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Plays of the Day
Value: Hunter Pence reached base twice on Opening Day and draws a much better matchup tonight against LHP Patrick Corbin, against whom he happens to be 12-for-25 with 4 XBH and 4 HR in his career. Those numbers are no fluke because Pence has an approach that negates the inside corner for lefties with great bat speed and Corbin depends on working both sides of the plate to try and fool RHB.
Fade: Carlos Carrasco might have a good year as he looks to stay healthy and pitch well for the playoff-bound Indians, but it’s tough to trust him at the Launching Pad in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers and Indians got into a slugfest on Opening Day and we should see plenty of offense on this Tuesday.
Chance of rain delays in St. Louis tonight.
Jake Arrieta: (CHC) @ STL DK: $10,400/FD: $10,500
While he struggled in comparison to an historic 2015 campaign, Arrieta was still a legitimate ace with a 1.08 WHIP, 23.9% K-Rate and .195 BAA over 35 starts last year. He went 3-1 with a 10.4 K/9 ratio and 2.39 ERA over 4 clashes with the rival Cardinals and that St. Louis offense looked far from potent during a low-scoring slugfest on Opening Night. Arrieta made incredible adjustments to become a CY Young Award winner out of anonymity and it’s quite possible that he makes a few more adjustments to return to truly elite status in 2017.
Matt Shoemaker: (LAA) @ OAK DK: $8,400 / FD: $8,000
Shoemaker really started to ramp up towards the end of last year and unfortunately his 2016 campaign was cut short by injury. But he posted a 3.00 ERA a 1.08 WHIP and 3.34 FIP during the second half and has always been capable of posting high strikeout totals. Shoemaker excelled with 16 Ks and just 3 ER allowed to go 2-0 over 3 starts (19 IP) against the A’s and that’s hardly surprising considering Oakland posted the lowest collective wOBA (.302) amongst A.L. teams last year. He’s been throwing the ball very well this spring and will be a solid value going forward as long as he can overcome the mental block of pitching after suffering a scary head injury last September.
Sean Manaea: (OAK) vs. LAA DK: $7,400 / FD: $6,800
After a disastrous start to his rookie campaign, Manaea leveled off and started to figure out how to pitch at the MLB. His K/BB ratio increased from 2.75 to 4.06 and his BAA from .271 to .218 and he posted a 22.8% K-Rate during the second half to become a viable DFS option. Tonight he’ll face an Angels lineup that posted the fifth-lowest wOBA (.316) against LHP amongst A.L. teams last year and didn’t muster much offensive output against Manaea, who should only get better in his second year as a hyped prospect with plenty of natural ability.
Lance McCullers Jr.: (HOU) vs. SEA DK: $9,500 / FD: $8,800
Another highly touted prospect who should only continue to improve, McCullers is an intriguing seasonal fantasy sleeper and a player with plenty of upside on a nightly basis. The Astros will face a Mariners offense that’s been relatively weak over the past couple of seasons and couldn’t manage much of anything over 2 meetings with McCullers, who allowed just 2 ER while striking out 18 in those outings (12 IP). He’s much healthier at the start of the season and could come out of the gates throwing hard enough to replicate last year’s 11.78 K/9 ratio while cutting down on his walks and homers allowed.
Buster Posey: (SF) @ ARI DK: $3,900 / FD: $3,300
Kyle Schwarber is an intriguing tournament play on DK against rapidly aging RHP Adam Wainwright, but Posey is universally available at catcher and one of the best options tonight against vulnerable southpaw Patrick Corbin. The D’Back starter posted a 5.15 ERA with a 1.39 HR/9 ratio and allowed RHB to post a .363 wOBA over 36 appearances last season. Posey is 11-for-35 (.314) with 5 walks over 40 career plate appearances against Corbin and hit .312 with a .381 wOBA against the platoon last year.
Tony Wolters: (COL) @ MIL DK: $2,900 / FD: $2,600
Brian McCann: (HOU) vs. SEA DK: $3,000 / FD: $2,600
Adrian Gonzalez: (LAD) vs. SD DK: $3,400 / FD: $2,800
Some BvP splits just jump off the page and make a player that you wouldn’t otherwise considering worth using at a very modest price tag. That’s the case with Gonzo tonight, as the Dodgers will look to follow up their 14-run offensive explosion on Opening Day with another good outing against Padres LHP Clayton Richard. While Gonzalez hit just .244 with limited power in LvL matchups last year, he’s 10-for-17 with a BB and 5 RBI in his career against Richard, who depends on ground balls to get hitters out, but clearly Gonzo has the type of stroke that can counter that approach by spraying low line drives into the outfield for singles.
Greg Bird: (NYY) @ TB DK: $2,800 / FD: $2,400
Albert Pujols: (LAA) @ OAK DK: $3,500 / FD: $3,000
Jose Altuve: (HOU) vs. SEA DK: $4,400 / FD: $4,100
He was probably the most valuable hitter throughout the MLB DFS season last year and Altuve opens 2017 at a relatively modest price tag. He produced modest results on Opening Day but could find much more success tonight against an aging RHP in Hisashi Iwakuma, who is one week away from turning 36. Altuve happens to be 16-for-38 with 6 doubles in his career against Iwakuma and perhaps most importantly for his upside, is 2-for-2 on SB attempts against the Mariners starter. Iwakuma posted a career-worst 4.12 ERA with a .311 BABIP last season and his batted ball data indicates that he’s struggling to keep the ball down in the zone and avoid line drives.
Logan Forsythe: (LAD) vs. SD DK: $3,300 / FD: $2,800
Javier Baez: (CHC) @ STL DK: $3,400 / FD: $2,600
Jonathan Villar: (MIL) vs. COL DK: $4,000 / FD: $3,600
Right alongside Altuve in terms of providing Category Juice and producing in DFS contests throughout the 2016 season, Villar is also a relative bargain during the first week of this season because some experts predict regression for the speedster. Yet he picked up where he left off with a walk and a two-run double on Monday and draws an even better matchup at home against Rockies lefty Tyler Anderson. Villar hit .309 with a .393 wOBA and surprisingly high .236 ISO mark against LHP last season and happened to go 2-for-3 in limited meetings with Anderson. He’s one of the premier speed threats in the game and will continue to bat leadoff for a Brewers lineup that’s pretty dangerous against southpaws.
Yunel Escobar: (LAA) @ OAK DK: $2,700 / FD: $2,700
Jake Lamb: (ARI) vs. SF DK: $3,600 / FD: $2,900
Addison Russell: (CHC) @ STL DK: $3,200 / FD: $2,700
He’s not a great stand-alone play but Russell can serve as a solid addition to a Cubs stack against vulnerable veteran Adam Wainwright, who posted the worst numbers since his rookie year last season with a 4.62 ERA and .330 BABIP. Waino posted an 8.01 ERA with 9 walks and 10 K’s over 3 starts against the Cubbies last year and Russell has found success with 4 hits, including 2 doubles and a SB in a small sample of 7 at-bats against the Cards former ace. He refashioned his swing as a sophomore, resulting in an increased ISO mark (.179) along with a solid 21.1% Line Drive Rate last season and came on strong with 10 HR and 15 XBH after the ASB.
Tim Beckham: (TB) vs. NYY DK: $2,600 / FD: $2,100
Francisco Lindor: (CLE) @ TEX DK: $4,300 / FD: $3,500
Ryan Braun: (MIL) vs. COL DK: $4,700 / FD: $4,000
Braun could hardly have disappointed more on Opening Day by going 0-for-4 with a walk in a slugfest with the Rockies, but it can pay to be stubborn in a sport with excessive variance. He’s in a great bounce back spot on Tuesday against a LHP in Tyler Anderson, who posted a 1.25 HR/9 ratio while allowing RHB to log a 27.5% Line Drive Rate last year. Milwaukee posted the fifth-best wOBA (.331) in the Majors against lefties last season with Braun and Villar doing much of that damage, as Braun hit .344 with a .417 wOBA against the platoon in 2016.
Hunter Pence: (SF) @ ARI DK: $4,000 / FD: $2,500
When healthy, the 33-year-old Pence can still rake with the best of them, yet he’s getting no respect as a true bargain on FanDuel. Pence reached base twice on Opening Day and draws a much better matchup tonight against LHP Patrick Corbin, against whom he happens to be 12-for-25 with 4 XBH and 4 HR in his career. Those numbers are no fluke because Pence has an approach that negates the inside corner for lefties with great bat speed and Corbin depends on working both sides of the plate to try and fool RHB. But Pence flashed most of his power with a .239 ISO mark against LHP last season and clearly seems comfortable in the middle of the lineup against a struggling southpaw in Corbin.