There are once again 15 games on today’s slate with only one of them starting before 7:05 ET and that would be the Indians and White Sox with first pitch slated for 2:05. The weather does not seem to be a major factor today, but could impact the Braves and Mets so be careful with either of their starting pitchers in case of a delay. Today’s slate features a number of aces, including a marquee matchup between Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner. Obviously those who want to spend money on the aces are more than welcome to, but I personally live the strategy of not paying for pitching so none of the aces will be recommended here.
Archie Bradley vs Rangers (FD: 7,300 DK: 6,800)
Bradley has had an impressive start to his MLB career with a sub-2 ERA across 12 innings pitched. He faces a Rangers’ offense that is below average. They find themselves in the middle of the pack in terms of runs scored and strikeout percentage but are second to last in batting average. Bradley has shown a bit of trouble with walks (6 in 12 innings) but he has not allowed many hits at all. He should be able to keep this below-average Rangers offense at bay and rack up points for savvy owners.
Joe Kelly vs Rays (FD: 7,100 DK: 6,400)
I have seen Kelly criticized on many different websites as an average to below average pitcher who is not a valuable fantasy option. I have always been a fan of Kelly and in his career he proven to be a solid MLB starter. He does not rack up strikeouts which makes him a risky play but I like his chances of limiting runs and going deep in the game today against a below average Tampa Bay offense.
John Mayberry (FD: 2,600 DK: 2,800)
Mayberry was brought in by the Mets to hit left-handed pitching and today he faces Eric Stults, a left-hander for the Braves. Many of the Mets’ middle of the order guys are left-handed and should shift down in the order, with Mayberry slotting in likely in the three-hole. This should provide him a number of RBI opportunities, and hitting ahead of run producers should allow him to have a chance at scoring some runs himself.
Freddie Freeman (FD: 4,000 DK: 4,000)
Freeman is more expensive than the type of player I typically discuss in this column, but he has a great matchup today. The average has not been there in the early going, but Freeman is showing great pop with four homers already. Dillon Gee is starting for the Mets and he has not been good yet this season. Gee has struggled with the long ball in his career and has been struggling even more this season. Freeman is the best player in a lineup with a plus matchup, making him an attractive option despite his slightly elevated price.
Ryan Flaherty (FD: 2,700 DK: 3,500)
Flaherty is currently the Orioles everyday second baseman due to the injury to Jonathon Schoop. Since taking over Flaherty has taken full advantage with seven hits across four games. Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez has had a poor start to his season and provides a good chance for Flaherty to remain red hot at the plate.
Scott Van Slyke (FD: 3,000 DK: 3,600)
Van Slyke is on the Dodgers because he has one particular skill and that is that he mashes left-handed pitching. He faces one of the best lefties in the game in Madison Bumgarner, but that does not change the outlook for Van Slyke, who hopes to continue his hot hitting against southpaws. He is a great bet for an extra base hit as his ISO was a whopping .315 in 2014 against lefties.
Padres vs Rockies
Kyle Kendrick is starting for the Rockies in Colorado and from a fantasy standpoint that is a dream matchup for the opposing team. Kendrick is not a very good pitcher and can very easily blow up on the mound. All Padres get a boost in this one, although the popular guys in the lineup are priced a bit highly. Look for guys like Yangervis Solarte or Derek Norris to possibly be cheap sources of production.
Royals vs Twins
Mike Pelfrey is a bad MLB starter with a career ERA over 4.50, and he has not been effective even in a small sample since 2012. The Royals’ offense has been a surprise juggernaut thus far in 2015, and unlike the Padres they feature a number of guys priced in the lower end of the spectrum. Paulo Orlando has been setting records and remains cheap while Mike Moustakas and Kendrys Morales are good options that are cheaply priced.