After four days off last week for the All-Star Break, 12 teams enjoy Thursday off as we lock in on the seven games on tap for the evening hours. There are a couple of getaway day games, but this is a good time to narrow our focus on the 14 teams playing under the lights. Hopefully the daily fantasy grind is getting easier for you as teams start to approach the 100-game mark for the year. We’ll still be here to provide tips and suggestions through the rest of the season.
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 21:
St. Louis – The Cardinals are either going to face Andrew Cashner or a replacement if the Padres can move Cashner prior to his start today. Rumors have been floating over the last couple of days that AJ Preller is eager to move the right-hander and would love to do it before he takes the hill tonight. Finding a home for him isn’t easy, as he has a 5.05 ERA with a 5.11 FIP and a 4.73 xFIP on the season. Perhaps a team out there sees him as bullpen help. The Cardinals, who are second in wOBA against RHP, should see him as somebody to feast on.
Pittsburgh – The Pirates have been a disappointment so far this season, but they should be able to do some damage against Matt Garza on Thursday. This is just the seventh start of the year for Garza, who has a 5.74 ERA with a 4.42 FIP and a 5.10 xFIP in his 31.1 innings. Those numbers are in line with Garza’s performance over 148.2 innings last season. He’s clearly on the wrong side of the aging curve at just 32 and his stuff has very little life at this stage of his career.
Colorado – It’s always in your best interest to stack Colorado at home because they’re going to be productive more often than not. With Mike Foltynewicz on the mound, they should be productive today. Folty has actually shown some better pitching chops this season with a 3.70 ERA, but his high home run rate has led to a 4.77 FIP and the ball carries quite well at Coors Field. It could be a Home Run Derby day in the Rockies and those add up quickly.
Here are the top value hitters for July 21:
Jed Lowrie ($2,500) – If you’re looking for a bargain bin second baseman, Jed Lowrie may be your guy. In his career, the switch hitter has shown much better numbers against southpaws and Matt Moore throws with his left hand. Lowrie is a .283/.345/.430 hitter in his career against lefties with a 113 wRC+. It’s not shiny or spectacular, but it’s a solid buy-low option at a weak offensive position.
Sandy Leon ($3,000) – I don’t really know how long Sandy Leon can sustain this level of production, but hopefully it’ll be for at least one more day. Leon is slashing .435/.473/.725 in his 74 plate appearances this season. A .529 BABIP obviously shows a lack of sustainability, but he’s in a nice groove right now and there should be some opportunities for points against Tyler Duffey.
Danny Valencia ($4,200) – Danny Valencia has a good chance to improve his trade value on Thursday against Matt Moore. Valencia is bashing lefties yet again with a .357/.423/.629 slash against southpaws, which is something that he has done throughout his career. With this season’s performance, Valencia is now a .325/.375/.506 hitter with the platoon advantage.
Here are the top value pitchers for July 21:
Sonny Gray ($6,100) – If there’s a time for Sonny Gray to get back on track, it’s now. Gray is pitching in the friendly confines of O.co Coliseum against the Tampa Bay Rays, who are awful against right-handed pitching. The Rays are 24th in wOBA against righties this season with one of the lowest OBPs in baseball. It hasn’t been a good year for Gray and there are some trade rumors swirling, but he’s a good buy-low guy here.
Jerad Eickhoff ($7,300) – I’ve been on the Jerad Eickhoff train a few times this season. He’s got high-quality secondaries that give him strikeout potential on a pretty regular basis. He hasn’t been able to match last season’s strikeout rate, but his swinging strike percentage isn’t down all that much and he pounds the strike zone early in the count. He’s always a decent streaming candidate at a price point like this. He has a 3.76 ERA with a respectable 3.98 FIP.
Steven Wright ($9,300) – This seems like a bit of a bargain on Steven Wright. The Twins are 20th in wOBA against right-handed pitching and don’t see a whole lot of knuckleballers. Wright has a 2.78 ERA with a 3.57 FIP, but knuckleball guys can be tough to grade by the advanced metrics because they are so unique. He should get plenty of run support and should be able to put up a quality number at a reasonable price.