This season, DraftKings is bringing its popular Best Ball contests to Major League Baseball. This format gives players a chance to draft a fantasy baseball team for a season-long competition that requires no active in-season management but still provides a full season of drama and competition.
You can find all the details, scoring and rules for the format in this overview post along with links to the rest of our season preview content.
Last week, I gave my top 30 starting pitchers, my top 30 outfielders and my top 30 infielders. This week, I’m diving even deeper into the rankings. Check out my 31-60 starting pitcher rankings that dropped Tuesday and my 31-60 outfielder rankings from Wednesday.
My colleague Garion Thorne has also been highlighting some sleepers and busts at each position as part of our Spring Training preview for Best Ball. Be sure to check back for more content to help get you ready for all your drafts throughout the next few weeks.
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37. Nathaniel Lowe, Texas Rangers
If you bailed on fantasy baseball midway through last season, Lowe being ranked this high will be an absolute shock. He flipped the switch after a slow start and turned into one of the top producers in the game in the second half. His power production started to come around in June, and his average and RBI total spiked coming down the stretch. He ended up claiming the Silver Slugger Award at a totally stacked 1B position.
Lowe finished with a .302 average, .368 wOBA and .191 ISO to go with his 27 home runs and 76 RBI. After June 1, he hit .317 with a .394 wOBA and an impressive 161 wRC+. He doesn’t have quite the name recognition of some of the other top 1B and does get bumped down some composite rankings due to the overload at 1B. In this format, though, he’s a very strong infield bat that comes with relatively low risk and a good ceiling.
41. Matt Chapman, Toronto Blue Jays
Chapman definitely has some holes in his swing and struggles with breaking balls at times, but he also brings plenty of power and should be vitally involved in one of the top lineups in the American League.
Chapman hit exactly 27 homers in each of the past two seasons and saw his batting average bounce back a little bit in 2022. He finished with a .331 wOBA and .204 ISO, which wasn’t quite as strong as his 2019 or 2020, but definitely was a move in the right direction.
He can be a streaky producer and turn in a few monster weeks to be one of your top infielders during that stretch. His strikeouts and low batting average won’t kill your team at all in this format, and he ranked in the 97th percentile of hard hit rate last year, showing there are plenty of good results possible.
58. Triston Casas, Boston Red Sox
Casas is one of the most interesting rookies to consider once the draft is over 150 picks old. He brings a very high ceiling and has shown the tools to make a big impact right away.
Last year in Triple-A Worcester, Casas swatted 11 homers in 72 games with a .376 wOBA and .208 ISO. Once he was called up he only hit .197, but showed a great plate approach with a 20.0% walk rate helping to prop up a .344 wOBA with five home runs.
He’s expected to hit 15-to-20 homers by just about every projection system coming into the year with a wOBA around .340. He’s just 23-years-old, but the Red Sox are expected to give him a very long look at 1B. Casas brings a high floor with his approach and a high ceiling if he breaks through.
60. Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays
Lowe is a bounce-back candidate who brings a lot of upside if you can grab him at this point in your draft. He was limited to just 65 games last year, and when he did play, he hit just .221 with a disappointing .152 ISO and .306 wOBA. Those numbers were a huge letdown, but at least there was a reason for his diminished returns. He was shut down with a stress reaction in his lower back and later landed on the IL again for a triceps injury and more lower-back discomfort.
If Lowe is available at this point in drafts, though, he is worth a shot, as the upside is there if he’s healthy. Just two seasons ago, Lowe had 39 homers, 99 RBI and a .277 ISO over 149 games. If he can return to anywhere near that level, he’ll be a great late-round addition.
There’s risk baked into this ADP, for sure, but the upside is worth it, especially if you have some relatively reliable other options already on your roster. Lowe has looked healthy this Spring, going 7-for-20 with two homers in his first eight games.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.