MLB Opening Day Countdown Series – Houston Astros

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Houston Astros

2017 Record: (101-61) 1st in AL Central and World Series Champions

Off Season Transactions:

Traded for Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates

Projected Starting Rotation:

Justin Verlander – Not much to say here besides he is going to be a great option and has elite strikeout stuff. One thing to note is he has been a 2nd half of the season pitcher through his career so maybe keep that in mind early in the season.

Dallas Keuchel – Another elite arm the Astros have in their rotation and will be an option for us this year. Usually is in between the mid-tier and the expensive tier price. He doesn’t have huge strikeout stuff but also doesn’t really give up a lot of damage. His upside is going to come in matchups where he can go deeper into the games.

Gerrit Cole – Will be a great number 3 starter for the Astros. It’s always nice to have a guy who has been an ace as your #3 guy. He doesn’t have elite strikeout stuff but can get the job done in the right matchups. Would specifically like him in games where the lineup is mostly right-handed hitters. He is a ground ball pitcher and when he keeps it on the ground that is when he has his success. When he starts leaving the ball up in the zone he has potential to get blown up. He is risky so know that if you’re rostering him he can get blown up quick.

Lance McCullers – Had a really great start to the year and then starting really getting hit hard. He was moved to the bullpen and out of the rotation and found some success again in that role. I think they will give him another shot at the starting role this year. If so he has upside and we saw it last year. He also showed us he can be very risky. Good strikeout stuff though so he will be an option for us.

Charlie Morton – Pitched really well last year for the Astros and having this guy as the #5 starter in your rotation is great. He has good strikeout stuff sitting around 27%. He actually is a reverse splits pitcher meaning he pitches better vs left handed hitters. Last season he struck out 33% of the left-handed hitters he faced and the advanced numbers were elite vs them as well. He is an extreme ground ball pitcher. All of these things are good to hear when you’re are rostering a pitcher in DFS. Morton is a solid option.

Bullpen:

Good bullpen. Nothing you will want to target.

Starting Lineup:

George Springer (OF) – Hits for average, power, drives in runs and can steal bases. You will want to consider Springer in DFS on the daily.

Alex Bregman (3B) – He really came on last year at the end of the year and throughout the playoffs. He is just a really solid baseball player and does everything right. I like him a lot. Last year he was a good guy to throw into stacks because he was lower owned than the other popular guys but my guess is that is going to change this year after how much he was talked about during the playoffs. He can hit for average and flashes power. Consider him daily as well.

Jose Altuve (2B) – One of the best hitters in the game and can steal bases. He is at one of the weakest positions as well so if you can fit him in he is always great because he can outscore the next highest scoring 2nd baseman by 20.

Carlos Correa (SS) – This dude is a stud and is only going to get better. Not going to see much better shortstops out there and should be considered every day as well just like all the Astros should. Hits for average, power and has increased RBI chances batting in the meat of the Astros order.

Marwin Gonzalez (SS/OF) – This guy was a crucial part of the Astros last year subbing in for Carlos Correa when he was injured and just being able to play all positions well. He is a good hitter who can hit both righty and lefties well. Hits for more power from the left side but that doesn’t mean he can’t from the right. Another great option.

Yuli Gurriell (1B) – He can have games where he produces. Can play him as a one off or in stacks just because he usually isn’t too expensive and is in line for a lot of RBI chances hitting behind guys who are always on base. He is a reverse splits hitter so he actually hits better against right handed hitters than left handed hitters.

Josh Reddick (OF) – I feel like he was rostered more than he should have been last year just because he was hitting 3rd for the Astros most of the time. He is an okay option but nothing I am in love with. Would probably only play him in Houston stacks.

Brian McCann/ Evan Gattis (C) – Good catching options as they have upside to hit some home runs.

Jake Marisnick (OF) – Had some games last year where he went for 50 at min price. He showed power last year but never really showed any power in the minors so I’d like to see that more consistently. He strikes out a lot as well so he could legit get you a 0 very easily.

Playing Field:

Minute Maid Park

Ball Park Factor – 12th

One of the weirdest proportioned fields in the MLB with center field being 436 feet and left field being 315 feet. All depends where you hit the ball here to determine if it is pitcher or hitter friendly.

 “Must Knows” of the going into 2018 MLB DFS:

Not much to know here. Team stayed pretty much the same with the exception of adding Gerrit Cole to their starting rotation. They got better and they won the World Series last year.