Only two day games are on tap in Major League Baseball today as the teams try to take advantage of one of the last summer weekends to draw in the big crowds. The day games that will not be included in this daily fantasy write-up are between the Yankees and Blue Jays and Mariners and Red Sox. Let’s see what kind of values we can find to make this an even better Saturday night.
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 15:
Houston – The Astros weren’t as dominant of a stack as they could have been on Friday night against Alfredo Simon, but they have another opportunity on Saturday against Justin Verlander. Verlander is a shell of his former self with declining stuff and rapidly declining command. Verlander has given up 10 home runs in his 10 starts this season. The most Verlander has ever allowed in a season is 24…in 251 innings. Over 63 innings this season, Verlander has allowed 35 runs and has the worst strikeout percentage of his career at 17.7 percent. Against Houston, a home run problem is a bigger problem.
Minnesota – As an Indians fan, I have a soft spot for Josh Tomlin. The oft-injured righty with a home run problem knows his limitations and pitches in spite of them. Unfortunately, his limitations include giving up home runs and loud contact. The Twins should be in a position to take advantage. Among starters with at least 400 innings pitched from 2010-2015, Josh Tomlin has the fourth-highest home run rate at 1.4 HR/9. He’s making his first MLB start since August 13, 2014 after seven starts in the minors this year.
Baltimore – The Orioles draw a pitcher that has been generating a lot of buzz lately, but I’m very skeptical in this start. I like Chris Bassitt going forward. What I don’t like is this start in Baltimore in a good hitter’s park. Bassitt has made seven strong starts this season, but five have been at home, one was in San Francisco, and one was in Cleveland right before the All-Star Break and Bassitt teetered on the brink of disaster in a few of those innings. The fly ball artist owns a 2.48 ERA with a 4.21 xFIP in seven starts and five relief appearances.
Here are the best value hitters for August 15:
Ben Paulsen ($3,500) – If you’re not looking for value in games at Coors Field, you’re doing it wrong. Paulsen took over for Justin Morneau when he went down with more concussion problems and Paulsen owns a .295/.350/.507 slash against righties on the season. At home, Paulsen has a .321/.385/.578 slash against righties. Andrew Cashner has shown some command problems this year, so Paulsen may be a cheap source of Coors-inflated value on Saturday.
Eugenio Suarez ($3,300) – Walt Jocketty seems to have made a steal in the Alfredo Simon deal with the acquisition of Eugenio Suarez. Suarez is up to .309/.346/.492 on the season in 208 plate appearances. He only has 48 plate appearances against lefties, with a .310/.383/.595 slash, but he has hit lefties well in the minor leagues and seems to be hitting everybody well right about now. With a platoon advantage against Brett Anderson, saving money at SS can allow you to spend more in other places.
Asdrubal Cabrera ($3,600) – It’s rare that I buy into a small sample size for an average hitter, but Asdrubal Cabrera is hitting the cover off of the ball lately with a .538/.567/.742 slash over his last 10 games. Colby Lewis isn’t exactly a dominant pitcher and this is a good hitting environment for a guy that has been swinging the bat well. There’s a big gap between the top SS and the rest of the pack and Cabrera certainly merits some attention.
Here are the best value pitchers for August 15:
Patrick Corbin ($7,300) – The southpaw coming back from Tommy John surgery has thrown the ball pretty well over his seven starts. A big spike in strikeouts is a reason to be excited about this start against one of the worst offensive teams in the league against lefties. The Braves rank 27th in wOBA against lefties, even though they have a respectable walk rate. They have the worse SLG in the league against southpaws, which should help Corbin, whose command is still a work in progress post-injury. With a 3.26 xFIP, Corbin’s HR rate should come down soon.
Jake Peavy ($7,500) – Like most pitchers with a friendly home park, Jake Peavy has enjoyed the pitcher-friendly conditions at AT&T Park since he was acquired by the Giants. In a small sample size of 22.2 innings this season, Peavy has a .258/.289/.333 slash against at home and has allowed 20 singles and just three extra-base hits. The Nationals are a mess in every way right now and that should work into Peavy’s hands, since the only hitter to worry about is Bryce Harper. As a veteran, Peavy should be aware of that and put together a quality outing.
John Lackey ($9,200) – This is a situational fade of the Marlins as opposed to a play on Lackey. For one thing, the Cardinals are one of the biggest favorites on the board, so the chances of Lackey picking up the win points are pretty good. For another thing, the Marlins rank dead last in all of baseball in offensive performance against right-handed pitching. They have a five-point edge in wOBA and a five-point edge in wRC+ over the 29th-ranked team, which is definitely not a good thing. Add in the defense behind Lackey and he should work deep into this one.