All MLB teams were supposed to play on opening day but mother nature had other plans. Now, Saturday is the first time all teams are active this season. Whats better? The first game of the day starts at 1 p.m. But…
FantasyDraft’s main slate on Saturday consists night games starting at or after 7 p.m. ET, which limits the selection to only 7 games. That’s fine because there are plenty of options to choose from.
Must Play SP: Lucas Giolito, CWS ($17,200) @ KCR
I know Yu Darvish is going against the Marlins but he was very volatile last year and should not be considered elite anymore until proven otherwise. I do think he has the most upside for the day but not worth risking almost a quarter of my budget. Instead, I will go with a safer option. Giolito has a fantastic matchup for the day against the Kansas City Royals. Kauffman Stadium is known for suppressing HRs’ and the Royals lineup is well below average. Giolito looked promising last year in 45.1 IP with his 2.38 ERA. There is little strikeout upside, but he can pitch deep into games proven by 6 of his 7 starts in 2017 lasting 6IP or more.
Honorable Mention: Yu Darvish, CHC ($23,800) at MIA
Value SP: German Marquez, COL ($12,900) @ ARI
This entirely an upside pick. Marquez has the ability to post a Quality Start while providing strikeouts, which cannot be said for the pitchers with a similar salary. Just like every Rockie pitcher, his ERA is better away from Coors (What a surprise). Arizona is not much better either but the installation of the Humidor should help keep the ball in the yard. Picking Marquez for only $12,900 allows you to spend more your bats.
Honorable Mention: Brent Suter, MIL ($11,200) @ SD
IF Corey Seager, LAD (8,400) @ LAD
Dodgers have scored a combined total of ZERO runs in their first two games of the season. Doesn’t bode well for a team that is one of the favorites to win the World Series. Their offense has not been able to do anything at all even with many young, talented players. One of them is Corey Seager. Corey has been quiet in the first two games, going 0-7, but he is too good of a hitter to keep struggling.I expect him to break out of his mini-slump sooner rather than later. Seager mashed LHP by posting a .325 AVG against them and he gets to do continue that trend as faces Derek Holland, a left-hander who had an ERA north of 6.00.
Honorable Mention: Justin Bour ($6,400) vs CHC
OF Rhys Hoskins, PHI ($9400) @ ATL
Hoskins is a must play. So far in 2018, he is hitting .500 with a HR, two Doubles and even managed to steal a bag. He probably won’t steal another one, but the home runs should keep flowing. Hoskins faces Brandon McCarthy, who had a disgusting 6.99 ERA last year even with a lucky 5.4% HR/FB. He should also have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs from the cleanup spot with Carlos Santana (OBP Stud) and Cesar Hernandez (high average) batting in front of him. Hoskins is well worth his price tag.
Honorable Mention: Avisail Garcia ($7,800) at KC
Value: Trey Mancini, BAL ($7,500) vs MIN
Mancini is a must start at this salary. He earned a spot in the Orioles lineup last year by hitting 24 HRs but there is more power potential. He had a good spring training with 4 HRs in 59 ABs and should be able to translate that into the regular season. One of Mancini’s weakness is his strikeout rate but that should be much of a concern in this matchup against Kyle Gibson since Gibson has a career K/9 rate of 6.24. According to the weather reports, the wind is supposed to be blowing out at 15mph which makes Camden Yards, already known as a hitters park, even more hitter friendly.
Honorable Mentions: Max Kelper, MIN ($6,300) @ SD; Austin Hays, BAL ($5,600) vs MIN
Top Stack: Dodgers vs Giants (Derrick Holland)
The Dodgers have been shut out two games in a row but they have players that are capable of righting the ship and start scoring runs. Thanks to the two shutouts, the Dodger bats are fairly cheap. Any combination of Cody Bellinger($8,400), Corey Seager($8,400), Yasiel Puig($8,00) or Yasmani Grandal($7,300) against Derrick Holland is a recipe for success. Another thought to keep in mind is that the Giants also had one of the worst bullpens in the league last year.
Honorable Mention: BAL vs MIN (Kyle Gibson)