There’s a truth in baseball these days: prospects, rookies, and other young players garner much of the hype and excitement in the media. Whether it’s because they represent near-infinite potential or simply because they’re the fun new toys for everyone’s favorite teams, young players are the best. It’s hard not to get excited about the new, hot thing — whether it’s a smartphone or it’s a 7-raw outfielder making his ML debut.
Fantasy baseball’s no different, especially once we start to get the middle of the season. Teams get desperate to stack points as quickly as possible, and oftentimes that causes teams to add players with boom-or-bust potential instead of steady contributors. Why trade for the steady Dustin Pedroia when Wil Myers could be a huge source of production in a hurry? Why pay for Doug Fister when Gerrit Cole could emerge in a hurry?
Well, one reason why you might want to bank on veterans is because they’re “boring.” These players can often be under-valued simply because other players might be more “now” or have higher upsides. But, and this can be especially true in daily fantasy, you can sometimes want low-volatility guys on your team to hedge against those high-risk picks you have to make to compete. Especially in situations where you’ve got a limited budget, if you can find players that have a low cost, but can still provide positive value, it can free you up to make riskier picks in other areas and win big when you hit.
So, in honor of players over the age of 33, I’ll recommend a few options for today’s daily fantasy that may be old, but could still provide a solid return on investment in today’s matchups. These guys aren’t dead yet.
The Daily Five
Marco Scutaro – $7,136
Scutaro and I were both born on the day before Halloween, and we’re both getting a little too old. The 37-year-old second-sacker for the Giants is having another stellar season, following up on the success he had since joining the Giants last year. In practice, he’s not all that much different from St. Louis’s Matt Carpenter this year — he’ll walk less than Carp, but provides huge value through singles and consistency.
Jimmy Rollins – $6,211
Jimmy Rollins isn’t an MVP any more, but he’s still a hitter. And while a 92 wRC+ this season doesn’t fill anyone with joy, he’s still a capable hitter who’s gotten a hit in most of the games he’s played this season. While he’s not likely to homer, especially in PetCo Park, I like matching him up against Jason Marquis. Marquis is in the running for the title of “worst starting pitcher in baseball” with a 5.65 FIP and indicators like a .237 BABIP and 82.4% strand rate showing he’s due for some regression.
Alfonso Soriano – $4,837
The ultimate value pick today, Soriano is facing off against another unimpressive starter in Kyle Lohse. And while Soriano has not been a very good hitter at all this year, he still possesses the potential to give you a homer or, weirdly, a steal this season. Coming off of a nice game two days ago and an off day, I’ll go with him under today’s circumstances and save cash for another position.
Zack Wheeler – $12,831
Back to the rookies! Once again, this pick is based on the team the pitcher is facing, less than the pitcher himself. Zack Wheeler appears to have an Achilles’ heel, and that’s his propensity to walk hitters. But not only are the White Sox just pretty bad at hitting righties, but they also have the third-worst walk rate in the major leagues — 6.6% on the year. Don’t expect a magic outing like his debut, but I bet we see strikeouts and a relatively limited amount of hits.
Trevor Cahill – $8,957
As much as I enjoy Washington’s young players, they’ve just been an abysmal team this year when it comes to hitting. They’re 29th in the bigs in OBP and 27th in SLG. And while Trevor Cahill isn’t 100% healthy, he’s still a very good pitcher capable of inducing lots of ground ball outs. If he can pitch five innings, I’ll bet they are good ones.
This post, covering one of the leading sites for daily fantasy is sponsored and made possible by the generous support of Draftstreet. FanGraphs will maintain complete editorial control of the postings, and brings you these posts in our continued desire to provide the best analytical information on the latest in baseball.
Print This Post