Pitching Perspective

Both slates today are filled with a lot of great pitching options, however, due to the tough pricing DraftKings has placed on the high octane bats, it’s going to be more difficult to find exceptional value on the mound.

Early Slate

David Price and Corey Kluber figure to have an awesome pitching duel going today., but I’d only be leaning towards one side of it. While Kluber was brilliant in his last start, I’m not testing him against the Detroit offense. Instead, I’d rather use David Price against the predominately left-handed Cleveland team. The Indians have a team total of only 3, indicating that Vegas is also leaning towards Price in this matchup.

The mid-priced values in the early slate are all fairly solid. Johhny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija are both favorites, but pitching in hitters parks today. I’d lean Cueto if you are deciding between the two, but both present great value to be able to afford some of the bats in the Red Sox/Yankees game, as well finding some White Sox bats.

Perhaps my favorite pricing in this slate is that of Chris Archer ($7,700). Archer has a lot of strikeout upside and gets a nice park shift today pitching in Miami. Not to mention that the move to the National League should pick him up an extra strikeout or two when he faces the pitcher a couple times. The Marlins are left-handed at the top of the order, but predominately right-handed the rest of the way through, and typically are going to be a team to use against southpaws. Archer is in the favorite in this game that is carrying a total of just 7, even strengthening this matchup for him.

Using some combination of the three top guys with Archer might be my favorite way to go in the early slate.

Late Slate

Clayton Kershaw takes the mound today against the Diamondbacks where he is a big favorite, however, given his astounding price ($12,300) and the hitters park, I’m leaning against using him. It’s nearly impossible to fit Kershaw with a second viable pitcher, and then have any money left over for those from the Rockies/Cubs Game.

Madison Bumgarner, James Shields and Julio Teheran round out the middle tier, and each of these guys provides solid value today. Both Shields and Bumgarner get the Petco Park advantage in a game with a total of only 6. Even with the upgrades on offense, the Padres still carry a lot of strikeout potential in their bats, making me lean Bumgarner in this one, despite the higher price.

If you’re looking to pair a cheaper arm with Bumgarner, look no further than Doug Fister or Dillon Gee. Both Fister and Gee carry a pretty low price tag and see lackluster offenses. The downside to Fister is that the Phillies best hitters are left-handed and that this game is being played in Citizen’s Bank Park. Gee however will face a bad Braves offense in a game with a total of only 6.5. The strikeout rates won’t make you swoon, but the price might allow you to grab an extra bat from Colorado.

Stack Options

Early Slate

The White Sox provide a lot of value in the early slate for both cash games and GPPs. Their team total (4.5) is the highest of the early slate, and tied for the highest of the day. Adam Eaton and Melky Cabrera will be solid cash game options in the early slate as both should help to set the table for Jose Abreu and Adam LaRoche. LaRoche’s price has crept up to $5,300, a bit high for my taste in cash games, but he makes for a great GPP play with multi-homerun upside.

The game in the Bronx should also be a source of great value this afternoon. Be sure that you note the lineups in use today following the marathon game last night. I wouldn’t expect this early in the season for many of the normal guys to get a day off, but if that is the case, you’ll be able to find value in a game featuring two less than stellar pitchers. Yankee stadium was second best for left-handers and homeruns last season, according to FanGraphs handedness park factors. Therefore, guys like David Ortiz, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury have added value in both cash games and GPPs. DraftKings has done a great job of adjusting prices early this season, so there isn’t much salary relief here, but Alex Rodriguez might be your best bet to save at $4,600.

The Red Sox/Yankees will most likely be the most popular stack of the early slate. I’d prefer a mix and match of the guys with the platoon advantage here, focusing mainly on the left-handed boppers in GPPs. If you’re looking to be a tad different than the rest of the crowd, find your value with the White Sox.

Late Slate

The top stack of the day comes in the way of Coors Field. The game between the Cubs and the Rockies carries the day’s highest total, 10. Jason Hammel will be making his first start of the year for the Cubs, while Kyle Kendrick takes the bump for Colorado. Kendrick was masterful and burned a lot of people on Opening Day, but I’m expecting his brilliance to be a lot duller today. Both sides of this game work for cash games and GPPs.

If Corey Dickerson is back in the leadoff spot for the Rockies, he becomes my favorite play of this game. Followed by Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Nolan Arenado and Justin Morneau. Literally anyone 1-6 will be in a good spot, with those with the platoon advantage possessing even more value.

The Cubs will also provide some great cash game plays. Anthony Rizzo is my favorite first baseman today but his price makes him very tough to fit in the lineup. He is safe for cash game use, but he might be more useful in GPPs, assuming people pivot to Adrian Gonzalez for nearly $2,000 cheaper. You can gain some cheap(er) exposure to the Cubs with Chris Coghlan or Tommy LaStella, who should both be in the lineup against the right-hander.

The Cubs/Rockies game will be the most popularly stacked game of the day in cash games and GPPs, as is the trend when games are being played at Coors Field. I’d advise strongly against eliminating exposure in cash games, but if you are looking to go a different direction in GPPs, go with the Dodgers.

The Dodgers square off with Archie Bradley who will be making his debut against the game’s best, Clayton Kershaw. Unfortunately for Bradley, this game is in a good hitting environment in Chase Field, and the Dodgers have a team total of 4.5. I like the Dodgers offense for both cash games and GPPs, but would only run out a complete stack in GPPs. Yasmani Grandal provides a ton of salary relief and Adrian Gonzalez has been red hot and carries a fairly modest price tag of $4,600. He is a great cash game lineup filler if you’re looking for salary relief from Coors Field. Jimmy Rollins is my favorite price adjusted shortstop play of the day. It’s tough to slide off of Tulowitzki or Castro, but Rollins fits the bill. He’ll have the platoon advantage and should set the stage for the rest of the Dodgers offense.

Finally, the battle for the state of Texas could be a run producing effort tonight. The game has a total of 8.5 and will be featuring some subpar pitching. This game is more of a GPP stack only for me, as the Dodgers and the game at Coors are a bit safer for cash games. Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre would be a nice GPP combo that should have low ownership percentages, and the same could be said for some combination of Jose Altuve, George Springer and Chris Carter for Houston, despite lacking the platoon advantage.

 

Player Rankings

Catcher

  1. Yasmani Grandal – $3,700 – Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Miguel Montero – $4,600 – Chicago Cubs
  3. Brian McCann – $4,800 – New York Yankees (Early Slate)

First Base

  1. Anthony Rizzo – $6,300 – Chicago Cubs (cash game viable, but GPP preferred)
  2. Adrian Gonzalez – $4,600 – Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. David Ortiz – $5,400 – Boston Red Sox (Early Slate)
  4. Justin Morneau – $5,300 – Colorado Rockies

Second Base

  1. Jose Altuve – $4,800 – Houston Astros
  2. Neil Walker – $4,600 – Pittsburgh Pirates
  3. Tommy LaStella – $4,200 – Chicago Cubs
  4. Howie Kendrick – $4,600 – Los Angeles Dodgers

Third Base

  1. Nolan Arenado – $5,100 – Colorado Rockies
  2. Conor Gillaspie – $4,200 – Chicago White Sox (early slate)
  3. Pablo Sandoval – $5,400 – Boston Red Sox
  4. Pedro Alvarez – $4,500 – Pittsburgh Pirates (GPP only)

Shortstop

  1. Troy Tulowitzki – $6,000 – Colorado Rockies
  2. Jimmy Rollins – $4,100 – Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. Starlin Castro – $5,200 – Chicago Cubs
  4. Jed Lowrie – $4,200 – Houston Astros (if hitting 1-6) 

Outfield

  1. Corey Dickerson – $6,000 – Colorado Rockies
  2. Carlos Gonzalez – $5,700 – Colorado Rockies
  3. Yasiel Puig – $4,700 – Los Angeles Dodgers
  4. Chris Coghlan – $4,600 – Chicago Cubs
  5. Jacoby Ellsbury – $5,500 – New York Yankees (early slate)
  6. Mookie Betts – $5,100 – Boston Red Sox (early slate)
  7. Adam Eaton – $4,600 – Chicago White Sox (early slate)

Starting Pitcher

  1. Madison Bumgarner – $10,800 – San Francisco Giants
  2. David Price – $10,600 – Detroit Tigers
  3. Chris Archer -$7,700 – Tampa Bay Rays
  4. Johnny Cueto – $9,700 – Cincinnati Reds
  5. Clayton Kershaw – $12,300 – Los Angeles Dodgers (GPP preferred)
  6. Julio Teheran – $9,300- Atlanta Braves
  7. Doug Fister – $7,800 – Washington Nationals
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