MLB Punt Plays: July 24th

Welcome to the daily MLB Punt Plays 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 three favorite low salary batters. Although the title of this article is Punt Plays, like the PGA Punt Plays article written by another member of our DFS Karma team, they aren’t your traditional “punts”. To ensure my players are always light in salary, my pitcher will have a cap of $13,000 and each batter be capped at $7,000.

P: Eric Lauer ($8,000)- After being scratched last night, Lauer is back tonight at his attractive price point in the same matchup with the New York Mets. Lauer isn’t going to blow you away with his 18.9% strikeout rate this season, but he did own a 26.4% strikeout rate in Triple A, so there is some room for that number to grow. Regardless of his ability, the Mets rank dead last in the entire MLB in wRC+ against southpaws this season (77) to go along with the highest K% at 26.1%. Now factor in that he’s minimum priced and you see why I’m so high on him today. I’m sure he will be no secret at this price, but it’s basically a free square and I tend on taking advantage of him if the game plays.

INF: Brandon Dixon ($5,600)- This is more about price than it is ability, as Dixon found his way into the second spot of the Reds order last night and there is a chance he cracks the lineup again tonight against the left-handed Austin Gomber. Dixon is basically a utility man for the Reds right now, but his price is way too cheap if he’s going to be that high in a solid order. He didn’t register any fantasy points last night, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. He had two loud lineouts, and line drives are something I value very highly in DFS analysis. He also owns a 50% hard contact rate since being called up to the big leagues. If he is high up in the order again I will consider the savings in all formats.

OF: Leonys Martin ($7,600)- Since we are saving so much at Pitcher, and with Dixon today I’m comfortable going with Leonys Martin in the outfield. The Tigers have been a pretty bad offense for the majority of the season, so their players widely go under-owned. Martin has been great out of the leadoff spot this season and owns a 42% hard contact rate with 43% fly balls against right-handed pitchers. His wRC+ is 72 points higher against righties than lefties, and he makes for a great cash game play tonight especially with the speed he provides as well.

UTIL: Danny Valencia ($6,500)- Danny Valencia is often a solid value play against left-handed pitching, and that’s where he finds himself tonight at home against Drew Pomeranz. There is some weather concerns for this game, so be sure to monitor news up until lock to be sure that he is safe enough to roster. Valencia owns a career 135 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers and has been a better hitter at home for much of that time. Pomeranz is allowing 37% hard hits and 40% fly balls to right-handed batters this season which puts Valencia firmly in play should the weather hold up.

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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