Welcome to our very first edition of Digging Deeper, our weekly column where we will focus on league-specific options for those in NL and AL-Only leagues. My counterpart Max Petrie will be handling the National League, while I focus on the American League.
For those that have played in limited size leagues, you are well aware that at-bats and innings are the precious commodities. You are not going to find a top-50 player on the wire at any point this season. In fact, top-100 is a stretch.
We may be able to uncover some options that help you fill the gaps and get you the counting stats necessary to compete. Let's get going!Editor's note: Get 50% off any MLB Premium Pass. Draft guide, cheat sheets, 200 days of DFS access, and over 20 premium tools. Dominate your leagues all year long! Sign Up Now!
Digging Deeper: Week 2 Picks - AL
Mitch Moreland (1B, BOS) - 8% owned in Yahoo! Leagues
This guy should really already be scooped up in your AL-only leagues, but just in case he's not, STOP READING THIS AND GO GET HIM NOW. Moreland is red hot in the middle of the Red Sox lineup. He now has a five-game hitting streak as of Tuesday night, and he has multiple hits in three of those contests. Moreland showed glimpses of potential in Texas, and he seems to be turning it on at the right time based on his 64% hard hit rate so far this year. Batting among great hitters like Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Andrew Benintendi, and Xander Bogaerts, this production is beyond serviceable for AL-only leagues.
JaCoby Jones (OF, DET) - 2% owned in Yahoo! Leagues
Jones has started six of the Tigers' first seven games this season. While he is typically batting in the bottom of the order, and the production hasn't been stellar, the potential is there. Jones homered and stole a base on the Tigers' Opening Day, but he's been relatively quiet since then. Even still, he's only hit 10% of his balls softly in those six games, and from my experiences following my DFS lineups via the MLB app, I can personally tell you he's lined out multiple times. There isn't massive upside here for Jones, but he can be a mini five-tool guy to tack on to a depleted outfield or stash on your bench just in case.
Craig Gentry (OF, BAL) - 0% owned in Yahoo! Leagues
Not a whole lot to be excited about here. However, with Joey Rickard heading to the disabled list, Gentry has batted leadoff the past two games. He hasn't produced yet, but if you're in a deep AL-only league a leadoff man can't go unowned. Gentry's game is speed, so you may luck into a few stolen bases if you force him into your lineup. You can do worse than Gentry in the short term if you desperately need outfield help.
Hector Santiago (SP, MIN) - 5% owned in Yahoo! Leagues
Santiago hasn't exactly wowed us with awesome stuff through his first two starts (only five strikeouts in 11.1 innings), but he hasn't gotten pounded either. He let up just one run in his first start against the Royals and two runs recently against the Tigers in Detroit. We can count each of these as negative matchups, as the Royals don't strikeout much at all, and the Tigers are full of lefty mashers. Again, the upside here isn't immense, but we've seen Santiago go on hot streaks before. If he can be a 6-7 K/9 guy while limiting runs to three or less each start he will have value in these deep formats.
Matt Boyd (SP, DET) - 4% owned in Yahoo! Leagues
This is a young pitcher that the Tigers seem more excited about than everyone else on the planet. After getting blown up in his first start, he showed his upside against Santiago and the Twins on Tuesday, going six strong, giving up just two walks and a hit, and striking out six. The curve/slider/change offspeed stuff is where Boyd makes his money, and if he can continue improving on his strikeout rate like we saw on Tuesday there's no doubt he has upside.
Justin Wilson (RP, DET) - 8% owned in Yahoo! Leagues
I guess I like these Tigers. Here's your speculative, anything-can-happen, saves handcuff of the day. I get this feeling that K-Rod could fall apart at any time, just as Joe Nathan did for this Detroit team a few years ago. If that were to come to fruition, Wilson would be the guy. He earned his first save of the season on Wednesday and should be able to hold off prospect Joe Jimenez for the early part of the season. I've loved his stuff ever since he pitched for the Pirates, and he's showing how dominate he can be in the early goings from the set-up role. With no true closer controversies to speak of yet (I guess you could make an argument for Oakland or Texas, but those guys are probably already owned), I like Wilson as a speculative add who can give you nice peripherals in the mean time.