Matt Kemp (OF -SD) - Matt Kemp tagged Jorge De La Rosa for two homeruns on Saturday in Coors, finishing the night 3-for-5 with 6 RBI. As we shouted all pre-season, Kemp looks poised for a bounceback season in 2016, but in reality, this is merely a continuation of his strong 2nd half in 2015. Kemp had an incredible 47.2% hard hit rate after the All-Star Break last year, which largely contributed to his 15 homeruns and .868 OPS over that same time period. Playing half his games in Petco is still going to hurt his value, even if his home park is playing more like a neutral hitting environment lately. Kemp looks like another strong option in DFS tournaments tomorrow as you stack the Padres' lineup against the Rockies' Chad Bettis. Kemp is $4,300 on FanDuel and a pricey $5,100 on DraftKings, which is mainly why I'd focus most of my exposure to him in tournaments rather than pay up in cash games (you'll need the extra cash to pay for starting pitching). Kemp doesn't have the platoon edge, but he also doesn't have drastically worse reverse splits against right-handed pitchers, making him a very strong play despite his elevated price tag. If you're looking for exposure to this game from the Padres side, take a look at Cory Spanenberg who has a little speed and a little pop and will have the platoon edge. He's a great value play at just $3,100 on FanDuel and $3,500 on DraftKings and he could see a boost up to the second position in the batting order after hitting one out on Saturday night.
Drew Pomeranz (SP - SD) - Given the situation, Drew Pomeranz came out of his start in Colorado smelling like roses. In fact, he managed to do something that no other starting pitcher in the history of baseball can say that have done. What is this rare feat, you ask? While facing Trevor Story, Drew Pomeranz managed to not allow him to hit a homerun. Impressive, right? Despite only going 5 innings (he's still getting stretched out into a starter), Pomeranz managed to strike out 7 Rockies and only give up 2 earned runs. Pomeranz did struggle with his command during much of the start, throwing just 47 of his 81 pitches for strikes and walking 3 batters. If you play in a league with RP positions, Pomeranz holds unique value due to his ability to qualify at that position in many formats. If he's still on your waiver wire, he's a solid "buy" rating this week during your FAAB bidding. From a long-term perspective, he profiles as an SP5 on your fantasy roster, but tonight's start was certainly a step in the right direction.
Jeanmar Gomez (PHI - RP) - The closer carousel continues to spin for the Philadelphia Phillies, this time landing on Jeanmar Gomez. Unlike David Hernandez or Dalier Hinojosa, Gomez managed to notch the save and preserve the Phillies' first win of the season. The performance likely earned him the official title of closer for the team and will likely guarantee him a few save chances in the near future, but I'm not necessarily sold on him as the answer long-term. When evaluating closers, the two most important aspects of their game must either include a strong strikeout rate or a high groundball rate (preferably both). Gomez's strikeout rate has never eclipsed 16% for any of his 3 teams at the major league level, an embarrassingly low mark considering he has pitched in relief the last 2 seasons and the major league average (including starters) is around 20%. However, he does check the box as being a groundball pitcher; he averages about 50% groundballs, which is excellent. That's a good thing he induces so many groundballs because his opponents have managed an 83% contact rate against him over his career. For this reason, I don't see him hanging on to the job for very long. Forgetting for a moment that his Hard Hit % - Soft Hit % is 11.4% (about 3% worse than league average), as a closer, you absolutely do not want your opponents to make contact with the baseball. Putting the ball in play opens the door for bad things to happen, especially when you're inducing medium-to-hard contact at such a high rate. He's just the flavor of the week and I'm almost positive you will regret it if you open up your FAAB wallet to spend big on him this week. Sit tight and wait for Hernandez, or possibly even Andrew Bailey, to work themselves back into the mix. Better yet, avoid the situation entirely.
Scooter Gennett (MIL) - Throughout the entire 2015 season, Scooter Gennett hit just 6 home runs. During Spring Training this year, Gennett managed to hit 4 homeruns in just 10 spring training games. We took this stat with a grain of salt, fully knowing that spring statistics can be skewed for numerous reason. It now appears that we should have taken that statistic a little more seriously. In Saturday night's game, the Brewers second baseman hit his 3rd homer of the season and has officially forced himself into mixed league consideration. Given his strong improvement in the power category (average batted ball speed of 104.4mph on his homers this year) and his favorable lineup spot in the Brewers' batting order, he needs to be picked up in all formats. So what changed in the offseason? Teammates say he bulked up, but Scooter says his success was tied to a renewed focus on the game and the absence of off-the-field distractions, like planning for his wedding. Whatever the case, Gennett looks to be in a great position to return substantial value for fantasy owners and while you can't expect 3 homeruns a week, I do think 15-20 homeruns is attainable. Just keep in mind that he has historically struggled against left-handed pitching (.159 wOBA vs LHP compared with .345 wOBA vs RHP) despite the fact that he hit his opening day homerun off Madison Bumgarner. Case in point, avoid him in DFS in tomorrow's matchup against lefty Dallas Keuchel.
Lucas Duda (1B - NYM) - Lucas Duda wore The Golden Sombrero on Saturday night after meeting the buzzsaw that was Vincent Velasquez. It's been a rather quiet week for Duda, but all of that could change for him on Sunday as he draws a very favorable matchup against Jeremy Hellickson. Duda is a heavy flyball hitter (~50% FB rate) who hits fastballs (2.80 wFB/c) and curveballs (5.93 wCB/c) extremely well. Meanwhile, Hellickson is getting a favorable park shift, but he's a predominately flyball pitcher that relies on a heavy dose of fastballs (55%) and curveballs (16%). He's criminally underpriced at $2,700 on Fanduel and more moderately priced on DraftKings at $4,300. He's a nice value option who might be overlooked given the slew of attractive 1st baseman on the main slate.
A few NL DFS Value Plays For Sunday April 10th:
Joe Ross $6,800 FD, $7,800 DK
Lucas Duda $2,600 FD, $4,300 DK
Cory Spangenberg $3,100 FD, $3,500 DK
Zack Cozart $2,700 FD, $3,400 DK
Eugenio Saurez $3,300 FD, $3,800 DK (shortstop eligible)
Bryce Harper $5,200 FD, $5,300 DK (Harper OWNS Koehler 5 HRs in 24 ABs)
Gerraro Parra $3,500 FD, $3,900 DK
Jon Jay $3,200 FD, $3,400 DK
Michael Taylor $2,200 FD, $3,600 DK