It’s hard to believe that winter is over and the MLB season has begun. It’s time to brush off your daily fantasy baseball skills, and start thinking about who the best players to draft for your roster are. Looking ahead to Friday, April 8th, we’ve put together some of our top early season fantasy baseball picks for you.
Pitcher in the Rotation
The pitchers listed here are not definite starters for Friday as of yet, but based on the information available at the time of writing, these are the most pitchers most likely to start for their teams.
Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays is probably the best pitcher here. He lost his first game of the season, but was one of the top pitchers last year in terms of strikeouts, with 252. That was good enough for fourth best in all of MLB. He’s going to be expensive, but this might be the cheapest you find him this season thanks to a big loss on his first outing. Despite 3 BBs and an ERA of 3.60, he had 12 strikeouts. We’ll take that any day.
When it comes to value, Jacob deGrom is the way to go. He’s a proven pitcher, leading the New York Mets to a great season last year. He was a top 15 pitcher in terms of strikeouts, and there’s no reason to believe that he won’t be strong this year, too. He’s going to be cheaper than Archer, but should have a performance of close to the same level thanks to home field.
Outfield is Deep
Based on last year, Mike Trout is the top choice for outfield on Friday. He was the second highest OF last year when considering OPS, and that means he has a strong combination of both power and a consistent ability to get on base. From a fantasy standpoint, that’s all you really need. Toronto’s José Bautista is also a great start here. He was a top ten level OF last year, and he’s off to a good start this year, already putting up two runs and batting .333. He had a subpar season last year, and he might actually be the better value pick here over Trout. Trout has the higher ceiling, but he will cost more. The tradeoff is up to you.
First Base Closing
First base is the typical power position, and you should allocate more of your infield salary to here than you should any other position. The only position player that might necessitate a higher price is your outfield, but that’s dependent on whether you draft Trout or not.
With that in mind, Miguel Cabrera is as good as it gets here. He had an OPS of .974 last year, and that was with him missing some time. He appears to be healthy this season, and there’s a decent chance he could be even better, despite being another year older. He has a great eye, and seems to be getting better with age. He’s still in his early 30s, so a great season is not even close to out of the question.
Your best value choice is most likely Mark Trumbo of the Baltimore Orioles. He’s a high .800s OPS hitter usually, but is off to a hot start. And thanks to his cleanup position in a strong Baltimore lineup, the potential for a lot of RBIs helps him a ton in most leagues. If you can get a good price for him, he’s going to add a lot of cheap points to your lineup. He may switch to the OF once in a while, so your DFS site might have him listed there.
Crucial Third Base
At third base, you want cheap points. There is a lot of potential for fantasy points at this position, but you shouldn’t need to spend too much for them. Matt Duffy of the San Francisco Giants is a good choice here, as is Matt Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals. If you can find someone cheaper than these players, you should tread lightly, if only because they are not very likely to have the same point drive.