DFS – April 15 A Hunger for the Early Games

Paul previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for April 15

Today we have a full slate of games on the MLB schedule starting at 1:10 p.m. As always, keep an eye on the weather forecast, but there doesn’t appear to be any real threats today.

Make sure to check your lineups before game times for late scratches or further weather issues.  

Draft Kings has a ton of great contests to play every day, but today I’m going to focus on the 4 early games, in this special Hunger Games Tribute. The districts represented will be Boston, Washington, Cleveland, Chicago (AL), Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles (AL), and Texas. Our 8 tributes as chosen by lottery are Wade Miley, Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Bauer, John Danks, Dan Haren, Eric Stults, Hector Santiago and Anthony Ranaudo. These 8 will fight to the death until there is just one left standing. This will no doubt be an ugly contest with no clear favorite going in. The winning tribute and their district will be rewarded, as will you.. if we choose wisely.

1.  Trevor Bauer, SP, Cleveland Indians ($7,300) Bauer matches up against the Chicago White Sox today for his second start of the season. In his first start, he no-hit the Astros through 6 innings with 10 strikeouts (and 5 walks). The Sox have been scuffling offensively, and with their team 3% walk rate and a 19.5% K rate, may not be able to take advantage of Bauer’s control issues. I see a lot of strikeouts and a likely win as Vegas has Cleveland at -147 favorites. In one appearance against the White Sox last year, Bauer went 6.2 innings with 8 hits, no runs, 3 walks and 10 strikeouts. I’m looking for more of the same today.

2. Dan Haren, SP, Miami Marlins ($6,500) I don’t love this match up, but like I said earlier, this is an ugly contest today. Wade Miley was my biggest consideration here, but I think Masterson woke up the sleeping Nationals last night. The Nats have had no trouble handling LHP either this year, ranking 8th in wOBA so far. Haren meanwhile faces off against Eric Stults and the Braves who have been surprisingly good in the early going. The Braves were ranked 29th last year against RHP, though are 7th now in 2015, thanks in large part to a 12 run outburst last week against Latos and these same Marlins. This is a risky start, but Haren pitched a 6 inning, 1 run game against the Rays last week and is 6-2 lifetime against the Braves. Haren has held the Braves to a .187 AVG the past 2 seasons. If I had the cojones to put a closer in this slot I might have. 

3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston Red Sox ($4,100) Pedroia enters today’s contest with a 1.333 SLG vs LHP and faces Gio Gonzalez in Boston today. Pedroia hit 2 home runs on Opening Day against LHP Cole Hamels and looks to be a big part of another high scoring game in Boston. Pedroia had 3 hits last night in the Sox 8-7 win and has hit lefties extremely well for his career. There aren’t many great options for 2B in this early matchup, but thankfully there’s this one.

4. Martin Prado, 3B, Miami Marlins ($3,800) Prado has been hitting clean up for the Marlins, and clean up is what he should do today against LHP Eric Stults. Prado has a lifetime .385 AVG against Stults with a home run in 26 at bats. You wouldn’t know it on the surface but Prado actually has power vs LHP, slugging .580 last year with a .421 wOBA.

5. Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels ($6,300) Trout is the most expensive position player on the board, but he’s playing in Arlington (over 1.000 career OPS) and facing RHP Anthony Ranaudo. Ranaudo has a career 6.89 FIP in 7 major league starts and should be easy pickings for the greatest hitter on the planet. It doesn’t hurt that Trout is starting off well, hitting .393 to start the season.

6. Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Miami Marlins ($5,200) Stanton woke up from his slow start to the season yesterday against these Braves, going 3-3 with 2 walks and 2 doubles. Today he faces LHP Eric Stults, whom he went 2-5 with a home run last year against. Last year Stanton slugged .630 against LHP with a 1075 OPS. This game could get away quickly from the Braves, and I expect Stanton to be the biggest culprit.


7. Danny Espinosa, SS, Washington Nationals ($3,600) Espinosa is hot, hitting .333 with a home run in his last 3 games. He also hits much better against LHP and faces Wade Miley today, whom he’s hit .333 against in his career. This should be another high-scoring affair in Boston and Espinosa represents the best value at shortstop this afternoon.

For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @fantasyassembly

Paul Hartman

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Fantasy Baseball player since 1987. Creator of Fantasy Assembly, yet just fortunate enough to be a part of it.