April 10th has come and gone.

It’s a day I don’t really look forward to, nor really care about making a big deal over.

It is my birthday. A lot of people perform well on their birthdays, see Mike Trout who I believe has hit a HR on his birthday every year he’s been in the big leagues.

I, however, did not have a good day of DFS on my birthday. I didn’t really treat it as my day of birth anyway, I got all of that out of my system at Wrestlemania 32, so to me, it was just another day to file away in the “meh” column in the file folder titled “Days of My LIfe.”

But today brought a belated birthday gift as BvP for MVP has the top overall spot in our first Expert Grading write-up of the year. Behind me is another DO staffer. Brad sits a close second with his “On The HIll” article where he picks 3 or 4 pitchers for you to use in DFS. Check it out!

I hope we both can stake claim to the top two spots, in any order, for all, or most of the season. We want to be top dogs around the industry. Street cred goes a long way.

So now we kick off week two of BvP for MVP with the following options. If you are new to BvP for MVP, please check out our Opening Day column. This is where the rules, groundwork and picks come from!

Edwin Encarnacion – 1B – Blue Jays – vs. Masahiro Tanaka

BvP: 7-for-14, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI

Analysis; I think the pomp and circumstance of Masahiro Tanaka is starting to fade. He started to show some weakness last season as hitters started to figure him out. His K/9 is still solid but it dipped more than a whole strikeout from the year before. E5 has been able to figure out Tanaka thus far and is a reverse-splits machine, hovering near the .400 wOBA mark the past three seasons (.399 in 2015). The Rogers Centre should be a comfortable atmosphere for E5 with a loaded lineup all around. This game is set at 8.5 runs and Vegas doesn’t seem to like either pitcher with moneylines nearing a coin flip. Those are the games I love to see: high totals, winner could go either way. Give me E5 in what SHOULD be a high-scoring game.

Gerardo Parra – OF – Rockies – vs. Jeff Samardzija

BvP: 6-for-15, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB

Analysis:  I am glad I get exposure to tonight’s game in Coors. With that contest, Yankees/Blue Jays and Red Sox/Orioles, that’s three games with very high scoring potential. Houston/KC is another that could see lots of plated runs. Anyway, I digress, give me Parra tonight against Jeff the Alphabet. Samardzija saw a huge decline in his numbers last season as his GB/FB average dipped from 1.53 in ’13 to less than 1 in 2015, meaning he was giving up way more fly balls. His K/9 declined by about 2.5 Ks in that same time frame. Perhaps as change of venue will be great for Samardzija, but he won’t get any help tonight at Coors Field. Parra has yet to get it going for the Rockies, but he hits in the middle of the order and will see a lot of games at this stadium over the season. Why not get it going tonight against a pitcher he’s had some success against? Samardzija was awful against lefties last season with a .351 wOBA, so here’s to hoping Parra can feast in a high-scoring affair.

Josh Phegley – C – Athletics – vs. Hector Santiago

BvP: 3-for-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB

Analysis: Phegley has quickly become one of my favorite catchers to target. He’s always cheap and platoons against left-handed pitchers. What works in Phegley’s favor tonight is not only his early success against Santiago, but the fact Santiago is a flyball pitcher. Phegley has some pop with a .161 ISO and has a wOBA vs. lefties of .427 and .341 the past two seasons. The venue isn’t ideal with all of that space at the Coliseum, but there’s some big games on the board and contrarian is the key. Phegley should be underowned playing in a late game.

Albert Pujols – 1B – Angels – vs. Kendall Graveman

BvP: 4-for-6, 1 HR, 2 RBI

Analysis: Let’s not kid ourselves, Pujols is still a dangerous hitter. Even though he’s on the back end of his 30s, he’s still considered a potent bat in the Angels’ lineup. Up against the young Graveman, Pujols has had early success against the righty. What I like most about this matchup is that both players are reverse-splits guys. Graveman was much less successful against right-handed bats last season, allowing a .342 wOBA. He’s also good for at least 1 HR per game on average. Pujols has put up a consistent wOBA against right-handers the past three seasons (.342, .347, .339). The ISO is still there for Pujols at .206. All signs point to an awfully contrarian 1B with all the projected high-scoring games available tonight.

Nelson Cruz – OF and Robinson Cano – 2B – Mariners – vs. Derek Holland

Cruz BvP: 3-for-8, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB

Cano BvP: 15-for-37, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB

Analysis: Want to win $150,000 in tonight’s Sweet Spot on DraftKings? Stack Seattle against Derek Holland. I am weary about these picks a bit as Holland has had success at Safeco in his career (3-1, 2.29 ERA), but he hasn’t had to face Seattle that much with Nelly Cruz in the lineup. Cano opened the year raking in the points and is a lefty masher from the left side. He’s had great success against Holland as you can see by his numbers. Lots of the Mariners have had success against the Dutch Oven, so there’s a chance, despite Holland’s numbers at SAFECO, the M’s could get to him early and often. As for Cruz, well he crushes lefties (.359, .416 and .459 wOBA past 3 seasons) and is up against his old team. That’s a pretty good narrative for me. Plus, he’s hot right now to start the season, an added plus. Also, I toyed with Chris Ianetta here as well, so I wouldn’t blame you for playing him either based on his BvP numbers.

Also, remember that all BvP stats are provided by dailybaseballdata.com. Check them out!

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