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I’m back to (hopefully) contribute to your fantasy baseball team’s success by highlighting a player who is under-owned and may contribute in a big way this week. Sounds kind of like Grey’s buy/sell on Fridays, but looking at for one week.

This week, that player is: Chris Davis. Owned in just over 27% of ESPN leagues, he’s due for 6 road games this week. Typically, this would be bad news, since Camden Yards is one of the best parks in baseball for offense. However, three of his road games will be in The House Built Across the Street From the House That Ruth Built, which is the very best park in baseball for power hitting LHB, with a HR park factor of 143 (league average = 100). For non-nerds, if PETCO is a LHB’s nightmare, Yankee Stadium is his fantasy. Davis’ other three games are in HR hostile Fenway, but Boston’s home turf is favorable to offense overall, and Davis hits HR pretty much anywhere – even having played his entire career in very hitter friendly ballparks, his HR/AB ratio is actually slightly better on the road than at home.

Setting aside park factors, Davis squares off against 5 RHP this week. For his career he’s fared well against opposite-handed pitchers, hitting .260 with 36 HR (and 48 2B) in 782 career AB. Kuroda, Hughes, and Nova are the three starters he’ll face, none of whom is particularly tough on LHB, and Hughes is especially vulnerable in Yankee Stadium, allowing 40 HR at home as opposed to only 18 on the road. The two RHP scheduled for Boston against Baltimore are Beckett and Buchholz, who both give up just over 1 HR per 9 innings against lefties. Davis may sit when Baltimore faces Jon Lester, the only starting LHP slated for this week, but if he does play, Davis performs surprisingly well against same-handed pitchers: .238 AVG and 11 HR in 286 career AB. Such a split from Davis against LHP and RHP is almost exactly league average, and better than sluggers like Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, and even Josh Hamilton.

I know your objection. It’s the punch-outs. I’m here to assuage those concerns. Pitchf/x, Fangraphs, and Statcorner all have Davis swinging less frequently at pitches outside the strike zone, more frequently at pitches inside the strike zone, and making more contact overall (especially on pitches in the strike zone). Increased contact rate and better plate discipline is the basis for his improvement in K%, striking out in 25.1% of plate appearances this season, markedly better than his career 31.2% offering. To show just how drastic an improvement this is, taking Davis’ career numbers and inputting his new K% would lop off 70 strikeouts in his 1149 PA. After subtracting walks, running the remaining 66 AB with his career averages would take his career .254 AVG and bump it to .278, which meshes with his .286 AVG this season. His HR total would also climb from 47 to 51. (Note: stats used for article contained games played before 4/28. Davis homered and went 4-5 over the weekend)

How many guys with 3B eligibility can hit .280 and also give you 30 HR in a full season of at-bats? How many of those guys are available in over 70% of ESPN leagues? How many of those guys are on a hot streak? How many of those guys get to play a series in Yankee Stadium this week?

For a one week play at CI or U, or a replacement for Ryan Zimmerman at 3B, take a chance with Chris Davis. At least for this week.

  1. Plasmaj says:
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    Do you mean the week starting May 7? Because this week’s lineups already locked

    • chata says:
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      @Plasmaj,

      baltimore starts it’s 3 game series tonight (apr.30th) in new york .

      • AdamH says:
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        @chata, Most weekly lineup leagues lock at the start of the first game.

        • chata says:
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          @AdamH,

          doesn’t concern me .

          • AdamH says:
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            @chata, OK. Sorry.

  2. Nonstoptalk says:
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    I’m in a 12 team H2H keeper. My offense looks like this…

    J. Montero
    Konerko
    Pedroia
    Youkilis
    Hanley
    N. Cruz
    Werth
    Heyward

    And then I have Duda/Reimold/Belt/Harper battling it out for UTILITY

    Question is Youkilis really scares me and I’ve flirting with picking up Chris Davis for about 2 weeks. Since it’s a keeper I’d obviously like to keep Belt and Harper so should I lose Reimold or Duda for Davis or should I just roll with what I have?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @Nonstoptalk, I wouldn’t drop Reimold or Duda for a one week play.

  3. Purewater says:
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    Hopefully this works out better than your Jason Bay call last week.

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @Purewater, Hey, Bay hit .333 for the week…

  4. chata says:
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    nice article ….. (provided that you didn’t jinx him) .

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @chata, Here’s to hoping!

  5. Peter says:
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    I am getting impatient with Boesch and am searching for a replacement. Chris Davis is on top of that replacement list. Make the move?

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @Peter, Boesch is starting to hit, but his fantasy relevance is tied to his lineup. Davis has far more power and also plays in better parks this week.

  6. stumanji says:
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    I’ve been creepin’ on Davis for a week or so now. Your article convinced me to pull the trigger and mercifully get Reynolds out of my lineup.

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @stumanji, Yup!

  7. Eric says:
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    Justin Morneau was just dropped in my league. Should i drop Adam Lind to pick him up. Or is it too early to give up on Lind?

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @Eric, Hold

  8. frog says:
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    another bad outing for heath bell. how short is his leash and who should i p/u in case bell gets demoted?

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @frog, Cishek is the better pitcher, but Mujica seems to be next in line.

  9. mc serch says:
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    I know Grey will think this is sacrilegious, but i dropped A. Lind for C. Davis last week. I think Davis has figured his shizz out and it started last September. His BA ag. lefties has risen dramatically since mid to late last year, whereas Lind remains godawful ag. lefties and is not even usable when facing a southpaw. C. Davis is in a nice spot now, good lineup, hitters ballpark and playing everyday….nice job on this post-hype creeper (new glossary term?)!

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @mc serch, Thanks!

      I think Lind’s new approach is worth watching. He’s swinging much less frequently, and making tons of contact when he does swing. His walk rate is way higher (and supported by his plate discipline stats), and his BABIP is way low with that batted ball profile.

      He is pounding the ball into the dirt, though. If the new approach sticks and he starts lofting the ball again he should be owned everywhere.

  10. wakeNbake says:
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    Paul Goldschmidt got dropped in my dynasty league. would you burn your #1 waiver priority on him. I know hes struggled to start the season but he has alot of potential doesnt he?

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @wakeNbake, If he’s the best guy on waivers and you have the space, go for it. Aren’t too many guys who can hit 30 HR and steal 10 bags at 1B.

  11. Junior Ortiz says:
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    Wow. I was in the same spot as @stumanji and made the same move. Now I have to sort out whether to keep waiting on Maybin or Boesch.

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @Junior Ortiz, Maybin’s got the higher upside, Boesch clearly has the better lineup.

      A quick glance at Maybin’s plate discipline shows he’s swinging less overall, and almost all of that reduction is with pitches out of the strike zone. On top of that, he’s easily making the most contact of his career, and his BABIP is low. I think he’ll turn it around soon.

      • Feeding the Abscess

        Feeding the Abscess says:
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        @Feeding the Abscess, Just looked at his box score and saw two walks and two steals. I’m honestly not surprised, and expect his walk rate to stick and his K rate to drop. I’d buy now before he gets hot.

  12. prezii says:
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    Reimold is startin to make me mad. Got like 2 good days ouuta him and hes been a smuck since. I know i shouldnt drop, but damnn c’mon man

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @prezii, His HR/FB rate is way high, like double his career rate. He might scuffle for a bit

      • prezii says:
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        @Feeding the Abscess, imma hang on since morneau is hurt.. cant drop both cuz that leaves me with only two moves for the week.. i may need to stream against the top guy in tje league..

        • Feeding the Abscess

          Feeding the Abscess says:
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          @prezii, Yeah, I’d hold your ammo for another day.

  13. Wake Up says:
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    Hammel. Touche.

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @Wake Up, I finally got something right!

      Saying that, I’m gleefully awaiting Hammel’s arm detaching at the shoulder and tumbling towards home plate in his next start.

  14. stumanji says:
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    Davis Tues night: 3/4, 3 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 7 TB, .750 OBP, 1.750 SLG

    SO FAR, SO GOOD!

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @stumanji, Yah buddy!

  15. Matt says:
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    Should i package this guy with bourn for pando or will i regret that?

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @Matt, You could ask for something in addition to Panda, possibly. Bourn was drafted in the same range as Panda in most places, and he’s started hot himself.

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