Noah Syndergaard went 6 IP and gave up 4 ER on 6 H, 0 BB, and 10 K's against the Cardinals. This was a mixed bag for Syndergaard given the 4 ER but the 10 K's were positive. Syndergaard has arguably the best stuff of anyone in the league but he carries extreme injury risk given his velocity and track record. Outside of the injury risk, Syndergaard is a top-five fantasy option. He has an elite strikeout rate (28.4% K) paired with excellent control (5.2% BB). Syndergaard also does a great job of limiting hard contact with 50% GB. His career ERA sits at 2.89 over 364 IP, which is what you should expect over a healthy, full season.
Aaron Nola went 5.1 IP and gave up 1 ER on 3 H, 1 BB, and 3 K's against the Braves. The Gabe Kapler era in Philadelphia did not get off to a strong start after he pulled Nola with a 5-1 lead and only 68 pitches only to later lose the game 8-5. Nola posted a very strong 2017 season with a 3.54 ERA over 168 IP with strong underlying skills (27% K, 50% GB). He has the repertoire and skills to become an elite fantasy pitcher. Nola misses bats (11% SwStr), controls the strike zone (7% BB), and gets a ton of weak contact (50% GB). He does a great job of getting ahead in the count (65% F-strike%) which allows his secondary options to lead to swing and misses. He is poised for a huge season.
Ian Happ was 1-5 with a home run and three strikeouts against the Marlins. Happ hit leadoff and played centerfield. He is coming off a strong rookie campaign that saw him hit .253 with 24 HR, 62 R, 68 RBI, and 8 SB over 115 games. The biggest question coming into the year is how many at-bats is Happ going to get? He doesn't have a defined defensive position but if he can prove to be a capable leadoff hitter he could find himself in the lineup every day. Happ has the on-base skills (9.4% BB) but he is going to have to cut down on his strikeouts (31% K). He has shown better strikeout rates in the minors so it is possible that he could make an adjustment. Regardless, he has the potential to go 25 HR/10 SB with eligibility at 2B and OF.
Ty Blach went 5.0 IP and gave up 0ER on 3 H, 3 BB, and 3 K's against the Dodgers. Blach was able to outduel Clayton Kershaw thanks to a Joe Panik home run. Blach has a rotation spot locked up with the injuries to Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija. Don't be fooled by today's start or the stretch last year in which he pitched well. We're talking about a pitcher with a strikeout rate under 11% and 6% SwStr. He doesn't get a ton of weak contact (46.7% GB), which means he is going to be extremely dependent on his batted ball luck, which is something you want to avoid as a fantasy owner. His profile screams stay away no matter what his ERA may say.
DFS Value Play
Scott Kingery is not guaranteed to be in the lineup but if he is, he represents a tremendous value on DraftKings at $3,000. This is a guy who went 26 HR/29 SB in the minors last year. The Phillies also just rewarded him with a huge contract extension meaning they believe in his talent. The upside for the price is too good to pass up. DraftKings: $3,000
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