What’s the biggest thing we look for when putting together our daily fantasy offenses? Home runs. Homers are the fastest way to rack up points, and they absolutely can lead to big days.
Though in a scoring system like Draftstreet, players get the same number of points any way that they get to their total number of total bases, when a player hits a home run, that’s four points you lock up in just one plate appearance. Conversely, it takes a 4-for-4 night with a player only hitting singles, to get to that same total. (Runs and RBI apply separately.)
So yesterday, when Blake Murphy posted his article on the Adam Dunn hat trick, it go me to thinking. If you know that a player is going to hit a homer, walk, and strike out all in the same game, can that help you decide whether or not to choose that player?
If you think about it, a walk and a strikeout probably cancel each other out in a format like Draftstreet’s scoring system. Walks earn you .75 points, while strikeouts take the same number of points away. The homer is worth four points by itself, but you’re also guaranteed one run scored (1.5 points) and at least one RBI (1.5 points each). That’s at least three “bonus” points that you wouldn’t necessraily get if you snag a pair of doubles or four singles.
Would you rather have a player who’ll toss out a homer, but hurt you with no points in two additional plate appearances with a walk and a K? I definitely would, as all too often players hit a double and get stranded on second, or can’t move a runner to home. With a homer, you know exactly what you’re getting — your total bases and bonus points for run creation. The HR is king in real life, but it’s not too bad in daily fantasy either.
The Daily Five
David Ortiz – $9,212
Okay, so Big Papi isn’t your traditional three true outcomes guy, but he does go yard and can take a walk. The league’s premier DH is having one of the best seasons of his illustrious career, racking up lots of homers (17) and walks (39) without a ton of the strikeouts that go with. Hisashi Iwakuma benefits from SafeCo, but Ortiz can hit it out of any park in the bigs.
Jay Bruce – $8,795
Normally a TTO threat, Bruce has seen his walk rate fall this year, though his strikeouts and homers are prolific as always. Nevertheless, I like this matchup against Wily Peralta of the Brewers. As a Peralta owner in dynasty leagues, I’ve seen him give up a fair share of homers, and he’s had some trouble punching guys out (12.6% strikeout rate), which could really help a K-prone hitter like Bruce.
Pedro Alvarez – $6,578
Again, Pedro might be consider more of a “two true outcomes” type, as he doesn’t walk with alacrity — but he’ll provide impact power, provided you get lucky. Dan Straily is his opposing pitcher today, and while Straily has some skills — Alvarez has been scorching hot this summer, and gets the platoon advantage while hitting at home, where the climate might help offense. Buy him.
Justin Verlander – $16,984
Speaking of Adam Dunn and the three true outcomes, let’s talk briefly about his current team: the Chicago White Sox. This is a team that may be able to hit a few homers, but with a .293 wOBA, they’re easily the worst offensive team in the AL. Meanwhile, Justin Verlander may or may not have found the mechanical flaw that will allow him to pitch like a Cy Young winner again. Regardless, he’s still capable of racking up points for your squad.
Eric Stults – $8,167
I don’t usually advocate jumping on a pitcher who’s going to throw in Coors Field, but sometimes we just need a cheaper starting option. Eric Stults has been effective this year at keeping the ball in the park, with a 0.64 HR/9, If he can limit the damage from the Rockies’ league-average offense, he’ll be a nice option for the back-end of your daily rotation.
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