Only eight games are on tap for Thursday’s MLB slate, so it’s going to be an interesting day for daily fantasy players. Sometimes it’s worthwhile to take a stab at going contrarian in those GPPs when so many lineups have a good chance to match up. That’s at least something to consider, but going contrarian today would probably mean trying to stack against Jose Fernandez, Jake Arrieta, or Kenta Maeda. That’s probably not a wise decision, but, chances sometimes have to be taken. In any event, it’s a small day, but we’ll separate today’s article into the four day games and the four night games to help you throughout the day.
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.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings:
Here are the top teams to stack for April 28:
Pittsburgh/Colorado (early) – Obvious answer is obvious. Juan Nicasio has some experience pitching at Coors Field, so perhaps that will be beneficial to him as the Pirates starter today. Then again, pitching at Coors Field is rarely beneficial for anybody. Everybody’s going to be doing this, especially on a small day, so you might as well follow the leader and then hope that you pick the right guys or plug and play the right value guys.
Oakland (early) – I got eyes on Anibal Sanchez this past weekend and they were begging me to stab them out. Well, not really, because my Indians roughed him up, but this is not a good pitcher at all. Sanchez gave up seven on nine hits over 2.1 innings and his command of just about every pitch was subpar. We’re talking about a guy that has now given up 33 HR in his last 175 innings of work. His previous career high for a season was 20 HR allowed. The velocity is way down and the breaking stuff is flat. The only worry here is the early getaway day start for the A’s.
St. Louis (late) – The Cardinals draw Rubby de la Rosa on Thursday night. St. Louis brings the second-best offense against fastballs, per PITCHf/x data, with 20 runs above average performance so far this season. RDLR was fantastic last weekend against the Pirates, which was quite surprising, but his inconsistency and poor command are something that you cannot overlook. He’s basically going four-seam, two-seam, slider now, with his changeup usage cut almost in half. The Cardinals have enough good hitters to take advantage of that shallow arsenal.
Here are the top value hitters for April 28:
Victor Martinez (early) ($3,500) – Last season’s knee problems zapped Victor Martinez’s production against right-handed pitching. He was pretty terrible from that side, but still a productive hitter from the right side. This season, looking healthy, Martinez is off to a strong .304/.360/.609 slash against right-handed pitching. Throughout his long, and outstanding career, Martinez has a .300/.364/.459 slash against righties.
Aledmys Diaz (late) ($3,600) – It’s probably time that we seriously talk about Aledmys Diaz. The Jhonny Peralta injury appears to be a blessing in disguise for the Cardinals because all Diaz has done it hit. He owns an absurd .468/.500/.823 slash line through 66 PA. He’s putting everything in play and has shown really surprising power thus far. Diaz has only struck out three times on the year and has 13 extra-base hits already.
Mark Trumbo (late) ($4,500) – In 19 PA this season, Mark Trumbo has already exited the ballpark four times against left-handed pitching. Trumbo owns a career .522 SLG against southpaws and a 21.5 percent HR/FB%. He’s also been an above average hitter against changeups over the course of his career and we know that John Danks will throw a steady diet of those to an aggressive Baltimore lineup. This should be a good matchup for Trumbo, so the elevated price is okay to pay.
Here are the top value pitchers for April 28:
Tanner Roark (early) ($7,800) – I’m not buying that one-start strikeout bump against the Twins from Roark, but this is a guy that knows how to pitch and keeps the ball on the ground. He’s coming off of the best start of his career, so the price is a little bit inflated here, but in terms of finding value, there’s not a lot of it on the early card. The idea for Roark here is to come up with four or five strikeouts over six innings and to not get beaten up by a subpar Phillies lineup.
Clay Buchholz (late) ($8,000) – This is a really big start for Clay Buchholz. If he can’t have success against the punch-less Braves lineup, there are some bigger concerns at play here. You throw a parade in Atlanta any time the Braves hit a home run, just to give you some kind of idea about this group. Buchholz has allowed five runs in three of his four starts and also threw 6.2 shutout against Toronto, so you never know what you’re going to get. Against the Braves, it better be something good.
Kenta Maeda ($10,000) – Between the two starters in the Dodgers/Marlins game, I’m leaning Maeda because he’s more likely to work deep into the game. The limit for Jose Fernandez seems to be 100 pitches or six innings, whichever comes first. Obviously the strikeout upside for Fernandez is huge, but Maeda has been really terrific this season himself. He even conquered Coors Field his last time out. As he rolls through teams for the first time, I’d expect performances like that to continue.