Welcome to our daily fantasy baseball post, which will appear every weekday. We’ll use DraftKings salaries to give you some tips and advice on the day’s action.
Remember to check lineups and weather as gametimes approach. We’ll publish this piece in the mornings, and a lot can happen during the day. If Dusty Baker decides to bench Bryce Harper at the last minute, don’t blame us!
I’ll usually plan to wager $6 per day on DraftKings - $5 on a cash lineup, $1 on a tournament version – and track my progress all season. If you’re a more serious player who doesn’t want to trust his or her bankroll on a guy who enters six bucks a day, I’ll understand. Good luck!
First pitch for the day is Marlins-Nats at 1:05 p.m. ET … Chances of rain for Tigers-White Sox range from 70-90 percent during the game’s window, so a postponement is possible. We’re going to stay away from this game for DFS purposes … The Dodgers are your biggest favorite at minus-360, which is why Clayton Kershaw checks in at $12,800 against the Padres … The highest projected run totals on the board are Phillies-Reds (Hellickson-Feldman) and Pirates-Red Sox (Cole-Porcello) at nine … Anthony Rendon is not in the Nationals’ lineup.
Cash: Mariners OF Nelson Cruz kills lefties (.419 WOBA vs. LHP last season, .395 career), and he’s a relatively cheap $4,400 against Dallas Keuchel. This is the no-brainer of no-brainers.
Tournament: OK, nobody is really a lock for tournament lineups, but Trea Turner can get you 25 DK points without breaking a sweat. There are plenty of places to save today so that you can roster him at $4,900.
Cash: Matt Joyce is likely to lead off for the A’s against Ricky Nolasco, and he’ll cost a ridiculously low $2,400. Joyce will be popular, so you might want to zag away from him in tournaments.
Tournaments: With Gregory Polanco slated to DH or not play today due to a shoulder injury, look for the moderately speedy Adam Frazier ($3,300) to lead off for the Pirates against Rick Porcello. Frazier has 2B/OF eligibility.
The Nationals are the chalky option versus Edinson Volquez. Trea Turner, Eaton, Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and even Ryan Zimmerman (batting fifth) are options for your Opening Day Nats' stack.
An alternative is the Angels, as A’s SP Kendall Graveman doesn’t miss bats and allows too many homers for a ground-ball pitcher. Escobar/Calhoun/Trout/Pujols can be had for a total of $15,500.
The Guys to Avoid
So many players fit the bill today because most teams are throwing their ace starters, but let’s stay away from the Indians’ usually strong hitters against Rangers’ ace Yu Darvish.
Position Notes & Suggestions
Starting pitcher: There’s a reasonable temptation to save $1,200 by downgrading from Kershaw to Noah Syndergaard ($11,600), but Kershaw faces a worse, more strikeout-prone opponent in the Padres … Stephen Strasburg ($9,900) is lest costly than Kershaw and Thor. Strasburg's fantasy problems come when he can't take the mound, not when he can.
The Brewers whiffed more than anyone in MLB last season, and unless you believe in Eric Thames’ KBO stats, this year’s lineup isn’t much better (though they were decent in the second half of 2016). Colorado’s Jon Gray ($7,800) is in a nice spot here after a rookie season that saw him strike out nearly 10 batter per nine innings … Danny Duffy ($8,600) comes off a breakout season, and faces the whiff-happy Twins. Duffy doesn’t always pitch deep into games, but he strikes out plenty of guys … The Rockies ranked 25th in wOBA and 27th in strikeouts on the road last season. Milwaukee’s Junior Guerra ($6,400) could whiff more batters than he usually does.
Catcher: It’s always tough to find catchers that bat near the top of their team’s lineups. Your best candidates today – aside from Jonathan Lucroy and J.T. Realmuto, who face excellent SPs - are Yasmani Grandal ($3,400), Salvador Perez ($3,300), Brian McCann ($3,300) and Stephen Vogt ($3,100). Vogt faces the worst pitcher (Ricky Nolasco) of the four.
First base: Joey Votto is the most expensive 1B on the board at $4,700, but Jeremy Hellickson isn’t a bad guy to face on Opening Day … Adrian Gonzalez ($3,800) will probably bat cleanup for the Dodgers … If you’re into BvP, Eric Hosmer ($3,700) has three homers and a 1.309 OPS in 29 PA vs. Ervin Santana … Mitch Moreland ($3,300) will bat fifth for the Red Sox. If you don’t buy into the Gerrit Cole rebound season, Moreland is a good, low-priced option.
Second base: Jose Peraza ($3,700) is expected to bat second for the Reds; he fits at 2B/SS … Another argument for Daniel Murphy ($4,500) is his .419 wOBA versus RHP last season … PIT’s Frazier is cheap, and mentioned above.
Third base: You could spend a lot of money at this position if you wanted to … Justin Turner at $3,500 vs. Jhoulys Chacin? Sure! … A’s 3B/1B Ryon Healy ($3,300) is likely to bat third, and faces the very hittable Nolasco … You can always consider Seattle’s Danny Valencia ($3,300) against a southpaw … Mike Moustakas ($3,200) is too cheap against Ervin Santana.
Shortstop: Of all the available hitters, Turner ($4,900) had the most DK points per game last season with 11.5. He can also be used at OF … Corey Seager ($4,400) appears to be healthy, and has a nice matchup vs. Chacin … Jose Reyes ($4,000) will bat leadoff against Julio Teheran. He fits at 3B, too … Asdrubal Cabrera ($3,500) vs. Teheran isn’t a bad option …
Outfield: Mike Trout ($5,300) and Bryce Harper ($5,100) have good matchups, and I’d never talk you out of them if you have the money to spend … Cruz is listed above as a cash-game lock … Marco Estrada gives up home runs, and Mark Trumbo ($4,200) hits them … Alex Gordon leads off at a good price ($3,500) vs. Santana … Calhoun ($3,500) is more steady than spectacular, but he has a nice matchup with Kendall Graveman … The jury is still out on Byron Buxton ($3,400) as a hitter, but he can steal bases and should bat second vs. Duffy.