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DRAFT MLB Strategy: Monday

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

This year, we have a new partner for Daily Fantasy baseball. We’re excited about the innovative games offered by DRAFT. If you aren’t familiar, think of it as DFS meets traditional fantasy. You sit down with one to nine others for a short snake draft. You’ll select a pitcher, two infielders, and two outfielders. The order with which you fill those positions is up to you.

 

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. Spencer Limbach explains the differences along with some general strategy. My job is to discuss underrated and overrated players in today’s slate. I’ll also share some thoughts about daily strategy.

 

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.

 

Mike Clevinger – SP – Cleveland (DRAFT Projection: 8.0 FP)

 

Clevinger is the 21st ranked pitcher per DRAFT, but I’m easily taking him in the top eight. Like all pitchers this time of year, we probably shouldn’t expect more than five or six innings. He should receive plenty of run support opposite JC Ramirez. Additionally, he posts strikeout and run rates similar to today’s top pitcher - Charlie Morton. I’m anticipating 5.2 innings, six strikeouts, three runs, and one-third of a win – a 10 point projection. He’s one of the highest ceiling pitchers available today.

 

 

Jose Ramirez – INF – Cleveland (DRAFT Projection: 8.6 FP)

 

I assume DRAFT’s projection service is still confused about the pre-breakout versions of Ramirez. Or perhaps it isn’t accounting for the new right field wall at Angels Stadium. The switch-hitter has a juicy matchup against JC Ramirez – a slightly below average right-hander. Ramirez the pitcher is slightly homer prone despite a high ground ball rate. Ramirez the hitter performs well against ground ball pitchers. Batting third for the Indians supplies all sorts of run production opportunities, and his low-strikeout profile offers multiple ways to thrive. Despite ranking outside of the top 30, he’s one of the first five infielders I’m drafting today.

 

 

Rhys Hoskins – INF – Philadelphia (DRAFT Projection: 9.7 FP)

 

Early in the spring, there was much ado about Matt Harvey’s impending rebound. Reports of improved velocity were largely exaggerated. He’s still a formerly good righty with a mashable fastball. His breaking ball is a shadow of its former self. Hoskins’ combination of contact ability and power should play well against the shattered shell of The Dark Knight. Keep an eye on the weather. You may opt to go against this pick due to cold temperatures.

 

UPDATE: Mets-Phillies has been postponed due to snow. 

 

 

 

OVERRATED PLAYERS

These players may not live up to their DRAFT projection.

 

Charlie Morton – SP – Houston (DRAFT Projection: 14.2 FP)

 

Morton is projected to be the top pitcher today by nearly four points. He’s still the top arm, it’s just that he isn’t nearly so separated from the pack. I fully expect him to ease into the season, limiting him to five or six innings today. Add in a couple runs, six strikeouts, and half a win. We’re left with a 12 point projection. He has easy upside beyond this, but it’s not his mean/median outcome.

 

 

Josh Donaldson – INF – Toronto (DRAFT Projection: 10.7 FP)

 

Donaldson is battling one or more injuries at the moment. Watching him yesterday, he took some… questionable… hack at the plate. While the 10.7 point projection might be close to par for a healthy Donaldson versus Reynaldo Lopez, I’m deducting 20 percent due to injury. In any event, I’m not taking him ahead of Giancarlo Stanton (10.4 FP) or Freddie Freeman (10.1 FP).

 

 

OVERALL STRATEGY

 

Prioritize Pitchers. The pool is ugly after Morton. In deeper leagues – i.e. six, eight, or ten person formats - you’ll want to lock down an early hurler. Especially if you have access to Morton. Others I like include Jordan Montgomery, Zach Davies, Tanner Roark, Jameson Taillon, Clevinger, and ultimate dice roll Miles Mikolas.

 

 

Designated Infielders. Rather than deferring to a player’s natural position, designated hitters are listed as infielders. Look for Stanton and Khris Davis today.

 

 

Have fun! Infield and outfield aren’t remotely shallow today. There are plenty of good hitters with juicy matchups. Don’t stress too much about getting a specific guy. The next best pick is probably just as good.

 

 

Last but not least, don’t be afraid to stack in deeper contests.

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