We’re a week into the season, can you believe it? Baseball’s early April schedule has us staring at another tricky split slate with two games beginning in the afternoon, followed by an island game, the Brewers’ home opener, at just after 5:00 PM EST. We’ll focus on the main slate of games, which on FanDuel, begins at 6:35 EST with the Pirates hosting the Nationals. The main slate on DraftKings, however, doesn’t include the Nationals/Pirates or the Phillies/Marlins game.
Top Tier Pitching
Note: As we go through tonight’s pitching options, you’ll find their line from their previous outing, and in the table above you’ll find their stats from last season.
Sandy Alcantara: ($9,300 FD) @ SF (ND) 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 83 pitches.
Kyle Gibson: ($9,800 FD) vs OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 82 pitches.
Even though tonight’s game in Miami is basically a pick ’em and the fact that he’s coming off a brilliant season opener, I still can’t get behind paying more for Kyle Gibson over Sandy Alcantara on FanDuel. I think the right call is to take the discount with the far better pitcher in Alcantara, despite the match against a tough Phillies lineup. The Marlins’ ace wasn’t great in his first start, but the five walks just seems very unlike him, and despite the lack of control he managed to get through five innings.
Charlie Morton: ($9,300 DK, $9,000 FD) vs CIN (W) 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 78 pitches.
Walker Buehler: ($9,700 DK, $10,500 FD) @ COL (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 78 pitches.
On DraftKings, the choice in the top tier is between Morton and Buehler. Buehler probably ends up being the significantly more popular option by virtue of being the night’s biggest favorite. However, his fastball velocity was down a mile per hour in his season debut relative to where to last year, so there could be some merit in fading a likely popular Buehler in favor of Morton.
Luis Severino: ($7,400 DK, $7,900 FD) vs. BOS (ND) – 3 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 65 pitches.
Severino isn’t listed above as he hasn’t pitched in basically two years. I think we’ll get to a point soon where he becomes a strong option to consider, but for now, I’m taking a wait-and-see approach until he gets his sea legs under him. And especially tonight as he faces Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Blue Jays.
Shohei Ohtani: ($7,900 DK, $10,800 FD) vs HOU (L) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 80 pitches.
Joe Musgrove: ($7,600 DK, $10,300 FD) @ ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 74 pitches.
Ohtani missed a ton of bats in his first career Opening Day start and he should be featured on plenty of rosters on DraftKings. On FanDuel, he might be a little overvalued where he’s the most expensive option on the board. Similar to Ohtani, Musgrove really stands out as a strong value on DraftKings, and less so on FanDuel. He was fantastic in his season debut and leaned on his secondary pitches (just 20% FB usage) which should bode well for his continued strikeout upside and combined with the low walks, there’s a lot to like with Musgrove. Pairing him with Ohtani should be a popular way to attack tonight’s slate on DraftKings, and it’s hard to argue against considering their salaries.
Kevin Gausman: ($8,500 DK, $9,600 FD): vs TEX (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 80 pitches.
After a couple of seasons away with the Giants, Gausman makes his return to the AL East and visits the Yankees for his second start. As a road underdog facing a tough lineup, Gausman fits the bill as a contrarian option in tournaments.
Casey Mize: ($7,100 DK, $7,000 FD): vs CWS (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 81 pitches.
There was talk of Mize working on his splitter this spring, but that didn’t really pan out in his first start. Still, Mize is an interesting contrarian option in the mid-tier if you want to roll the dice on him flashing something different in his second start. After his season debut against a tough White Sox lineup, he gets an easier draw tonight against the Royals.
Bats and Stacks
- COL (6.2 implied run total) vs CHC Justin Steele (LHP) 12.9 K-BB%, 4.26 ERA, 1.35 WHIP: The Rockies have the top total on the board as they open a three-game set against the Cubs at Coors Field. Connor Joe had a .366 wOBA last year across 63 games last year and has started off the new season with a .489 mark. He’s clearly mispriced on DraftKings at $3,400. Brendan Rodgers ($3,700), C.J. Cron ($4,500), and Kris Bryant ($4,400) should all form a popular stack.
- CHC (5.6 implied run total) at COL Kyle Freeland (LHP) 13.0 K-BB%, 4.33 ERA, 1.42 WHIP: On the other side of the Coors Field game, Freeland starts for the Rockies. Last year, the southpaw allowed a 4.83 ERA at home. This seems like an idyllic spot for Seiya Suzuki, who has gotten off to a terrific start through his first four games. Clint Frazier is a potential value play to consider at $2,600 on DraftKings.
- LAD (5.4 implied run total) vs CIN Reiver Sanmartin (LHP) 19.1 K-BB%, 1.54 ERA, 1.20 WHIP: The Reds will open with the reliever Luis Cessa, and he’ll be followed by the inexperienced Sanmartin, so it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see arguably the best line in baseball go off. Justin Turner seems too cheap on DraftKings at $3,900 and so too does Will Smith at $4,100. Cody Bellinger is just $2,700 on DraftKings, making him an intriguing punt play for tournaments.
- PIT (4.8 implied run total) vs WSN Joan Adon (RHP) 25.0 K-BB%, 3.38 ERA, 1.69 WHIP: On FanDuel, the Pirates should be overlooked as they’ll face an inexperienced pitcher in Adon, who made just one start last year. Bryan Reynolds seems too cheap at $2,900.
*Note: All stats referenced are from last season.
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