Welcome back to the start of the 2021 MLB season! I am excited to be covering MLB DFS for my second season.
Friday offers a six game main slate starting at 7:10 p.m. ET.
With such a small slate, there will only be a few decisions to make at starting pitcher.
The favorite on the Bales Model for tonight is Pablo Lopez. Lopez comes in at $7,800 on FanDuel and faces the Tampa Bay Rays, who will continue to be without the left-handed power bat of Ji-Man Choi. Lopez is pitching in one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks in baseball in newly minted loanDepot Park. These teams played to a 1-0 Rays win on Opening Day.
With some of the other options on the slate, it may make the most sense to pay down and grab Lopez.
The Bales Model has Blake Snell as its second favorite choice of the night. In his San Diego Padres debut, Snell faces the Arizona Diamondbacks. Snell is $9,500 on FanDuel.
Snell does have some advantages over Lopez. He should have a better chance at striking opposing hitters out. The Padres are currently -225 favorites, whereas the Rays/Marlins game is just about a pick ’em. Snell also hits for seven ProTrends this evening.
The Diamondbacks and Padres played one of the higher scoring games on Opening Day, an 8-7 San Diego win. However, the Arizona offense should not scare too many opposing hurlers aside from Ketel Marte.
At 3.2 implied runs, the Diamondbacks have the lowest implied total on the slate.
As with many Coors nights, this decision comes down to whether or not you want Coors stacks for your hitters. If the answer is yes, you are self-selecting into a lower-priced pitcher.
I feel obligated to mention Trevor Bauer, who gets to make his debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight as one of the gems of the offseason. I fully expect Bauer to have an excellent year and once again be in the National League Cy Young Award discussion. It’s just tough to trust him tonight.
Bauer comes in at a $10,000 price tag on FanDuel and opens his season in Coors Field. The Colorado Rockies are supposed to be one of the worst teams in baseball, but their offense did not look like chopped liver on Opening Day. Coors Field can do that for you.
Of course the Dodgers are heavy favorites (-247), but the Rockies have the third-highest (behind Dodgers and Padres) implied run total on the slate at 4.7. With the high price tag, I would wait for Bauer’s second turn in the rotation to roster him.
As you might have guessed, the top stack of the night is the Los Angeles Dodgers:
- 3. Justin Turner (R)
- 2. Corey Seager (L)
- 1. Mookie Betts (R)
- 4. Cody Bellinger (L)
These four are projected for 59.6 FanDuel points on a $17,500 salary on FanDuel. They face Antonio Senzatela, who was the Rockies’ ace last year. In three starts against the Dodgers in 2020, he gave up five home runs. A.J. Pollock may be worth a look, too — he is 7-for-16 with three doubles and a home run in his career against Senzatela.
It is worth noting that the ownership percentages on these Dodgers hitters tonight might be laughably high. In cash, you most likely have to plug them in, but in a GPP maybe think about the Rockies hitters or just move away from Coors altogether.
Getting some Seattle Mariners exposure could be good for tonight, as they face Johnny Cueto of the San Francisco Giants. Cueto, to put it nicely, is a shell of his former self. Ty France is one of the highest-rated hitters on the Bales Model tonight, and he is projected to hit second in the lineup and costs only $2,600. Mitch Haniger is also worth a look, but he’s not as much of a bargain. Almost every Mariners hitter is a bargain on DraftKings tonight.
Merrill Kelly had a pretty strong 2020, although he only started five games. The Padres may be a stack-able team tonight to pivot off of Coors Field. The highest-rated non-Coors playing hitter is Tommy Pham, and the Bales Model likes Fernando Tatis Jr‘s chances too. Pham is 3-for-9 with a home run off of Kelly, and Tatis is 5-for-11 with three home runs against the Arizona right-hander.
The bargain of the night on FanDuel from the Bales Model is Starling Marte, whose price already climbed $200, even after an 0-for-4 day. It seems that FanDuel realized that his price was too low. He is a reverse-splits batter (enjoys right-handed pitching slightly more) but is cheap for hitting at the top of one of these lineups.
Pictured above: Trevor Bauer
Credit: Abbie Parr/Getty Images