Live Longshots (Hitters)
Yesterday we mocked the DraftStreet computer for “not believing in” John Buck, who more than earned his $4,987 salary with his fourth tater and two more rib-eyes. Sadly, he’s up to $7,975 now and will be even more expensive tomorrow, so the wonderful run of getting a whole lot of production for next to nothing is over. Buck for a buck in my NL auction remains a very satisfying pick, but Wilson Ramos ($6,067) is my catcher today.
How about a second helping of Brett Gardner ($6,633) after yesterday’s tasty performance? He went 4-5 and scored three runs. The only caveats are weather in Ohio and who the Indians start on the mound. It was supposed to be Brett Myers, but he was used in relief last night and should be avoided at $8,490 today. A lefty starter would diminish Gardner’s appeal; against most righties he’s a great play until the price inevitably goes up.
Adam LaRoche had been 0-for-13 and hobbled by back pain, then took a couple of games off. He blasted a pair of homers in his return yesterday and at $5,444 is an extreme bargain tonight against righty Gavin Floyd ($11,516) who is prone to occasional blow-ups.
Live Longshots (Pitchers)
Barry Zito ($7,963) won us both some money in his 2013 debut with seven strong innings and Rob is ready to ride the hot hand, or arm. “Looked fully in control against the Cardinals and will face the youngish Rockies lineup,” says Dudek. “A strikeout explosion isn’t likely, but a win and 6+ innings for the veteran lefty is expected.”
Though he lasted only five innings, Eric Stults ($9,274) struck out seven and beat the Mets in his first start. At home in a pitcher’s park, the lefty is a hunch play tonight against the team that drafted him.
Players to Avoid
Liam Hendricks ($9,338) “doesn’t get many strikeouts and the Royals’ offense is well suited to their spacious ballpark.”
Carlos Gonzalez ($10,620) can be a bargain at that price in his home park vs. any righthander. Tonight, we’ll pass. “Tough park for lefty bats, facing the resourceful and rejuvenated Zito, that is really much too much to pay for Cargo with the platoon disadvantage.”
Rob will also be avoiding the Reds’ LH swingers against sinkerballer Jake Westbrook ($9,224). Shin-Soo Choo ($12,258) and Jay Bruce ($10,907) are better plays at home and Todd Frazier ($9,857) is streaky; wait for their salaries to drop and a mound opponent more likely to challenge their power.
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.)