MLB Punt Plays: Friday April 13

Welcome to the newest daily MLB addition to FantasyDraft’s LockerRoom! Here you will find a breakdown of my favorite low budget MLB players for the day’s (or night’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 moving forward has a very solid chance to score you some points. To ensure my players are always light on salary, my Pitcher will have a cap of $13,000 and each batter will be capped at $7,000 in salary.

P: Mike Fiers – $12,800

Fiers found quite a bit of success in his first start this season, recording six strikeouts in six scoreless innings against the Chicago White Sox. He has flashed tremendous potential throughout his career, recording a 13-15 record, 3.25 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 9.1 K/9 in 2014-15. Since 2016, Fiers has a 20-18 record, but he also has a 4.75 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, and 7.8 K/9. While his recent numbers are far from elite, his history suggests he still has untapped potential. He has also featured similar numbers against both left- and right-handed hitters. In his career, he’s allowing righties to hit for a .252 average, .450 slugging percentage, and .331 wOBA. He is also allowing lefties to hit for a .247/.409/.311 line in the same categories. He gets a tough matchup against the New York Yankees, but they rank fifth on the slate in strikeouts per at-bat. Fiers certainly comes with some risk, but he also comes with quite a bit of upside for his price tag.

 

IF: Adrian Gonzalez – $6,900

Gonzalez has been enjoying a resurgence early this season, hitting for a .296 average, .444 slugging percentage, and .851 OPS through 10 games. He is averaging 6.7 fantasy points per game this season while scoring fantasy points in nine of his 10 games. He has been a great hitter against right-handed pitching, recording 0.126 wOBA and 0.118 ISO differentials against righties last season. He is also hitting .297 with 78.5% of his home runs against right-handed pitching throughout his career. Gonzalez also gets a matchup against Zach Davies, who has been somewhat of a reverse splits pitcher throughout his career. While he has allowed right-handed batters to hit for a higher average, he is allowing left-handed hitters to record a higher slugging percentage. Gonzalez is a consistent player that also comes with some upside, making him a great option in all leagues.

OF: Matthew Joyce – $5,700

Joyce has not necessarily had the most consistent start to the season, but he does come with quite a bit of upside. Through 13 games, he is hitting for a .243 average with a .459 slugging percentage and .829 OPS. He has been a more consistent and more powerful hitter on the road this season, although that comes in a very small sample size. Joyce is known as a player that thrives against right-handed pitching, and he recorded a .253 average with 96% of his home runs coming against righties last season. He also recorded 0.118 wOBA and 0.172 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching in 2017. Joyce gets a matchup against Mike Leake, who allowed left-handed batters to hit for a .283 average, .444 slugging percentage, and .335 wOBA last season, as well. Furthermore, Joyce is expected to hit either first or second in the A’s lineup tonight, adding to both his floor and ceiling on this slate.

 

UTIL: Asdrubal Cabrera – $6,600

Cabrera has one of the most surprising price tags on the slate. He has looked outstanding early this season, recording a .333 average with a .600 slugging percentage and .988 OPS. Through 11 games, he has recorded 15 hits, including three doubles and three home runs. Overall, he is averaging 10.5 fantasy points per game this season, including 28, 21, and 12 fantasy points in three of his last four games. In 2017, Cabrera was a significantly more consistent against left-handed pitching last season, but he displayed more power against righties. Last season, 80.4% of Cabrera’s extra-base hits came against right-handed pitching, although he only hit for a .240 average. New York has featured plenty on runs this season, and Cabrera has been a major part of that. It is only a matter of time before his price tag skyrockets.

Justin Bales

Justin Bales

Justin can be found on FantasyDraft under the name "balessjustin." He is a recent college graduate, who earned a degree in Sociology with a co-concentrate in Music Business. He has been playing and writing about fantasy sports for quite some time, including football, baseball, basketball, college sports, and MMA. He generally plays tournaments, but can occasionally be found in H2H's or 50/50s.

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