One day game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs will kick off the second-to-last Friday of the MLB regular season. The other 14 games will be under the lights. The realities of the season are setting in for a lot of teams, as the contenders try to keep everybody fresh for the postseason and the teams that finish the season a week from Sunday are looking ahead to the offseason, vacations, and time with family. Daily fantasy sports and baseball betting are very tough over the next 10 days, but we’ll try to navigate the rough waters.
DraftKings or FanDuel are the industry leaders in ease of use and safe, free transactions. Use these tips and the tips from the twice-a-week MLB betting podcast, The Bettor’s Box, 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 September 25:
Los Angeles Dodgers – It just makes sense to stack every talented lineup that goes to Coors Field and the Dodgers are that team this weekend. They will get their swings against David Hale, a subpar starter with 14 home runs allowed in 68.1 innings of work. Hale has missed more bats than expected, but the bats he hasn’t missed have driven the ball a long way. The Dodgers are going to be a very expensive stack, so keep that in mind as you fill out the rest of your lineup.
Arizona – Casey Kelly will get a couple of starts for the Padres to finish up the season. He threw two innings in relief for the Padres on September 19 and scattered five hits out of 11 batters faced. He won’t work very deep into this game, so the Padres will likely piggyback somebody with him. The Diamondbacks are going to keep playing hard until the end, so there’s some hope for a stack with them. Kelly threw the ball relatively well in the minors in his return from Tommy John, but high BABIPs against and low strand rates suggest some command problems.
Oakland – Mike Leake hasn’t been very sharp lately and has been dealing with hamstring and arm issues since the Giants acquired him for their playoff push. Leake will be pitching in a good environment, but he will also be facing an AL lineup with a designated hitter. Leake has allowed 18 runs over his last five starts and has only struck out 14 of the 120 batters he has faced in that span. The stuff just isn’t there and the A’s could take full advantage.
Here are the best value hitters for September 25:
Tom Murphy ($2,800) – The Rockies are splitting time with Tom Murphy and Dustin Garneau, as Murphy has played every other day so far. If that pattern holds, Murphy will be behind the plate for Friday night’s game. Over his 20 MLB at bats, Murphy has already hit three home runs and owns a .300/.333/.750 slash. Murphy was sidelined by injuries in 2014, but he hit 22 HR between Single-A and Double-A in 2013 and 20 HR between Double-A and Triple-A this season. He’s your prototypical backup catcher with some swing and miss, but also some power. He’ll be a cheap catching option tonight if he plays.
Trayce Thompson ($3,200) – Trayce Thompson has swung a great bat against lefties this season and he’ll take his cuts against CC Sabathia on Friday night. Through 47 MLB PA against lefties, he owns a .333/.362/.667 slash line. Nine of his 15 hits have gone for extra bases. Overall, between Triple-A and the bigs, Thompson has a .319/.351/.534 slash in 174 PA against southpaws. That’s a good value against a pitcher with suspect command.
Derek Dietrich ($3,300) – Derek Dietrich has had a fine season against right-handed pitching and has a good matchup against Ryan Weber on Friday. Dietrich has a .280/.369/.522 slash against righties on the year and has a .379 wOBA and a 141 wRC+. His performance against lefties has really dragged down his overall numbers, even in just 44 PA, but he’s a good stream at a reasonable price against below average righties.
Here are the best value pitchers for September 25:
Rich Hill ($4,300) – I don’t know if it’s sustainable, but if Rich Hill can manage a strikeout per inning and a quality start, he’s a great bargain at this price. Hill has a 20/1 K/BB ratio over his two starts against teams that own left-handed pitchers. He gave up three runs to Toronto, but struck out 10 and threw shutout work against Tampa Bay in his first start in the Majors this season. The Orioles rank 25th in wOBA against lefties with one of the worst BB rates and a high K rate.
Rubby de la Rosa ($7,400) – It’s been another maddeningly frustrating season for Rubby de la Rosa, who improved on his bad control, but still struggled with command. He has held righties to a .206/.260/.343 slash on the season, so that’s a silver lining entering this start against the Padres. He always has the potential to go out and throw a 20-point game because he does miss bats. On a day with a lot of uncertainty, his strikeout potential garners higher marks than others.
Jordan Zimmermann ($8,600) – Steady Jordan Zimmermann’s tenure with the Washington Nationals is winding down. In fact, this will be his final start at Nationals Park. He’s an impending free agent and is unlikely to return to Washington because of the money he’ll get offered on the free market. Zimmermann draws a Phillies team that has fallen off the pace yet again and should be a pretty easy matchup. He definitely has the chance to throw a real strong game in this one.