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DRAFT MLB Strategy: Friday

by Brad Johnson
Updated On: October 5, 2018, 10:46 am 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. 




Small Slates. We have only four games on the docket today which means only eight starting pitchers. As such, DRAFT has limited leagues to a maximum of six teams. Enjoy.


Pitcher Talk. This being the playoffs, aces are quite common. Today, half of the slate is composed of aces. Participants in three team formats can safely last pick their pitcher. Sale strikes me as the highest risk and reward target for reasons we’ll discuss in a moment. Although I usually ignore batter versus pitcher data, Happ has an impressive track record against some notable Red Sox.


  1. Justin Verlander – Tier 1
  2. Clayton Kershaw – Tier 1
  3. Corey Kluber – Tier 1
  4. J.A. Happ – Tier 2
  5. Chris Sale – Tier 2
  6. Jhoulys Chacin – Tier 3
  7. Anibal Sanchez – Tier 3
  8. Tyler Anderson – Tier 4



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


Yasmani Grandal – C – Los Angeles (DRAFT Projection: 8.0 FP)


Due to the contest sizes, we’re most concerned with the top six and 12 players at each position. Grandal, always a multi-homer threat, has one of the softer matchups today against Anibal Sanchez. The Braves were forced to chew through some pitchers last night. There’s potential for things to quickly fall apart if Sanchez struggles. Grandal hit .252/.351/.492 with 20 home runs in 387 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers. I project Grandal nearly a full point higher which puts him in the fringes of the top six infielders.


Ronald Acuna – OF – Atlanta (DRAFT Projection 8.3 FP)


Acuna is DRAFT’s 10th ranked outfielder. I have him third on my list. Although a matchup against Clayton Kershaw isn’t ideal, the former top pitcher in baseball has a history of struggling in the postseason. Although I wouldn’t read too far into this, those past performances coincided with a period when he was arguably the best pitcher ever. Now he’s just a good starter. Acuna’s big looping swing is ideal for swatting home runs against Kershaw’s barrage of left-handed fastballs, curves, and sliders.



These players may not live up to their DRAFT projection.


Chris Sale – SP – Boston (DRAFT Projection 13.3 FP)


Sale is absolutely capable of pitching to this projection. The issue is that we’re not looking at a mean or median outcome. This requires quite a bit of good fortune. In his most recent outing, he only averaged 90 mph with his fastball. He’s been working back from a nagging shoulder injury. His most recent five starts – which include his last healthy appearance – feature average fastballs velocities of 97.6, 96.4, 94.4, 92.8, and 90.2. That’s a scary trend. It screams unhealthy. The probability that Sale lasts more than five innings – due to health and/or effectiveness – is quite low. As such, I have him projected for 4.1 innings, 5.7 strikeouts, 1.5 runs, and 15 percent of a win (9.15 FP).

Brad Johnson

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