My recommendations will focus on the 12-game night slate as team wrap up their first series of the season. My pitcher recommendation performed very well yesterday with Jake Arrieta, Lance McCullers and CC Sabathia all getting a win. The hitter stacks didn’t perform as well as Monday but still provided decent production. Tonight’s slate offers a variety of solid pitching options to choose from but I am still going a little bit “off the board” avoiding some of the mid-priced options for some bigger value with upside.
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Let’s mow down the competition 3 Up and 3 Down…
Chris Sale (FD-$11,400 / DK-$11,200)
Sale will make his first start for the Red Sox at home against the Pirates who only have couple hitters that have ever faced the hard-throwing southpaw. Sale will also have the elements on this side in a game that will be played in the low 40s with the winds blowing in from centerfield. The Pirates struck out the 7th most (23.1%) against lefties last season. Note that my recommendation is primarily based on DraftKings pricing. On FanDeul, where Rich Hill is $1,800 less, Hill should receive strong consideration as the top pitcher.
Garrett Richards (FD-$8,600 / DK-$7,100)
Richards only pitched in six games last season due to an elbow injury which he opted to not have surgically repaired. His health will be a concern all season but he does have tremendous upside with a plus-plus fastball. He will open the season against the Athletics in pitcher-friendly Oakland. Much like Lance McCullers yesterday, Richards will likely only throw 5-6 innings which limits his ceiling but it should still be enough time to justify his low $7,100 salary on DK. His price feels a little high on FD especially since he might not make it through six innings for the quality start bonus.
Charlie Morton (FD-$6,400 / DK-$6,100)
I have always been a fan of Uncle Charlie and the big movement he gets on his sinker. Now, this Spring he has been throwing his fastball in the mid to upper 90s which is an increase in velocity for the 33-year-old. Combining his increased velocity with his devastating sinker is a recipe for success if he can stay healthy. So, I am going to jump on board the Morton train as long as it is running starting with his matchup against the Mariners as a small home favorite.
Giants vs. Taijuan Walker
Walker will make his first start for the Diamondbacks after been acquired in the offseason. I expect a similar fate could come his way pitching in the hitter-friendly park in Arizona that fell upon Shelby Miller and Zach Greinke before him. I hope I’m wrong but just in case stacking up the Giants against Walker who had a 1.81 HR/9 (2.13 HR/9 to lefties) pitching for the Mariners last season seems like a good idea.
Brandon Belt (FD-$2,900 / DK-$4,000) – Belt had a .222 ISO and .391 wOBA against righties on the road last season.
Brandon Crawford (FD-$2,400 / DK-$3,700) – Crawford has two hits in each of his first two games including a home run yesterday carrying over his strong play from the World Baseball Classic.
Denard Span (FD-$2,800 / DK-$3,900) – Span should be back in the leadoff spot against the righty and posted a solid .338 wOBA against righties last season.
Joe Panik (FD-$2,500 / DK-$3,800) – With Panik batting near the bottom of the order he will be a contrarian piece to include in a wraparound stack with the top of the order bats.
Nationals vs. Dan Straily
Straily posted a career-best 3.76 ERA last season but still had a 5.02 xFIP which was the worst of his career. Plus, he still gave up the long ball with a 1.46 HR/9. It will cost quite a bit of salary to roster but the Nationals have one of the highest implied runs totals by Vegas so it might be worth it.
Trea Turner (FD-$3,700 / DK-$5,000) – Turner demonstrated reverse splits in his rookie season with a .258 ISO and .413 wOBA against righties while Straily gave up more homers to righties last season (1.79 HR/9).
Bryce Harper (FD-$4,600 / DK-$5,000) – Harper went deep on Opening Day and has historically started the season strong with a .304 ISO in April during his career.
Daniel Murphy (FD-$3,500 / DK-$4,500) – Murphy had a .419 wOBA against righties last season while hitting 19 of his 25 homers against them.
Adam Eaton (FD-$3,500 / DK-$4,400) – As long as Eaton bats second ahead of Harper, he will see plenty of pitches to drive in the gaps and runs to score.
Mets vs. Bartolo Colon
Colon, now with the Braves, will return to New York to face his former team the Mets. It is difficult to determine if Colon will continue to be an effective pitcher this season at the age of 43 but he does continue to see his strikeout rate decrease while his xFIP increases. Meanwhile, he gave up 1.72 HR/9 to lefties last season.
Yoenis Cespedes (FD-$3,700 / DK-$4,300) – While Cespedes is not a lefty he does hit righties well with a career .348 wOBA and .220 ISO. Hard to put together a Mets stack without using Cespedes.
Curtis Granderson (FD-$2,800 / DK-$3,800) – Granderson is a power-hitting lefty batting at the top of the order so he should get the most cracks at Colon and his 1.72 HR/9 against lefties.
Jay Bruce (FD-$3,000 / DK-$3,600) – Bruce is always an option when facing a home run prone righty with his career .230 ISO against righties.
Lucas Duda (FD-$2,700 / DK-$3,600) – Duda is a left-handed hitter who had an injury-plagued 2016 season but put up 57 home runs in the two prior years.
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