After a great weekend of baseball following Opening Day last week, Major League Baseball has a seven-game schedule ready to roll this Monday night, as most teams start their second series of the season. DraftKings has released a new and exciting MLB Snake Draft fantasy format that gives players another way to get involved this year, so check out how it works and get ready to keep your fantasy baseball draft skills sharp all season long.
MLB Snake only includes hitters, and the classic format requires two infielders, two outfielders and two utility players. It’s important to note that rosters will be made up of seven players with the lowest score automatically being moved to your bench slot. That’s nice protection in case one of your drafted players doesn’t get the start, leaves early with an injury or has a postponement.
Monday night’s slate looks to be a dry one although there are very cold temperatures in the forecast in Seattle, which could hurt the hitting environment for the matchup between the Chicago White Sox and the Seattle Mariners depending on what they decide to do with the roof. Most teams are nearing the back end of their rotation, so the starting pitchers should provide good matchups for plenty of run potential overall. The two games with the highest lines on DraftKings Sportsbook are the Tampa Bay Rays-Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros-Los Angles Angels matchups. Each of those games has an O/U of 9.5 runs.
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Favorable Early Round Targets
Alex Bregman, IF, Houston Astros
Snake Classic Rank: 9th
The Astros roll into Anaheim to face the Los Angels Angels after both teams started the season strong, going a combined 7-1. Houston picked up a four-game sweep against the Athletics and Bregman had multiple hits in each of the three games he played. He went 6-for-12 with a double and two home runs in that small sample size posting a .770 wOBA, an .875 ISO and a 1.975 OPS. He’s obviously seeing the ball very well right now and making great contact. He did get a day off Saturday after a balky hamstring limited him to just seven games this spring training, but he did go 5-for-20 with two homers when available this spring, so even then he was still hitting the ball well.
Bregman and the Astros have a nice matchup tonight against Angels lefty José Quintana. Last year, Bregman had a .255 ISO and .408 wOBA against southpaws and hit .319 with a .985 OPS. Quintana gave up six runs in his final spring training start and his fastball velocity has been down this spring. The Astros should be in a good spot to put up runs, and Bregman makes a great piece to build around early in MLB Snake.
Eric Hosmer, IF, San Diego Padres
Snake Classic Rank: 16th
While Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado get most of the early-round love in the Padres’ lineup, Hosmer has been the one to start the season swinging a hot bat. He went 7-for-11 with a pair of doubles and a pair of home runs in his three games against Arizona, averaging 19.7 DKFP per game. Those hits weren’t fluky either, as evidenced by his 66.7% hard-hit percentage. While he obviously won’t maintain his 1.093 wOBA the whole season, he’s clearly off to a good start coming into another divisional series against the Giants.
The Padres' left-handed hitters should be in a good spot to target against Anthony DeSclafani in his Giants debut on Monday night. Last season with the Reds, DeSclafani gave up a .415 wOBA and 38.5 hard-hit percentage to lefties, allowing them to hit .333 with a .985 OPS. Hosmer should make a nice grab since he should continue to put up points in the heart of a productive batting order.
Early Round Player to Avoid
Bryce Harper, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
Snake Classic Rank: 11th
While the rest of the league is getting to pick on the back end of starting rotations, the Phillies will face Jacob deGrom since the Mets are just now getting their season started after COVID-19 issues with the Nationals forced their opening series to be postponed. While the Phillies swept the Braves to start the season, Harper went just 3-for-10 with three singles. He’s not exactly crushing the ball right now and facing deGrom makes him and the rest of the Phillies an easy fade for me early in Snake drafts.
Late Round Flyers
This section tries to exploit players who are in favorable matchups and should out-produce their rankings even though they are below the threshold for drafted players in some formats
J.D. Martinez, OF, Boston Red Sox
Snake Classic Rank: 39th
It was a brutal opening weekend for the Red Sox, who were swept at home by the Baltimore Orioles. The only real bright spot was the return to form by Martinez, who looked ready to put a dismal 2020 behind him. Last season, the normally reliable slugger posted a woeful .175 ISO and .290 wOBA, both the lowest marks since his breakout season in 2014 with the Tigers.
There were a lot of factors involved in that downturn, but he has looked much more his normal slugging self this spring and through the first weekend of the season. Martinez went 6-for-12 with three doubles and a home run against the Orioles, averaging 13.7 DKFP per contest. He will try to help the rest of the Red Sox get on track and pick up their first win as they take on Michael Wacha and the Rays on Monday.
Jared Walsh, IF, Los Angeles Angels
Snake Classic Rank: 79th
Walsh was the hero on Sunday Night Baseball with a three-run walk-off home run against the White Sox. Walsh provides some nice pop from the left side in the middle of the Angels’ lineup, and they’re hopeful that he’ll be able to claim the everyday job from an aging Albert Pujols. Walsh didn’t bat in the first game of the season but went 4-for-8 in his two games over the weekend with two home runs and a triple.
Last season, he played 32 games for the Angels and posted a .354 ISO and .393 wOBA. As a left-handed batter, he showed most of his power against righties, posting a .462 ISO and .430 wOBA and hitting eight of his nine home runs on that side of the split. He’ll take on Astros prospect Luis Garcia in this matchup Monday, who dominated right-handed hitters last year, forcing them to go just 1-for-24, but did get beat by lefties, who went 6-for-25 with five of those six hits going for extra bases. It’s a small sample size, for sure, but indicates Walsh should get some pitches he can drive.
Wilmer Flores, IF, San Francisco Giants
Snake Classic Rank: 89th
Flores will likely find his way into the Giants’ lineup as they take on the Padres and lefty Adrian Morejón. Flores went 3-for-9 in the opening series and has consistently been a lefty-masher throughout his career. Last season, he never really found his groove but did post a .279 ISO and .405 wOBA against southpaws in his last full season back in 2019.
He had a strong spring training, going 9-for-34 (.265) with a pair of home runs and seems to be in a much better spot than last season. Especially against a southpaw, he is an intriguing late-round flier in deeper drafts.
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