Written by: Coleman Bahr – Staff Writer (@ColemanBahr)
Baseball is officially underway, and I love this slate tonight. We have a few aces, a few scrubs, and just enough games to drive ownership down. In this article, I am going to provide my top plays at each position in cash games and tournaments, and top if off with my favorite stack of the night. Cash games plays will be in green, and tournament plays will be in red.
Kenta Maeda- DraftKings: $9,600 FanDuel: $8,600- Los Angeles Dodgers
Fresh off an opening day beatdown of the San Diego Padres, the Dodgers are back for seconds, and Kenta Maeda leads the charge. I’m projecting a Padres lineup chock-full of righties, which plays perfectly into Maeda’s strengths. Maeda sported a 30.2% strikeout rate against righties, and the Padres do not strike me as a team that can knock him around. Maeda comes on the cheaper side of things, allowing for some flexibility in roster construction
Lance McCullers- -DraftKings: $9,500 FanDuel: $8,800- Houston Astros
If you played your fair share of DFS baseball last season, you know the deal. Lance McCullers will either be the player who shoots you to the top of the leaderboards, or ruin your night, there’s no in-between. His 31.7% strikeout rate to lefties speak for itself, but the Mariners have one of the best lineups in the American League. A combination of Kyle Seager, Robinson Cano, and Nelson Cruz is no easy task, but the upside is undeniable.
Buster Posey- DraftKings: $3,900 FanDuel: $3,300- San Francisco Giants
You play Buster Posey versus lefties. It’s just what you do. Posey has a .374 weighted on base average against lefties since 2015, and he takes on a pitiful southpaw in Patrick Corbin. I’m not a huge advocate of paying up for catcher, but Posey is an exception.
Jett Bandy- DraftKings: $2,500 FanDuel: $2,400- Milwaukee Brewers
Jett Bandy is near the minimum on both sites today, but his splits say otherwise. He crushed lefties last year to the tune of a .262 isolated power, putting him among the league’s best lefty smashers. The safety isn’t quite there for him with just a .318 wOBA, but I’m willing to risk it for the discount.
| First Basemen
Anthony Rizzo- DraftKings: $4,500 FanDuel: $4,100- Chicago Cubs
The Cubbies take on fading righty Adam Wainwright, and they are very stackable tonight. Anthony Rizzo looks to be the best of the bunch, boasting a.394 wOBA and a .264 ISO. These numbers are simply unbeatable, and you can argue that he is a bit underpriced, but I’m not complaining.
Matt Carpenter- DraftKings: $3,700 FanDuel: $3,100- St. Louis Cardinals
On the other side of this matchup, Matt Carpenter finds himself in a decent spot, for tournaments at least. Many people will see Jake Arrieta on the hill, and simply cross out the entire Cardinals team, but Carpenter is someone I can get behind. His .390 wOBA against righties is one of the best in the league over the past two seasons, and he has enjoyed playing at home too, with a .380 wOBA. However, his position eligibility is quite odd, with 1B/3B eligibility on DraftKings, and 2B eligibility on FanDuel.
| Second Basemen
Ryan Schimpf- DraftKings: $3,000 FanDuel: $3,000- San Diego Padres
By no means am I in love with Ryan Schimpf tonight, but second base is a wasteland. Schimpf has enjoyed himself against righties, with a .377 wOBA and a .324 ISO, but his strikeout rate is less than optimal. However, Kenta Maeda struggles against lefties, so the potential is there.
Rougned Odor- DraftKings: $3,900 FanDuel: $3,200- Texas Rangers
You want upside? Rougned Odor has it. He homered twice off Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber last night, and I’m going back to the well. He gets Carlos Carrasco tonight, who is battling an injury and could struggle because of it. Odor is a bit undisciplined at this point in his career, but I think he has the edge in this matchup to avoid strikeouts.
| Third Basemen
Jonathan Villar- DraftKings: $4,000 FanDuel: $3,600- Milwaukee Brewers
I rostered Jonathan Villar a lot last season, and I’m not ending that trend anytime soon. He has elite numbers at the plate, and stolen base potential whenever he gets on. His unique combination of speed and power makes him a fine cash game play, with tournament upside.
Evan Longoria- DraftKings: $4,000 FanDuel: $3,200- Tampa Bay Rays
Evan Longoria started off his 2017 campaign with a shot to the left field seats and he is in another favorable spot tonight. The Rays take on CC Sabathia and the Yankees, and Longoria has excellent stats against Sabathia. In 72 at bats, Longo has 29 hits and 7 home runs, good for a .403 average and an .819 slugging percentage.
Yunel Escobar- DraftKings: $2,700 FanDuel: $2,800- Los Angeles Angels
Yunel Escobar isn’t going to blow you away with his power, but his .352 wOBA atop the Angels lineup should be enough in cash games. His price is pretty much a joke on DraftKings, and he will be in all of my lineups on that site.
Trevor Story- DraftKings: $4,100 FanDuel: $3,600- Colorado Rockies
Trevor Story has absurd power numbers, and while he does not have the platoon split tonight, he still has a .290 ISO against righties. Perched right in the heart of the Rockies order, Story will have plenty of RBI opportunities.
Mike Trout- DraftKings: $4,800 FanDuel: $4,900- Los Angeles Angles
Mike Trout against a lefty. That’s all you need to know. If you are not playing Trout in cash games, you are throwing money into a dumpster.
Brandon Guyer- DraftKings: $3,100 FanDuel: $2,200- Cleveland Indians
If Brandon Guyer makes the lineup, he is a must-play. He is near the minimum on both sites, and he is one of the best hitters against lefties in the league. He also takes on a terrible picther in Martin Perez, who allowed a .341 wOBA to righties last year.
Carlos Gonzalez- DraftKings: $4,600 FanDuel: $3,800- Colorado Rockies
Outfield is deeper than an Olympic swimming pool today, so Carlos Gonzalez might go overlooked. His splits against righties are elite, and the ballpark is favorable towards hitters. He should be hitting out of the three-hole today, so he will have plenty of protection and opportunity.
| Top Stack
Cleveland Indians vs Martin Perez
This stack should be very chalky, but I can’t fade this spot. The Indians head to hitter-friendly Globe Life park against hitter-friendly Martin Perez. The lineup hasn’t yet released as of writing this, but a few names I like are Brandon Guyer, Edwin Encarnacion, and Francisco Lindor.