MLB Punt Plays: Friday August 17

Welcome to the 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: James Shields – $12,600

Shields struggled quite a bit early in the season, but he has thrown well at home. Through 15 home starts, he owns a 3-7 record with a 3.56 ERA. He has also posted a 0.9 HR/9 with a 6.9 K/9 through 96 home innings. Shields is averaging 16.4 fantasy points per game over his last six starts, as well. Surprisingly, he has been a reverse splits pitcher this season, holding left-handed batters to a .215 average with a .398 slugging percentage and a .307 wOBA. He’s also holding his opponents to a .219/.361/.288 line at home. Shields gets a great matchup against the Kansas City Royals, who strikeout at an above average rate on this slate, while also ranking as a below average team in terms of team wOBA. He’s a -118 favorite in a game set at 9 runs, giving the Royals an implied run total of only 4.4 runs. He has been a relatively safe option for his current price tag.

 

IF: Logan Forsythe – $6,400

Forsythe has quietly been playing at an elite level over his last 10 games. Over that span, he’s hitting .486 with a .568 slugging percentage and a 1.104 OPS. He also owns three extra-base hits, six RBIs, and one steal in those games. Forsythe has also posted a 40% hard-hit rate with a 91 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days. He’s hitting third in the Minnesota lineup, giving him ample opportunities for RBIs and runs. He also gets a good matchup against Matt Boyd, who has allowed right-handed batters to hit for a .264 average with a .458 slugging percentage and a .337 wOBA throughout his career. Forsythe is a safe option that also comes with tremendous upside.

 

OF: Marwin Gonzalez – $6,700

Gonzalez is another player that has caught fire over his last 10 games. He has posted a .351 average with a .568 slugging percentage and a 1.009 OPS in those games. He owns 46% hard-hit and 34% fly ball rates with a 93 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days, as well. Gonzalez has also been a more consistent and more powerful option on the road this season. He gets a matchup against Edwin Jackson, and Gonzalez features 0.054 wOBA and 0.015 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching. While Jackson has found plenty of success this season, he is due for regression. Gonzalez is expected to hit fourth in Houston’s lineup, and he makes a great option in all leagues tonight.

 

UTIL: Matt Wieters – $6,700

Wieters has been playing at a high level over the last 15 days, recording 52% hard-hit and 55% fly ball rates with a 94 mph exit velocity over that span. He has been a consistent hitter with upside over his last 10 games, as well, posting a .303 average with a .455 slugging percentage and a .823 OPS in those games. He has been a more powerful option against right-handed pitching, owning a 0.046 ISO differential against righties. Wieters gets a great matchup against Dan Straily, who is allowing left-handed batters to hit for a .249 average with a .435 slugging percentage and a .355 wOBA. Wieters is hitting late in the Washington lineup, but he can be considered in all leagues for his current price tag.

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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