It’s Tuesday and that means 15 MLB night games for your viewing and gambling pleasure. It should be a great night on the diamond and hopefully an equally great night for you on the daily fantasy websites. A few great pitchers are on the mound tonight, but it’s mostly a collection of middle and back-end of the rotation starters. Those are always good days for this column because of the nature of the selections.
As you know, this DFS article is a lot different from others, because we’re not projecting the best hitters and pitchers to take, rather trying to seek out the best values to add to your lineup. Keep that in mind as you peruse today’s suggestions looking for the magic formula to cash a big winner.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings:
Here are the top teams to stack for August 25:
Colorado – The Rockies should come cheap in this one since they are on the road, where they have been terrible most of the season. However, a matchup against Mike Foltynewicz should give the Rockies a chance to break out and put up a good offensive night. Folty has given up 17 home runs in just 81.2 innings of work this season. The strikeouts are there, but the command has been atrocious. Even with 17 HR allowed, Folty still has a .357 BABIP against. Turner Field is usually a decent pitcher’s park for fly ball guys, but opponents are batting .312/.374/.533 off of Foltynewicz at home. If Colorado’s ever going to show up on the road and hit, it’s against a pitcher like this. Lefties are batting .331/.380/.604 over 185 PA.
Oakland – It remains to be seen which Mike Montgomery shows up for Seattle in this one. Will it be the one that held opponents to a .191/.254/.270 slash over his first seven starts? Or will it be the one that owns a .311/.402/.530 slash against over his last eight starts. The A’s haven’t been spectacular against lefties, but an A’s stack will be very economical with the park factor of Safeco Field and the perception of their team against lefties. This probably won’t be a popular stack, so if it hits, you’ll be sitting very pretty.
Detroit – Jered Weaver on the road against a good lineup seems like a great stacking opportunity. Weaver owns a 5.40 ERA on the road this season with a .482 SLG against. His stuff is declining in a big way and he is allowing a ton of balls in play. Twelve of Weaver’s 17 home runs against have come in just 63.1 innings on the road this season. Weaver has a nine percent strikeout rate on the road, so the Tigers will be hitting missiles all over the field and that should lead to a good amount of run scoring.
Here are the best value hitters for August 25:
Byron Buxton ($2,300) – The talented prospect has swung the bat well since returning from an injury and from another stint in Triple-A. Most importantly, Buxton is batting leadoff for the Twins, so this is cheap value in a premier spot in the batting order. It’s hard to go wrong when you are guaranteed to get four or five plate appearances. Buxton has good speed and power as well. That’s what you look for in DFS players because extra-base hits and stolen bases are so valuable.
Domingo Santana ($2,700) – Domingo Santana has big-time raw power. He’ll take on Josh Tomlin on Tuesday night, a strike-thrower that gives up a lot of big flies. Of his 12 hits at the Major League level, three have left the yard. He does swing and miss a significant amount, but Tomlin is not an overpowering guy. He’s more of a pitch to contact type of arm. Santana can rack up some points in a hurry if he picks out a mistake and that’s what you hope for at this price level.
Tommy Pham ($2,800) – The Diamondbacks threw us a curveball yesterday and swapped lefty Robbie Ray with righty Jhoulys Chacin. So, we go back to Pham tonight. Pham has been batting near the top of the order for the Cardinals lately and he has some very impressive minor league splits against left-handed pitching. Pham posted a .316/.418/.513 slash against lefties this season and .315/.379/.467 last season. Against Robbie Ray, the Cardinals will be looking for a spark from somebody and Pham could very well be that guy.
Here are the best value pitchers for August 25:
Matt Cain ($5,100) – Matt Cain took some big steps forward in his last start against St. Louis with two earned over six innings and six strikeouts. If he can post something similar like that against the Cubs on Tuesday night, that would be a very good value at this price. Even when struggling, Cain has some value in his home park because it is so forgiving for pitchers. He owns a career 3.21 ERA here, which we can’t expect at this stage with the injuries, but a quality start with somewhere around a strikeout per inning is not a bad ROI for this price.
Chad Bettis ($6,200) – I like what Chad Bettis has been doing this season. The punchless Braves lineup does fare a lot better against righties than it does against lefties, but Bettis shows reverse platoon splits thanks to a heavy changeup/curveball split. He has 65 strikeouts in 75.2 innings of work, so around a strikeout per inning and a quality start is certainly possible. His 4.88 ERA is a little bit Coors-inflated and his 3.97 xFIP and 4.13 SIERA suggest a little bit of positive regression. He’s worth a flyer in some formats, depending on what kinds of funds you have for pitching.
Robbie Ray ($6,700) – The Cardinals haven’t hit lefties well for the better part of this decade and Robbie Ray is one that has flashed some good strikeout potential thus far. Ray was pushed back a day, so it will be interesting to see if that extra bit of rest throws him off at all. He has a great infield defense behind him, which always helps since DFS penalizes pitchers for hits allowed. The Cardinals don’t strikeout all that much overall, but they are sixth in K% against lefties and aren’t doing much offensively right now as a team.