Plays of the Day
Value: Brad Miller flashed surprising power with a .239 ISO mark and 30 homers last season. He happens to be 5-for-24 with 3 HRs in his career against Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka, so if he squares up a pitch it is certainly possible that it winds up in the seats at Tropicana Field. Miller hit 20 of his bombs with a 27.4% HR/FB ratio against RHP at home last season and Tanaka struggled with a 1.10 HR/9 ratio against LHB on the road.
Fade: Chris Archer struggled throughout last season and he draws a tough matchup on Opening Day against a lefty-heavy Yankees lineup. Archer gave up a 1.38 HR/9 ratio and 16.7% HR/FB ratio when facing lefties last season and a few Yankees have great career splits against him.
- No real weather concerns this Sunday.
Madison Bumgarner: (SF) @ ARI DK: $11,200/FD: $10,900
Even on the road in a tough matchup on paper, Bumgarner is the best overall option tonight. He’s such a competitor that he transcended Arizona’s good splits against LHP and held down the Giants divisional rivals with a 2.45 ERA and 31 Ks with just 3 walks over 3 starts (22 IP) against the D’Backs last season. While he was better at massive AT&T Park, MadBum was certainly above average with a .222 BAA and 1.09 WHIP on the road last year in addition to a 10.1 K/9 ratio. Aside from Paul Goldschmidt (.283 batting average with 13 Ks over 56 at-bats) few D’Backs have decent splits against the Giants ace, who is still very much in his prime at the age of 27.
Masahiro Tanaka: (NYY) @ TB DK: $8,800/FD: $8,700
While Tanaka didn’t have a very good year by his standards last season, he still dominated the Rays with a 4-0 record, 2.88 ERA and 34 Ks over 34.1 IP (5 starts) against Tampa last season. Tropicana Field may be indoors, but it’s quite expansive and that should help a SP that has struggled with a 14.1% HR/FB ratio in his career. The Rays posted the highest K-Rate (24.5%) while scoring the second-fewest runs (672) in the A.L. last year and didn’t do much to upgrade their lineup. With a full offseason to rehab his ailing elbow, Tanaka could come out strong and pay off as the cheapest SP available on FD today.
Carlos Martinez: (STL) vs. CHC DK: $8,300/FD: $9,000
Martinez is coming off an outstanding spring and appears ready to break out after steadily improving in his two full season as a starter. The 25-year-old RHP posted consistent lines with a 3.01 and 3.04 ERA over 60 starts in 2015 and 2016, but he’s ratcheted it up a notch with a 1.38 ERA over 3 spring training starts, and if that doesn’t impress you he also posted a 1.13 ERA over two outings in the World Baseball Classic. He’s a longshot because he’s facing an elite Cubs offense that is expected to stay hot after wining the World Series last year, but current Cubs are hitting a modest .252 with 31 Ks and just 3 HRs (all Anthony Rizzo) over 135 combined career at-bats against Martinez.
Buster Posey: (SF) @ ARI DK: $4,100/FD: $3,300
We’re not listing the stackable lineups on such a short slate, but the Giants are one of the best offenses to target against a SP in Zack Greinke, who really struggled last year. The D’Backs prized free agent posted a rough 4.81 ERA and 1.39 WHIP with a weak 2.20 K/BB ratio at Chase Field last season and struggled against Posey and the Giants. Posey is 12-for-37 with 4 walks in his career against Greinke and is hitting .364 with 7 XBH and 3 HR at Chase Field over the last three years.
Yadier Molina ($3300/$2600) has had success against Jon Lester in the past and could serve as a decent source of production at a modest price tag.
Gary Sanchez ($4500/$3400) should have a big game if the Mr. Hyde version of boom-bust RHP Chris Archer comes out on Opening Day.
Anthony Rizzo: (CHC) @ STL DK: $4,900/FD: $4,100
We mentioned Rizzo’s positive splits against Cardinals RHP Carlos Martinez and while he’s only 7-for-26 (.269) in his career against C-Mart, those hits include 3 HR and 2 XBH. Clearly, the Cubs budding superstar has as much upside as any hitter on this short slate and he’s surprisingly cheaper than Goldschmidt on FD. Rizzo is fresh off an incredible postseason campaign and will be no stranger to the electric atmosphere in this rivalry game with the Red Birds, a team that he happened to burn for 4 HR, 3 XBH and 13 RBI over 19 games last year.
Yankees LHB Greg Bird ($3200/$2400) has been raking this spring and he’s worth a look against Chris Archer, who tends to struggle against the platoon at times.
Joe Panik: (SF) @ ARI DK: $3,900/FD: $2,500
Second base is basically a free square on FanDuel today and if you’re wary or Carlos Martinez flaming the Cubs in surprising fashion, you might want to fade top-priced Ben Zobrist ($4000/$3100). Panik fits into a Giants stack quite nicely and he’ll have the platoon advantage against Greinke, who allowed LHB to post a .332 wOBA last season. Greinke apparently lost a couple of MPH off his fastball after declining significantly last summer and Panik struggled against four-seam heaters last season, so that should play in his favor this afternoon.
Javier Baez ($3700/$2400 as SS on FD) is an intriguing tournament play on DK while Starlin Castro ($3300/$2500) is worth a look on both main DFS sites.
Eduardo Nunez: (SF) @ ARI DK: $4,100/FD: $2,700
It bears mentioning that top-priced 3B Kris Bryant has really struggled with 8 Ks and just 3 singles over 24 career plate appearances against Carlos Martinez, as has just about every other high-priced option at the position on this 3-game slate. Yet Nunez is a solid 3-for-5 with a SB and 2 BB in his career against Greinke and can fit nicely into one of the few stacks worth deploying with some confidence this Sunday. He emerged as a surprisingly elite speed threat with 40 SB last year and posted a consistent .324 OBP while going 6-for-12 at Chase Field. It’s hard to find a better cash game play at this position.
Jhonny Peralta ($3100/$2600) is worth a look against Jon Lester while Jedd Gyorko ($3400/$2600) is another long shot to produce against the Cubs ace.
Brad Miller: (TB) vs. NYY DK: $3,600/FD: $3,000 as 2B
One of the hitters who could give Tanaka trouble tonight, Miller flashed surprising power with a .239 ISO mark and 30 homers last season. He happens to be 5-for-24 with 3 HRs in his career against the Yankees ace, so if he squares up a pitch it is certainly possible that it winds up in the seats at Tropicana Field. Miller hit 20 of his bombs with a 27.4% HR/FB ratio against RHP at home last season and Tanaka struggled with a 1.10 HR/9 ratio against LHB on the road.
Tim Beckham ($2900/$2100) could serve as a solid punt play in the hopes that the Rays get to Tanaka at home.
Kyle Schwarber: (CHC) @ STL DK: $4,300/FD: $3,400
The big dog is back in the heart of the Cubs lineup and he represents another dangerous out for Martinez. While Schwarber is 0-for-5 with 3 Ks over a small sample against the Cards RHP, when Martinez struggled last year it was often against the platoon. He posted a 4.41 FIP with a 1.47 WHIP and 15.7% HR/FB when facing LHB last season and Schwarber is as powerful as a lefty as you’ll find in this league, plus he’ll hit at Busch Stadium, which has a short 335-foot porch in right field.
Jacoby Ellsbury: (NYY) @ TB DK: $3,600/FD: $2,900
The knock on Ellsbury at this point in his career is his durability, but he should come out with plenty of energy on Opening Day and he still has plus wheels to account for some upside at this modest price tag. He’s owned Chris Archer throughout his career with 19 hits, 4 walks and 2 HR over 34 at-bats (.559 average) against the Rays RHP and came out strong to begin last year with a .275 average and 11 SB in 16 tries over the first two months of the 2016 season.
Denard Span ($4000/$2800) and Hunter Pence ($4300/$2500) are both great additions to a Giants stack and Pence is surprisingly cheap on FD.
Mallex Smith ($3700/$2000) might serve as an excellent punt play if he cracks the Rays lineup on opening day, as he would have the platoon advantage against Tanaka.