Major League Baseball is back! This Monday, DraftKings has a great nine-game afternoon slate to celebrate the return of our National Pastime. As you start to build your first lineup of the regular season, you might find yourself in need of a trip to the bargain bin. The goal of this post is to find the cheap players who are in a position to produce a good return for their minimal investment. Throughout the season, you can find two bargain pitchers and two bargain hitters in my Bargain Bin post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday here in the DraftKings Playbook. Let’s check out the bargains for Opening Day:
Jon Gray – SP – COL @ MIL – $7,800
The Rockies start the season away from Coors Field with Jon Gray making his first Opening Day start. Last year in his first full season in the Majors, Gray made 29 starts and went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA. The reason why Gray does have upside, though, is that he faces a beatable opponent in Milwaukee who he dominated last season allowing four hits and two runs in six innings while striking out 10. After a foot injury, he looked fine in his last Spring Training outing.
Scott Feldman – SP – CIN vs. PHI – $5,300
If you decide to stock your lineup with huge bats and go ultra-cheap with one of your SP, check out Feldman who has had Opening Day success in the past. He has a 1.98 ERA in his two previous Opening Day chances with the Rangers and Astros. He typically starts the season strong and fades toward the end, and while he doesn’t typically pile up strikeouts he can limit damage and get a win against the Phillies to start his first year with the Reds.
Ryan Zimmerman – 1B/3B – WAS vs. MIA – $3,400
The veteran is only 32 although it seems like he has been around a lot longer. He started Spring Training 0-for-17, but he then caught fire and went 16-35 with two homers, six extra base hits, and even a couple stolen bases.
Zimmerman is hitting fifth against Edinson Volquez, and he is 3-for-6 with a double and four RBI against him in his career.
Dansby Swanson – SS – ATL @ NYM – $3,000
The Braves are ready to give Swanson their starting SS job after an impressive 21-73 stint in the Major Leagues last year. He had an .803 OPS with three homers and 17 RBI over the last couple months of last season. The number-one overall pick in the 2015 draft, Swanson is loaded with potential and is expected to hit second in the Braves lineup.
Even though he’ll start the year with a tough matchup against Noah Syndergaard, Swanson is worth a look at just $3K and did manage to go 2-for-2 with a pair of singles against Syndergaard last season. Swanson missed time early in Spring Training with back stiffness, but he played well once he was active and hit over .300 for most of the Grapefruit League.
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 I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.