Opening Day was jam-packed with excitement, not to mention monster point totals in DFS from jump-starters Hanley Ramirez (36 points), Nolan Arenado (34), and Dustin Pedroia (31). On the mound, there were feats of dominance from all over the pricing scale (David Price, Sonny Gray, Clay Buchholz). Folks who stacked the lineup with heavy-hitting Brewers against theoretical punching bag Kyle Kendrick were sorely disappointed, as Kendrick blanked the Brew Crew for seven frames while the expensive trio of Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun, and Jonathan Lucroy went a combined 0-for-10 with five strikeouts. The Rockies bats went nuts on the road, Tanaka got shelled, up was down, day was night, and in his first plate appearance of the season Mike Trout took King Felix yard. What more could a Baseballholic ask for?
Tuesday is just a half-slate, with eight games on the menu and all of them starting after 7:00pm EST. Mother Nature relented for a gorgeous Opening Day, but weather could play a much bigger role in today's games.
There is little money to be spent on pitchers today, and several of the biggest bats in the game are in play, so expect there to be a lot of stacked lineups with plenty of overlap with the top players. Platoons take center stage today, as we examine a handful of players whose stock swings violently based on the handedness of the opposing pitcher.
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Details ($3 Moonshot):
LHP: .290/.385/.591 in 623 PA
RHP: .265/.357/.524 in 2017 PA
Fastballs (all types): .293/.567 in 1231 AB
Slider: .210/.422 in 467 AB
Curve: .230/.519 in 287 AB
Change: .346/.697 in 211 AB
LHP: .238/.288/.378 in 768 PA
RHP: .276/.349/.458 in 1433 PA
LHP: .196/.261/.316 in 475 PA
RHP: .254/.357/.456 in 1663 PA
LHP: .292/.374/.486 in 439 PA
RHP: .208/.305/.314 in 543 PA
Opening Day was saturated with top-flight arms, but the aftermath left us with merely remnants of yesterday's quality. It doesn't help that there is only a half-slate of ballgames from which to choose, but there is still plenty of intrigue with the group that is taking the hill today.
A lot of folks will be rostering Greinke, given that he is the most trustworthy of the SP class for the day (yet is $200 cheaper than Jake Arrieta vs the Cardinals). He is the 50/50 gem of Tuesday's options, so avoid him at your own peril in those tournies, but in the GPP setup (thousands of entrants) it is a good idea to try to roll the dice elsewhere if you want to differentiate your roster and go for the big bucks.
Karns is trying to spare a beleaguered rotation that has been rocked by injuries to Alex Cobb and Drew Smyly. With just five starts of experience under his belt, Karns will be facing a thirsty Oriole lineup that feasts on right-handed pitching. Chris Davis ($4400) adds 125 points of OPS versus right-handers in his career, Adam Jones ($4400) has a reverse split (though it re-reversed itself last season), and Manny Machado ($3900) has also hit fellow righties a tad better in his brief tenure (albeit the 17-point difference is essentially negligible). There could be some crooked numbers on the scoreboard vs. Karns, but at the cheapest price among today's starters, he will have some investors.
The combination of Ross and Derek Norris (who only caught 12 of 72 steal attempts in 2014) presents a nearly ideal scenario for base thieves, though there's a chance that Norris will be riding pine with the right-handed Greinke on the mound for the Dodgers. Tyson gave up 31 steals last year (third most in baseball), and LA burners such as Jimmy Rollins ($3600), Yasiel Puig ($4400), and Joc Pederson ($3500) could take advantage.
Lynn is the anti-Ross. Opposing baserunners managed just a single steal against Lynn last season in four attempts, and that was with the rifle-armed Yadier Molina on the shelf for a good chunk of the year. For his career, base runners have been successful on just 17 of 35 steal attempts (48.6 percent) against Lynn through 616 innings. With Yadier back in tow, the red light should be on for the Cubs on the bases.
Joc Pederson ($3500)
Pederson had a nice introduction to the 2015 season, knocking a double, taking a walk, stealing a bag, scoring a run and making a “circus catch” (Vin's words) on Opening Day. He also mashed up the Grapefruit League, hitting .338/.377/.692 with 11 extra-base hits and a pair of steals, following a 2014 campaign in which he led the Pacific Coast League with 33 homers, 106 runs scored, 100 walks, a .403 OBP and 1017 OPS; his 30 steals were tied for seventh. The PCL is a hitter's paradise and he was playing his home games in the ultimate haven of Albuquerque, so the raw numbers are skewed by context, but the fact that he led the league in so many categories is perhaps more indicative of his relative skill level. Joc hit seventh in the order on Opening Day, so his RuBI (R+RBI) opportunities will be limited in the short term, but his skill set will fit anywhere in the lineup and Pederson could start climbing in short order. He stole a bag in game one and the odds of a repeat performance are strong given the aforementioned shortcomings of Tyson Ross and Derek Norris.
Chris Davis ($4400) will be back in the lineup today after serving his single game of suspension. Roster accordingly.
Ryan Braun ($4900) suffered a strain in his right side that took him out of yesterday's game. The price tag is too rich for my blood even if he plays, given the dampening effect on power that often comes packaged with injuries to a hitter's side/oblique.
John Jaso ($3200) sprained his wrist and will be out for at least a couple of days.
- SD vs. LAD – Los Angeles is currently reporting a 70% chance of rain through the day and night – click for updates
- TEX vs. OAK – Oakland is currently reporting that there will be scattered thunderstorms with a 60% chance of rain. – click for updates