Daily Fantasy Baseball is certainly not a ‘can of corn’. Never fear though, the Doctor’s here to cover all the bases for you. Each day, I’ll put the ducks on the pond for you by presenting you with “The Natural” plays at each position, as well as a few “Savoy Specials” for good measure. Pittsburgh Pirates’ OF Andrew McCutchen swings for the fences as the top play of the day.
Let’s play ball!!!
Pitcher: Gio Gonzalez, WAS ($8,000): Gonzalez is the top-priced pitcher on the board, but still comfortably priced at just $8,000. He’ll take on the New York Mets at Citi Field, one of the more pitcher friendly parks in the game, and is one of the more favored pitchers to pick up the win. Though his ERA was a full point higher on the road last season, most of that seems to be just bad luck as most of his peripheral stats and totals were better on the road than at home. Last year, Gonzalez averaged better than a K per 9, while holding opponents to a .220 BA on the road. In addition, he also held his opponent to a sub-.300 wOBA and OBP on the road.
Savoy Special: Robbie Ross, TEX ($4,300): Call it crazy, but sometimes it can pay to be crazy. Yes, there is the disadvantage of pitching in Arlington, which is a bit of a hitters park, but there are also some things to like. For starters, the Rangers are heavy favorites, giving Ross a good chance at the all-important win. In addition, he had a phenomenal 10.1 K/9 at home last season, while holding opposing batters to just a .219 BA. If that’s not enough, the Philadelphia Phillies struggled against LHP last season, batting just .239 (26th overall), while striking out in over 20% of their ABs.
Catcher: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, MIA ($3,000): Buster Posey, SFG ($4,200) also makes a fine play, but for that kind of money, I’d rather spend elsewhere. Last year, Saltalamacchia posted a .294 BA vs. RHP. More importantly, he posted a .376 wOBA, and an OPS of .873 vs. RHP, to go along with a OBP of .350 vs. righties. To be fair, he does strike out a fair amount, but Jordan Lyles isn’t exactly a strikeout pitcher, so some of that risk should be mitigated.
Savoy Special: Dioner Navarro, TOR ($2,600): Navarro will be facing one of the least imposing pitchers on the evening’s slate in Mark Buehrle and batting fifth in the Blue Jays lineup. For his career, Navarro has a more than respectable .337 wOBA vs. LHP, with a .335 OBP. Don’t expect Navarro to go off, but if you’re looking to punt the catcher position, he’s a very safe play.
First Base: Chris Davis, BAL ($4,500): Chris Davis will square off against John Lackey, a pitcher who he’s absolutely owned over his career, batting .367 in 30 career ABs. Additionally, Davis is a hitter who fares well vs. RHP, as evidenced by his .316 BA vs. them last year. Even more impressive is his wOBA of .473 vs. RHP last year. Those numbers combined with a .415 OBP and 1.142 OPS vs. RHP last season, make it clear why Davis is the top play at first.
Also consider, Brandon Belt, SFG ($3,500)
Savoy Special: I would not advise going cheap at first base.
Second Base: Neil Walker, PIT ($3,100): Last year vs. RHP at home, Walker had a robust .401 wOBA, while also posting a .410 OBP. Additionally, he carried a SLG mark of .500, that combined with his OBP for a .918 OPS. It’s also worth mentioning that he batted .308 vs. RHP at home. All that, combined with the fact that he’s facing Edwin Jackson, should spell fantasy success for Walker.
Savoy Specials: None