This article is part of our The Daily Duel series.
Tip of The Week
With the first month of baseball in the books, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at some team stats to consider when deciding on a starting pitching. Since a strikeout (+1) negates an earned run against (-1), let's look at some teams who strike out a lot and others which have better discipline.
Most Strikeouts By Team Entering Play 4/30/13:
1. Houston 255
2. Atlanta 235
3. Boston 221
4. Cincinnati 220
5. Seattle 219
Least Strikeouts By Team Entering Play 4/30/13:
26. Detroit 163
27. San Francisco 163
28. Minnesota 160
29. Kansas City 158
30. Texas 144
While one month is still a small sample size, this shows which teams are demonstrating good plate discipline and which are not. When looking at some of the teams with fewer strikeouts, you may want to think twice about streaming that stud, expensive starting pitcher against them, as you may not get the strikeouts you are anticipating.
Value Players Looking To Rebound
Here are some players who have seen their value drop significantly due to poor production in the season thus far. You might be surprised at some of the names and how much their stock has fallen. That being said, most of these players have a track record of success or enough pedigree that they should be able to turn their season around sooner rather than later and have good value in the near future as a result.
Miguel Montero, ARI, $2600 – One of the biggest workhorses in the game with 140 and 141 games played over each of the last two seasons, Montero has struggled coming out of the gate. He's hitting .198 to start the season with only one home run. The good news here is over each of the last two seasons he's had at least an .820 OPS which is more than passable for a catcher. Montero continues to hit in a good home ballpark and has not been moved from his spot in the middle of the order where he should rack up another 80+ RBI.
Adam LaRoche, WAS, $2700 – Outside of Bryce Harper, all of the Nationals, including LaRoche, have been struggling at the dish. LaRoche has three home runs so far, but he's only batting .143 to start his 2013 campaign. While it's pretty obvious LaRoche won't match last season's gaudy stats, he should be able to hit 25 bombs with 80 RBI as long as he stays healthy.
B.J. Upton, ATL, $3000 – Another slow starter, Upton is hitting .146 with 32 strikeouts in 99 plate appearances. Given he hasn't topped an OBP of .331 in any of the past four seasons, Upton was miscast in his role as the leadoff hitter for the Braves at the start of the season. He's been moved down the order, which will hopefully take some pressure off of him.
These players have been some of the hottest hitters in the league recently. They are worth considering putting into the lineup regardless of the price they cost. Hot streaks don't always last, but one of my rules is if a player's smoking the ball, there's no reason to sit him down.
Russell Martin, PIT, $2800 – Remember the catcher the Yankees had last season who hit a whopping .211 in hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium? To say Martin has caught fire is an understatement, as the ex-Dodger now has four home runs, five runs and six RBI over the last four games. Look for him to get back into the lineup soon after getting a day of rest Wednesday.
Ryan Raburn, CLE, $3000 – I really can't offer any reasonable, logical explanation as to what's gotten into Ryan Raburn. He now has gone 7-for-8 with four homers, five runs and seven RBI over his last two games. Obviously, he's going to cool down at some point, but it's hard to imagine losing if you've had him in any of the past two days.
Matt Joyce, TB, $2700 – Joyce has put some early season struggles behind him and started to hit for power over the last few days. After Tuesday night's matchup against former teammate James Shields, Joyce is now 6-for-16 (.375) with three home runs, six RBI and three walks over his last four games. Keep in mind he's only two seasons removed from a campaign of 19 home runs, 13 stolen bases and a .277 batting average.
Nate McLouth, BAL, $4200 – McLouth has been a nice story, as a guy who showed a lot of promise early in his career and is now mounting a nice comeback. He's shown the ability to get on base, run (eight stolen bases) and then score (21 runs in 22 games). McLouth's 8:14 K:BB ratio is pretty crazy, so there could be something to him using a better approach at the plate. He's not cheap, but he's produced when daily fantasy players have plugged him into their lineups so far.
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