Day Two is Day One for a few teams as Mother Nature reared its ugly head on Monday and forced a couple of postponements. As a result, we get a very busy second (or third, depending on how you look at it) day of the Major League Baseball season. Weather will continue to be an issue in some places, which you absolutely have to keep in mind this time of year. As mentioned in the two previous days of DFS insight and tips, this daily piece will include three teams to stack, three value hitters, and three value pitchers to help fill out your lineups with good, reasonably-priced talent.
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 5:
Tampa Bay – Aaron Sanchez earned a rotation spot for the Toronto Blue Jays, but I have some concerns about his ability to remain a starter. He’s got good stuff, but a 42/37 K/BB ratio in 66 innings as a starter last season is problematic. He also shows some large platoon splits with a .279/.390/.488 slash from left-handed hitters last season, including seven more walks than strikeouts. As we know, Tampa likes to utilize platoons, so they should have an advantage in the majority of their plate appearances in this one.
Arizona – Chad Bettis takes the bump for the Rockies in this one and the Diamondbacks are already in a state of flux. After losing AJ Pollock, Zack Greinke was tagged on Opening Day in a loss to the Colorado Rockies. It’s ludicrous to say that a game on April 5 is a must-win, and this one isn’t, but the Diamondbacks really need to generate a little bit of positive momentum. I like Bettis overall, but a high walk rate could give the D-Backs some opportunities to put runs on the board. Plus, an Arizona stack is fairly cheap now without a guy like Pollock.
St. Louis – Consider this one more of a hunch. I’m curious to see how Jon Niese will do in his first start with a new team. Niese will have to learn the Pirates defensive system of shifting and it could be a little bit of an adjustment in working to that type of defense. Niese is a high ground ball guy to begin with, so it will be interesting to see how this will work out for both sides. The Cardinals have struggled with lefties in recent seasons, but Niese is rather hittable and had some command troubles last season.
Here are the top value hitters for April 5:
JT Realmuto ($3,100) – You never want to spend too much money on the catcher position, with the exception of taking a guy like Buster Posey. JT Realmuto has a decent power/speed combination that you can use to your advantage throughout the season. At a low price tag here today, he saves you money to go out and get players at other positions. Given some of Justin Verlander’s recent command struggles, there’s a chance he loses focus at the bottom of the lineup and Realmuto makes him pay.
Travis Shaw ($3,200) – With a sunny day expected in Cleveland, perhaps Travis Shaw can get a hold of one and do some damage here. Corey Kluber does allow some hard contact on his sinker and one up in the zone could feed right into Shaw’s power. Shaw only has 1B eligibility right now, which is unfortunate, but 3B eligibility is coming. This also plants a seed in your mind to keep trying Shaw out as a low-priced option. He posted a .487 SLG with 13 HR in just 248 PA last season.
Randal Grichuk ($3,300) – The outfielder with the big swing and the tremendous power hit six dongs in just 118 PA against southpaws last season and he draws a hittable one today in Jon Niese. Grichuk had a 122 wRC+ against lefties in his first taste of MLB ball, so this is a guy that could go either way because he’s got some swing-and-miss capability. However, when he does square up a ball, he will do so with authority. Getting cheap power is a key to success in DFS.
Here are top three value pitchers for April 5:
Jose Quintana ($8,400) – I’m biased because I’m a big Jose Quintana fan, but what’s not to like? Quintana is a league average strikeout rate type of guy and has improved his walk rate in each of his four big league seasons. This is a guy that would thrive in an environment like Oakland and should thrive in this matchup against the A’s. At this price, he’s a very sound investment, especially with a decent shot at grabbing a win over Chris Bassitt. It’s hard to believe he’s only 27, so this is technically the prime of his career.
Justin Verlander ($8,700) – The velocity reports were good on Mr. Kate Upton during Spring Training and he’ll be pitching in a really good park. We’ll see what happens with the fences moved in a little bit now, but Verlander learned how to pitch with his declining velocity last season and he’s a very self-aware guy. That’s important, because he won’t keep banging his head against the wall. He made adjustments and they worked to the tune of a 2.80 ERA and a .216/.259/.327 slash against over 103 second-half innings last season.
Shelby Miller ($7,500) – I’m not big on Shelby Miller over the course of the season, but he’s worth streaming at this price tag. Miller has a good cutter and there is some strikeout per inning upside there. The fastball velocity is still there and we’ll see if he gets back to throwing the curveball a little bit more as an out pitch. Colorado’s road offensive explosion was a little bit surprising on Monday, so Miller may carry a little bit of recency bias value here.