After a limited schedule for opening night Thursday, the MLB season gets into full swing with 14 games on Friday. The evening DraftKings slate consists of 11 of those games, so there are plenty of options to choose from for your entry. Let’s dive into some of the cheaper options who could help balance your budget while also providing valuable production.
Set your DraftKings lineup here: MLB Million Dollar Swing [$1M Guaranteed, $250K to 1st]
As a special promotional to start the season, DraftKings is offering a special contest, the MLB Risk-Free $3 [3 Entry Max, $300K + Cash Back!]. There is no risk to play since every entry will earn back at least the $3 entry fee with an opportunity to earn up to $20K for first place. Set your lineups here: MLB Risk-Free $3 [3 Entry Max, $300K + Cash Back!]
SP Ross Stripling, LAD vs. SF, $7,900
The Dodgers have a lot of pitching depth, but the rotation did lose one of its top arms when David Price opted out of the season. Taking his place will be Stripling, who will start the second game of the Dodgers’ season despite technically being the fifth man in their rotation. While he’s bounced between the rotation and the bullpen during his career, he’s pitched well in both roles. One of his strengths has been his ability to keep men off base, which resulted in his 1.15 WHIP last season.
This matchup against the Giants is about as good as it gets. Heading into the season, the Giants had the makings of one of the worst lineups in the league. Now they will be without Evan Longoria (oblique) and Brandon Belt (heel) because of injuries and Buster Posey because he opted out. The stars could be aligning for Stripling to get off to a great start.
SP Brandon Woodruff, MIL at CHC, $7,700
If you are looking for cheap strikeouts, look no further. Woodruff missed plenty of bats last year, leaving him with a 29 percent strikeout rate. Woodruff also had a 3.62 ERA with an even better 3.01 FIP. He’s emerged as the ace of the Brewers’ staff and has the potential for a bright future ahead of him.
However, there are a couple of reasons to pause with Woodruff. First, the Brewers are notorious for going to their bullpen early in games. That’s part of the reason why he pitched fewer than six innings in 10 of his 22 starts last season. Another possible concern is the Cubs’ lineup with Javier Baez ($4,600), Kris Bryant ($4,900) and Anthony Rizzo ($4,800) leading the charge. With all of that being said, if you’re looking to differentiate yourself in a GPP, Woodruff’s strikeout upside alone should put him on your radar.
1B Michael Chavis, BOS vs. BAL, $3,000
The Red Sox are going to be a popular team to stack with the Orioles set to start Tommy Milone ($4,000). Milone has posted a FIP of at least 5.00 and allowed at least 1.9 HR/9 in each of the last four seasons. The big names on the Red Sox should be in a lot of entries, but if you want to still attack Milone while saving some money, Chavis is a viable option. He does have problems with strikeouts, but Milone isn’t much of a threat in that area given he’s only recorded 6.7 K/9 for his career. Chavis could also take advantage of Milone’s propensity for giving up home runs considering he hit 18 of them in just 95 games last year.
SS Didi Gregorius, PHI vs. MIA, $3,800
Gregorius had the unenviable task of being the replacement for Derek Jeter at shortstop for the Yankees. He did about as well as anyone could have expected him to, even hitting at least 20 home runs in three straight seasons from 2016 through 2018. Then he was forced to have Tommy John surgery, which limited him to just 82 games in 2019. He still slugged 14 homers but looked like a shell of himself on his way to a .297 wOBA. Now even further removed from injury, he finds himself in another dangerous lineup with the Phillies. He’ll look to get off to a hot start against Sandy Alcantara ($6,800), who doesn’t miss many bats given his career 18.7 percent strikeout rate.
OF Jordan Luplow, CLE vs. KC, $4,200
When a lefty is on the mound against the Indians, Luplow is someone who should immediately come to mind. He destroyed southpaws last season, posting a whopping .474 wOBA against them. He also slugged 14 of his 15 home runs against lefties. The Royals will start Danny Duffy ($6,400), who is coming off of two consecutive seasons with a FIP of at least 4.70. Luplow could be in line for a big night.
DraftKings is hosting a fantasy baseball tournament on Friday that pays out $1 million in total prizes, including $250K to first place. The action locks at 7:05 p.m. ET. Set your DraftKings fantasy MLB lineups here: MLB Million Dollar Swing [$1M Guaranteed, $250K to 1st].
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mbarner51) 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 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.