Daily Fantasy Baseball: Mr. Fantasy’s Daily Diamonds for July 4
By Dave Del Grande
TIP OF THE DAY
Make young hitters prove themselves.
It’s always nice when you put a “Who’s he?” in your lineup and he comes through. It gives you a feeling of having discovered the guy.
But more times than not, “Who’s he?” turns into “Why him?” after a lackluster debut, leaving you answering questions rather than crowing about your scouting ability.
Cubs standout Kris Bryant was one of these guys. If you had him in your lineup in his debut back in April, all you had to show for four at-bats were three strikeouts.
The next day, after you inevitably benched him, he showed his first signs of life with two hits and three walks.
Those who responded to the success in turn experienced success of their own. Bryant went on to record seven hits, including four doubles, in his next four games, making him a significant daily fantasy contributor at a very cheap price.
That’s what tends to happen with these young studs. A lot of them eventually figure it out, and that’s when they can help your daily fantasy lineup.
So, it’s not about discovering them, but rather responding to their early success.
Two highly-regarded prospects debuted this week and, so far, have followed similar paths.
If you rushed Twins third baseman/designated hitter Miguel Sano (FantasyAces $3,500) into your lineup in his debut Thursday, you suffered the consequences. His two strikeouts overshadowed his one hit.
But Sano was better in his encore performance Friday. Like Bryant, he had two hits and drove in his first run in Game 2, and now becomes a legitimate daily fantasy prospect. Especially at a bargain price.
Cardinals outfielder Tommy Pham, meanwhile, has played only one game. It was Friday, and guess what? He went 0-for-3.
Should he be in your lineup Saturday? Absolutely not, even at the rock-bottom price of $3,000.
But keep an eye on him, and once you see his “I can do this” moment, then jump on him.
Trust me on this: The price will still be low.
Ryan Braun, OF, Brewers (FantasyAces $5,750).
The Brewers are bombing big-time these days, and any number of them can be recommended.
But I’m settling for only the best.
Braun has 16 hits during his current eight-game hitting streak, with five doubles and two home runs among the hits.
The great thing about sharing the spotlight with your teammates is that Braun has benefitted from the inordinate number of teammates on base. He’s driven in nine runs during his eight-game run.
Saturday, Braun will face the weakest pitcher he’s seen during the hot streak. Reds right-hander Josh Smith apparently should have stuck to basketball.
Smith has made two disastrous starts, during which he’s allowed seven hits and 10 walks in eight innings.
He’s faced 21 right-handed hitters in those two outings. Nine have reached base, two via a double and a home run, helping produce a whopping .929 OPS.
One’s hot and one’s not. That’s a recipe for daily fantasy success.
Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder (FantasyAces $5,600).
You might think it’s not wise to poke the same bear twice, but I like pressing my luck and I’ve got even better numbers on my side this time around.
The last time I recommended avoiding the hot-hitting Fielder (last Saturday), he responded with two inconsequential singles that didn’t come close to justifying his big price tag.
Fielder has recorded eight hits since then, keeping his batting average (.347) and price tag high.
But those last seven hits, like his two last Saturday, have all been singles, and he’s totaled just one RBI over that stretch.
That unproductive run is unlikely to end Saturday, as he’ll be up against a left-handed pitcher, the Angels’ Hector Santiago, who is as tough on lefty hitters as any starter in baseball. Rarely do you see a .414 OPS against one side of the plate, but that’s exactly what Santiago does to lefties.
I’ll be surprised if Fielder even puts up the two meaningless singles this time around.
Blue Jays third baseman Danny Valencia (FantasyAces $4,500) can hit left-handers. Yes, his .949 OPS against them demonstrates that.
But here’s the real proof …
Valencia has faced Tigers star lefty David Price 17 times in his career. Shockingly, he’s gotten 12 hits.
That’s a .706 batting average against one of the best pitchers in the game.
Throw in his three doubles among those 12 hits and it adds up to a 1.644 OPS.
Against David Price, for crying out loud.
You’ve got to invest the $4,500 Saturday, don’t you?
TODAY’S STACK PACK
Royals vs. Twins right-hander Mike Pelfrey.
Current members of the Royals have faced Pelfrey a total of 122 times in their careers. That’s a pretty large sample size.
That’s what makes their cumulative .352 batting average and .881 OPS pretty amazing.
Outfielders Lorenzo Cain (FantasyAces $5,050) and Alex Gordon (FantasyAces $4,850), first baseman Eric Hosmer (FantasyAces $4,850) and third baseman Mike Moustakas (FantasyAces $4,900) all have 1.000 or higher OPS numbers in their career against the righty.
But the guy who has torched Pelfrey the most has been second baseman Omar Infante (FantasyAces $4,000). He’s gone 16-for-39 (.410) in his career against the Twin.
To add insult to injury, Pelfrey hasn’t had much of a season regardless of who he’s been up against. His 1.75 road WHIP is the worst among Saturday’s starters, and his 5.35 June ERA demonstrates he’s not exactly turning things around.
And now comes his biggest nightmare.
Give me Infante, Moustakas and Hosmer on Saturday.
Eugenio Suarez, SS, Reds (FantasyAces $3,250).
That’s something wrong with this picture …
Suarez is hitting .361 this season, yet his FantasyAces price is about as low as they get.
Actually, it’s easy to see why. It’s just hard to explain.
Suarez has 21 hits and four walks in 19 games this season. Toss out his two home runs and he’s scored a grand total of two runs in those other 23 visits to the basepaths.
He’s even helped himself out with three steals.
It says here: The law of averages is going to catch up with this guy. It very well could start Saturday in what figures to be a high-scoring game against the hot-hitting Brewers (see above).
I don’t know, there’s just something about a .361-hitting shortstop with a $3,250 price tag that screams: Own me.
You can’t fool the FantasyAces price-setter.
I thought I was going to steal Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin in his season debut Saturday.
Heck, the guy hasn’t pitched since 2013 following elbow surgery.
But there he is, third on the pitchers’ salary chart at $6,500. Darn.
I bow to the price-setter, but do add this: At home against a struggling Rockies team, Corbin really should be $7,500.
I’m going to play him anyway.
Want to play more than one first baseman in your lineup? FantasyAces allows you to use more than one player per position! Check out the Scoring tab located on the Gameplay Basics page for more information about our DFS MLB rosters & scoring.
About Mr. Fantasy
Dave Del Grande didn’t invent fantasy sports–it only seems that way. Dave was the first to have a weekly column devoted entirely to fantasy sports published in a daily newspaper, The Oakland Tribune, the birthplace of fantasy football. He also was the first to have a fantasy-sports column syndicated nationally by Universal Press. He authored the original “Ask Mr. Fantasy” column for ESPN.com and also helped launch the highly successful fantasy endeavors of USA Today Sports Weekly and NFL.com. In the meantime, Dave was an award-winning NBA basketball reporter, covering the Golden State Warriors, and continues to cover the Warriors and San Francisco Giants for The Sports Xchange.
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