Opening Day, was it good for you too? I’m a Yankees fan so everything is awesome all the time. Let’s keep the awesome going and the champagne flowing without wasting anymore time and get to my Fanduel DFS picks for Day No. 2 of the 2018 MLB season. By the way, you may have previously seen my writing at Rotowire, Baseball Prospectus, and Fantasy Pros, if you were looking for more introduction. Now really, let’s get down on Friday like Rebecca Black told us to.
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Max Scherzer, SP: $11,100 – Scherzer is the best pitcher on the slate and one of the top favorites as the Nationals are listed at -200. He finished last season with a 2.51 ERA, 2.90 FIP and career-highs in strikeout percentage (34.4%) and WHIP (0.90). He’s one of the best and most consistent pitchers in the game, but you probably don’t need me to tell you that. Do you need me to tell you to put him in your lineup? Just do it already.
Dallas Keuchel, SP: $9,200 – Keuchel and the Astros are another big favorite Friday, also listed at -200. Not only is Keuchel great when he’s healthy, he has a history of good performance on the road against the Rangers. The last two times he’s faced the Rangers on the road he’s posted 48 and 49 Fanduel points. While there’s a good chance he won’t go more than six or seven innings in his first start of the season, Keuchel and Brian McCann have shown they have a good game plan against the Rangers and we should expect the good times to roll on for Houston in this spot.
Masahiro Tanaka, SP: $8,700 – Much like the Astros, the Yankees appeared dominant and were victorious on Opening Day. With the support of a powerful lineup and lights out bullpen, Tanaka just needs to tame the Blue Jays for six innings to pay off. If he continues to be the pitcher we saw in the second half last year when he had a 3.07 ERA, he should be fine. However, there’s also the matter of his 4.20 ERA against the Jays last year, which includes allowing nine earned runs in 9.2 innings pitched at Rogers Centre. That would at least make me think twice about throwing him out there in cash games.
David Price, SP: $8,500 – Starting in Tampa Bay, where he started his career, and following a Red Sox loss Thursday, Price will look to right the ship for Boston. The narrative is strong with this one, sit back and watch as Price plays the hero in his old home ballpark.
Kyle Hendricks, SP, $8,200 — The Cubbies are the biggest favorite on the board at -230 so I figured Hendricks is at least worth a passing mention. Alex Wood at $8,400 against a weak Giants lineup is worth noting too even though both guys don’t figure to work deep into the game. I can’t really see myself landing on either pitcher given the other options.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, $4,600 – After a two homer performance on Opening Day, Stanton now has five home runs in four career games at Toronto’s Rogers Centre. It seems like he likes hitting there. The Yankees lineup was able to see a lot of pitches from Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ and get him out of the game early, which allowed Stanton to get another at-bat against the bullpen late in the game for his second home run. They could make a habit of that.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, $4,500 – Last year, Goldschmidt hit .311/.422/.591 against left-handed pitching and .321/.443/.649 at home. While the humidor is in play this year, we still have to like Goldy when he has a home date with Rockies lefty Tyler Anderson.
J.D. Martinez, OF, $4,300 – Last year, Martinez hit .376/.464/.892 in 110 PA against left-handed pitching. He was a cheat code against lefties last season so we have to like him against Blake Snell with Boston favored.
Bryce Harper, OF, $5,000 — Homer Bailey is still pitching for the Reds? D’oh. Last year, he allowed a 1.54 HR/9 in 41 innings at home while Harper hit .322/.433/.654 in 363 PA against right-handed pitching. Collision course.
Willson Contreras, C, $3,300 — Last year, Contreras hit .279/.394/.523 in 295 PA against left-handed pitching. He’ll face Caleb Smith, who really is the Marlins’ No. 2 starter no matter how many times you check. Now that Fanduel has combined catcher and first base, Contreras will probably go overlooked.
Didi Gregorius, SS, $3,500 – Last year, Gregorius hit .295/.325/.523 with 22 of his 25 home runs against right-handed pitching. He also hit .321/354/.528 on the road. With Fanduel combining catcher and first base, it makes it more difficult to include Gary Sanchez in Yankees stacks because the replacement level at the position has completely changed. Playing Sanchez now means eschewing cheap first base alternatives like C.J. Cron, who slugged .500 against left-handed pitching last year and is listed at $2,200 at home against David Price. It makes me more likely to want to pay up for Didi because shortstop is still thin.
Aaron Judge, OF, $4,200 — Last year, Judge hit .298/.417/.662 with 44 home runs against right-handed pitching. He had two hits including a double in the opener.
Brett Gardner, OF, $2,800 — After a quiet spring, Gardner hit the ball hard four times and homered on Opening Day. He hit .283/.367/.467 against right-handed pitching last year.
George Springer, OF, $3,900 — Springer went 1-for-4 with a solo home run out of the leadoff spot on Opening Day. With the Astros heavy favorites against Doug Fister in Texas, Springer should be in position for a big day.
Justin Upton, OF, $3,600 – Last year, Upton hit .344/.427/.728(!) in 143 PA against left-handed pitching. That’s enough to give him a look.
Corey Dickerson, OF, $2,600 — Last year, Dickerson hit .273/.320/.493 against right-handed pitching while Jordan Zimmermann allowed a 1.68 HR/9 to left-handed batters. His teammate Gregory Polanco only hit 11 home runs last year, but he’s got power and is listed at $2,200.
Austin Jackson, OF, 2,100 — Last year, Jackson hit .352/.440/.574 in 141 PA against left-handed pitching. He’s hitting leadoff so you could use him as a salary saver.
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