Jake Arrieta- The Cubs front end of the rotation could be fantasy gold in 2015, and Jake Arrieta would be one of the biggest reasons why. After taking the league by storm with a 27.2% K Rate, 49.2% Ground Ball Rate and a 6.1% BB Rate in 2014, Arrieta started in similar fashion on Wednesday. He managed to control the Cardinals and limit them to 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 7 and not allowing a run. None of the traditional pitching indicators make me believe that Arrieta is in line for a serious regression in 2015. I'm a big believer in Arrieta moving forward, and I see no reason to be concerned. He is a fantasy ace moving forward.
Lance Lynn- Lance Lynn matched Jake Arrieta in their afternoon show down on Wednesday. Lynn has been a borderline fantasy ace for the last couple of years. His K Rate has consistently been around the elite 25% that you want to see from a pitcher (24.2% in 2013, 23.1% in 2014), and his ground ball rate is under the 50% that we like to see from fantasy aces (43.1% in 2013, 44.3% in 2014). Overall, Lynn hasn't quite emerged as a pitcher you want leading your squad in fantasy, but he is absolutely one of the better No. 2/3 starters you can have on a staff. A slight increase in either the strikeout rate or the ground ball rate could move Lynn into the realm of other fantasy aces.
Matt Harvey- Thursday marks the long awaited return of Matt Harvey. Harvey is an elite talent, and we will talk about him substantially over the course of the season. He has consistently exceeded the standards for elite starters since making his major league debut, and if it wasn't for his return from Tommy John surgery, he probably would have been one of the top two or three pitchers drafted this March. As is, he is one of my favorite plays on DraftKings. With a short slate of games, he appears to be worth his price tag. Some days I'll avoid paying top dollar for pitchers, but tomorrow, I think I'd be more than happy to pay for Harvey. DraftKings Salary: $8,800.00.
Gregory Polanco- Gregory Polanco is one of the more interesting players to discuss in 2015. His emergence in 2014 was one of the biggest stories in baseball. He did not live up to expectations as he struggled with left handed pitching, and he did not flash particularly spectacular power with a .108 ISO. Despite this, I like Polanco in 2015. As with most prospects that struggle upon their initial major league experience, he will almost certainly go from overvalued to undervalued in 2015. He is a solid bet to steal between 25-30 bases while hitting around 15 home runs. He also should see a slight increase in batting average as he is put in better positions to succeed. I like him tomorrow against right-handed pitcher Anthony DeSclafani as a value play on DraftKings. DraftKings Salary: $4,000.00.
Matt Adams- It appears that Matt Adams will primarily be batting clean-up for the Cardinals this season. This is good news for the value of the big first baseman. Adams is a strong fly ball hitter (41.2% in 2014), whose HR/FB Rate was less than ideal last season at 8.7%. As he enters his power prime at age 26, it is realistic that Adams will see an increase in his HR/FB rate and his run producing position could not be better in the middle of a strong Cardinals lineup. It is reasonable to assume that Adams will see an increase in both his home run and RBI totals in 2015, and his fantasy value is currently on the rise.