Seth Smith is a Must Own in Daily Formats

Obviously there are a variety of fantasy leagues out there, and while it is not necessarily the most popular among hardcore fantasy fans, the daily leagues do exist and Seth Smith is a guy that should be owned across the board in such formats.

The main reason is his platoon split, as he has a 163 wRC+ against right-handed pitching and has only had 30 at bats against lefties all season. In my daily league I have essentially been platooning Smith, Lucas Duda, and Leonys Martin, and the mix of the three against right-handed pitchers only has been a big boost on the exterior of my offense. What’s odd to me is that Smith is owned in just 14% of Yahoo! leagues and is being started in just 10%.

Granted, he does not help on the bases whatsoever and the Padre lineup is so weak that his RBI and run totals are unattractive, but he helps more than enough in the average or on base percentage (whichever your league utilizes) to be at absolute worst owned and started against righties.

While his season has certainly been an odd breakout considering he is on a weaker team in a bad hitter ballpark and in a weak lineup, his numbers look like he has generally improved his game. His walk rate is up, his strikeout rate is down, his power is up, and his BABIP does not look out of control considering how well he has commanded the strike zone this year.

In essence, there is no excuse for leaving a .392 on the waiver wire in OBP leagues. Even if he does not help a ton in certain areas, the power is good enough to be played when he starts. He has hit 11 homers in 338 plate appearances, which would be just under 20 homers in a full season of plate appearances. He will not reach that total because he gets platooned, but it is still valuable enough to own and start him when he plays due to his incredible average and OBP.

While he may not continue to hit at the rate he has thus far, he has a 202 wRC+ in July and if he finishes the month with a 200 wRC+ it will be his second such month this season. This was great to see as he was coming off of a 91 wRC+ in June.
What I love about Smith is how well he has controlled the strike zone. He has a wRC+ above 100 in all counts aside from 0-1 and 0-2. He even has a 109 mark in 1-2 counts. While wRC+ accounts for park factors and him being in San Diego means his actual numbers and park adjusted numbers will be different and less attractive from a fantasy perspective, it shows that Seth Smith the hitter has been making solid improvements at the plate.

Smith has always been an attractive platoon option in fantasy leagues, but this year he is making his mark as one of the better platoon options in daily formats. If you do see him on your waiver wire, make sure to pick him up as soon as you can and slot him in against all right-handed starters.

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Ben Duronio writes for Capitol Avenue Club, FanGraphs, and does the Sports Illustrated Power Rankings. Follow Ben on twitter @Ben_Duronio.

7 Responses to “Seth Smith is a Must Own in Daily Formats”

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  1. Burton Cummings says:

    OK, I’m in a weekly league and may be unwelcome here. But let’s compare this guy, who I own currently as my fourth (bench) OF, to a certain Jay Bruce. All but one of Smith’s games this week is against a RH starter. Is Bruce cooked? WTF is the matter with him? Should I just bite the bullet and play Smith instead?

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    • Burton Cummings says:

      Deep NL-only league. Nobody on the wire. Have had Bruce for years. Benched him two or three years ago when he was ice cold, and he hit five homers that week. Haven’t sat him since, but every night to this very day I awake screaming, haunted by that mistake. Owning Bruce has left me deep emotional and psychological scars. I believe this is my cry for help.

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  2. Kris says:

    Same with guys like Lind, Jaso, Vogt….

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  3. Sterling Archer says:

    I was unaware that weekly leagues were preferred for hardcore fantasy players. I haven’t met anyone who prefers weekly lineups in my travels across the fantasy universe.

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  4. SeattleSlew says:

    Which 2 of these 3 guys would you keep in a H2H league with OPS (non keeper)? Arismendy Alcantara, Jed Lowrie, or Aaron Hill? I have to drop one of them and I am having a hard time choosing.

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    • Jay says:

      Alcantara likely won’t have a job long-term with all the prospects the Cubs have brewing, waiting to be unleashed. My vote would be to drop him.

      You could try to trade one of them though.

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