Opening Day started off with a bang for the FTA crew, as my #DFSHRcall hit big (Bryant), and our brand new state-of-the-art A.C.E projection model came out of the gate with guns blazing. The season has only just begun, so come check us out! Use the promo code FTAMarch for 50% off your first month’s subscription, and follow me on twitter @jac3600.
Gerrit Cole, HOU ($11,300)
We’ve already had a healthy debate in chat about Cole vs. Marquez, and some great points have been raised on both counts. Ultimately I’m going to see if there are enough value hitters in good spots before I decide (since Trout is the bigger priority over either of these pitchers). Right now, I still think Cole is the much higher floor play even over a discounted Marquez. Like Verlander yesterday, Gerrit Cole comes in with an immense K rate (34% last year), and very neutral splits are far as strikeouts go as well. Tampa Bay threw out five lefties yesterday, and their average K rate baseline for their nine hitters is 25%. For now, pay up, but keep Marquez on the back burner.
Other options – German Marquez
Joey Lucchesi, SD ($7600)
Lucchesi is really interesting tonight. He seems like he has the best matchup of anyone, but the potential innings limit he always seems to face is really a thorn in our sides. Lucchesi had an above average 26.5% K rate last season, and is facing a Giants lineup that ranked 29th in wOBA against LHP last year with a paltry .285 mark. Furthermore, there Opening Day lineup featured notable names such as Michael Reed and Connor Joe…
Eric Lauer needed only 70 pitches to get through six innings against the Giants yesterday, so it stands to reason Lucchesi can be just as efficient, and also post a little more upside here. He’s a GPP play I’ll be looking into a good bit.
Other options – Charlie Morton, Robbie Ray, Matt Shoemaker, Freddy Peralta
Miguel Cabrera, DET ($3500)
What a weird pick to start. I will say that Miggy belongs in GPPs only (since you’re using an Angels 1B in cash), but Miggy should be a low-owned upside play against a pitcher most won’t attack. Matt Shoemaker is a solid starter when healthy (career 3.93/3.93/3.93 slash, which is quite remarkable), but he’s always been homer-prone with a career 1.22 HR/9 allowed, and he’s backed by a bullpen that features no one relevant outside of Ken Giles.
Other options – Paul Goldschmidt, Edwin Encarnacion, Daniel Murphy
Albert Pujols, LAA ($2700)
The Angels are going to be the most popular stack today, and with good reason. They have an IRT of 4.6 runs, which seems very low but is actually the highest on this weird slate, and they’re DEFINITELY facing the worst pitcher on the slate in Marco Estrada who posted a 5.84 ERA with 1.82 HR/9 allowed. Estrada’s reliance on his changeup has actually given him moderate success against lefties, but righties have feasted on him for a .232 ISO over the last three seasons. Pujols is declining and hitting fifth, but he’s a clear target on this slate.
Other options – Justin Bour, Justin Smoak, Jake Lamb
Catcher values – Yasmani Grandal, Buster Posey, Yadier Molina
Second base is a position of value today. Mike Moustakas showed up his power yesterday and has GPP appeal again at home, but keep in mind he has a tough matchup against Jack Flaherty.
Ian Kinsler, SD ($2900)
San Diego seems like they’re gonna be a thing. Kinsler led off yesterday and showed off his hard hit rate. Today he’ll face off against Derek Holland who has allowed 1.45 HR/9 to RHB since the beginning of 2015, and he still offers a power/speed combo even at a declining skill set. He’s in play for cash and is a nice per-dollar play.
Other options – Jurickson Profar, Niko Goodrum, Josh Harrison
Matt Carpenter, STL ($4300)
Carpenter is virtually impossible to fit into cash with the priority on Trout and a top-tier SP, but he’s in a great spot today. Freddy Peralta is a wide-split pitcher who dominates RHB, but lefties have teed off on him for a .374 wOBA, 1.59 HR/9, and a 47.7% FB Rate. Carpenter was an elite hitter last year, especially against RHP.
Other options – Manny Machado, Matt Chapman
Brandon Drury, TOR ($2300)
It has been noted that Drury will continue to lead off for the Blue Jays, and he’s barely above the minimum price on FD. Matt Boyd made strides in his K rates last season, but he still has a 4.66 FIP against RHB (3.92 ERA) and Toronto has a 4.5 IRT which is just below the Angels’ for the highest on the slate.
Other options – Jeimer Candelario, Zack Cozart, Eduardo Nunez
Xander Bogaerts, BOS ($3900)
You can’t discount the Red Sox offense, even against the unknown of a pitcher like Yusei Kikuchi. They have a modest IRT (4.3) in a pitchers’ park, and even though Bogaerts showed reverse-split tendencies, he still posted a .350 wOBA and 42% HHR against LHP a season ago. He also comes with a positive lineup spot.
Other options – Trevor Story
Paul DeJong, STL ($3300)
DeJong is a high upside play for GPPs. I mentioned Freddy Peralta dominates righties, but he also struggles with command at times, and DeJong has a career .342 wOBA and 113 wRC+ against same-handed pitching.
Other options – Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Andrelton Simmons
Mike Trout, LAA ($4800)
The Red Sox RHB are in an enticing spot against Kikuchi but Trout comes in as the clear top play, and will be a core buy for me on all sites. Over his career (of which many years are still to come), Trout has a .419 wOBA and .246 ISO against same-handed pitching, and he comes with speed upside as well (even though Oakland upgraded its catching defense). Against Marco Estrada (who has already allowed two homers to righties this year), the sky’s the limit for Trout.
Other options – Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Christian Yelich, Charlie Blackmon, Khris Davis, Nick Castellanos
Randal Grichuk, TOR ($3000)
Grichuk should hit second for the Blue Jays, and he has a .245 ISO against LHP since the beginning of 2017. I mentioned Boyd’s struggles in the platoon split, and he’s also backed by a bullpen that ranked 27th in FIP last season. Teoscar Hernandez is in a similar spot, and both can be used in cash.
Other options – Teoscar Hernandez, Kevin Pillar, Marcell Ozuna, Wil Myers, Ryan Braun, Kole Calhoun, Franmil Reyes, Dexter Fowler, Jay Bruce, Robbie GrossmanFantasy Baseball