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Draftster MLB: Strategic Musings and Weekly Picks

Christopher Olson

Christopher Olson

Christopher Olson covers the Angels for RotoWire and writes the weekly Draftster MLB and Dominate Your Duel daily games articles for RotoWire.

One of the more useful innovations from Draftster is that their lineups don't lock universally at the start of a contest. Instead, users can substitute out players any time before the first pitch of each player's individual game. This is a godsend for daily fantasy, as it allows us to protect ourselves from rainouts and late scratches, which can destroy the integrity of a lineup.

It also gives users an interesting opportunity to build their team based on the context of a contest. For example, if you find yourself trailing your opponents by seven or more points with only one hitter left to play, you may find that you need to gamble on that power threat you initially shied away from due to an unacceptably high strikeout concern. By allowing us to continually alter our lineups, Draftster gives us more control over the teams we create, which could potentially be the difference between a win or a loss.

As Draftster grows, players are presented with more features to make lineup building more convenient. To this end, Draftster has added a "probable starters" sorting button. This makes it much easier to comb through the days' hurlers, and helps ensure that the most important piece of your lineup will take the field.

Time for Picks!

Pitchers

Ian Kennedy (P) (8,500)

Kennedy is sporting the highest strikeout rate and lowest walk rate of his career this season by a fairly wide margin. He faces the Mets on Sunday, who have struggled against right-handed pitching all season. Kennedy may not be as cheap as some of our previous pitchers, but the edge he carries into the contest makes it worth the splurge.

Batters

J.A. Happ has had a few decent starts this season, but he has really struggled overall, allowing six home runs in 35.2 innings against righties. The Orioles lineup features two gentlemen who absolutely destroy left-handed pitching.

Their names are…

Adam Jones (OF) ($7,500)
Nelson Cruz (OF) ($3,000)

The other pitcher in that contest, Chris Tillman, has also been knocked around at a pretty consistent rate this season. The Blue Jays have a nice collection of cheap lefties to exploit the park factor of Camden Yards.

But our standout competitor is…

Adam Lind (1B) ($3,000)

It is rather unfortunate for us that Juan Francisco is still listed as a first baseman, as he has played far more games at third (37) than any other position. Lind and Francisco would make a great pairing Sunday, but we will have to choose between them instead.

Marco Estrada is what we call a reverse split, as he has allowed a .543 slugging percentage to right-handed hitters in 42 innings pitched. Great American Ballpark is more conducive to right-handed power, so it'd be great for us if the Reds had a righty who excelled against his own hand.

And here he is…

Devin Mesoraco (C) ($3,000}

Continuing…

If there is a starting pitcher in the league that has been more victimized by left-handed hitters than Nicholas Martinez, I have yet to read his stat line. Martinez has a slugging percentage against southpaws of .592 in 23.2 innings pitched, while allowing 18 walks against just 12 strikeouts. This fits like a glove, giving me two more formal recommendations to make.

Kyle Seager (3B) ($3,000)
Robinson Cano (2B) ($8,800)

A final note regarding Sunday…

I always feel strange recommending a Braves stack in this format, particularly since Turner Field is not conducive to right-handed power. It bears keeping in mind, however, that the Braves face a very iffy lefty in Hector Santiago on Sunday. Granted, he pitched very well in his last start against the A's on Tuesday, but he emerged from Triple-A Salt Lake with a 6.43 ERA in three starts prior to that, and Justin Upton, Evan Gattis, and Andrelton Simmons all wear out left-handed pitching.

The Week at a Glance

Jason Vargas has pitched pretty well this season, but he's also been allowing home runs to righties. The Tigers, whom he will face Monday, have more than a few righty bats to take a look at.

Also on Monday, Kevin Correia steps into Fenway Park to take on the Red Sox. Correia has done a decent job with home run suppression this season, but will bring his pitch-to-contact style to a much more hitter-friendly environment, which could yield some serious runs.

John Danks has pitched fairly well of late but will face some mean right-handed hitters at home when he battles the Giants on Tuesday.

C.J. Wilson gets the Indians at Progressive Field on Wednesday. Cleveland has struggled against left-handed pitchers all season, and Wilson has been getting back to his strikeout ways of late.

Also on Wednesday, Nate Eovaldi takes on the Cubs at home. The Cubs are among the worst in the league against righties, and Eovaldi gets his fair share of strikeouts and groundballs.

Drew Hutchison has been pretty good this season, but he's also been giving up homers to lefties. This may not bode well for him Thursday at Yankee Stadium.

Ubaldo Jimenez will try to navigate the short porch in the Bronx on Friday. This has "uh-oh" written all over it.

Friday will also see Henderson Alvarez take on the Mets in Marlins Park. It's very easy (and often profitable) to pick on the Mets against talented righties.

Grab the quality Orioles righties we discussed earlier against Vidal Nuno on Saturday. You could also try grabbing the not-so-quality righties.