It’s always fun to see the early-season overreactions to small sample size performance. In that regard, DFS websites are the gifts that keep on giving. Vincent Velasquez vs. the New York Mets and Jaime Garcia vs. the Chicago Cubs are third and fourth in terms of pitcher salaries today for the nighttime contest pool. That’s what we’ll focus on today, taking the 1:10 p.m. ET first pitch between the Brewers and Twins and the 6:10 p.m. ET first pitch between the Mariners and Indians out of the equation, just to make things easy. Those interested in All Day contests will have those games, but 13 games make up the 7:05 p.m. ET or later group and those are the ones under the spotlight here today.
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 19:
Colorado – Stacking the Rockies on the road is a weird exercise. It almost makes you feel queasy. Then you realize that the Rox are taking on Alfredo Simon and everything feels better. Simon had his scheduled start pushed back a day because he threw a terrible inning of relief on April 15 against St. Louis. He’s certainly picked up right where he left off last season with 11 runs, nine earned, allowed over 6.2 innings of work. Since the All-Star Break in 2014, Simon has a 5.07 ERA with a 4.71 FIP and a 4.64 xFIP over 273.1 innings of work. Yeah, I’ll stack against that.
Tampa Bay – Joe Kelly is like Nate Eovaldi and Jarred Cosart in the sense that you keep expecting his plus velocity to impact his performance and it hasn’t happened. At least Eovaldi somewhat turned a corner. Kelly has pitched parts of five seasons in the bigs and owns a 4.01 ERA with a 4.24 FIP and a 4.19 xFIP in 417 innings as a starter. With a below average strikeout rate and a poor walk rate, Kelly basically lives and dies based on whether or not he can induce double plays. That’s not a pitcher that you want to trust.
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.
Here are the top value hitters for April 19:
Chris Young ($3,000) – Chris Young has a roster spot with Boston because he’s supposed to hit left-handed pitching. Drew Smyly gets the nod for Tampa Bay today and he throws with his left hand. Inexplicably, Young has more PA against RHP than LHP this season, as John Farrell mismanages a great platoon asset. He’s 2-for-7 against lefties and both hits are doubles. He batted .327/.397/.575 last season against lefties in a platoon capacity for the Yankees. Over the course of his career, Young is a .263/.362/.475 batter against southpaws.
Nomar Mazara ($3,200) – It’s been a couple of days since we’ve gone to the Nomar Mazara well, but this seems like a good day to go that route. Mazara owns a .444/.452/.593 slash over his first 31 career plate appearances. He’s hit at every level of the minor leagues and the 20-year-old showed a pretty good knowledge for the strike zone in the upper minors. Scott Feldman actually shows modest reverse platoon splits, but he’s not a good pitcher and Texas is a bad environment for him.
Joc Pederson ($3,300) – This last spot was between David Peralta, a guy we’ve backed before, and Joc Pederson, another guy we’ve backed before. The nod goes to Pederson because Julio Teheran has shown such poor command of late. Pederson is a three true outcomes guy with strikeouts, walks, and dingers. He hasn’t walked much this season, but the power is still there and that’s what we’re looking for at a cheap price.
Here are the top value pitchers for April 19:
Logan Verrett ($5,600) – Logan Verrett is a guy worth more in real life than in the fantasy world, but he’s a guy that sneak up and provide some really good value. In just a handful of starts over the last two seasons, he owns a 2.86 ERA with a .192/.278/.320 slash against over 28.1 innings as a starter. Most importantly, he has 25 strikeouts in 28.1 innings, so his stuff has been deep enough to go through a lineup a couple of times. The Phillies don’t do a whole lot of hitting, as they rank 26th in wOBA and 29th wRC+. That’s good enough to take a shot on Verrett at this price.
Adam Conley ($6,200) – Let’s buy the hype. Adam Conley was the subject of a terrific piece by Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs this last week after he dazzled in New York against the Mets. Even with the fences pulled in a little bit, Miami still offers a good pitching environment and Conley has a solid defense behind him. The strikeout gains probably aren’t all that sustainable, but the uptick in velocity certainly provides some optimism. The Nationals are a solid lineup, but, as that article explained, Conley is a tough matchup because he zigs when hitters expect him to zag.
Francisco Liriano ($9,800) – Francisco Liriano is the second-most expensive option on the board, but getting him under $10,000 against a pretty bad Padres lineup seems like a gift. The Padres rank 28th in wOBA and 27th in wRC+. They have the highest strikeout rate in the National League and we know what Liriano can do to get swings and misses. Petco isn’t the pitching environment it once was, and maybe that’s the reason for the adjustment, but Liriano is definitely worth a look at this relatively low price.