Well I’m not sure who you’re choosing, but it should be Madison Bumgarner, especially on a two pitcher site like DraftKings. There is no reason to leave him out in cash formats. Let’s look at the basics first. Bumgarner is good, really good. He was 18-9 last season with a 2.93 ERA and 234 K’s in 218.1 IP. Last season he averaged just shy of 7IP’s per start, scattered among 22 quality starts, which is the 5th highest rate among the available starters for opening day. He also had the 11th highest K-Rate in the league among qualified starting pitchers and averaged over a K/9, one of only 15 pitchers to accomplish this feat in 2015.
On the flip side are the Brewers. Last year Milwaukee was bad, finishing with just 68 wins, and they don’t really look any better this year. The Brewers struck out 22% of the time last season against LHP, and were dead last in the league in on-base percentage against lefties. The Brewers were in the middle of the pack for isolated power against lefties but they were in the bottom third in the league in both SLG and OPS against. Bumgarner doesn’t issue many walks and I’d be surprised if he had more than one on opening day.
If the young lefty doesn’t give someone a chance for a 3-run homer which he shouldn’t he should cruise. He gave up less than a HR/9 last year and the Brewers hit just 34 home runs all season long against left handed pitching.
The Giants will be favored in this matchup too, giving you a good chance at those win points. A stat line along the lines of 7IP 5H 2ER 8K’s 1BB is about what you could expect, with the ceiling being even higher, with the upper ranges probably being around 8IP 3H 0EP 11K 0BB.
Top Five Projected Draft Kings SP’s for Opening Day
Bumgarner projects to have a top finish and he’s a greater value than Max Scherzer, costing just $429 per expected point, which is the best value among the available starting pitchers. With some softer pricing on some hitters, let the crowd flock to Scherzer against the lowly Braves, but you should select Bumgarner, and use the savings elsewhere. He’s a solid play in all formats. He’s the first pitcher I will lock into my lineups, and you should too.