Baseball is finally here! After a long break between official action on the diamond, we finally have daily fantasy baseball back. The first day of the season is always riddled with aces taking the hill for their teams, so bats can be hard to come by. The second day, however, gives us a lot of choices to be made about whether to pay for hitting or pitching? I can see either route leading to a winner today, so let’s check on our options.
Plenty of Action on DraftKings to Choose From
Zach Greinke vs. San Diego Padres ($8800) – Grienke would be an opening day starter on most other teams, but plays second fiddle on the Dodgers to Clayton Kershaw. He had one of his best seasons in the bigs last year with an ERA of 2.64, a WHIP of 1.13, and more than a strikeout per inning over 209 innings pitched. San Diego’s offense is better, but Greinke is at home in his pitcher friendly park, and his control looks to be back where he needs it to be. I like his chances for a solid outing, as well as the win.
Mat Latos vs. Atlanta Braves ($8000) – I think almost every pitcher against Atlanta deserves some mention at the moment. Outside of Freeman, I am not scared of anyone in that line up. Latos was banged up a bit last season and never really found his rhythm. He was a top end starter in San Diego and even for awhile after landing with the Reds. His strikeouts were down last season, but I think he is a better pitcher than Henderson Alvarez, who fared okay against Atlanta yesterday. I am going right back to that well and hoping for a better return with Latos today.
Jesse Hahn vs. Texas Rangers ($6000) – Hahn burst onto the scene last year with San Diego, and his tired arm let him down late in the year. In his last three outings of 2014, he only went 9 IP with 7 runs allowed on 18 walks/hits. While those numbers are horrible, it also means he went 64 IP before that with 17 runs allowed, 70 hits, and 62 strikeouts. That would be good for a WHIP of 1.09, an ERA of 2.45, and about a strikeout per inning. Those are top of the rotation type numbers. Plus he gets a Texas order tonight that is not overly scary.
Jonathon Lucroy vs. Colorado Rockies ($4400) – Lyles gets the nod for the Rockies and he tends to struggle with solid contact hitters who can work the count. Lucroy fits that bill for the Brewers. He has a nice spot in the order for a catcher and some big bats hitting around him. Lyles does tend to keep the ball on the ground and in the park, but if he is going to challenge any hitters on Milwaukee, I think Lucroy would be one of them. His line up placement all but ensures him some hittable pitches every AB, and I would be shocked if he did not have at least one hit tonight and a run or two scored.
Buster Posey vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($4600) – Rubby De La Rosa has been pretty bad against hitters from either side of the plate, but the righties over his three big league seasons have really flashed some power against him. He actually has been worse to righties than lefties so far in his career. Posey hits in the heart of that Giants order and is one of the few guys who can produce runs consistently in that line up. I expect De La Rosa to struggle, and if so, I think Posey will have his say in those runs that get scored.
Miguel Montero vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($3300) – Jon Lester started the first game for the Cubs along with his personal catcher David Ross, who came over from the Red Sox with him. I am assuming that means Montero should get back into the line up for this one. Starlin Castro hit clean up in the first game, and I think that either the 4th or 5th spot in the order is where Montero will land. A lower priced catcher with prime line up real estate behind some high OBP guys sounds like a good bargain to me at only $3300.
Anthony Rizzo vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($4600) – Rizzo is the biggest bat right now on the Cubs. Lance Lynn had a good year in 2014, but even with the high strikeout rate, he still gave up a ton of baserunners. Rizzo has not been good against him over their recent history, but he profiles as a guy who should like hitting against Lynn. He had a .907 OPS against right handed pitching last year, with a home run every 16 at bats. I think the Cubs come back strong today after getting beat in the opener. Rizzo is the run producer for them and should have a nice bounce back game.
Adam Lind vs. Colorado Rockies ($4400) – Lind is the only big lefty bat in that Brewers order, and he may even flip flop with Aramis tonight to hit 3rd or clean up. Lyles really struggles against good Left handed hitters, and with Braun’s status iffy, he should be moving on up that lineup. With guys like Lucroy, Gennett, and Gomez likely hitting in front of him, he should be able to drive in a few runs. Milwaukee is also a hitter friendly ballpark, so that doesn’t hurt his chances.
CJ Cron vs. Seattle Mariners ($3400) – The youngster for the Angels should see a lot of time with Hamilton out and that order needing a little more pop in it. He will see time at 1B to rest Pujouls, as well as at DH due to his tremendous power. Cron has a lot of extra base potential and Paxson is no Felix Hernandez. I think he has a good shot to collect a few hits and at least one for extra bases against the young lefty and the Mariner’s middle relievers.
Stephen Vogt vs. Texas Rangers ($3500) – Vogt is the lefty bat that mashes bad right handed pitching for Oakland. Colby Lewis was a bad right handed pitcher last year. Therefore, Vogt should be in a good position to succeed today at a low price. It’s really that simple. Plus he also has catcher eligibility, if you want a cheap option there.
Ben Zobrist vs. Texas Rangers ($3900) – This is not a particularly tasty match up for Zobrist, and I do not like beating a dead horse, but Colby Lewis is not good. Zobrist went yard in the opener last night and has prime real estate in the middle of that A’s batting order. I expect them to shell Lewis today and get into that bullpen early. If that happens, Zobrist, as a switch hitter, could even bat a few times from his preferred side in this one. He has a lot of upside at a thin position, so you need to keep an eye on him.
Marcus Semien vs. Texas Rangers ($3600) – He is eligible at both 2B and 3B today, and you could fit him in either place for some salary relief. He too faces Colby Lewis, who has been a gas can in the past. Semien is a very underrated producer at the 2nd base position, and I think he is better used here, as he lacks the pop you can get from other players at 3rd. With some tough match up splits for much of the 2nd base position tonight, it makes sense to go low here.
Evan Longoria vs. Baltimore Orioles ($4300) – Longoria absolutely rakes against LHP. He had an On Base Percentage (OBP) of .376, an On base Plus Slugging (OPS) of .824, with a HR every 15 ABs last season. He gets a solid lefty in Chen, but he is 7 for 24 lifetime against him, so I see no reason to worry. Longo has prime placement in the Rays order and is one of the few guys that never gets pinch hit for on that roster. He homered on opening day, as well, so you know he is seeing the ball well.
Jace Peterson vs. Miami Marlins ($3100) – Like Semien, he also is eligible at both 2nd and 3rd base. He is the two hole hitter for the Braves, in front of Freddie Freeman. Freeman is the biggest bat Atlanta has, so I can see him getting a few extra fastballs, as team’s go after Jace and pitch around Freddie. His price is incredibly cheap and he should put the ball in play. His speed is an asset that will help him beat out some hits and steal a few bags, so he has upside at a very low price.
Troy Tulowitzki vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($5100) – He bats in the middle of one of the deepest orders in baseball. Cargo and Morneau have the splits advantage tonight, while bookending him in that order. If Garza wants to go after a righty instead, Tulo is going to make him pay for it. When healthy, he is one of the best options nightly in fantasy baseball. Use him while you can and hope he stays healthy.
Starlin Castro vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($3800) – Castro is actually a guy who has some reverse splits. He hit better off righties than lefties last year, and it was not the first time he has done that. Lynn is a solid pitcher, but as long as Castro stays in the clean up spot, how can you not like a sub $4000 SS who hits clean up? Not many are in run producing lineup spots, so take advantage of one who firmly is.
Giancarlo Stanton vs. Atlanta Braves ($5000) – Wood actually has decent success lifetime against Stanton, but Stanton has tagged him for a home run. Stanton is absolutely dominant against LHP and was one of the best the Marlins had in those match ups. His OPS against LHP was an insanely good 1.075 last season. Anytime you see Stanton against a lefty, you have to consider him. Wood was good, but not great last season. I like Stanton’s chances here for a good game, that includes a long ball.
Corey Dickerson vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($5100) – Many will look at the price tag and be scared off, but Dickerson is a monster against right handed pitching. Although Garza was solid against lefties last season, he has been lit up by them in the past. Dickerson hit sixth in that Rockies order yesterday, and when everyone is healthy, that order is deep and talented. With guys like CarGo, Tulo, Morneau, and Arrenado in front of him, he should see plenty of opportunities to hit with guys on base. He had two hits, including a home run, in the opener and could give Garza fits if he has to pitch to him with runners on.
Brandon Guyer vs. Baltimore Orioles ($3400) – I was tempted to put teammate David DeJesus ($2500) in here instead, but Guyer will probably hit lead off tonight against the lefty. John Jaso was replaced on opening day by Dejesus, but the lefty on lefty matchup is not ideal for him, so he could drop down in the order. Guyer is not a speed demon on top of the line up, but does hit the ball well and has some pop. At the very least he will get an extra AB or two hitting in the lead off spot, and he is cheap tonight in a good splits matchup.
Alejandro De Aza vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($3800) – Baltimore’s lefty lead off man gets to face an inexperienced RHP who got knocked around after being called up to the bigs last year. De Aza has prime placement atop the Orioles order and a good L/R matchup to exploit. He went yard on Opening Day and has the ability to contribute across the board in every category. I’m not expecting another 20 point DK score, but the matchup is solid for him to produce tonight.
Sam Fuld vs. Texas Rangers ($3300) – With all the injuries to the A’s outfield and Colby Lewis still on the mound for Texas, I love Fuld again tonight. He is hitting second for the Athletics, and they likely have a chance to blow open the game tonight. He is a cheap option with good upside and great line up placement, against a pitcher who has been know to get lit up. It’s the perfect recipe of positives for a low priced OF punt if you need one to fit in some studs.