We begin a new week on the diamond on Monday with a slightly smaller schedule than usual. Eleven games are on the docket for April 11 and there are definitely some opportunities to make money in your daily fantasy contests. We’re still dealing with miniscule sample sizes that aren’t predictive of full-season performance, but it is fair to say that we can use what we’ve already seen to our advantage. It’s up to pitchers to adjust to the hitters that have gotten off to hot starts. Sometimes, pitchers don’t adjust as quickly as they should and those are the guys that we can bank on.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings:
Here are the top teams to stack for April 11:
Chicago Cubs - A really dominant first outing from Brandon Finnegan should be taken with a grain of salt because it came against the Phillies. While I like Finnegan long-term, he’s not a 9 K over 6 IP type of guy and the control isn’t always going to be that spectacular. Against a Cubs team finally heading home to open up the Wrigley Field portion of the season, we can reasonably assume that the Cubs will be ready to go.
Seattle - The Seattle Mariners are going to see Colby Lewis for the second time this season when he takes the mound at Safeco Field on Monday. Lewis scattered six hits and gave up three runs, but the Mariners should be a play-on team against righties for most of the season. Entering action on Sunday, nobody had a better offense in the first week of the season against RHP than the Mariners. We’ll take advantage of that here.
Detroit - It could be a really rough outing for Jon Niese on Monday. Niese has allowed a .268/.331/.415 slash against righties in his career and he’ll have to face an additional hitter here with a road start at Comerica Park. In 18 career interleague starts, Niese has allowed opposing batters a .316/.372/.518 slash line. That’s really terrible and the Tigers obviously have some big bats to do some damage. This could be a really ugly outing for Niese and the Pirates.
Here are the top value hitters for April 11:
Colby Rasmus ($3,400) - Colby Rasmus is a platoon bat extraordinaire and this is a really great matchup for somebody like him. Rasmus has a .469 career SLG against right-handed pitching in his career and we all know about Chris Young. Young likes to induce aerial contact, but that may not be the best plan of attack at Minute Maid Park. Rasmus has terrific raw power and it doesn’t take much to generate lift against a guy like Young.
Jonathan Schoop ($2,800) - We’ll bark up this tree again because Schoop provides some of the best power at his position and does so at a fraction of the cost of guys like Jason Kipnis, Ben Zobrist, and Brian Dozier. Sure, Schoop faces off against David Price on Monday, which isn’t ideal, but it gives us some value on his price. With so many other power bats to worry about in that Orioles lineup, Schoop is often the forgotten guy.
Matt Szczur ($3,500) - With the injury to Kyle Schwarber, somebody is going to have to step up in that left field role. Matt Szczur could be the guy, particularly against left-handed pitching. Szczur has a .523 SLG in a very small sample size against lefties, but it’s clear that he has some power, both to the gaps and over the fence against lefties. Brandon Finnegan is a developing pitcher good for probably one mistake pitch per plate appearance. If Szczur can get a fat piece of it, he’ll generate a lot of value.
Here are the top value pitchers for April 11:
Andrew Cashner ($8,700) - Andrew Cashner is an interesting guy because the upside is there, but the health never really has been. His strikeout rate took a solid two percent jump from 2014 to 2015 and that’s something I’m willing to buy into, given the quality of his stuff. He’s got a favorable matchup here against a pretty lackluster Philadelphia Phillies team. It would seem that he’s a worthy candidate for streaming.
Sonny Gray ($9,600) - It’s so hard with Sonny Gray because he is a great pitcher that posts low ERAs, but he’s not an ideal DFS guy because he doesn’t strike many hitters out. Gray is the type of guy that carries so much more real-world value than DFS or traditional fantasy value. Here, however, he’s priced a bit below the top guys on the mound on Monday and we have to consider that. The Angels are a horrible offensive team, so the chances of Gray working seven with two or fewer earned seem pretty good.
Michael Wacha ($9,400) - We should anticipate a bounce back start from Michael Wacha here against the Milwaukee Brewers. Wacha struggled his first time out and should be poised for a better outing against a really poor Brewers lineup. If the strikeout rates from the middle of last season are sustainable for Wacha, he should be in really good shape. Either way, this is a lineup that should generate some success and certainly be worth this price tag.