It’s a good day for inexpensive first basemen. While I’m not usually excited about fifth hitters, Adam Lind has one of the best matchups of the day. He’s up against Rockies “ace” Kyle Kendrick. Lind is a career .293/.349/.510 hitter against right-handed pitchers. Kendrick has allowed a .279/.349/.469 line to left-handed hitters. It would be better if the game was at Coors Field, but Miller Park is a nice consolation prize for hitters. Oh, Lind costs just $2,800. Just beware of a late game matchup against Boone Logan.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld is hosting a one-day fantasy baseball league on FanDuel for Opening Day. There's $20,000 in cash prizes and it's just $10 to enter. First place wins $3,000 plus four tickets to the baseball game of their choice. Enter now!
DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH
Ben Zobrist – 2B – OAK: (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
Yovani Gallardo is a decent major league pitcher, but he’s one of the worst starters today. As such, all left-handed A’s are worth a look despite playing at home. Zobrist’s power and speed have declined in recent seasons, but he’s still a steady source of production. To be clear, Zobrist isn’t the guy you pick when you’re hoping for a 20 point spike. He should be a nice core performer for cash game lineups.
Joc Pederson – OF – LAD: (FanDuel Price: $3,200)
In many ways, Pederson is a no-no choice for DFS owners. As the probable eighth hitter, he’s at a disadvantage for plate appearances. With a George Springer-like profile, this power and speed double threat has a tough matchup against James Shields. Most days, we’d steer entirely clear of Shields. This being Opening Day, he’s a merely ordinary hurler. Pederson has explosive power and is coming of a huge spring. Unlike Zobrist, Pederson is somebody to target for that all or nothing day.
Adam Lind – 1B – MIL: (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
As we already discussed, Lind has a cheap price, great matchup, strong supporting cast, and hitter friendly park. What more could you want? Answer: somebody who won’t be subbed out if a LOOGY comes into play.
Kennys Vargas – 1B – MIN: (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
I’m intrigued by this matchup. Vargas is an impatient hitter who looks to jump on any early count strikes. David Price is an elite hurler who rarely walks hitters. Price took a few weeks to settle in last season, and his 2015 spring was far from dominant. If Vargas can jump on some early count fastballs, he could have a surprisingly good day. He’s the Twins’ fifth hitter.
Austin Jackson – OF – SEA: (FanDuel Price: $2,900)
After a rough 2014, Jackson has lost his appeal to DFS owners. So why target him as a punt? In short, he’s a rebound candidate who will bat first for a decent Mariners lineup. Today’s matchup against soft tossing Jered Weaver is also a plus. Weaver is a wily pitcher in the Jamie Moyer mold, but he should be prone to rough outings. Hope for a couple hits, runs, and maybe a steal.
Carlos Ruiz – C – PHI: (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
There’s no sex appeal with Ruiz, but his situation is solid if you’re looking to pay nothing for a catcher. He’s expected to bat fifth for the Phillies this year, which means plenty of opportunities to drive in Chase Utley after Ryan Howard strikes out. Ruiz won’t repeat his excellent 2012 season, but his strong plate discipline can sometimes lead to a solid DFS outing. He projects to hit about .260/.340/.380 this season. Clay Buchholz isn’t a particularly difficult matchup, although he should be better than last season.
Dioner Navarro – C – TOR: (FanDuel Price: $2,600)
This blurb was originally about Smoak facing a transforming Masahiro Tanaka. However, it seems Navarro got the Opening Day nod for the Blue Jays. his catcher eligibility makes him a decent bargain, even with the difficult matchup. Tanaka is working on improving a sinker so he can rely less on velocity. That could lead to a few rough outings - especially against a team like Toronto. The switch hitter doesn't have much power, but he could pop one over the shallow right field porch at Yankee Stadium.
Jonathan Schoop – 2B – BAL: (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
This one requires a little explanation. Schoop has great pull field power, but he’s far from a finished product. He’ll hit towards the bottom of the Orioles lineup. Chris Archer is a fairly neutral matchup, but Tropicana Field is a big negative. If you’re looking for a gambling analogy, Schoop is a hard eight. He has 20 home run power at a bargain price, but he’ll leave you hurting if he doesn’t go yard. Be careful.
Marlon Byrd – OF – CIN: (FanDuel Price: $2,900)
Byrd has hit 49 home runs over the last two seasons. He’ll play in today’s most homer friendly park against southpaw Francisco Liriano. He’s the Reds’ fifth hitter, so he should get a shot to drive in Joey Votto, Todd Frazier, and Devon Mesoraco with some frequency. He’s slightly more powerful against left-handed pitchers. This is a nice price for a guy who could blast 30 home runs this season.