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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. 



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


Yonny Chirinos – SP – Chicago (DRAFT Projection: 1.0 FP)


Ryne Stanek is the Rays “opener” tonight. Chirinos is the follower. He’s consistently throwing five to seven innings in relief. The way the opener-follower relationship functions is favorable to producing wins for the second pitcher. For example, Ryan Yarbrough – a commonly used follower - has 15 wins in only 139 innings. Chirinos et al should receive run support opposite Sam Gaviglio and a weak Toronto bullpen. The Jays offense is sufficiently potent to add some concern to this matchup. That’s why I only have him listed as the seventh best arm along with a projection for 9.1 FP.


Joey Votto – INF – Cincinnati (DRAFT Projection: 8.8 FP)


Votto is borderline irrelevant tonight according to DRAFT. I have him around the fringes of the top 10 infielders. Marlins starter Jeff Brigham has pitched terribly through two starts, and the Marlins bullpen can’t retire anybody these days. Although Brigham’s minor league performance suggests a rebound is possible, I’d rather bet on a big day from Cincinnati hitters. Votto catches my eye due to recent mechanical adjustments which seem to have unlocked some of his missing power. Even without a big fly, he should reach base multiple times with some run production to boot.


Other infield bargains include Eugenio Suarez, Jose Peraza, and Roman Quinn.


Randal Grichuk – OF – Toronto (DRAFT Projection 8.1 FP)


Although I like Tampa Bay pitchers tonight, that doesn’t mean we have to entirely avoid Toronto bats. They have plenty of power potential – especially Grichuk. Since a series of adjustments around the All Star Break, he’s batting .283/.330/.546 with 12 home runs in 221 plate appearances. Nor does he rely on platoon splits or other “tricks.” He’s around the seventh most likely outfielder to slug a home run tonight. DRAFT leaves him well outside the top 20. I’d look for him in the fourth or fifth rounds of 10 team formats.


Other bargains include Christin Stewart, Scott Schebler, and Avisail Garcia.



These players may not live up to their DRAFT projection.


Masahiro Tanaka –SP – New York (DRAFT Projection: 11.5 FP)


DRAFT claims Tanaka is a no brainer pick for second best pitcher. I have my doubts. Sure, he’s pitching very well lately, and he has a history of finishing strong. His upside is better than anybody besides Max Scherzer. Unfortunately, the Red Sox potent offense ensures there’s scary downside too – especially at tiny Yankee Stadium. Tanaka has allowed 1.40 HR/9. My projection places him fourth-best among pitchers with 9.9 FP.


Aaron Judge –OF – New York (DRAFT Projection: 10.0 FP)


Projection systems still love Judge. They all agree he’s around the fifth best outfielder tonight. They’re also missing one important detail – he didn’t get a rehab stint in his return from a wrist injury. Along with the natural rust associated with a lengthy layoff, wrist injuries sap bat control and power. Since the Yankees have a decent lead for the first Wild Card spot, they can afford to rehab Judge in the majors. That doesn’t mean you should trust him to be himself. I’m discounting him 20 percent for the injury (8.0 FP).




Pitcher Talk.  Only a few times have I needed five tiers to cover the notable pitchers. Scherzer is so far and away the best pitcher tonight that he’s almost and automatic first overall pick. Those playing in three and six team formats can afford to wait on their pitcher if they miss Scherzer. The same isn’t true for 10 team leagues. You don’t want to approach that cliff.


  1. Max Scherzer – Tier 1
  2. Matt Boyd – Tier 2
  3. Eduardo Rodriguez  – Tier 2
  4. Masahiro Tanaka – Tier 2
  5. Kevin Gausman – Tier 2
  6. Matt Shoemaker – Tier 3
  7. Yonny Chirinos – Tier 3
  8. Vince Velasquez – Tier 4
  9. Jorge Lopez – Tier 4
  10. Jeff Brigham – Tier 5
  11. Josh Tomlin – Tier 5
  12. Edwin Jackson – Tier 5
Brad Johnson

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