Oakland Athletics (5.5) @ Baltimore Orioles (4.1)
Frankie Montas (RHP) @ Dan Straily (RHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: Orioles+164
Pitcher Breakdown: Frankie Montas has been pretty impressive in his first two starts, which have come against the Angels and Astros. Montas has struck out 11 over 11 innings and has only allowed three runs. Over that span, he has a 60 percent ground ball rate. Things get much easier for him today in Baltimore and if he can make it to the fifth, he’ll likely pick up a win for you.
Dan Straily has tossed 1.1 innings this MLB season and he’s allowed five hits, five runs, two homers and two walks. His ERA is 33.75. OK, small sample size, but we have a big enough one when looking at his career. Straily has a 46 percent fly ball rate for his career and he had a 46.9 hard hit rate last season, which led to 20 home runs over his 122.1 innings.
Batter Breakdown: The Athletics are absolutely in play again tonight, whether it’s from an MLB DFS or betting standpoint. Khris Davis remains underpriced on FanDuel and you can add Kendrys Morales and Jurickson Profar to the list of cheap options to consider. Matt Chapman and Stephen Piscotty are strong options as well. Oakland’s 5.8 team implied total will likely rise as we get closer to first pitch.
Montas is a pitcher I’m interested in tonight, so I’ll likely stay away from some of the Baltimore bats. It’s very interesting to see Chris Davis at $500 on FanDuel and $2K on DraftKings. Feels like he’s due for at least a hit!
Washington Nationals (4) @ Philadelphia Phillies (5.1)
Jeremy Hellickson (RHP) @ Nick Pivetta (RHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: Phillies-156
Pitcher Breakdown: Jeremy Hellickson’s second start of the season comes against the Phillies again, and it can’t get worse, can it? Hellickson allowed nine hits and two runs over his two innings against them in his first outing. Now he faces them in Philadelphia which is even better news for some of their bats. Hellickson only tossed 91.1 innings last season, so his 11 home runs allowed doesn’t seem like much, but he gave up 34 the year before and 24 in 2016 with the Phillies.
Nick Pivetta hasn’t been able to put it all together just at as he’s allowed 17 hits, eight runs and three homers in his 9.2 innings this season. He has a high strikeout ceiling (10.32 K/9 last season), but his command has been shaky. There’s an opportunity here for some wins, but it’s not the best matchup for Pivetta to have success.
Batter Breakdown: Adam Eaton is one of the better values on the main MLB slate today as is Brian Dozier, who has struggled all season, but he has pop in his bat and Pivetta has struggled with the long ball so far. Anthony Rendon is as safe as it gets, but you’ll have to pay up.
Like usually, all of the bats in Philly are in play against Hellickson. Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper are not easy on the wallet, but they make for solid cash game options. Hellickson allows bombs, and those two hit bombs. Maikel Franco continues to rake as well, despite hitting near the bottom of the order.
Minnesota Twins (3) @ New York Mets (4.1)
Jake Odorizzi (RHP) @ Noah Syndergaard (RHP)
Over/Under: 7 Moneyline: Mets-183
Pitcher Breakdown: Jake Odorizzi looked great in his 2019 debut as he racked up 11 strikeouts and allowed one hit over six innings. It came against Cleveland, though. He came back down to earth in start No. 2 against the Phillies where he allowed five runs on seven hits in just 0.2 innings. Odorizzi walked three and enters with a 3.15 BB/9 for his career. Even scarier than that is his 45.8 fly ball rate for his career.
Noah Syndergaard is the best pitcher on the board this evening, but the matchup isn’t fantastic. There are some guys in Minnesota’s lineup who strikeout, but overall, their 19.4K% is the fourth-lowest in baseball. Just ask Jacob deGrom. That said, Syndergaard may have lower ownership than normal in tournaments because of last night’s performance by the Twins.
Batter Breakdown: There are some cheap contrarian bats to consider in Minnesota’s lineup such as Jorge Polanco (contact hitter) and Eddie Rosario. Syndergaard has allowed a home run in each of his last two starts, so Max Kepler is also someone to think about in tournaments.
The Mets may hit a couple of dingers against Odorizzi tonight, so Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto are two options to consider. Alonso has five home runs and a 48 percent fly ball rate to start his career.
New York Yankees (4.1) @ Houston Astros (4.5)
James Paxton (LHP) @ Collin McHugh (RHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: Astros-112
Pitcher Breakdown: James Paxton has 14 strikeouts in two starts, but he’s given up five runs, three walks and 12 hits over his 11 innings. It doesn’t seem awful until you see both of his outings came against Baltimore. Paxton faced Houston four times last season and he only gave up six runs over 26.1 innings while striking out 26. It’s just such a tough matchup for him.
Collin McHugh is in a better spot as the Yankees’ lineup isn’t quite as strong as the Astros. McHugh has been much better this season as well. He’s only allowed six hits through 11 innings while striking out 13. Last season, he has a 1.99 ERA over 72.1 innings out of the pen. In fact, he has a 3.85 ERA over 737 career innings.
Batter Breakdown: If the Yankees are going to get to McHugh it’ll be via the long ball. Aaron Judge has been quiet to start the season if you’re looking for an under the radar type tournament shot. Luke Voit has power as well and checks in at a reasonable price.
I have more interest in some of the Houston bats. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but Michael Brantely and Carlos Correa remain underpriced on both sites. Brantley is much stronger against RHP, but he has a .276 career average against LHP. He also ranks first in at-bats with runners on base (31). Jose Altuve has home runs in two straight games.
Los Angeles Dodgers (4.1) @ St. Louis Cardinals (4)
Kenta Maeda (RHP) @ Jack Flaherty (RHP)
Over/Under: 8 Moneyline: Cardinals+105
Pitcher Breakdown: Kenta Maeda has issued six walks through two starts and he’s already allowed three home runs over his 11.2 innings. Walks were a problem for him last season as he had a career high 3.09 BB/9. He has proven to be a much better pitcher at home (3.30 ERA) over the course of his career than on the road (4.29 ERA).
Jack Flaherty had a much better showing in his second start of the season compared to his first. The Cardinals’ pitcher tossed five scoreless innings against the Padres and struck out six. He only managed four strikeouts over 4.1 innings in his season opener against Milwaukee, and he allowed four runs on seven hits. This isn’t the easiest start for him either, but he has a high strikeout upside and is someone to think about in tournaments. Reason being: Flaherty has 18 strikeouts in 12 innings against the Dodgers last season and he only allowed two runs on five hits.
Batter Breakdown: The Dodgers struggled against Flaherty last season and they were shutout yesterday. It doesn’t mean they can’t get back on track and if you’re looking at someone to roster other than Cody Bellinger…it’s Justin Turner and Corey Seager. Both are underpriced to start the season.
Paul DeJong is a nice value bat to consider and he comes in with a 10-game hit streak. He’s hitting .295 on the season with three home runs and he’s scored seven runs in his past eight games.
Pittsburgh Pirates (3.3) @ Chicago Cubs (4.3)
Jordan Lyles (RHP) @ Yu Darvish (RHP)
Over/Under: 7.5 Moneyline: Cubs-170
Pitcher Breakdown: Jordan Lyles escaped any major damage last week, but he came away with a 46.7 fly ball rate and 46.7 hard hit rate. He has a 37.3 fly ball rate last season to go along with a 39.1 had hit rate. I wouldn’t take too much stock into his five scoreless innings against the Reds in his season debut. He did walked three guys in that showing.
If you want to start Yu Darvish in tournaments, be my guest. The matchup isn’t awful and he’s cheap. He’s jut been so bad. Darvish has allowed seven hits, six runs and 11 walks over 6.2 innings. The Pirates rank in the bottom 10 in strikeouts and their 10.8% walk rate is the sixth highest in baseball.
Batter Breakdown: This may be a good time to jump on some Pittsburgh bats despite the low projected team implied total. Starling Marte, Jung-ho Kang and Melky Cabrera all stand out as value plays. 31 of Kang’s 37 career home runs have come against right-handed pitchers.
The Chicago Cubs rank third in runs (72), seventh in home runs (18) and their .289 average ranks third. As mentioned, Lyles tends to allow a lot of fly balls and hard contact. Anthony Rizzo leads the Cubs with a 51.7 hard hit rate to start 2019 and Javier Beaz is sitting at 48.2 percent. I’m surprised to see Chicago’s team implied total so low.
Seattle Mariners (5.6) @ Kansas City Royals (4.5)
Yusei Kikuchi (LHP) @ Heath Fillmyer (RHP)
Over/Under: 10 Moneyline: Royals+136
Pitcher Breakdown: Yusei Kikuchi has been pretty underwhelming to start his MLB career. He’s allowed seven runs on 11 hits over his 15.2 innings and he only has 12 strikeouts. There’s an opportunity here for a win, though, as the Mariners lead baseball in just about every offensive category, including wins with 11. Marco Gonzales is 4-0 despite an 87 percent contract rate. Good ball park and a weak opponent.
Heath Fillmyer is set to make his first start of 2019 against what is the hottest team in baseball. Fillmyer rocked a 6.23 K/9, 3.50 BB/9 and 39.5 percent hard hit rate over 82.1 innings last season. Not good. He had one AAA start this season and he gave up six runs on seven hits while walking four in just four innings. Yikes! No wonder Seattle has the highest team implied total on the main slate.
Batter Breakdown: Seattle has been a stack to consider each time they play and they’ve been good to us on the money line. That shouldn’t change tonight against Fillmyer. Seattle leads baseball in average (.294), home runs (33), runs (104), RBI (103) and stolen bases (15). Even with all this power, they are still not priced accordingly. Dan Vogelbach has jumped up in price, but Mitch Haniger and Jay Bruce are affordable again.
Whit Merrifield is the only Royal I would roster. As I said yesterday, he just hits lefties really well. .357 last season and .326 career average against southpaws.
Texas Rangers (3.7) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (4.4)
Lance Lynn (RHP) @ Robbie Ray (LHP)
Over/Under: 8 Moneyline: Diamondbacks-140
Pitcher Breakdown: Lance Lynn is always a good pitcher to pick on as he’s already allowed nine runs and two homers in his two outings this season. He has a 36 percent hard hit rate last season and he’s allowed 43 home runs since the start of 2017. He also has a 3.50 BB/9 mark for his career.
Robbie Ray has issued 10 walks in his 10.1 innings as free passes continue to be a major issue for him. He had a career high 5.09 BB/9 last season, despite a 12.01 K.9. Having said that, lefties only hit .123 off Ray last season and 15 of his 19 home runs allowed came against right-handed bats. The Rangers are full of left-handed bats in their lineup, so Ray may be a sneaky GPP play.
Batter Breakdown: Elvis Andrus is the hottest Ranger to start the season and is grossly underpriced on both sites. Some of the lefty bats in the Texas lineup may struggle against Ray, but keep Joey Gallo in mind as his 15 home runs against southpaws last season were tied for the most in baseball.
Arizona’s team implied total has already jumped since earlier this morning and it could rise even more. David Peralta and Adam Jones have had hot starts to the season.
Milwaukee Brewers (4.5) @ Los Angeles Angels (3.6)
Brandon Woodruff (RHP) @ Felix Pena (RHP)
Over/Under: 8 Moneyline: Angels+137
Pitcher Breakdown: Brandon Woodruff was very impressive in his second start of the season, despite allowing four runs. He fanned eight Cubs and has 13 punch-outs through nine innings so far. He could get an Angels lineup without Mike Trout tonight which would be appealing.
Felix Pena bounced back nicely in his second start of the season as he only allowed one run on four hits, while striking out seven. He only lasted 4.2 innings against Texas, but it was an encouraging outing. Having said that, Pena has a 54 percent fly ball rate and 45 percent hard hit rate this season. Last year his hard hit rate sat at 40 percent.
Batter Breakdown: The Brewers make for another strong stack this evening. They lit up Matt Harvey last night and Mike Moustakas went yard for the second straight game. For the third straight day…Moustakas, Travis Shaw and Jesus Aguilar are players I’m interested in. The price is low because of their starts, but the reward is definitely worth the risk.
Andrelton Simmons has been a mainstay when talking about the Angels and his 29 plate appearances with runners on base ranks second. Most of that has to do with Mike Trout who is questionable to play due to a groin injury. If he sits, you can fade everyone, including the all of a sudden red-hot Tommy La Stella.
In Case You Missed It:
Best Overall Pitcher: Noah Syndergaard
Best Value Pitcher: Frankie Montas & Brandon Woodruff
Pitchers I’m feeling: Collin McHugh, Frankie Montas, Noah Syndergaard, Jack Flaherty (GPP), Robbie Ray (GPP) & Brandon Woodruff if no Mike Trout.
Best Overall Hitters: Rhys Hoskins, Anthony Rendon, Khris Davis, Javier Baez, Mitch Haniger, Whit Merrifield, Christian Yelich & Anthony Rizzo
Best Value Hitters: Michael Brantley, Carlos Correa, Kendrys Morales, Jurickson Profar, Paul DeJong, Elvis Andrus, Adam Eaton & Brian Dozier
Home Run Call of the Day: Khris Davis & Rhys Hoskins
Stacks: Athletics, Phillies, Cubs, Mariners, Brewers & Diamondbacks
Bet of the Day: Brewers-148
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.