MLB Punt Plays: Saturday May 5

Welcome to your daily MLB Punt Plays article for FantasyDraft’s LockerRoom! Here you will find a breakdown for 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 three 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: Steven Matz – $11,700

Matz has been an interesting pitcher this season. He has only allowed three or less earned runs in each of his five starts, but he has struggled to pitch deep into games. Overall, he features a 1-2 record, 4.98 ERA, and 1.29 WHIP. He has also thrown 93 or less pitches in each of his starts. He does come with plenty of strikeout upside, though, recording a 10.8 K/9 through 21.2 innings. He gets an elite matchup against the Colorado Rockies, who rank last on the slate in strikeouts per at-bat, while also recording an average team wOBA. Matz also features a 3.84 xFIP, suggesting he could see positive regression, as his ERA is a bit higher at 4.98. He has also looked outstanding against left-handed batters, holding them to a .200 average, .222 slugging percentage, and .321 wOBA in limited at-bats this season. Matz is a -122 favorite in a game set at only 8 runs, making him a great salary relief option on this slate.

IF: Chance Sisco – $5,400

Sisco has been far from an elite player this season, hitting .231 with a .346 slugging percentage and a .679 OPS. He has also struggled on the road this season, which is a bit of a concern. He has been a significantly better hitter against right-handed pitching, recording 0.16 wOBA and 0.122 ISO differentials against righties. Throughout his short career, Sisco is hitting .266 with 100% of his extra-base hits coming against right-handed pitching. He also gets a good matchup against Trevor Cahill, who has struggled against left-handed batters at times throughout his career. Even though Sisco has struggled at times this season, he has been relatively consistent when given a full game worth of at-bats, meaning he can be considered in all leagues.

OF: Alex Verdugo – $6,500

Verdugo has only played in five games this season, but he’s hitting .353 with a .588 slugging percentage and a 1.009 OPS. Over that span, Verdugo also features a 43% hard-hit rate. He gets an interesting matchup against Bryan Mitchell, and Verdugo has recorded 0.057 wOBA and 0.101 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching. He is early into his career, but he has found success against both right- and left-handed pitching. He’s expected to hit seventh in one of the highest projected scoring lineups on the slate, though, and it is only a matter of time before Verdugo’s price tag increases. He’s a great option tonight.

UTIL: Carlos Asuaje – $5,500

Asuaje has struggled quite a bit this season, but he has flashed tremendous upside. He has recorded a 31.6% extra-base hit this season. While he has struggled for consistency this season, he features a 42% hard-hit rate over the last 15 days, suggesting he comes with more upside than he has displayed recently. He has also been a better hitter against right-handed pitching, as he hit .283 with 89.5% of his extra-base hits coming against righties last season. He isn’t a player that should be used in cash games, but he’s a cheap option with tremendous upside for tournaments tonight.

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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