays teammates, are in another promising spot tonight against Reynaldo Lopez. Lopez is a guy that has shown promise and strikeout ability in the minors, but it hasn’t quite translated to the major league level yet. In his 47.2 innings in the majors last season, Lopez sported an ugly 5.44 SIERA with just a 14.5% strikeout rate. Smoak was arguably the Blue Jays best hitter against righties last season posting a .359 wOBA and a .266 ISO. He coupled that with a solid 40% hard contact rate, and coming off a two-homer game his upside at this price is evident!

 

OF: Josh Reddick ($6,400) 

Josh Reddick has gotten off to a rough start this season, going 0-7 in his first two games of the season. However, there isn’t a better possible spot to get his bat heated up than tonight against Chris Tillman. Reddick isn’t a power hitter like the aforementioned Smoak, but he doesn’t strikeout much (12.1% vs R) and had a .363 wOBA against southpaws a year ago. Albeit in just 38 innings, Tillman posted the worst xFIP on the slate to left-handed batters in 2017 at 7.12! I love the Astros in general in this spot (who doesn’t) and am looking for Reddick to get on track tonight at a fair price point.

 

UTIL: Matt Joyce ($6,700)

The Athletics match up with every DFS players friend Bartolo Colon tonight in Oakland. Somehow he is still getting thrown out there in my mind despite his rough 2017. Big Sexy allowed a .381 wOBA to left-handed batters last season along with an alarming 41% hard contact rate! The Athletics are a team I love to play personally in DFS, given that they are always under-owned and have an array of power hitters. Joyce actually has some pretty decent pop to go along with his on-base ability which is great for a guy that hits leadoff. He posted a .360 wOBA and a .256 ISO against righties last season, and will be one of the first players I’m putting into my lineups tonight.

 

Stat Key

wOBA- Weighted on-base average

ISO- Isolated power

SIERA- Skill-interactive earned run average

xFIP- Expected fielding independent

Ben Hossler; DFS Karma

Ben Hossler; DFS Karma

Ben can be found on FantasyDraft by his username “oatw” standing for “Ohio against the world”. He is a college student and the lead DFS analyst for dfskarma.com. He is a sports nerd who can often be found studying numbers late into the night. Mainly a cash game player, you can find him in the H2H lobby and in your 50/50s across the industry. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @BenHossler where he loves to talk sports, TV or music with his followers!

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