Shortstop – High-End Spend
Whew, shortstop is hideous on the early slate. Instead of trying to find different layers of value, it’s basically a choice between Jose Reyes, $2,400 or Paul DeJong, $2,800. The matchups aren’t good for either player but Reyes could steal a base and DeJong could potentially run into a ball from Syndergaard or the Mets bullpen. Addison Russel at $3,000 just doesn’t seem necessary for the early slate.
Manny Machado, $3,900
.267/.304/.581 with 4 HRs in 43 at-bats
If players are looking to stack a certain lineup, Carlos Correa makes a lot of sense here as well. However, Machado is the pick now that Tree Turner is unavailable due to inclement weather. Machado is back manning the shortstop position for the Orioles in a contract year that could see him traded. He’s going to want to have as big a year as possible and he’s got every chance to get things started with a bang on Opening Day.
Elvis Andrus, $3,100
.333/.364/.381 with 0 HR in 42 at-bats
When an offense is facing Justin Verlander, it’s not wise to go after him in any big way. However, Andrus has a relatively lengthy record of success against the ace pitcher for the Astros. Andrus is also always a threat to steal a base. The lowest total he’s had in any season is 21 and Andrus found his power stroke last season with a career high 20 homers. There’s likely regression for that on the way, but he’s a fine mid-range option for today.
Alcides Escobar, $2,300
.429/.467/.786 with 0 HR in 14 at-bats
The Royals offense may not be any good this season, which could cap the upside of Escobar. Still, there’s room for profit at this price tag as he has destroyed White Sox starter James Shields in his opportunities. The home run potential is low for Escobar but he can easily return value in other ways at such a low price point.