With Opening Day now behind us, we can officially focus on the grind that is the baseball season. Tonight features an eight-game slate with some solid stacks to target. Let’s get you ready, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
L.A. Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres – Kenta Maeda ($9,600) – Maeda and the Dodgers are the heavy favorites in this game as they continue their series against the Padres. Maeda had tremendous success against this club last season in four starts pitching 22 innings allowing 8 runs on 14 hits with a 27:2 K:BB ratio, averaging 21.1 FPPG. The Padres ended the 2016 season with the second highest K% against RHP, checking in at 24.9%. At a $9,600 price tag, Maeda is reasonably priced and certainly an option for tonight; however, he’ll likely be popular.
Cleveland Indians vs. Texas Rangers – 9.5 runs – The highest projected total of the night belongs the Indians visiting the Rangers. Carlos Carrasco will take the hill for the Indians opposing Martin Perez. Perez was his “best” at home last season, averaging 12.6 FPPG at Globe Life Park. Perez struggled against right-handed batters last season to the tune of a .350 wOBA and allowed 10 of his 18 total home runs. The Indians are loaded with right-handed bats and switch hitters, making this a great spot to load up on a few from the Tribe tonight.
San Francisco Giants vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – 9 runs – The Giants are projected to score five runs tonight, which is the highest team total of the night. They’ll face Patrick Corbin, who they teed off on in 2016. In five games (three starts) against the Giants, Corbin pitching 19.2 innings allowing 13 runs (eight earned) on 22 hits with an atrocious 12:10 K:BB ratio. Buster Posey lead the Giants against lefties last season with a .381 wOBA and a .490 SLG.
1) Chicago Cubs vs St. Louis Cardinals (Busch Stadium) – This game has a slight chance of thunderstorms throughout the entire night. This will be worth keeping an eye on.
Park Factors are ranked on a scale of 1.000. Anything above 1.000 is favorable towards the hitters. Anything below that mark, favors pitchers.
- Chase Field – San Francisco Giants vs Arizona Diamondbacks – Chase Field ranked as the second most favorable ballpark last season. All offensive categories were favored here including triples, which had the highest rating in the league.
- Globe Life Park – Cleveland Indians vs Texas Rangers – Every offensive category got the nod at Globe Life Park last season, making this our second most favorable park on the slate.
- Minute Maid Park – Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros – Last season, Minute Maid Park only favored triples for hitters and is renowned as a pitchers park.
- Dodger Stadium – San Diego Padres vs. L.A. Dodgers – Dodger Stadium is one of the worst parks for hitters, and the numbers back that up. Not a single offensive category is favored here.
Splits to Start
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters
|Worst vs. LHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. LHB||OPS||AVG|
|Adam Wainwright||.841||.306||Kenta Maeda||.526||.180|
|Zach Davies||.768||.272||Martin Perez||.537||.176|
|Hisashi Iwakuma||.766||.290||Jake Odorizzi||.578||.190|
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
|Worst vs. RHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. RHB||OPS||AVG|
|Patrick Corbin||.851||.300||Jake Arrieta||.557||.194|
|Jake Odorizzi||.813||.277||Kenta Maeda||.580||.213|
|Martin Perez||.786||.291||Johnny Cueto||.601||.224|
Batter vs. Pitcher Splits
|Hunter Pence||Patrick Corbin||25||3.8|
|Evan Longoria||CC Sabathia||72||2.9|
|Miguel Cabrera||Jose Quintana||43||2.2|
Pitcher to Build Around
Lance McCullers – Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners – $9,500 – The Mariners have quite a different looking lineup than last season. Basing these numbers off their Opening Day lineup, the Mariners will be running out four players who had a K% of at least 20% against righties last season. Those would be Mike Zunino (34%) Leonys Martin (25.4%) Nelson Cruz (24.3%) and Danny Valencia (23.6%). McCullers has some nasty pitches in his arsenal, which helped pave the way for his 11.7 K/9 in the 2016 season. At $9,500, I think he’s a fantastic option on a night where so many people will likely be gravitating toward Maeda.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Charlie Blackmon – Colorado Rockies vs. Milwaukee Brewers – $4,600 – Blackmon has shown he can produce from the plate away from Coors Field. Even though Blackmon didn’t have a hit last night he did steal a base, which was a refreshing sight to see. It’s been said that Blackmon will be running more this season, which is music to fantasy players’ ears. Besides that, Blackmon owned a .422 wOBA against righties on the road last season and takes on Zach Davies, who allowed a .338 wOBA to lefties at home.
Save Big by Drafting…
Yan Gomes – Cleveland Indians vs. Texas Rangers – $2,900 – Gomes is coming off a disastrous 2016 season. Truly, it’s hard to find a positive spin on what he produced last year. The lone factor that did remain true at times was his ability to hit left-handed pitching. Gomes owns a career .335 wOBA against lefties with a .461 SLG and a .319 OBP. While these aren’t “blow you away” numbers, he faces Martin Perez, who allowed a .350 wOBA and 10 of his 18 home runs to righties at home last season. At $2,900, Gomes is certainly worth a look.
Stack Em Up
Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma) – The Giants have the highest projected run total of the night, and I expect them to be one of the more popular stacks. However, the Astros are second in projected runs at 4.8. The top of their lineup is so dynamic and they now have Alex Bregman slotted in the two hole, giving Jose Altuve some fantastic protection. While I don’t live and die by Spring Training stats, Iwakuma is coming off a rough spring and wasn’t particularly sharp against the Astros last season. I think the ‘Stros make for an excellent stack this evening.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) 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.