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Daily Fantasy Baseball Plays for Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012

This week I started playing the daily fantasy baseball game over at StarStreet. You have a $100,000 budget to buy shares of MLB players, who are priced between $5,000-$10,000 for hitters and $20,000-$40,000 for pitchers. Each lineup must include shares of at least three different players, and you can buy a maximum of 10 shares of a player for a given lineup. You then enter your lineup into a match with another StarStreet trader, and can choose to play for free or at buy-in levels ranging from $1 to $50.

The recommendations below take into account a number of variables, including park factor, batter vs pitcher statistics (with the important caveat that these are almost always very small sample sizes), recent performance, and any interesting batter or pitcher splits (home/road, day/night, month). Positive indicators are greennegative ones red, and neutral are black.

Here are a few hitters to consider investing in, and one to avoid, as you make your picks for Monday, April 9.

Consider:

Pablo Sandoval @ COL (RHP Jhoulys Chacin), 4:10 pm EDT
Park Factor: Coors Field (In 2011, 1.347 for R and 1.354 for HR)
Splits: Since 2009, Panda has hit for a lower average on the road (.273, vs .336 at home) but for similar power (32 road HR, 29 home). His April OPS over the last three years (.910) is his second highest of any month.
Batter vs Pitcher: 6-12 (3B, HR), 1 BB, 0 K
Last 3 games: 5-12 (2B, HR), 1 BB, 1 K
Other: Chacin had fairly strong groundball tendencies in 2011 (1.30 GB/FB ratio).

Matt Holliday @ CIN (RHP Homer Bailey), 7:10 pm EDT
Park Factor: Great American Ballpark (In 2011, 1.082 for R and 1.314 for HR)
Splits: Since 2009, Holliday has actually hit righties at a slightly better clip than lefties (.920 to .892 OPS). Even more unusual, he hits much better at night (.965) than during the day (.814).
Batter vs Pitcher: 6-15, 1 HR, 2 BB, 4 K
Last 3 games: 3-13 (2B, HR), 2 BB, 3 K
Other: Over the last three seasons, Bailey has a 7.06 ERA with a .326 AVG against in four April starts.

Mark Teixeira @ BAL (LHP Brian Matusz), 7:05 pm EDT
Park Factor: Oriole Park at Camden Yards (In 2011, .995 for R and 1.144 for HR)
Splits: Over the last three Aprils, Teixeira has an OPS of just .734 (that figure jumps to .954 in May). The switchhitter is stronger from the right side, with a RH OPS of .941 from 2009-11 (.849 from the left side). He hits better during the day (.935) than at night (.846).
Batter vs Pitcher: 6-15, 1 HR, 1 BB, 0 K
Last 3 games: 1-9 (2B), 3 BB, 2 K
Other: In 2011 Matusz broke the Major League record for the worst ERA by a pitcher making at least 10 starts (10.69). His home splits were even worse, as opposing batters his .396 with 10 home runs in just 20.0 innings pitched. Other Yankees are worth a look, too: Cano (8/19 with 2 HR) and Granderson (3/11 with 2 HR) have also hit Matusz well.

Buyer Beware:

Aramis Ramirez @ CHC (RHP Chris Volstad), 7:00 pm EDT
Park Factor: Wrigley Field (In 2011, .934 for R and .987 for HR)
Splits: From 2009-11, Ramirez has a .792 OPS at night (.892 during the day) and a .829 OPS vs RHP (.859 vs LHP).
Batter vs Pitcher: 6-12, 1 HR, 1 BB, 0 K
Last 3 games: 1-11 (2B), 1 BB, 4 K
Other: Ramirez returns to Wrigley for the first time as a Brewer.

Avoid:

Joe Mauer vs LAA (LHP C.J. Wilson), 4:10 pm EDT
Park Factor: Target Field (In 2011, .944 for R and .913 for HR)
Splits: From 2009-11, Mauer has hit lefties much worse than righties (.755 to .995 OPS). He is not significantly better during the day (.906) than at night (.901).
Batter vs Pitcher: 1-19, 1 BB, 5 K
Last 3 games: 1-10, 2 BB, 1 K
Other: In his two seasons as a starter with Texas, Wilson allowed just 26 home runs over 427.1 regular season innings.

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