I have spent a lot of time during the past week looking at DraftKings pricing for opening day. I am still trying to figure out why the pricing is so low on some of these guys, IE; Bryce Harper, Jason Kipnis, Jose Altuve among others. Maybe it’s because of all the studs that pitch on opening day? Maybe it’s because DK is trying to suck us in with cheap pricing to begin the season? Or maybe we should just enjoy it and fit as many studs in as possible! In fact there are only 3 hitters in total that are priced over $5,000 on DK and those guys are Chris Davis, Hunter Pence and Manny Machado.
I typically try to get a good read on ownership percentages before building my rosters but opening day will be tough to predict. Bryce Harper was priced in the mid 5k range for the majority of the season last year but for the opener you can get him for a cool $4,500. The masses will flock to a player of his caliber and I will definitely have some exposure to him but I honestly think that if you want to win a GPP you will need to fade him because his ownership percentage will be at an all time high. We will go over a few different topics and strategies for opening day.
1. Pitchers– Max Scherzer is the top dog and is priced as one coming in at $12,300. He pitches against a Braves team that was ranked dead last in 2015 with an ISO of .108. ISO is an advanced stats that measures a batters raw power. The formula to come up with a players ISO is slugging percentage minus batting average. I talked about a pitchers strikeout percentage in the MLB DFS primer and last year Scherzer’s K% was a whopping 30.7%! That was
good for 3rd in the league trailing only Clayton Kershaw at 33.8% and Chris sale at 32.1%. I will have some shares of Scherzer and I am hoping that he will be under owned since there are so many other studs priced well below him. Even at his salary you can still make a solid lineup of hitters because the pricing is so soft on opening day.
One pitcher that I think will be over looked is Raisel Iglesias of the Cincinnati Reds. He is priced as the fifth most expensive and is $100 more than Felix Hernandez. I tend to think that people will gravitate towards King Felix. I can’t blame you for going with the King but I don’t like his match up that well vs the Texas Rangers in Arlington. Iglesias on the other hand had a 26.3% strikeout rate and gets a Phillies team that was ranked 28th in ISO at .133. The Phillies also ranked 10th among all MLB teams with a K% of 21%. I will have Iglesias and Scherzer in a few lineups and hope that I can get them at a reduced ownership rate.
2. Batters- Okay, back to Bryce Harper.
4,500 are you kidding me! I don’t care who the opposing pitcher on is, Harper’s price should never be this low. Ever. You have to have some guts to fade him but again, if you want to win a GPP by you’re going to have to strongly consider fading him. Harper is the premier DFS stud averaging over 10 DK points per game last year. He had a .319 ISO last season which is otherwordly. The next closest was Chris Davis with a .300 ISO. Harper also ranked third in batting average at .330, first in on base percentage and first in slugging percentage. Here are a few plays I like broken down by position for opening day.
Catchers: Buster Posey, Matt Wieters, Wilson Ramos
1B: Chris Davis, Joey Votto, Brandon Belt, Mitch Moreland
2B: Brian Dozier, Joe Panik, Jason Kipnis, Jose Altuve, Brandon Phillips
3B: Manny Machado, Miguel Sano, Matty Duffy (Giants) Trevor Plouffe
SS: Brandon Crawford, Carlos Correa, Ketel Marte, Zack Cozart
OF: Chris Davis, Hunter Pence, Adam Jones, Denard Span, Bryce Harper, Jay Bruce, Billy Hamilton, Ben Revere
As always keep an eye on the weather whenever you play MLB DFS. I highly recommend following @KevinRothWx on twitter. He is the best of the best. You can reach me on twitter @afish84 as I am always down to talk about anything DFS related. Good luck!
Scherzer Photo: (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Harper Photo: (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)