The crack of the bat. The pop of the glove. The crunch of the dirt.
The sounds of baseball.
And when we use the word baseball, that must mean one thing.
Opening Day has arrived.
And the grind begins.
The daily fantasy grind. 180 days.
Baseball returns and we should all rejoice!
That means so is our baseball content and the one and only MLB Value Index.
For Opening Day, the Value Index will focus on the main slate of games on DraftKings, which begins at 3 p.m. central.
And while some of you may not believe in BvP and lefty/righty mashers, I think there’s plenty of reason to go after Bryce Harper in your lineups in the early wave of games – new team debut, new ballpark, and Julio Teheran.
With that said, let’s find the value in today’s Opening Day main slate, shall we?
Pitchers – The big boys $9K and up are all in play, but who should be your SP2? The following list features guys who you can slide in that roster spot, leaving you cap space to fit in some big bats (who will be of VALUE today).
Trevor Cahill – Los Angeles Angels – vs. Oakland A’s
Analysis: Switching sides will be Cahill, who’s fastball and offspeed combinations can throw hitters off balance. The scrappy A’s are not big strikeout guys but they are already down 0-2 for the season and are now without their best young power lefty Matt Olson. The A’s should feature a lot of RH bats, which Cahill held down in 2018 with .283 wOBA and .124 ISO last season.
Jose Urena – Miami Marlins – vs. Colorado Rockies
Analysis: That is an ugly name to type for sure. But if there’s one thing I learned from last year, it’s to “quit trying to get cute with offenses in Marlins Park.” I can’t even remember how many times I thought I was being sneaky with the Rockies’ bats away from Coors and in Miami. And I lost every time. The Rockies are just not the same team away from Coors, and their lineup may be even less punishing this season. Urena is a guy who won’t always rack up the strikeouts, but he will limit the damage when at home.
Hitters – Lots of changes to many teams, lots of unknowns for lineups. For this round, we will stick with the guys who have secure roles. There will certainly be lots of value to open up once lineups are released.
Typically, my selections have an analysis attached to the recommendation. Wednesday night, I had everything typed out in this space with lots of good information on my reasoning for wanting to use these guys.
But for some reason, it didn’t save. So that information was lost and for the sake of time constraints and me having to call it a night, you only get hitter recommendations with a VERY short, general reason. My apologies. I am starting off this MLB season with a bang aren’t I?
I’ll wipe the rust off, forget this nonsense happened and get my ass in gear for Friday’s slate.
Mike Trout – OF – Los Angeles Angels – $5,600
Analysis: BvP vs. Mike Fiers – 8-for-19, 4 doubles, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs, 4 walks.
Buster Posey – C – San Francisco Giants – $3,900
Analysis: Lefty-masher facing Eric Lauer’s .348 wOBA and 40% hard contact rate from 2018.
Whit Merrifield – 2B – Kansas City Royals – $4,500
Analysis: Steals, steals, steals. Merrifield is 6-for-13 with 3 doubles and FOUR steals against Rodon, who has allowed 8 steals in 37 ABs to current Royals projected lineup for Thursday. Merrifield also mashes lefties.
Aldaberto Mondesi – SS – Kansas City Royals – $4,500
Analysis: Steals, steals, steals. Already 3-for-5 with a double and a steal against White Sox starter Carlos Rodon.
Joey Gallo – OF – Texas Rangers – $4,200
Analysis: Lefty-masher facing Jon Lester, a lefty’s wet dream. Gallo has enormous power and strength and hits for power against southpaws.
Kris Bryant – 3B – Chicago Cubs – $5,400
Analysis: Top lefty-masher on this slate facing starter Mike Minor and facing any other garbage pitcher the Rangers run out there. Also, gets an extra AB or two for being on the road.
Albert Almora, Jr. – Chicago Cubs – $3,200
Analysis: Cheap, gives you Cubbies exposure to fit in the top stud pitching, on the road against the Rangers and leading off.
Justin Bour – 1B – Los Angeles Angels – $3,600
Analysis: Power first baseman who has all kinds of positive regression coming now that he’s out of that hell hole Marlins Park. Also, facing Mike Fiers doesn’t hurt today.
Manny Machado – 3B – San Diego Padres – $4,800
Analysis: First game at home with his new team, tees off on lefties, Madison Bumgarner a shell of himself. What more could you ask for?
Hunter Renfroe – OF – San Diego Padres – $3,600
Analysis: Lefty-mashing power bat facing declining Bumgarner. A tournament only play with lots of upside in a revamped Padres lineup.
Ketel Marte – 2B/SS – Arizona Diamondbacks – $3,200
Analysis: While facing a tough starting pitcher and bullpen, Marte is on the road and leading off for this season. He’s a cheap 2B/SS option with tons of power and pop against southpaws (facing Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers’ starting pitcher).