Happy Opening Day to everyone and welcome the first edition of my “On the Hill” column where I will provide some pitcher recommendations each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday during the MLB season.
Typically I will provide three or four pitcher recommendations for the just the main slate, but since it is opening day and everyone is filled with anticipation and excitement (including me), I am going to double-down today and provide recommendations for both the early slate and night slate of games.
Without further ado here are today’s picks…
Max Scherzer (FD-$10,500 / DK-$12,300)
I prefer him more on FanDuel at his reduced price tag compared to DraftKings. On FanDuel, Scherzer makes a great pivot away from Clayton Kershaw who I expect to be almost double the ownership percentage than Mad Max in cash games. The Nationals are the second biggest favorite on the day with the second lowest total runs expected against them.
Madison Bumgarner (FD-$10,600 / DK-$9,200)
While I wouldn’t put MadBum in my lineup on FanDuel expect in a GPP, on DraftKings at only $9,200 he is my top pitcher on the day. Facing a Brewers lineup that struck out the 8th most against lefties last season and that was before their full rebuilding mode which added more swing and misses from the likes of Chris Carter.
Corey Kluber (FD-$9,600 / DK-$8,600)
Kluber is another example of a pitcher that is currently undervalued on DraftKings. At $8,600 he is only the 8th most expensive pitcher on the “day of aces”. With a high strikeout rate and pitching at home where he has allowed a lower wOBA against him in each of his last three years, Kluber is the best of the mid-level priced pitchers on opening day.
Raisel Iglesias (FD-$6,400 / DK-$8,800)
This is strictly a FanDuel play. He is priced about as I expected him to be on FanDuel as one of the cheaper pitchers available. He had a 26.3% K-rate last season and is a strong favorite pitching at home against the Phillies who had the 10th worst K-rate (20.9%) against righties last season.
Clayton Kershaw (FD-$11,000 / DK-$12,900)
It is hard not to recommend the best pitcher in baseball on opening day as a big favorite pitching against the Padres who struck out the 4th highest percentage (23.3%) against lefties last season. Kershaw will be good today and you need to have some exposure to him, especially on FanDuel. I am not opposed to completely fading him on DraftKings due to his huge price tag.
Zach Greinke (FD-$10,100 / DK-$9,000)
If we are fading Kershaw on DraftKings then we need to know who to pivot to, cue the music for Mr. Greinke. Priced at a substantial discount from the other top Aces on DraftKings, Greinke is the biggest favorite of the day pitching at home against a Rockies team that historically is much worse on the road including the 2nd worst K-rate (23.9%) and worst wOBA on the road last season.
Garrett Richard (FD-$7,100 / DK-$8,500)
Looking for some cheaper pitching options brings us to Richards, who is in a tough spot facing the Cubs and Jake Arrieta. However, K’s are King in DFS and Richard has an opportunity to rake up some K’s tonight against a Cubs’ team that was a league worst in K% against righties last season (24.0%) while Richards has a K-rate over 20% each of the last two seasons. Better play on FanDuel as a GPP option.
Tyson Ross (FD-$7,600 / DK-$8,400)
Hard to recommend a pitcher going up against Clayton Kershaw as his win potential is greatly reduced but Kershaw is not the only reason that the Dodgers/Padres game as only 5.5 runs total in Vegas. Ross is a good pitcher with a high K-rate (25.8% last season) in a pitcher-friendly ballpark.
Come back to DailyOverlay later today for the MLB Consensus list and some sample MLB lineups.
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