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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. 

 

UNDERRATED PLAYERS

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

 

Trevor Williams – SP – Pittsburgh (DRAFT Projection: 8.3 FP)

 

Since early July, few pitchers have performed as well as Williams. He has a 1.00 ERA over his last 12 starts. The hot streak coincides with typically pedestrian peripherals – xFIP, an ERA estimator suggests he should have a 4.22 ERA over the span. Williams beats his underlying stats by limiting hard contact. The wind is blowing out 9 mph at Wrigley Field. In a normal slate, I’d probably avoid Williams. Here, he looks quite solid. I have him projected for six innings, 4.9 strikeouts, 2.7 runs, and one-third of a win (9.5 FP).  

 

Nelson Cruz – INF – Seattle (DRAFT Projection: 9.2 FP)

 

DRAFT rates Cruz the ninth best “infielder.” With a squishy matchup against Ariel Jurado, I’m inclined to consider Cruz among the best bats. I’m optimistic about his home run chances, crediting him with one-third of a big fly. That’s enough to push his projection up around 10.0 FP; in the same range as Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado.

 

Try Cubs for late bargains. Anthony Rizzo and Daniel Murphy are half forgotten.

 

Michael Brantley – OF – Cleveland (DRAFT Projection 8.1 FP)

 

Brantley’s strong season was completely overshadowed by other Cleveland batters. However, he’s managed a luck neutral 9.1 FP per game. There’s no reason to think he’ll underperform that rate against Glenn Sparkman and a bad Royals bullpen. Although he’s unlikely to pop a homer, multiple hits with plentiful run production are enough. He’s a high floor, modest ceiling target. DRAFT says he’s the 20th outfielder. I rank him 10th.

 

OVERRATED PLAYERS

These players may not live up to their DRAFT projection.

 

Astros – INF/OF – Houston (DRAFT Projection: Mostly High)

 

Yesterday, we avoided Astros because of the dreaded “hangover game.” Sure enough, the only regulars to start were slumpy Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel, and Tyler White. Today we should avoid them for a different reason – rain.

 

OVERALL STRATEGY

 

Heavy Weather. The Astros are visiting the Orioles just in time for a full day of rain. A postponement is almost certain. Unfortunately, that means many of the top projected players – including Gerrit Cole, Alex Bregman, and George Springer – are undraftable.

 

Pitcher Talk. This is a dreadful pitching slate. The best arm probably won’t play. If the forecast spontaneously improves, Cole could be a first overall option. To even fill out a top 10 sans Cole requires use of the two early games. It’s best if you can avoid dropping beyond Williams, although Vargas and Liriano have pitched decently in recent weeks.

 

  1. Gerrit Cole – Tier 1
  2. Marco Gonzales – Tier 2
  3. CC Sabathia – Tier 2
  4. Julio Teheran  – Tier 2
  5. Jon Lester – Tier 3
  6. Trevor Williams – Tier 3
  7. Jason Vargas – Tier 4
  8. Francisco Liriano – Tier 4
  9. Josh Tomlin – Tier 5
  10. Jake Arrieta – Tier 5
  11. Antonio Senzatela – Tier 5
Brad Johnson

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