Draft Scripts: Using NFBC ADP’s to evaluate Outfield

In anticipation of the FSTA draft this week, I continue my early look at NFBC ADP’s, concentrating on the top 200 in money drafts. While the names continue to shuffle others stay the same. Outfield will be about trust, mixing some power with guys who can steal some bases and catching that bargain that others either overlooked or were burned by last year. It is evident in the ADP information that it will take due diligence and maybe a little luck to hit on the breakouts this year. Due the fact there are forty nine names to digest I made one chart and took the liberty of splitting up their strengths by color:

Red – 20+ HR, 8 < SB (Power); Green – 10 < HR, 20+ SB (Speed); Blue – 10+ HR, 10+ SB (Blends)

Here is how the outfield stacks up. I listed their draft rank below and also inserted their average ADP’s in the NFBC drafts to give an early indicator of their value prior to Thursday’s FSTA draft.

OF NFBC Avg ADP Chart Update 2

Keeping with the format, I have processed each player drafted in the top 200 in charts with their respective Steamer Projections courtesy of Fangraphs.com. After each group I will give some thoughts about how the outfielders stack up and then move to the next one. The first two charts will be in groups of seventeen then the last group will round out to the 49 outfielders according to the ADP numbers.

Group One – 4 Power, 1 Speed and 12 Blends

OF NFBC Projection Chart 1-17

I mean the first seventeen at most positions should be rock solid and for the most part the outfielders are. I have sort of clumped some highlights into categories since the Golden Globes just happened, so here goes. By the way I am not scared of either Matt Kemp or Justin Upton in San Diego but I wrote about that already here.
Safety in numbers: Adam Jones, Baltimore
He is not flashy and is always a regression candidate and he just keeps producing. It is like you do not feel great drafting him at his ADP but he is consistent while not flashy, which in the first round is not so bad.
Bounce Back: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee
I was warning drafters last year to avoid Ryan, but I am back. Since his ADP is trending down, his health may be up and guys who produce 28 home runs and 12 steals are dwindling with a batting average near .300, so I am here with open arms.
Trust Issues: Michael Brantley, Cleveland; Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado
While I am intrigued by the price on Carlos Gonzalez, his checkered health past, last year makes him a very risky option this early. But he could deliver a season like Michael Brantley did last year. Let that marinate a minute. Brantley broke through for a strong 2014, are you feeling lucky paying for a repeat? If you are the cost may alarm you.
Wild Cards: Bryce Harper, Washington; George Springer, Houston
Two guys who could determine how teams finish. I mean there is a 25 home run and 15 steal season while hitting .290 just waiting for Harper who people seem to forget is only 22 years old. With batting averages dropping across baseball again, a guy who could hit 30 home runs and if his legs stay healthy, steal 20 is tolerable if he hits .240, but the .240 could be iffy. If Springer gets his average to .250, then he is a potential top 10 outfielder. There, I said it.
Upside Play: Starling Marte, Pittsburgh
At the same cost as Carlos Gonzalez who may strain a pinkie or Billy Hamilton I can get a poor man’s Jacoby Ellsbury who is younger with more upside? Twenty picks later? Absolutely.
Group Two – 6 Power, 2 Speed, 9 Blends

OF NFBC Projection Chart 18-34

Safety in numbers: Nelson Cruz, Seattle
It is clear that Nelson Cruz’s huge 2014 netted him the Mariners contract which is twofold, first he will protect Robinson Cano and second he adds a power right handed bat that they have craved. While I am not saying to invest heavily in a repeat, he can still hit 25 home runs and you know what you are getting with Cruz.
Bounce Back: Jay Bruce, Cincinnati
At a time when power hitters are craved a strong return by Jay Bruce at a deflated cost would be huge for his fantasy value. We know he can hit for power, or at least should, but will his batting average return to respectability? Or does the shift have another victim?
Trust Issues: Charlie Blackburn, Colorado; J.D. Martinez, Detroit
One had a career year in Coors field and the other was an outcast from the Astros and found success in Motown? If I had to pick from the two, I think a repeat in power by Martinez is possible with some losses in batting average but his Steamer projection supports a solid season. I think Blackburn is a nice story but to invest in him this early when there are other options available late is a tough pick to justify.
Wild Cards: Rusney Castillo, Boston; Jorge Soler, Chicaco Cubs
A Cuban theme here in the wild card section so all kidding aside, they both have immense ability. If Castillo can translate his winter season statistics to the major leagues then the Red Sox have an even deeper outfield and should be dealing Allen Craig sooner than later. Not to kill the theme, but a power hitting outfielder is becoming rarer and rarer, so Jorge Soler has to be on radars. Since he could hit more home runs without destroying a team’s batting average I may venture to gamble on him since he can develop over say a Jay Bruce….the shift….
Upside Play: Jason Heyward, St. Louis
On my tombstone it will read, he trusted in in Jason Heyward. He has not hit left-handed pitching, well, at all lately and even though I sang his praises from the rooftops last year Heyward was replaced in Atlanta by Nick Markakis? Yes, that Nick Markakis. I am not saying that 20/20 is a guarantee but would it surprise anyone that being a Cardinal unlocked his potential? Would not be the first guy to have that happen.
Group Three: 3 Power, 4 Speed, 7 Blends, Melky Cabrera

OF NFBC Projection Chart 35-49

Safety in numbers: There is not really safety out here….

Bounce Back: Shin-Soo Choo, Texas
With health, it is hard to imagine a prohibitive top twenty outfielder in 2014 draft preps has fallen so precipitously, but Choo has. How many owners did he upset? In NFBC formats this means he is a tenth round pick and chance well worth taking. Unless the curse of Kinsler is real.
Trust Issues: Same as the safety problem, there are going to be trust issues here as well. Just look at the ADP’s of Alex Rios and the aforementioned Choo.
Wild Cards: Avisail Garcia, Chicago White Sox; Yasmany Tomas, Arizona
It takes some stones to invest in players out here in drafts and when you see the pitching options you will see why I am going to get power and hitters early and try to target pitching later. But I will take a chance on Avisail Garcia here since he could have a ceiling of 20 home runs with ten steals at an ADP of 172 on average. All day every day. The White Sox are going to score some runs. Yasmany Tomas will come with some hype especially with the breakout that Jose Abreu had last year but I fear that Tomas will resemble a different White Sox teammate, Dayan Viciedo. Tread lightly here….
Upside: Gregory Polanco, Pittsburgh
There are all kinds of terms, post-hype sleeper for example, whatever you want to say I think Polanco had a tough go after his promotion last year but he is talented. After watching him in person I was a fan and he has presence. Though his ceiling in 2015 is probably 13 home runs and 25 stolen bases that is a bargain where he is going.
It is getting late so I am going to offer up one more chart with player that are beyond the top 200 in each category for outfield with their projections included. When you speak of me, please speak nicely.

OF NFBC Undrafted Chart with Projections Updated

Statistical credits: Baseball-Reference.com, Fangraphs.com, ESPN.go.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/DKf0LS

Check out FantasyRundown.com for all of our latest articles and other great fantasy content.

Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!

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Draft Scripts: Early ADP’s

Every live money draft has had one number one pick. The real debates lie in every selection after Mike Trout.
The real debate begins after Mike Trout is selected at 1 overall

Gearing up for fantasy baseball drafts is one of my favorite times of the year. Crunching numbers, ranking players and observing how values fluctuate as the season comes closer is something I really enjoy. I have already been looking at the NFBC ADP available on Nesn.com and there have been interesting developments. But I was even more intrigued by the following tweet today:

While the information available is fascinating, the list that Greg Amrosius kindly posted outlines the top 200 in the money drafts that have already happened. When money is on the line, there will be tougher decisions and the players ranks could provide some early clarity. Processing the top 200 was not easy as I was busy working on spreadsheets, but I modified the 200 players into a more common 12 team format (the NFBC is 15 team league drafts) for the article’s purposes. These are rough estimates and I will follow up tomorrow with the players ranked by position to see what trends show there as well. As for today, I listed the rank of the player, what his average pick selection is and his rank by position in the charts below. After each round or two, I will give my two cents worth on the first top 200 from drafts I have seen this year. If you think you are seeing pitchers early and often, you are correct. Enjoy!

Round 1

That Mike Trout guy is still number one, and he will not be fat this year. He could be a bit weak against pitches up in the zone but he is the only player in the top 12 to go number one in every single draft. I have never been a proponent of taking a pitcher in the first round, but if there is one I would consider it is Clayton Kershaw. Even in an injury riddled season he still produced the goods. There is growing concern around Miguel Cabrera’s ankle and foot surgery but if the Tigers know that they are all in with their window of opportunity closing, he will play through it like he did last September. There are some newcomers in this list with Jose Abreu, Carlos Gomez, Felix Hernandez and Jose Altuve moving into the top 12, but I would only take one at the price listed above; Abreu. Toronto owns the tail end of the first round with Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion providing plenty of punch in a lineup that welcomes Josh Donaldson to the fold.

Round 2

There are surprises above with Anthony Rendon and Michael Brantley making huge jumps in early drafts. I was a big proponent of Rendon last year but this may be too rich for my blood. Troy Tulowitzki and a replacement player still make up probably the best shortstop tandem in roto but he comes with risk. At a time where power is in high demand in drafts I will find it difficult to take a player like Adam Jones here but it depends on what is available. Robinson Cano was overpriced in Seattle last year but as the third second baseman, I really love him at 22. While Madison Bumgarner almost single-handedly defeated the Royals, there is a lot of mileage on his arm from last fall, which could cause for some to reach on him. I am waiting.

Round 3

Like Cano, I think the depressed price on Ryan Braun makes him a buy this year. Motivated to prove his detractors wrong and possibly healthy I would rather have a third round Braun over a second round Adam Jones. Pitchers, pitchers everywhere, with four more coming off the board in this round. It is hard to gauge Max Scherzer since some of his value will be determined by where he signs. After A.J. Preller’s wheeling and dealing, there are two Padres in this round with Kemp and Upton. I am not scared by either in Petco this year. Bryce Harper will be a polarizing figure, he is 22 and while he has burned us in the past, this is a good price for him.

Round 4

Projections are all over the place on George Springer but in the fourth round in the mock 200, he could provide first round value. His batting average is not going to be great, but for a player with 30/30 potential, this is a great flier at pick 41.08 overall. Speed is flying off the board here (no pun intended), but Dee Gordon and Billy Hamilton may be fighting for the National League stolen base title this year. Carlos Gonzalez, man is he tempting here, but he is made of glass. I go with Springer and take the hit in average for his possible breakout instead of reading that CarGo is out with a tweak or bad finger on a monthly basis. It is an interesting decision, you can take Cueto, Darvish or Wainwright here to anchor your staff, who is it?

Round 5

Two more Rockies outfielders come off the board in Corey Dickerson and Charlie Blackmon. I lean Dickerson here. Last year Albert Pujols was going to fall off but here he is still and somehow I think Miguel Cabrera will do the same this year. Jon Lester had a great 2014 and moving to the NL could help his peripherals, but can he win 15+ with the Cubs this year? In all honesty, the Rockie I am eying the most here is Arenado, I could justify grabbing him ahead of Longoria but there is safety in numbers. Two more closers go off the board here but I am waiting for strikeout upside later, I like Kimbrel and Holland but grab power early and often, pitchers can be had later as you will see.

Round 6

Four more starting pitchers are taken in this round and Matt Harvey is among them. I am tempted to grab him but it is a risk to have him as a number one coming off of Tommy John Surgery and knowing the Mets will protect his innings, but he has had 18 months to rehab and is ready to go. Jeff Samardzija could be a sneaky play in Chicago but I am avoiding Prince Fielder and Yoenis Cespedes. Cole Hamels is nice in this round but really needs a change in scenery to make him a bargain in the sixth.

Round 7

A mini first baseman run happens here following Prince last round with Carlos Santana, Chris Davis and Joey Votto. Gun to my head I will go with Carlos Santana of these three. Crazy? Probably but I am willing to take chances from round seven on. Two Cardinal outfielders are here but if you want safe it is Holliday, upside and playing for a contract, Jason Heyward. I really like him in St. Louis this year.

Round 8

Alex Cobb is a pitcher I like at this point of the draft, especially over James Shields. Josh Harrison had a great year but gambling on a repeat here may be tough to swallow. Wong represents upside and two more closers are off the board. What are fantasy owners going to do with David Wright? I think he is a great value here. While he will not return to his glory days, he has a better track record than Josh Harrison.

Round 9

Speaking of risk, the ninth round brings just that. Kris Bryant has power that is in demand not only in baseball but for fantasy players as well. Javier Baez has all-world power and could swipe 13-15 bags as well, albeit with a .220 average. If Tyson Ross and Jake Arrieta can stay healthy they are good values here, especially Arrieta for me. As a matter of fact, the pitchers in this round are really good targets including Alex Wood, Hisashi Iwakuma and Jacob deGrom. Doubling up early on two aces just doesn’t make sense to me.

Round 10

If the ninth was risky, so is the tenth. Power hitting outfielders who may only hit .250-.260 like J.D. Martinez and Jorge Soler are here, but I prefer them to reaching for Yoenis Cespedes four rounds earlier. Gio Gonzalez was really good in the second half, I mean really good. Speaking of power, if Evan Gattis gets to play left field with catcher eligibility, he can hit 30 home runs. Three more closers go in this round so even though I probably have not taken one yet, the time is nearing.

Round 11

I have seen articles ranking Carlos Carrasco high for this year. But so far in money drafts he is the 30th pitcher selected. Even if he flames out at this price it is easily worth the risk. Speaking of which, Dellin Betances was out of this world good last year. His same age numbers are strikingly similar to his mentor Mariano Rivera, just saying. Definitely taking Gregory Polanco over Wil Myers here. I am very interested to see what Rusney Castillo can do, he will have a better year than fellow Cuban import Yasmany Tomas. Book it.

Round 12

Remember when everyone was so excited by Pablo Sandoval going to Boston? That leaves him as the 12th third baseman selected and while his average and numbers will see a bump, how much will they improve? It seems that people are frightened off by Tanaka’s elbow, and I agree. But if he pitches 20 or more games in this round, he is worth it. Chris Carter hits home runs, takes walks and will not hit much better than .250 but if he can mash 35 long balls, who cares?

Round 13

Why am I not taking Pablo Sandoval in the 12th? Because I can get Manny Machado in the 13th, at least in this top 200. This is a cornucopia of value. Adam LaRoche can hit 30 home runs if he adjusts to DH in Chicago but he will be hitting after Jose Abreu and ahead of Avisail Garcia in a bandbox. Shin-Soo Choo was a consensus top 20 outfielder preseason last year, how soon we forget. Another post hype prospect is Xander Bogaerts who could provide pop at shortstop and flourish this year after some consolidation in 2014.

Round 14 revised

Some outfielders with speed in Brett Gardner, Leonys Martin and Alex Rios come off the board here. Always underrated Howie Kendrick and Justin Morneau, too. I think Hector Rondon is great value this late, he really blossomed in the second half. Jason Motte is a depth signing but Joe Maddon does change closers more than most which can be a worry.

Round 15

Want to know why I am waiting on pitchers? Look no further. Drew Smyly and Zack Wheeler could provide good ratios and strikeouts in round 14. Not to mention Marcus Stroman who could break out this year. His 2014 was not a fluke and with a better defense he is primed to shine in 2015. Avisail Garcia is another target I really like here, the White Sox are going to score runs and he may hit fifth with double-digit home runs and stolen bases.

Round 16 revised

I have yet to give up on Wilson Ramos and I will be lighting a candle for his health. If anyone this year can follow Devin Mesoraco’s power breakthrough of 2014, it is Ramos in 2015. Melky Cabrera will produce in Chicago and could bat second. Speaking of health, Travis d’Arnaud is another catcher with upside if he can stay on the field.

last 8 picks in 200

How can you take Matt Shoemaker over Phil Hughes? His K/BB in the second half was epic and though his wins are neutralized a bit in Minnesota, he is being overlooked. Mike Fiers will also be a popular sleeper target but look at Jose Fernandez. It seems the Marlins are all in and if he can return by July, a half season of Fernandez is better than a whole one from other pitchers. At this point, I would take A.J. Pollock over Josh Hamilton and that is really all you need to know about that.

Tomorrow I will list the players by position and try to formulate a set of tiers based on this early 200 courtesy of Greg Ambrosius of the NFBC. Drafts are coming, I may be crazy, but using all the information we can will help us be right.

Statistical credits: http://nfbcforums.stats.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=16344
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/8oFeAz

Check out FantasyRundown.com for all of our latest articles and other great fantasy content.

Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!

Transaction Scripts: Yankees in Transition

Headley enjoyed his stint in NY so much he took less to stay. Let that marinate with his 4 year 52 million dollar deal.
Headley enjoyed his stint in NY so much he took less to stay.

It seems strange to be breaking down New York’s offseason moves to this point without commenting on a free agent that they overspent on. Well, with the exception of Chase Headley. However, he may have left money on the table to sign with New York. Wait, what? In flurry of moves during the Winter Meetings, teams like San Diego, Los Angeles and Miami were wheeling and dealing. Within the division, Toronto has strengthened their team defense and lineup by signing Russell Martin and trading for Josh Donaldson. The Red Sox have been busy hoarding number three starters to go along with the signings of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. Tampa is being Tampa and making under the radar deals and stockpiling arms. The biggest news in Baltimore is that Chris Davis can (legally) take Adderall this year. Phew!

Oh yeah, one last thing. The black cloud that is Alex Rodriguez is hanging over the 2015 Yankees.

Brian Cashman is trying to look to the future and shed some of the mistakes of contract’s past. Now that the Derek Jeter retirement tour has ended and the “Core Four” have all retired, the time has come to try and rebuild on the fly. A total reclamation project is not in the offing for a franchise that prides itself with headlines, winning and most importantly, championships. But one of the reasons they have been quiet this winter is because the cupboard is kind of bare on the farm. Because the Yankees are devoid of the prospects that other teams desire, they have taken a new course. I was surprised about the backlash on Twitter from Yankee fans after they traded Martin Prado and David Phelps to Miami for Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Jones and prospect Domingo German. Prado is nice and all but his ceiling is limited and pitchers who repeatedly throw 95 MPH do not fall off trees. Adding the Marlins number 8 prospect in German was great as well. He is not overpowering but throws strikes.

So what have the Yankees done this winter?

Yankee Acquisitions: Andrew Miller, Didi Gregorius, Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Jones, Domingo German, Gonzalez Germen, Chase Headley, Chris Young
Yankee Losses: David Robertson, Shane Greene, Martin Prado, David Phelps, Brandon McCarthy

Starting with the infield, it appears for now that the Yankees are going to bring in Didi Gregorius and his strong defense to platoon with Brendan Ryan at shortstop. While it makes sense to be strong up the middle, what does Sir Didi offer as he tries to replace a Yankee Legend? According to ESPN Statistical Analysis, Gregorius made 41 good plays at shortstop in 2014 in 580 innings while the best total at the position was 71 good plays per 1,000 innings. I am not a math wizard but this implies that Gregorius was on pace to make more good plays per 1,000 innings than the leader in baseball. While this will not mean anything to Gregorius’ production on offense, if he helps save runs that may have more worth than anything he would do offensively. On a positive note, here is another list, courtesy of Mark Simon, noting the players with the highest hard hit rate in 2014:

Hard Hit Rate Mark Simon

It is only one statistic, but Gregorius is nestled in between Giancarlo Stanton and Mike Trout. I’m not sure how this happened but Didi is a candidate for a platoon. His career slash lines against left-handed pitching are a paltry .184/.257/.233 while his numbers improve against righties to the tune of .262/.332/.411. It is hard to say that a move to Yankee stadium will improve his numbers since Arizona is a hitter’s ballpark as well but the short porch in right is enticing to lefties. Gregorius has hit all 13 of his career homers off of right-handed pitchers so it really makes sense to platoon him with Brendan Ryan not only to shield him from the New York fans and writers but to allow him to gain confidence. This is could be a tough sell as Bob McManaman wrote about for the Arizona Republic:

“…this was a scout’s take on Gregorius in a text message to the New York Daily News: He’s OK. Solid defender, bat is light-long swing. Good athlete. Nervous type, not sure he can handle NY. If Gregorius is batting around .220 in May, Yankees fans and the New York tabloids alike will be screaming at Cashman for not trading for Troy Tulowitzki or Elvis Andrus or making a run at Hanley Ramirez before he bolted to the rival Red Sox.”

This will be Didi’s third team in the last three years. Replacing Derek Jeter is a tall order on its own, starting in New York as a platoon player at best whose best quality is defense, may be too tough for Gregorius to handle. In the 81 games Steamer projects out of him, he’ll produce 34 runs, 6 home runs, 32 RBI and 2 stolen bases while hitting .248/.310/.366. That does not look great but in comparison to Derek Jeter’s 2014 of 145 games, 47 runs, 4 home runs, 50 RBI, 10 stolen bases and .256/.304/.313 it doesn’t look so bad. I think Yankee fans are smarter than people give them credit for (Editor’s note: Greg is a Yankees fan). Gregorius may not light it up in fantasy, but if he saves runs for their patchwork pitching staff then he will be worth his spot in the platoon.

When the Yankees traded for Chase Headley in 2014 it seemed like a reach for a team that could not realistically make the playoffs. I remember watching a game near the end of the year and hearing that Headley was surprised about how much he enjoyed being a Yankee and that playing there may have changed his mind about his pending free agency. It really did not register with me at the time but while I am reading reports that his 4 year 52-million dollar contract was below other offers, I was surprised. Taking out his outlier 2012, his high in home runs for a season is 13 (which he has done each of the last two years). If the Yankees had any plans to give Alex Rodriguez playing time at third base would they have given Headley a four year contract? As congruent as Headley’s statistics have been over the last two years in which he has averaged 138 games, 57 runs, 13 home runs, 50 RBI, 8 SB and a .246/.338/.387 slash line, his power peripherals are very intriguing. First, here are Headley’s home runs from 2014 with an overlay of Yankee Stadium. Now he did hit 6 of his 13 homers with the Yankees, but notice the distances in comparison to the overlay:

Chase Headley Yankee Overaly 2014

What makes even less sense is how his supporting statistics match up over the last three years. I charted them below and you may find it as perplexing as I did:

Headley HR Chart

It would appear that Headley is regaining strength in his thumb with the increased bat velocities the last two seasons and while a return to his 31 home run spike from 2012 is very unlikely, I am willing to buy into Headley increasing his home run totals in 2015. Ballpark, plus increased HR/FB%, plus increased ball speed off the bat could translate into a bump in not only Headley’s home run totals, but his fantasy stats overall. Steamer seems to agree:

Chase Headley 2015: 138 G, 69 R, 17 HR, 68 RBI, 8 SB, .259/.343/.413

That is a solid portrayal for Headley going forward and although I was not enamored with his contract for the Yankees, it is a boon for his fantasy value. By no means does this propel him to the top of any 3B rankings but it makes him relevant again. If he can hold on to the distances that he exhibited in 2014, I could see him hitting 20 – 23 long balls next year:

2014 Longest HR by AVG Distance

Although it seems that the Yankees are stockpiling designated hitters with Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez already on the roster, they picked up Garrett Jones from the Marlins. Jones is not a particularly strong fielder in right or at first base so if he plays it will be for his bat. But if Jones is going to be a part of a platoon at DH, the Yankees may be on to something. Similar to Gregorius, Jones does his best work against right-handed pitchers, hitting 101 of his 117 career home runs off of them. His career slash lines against right-handers is .267/.333/.479, which, in New York is something to take note of. Once again, just like Headley, Jones’ power spike in 2012 has been followed up by back to back 15 homer campaigns. Unlike Headley, Jones’ peripheral numbers do not portend a serious jump in power due to his arrival in New York. First here is his home run overlay with Yankee stadium using his 2014 home runs:

Garrett Jones Yankee Overlay 2014

While Headley had supporting stats to say an increase in power is due to happen, Jones will have to rely on the short porch in right field for a power jump. But Jones averages a home run every 21.9 at bats against right-handed pitching for his career so if he can garner 450 at bats with the Yankees his career numbers dictate that he could hit 21 home runs at his peak. Using Jones’ Steamer projection of 81 games, he’s due to produce 41 runs, 14 home runs, 45 RBI and a .250/.311/.448 slash line. Jones’ value will be determined not only by how he is used but by how many at bats he gets. He is a sneaky cheap power play in AL-only leagues.

Finishing up the infield preview, it appears that a spring training battle at second base is brewing between Robert Refsnyder and Jose Pirela. At a time when Yankee fans are looking for a prospect to break through and contribute to this team, Refsnyder has been growing in the minor leagues. Their numbers in the minors last year are strikingly familiar:

Robert Refsnyder AA/AAA: 137 G, 82 R, 14 HR, 63 RBI, 9 SB, .318/.387/.497
Jose Pirela AAA: 130 G, 87 R, 10 HR, 60 RBI, 15 SB, .305/.351/.441

Pirela is on the active 40-man roster and would appear to have the inside track as the season opens, but a strong spring could push Refsnyder into the position earlier than anticipated. Defense could be the deciding factor, as Refsnyder is still a work in progress at second base and could use a bit more seasoning at AAA. Steamer seems to think that the Yankees will start with Pirela at the position:

Jose Pirela Steamer: 57 G, 24 R, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 5 SB, .259/.307/.381
Robert Refsnyder Steamer: 97 G, 45 R, 8 HR, 41 RBI, 9 SB, .262/.328/.390

Even though I think Refsnyder is the best for second base in the long run it may take him until June to win the job. But once he is there it may be his for some time which would make Yankee fans happy to see players come through the system again.
As to the pitching pieces in this deal, it starts with Nathan Eovaldi coming over from the Marlins. Like Chase Headley, he is a tough player to project for 2015 as he has enticing positives like his live arm and improving FIP but he has his warts. Courtesy of BrooksBaseball.net, here is repertoire:

Eovaldi MPH and Movement 2014

Fangraphs.com’s Eno Sarris has a couple of interesting tweets regarding Eovaldi:

To say that Eovaldi could be the next Garrett Richards is high praise indeed, but may be a work in progress. His pitches with batting averages against show the problems that Eovaldi has with his changeup:

Eovaldi 2014 Results against

There are reports that Eovaldi is working on a split finger fastball this offseason, so it will remain to be seen what he can do in a ballpark like Yankee Stadium. But with his velocity and youth, it is a risk worth taking for the Yankees.

The other piece in the Marlins trade was pitcher Domingo German who was the eighth rated Marlins prospect and immediately jumped one spot in the Yankee ranking to number 7 after the trade. German is a very good young pitcher who struck out 113 in 2014 against only 25 walks. His fastball is reported to be in the low 90’s with an average changeup and a developing slider. In his first full season in class A, German had a tidy 2.48 ERA. His fastball does have sink which is a plus as teams are looking for power pitchers who generate groundballs.

I have already written up Andrew Miller here and how he provides insurance in the bullpen as the Dellin Betances era may begin in New York. Having been fortunate enough to get him in the reserve draft in my AL-only league next year I look forward to Betances transitioning in to take over at closer for his mentor and hero Mariano Rivera. It will be interesting to see if the Yankees can stay the course and hold on to their prospects like Luis Severino, a live-armed righty who throws an easy fastball and allow AFL star Aaron Judge to develop instead of flipping him for an aging veteran. The times are changing in New York and I am curious to see how Brian Cashman sheds contracts before trying to make a splash in the 2016 free agent class. These are not the Yankees of years past, at least at the moment.

Statistical credits: Baseball-Reference.com, Fangraphs.com, BrooksBaseball.net, ESPN.com, MiLB.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/mGs6bU

Check out FantasyRundown.com for all of our latest articles and other great fantasy content.

Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!

Top DFS Plays for 08/20/14

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS hitters for today:

Mike Trout vs. Clay Buchholz – hitting .462 (6/13) with 2 HRs, 3 RBIs & a BB

Stephen Drew vs. Scott Feldman – hitting .455 (5/11) with 2 3Bs, a HR, 4 RBIs & 3 BBs

Adam LaRoche vs. Trevor Cahill – hitting .364 (4/11) with 2 2Bs, a HR, 4 RBIs & a BB

Jon Jay vs. Johnny Cueto – hitting .476 (10/21) with a 2B, 3 HRs, 7 RBIs & a BB
Jay has been red hot at the plate hitting .500 with a pair of doubles and 4 RBIs in the last week

Jay Bruce cs. Lance Lynn – hitting .474 (9/19) with a 2B, 2 3Bs, 2 HRs, 8 RBIs & 2 BBs

Ricky’s HR Guarantee: Jay Bruce

Top DFS Pitcher for today:

Jake Ordozzi vs. Detroit Tigers – Ordozzi has been on fire over this last two starts. 13 innings 7 hits, 2 runs, 15 Ks and 1 BB.

Movie of the Day – Transcendence – This movie had a cool little idea behind it, it wasn’t executed as well as it should’ve been but I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I was going to.

Script Splits: Using Advanced Stats to Rank OF vs RHP

Reddick is more than a "careless whisper" but has his swagger back slashing 307/356/560 vs RHP
Reddick is more than a “careless whisper” but has his swagger back, slashing .307/.356/.560 vs RHP

There were some great outfielders to target in the Splits series against left-handed pitching, but as I turn my attention to which ones to target against right-handed pitchers, it becomes a little riskier. Whereas nine outfielders have an OPS above 1.000 against southpaws, only Yasiel Puig and J.D. Martinez have the same success against right-handed pitchers. Of course this can be due to volume of at bats, but it is something to observe when constructing daily lineups. Targeting weak left-handed pitchers may be easier to predict as opposed to righties. This is one of the reasons that the Colorado pitching staff is one to target when possible due to their volume of left-handed pitchers. Of course Chris Sale and David Price are exceptions to this rule, it is food for thought. However, this is a look at how outfielder’s splits against right handed pitchers. Again, here are the parameters I am using to judge the outfielders using the following variables:

wOBA: Weighted On Base Average represents all the ways a player gets on base (HBP counts in this metric). It is used to measure a player’s overall offensive value.

ISO: Isolated Power  is simply a player’s slugging percentage minus his batting average.

OPS: On base plus Slugging is exactly what it’s surname suggests, adding together both statistics (OBP and SLG%). In the daily game being getting on base via the extra base hit is preferred.

AB/HR: A simple stat. How many homers does a player hit between each at bat? The fewer the better.

wRC+: Weighted Runs Created Plus A measure of how many runs a player creates. The “+” accounts for differing ballpark factors. So a player who’s home park is Coors is weighted to equal one in Citi Field, for example.

Because sites require three outfielders to be active, I will list the top twenty in each category before I rank them based on the average finish across all categories.

Outfielders versus right-handed Pitching (minimum 100 plate appearances):

wOBA:
1. Yasiel Puig .437
2. J.D. Martinez .429
3. Michael Brantley .422
4. Mike Trout .418
5. Andrew McCutchen .416
6. Corey Dickerson .410
7. A.J. Pollock .410
8. Kevin Kiermaier .400
9. Josh Reddick .396
10. Seth Smith .390
11. David Peralta .385
12. Danny Santana .383
13. Brett Gardner .382
14. Matt Kemp .381
15. Jose Bautista .379
16. Carlos Gomez .375
17. Ryan Braun .375
18. Jason Heyward .373
19. Giancarlo Stanton .370
20. Melky Cabrera .370

There are some interesting names to note here. Intriguing targets are emerging, one of them being Josh Reddick. The A’s outfielder has been red hot since his return from the disabled list. Another player who is making his way back from injury is A.J. Pollock. Kevin Kiermaier has also been quietly emerging in Tampa Bay. Even though Kiermaier has been hitting ninth, he provides great value in daily lineups against right-handed pitchers. The last player I will highlight in this list is David Peralta of the Diamondbacks who is not only a great story, but a favorite of longtime scout Bernie Pleskoff. With all of the injuries in Arizona, he may be a great player to target for teams who are pending the loss of Andrew McCutchen.

ISO:
1. Mike Trout .278
2. J.D. Martinez .269
3. Nelson Cruz .263
4. Yasiel Puig .259
5. Corey Dickerson .256
6. Josh Reddick .253
7. George Springer .251
8. Colby Rasmus .243
9. Kevin Kiermaier .242
10. Giancarlo Stanton .240
11. Brett Gardner .234
12. Andrew McCutchen .226
13. Brandon Barnes .221
14. Carlos Beltran .221
15. Ryan Braun .219
16. A.J. Pollock .216
17. Seth Smith .215
18. Michael Brantley .215
19. Oswaldo Arcia .204
20. Justin Upton .201

While it is no surprise to see Mike Trout at the top of the list, how about taking some time to recognize how good Brett Gardner has been this year? It was discussed on our podcast if he could hit 20 home runs this year, I said yes. Will he do it again next year? I am not willing to pay for it but it has happened before with a one-year power spike. Two boom or bust plays are on this list in Colby Rasmus and Oswaldo Arcia. Both have great power and in tournament play are interesting chances to take against a weak right handed pitcher.

OPS:
1. Yasiel Puig 1.014
2. J.D. Martinez 1.000
3. Mike Trout .979
4. Michael Brantley .971
5. Andrew McCutchen .967
6. Corey Dickerson .960
7. A.J. Pollock .941
8. Kevin Kiermaier .928
9. Josh Reddick .916
10. Seth Smith .895
11. David Peralta .884
12. Danny Santana .882
13. Brett Gardner .879
14. Matt Kemp .871
15. Giancarlo Stanton .870
16. Jose Bautista .867
17. Ryan Braun .864
18. Carlos Gomez .853
19. Melky Cabrera .843
20. Jason Heyward .841

I understand why some baseball people can be turned off by Yasiel Puig, but he has been proving he is no fluke. Love him or hate him, he is one of the only two with a 1.000+ OPS against righties along with surprise J.D. Martinez. It will be interesting to rank J.D. next year. He has tailed off some from his hot start after being promoted and his sustainability will be questioned.

AB/HR:
1. George Springer 13.9
2. Giancarlo Stanton 16.7
3. Colby Rasmus 16.8
4. Mike Trout 17.8
5. J.D. Martinez 17.8
6. Josh Reddick 18.8
7. Corey Dickerson 19.5
8. Josh Willingham 20.3
9. Carlos Gonzalez 20.6
10. Brett Gardner 21.4
11. Kevin Kiermaier 21.9
12. Jose Bautista 22.8
13. Kole Calhoun 23.3
14. Marlon Byrd 23.4
15. Matt Kemp 23.4
16. Travis Snider 23.9
17. Michael Brantley 24.1
18. Justin Upton 24.4
19. Torii Hunter 24.5
20. Seth Smith 25

In the boom or bust section are George Springer and Colby Rasmus. They appear in the power lists as they can run into a fastball at any time and hit one out. However, to rely on them on a day-to-day basis is tough due to their propensity to strike out or not make solid contact. With the injury to Andrew McCutchen, Travis Snider may see an uptick in his playing time against right-handed pitchers which coincides with his recent hot streak. Kole Calhoun and Michael Brantley are two players that represent a high floor against right-handed pitchers and are nice players to target on a daily basis.

wRC+:
1. Yasiel Puig 188
2. Michael Brantley 175
3. J.D. Martinez 174
4. Mike Trout 174
5. Andrew McCutchen 172
6. Kevin Kiermaier 162
7. A.J. Pollock 161
8. Josh Reddick 157
9. Seth Smith 155
10. Corey Dickerson 149
11. Matt Kemp 149
12. Danny Santana 146
13. David Peralta 144
14. Brett Gardner 142
15. Jason Heyward 140
16. Jose Bautista 139
17. Kole Calhoun 139
18. Carlos Gomez 139
19. Ryan Braun 138
20. Giancarlo Stanton 137

Although there are many familiar suspects, one player I have yet to highlight is Corey Dickerson who is having a great season in Colorado. He and Seth Smith represent great plays when they are at home against right-handed pitching.

Overall Rankings Based on Aggregate Averages (2014 Stats vs. RHP included):
1. J.D. Martinez – 160 AB, 24 R, 9 HR, 32 RBI, 2 SB, 350/382/619
2. Mike Trout – 302 AB, 51 R, 17 HR, 63 RBI, 11 SB, 311/389/589
3. Yasiel Puig – 301 AB, 51 R, 1 HR, 48 RBI, 7 SB, 339/416/598
4. Corey Dickerson – 215 AB, 37 R, 11 HR, 32 RBI, 6 SB, 321/383/577
5. Josh Reddick – 150 AB, 28 R, 8 HR, 26 RBI, SB, 307/356/560
6. Kevin Kiermaier – 153 AB, 20 R, 7 HR, 19 RBI, 4 SB, 314/373/556
7. Michael Brantley – 289 AB, 51 R, 12 HR, 51 RBI, 10 SB, 353/403/567
8. Andrew McCutchen – 337 AB, 49 R, 13 HR, 56 RBI, 16 SB, 323/418/549
9. A.J. Pollock – 139 AB, 19 R, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 6 SB, 338/389/554
10. Brett Gardner – 278 AB, 54 R, 13 HR, 41 RBI, 14 SB, 281/364/514
11. Seth Smith – 275 AB, 40 R, 11 HR, 26 RBI, SB, 295/386/509
12. Giancarlo Stanton – 334 AB, 55 R, 20 HR, 62 RBI, 8 SB, 266/364/506
13. George Springer – 233 AB, 33 R, 16 HR, 38 RBI, 3 SB, 242/315/493
14. Matt Kemp – 257 AB, 34 R, 11 HR, 36 RBI, 5 SB, 304/369/502
15. Colby Rasmus – 202 AB, 27 R, 12 HR, 28 RBI, 2 SB, 233/276/475
16. David Peralta 151 AB, 22 R, 4 HR, 20 RBI, 3 SB, 331/361/523
17. Danny Santana – 140 AB, 22 R, 4 HR, 21 RBI, 3 SB, 336/361/521
18. Jose Bautista – 296 AB, 52 R, 13 HR, 50 RBI, 5 SB, 274/397/470
19. Ryan Braun – 256 AB, 38 R, 10 HR, 50 RBI, 2 SB, 293/352/512
20. Carlos Gomez – 327 AB, 53 R, 11 HR, 40 RBI, 20 SB, 303/364/489

Bonus Plays:
1. Jason Heyward – 306 AB, 43 R, 7 HR, 34 RBI, 9 SB, 304/397/444
2. Melky Cabrera – 335 AB, 55 R, 9 HR, 40 RBI, 5 SB, 322/368/475
3. Adam Eaton – 261 AB, 40 R, HR, 21 RBI, 9 SB, 299/363/410

Do not let David Peralta slip under your radar. He is an undervalued source of HR/SB & will play in Arizona
Do not let David Peralta slip under your radar. He is an undervalued source of HR/SB and will play in Arizona

Even though J.D. Martinez made it to the top of the list based on the overall rankings averaged out, I am hesitant to roster him going forward. The league has adjusted to him and now it is up to him to adjust back. In the bonus plays section, Melky Cabrera plays in a high-octane offense and when Edwin Encarnacion comes back hitting second is really beneficial to him. Adam “Spanky” Eaton has been on fire lately and like Cabrera, hitting ahead of Jose Abreu has proven to be valuable as Eaton will score runs and steal bases ahead of him. These are great guys to have in case you are playing a Colby Rasmus or George Springer type with the hope of a home run as they provide a solid base of points with runs and hits. Many targets have been talked about so there are plenty of good plays in this group. With Yasiel Puig and Mike Trout’s price points, it is tough to get them with top pitching plays in daily fantasy so knowing who the bargains (David Peralta, Josh Reddick, Kevin Kiermaier) are allow for roster flexibility.

Statistical credits: Fangraphs.com, ESPN.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/UrV6Li (Reddick), http://goo.gl/BDjtqD (Peralta)

Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!

Script Splits: Using Advanced Stats to Rank OF versus LHP

Scary to think Stanton is slugging .713 vs. LHP & at 24 is just entering his peak power years
It is scary to think Stanton is slugging .713 vs. LHP and at 24 is just entering his peak power years

While working on the Script Splits articles, sometimes perception does meet reality. However, this is an imperfect process. One of the hardest things when playing daily matchups is not only recognizing what hitter has the optimal opportunity, but also maximizing that decision. Even when you play the splits correctly, it can go wrong. Once again I have tried to compile a list of the outfielders who have the best split advantages. Because of the high number of players, I have divided this over two columns with this article highlighting the best against left-handed pitching. There are some obvious choices, but as always there are some surprises. At the end I will try to tier them by the aggregate averages and will include three bonus plays. Here are the categories in which I investigated with:

wOBA: Weighted On Base Average represents all the ways a player gets on base (HBP counts in this metric). It is used to measure a player’s overall offensive value.

ISO: Isolated Power  is simply a player’s slugging percentage minus his batting average.

OPS: On base plus Slugging is exactly what it’s surname suggests, adding together both statistics (OBP and SLG%). In the daily game being getting on base via the extra base hit is preferred.

AB/HR: A simple stat. How many homers does a player hit between each at bat? The fewer the better.

wRC+: Weighted Runs Created Plus A measure of how many runs a player creates. The “+” accounts for differing ballpark factors. So a player who’s home park is Coors is weighted to equal one in Citi Field, for example.

Since many of the daily sites refer to wOBA and wRC+, I thought these were two great target starts to dive into. First I will list the top 20 outfielders in each of the five categories above and then show the top 20 on average with their 2014 statistics versus left-handed pitching included at the end.

Outfielders versus left-handed Pitching (minimum 100 plate appearances):

wOBA:
1. Giancarlo Stanton .505
2. Jose Bautista .483
3. Adam Jones .477
4. Scott Van Slyke .461
5. Emilio Bonifacio .448
6. Drew Stubbs .447
7. Justin Upton .434
8. Alex Rios .434
9. Nelson Cruz .424
10. Rajai Davis .422
11. Mike Trout .422
12. Khris Davis .414
13. Jayson Werth .412
14. Dexter Fowler .400
15. JD Martinez .394
16. Josh Willingham .390
17. Josh Hamilton .390
18. Desmond Jennings .382
19. Brandon Guyer .382
20. Andrew McCutchen .379

ISO:
1. Scott Van Slyke .400
2. Giancarlo Stanton .325
3. JD Martinez .320
4. Jose Bautista .313
5. Adam Jones .303
6. Mike Trout .294
7. Justin Upton .286
8. Khris Davis .286
9. Mike Morse .261
10. Jay Bruce .259
11. Alex Rios .258
12. Drew Stubbs .247
13. Desmond Jennings .242
14. Nelson Cruz .234
15. Marlon Byrd .233
16. Andrew McCutchen .227
17. Marcell Ozuna .222
18. Yoenis Cespedes .222
19. Ryan Braun .218
20. Josh Willingham .217

OPS:
1. Giancarlo Stanton 1.202
2. Jose Bautista 1.139
3. Adam Jones 1.112
4. Scott Van Slyke 1.085
5. Drew Stubbs 1.036
6. Alex Rios 1.033
7. Emilio Bonifacio 1.025
8. Justin Upton 1.009
9. Nelson Cruz .997
10. Rajai Davis .974
11. Mike Trout .970
12. Khris Davis .962
13. Jayson Werth .930
14. JD Martinez .920
15. Dexter Fowler .907
16. Josh Willingham .905
17. Josh Hamilton .903
18. Desmond Jennings .879
19. Andrew McCutchen .860
20. Brandon Guyer .850

AB/HR:
1. Scott Van Slyke 10
2. Jose Bautista 10.4
3. J.D. Martinez 12.5
4. Justin Upton 12.8
5. Giancarlo Stanton 13.3
6. Jay Bruce 13.5
7. Mike Trout 13.6
8. Marlon Byrd 14.7
9. Khris Davis 15.2
10. Adam Jones 15.6
11. Marcell Ozuna 16.2
12. Mike Morse 16.4
13. Yoenis Cespedes 16.5
14. Curtis Granderson 17.2
15. George Springer 18
16. Drew Stubbs 18.6
17. Andrew McCutchen 18.8
18. Torii Hunter 20.6
19. Carlos Gomez 22.3
20. Desmond Jennings 23.8

wRC+:
1. Giancarlo Stanton 229
2. Jose Bautista 211
3. Adam Jones 209
4. Scott Van Slyke 204
5. Emilio Bonifacio 189
6. Justin Upton 182
7. Mike Trout 177
8. Drew Stubbs 175
9. Alex Rios 174
10. Nelson Cruz 172
11. Rajai Davis 170
12. Jayson Werth 166
13. Khris Davis 165
14. Dexter Fowler 157
15. Josh Hamilton 155
16. Desmond Jennings 150
17. Josh Willingham 150
18. J.D. Martinez 150
19. Brandon Guyer 150
20. Andrew McCutchen 146

There were some surprises on all of the lists but I was really shocked at players like Andrew McCutchen and Hunter Pence not being higher on the lists. It shows how the daily game is changing the landscape of fantasy baseball as a player like Brandon Guyer who is priced appreciably lower than a former MVP provides value. Again, which pitchers the batters are facing are of the utmost importance and maximizing those matchups is the key. With that in mind, here is the top 20 overall based on the five categories.

Overall Rankings Based on Aggregate Averages Above:
1. Giancarlo Stanton – 15 R, 6 HR, 12 RBI, 2 SB, 388/490/713
2. Jose Bautista – 17 R, 8 HR, 14 RBI, 361/465/675
3. Scott Van Slyke – 16 R, 7 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB, 271/414/671
4. Adam Jones – 23 R, 7 HR, 16 RBI, 1 SB, 376/433/679
5. Justin Upton – 17 R, 6 HR, 13 RBI, 312/411/597
6. Mike Trout – 25 R, 8 HR, 16 RBI, 1 SB, 275/402/569
7. Drew Stubbs – 16 R, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 7 SB, 366/423/613
8. Alex Rios – 14 R, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 371/404/629
9. Khris Davis – 18 R, 6 HR, 20 RBI, 1 SB, 319/357/604
10. J.D. Martinez – 10 R, 6 HR, 16 RBI, 1 SB, 256/322/564
11. Emilio Bonifacio – 19 R, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 4 SB, 403/442/583
12. Nelson Cruz – 10 R, 5 HR, 16 RBI, 1 SB, 370/400/574
13. Rajai Davis – 16 R, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 8 SB, 370/400/574
14. Jayson Werth – 16 R, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 1 SB, 351/430/500
15. Mike Morse – 14 R, 7 HR, 13 RBI, 235/302/496
16. Marlon Byrd – 17 R, 7 HR, 14 RBI, 1 SB, 282/321/515
17. Desmond Jennings – 16 R, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 274/364/516
18. Dexter Fowler – 16 R, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 1 SB, 333/426/481
19. Andrew McCutchen – 15 R, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 1 SB, 253/380/480
20. Marcell Ozuna – 12 R, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 272/314/494

Three Bonus Plays:
1. Jonny Gomes – 12 R, 4 HR, 21 RBI, 303/359/429
2. Brandon Guyer – 11 R, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 348/411/439
3. Hunter Pence – 22 R, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 4 SB, 312/368/456

Stubbs power/speed combo with 5 HR & 7 SB vs. LHP makes him a great daily play
Stubbs’ power/speed combo with 5 HR and 7 SB vs. LHP makes him a great daily option

I used the underlined players to create tiers above. In tier one they are all fantastic against left-handed pitching but I would use Scott Van Slyke more in GPP contests rather than cash games like 50/50 or head-to-head. His supporting numbers are strong, but his boom or bust ability makes him a risky play. Tier-two has options, as you can go with power like Nelson Cruz, Justin Upton and Khris Davis, or opt for a speed guy with pop like Rajai Davis, Emilio Bonifacio and Drew Stubbs. With the trade of Austin Jackson, Rajai Davis should hit leadoff against all lefties increasing his stock in the weeks ahead. One has to think that the Braves would give Bonifacio a look at the top of their lineup over B.J. Upton, but Fredi Gonzalez’s batting orders leave much to be desired. The third tier consists of solid players who you can target when they are hot. Jayson Werth is a prime example, right now he is a middling daily player, but his price jumps when he goes on a homer binge, the key is pouncing on him at the right time. Drew Stubbs is a player I like to use against southpaws, especially at home. His ability to not only hit home runs, but steal bases provides a nice baseline of points when building an optimal lineup. All of the bonus plays are great fillers to a lineup and names to keep in mind when they face a left-handed pitcher and can provide salary relief depending on the site. Not only can Major League teams exploit split advantages, daily fantasy and leagues with daily lineups can as well. Baseball is unpredictable, but advanced metrics help identify who to target.

Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!

Statistical credits: Fangraphs.com, ESPN.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/avjaLT (Stanton), http://goo.gl/nnY9xw (Stubbs)

Top DFS Plays for 07/27/14

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS hitters for today:

Michael Brantley vs. Bruce Chen – hitting .524 (11/21) with 2 2B and 2 RBI

Mike Trout vs. Rick Porcello – hitting .333 (4/12) with a HR, 6 RBI and 2 walks

Adam LaRoche vs. Mat Latos – hitting .308 (4/13) with a HR, 3 RBI and 4 walks
2/4 with a 2B, a RBI and a walk in his last game at Citizens Bank Park.

Carlos Gonzalez vs. Edison Volquez – hitting .526 (10/19) with 3 2B, 2 3B, 6 RBI and 2 walks
Gonzo is hitting .340 with 4 homers and 22 RBI at home this season.

Hunter Pence vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu – hitting .444 (8/18) with 2 2B, 5 RBI and 2 free passes
Pence is hitting a cool.339 against left-handers this season.

Ricky’s HR Guarantee: Carlos Gonzalez

Top DFS pitcher for today:

Doug Fister vs. Cincinatti Reds – May 20th against the Reds: Fister went 7 innings allowing 6 hits, 2 runs and fanned 5

Movie of the Day: Expendables – These films aren’t going to have great acting and won’t be nominated for any awards but they are a fun kick-ass time and that’s why I love them.

Follow Ricky on Twitter @Rickygangster!

Top DFS Plays for 07/19/14

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

Top DFS hitters for today:

Miguel Cabrera vs. Corey Kluber – hitting .500 (12/24) with a 2B, 3 HR and 7 RBI

Mike Trout vs. Felix Hernandez – hitting .386 (17/44) with 2 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI and 3 BB
Trout is 3 for 7 with a HR and 2 RBI this season against King Felix.

Mark Teixeria vs. Alfred Simon – hitting .545 (6/11) with a 2B, a HR and 3 RBI
One of those gut feeling plays for today.

Pablo Sandoval vs. Henderson Alvarez – hitting .500 (3/6) with 2 2B and 2 RBI
Panda is hot over the last week and is hitting .304 against RHP this season. Must play today.

Nick Markakis vs. Jason Hammel – hitting .429 (6/14) with a HR & 5 RBIs

Top DFS pichter for today:

Dallas Keuchel vs. Chicago White Sox – Keuchel is 7-2 with a 3.13 ERA and 53 K on the road this season

Movie of the day: Let’s Be Cops – I saw an advance screener of this on Thursday night and it was fantastic! It comes out on August 13th and I would recommend that you check it out.

Follow Ricky on Twitter @Rickygangster!

Fantasy Forecaster 07/10/14

Did you miss the live Fantasy Forecaster??? Ricky & was joined by co-host Jeff talked Justin Ruggiano, Wade Miley, David Peralta and handed out who they thought were the Fantasy Baseball All-Stars per position.

Take a listen here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thesportsscript/2014/07/10/the-fantasy-forecaster

Check out the show here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thesportsscript/2014/05/29/the-fantasy-forecaster or you can subscribe on iTunes here and have the show dropped every Thursday morning!: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-sports-script/id850876078?mt=2

RIGHT NOW IF YOU JOIN FanDuel.com and make your 1st deposit using the Promo Code – SCRIPT – You will get 100% bonus match on it!!!!!!!! Just do it folks.
Which if you haven’t joined just click this link here: http://partners.fanduel.com/processing/clickthrgh.asp?btag=a_3360b_2

Make sure to check out Timothy’s work over at FantasySquads.com also follow him on twitter!!! He should be near the thousands folks!!!! @Tking978

Check out Ricky’s work here at the Sports Script & Follow him over on twitter as well @Rickygangster

Jeff (@InfirmaryReport)from http://theinfirmaryreport.blogspot.com came back this week to give us all the latest news on injuries across the diamond.

We will be back next week with another edition of the Fantasy Forecaster at 9 PM EST. Make sure to tune in!!!