Welcome to Opening Day! We will be writing daily DraftKings MLB articles this season, however for the most part we will be covering the main slates. Since today’s main slate begins at 3 PM EST, we will be covering the three-game late slate today. Let’s get right into our lineup and try and snatch some profits from the get go!
P – Clayton Kershaw (LAD) – $11,500 vs. SF
Of course, Clayton Kershaw gets the ball on Opening Day for the Dodgers and he will face a familiar foe in the form of the San Francisco Giants. Kershaw produced another stellar, albeit injury-shortened, season last year, posting a 2.31 ERA and winning 18 ball games despite pitching just 175 innings on the season. The Giants have revamped their lineup, but with veterans like Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen having their best days behind them, Kershaw shouldn’t have too much problem taking care of this new group tonight.
P – John Gray (COL) – $6,500 vs. ARI
The Diamondbacks are no doubt a tough opponent, but I believe we are getting Gray at a discount in this matchup. The hitting-friendly confines of Chase Field in Arizona don’t help, but they’re certainly more pitcher-friendly than Gray’s home field at Coors Field in Colorado. He has nice strikeout upside to pair alongside Kershaw with a solid 9.14 K/9 last season while his 3.18 FIP suggests his solid 3.67 ERA should have been even better. He should also get some run support behind an impressive Rockies’ offense.
C – Chris Iannetta (COL) – $3,200 vs. ARI
After a career year last season, Iannetta got an offer he couldn’t refuse from the Rockies as he will face his former club tonight in Arizona. Iannetta will face lefty Patrick Corbin tonight, and he crushed lefties to the tune of a .263 ISO and a .967 OPS last season. He will hit likely in the eighth spot in the lineup, but with those numbers against lefties it’s real hard not to roster the slugging catcher at an attractive price.
1B – Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) – $4,600 vs. SEA
For a while at the start of last season it looked like Encarnacion may be a bust in his first season as an Indian, however Encarnacion quieted those concerns with a 38-homer season for the Tribe. He will face King Felix Hernandez tonight in Seattle, a pitcher who threw just over 87 frames last season and posted a 4.36 ERA, the highest mark since his rookie season in 2006. Encarnacion doesn’t care if he is facing a righty or a lefty, and he actually posted a higher ISO against righties (.262) than he did lefties (.208) last season. Roster him with confidence tonight.
2B – Jose Ramirez (CLE) – $4,700 vs. SEA
Completing a mini-stack with Encarnacion, Ramirez broke out with a massive campaign in the 2017 season. The switch-hitting infielder clobbered 29 homers, scored 107 runs, knocked in 83 runs and stole 17 bases last season. That type of cross-category production is very rare and Ramirez does it from both sides of the plate, making him matchup-proof once the bullpens get involved. Again, roster this guy with confidence.
3B – Nolan Arenado (COL) – $4,400 vs. ARI
Arenado will face southpaw Patrick Corbin tonight, and I swear these numbers from last season against lefties are true. Arenado posted a 4.20 average, .420 ISO and a 1.313 OPS against left-handed pitching last season. He hit 16 home runs in just 150 at-bats against lefties while adding 13 doubles and a triple. Couple that with the hitting-friendly confines of Chase Field in Arizona and we have the top player on the slate tonight.
SS – Trevor Story (COL) – $3,900 vs. ARI
His numbers aren’t the same as Arenado’s against lefties, but Story does his fair share of damage against southpaws as well. Last year, he produced a .301 batting average against lefties, but also a massive .353 ISO and 1.034 OPS against southpaws. Last season wasn’t an aberration as he now has a career .335 ISO and 1.009 OPS against left-handed pitching. The Rockies are going to be a very dangerous club against left-handed pitching this season.
OF – Chris Taylor (LAD) – $3,800 vs. SF
We will finish our lineup with a trio of outfielders who will form a three-man stack for the Dodgers. Chris Taylor came out of nowhere to have a massive season for the Dodgers last year, posting a .288 average, 21 homers, 85 runs, 72 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. When we factor in he did this in 514 at-bats, it comes even more impressive. Taylor is a cross-category contributor and one you will want in your lineup tonight.
OF – Yasiel Puig (LAD) – $3,900 vs. SF
Puig appears to be hitting third in tonight’s lineup, two spots behind Taylor, which is a promotion from where he hit for most of last season. He only hit lefties for a .092 ISO last season, but sports on north of .170 against them for his career, making last year look like an aberration. Puig also poses cross-category upside, hitting 28 homers, stealing 15 bases, scoring 72 runs and knocking in 74 last season. Puig also put these numbers up in less than a full season and makes for a fantastic play against lefty Ty Blach tonight.
OF – Kike Hernandez (LAD) – $3,200 vs. SF
Hernandez poses some big-time value tonight. He is set to hit in the cleanup spot tonight, forming a three-man stack at the top of the lineup with Taylor and Puig. Hernandez is an absolute lefty masher, posting a huge .309 ISO and a .946 OPS against lefties last season. He frequently moved up the lineup last season against left-handed pitching, and it appears he will do the same this time around while hitting in that valuable cleanup spot this evening at home.