This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
After Wednesday's game finished with 16 runs, it'll be hard to trust either pitcher Thursday, especially with Yusei Kikuchi being mostly unknown and Marco Estrada coming off a brutal season. The Athletics are still slight -120 favorites with an over/under of nine runs.
PLAYERS TO CONSIDER FOR CAPTAIN
Jay Bruce, SEA ($9,600): If you watched Bruce play last year, this doesn't make sense, but 2018 was abnormal for how he's hit throughout his career. In fact, his wOBA and ISO against righties were above .360 and .270, respectively, in both 2016 and 2017. I'm choosing to slightly disregard his 2018 with the Mets because he crushed spring training with a .440 OBP in 24 at-bats. He also has a career four homers and .385 OBP in 23 at-bats against Estrada.
Yusei Kikuchi, SEA ($13,800): Nippon Pro Baseball has limited stats so there are no splits on Kikuchi, who had a 3.08 ERA with 153 Ks last year. This is more of a GPP play because he won't be easy to trust after the A's were one of the best in the league against lefties in 2018 with a .322 wOBA and .178 ISO. In his first start, Kikuchi likely won't go more than six innings after pitching four and allowing five hits and two runs in his last spring start. Estrada is unusable after he finished last season 7-14 with a 5.64 ERA, and he was equally bad in spring training.
OTHER PLAYERS TO CONSIDER
Mitch Haniger, SEA ($7,800): Haniger is the logical play if you want a Seattle bat after he roasted righty arms with a .362 wOBA and .219 ISO last season. He could also be a solid cash captain since his only four hits against righties in the spring were doubles or home runs. The downside is that he isn't making contact every at-bat and that's why he went hitless on Wednesday. His power is still favorable against Estrada, who gave up 2.04 HR/9 to righty bats last year. I'm avoiding the most expensive Seattle bat in Edwin Encarnacion, who couldn't buy a hit in spring and that continued in the first game.
Domingo Santana, SEA ($5,400): Santana already proved useful in the first game with a grand slam, but his career numbers also back this play. Against righty hurlers, he had a .352 wOBA in 170 plate appearances last season, and .370 wOBA and .230 ISO in a full 2017. He also brought that into spring with a cool .455 OBP in 19 plate appearances.
Omar Narvaez, SEA ($4,200): If you have to punt, Narvaez is the best play after batting sixth in Wednesday's lineup. He's the second cheapest player on the slate so you can't expect huge numbers, but he was viable with the White Sox against righties, seen in a .363 wOBA and .169 ISO. He's a solid hitter for a catcher, hence his place in the lineup, and he had a .368 OBP in 18 spring at-bats against righty arms.
Matt Chapman, OAK ($7,000): Chapman continued where he ended last season, smacking a homer and double in Wednesday's loss. He doesn't have as much power as some of his teammates, but a .352 wOBA and .163 ISO is still respectable against southpaws and will be worth trying against Kikuchi.
Khris Davis, OAK ($8,800): If you go with Bruce as your captain, you should have plenty of money to spend elsewhere. Davis is the clear power play having surpassed 40 homers in each of the last three seasons. His numbers may not be as good against southpaws, but they're better than most. In the last three seasons, his wOBA and ISO have surpassed .330 and .230, respectively. One guy to avoid is Matt Olson ($7,200), who struggles in lefty-lefty matchups.