Tag:Justin Smoak
Posted on: June 4, 2012 5:32 pm

Time for a Fantasy Gold(schmidt) Rush

First base is one of the deepest positions in Fantasy, but we are always on the lookout for the next great option at the position. Two of the best Fantasy options lately at first base have been the Mariners' Justin Smoak and Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt.

Smoak (owned 62 percent of leagues) is batting .325 with seven homers, 19 RBI, .378 OBP, .602 slugging percentage and .980 OPS in his last 21 games, while Goldschmidt (owned 61 percent) is batting .353 with five homers, seven doubles, eight RBI, .429 OBP, .676 slugging percentage and 1.105 OPS in his last 19 games. 

Now the question beckons: Which player is worth the flier in Fantasy? After further evaluation, if I had to use one roster spot on either player, then I'm going with Goldschmidt.

My reservations about Smoak is that this hot streak could be just a market correction for him after his numbers were so bad earlier in the season. It's true, he is on track for a career-high in homers. However, his other numbers are pretty much on par with his career averages. His line after this hot streak is .238/.293/.409/.703. His career averages are .229/.312/.389/.701. 

Also, Smoak only seems comfortable batting fifth for Seattle. He is hitting .392 with six homers and 17 RBI batting fifth. He is hitting .250 or worse batting fourth, sixth and seventh, and has a combined four homers and 12 RBI in those spots. Not to forget that Smoak still can't hit lefties. He is batting .214 with one homer and five RBI against lefties this year.

There seems to be more upside with Goldschmidt, who has just 94 MLB games under his belt. It's true that the right-handed hitter Goldschmidt is much better against lefties (.340 AVG), but his splits aren't as drastic as Smoak's. Goldschmidt is batting .245 with three homers, six doubles and 13 RBI against righties. Also, Goldschmidt seems more comfortable moving around the lineup. It's true that he also has his best numbers batting fifth (.328 AVG) as well, but Goldschmidt is also hitting .263 batting seventh and .280 batting sixth. 

I would think Fantasy owners have better luck striking Gold(schmidt) with Arizona's burgeoning first baseman.
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