MLB Punt Plays: August 21st

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: Pablo Lopez ($10,000)- I’ve been on Pablo Lopez pretty much every start since he was called up, and I’m going to consider him an option even tonight against the New York Yankees. Lopez doesn’t possess huge strikeout ability with a 19.6% strikeout rate this season, but he could be due for some positive regression in that department as he has generated 10.9% swinging-strikes. The thing that I love about Lopez is his ground ball ability, he owns a 52.1% GB% this season and only 33% hard-hits allowed making it extremely hard for it for him to get shelled. At his price you don’t need a ton of strikeouts either, simply strong run prevention which is what Lopez can excel at. The matchup with the Yankees isn’t ideal, but they will be missing Didi Gregorious after he was placed on the DL today and they already are missing Aaron Judge. The line has moved towards Miami despite 80% of the bets coming in on New York and I am confident in Lopez’s ability at his cheap price tag.

INF: Jake Bauers ($7,200)- Bauers has cooled off recently resulting in a solid price drop, but I am more than comfortable targeting him against Glenn Sparkman. As unrealistic as it may seem, Glenn Sparkman is indeed a real-life pitcher but that doesn’t mean he has real-life pitching skills. He was not good in the minors and has shown pretty much no strikeout ability in his time with the Royals with some control issues. Bauers owns a .212 ISO with 42.6% hard-hits against righties this season and could be decently popular along with his teammates given their cheap price tags.

OF: Jon Jay ($7,200)- Felix Pena has flashed some ability to be a decent pitcher in the big leagues, but he has pitched to a 5.28 xFIP with 12.4% walks against left-handed batters this season. He’s going to have a tough time navigating the lefties in this Diamondbacks order and that starts with Jon Jay. Jay won’t blow you away with power, but he is a much better hitter against righties and he strikes out just 14% of the time in the split. Arizona owns a solid 4.8 implied run total and Jay provides value at the top of their order.

UTIL: Justin Smoak ($7,500)- Dylan Bundy has allowed the most homeruns on this slate and it’s not even close, thrusting the the Blue Jays back into consideration in all formats on Tuesday night. Many don’t realize this, but Smoak has been absolutely horrid against left-handed pitching this season despite smashing right-handers. Smoak’s .245 ISO, 49.7% fly-ball rate and 38.2% hard-hit rate profile perfectly for Bundy’s power issues. Kendrys Morales had a big game for the Jays last night, and I’m looking for Smoak to pick up where he left off this evening.

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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