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DRAFT MLB Strategy: Friday

by Brad Johnson
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Building a team on DRAFT’s DFS platform is an excellent way to make the action even more exciting than just following your favorite team. If you aren’t familiar with DRAFT’s DFS platform, it’s an innovative daily fantasy game with a live draft feature -- instead of building within a salary cap, you're participating in snake drafts that typically last under five minutes. On top of that, anyone you draft is yours alone -- if you take Nolan Arenado with your first pick, nobody else in your league can roster him.


You can find more information at Draft.com or quickly join a contest from anywhere after downloading the app!


The scoring system is similar to FanDuel with a few small exceptions. For one, starting pitchers aren’t quite as valuable relative to their hitting counterparts. You can read a detailed explanation of these along with other DRAFT MLB Strategy Tips in our preview article.


Best of luck and happy drafting!


Editor’s Note: Fantasy Baseball season is here! Compete in a live fantasy baseball snake draft right now! Drafts take as little as 2 minutes to complete and last just one night. For a limited time, DRAFT is giving Rotoworld readers a FREE entry into a real money draft and a Money-Back Guarantee up to $100! Here's the link. 



These players have a great chance to outperform their DRAFT projection.


Jacob deGrom – SP – New York (DRAFT Projection: 13.2 FP)


My projections and DRAFT believe deGrom is the third or fourth best pitcher today. This is where I get to prove my value add over the raw numbers. The Nationals played through extra innings yesterday so they’re unlikely to start their best lineup. Additionally, they were already going out of their way to find time for inexperienced players like Victor Robles and Adrian Sanchez. In short, deGrom’s matchup should be more favorable than expected. I anticipate 6.2 innings, 7.7 strikeouts, 2.2 runs, and nearly half a win (14.1 FP). He’s my top pitching target tonight.


Alternatively, target Shane Bieber in the fifth round. DRAFT projects him for only 0.1 FP. He’ll have an elevated chance for a win following Trevor Bauer.


J.D. Martinez – INF – Cincinnati (DRAFT Projection: 8.4 FP)


There is risk that the Red Sox will sit their designated hitter. However, he has an outside shot at a Triple Crown. He’s locked down the RBI leaderboard and ranks second in both home runs and batting average. I doubt Boston is going to take away his chance to make history just so Brandon Phillips can take a couple extra plate appearances. More importantly, Martinez’s projection reflects a full game against Bauer. He’ll actually be facing Bieber. Once you ignore Seattle and Texas hitters (see Strategy section), Martinez looks like the second best infielder available.


Other potential infield bargains include Justin Turner, Freddie Freeman, and Ji-Man Choi.


Ronald Acuna – OF – Atlanta (DRAFT Projection 9.6 FP)


It’s not that DRAFT completely forgot about Acuna. He’s the eighth ranked infielder. The problem is that he should probably be the top target. He has a positive matchup against Nick Pivetta. The Phillies starter has struggled down the stretch while maintaining a high strikeout rate. The problem is that he’s proven to be extremely homer prone too. While I’m hopeful for his future production, Acuna figures to be on the winning side of tonight’s gambit.


Other targets include Christin Stewart, Mike Trout, and Aaron Hicks.



These players may not live up to their DRAFT projection.


Chris Sale –SP – Boston (DRAFT Projection: 13.6 FP)

Trevor Bauer – SP – Cleveland (DRAFT Projection: 11.9 FP)


This is an easy game to avoid. The Red Sox officially clinched yesterday which traditionally means a scrub lineup the following day. That sounds like good news for Bauer except he’s only slated to throw one or two innings. Sale is probably limited to no more than five frames. Boston won’t be willing to risk re-injuring his golden arm this close to the postseason. Sale could actually have some value as a late pick in 10 team formats. Bauer is unplayable.


Aaron Judge –OF – New York (DRAFT Projection: 10.8 FP)


Honestly, I could just copy and paste everything I said yesterday. Judge is the top rated outfielder. Under normal circumstances, he’d deserve the plaudits. Alas, he’s returning from a lengthy layoff. Wrist injuries sap bat control and power to the point where even a tasty matchup carries substantial risk. Judge is basically on a rehab assignment in the majors. Discount his projected point total at least 10 percent. That puts him around 15th best in the slate.




Heavy Weather. The Seattle-Texas game will be rained out. It’s just a matter of when they announce it. ‘Tis a shame since the pitchers in that one are so bad. Avoid at all costs. Pittsburgh isn’t entirely safe either. A few Brewers bats are worthy of consideration despite the risk.


Pitcher Talk.  This is an unusual slate full of red herrings. You’ll probably notice a stark divide between the second and third tiers. For three and six team formats, you can safely wait until the fifth round for your pitcher. It’s only in 10 team leagues where a little gamesmanship might be in order.


  1. Jacob deGrom – Tier 1
  2. Gerrit Cole – Tier 1
  3. Rich Hill  – Tier 2
  4. Luis Castillo – Tier 2
  5. Zack Greinke – Tier 2
  6. German Marquez – Tier 2
  7. Shane Bieber – Tier 3
  8. John Gant– Tier 3
  9. John Gant – Tier 3
  10. Madison Bumgarner – Tier 3
  11. Chris Sale – Tier 3
  12. CC Sabathia – Tier 3
Brad Johnson

You can read more from Brad Johnson on Rotoworld, FanGraphs, and RotoFanatic. Find him on Patreon and Twitter @BaseballATeam.