MLB baseball is back! While the KBO held us over for a few months, we have to be honest and say it isn’t as good as the real thing. Now that we can watch baseball during hours that we are normally awake, it’s a great time to get in on some DraftKings MLB action.
Julio Urias, LAD vs. SF, $9,800 - The pitching tonight is not great. Most of the high end options find themselves in negative matchups. For Urias, this isn’t the case going up against the Giants. They project to have one of the worst offenses in baseball this season and Urias appears to be a safe play since the Dodgers are a -265 favorite. By far, this is the widest moneyline spread on today’s slate. In the past, pitch count and working deep into games has been an issue for Urias. I am not too concerned about this since he tossed 90 pitches and made it through six innings in his last start.
Michael Wacha, NYM vs. MIA, $7,900 - Surely, the Marlins can’t keep winning games forever, right? Right?! This is the Marlins we are talking about. While the 6-1 record is nice, it comes with a slight asterisk since Miami opened the season with a really easy schedule. So far, the Marlins played more than half of their games against the Orioles. Regression is coming and Wacha has a chance for success against the Marlins at home. Citi Field is a pitcher’s park and early signs on Wacha’s velocity are encouraging. His fastball is sitting at 95.64 mph, which is way up from his 93.88 average velocity of last year.
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J.T. Realmuto, PHI vs. ATL, $5,000 - What a start to the season for Realmuto, who is arguably the most valuable catcher in baseball. For the season, he’s averaging 12.8 DKFP and comes into today with three consecutive multi-hit games. Playing at home in a hitter friendly ballpark, Realmuto is a strong play with a 198 wRC+ on the young season. It’s also nice that he’s homered in back-to-back games.
Austin Nola, SEA vs. COL, $3,000 - After getting yesterday off, Nola is primed to put up a good value game. He didn’t sit yesterday’s game due to injury, it was simply a routine day off. The timing was a bit odd since Nola is hitting the ball really well. He’s averaging 16.5 DKFP in his last two starts and hits right in the middle of the Mariners’ order. There aren’t many catchers in the league who are this cheap with a good spot in the lineup.
Freddie Freeman, ATL at PHI, $5,200 - Freeman started the season slow, which is understandable since he missed summer camp after he got pretty sick from COVID-19. After a pair of hits a homer yesterday, I think Freeman is starting to come around. As one of the top hitters in the league for the last couple of years, Freeman is a safe bet to end up with a strong season when all is said and done. He’s going up against Vince Velasquez ($6,900), who has a 12.00 ERA to open the season and has a history of struggling against lefties.
Albert Pujols, LAA at TEX, $4,200 - In his 60th season in MLB or something along those lines, it seems odd to consider Pujols as a play. The thing is, I don’t like many cheap first baseman on this slate and the one thing he still has is power upside. Pujols homered in two of the Angels’ last three games and should get to see plenty of pitches to hit in a high-powered offense. Since he came to the Angels, this is easily the most talent this team has had.
Max Muncy, LAD vs. SF, $5,300 - Not only is Urias in a good spot against the Giants, the Dodgers’ hitters all make for strong plays. I love this offense as a stack. They are going up against Jeff Samardzija ($6,400) and there are a ton of red flags surrounding his velocity. It’s declined for the last few years and he now sits at an average fastball velocity of 90.03 mph. In his prime, Samrdzija had an average fastball velocity over 96 mph. I think he’s in for a disaster of a season and he’s scored negative DKFP in each of his first two starts.
Jonathan Schoop, DET at PIT, $3,000 - For the price, Schoop is producing fairly well this season. He’s averaging 7.2 DKFP and is hitting near the top of the Tigers’ lineup. Schoop has also scored at least 14 DKFP in three of his last six games, so he has a bit of upside even though he no longer is playing his home games in a hitter’s park.
Jose Ramirez, CLE at CWS, $5,300 - For the second time this season, Ramirez homered last night from both sides of the plate as a switch hitter. This makes him the first player in MLB history to do this twice in the first 15 games of the season. After scoring 44 DKFP, I am fine with chasing the points due to a matchup against Dylan Cease ($8,600). While he’s a great prospect with fantastic stuff, this is yet to produce results at the MLB level. He has a 6.48 ERA this season after posting a 5.79 ERA last year.
David Fletcher, LAA at TEX, $4,200 - For all of the talent and stars in the Angels’ lineup, Fletcher has actually been one of the team’s best hitters. He is averaging 10.1 DKFP and has at least a dozen fantasy points in four of his last six games. It stands to reason that all of the power in this offense is leading to Fletcher seeing more favorable pitches to hit.
Fernando Tatis Jr., SD vs. ARI, $5,400 - Tatis is picking up right where his rookie season finished. After an unceremonious ending to his first year because of an injury, there wasn’t much doubt that he was and will be great. The question was how good? So far, the answer looks like he will play at an MVP caliber type of level. Tatis started the season with a 187 wRC+ and averages 13.2 DKFP.
Jorge Polanco, MIN at KC, $3,900 - This is potentially the final buy low window on Polanco. After a slow start to the season, he racked up three hits, stole a base and scored 16 DKFP last night. Hitting near the top of one of the most potent offenses in baseball, Polanco is too cheap and is poised for a big fantasy season.
Mike Trout, LAA at TEX, $5,900 - Mike Trout the father is as good of a baseball player as ever. He spent time away from the team due to the birth of his son and came back mashing baseballs. Trout has hit three homers in three games since returning to the team and is averaging 17.67 DKFP over this stretch.
Joc Pederson, LAD vs. SF, $4,100 - Typically a homer or bust type of play, Pederson is a guy to have exposure to tonight at a fairly cheap price tag. He scored 38 DKFP on Wednesday and has hit three homers in his last three games. As mentioned above about the Dodgers’ offense, they are in a great spot against the failing arm of Jeff Samardzija.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) 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.
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