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DRAFT MLB Strategy: Thursday

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

If you aren’t familiar with DRAFT’s DFS platform, it’s an innovative DFS 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.

 

Miles Mikolas – SP – St. Louis (DRAFT Projection: 9.5 FP)

 

In a slate of relatively weak pitching, Mikolas is a shining light. I have him as the top arm while DRAFT ranks him 10th. Much of the allure relates to his opponent, the San Diego Padres. He’s visiting the strikeout prone club at pitcher friendly Petco Park. If Mikolas has a weakness for fantasy purposes, it’s his low 6.98 K/9. However, this is largely a function of inducing ground ball contact early in counts. He can put away hitters once he reaches two strikes. In 40 innings, Mikolas has walked just two batters (and hit one). The only way he might fail is if he gets BABIP’d to death. It’s going to happen someday. I’m not betting it’s today. I project 6.2 innings, 5.5 strikeouts, 2.4 runs, and nearly half a win (11.5 FP).

 

J.D. Martinez – INF – Boston (DRAFT Projection: 9.1 FP)

 

It feels weird to classify Martinez as an infielder, but that’s how DRAFT treats designated hitters. A matchup against CC Sabathia at tiny Yankee Stadium promises power potential from one of the top sluggers in the league. Martinez has continued to hit everything hard. Sabathia, meanwhile, is merely solid. He’s not somebody to avoid. Despite a Coors Field game in the slate, I still have Martinez ranked as around the sixth best infielder. DRAFT says he’s 15th best.

 

Rhys Hoskins – OF – Philadelphia (DRAFT Projection: 9.8 FP)

 

Hoskins took a breather yesterday. He’ll be in the lineup for today’s afternoon contest. Conditions are ripe for home runs. Hoskins’ lofty swing is a perfect pairing against Blach’s high ground ball rate. The pitch-to-contact southpaw usually gets away with allowing copious hard contact because his home park is so power suppressant. Today he’s visiting Citizens’ Bank Park; the most power friendly venue in the league. I consider him a candidate for second best outfielder after Charlie Blackmon. DRAFT says he’s ninth best.

 

OVERRATED PLAYERS

These players may not live up to their DRAFT projection.

 

J.A. Happ – INF – Toronto (DRAFT Projection: 11.4 FP)

 

I totally get why Happ looks attractive in this slate. He’s one of the few pitchers who reliable throws six or more innings. He’s also managed an inexplicably high strikeout rate this season, although I have every reason to expect regression. The Mariners have the sixth best offense by wRC+. They’re equally good against righties and lefties. I’m looking at a projection of 6.1 innings, 5.7 strikeouts, 40 percent of a win, and 3.4 runs allowed (10.2 FP). He’s still a quality option, just not on the level DRAFT suggests.

 

Curtis Granderson – OF – Toronto (DRAFT Projection: 10.1 FP)

 

Granderson has what appears to be a favorable matchup against Mike Leake, but there are a few issues with his ranking as the fifth outfielder. For one, he’s dealing with a hamstring strain and could find himself on the bench. I’m fine with fifth picking him and rostering a replacement later, but I wouldn’t use an earlier selection. This slate also includes a number of more talented players with comparably soft opponents.

 

OVERALL STRATEGY

 

Stacks. A game at Coors Field overshadows a number of potent stack opportunities including the Yankees versus volatile Eduardo Rodriguez, the Cardinals visiting Jordan Lyles, and the Royals opposite Chris Tillman.

 

Pitcher Talk. While I talked up Mikolas, DRAFT is also strangely down on Jose Berrios (8.8 FP). Sure, Mike Trout is a tough opponent, but he’s just one of nine batters. I’d consider Berrios a viable target in any league deeper than three teams. Conversely, I’m not on board with the Garrett Richards hype (11.6 FP). I’m projecting about 9.5 FP. Overall, most of your options are highly volatile – either due to their identity as a pitcher or because of their matchup.

Brad Johnson

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