Opening Day never ceases to amaze me with some of the unexpected performance you see. As always weather played a major part as it especially does early in the season with a rain out and a snow out yesterday. Clayton Kershaw was his usual dominant self, Madison Bumgarner didn’t quite look right, must have been the flu he was fighting, and Zach Greinke did not have a good D’Backs debut.
But today is a new day, ah DFS! As we start to get into more normal looking slates I will focus my recommendation on the “main” slate of the day, which will be the night slate today. I will try to give a variety of three or four options from the top “Ace” to a couple “Value” plays and down to a “Darkhorse” option which will be a cheaper play to consider.
Johnny Cueto (FD-$10,600 / DK-$9,600)
I am not a big BvP (or PvB) guy in general but as a Brewers fan, I know that Cueto usually owns the Brew Crew. I expect nothing less from him again today (18 career starts with a 2.87 ERA and 7.56 K/9). The Giants are one of the biggest favorites on the schedule and face a Brewers team that had a K-rate of 21.4% against righties last season (8th worst). Cueto and Jon Lester are close to a toss-up on FanDuel with similar prices but give me Cueto and his cheaper price tag on DraftKings.
Scott Kazmir (FD-$9,300 / DK-$8,300)
We saw what Kershaw did to the Padres yesterday and while Kazmir is not Kershaw, he is a good left-handed pitcher facing the same Padres team that struck out at the 4th highest rate (23.3%) and the 8th worst wOBA (.294) against lefties last season. Kazmir is a viable option on either site and in any type of contest.
Michael Wacha (FD-$8,500 / DK-$8,100)
Wacha is the type of solid and consistent pitcher that you like to roster in Cash games. He is not going to “wow” you with a lot of 10+ strikeout games but he is also not likely to blow up and give up eight runs in two innings either (Only had 5 starts last season where he gave up more than 4 runs out of 30 starts). The weather could also play a factor today as temperatures are expected to be in the 30s which should also suppress hitting. Wacha could be a good cash game pivot over Kazmir due to the salary cap relief but does not have the upside that Kazmir has.
Jonathon Niese (FD-$6,300 / DK-$6,300)
Not many cheap options today as teams #2 starters take the hill, so I will go with Niese on the opposite side of Wacha today. As I mentioned above the temperatures are expected to be in the 30s. Niese is not a big strikeout guy but he should be able to induce a lot of weak contact in the cold weather and keep the ball on the ground (50% career ground ball rate). The Vegas line is pretty even in this game so Niese could pitch six or seven solid innings with few runs allowed and some strikeouts making him a solid and fairly safe punt option in Cash games or GPPs on either site.
Come back to DailyOverlay later today for the MLB Consensus list and some sample MLB lineups.
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