Today is most teams' Opening Day for the 2014 Major League Baseball season. In this space, I'm going to list for fantasy owners three players to start, and three you should consider sitting based on matchups. Here are your top three Starts/Sits for March 31:
Start 'Em for Today
Nelson Cruz, Orioles - Cruz has hammered Red Sox starter Jon Lester, to the tune of 10-for-22 for a .455 career average with two home runs and eight RBI. He has an OPS of 1.409 against Lester, which is just unreal to see in a stat line. Cruz’s first game with the Orioles appears to be one in which he will be very successful.
Jon Jay, Cardinals - If there is any better way to start the regular season for Jay, this would be it. He is 10-for-21 against Reds starter Johnny Cueto, with three home runs and seven RBI. His overall slash line looks amazing, as well, sitting at .476/.500/.952. Jay is worth pulling off the bench to start on Opening Day.
Billy Butler, Royals - Butler has 30 hits in 68 at-bats against Tigers starter Justin Verlander, for a slash line of .441/.506/.588. Those are some sick numbers. Butler also has two home runs and 11 RBI against Verlander, and in case you had an idea to leave him on the bench, think again and plug Butler in.
Consider Sitting for Today
Starlin Castro, Cubs - It has been a rough career for Castro against Pirates starter Francisco Liriano, with just two hits in 17 at-bats. That includes five strikeouts. Both of Castro’s hits against Liriano are doubles, but he has managed an OBP of just .211. He is a dangerous start to begin the year, especially with his injury issues.
Jason Heyward, Braves - In 12 career at bats against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo, Heyward has just one hit, which was a home run. This makes his OPS look great at .778, but it is still just one hit. There are three strikeouts in there, as well. He might be someone to consider sitting for this matchup.
Adrian Beltre, Rangers - Just four hits in 32 at-bats against Phillies lefty Cliff Lee puts Beltre on the list to consider sitting to open the season. While there are three doubles out of the four hits Beltre has against Lee, the slash line isn’t good at .125/.152/.219. Give a thought to keeping Beltre on the bench if you have a replacement.
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