This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
Baseball is back! Hopefully we get in a full 162 games this season and there's plenty of action on FanDuel for both tournaments and cash games. Let's take a look at who we should consider for Thursday's slate of games. Note that the main slate of games starts at 1:05 EDT with the Yankees hosting the Blue Jays.
There's nothing wrong with going safe and spending up for Shane Bieber ($11,500) who averaged 53.66 fantasy points per game last season. If I'm looking to spend down and get some Dodger bats into my lineup, I would strongly consider Luis Castillo ($8,900). In his only start against the Cardinals last season he put up 52 fantasy points and had at least 33 fantasy points in nine of the 13 games he pitched in. Three of his top four fantasy point games last season happened at home, which is where he'll take the mound Thursday.
Another option to consider is the Cubs' Kyle Hendricks ($9,100). He has a good "Opening Day" track record after delivering a nine-strikeout shutout last season in the Cubs' July 24 opener. His ERA last season was 2.88 and he rang up 30 and 43 fantasy points in the two contests last season in which he faced the Pirates.
With an over/under of 11.5, clearly the game to target is the Dodgers traveling to face the Rockies in Colorado. Cody Bellinger ($4,600), Corey Seager ($4,500) and C.J. Cron ($3,800) are three players hitting in RBI spots and have the power to go yard multiple times. Charlie Blackmon ($3,800) is another player to consider even with Clayton Kershaw on the mound, given his past success at home against southpaws.
J.D. Martinez ($3,500) is at home and facing a left-handed pitcher, so I'm on board with paying up for him. The implied run total for Boston is around six runs, and with Martinez hitting cleanup, he should have a big hand in those runs. The salary here seems more than reasonable.
Sticking with the Dodger theme, AJ Pollock ($3,200) seems like a good value in Coors. While he'll hit towards the bottom of the lineup, he still possesses power and averaged over 10 fantasy points per game last season.
There are a few rock-bottom salaried players I'd consider Opening Day. Cleveland will start Jordan Luplow ($2,200) in center field against lefty Matthew Boyd, and Luplow had a .337 wOBA last season against left-handed pitching. His presence in a lineup offers a lot of salary cap relief.
I'm not thrilled with the matchup against Jack Flaherty, but Jonathan India ($2,100) should be the starter at second base (he has third base eligibility as well) for the Reds. He's been excellent during spring training with a 1.045 OPS, and has a diverse skill set as evidenced by his three home runs and two stolen bases. He's another punt option to consider.
Stacks to Consider
The Dodgers/Rockies stack will be wildly popular given the over/under. Put in a lineup using those teams to be safe, but also be willing to look elsewhere.
Do the Red Sox bounce back this season? It's easy to forget that in the 60-game season, Boston finished last in the AL East. Do they still have talent on the roster? Absolutely. And Hernandez could have been included in the Value Bats section given his history against left-handed pitching.
It's Opening Day and anything can happen, so don't be shy using any team stack in a game with a run total of eight or less. Good luck and enjoy baseball being back!