A new day of daily fantasy baseball excitement is upon us. Sundays can be tricky because teams are playing day games after night games and managers use this opportunity to give some players a breather. Waiting on lineups is an important part of every Sunday. Those DraftKings and Fanduel players looking to be the next big winner are going to have to contend with 10 early games and five mid-afternoon or later games on this tough Sunday slate.
Remember that our column here at BangTheBook is centered exclusively on finding value. You know who the good players are. So does everybody else. It’s those under-the-radar guys that you pair with those high-salary players that allow you to come out on top.
DraftKings or FanDuel are the industry leaders in ease of use and safe, free transactions. Use these tips and the tips from our daily radio show to improve your abilities and fill out the winning lineup. Our MLB daily fantasy tips and suggestions article is different in that we’re not looking for the top scorers, but for the best values so that you can get the edge that you need in order to save money for the game’s best players.
The salaries listed are from DraftKings:
Here are the top teams to stack for May 1:
Minnesota – You already know by now that we’re going to stack against Mike Pelfrey until the Tigers take him out of the rotation. Since the start of 2013, Pelfrey has a 4.92 ERA with a 4.69 xFIP. He’s only allowed 32 HR over those 362.1 innings, but he has allowed 440 hits, 217 runs, and has a 206/128 K/BB ratio. He’s terrible. He’s actually allowed three home runs in 21.1 innings so far this season, so the command profile may actually be finding a way to be worse. There’s no reason for Detroit to have him in the rotation. Granted, there was also no reason to give him a two-year deal.
Chicago Cubs – The Cubs are almost like a team playing at Coors in that you can almost stack them every single day. There’s an obscene amount of talent on this team and it seems like just about everybody is carrying his own weight. If you take the pitcher out of the equation offensively, the Cubs have a .259/.372/.443 slash with a .356 wOBA and a 117 wRC+. Only division rivals St. Louis and Pittsburgh have a higher wOBA. The next potential victim is Julio Teheran, who has shown subpar control and command so far this season.
Boston – I’m not sold on Nate Eovaldi. He’s coming off of one of the best starts of his career, but there’s still a lot of hard contact in his stats. The Yankees are not a good defensive team and I’m curious to see if these strikeout gains are actually sustainable. He’s made some usage changes, like throwing more split-changeups and fewer sliders, which should help that strikeout rate. The only problem is that his split-change currently grades as his worst pitch per PITCHf/x pitch values. So, we’ll have to see how things play out here. I’m skeptical, so I’ll give Boston a try tonight.
Here are the top value hitters for May 1:
Maikel Franco ($3,300) – I don’t care who Maikel Franco is facing, he’s too good of a hitter to be priced this low. The prized Phillies prospect turned quality Major Leaguer already has 19 home runs in his 490 MLB plate appearances. He’s shown good bat-to-ball skills and really strong power. Unlike most hitters, he actually has reverse platoon splits, with a .288/.328/.479 slash against righties and a .202/.303/.395 slash against lefties. Salazar can leave some fastballs up in the zone that fall into the hang-and-bang category.
Oswaldo Arcia ($3,700) – It seems like I was a year early on Arcia. I was high on the Twins outfielder prior to last season and even took him in a fantasy league. He was a pretty big disappointment, but he’s picking it up here this season. After a brutal start, Arcia is slashing .282/.333/.513 over his last 10 games. He’s a dangerous hitter against all right-handed pitchers because he possesses extreme power. Mike Pelfrey can’t locate and Arcia’s biggest issue is that he strikes out. Against pitch-to-contact righties, he’s worth a look with regularity.
Javier Baez ($3,100) – With Kyle Schwarber’s season-long injury and Kris Bryant hobbled by an ankle issue, Javier Baez should be getting consistent playing time. He’s a reasonable look at a low price. He’s done a lot to try and change his game in recent months. He’s made a concerted effort to make more contact and has added some wrinkles to his game like speed and defensive versatility. Right now he’s a 3B/SS, but OF eligibility may come soon. Against Julio Teheran and his subpar command, you could do a lot worse.
Here are the top value pitchers for May 1:
Rich Hill ($8,900) – This is a pretty easy one. Regardless of what you think of Rich Hill or whether or not you believe in what he’s been able to do this season and last season, the reality is that he strikes out a ton of batters. There’s no better lineup to face as a high-strikeout pitcher than the Houston Astros. Hill should be good for at least a strikeout per inning and it may be time to start really taking him seriously. He’s in a great park that increases margin for error and there’s a ton of foul territory for him to use.
Ian Kennedy ($8,500) – I’m still on the Ian Kennedy bandwagon. He’s pitching at Safeco Field, so that increases his margin for error and the Royals outfield defense is spectacular. He’s just shy of being a strikeout per inning guy thanks to a bad last outing against the Angels. There’s some bounce back value here for Kennedy, although it seems like people are starting to catch up with him and his increased strikeout potential. We may start running out of value on him soon.
Vince Velasquez ($9,500) – The Phillies right-hander has to be salivating to get a shot at the Cleveland Indians. The Indians have been striking out a ton this season and Velasquez clearly has the stuff to rack up punchouts. Any time he’s facing a team that hasn’t gotten a good look at his stuff, he’s worth a stream. The Indians are closing up a nine-game, three-city road trip and they may be halfway to the plane after starting it with a sweep in Detroit. It’s been a frustrating series and an off day tomorrow sounds pretty appealing.