This is an interesting slate, which I hope you’ll all enjoy. There’s a lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of what-have-yous. A lot of pitchers. I think I wrote up nine different pitchers. Surely, even if you play multiple lineups, you aren’t going to use nine different pitchers on FanDuel. So I gave you a lot of food for thought. I’m just sorry it’s soup, I know I should keep more of your favorites around. On the offensive side of the ball, it’s the usual suspects at the top for building blocks in both cash games and tournaments and cheaper options with the platoon advantage.
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Gerrit Cole, SP: $10,000 – Cole has looked like a new man in his first two starts with the Astros as an adjustment to his pitch mix has led to 61 and 58 FanDuel points in those games. In his Houston debut, he dominated the Rangers after allowing a solo home run to Joey Gallo in the first inning. Since then, the Rangers have had to put Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus on the disabled list, joining Delino Deshields. With Texas’ lineup depleted, the Astros are the biggest favorite on the slate at -240 and they should be. Cole should have no problem dominating them once again.
Yu Darvish, SP: $9,500 – Darvish bounced back after a rough first start and now has a 5.23 ERA through two starts, but he’s also got a 0.97 WHIP and he’s striking out hitters at a 31 percent clip. The Cubs are facing Anibal Sanchez in this one so that factors in to Chicago being the second largest favorite on the slate at -220, but Darvish should do well here too. While the Braves’ lineup has some exciting young hitters, they tend to strikeout a lot. Look for Darvish to rack up K’s in bunches.
Kenta Maeda, SP: $9,300 – The Dodgers are home favorites in this one at -130 and Maeda struck out 10 Giants in five innings in his first start of the year. His other start was interrupted by rain after one inning. Maeda had a 2.88 ERA in 68.2 innings at home last year compared to a 5.62 ERA on the road. He’s also facing a Diamondbacks offense that’s missing multiple starters in Jake Lamb and Steven Souza.
Zack Greinke, SP: $9,000 – Greinke had a 3.65 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 24.1 innings over four starts against the Dodgers last season. He was much better at home last year, but the Dodgers offense has struggled without Justin Turner so I can see rolling out Greinke here and hoping he provides a quality start.
Luke Weaver, SP: $8,500 – Joey Votto sat out Thursday so he’ll be back in there today, but St. Louis still appears to be a lot better than the Reds. On paper, on the field, anywhere really. Weaver only has 108 career innings pitched under his belt, but he’s proven that he can miss bats as he has a career strikeout percentage of 27.4 percent. The Cardinals are road favorites at -150.
Jordan Montgomery, SP: $7,200 – I can’t find a line for this game for some odd reason, but I assume the Yankees are big favorites against Mike Fiers. Montgomery hasn’t been sharp in his two starts as he has a 4.82 ERA, but the Tigers have scored six runs over their last five games. It seems like a get right spot for the lefty who had a 1.23 WHIP and strikeout percentage of 22% in his rookie season last year. I’d say it’s unlikely Austin Romine catches this game, but give Montgomery a boost if he does as last year he had a 3.68 ERA in 107.2 innings with Romine behind the plate compared to a 4.50 ERA in 32 innings with Gary Sanchez.
Marcus Stroman, SP: $7,100 – Stroman isn’t favored against the Indians on the road, but until they broke out for nine runs on Thursday the Indians weren’t hitting at all. Even now, Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez, Edwin Encarnacion, and Yonder Alonso are all hitting below .200. Francisco Lindor is hitting .208. I might not even land on Stroman if I was playing multiple lineups because he doesn’t have the strikeout upside of some of the other pitchers on the slate and he’s a road underdog, but perhaps he’s someone to look at as a contrarian GPP play because he won’t carry much if any ownership.
Eduardo Rodriguez, SP: $6,600 – While Rodriguez didn’t work deep into the game in his last start (3.2 IP 3 ER 7 K) it was his first start of the season and the Red Sox are a big favorite at -210 against the Orioles so he’s someone to consider who could go overlooked. His track record isn’t in his favor, though, as he went 1-2 with a 5.89 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 18.1 innings against Baltimore last year. Still, as a favored pitcher with strikeout upside and without a hefty price tag he’s someone to take a look at.
Andrew Heaney, SP: $6,000 – Heaney has thrown 27.2 innings in the majors since 2015 and makes his 2018 debut tonight. While it’s a small sample size, he does have a 27 percent strikeout percentage in those innings. The Angels are sizable favorites at -147 and Heaney offers strikeout upside and enough of a discount to fit in all of the bats you like tonight.
Mike Trout, OF, $5,400 – After three hits and a home run last night, Trout is up to .273/.388/.600 and a .419 wOBA in 67 plate appearances on the season. Last year Trout hit .313/.441/.672 with 30 home runs in 401 plate appearances against right-handed pitching. As you might’ve heard, the lineup around Trout is pretty good this year. Ian Kinsler debuted last night with a home run. You shouldn’t need this much convincing to lock in Trout.
Aaron Judge, OF, $4,700 – Judge is hitting .347/.475/.592 with a .462 wOBA in 61 plate appearances this season. He hit .298/.417/.662 with 44 home runs against right-handed pitching last season and gets to face Mike Fiers and his nothing fastball tonight.
Manny Machado, SS, $4,500 – Machado is hitting .321/.419/.547 with a .420 wOBA in 62 plate appearances this season. Last season he hit .269/.314/.513 in 169 plate appearances against left-handed pitching.
George Springer, OF, $3,900 – Last year, Springer hit .301/.423/.549 in 164 plate appearances against left-handed pitching. Last year, Cole Hamels allowed a .245/.331/.419 line and 1.26 HR/9 to right-handed batters. Collision course.
Whit Merrifield, 2B, $3,300 – Last year, Merrifield hit .273/.321/.479 in 131 plate appearances against left-handed pitching and .300/.344/.528 with a .364 wOBA at home. He hit fifth in the Royals’ lineup last night.
Nick Castellanos, OF, $3,200 – Last year, Castellanos hit .292/.336/.599 in 146 plate appearances against left-handed pitching and .300/.348/.523 with a .365 wOBA at home. Last year, Jordan Montgomery allowed a .297 wOBA to right-handed batters. Collision course!
Kole Calhoun, OF, $2,900 – Calhoun has been hot lately as he has at least nine and a half FanDuel points in five of his last six games. It’s tough to hold down the Angels offense these days so he makes sense as a guy to pair with other Halos or if you just want a piece of the Los Angeles offense.
Max Kepler, OF, $2,600 – Kepler, who hit .272/.343/.484 in 431 plate appearances against right-handed pitching last year, hit two home runs in his last game and gets to face another right-handed pitcher at home in a game where the Twins are favored at -180.
Ryan Zimmerman, 1B, $2,500 – Zimmerman is off to a slow start this year, but he hit .331/.385/.654 in 143 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers last year. He also hit .345/.399/.643 at home last year. Full disclosure, I was burned by playing Zimmerman last night and am going back to the well again here.
Mitch Moreland, 1B, $2,400 – Hanley Ramirez figures to sit after being hit on the hand/wrist area by Sonny Gray on Thursday. That means more playing time for Moreland, who has posted at least nine FanDuel points in his last three games. You could certainly do worse for the price. Last year, Moreland had a .214 ISO against right-handed pitching and .199 ISO at home. Last year, Chris Tillman allowed a .329/.458/.543 line to left-handed hitters.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
The Twins game is the only game expecting a lot of rain as there is a 91% chance of precipitation in Minnesota. Other than that, the Royals-Angels game is the only one with a greater than 50% chance of rain.
Doing Lines In Vegas