Sports

Dodgers infielder Max Muncy is a bargain

Searching for discounts doesn’t make you cheap, it makes you smart — especially with prices on everything from food to gas soaring. (Heck, my car is staying in the garage until I know I need, and I mean need, to go somewhere.)

You have to do everything you can to get more bang for your buck.

When it comes to building your fantasy roster, you should enter your draft knowing which undervalued players are capable of providing early-round production at a cheaper price. Roto Rage knows there are plenty of middle infielders currently flying under the radar who will provide your roster with the depth needed to win it all.

In 2018, the Dodgers’ Max Muncy hit 35 homers with 79 RBIs, 75 runs and a .973 OPS in 137 games. In 2019, he hit 35 homers with 98 RBIs, 101 runs and a .889 OPS in 141 games. In 2021, he hit 36 homers with 94 RBIs, 95 runs and a .895 OPS in 144 games.

From 2018-21, Muncy had the eighth-best walk rate (15.2 percent) and the fourth-most home runs (118). He also ranked 23rd in runs (307), 17th in RBIs (298), 19th in on-base percentage and 22nd in slugging percentage (.520). His hard-hit percentage ranked 17th (43.6), and his barrel rates and xStats are also among the best in the majors.

Max Muncy
USA TODAY Sports

So, why does he have an average draft position of 112.55 (ninth- or 10th-round value), according to Fantasy Alarm? It’s not because of his career .240 average or his 23.9 percent strikeout rate, but rather because he tore the UCL in his left elbow during the regular-season finale in 2021. The unknown scares people, hence the big discount for a player who has easily been a top-50 talent.

Should fantasy owners be concerned about his recovery? No. Entering Friday, he already played in two spring training games (ignore the fact he was hitless with two strikeouts in his first four at-bats, as exhibition stats mean nothing). He will be ready for Opening Day, as he promised. He will also keep his multi-position eligibility (second base and first base), and get his share of DH at-bats while hitting in the middle of an imposing lineup that includes Trea Turner, Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts.

This is one of those discounts fantasy owners cannot (and should not) pass up.

Yankees
Gleyber Torres
USA TODAY Sports

Gleyber Torres struggled during the COVID-shortened 2020 season and hit .259 with nine homers, 51 RBIs and a .697 OPS in 2021, a far cry from the player who hit .275 with 62 homers, 167 RBIs and a .849 OPS in his first two seasons. Those struggles (which, at least for 2021, can be partly attributed to a thumb injury) are a big part of why his ADP has dropped to 162.64, which is an absurdly cheap price for a 25-year-old who already has been an All-Star (twice). Roto Rage feels a bounce-back season coming.

One of Roto Rage’s favorite targets is the Rockies’ Brendan Rodgers. You may be saying to yourself, “Oh, look, another Rockie who benefits from the Coors Field bump. Inspiring choice.” But, you’d be jumping to conclusions, especially since his numbers on the road (.289, 12 HRs, 30 RBIs, 25 runs, .873 OPS in 51 games) were better than those at home (.280, 3 HRs, 21 RBI, 24 runs, .723 OPS in 51 games). Rodgers is a target because he should be playing every day, has 20-plus homer potential and has multiple position eligibility. (And, fine, it doesn’t hurt that he plays at Coors Field.) All of those factors should bring a nice return on his 172.32 ADP.

Here’s one more: The Sleeper in Seattle, J.P. Crawford. His ADP is 313.77, which likely means he’ll be on the waiver wires after your draft, but he has double-digit homer and stolen base potential, finished in the top 40 in runs last year and should be the Mariners’ leadoff hitter (and their lineup improved in the offseason).

Team Name of the Week

Vientos, the Freshmaker

SECOND BASEMEN

  1. Trea Turner, LAD
  2. Ozzie Albies, Atl
  3. Marcus Semien, Tex
  4. Whit Merrifield, KC
  5. Ketel Marte, Ari
  6. Jonathan India, Cin
  7. Jorge Polanco, Min
  8. Brandon Lowe, TB
  9. Jose Altuve, Hou
  10. Max Muncy, LAD
  11. Javier Baez, Det
  12. Jazz Chisholm Jr., Mia
  13. Ryan McMahon, Col
  14. Tommy Edman, StL
  15. Gleyber Torres, NYY
  16. DJ LeMahieu, NYY
  17. Jake Cronenworth, SD
  18. Brendan Rodgers, Col
  19. Chris Taylor, LAD
  20. Jean Segura, Phi
  21. Ty France, Sea
  22. Luis Urias, Mil
  23. Eduardo Escobar, NYM
  24. Kolten Wong, Mil
  25. Kiké Hernandez, Bos
  26. Gavin Lux, LAD
  27. Jonathan Schoop, Det
  28. Jeff McNeil, NYM
  29. Adam Frazier, Sea
  30. Nick Madrigal, ChC
  31. David Fletcher, LAA
  32. Garrett Hampson, Col
  33. Luis Arraez, Min
  34. Josh Rojas, Ari
  35. Cesar Hernandez, Was
  36. Abraham Toro, Sea
  37. Jonathan Villar, ChC
  38. Luis Garcia, Was
  39. Andres Gimenez, Cle
  40. Joey Wendle, Mia
  41. Nick Senzel, Cin
  42. Wilmer Flores, SF
  43. Nick Solak, Tex
  44. Vidal Brujan, TB
  45. Jose Igelesias, Col
  46. Nico Hoerner, ChC
  47. Tommy La Stella, SF
  48. Josh Harrison, CWS
  49. Ha-Seong Kim, SF
  50. Tony Kemp, Oak

SHORTSTOPS

  1. Trea Turner,LAD
  2. Bo Bichette, Tor
  3. Xander Bogaerts, Bos
  4. Tim Anderson, CWS
  5. Francisco Lindor, NYM
  6. Trevor Story, Bos
  7. Marcus Semien, Tex
  8. Wander Franco, TB
  9. Jorge Polanco, Min
  10. Carlos Correa, Min
  11. Javier Baez, Det
  12. Corey Seager, Tex
  13. Adalberto Mondesi, KC
  14. Jazz Chisholm Jr., Mia
  15. Dansby Swanson, Atl
  16. Fernando Tatis Jr.*, SD
  17. Bobby Witt Jr., KC
  18. Jake Cronenworth, SD
  19. Willy Adames, Mil
  20. Gleyber Torres, NYY
  21. Amed Rosario, Cle
  22. Brendan Rodgers, Col
  23. Chris Taylor, LAD
  24. Eugenio Suarez, Sea
  25. Brandon Crawford, SF
  26. Josh Rojas, Ari
  27. Gavin Lux, LAD
  28. Gio Urshela, Min
  29. Luis Urias, Mil
  30. J.P. Crawford, Sea
  31. Isiah Kiner-Falefa, NYY
  32. Oneil Cruz, Pit
  33. Nicky Lopez, KC
  34. David Fletcher, LAA
  35. Miguel Rojas, Mia
  36. Didi Gregorius, Phi
  37. Luis Garcia, Was
  38. Jonathan Villar, ChC
  39. Andres Gimenez, Cle
  40. Kyle Farmer, Cin
  41. Joey Wendle, Mia
  42. Josh Harrison, CWS
  43. Jose Iglesias, Col
  44. Nico Hoerner, ChC
  45. Ha-Seong Kim, SD
  46. Leury Garcia, CWS
  47. Edmundo Sosa, StL
  48. Paul DeJong, StL
  49. Nick Ahmed, Ari
  50. Jose Barrero, Cin

*On IL

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