The final weekend before the MLB Trade Deadline is upon us and there are a lot of intriguing matchups to study for Friday night. Daily fantasy baseball players get a more conventional schedule after a couple days of getaway games and disconnected schedules. With the exception of the Cubs at home against the Mariners, 28 teams will take the field tonight in front of backed houses on July 29. Let’s see which players fit our criteria as value plays to send you into the weekend with some momentum.
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 29:
Boston – All indications are that Tim Lincecum is done. The experiment seems to have failed for the pitching-starved Angels, but he’ll get at least one more start to work through his problems. Unfortunately for Lincecum, that start comes against the Boston Red Sox, the best offense in baseball. Lincecum has an 8.70 ERA with a 6.87 FIP in 30 innings and has allowed nine HR and 54 hits in his work. Lincecum gave up one run in his first start, so he has allowed an average of five runs per start since.
Cleveland – The Indians need a big breakout game offensively and they just might get it on Friday night. With a packed house and a humid night, the ball could really jump at Progressive Field and Kendall Graveman is the guy in line to take the brunt of it. Graveman has thrown the ball well lately and has a 4.15 ERA with a 4.43 FIP and a 4.48 xFIP, but he doesn’t miss a lot of bats and he’s living off of a 75.8 percent LOB%. That’s not a recipe for success. In 58.1 road innings, Graveman has a 5.25 ERA with a .295/.363/.500 slash against.
St. Louis – Jose Urena has made two quality starts over his last two outings, but Urena has allowed a .274/.343/.407 slash in 58 career MLB innings as a starter and faces one of the top offenses in baseball against right-handed pitching. The Cardinals have dropped to third in wOBA and third in wRC+, but they are still a top offense in that split and Urena shouldn’t provide a whole lot of resistance.
Here are the top value hitters for July 29:
Aaron Altherr ($2,800) – It was supposed to be a big season for Aaron Altherr, but he suffered a broken wrist and just came back this well. Altherr has a lot of attributes that you look for in fantasy players, as he has some power and also can steal bases. Tyrell Jenkins is rated one of the worst pitcher in baseball this year, so Altherr and the Phillies should be able to do some work against him tonight. Righties are actually batting .333/.433/.667 against him this season.
Nick Castellanos ($3,500) – Collin McHugh has had occasional, to put it nicely, command issues this season and Nick Castellanos could be a sneaky good pick tonight. Castellanos is in the midst of a breakout season and he’s been a rare bird in that he’s done the vast majority of his damage against same-side pitching. Thirteen of his 18 HR are against righties and he has a .321/.362/.546 slash in that split this season.
Alex Dickerson ($3,500) – All the Padres prospect does is hit. Alex Dickerson went yard again on Wednesday and he’s already hit six home runs in just 84 at bats. He does draw an interesting same-side assignment in Brandon Finnegan, but Finnegan has had a lot of problems with the long ball this season. In 100 PA against LHP this season, Dickerson has a .432/.455/.747 slash, so that’s something to watch.
Here are the top value pitchers for July 29:
Trevor Bauer ($8,300) – Trevor Bauer has run into a little bit of regression here of late and a loss of control is a big reason why. The right-hander is making his own problems with 15 walks in his last five starts. The nice thing about Friday night’s outing is that it comes against Oakland, who is 26th in BB% against RHP, the second-lowest mark in the league at 7.0 percent. Bauer should mow through the A’s lineup and could put up a very nice stat line tonight.
Steven Matz ($8,500) – There are some lingering injury concerns about Steven Matz, but this price seems extremely low. Matz is facing Colorado, but he’s doing it in New York, not Coors Field. Matz has all the peripherals and traditional stats that you’d want in a reliable starter and the Rockies are 14 percent below league average against lefties per the park-adjusted wRC+ metric. They also have one of the highest K rates in baseball against LHP at 23.5 percent.
Vincent Velasquez ($9,700) – Since returning from the DL, Vincent Velasquez has thrown the ball well, even though his strikeout rate hasn’t fully come back yet. Velasquez does draw one of the worst offenses in baseball on Friday night, so strikeouts could be back on the menu. Velasquez has given up nine runs in five starts since coming off the DL on June 27 and he draws an easy assignment here in this one.