We’re back in the baseball saddle here at BangTheBook after enjoying a nice breather during All-Star Break week. The first weekend back can be a little bit of a tricky handicap in both the betting and DFS marketplaces as teams ease back into the grind of the season. But, with a new week upon us, it’s time to hit it hard and heavy once again and pass along those tips that build your bankroll.
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 18:
Tampa Bay – The Rays hit the interleague highway for a matchup against the Colorado Rockies. They’re facing a lefty in line for some regression, so this looks like a favorable spot to back the road team. It’s a lost season for the Rays, largely because they excel on the wrong side of the platoon split. They are fifth in wOBA against lefties at .343, but 27th in plate appearances with just 796. Rockies starter Tyler Anderson has a 3.03/3.33/2.94 pitcher slash with an 81.2 percent LOB%. His numbers don’t scream regression, but his minor league track record and the Coors Field factor both suggest that this isn’t sustainable.
Texas – The Rangers draw a decent matchup in Nick Tropeano on Monday night. Tropeano’s 90.8 percent LOB% isn’t going to hang around long, even with his high K rate and high HR rate. He’s allowed 100 baserunners in 66.1 innings of work and only 23 have scored. That’s a number that should start to regress here in the second half. It’s possible that the Rangers improve against righties in the second half after posting a .290 BABIP in the first half, so we’ll look for that trend moving forward.
Baltimore – The Orioles will take their cuts against Ivan Nova on Monday night. Nova has posted a 5.18/4.86/3.88 pitcher slash on the campaign with some pretty shaky command. In just 80 innings, the right-hander has allowed 15 dingers. Baltimore is second in baseball in wOBA against RHP and they now lead the league in SLG in that split. That could spell trouble for Nova and the Yankees.
Here are the top value hitters for July 18:
Josh Reddick ($2,700) – Are the trade whispers bothering Josh Reddick? They very well could be, but the A’s right fielder still owns a .291/.372/.432 slash on the season in his 226 plate appearances. Reddick has struggled a bit here of late, but that’s just some BABIP variance. Mike Fiers has been “better” against lefties this year, but they’re still swinging it at a .278/.313/.448 clip on the year with seven HR in 182 PA.
Adrian Beltre ($2,800) – Another very good hitter at a low price to consider for your lineup tonight is Adrian Beltre. Beltre struggled a bit heading into the break, but he’s still swinging it at a .274/.331/.430 clip for the Rangers. His power is clearly starting to wear down at 37, but a few days removed from the Break, Beltre is a good gamble at a low price.
Carlos Beltran ($3,200) – Looking for the opportunity to join a team with a shot at a ring, expect Carlos Beltran to remain locked in when he has a favorable situation. That favorable situation is when he’s at home facing a righty. With the short porch at home, Beltran owns a .282/.336/.534 slash swinging it from the left side at Yankee Stadium. He’s actually hit very well there overall with a .284/.339/.581 split.
Here are the top value pitchers for July 18:
Brandon Finnegan ($5,400) – Any lefty with a pulse is a decent streaming option against the Atlanta Braves. Since Brandon Finnegan isn’t dead, he’s worthy of consideration. Finnegan has had plenty of ups and downs during his first year as a full-time starter, but the Braves are 29th in wOBA against LHP at .281 and the same in wRC+ at 72. Finnegan has improved his strikeout rate of late, so hopefully we’ll get a decent ROI at this reasonable price.
Mike Leake ($8,200) – Normally, there’s very little upside in a guy like Mike Leake. He simply doesn’t miss enough bats to be effective in this format. The San Diego Padres change that dynamic. The Padres are 29th in wOBA against righties at .290 and have a wRC+ of 81, the third-worst mark in the league. They have improved a little bit in this split of late, but they’re still well below average and this is the type of lineup that Leake should handle.
Aaron Nola ($8,300) – It’s tough to make a strong case that any other MLB pitcher needed the All-Star Break more than Aaron Nola. The Phillies phenom was holding steady with his terrific K/BB rates, but his command was non-existent. With a chance to work on some things and step back from the game, Nola has the potential to string together some dominant outings. His stat line already shows positive regression with a 4.69 ERA, 3.18 FIP, and 2.95 xFIP. His 60.5 percent LOB% is unsustainable. There’s some value here over his next few starts.