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Here are some recommended plays for the upcoming week. Keep in mind that you should consider the player and their current circumstances while also weighing their value based on the format of the contests you want to enter. For example, typically in 50/50 or head-to-head leagues you want to play things safe by having a higher floor rather than reaching for upside. Guaranteed points are great in these formats. However, when joining large tournaments you will want to draft more for ceiling, which includes taking players no one will touch. For example, everyone has gotten the hang of the idea to stream pitchers against the Marlins or Astros. Sometimes fading that strategy can pay off as we saw when the Astros visited Seattle last week. Also, going for ceiling can mean plugging in a pitcher coming off a bad start. A good example is Lance Lynn
, who was two different pitchers between his first and second starts.
Let’s look at some players at each hitting position that caught my eye given their price, recent production and/or upcoming matchups.
, ARI, $3300 – It amazes me how durable Montero has been despite his heavy workload (over 500 PAs in the last two seasons). On most nights, Montero hits in the cleanup spot, which has led to RBI totals of 88 and 86 over the last two seasons. Arizona heads to Colorado this weekend to face the Rockies, providing a nice matchup in the thin air.
, STL, $3300 – I usually highlight players who better perceived value than Adams, but it’s hard to ignore what he has done so far. Adams has started the season with three home runs in only 20 plate appearances. The problem is that the Cardinals don’t really have a spot for him in their lineup. Adams would best profile as a designated hitter (somewhere he’ll likely be during Interleague play), so he only finds the occasional start at first base. An injury to the brittle Carlos Beltran
could change that if the Cardinals decide to move Allen Craig
to the outfield. Keep an eye out for days Adams plays while other owners plug in everyday players.
, PIT, $3100 – After a slow start, Walker has caught fire at the plate. Over his last four games Walker has gone 8-for-18 (.444) with a home run and five RBI. Walker usually hits in the middle of the lineup and only a spot or two behind Andrew McCutchen
, which adds to his value.
, CIN, $3000 – Cozart sometimes gets lost in the shuffle considering some of the bats in the Reds’ lineup and the hype following Todd Frazier
heading into this season. Cozart, in his second full season as a starter, will look to build on his 15 home runs from last season, which is already a solid number for a position that lacks power. While he has only hit .167 so far, he does have three home runs which bodes well for his success this season. He has a nice slate of hitting-friendly matchups coming up with the Marlins heading into town.
, MIA, $2300 – I’m sure at the beginning of the 2012 season if you told Giancarlo Stanton
that hitting behind him in the cleanup spot this season would be Polanco, he would have laughed. Then, if you told him that Polanco would be the best hitter on the team two weeks into the season by over 70 points at .312, he would have laughed even harder. The fact is that Polanco has been arguably the best hitter for the Marlins and likely won’t move out of the cleanup spot. He has a good batting eye and once Stanton comes back and is effective should see some RBI opportunities.
, MIL, $2800 – Gomez is off to a slow start, hitting .261 with one home run and zero stolen bases. The good news here is that Gomez got a contract extension in the offseason, so he should have a pretty long leash. Gomez had a B.J. Upton
-like 19 home runs and 37 stolen bases last season, proving that he has the power/speed combo that can be very valuable in daily fantasy leagues. It should be only a matter of time before he turns things around and his price starts rising.
, MIN, $2700 – With Aaron Hicks
struggling (.047 BA with 20 Ks in 47 PAs), it’s likely that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire will start plugging Mastroianni into the leadoff spot more frequently. Mastroianni missed Tuesday night’s contest with an ankle injury, but the injury doesn’t seem to be too serious. Mastroianni has a good amount of speed (21 SBs in 187 PAs with the Twins last year) and could be this year’s version of Ben Revere
for Minnesota. Watch the daily lineups as Mastroianni is a sneaky play when in the leadoff spot ahead of Joe Mauer
and Justin Morneau
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