The middle-priced players. We all look for them to aid our daily fantasy teams, and at times, they pay huge dividends. Last week, I gave my ten middle-tier players to target for the week. At the bottom of the article is a list of how they fared during each specific day. This week, I will be breaking down four starting pitchers and a player, per position (three outfielders), to target for your daily fantasy teams this week.
Starting Pitcher – 5/7 Griffin Canning (LAA) @ Detroit Tigers
Career vs. Detroit Tigers: N/A
The former second round draft pick (2017) of the Angels has been a bit of a sleeper in terms of fantasy rankings. However, Canning has been a significant source of strikeouts (142) while not allowing many walks (46) through 129.1 minor league innings. Another outstanding stat is the fact that through 129.1 innings, Canning only gave up a total of eight home runs. Starting this season in the PCL, Canning pitched a total of 16.0 innings with a 0.56 ERA, 0.938 WHIP, 17:2 K:BB, and zero home runs allowed. His first Major League start came last Tuesday where Canning went 4.1 IP, allowing three earned runs with six strikeouts and one walk in a no decision. After the likes of David Price, Jose Berrios, Charlie Morton, Stephen Strasburg, Aaron Nola, Madison Bumgarner, Noah Syndergaard, and Mike Foltynewicz Canning has a solid matchup against Detroit. Detroit currently sits 10th in most strikeouts, 27th in hits, and 29th in home runs. There’s no questioning Detroit’s one of the worst offenses in MLB, and Canning will be a solid price-efficient starter.
Starting Pitcher – 5/8 Nick Kingham (PIT) vs. Texas Rangers
Career vs. Texas Rangers: N/A
After pitching eight games out of the bullpen, Kingham gets his first start of the season versus a weak Texas Rangers offense. While Kingham’s had mixed results, out of the bullpen, there’s no questioning his stuff. He was a top prospect of the Pirates for many years, and his first start lines up perfectly against a Rangers offense that is middle of the pack in terms of overall offense. While Texas has scored a majority of their runs off of home runs, they are eleventh in strikeouts among all MLB teams. With Kingham having just over a strikeout per inning pitched, and going against a team throwing Shelby Miller, there’s a solid chance Kingham gets his fair share of strikeouts with an even better chance of getting the “W.”
Starting Pitcher – 5/9 Yu Darvish (CHC) vs. Miami Marlins
Last Time Versus Miami Marlin: [4/15] 5.2 IP/8 K/4 BB/”W”
After a lost 2018 season, in his inaugural with the Cubs, 2019 has been a mixed bag. We’ve seen Darvish with stuff that reminds us of years past, and on the other hand, he’s been down right awful. His start Thursday allows him to get the start at home on the Northside of Chicago. While walks have been an ongoing issue, he has been striking out better than a batter per inning pitched. The forecast calls for rain Thursday, but even if it doesn’t, it should be a cool day with the wind blowing in. This plays well for Darvish, and of the current roster of Marlins, only one player, Chad Wallach, has taken him deep. The rest are a combined 8-48 (.167).
Starting Pitcher – 5/11 Zach Eflin (PHI) @ Kansas City Royals
Career vs. Kansas City Royals: N/A
Eflin’s 4-3 record does do justice to how great he’s pitched in the early part of the 2019 season. Through 35.0 innings of work, Eflin has pitched to a 3.00 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 26:5 K:BB. A lot like the other pitchers on the list, Eflin faces a Roayls team that is no stranger to the strikeout, having compiled 291 (14th) strikeouts on the season.
Catcher – 5/7 Christian Vazquez (BOS) @ David Hess (BAL)
Career vs. Hess: 1-6
You may ask why I chose Vazquez given his track record against Hess? Entering this past Sunday, Vazquez has been one of the hottest hitting catchers hitting .375 with one home run, his fifth on the season. David Hess, a lot like Alex Cobb, is no stranger to the long ball, and is one of the more hittable pitchers in the league. Versus Cobb, Vazquez .714/.733/.786 with 10 hits in 14 at-bats. Cobb may be lucking out hitting the injured list, but Hess is slated to take his turn in the rotation, and Vazquez becomes an immediate player through the series versus Baltimore.
First Base – 5/7 Brandon Belt (SF) @ Antonio Senzatela (COL)
Career vs. Senzatela: .357/.438/.500
Belt has a chance to be the epitome of a middle-priced player on Tuesday’s slate at Colorado. He’s hit Senzatela throughout his career, and has a chance to finally go deep playing in Denver. While Belt’s off to a slow start to the season, he does have five home runs. We saw Jesus Aguilar collect three home runs, in two days, during last week’s games in Colorado. Could this week’s series in Colorado be another solid outing for an opposing first basemen?
Second Base – 5/8 Brian Dozier (WAS) @ Brandon Woodruff (MIL)
Career vs. Woodruff: .500/.667/2.000/1 HR
If there’s one thing we know about Dozier it’s that he’s a second-half, post-All-Star player. That’s when we get more bang for buck. To make matters worse, Dozier is on a one-year deal, and nothing more than a place holder until the future double-player combination of Trea Turner and Carter Kieboom feature in DC. Turner is still weeks away from returning, and with Kieboom having mixed results during his first call, Dozier will continue seeing at-bats. If you’re looking for a true all-or-nothing player, and going with what career numbers vs. starting pitcher tells us, Dozier should be one of the cheaper options at the second base position.
Third Base – 5/9 Ryon Healy (SEA) @ JA Happ (NYY)
Career vs. Happ: .600/.667/2.400/3 HR
There’s no questioning the pop Healy possesses. He’s coming off two-straight seasons with 24+ home runs and 73+ RBI. Depending on which DFS site you use, Healy is a must for his matchup this week versus Happ. He’s had Happ’s number his entire career, and early into the 2019 season Happ has given up a home run in six of his seven starts, and in three starts he gave up two home runs. Regardless of whether the date changes, and if Healy’s recent groin issue keeps him off the IL, he’s an absolutely must versus Happ.
Shortstop – 5/9 Tim Beckham (SEA) @ JA Happ (NYY)
Career vs. Happ: .318/.375/.682/2 HR
Earlier in the season, I wrote an article asking if we were drinking the Beckham kool-aid? I was hesitant to suggest he would keep the solid production for very long, but Beckham’s done a solid job slashing .282/.346/.540 with seven home runs and 20 RBI. He’s off to a career-year, and has the perfect matchup this week versus Happ. As I mentioned in Healy’s outlook, Happ has been susceptible to the home run, and there’s no reason why you aren’t stacking Beckham, along with Healy, versus Happ.
Outfield – 5/7 Curtis Granderson (MIA) versus Jon Lester (CHC)
Career vs. Lester: .291/.333/.527/3 HR/6 HBX
This matchup is one of the better ones for a player that should come at a fairly reasonable price. Granderson and Lester have gone to battle 60 times, and Granderson has a solid track record versus Lester. Add in the fact Granderson is going home to Chicago, and there’s a lot of reason to believe the adrenaline will be full throttle for the Miami veteran. While it’s been a slow season for the 38 year-old, he does have four home runs. While all four have come versus right-handed pitchers, he has hit lefties better slashing .286/.333/.429 compared to .162/.271/.365 against righties.
Outfield – 5/9 Delino DeShields (TEX) versus Wade Miley (HOU)
Career vs. Miley: .294/.294/.353
While he’s not a wizard with the bat by any means, DeShields has drawn walks (16) and kept strikeouts (40) at a decent rate. Add in the stole base potential (7 for 8), and DeShields is a player that needs to be given serious consideration if you are down to your final budget allotment. Again, there’s not much to expect in terms of power, but DeShields has had success against Miley, and it’s hard to look elsewhere with the fact that he’s going to be off to the races if he gets on base.
Outfield – 5/12 Kevin Kiermaier (TB) versus Masahiro Tanaka (NYY)
Career vs. Tanaka .304/.360/.565/1 HR/3 XBH
The Rays signed Kiermaier to a six-year, $53.5mil extension in 2017. Through the early going on the contact, Kiermaier has battle his share of injuries. While he’s off to a slow start in 2019, he is seemingly at full health. He doesn’t have to worry about anyone cutting into his playing time, and that should give him a sense of stability. He’s kept his strikeout total in check, at 22 in 107 at-bats, but his Soft% and GB% are higher than one would like. Still, if you’re looking for a cheap outfield on Mother’s Day, give a look at Kiermaier. The game will be played at home, in Tampa, and he’s had a fair amount of success in his career versus Tanaka.
Week 5 Results:
Jameson Taillon 5/1 @ TEX: “W” 6.1 IP, 5K, 2BB, 3 ER
Marcus Stroman 5/1 @ LAA: “L” 3.1 IP, 3K, 2BB, 4 ER
Kurt Suzuki 4/30 vs. STL: 1-3
Chris Davis 4/30: Postponed
Enrique Hernandez 5/1 @ SF: 2-4
Asdrubal Cabrera 5/4 vs. TOR: 0-2, 2BB, 2R
Carlos Correa 4/30 @ MIN: 2-3, 3 RBI
Adam Jones 4/30 & 5/1 vs. NYY: 0-7, BB
Leony Martin 5/5 vs. SEA: DNP (Hamstring)
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Cole Freel live on Sunday May 5th, 2019 from 8pm-9:30pm EST for episode #157 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. We will discuss spot starters for the coming week, plus a weekend update, and look ahead to next week.
Our guest this week is Kyle Klinker. Kyle is an experienced Major League Fantasy Baseball owner with a championship under his belt.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Cole Freel, and Kyle Amore live on Thursday May 9th, 2019 from 7:30-9pm EST for episode #158 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. Cole and Kyle will discuss the latest happenings in the world of MLB and fantasy. They will take a look back on the previous few days and a preview of the coming weekend. Including spot starts, bullpens, offense, and minor league players.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Show Episode #167, 6/23/2019 Host Brian Roach, Jr., Co-Host Cole Freel, Guest Kevin Bzdek
Major League Fantasy Baseball Show Episode #169, 8/4/2019 Host Cole Freel, Guest Joe Iannone
@brandonziman You are more than welcome Brandon. You were a fantastic writer and a joy to work with. As we move through a very big transition for us hopefully we can continue to work with one anither.