MLB DFS: Rob Geriak's Daily Diamond - 3/29
Welcome to Opening Day
WE MADE IT!! FINALLY! It's here, the biggest and best unofficial National Holiday. People are calling out sick from work, kids are skipping school, and first pitch is coming in hot. This write-up covers the entire slate of opening day games and should help you cash in your DFS contests right from the get-go. Without further ado, sit back, enjoy...
Weather and Park Factors
Nationals at Reds - POSTPONED
Pirates at Tigers - POSTPONED
Indians at Mariners - Roof should be closed.
Rockies at Diamondbacks - Roof WILL BE open.
Twins at Orioles - Warm temps touching the low 70’s.
Astros at Rangers - Warm temps in the low 70’s.
Angels at Athletics - Warm temps in the low 70’s.
Brewers at Padres - Warm temps in the low 70’s.
Garret Richards (LAA)
Richards has battled injuries over the course of his career but there is no denying the talent that he brings with him to the table. He's held current Athletics to a combined .203 batting average and just five extra-base hits. The A's are a team that is dangerous offensively, but Richards has a good deal of upside here as they are prone to the strikeout. Expect a solid effort and a win from Richards at a reasonable value.
Aaron Nola (PHI)
We could see some ownership attached to Nola and he’s a great value on FanDuel. He had a 1.20 era in 15 innings against Atlanta with 12 strikeouts in two starts last year. The park is a bit worrisome here but against a lineup that has one real threat, Nola should get a win and go at least six.
Chris Sale (BOS)
Sale will likely be the highest owned pitcher on the main slate. The Rays lineup has been depleted with pretty much all of their talent being shipped out in the offseason. Generally, I’m not one to pay up for pitching early in the season like this, but Sale, outside of really one bad start last season late in the year, dominated Tampa. I don't think we see the eight-inning, 14 strikeout explosion from him, but he’ll likely be the highest point producer at the position.
Chase Anderson (MIL)
I'm seeing a lot of talk on him, especially on two-pitcher sites. The perception that the Padres lineup in a pushover is simply wrong. Margot, Myers, Hosmer, and Renfroe are all formidable bats in that lineup, especially Myers getting some protection behind him with Hosmer. I'm not as enthusiastic about Anderson as most, but on two-pitcher sites paired with someone like Chris Sale, he's worth a look.
Pitcher to Fade
Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
I know what you’re thinking. I’m crazy. Fading Kershaw at home against the Giants seems ridiculous on the surface, but I’m willing to do it for a couple of reasons. One is that I don’t think we see him go deep enough to live up to his expensive price tag which is the highest on the slate. Secondly, this Giants team has a much-improved lineup from last season. That’s not to say that they’ll beat up on Kershaw, but they don’t strike out a ton and they can be pesky enough and work long at-bats causing Kershaw’s pitch count to elevate. With better options at reduced salaries, I’m fading Kershaw here.
The reigning World Series champs should be pretty popular in a nice hitting environment against lefty Cole Hamels. The Astros lineup is loaded and there’s really no bad direction to go here. Springer, Altuve, and Correa are obvious plays to consider. I really like Alex Bregman in this spot and think he’s going to have a big season. He has both power and speed upside which is huge in DFS. The Rangers’ bullpen is a complete shitshow and if the Astros can get to Hamels early, this could get ugly in a hurry.
In Atlanta, a park that caters to lefties against Julio Teheran, a pitcher that gets destroyed by lefties, I’m liking the Phillies bats a ton. They should be one of the more attractive teams to stack on this slate but the production will be there against Julio and the bad Braves bullpen. Carlos Santana, Cesar Hernandez, Willie Mays Hayes (Odubel Herrera), and Rhys Hoskins are the four bats that jump out here, obviously with Hoskins being from the right side. Nick Williams is a great value, expected to bat fifth.
With good weather in a great hitters park, the Orioles are in play as a team full of right-handed hitters that feast on right-handed pitching. Jake Odorizzi was one of the worst right-handed starting pitchers against right-handed hitters last season and has struggled with the Orioles in the past surrendering 20 home runs in 93 innings against them. Jonathan Schoop, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, and Trey Mancini are guys I love in this spot. Tim Beckham and Mark Trumbo are worth a look as well depending on where they slide into the lineup.
If people want to get scared off by all of the bullshit humidor talk, let them. I’m still gonna ride the Dback train at home this season. This is the last game of the day and will be somewhat overlooked with most gravitating to the early action. David Peralta, AJ Pollock, Goldy, and Jake Lamb are all in play here, of course, but looking at Nick Ahmed and Chris Owings as value options could pay off.
Hitters By Position
*Consider these hitters to fill out your lineups, not necessarily as part of a stack.
Wilson Ramos (TB) - No one will have him, 4-11 with 2 dongs against Sale.
Alex Avila (ARI) - Value in a good park. Fuck the humidor.
Freddie Freeman (ATL) - As steady a play that you’ll see all year, great park for him, 6-16 with 2 doubles and a home run off of Nola.
Jose Abreu (CWS) - 15-43 with 2 doubles and a home run off of Duffy.
Carlos Santana (PHI) - Maybe my favorite bat on the slate, great spot against Julio Teheran who CANNOT get lefties out and CANNOT pitch at home.
Brian Dozier (MIN) - Great hitting conditions, Bundy allowed 14 home runs in 90 innings to right-handed hitters last season.
Jonathan Schoop (BAL) - Odorizzi sucks against right-handed hitters, 11-29 with 4 doubles and a homer off of him.
DJ Lemahieu (COL) - 14-37 with 3 triples and 3 homers off of Corbin.
Jake Lamb (ARI) - Great spot in a very good lineup. The park still is great for hitters, the roof is open, and Jon Gray has been bad against lefties throughout his career. PUT IT IN THE POOL, JAKE!
Adrian Beltre (TEX) - Has had success against Verlander, good hitting environment.
Matt Chapman (OAK) - Park shift isn’t favorable, but he has big-time power and no one will own him.
Manny Machado (BAL) - I'm expecting a big year from Machado in his walk-year and that starts today against Jake Odorizzi.
Didi Gregorius (NYY) - He hits lefties well and it’s a day game. #DayGameDidi.
Frankie Lindor (CLE) - King Felix is washed up, Lindor rakes, and he should be leading off.
Wil Myers (SD) - Finally has protection hitting ahead of Hosmer, has good numbers against Chase Anderson, and Anderson has poor history against right-handed hitters.
Mookie Betts (BOS) - Absolutely owns Archer with 12 hits in 31 at-bats, four of which are home runs.
Khris Davis (OAK) - Often overlooked as one of the premier power hitters in the game and has much better power numbers against righties.
Adam Jones (BAL) - 14-43 with 2 dongs against Odorizzi, who again sucks against righties.
David Peralta (ARI) - Expected to lead off, nice value on FD.
Nick Williams (PHI) - Good value bat and should be in a prominent spot in the lineup. Another left to attack Julio with.
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