It was an amazing first weekend for us at FTA, as my FanDuel cash lineup still has yet to lose (the DraftKings streak broke yesterday unfortunately). We return for a full week of baseball now with some weather issue cropping up in the Northeast – the Yankees’ home opener has been SNOWED out. We’re dealing tonight with the nine-game main slate, and I will be back in chat to help everyone keep the winning streak alive. Be sure to check out our brand new contest where you have to guess the #DFSHRcall, and follow me on twitter @jac3600.
Charlie Morton, HOU ($8500)
It’s quite a day to select pitching when Charlie Morton is your top option. Don’t think you’re dumbing it down, though – he’s actually a really solid pick where he’s the only pitcher with an IRTA under four runs (it’s 3.9, but hey) and is a -195 favorite which is the largest on the slate. Morton’s drastic velocity increase last year helped him post an excellent 26.4% K rate to go along with his already gaudy GB rates, and the Orioles have looked brutal against RHP so far after having the fifth highest K rate against them last year.
Other options – None
Trevor Richards, MIA ($5500)
The cash route on FD is pretty clear with Morton, but I really like the idea of completely punting the position in tournaments and going with Richards. Richards will make his MLB debut tonight, and he has a career 2.52 ERA and 211/46 K/BB ratio in the minors. He has no floor given the fact that he’s never appeared above AA couple with the fact that he’s facing the Red Sox, but his 26% K rate last year plays well in GPPs. In addition, you can literally get whatever bats you want if building around him.
Other options – Taijuan Walker, Mike Clevinger, Matt Harvey, Chad Bettis, Sean Newcomb, Bryan Mitchell
Cody Bellinger, LAD ($3800)
I’m targeting a bit cheaper for cash tonight, but Bellinger is an elite GPP play with double dong upside (#DFSHRcall maybe???). He’s facing a tough pitcher in Taijuan Walker, but Bellinger posted an insane .314 ISO against RHP last season and is getting a fairly sizeable park upgrade going to Arizona (even if you put stock in the humidor). He’s a hefty GPP target for me.
Other options – Freddie Freeman, Paul Goldschmidt, Jose Abreu, Matt Olson
Justin Smoak, TOR ($3300)
Smoak was the darling of everyone’s DFS lineups yesterday afternoon as he buried my Yanks with a grand slam off David Robertson in the eighth inning (his second HR of the day). Smoak is still too cheap on FD and is taking on Reynaldo Lopez who really struggled with command and fly balls last season. Smoak only really broke out last year, but he still has a .241 ISO against RHP over the last three and has come out of the gate firing.
Other options – Marwin Gonzalez, Joey Gallo, Chris Davis
Catcher punts – Evan Gattis, Brian McCann, Russell Martin
Jose Altuve, HOU ($4500)
Altuve is just doing what he does every game so far. The Astros have the highest IRT on the slate at 5.5 runs and are facing Chris Tillman who has been a bit of a gas can the past couple of years. Tillman is especially prone to same-handed hitters, having allowed a .353 wOBA and .215 ISO to RHP over the past three seasons. Altuve is as “five-tool” as it gets, and is worth the price of admission if you want him.
Other options – None
Devon Travis, TOR ($2400)
I’m more likely to spend down at 2B for cash with Travis so cheap. He should once again lead off for the Blue Jays who have the second highest IRT on the slate behind Houston (5.2 runs). Steamer projections are not kind to Reynaldo Lopez, as they’re calling for a 5.27 FIP and 1.67 HR/9 allowed. Travis has been a reverse split hitter in his career, posting a .201 ISO against RHP the past three seasons.
Other options – Yangervis Solarte, Jason Kipnis, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jed Lowrie
Josh Donaldson, TOR ($3800)
Once again, we’re focused mainly on Blue Jays and Astros here. Donaldson’s “dead arm” has not really shown in his offense, as he’s posted a 44% hard hit rate right out of the gate. I’m a big fan of attacking Reynaldo Lopez and the White Sox bullpen, and the controlled environment of Toronto makes it one of the best hitting environments today. Donaldson has also posted a .254 ISO against RHP over the past three years.
Other options – Nolan Arenado, Jose Ramirez, Anthony Rendon
Alex Bregman, HOU ($3200)
Facing a righty will likely push Bregman back to the #5 spot in the order (which looks to be the pattern thus far this year), but he’s still a nice cash value if you don’t want to spend all the way up for Donaldson. You’re going to want multiple Astros, and Bregman is nice affordable piece if you can’t get up to the likes of Altuve/Correa (make sure to have one of those big guys, though). Bregman has power and speed, and should have plenty of RBI opportunities for the Astros and their 5.5 IRT.
Other options – Todd Frazier, Rafael Devers, Matt Davidson, Matt Chapman
Carlos Correa, HOU ($4200)
Given the strong value plays at 2B tonight and the fact that SS is much thinner, Correa is my clear choice between the two star MIs for Houston. He has a 37% hard hit rate so far this season and has posted a .212 ISO against same-handed pitching over the last three years. Put a reverse-splits hitter against a significant reverse-splits pitchers like Tillman and you have a recipe for DFS success. I’m locking him in for cash.
Other options – Manny Machado, Francisco Lindor
Corey Seager, LAD ($3400)
If you want Altuve (or still don’t feel comfortable with Correa’s full price tag), Seager looks like the best drop down. Taijuan Walker is a quality pitcher who has actually been better against lefties, but Seager’s monster .384 wOBA and .225 ISO against RHP the last three years makes him a solid pick. Seager (like his Dodgers’ teammates) will also be getting a huge park boost going to Arizona, humidor or not.
Other options – Marcus Semien, Ketel Marte
George Springer, HOU ($4000)
Yes, yes, Mike Trout, blah blah blah. Trout is always an elite play, but the $1200 discount Springer offers makes this a no-contest of who I’d pay for of the two. Springer gets the terrific matchup against Chris Tillman I’ve harped on this whole article. Springer should lead off with many chances against Tillman, and Springer posted an elite .239 ISO last season, and has a .267 mark out of the gate so far.
Other options – Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, AJ Pollock, Yoenis Cespedes, Khris Davis
Curtis Granderson, TOR ($2100)
Granderson is off to a slow start for Toronto, but he’s had some tough matchups against Yankee pitching. He’s batting fourth or fifth for Toronto and is near the minimum price which easily allows for the big Astro bats we want in this one. Despite declining skills, Granderson still had a .343 wOBA and .255 ISO against RHP last season.
Other options – Jay Bruce, Yasiel Puig, Avisail Garcia, Josh Reddick, Wil Myers, Andrew Benintendi, Randal Grichuk, Matt Joyce, Lewis Brinson, Nick Williams, Odubel Herrera