Hump Day. It’s here. It’s a Wednesday, so we’re looking at a disconnected MLB schedule with a handful of early games and a majority of late games, just like we’ve seen throughout the course of the season. I don’t know about you, but it feels like a particularly long week thus far. Regardless, we push onward with the grind of the MLB season. There are still plenty of DFS opportunities there for the taking and our focus is on helping you seize those chances. We’ll dedicate today’s piece to the 10 night games.
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 August 17:
Cleveland – The Indians had some trouble with Jose Quintana, which is to be expected from the Cy Young contender, but Anthony Ranaudo represents a much easier matchup on Tuesday night. Ranaudo has given up 10 runs in his 10.1 innings with 12 walks against just five strikeouts. This is the spot vacated by Miguel Gonzalez, who had been pitching really well. Ranaudo has thrown 65 innings at the big league level and has allowed 15 dingers.
Arizona – Jon Niese makes his triumphant return to the rotation on Wednesday for his first start since July 10. Niese has been working out of the pen as a reliever and has also been dealing with a knee issue here in the second half. He had fluid drained from his knee and he’ll now replace Logan Verrett in the Mets rotation. Niese draws a Diamondbacks lineup that is second in wOBA against left-handed pitchers this season. That’s a tough draw for his first start in a while in a bad place to pitch. Niese also has a 5.20/5.49/4.45 pitcher slash on the year.
Chicago Cubs – Jimmy Nelson is in line for some regression and the Chicago Cubs are just the type of team to deliver it. Nelson has been getting battered lately, which was expected because he was outpitching his advanced metrics by a wide margin. Nelson has a 4.07 ERA with a 4.90 FIP and a 4.80 xFIP on the season. His high walk rate coupled with a career-worst HR/FB% has led to a lot of problems. His defense hasn’t helped him much lately, with nine unearned runs in his last five starts, but he’s allowed 28 runs in that span.
Here are the top value hitters for August 17:
Maikel Franco ($3,300) – It hasn’t been the season that Maikel Franco or the Phillies envisioned for the third baseman, but he’s had plenty of success against lefties this season. Franco has six of his 21 HR in just 107 PA against lefties on the year with a .276/.327/.510 slash. His .345 wOBA in that split is definitely worth a stream here today, especially with some of the steep prices on other 3B.
Chris Carter ($3,700) – Jon Lester is a tough customer, but it’s hard to argue with what Chris Carter has done to lefties this season. Carter has a 15.3 percent BB% and just a 21.6 percent K% with the platoon split and that has led to a .258/.387/.629 slash. Carter has nine home runs in jus 111 PA against lefties and he puts a lot more balls in play with that 24/17 K/BB ratio.
Eric Hosmer ($3,300) – Eric Hosmer is having a tough season, like many Royals, but he’s still putting up good numbers on the fat side of the platoon. Hosmer is batting .288/.354/.440 against right-handed pitching this season. Anibal Sanchez has been a punching bag for opposing offenses most of the year, so this is a very good matchup for a low-priced first baseman in today’s market.
Here are the top value pitchers for August 17:
Sean Manaea ($6,600) – We’ve talked about this before, but I’m a believer in Sean Manaea. The Oakland left-hander has been very strong since he returned from the disabled list on June 29. Manaea has a 3.27 ERA with a 4.26 FIP and a 3.78 xFIP in those eight starts, with 47 strikeouts in 55 innings of work. He’s inducing quite a bit of weak contact and he’s only issued 12 walks, so it’s very difficult for teams to hang a big number on him. At this price point, he’s worthy of consideration.
Scott Kazmir ($7,600) – The best bargain on the board would appear to be Scott Kazmir. The Dodgers left-hander draws a Phillies lineup that ranks dead last in several categories against lefties, including on-base percentage, wOBA, and wRC+. They’ve been in that spot in the rankings throughout the season, so this isn’t some sort of anomaly. Kazmir hasn’t had a great season, but he does have over a strikeout per inning and his SIERA and xFIP suggest that some positive regression is coming his way.
Carlos Carrasco ($8,700) – Command has been an issue at times for Carlos Carrasco, but there aren’t a whole lot of hitters to worry about in this Chicago White Sox lineup. Carrasco has a 3.21 ERA with a 3.67 xFIP. His 4.16 FIP is a metric that showcases his HR issues, but he’s struck out 17 over his last 14 innings, so maybe the refinement is starting to come back to his arsenal. Either way, the White Sox are 24th in wOBA against righties and 26th in SLG.