After what seemed like an endless wait, Major League Baseball is back and with it, a new year of playing daily fantasy baseball. Let’s start the season off with some wins.
There’s nothing better than Opening Day in Major League Baseball. For daily fantasy purposes, it begins the new season and anything is possible. When it comes to daily, I like to go off past stats from hitters and pitchers but also I want players with big upside.
Home runs, steals and strikeouts are what I like to target when rostering a player. When it comes to batters, I tend to look at guys near the top of the lineup because they will have a higher chance of seeing an extra at-bat later in the game. Let’s have some fun on Opening Day and make it a profitable one. Good luck everyone.
When it comes to DFS, pitching is important. If your pitcher gets lit up, you stand no chance. The St. Louis Cardinals projected starting lineup is only hitting a combined .220 with 12 strikeouts in 41 combined at-bats against Syndergaard.
Strikeouts drive up a pitcher’s value and there’s a good chance he reaches double-digit K’s. Thor is my pick to win the NL Cy Young Award and he should open the season with a dominant performance for the Mets.
Garrett Richards, Los Angeles Angels ($6,800)
When Garrett Richards is healthy, he is dominant. In his last full season (2015), Richards was tied for fifth in groundball outs (262), which means he can keep Oakland’s power hitters inside the ballpark.
Oakland stuck out the fifth-most times per game (9.2) last season and with a combined team average of .203 versus Richards, this looks like it can be a monster night for the Angels starter.
Evan Gattis, Houston Astros ($3,300)
Evan Gattis is 9-for-25 (.360) against Cole Hamels, with three home runs and a double. He will serve as the full-time DH for the Astros and at his price, he offers big upside. It’s always a good idea to have some exposure to Houston’s offense and for Opening Day, Gattis is a good start.
Wilson Ramos, Tampa Bay Rays ($2,700)
If you want to win a tournament in daily, you need to pick cheap bats against an ace. Wilson Ramos is 4-for-11 (.364) with two home runs and a double off Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale. He seems to see the ball well off Sale and most will avoid the whole Tampa Bay Rays lineup. At his price, he is worth the risk tonight.
Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves ($4,800)
Freddie Freeman is good at hitting a baseball. He is 6-for-16 (.375) with one homer and two doubles off Aaron Nola. Whenever Freeman is at home, you want to roster him. In 191 home at-bats last season, he hit .316 with 11 home runs.
Justin Smoak, Toronto Blue Jays ($3,900)
Justin Smoak had a breakout season in 2017, hitting .270 with 38 home runs and 90 RBI. For his career, he is 5-for-12 (.417) off Luis Severino with two bombs. He will benefit with Josh Donaldson batting in front of him in the lineup and should have more opportunities to drive in runs.
Jose Altuve, Houston Astros ($5,200)
Do I really need to tell you to play Jose Altuve? The reigning AL MVP is one of the most consistent hitters in the world. He has good success off Cole Hamels with a .333 average in 18 at-bats. He’s worth his price today and could be the highest-scoring hitter on the day with his power and speed combination.
Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore Orioles ($4,100)
This price makes no sense to me. He is the only second basemen to hit for 30 homers and have 100 RBI. Also, he has dominated Jake Odorizzi in his career going 11-for-29 (.379) with a homer and four doubles. Lock and load Jonathan Schoop today.
Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals ($3,800)
James Shields is awful and no way should be a team’s opening day starter. In 2017, he struggled on the road (5.50 ERA) and hitters are hitting .276 against him. Lefties had good success against Shields (17 homers and a .279 average). Moustakas has a career .500 average (5-for-10) with two extra-base hits off of him.
Maikel Franco, Philadelphia Phillies- ($3,100)
This play has to do with two factors, price and success against Julio Teheran. He’s batting .357 (10-for-28) and at this price all he has to do is a get a base hit and if he drives in a run or scores one he will give us value. Julio Teheran had a 5.86 home ERA last season and opponents are hitting .272 off him, I don’t see him turning it around at home in 2018.
Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers ($4,000)
Yes, I know he’s going against Justin Verlander, who seemed to be unhittable in the postseason last year. However, there aren’t many options at shortstop today (Trea Turner won’t play because the Nationals/Orioles game is postponed). He’s had success off Verlander with a .333 average (14-for-42) and if I don’t like many of the options at a position I look at who has had success off the starting pitcher.
Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox ($5,000)
I have been going for value picks for most of my recommendations, now it’s time to pay up for a bat. Mookie Betts is one of my favorite players to roster because of his power/speed combo, and he is moving back up to the leadoff spot, which means more at-bats for Mookie.
Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies ($4,700)
This kid is the real deal. In 170 at-bats last season he hit 18 home runs. I love his power upside and SunTrust Park gives up a lot of homeruns. I am expecting at least one home run from Hoskins on Opening Day.
Corey Dickerson, Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,300)-
I know he only has 10 career at bats versus Jordan Zimmerman but it’s hard to ignore a .600 average. Three of those hits went for extra bases (two doubles and a homer). He seems the ball well off Zimmerman and I am going with the numbers tonight (and every day in baseball).