One quick way to set your money on fire on Opening Day is to embrace the “don’t tinker” mentality and neglect to see that PIT @ DET is postponed. So it goes. I know better, but real life compounded matters yesterday (I couldn’t have looked if I wanted to). Anyway, the cool thing about MLB DFS is that it’s daily. And today is a new day.
The main slate kicks off at 7:07 ET and has nine games to pick from. Let’s gooooooooo.
“Vegas” Totals suggest Alex Wood or David Price
David Price Should Feel Right at Home
Price, a former Ray, has a career 2.88 ERA at Tropicana Field. Price dealt with elbow inflammation last year, but returned to a relief role and looked like his old self. Until 2017, he was known as a workhorse. Since 2010, he has managed at least 200 innings every year except for 2013, when he totaled 186.2. Entering 2018 healthy, he is a prime rebound candidate and I think the fireworks could begin today at the Trop.
Against southpaws, the 2017 Rays struck out 25.9% of the time and had a .148 ISO, “good” for sixth-worst in the MLB. Gone are Logan Morrison and Steven Souza, too. This is a watered down lineup that “features” Carlos Gomez, C.J. Cron, and Wilson Ramos in the heart-of-the-order. Hardly formidable.
One caveat is Price’s opponent, Blake Snell. Snell finished 2017 strong and was on fire during Spring Training. He looks like a legitimate breakout candidate and the Red Sox struggled against southpaws a year ago. Boston managed a .139 ISO against lefties, but they did have a minimal K-rate of 18.0% against them. Snell should be a popular choice on two-pitcher sites today as an SP2. Of course, adding J.D. Martinez to the Boston mix should improve those numbers against left-handed pitching...
Will the Real Alex Wood Please Stand Up?
Wood is pitching only out of the stretch this year. I actually have some faith in a rebound—at least to a useful mid-3.00s sort of output. The matchup against the Giants would have been better last year, though, when the Giants had a .117 ISO against lefties. They’ve since added Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria, so that ISO mark should rise in 2018. Still, this is a spacious home park and Wood will have the benefit of facing the pitcher (something Price won’t have). I still think I lean Price’s way, but Wood interests me a little because I expect people to pay up for Robbie Ray if they want to spend at pitcher.
For what it’s worth, Wood’s opponent Johnny Cueto has a career 2.67 ERA in Dodgers Stadium. Cueto also has good splits in March and April, with a career 2.97 ERA in those months. He’s a guy I like to rebound this year, but the Dodgers lineup isn’t a great place to begin (.185 ISO against RHP in ‘17). It all makes me want to lean towards David Price if I’m spending a little at pitcher today.
NYY/TOR: Tanaka allowed 35 homers last year. He has focused on fastball command this spring. Donaldson and Morales have poor BvP vs. Tanaka. Sanchez has been unhindered by last year’s blister issues, but faces the Yankees. I think taking a shot on Tanaka is a smooth move today. There is a lot of swing-and-miss in that Toronto lineup, and we obviously like the offensive firepower behind Tanaka.
CHC/MIA: Kyle Hendricks is a heavier favorite than Lester was yesterday. Cameron Maybin didn’t start on Thursday...will he today? LHP Caleb Smith should fold to the Cubbies sooner rather than later. The Cubs appear to be a great way to be contrarian without being stupid, as a lot of ownership should land on the Houston Astros today.
PHI/ATL: Folty had a good spring. He has a more compact windup now. Pivetta finished the spring strong and has strikeout upside. Neither pitcher is someone to believe in, though. This is a game to find offense from. Give me my Braves and some Hoskins.
HOU/TEX: Houston is a good hitting environs against a long-in-the-tooth Doug Fister...yes please. DeShields has poor BvP, so will he still lead off? Odor has terrible BvP. Ryan Rua should start this one, I would think. Fister has a 8.73 ERA in seven career starts at Globe Life Park, his highest of any AL ballpark. Keuchel should fare better than most people think, but his strikeout upside isn’t great and the park is a negative...I’m looking at Houston bats only in this game.
COL/ARI: Charlie Blackmon shreds LHP Robbie Ray. Trevor Story does, too. But this game is in Arizona, not Coors. Jake Lamb actually has good numbers against LHP T Anderson. I’m inclined to roll with Ray if I do anything with this game. Of course, Goldy is always a consideration. Pollock, too, as he bashes lefties. You gotta play him when he’s healthy, right?
LAA/OAK: Khris Davis is better against right-handed pitching, but walks more against left-handers. The Angels are trotting out LHP Tyler Skaggs today. Matt Joyce should sit, so who bats second for Oakland? Jonathan Lucroy or Jed Lowrie, perhaps? Pujols is 0-for-12 vs. LHP Sean Manaea. Trout has excellent BvP numbers, but that’s true of most of his matchups. Justin Upton crushed left-handed pitchers last year. Angels stack? Kinsler, Cozart, and Simmons are all viable options.
MIL/SDP: Jhoulys Chacin had a 3.89 ERA in 32 starts last year. Who knew? A left-handed pitcher named Joey Lucchesi is making his MLB debut against the Brewers. That shouldn’t go well. I doubt I use Chacin anywhere, as I’ll be chasing more upside. I like the Brewers offense, but I don’t think I love those prices given that this game is at San Diego. Even part-timer Domingo Santana is $4,000. I wouldn’t use them as one-offs. Only interest is if I stack them up.
I’ll do my best to post more crystallized thoughts in the comments leading up to lock. I’d love to get some dialogue going about today’s slate. It makes us all better. Good luck grinding, ladies and gents.