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It’s the night we’ve all been waiting for – baseball is back! While there are only two games tonight, there are still tons of contests available. Whether you are a DFS veteran or a first-timer, opening night is a great opportunity to get into the action with some lineups. Let’s take a look at some of the top plays to consider based on Fade the Noise’s projections.
Top SP: Max Scherzer, WAS ($8,600 DK, $10,700 FD) vs. NYY
It’s tough to go wrong with any of Max Scherzer vs NYY, Gerrit Cole at WAS, or Clayton Kershaw vs SF tonight, but Fade The Noise has Scherzer as their highest projected ace of the night. The deciding factor in their projections is strikeouts, as Scherzer posted a 35.1% K-rate in 2019 and the Yankees struck out more than any team on the slate last year, at a 23.1% rate versus righties. Scherzer will also save you some payroll compared to Cole, allowing you to afford better hitters to go with him.
Honorable Mentions: Gerrit Cole, NYY ($10,000 DK, $11,400 FD) at WAS; Clayton Kershaw ($7,700 DK, $10,300) vs SF.
3B Justin Turner, LAD ($4,100 DK, $3,100 FD) vs. SF
It’s no secret that Dodgers hitters will be the most popular play on Thursday, as they are facing a weak starter in Johnny Cueto. The 34-year-old Cueto only made four starts last year and posted a 5.06 ERA, so the Dodgers should put up lots of runs against him. Turner is in an extremely valuable spot batting third for the Dodgers, as that’s a premier spot to rack up both runs and RBI. He’s surprisingly affordable on both DraftKings and FanDuel considering he posted an .881 OPS last year.
Honorable Mentions: OF Cody Bellinger ($5,100 DK, $4,500 FD) vs. SF; 1B/2B Max Muncy ($4,600 DK, $3,900 FD) vs. SEA; OF Juan Soto ($4,800 DK, $4,000 FD) vs. NYY.
OF Adam Eaton, WAS ($3,800 DK, $2,600 FD) vs. NYY
If you’re pairing Scherzer with Kershaw on DraftKings, it would be wise to get some exposure to Nationals hitters, otherwise, you may end up working against yourself. But in any other case, Eaton is still the type of player to look for tonight as he bats second. Plate appearances are extra important on a short slate since they are very scarce. A player batting second may get an extra plate appearance at the end of the game compared to somebody batting later in the order. An extra hit, walk, or RBI at the end of the game could be the difference between cashing out and coming up empty with such a limited player pool. Therefore it is crucial to target guys like Eaton who are early in the lineup.
Honorable Mentions: 2B/SS Gleyber Torres ($4,300 DK, $3,400 FD) at WAS; SS Corey Seager ($4,400 DK, $3,200 FD) vs. SF; 1B/2B Howie Kendrick ($4,400 DK, $2,500 FD) vs. NYY.
Value Batter: 1B/OF Austin Slater, SF ($3,100 DK, $2,000 FD) at LAD
Slater mashed against left-handed pitchers last year with a 122 wRC+ and he faces a southpaw tonight in Kershaw. Slater is basically free on both sites, so he is the perfect option if you need a cheap bat to fit your lineup under the salary cap. There’s also a chance that Slater bats leadoff for the Giants, which would make him an even more attractive play. San Francisco hitters will all come at a low ownership, so a big night from any of them would be extra valuable.
Honorable Mentions: 2B Wilmer Flores ($3,800 DK, $2,100 FD) at LAD; OF Jaylin Davis ($2,000 DK, $2,000 FD) at LAD; 1B/OF Darin Ruf ($3,000 DK) at LAD.
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