FanDuel MLB Value Plays: Monday (4/16)
Okay, fellow baseball fanatics, it is time to grab a cup of coffee and settle in for another week of workplace monotony mixed with a healthy dose of baseball mastery. While it might seem like there is nothing big on the week’s agenda for MLB, as we all know, this game can change in a heartbeat. Players shock us with their skills, incredible plays wow us with their seeming impossibility and matchups that were supposed to be uneventful end up in brawls that are generally reserved for barrooms. So as we anticipate what might happen next, I offer you my picks for the day. These players are the best mix of solid skill and appealing value, and hopefully, they will step up to the plate and let that talent fly.
Blake Snell (TB): $6,500 vs. TEX
Blake Snell is coming off a quality start vs. the White Sox where he allowed one earned run on one hit and a not so good five walks. However, Snell did strikeout 10 batters. Yes, Snell will walk batters, but he will strike out a lot of them as well. There are two impressive things about Snell that really attract him to me for Monday’s start; opposing batters are only hitting .154 against him this season and in 21 career starts at the Trop he’s posted an 8-7 record with a 3.10 ERA. Snell also is posting a .182 BABIP on the year and a 1.20 WHIP. Those are really impressive numbers considering his first two starts of the season came against the Red Sox and Yankees, and the latter was at Yankee Stadium.
Jose Martinez (STL): $3,500 vs. CHC
Jose Martinez has never faced the Cubs Tyler Chatwood, but Chatwood is coming off of a pretty ugly start against the Pirates where he gave up five runs over five innings, and batters have been making hard contact against him. Jose Martinez could really capitalize on Chatwood’s poor pitching with the way he’s been hitting the ball. In 61 plate appearances so far, Martinez has improved his BB% (12.3%) and his K% (7.7%) over last year while maintaining around the same BABIP (.356) and ISO (.235). Putting those numbers up against Chatwood’s poor totals makes Martinez attractive.
Starlin Castro (MIA): $2,900 vs. NYY
Starlin Castro’s power hasn’t shown up yet, but I think we can expect it to see it soon. Outside of the lack of power output, Castro’s numbers are impressive at the moment. Castro’s BB% (10.6%) is 5.0% above his normal rate and his BABIP (.354) is 24 points above his normal as well. Even if Castro doesn’t start to hit with more power Monday, he should still contribute plenty with hits and runs.
Maikel Franco (PHI): $3,200 vs. ATL
Even with Maikel Franco’s extremely low BABIP (.219), I like his matchup against Julio Teheran. In 30 at-bats against Teheran, Franco’s hitting with a .333 AVG. He doesn’t have any home runs against him and only one RBI, but Franco’s ISO (.237) is the highest it’s been since he came up to the Major Leagues. Put his success against Teheran up against his much improved ISO and it’s easy to think we could see a couple of home runs.
Aledmys Diaz (TOR): $2,600 vs. KC
I admit that Aledmys Diaz is a very risky play Monday due to some ugly numbers, but a couple of things really stand out to me. Diaz has an ISO of .368 in 39 plate appearances and is 3-for-8 with two home runs, four RBIs and four runs the past two games. Diaz’s ISO isn’t sustainable, and he hasn’t drawn a walk yet, but when he goes on a hot streak, he goes on a hot streak. A couple of other things to point out about Diaz are his wOBA (.367) and wRC+ (134) are very similar to his 2016 numbers, so the past couple of games could indicate that he’s going to have more like the last two. With a struggling Royals team, I’m willing to take the risk.
Corey Dickerson (PIT): $4,000 vs. COL
In addition to the fact that Corey Dickerson is on a 10-game hit streak, his numbers against right-handers at home are very attractive. In 811 plate appearances, Dickerson is hitting .298 with 42 home runs, 113 RBI and 125 runs against right-handers at home. With Dickerson’s current streak and his success at home against right-handers, I think he’s a no-brainer for those that don’t want to pay $500-$1000 more for someone like a Bryce Harper or Mike Trout.