Live Longshots (Hitters)
The Astros are awful, but Chris Carter ($4,769) is their main power threat. He had a hit and a walk yesterday, faces lefty Joe Saunders — who got rocked in his opener — and is Robert’s Pick of the Day with my full support.
In the same game, Justin Smoak ($5,172) “has the platoon edge over ‘soft tosser’ Philip Humber in what is now a hitter’s park,” and at age 26, there’s the potential for a breakout season. The Mariners have moved in the fences this year and added a few power bats to last year’s anemic lineup.
Mets 2B Daniel Murphy ($6,928) homered on Sunday and the lefty swinger takes on Roy Halladay. Doc looks like a shadow of his former self until proven otherwise.
Live Longshots (Pitchers)
As mentioned above, the Tribe might be better than people think. Ubaldo Jimenez ($8,959) was terrific in Toronto and gets the badly-depleted Yankees today at home. Robert agrees. “Pitchers who were once great and have gone through a rough patch with injury or general ineffectiveness are usually excellent value, as some of them regain their form.”
I wasn’t considering Clay Buchholz ($10,884) until my colleague pointed out that Baltimore relies mostly on lefty power and Fenway’s odd dimensions negate that advantage. If he can keep red-hot Adam Jones ($9,806) from going over the Green Monster, the price is right.
Players to Avoid
Roy Halladay ($14,927) is no longer the dominant ace with no-hit stuff that he was two years ago. After a frustrating 2012, he is trying to reinvent himself. “Struggling with loss of velocity means, among other things, a decrease in the strikeout rate,” points out Robert. Don’t pay a star’s price for middling results, or worse.
Hideki Kuroda ($12,263) is available only in leagues that close at 2:05 Eastern, but is not a good play there. “A finger injury risks derailing the start altogether or perhaps forcing an early exit,” warns Dudek. Consider too that the Indians, playing well for new skipper Terry Francona, just demolished Tampa ace David Price.
Michael Cuddyer ($9,189) is generally a solid play vs. LHP, but against the talented Madison Bumgarner in a pitcher’s park, we see flyball outs in his immediate future.
Again, we aren’t able to provide 24/7 information and you should consult other sources before investing. There is a comprehensive list of MLB injuries at Rotoworld and another at MLB.com. I use Baseball Press every day for accurate lineups posted sooner than anyone. Some leagues close at 2:05 today, the majority at 7:05 Eastern. It takes only a couple of minutes to double-check your rosters, which can be changed 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.