Hello there (four) ladies and gentlemen. It’s your friendly neighborhood hippo here. Not to be confused with Big Fat Hippo from back in the day, but I’ve been around these parts since that time frame. First as a lurker, next as a frequent commenter, and now I come to you as a humble DFS writer. I’ve always had a lot to say and have always wanted a platform to say it. Well, want no more. I’m excited to be coming to you weekly and hopefully putting a few pesos in your pocket. This is a nice way for me to give back to Razzball and the Razzball community for all they’ve done for me over the years. I was hoping this gig came with one of those STAFF shirts, I’ve always wanted one of those, but no dice. Instead, I’ve taken my Razzball T-shirt and used some iron on paper to spell out STAFF on the back. Now excuse me while I stand here with my arms crossed and try to look important. Ahhh, feels just like I thought it would. With introductions out of the way, I’d like to chat a minute about this daily game.
The daily fantasy game is the fantasy sports format of the future if you ask me. Just think about it: kids these days are all hopped up on MAXX energy drinks (no clue if that’s actually a thing) and can’t remove their eyeballs from their twitter account, even while driving. Nothing holds their attention for longer than 30 seconds. 30 seconds isn’t nearly enough time to sit through an entire roto draft or manage a team each and every day for 6 months. You know what you can do in 30 seconds though? I’ll tell ya. Put together a Draftkings lineup that could win you thousands of dollars. Instant gratification friends. You can cash out the next morning and put it all on red by the afternoon. It doesn’t get much better than that. No more waiting for your 12 buddies to pay the commish who will eventually get around to sending you a check for a couple hundo. If it’s bragging rights you crave, you can set up a league with those same 12 buddies and play every day for $1. Or, you can play your Razzball pals regularly right here and thump your chest in the comments. Plenty of options and a little something for everyone. I invite you to do what I did last season and decide on a bankroll (let’s just say $100) and just give this thing a whirl. Play a $1 50/50 game, where half the field wins, everyday for a month or so and just get a feel for it, see how it works and see if your bankroll grows. Trust me, you don’t want to be left standing on the beach while everyone else is riding the fantasy wave of the future. Now, hold on while we drop into the green room for some of today’s best plays, bruh.
New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.
Zack Greinke, SP: $8,800 – It’s a funky early season short schedule day today. Short schedule days are an interesting animal. On regular days there’s a ton of data to sort through and a much larger player pool to choose from. This tends to separate the better DFS players. On a short schedule day if you don’t own the one or two guys that go ham, you’re on the outside looking in. With a smaller player pool and less lineup variation the field is tighter and the casual player can have a real shot to do some damage if they happen to own that one player that fills up the stat sheet. With that schpiel out of the way, I can’t see getting away from Greinke much. He’s likely to be highly owned and is a cash game must. He’s the biggest favorite in Vegas and is one of the top 3 options in strikeout upside. If you played Opening Day on DraftKings, you’ll notice that price tag and smile a bit. Don’t over think this one.
Jesse Hahn, SP: $6,000 – With Zack on board the question becomes, who do you pair with him? On the short slate there’s only a handful of viable options. Hahn is going to be my guy though. Hahn had himself a fantastic run once he was called up in June last year. Once August rolled around the wheels fell off and he was shut down come September. I’m willing to chalk this up to a young pitcher just wearing down at the end of the year. He sported around 8 K/9 and a 3.59 xFIP which would have been around top 40 had he qualified. The 7.5 HR/FB% was no doubt aided by Petco, but O.co isn’t exactly a hitter’s paradise. Hahn also has something going for him I love and that’s no discernable platoon splits. In his 14 games last year it was lefties batting .227 and righties hitting .200. I like the kid to take a step forward. Besides, when Colby Lewis is opposing you, your odds of picking up the win increase 10 fold.
Mike Zunino, C: $3,600 – With all of this cheap pitching out there today offensive lineups are going to be stacked. The best way to get yourself points in the daily game is through power. You could throw down for Buster but for a grand less you get some sweet power upside and can load up elsewhere. C.J. Wilson is a less than formidable foe and Zunino gets the lefty vs righty edge. Bang for the buck, that’s what it’s all about.
Albert Pujols, 1B: $4,200 – Eventually we’ll start spending some of this dough, but I can’t let Pujols slide at this price. I mean, Brandon Belt is way up there at $4,700. I know Pujols if facing Razzball heartthrob James Paxton, but I give the edge to the wily vet. It’s a value play.
Chris Davis, 1B/3B: $4,400 – If you find yourself with a little leftover dough and in need of some upside, say in a GPP, take a peek at Crush. Nate Karns is on the hill for Tampa Bay. My research on Nate Karns started with his career 6 ERA and ended with his 5.08 ERA in AAA Durham last season. Yup, I think more than a couple O’s will find their way into my lineup today.
Ben Zobrist, 2B: $3,900 – Check back to my Hahn blurb where I mention Colby Lewis. Lewis and Karns are my main targets today with a dash of Wilson mixed in for good measure. Zobrist isn’t the most exciting of plays, but on a day like today having a three hole hitter at 2B for under 4 grand is pretty nice.
Jace Peterson, 2B: $3,100 – I’m kind of in love with Jace. I really think he can be a solid contributor this year and while his price is low I’ll be looking his way often. There’s an important concept in DFS regarding maximizing at bats. More at bats means more scoring opportunities, it makes sense. When players at the top of lineups (even bad ones) are this cheap, do yourself a favor and take notice. It’s icing on the cake that Peterson has the tools to hit .300 and swipe plenty of bags. Sign me up.
Jake Lamb, 3B: $3,600 – Third base is a barren wasteland as I’m sure you know by now having completed all those RCL drafts. If I don’t slide Chris Davis into 1B, he’ll man the hot corner. If I need some salary relief though, Lamb will be my man. Baaaaa. Had to, now that that’s out of my system let’s chat about Lamb. He was benched yesterday vs the tough lefty in Bumgarner but should be all systems go vs the soft tossing righty, Ryan Vogelsong. Lamb is going to have something to prove to make sure Yamany doesn’t steal his job and has shown he can hit for a good average and throw in some pop. You’ll have to dig into his minor league stats a bit as his showing last year was less than stellar. He’s a player I’m keeping my eye on early in the season though.
Troy Tulowitzki, SS: $5,100 – I told you we had to start spending all of this leftover moola eventually. I can’t think of many better players to dump it on then arguably one of the best hitters in baseball. Besides, you better own him while you can, it’s only a matter of time until that DL stint comes around.
Everth Cabrera, SS: $3,100 – If you decide to go Scrooge McDuck and take a swim in your gold coins as opposed to spend them all on Tulo, EverCab will be there for you. This is assuming Baltimore actually let’s him get on the field. I think Everth was the RCL’s most dropped player yesterday once the lineups were released. I’m not sure what they’re doing there in Baltimore but with the aforementioned Karns pitching, any and all O’s are in play. To abuse J-FOH’s hard work some more, you can check out his thoughts on the Creeper of the Week.
Nelson Cruz, OF: $4,100 – I’ve already suggested Tulo, people would throw rotten vegetables at me if I put Trout out there too. Chances are you’ll have the cash though and for the short time period when he isn’t the highest priced player, you should work him in. Back to Nelson, this is one thing Seattle has been missing. A legitimate RH power threat in the middle of the lineup. This is also the type of game Seattle envisioned him doing some work. Cruz gets a less than impressive LHP on the division foe Angels and I think he feasts. He’s also 4 for 10 with a HR off C.J. if you’re into that kind of thing. Though, Rudy suggests you shouldn’t be.
Gerardo Parra, OF: $3,500 – A little bit of cost cutting in the OF if need be. I was surprised but also encouraged that Khris Davis earned the starting nod even vs a RHP on Opening Day. It’s not everyday a manager makes a decent lineup decision and I fully expected a full on Davis/Parra platoon by Roenicke. With Braun leaving the game with an owie on his side yesterday Parra will be in by default. He could slot in near the top of the lineup and Jordan Lyles doesn’t exactly strike fear into anyone’s heart.
Justin Ruggiano, OF: $3,600 – When Ruggiano is facing a lefty, there’s always a chance for a nice value play. If you’re looking to stack some Mariners I would include him and his .836 career OPS vs. LHP all day long. A Cruz, Ruggiano, Zunino 4,5,6 would be nice but I doubt we get that lucky. Check in at lineup time and see where and if Ruggiano is in there. There are many worse ways to spend your fake $3,600.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Looks like a chance for rain in Chicago tonight, oh and it’s 36 degrees. Who was it exactly that scheduled an unfinished Wrigley for the opening series in early April when it could potentially snow in Chicago? More worrisome is the rain in LA however. There’s a high chance for some rain early, but it looks like they could delay and get it in later. If there’s concerns here at all around lineup lock I’m pivoting from Greinke to Alex Wood
Doing Lines In Vegas
The Padres vs Dodgers over/under comes in at the coveted 6.5 line for starting pitchers with Greinke as the heaviest favorite on the day (-178). On the other side Baltimore vs. Tampa Bay is sitting at an 8.5 over/under and I’ve taken note with my Orioles suggestions. It wouldn’t be the worst idea to pick a couple Rays to get in on the action vs. Wei-Yin Chen. Evan Longoria comes to mind.