I am jumping into the daily rotation of MLB articles for DFSReport. I look forward to providing insight into the day’s games and hopefully enough to get each and every one of you “in the money” at the end of the day. I can be found on FanDuel and DraftKings as “bravesbaseball12” and on Twitter @tbadger23.
In this article, you will find 3 different sections:
Pitchers — broken down by notable “Studs” OR “Value Plays” OR “GPP Plays”
Hitters — broken down by notable “Studs” OR “Value Plays” OR “GPP Plays”
Stacks — broken down by “Popular” OR “GPP”
(Note on “Stacks” & “GPP Plays” — It’s no secret that often times, the way to take down a large GPP in Daily Fantasy is to build a successful stack of hitters from the same team. However, the fact that stacking seems to be most effective in fantasy (especially DraftKings), results in many teams going this route. The “Stud” OR “Value Plays” OR “Popular” stacks may be successful, but also are more likely to be highly owned. If you want to stand out, the GPP Plays, and Stacks could get you to the top of the leaderboard and allow you take home the big prize. It should go without saying, you never want a whole team of just “GPP plays.” While your reward has the potential to be tremendous, your risk also increases tremendously, giving you very little chance to succeed. Not a lot of us have the kind of money to expend at a high risk, so it’ll be important to combine these plays with some stud & value plays, even if you believe that particular player will be highly owned.)
Also, at the end of each player you’ll see “Potential” which will document a player’s probability of having either: High Floor/Low Ceiling (Low Risk, but can be expected to produce at his “normal rate,” often seen as a Cash Game Play) OR Low Floor/High Ceiling (high risk, high reward often seen as a GPP play), OR High Floor/High Ceiling (you won’t see this too often in daily fantasy baseball due to the volatility of baseball, but rare circumstances such as a huge matchup for the likes of Mike Trout and Giancarlo Stanton could warrant this rating).
Max Scherzer [SP, PHI] (DK: $12,100, FD: $11,000)
Scherzer is the top pitcher on the board on DK and $400 behind King Felix on FD and it’s for good reason. Scherzer is by far the biggest favorite on the board and an absolute must play on two-pitcher sites, like DK. His elite K/9 rate of 10.29 was 3rd in baseball last year and I don’t see the Phillies providing much resistance at all today. Scherzer is the top play on the board for both sites today.
Tyson Ross [SP, SD] (DK: $9,500, FD: $8,600)
Ross comes into today as a lesser favorite than the man above, but still holds the same amount of potential to be the top play on the board today. Ross was simply lights out at home last season, posting a 1.88 ERA in just over 100 IP and limited opponents to just a .199 batting average against him. The strikeouts weren’t there in his first outing but I expect that to change today making Ross an elite option.
Dallas Keuchel [SP, HOU] (DK: $6,700, FD: $8,300)
This is a DRAFTKINGS ONLY play, with Keuchel sitting at just over 13% of the salary cap. Keuchel was strong this Spring, posting a 1.80 ERA over 15 IP and continued his strong performance on Opening Day, tossing 7 scoreless frames vs. Cleveland. He won’t get you a ton of strikeouts, but is the favorite against Colby Lewis and the Texas Rangers and is a near must-play on DK today.
Henderson Alvarez [SP, MIA] (DK: $6,400, FD: $7,300)
Alvarez is another low-strikeout guy who is a nice favorite at home today. He posted a 1.60 ERA in 14 starts last season at Marlins Park and is a very nice play on 2 pitcher sites, such as DraftKings.
Chris Sale [SP, CWS] (DK: $10,600, FD: $10,600)
Normally, Sale will fall into the “stud” category but I anticipate him being severely under-owned due to a couple of factors: 1. He’s coming off of the DL and 2. There are other higher-priced, safer options that most users will more than likely choose. What does this mean? This is a great chance to use Sale. He’s easily one of the top pitchers in the league and sported a 10.76 K/9 rate last season, good for 2nd in the majors. Sale is expected to throw 90-95 pitches which could potentially limit his upside, but he can also rack up the K’s in a hurry. Sale struck out 13 minor-leaguers on just 90 pitches in his first spring game back from his injury and could be an intriguing GPP play today.
Miguel Cabrera [1B/3B, DET] (DK: $5,300, FD: $4,800), J.D. Martinez [OF, DET] (DK: 4,800, FD: 4,000), Victor Martinez [C/1B, DET] (DK: $5,000, FD: $4,100), Ian Kinsler [2B, DET] (DK: $4,500 FD: $4,300) Detroit Tigers:
The Tigers are picking up right where they left off last season and are at the top in almost every offensive category through 5 games. They will face off against LHP T.J. House who sported a 17.9 % Homerun to Flyball Ratio (MLB Average: around 9.5%) in just over 100 IP in 2014. If he were qualified, he definitely would have led the league in this category (no, that’s not a good thing) and until we see some improvement in this area, fire up the Tigers as one of the top stacks on the board today.
Matt Carpenter [3B, STL] (DK: $4,900, FD: $3,800), Jason Heyward [OF, STL] (DK: $5,200, FD: $3,800), Matt Holliday [OF, STL] (DK: $5,000, FD: $3,500), Jhonny Peralta [SS, STL] (DK: $4,600, FD: $2,800) St. Louis Cardinals:
Cuban rookie RHP Rasiel Iglesias makes his MLB Debut today in one of the most (if not, THE most) hitter-friendly parks in baseball. This stack is kind of a shot in the dark as I typically give the nod to the pitcher on his first start in the majors, but Iglesias did not blow me away this Spring. He’s skipping the minors and heading straight for the big leagues and I envision the Cards flying under the radar today.
Freddie Freeman [1B, ATL] (DK: $4,300, FD: $3,700)
Freeman is underpriced across the board and comes into this one having hit his first HR last night and also comes in 6 for 10 against Bartolo Colon with half of those hits going for extra bases. Take advantage of Freeman at this price while you can as I don’t anticipate it lasting all too long.
High Floor/High Ceiling
Ian Kinsler [2B, DET] (DK: $4,500, FD: $4,300)
If you decide not to stack the Tigers today, make sure you find a spot for this guy in your lineup. Kinsler has always hit LHP very well and is 10 for 22 to start the year. Don’t overthink this one.
High Floor/High Ceiling
Jerry Sands [OF, CLE] (DK: $3,200, FD: $2,300)
Sands has posted a nice line across 8 minor-league seasons, posting a .275 / .364 / .521 line. Furthermore, he’ll face a young 25 year-old LHP in Kyle Lobstein who was underwhelming in his 100 career MILB games, posting a 3.77 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. It won’t hurt you to slide this guy into your lineup at only 6.5% of your overall salary cap, even in cash games. Potential: Low Floor, High Ceiling
CATCHERS: Managers love to rest their everyday catcher on Sunday afternoons. Double check the lineups and you are sure to find some cheap catchers so that you can build the rest your team around superstars.
Jose Abreu [1B, CWS] (DK: $5,400, FD: $4,300)
Abreu is off to a slow start after tearing the cover off the ball this Spring. RHP Mike Pelfrey could be just what the doctor ordered. Abreu is 0 for 2 off of Pelfrey in his young career but let’s not forget that Pelfrey carries around a 4.57 career ERA along with an abysmal 1.48 WHIP. Many will overlook Abreu, but I encourage you to give him a look as he is one of the most powerful hitters in the game.
Low Floor, High Ceiling
Yasiel Puig [OF, LAD] (DK: $5,400, FD: $3,900)
Speaking of slow starts, Puig is just 2 for 17 with 1 XBH so far this season. He comes into this game 2 for 10 against RHP Josh Collmenter but both of those hits were for extra-bases with 1 leaving the yard. He will be severely under-owned today and perhaps rightfully so, BUT we all know he has the talent to go off at any moment and I would hate for anyone to miss out if today were that day.