MLB DFS: Parks and Recreation
Sports fans love to commemorate things. Every day we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of some record being broken or labeling another magical moment in time. As an ode to the end of baseball season, I felt it was a good time to intertwine another great thing that came to an end this past year, Parks and Recreation.
Catcher: Buster Posey
Parks and Recreation Character: Ron Swanson
This is a heavy comparison to be made this early in the piece, but it’s one that had to happen. For me, the resemblance is uncanny. Posey represents a hard working, down to earth American ballplayer, and Swanson’s mustache and meaty diet speaks the same way. As for how Posey fits in today, he’ll be receiving a huge park shift when he strolls into Coors Field, and better yet, he’ll be facing a left-handed pitcher. If you’re wondering why that makes a difference, consider Posey’s .231 ISO and .403 wOBA for his career against southpaws (as opposed to .152/.359 against right-handers). Despite the move to Coors, his salary is still accessible, and he’s really the only catcher option that was on my radar.
Let Posey make the difference in…cash games.
First Baseman: Joey Votto
Parks and Recreation Character: Chris Traeger
Unfortunately this comparison is unfairly based on the “Canadians are really nice people” stereotype. Traeger is the annoyingly, positive and kind person from the show, and Votto gets that billing simply because he hails from the country to the north.You might be asking though, why Votto against Matt Garza? First of all, Matt Garza is terrible. This year, Garza has lowered his strikeout rate, increased his walk rate and added to the amount of home runs he gives up per game – that is not good. We all know that Votto is an on-base machine, but his power numbers have surged back up (.252 ISO) and he’s in a great ballpark for hitters tonight. It seems like an obvious play, but with the game in Coors Field and various other top offenses to choose from, Votto will fly under the radar.
Let Joey make the difference in GPPs.
Second Baseman: Jose Altuve
Parks and Recreation Character: Tom Haverford
This one was probably the easiest comparison to make. Altuve is the classic “little guy” that has the ability to mesh in with the giants of his profession. Tom Haverford is the same way, even if we don’t see his greatness quite as often as we do with Altuve. It feels as if we haven’t heard much from Altuve this season, which is strange given the fact that the Astros are a really good team. He’s still kicking though – playing with a .340 wOBA and 36 stolen bases. Altuve gets to face Mike Pelfrey tonight, who I’ve tried to pick on recently with no success. Regardless though, Pelfrey doesn’t strike anyone out and gives up a lot of hard hit contact. Most people are going to use this position to skate by with someone cheap from Coors Field or elsewhere, but using Altuve’s speed and hit tool, you’ll be able to separate yourself from a large field.
Let Altuve make the difference in…GPPs.
Third Baseman: Josh Donaldson
Parks and Recreation Character: Andy Dwyer
This is another uncanny visual comparison, as Dwyer and Donaldson have that same gritty and scruffy look to them. Nevertheless, they’re both awesome at their job (assuming Dwyer’s role is to entertain us). Don’t blink, because Donaldson’s price tag has dropped down to $5,500, while remaining astronomically high on FanDuel. Regardless of his price, Donaldson automatically makes his way into the GPP talk, but his upside is so high, and so many people will be focusing their attention in one spot tonight that you can afford to pay up at a spot or two to get premium talent at a low ownership percentage. Donaldson gets a matchup at home against Ubaldo Jimenez and while Ubaldo has pitched fairly well this season (3.71 xFIP), Donaldson’s talents far outweigh the matchup. The Jays have an implied runs total nearing 5.5 runs, making Donaldson an awesome GPP candidate.
Let Donaldson make the difference in…GPPs.
Shortstop: Jose Reyes
Parks and Recreation Character: Mark Brendanawicz
This comparison stems from the “cool” nature of these two guys. We never really get to know that much about Brendanawicz in the show, but often we are graced with his calm, cool demeanor. The same goes for Reyes who has bopped around from team to team recently leaving his big name status behind in the Big Apple. Using Reyes tonight is just a way to gain more exposure to Coors Field while knocking out a position with little depth in the process. He’s not the offensive player he once was (.313 wOBA) and he doesn’t steal bases at the clip he used to, but he’s a productive player in an offense that is home to the best run scoring environment in baseball. Given that his price is very accessible, I think you’ll see plenty of Reyes shares tonight.
Let Reyes make the difference in….cash games.
Outfield: Mike Trout
Parks and Recreation Character: Leslie Knope
These two get paired together because they are both super awesome at their job. Trout is the best player in baseball, and Knope is the best citizen and worker in Pawnee, Indiana (which is all she wants to be). I know it seems silly to have to stick up for Trout as a play, and you’re probably wondering why I’d even recommend someone like this who is always an option, but I’m sticking with a familiar trend. Trout is another one of those top players that will fly well under the radar tonight because of the games at the Rogers Centre and Coors Field. As a result, you can take advantage of his skill set and matchup with Martin Perez because his ownership level will be well below where it should be. Trout has terrorized all types of pitching and Perez is of no concern tonight. As with Donaldson (at least on DraftKings) get Trout while the price tag isn’t handicapping your ability to build a solid complementing squad.
Let Trout make the difference in…GPPs.
Starting Pitcher: Jacob deGrom
Parks and Recreation Character: April Ludgate
Disclaimer: I’m making this comparison because I could not go a whole piece without mentioning April Ludgate, because I love April Ludgate.
The only two things these guys have in common is that they have long hair and they are awesome (this is fact, not opinion). If you struggle with recency bias, you might be hesitant to roll out deGrom based on some struggles a few starts back. I’m here to tell you, do not fear, deGrom is here. He’ll be squaring off tonight against the Miami Marlins, who rank near the very bottom in just about every offensive statistical category (ranked 2nd to last in both wOBA and wRC+). The only disappointing thing about the matchup is that the Marlins are near the middle of the pack in terms of strikeout percentage. However, given deGrom’s above average strikeout potential there is no reason to think he can’t reach an incredibly high upside tonight. He’s priced near the upper tier for starting pitchers, but he’s worth it.
Let deGrom make the difference in…cash games.