Five day games and 10 night games are on tap for Wednesday in Major League Baseball and I know that you want to play contests early and late, so today’s article will feature some thoughts on the early games as well. Yesterday’s piece had some good and bad. We hit a couple of good stacks yesterday with the Red Sox and Cubs and got a good start from Raisel Iglesias against a tough Royals lineup. RA Dickey was disappointing in what should have been a good spot for him, but Jake Odorizzi was very good. Let’s get after it today.
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 19:
Texas – Mike Montgomery entered his July 10 start with a 1.62 ERA. When he finished it, his ERA was 2.29. Six starts later, Montgomery has a 4.14 ERA as an unsustainably low BABIP finally caught up with him. Over his last seven starts, Montgomery owns a 7.99 ERA with a .319/.404/.574 slash against. The Mariners are 0-7 in those games and Montgomery is 0-3. His last start against Boston was the big blow-up with nine earned on 10 hits over 2.1. This is another tough start for Montgomery, in a good hitting environment against a Rangers lineup that is sixth in wOBA over the last 30 days.
Cincinnati – To put it nicely, Jeremy Guthrie sucks. I could go more in depth and be a lot more honest about it, but he’s terrible. Guthrie has a 5.63 ERA with a 5.15 FIP and a 5.12 xFIP on the season with a declining strikeout rate and terrible command. His 26.6 percent line drive rate against is another example of the bad command that he possesses. In a small ballpark like Great American Ball Park, his tremendous outfield defense isn’t going to help him as much as it would in other yards. The Reds have some guys with power and they could put on a hitting display tonight.
Toronto – It’s been a while since the Blue Jays appeared as a stack, mostly because they could be a stack every night with their offensive prowess and everybody knows that. They draw a left-hander in a good hitter’s park on Wednesday night, so it’s back to looking at the Blue Jays as a stacking option. Adam Morgan will have his work cut out for him. The Blue Jays do lose a bat by playing in Philadelphia, but Morgan doesn’t miss many bats and has allowed eight home runs in 50.1 innings so far. Righties are batting .281/.339/.490 off of Morgan and the Blue Jays still own far and away the league’s best wOBA against lefties at .356.
Here are the best value hitters for August 19:
Danny Valencia ($3,300) – It’s been a while since Valencia popped up in this article as one of the game’s better platoon bats against lefties. Valencia has a .309/.363/.457 slash on the season against lefties and owns a career slash of .325/.367/.495 against southpaws. As a bonus, teammate Brett Lawrie has a .287/.331/.496 slash against lefties this season. Those two guys take on Alex Wood on getaway day in Oakland. I wouldn’t expect a lot of runs from the Oakland lineup, but Valencia and Lawrie have good XBH power against lefties to run up some numbers on their own.
Rajai Davis ($3,400) – The Tigers have had a lot of success against lefties this season and Rajai Davis has been a big part of that. Davis is a great value at this price because Jon Lester is terrible at holding runners. Davis has taken 17 bags this season, down from the 36, 45, 46, and 34 of the previous four seasons, but he is 7-for-9 against lefties this season on the bases. Also, Davis has a .410 SLG against southpaws this season. This is a very good spot to use him.
Avisail Garcia ($3,100) – This one is a bit of a shot in the dark. Most of my value plays are on platoon splits, but Garcia has a different type of platoon split. This season, Garcia is batting .312/.373/.448 against fly ball pitchers with a .387 BABIP. Jered Weaver’s declining command has certainly been an issue this season and Garcia has some good raw power. Weaver has given up 17 home runs this season in just 107.2 innings of work.
Here are the best value pitchers for August 19:
Nate Eovaldi ($7,300) – The season is still fading fast for the Minnesota Twins and they are going to face an uphill climb on Thursday afternoon against Nate Eovaldi and the Yankees. Eovaldi is still a mystery because his mid-90s fastball/slider combination isn’t generating many strikeouts, but he keeps the ball in the park and limits damage by keeping the ball on the ground. Eovaldi owns a 3.62 FIP and a 3.87 xFIP thanks to a high BABIP against, but the Twins aren’t likely too be too engaged in this game.
Robbie Ray ($6,600) – I like Robbie Ray if the strikeout rate is legit and it seems to be given his MiLB performance. Ray is an extreme fly ball guy in a good pitching environment at PNC Park and the Pirates haven’t seen much of him. I like to use the unfamiliar lefty angle in DFS and betting and that’s certainly the case here. Ray owns a 3.29 ERA with a 3.31 FIP and you can ignore the xFIP with some fly ball pitchers because sabermetrics don’t like fly ball guys. After a late night for both teams on Tuesday, there could be some early-count swings in this one.
Stephen Strasburg ($9,100) – Backing pitchers at Coors Field is probably a DFS death sentence, but Strasburg has the swing-and-miss upside to make it worthwhile. You have to realize that you’re getting value on Strasburg because of the park factor, since he’s normally a $10,000 arm. The Rockies are a pretty poor offensive team with all of their injuries. Their numbers are inflated at Coors, as they always are, so Strasburg is a risky play, but a strikeout per inning will help ease the pain of any runs that he allows.