Reminder: Always double check the lineup card before rosters lock to make sure that a player you've chosen to roster is playing that day, and check the weather to make sure your players won't get rained out of their game.
The early game is filled with great pitching options. Jake Arrieta ($9,900) faces the putrid Mets offense, which is currently pushing last year's San Diego club for offensive ineptitude. Both Jose Fernandez ($9,800) and Matt Moore ($6,600) make their first starts after Tommy John surgery. Jacob deGrom ($11,000), who has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the last calendar year, takes on a high strikeout Cubs offense that is second in baseball with a 24.9% K% vs RHP. Francisco Liriano ($9,700) faces a potent but LHP strikeout prone Tigers team that starts the ineffective Kyle Ryan, and former star Matt Cain ($7,600) is making his first start back from a strained flexor tendon against an Marlins offense without Giancarlo Stanton.
At the time of writing this, I am currently leaning towards starting Corey Kluber ($11,000) against a Rays offense that has the 6th highest K% vs RHP and was dominated by Carlos Carrasco last night. Jake Arrieta vs the vile Mets offense would be a no brainer under normal conditions but Arrieta opposes Jacob deGrom, who has a 2.07 ERA in his last 30 starts dating back to last year. It will be tough for Arrieta to get run support to get the precious 4 point win. Although, 1 run might realistically be enough run support against the foul Mets lineup. Since FanDuel weighs strikeouts and wins so heavily and opposing baserunners aren't penalized, Arrieta carries less value than he would under a different scoring criteria.
Pirates vs Kyle Ryan
Ryan is easily the least effective pitcher in the early game, so it would be a good idea for a fantasy owner to get some Pirates RHB into their lineup. ZiPS projects an ERA over 6 (!) the rest of the season for Ryan, and he does not strike batters out very often, so more good fortune can happen on balls in play. Starling Marte ($3,500) is a career 168 wRC+ hitter vs LHP and provides added value with stolen bases. Andrew McCutchen ($4,300) has a career 169 wRC+ vs LHP. Josh Harrison ($2,900) has hit LHP to a 139 wRC+ since his breakout last year. Jung Ho Kang ($2,500) has hit LHP to a 153 wRC+ in his first year in the big leagues.
Salary relief plays
Matt Moore is making his first start since his TJ surgery and has battled command problems his entire career. It's fair to question how sharp he will be today. Playing these two hitters vs him will help a fantasy owner fit Kluber into their lineup without losing much production:
OF- Ryan Raburn ($2,400)
Raburn has a 166 wRC+/.253 ISO in 109 PA vs LHP this year and a 136 wRC+/.228 ISO in 370 PA since 2013. He will likely hit cleanup in the order and provides huge salary relief to spend elsewhere.
C- Yan Gomes ($2,400)
Gomes had yesterday off to allow him to play today vs the LHP. He has hit LHP to a 138 wRC+/.189 ISO in 312 PA since the start of 2013, and like Raburn, provides salary relief.
Start Max Scherzer ($12,500) against the Freddie Freeman-less Braves offense. Here are three hitters to help a fantasy owner squeeze Scherzer into their budget:
OF+2B- Shin Soo Choo ($2,700), Rougned Odor ($2,700) vs Kevin Gausman
Choo has hit RHP to a 139 wRC+ this year and owns a career 147 wRC+ vs them. The talented Odor has been fantastic since his demotion to AAA and was recently moved up to the top of the lineup. Odor had a dental procedure that kept him out of yesterday's lineup, so keep an eye on his availability. Gausman has a great fastball/change up (PitchFx labels it a forkball, but Gausman calls it a change up) combo, but has lacked a strong breaking pitch to put him over the top and is currently below average.
1B- Mike Napoli vs Matt Boyd, $2,700
Napoli has hit LHP to a 133 wRC+ this year and owns a 147 wRC+ vs them since 2013, 15th best in baseball. The matchup is in Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays face a below average lefty in Rogers Centre, too, so make room for Josh Donaldson ($3,900), who is surprisingly affordable and has a 186 wRC+ vs LHP since the start of 2013.
Follow me on Twitter at @TimFinn521, I usually tweet out more good options as lineups are released.