What better way to celebrate ‘Murica than playing daily fantasy baseball? Well, drinking at a cookout, maybe, but at least you can check your team’s progress on the apps. All 30 teams are in action today, though the Brewers and Nationals play at 11:05 a.m. ET, so the DFS sites have cut the card down to just 14 games. Regardless, that means that there are a lot of ways to put together that magical lineup.
Remember that our column here at BangTheBook is centered exclusively on finding value. You know who the good players are. So does everybody else. It’s those under-the-radar guys that you pair with those high-salary players that allow you to come out on top.
DraftKings or FanDuel are the industry leaders in ease of use and safe, free transactions. Use these tips and the tips from our daily radio show to improve your abilities and fill out the winning lineup. Our MLB daily fantasy tips and suggestions article is different in that we’re not looking for the top scorers, but for the best values so that you can get the edge that you need in order to save money for the game’s best players.
The salaries listed are from DraftKings:
Here are the top teams to stack for July 4:
Boston – The Red Sox are a stacking option any time they take the field, but just about every team would be a stacking option against Nick Martinez. It doesn’t hurt that the Red Sox still lead the league in wOBA and wRC+ against right-handed pitching. They have a 24.3-run edge in wRAA, weighted runs above average, over the Orioles, who are second against RHP. This is the fourth start and sixth appearance of the season for Martinez, who now owns a 5.00/7.23/7.01 pitcher slash on the year.
Oakland – Here’s an unconventional stack that won’t match up with a whole lot of people. The premise for this idea is that Ricky Nolasco may be hurt. His velocity picked back up a little bit last time out, but the command still wasn’t there at all. The velocity jump was still below his average over the course of the season, but he’s pitching like a guy that is trying to find a way to throw pain-free. His 5.31 ERA and 4.21 xFIP are decent reasons to stack against him as well.
Houston – Wade Miley returned from the DL and had a rough time with the Houston Astros last time out. He now has a 5.58 ERA with a 4.97 FIP and a 4.62 xFIP on the year. In that start, Miley gave up five runs on seven hits and only struck out one batter. The way to hold the Astros down is to strike them out. Miley doesn’t appear to have that capability right now and that’s a problem. The Astros look like a team in line for positive regression against lefties with a 10.4 percent BB%, but just a .277 BABIP.
Here are the top value hitters for July 4:
Brandon Belt ($3,300) – More often than not, hitters show pronounced platoon splits. Brandon Belt is not the exception, however, his performance against left-handed pitching is quite impressive. Last season, Belt posted a .264/.345/.457 slash against southpaws. This season, he is belting to the tune of a .292/.398/.542 slash. It doesn’t matter which arm the pitcher is throwing with for the Giants 1B on the season. That’s why he’s worth a look at this low price point.
Jay Bruce ($3,500) – The Reds right fielder will be on pins and needles after the All-Star Break as contenders negotiate with Cincinnati for his services over the final two months of the season. For now, Bruce looks to continue raking against right-handed pitching. He’s hit 14 HR in just 230 PA and owns a .268/.317/.568 slash against righties on the year.
Curtis Granderson ($3,600) – Double check the lineup for this one as Curtis Granderson’s still dealing with a minor calf strain, but green light him if he’s in the lineup. Granderson draws Tom Koehler, who, as we know, has pretty significant home/road splits, particularly from a SLG perspective. Granderson has hit 11 of his 14 dongs against righties with a .238/.337/.462 slash line.
Here are the top value pitchers for July 4:
Daniel Norris ($5,900) – This one is a bit of a gamble, but the Indians are tired. This is a team that has had two off days since May 26 and also played a doubleheader in that span. They’re coming home from their second 10-game, three-city road trip in the last four weeks. They’ve played six home games since June 6. Tired bodies mean bats dragging through the zone. The Indians are now 25th in wOBA against LHP. Norris has a good chance at a reasonable score at this price point.
Julio Urias ($6,900) – With all the injuries to the Dodgers rotation, they trotted out Bud Norris, Scott Kazmir, and Brandon McCarthy over the weekend. It’s Julio Urias’s turn. He faces a really tough Baltimore lineup, but the O’s are just 18th in wOBA against LHP with a high strikeout rate and a low walk rate. Urias has 41 K in 33 IP, so he doesn’t have to do much more than stay on the path he’s on to be worth this price.
Jerad Eickhoff ($8,400) – The Phillies right-hander has gone through his share of growing pains this season, but he’s been able to carry a high strand rate and a decent strikeout rate much of the season. Eickhoff draws a good assignment here in the Braves, who are among the worst offenses in baseball against righties. Coming out of the Fort Bragg game, it could be a bit of a sluggish spot for the Braves with a mid-afternoon start time.