MLB Punt Plays: Wednesday April 4

Welcome to the newest daily MLB article addition to FantasyDraft’s LockerRoom! Here you will find a breakdown for 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: Clayton Richard ($10,800)


I played Clayton Richard on Opening Day given his extremely cheap price, and I’m going right back to the well again tonight with limited options on a five-game main slate. Richard hurled 7 innings of one-run ball on Opening Day while striking out four. He’s a ground ball artist and posted one of the highest ground ball rates in the MLB last season at 59.2%, which helps him with allowing a ton of runs in one start in a spacious home park like Petco. He was downright filthy against left-handed batters a season ago, allowing just a .296 wOBA to go along with a 28% strikeout rate. Righties is where he got into trouble however, allowing a .377 wOBA but he still kept the ball on the ground for the most part with a 56.7% ground ball rate. At this price, you don’t need a shutout and you don’t need seven strikeouts. He’s so cheap that you can pretty much fit in anyone you want when you lock him into your rosters and I think he is well worth a shot again tonight.

INF: Yangervis Solarte ($6,400)


I featured Solarte in this column yesterday and he responded by going 2-4 with a double and scoring a run. He must have been reading! Anyways, I still think he is too cheap if he continues to hit in the middle of the Blue Jays order. He had been playing third in place of Josh Donaldson, but with Donaldson returning to third base yesterday Solarte moved over to second to keep his bat in the lineup. If he is once again in the lineup tonight, I think he and the Blue Jays as a whole are in another good spot against Carson Fulmer. Fulmer didn’t throw much for the big league club last season, but in his limited sample he allowed 54% fly balls while posting a 5.59 SIERA. Obviously in under 40 innings of work we need to take that with a grain of salt, but the signs aren’t pointing to him being a good pitcher right now. Solarte posted a .335 wOBA against right-handers in 2017 and he coupled that with a 44% fly ball rate. Check lineups before lock to confirm he is playing, and if he is he will be an easy salary relief piece to my lineups.

OF: Dexter Fowler ($6,300)


Fowler’s bat finally woke up in last night’s game against the Brewers, he went 2-5 with a home run. He is too cheap when factoring in he is hitting out of the leadoff spot for the Cardinals, who have a bit more fire power behind him in the order now that they acquired Marcell Ozuna in the offseason and have given Tommy Pham regular playing time. Jhoulys Chacin was a serviceable pitcher for the Padres last season, but his numbers against left-handed batters will give you some pause. He posted an ugly 5.55 xFIP against lefty batters a season ago while striking them out just 16% of the time. Fowler has decent pop for a leadoff man (.243 ISO) and he put up a .368 wOBA against righties in 2017.

UTIL: Shin-Soo Choo ($6,700)


Shin-Soo Choo isn’t a sexy play in fantasy any time, but he profiles as a prototypical cash game play given his knack of getting on-base, despite the lack of a high ceiling. Some may see the lefty vs lefty matchup and immediately avoid him, but I wouldn’t be so quick to eliminate him from my player pool just yet. In 2017, Choo posted a .342 wOBA against southpaws with a .400 OBP! He did what he always does against lefties, and while Sean Manaea has potential he is far from someone I’m scared of targeting at this time.

Stat Key

wOBA- Weighted on-base average

ISO- Isolated power

SIERA- Skill-interactive earned run average

xFIP- Expected fielding independent

OBP- On-base percentage

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 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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