MLB Punt Plays: Wednesday April 18

Welcome to today’s daily MLB Punt Plays article for 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: Tyler Skaggs ($13,900)

Tyler Skaggs was a once top prospect who never really put it all together at the major league level. He is still just 26 years of age, so it’s not crazy to think he can still have some quality seasons for the Angels. He’s gotten off to a good start in 2018, posting a 3.61 SIERA and a 25% strikeout rate thus far in 2018. The matchup with the Red Sox isn’t one we normally want to target, but there are limited options on a 7 game slate and Skaggs provides strikeout upside for a cheap price. This Red Sox team has been red hot, and the Angels are still listed as narrow favorites over the them right now.

INF: Luis Valbuena ($6,300)

Pricing is pretty good on FantasyDraft today with not much to like below the $7,000 threshold for batters. I’m always interested in using Valbuena in tournaments because he has a ton of power and nobody likes to play him due to him hitting 7th in the Angels order. I’m not a huge fan of Rick Porcello, he isn’t a bad pitcher by any means but he gives up a ton of hard contact and I think he’s a bit overrated. He allowed 41% hard contact and 45% fly balls to left-handed batters last season which matches up perfectly with Valbuena’s skill set. Valbuena posted a .249 IS) and 51% fly ball rate against righties in 2017!

OF: Franchy Cordero ($6,500)

Not many people know who Franchy Cordero is, and he is far from a flawless player, but he absolutely crushes the baseball. Everything he hits is a rocket it seems like and he has a 61% hard contact rate to start 2018. Kenta Maeda is a good pitcher, but he’s pretty average against left-handed batters in 2017 striking them out just 18% of the time and allowing 41% fly balls. Cordero has a high strikeout tendency, so he’s better suited for a tournament one-off but we need salary tonight and nobody will play him.

UTIL: Brandon Nimmo ($5,700)

Brandon Nimmo has been a regular in this article so far this season, and I’m going to keep going back to the well while he is cheap. There is a chance that he isn’t in the lineup, but he has regularly been at the top of the Mets order against righties and he has performed well. He posted a .371 wOBA and a .404 OBP against right-handed pitchers in 2017 and he has been crushing the ball so far this season with 40% fly balls and hard contact. He’s too cheap for some that will be at the top of the order and allows you to spend up elsewhere.

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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