Regular readers of this tips and suggestions column know how I feel about Sundays. Expanded rosters throw another wrench into the mix. With day games on Monday for the Labor Day holiday, it is more important than usual to check lineups before filling yours out. You simply never know who will sit and who will play. The show must go on, despite the uncertainty, so here are some September 6 thoughts on the MLB daily fantasy baseball contests.
New to daily fantasy sports? Need to reload? 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.
The salaries listed are from DraftKings:
Here are the top teams to stack for September 6:
Washington – Nobody has been able to make Manny Banuelos pay for his poor control as of yet. Banuelos has a 3.33 ERA, but his 4.50 FIP and 5.10 xFIP suggest that some regression could happen this month. He has managed to strand almost 80 percent of his runners with a well below average strikeout rate. Lefties can have some success a time or two around the league, but this is Washington’s second chance to face him. Because of that, they should have a better idea of the path of his pitches and his release point. That should lead to more walks and more run-scoring opportunities. If they cash in on those, this could be a great stack.
Boston – Jerad Eickhoff has been pretty good through three Major League starts. That run ends on Sunday. Eickhoff, an extreme fly ball pitcher, will be pitching at Fenway Park and with a DH in the lineup. His .241 BABIP against may be sustainable with this fly ball rate, but not at Fenway Park. Eickhoff has faced the Mets twice and the Marlins once on the road. Philadelphia is not a good pitcher’s park, but the other two venues he pitched in are good for hurlers. Fenway is not. This is a dangerous start for Eickhoff and I like the potential of the Red Sox.
Texas – After showing signs of regression for quite some time, Hector Santiago has been hit squarely in the face by it. He hasn’t made it out of the fifth in any of his last three starts and has allowed 14 runs over that span. He also has an 11/10 K/BB ratio. Santiago has had an ERA nearly two runs better than his FIP and xFIP for parts of the season and regression was slow to come, but it has made it. Specifically, his LOB% has dropped considerably of late. He may get it figured out, but we’ll play the numbers and assume he doesn’t.
Here are the best value hitters for September 6:
Daniel Nava ($2,000) – You look for value at the top of the order when constructing DFS lineups and Nava has that for the Rays today. Nava is slotted in the #2 spot in Kevin Cash’s lineup and that makes him a serious bargain at this price. It’s been a rough season for Nava, but he’s still drawing walks and his .234 BABIP is sure to regress. Despite a tough 2015, Nava still has a .283/.378/.412 slash against righties in his career. With Ivan Nova’s inconsistency in coming back from Tommy John, there’s no reason not to take a shot at this price.
Travis Shaw ($2,900) – It’s been a few days since we’ve gone with Travis Shaw. That’s mostly because DraftKings caught on and upped his salary right as he went into a major slump. The power potential is still there and that’s something I’ll buy on, especially against a fly ball pitcher. Shaw has hit seven home runs on the season and owns a .277/.326/.513, even though he hasn’t hit much lately. This is a good spot to use him while he’s undervalued.
Lonnie Chisenhall ($3,000) – Since getting recalled on July 30, Lonnie Chisenhall has a .360/.421/.500 slash line over 95 plate appearances. Chisenhall has mostly been used in platoon duty against right-handers, so most of this production has come in that situation. More often than not, the cheap players with good ROI are going to be platoon players, so you look for situations for those guys to succeed. With Chisenhall batting fifth, he’s certainly in that position.
Here are the best value pitchers for September 6:
Sean Nolin ($5,500) – I’m very intrigued with Sean Nolin. This will be Nolin’s first Major League start and he was one of the centerpieces of the Josh Donaldson deal with the Blue Jays. He threw one Major League inning last season, so this isn’t his debut, but it will be his Oakland debut. Nolin likes to work up in the zone with the fastball and that will lead to a lot of weak aerial contact in Oakland. He’s deceptive, which should help in his first start against a lineup that has never seen him. He’ll be a fastball/changeup guy to change eye level and I think that’s worth a gamble at a low cost.
Rubby de la Rosa ($7,200) – Call this one a bit of a gut feeling. Rubby de la Rosa has some swing and miss stuff and his 11.4 percent swinging strike rate hasn’t come through in most of his traditional stats. Nobody strikes out more than the Cubs and, frankly, they’ve been a below average offensive team most of the season. Over the last two weeks, the Cubs have struck out 29 percent of the time. Are pitchers adjusting? Are the young hitters having bat speed problems? There’s some upside in this pick for sure.
Joe Ross ($8,400) – I’ll gladly take the Joe Ross value after a horrible start last time out. He takes on the light-hitting Atlanta Braves. While the Braves have some platoon advantages, Ross is almost a strikeout per inning guy and has a ton of upside. This could be one of those dominant outings for him. He hasn’t pitched well of late, but he’s been very good against poor offenses and the Braves certainly fit that bill.