The first Saturday in Major League Baseball, you wake up and come to find out that Bigfoot has made an inaugural appearance on Razzball to give you thoughts on Saturday’s slate in DraftKings. I bet you didn’t expect that I was a Ted Williams fan either. When I started going to college, I was a math major. About a year later, I realized that I didn’t want to be a math teacher, and decided to major in sociology. Too bad DFS wasn’t around in the late 1990’s. I probably would have stuck with math and statistics just for the love of DFS. Now that you have the image of Bigfoot playing DFS with number’s running through his head, lets try to focus, because there is a full slate of games beginning at 1:05pm est.
I’ve been spouting off since Opening Day on my Twitter account that I value the statistic Batter vs Pitcher (BVP) the most when deciding on what hitters to play. Today’s full slate has given me numerous outstanding starting pitching options. I continue to firmly take a stance on Clayton Kershaw being a must play in DFS regardless of price, and Saturday he is a very generous $12,300 of your $50,000 salary. I know you’ve already forgot that Dallas Keuchel had more fantasy points than Kershaw on Opening Day.
I am not starting any Cardinals’ players against Johnny Cueto. I was dead wrong about him dominating the Pirates in his first start. I am not going to list reasons why you should start all the top players. When playing DFS, I like to be a little daring and pick players that are not on the DFS radar, especially if I am playing in a big GPP. There will be very high ownership of top players, and you most likely won’t win first place unless you hit big on every single position. So why not start a pitcher like Jimmy Nelson, a somewhat unknown, who has big potential.
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Looking at the early games:
David Price, P: $10,600 – His Opening Day performance is stuck in my head, and I like the matchup against Cleveland. It’s all about momentum and what have you done for me lately.
Corey Kluber P: $10,300 – Kluber racked up the points against the Astros in his first start of the season, but didn’t get the win, which would have been 4 more points. If he did, he might be more money than David Price today. Four of the Tiger’s big bats have hit very well against Kluber in the past, but Miguel Cabrera has downright dominated him. Considering the price, I’m passing.
Sonny Gray, P: $8,900 – He is my second favorite SP for today’s early games. I like the matchup at home vs Seattle. Considering Gray is $1,700 less than Price, and had a stellar Opening Day performance, he’s definitely worth considering. Only downfall, his OD performance is no secret, and he’ll probably be highly owned. So if you’re a risk taker looking for the big GPP win, crawl out on the limb a little further and consider someone else. If you’re playing small, Gray would be one of my pitchers.
Michael Wacha, P: $7,900 – Wacha is my favorite pick for today’s early games. His price and upside have my eyes wide open. He had an outstanding spring, and looking at his price, there still might be some worry about his arm issue from last season. However, I am all in. He’s facing the Reds in Cincinnati, but I’m convinced he’s got some ice running through his veins.
Stephen Vogt, C: $3,600 – Stephen Vogt is an excellent value still. He’s hit in all four games so far. You see Joe Mauer’s price at $4,100, and you might think Vogt is a great value. He is, but Mauer still has some value in a DFS scoring format.
Miguel Cabrera, 1B/3B: $4,700 – I would have to think DraftKings might have made an error on this price, or they don’t know that he is a career 17-30 with 4 homers against Corey Kluber. He’s my 1B or 3B as long as he’s not $8,000 on Saturday.
Joey Votto, 1B: $4,600 – He has hit in the first four games of the season, going 7-17 with 3 homers. Although he’s facing Michael Wacha (Iceman), you have to consider Votto as he’s a career 4-9 against him and on fire to start the season.
Dee Gordon, 2B/SS: $4,500 – You get 5 points for a stolen base in DraftKings, so he’ll be starting in one of my entries. Gordon also had a great DFS day on Friday.
Micah Johnson, 2B: $3,100 – If Micah Johnson starts on Saturday and you have worked your lineup to your liking, consider Johnson as a very cheap option to maybe like your other position players even more. He’s a speed guy and like Gordon could get you great value if he gets a stolen base or two. Only downfall, unlike Gordon, he’s batting at the very bottom of the White Sox lineup.
Pablo Sandoval, 3B: $5,400 – Pablo Sandoval has started off a bit slow for Boston. I like the matchup today vs Warren at Yankee Stadium. He might be a little pricey though because again, Miguel Cabrera is $4,700.
Martin Prado, 3B: $3,700 – Prado is a pretty good value. He’s hitting in the middle of the much improve Marlins’ offense (at least on paper). He’s had zero runs, homers, RBI’s, and SB’s so far, but I think he is due soon. If for some reason you don’t have Cabrera at 3B (because there’s better options at 1B), consider Prado at this price.
Jacoby Ellsbury, OF: $5,500 – Antoher speed guy that I love in DraftKings’ scoring format. Ellsbury is batting leadoff, and with a good possibility that this game is a shootout because of the poor quality SP’s, I’m all in on him.
Shane Victorino, OF: $4,400 – I am stacking Red Sox and Yankees hitters today. At this price, I really like Victorino, even though he is aging and has an injury history like no one’s business. What’s the chances he gets hurt today?
Randal Grichuk, OF: $2,800 – Are you really, really, really looking for value? On Friday, Grichuk batted eighth in the Cardinals’ lineup and hit a home run. I know I said I’m not picking any Cardinals’ players against Johnny Cueto, but if your third OF is your last pick, and you really like your lineup so far, why not? You would be going out on a limb and surviving by holding onto air. But just think of the bragging rights you’d have!
Late/Afternoon games starting 7:05pm est:
Clayton Kershaw, P: the price…who cares! – Start Kershaw no matter what. He is the best value in DFS.
Jimmy Nelson, P: $6,400 – This is my bold pick of the day. Nelson has never faced the Pirates, and there isn’t much reason to think he’ll do well Saturday, other than him having a great 2014 season in the minors. If you are looking to start a pitcher that will not be owned in more than 3% of your GPP, its probably him.
Jonathan Lucroy, C: $4,600 – I am the guy that is drafting Buster Posey in the third round of a standard season-long fantasy baseball leagues so needless to say, I think it is important to have a good hitting Catcher in DFS. Lucroy has been batting at the top of the Brewers’s lineup, and he’s going to support Jimmy Nelson in Saturday’s win!
Chase Utley, 2B: $4,100 – Am I really going to play a Philly who has one hit in the first four games of the season? I might when looking at my options. Arismendy Alcantara is the new Robinson Cano today at $5,000. I don’t care if he’s playing at Coors. I am not even sure Arismendy will start ahead of Tommy La Stella.
Jace Peterson, 2B/3B: $3,300 – The Braves play the Mets on Saturday in Atlanta. In 2014 Dillon Gee had a 4.00 ERA and barely had a 2:1 K/BB ratio. Another good value pick in Peterson, as he bats in the top of the order, and he’s 2B and 3B eligible in DraftKings.
David Wright, 3B: $3,900 – The price is Wright, yeah, haha. He’s 6 for his last 14 at-bats, and homered on Friday. I am optimistic that this is the Wright of 2013 and prior. He is a career 3-11 against Julio Teheran and I know that is a very small sample size, but at this price I’m in!
Starlin Castro, SS: $5,200 – For a SS, I’m going with Castro at Coors. Two things: Coors Field, and Kyle Kendrick is not as good as he was Opening Day against the Brewers. In 2014, Kendrick had horrific stats all across the board in 199 Innings Pitched.
Joe Panik, 2B/SS: $3,200 – There is good value in a singles hitter with a high Batting Average in DFS. In a points format, DraftKings gives 3 points for a single. At this price, there is a good chance you’ll get some good points from Panik, where he could go 3-5 with 3 singles, or maybe a double. I said maybe!
Corey Dickerson, OF: $6,000 – I love this righty/lefty matchup at Coors. Jason Hammel takes the mound for the Cubs, and with Dickerson off to a good start, he will be in one of my DraftKings’ entries.
Yasiel Puig, OF: $4,700 – He’s got to get his second hit of the season sometime soon right? Why not against rookie Archie Bradley? The upside and price alone is a good enough reason for me to start Puig today.
Nori Aoki, OF: $3,500 – The Giants’ leadoff hitter is 7 for 17 to start 2015. He doesn’t have any steals, which is his season-long appeal, but again, in DraftKings he’ll get 5 points for a stolen base, and could continue his hot start vs James Shields on Saturday.
I always say make educated picks and if you’re reading this, you are now a DFS scholar but not quite a genius, unless you win first place in a GPP. Enjoy the games and thanks for reading. By the way, if you live in a rural part of the country, don’t worry, Bigfoot is not real. But if you see a large furry thing out the window then get your camera fast!
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
It doesn’t appear that weather will play a factor in any of today’s games. There is a small chance of rain in Arlington Texas, between the Astros and Rangers, but don’t let that stop you from using those players.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Surprise, surprise, the Vegas Line has the Cubs/Rockies at over/under 10 total runs scored. The Blue Jays/Orioles are at 9 runs. I like the thought of more than 9 runs in that game. Who wants to predict the under? Boring!!! I also think the Red Sox/Yankees game will score more than the 8.5 over/under.