I love stats like a fat kid loves cake.
And last time I checked, fat kids really, really love cake.
The fantasy baseball season has returned, and daily players enjoyed a fun-filled opening day. Daily fantasy basketball is set to end so, like any degenerate would do, I have transitioned from the court to the diamond. The addicting aspect of daily fantasy baseball is the plethora of statistics to your disposal. For a fantasy geek like me, it makes me feel nice and warm inside.
Kind of like cake.
|Greinke (LAD)||Kennedy (SD)|
|Anderson (COL)||Eovaldi (MIA)|
|Sabathia (NYY)||Feldman (HOU)|
|Hutchison (TOR)||Cobb (TB)|
|Burnett (PHI)||Perez (TEX)|
|Wood (ATL)||Loshe (MIL)
|Cain (SF)||Miley (ARI)|
|Kluber (CLE)||Kazmir (OAK)|
|Ramirez (SEA)||Wilson (LAA)|
Buster Posey @ ARI - A new year, but Posey is still very, very good at baseball. On opening night, the game’s best catcher hit a game-winning two run shot in the top of the 9th, finishing the night with a single and that two-run shot. On a Tuesday night with a handful of very strong catcher options, if you are going to pay up for one, it better be, no, must be Posey. He is one of the best hitters in baseball against left-handed pitching, batting an insane .343 with 24 homers and 95 RBI during his career against such pitchers. Meanwhile, Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley has not been able to beat Posey throughout his career, as the Giants backstop is sporting an impressive .533 average in 15 at-bats against Miley. He is also averaging 1.42 fantasy points per at-bat against him. You probably shouldn’t expect another high-scoring affair like last night, but Posey has the track record and success against Miley to warrant his price tag.
Freddie Freeman @ MIL - Freeman is coming off a rough start to the season, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout against the Brewers, but I expect a bounceback on Tuesday evening. Miller Park is still a home run friendly venue for a guy with 30 home run potential, and while Kyle Lohse is a strong pitcher, he typically struggles in the beginning of the year, allowing 136 career home runs in the first half of the year, while the opposition is batting .270. He is also surrendering slightly over one home run per game during the first half of the season throughout his career, and Freeman rarely has consecutive poor outings. Don’t be surprised if he hits one deep tonight.
Howie Kendrick vs SEA - Kendrick is never an insanely appealing option, but the second base position is very ugly tonight, making for an ideal opportunity to punt the position. Kendrick faces arguably the worst pitcher of tonight’s slate in Erasmo Ramirez. He’s pretty cheap, so he’ll provide you with some salary relief to play top tier guys like Posey or Prince Fielder, another first baseman I absolutely love. He is a career .291 hitter against right handed arms, and could be in store for a sneaky multi-hit game with a few runs.
Adrian Beltre vs PHI - If you are looking to pay for power at the hot corner (which you should), Beltre remains an elite option against the Phillies and newly acquired A.J. Burnett. Beltre and the Rangers torched the likes of Cliff Lee to the tune of seven runs on Monday, and Burnett is clearly now Lee. Beltre is murdering Burnett in head-to-head matchups in his career, sporting an average of .294 with an OBP of .333 and is averaging a healthy 0.91 fantasy points per at-bat. I have an inkling Burnett looks off in his first career start as a member of the Phillies, and Beltre may reap the benefits. Over the past three seasons, Beltre is batting .333 at home with 58 home runs, while batting .315 against right-handed pitchers.
Hanley Ramirez @ SD - I usually don’t tend to pay up for middle infielders, but when you are talking about potentially the best shortstop in the game, you can make an exception. Few shortstops in the game today possess the power that Ramirez holds and he has a great matchup tonight against a struggling Ian Kennedy, who is coming off a shaky spring. Last year, Kennedy allowed a whopping 27 home runs, so he is certainly prone to giving up the long ball. During his career in March/April, Kennedy is sporting an ERA of 4.67, the second highest out of any month, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he struggled in this outing against a difficult Dodgers lineup.
Jason Heyward @ MIL - Heyward is one of my favorite players in baseball, so you may very well find him on this list quite a bit over the course of the season. Batting atop of a strong Braves lineup is already great for Heyward, and I’m expecting that to continue tonight. Few leadoff hitters in baseball have the power Heyward possesses, and Lohse has had a history of allowing the long ball over the course of his career. He allowed 26 home runs of his own last season, and over the last three seasons, Heyward is light years better against right-handed pitching than lefties (.266, 43 HR compared to .226, 12 HR).
Other notable OF: Ryan Braun, Shin Soo-Choo, Giancarlo Stanton.
Zack Greinke @ SD - The top pitcher of the night, Greinke has owned the Padres during his last five meetings with the ball club. He has won three games, sporting an ERA of just 1.74, allowing 18 hits and striking out 31 batters. The Padres lineup is nothing to fear and PETCO Park is a pitcher-friendly venue, as the Padres home finished with the fewest runs per game last season (0.831). Greinke is averaging about 23 fantasy points per game against the Padres in his career and is basically the top play of the night.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.