MLB DFS: Targets for 4/3

Clayton Kershaw sits atop of the Dirty Dozen this week. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

What an exciting “Opening Day” for baseball and MLB DFS yesterday! Masahiro Tanaka got shelled; Madison Bumgarner hit two homeruns! Mark Melancon and Seung Hwan Oh, both with blown saves were certainly surprises. With today having so many games spread throughout the day, I’ll go through a few games that I find interesting, and some game stacks to consider.

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Braves vs. Mets

Moneyline: -190 (Mets)

Over/Under: 6 1/2

This game has the second lowest run total of the day, and if you want or need a pivot off of Clayton Kershaw, Noah Syndergaard (FD: $11,100/DK: $11,600) would be your next choice if you want to pay up for a pitcher. Thor hasn’t pitched much against the Braves considering they play in the same division. In 2016, his only start against the Braves did not go well, granted it was in September and the Braves’ offense were clicking on all cylinders. He’s sharing the mound with Julio Teheran (FD: $7,900/DK: $8,300), who faced the Mets four times last season (two each at home and on the road), all of which were quality starts; now a scoring category on FD. Teheran has pitched well on Opening Day for the last three seasons and I think it continues. Between 2015 and 2016, LHB are having a little less success, and Teheran’s ERA on the road in 2016 was almost one whole run less than his ERA at home, and his WHIP on the road was under one.

For hitters in this game, I am most interested in Ender Inciarte (FD: $2,900/DK: $3,400). Admittingly, he lacks power but he’s also able to work a count and find his way on base. It’s widely known that Thor doesn’t hold runners very well and I can see Inciarte getting a stolen base or two, should there be opportunities. Stolen bases are six points on FD, and five on DK. If you have a couple of players who steal three bases between them, you’re lineup is probably off to a good start. Following his huge homerun at the new Suntrust Park, Freddie Freeman (FD: $3,400/DK: $3,900) is also a target of mine from the Braves. He’s been red hot this spring, and has also had success at Citi Field. In 2016 at Citi Field, Freeman’s slugging percentage was at .784, a 1.309 OPS, and .630 BABIP. On the Mets, I always like to take a look at Neil Walker (FD: $2,600/DK: $3,600) and Jay Bruce (FD: $2,800/DK: $3,400) as long as they have the platoon.

Rockies vs. Brewers

Moneyline: -122 (Rockies)

Over/Under: 8

This is not a Coors Field game, so don’t be disappointed. Here’s my first hot take of the season (if trying to talk you into Teheran wasn’t): the Brewers will tag Jon Gray for at least four runs today, in a game with a run total of eight, which is same amount as most of the games. The Brewers have put together a nice offense, although their strikeouts as a team are extremely worrisome. Let me be clear; Gray can certainly get enough strikeouts to where he won’t kill you if you do roster him. If you’re asking me to pick Gray’s pitching or Brewers’ bats, I’m taking the chance with Brewers’ bats today. But this is DFS and we can take this in day-by-day. The Brewers players that I like today: Jonathan Villar (FD: $3,600/DK: $4,300 – 3B/SS), Ryan Braun (FD: $4,000/DK: $4,800), Travis Shaw (FD: $2,600/DK: $3,500 – 1B/3B), and Eric Thames (FD: $2,200/DK: $3,800 – 1B/OF).

I also like the Rockies offense in this game too. Don’t be fooled by Junior Guerra‘s price tag on FD. For those who glance at it, it might be interpreted as him being one of the better pitchers of the day, but it’s not the case. Guerra had very good games last season, but some very dismal ones as well. At least this game is in Milwaukee, but it’s still your better than average hitter’s park. Here are some of the Rockies I like today: Charlie Blackmon (FD: $4,000/DK: $5,000), Nolan Arenado (FD: $4,000/DK: $4,800), Carlos Gonzalez (FD: $3,800/DK: $4,800) and D.J. LeMahieu (FD: $3,000/DK: $4,300 – 2B/3B).

Mariners vs. Astros

Moneyline: -155 (Astros)

Over/Under: 8

It’s Dallas Keuchel (FD: $8,300/DK: $8,700) and Felix Hernandez facing off in Houston. Keuchel was pitching through an injury, which is what we guessed because he was never quite right. My belief is that he’ll be back and close to his Cy Young form. If you like to have fun with a little narrative, remember the one where Keuchel has extreme home/road splits? You can see his 2015 splits on this FanGraphs link. It’s the first game of the season, and we should be prepared for our plans to not go our way. I’ll confess that this is one of them for me, but this is my stance.

The only Mariners hitter that I’m interested in is Nelson Cruz (FD: $3,900/DK: $4,400). He’s a masher against LHPs and I’ll have shares of him; just not in my Keuchel lineups. I do like the Astros as a team to stack. I don’t think Hernandez will have a terrible year, but you can’t overlook this Astros offense. If you’re reading and listing to tout predictions, many of them are predicting the Astros to make the World Series and that means they need to score runs to win games because it’s not like their pitching staff will be throwing a ton of one-run games or shutouts. My favorites for an Astros stack: Jose Altuve (FD: $4,100/DK: $4,800), Carlos Correa (FD: $3,900/DK: $4,700), Carlos Beltran (FD: $3,200/DK: $3,700), and Brian McCann (FD: $2,600/DK: $3,300).

Other teams to stack:

Washington Nationals - the Nationals are matched up with Edinson Volquez, so it’s conceivable that they’ll have a pretty good offensive day. Per usual, Bryce Harper (FD: $4,500/DK: $5,100), Daniel Murphy (FD: $3,500/DK: $4,500), Trea Turner (FD: $3,700/DK: $4,900), and Adam Eaton (FD: $3,300/DK: $4,100) should be popular picks.

Los Angeles Dodgers - in the most lop-sided matchup of the day, we have Kershaw and Jhoulys Chacin. Here are my favorite hitters from the Dodgers: Justin Turner (FD: $3,500/DK: $3,500), Corey Seager (FD: $3,600/DK: $4,400), Andrew Toles (FD: $2,000/DK: $2,900), and Yasmani Grandal (FD: $2,800/DK: $3,400)

Last piece of advice: play Kershaw!

Thank you for reading, and good luck with your picks!

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