Fantasy Baseball is fast and furious. It takes a lot of foresight, and a lot of luck, to come up with a competitive Fantasy Baseball line-up day in and day out. Here's my hand at what I feel could be a terrific Saturday, April 16 Fantasy Baseball line-up. I'm going off the premise of a $35,000 salary cap. In order to correctly place the players money-wise, I'll go ahead and take their cost from the Friday games.
Saturday, April 16 Fantasy Baseball Line-up
P: Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs, $12,800 – Clayton Kershaw is at $12,800 for Friday. Arrieta should cost around the same on Saturday. Jake allows Colorado batters to hit .204 against him.
C: Buster Posey, San Francisco, $4,000 – Posey has 3 hits, including a home run, out of 9 at bats versus Scott Kazmir, the Dodgers' listed starting pitcher for Saturday.
1B: Albert Pujols, L.A. Angels, $3,000 – Pujols faces pitcher Ricky Nolasco on Saturday. Albert has belted Nolasco for 13 hits, 2 home runs, 5 doubles, and 11 RBIs in 25 at-bats.
2B: Chase Utley, L.A. Dodgers, $2,700 – Utley has 10 hits, a double, a home run, and 2 RBIs, from 24 at-bats versus San Francisco's Johnny Cueto.
3B: Trevor Plouffe, Minnesota, $2,500 – Plouffe has 4 hits, 2 doubles, 3 RBIs and 3 walks from 14 at-bats versus Jered Weaver, the Angels' listed starting pitcher on Saturday.
SS: Alcides, Escobar, Kansas City Royals, $2,300 – He's 3 for 5 with a double against Oakland's Chris Bassitt, the starting pitcher that he faces on Saturday.
OF: Trayce Thompson, L.A. Dodgers, $2,500 – Thompson has gone 3 out of 6 against Cueto. He also has 2 RBIs versus the Giants' starting pitcher on Saturday.
OF: Ian Desmond, Texas, $2,500 – Desmond faces the Orioles' Yovani Gallardo on Saturday. He has 5 hits, 2 doubles and 2 RBIs from 18 at-bats against Gallardo.
OF: Randall Grichuk, St. Louis, $2,500 – He's 1 out of 2 versus Brandon Finnegan, whom he faces on Saturday. The hit was a home run and it drove in an RBI.
After its all said and done, I have a balance of $200 form my $35,000. The team is built around the pitcher, catcher and first base positions. When it comes to the pitcher, I had to go with Arrieta. Both CC Sabathia and Felix Hernandez are pitching on Saturday. So is Jered Weaver. All 3 of those guys are going to cost less than Arrieta. But Jake's been money so far in 2 starts this season. There's a chance that Colorado short-stop Trevor Story, like he's done to almost every pitcher that he's faced, could get to Jake. I'll have to roll the dice in that matchup.
Buster Posey is far and away the best catcher available based on Saturday's matchups. He could do a number on Scott Kazmir. I think that Pujols and Utley offer excellent value. Utley in particular knows Johnny Cueto well. In addition, Cueto hasn't been all that great so far this season. He's 2 and 0 but his ERA is 4.50 and his WHIP is 1.29. Pujols could have a huge game against Ricky Nolasco. He should cost less than fellow Angels' slugger Mike Trout who is at $4,900 for Friday.
The best value pick in my line-up is short-stop Alcides Escobar. As of this past Thursday, Escobar is 9 out of 42 at the plate. That's terrible. I'm expecting him to turn it around some on Saturday facing a pitcher in Chris Bassitt that he's hit .600 against in the past.
I have to emphasize that my Fantasy Baseball line-up is dependent on what happens in Friday's games. Who knows? Some of the players could get hurt, Joe Maddon might decide to pull Arrieta in favor of another starter, Buster Posey might need a day off, etc. If nothing like that happens, though, I think I'll have a shot to win some dollars on Saturday.