MLB Punt Plays: August 6th

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 $7,500.

P: Homer Bailey ($11,000)- Bailey has looked like a shell of his former self in recent years, but he seems to have made some adjustments during his last stint in the minor leagues. Since returning to the Reds rotation two starts ago (small sample, certainly) Bailey has pitched to a 3.52 SIERA and a 25.9% strikeout rate, quite a step up from his 5.04 SIERA and 15.0% strikeout rate for the season. His fastball velocity is up to 94.3 in those two starts compared to 93.1 for the season, and this could be in part to mechanical changes he made in the minors including changing both his horizontal and vertical release points drastically. I’m not trying to sell you on Homer Bailey returning to his once promising form and we can’t take much from a two game sample size, but the increased velocity could be legitimate citing the mechanical changes and he has thrown 115 and 111 pitches in those starts so he is clearly feeling good. The tanking Mets own the fifth-worst wRC+ over the last two weeks along with a 23.4% strikeout rate. I don’t expect Bailey to be a popular selection, so I will take the solid price with low ownership on Monday evening.

INF: Adrian Beltre ($7,200)- The Rangers/Mariners game should be one of the focal points of the main slate tonight as the game owns a huge 10.5 O/U in Vegas and will take place in a fantastic hitting environment in Arlington. Beltre doesn’t possess the hitting prowess he once did, but he has been much better against southpaws in 2018 posting a 109 wRC+ and 48.1% hard-hits in the split. Wade LeBlanc has had some big starts for the Mariners this season, but it might be tough to survive the matchup tonight given the weather and his fly-ball tendencies. Beltre is playable in all formats at this price and this game should be the focus outside of Coors Field.

OF: Marcell Ozuna ($7,200)- Ozuna has seen the ball extremely well as of late boasting a 41.7% hard-hit rate over the last 14 days along with 45.8% fly-balls. Chen has actually been much better at home this season, but that “better” is still a 4.31 xFIP and 39.4% hard-contact allowed. Ozuna has been his typical-self this season hitting much better against left-handed pitching with a 118 wRC+ and 44.3% hard-contact. The Cardinals feature a solid 4.8 implied run total and Ozuna is locked into the heart of their order.

UTIL: Greg Bird ($7,200)- Like Ozuna, Bird has been locked in at the plate with a robust 50.0% hard-hit percentage over the last two weeks to go along with 57.6% fly-balls. It’s tough to fully stack against ground-ball pitchers like Covey (56.2% GB%) but the grounders drop against left-handed batters and it comes with 39.2% hard-contact. Bird has the ability to get the ball up in the air against Covey rather than keeping it on the ground, and the power upside is always there. Covey has really been struggling as of late so it wouldn’t shock me to see a Yankees explosion tonight, especially since they should be angry after getting swept by the Red Sox over the weekend.

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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