Tonight’s “main” slate is a small one, with just four games on tap after a busy afternoon of baseball. The first week is always a bit strange in terms of scheduling, but that just gives us another opportunity to play. We have three games that’ll take place in a dome, but our non-dome game between the Braves and Mets has a chance for rain, so check back for weather info before locking and loading your lineups. Find me there @RyNoonan. Let’ dig in.
Marcus Stroman – TOR vs. TB – $8,700 – Fresh off of an excellent showing at the WBC, Stroman takes the hill for his season debut against the free-swinging Rays. The lineup that Tampa Bay will likely roll out tonight struck out 26.6% of the time against RHP last season, with an astronomical 13.5% team swinging-strike rate. Huge swing-and-miss totals aren’t typically a part of Stroman’s game, but his opponent here clearly raises his expected floor.
Other Options – Robbie Ray ($8,300)
Matt Harvey – NYM vs. ATL – $8,100 – Is Harvey a “value” at $8,100 when he’s priced in the same range has Stroman and Ray? On this slate, I’m saying yes. Truthfully, the pickins’ are slim on a four-game slate. Harvey had a strong spring, and he’s very much in play if the weather holds off here.
Other Options – Joe Musgrove ($7,000)
Buster Posey – SFG vs. ARI – $4,200 – The game’s best catcher against a lefty in a hitter-friendly ball park? Yeah, Posey will likely be a popular play on Thursday night. He carries a .375 wOBA against lefties for his career, has a generous implied-team total and his price is very affordable on this slate with no $10K+ pitching to consider.
Travis d’Arnaud – NYM vs. ATL – $3,000 – I’m a fan of punting catcher on most slates. I like to wait and see where players are positioned in the lineup once they come out and see where I can save, but I don’t know that you need to do that today. If you do need to save, I like d’Arnaud at home against a lefty if you’re looking for a viable Posey pivot.
Paul Goldschmidt – ARI vs. SFG – $5,200 – This slate’s pitching options will allow us to do pretty much whatever we want with our offense, so Paul Goldschmidt is very much in play. Targeting Giants pitchers on the road is a much better play than when they’re at home, and we all know that Jeff Samardzija is prone to the long ball when he’s not sharp.
Other Options – Freddie Freeman ($4,300)
Steven Pearce – TOR vs. TB – $3,200 – Eligible at both first and second base, Steven Pearce has a career .371 wOBA and .257 ISO against left-handed pitching, making him an outstanding value play if he’s in the lineup against Blake Snell. The positional eligibility gives you the ability to be flexible with your lineup as well, if you want to play him at second base with Goldschmidt at first.
Jose Altuve – HOU vs. SEA – $4,900 – The diminutive Astros’ second baseman is in a prime spot, at home against Mariners left-hander Ariel Miranda. Miranda has allowed right-handed bats to compile a .259 ISO in limited innings thus far in his career, and Altuve handles lefties very well, with a lifetime .404 wOBA against them.
Other Options – Robinson Cano ($4,400)
Devon Travis – TOR vs. TB – $3,600 – Likely hitting in the leadoff spot, Travis is a viable option here for just $3,600. He’s in play as a cash-game option if he’s leading off since the road team is locked in for nine innings of at-bats, increasing the likelihood that Travis sees five plate appearances.
Josh Donaldson – TOR vs. TB – $4,600 – A .415 wOBA and .303 ISO against left-handed pitching will likely make you a popular play, and that’s what happens any time Donaldson is facing a southpaw. More times than not, though, those situations will lead to Donaldson being at $5,000 or more, so $4,600 feels very affordable today.
Other Options – Jake Lamb ($4,100)
Wilmer Flores – NYM vs. ATL – $3,200 – I’m hoping that the weather cooperates here because Flores is my favorite value play on this slate. His .273 ISO against left-handed pitching is not accounted for in his price, and you can play him at either second or third base.
Carlos Correa – HOU vs. SEA – $4,800 – As detailed above when discussing the viability of Jose Altuve, Mariners’ left-hander Ariel Miranda should have his hands full with this Astros’ lineup tonight. They’ll likely be a popular stack here at home against Miranda, but it may be smart to have some exposure if you’re making multiple lineups here.
Troy Tulowitzki – TOR vs. TB – $3,700 – While clearly not the same upper-echelon player that we saw for years in Colorado, Tulowitzki is not dead and can still crush left-handed pitching. He homered off Blake Snell in their only matchup last season, so there’s your one game BvP stat of the day!
Other Options – Brad Miller ($3,700)
Yoenis Cespedes – NYM vs. ATL – $4,300 – This is just way too cheap for Cespedes. Braves’ starter Jaime Garcia isn’t the type of power pitcher that’s going to miss a lot of bats and give Cespedes problems. His power upside is that of a $4,800 hitter, and that’s where I’m accustomed to seeing him priced. I’m in on the discount here.
Other Options – George Springer ($4,500)
David Peralta – ARI vs. SFG – $3,800 – This is a good spot for Peralta, and his price makes him an easy play for me at just $3,800. We’ve seen different versions of Jeff Samardzija over the years, some featuring a very fly-ball heavy contact mix, and that’s something we want to exploit in DFS. With this game in Arizona, I think Peralta is a solid cheap option to round out your outfield.
Other Options – Mitch Haniger ($3,600)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is RyanFix) 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.