MLB DFS DraftKings.com & FanDuel.com Lineups & Picks for March 29, 2018
Baseball is back with a full slate of Opening Day MLB DFS games scheduled for Thursday, March 29. The main slate on DraftKings includes nine games starting at 3:05 p.m. EST, while FanDuel’s main slate includes 12 games starting at the same time.
For Opening Day, we’re listing our top MLB DFS pitchers, hitters, and stacks to target in Cash and GPP lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel. The info below can also be used for crafting your daily fantasy baseball strategy at FantasyDraft.
Please note the advice below is relevant for daily fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, and lots of other factors. This is important to consider when constructing a roster. Remember that more than in other sports, variance is a huge part of baseball. Even Paul Goldschmidt can go 0-for-4 on a given night, and Max Scherzer can get lit up by an unsuspecting team like the Padres.
Weather can also play a huge role in MLB DFS on a nightly basis, and lineups are constantly shifting. So always, always check the starting lineups and weather reports when playing for an MLB slate. **Nats/Reds game has already been postponed**
3/29/18 MLB DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Season Opener: $20 entry, $500k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Moonshot: $3 entry, $150k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Ridiculous Rally: $9 entry, $400k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Grand Slam: $33 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel)
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Best MLB DFS Pitchers for March 29, 2018
Chris Sale @ TB ($12.2k DraftKings, $11.2k FanDuel)
While he’s dealing with a sore hip after getting struck by a line drive last week, Chris Sale still has the best outlook of any starting pitcher on the main slate this Thursday afternoon. The Red Sox ace draws a dream matchup to open the season against the Rays. Tampa Bay posted the highest K-Rate (25%) with the second-fewest runs scored (693) in the American League last season. Tampa’s lineup was particularly inept against LHP last season with a collective .303 wOBA and a 25.9 percent K-Rate. Meanwhile, Sale is 4-1 with a .178 BAA and a ridiculous 14.78 K/9 ratio over his last six meetings with the Rays.
Justin Verlander @ TEX ($11.6k DraftKings, $9.5k FanDuel)
The Astros begin their World Series title defense against a Rangers team against which Justin Verlander has been quite productive in recent meetings. He’s posting a 2.77 ERA, .214 BAA, and 10.6 K/9 ratio over his last six starts against Texas. Plus, he won’t have to contend with Arlington’s increased home run factor. After all, the weather is not yet sweltering in late March. Coming off one of the best postseason campaigns in his impressive career, Verlander will look to cement his role as the Astros’ ace. He’s more of a tournament play than other expensive pitchers on DK (he’s pretty overpriced) but could serve as a great option on either site if Houston offers ample run support in a plus matchup against LHP Cole Hamels.
Aaron Nola @ ATL ($9.4k DraftKings, $8.8k FanDuel)
A budding star who should continue to assert himself as the Phillies’ new ace, Aaron Nola makes for a slightly safer play than Verlander or other high-priced options on DK tonight. Storms in the Atlanta area seem like they’ll hold off until the late innings or postgame. Therefore, a delay shouldn’t disrupt his outing. Nola finished 2017 very strong with a 1.80 ERA and 12.97 K/9 ratio over his last four starts and dominated Atlanta with 6 K’s, 5 hits, and 1 ER over 7 IP last August. With a curveball that ranks 18.3 runs above average, Nola held batters to a 59.3 percent contact rate on balls outside the strike zone last season. Finally, the Braves posted the fourth-lowest collective ISO mark (.150) in the Majors last year.
Garrett Richards @ OAK ($6.8k DraftKings, $8.0k FanDuel)
He only managed six starts during another injury-plagued campaign last year, but Garrett Richards was solid in that action with a 2.28 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. He’s always possessed a plus heater (averages 96.2 MPH), but Richards is working to incorporate a better breaking ball this season. Facing the Athletics in the massive Oakland Coliseum is a great way for him to start his 2018 campaign. Oakland posted the fifth-highest K-Rate (24.3 percent) and eighth-lowest batting average (.246) in the Majors last year. The current A’s are 59-for-266 (.203) with a pathetic .272 wOBA in their collective careers against Richards.
James Shields @ KC ($5.5k DraftKings, $5.8k FanDuel)
Often the butt of jokes during the first half of last season, James Shields actually finished very strong with a 3.94 ERA and .223 BAA over his last five starts. Since he’s always been prone to the long ball, the key for Shields seemed to be keeping the ball down in the zone. He posted a 38.3 percent fly ball rate last August and September. His strikeout numbers also rose, and he’ll look to ride that momentum into a plus matchup to open 2018. Facing a Royals team that scored the fifth-fewest runs (339) at home last season, Shields makes sense as a cheap option in tournaments.
Other pitchers to consider: Chase Anderson, Jake Odorizzi, Dylan Bundy
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Best MLB DFS Hitters for March 29, 2018
Mike Trout @ OAK ($5.3k DraftKings, $4.8k FanDuel)
Athletics starter Kendall Graveman is an up-and-coming young RHP, but like most pitchers, he’s had plenty of trouble getting Mike Trout out. The Angels superstar is 10-for-27 with 2 HRs and 3 SB in his career against Graveman. Last season, Trout preferred to hit against righties with a .450 wOBA and impressive .359 ISO mark in RvR matchups. Graveman happened to be more vulnerable in those situations with a .314 BAA and 14.3 percent HR/FB ratio when facing righties last year. This is a plus spot for Trout even in the spacious Oakland Coliseum.
Carlos Correa @ TEX ($4.9k DraftKings, $4.0k FanDuel)
The Astros had the best offense in baseball last year and are a tough matchup for lefties, including Rangers southpaw Cole Hamels. Jose Altuve (6-for-18, HR) and Evan Gattis (9-for-25, 3 HRs) have had the most success against Hamels, while Carlos Correa is a troublesome 2-for-15 in a limited sample size. That could keep his ownership rate down in GPPs as he looks to solve Hamels on Opening Day. Last year, Correa was a terror against lefties with a .407 average, 1.087 OPS, and 45.5 percent hard contact rate on the road against the platoon. Now 34 years old, Hamels’ swinging strike rate (9.7 percent) fell off a cliff last season, and he gave up a career-worst 36 percent hard contact rate.
Justin Smoak vs. NYY ($3.9k DraftKings, $3.2k FanDuel)
Luis Severino is coming off a fabulous season for the Yankees but struggled in two starts against the Blue Jays, and overall, struggles a bit against lefties. Justin Smoak was particularly effective against the righty, which isn’t surprising considering Severino coughed up a 1.25 HR/9 ratio with a 32.7 percent hard contact rate when facing lefties last season. Smoak went 5-for-12 with 2 HRs off Severino while slugging .529 with a .371 wOBA and 38 homers during a career year in 2017. He hit 14 of those home runs with a .260 ISO mark at home last season and smashed the ball with a 40.4 percent hard contact rate against righties.
Matt Davidson @ KC ($3.4k DraftKings, $2.2k FanDuel)
One option for the Opening Day slate would be to go cheap at 3B with an unproven player like Matt Davidson. This could help you afford all the big-name, high-priced outfielders. After earning a consistent lineup spot, Davidson struggled toward the end of 2017 but seems to have made the proper adjustments this spring while hitting .339 (19-for-56) with 4 HRs, 4 XBH, and 18 RBIs. He’ll have the platoon advantage today against LHP Danny Duffy, who sputtered with a 4.94 ERA and 1.38 HR/9 ratio over the final two months of the 2017 season. Davidson posted a solid .321 wOBA with a 22.1 percent line drive rate against lefties last year and is quite cheap across the industry.
Other hitters to consider: Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Altuve, Miguel Sano, Jose Abreu, Ryan Braun, Eric Hosmer, Eddie Rosario, Eduardo Nunez
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MLB DFS Stacks to Consider for March 29, 2018
Astros vs. Cole Hamels (Rangers)
Yankees vs. J.A. Happ (Blue Jays)
Twins vs. Dylan Bundy (Orioles)
Brewers vs. Clayton Richard (Padres)