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Thursday, March 14, 2013

2013 Fantasy Baseball Preview

Wild on Sports
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2013 Fantasy Baseball Preview
By Wild on Sports Analyst Kyle Kargel

Top 5 Fantasy Baseball Catchers 2013

1. Buster Posey SF- Posey proved to everyone last year he could comeback from a serious injury and did so by batting .336 and winning the NL MVP. Don’t expect a repeat performance of that nature, but do expect to see him at the top of NL catchers at least, barring any more injuries.
2013: BA .300 25 HR 90 RBI 2 SB 70 Runs

2. Yadier Molina STL- Molina surprised everyone last year with his 22 homeruns and .315 average after only having six homers in 2010 and improved to 15 two years ago. Molina should be able to keep pace with himself as the Cardinals number five hitter.
2013: BA .310 20 HR 80 RBI 5 SB 60 Runs

3. Joe Mauer MIN- Leading all catchers in at-bats a season ago Mauer expects to stay healthy all season after a season shortened season in 2011. His power numbers have been dismal the past few seasons, but if him and Mourneau expect the Twins to go anywhere his power numbers have to improve.
2013: BA .300 22 HR 73 RBI 12 SB 70 Runs

4. Victor Martinez DET- Martinez should pick up where he left off of in 2011. Yes, he did tear his ACL only a year ago, but Martinez is a seasoned veteran in this game and should have no problem getting back to his form in 2011. Expect him to be near the top of catchers in average.
2013: BA .320 13 HR 70 RBI 2 SB 75 Runs

5. Matt Wieters BAL- Wieters is a big guy with a lot to prove this season. Not that he didn’t have a good 2012, but he can hit a lot better should he put in the effort in 2013. His sub .250 average wasn’t impressive, but has played 130+ games the past three seasons to go along with homerun totals of 22 in 2011 and 23 in 2013. He should stay consistent with those numbers, and believe his average going up some as well.
2013: BA .270 25 HR 70 RBI 3 SB 65 Runs

Fantasy Catcher Bust
A.J. Pierzynski TEX- “Punch A.J.” was the line the White Sox came up with a few years back to get Pierzynski into the all-star game. That’s what the Rangers might want to do to themselves after signing this aging veteran. Pierzynski had a breakout year in 2012, but it just won him a big contract that the Rangers were willing to offer him. He is in a division with better pitching than the AL Central. He averaged only 12 homeruns through his first 10 seasons. Expect his numbers to settle down around there.
2013: BA .260 HR 14 RBI 60 SB 0 Runs 55

Fantasy Catcher Sleeper
Travis d’Arnaud NYM- The Mets expect d’Arnuaud to start the season in the minors and bring him up a little into the season, but d’Arnaud has been compared to the next Buster Posey, and what better time to bust out than in the Big Apple. He has yet to play in the majors, but was involved in the trade that sent R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays. His arrival should be even sooner if John Buck struggles out of the gate.
2013: BA .275 HR 14 RBI 50 SB 5 Runs 40



Top 5 Fantasy First Baseman 2013

1. Albert Pujols LAA- With Miguel Cabrera no longer qualified for the first base position Pujols shouldn’t struggle with capturing that top spot. He won’t struggle terribly in April as he did last season and his numbers should be back around where they were when he was with the Cardinals.
2013: BA .295 HR 40 RBI 115 SB 3 Runs 90

2. Prince Fielder DET- People had high expectations of Fielder going into 2012 and he met those expectations for the people of Detroit hitting 30 homeruns and driving in 108 runs. There should be no reason why he can’t do the same, if not better after shedding around 20 lbs. this offseason thus far. Also, with Martinez hitting in the five spot this year, it should produce more opportunities for Fielder to score.
2013: BA .290 HR 33 RBI 100 SB 10 Runs 100

3. Edwin Encarnacion TOR- Before belting 42 homers last year Encarnacion worked with Robinson Cano on his swing, and did he ever improve it. Encarnacion should be more than a one hit wonder coming off last season, and with Toronto looking to make a move in the AL East Encarnacion should have no problem working with Jose Bautista as a one two punch for the offense.
2013: BA.280 HR 35 RBI 95 SB 10 Runs 85

4. Billy Butler KC- Butler has been the most consistant piece of offense the Royals have had in the past 10 years. They know barring injury they can expect 25+ homeruns and 90+ RBIs from him and hit in clean-up spot on a daily basis. Hard to say for a team that has found itself in the bottom of the division the past 10 seasons. Butler should keep his numbers the same, but the Royals have improved slightly.
2013: BA.300 HR 25 RBI 95 SB 2 Runs 80

5. Adrian Gonzalez LAD- So, the Red Sox experiment didn’t work out according to plan. Gonzalez was impressive on the Dodgers while he was there and looks to start fresh with Matt Kemp and Andre Eithier batting around him. His stats should be similar to last year with a little more pop.
2013: BA .290 HR 24 RBI 100 SB 0 Runs 83

Fantasy First Base Bust
Joey Votto CIN- Votto will be among the good as far as first baseman are concerned, but to put up the near .340 average he did last year will be a bit obscure. He also only had 14 homeruns and 56 RBIs as well last year, which is only average even though he missed 51 games. Still, he wouldn’t have had much more to add to his stats. Considering everything at hand this isn’t enough to be near the top of projected first baseman this year.
2013: BA .280 HR 17 RBI 70 SB 3 Runs 80

Fantasy First Base Sleeper
Anthony Rizzo CHC- Rizzo will be the young star on a rebuilding team. He hit 15 HR and batted .285 in only 87 games last season so expect his homerun and RBI numbers to balloon after playing a full year for the Cubs this season. After all, he is the future of the organization that hasn’t won a World Series in over 100 years.
2013: BA .280 HR 23 RBI 80 SB 7 Runs 75



Top 5 Fantasy Second Baseman 2013


1. Robinson Cano NYY- This is a clear cut number one for the second base position. The Yankees are plagued with injuries and have lost some of their home run power to free agency including outfielder Nick Swisher and catcher Russell Martin. This leaves only Cano as the last homerun hitter from the lineup of a year ago. He will contend for the MVP award this season should the Yankees over come early injuries and make the playoffs.
2013: BA .305 HR 43 RBI 120 SB 7 Runs 110

2. Ian Kinsler TEX- Kinsler has been a dual threat on the base path and with the bat ever since he entered the league. Always possible for him to go 20-20 or even 30-30 Kinsler looks to lead a Rangers team that lost one of its best hitters in Josh Hamilton to the Angels. So look for the Rangers to shift Kinsler around in the batting order if necessary to produce offense.
2013: BA .270 HR 24 RBI 80 SB 30 Runs 105

3. Dustin Pedroia BOS- Even though Boston looks to be partly rebuilding, they have all the pieces they were missing last year due to injury including lead-off hitter Jacoby Ellsbury who Pedroia is comfortable hitting behind. With him back Pedroia will likely hit better than he did last year which lands him back as one of the five most valuable second baseman.
2013: BA .300 HR 21 RBI 75 SB 20 Runs 103

4. Aaron Hill ARI- Justin Upton is gone from the D-Backs, and that leaves the offense in the hands of Hill and Paul Goldschmidt. Hill has been consistent since departing from the Blue Jays hitting 26 homeruns last year. He also swiped 14 bags last year which makes him somewhat of a valuable asset on the bases.
2013: BA .295 HR 20 RBI 70 SB 15 Runs 100

5. Jason Kipnis CLE- Kipnis passed his first full season as a MLB second baseman with flying colors. He hopes to not have a sophomore slump in his second full season. This can only happen if he hits worse than the .257 he did last season. If he starts hitting below .250 start panicking if you own Kipnis. If this doesn’t happen his numbers should stay around the same as far as power and speed.
2013: BA .265 HR 17 HR 80 RBI SB 25 Runs 90

Fantasy Second Base Bust

Dan Uggla ATL- The .220 average Uggla posted last year was atrocious to his standards. His average has gotten worse over the past few seasons which doesn’t bode well for Braves fans. His 19 homeruns were also a career low last year. He has no choice to improve these numbers or else he will be traded or demoted.
2013: BA .235 HR 23 RBI 60 SB 1 Runs 80

Fantasy Second Base Sleeper
Jose Altuve HOU- Not many people know of this little guy. Standing at 5’5 Altuve is the lone bright spot for the Astros and their future, even though it may not be much. He stole 33 bases last year and was fifth in the MLB in hits among shortstops with 167. Even though the Astros moved to a much tougher division in the AL West he looks to be the team’s lone all-star for the second season in a row.
2013: BA .300 HR 10 RBI 40 SB 40 Runs 93



Top 5 Fantasy Shortstops 2013

1. Jose Reyes TOR- Looking to show Miami what he is really made of Reyes is taking his talents across the border to show the AL East what he is really about. Although Reyes played almost every game last year, he only hit 11 homers and hit .287. Marlins fans were hoping for more of a 20 homerun and .300 average type season, similar to that in New York. Blue Jay fans are hoping to be the beneficiary of a “comeback” season for Reyes.
2013: BA .310 HR 16 RBI 65 SB 40 Runs 110

2. Ian Desmond WASH- Washington fans didn’t see Desmond coming as all the hype was around Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg a year ago. Desmond has stolen a sliver of that spotlight as he hit 25 homeruns and stole 21 bases last year, and the same is expected of him this year.
2013: BA .300 HR 20 RBI 85 SB 30 Runs 80

3. Hanley Ramirez LAD- There is a pleather of dual threat second baseman this year and Ramirez is yet another one of those players. Upset in Miami during the middle of last season, he was traded to the Dodgers where he looks to take back his lead-off spot and take off with it. If the Dodgers start to gel as a team Ramirez will certainly be one of those reasons why.
2013: BA .275 HR 25 RBI 80 SB 30 Runs 90

4. Troy Tulowitzki COL- Tulo was a strong fantasy commodity a couple years ago, but injuries kept him out of most of the 2012 season. If everything is back to normal than Tulowitzki should be a threat to hit between 30-40 homeruns considering the Rockies are mostly looking to Carlos Gonzalez and himself as the team’s biggest offensive threats. He’s got the size, youth and athleticism to come back strong.
2013: BA .290 HR 30 RBI 85 SB 5 Runs 80

5. Starlin Castro CHC- Castro played all 162 games for the dismal Cubs last year, and hopes to do the same this year. The sky is the limit for Castro as injuries have never been a problem in his short career. He was third in the NL among shortstops with 183 hits. He and Anthony Rizzo look to dig the Cubs out of the cellar in the NL Central.
2013: BA .305 HR 20 RBI 85 SB 15 Runs 85

Fantasy Shortstop Bust

Asdrubal Cabrera CLE
- People see Cabrera to have a comeback year in 2013, but in order to do that you need to have some sort of consistency earlier in your career. Cabrera had 25 homeruns and 17 steals in 2011 but only went 16-9 last year As the Indians fell out of the AL Central race in the middle of the season. For the sole fact that Cabrera is looking to one good year to play off of, it might be a long season this time around.
2013: BA .265 HR 15 RBI 70 SB 10 Runs 80

Fantasy Shortstop Sleeper
Andrelton Simmons ATL- Tyler Pastornicky didn’t get the job done last season in his shortstop audition, but hype has been built up around Simmons all spring training, more than it was Pastornicky last season. Simmons did all he could in the 166 at-bats that were given to him only hitting a few homeruns, but hit .289. He should secure the spot this season for the Braves.
2013: BA .280 HR 16 RBI 80 SB 5 Runs 75



Top 5 Fantasy Third Baseman 2013

1. Miguel Cabrera DET- Reigning MVP and Triple Crown Champion. Enough said.
2013: BA .320 HR 35 RBI 110 SB 2 Runs 100

2. David Wright NYM- Wright is putting on a clinic during the World Baseball Classic, and this should be no false inclination as to what he will be doing this season for the Mets. The Mets didn’t do much last season and wright still put up solid numbers for them hitting .306. He was fourth in the MLB in hits with 178. The team as a whole should rebound after a dreary 2012.
2013: BA .310 HR 25 RBI 90 SB 20 Runs 90

3. Evan Longoria TB- Hamstring probably isn’t the word you want to bring up to Longoria during this season as he is coming off a hamstring injury that kept him out of 88 games last season. Longoria looks to get back up to or over that 30 homerun total that he hit in 2011 which he shouldn’t have a problem doing if he is able to play 140 games or so next year.
2013: BA .280 HR 30 RBI 100 SB 2 Runs 80

4. Adrian Beltre TEX- Without Hamilton, this year Beltre comes back as the team’s leader in hits, home runs, average and RBIs. This should continue for Beltre except if he has somewhat of a down year and Nelson Cruz or Kinsler explodes out of nowhere. As long as Beltre is able to keep that third or fourth spot wrapped up he should have no problem putting up numbers similar to last season.
2013: BA .305 HR 22 RBI 105 SB 2 Runs 92

5. Chase Headley SD- The Padres don’t have much offense except for this guy. Analyists are looking at Headley as a bust, but what are they going by. He played all but one game last season. Besides 2011, he’s gradually improved in each season he’s played since 2007. Also, he can swipe you 15-20 bags a season if you chose to use him that way. Headley will be leading the Padres offensive attack this season, and may challenge the NL lead in home runs or RBI.
2013: BA .275 HR 32 RBI 95 SB 15 Runs 90

Third Base Fantasy Bust
Pedro Alverez PIT- I know a lot of owners won’t be looking to draft Alverez as a starter on draft day, but he did hit 30 homeruns last season which can be a tease to owners that are looking at him. It took him a while to get the engine going. He only hit .191 in 2011 and .244 last season. Expect those numbers to slightly improve, but his homerun numbers to come back to reality
2013: BA .245 HR 20 RBI 75 SB 0 Runs 70

Third Base Fantasy Sleeper

Will Middlebrooks BOS- The Red Sox have hit the reset button and this year they hope everyone can stay healthy including Middlebrooks who was on his way to a remarkable rookie campaign. In only 75 games Middlebrooks hit 15 homeruns and 54 RBI. Those numbers could have easily been doubled without injury.
2013: BA .295 HR 22 RBI 95 SB 10 Runs 80



Top 5 Fantasy Outfielders 2013

1. Matt Kemp LAD- Kemp was on the early watch for the Triple Crown last year before injuries riddled him early in the season. If Kemp had stayed healthy it may be him were talking about winning the Triple Crown as well as Cabrera. All in all Kemp should stay healthy leading to healthy like numbers from the Triple Crown threat.
2013: BA .310 HR 35 RBI 120 SB 25 Runs 95

2. Mike Trout LAA- The numbers Trout put up last year were un-rookie like, but he proved everyone wrong showing what a young stud can do. Although he did play a month in the minors to start the season last year, he put up a healthy amount of at-bats and cooled off in September. His numbers will be more humanlike this year, but still MVP caliber.
2013: BA .320 HR 20 RBI 70 SB 40 Runs 120

3. Andrew McCutchen PIT- If the Pirates had more offense to build around McCutchen his RBI and run totals may be a lot higher. As it stands now Cutch is able to go 30-20 or 20-30 if he wanted while still putting up a decent amount of RBIs and runs to be a top five outfielder.
2013: BA .320 HR 23 RBI 90 SB 30 Runs 100

4. Carlos Gonzalez COL- Gonzalez might be the most dangerous double threat player in the game besides Trout. He’s racked up 82 homeruns and 66 steals over the past three years missing minimal time while being on the DL. His homerun total has gone down the past couple seasons but still expect him in the 20-30 range.
2013: BA. 295 HR 25 RBI 80 SB 25 Runs 90

5. Ryan Braun MIL- Braun put up the most explosive numbers besides Cabrera last year. The reason he is down on this list is due to his steroid suspicion. Guy deserves credit where it’s due so it was only fair that Braun was actually on this list. If it is found out that Braun did some sort of PED, his value goes down the drain. If the steroid allegation doesn’t get in his head his numbers should be golden.
2013: BA .310 HR 27 RBI 110 SB 25 Runs 100

Fantasy Outfielder Bust
Josh Hamilton LAA- The numbers Hamilton have put up over the past few years have been astronomical. The guy did hit nine homeruns in six straight days which has never been done. Expect Hamilton to have somewhat of a year like Pujols did last season while breaking into the organization. Hamilton will put up good numbers, probably just not the ones he put up last year.
2013: BA .270 HR 30 RBI 90 SB 5 Runs 90

Fantasy Outfielder Sleeper

Shin Soo-Choo PHI- Choo is off to the NL from Cleveland and hopes to put a spark into the Phillies line-up. Choo is a good all-around asset that the Phillies can use to their advantage. Choo is a 20-20 threat that you might be able to get in later rounds in most drafts. He could also accumulate 100 runs should he lead off for most of the year.
2013: BA .275 HR 21 RBI 70 SB 20 Runs 100

Fantasy Starting Pitchers 2013

1. Justin Verlander DET
2. David Price TB
3. Clayton Kershaw LAD
4. Felix Hernandez SEA
5. Stephen Strasburg WAS
Bust: R.A. Dickey
Sleeper: Tim Lincecum

Fantasy Relief Pitchers 2013
1. Craig Kimbrel ATL
2. Aroldis ChapmanCIN
3. Jason Motte STL
4. Fernando Rodney TB
5. Jonathan Papelbon PHI
Bust: Rafael Soriano WASH
Sleeper: Huston Street SD

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