Stephen Strasburg - RHP ($9,300) - WAS vs MIA
The Marlins have effectively fallen apart. Their one lone superstar, Giancarlo Stanton, could be the only source of damage towards Strasburg. He will dominate the rest of these hitters sans Rob Brantly and Juan Pierre who could get to him for a couple hits.
If you are willing to pony up the money, I don’t think there’s a more sure thing.
Jon Lester - LHP ($7,100) – BOS@NYY
The Yankees are bad, and Lester has had the most blazing, hot Spring of just about any starting pitcher. As a lefty, he draws a lineup that is void of dangerous right-handed players.
The Yankee-crowned jewel, Robinson Cano, has struggled versus LHP lately. If he can keep the control he has exhibited thus far this Spring, Lester should have a great start, and his price is much cheaper in comparison to other team’s Opening Day “aces”.
- Justin Verlander - RHP ($9,800) - DET@MIN
- Jon Niese - LHP ($6,600) - NYM vs SD
Victor Martinez ($3,300) - DET@MIN
V-Mart seems to be the most slam-dunk, catcher play of the day. His price is depressed because of missing 2012 to an injury. Even though he’s 34, Martinez can still hit, and he seems to have more power versus lefties lately.
I’m projecting the Twins to roll RHP Vance Worley out there. Worley isn’t bad, and Minnesota is not a hitter’s park. It will probably be cold and maybe even snowy. I still think V-Mart has a chance to have a great first game, but monitor the weather/other variables.
- All catchers have value on this Opening Day, and the only real stud is Buster Posey who faces Clayton Kershaw. I’d stay away from that one.
- Other than Posey, feel free to mix and match as there are very few that set themselves apart. Jesus Montero @OAK $3,200 vs. LHP Brett Anderson is a good play but not ideal.
Adam LaRoche ($3,500) - WAS vs MIA
LaRoche is an underrated daily play against RHP. He doesn’t hit for a crazy split, but he has streaky power. Ricky Nolasco RHP is a shell of what he once was, and I could easily see the likes of LaRoche (.280 vs Nolasco) and the other Washington lefties having a big Opening Day at home.
- Prince Fielder ($4,000) – DET@MIN
- Anthony Rizzo ($3,900) – CHC@PIT
- Ike Davis ($3,200) - NYM vs SD
Chase Utley ($3,900) - PHI@ATL
It’s a nationally televised game versus Tim Hudson RHP who has had success against Utley in the past. He’s not having an eye-opening Spring, and his name has his price inflated a bit.
But nobody has been a better April player, when Utley has played in April, than Chase Utley over the past six years. Utley has a chance for a special night playing a position that is void of special matchups.
- Neil Walker ($3,500) - PIT vs CHC
- Justin Turner ($2,400) - NYM vs SD
- Danny Espinosa ($3,200) - WAS vs MIA
Miguel Cabrera ($4,400) - DET@MIN
I’m pretty much looking to get Cabrera on all my teams that don’t have Strasburg as the starter. If you have the available cash, Miggy is the best daily fantasy player in the game. He draws that more favorable matchup of Vance Worley.
He is a Triple Crown winner, folks. Hitters like this are safe and worth sacrificing another position in your lineup.
Also consider: You are going to have to pay for your third baseman on Opening Day:
- David Wright ($3,900) - NYM vs SD
- Aramis Ramirez ($4,000) MIL vs COL
- Will Middlebrooks ($3,300) BOS@NYY
Starlin Castro ($3,500) - CHC@PIT
I couldn’t really find a matchup that glared out to me as a good shorstop play for this day. Now Castro hits A.J. Burnett exceptionally well going 6-13 against him, and he loves to hit against the Pirates. He hit 5 of his 14 home runs against them last year.
At 22, Castro is still blossoming into his skill set. I think he’ll get a couple of hits, an RBI or two, a run, and a steal. If he pulls that off, he’ll be money well spent.
- Troy Tulowitzki ($4,000) - COL@MIL
- Ian Desmond ($3,300) - WAS vs MIA
- Andrelton Simmons ($2,900) ATL vs PHI
Bryce Harper WASvsMIA $4,000
I will have Bryce Harper on every one of my fantasy teams. He has a solid matchup. He has carried over his amazing September into Spring Training. His dedication and work ethic should make all daily fantasy players excited.
He works singles into doubles, doubles into triples. He can hit for power and steal bases. As long as he can avoid the strikeout, he’s the safest bet for the price.
Josh Hamilton LAA@CIN $3,900
Hamilton is a sneaky good play vs Johnny Cueto RHP in Cincy. If you are playing a home run game, this is your guy. Actually, I guarantee he hits at least one extra-base hit in this game.
Ryan Braun MILvsCOL $4,500
It’s Ryan Braun, and Colorado doesn’t have a pitcher that can assuredly shut Braun down. He could put up the biggest day of all hitters, but you better bring your wallet as he is the second most expensive hitter behind Mike Trout LAA@CIN $4,700.
- Andrew McCutchen ($4,000) - PIT vs CHC
- Shin-Soo Choo ($4,000) - CINvsLAA
- Domonic Brown ($3,500) - PHI@ATL
- Mike Morse ($3,300) - SEA@OAK
- Norichika Aoki ($3,300) - MIL vs COL
“Stacking” is the term given to playing multiple players from the same team in your lineup. In baseball, it can especially be effective because you get credit for bringing in other players via RBI and scoring runs. So if you stack a few players from the Mets and they score 10 runs, the odds are that your Mets players will have a nice night because of hits, RBIs, and runs scored.
- New York Mets left-handed batters and speed guys vs SD Edinson Volquez
- Washington Nationals left-handed batters vs MIA Ricky Nolasco
- Detroit Tigers hitters @MIN Vance Worley
- Seattle Mariners right-handed power hitters @OAK Brett Anderson
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