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Friday 19th Jan 2018

Draft Street is back with another Pick ‘Em contest. If you are on the fence about playing, consider the fact that there is no entry fee and so far, yours truly has cashed three times during various Draft Street Free Rolls.

The set-up is straightforward. There are eight tiers of players and you pick one player per tier. That’s it! No salary cap to worry about, no searching for cheap gems to be able to afford the expensive studs. Point and click eight times and voila, there’s your squad.

Here’s my entry in this week’s Free Roll.

TIER 1Ryan Braun (Ross Detwiler): The best player in fantasy baseball (yes, I said the best) is at home facing a southpaw. I’ll take that matchup every time. Other choices in this tier include Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Gonzalez. Trout and McCutchen may have had stretches where they are the best player at that time, but for the season and going forward, I’ll take Braun.

TIER 2 Adrian Gonzalez (Phil Hughes) – I’m a fan of Hughes as a fantasy performer with the sole bugaboo being homers – which is what I am hoping bites him as he faces the lefty Gonzalez. The Red Sox first baseman has been hitting the ball harder lately, including lofting more balls. Mark Trumbo, Prince Fielder and David Wright were also under consideration, but at the end of the day, the short right field porch in the new Yankee Stadium was the difference.

TIER 3Brandon Phillips (Christian Friedrich) – This was an interesting tier as no one else really stuck out despite there being some solid players including Shin-Soo Choo, Josh Hamilton, Ryan Zimmerman and Edwin Encarnacion. Hamilton is facing Chris Sale and the others are squaring off pitchers with like handedness, so I’ll go with the righty Phillips versus the lefty Friedrich in Coors Field.

TIER 4Ryan Ludwick (Friedrich) – Another righty-lefty matchup in Coors Field is enticing. Curtis Granderson at home against Aaron Cook was considered with Cook’s ground ball tendencies giving the edge to Ludwick. Colby Rasmus and Justin Upton also populated this group.

TIER 5Neil Walker (Jordan Lyles) – While I am a huge fan of starting players at home, Walker makes the fourth away hitter on the ledger. Walker is a switcher and has been quietly performing very well this season and I look for him to continue. Bryce Harper, Jose Reyes, Alex Gordon and Billy Butler were among those that did not make the cut for this tier.

TIER 6 Jim Thome (Jarrod Parker) – Being at home against a righty was the impetus for this pick as the lefty Thome is taking well to Camden Yards. Parker is a formidable foe but is better at home. The streaking Garrett Jones and Chase Headley along with Ryan Howard and Brett Lawrie encompass this grouping.

TIER 7Drew Stubbs (Friedrich) – Stubbs makes the third Red selected so you know what game I’ll be watching. Stubbs is having close to what is expected and can score points with power or speed. Asdrubal Cabrera, Mike Moustakas and Adam LaRoche failed to make it from this set.

TIER 8Carlos Santana (Scott Diamond) – I don’t love this pick, but Santana meets the requirements, so he gets the nod over Dustin Pedroia, Ichiro Suzuki and Coco Crisp.

There you go. If you want to pick out your crazy eight CLICK HERE.


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