As teams play their second series of the season, all 30 teams will be on the diamond today with five afternoon games and 10 games in the main DraftKings contest tonight. Most teams are getting to the back end of their rotation which could mean plenty of offense tonight. As you build around the big bats you like the most, you’ll also need to get some good value from some cheaper options. Here are the bargain options I think are set up to start your weekend right.
Jesse Chávez – SP – LAA vs SEA – $7,100
Chávez is a bit of a journeyman entering his 10th season in the Majors and pitching for his sixth team after splitting last year between the Blue Jays and Dodgers. After pitching only out of the bullpen for those two teams last year, he won the Angels’ fifth-starter spot with a strong Spring Training. He finished the spring in style with six shutout innings against the D-Backs lowering his spring ERA to 2.51 with 12 strikeouts and no walks in 14.1 innings.
Spring stats are mostly meaningless once the season starts, but he does get a good matchup in his first start of the season. Seattle’s offense struggled while dropping three of four games to Houston in their first series of the year averaging just two runs per game. While the Mariners’ bats are cold, Chavez has a history of starting the season strong, so I think he’s a solid value option tonight especially since his strikeout numbers are usually pretty solid.
A.J. Griffin – SP – TEX vs. OAK – $6,100
Texas was swept by the Indians in their first series of the season, but they’ll look to pick up their first win of the season as they open their series against the Athletics tonight in Arlington. Griffin is the Rangers’ fourth starter to open the year after a solid 7-4 record in 23 starts with the team last year. Griffin started his career with the team he’ll face tonight spending two seasons in the Oakland rotation.
Last April, Griffin went 3-0 in four starts with a 2.52 ERA, and he’ll look to start this season with a similar fast pace. He doesn’t get a ton of strikeouts which limits his ceiling, but he does have a solid shot at a win and could produce solid innings in the first start of his career against his former team.
Mike Moustakas – 3B – KC @ HOU – $3,200
After losing almost all of last season to an ACL injury, Moustakas is back hitting in a good spot in the Royals lineup and producing solid numbers in the early going this season. Moustakas launched his second homer of the young season yesterday going 2-for-5 in the Royals’ third straight loss to the Twins.
Overall, Moustakas is 4-for-13 with his two home runs although the rest of the lineup has struggled behind him. Tonight, he should continue to be in a prime position to produce as he faces Mike Fiers who he is 2-for-5 against in his career. He was 4-for-17 with a home run last year in a trip to Houston before his knee injury. Tonight, he will look to continue his positive momentum while trying to help his team pick up their first win.
Andrelton Simmons – SS – LAA vs. SEA – $3,200
The Angels split their opening series with the A’s after losing yesterday afternoon 5-1. One of the few hitters to produce was Simmons who went 2-for-4 and has hit safely in all four of the Angels games. As usual, Simmons hasn’t offered a ton of power but made good contact, going 6-for-15 with three runs scored, a double, and an RBI. As he returns to Angel Stadium for L.A.’s home opener tonight, I think Simmons is a nice sleeper play.
Last season, Simmons hit .299 at home with a .766 OPS while hitting just .267 with a .627 OPS on the road. He also comes in with a good career record against Yovani Gallardo who starts tonight for Seattle. Simmons is 5-for-6 with a homer against Gallardo, who will make his Mariners debut tonight and had an ERA over 5.00 this spring.
Peter Bourjos – OF – TB vs. TOR – $2,500
If you are searching for an extreme value option all the way near the very bottom of the salary structure, check out the Rays’ Peter Bourjos. Tampa acquired Bourjos from the White Sox just before the season started, but he’s likely to get his second start of the season since the Rays will face lefty Francisco Liriano of Toronto tonight. Bourjos started against CC Sabathia earlier this week and went 0-for-1 with a walk.
Bourjos definitely brings some speed to the Rays lineup, and he may hit near the top of the order since he has a very good career history against southpaws in general and specifically Liriano. Last year, Bourjos hit .301 (25-for-83) against lefties in his time with the Phillies, and he has gone 9-for-31 (.290) against Liriano with three doubles and a triple. He won’t cost you much to invest in tonight, but I think Bourjos could be a sneaky play especially if he hits first or second against the newest Blue Jay starting pitcher tonight.
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.