Oakland Athletics (5.5) @ Baltimore Orioles (4.1)
Brett Anderson (LHP) @ John Means (LHP)
Over/Under: 10 Moneyline: Orioles+159
Pitcher Breakdown: Brett Anderson enters start No. 3 having allowed six walks over two outings and he only has seven strikeouts in 11.1 innings. Baltimore is not the best place for a pitcher, but Anderson does have a 57 percent ground ball rate for his career. There just isn’t a lot of upside from a fantasy standpoint.
John Means doesn’t have a lot of appeal either and he only has nine career innings on his resume. Over those nine innings, Means has allowed 11 hits, six runs, two home runs and two walks. He does have nine strikeouts, but the Athletics have the third-lowest strikeout rate to start the MLB season.
Batter Breakdown: The Athletics make for an affordable stack against John Means. Marcus Semien, Matt Chapman and Khris Davis certainly come to mind, as does Mark Canha. Last season, Canha hit .282 with 13 home runs and nine doubles against left-handed pitchers.
As I said yesterday, the only bats you want in Baltimore’s lineup are Trey Mancini and Jonathan Villar. Mancini was the ‘home run call of the day’ and Villar also went deep last night. Mancini has five home runs this season with a .385 average and Villar is hitting .341 with three bombs.
Washington Nationals (3.7) @ Philadelphia Phillies (4.4)
Stephen Strasburg (RHP) @ Aaron Nola (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: Phillies-145
Pitcher Breakdown: Stephen Strasburg has had two starts this season – both against the New York Mets – and he’s racked up 17 strikeouts over 12.2 innings. He allowed four runs on seven hits in his first outing but cleaned things up in start No. 2 as he only allowed three hits over 6.2 scoreless innings. He has a much tougher matchup tonight in Philadelphia as the Phillies rank in the bottom half in strikeouts and they rank fifth in runs scored.
Aaron Nola just faced the Nationals in his second start of the season and he only lasted three innings. Nola allowed six runs on five hits, including three home runs. He walked two and has walked seven through nine innings so far. It was the first time in 34 starts in which Nola had allowed more than four runs in a game. It’s rare, to see, but it’s hard to face a team a week later after they’ve had success off you.
Batter Breakdown: The Nationals’ 3.5 team implied total is one of the lowest on the main slate, but I still feel strong about Anthony Rendon who is hitting .412 on the season. He has four home runs on the season, with one of them coming last week against Nola. Yesterday, I threw out Brian Dozier as a cheap FanDuel play. He went yard and remains cheap again.
Much like the Nationals, the Phillies have a low team implied total as well. It’s hard to feel great about rostering any bats from this game if you’re playing cash, but the upside is there. Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper, Jean Segura and Odubel Herrera are all hitting over .300 to start the season. There are just better options on the board this evening.
Minnesota Twins (2.5) @ New York Mets (4.1)
Kyle Gibson (RHP) @ Jacob deGrom (RHP)
Over/Under: 7.5 Moneyline: Mets-250
Pitcher Breakdown: Kyle Gibson doesn’t have a lot of fantasy appeal tonight as it’ll be tough for him to get the win against Jacob deGrom. Gibson has only had the one start and it came in KC against the Royals and he wasn’t good. He allowed five runs on eight hits over his 4.2 innings.
Jacob deGrom threw his 26th straight quality start in his last outing, which tied Bob Gibson for the longest streak in MLB history. He’s basically been perfect this season as he’s allowed just eight hits over 13 scoreless innings. The Mets’ ace has only walked two over that span while striking out 24. He’s the safest pitcher on the board and one you should start most your cash lineups with.
Batter Breakdown: The Twins’ 2.6 team implied total is the lowest I’ve seen so far this season and unless you play a ton of lineups, it’s probably best to stay clear of Minnesota this evening. Max Kepler has a home run in three straight games if you’re feeling risky.
There are a few left-handed bats to consider in New York’s lineup, such as Robinson Cano and Michael Conforto. Left-handed batters hit .265 against Gibson last season, compared to a .213 average from right-handed hitters. Having said that, Gibson has allowed 48 home runs since the start of 2017, so you’d be silly to completely ignore Pete Alonso.
Los Angeles Dodgers (4.4) @ St. Louis Cardinals (4.2)
Ross Stripling (RHP) @ Dakota Hudson (RHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: Cardinals+121
Pitcher Breakdown: Ross Stripling posted a 3.44 ERA on the road last season compared to a 2.50 ERA at home. He’s been fine in his two starts this season (three earned runs in 11.2 innings), but both outings came at home and they were against Arizona and San Francisco.
Dakota Hudson is scheduled to make his second Major League start this evening against a strong Dodgers team. Hudson has allowed 26 hits, 11 earned runs, three homers and 21 walks over 32.1 career innings. He checks in with a 61.5 ground ball rate for his career, despite all the home runs, but he’s really struggled with his command. Hudson has a 5.85 BB/9, 6.96 K/9 and 37.1 hard-hit rate over his short career.
Batter Breakdown: Despite a poor showing last night offensively, the Dodgers still rank second in home runs (24) and runs (87), while ranking first in average (.296). Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger make for a strong stack.
There should be some runs scored in this ball game, so don’t ignore guys like Matt Carpenter, Paul DeJong or Marcell Ozuna. All three check-in at a reasonable price against Stripling who tends to struggle on the road.
New York Yankees (3.4) @ Houston Astros (4.7)
Jonathan Loaisiga (RHP) @ Gerrit Cole (RHP)
Over/Under: 7.5 Moneyline: Astros-190
Pitcher Breakdown: Jonathan Loaisiga only last four innings last week against the Detroit Tigers. He wasn’t bad as he only allowed one hit and one run, it was the three walks that got his pitch count up. He has an impressive 11.62 K/9 over his 28.2 career innings, but he’s walked 4.71 batters per nine innings over that span.
Gerrit Cole is a nice pivot from Jacob deGrom and he’s a bit cheaper on the wallet. Cole had a league-high 12.4 K/9 last season and he’s racked up 19 strikeouts through his first two starts (12 IP). The Yankees are missing a few important bats in their lineup and enter with a 3.4 team implied total.
Batter Breakdown: It’s hard to back any Yankees against Cole this evening. If there’s one knock on Cole, it’s the fact he has a high fly ball rate and tends to allow home runs, so consider Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and Luke Voit if you’re looking to be contrarian.
A lot of the Houston bats are in play against Loaisiga and a lot of them are cheap, especially on the FanDuel side. Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley and Carlos Correa all check in at under $4K. Brantley is in the top 10 in plate appearances with runners on base. He’ll be in a good spot all year to drive in runs.
Seattle Mariners (4.5) @ Kansas City Royals (4.5)
Marco Gonzales (LHP) @ Jake Junis (RHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: Royals-111
Pitcher Breakdown: Marco Gonzales already has three starts under his belt this season and he’s won them all. He only has 11 strikeouts over 19.2 innings, and he’s given up seven runs, but he’s had a ton of offensive support so far. He’ll likely get it again tonight, so you can consider him on DraftKings where you need to roster two pitchers. The ceiling isn’t high, but a win is likely. Gonzales was brilliant in his last start against LAA as he only allowed one run on four hits over 8.1 innings.
Jake Junis’s 41 percent hard-hit rate was the third-highest among qualified arms last season and the 32 home runs he allowed were the fourth-most. Tough luck for Junis as he gets the hottest team in baseball this evening.
Batter Breakdown: Seattle’s 32 home runs through 12 games are an MLB record. They just keep hitting and hitting, yet they remain affordable on both sites. They also lead baseball in runs (97) and RBI (98). Jay Bruce, Domingo Santana and Mitch Haniger rank 1, 2 and 3 in plate appearances with runners in scoring position.
Whit Merrifield hit .357 against left-handed pitchers last season and he has a .326 average against them over his career. You’re not getting him at a discount, but he’s a strong play against lefty Gonzales.
Atlanta Braves (5.2) @ Colorado Rockies (5.4)
Max Fried (LHP) @ German Marquez (RHP)
Over/Under: 10.5 Moneyline: Rockies-109
Pitcher Breakdown: Max Fried will make his second start of the season tonight and he was great in his first showing against the Cubs. Fried struck out five and only allowed one hit over six scoreless innings. He’s now pitched 7.2 scoreless innings so far, but that streak will be put to the test in Colorado. Fried has strikeout upside, but the Rockies also have the highest team implied total on the main slate. He’s a GPP option only, but a risky one.
German Marquez should have more success against Atlanta tonight than Kyle Freeland did. The Braves just hit lefties really well. That said, things won’t be easy for Marquez, who is making his first start at home this season. Marquez had a 4.74 ERA at home last season compared to 2.95 at home. Opponents hit .279 against him at Coors Field and just .201 on the road.
Batter Breakdown: Ender Inciarte tends to lead off for Atlanta when they face righties, so he always gets a slight boost in his projection. The real value bat in this lineup, though, is Nick Markakis. He tends to have more success against lefties, but he’s in a great spot to drive in runs.
The Rockies were one of the better teams in the league last season against left-handed pitchers. They’ve struggled to start the season, but Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story are worth their price tags against lefty Fried. Arenado led baseball with 15 home runs against southpaws, while Story registered 14.
Texas Rangers (3.9) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (4.7)
Mike Minor (LHP) @ Zack Greinke (RHP)
Over/Under: 7.5 Moneyline: Diamondbacks-143
Pitcher Breakdown: Mike Minor enters with an 80.2 contact percentage and 41.4 fly ball rate for his career. He has a 38 percent hard-hit rate last season and allowed 25 home runs. He’s given up one homer so far in 2019 and his hard-hit rate is at 40 percent.
Zack Greinke turned things around in his second start after he was rocked by the Dodgers in the opener. Greinke racked up 10 strikeouts against the Padres, but he allowed two more home runs. That’s six home runs and 10 earned runs in 9.2 innings for Greinke. The opportunity for strikeouts will be there tonight as the Rangers have the eighth-highest K-rate in baseball, but they also rank 11th in home runs.
Batter Breakdown: Elvis Andrus is the only regular in Texas’ lineup who has a .300 average on the season and he doesn’t have a lot of pop in his bat. If you are looking to see if the home run trend continues against Greinke, I’d suggest Joey Gallo who has four home runs so far or Nomar Mazara who is one of the better cleanup values on the slate.
The Diamondbacks stack is definitely on the table against Minor. Arizona has surprisingly had a strong start offensively as they rank sixth in home runs, fourth in runs and third in average. Adam Jones, David Peralta, Nick Ahmed and Ketel Marte are all hitting at least .400 against lefties this season. Marte hit .321 with nine home runs against southpaws in 2018.
San Diego Padres (4.1) @ San Francisco Giants (3.5)
Joey Lucchesi (LHP) @ Derek Holland (LHP)
Over/Under: 7.5 Moneyline: Giants+107
Pitcher Breakdown: Joey Lucchesi has yet to allow a run over his 10.1 innings this season and he has 13 strikeouts. This will be the second time he’s faced the Giants this season and he can only hope things go the same way as start No. 1. The lefty only allowed three hits over 5.1 innings and he struck out seven.
Like Lucchesi, Derek Holland will make his third start of the season, but second against the same team. He only lasted four innings in his season opener against SD and he wasn’t sharp. Holland gave up three runs on four hits and walked two batters. He’s walked six batters in nine innings so far and has allowed two home runs. Holland has allowed 52 bombs since the start of 2017.
Batter Breakdown: Franmil Reyes and Hunter Renfroe are bats to consider against Holland, even with the game being in pitcher-friendly SF. The duo combined to hit 14 home runs against lefties last season and they are both starting to heat up this season. Will Myers is hitting .500 with three home runs against lefties so far in 2019, and Fernando Tatis Jr. has a .571 average and one homer vs LHP.
Nothing to see here with the Giants. Buster Posey has been great against lefties over his career, but there’s no need to spend up for him.
Milwaukee Brewers (4.6) @ Los Angeles Angels (4)
Freddy Peralta (RHP) @ Matt Harvey (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: Angels+120
Pitcher Breakdown: Freddy Peralta has 110 strikeouts over 89.1 career innings and is in a good spot against Matt Harvey. The Angels have the lowest strikeout rate in baseball (15%), but they rank in the bottom 10 in terms of runs and average.
Matt Harvey has allowed 14 hits, 10 runs, three homers and five walks in 10 innings so far with the Angeles. He only has six strikeouts over that span and if you thought his 38.9 percent hard-hit rate was high last season, he’s currently rocking a 43 percent mark this year.
Batter Breakdown: The Brewers have to be the strongest stack of the night. As I said yesterday, Travis Shaw, Jesus Aguilar and Mike Moustakas have all struggled to start the year and are getting glossed over in tournaments. Moustakas went yard last night and is another strong option tonight.
Justin Bour and Andrelton Simmons finally cashed in last night as both have had plenty of plate appearances with runners on thanks to the hot start from Mike Trout. This is a lineup you should avoid tonight against Peralta who has plenty of swing and miss stuff.
In Case You Missed It:
Best Overall Pitcher: Jacob deGrom
Best Value Pitcher: Marco Gonzales & Max Fried
Pitchers I’m feeling: Jacob deGrom, Gerrit Cole, Max Fried (GPP) & Freddy Peralta
Best Overall Hitters: Christian Yelich, Justin Turner, David Peralta, Will Myers & Nolan Arenado
Best Value Hitters: Michael Brantley & Carlos Correa
Home Run Call of the Day: Jay Bruce & Mike Moustakas
Stacks: Brewers, Mariners, Diamondbacks & Astros
Bet of the Day: Astros-187
Chris Meaney is a DFS contributor for The Quant Edge, covering fantasy sports. Chris covered NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB as the producer, writer and host at FNTSY Sports Network. He was lead host of the daily live shows, “Fantasy Sports Today” and “Home Ice Advantage.” Chris has written for The Athletic, the Associated Press, the New York Daily News, Fantasy Footballers, NBA Fantasy, Play Picks, Fantrax and more. @chrismeaney.