Immediate Waiver Wire Pickup!!!!
Jason Grilli (RP-ATL) - Hot off the press. Jason Grilli looks like the favorite to close in Atlanta now that Craig Kimbrel is a Padre. In spring training, Grilli made the most of his eight innings by surrendering only two earned runs. His .194 BAA and 0.75 WHIP displayed that he still has the lights out stuff needed to close. Additionally, Grilli racked up 11 strikeouts. This can be attributed to his sharp slider and 93.1 MPH average fastball velocity. Although Grilli performed well, he still has some competition for the closer role with Jim Johnson. Johnson had a respectable spring training too posting a .208 BAA and 1.42 ERA in 6.1 innings pitched. While the competition could last for a few weeks, it's not enough of a reason overlook Grilli on waivers. It's better to be safe than sorry, so pick Grilli up now.
Daily Fantasy Sport (DFS) Pick Ups For Opening Day:
Fransico Liriano (SP-PIT) -Fransico Liriano is a great opening day value pick in daily fantasy leagues. My only concern is that the Pirates won't let him throw more than five innings. Over the course of four starts in spring training, Liriano only pitched 12 innings, partially due to his high pitch counts. Pitch count has always been an issue for Liriano. His 16.7 P/IP was fifth worst in the MLB last season. Luckily, Liriano's electric stuff made up for his inflated P/IP. Liriano's 9.70 K/9 ranked third best amongst starting pitchers behind only Clayton Kershaw and Steven Strasburg. Facing the Cincinnati Reds, a team who had the second lowest batting average (.238) in all of 2014, I think Liriano could put up big numbers. On opening day, be prepared to dish out the salary for Liriano in DFS leagues. His high strikeout potential, and favorable matchup makes him worth the relatively inexpensive cost. Value Pick DraftKings Salary: $8,300
Kyle Lohse (SP-MIL) - Normally I wouldn't endorse Kyle Lohse for DFS, but he's a great pitcher at home. Lohse's home ERA of 2.72 makes him an inexpensive, yet effective option. Even though his 6.86 K/9 at home isn't overwhelming, I'll take my chances. Lohse is set to take on the Rockies, a team who batted .228 on the road last season. Away from Coors Field the Rockies only scored 255 runs, which was nearly half of their run total at home (500). Additionally, on the road the Rockies lost nearly 3 games per win as conveyed by their 21-60 record. Come opening day, my money is on Lohse. His matchup is favorable, and his low cost will help you retain your salary. Value Pick DraftKings Salary: $7,100
Odubel Herrera (2B/SS-PHI) - One of the most intriguing players in spring training was the 23-year-old left fielder Odubel Herrera. If anyone knew who this guy was before his performance with the Phillies this past month, I would be shocked. After finishing March with two home runs, seven stolen bases, and a .343 AVG, Herrera won a spot in the Phillies opening day lineup. Even though Herrera has never played beyond Double-A, I'm not concerned. His career .294 AVG and 25 stolen bases per year resemble the numbers of a young Ben Revere. Give him a little time to see how he integrates into the Phillies lineup. If things go well, Herrera could end up being a nice waiver wire pick up.
The Danger Zone:
Julio Teheran (SP-ATL) - In my opinion Julio Teheran is one of the most overrated pitchers in the MLB. Teheran's 2.89 ERA from last season was heavily weighted by his 2.11 ERA at home. In comparison, Teheran's 3.68 ERA on the road was a sign of inconsistency. As a fantasy owner, you shouldn't have to worry about one of your top picks whenever he's on the road. Teheran's 90.4 MPH average fastball velocity is also alarming. To get by in the majors with a fastball velocity this low, you have to keep the ball on the ground. Teheran clearly isn't a groundball pitcher as conveyed by his 0.86 GB/FB ratio. Overall, this is one pitcher who you'll have to be cautious with in the near future. When hitters start getting to him at home, he'll be just another average pitcher.
Matt Harvey (SP-NYM) - Matt Harvey is back! In his past few starts, Harvey has looked untouchable. Last Thursday, Harvey beefed up his stats by throwing four shutout innings against the Cardinals. This lowered his ERA to 1.19. Additionally, Harvey ended spring training with a .210 BAA and 0.79 WHIP. Hitters really struggled to figure him out. My favorite stat was Harvey's 21:1 K/BB ratio. If that isn't a sign of dominance then I don't know what is. Look for Harvey to have a big impact right away. His presence is just what the Mets need to make a playoff push.
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Time Frame: Season