Happy Saturday! The weekend is here and the opportunities to make money playing daily fantasy sports should increase without having to do that work thing. We have eight early games and seven late games here on the DFS slate today, so there are good chances to play afternoon and nighttime contests to increase those chances of winning big. For today’s piece, we’ll pick one guy/team from the early contests for those astute BangTheBook readers that check in early. For those that get to us a little bit later, we’ll take two players and two teams from the games under the lights.
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 16:
New York Mets (early) – I’m a big fan of Josh Tomlin, probably more so of his makeup as a pitcher than his stuff. The stuff is actually better now that he’s healthy. The problem here is that Josh Tomlin is getting his first start of the season, nearly two weeks after it started. His last Spring Training appearance came March 29. He’s thrown simulated games, but maintaining command over that time off is hard. The Mets hit four home runs on Friday night, more than they had hit in their previous eight games combined. On a warm day in Cleveland, the Mets should hit some balls with authority.
Miami – Bud Norris is a replacement-level starter and Miami has a sneaky good offense. The Marlins haven’t really shown it yet, at least from a power standpoint, but they’ve got good speed and guys that put the ball in play. Strikeouts are up league-wide, but the Marlins have very strong K% and BB% rates. Norris has given up 15 hits in 12 innings, which is due to shoddy command and also a mediocre Braves defense. We tried to stack the Marlins yesterday and they nearly came through with 12 hits, but could only manage three runs. We’ll give it a go again today.
Detroit – Collin McHugh was blasted in his first start and threw the ball well in his second start. This outing at home against Detroit should be a challenge for him. The swing-and-miss stuff just isn’t there for him yet and he’s working on his second straight high BABIP season. It’s still early, but McHugh got too much of the fat part of the plate last season. He doesn’t give up a lot of long balls, but he has some minor reverse platoon splits, so Detroit’s right-handed heavy lineup isn’t as much of a concern here as it would be against other righties.
Here are the top value hitters for April 16:
Aledmys Diaz (early) ($2,900) – Brandon Finnegan has been impressive so far, but so has St. Louis Cardinals rookie Aledmys Diaz. Over his first 28 MLB plate appearances, Diaz owns a .407/.429/.889 slash. Obviously we know that sample size is way too small, but it is a sign that pitchers haven’t figured out his weaknesses as of yet. Over 137 PA last season, Diaz hit .371/.431/.621 against left-handed pitching. He had similar success in his first year in 2014. Platoon advantages are key in finding value plays.
Nomar Mazara ($3,300) – You’ll get tired of seeing his name here, but the potential at this price is way too much to overlook. Mazara will have a platoon advantage in this one over Yovani Gallardo. Lefties hit .270/.340/.425 with a .334 wOBA off of Gallardo last season. Gallardo managed a 3.42 ERA last year, but hung a 4.00 FIP and a 4.31 xFIP. Regression is certainly a possibility for him this season. It’s just a matter of how much that Baltimore infield defense can help him out.
Chris Carter ($3,500) – In roughly one full season of plate appearances against left-handed pitching, Carter owns a .222/.342/.442 slash line with 33 home runs. That’s a span of 690 plate appearances. Carter has three dingers this season, though they have all come against righties. At this price against a pitch-to-contact guy like Jon Niese, it’s worth a stab at Carter’s upside in hopes that he will muscle up a couple of pitches. Niese has allowed righties to have a slugging percentage of .412 or higher in five of his six full seasons.
Here are the top value pitchers for April 16:
Matt Harvey (early) ($8,700) – The Indians have never seen Matt Harvey and his electric stuff could present a problem for a lineup that has struck out quite a bit this season. The Indians have taken the long stroll back to the dugout in 25.4 percent of their plate appearances so far. Harvey, as we know, has plenty of strikeout stuff. He hasn’t been all that sharp at the outset, but those small sample size struggles add value to his price here in this one.
Tom Koehler ($6,400) – I’m almost always willing to stream Tom Koehler at home in order to pay for an ace. Koehler has respectable numbers at home with a 3.63 ERA and a 3.78 FIP. His strikeout rate is three percent higher (19.2) than it is on the road (16.0). Last season, Koehler posted a 3.29 ERA at home with a .297 wOBA against. On the road, he hung a 4.82 ERA with a .345 wOBA against. At this price, you really don’t need a big point total to justify the value and he can be paired with a top pitcher or a power-heavy lineup.
Jon Niese ($6,800) – The Brewers have some decent right-handed bats, but PNC Park boasts an environment that suppresses power. The ball just doesn’t carry very well there and the high wall in right field keeps some batted balls in the park. We’ll see how long it takes for that Ray Searage magic to rub off on Niese, but he does have over a strikeout per inning and has shown good control over his small 11-inning sample size. The Brewers are not a great lineup overall outside of some power potential. If Niese can keep the ball down and work to his defense, he should have a strong day.