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DRAFT MLB Strategy: Thursday

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. 




Just for today, I’ve flipped the formatting so we can discuss strategy before picks.


Tiny Slate. With only four games available, we’ll be dusting off some uncommonly used players in DRAFT. Depending on league size, this also affects your overall draft strategy. In a three team format, you can still punt pitcher to the fifth round. Expand to six teams and the top three pitchers probably move into the first round. Infield and outfield feature decent depth. You’ll want to draft by 6:40 pm ET.


Pitcher Talk. Strasburg is obviously the top pitcher in the slate. Although he stands out as a premium asset, he still has a challenging matchup against the Cubs. He may be likely to be a top performer, but it’s far from guaranteed. Castillo has a juicy matchup against the Padres while Greinke has a slight advantage over Sanchez. Bieber and Hendricks round out the top six. The divide between the third and fourth tier is stark enough to ensure Lauer and Gaviglio are nearly unowned in six team formats.


  1. Stephen Strasburg – Tier 1
  2. Luis Castillo – Tier 2
  3. Zack Greinke  – Tier 2
  4. Anibal Sanchez – Tier 3
  5. Shane Bieber – Tier 3
  6. Kyle Hendricks – Tier 3
  7. Eric Lauer – Tier 4
  8. Sam Gaviglio – Tier 4



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


Anibal Sanchez – SP – Atlanta (DRAFT Projection: 9.0 FP)


We’ll have to nitpick to come up with some of these under and overrated players. Sanchez is only one rank too low per my reckoning, but that’s meaningful in such a small slate. I anticipate a solid outing with nearly six innings, 5.9 strikeouts, 3.2 runs, and one-third of a win (9.9 FP). Usually I wouldn’t bother reporting a 0.9 point discrepancy – that’s well within the margin of error for significance. It’s basically the difference between allowing or not allowing a single and a double in the same inning.


Anthony Rizzo – INF – Chicago (DRAFT Projection: 9.0 FP)


Usually, we’d gladly avoid anybody facing Strasburg. However, the Nationals will probably handle him carefully in deference to a couple injuries he’s suffered this season. They’re not playing for anything except respect. That means we’ll at least get three innings of relief to prey upon. DRAFT has Rizzo ranked as the ninth infielder. I’d turn to him around fifth best. Other Cubs like Javier Baez and Daniel Murphy are also potential fifth round bargains in six team formats.


Michael Brantley – OF – Cleveland (DRAFT Projection 8.8 FP)


More Cubs, specifically Kyle Schwarber and Jason Heyward, stand out as the top outfield values. However, we already discussed that scenario.


Instead, let’s focus on Brantley who I have rated as the third best outfielder (sixth by DRAFT). He has an easy matchup against a below average pitcher, and they’re visiting the power friendly Rogers Centre. Although he’s overshadowed by Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor, Brantley is a key cog of the Indians offense. He’s capable of taking advantage by supplying power, multiple hits, or stealing a base. He’s an especially good play if Russell Martin is catching tonight.



These players may not live up to their DRAFT projection.


Eduardo Escobar – INF –Arizona (DRAFT Projection: 9.6 FP)


On a day like today, I’d rather select a premium player with a bad matchup than an average talent facing a decent pitcher. I don’t have Escobar within spitting distance of the top 12 infielders. DRAFT lists him as the sixth best. On the plus side, he does usually bat second or fifth. If you’re trying to stack Diamondbacks in six team formats, he could make sense as a fifth rounder.

Brad Johnson

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