Dubbed “Opening Day 2.0,” yesterday was quite weird. We had two star players scratched just hours before their games and baseball played in front of cardboard cutout fans with pretend crowd noise. Not to mention a five-and-a-third inning rain shortened affair where both starters logged complete games. Fortunately, we’ve got 28 teams in action on FanDuel Friday, so it’s time for Opening Day 2.0… again! Maybe this time around will be a bit less wonky.
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Justin Verlander, SP: $11,200 – The reigning Cy Young winner gets to start his 2020 season at home against one of the weakest lineup in all of baseball, the Mariners. How is that fair? Verlander had an eye-popping 35.4% K-rate with a 5.0% walk-rate last year. If you’re the type of DFS player who builds their lineup around an expensive ace, you have an easy decision tonight.
Lance Lynn, SP: $8,300 – Lynn and the Rangers pitching staff were quietly big winners over the offseason, as they move to a new stadium that is expected to play far more neutrally than their hitter-friendly park of old. Not that Lynn needed the help anyway after posting 208 1/3 innings of 3.13 FIP last season. His matchup tonight is tremendous, as the Rockies were abysmal on the road last year with a .288 wOBA and a 26.9% K-rate – those ranked second-worst and third-worst, respectively. Since Colorado is returning virtually their entire lineup, Lynn should dominate them.
Ross Stripling, SP: $6,600 – Stripling is somehow the fourth-cheapest starter on the slate, so he’s a perfect option if you’re looking to load up your lineup with some pricey hitters. He put up a 3.60 ERA in 70 innings as a starter last year! It’s a testament to the Dodgers depth that Stripling wasn’t even originally projected for the rotation. He will provide good innings against a Giants lineup that had just a .295 wOBA versus righties in 2019.
J.T. Realmuto, C/1B: $3,300 – I am not one to normally recommend a catcher in FanDuel, as most of them are flaming garbage at the plate. Realmuto is an exception, though, with two straight seasons of an .820+ OPS. The Phillies are a top lineup to stack against Sandy Alcantara, who had a measly 18.0% K-rate with a 4.55 FIP last year.
Keston Hiura, 2B: $3,300 – Hiura is an exciting young player to look out for in 2020 after finishing with a 97th percentile hard hit rate and a 92nd percentile barrel rate as a rookie. Hiura is more of a target in GPP contests, though, as his 30.7% K-rate profiles him as a boom-or-bust play. His upside is worth chasing from the middle of the Brewers lineup.
Rafael Devers, 3B: $3,600 – Devers and the Red Sox are going to score lots of runs against Tommy Milone, who is easily the worst Opening Day 2.0 Again starter. Even in a left-on-left matchup, Devers is the Hittertron’s third-highest projected hitter on the slate. And that’s not even factoring in his price! Red Sox hitters will be a popular play, but it’s still a great idea to get some exposure to them in cash games.
Manny Machado, 3B: $3,000 – While Machado had a down year overall in 2019, he never stopped raking against lefties, putting up an absurd 177 wRC+. He is a great value play tonight against a southpaw in Madison Bumgarner, who outperformed his 4.47 deserved run average last season.
Corey Seager, SS: $3,200 – Seager has a high floor against Jeff Samardzija and is a bit cheap for batting in the middle of an insanely stacked lineup. Samardzija’s 4.59 FIP suggests he’s a starter to target stacks against on this slate.
Jay Bruce, OF: $2,100 – Bruce is a must-play as part of a Phillies stack, coming in just above the minimum price on FanDuel. He hit 20 homers against righties in just 239 plate appearances in 2019. Pair Bruce with any combo of Realmuto, Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, and Rhys Hoskins.
Franmil Reyes, OF: $2,700 – The Franimal is a perfect low-cost addition to any GPP lineup. His power ceiling is matched by few in baseball and he actually hit .280 against lefties last season. He’s facing a lefty in Danny Duffy, who is coming off a poor 4.78 FIP.
Starling Marte, OF: $3,200 – Marte is underrated among the few five category contributors left in the game, and speed is often overlooked in daily formats. Marte batted .304 with just a 14.8% K-rate and will bat third for the Diamondbacks, so he is an extremely safe bet to produce for you.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Unlike Opening Day 2.0 the First Time, we have clear skies across the league tonight!
Doing Lines In Vegas
Lines are tough this early in the season, but I think the Brewers have some upside at +110.