Opening day has arrived! If you did’t play the degenerate 2-game early slate, this will be the first crack at making some MLB money. We’ve got eight games to choose from, and this article will obviously focus on the pitchers at different pricing tiers. Similar to the NHL Spotlights, we’ll have Awesemo weigh in, and then I (Tommienation1) will provide some additional analysis. So sit back, relax, blow off your work, flip on a game of your choosing, and enjoy opening day!
Luis Severino ($10,600 DK/$10,000 FD)
“Severino is on the road against the Blue Jays, who have a team total under 4, and have a bunch of players who struggle making contact against righties.”
You get a nice discount on an ace if you don’t want to pay up for Chris Sale today, as Severino has similar upside against the Jays. All but three players in Toronto’s projected starting lineup struck out over 20% of the time against righties, and it’s not like Severino was a stiff against lefties, striking them out over 29% of the time last year. If you can’t get up to Sale, or want to use the extra salary to pay up for another big bat, Severino is great tournament pivot.
Chris Archer ($8,500 DK/$8,600 FD)
“Archer’s strikeout upside is hard to ignore against a team that has a sub-4 implied total and in a pitcher’s park.”
Archer posted a 3.24 xFIP against lefties and 3.44 xFIP against righties in 2017, and he will look to build on a solid season with a tough matchup against the Red Sox. His ground-ball percentage was over 40% last year, but when he gets hit, he gets hit hard, especially against lefties. You’re not playing Archer for him to post a shutout, but his elite strikeout rate (28.8% vs. righties, 29.7% vs. lefties in 2017) at this price is hard to pass up in tournaments, as he is always a candidate to post 8-10 Ks even in a less-than-stellar matchup.
Garrett Richards ($6,800 DK/$8,300 FD)
“Richards is a -120 road favorite against the A’s, who have a lot of strikeouts in their lineup. At this price on DraftKings, Richards provides a lot of value in tournaments.”
Richards (“B” value) is one of the guys I’m most excited about this year, as he flashed his upside multiple times at the end of last season. He should face a handful of righties this afternoon in Oakland, and last year, he struck them out at 23.7% clip, posting a 3.58 xFIP. Even against lefties he had numbers we love to see, including a 3.03 xFIP and a 25.7% hard-hit rate. In the A’s projected lineup they have at least six players who struck out over 20% of the time against righties last year, so Richard has a great chance to rack up enough Ks at $6,800 to pay dividends on DraftKings.
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