Okay so I guess today is more like Opening Day than yesterday and thank God, because everything that could’ve gone wrong yesterday did. We pivoted off of our original lineup because potential weather issues in the Cubs/Cardinals game scared us off of Lester. We ended up on Tanaka. I don’t need to tell you how that turned out, BUT, today is a new day and it’s a long season. It sucks to start with a loss but we’re primed to bounce back.My preferred bats played well overall, dragged down a bit by Gary Sanchez’s goose egg but Eduardo Núñez put up 30 FD points and Kiermaier followed with 27.4 FD points. I’ll look to nail all of the bats tonight as we have a much larger slate. Again, these are my favorite bats, regardless of format. I will be mixing in expensive and value plays.
Yasmani Grandal ($2,800)
Grandal is coming off of a red-hot Spring Training where he slashed a ridiculous .433/.469/1.035 over 32 plate appearances. Dave Roberts has committed to making Grandal the everyday catcher and he’s currently projected to bat sixth in arguably the most potent lineup in the National League. The Dodgers also come in with the best matchup of the day, facing off against Jhoulys Chacin in which they have an implied Vegas total of 4 runs today. I’m using him more as a GPP option for ownership purposes, but the Dodgers strike me as the best stack of the day and Grandal could be a low-key fixture of that stack.
Other options: Victor Martinez ($3,000), Wellington Castillo ($2,700), Tony Wolters ($2,600), Russell Martin ($2,600)
Tommy Joseph ($2,100)
If you’re fitting Kershaw into your cash lineup (which I strongly advise you to do), you need to find value somewhere. Luckily, Fanduel still has Tommy Joseph priced like he’s not their everyday first baseman. Joseph posted a .248 ISO and .505 SLUG in 107 games as a rookie last year while also cranking out 21 home runs. Scott Feldman isn’t an intimidating matchup by any means and if you played MLB DFS last season, you should be well aware how brutal the Reds’ bullpen is. Lock in Joseph in your cash games and don’t look back.
Other options: Joey Votto ($4,000), Miguel Cabrera ($4,000), Chris Davis ($3,200), Adrian Gonzalez ($2,800), Josh Bell ($2,500)
Daniel Murphy ($3,500)
Personally I think that Murphy deserves to be priced in the $4k range, but Fanduel is essentially giving us a free square so why pass it up? Last season against right-handed pitching, Murphy posted .419 wOBA, .261 ISO and an elite 41.1% hard contact percentage. Those are all absurd numbers for any player, let alone someone priced at $3,500. Murphy is a career 8-18 (.444) hitter against Edinson Volquez and hits in the heart of a lineup that includes Trea Turner, Adam Eaton, and Bryce Harper surrounding him. Lock him in.
Other options: DJ LeMahieu ($3,000), Jose Peraza ($3,000), Logan Forsythe ($2,800), Devon Travis ($2,400)
Josh Donaldson ($3,800)
Typically I love to target Donaldson against a left-handed pitcher, but Kevin Gausman has some surprising reverse splits. Last season, he allowed a .348 wOBA against right-handed batters, catering beautifully to this Blue Jays lineup. In his 16 career at-bats against Gausman, Donaldson is hitting .375 with a home run and a double. He’s surrounded in the order by Devon Travis and Jose Bautista, increasing the likelihood for RBIs and runs scored. The Blue Jays are also implied to score 4.1 runs, one of the highest marks on the slate, and you’d have to think Donaldson should have a lot to do with that.
Other options: Nolan Arenado ($4,000), Manny Machado ($3,900), Justin Turner ($3,500), Nick Castellanos ($2,900), Maikel Franco ($2,900), Jose Reyes ($2,700), Travis Shaw ($2,600)
Corey Seager ($3,600)
Like I said earlier, the Dodgers are arguably the best stack of the day, especially their lefties. He dazzled last season as a rookie, posting a .308 batting average to go along with 26 home runs, 72 RBIs and 105 runs scored. He struggled with an oblique and back injury throughout Spring Training but seems to be completely over it just in time for Opening Day. Against right-handed pitching last season, Seager posted a .400 wOBA, .223 ISO and a 39.6% hard contact percentage. I already talked about how bad Jhoulys Chacin is so I highly recommend you continue to target hitters against him.
Other options: Trea Turner ($3,700), Troy Tulowitzki ($2,900), Dansby Swanson ($2,600), Stephen Drew ($2,300), Adam Frazier ($2,100)
Carlos Gonzalez ($3,800)
Lefties in Miller Park – you’ll hear it a lot from me and Ben this season and for good reason. It’s the friendliest park in the league for left-handed batters, surrendering 1.55 home runs per game (with 1 being the average). Against righties last season, Cargo posted a .374 wOBA, .201 ISO and a 37.7% hard contact percentage. His matchup, Junior Guerra, struggled at times with lefties last season. He allowed a 38.9% hard contact percentage and struggled with striking lefties out, posting a sub 2/1 K:BB ratio. I expect the Rockies to be one of the higher scoring offenses of the day and frankly, as a Brewers fan I can’t remember the last time we won Opening Day at home. Cargo looks like an elite outfielder today.
Other options: Bryce Harper ($4,500), Charlie Blackmon ($4,000), Giancarlo Stanton ($3,600) – love him for GPPs, Jose Bautista ($3,500), Adam Eaton ($3,300), Billy Hamilton ($3,000), Andrew Benintendi ($2,900), Marcell Ozuna ($2,800), Jay Bruce ($2,800), Seth Smith ($2,500)