On the third day of the season, we’re graced with some fantastic matchups. After two days filled with pitching studs, we’re making our first pass into pitchers that we can expect to give up runs at a higher clip. So long, Justin Verlander. Hello, Aaron Harang.
Last week, Blake, with a hat tip to Jeff Zimmermann, reminded us all that weather matters a great deal. And, given that winter doesn’t want to loosen its grip on some regions of the country, weather forecasts will play a large part during the next few weeks. Brett outlined stacking Monday. Stacking is a strategy, that I’m in favor of, especially when teams are trotting out the back ends of their rotation.
For the most part, I keep things simple in regards to making plays, because I’ll personally talk myself out of a lot of nice plays if I try to get too cute. I predominantly rely on weather data, batted ball splits, and splits by handedness.
Four games today have at least a 50% chance of precipitation. Those four are: Mariners/Angels, Phillies/Rangers, Cardinals/Reds, and Cubs/Pirates. It appears that the weather will allow for the games to be played, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re toiling over a decision, because taking zeroes is not optimal.
Wednesday’s probable starters are listed below, sorted by their wOBA allowed to batters of each handedness. I used 2012 and 2013 data. A few of the names are relatively new, so small sample size caveats apply in some cases.
Numbers in green have been highlighted because hitters could potentially feast off of the pitcher that owns those green numbers. Not surprisingly, Harang and Correia are littered with green cells, but Draftstreet knows they’re likely to give up their fair share of runs, and the prices for their opposition are set accordingly.
The Daily Five
Brandon Belt – $5,948
Sweet swinging lefty, with the platoon advantage in a nice home run park, for cheap? Yes, please. Belt doesn’t exactly struggle with left handed pitching, so labeling him a platoon bat is unfair, but he absolutely mauled righties last season, posting a .375 wOBA. Quite possibly my favorite play of the day.
Jose Bautista – $ 7,010
Bautista’s patience and platoon advantage should allow him to have a nice day versus the Rays’ Matt Moore. Moore’s control issues have been right in front of us for awhile, and I don’t think today will be any different. If Moore is missing his spots today, it could be a long day, and Bautista is my pick to make that long day happen.
Miguel Cabrera – $10,121
It goes without saying that Miggy will cost a pretty penny – more than 10% of your budget. But, he tunes up lefties to the tune of a .418 wOBA, and the opposing pitcher, Jason Vargas, has allowed a .376 wOBA to righties over the past two season. It’s a match made in heaven.
Ian Kinsler – $8,606
Same story as Cabrera.
John Lackey – $13,942
I’m not fan of many of the pitchers going tomorrow, at least, at their price. Lackey made legitimate improvements last season, and his middling price tag gives you the option to pair him with a higher priced option if you choose to do so. The matchup isn’t fantastic, but Lackey’s still my favorite budget pick today.
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Landon is a senior writer at The Fantasy Fix. You can follow and interact with him on Twitter (@joneslandon).