There are two contests today. The early group starts at 1:05pm and includes six games. The late batch begins at the normal 7:05pm time slot with nine games.
The White Sox will face Mike Pelfrey today. He hasn't been good since 2010. Pelfrey claims to be fully healthy for the first time in years, so we probably shouldn't expect him to be as bad as his 2014 line (7.99 ERA, 3.80 K/9, 6.85 BB/9 in 23.2 innings). At his best, he's a high contact ground ball pitcher. The White Sox have a number of affordable picks today.
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DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH
Melky Cabrera – OF – CWS: (FanDuel Price: $2,800) Early
Cabrera entered the season with a bargain price, and it's only improved after a 2-for-16 start to the season. We don't care about what he did over the first four games. It's his high contact ability, decent power, and slot in the lineup we're buying. Against Pelfrey and the Twins' terrible bullpen, Cabrera could reach base multiple times ahead of the big bats.
Pablo Sandoval – 3B – BOS: (FanDuel Price: $2,900) Early
Like Cabrera, Sandoval began 2015 with a cheap price. He's remained under $3,000 thanks to a lack of extra base hits. He'll face a talented reliever in Adam Warren. It remains to be seen how Warren will perform out of the rotation.
Sandoval is a career .304/.358/.493 hitter against right-handed pitching. Yankee Stadium comes equipped with that short right field porch, boosting Sandoval's upside potential.
Miguel Montero – C – CHC: (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
Montero was held out yesterday with a lefty on the hill. As such, he should be a safe start today. The Cubs play at Coors Field against right-hander Kyle Kendrick.
Montero is a .272/.355/.441 hitter against righties. Kendrick is prone to left-handed hitters, and his stuff doesn't appear to be well-suited to altitude. For what it's worth, Kendrick has struggled at Coors in a small sample.
Chase Headley – 3B – NYY (FanDuel Price: $2,800) Early
If you'd rather not use Sandoval, you can reach across the aisle for Headley. He'll face Red Sox righty Joe Kelly. As with Sandoval, Headley will take aim at the shallow right field porch. Kelly is an unpredictable opponent. His overwhelming 95 mph sinker can shut down opponents, but his lack of complementary stuff can lead to some rocky outings.
Jed Lowrie – SS – HOU (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
The Astros draw a mediocre righty in Yovani Gallardo. Lowrie, a switch-hitter, generally bats seventh for Houston, but it's easier to accept a poor lineup slot from a middle infielder. Gallardo topped out at 90 mph in his Rangers debut. He was spanked around for four runs by an unimpressive Athletics lineup. Lowrie should have a shot at a few RBI at the very least.
Adam Eaton – OF – CWS: (FanDuel Price: $2,800) Early
The recommendation for Eaton is similar to that of Cabrera. He'll face Pelfrey with the platoon advantage at hitter friendly U.S. Cellular Field. Unlike Cabrera, Eaton has very little power potential. Instead, you'll be hoping for multiple hits and runs. Since their prices are the same, you should prioritize Eaton.
Justin Smoak – 1B – TOR: (FanDuel Price: $2,600)
Camden Yards is the third best park for left-handed home runs. Smoak will face erratic right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez. He gives up his fair share of home runs. Smoak could easily hit 30 home runs if he played all his games in Baltimore. This is a pure power play.
Make sure he starts. I recommended him in a similar situation on Opening Day and had to audible to Dioner Navarro.
Luis Valbuena – 3B – HOU: (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
Valbuena sat yesterday after going 0-for-11 in his first three games. He bats third for the Astros, which makes him an inexpensive, better positioned version of Lowrie. He's a career .227/.310/.374 hitter against right-handed pitching, but he's been much better in recent seasons. So long as he's batting third, his 15 to 20 home run power makes him a bargain.
Mark Canha – 1B – OAK: (FanDuel Price: $2,700) Early
Billy Butler is available for $3,100. Try Canha if you prefer a cheaper, less predictable alternative. He's a big power bat who will probably hit fifth today. The A's are up against mediocre lefty J.A. Happ, so Canha will have an opportunity to find the gaps.
There are a few concerns to consider. He's a high strikeout guy, so you should avoid him in cash games. The Oakland Coliseum is notoriously pitcher friendly which will sap his power. Once the Mariners call upon a right-handed reliever, Canha could be pulled in favor of Ike Davis.