The Major League Baseball season got off to a rousing start with a great weekend of accelerated action thanks to the new rules. The fantasy baseball action is also cranked up to midseason form, and Monday brings another great 11-game main slate on DraftKings, which locks at 7:05 p.m. ET. As you build your daily fantasy baseball lineups, check out my top targets from the 22 teams scheduled to take the diamond.
As always, make sure to keep a close eye on pregame lineups and the latest player news by installing the DK Live app and following DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the season continues.
Reid Detmers, Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners ($8,200) – Detmers brings a high ceiling despite his salary barely being over $8K. He is coming off an impressive Spring Training in which he showed added velocity to both his slider and his fastball. The results were impressive with 27 strikeouts in 20 innings and just eight earned runs allowed across six starts.
The 23-year-old lefty had an uneven 2022 despite some very big highlights, most notably his no-hitter vs. the Rays. He finished with a 3.77 ERA and 3.79 FIP, but if he can sustain his newfound velocity and strikeout rate, he could take his production to the next level. He’s a breakout candidate this year and will look to start his campaign with a strong outing against Seattle. In his two starts against the Mariners last season, he allowed just two runs on 10 hits in 13 innings while striking out 10 and going 2-0.
Other Options – Charlie Morton ($9,600), Drew Rasmussen ($8,100)
Hunter Brown, Houston Astros vs. Detroit Tigers ($7,400) – The Astros gave Brown some work at the end of last season, and the prospect dazzled by allowing just two runs in 20 1⁄3 innings for a 0.89 ERA and 1.98 FIP. He also struck out 22 batters in that span, showcasing a devastating hard slider to go with his fastball which tops out over 98 mph.
He didn’t have the best Spring Training, dealing with a bad back and some command concerns, but he has shown an extremely high ceiling when healthy and looked good enough in a simulated game last week to be ready for this start. It’s a great spot for him against the Tigers, who managed just three runs combined in their first three games of the season while hitting .147 as a team and striking out 30 times.
Other Options – Ryne Nelson ($7,700), Kutter Crawford ($5,800)
Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($5,900) – Devers and the Red Sox scored nine runs in each of their first three games of the season, taking two of three in their weekend set against the Orioles. Devers went 7-for-15 (.467) with two doubles, a .473 wOBA and a 50% hard-hit rate, per Statcast. He and the Red Sox get a good matchup against righty Johan Oviedo ($6,800), as they look to continue their strong start to the season at Fenway.
Jose Abreu, Houston Astros vs. Detroit Tigers ($4,200) – Abreu went 6-for-18 (.333) in his first four-game series with the Astros, with at least one hit in every game, two RBI and a 50% hard-hit rate. He hasn’t barrelled one up yet or collected an extra-base hit but should be a very solid option at this affordable salary. He and Houston will face lefty Matt Boyd ($7,200), who Abreu knows well from his time in Chicago. In their previous meetings, Abreu has gone 14-for-36 (.389) with a pair of home runs, two walks and five RBI. He seems locked in as the cleanup hitter for now, which should give him many run-production opportunities.
Other Options – Oneil Cruz ($5,300), Will Smith ($5,000)
Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays at Washington Nationals ($3,700) – Lowe was forced to leave Saturday’s game early with a toe contusion but was available off the bench Sunday. It appears he avoided any significant injury, which is great news for him as he tries to bounce back from last year’s lost season due to multiple injuries. He looked great this Spring Training, going 11-for-36 (.306) with three home runs, and he went 2-for-5 in his early action this season. If he’s back in the lineup against Trevor Williams ($7,600), he’ll be on the favorable side of the splits since Williams let lefties like Lowe hit for a .376 wOBA last season with a 1.62 HR/9 rate.
Triston Casas, Boston Red Sox vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($2,600) – Casas picked up his first hit of the season off the bench on Sunday and is 1-for-6 with two walks and three RBI. He has typically been hitting in the middle third of the order and brings plenty of potential for power. Last season in Triple-A, he had 11 homers and a .376 wOBA, and he hit five home runs in 27 games after being called up to Boston. He has a very mature approach at the plate and usually turns in strong at-bats. He can be a great part of your roster construction at this salary, leaving plenty of room for stars in other spots and still bringing plenty of potential upside of his own.
Other Options – Anthony Volpe ($2,900), Josh Jung ($2,800), David Hensley ($2,200)
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($6,400) – Judge looks set on making this season as successful as last year’s historic run and has already smashed a pair of home runs in his first three games while going 6-for-13 (.462) with a .603 wOBA and 75% hard-hit rate. He and the Yankees continue their homestand by welcoming in the Phillies to hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium, and Monday they’ll face Taijuan Walker ($8,700), who will be making his Phillies debut. Judge has gone 4-for-11 against Walker in their past meetings and all four hits have been home runs.
Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies ($6,100) – Betts and the Dodgers are in a great spot (more details below in stacks) as they start their series with the Rockies. Betts started the season 3-for-17 (.231) with a home run, a double, three runs scored and an RBI. He has a 22% barrel rate and 44% hard-hit rate, so he should be due for some positive regression as the Dodgers open their second season of the year.
Other Options – Julio Rodríguez ($5,600), Masataka Yoshida ($4,600)
Adam Duvall, Boston Red Sox vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($3,700) – Duvall’s Red Sox career got off to a smashing success over the weekend, as he went 8-for-14 (.571) in three games against the Orioles with two home runs, three doubles and a triple for a ridiculous .817 wOBA. While that’s definitely not sustainable all season, he clearly is locked in and has a swing that will work well at Fenway. Ride the heater while it lasts and while Duvall is so affordable under $4K.
Jordan Walker, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves ($2,500) – Walker took Spring Training by storm and forced his way onto the Cardinals’ Opening Day roster. The 20-year-old phenom has started all three games for the Redbirds and gone 4-for-13 (.333) with a double, two RBI and a stolen base. He brings a high ceiling with his combination of power and speed potential, and he’s a great option at this price point to enable you to spend up in other spots.
Other Options – Trent Grisham ($3,900), James Outman ($2,800), Luke Raley ($2,000)
TEAMS TO STACK
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies – The Dodgers split their four-game series with the Diamondbacks, winning big in two games and losing a pair of 2-1 nail-biters. They open this home series against the Rockies facing Ryan Feltner ($6,400), who went 4-9 in 20 appearances last season with a 5.83 ERA and 4.76 FIP. Before you suspect Coors Field inflation, he was actually hit harder on the road, where he gave up 11 of his 16 home runs allowed and a .354 wOBA. Most of the damage was done by right-handed hitters, who had a .355 wOBA against him. The Dodgers are an expensive stack with Betts, Smith, Freddie Freeman ($5,700), Max Muncy ($4,600) and J.D. Martinez ($4,900) in the top half of the order, but there are a few value opportunities in the bottom of the order to with Miguel Vargas ($2,300) and James Outman ($2,800). Their matchup with the Rockies has the second-highest over/under on the slate on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Boston Red Sox vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – The Red Sox rocked the Orioles this weekend at Fenway, and their matchup with the Pirates has the highest over/under on the slate. The matchup against Oviedo is a pretty neutral one, but the lineup is hot enough and comes at good enough value overall to still be a strong alternative to the high-priced Dodgers play. Casas and Duvall make sense as strong value plays as discussed above, while Devers, is the only player priced over $4.5K. You can add Alex Verdugo ($4,300), Justin Turner ($3,900) of Masataka Yoshida ($4,600) to the mix as well as solid options and even No. 9 hitter Kiké Hernández ($3,500) is worth a look since he has hit a home run in back-to-back games and has the potential to be on base in front of the big bats once the lineup turns over.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.