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Daily Fantasy Strategy – 8/1 – For Draftstreet

The trade deadline didn’t bring many major changes with it for the fantasy landscape, but it’s worth checking in on players who moved and how their value may be effected for daily leagues.

Bud Norris to Baltimore – As Mike Podhorzer explains, “While he should definitely experience better win potential, I think his ERA is at risk of spiking, though his WHIP could improve with better defensive support.” L.J. Hoes, meanwhile, slotted right into the Astros lineup but isn’t much of a fantasy consideration as a low-HR, 15-SB outfielder.

Ian Kennedy to San DiegoZach Saunders likes the deal for Kennedy’s pitcher profile, writing, “While Petco’s new dimensions aren’t as pitcher friendly as in the past, the park should still play well towards Kennedy’s tendencies to allow balls to fly through the air.” Zeke Spruill has been called up to start today and take Kennedy’s rotation spot for now.

Jake Peavy to Boston – Despite Fenway’s hitter-friendly reputation, Podhorzer likes this move for Peavy, summating, “Peavy moves to a slightly better park, or at least one that is a bit less hitter friendly. He will also benefit from better offensive and defensive support. Looks like a win, win, win.”

Alberto Callaspo and Grant Green swap placesDave Cameron sees the logic for both sides, writing, “Callaspo is a nice upgrade for the A’s, while Green gives the Angels some potential future value and a little bit of extra spending money this winter.” For fantasy purposes, Callaspo provides positional flexibility and a modicum of pop while Green could be a 12-12 guy over a full season (but no word yet if he’ll go to the minors or stay with the Angels).

Justin Maxwell to the Royals -If you ignore the fact that the move makes no sense given the Royals’ current situation, there is reason for optimism in KC’s right field, as Dave Cameron notes, “He’s mashed left-handers to this point in his career, he’s a good baserunner, and as part of a platoon with David Lough, the Royals could actually get some real production in right field over the rest of the season.” Maxwell is worth keeping an eye on in daily leagues when the Royals face a lefty.

The Daily Five
Nelson Cruz – $6,495
As mentioned earlier, Spruill will be called up to start against the Rangers today. While I like Spruill as a back-end guy in the long run, he lacks the ability to miss bats and his fastball sits around 91. For a team like Texas, the second best in baseball against the fastball, that might be trouble. Factor in the 100-degree weather and the way Rangers Ballpark plays, and not even a solid groundball rate will make Spruill startable. Instead, dial up Cruz, perhaps undervalued as his name floats in Biogenesis rumors – he’s crushed righties this year and feasts on bad fastballs – of the 458 he’s seen below 95 MPH this year, Cruz has nine homers and eight doubles.

Bud Norris – $8,641
I THINK there’s an error in the pricing formula here, as DraftStreet still has Norris listed as facing the Orioles. Obviously, the Astros are a much friendlier match-up with their low-wOBA, high-strikeout ways. Norris isn’t spectacular but gets enough Ks to matter, has an ERA and FIP below four and has a good set-up for a victory. There IS some concern of rain, though, so keep an eye on the weather later in the day (and perhaps skip over Norris if you’re in an early-start pool).

Alex Gordon – $6,989
I hate to pick on Scott Diamond, who grew up a short jaunt down the highway from me, but the southpaw has been pretty bad and will face a strong wind out to left field at Target Field. Gordon is showing reverse splits for the second time in two years and shows no discernable push-pull profile, spraying the ball to all fields (though he was a bit less pop when going to left). You could make the case for a righty here given the wind, but I’ll take Gordon’s “platoon discount.”

Hank Conger – $4,854
At some point, Josh Johnson may pull it together, but as a Jays fan I’ve lost faith. His K:BB profile is still fine but he looks downright terrible pitching out of the stretch (his strand rate and .444 wOBA allowed with men on base aren’t variance-fueled mirages right now). I’m giving Conger the nod because he’s been good (.339 wOBA against righties) when he’s played. It’s a bit of a dice roll given their split-time situation behind the plate but Chris Iannetta has started four of the last five games and the split appears to be roughty two-to-one at present.

Cole Hamels – $13,994
The Giants have quietly become pretty poor against lefties, with just a .296 wOBA. They still don’t strike out much, but their .110 isolated slugging is the worst of any team against either handedness, save for the Marlins. That’s pop-less. Hamels should be familiar to any fantasy player, particularly since he’s been a bit disappointing this year, but he’s just the seventh most expensive arm on a thin day. Sometimes, it’s better not to be clever and just take the name you know in a good situation.

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