MLB DFS Picks for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo! for Opening Day

Will Giancarlo Stanton hit a home run in his first game as a Yankee?

Thursday is Opening Day for ALL of MLB (hooray!), which means it time for fantasy baseball and DFS. Just as has been done for NFL and NASCAR, this season Athlon Sports is here to offer some DFS advice for the diamond. This article will target cash games primarily; however many of these same plays can be used as part of a core for GPP as well.

 

The game of baseball is intricate, especially when it comes to DFS so trying to build a safe lineup with upside and low floor is the key for your 50/50, Double-Up or Head-to-Head contests. I am hoping that my advice can help you build a solid foundation for winning lineups more often than not.

 

With so many factors to consider from the stadium the game is played in to pricing, Vegas lines as well as lineups and batting order, and don’t forget WEATHER; this is a sport you need to stay on top of. For example, Washington-Cincinnati has already been postponed due to expected rain. One of the easiest ways to do this is with a comprehensive online source like www.lineups.com.

 

There are plenty of other tools and resources out there. One of my favorites is DailyFantasyCafe.com, which I will be utilizing quite a bit this season.

 

Daily Reminder: Be sure to check back closer to first pitch and monitor weather reports!

 

Top Cash Pitcher

Chris Sale, LHP, Boston Red Sox

at Tampa Bay (Chris Archer)

 

Pricing

DraftKings: $12,200

FanDuel: $11,200

Yahoo: $56

 

Advanced Statistics

K%: 32.8

GB%: 38.9

Opp. Run Total: N/A

Vegas Money Line: N/A

 

This Rays’ lineup will intimidate no one this season and even though Archer is a fine pitcher, he won’t be hitting. Assuming Sale suffers no pain or setbacks from his comebacker scare this weekend he should be ready to dominate this could-easily-be-confused-for-AAA lineup. Sale gets enough ground balls with a 38.9 percent rate to go along with his top-end strikeout production. When he faces a lineup like this he should be extremely popular, and in cash games his price is a smidge lower than other top options. I am locking him in for Opening Day cash lineups.

 

Top Value Pitcher

Aaron Nola, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies

at Atlanta (Julio Teheran)

 

Pricing

DraftKings: $9,400

FanDuel: $8,800

Yahoo: $45

 

Advanced Statistics

K%: 24.5

GB%: 49.8

Opp. Run Total: N/A

Vegas Money Line: N/A

 

Nola is facing a lineup mixed with future phenoms and aging veterans. One thing that has always worked in Nola’s favor however is his ability to keep the ball on the ground and 9.86 K/9 rate.

 

Top Cash Hitter

Giancarlo Stanton, OF, New York Yankees

at Toronto (LHP J.A.Happ)

 

Pricing

DraftKings: $5,300

FanDuel: $4,600

Yahoo:  $22

 

Advanced Statistics

wOBA: .368

ISO: .438

 

Batting Order: 3rd

Vegas Team Run Total: N/A

 

Well since my original pick for the slate Bryce Harper will not be playing on Thursday due to weather we will shift our attention to another outfielder. Stanton is with a new team and will be expected to cremate baseballs all season long. Enter Happ, who is not only a lefty, but one who doesn’t necessarily strike fear in MLB hitters, especially power bats like Stanton. With Harper gone I am aiming for a home run and Stanton can certainly provide in this matchup.

 

Top Value Hitter

Orlando Arcia, SS, Milwaukee Brewers

at San Diego (LHP Clayton Richard)

 

Pricing

DraftKings: $3,300

FanDuel: $2,300

Yahoo: $15

 

Advanced Statistics

wOBA: .262

ISO: .059

 

Batting Order: 7th

Vegas Team Run Total: N/A

I know Arcia’s ISO is frightening, but this doesn’t scare me enough. His price is nice and the Brewers will be one of, if not the most popular stack of the day. Whether Arcia is a part of that stack is up to you. Typically, I try to avoid anyone hitting lower than fifth in the lineup in cash games, but this time I will make an exception. If you need value, Arcia is a great option. Some runs should be scored and Arcia will be involved in that somehow.

 

If you play Yahoo!, they seem to be on to the Brewers stack as Arcia isn’t a cheap play but he is still projected to be the highest-scoring SS on the slate.

 

Top Team(s) to Stack

Milwaukee Brewers

at San Diego (LHP Clayton Richard)

 

In cash games, I tend to lean towards stacking three bats and in GPP the full four, especially in a good matchup. In this one I am targeting the Brewers’ 2-5 hitters (Lorenzo Cain, Travis Shaw, Ryan Braun and Domingo Santana). If you wanted to mix it up, you could go a little deeper and use Orlando Arcia and team him with Christian Yelich as well and one of the power guys in Santana or Shaw.

 

These guys will be popular, but in cash games that isn’t that important. Playing chalk is not necessarily a bad thing in cash contests in DFS.

 

— Rankings by Chris Meyers, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the FSWA. Meyers' work appears on many other sites, including socalledfantasyexperts.com. Follow him on Twitter @FantsyChillpony.

Event Date: 
Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 00:04

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