A full Friday night slate of MLB action awaits as all 30 teams play under the lights in their respective locations. That will allow daily fantasy players a full day to figure out the best matchups and to wait and see how lineups shake out. One tip that can get lost with DFS is that it’s important to take guys that are batting in premier positions in the batting order. You want guys that will get the most plate appearances or those that will be in good run-producing spots. Ideally, you won’t want to have any guy in your lineup batting lower than fifth, platoon bats excepted.
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 April 22:
Los Angeles Dodgers – If there are games at Coors Field and you don’t have a lot of the players in that game, you’re doing DFS wrong. Here, the Dodgers face Jon Gray, who is making his first start of the season after dealing with an abdominal issue. The Rockies put kid gloves on Gray last season, limiting his pitch count in most starts. He may be on a limit of 75 or 80 pitches here, which means a steady stream of Colorado relievers. In his first nine MLB starts last season, Gray fought with his command and gave up a lot of hard contact. The Dodgers have plenty of guys capable of treating him the same way here.
Tampa Bay – The Tampa Bay Rays offense hasn’t been great this season, but Friday’s matchup should be to their liking. The Rays will take on CC Sabathia at Yankee Stadium. The Rays haven’t been able to replicate last season’s success against lefties just yet, but it should be coming. Tampa Bay was fifth in wOBA at .327 against southpaws last season and that really elevated their offense. Sabathia is a shell of his former self. He sat 86-87 in his first two starts and hasn’t been able to command the ball for a couple of years now.
San Diego – Sometimes it can be profitable to go contrarian. You won’t find many people willing to stack San Diego, but there’s something seriously wrong with Adam Wainwright. Two Cardinals fan friends of mine that I really respect have said very bad things about Waino this week and crowdsourcing for information on guys you haven’t had eyes on is not a bad idea, if you respect those opinions. The stats back up what they have said. He’s not throwing the ball past anybody in the zone, with a 96.3 zone-contact percentage, and the control and command have been subpar. The sinker command has been especially bad, as that pitch already rates 5.4 runs below average. It is extremely un-Wainwright-like to have walked nine batters in 16.1 innings. Something may be hiding under the surface here, so this is worth a gamble.
Here are the top value hitters for April 22:
Travis Shaw ($3,200) – It’s been a little while since we looked up one of last year’s value picks, Travis Shaw. Shaw owns a .340/.411/.540 slash on the young year and has been one of Boston’s most valuable players thus far. On Friday night, Shaw draws a matchup with Collin McHugh, who has struggled with his command this season. The Red Sox were nearly a stack suggestion, but McHugh does have some signs of positive regression in his numbers. Shaw is now a .268/.346/.454 hitter against right-handed pitching in his career.
Ryan Raburn ($3,600) – If the Rockies are at home and they are facing a lefty, you can never go wrong with slotting Ryan Raburn into your lineup. Raburn has carved out quite a niche as a platoon specialist. Raburn put up a huge 173 wRC+ last season against southpaws with a .325/.415/.589 slash. An injury-plagued 2014 was a bump in the road following a .308/.403/.617 slash against lefties in 2013. At Coors Field, every player’s offensive production is elevated. With a platoon edge, Raburn is a great pick.
Francisco Lindor ($3,500) – Francisco Lindor and the Indians gradually got the offense going in Thursday’s getaway day game, but Lindor was a non-factor. That’s a rarity for the 22-year-old, who has a .294/.345/.412 slash on the season and a .311/.352/.474 over his young career. For now, Lindor is still batting third, but Michael Brantley will return this weekend and Lindor will likely go back to the two-hole. Regardless, he’s a great value because he does so many things well and adjusts extremely well for a young hitter.
Here are the top value pitchers for April 22:
Matt Moore ($7,900) – I’m buying Matt Moore. He won’t keep up this pace, but everything passes the eye test and the numbers test through three starts. The velocity is back and the breaking stuff looks very sharp. He’s done an excellent job of elevating the fastball to get hitters to chase. There are some minor red flags and signs of regression, but the stuff has been explosive and the mechanics look free and easy. The Yankees offense isn’t doing much and they’ve had some issues with lefties so far.
Aaron Nola ($8,300) – The Milwaukee Brewers are a sneaky lineup against lefties. Against really talented righties, they’ll be at a pretty big disadvantage. The Brewers have struck out in over 25 percent of their plate appearances against right-handers this season and Nola has shown swing-and-miss stuff through three starts. He’s in a good bounce back spot after struggling in his last outing against Washington. Strikeouts and innings are what we want and he can provide both of those here.
Jose Quintana ($8,700) – The Texas Rangers have a .412 BABIP against lefties over 146 PA this season, which has done a good job of inflating their numbers. The two bigger numbers for me is that they don’t walk, coming in with a 4.1 percent BB%, and they strike out, coming in with a 26 percent K%. Jose Quintana is one of the game’s most underrated pitchers and the Rangers don’t get to see him on a regular basis. Expect a quality start from Quintana with a strikeout per inning and you’ll always take that for less than $9,000.