IT. IS. TIME. MLB Opening Day!! 2020 has been quite a jabroni-ish ride so far, but we’re about to get rewarded for our patience. MLB is back in our lives, and though it will be a short, unusual season, we’ll take it! We’ve also got NBA and NHL coming back in the next couple weeks, so DFS is going to be a busy place.
As excited as we all are to have baseball back, I want to caution you against going overboard on this Opening Night 2-game slate. We have a couple of huge contests up, and they are enticing, but there is virtually no strategy or edge to a contest with 100,000+ entries on a 2-game slate. It’s fun, and somebody has to win, but it’s really just pretty silly. As we’ll discuss throughout the season, I personally don’t play cash games on 2-game slates, and even the smaller tournaments just have basically no way to get around playing the chalk, and even if you do go contrarian, the “lower owned” options are not even all that low owned on small slates. Once the season really gets underway on Friday, these articles will only include slates of 4+ games, but this is no ordinary Thursday night. I planned to write about two short paragraphs for this opening slate, but I guess I’m excited about baseball, so it’s longer than it needs to be. Again, there really isn’t much to see here as this is a very straight-forward slate.
Opening Night Cliff Notes
OK, so there are two games on this slate. We have three great pitchers, three great offenses, and one Trash team. The optimal build in any format on any site is going to be play as many Dodgers bats as you can get, fill in with home run upside from Yankees-Nationals, and see which ace you can fit, along with Kershaw on DK. That’s really all there is to it, and everyone is going to be aware of this.
The most obvious way to be different just for the sake of being different is to play Johnny Cueto and/or Giants bats. But here’s the problem, especially in the big tournaments. Everyone who is multi-entering is also going to know this, and while the overall ownership percentage will be low, there will still end up being a fairly large number of lineups with Giants players when they are clearly the worst play on the board.
I think it makes a little more sense to go heavy on both sides of the Yankees-Nationals game. Anything that doesn’t entail loading up on Dodgers will be un-chalky. (Yes, I think we should make un-chalky a term this season. Maybe not, we’ll see what happens). I don’t even think it’s crazy at all to play both Cole and Scherzer with bats from both the Yankees and Nationals. It is not an outlandish scenario to think that the Dodgers-Giants game is a 4-1 snooze fest with very few strikeouts, while the Yankees-Nationals sees 8-10 strikeouts from Cole and Scherzer, but also a homer or two against each and then some fireworks against the bullpens.
It’s been a while since I’ve made a list of baseball things, so in order of most likely outcomes, here’s how I rank the eight sides of this slate:
Some people may have the trio of pitchers flipped around, but essentially, everyone is going to see this list in about the same order. This list reinforces my thought of going heavy on the Yankees-Nationals game. The Dodgers are too obvious, and the Giants are not good enough. Of course, the most 2020 outcome would be a 15-2 Giants victory. And with that, let’s go build some lineups!!!!