A pretty insane Opening Day with deep dingers by the dozens and tons of great pitching performances. Only eight teams are in action for this second official day of the season and there’s still plenty of amazing pitchers on tap.
Half the games have opening Vegas run lines under eight with the offense most likely to be lowest percentage owned being the Rays as they face a dominant Gerrit Cole. On the other side of that one, it’s Charlie Morton facing his old team, the Astros. Call it a revenge game if you want and maybe avoid going nutty with Astros’ hitters. As we saw yesterday, baseball is incredibly unpredictable from game to game.
The Tigers-Blue Jays game was supposed to pop off, but instead, we saw a masterful performance by Marcus Stroman in a 2-0 game. DET-TOR is one of the three matchups with an 8.5 total and the most stackable with lefty Matt Boyd and new Jay Matt Shoemaker facing off. The Angels should be a popular stack once again today as well as they take on Marco Estrada.
Let’s dig in to some hitting options.
- Austin Hedges/SDP, Austin Barnes/LAD, Buster Posey/SF
Not enough catchers to split up into cash and tourneys today. The two Austins are the most intriguing today. Hedges should find himself in the lineup with the Giants rolling out another lefty (Holland) while Barnes was one of eight Dodgers to homer last night and has been red hot this spring. Barnes isn’t a power hitter by any means, but has an ISO nearly 100 points higher against lefties (.180 to .081). Posey has lost most of the luster from his prime but facing a second-year man with only two pitches (Joey Lucchesi) could bode well for Buster today.
- Wil Myers/SDP, Justin Smoak/TOR, Miguel Cabrera/DET, Paul Goldschmidt/STL, Justin Bour/LAA
Keeping the core tight today. We have several great first basemen playing and we can’t name them all. Myers crushed a dong last night and gets another lefty who has a history of serving them up (Holland 1.34 HR/9 last year, 2.24 HR/9 in 2017). Goldy faces fireballer righty Freddy Peralta and is worth a stab in cash if you’re paying up. Cabrera is still very cheap on DK and might be popular in a hitter’s park (Rogers Centre) against Shoemaker, who has been rather shaky the last couple seasons. Smoak is my gut call for tourneys at the position today. Smoak struggled mightily last year, but the previous season, popped off with a .412 wOBA against lefties. Just note that he’s a switch-hitter who offers more pop against right-handed pitchers.
- Kiké Hernandez/LAD, Chad Pinder/OAK, Ryan McMahon/COL
Kiké has transitioned smoothly from his red-hot preseason into the regular season, crushing two bombs yesterday. The 27-year-old finally has an every day position and may thrive in a role where he isn’t just the super utility guy. He is locked in early, so let’s continue to roll with him. He’s hit three homers in 29 at-bats against Robbie Ray. Pinder and McMahon are more GPP plays at a position that is extremely weak today. Pinder is a preferred play against lefties (56% hard-hit rate last yr) but is still usable against the ex-Dark Knight Matt Harvey. McMahon may get another start at second base today, and if so, I’m interested with a lack of quality guys at the position.
- Matt Carpenter/STL, Matt Chapman/OAK, Justin Turner/LAD
A great matchup for Carpenter against a young pitcher who throws primarily fastballs (Peralta). Carp leads off the Cards and had a .399 wOBA on the road against righties last season (you probably know this, but he bats left-handed). Our preferred split against new Angels’ pitcher Matt Harvey is with lefty bats, but an up-and-comer like Chapman will do in this matchup where the A’s are projected for the second most runs (4.3) today. Turner is a well-renowned lefty crusher as his .461 wOBA the past two seasons is the baseball’s second-biggest mark behind Arenado’s insane .509. Dbacks’ Ray has had Turner’s number though in the past. Turner hits .207 with 10 strikeouts in 35 PA against him.
- Alex Bregman/HOU, Fernando Tatis/SDP, Chris Taylor/LAD, Tim Beckham/SEA
Someone has to win the battle of Bregman vs. Morton, and my money is on the DK-eligible SS/3B capitalizing at least once at the plate. We prefer Bregs against lefties, but can take advantage of a matchup against his former teammate. Tatis is still cheap and can mash and steal bases, so let’s consider him today against lefty Derek Holland. Taylor might lead off tonight against the Dbacks’ lefty so he’s on our radar as well today. Beckham is scorching hot and will see his fair share of ownership tonight based on the league-leading three dongs he’s crushed (one in Japan and two yesterday). Can the former number one overall pick keep it going?
- Mike Trout/LAA, Tommy Pham/TB, David Dahl/COL, Randal Grichuk/TOR, AJ Pollock/LAD, JD Martinez/BOS, Mookie Betts/BOS
Any and all conversations for cash game outfielders begin with baseball’s best – Mr. Trout. We had a scare yesterday and he slid into a base awkwardly and came up limping but ultimately turned out okay. He’s expensive but the matchup with A’s starter Estrada is an advantageous one. Pham is the BvP play of the day if you’re into that sort of thing. He’s 7-for-12 with a homer lifetime against Cole and for that reason alone he’ll see double-digit ownership despite the tough matchup. Dahl is cheaper than teammate Blackmon and will be crushing right-handed pitchers this season. Marlins’ second-year starter Trevor Richards did flash some promise in his rookie year but doesn’t have a monster fastball and walked lefty bats at a 10.8% clip last season. Grichuk owes us a bomb after being silent yesterday. Tigers’ pitcher Matt Boyd had a decent spring and could sparkle today. But Grichuk has crushed lefties well (.230 ISO) over the course of his career and truly does have 40-HR upside. Pollock works as part of a Dodgers stack if you expect that magic to continue. Ray is his former teammate and over the course of Pollock’s career, he’s hit over 50 higher ISO points against righties (.233). We also can’t forget about Betts and Martinez as the Red Sox look to exact revenge against the Mariners and lefty Yusei Kikuchi. Martinez had a .406 wOBA against lefties last year and back-to-back 40+ HR seasons.