DraftKings picks: Votto, Duda, Sale
DraftKings participants will find several appealing options among this afternoon's eight contests, as a handful of talented hurlers and sluggers stand out on the early slate. However, with just four games in the evening, constructing an outstanding roster may in some ways require extra scrutiny. But regardless as to whether you play DraftKings in the day, night or both, the following players could be excellent assets today.
Dee Gordon (Marlins): The speedy Gordon could spark the Marlins' offense with base hits and perhaps a steal, when he will face Phillies starter Dustin McGowan (career 4.54 ERA and 1.38 WHIP).
Jay Bruce (Reds): The powerful outfielder could belt a long ball when he will bring his career .816 OPS vs. righties (.726 against lefties) into a matchup with Brewers right-hander Kyle Lohse at hitter-friendly Miller Park. In three starts this season, Lohse has struggled to the tune of a 10.34 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP.
Joey Votto (Reds): With six homers and a .377 batting average in 2015, the first baseman seems to have put his injury-plagued 2014 season behind him. His career .319/.431/.554 slash line against right-handers suggests that he will be in a prime position to smack a homer or reach base multiple times against Lohse.
Adam Lind (Brewers): The first baseman could improve on his career .859 OPS against right-handers (.591 vs. lefties) when he faces Reds righty Homer Bailey at hitter-friendly Miller Park. Bailey did not fare well in his initial 2015 start on April 18 after opening the season on the disabled list.
Jean Segura (Brewers): Segura is off to a good start this season, posting a .308 batting average with one homer and two steals. The shortstop has opened his career by compiling 13 of his 18 homers and 61 of his 73 steals against right-handers, and he will have a chance to pad those uneven splits when he hits high in the order against the right-handed Bailey.
Yonder Alonso (Padres): With a career .282/.346/.414 slash line against right-handers, Alonso could reach base multiple times against Rockies righty Jordan Lyles at hitter-friendly Coors Field. In his big league tenure, Lyles has allowed opposing left-handed hitters such as Alonso to record a collective .817 OPS.
Ike Davis (A's): With a career .255/.358/.456 slash line against righties, the first baseman could be a cost-effective option for DraftKings participants when he faces Angels starter Nick Tropeano. The recently recalled right-handed hurler has posted a 4.57 ERA across 21 2/3 career innings.
Chris Davis (Orioles): Davis could put a ball into the outfield seats at homer-happy Rogers Centre when he faces right-hander Drew Hutchison. The first baseman has posted a career .847 OPS vs. righties (.733 against lefties), and the fly-ball-prone Hutchison has compiled a career 1.2 HR/9 rate.
Adam Jones (Orioles): With a .442 average and five homers in 52 at-bats this season, Jones has been among the hottest hitters in the Majors. With Hutchison starting and the Blue Jays bullpen lacking dominant arms, the sizzling outfielder could reach base often or smack a homer.
Kevin Kiermaier (Rays): Kiermaier could be an inexpensive option for DraftKings participants who wish to also roster high-priced hitters such as the Orioles' elite sluggers. The Tampa Bay outfielder will bring a career .859 OPS against right-handers (.539 vs. lefties) into a matchup with Red Sox righty Clay Buchholz, who has produced a 6.06 ERA across three 2015 starts after posting a 5.34 mark last season.
Lucas Duda (Mets): The left-handed hitter could showcase his power against Braves righty Julio Teheran, who has allowed lefty batters to compile a career .753 OPS (.606 vs. RHB). Meanwhile, Duda has slugged 66 of his 75 lifetime homers against right-handers, and his career .848 OPS in those matchups exceeds his .620 mark vs. southpaws.
Bartolo Colon (Mets): The right-hander has opened 2015 on strong footing, having posted a 2.25 ERA, a 0.80 WHIP and an 18:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio across three starts. He could continue his early-season success at his pitcher-friendly home park against a Braves lineup that lacks a single player who slugged 20 homers last season.
Michael Wacha (Cardinals): Nationals ace Max Scherzer may be the best arm on the slate, but his right-handed mound opponent -- Wacha of the Cardinals -- will be a more cost-effective option. With a 2.92 ERA in his young career, the less-expensive Wacha could have success against a Nationals lineup that includes several hitters who fare best against southpaws. No one doubts that the Cardinals will have their hands full against Scherzer, but many of St. Louis' batters have had great big league success vs. right-handers.
Chris Sale (White Sox): The lefty showed no ill effects of missing Spring Training by posting a 2.25 ERA and a 0.92 ERA through his first two starts in 2015. With a dearth of high-end starters on the Thursday evening docket, DraftKings participants could decide to roster Sale for his outing against the Royals and trust that he will post his usual stellar numbers.
Jake Odorizzi (Rays): Odorizzi will continue his journey around the AL East when he will face his fourth intra-divisional opponent in his fourth start of 2015. The right-hander fared well against the other three power-hitting AL East lineups, allowing nary a homer and posting a 1.74 ERA with a 0.68 WHIP. If he can continue to keep the ball inside his pitcher-friendly home park, Odorizzi may outpitch Buchholz and earn a win.
All statistics are accurate through the completion of Tuesday's games.