Set Your MLB FanDuel Lineup for Opening Day

Set Your MLB FanDuel Lineup for Opening Day

We've got the insights you'll want to look for when setting your lineup!

Opening Day in Major League Baseball is more than just the start of a new season; it's a fresh chapter in the grand narrative of baseball, filled with limitless potential and the excitement of what's to come. It's one of the most exciting times of the year for many.

For fantasy baseball enthusiasts and FanDuel players, it represents the first opportunity to test their mettle, make strategic plays, and begin the journey toward fantasy glory. Chances are, if you fall into that category, you've already set up your traditional fantasy lineup.

As you set your FanDuel DFS lineup for this pivotal day, there are a few stats you want to keep your eye on and how a few of the younger-ish players could impact your strategy for the 2024 season.

The Thrill of Opening Day

Opening Day is unique. Sure, there's the all-star break and even the playoff hunt and, ultimately, October. But opening day is different.

It's a time when every team is undefeated, and every fanbase is brimming with hope. At least for me, this time of the year is when I'm the most hopeful for the Detroit Tigers. That usually fizzles out around June, but let's hope not!

For FanDuel players, this day offers the first taste of the season's dynamics. The air is thick with anticipation as months of off-season moves, training, and speculation converge on the field. This is the moment to see which of your off-season bets could pay off and how the players you've been eyeing perform when the stakes are back in play.

What to Consider When Setting Your Lineup

It doesn't matter if you're a novice or a pro, now is the time to start getting ready to make your picks. It's time to start dusting off your knowledge, take a look at who made the 26-man rosters for which teams, and how everything is going to pan out.

Balancing the Books and the Bats

One of the primary challenges in setting your FanDuel lineup is managing your budget without compromising on talent.

It's crucial to strike a balance between splurging on high-cost players and finding value picks that can outperform their price tag.

For instance, investing in a player like Nolan Arenado, known for his consistent hitting and defensive skills, might require budget adjustments elsewhere, as he usually pulls a decent salary in DFS contests.

However, his reliability on Opening Day, especially against favorable matchups, could be worth the investment.

Speaking of matchups...

Matchups Matter

Pay close attention to the matchups. We often get roped into looking at individual player stats but forget to look at the big picture.

Pitcher-batter history, ballpark factors, and even weather conditions can significantly influence player performance.

Kike Hernandez, with his ability to adapt and excel against both righties and lefties (we love a solid switch hitter), might find himself in a particularly advantageous position on Opening Day, depending on the opposing pitcher and ballpark dimensions.

Stats to Pay Attention To

We'll dig more into some of those players in just a moment, but you have to know what you're looking for first.

On-Base Plus Slugging (OPS)

An excellent indicator of a player's ability to contribute to your fantasy lineup is their OPS. This stat combines on-base percentage (OBP) with slugging percentage (SLG) to give a comprehensive view of a player's offensive value. 

Christian Yelich, for example, has a history of strong OPS figures, making him a potentially valuable pick if his preseason form suggests a return to peak performance.

You should be able to get him at a decent price right out of the gates, and considering he had one of the better OPS metrics in 2023 with a .818, that's not a bad deal.

Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio (K/BB)

Pitchers with a favorable strikeout-to-walk ratio are gold in not only DraftKings and other DFS platforms, but especially FanDuel lineups, as they're likely to contribute heavily to your points tally through strikeouts while minimizing runs allowed via walks.

What's great about this is that SOs are a positive FP and Walks are a negative FP, so they affect your score directly.

This stat can also be a useful indicator for batters like Javier Báez, who have worked on plate discipline and contact hitting, potentially increasing their on-base opportunities. 

We'll see how his discipline pays off this year.

Wins Above Replacement (WAR)

WAR is often overlooked, but it can be a great asset when you're drafting your MLB FanDuel lineup. 

While more of a holistic measure, WAR can help you gauge a player's overall contribution to their real-world team, which, in turn, reflects their potential fantasy value. On its own, WAR doesn't deliver you points, but it shows potential point value in a player. And that's what we're all about — value!

Players like Kris Bryant and Max Kepler, who contribute in multiple facets of the game, can provide steady points through a blend of offensive production and defensive skills.

Players to Watch

Now we're onto something. We think These players are set to have a breakout season and should definitely be considered for your MLB FanDuel Lineup.

Akil Baddoo

Baddoo has been a hot topic coming into the 2024 season. While his numbers aren't the strongest during spring training, he typically finds his stride in April.

His blend of speed, power, and on-base ability makes him a unique threat, especially if he secures a spot at the top of the lineup. His potential for steals, combined with his hitting prowess, could make him a valuable asset right from the get-go.

Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado

Both Bryant and Arenado bring a mix of power and consistency to the table. Their ability to drive in runs and their ability to crush extra-base hits make them prime candidates for your Opening Day lineup, especially against favorable pitching matchups.

Bryant was swinging a remarkable .849 OPS this spring training, and Arenado had a .308 OBP. It's not bad if you're looking for consistency and fantasy points.

Javier Báez, Christian Yelich, and Kike Hernandez

This trio offers a blend of speed, power, and versatility.

Báez's flair for dramatic plays and base-stealing, Yelich's eye for the ball and slugging ability, and Hernandez's versatility and knack for getting on base are qualities worth considering as you set your lineup.

Following these three goes well beyond just opening day, but throughout the year when you set your MLB FanDuel lineup.

Max Kepler

Kepler's left-handed bat and his ability to leverage matchups, particularly against right-handed pitchers, could offer significant upside on Opening Day.

That is another reason why we always say keep your eye on the matchups.

Kepler is the man if you're looking for someone to deliver in the HR column.

His defensive skills in the outfield also add to his overall fantasy value, making him a player to watch.

Get Ready to Set Your MLB FanDuel Lineup!

As you set your FanDuel lineup for MLB's Opening Day, remember that fantasy baseball, much like the sport itself, is a game of strategy, anticipation, and, sometimes, a bit of luck.

By focusing on the right stats, considering the matchups, and keeping an eye on players poised for a breakout season, you can position yourself for early success.

Even if you don't go with the players we've mentioned above, at least pay close attention to those stats. Those stats, though not necessarily direct fantasy points, do drive other metrics that result in fantasy points.

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