This article will be tailored to contests on Fanduel’s 5 game slate!
Lance McCullers ($8,800) – McCullers is the clear top option in the early slate as he has great K upside. Paxton has not been in form as of late and gets terrible hitting conditions with winds blowing out to left. I think this will make McCullers much more chalky, but it is chalk I am willing to eat in the early slate. So far this year, McCullers has posted a 39% K rate (not going to stay that way LOL). On top of this, his groundball rate is closing in on 70%. He’s keeping the ball on the ground and getting guys to swing and miss. Early in the season, that is the exact form we want to see from our pitchers. The Astros bats have been quiet as of late, but I expect they get to Kyle Gibson and secure McCullers the win. McCullers is cash game viable in the early slate! We are looking for 35-40+ FDP from him!
Yonny Chirinos ($5,900) – Chirinos is a guy I’m super excited about this year and he’s looked pretty good in his first 9 innings of work. He has not allowed an earned run yet and has only allowed 4 hits. He doesn’t have tremendous K stuff, but the White Sox are not the best against righties. Four of their expected starters have a K% higher than 27% including Matt Davidson with a whopping 39%. I’m not sure we need to go down here to Chirinos in the early slate, but he will certainly be low owned and will allow you to roster any bat you want. Chirinos is viable in tournaments, but I’m not sure I would go this route in cash games.
Cardinals – The Cardinals are my favorite stack on the early slate. They’re still underpriced on both sites and their top 5 hitters are all in a great spot. Fowler & Carpenter are my favorite bats, but we can pick on Guerra with confidence from both sides of the plate.
Astros – The Astros have been cold, which I hope should keep their ownership low. Kyle Gibson is not a good pitcher and I expect them to pounce all over him. Last year he had a 36% HC rate and the Astros can absolutely torch the ball. My favorite bats are the main guys here in Correa, Springer & Altuve.
Seattle – The wind is blowing out heavy to left-center field which should help out right-handed hitters in this game. I think this game will certainly go overlooked and has potential to be the highest scoring game on the slate. Segura has 7 hits and 3 XBH’s in his last 4 games and is my favorite target.
Nationals – I expect the Nationals to be the highest owned stack on the slate and I’m certainly not hating on it, but will be more underweight than the field on it. McCarthy is not very good, but one thing he does very well is limit hard contact. He also has a decent walk rate so I think it will be difficult for the Nationals to rack up tons of points today. I’m ok with fading Harper and Turner in cash and maybe targetting a few of these cheaper guys as roster fillers to get a bit of exposure.
Freddie Freeman – Freeman against a fly ball pitching rightie? Sign me up, every… single… time. Freeman is also 3 for 5 against Cole with a HR and 3 RBI’s in his career.
Joey Wendle – Shields is a trash can, and for the record, a Rays stack/mini-stack is certainly viable. One of my favorite options for this game is Joey Wendle. On Fanduel he is still only $2,600. He has 7 hits and 3XBH’s in his last 5 games and has been seeing the ball exceptionally well this year. He will be a core cash game play for me.
Mike Moustakas – NO ONE will be on Mous as he gets a L on L match up against James Paxton who is a pitcher no one likes to target anyways, but Mous has a HR off Paxton in only 5 at bats long term. Given Paxton’s recent form and the fact Mous has 7 hits and 2 HR’s in his last 3, I’m willing to play him in tournaments. I wouldn’t go crazy and stack the Royals against him, but Mous as a one off is intriguing.
HR prediction – Daddy Freeman
Stolen base – Yoan Moncada
Top Scoring pitcher – Lance McCullers
Most runs scored – Mariners