Welcome back to the Index! First of all, I would like to invite you to check out our friends over at dailybaseballdata.com. This will be the third season we have networked with Dave Hall and his database of baseball statistics.

They are kind enough to feature our content weekly and we appreciate the opportunity to share our articles with them. It is my go-to place for crowdsourced BvP data and other featured content from around the industry. Go check them out if you haven’t already!

It is a Thursday slate and it looks like we have a lot of early afternoon games and only a handful of night games, so for this edition of the Index, we will have a condensed version and I will provide a handful of picks for both slates combined.

So far I feel the Index is batting 1-for-3 this season with a couple of tough days. But it’s not time to panic, it’s baseball. Hitters are lauded for recording hits 30% of the time, so if I bat .300 for the season, I think it’s going to be a very solid DFS baseball season.

Hell, I’ll take .270.

With that introduction, we move to the picks. Good luck today!

Bryce Harper – OF – Washington Nationals – $5,000 – Early

Analysis: Harper is an Opening Day machine and has so far not disappointed DFS players to open the season. Today he gets to face Tom Koehler of the Miami Marlins. I wonder if Koehler thinks Harper is his kryptonite. Harper has 11 hits in 32 ABs. Six of those hits have gone for HRs. Harper also has drawn 6 walks against Tom. Against RH pitching the past three seasons, Harper owns a .399 wOBA and a .244 ISO and a 36% hard contact rate. Against lefty bats in that same time frame, Koehler has a 1.04 HR/9 rate and a 33.3% hard contact rate allowed. Koehler is a plodding pitcher, but Harper has his number. Cash game lock.

Miguel Cabrera – 1B – Detroit Tigers – vs. James Shields – Early

Analysis: I won’t be playing much early action, but what I am playing, I will be stacking the Tigers in every lineup. My core will include Harper and Miggy, who is facing off against James Shields. BvP lovers will gawk at Miggy’s numbers against Shields – 24-for-64, 10 2Bs, 3 HRs, and 7 walks. Shields 2016 was dreadful, giving up a .285 average and a .384 wOBA to RH bats. He gave up a whopping 2.30 HR/9 rate and 40% hard contact rate. Cabrera took advantage of that in 2016, going 5-for-9 with 2 2Bs, 1 HR and 2 BBs against Shields. Lock and load.

Jake Lamb – 3B – Arizona Diamondbacks – $4,100 – Late

Analysis: When I Googled “Jake Lamb .gif” I was inundated with .gifs and photos of whatever that is above? Guess there isn’t much love for Diamondbacks because the last pick of the day also was hard to find a .gif for and he, too, is a D-Back. Anyway, I think the Diamondbacks have the making of being the stack of the late slate, going up against Jeff Samardzija or The Shark, who has played more like a minnow the past couple of seasons. With this game being played in Arizona, I give the bump to Lamb, who owns a .346 wOBA and a .209 ISO against RH pitching the past three years. This could be a breakout year for Lamb, who possesses double dong potential. As for Samardzija, lefty opponents have a .328 wOBA against him. Lamb went 3-for-7 against Samardzija with 2 2Bs and 2 BBs.

David Peralta – OF – Arizona Diamondbacks – $3,800 – Late

Analysis: Peralta may be trying to get into game shape after being injured for a lot of the 2016 season. He hasn’t faced Samardzija in his career, but he should be slotted into the top of the Diamondbacks’ batting order. In the past three years, Peralta has crushed RH pitching. He owns a .310 average, a .373 wOBA, a .207 ISO and a 34.7% hard contact rate. I will take the Diamondbacks’ stack tonight. Samardzija gave up 17 of his 24 runs on the road last year and this ballpark will not do him any favors.