3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Hitters to Avoid on 4/4/16
Welcome to a new season of daily fantasy baseball!
As is the case in most daily fantasy sports, finding information on players you might want to roster is a lot easier than finding players to avoid.
While you can get away with a zero from a hitter in daily fantasy, you certainly don't want to target guys whose matchups aren't enticing.
Here are three hitters you may want to lessen your exposure to or even fade altogether on Opening Day.
Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels
FanDuel Price: $5,000
One of the biggest bats on the Opening Day slate is Angels’ outfielder, Mike Trout. However, while Trout can make your lineup on any given night, at his price point this evening, he could easily break it, too. His matchup against Cubs’ ace, Jake Arrieta is not one to get excited about. Our algorithms predict Trout for only 11 FanDuel points this evening, which -- compared to some of the other players at his price -- is simply not enough this evening.
Arrieta dominated last season for Chicago, with an xFIP of 2.61, and right-handed hitters averaged just .206 off Arrieta in 2015, with a wOBA of .244. Arrieta’s ability to throw his sinker and slider could be Trout’s undoing tonight against the Cubs’ ace. While Trout was 2.08 sinker runs above average per 100 pitches last season, he was -0.69 against sliders in 2015.
While Arrieta and Trout have only faced one another three times, Arrieta’a new mechanics and team have led him to extraordinary results. It may be wise to target some other stud outfielders today like Bryce Harper or Jose Bautista.
Didi Gregorius, SS, New York Yankees
FanDuel Price: $2600
Didi Gregorius has never been known as a hitter. His defense is much more of an asset to the Yankees at shortstop. However, he has done well in spring training with a slash line of .282/.333/.359. Still, it’s hard to give Gregorius too much credit for his spring performance, considering he also finished the spring 0-for-14 in his final six exhibition games.
It’s also hard to trust him tonight against the Astros’ Dallas Keuchel. In 164 plate appearances last season, Gregorius hit only .247 against left-handed pitching, and he posted a strikeout rate of 15.8 percent against lefties, over a percentage point higher than his season average of 14.7 percent.
Gregorius did get one hit in four at-bats against Keuchel last season, but the left-hander was dominant against left-handed hitting, and it’s hard to believe that won’t continue this season. Keuchel had a wOBA of just .201 against left-handed hitting in 2015. Additionally, lefties hit just .174 off of him, and he allowed an on-base percentage of just .201. While Gregorius’ price is intriguing as a cheaper option for one of your middle-infield slots, look elsewhere for shortstops today.
Wil Myers, 1B, San Diego Padres
FanDuel Price: $3100
The Padres open up their season in San Diego tonight, but that is just good news for Clayton Kershaw. Playing in Petco is generally a pitcher’s dream, and last season, Kershaw had an ERA of 1.35 in San Diego and batters hit just .167 off him there. Now, he heads back there to start the 2016 season, and while most of the Padres look like they could be landmines, Wil Myers sticks out.
The first baseman hit all eight of his home runs last season off of right-handed pitching. It gets even worse when you look at his plate appearances at home against left-handed pitching. Myers hit just .208 in Petco last season against lefties in 24 at-bats.
Kershaw was once again dominant last season with an xFIP of 2.09, which almost bested his stellar 2014 campaign. However, it still was enough to lead the league in that category. The lefty did increase his strikeout rate to 33.8 percent in 2015, which was easily a career-high. He didn’t get the Cy Young, but he still led the league in SIERA at 2.24 in 2015, so just a friendly reminder that targeting hitters against him here on Opening Day may not be too wise.