This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
Welcome back to another season of daily fantasy baseball, courtesy of FanDuel.com. Monday has a huge slate of games, though it is a little tricky navigating through all of them given how many aces will toe the rubber. Here's who you should consider for the big first day of baseball.
Max Scherzer, $11,000 - It's hard to get away from Clayton Kershaw ($11,700), but he gets a right-handed heavy lineup against the Padres. Enter Scherzer, who faces the Mets, has a strong lineup to back him up and has the advantage going against a team that hasn't seen him almost at all. This isn't going out on a limb at all, but I'd spend for Scherzer up for if you're looking for a safe starting pitcher.
Yordano Ventura, $8,200 - Kyle Kendrick is the lowest-priced pitcher at $6,600; everyone else is $7,200 or more. Thus, Ventura is in play considering his price. He's not an overwhelming favorite against the White Sox, and they will counter with Jeff Samardzija ($9,700) on the mound. However, he'll be in the friendly confines of Kauffman Stadium where both his strikeout and walk rates were much better last season than on the road. He has a ton of upside, and this could be the beginning of a young pitcher taking a big step to becoming an ace.
Brian McCann, $3,300 - McCann should draw the start for the Yankees, and the catcher should be much more acclimated to his surrounding this season. He'll go against Drew Hutchison, a pitcher who wasn't as hyped as Marcus Stroman but has a lot of upside as well. The problem is, albeit in a small sample size, Hutchison struggled last season against the Yankees with a 5.17 ERA and allowed five home runs over 31.1 innings. This puts McCann in play, especially given the short right-field porch in Yankee Stadium.
Billy Butler, $3,200 - It'll be interesting to see how Butler adjusts to his new ballpark, considering it's a pretty lateral move as far as hitters go. Butler has flashed some power this spring, hammering five home runs in only 54 at-bats. The key here is that he's not an easy out with a career .359 OBP, and that matters in a format on FanDuel that docks a player .25 points for every out. Yovani Gallardo isn't close to being the toughest matchup on the slate, and Butler should have some RBI opportunities hitting in the middle of the lineup.
Howie Kendrick, $3200 - Sounds a little crazy here, going against James Shields in a pitcher's ballpark, right? The fact is the Dodgers batted Kendrick in the cleanup spot this spring, and he should be there against Shields on Monday. Kendrick has surprisingly had a lot of success against Shields, posting a .483 batting average. This likely won't be a high scoring game but if the Dodgers put up some runs, expect Kendrick to have some hand in it.
Trevor Plouffe, $2,900 - It's tough to fade an elite pitcher like David Price, but Plouffe is one of the few exceptions. Plouffe has historically hit southpaws better than right-handed pitching and has gone 6-for-12 against Price for his career. While he's no guarantee to produce, the track record and lack of other cheap options make Plouffe a legitimate consideration.
Everth Cabrera, $2,700 - The injury to J.J. Hardy has opened a path for playing time for Cabrera. He's a speed guy who gains his fantasy value using his legs, and his defense will be enough to keep him on the field until Hardy returns. He's a sneaky play given his salary, and even when Hardy returns he could still play at the expense of Jonathan Schoop.
Michael Taylor, $2,500 - You know your team is in dire straits when it has to send a 41-year-old Bartolo Colon to the mound for your first game. Taylor is going to get a chance with Denard Span and Jayson Werth both battling injuries. Taylor is an intriguing prospect given his history of a nice speed/power combination in the minors. Going with him and teammate Bryce Harper isn't a bad combination if you're looking to do a mini stack against Colon.
Anthony Gose, $2,500 - Gose is going to enter the season as the Tigers' center fielder and should be in a great spot to run and score runs. Gose is a speedster who should occupy the leadoff spot against right-handed pitching. He's in a decent spot Monday against Phil Hughes, who has posted much better numbers at home than away. Look for Gose to swipe a bag and get a run in this home game.