DFS: Pitching Options for Opening Day

Neil Miller - Sportsday Wire

Opening day in 2018 is going to be a lot of fun with every team taking to the field on the same day but why not add a little more to an already fun filled day by adding some DFS Baseball into your life? In selecting pitching options for opening day, there were a ton of choice about which contest to look at but my decision was to focus on the two biggest paying contests on DraftKings which involve only the eight games starting between 3.05pm EST and 4.15pm EST.

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Pitchers I like

Luis Severino ($10,600) @TOR

Initially, I toyed with Severino as a pitcher to avoid especially when Max Scherzer was available on the slate at only a couple of thousand more dollars. Severino’s career numbers against Toronto are not great (5.52 ERA in 31 IP) but he has actually more successful in Toronto (3.60 ERA in 20 IP with 20 K’s) than at home. Generally, he pitches better on the road across his career and facing Toronto he is pitching towards a righty heavy line up. Although he doesn’t have massive career splits, he is slightly better across the board when facing right handed hitters. Although hard to predict he should get plenty of offensive support and so should be able to get grab those valuable extra points available for a win.

Garrett Richards ($6,800) @OAK

Career wise, Richards’ numbers against the A’s are not great but if we just look at his five starts between the 2015 and 2017 season, we can see a decent pattern of success; 26 innings with 22 strikeouts, a WHIP of 1.2 and five earned runs. With the Oakland line-up not looking particularly frightening outside of Khris Davis and Matt Olson, I expect Richards to have a fairly good day and should have the chance to 5/6 innings and get close to a strikeout per innings.

James Shields ($5,500) @KC

If you are looking to go cheap, then Shields is your man. He hasn’t historically been great against Kansas City but this is probably the weakest Royals line-up he has faced. He should also be extremely familiar with how to be successful in this park having pitched over 100 innings here for two years.

 

Pitchers to avoid

Justin Verlander ($11,600) @TEX

Verlander will have a lot of strikeout opportunities against a line-up containing the likes of Joey Gallo and Rougned Odor. The issue is that this is a line-up loaded with power in a park that is favourable to power hitting. Last season Verlander gave up seven earned runs and five home runs in just 12 innings pitched in Rangers ball park so there is real concern that at such a high price he under performs for you.

Danny Duffy ($7,700) vs. CWS

Duffy is coming off a spring full of question marks where has pitched just 15 innings total and no more than 4 1/3 in any one outing. He was also really bad against a poor White Sox line-up in 2017 after a great 2016 so trying to guess whether he can go deep enough to give you value and whether he will be good enough in those innings is too much guess work for my liking.

 

Other pitchers I like in different time slots

At the time of writing the only other time slot in play classic DFS on DraftKings is the three games that fall in the 1:40pm EST through to 2:10pm EST.

Jon Lester @MIA ($10,900)

There are a ton of holes in the Miami offense and in a pitcher friendly park I think Lester can have a successful outing.

Ivan Nova @DET ($7,000)

I don’t love this one but if you aren’t willing to pay up for Lester and Martinez, then you need a cheaper option and of the three, I think Nova is the safest bet to return decent value against a fairly poor Tigers line-up.

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