We begin a new week in Major League Baseball and that means new matchups to consider for all the daily fantasy contests. Today is the annual Patriots Day holiday in Boston, so the Red Sox and the Blue Jays are wrapping up their series with an early morning tilt. It’s one of eight games on the card, so we’ll pick our DFS players from the seven games that will be played under the lights on this Monday evening.
These small cards are nice because it’s easier to narrow your focus, but it can also be difficult because a lot of players will match lineups or players. Sometimes it’s best to go contrarian on days like this. Other times, it’s best to go with the populous and make small deviations. That’s all up to you and the style that you like to play. There are a lot of ways to skin a cat and a lot of ways to win at DFS.
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 18:
Chicago White Sox – Former friend Hector Santiago makes his return to US Cellular Field as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim battle the White Sox. Sometimes it’s tough to have the belief that last season’s performance will carry over to the next season. Arsenal changes or mechanical tweaks can lead to improvement. In the case of Hector Santiago, his ERA/xFIP discrepancy was so big that’s he’s a firmly in the fade category this season. He posted a 3.59 ERA with a 5.00 xFIP. The prior season, he had a 3.75 ERA with a 4.57 xFIP. Last season, he allowed a .255/.324/.502 slash on the road and a .196/.292/.339 at home. Away from Angel Stadium, righties batted .253/.331/.525 against him. Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier should be salivating, along with the other righties in that lineup.
Minnesota – Say what?! The Twins?! As much as I like the idea of Chase Anderson, whose pitches are average or better across the board, I can’t buy in for this season. Anderson has had a good amount of batted ball luck so far this season, with just eight hits allowed on 30 balls in play. There’s a lot of concern with NL pitchers that don’t miss a lot of bats making interleague starts. That’s the case here with Anderson. Two of his nine strikeouts are in three PA against opposing pitchers. The Twins have a good matchup here if they can take advantage.
New York Mets – For the second time this season, the Mets will get to see Jerad Eickhoff. Eickhoff worked five innings against the Mets in the season opener with five hits and three runs allowed. Young pitchers have success when they face teams for the first time, but hitters are quick to adjust. This will be Eickhoff’s 11th start. It will be his fifth career start against the Mets. The Mets got out of their offensive skid against the Indians this past weekend and could very well carry it over to this series and this matchup.
Here are the top value hitters for April 18:
Yunel Escobar ($3,100) – In this year’s small sample, Yunel Escobar is 10-for-18 with a homer and five doubles against left-handed pitching. Over 132 PA last season, Escobar posted a .314/.371/.388 slash line against lefties. The power wasn’t there, but a .371 OBP is very good. Escobar is a career .288 hitter with the platoon advantage and he draws a lefty here in Carlos Rodon. Rodon is a pretty good one, but Escobar puts the ball in play at a good clip and comes at a very cheap price.
Michael Conforto ($3,400) – Michael Conforto has a premium spot in the Mets order against right-handed pitchers, as he has been hitting in the three-hole. Last season, he batted .275/.341/.531 against right-handers and the Oregon State product owned a .297/.366/.516 slash overall against righties last season. He raked to a .333/.390/.468 slash in his first year of pro ball in 2014. At this price, Conforto is always worth consideration with a righty on the bump.
Justin Bour ($3,300) – Justin Bour is off to a solid start to the 2016 season over his 36 plate appearances, but it’s last season’s platoon splits that make him a solid play here against Tanner Roark and the Nationals. The Marlins part-time player is good on the fat side of the platoon, as evidenced by his .270/.326/.519 slash line last season. Bour hit 23 HR in just 371 PA against righties. This season, he’s posted a .286/.382/.500 in just 34 plate appearances, but it’s a continuation of the success he had last season.
Here are the top value pitchers for April 18:
Dan Straily ($4,000) – If you really want to take a gamble today, Dan Straily is your guy. Straily has been working on increasing his velocity with Kyle Boddy at Driveline Baseball, which is one of the premier pitching facilities in the country. In a relief capacity, Straily struck out eight over 8.1 innings and has taken over the spot formerly held by Tim Melville. Colorado has been one of the best lineups so far this season, but regression is coming and this is a big opportunity for Straily. At this price, you really don’t need a big performance to justify pairing him with one of Monday’s aces.
Carlos Rodon ($9,100) – The Angels aren’t a good offensive team, as we know. Don’t be put off by Carlos Rodon’s most recent start and the control problems that he had against the Minnesota Twins. They haven’t shown it much, but the Twins have a pretty patient lineup, or at least they have over the last couple of years. The Angels saw Rodon just once last season and he threw eight good innings against them. Pitchers with really good stuff are elevated against teams that rarely see them. That’s the case here.
Noah Syndergaard ($12,100) – Look for the right guy to pair with Noah Syndergaard because he’s a must-stream in this start. Everybody has been excited about the Phillies rotation and it has done a good job…of masking the Phillies’ offensive woes. The Phillies are 26th in wOBA in one of the best offensive parks in baseball. They are 29th in wRC+. Syndergaard is elite and possesses tremendous strikeout stuff. Whatever you do, find a way to roster him today.