To this point, the entertainment value for the state of baseball season has been off the charts. With this being some teams' home openers, in most of those cases, an off-day will follow. Be sure to keep a close eye on lineups as some key players could sit today opening up value at some positions.
Seattle Mariners at Minnesota Twins: Light rain to monitor here and wind blowing in. This is an important game when it comes to pitching, more on that below.
Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox: This looks like a troublesome spot with rain expected throughout the day and during the game. Would not be surprised to see this one postponed considering that both teams have an off-day on Friday before continuing this series on Saturday afternoon.
Jose Berrios, MIN (DK $9,800)
Berrios is the slam dunk option on this slate but the weather can play a role. The worst-case scenario would be that this game starts, the rain picks up, and we see a delay. In such a scenario we would likely catch a bad break and Berrios' day would be done. However, I think (I'm not a meteorologist) we'll be ok. The start of this game might be delayed but that wouldn't present a problem in regards to Berrios. The now-veteran righty dazzled in his first start matching up with Corbin Burnes in a contender early for pitchers duel of the year. Berrios hit virtually all of his spots over six innings en route to a 12 strikeout, zero walk performance.
Seattle has shown early that they are a team that has some strikeouts in their lineup with a 32 percent K-rate to this point. With that, they've posted the eighth-lowest ISO. In 329 career innings at home Berrios has allowed just 29 home runs so I'm not worried about the long-ball hurting him here. In the past walks and command issues have plagued him at times but I don't see that being an issue here either. The Twins' righty is my top arm on the slate.
Jake Arrieta, CHC (DK $8,500)
Generally, when a pitcher faces a team for the second straight start I begin to hesitate slightly considering that adjustments could be made and familiarity is a factor. In this case, though I'm not as worried about Arrieta considering the success he's had in this division and the solid body of work he's put forth in this stadium over the years. Early on this season, the Pirates as a team have posted the 10th-worst wOBA with a .153 ISO and 28 percent strikeout rate. Arrieta might not be the pitcher he was during his first go-around with the Cubs but he's still pretty darn good and showed that in his first start of the year against Pittsburgh striking out six over six innings allowing just one earned run on 86 pitches.
Taijuan Walker, NYM (DK $7,700)
Walker makes his Mets' debut and it comes one day after the Marlins offense was dominated by Jack Flaherty and the Cardinals pitching staff. Early on the Marlins bats have lacked power and the ability to scoring runs pushing across two or fewer runs in three of their six games. Walker is coming off of a very good shortened campaign last season and is a serviceable arm on the back end of the Mets' staff. Today he's a solid SP2 play.
Jon Gray, COL (DK $7,000)
I might be crazy for considering Gray at Coors Field but on a slate where pitching is very limited and the Diamondbacks 2021 lineup reminds no one of their World Championship lineups from 2001, Gray is an option worth considering. A motivated Jon Gray pitched extremely well in his first start of the season which also came at Coors and came against the Dodgers who many consider having the best lineup in baseball. What happens once Gray exits the game is anyone's guess because we know how these Coors games get, but if you want a cheap SP2 play you could do worse than Gray.
Teams to Target
Raimel Tapia - Garrett Hampson - Trevor Story - Charlie Blackmon
Coors is more than often the chalk and the Rockies' salaries are still way too cheap considering the number of runs they've been scoring at home to this point. Tapia and Hampson at $3,700 and $3,200 respectively at the top of the order is a joke, simply put. Those salaries make it easy to afford Story and Blackmon in the middle and allow you to run this foursome back with a Diamondback or two like Ketel Marte (DK $4,900) or David Peralta (DK $4,000) if the prospects of rostering Jon Gray doesn't excite you.
Willson Contreras - Kris Bryant - Anthony Rizzo - Javier Baez
The wind may be blowing in a bit in Pittsburgh but it doesn't play as much of a role here with the structure of the stadium being the way it is. Speaking of the stadium, Anthony Rizzo might as well have a statue on the outside of it with the way he's hit here over the years. In 75 career games at PNC Park Rizzo has a .303 average, 16 home runs, and 22 doubles. He comes into this game hitless in his last four so he's definitely due to breaking out. Kris Bryant homered against Tyler Anderson, the Pirates starter in the first matchup this season, and has started the season hot with three extra-base hits in five games. Bryant has also enjoyed success in Pittsburgh over the years with a .349 average, 26 doubles, and 17 home runs in 86 games at PNC. Contreras has yesterday off so he'll be in there today to catch Arrieta. Baez is off to a slow start for his standards as strikeouts have been a problem early on. I don't see that being an issue against Anderson who isn't a high-strikeout guy. The Pirates bullpen has struggled with stranding runners posting the third-worst left-on-base rate of any bullpen to this point.
New York Mets
Brandon Nimmo - Francisco Lindor - Michael Conforto - Pete Alonso
On-base machine Brandon Nimmo (DK $3,400) and Michael Conforto (DK $3,600) are simply too cheap in this spot. The Marlins' starter is still up in the air as of now (Wednesday night) but it's expected to be one of two lefties: Nick Neidert or Paul Campbell, both of whom are righties. With that, there's no worry of platoon issues for the lefties Nimmo and Conforto, the latter of the two is off to a slow start but has had good at-bats to this point. Sandwiched between Nimmo and Conforto is Lindor, speaking of bad starts. Lindor is going to hit, it's only a matter of time and this is a good opportunity against a spot starter and a struggling, tired bullpen. Alonso has hit in all three games with a double and home run to his credit.
The Marlins bullpen to this point has the sixth-highest FIP and has surrendered 2.49 HR/9, the second-highest mark in the league to this point. This is a tough spot for the Marlins to face a team in the Mets that is undoubtedly angry after being beaten down on Wednesday by the Phillies.
Top Positional Targets
- Mitch Garver, MIN (DK $4,500)
- Omar Narvaez, MIL (DK $3,700)
- Yasmani Grandal, CWS (DK $5,300)
- Anthony Rizzo, CHC (DK $5,100)
- Jose Abreu, CWS (DK $5,500)
- Miguel Sano, MIN (DK $4,000)
- Jorge Polanco, MIN (DK $3,400)
- Ryan McMahon, COL (DK $4,500) *also 3B eligible
- Nick Madrigal, CWS (DK $3,000)
- Kris Bryant, CHC (DK $5,300)
- Yoan Moncada, CWS (DK $4,600)
- Rafael Devers, BOS (DK $5,400)
- Francisco Lindor, NYM (DK $4,700)
- Trevor Story, COL (DK $5,100)
- Xander Bogaerts, BOS (DK $5,700)
- Christian Yelich, MIL (DK $5,200)
- Nelson Cruz, MIN (DK $5,400)
- Charlie Blackmon, COL (DK $5,000)
- Enrique Hernandez, BOS (DK $4,300)
- David Peralta, ARI (DK $4,000)
- Hunter Renfroe, BOS (DK $3,900)
- Michael Conforto, NYM (DK $3,600)
- Garrett Hampson, COL (DK $3,200) *also 2B eligible
- Andrew Vaughn, CWS (DK $3,000) *also 1B eligible