Live Longshots (Hitters)
It’s as if the DraftStreet computers are refusing to believe in John Buck ($4,987) despite yet another HR last night — his third — and three more RBI, giving him a dozen already. He doesn’t exactly “own” Cliff Lee, but a .912 OPS with three taters in 48 AB is more than respectable.
Both of us are fans of using a star player whose price keeps dropping. You know Buster Posey ($5,426) is going to hit. When he does have the inevitable breakout game, he can make you a winner. Robert adds a note of caution. The big risk here is if the Giants decide to give Buster a day off to reflect on his struggles. Check your lineups before the games start.”
Brett Gardner ($6,579) is a sleeper. A table-setter isn’t much use when the big guys aren’t hitting, but the Yankees’ bats are waking up, so you might get a couple of runs and a valuable SB or at a reasonable price.
Starlin Castro ($6,406) is a terrific play if the wind is blowing out. He had a double and a triple yesterday and is up against an inexperienced pitcher.
Live Longshots (Pitchers)
Brandon Maurer ($10,073) is hardly a household name, but he caught my eye in spring training and made the Show ahead of higher-profile prospects. Robert was impressed by his MLB debut. “The Seattle rookie got off to a rough start against the Athletics, but recovered and put in a decent performance. Expect him to have success against the Astros’ quasi-major league lineup.”
Jeremy Guthrie ($9,032) was outstanding in his 2013 debut and if he can pitch around Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, might stifle the Twins. Both pitchers in that game are bargain-priced. Robert prefers Mike Pelfrey ($7,490) to keep the Royals in the ballpark; though he isn’t a strikeout guy. Whoever wins this matchup will be worth owning.
Players to Avoid
Robert is determined to stop picking players on teams that have weak offenses. “No matter the price it’s usually not worth it. Normally I’d be drawn to Pedro Alvarez because of a favorable matchup and conditions but until the Pirates show me consistent hitting. I’ll pass. Same goes for all Houston and Miami hitters.”
For today, he’s adding the Blue Jays to the avoid list. “Apart form Jose Reyes, their offense has been homerun or bust this year. A lack of lefty power in Comerica against Anibal Sanchez equals a probable dearth of baserunners.” I’ll make an exception if Jose Bautista ($8,915) returns after missing three games with a sore ankle.
There are only two of us on this beat and we have day jobs and families, so it’s impossible to provide 24/7 information. Consult other sources before investing; weather and lineups can be unpredictable.
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.