Looking at a full Saturday in Major League Baseball, 12 of the 15 games are at night. The Indians, Yankees, Cubs, Braves, Giants, and Pirates are the only teams playing day baseball, so they will not be looked at for today’s article. I’ll focus on the night contests and see if we can’t make this a Saturday to remember.
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 22:
Kansas City – The Royals should be a popular stack on Saturday. It may burn some people if Barnes winds up holding his own against this tough lineup, but after he allowed six runs on six hits to the Indians in his first start, there are some skeptics out there. The Royals make a lot of contact and have a lot of left-handed bats that will show a platoon advantage in this one. Barnes showed good stuff, but poor command in his first start and not many teams take advantage of bad command like Kansas City. They have to string hits together to score runs, but that’s very possible at Fenway.
New York Mets – The Mets draw Chris Rusin on Saturday, but it almost doesn’t matter. You always have a chance when you stack Coors Field teams. The Mets are better equipped now to face lefties with guys like Yoenis Cespedes and Juan Uribe in the fold. Rusin has been fairly effective, all things considered, but pitch-to-contact starters are always at risk in Colorado. Rusin has odd reverse home/road splits and that seems unsustainable when Colorado is your home park.
Philadelphia – Justin Nicolino is four starts into his Major League career and owns a 4.24/3.97/4.77 pitcher slash. Nicolino has seven strikeouts and six walks out of 96 batters faced. That puts a lot of emphasis on the defense. The Marlins have a good defense, but not missing bats leads to hits. The Phillies will be a very cheap stack because there aren’t many household names. They have improved offensively in the second half and could get some good swings off of Nicolino.
Here are the best value hitters for August 22:
Aaron Altherr ($3,100) – Altherr should have a great chance to do some damage against Justin Nicolino on Saturday. In 132 PA this season against lefties in the minors, Altherr hit .324/.432/.602, so he really did some damage. He was also 16-of-20 on the basepaths in the minors, so he has a chance to rack up some points that way. Speed and power combinations can be very lucrative in DFS formats and a guy like Altherr has a lot of upside, even as a rookie.
Ben Revere ($3,200) – If the Blue Jays are going to do damage against another lefty, Ben Revere has a chance to be a part of it. Revere isn’t a guy with sharp platoon splits and he’s finally starting to get comfortable with his new team and with facing AL pitching. He’s coming off of his best game as a Blue Jay and will be a guy that gets on base at the bottom of the order to roll things over to the big bats. Contact hitters don’t go through long slumps like Revere has, so expect him to turn it around very quickly.
Jason Heyward ($3,700) – Jason Heyward owns a .454 SLG against righties this season and Ian Kennedy, Saturday’s starter for the Padres, has had horrible command this season. Lefties have posted a .515 SLG against Kennedy on the season with 40 extra-base hits out of 59 hits. Heyward has a good power/speed combination to have a big game against Kennedy.
Here are the best value pitchers for August 22:
Chris Tillman ($5,500) – Since his worst start of the season on June 21, Chris Tillman has allowed two runs or less in seven of his last eight games. He made some arsenal changes to induce more ground balls and it has paid off in a big way. Tillman isn’t a high strikeout guy, but at this price point, you’re looking for a quality start with some innings and a few strikeouts. That seems doable against the Twins, especially with how Tillman has been throwing the ball lately.
Carlos Rodon ($7,100) – The walk issues are still there for Carlos Rodon, but the swing-and-miss stuff is also still there and that’s what should be the focus. Rodon will be throwing in a great pitcher’s park and the Mariners rank 10th in K% against lefties and have the third-lowest in walk rate. Rodon mixes so well and avoids hard contact that most of his problems are generated from walking people, but Seattle doesn’t do that, so Rodon is a sneaky good play on Saturday.
Joe Ross ($7,900) – The right-handed heavy Milwaukee Brewers draw Joe Ross on Saturday and that’s not good for them. In nine starts this season, Ross has a 3.86 ERA with a 3.17 FIP and a 3.11 xFIP. Some sequencing issues have hurt his ERA, but he owns an outstanding 6/1 K/BB ratio and has struck out nearly 25 percent of batters faced. Righties are batting .175/.193/.259 against Ross this season with a 33/1 K/BB ratio. That’s incredible. He’s definitely worth streaming in this start.