MLB: Strategy – Value Bats

Value Bats for April 13, 2018. We will use DK pricing and attempt to find a value bat (3,500 and under) at each position.

Catcher – Jonathan Lucroy
Pros:
– has fantastic BVP vs. Leake. In 38 AB Lucroy has a .500 average with 2 HR and a 1.273 OPS.
– wind is currently blowing out towards left at 14 mph
– In 2017 vs righties – low strike out rate (11.2%) and high contact percent – 88.2

Cons:
– weather – currently cold and change of rain
– in 2017 Lucroy was average vs. righties (PA – 358, ISO – .114, wOBA – .318 HC% – 22.8%)

1st Base – Mitch Moreland
Pros:
– facing Tillman – easily one of the worst pitchers on the slate
– decent BVP vs. Tillman (AB – 12, Avg -.333, OPS – .801)
– Team total of 6, batting 4th in order
– 2017 vs. righties (PA – 492, ISO – .213, wOBA – .328 and HC% – 39%)

Cons:
– Tillman has not pitched terribly vs. the current Red Sox roster – he’s faced 91 hitters and has a K% of 25.3, FIP: 3.06 with only 2 HRs allowed)

2nd Base – Neil Walker
Pros:
– excellent BVP vs. Fiers (AB: 19, Avg: .474, 1 HR and OPS: 1.263)
– 2017 vs. righties (AB: 352, ISO: .199, wOBA: .367, low K rate: 16.5% and a decent HC% of 34%)

Cons:
– weather – currently cold with a change of rain. The wind is also blowing across the field at 9 mph.
– Walker has been cold to start the year

Shortstop – Wilmer Difo
Pros:
– 1 HR in 3 AB vs. Freeland
– in 2017 vs. lefties (AB: 89, ISO: .193, wOBA: .359 and HC% – 29.9%)
– Freeland has given up 3 HRs to righties this year
– wind blowing out to dead center at 12mph

Cons
– Bats 7th in the lineup and may only see Freeland 2-3 this game (I expect Freeland will get chased early)

3rd Base – Danny Valencia
Pros:
– Solid vs. Righties in 2017 (AB: 149, ISO: .185, wOBA: .337 and HC% – 37.5%)
– wind blowing out at 5mph to right
– Rodriguez can struggle with control and gave up 3 earned runs (1 HR) in previous start (vs. TB)
Cons:
– poor BVP vs. Rodriguez (AB: 12, Avg: .167 and OPS: .536)

*3rd base is a pay up position today*

Outfield:

Michael Taylor
Pros:
– as mentioned above with Wilmer Difo – we should be attacking Freeland with righties
– very good vs. lefties in 2017 (AB: 95, ISO: .200, wOBA: .359 and HC% 32.8%)
– wind blowing out yo dead center at 12mph

Cons:
– high strike out rate vs. lefties in 2017: 27.4%
– low contact rate vs. lefties in 2017: 66.1%

Gerardo Parra
Pros:
– great BVP vs. Roark (AB: 14, Avg: .357, 1 HR and OPS: 1.114)
– decent in 2017 vs. righties (AB: 315, ISO: .165, wOBA: .335 and HC% 36.4&)
– same game as Taylor/Difo so wind factor
– batting 2nd in lineup (barring suspension Arenado protection)

Domingo Santana – boom or bust
Pros:
– very good vs. lefties in 2017 (AB: 158, ISO: .216, wOBA: .374and HC% 43.2%)
– batting 2nd in the order and wind blowing out to bed center at 10mph

Cons:
– can strike out – vs. lefties in 2017 he struck out at 25.3% and low contact rate: 68.8%

BONUS:
Value Team: Oakland (6 of 9 batters are 3.5 or under)
– They are facing Mike Leake and this current A’s roster has fared pretty well vs. him. They are 34 of 84 for a .405 average to go along with only 9 strike outs (9.7%). They have also hit 3 HRs off him – keep in mind that the wind is currently blowing out to left center at 14mph….

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