Fantasy Baseball Daily League Analysis (June 25, 2013)

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With a light night Monday in the MLB, my regular daily league focus shifts to Tuesday for this week as we get ready for a jam-packed Tuesday night with all 30 teams in action under the lights this evening.

There are plenty of options to be sure, so make sure to check your lineup carefully and get the right players in place. For daily picks and matchup analysis make sure to check Rotoballer.com as well as my daily picks which are available at SportsReel Boston.

Here’s my high-price and budget-bargain options at each position for baseball’s Tuesday night bonanza:

Starting Pitcher

High Price: Yu Darvish (TEX): Darvish continues to pile up strikeouts with 137 in 101.1 innings so far this season. He faces the Yankees in New York tonight for the first time this season. Last season, in his only appearance against them, he struck out ten Yankees in 8.1 shutout innings to get the win. The Yankees lineup is struggling, so Darvish is an advisable (if expensive) start.

High Price: Gio Gonzalez (WAS): Gonzalez hasn't won in his last eight starts, but in his last four it’s been through little fault of his own. He’s allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his last four outings, and bounced back to throw seven strong innings after allowing a two-run homer before recording an out in Philadelphia his last start. He struck out a season-high 11 in that outing and looks to build on that success and actually get a win as the Nats welcome in the D-Backs.

Budget Bargain: Zack Wheeler (NYM): Wheeler may still be cheap depending on your league’s salary criteria. He was excellent in his first start, going six shutout innings against the Braves, striking out seven and allowing just four hits. He did walk five, so there is definitely room for improvement as he takes on the White Sox in Chicago tonight.

Budget Bargain: Jeff Locke (PIT): Locke and the Bucs are out West facing the Seattle Mariners. In his last three starts, Locke has only allowed one run on seven hits in a total of 19 2/3 innings. His ERA for the season is all the way down to 2.01 and his batting average against is .203. He doesn't typically pile up strikeouts but can give you a solid start with a low WHIP almost every time out.

Catcher

IMG 2360 Jonathan LucroyHigh Price: Jonathan Lucroy (MIL): Lucroy is 6-17 against Cubs starter Edwin Jackson with a pair of home runs, and he's gone 6-19 with two homers in the last week, including a 2-3 game with a home run on Sunday.

Budget Bargain: A.J. Pierzynski (TEX): Pierzynski has pulled his average up above .300, going 8-25 in the last week with a pair of homers and seven RBI. The lefty catcher has homered off of Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda in the past and has hit .328 against New York in the last three seasons.

First Base

High Price: Prince Fielder (DET): Prince and the Tigers face C.J. Wilson and the Angels tonight in the Motor City. While Miguel Cabrera draws most of the attention in the Tigers lineup, Fielder has put together a solid June hitting .291 for the month with three homers giving him 12 total on the season. He’s hit Wilson in the past going 5-9 with a home run and four RBi against him.

Budget Bargain: Adam Lind (TOR):  Lind is a popular pick, and it’s easy to see why. In June, he’s hitting .380 with six home runs and 19 RBI.  He’s cooled off lately going 5-22 in the last week, but he continues to be a good option among the less expensive 1B. Tonight, he and the Jays are in Tampa to face Matt Moore. Moore has struggled after his hot start.

Second Base

High Price: Jason Kipnis (CLE): Kipnis is tearing up June hitting right around .400 with 15 RBI on the month. He and the Tribe are in Baltimore tonight taking on the O’s and Chris Tillman.

Budget Bargain: Logan Forsythe (SD): Forsythe and the Padres got nothing going offensively last night against Cliff Lee, but in the week before his 0-5 night he had been heating up, going 11-29 with a home run, a double and even a stolen base. Forsythe and the Padres take on Kyle Kendrick tonight who has struggled lately on the road.

Third Base

High Price: David Freese (STL): Freese is 5-10 with a pair of doubles and a home rune against Lucas Harrell who starts for the Astros tonight. So far this month, Freese is hitting .338 with a pair of homers, three doubles, and a triple. Freese and the Cards will look to recover from their sweep at the hands of the Rangers as they take on Houston tonight.

Budget Bargain: Anthony Rendon (WAS): Rendon has been great at home hitting .347 (17-49) with four RBI at Nationals Park. In the Nats four-game series against the Rockies, he went 7-17 with a pair of doubles. He’ll try to continue that success as the D-Backs come to town and he faces Trevor Cahill tonight.

Shortstop

Hanley Ramírez on April 20, 2013High Price: Hanley Ramirez (LAD): Ramirez has been excellent since returning from the DL going 12-25 with three home runs. He’ll face the Giants again at Dodger Stadium tonight as he looks to continue his seven-game hitting streak.

Budget Bargain: Jose Iglesias (BOS): Iglesias is forcing his way into the lineup for the Red Sox as he continues to rule the BABIP world. He’s hitting .426 on the year with a 1.044 OPS. Iglesias has stayed hot lately going 7-19 with two triples in the last week. Make sure he’s in the lineup, but if he gets the start he’s a good choice for your team.

Outfield    

High Price: Nelson Cruz (TEX): Cruz has been crushing everything lately hitting .379 (11-29) with three home runs with 11 RBI over the past week. He faces Hiroki Kuroda and the Yankees tonight who he is just 1-9 against in the past. He’s hitting so well right now that I think he’s worth a look despite his past struggles.

Yasiel Puig 2High Price: Yasiel Puig (LAD): Puig continues to destroy the National League connecting for his seventh home run of the season last night against the Giants. He’s hitting .442 (34-77) on the season and will face either Chad Gaudin who is dealing with a forearm injury or Mike Kickham who has been getting knocked around at Triple-A (4.81 ERA).

High Price: Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS): Ellsbury and the Sox welcome the Rockies to Fenway. In the last week, Ellsbury is 12-30 with four doubles, six runs scored, and just one steal. He’ll be facing struggling Rockies starter Juan Nicasio  in what I expect to be a high-scoring slugfest in Boston.

Torii Hunter on June 2, 2013Budget Bargain: Torii Hunter (DET): Hunter is 8-30 against C.J. Wilson with two home runs, eight RBI, and 10 walks. In the last seven days he’s 9-25 with a double, five runs scored, and three RBI.

Budget Bargain: Wil Myers (TB): Myers has two home runs and 10 hits in his first eight MLB games living up to his hype. On the season, Myers has gone 10-34 with seven RBI, and a double. He’s been even better in his last three games going 6-13 with both his home runs. Tonight, he faces Mark Buehrle, and he’s hit lefties well throughout his career.

Budget Bargain: Zoilo Almonte (NYY):  I've been high on Almonte since the Yankees called the youngster up. So far he’s 7-12 with a pair of doubles and a home run.  He’s still just getting his feet wet at the Major League level and may still cede some starts to the ineffective Vernon Wells, but if he’s in the lineup he’s a great value play. He and the Yankees face the Rangers at Yankee Stadium, and he’ll be in a tough matchup against Yu Darvish. Still, at his price point it’s hard to match his production.

As always, remember to check your MLB daily lineups before they lock and make sure you are doing your own research, too, for optimal performance! The most successful daily leaguers are grinders who are constantly tweaking their lineups as the day goes on and fantasy news gets released. Good luck today, RotoBallers!