A full slate of games is on tap for Wednesday, but there are a handful of afternoon/early evening contests that throw a wrench into your DFS plans. In the interest of keeping things simple, we’ll look at the 11 games set for 7:05 p.m. ET or later. Getaway day games with the Rockies, Reds, Cubs, Cardinals, Angels, and White Sox will eliminate those matchups and a 6:10 p.m. ET start in Cleveland will take the Indians and the Mariners out of the equation. Again, that’s just to make things simple for writing the piece. If you want to roll with a full game contest or two, that’s your prerogative.
No matter what time of day you’re playing, it’s important to find value so that you can use as many of the lower-risk players as possible. 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 20:
Texas – I’m looking to go against Doug Fister whenever the opportunity is presented. Fister threw 103 uninspiring innings last season and the command seems to be in a similar spot through two starts this season. The problem for Fister is the same as it is for a lot of sinkerball guys without premium velocity. Miss high and guys let it fly. The margin for error is incredibly thin. Dating back to last season, Fister has now allowed 16 HR in 113.2 innings of work. He gave up 18 HR in 164 innings in 2014 and never allowed more than 15 in any other season.
Milwaukee – A home-and-home interleague set between Minnesota and Milwaukee now shifts to Target Field. Tommy Milone will get the ball for the Twins and this is not a good matchup for him. The Brewers, for all of their rebuilding pains, have some pretty good right-handed power with Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana, Chris Carter, and Jonathan Lucroy. Last season with the Twins, Milone had a lower ERA on the road, but eight unearned runs helped. Righties hit .266/.318/.455 against him, so, at the very least, look to back the Brewers that have power from the right side.
Los Angeles Dodgers – It’s still not there for Julio Teheran. The Braves “ace” saw most of his stats go in the wrong direction last season. His home run ballooned and that coincided with an increase in walks. This season, over 17 innings, Teheran has walked eight and has given up four home runs. His velocity is down quite a bit as well. All of these red flags are a lot to take in with a matchup against a very talented Dodgers offense. Lefties punished Teheran to the tune of a .297/.387/.507 slash last season and the small sample size returns are worse so far this season. This is a re-post from yesterday since Julio Teheran was scratched from his start.
Here are the top value hitters for April 20:
Nomar Mazara ($3,200) – Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Look, we’re going to keep going with Nomar Mazara until we have a reason not to. He has a nice platoon advantage here in this start and he’s still batting .414/.457/.552 over 35 plate appearances. Mazara’s going to be a good streaming option against pitch-to-contact arms. Some of the more overpowering righties, and especially the lefties, could make life difficult for him, but he’s only struck out three times in 35 PA and has drawn four walks.
Michael Conforto ($3,400) – Here’s another player that we have relied on already this season, but he hasn’t disappointed us in any way, shape, or form. Through 40 PA against right-handed pitching this season, Conforto has two homers, five doubles, and six walks. He was a .275/.341/.531 hitter against righties last season and had strong platoon splits against them in the minors as well. Jeremy Hellickson’s K/BB ratio against RHB is less than 2/1 and they slugged .455 off of him last season.
Michael Saunders ($3,600) – It seems like John Gibbons may do some experimenting with Michael Saunders as the leadoff hitter against right-handed pitching. The Blue Jays lineup is off to a surprisingly slow start overall, but this is a move that makes some sense. Saunders was a pretty bad platoon player early in his career, but from 2012-14, he posted SLG of .413, .414, and .494. He was hurt last season for most of the year, so take those numbers with a grain of salt. Any time you can get a front of the order bat for the Blue Jays, there’s some upside.
Here are the top value pitchers for April 20:
Ross Stripling ($6,400) – Ross Stripling followed up his extremely impressive MLB debut with a quality start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. With the nerves gone, he cut his walk total from four to one and scattered five hits and a couple of runs. At this price, a similar start is going to be an excellent bargain. Against the Braves, that’s a definite possibility. The Braves rank 30th in wOBA and 30th in wRC+ at the outset of the season and that’s with a pretty decent BB%. They hit for absolutely no power, so the risk of a starter getting blasted is very low.
Jimmy Nelson ($8,000) – There aren’t a lot of teams that rely heavily on the designated hitter anymore in the American League. DHs are better hitter than pitchers, obviously, but full-time, productive DHs are kind of a thing of the past. The Twins are one of those teams. Over 110 PA, the guys batting DH have collectively posted a .290/.391/.516 slash with a .387 wOBA. Byung-ho Park has hit dingers and Joe Mauer has a .452 OBP. One of those two guys will be out of the lineup and that’s really problematic for an offense that hasn’t done much this season.
Joe Ross ($8,100) – That fastball/slider combo is still working for Joe Ross. The strikeout bump from last season hasn’t returned yet, but the location has been very good through two starts this season. The Marlins are in the middle of the pack offensively, but Ross is a tough at bat with that SL usage. He’s actually mixed in the changeup a little bit more this season, which could be a pitch that will help him out tremendously against lefties. He’s a solid value play at this price.