Heading into our second full week of MLB action, but it’s technically Week 3 because of the two-game series in Japan and opening weekend. It’s already been an insane couple of weeks with a few big names (Stanton, Turner, Murphy) going down. Hopefully Kershaw’s final rehab start goes well and he’s back and cranking in the rotation by the end of the week. By the way, if you own Kershaw in seasonal and are dying to start him, you may want to skip this start and wait a week. Just in case he has some setback and he’s not ready, so you’re not stuck with a zero.
But you didn’t click here for the season-long advice! Let’s get to the slate. Two games early but we’ll concentrate on the eight games as part of the main slate. Vegas alludes to plenty of runs scored based upon the implied totals. Just two pitcher duels expected (Tanaka – NYY vs. Verlander – HOU and Lauer – SD vs. Bumgarner – SF) and these are the only games at eight combined runs implied or less. Every other game has eight or more including Coors (10.5 – ATL @ COL, 9.5 – OAK @ BAL and 9.5 – SEA @ KC).
Popular Stacks: Rockies LHH’s vs Teheran, Athletics vs Cashner, Phillies vs Anibal, Mariners vs Homer, Braves RHH’s vs Freeland
Sneaky Stacks: Brewers LHH’s vs Cahill, Royals vs King Felix, Dodgers vs. Mikolas (underowned because of the other stacks), Astros vs Tanaka, Orioles vs Estrada
My Favorite Stacks: Athletics, Rockies, Royals
CASH: Omar Narvaez, LH/SEA, Tony Wolters, LH/COL
Narvaez has been a cash game dream over the first week. He is averaging nearly 9.0 DKP per game and has a .214 ISO through 28 PA against righty arms. Wolters is a pitch-framer and that’s about it. He may be chalk simply because the game is in Coors and he’s a lefty facing a righty. I’ve listed him here but may prefer to go a different direction.
GPP: JT Realmuto, RH/PHI, Tyler Flowers, LH/ATL
Realmuto listed as a GPP play because we don’t play catchers often on FD and he’s super pricey on DK. Anibal Sanchez had a rough first start but was one of the only pitchers in baseball to hold opposing hitters to a hard-hit rate under 30%. Either way, a very tough start for anyone when it’s in Philly against this offense. Keep an eye on Flowers. He was hit on the hand on Saturday but x-rays were negative so he’s day to day. If he doesn’t go, it’ll be weekend call-up Alex Jackson, but he’s already priced up for Coors so you can’t sneak anything there.
CASH: Edwin Encarnacion, RH/SEA, Dan Vogelbach, LH/SEA, Paul Goldschmidt, RH/STL, Rhys Hoskins, RH/PHI
Ency is my favorite play at first base today. Hitting .300 on the young season and had a three-hit game yesterday with four runs batted in. His teammate Vogelbach swatted two homers yesterday himself. He should DH against RHP’s for the time being. But are great options against Homer Bailey who is due for an ass-kicking after a gem start. Goldy is always in play, but has a tough matchup against Hyun Jin Ryu. Hoskins listed for your PHI stacks should you go in that direction.
GPP: Kendrys Morales, SW/OAK, Ryan O’Hearn, LH/KCR, Trey Mancini, RH/BAL
I’ll probably be recommending A’s this entire series against trash Orioles’ pitching. He’s 6-for-10 with 3 HR lifetime against Trashner. O’Hearn listed as a low% play who may click and Mancini is man-on-fire with four homers in his first nine games.
CASH: Whit Merrifield, 2B/KCR, Ozzie Albies, RH/ATL, Howie Kendrick, RH/WAS
Three great options at the position with two of them being very pricey. Two-hit Whit is at it again. Over his last three games: 18, 14 and 15 DraftKings points. Albies is at Coors facing a lefty and Kendrick should be in the lineup today for the Nats. The switch-hitting veteran is 4-for-7 lifetime with 2 HR against Vincent Velasquez (a 1.000 ISO and .879 wOBA lol). Velasquez is making his first start of the season. He dominated right-handed bats but got crushed substantially by lefties (4.98 FIP, 1.67 HR/9, .377 wOBA). Howie is a righty but we can make exception for him here today since he’s cheap.
GPP: Dee Gordon, LH/SEA, Tommy La Stella, LH/LAA, Travis Shaw, LH/MLW
A few names here to wet the whistle. La Stella is one of the few cheap options on DK and may actually lead off with Calhoun sidelined. Shaw hasn’t truly blasted off yet and may not against Trevor Cahill but it’s only a matter of time. I’d use him in my low% Brewers stack.
CASH: Nolan Arenado, RH/COL, Matt Chapman, RH/OAK
Arenado has not gone yard yet, but he’ll hit between 35 to 40 so it is only a matter of time. Just 17 career at-bats against Teheran and he has actually struggled against him (3-for-17, no HR). Chapman technically broke out last season, but he’ll quickly earn our trust for cash games. This is the exact type of matchup to use him for. Against a weak pitcher in a nice hitters’ park.
GPP: Anthony Rendon, RH/WAS, Max Muncy, LH/LAD
Rendon has quietly been baseball’s second most productive hitter. He is averaging 21.9 FDP (FanDuel points), behind only Bellinger’s 25.2. Velasquez is great against righties but he may not be long for this game and it’s difficult to disregard a red-hot bat. Muncy is crushing as well, though heading to St. Louis for a new series is a big downgrade for this Dodgers squad and I have this feeling Miles Mikolas bounces back and puts forth a good effort after back-to-back less than stellar starts to begin the season.
CASH: Corey Seager, LH/LAD, Adalberto Mondesi, SW/KCR
The position is loaded today. Let’s hope Trevor Story is okay though. He was struck by a pitch in the right calf Sunday night and was in clear discomfort. If he’s out, it opens the door for Garrett Hampson. Mondesi had a very cold series at Detroit (0-for-12) so hopefully a matchup with old-man Felix gets his mojo back on track. As for Seager, we’re not seeing much power yet, but he has two multi-hit games in his last three and dropped 24.4 FDP against the Rockies last night. Let’s not forget that this is a dude with a career .299 batting average and he’s almost always cash game viable with a righty on the mound.
GPP: Marcus Semien, RH/OAK, Carlos Correa, RH/HOU, Fernando Tatis, RH/SDP
Semien may lead off today and he’s reasonably priced on both sites. Has a bit of pop and can swipe some bags too. Correa is a contrarian play against Masahiro Tanaka but he’s still just 3.5k on FanDuel and that price will soon skyrocket. Tatis went 2-for-3 the last time the Padres faced Madison Bumgarner and I love this kid’s talent so much, I’m going to keep recommending him.
CASH: Juan Soto + Adam Eaton, LH’s/WAS, Charlie Blackmon, LH/COL,Mike Trout, RH/LAA, Khris Davis, RH/OAK, Cody Bellinger, LH/LAD, Ronald Acuna, RH/ATL, Christian Yelich, LH/MLW, Domingo Santana, RH/SEA
Soooo many outfielders, so few roster slots. Ownership will be spread out with all of these fantastic matchups which include a scorching Santana (14 DKP/G, AL-leading 15 RBI), Soto against the righty Velasquez, baseball hottest hitter Bellinger, Blackmon against a righty at home, Acuna in Coors and oh yea, some guy named Trout. It’s so loaded that I’ve relegated Harper to GPP status. The one guy I love who may see under 10% ownership is Davis. No man has hit more homers against righties since 2017 (75) and Camden Yards is the perfect launching pad for him. I’m expecting three homers in this four-game series.
GPP: Alex Verdugo, LH/LAD, Raimel Tapia, LH/COL, Bryce Harper, LH/PHI, Johan Camargo, SW/ATL, Eric Thames, LH/MLW, Hunter Renfroe, RH/SDP, Mallex Smith, LH/SEA, Cedric Mullins, SW/BAL
We could see Verdugo in the game today after his explosive Saturday (26 DKP). Just 16 at-bats on the season but he’s got seven hits and two homers. Tapia should be in the lineup with David Dahl dealing with an oblique issue. Tapia is a guy I’ve long pined for to have an everyday roster spot. He’s a contact hitter who can steal some bases. Hit a triple with ease last night and picking on Teheran with lefty bats is an ideal spot. Teheran posted a 5.66 FIP and 1.51 WHIP against them last season. Camargo because the old saying is ‘Death, Taxes and Camargo against Lefties’ though it’s worth noting that Freeland is a respectable one. Thames is in play if he’s in the lineup – he’s 1B on FD and just 2.9k there. Renfroe is 5-for-13 with two homers against Bum and could pop 30 dingers this year. Mullins sucks right now (hitting under .100) but he’s dirt cheap on FD because of it. He’s just one of those contrarian gut plays I’ll mention in these columns.