Live Longshots (Pitchers)
Again, every team is in action, and some of the 30 SP will be bargains. Atlanta’s Julio Teheran ($9,804) had a superb spring (35 K in 26 IP with a 1.04 ERA) and might dominate the Cubs. He’s Robert’s #1 pitching play today.
Toronto’s fifth starter J.A. Happ ($9,750) also looked good in Florida and wants to prove he belongs in the rotation.
Yet another fifth starter is Alex Cobb ($11, 153) of the Rays, who had a 28/5 K/BB ratio in six spring appearances.
If you are using one (or two) of the high-salaried aces, a closer can be a bargain as your third pitcher. Craig Kimbrel ($2,967) is the best in the business and Fernando Rodney ($2,439) could be in a SV situation if Cobb pitches well.
Players to Avoid
A.J. Burnett ($14,392) is way overpriced after a 10-K win against the Cubs. He is highly unlikely to beat Kershaw and there’s always the possibility of a meltdown.
Ryan Braun ($13,430) is too expensive for my tastes anyway, but he also has a sore neck. Aramis Ramirez ($10,330) could be DL-bound with a knee injury and Adam LaRoche ($6,150) has a sore back.
Dudek observes a common cycle affecting Michael Morse ($10,319) — “A hitter gets hot and his price only gradually adjusts to the new performance level. As often happens, he begins cooling off just as his price has reached superstar levels.” Morse won’t have the platoon edge today and the scoring system (below) punishes batter strikeouts.
At $12,363 and coming off an abdomen injury, Chris Tillman’s innings should be limited and Robert reminds us, “he is still a long way from being a polished pitcher.”
There is a good list of MLB injuries at Rotoworld and another at MLB.com. I use Baseball Press later in the day; they post accurate lineups sooner than anyone. Many leagues close at 1:05 EDT, others at 7:07 and you can make unlimited roster moves until the deadlines.
Hitters: 1 point for a single, 2 for a double, 3 for a triple and 4 for a home run. A walk (.75) isn’t quite as good as a hit, but you also get .75 for getting hit by a pitch or a sacrifice. Stolen bases are worth 2 points, runs and RBI 1.5 apiece. You lose points for each strikeout or grounding into a double play (-.75) and getting caught stealing is -1.
Pitchers: Starters can earn the most points. A win is worth 1.5, a complete game 1, each IP is worth .9 and each strikeout .7 — the five “negative” categories are walks, hits and HBP (-.25 each), earned runs (-.75) and losses (-.75). Relievers get 3 points for a SV and lose .75 for a blown save. For pitchers in weekly leagues, the points are different; the value of many categories is doubled.