Another work week ends and another big baseball weekend begins here on Friday with 15 night games to consider for today’s daily fantasy contests. There are a lot of possibilities with 10 starters priced below $5,000 in DraftKings formats, so that means that hitting is expensive, but you should find some value arms to pair with the top starters. Also, I know we’re all about baseball here, but Happy College Football Day!
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 26:
Pittsburgh – Matt Garza is there to eat innings and mentor young starters. Well, that, and the Brewers can’t find a taker for his contract. Garza gets another turn in the rotation on Friday in an effort to improve upon his 5.27 ERA with a 4.57 FIP and a 4.90 xFIP. Garza has the worst strikeout rate of his career by a large margin and it has hurt his ability to work out of jams. He’s throwing the fewest first-pitch strikes of his career since 2009. This season, NL hitters are batting .272/.386/.456 after ball one and .220/.265/.346 after strike one.
Toronto – I’m always wary of guys with two first names, especially if they throw left-handed. That’s me being facetious, but I would be worried about Pat Dean against Toronto. The Blue Jays aren’t slaughtering left-handed pitching like they did last season, but the Twins are back in the tank and Dean has a 5.48 ERA with a 4.49 FIP and a 4.41 xFIP in 46 MLB innings. He also has a 5.56 ERA with a 4.23 FIP in 87.1 Triple-A innings. He’s simply not very good and hasn’t missed bats at any level of the minors.
Cleveland – It’s been a very frustrating week for the Indians, with a series loss in Oakland and a dominant performance from Cole Hamels. Martin Perez is the guy that Cleveland will face on Friday night and it’s time to let out some of that frustration. Perez has a 4.27 ERA with a 4.61 FIP and a 4.80 xFIP. He has one of the worst strikeout rates and also one of the worst K/BB ratios among qualified starters. Since July 6, he has had starts with six, five, five, seven, six, and 11 runs allowed.
Here are the top value hitters for August 26:
Justin Ruggiano ($2,900) – It’s been a little while since we’ve been able to find a good platoon bat below $3,000. Maybe the algorithms are getting hip to the splits. Whatever the case, Justin Ruggiano is a good look for the Mets today against the Phillies. Lefty Adam Morgan goes for the road team. Ruggiano only has 18 PA against lefties this season, but he has hit a couple of home runs with six hits in 16 at bats. Ruggiano has hit over .300 each of the last three seasons against lefties and owns a career .372 wOBA with a 138 wRC+ in that split.
Corey Dickerson ($3,400) – Cheap power should be a target whenever possible and that’s what Corey Dickerson provides. Mike Fiers is the guy that he’ll go up against tonight in Houston and Fiers has given up 23 dingers in 132.2 innings of work this season. Fiers gave up 24 HR in 180.1 innings last season. Dickerson has cranked 17 HR in 339 PA against righties this season.
Xander Bogaerts ($3,500) – When you get a premier offensive player at a price like this, you have to dive in. Xander Bogaerts’s unsustainable BABIP has leveled off a bit recently, but he’s still a star player at a manageable price point. He’s going to have a 15/15 season and he’s slashing .305/.363/.444 this season. Twelve of his 15 HR have come against righties and Ian Kennedy has a knack for giving them up.
Here are the top value pitchers for August 26:
Luke Weaver ($4,200) – Our first gamble of the night is on St. Louis youngster Luke Weaver. Weaver starred at Double-A with over 10 strikeouts per nine innings and excellent control and command metrics. The big leagues are a different animal, but he does have nine strikeouts in his nine innings and has generated a good number of whiffs. With Oakland coming to Busch Stadium, and losing a hitter in the process, this is a good spot to stream a promising young kid.
Francisco Liriano ($6,900) – We’ll see if it’s a nice idea to stream Francisco Liriano or not, but his price tag is pretty reasonable for this visit from the Minnesota Twins. The Twins are back on the struggle bus, so Liriano’s catching them at a good time. Two of his three starts with the Blue Jays have gone well, so hopefully we get good Liriano here. He may be a bit too much of a dice roll for DFS players, which is understandable, but the price tag is reasonable and he has 16 K in 17.2 innings since joining Toronto.
Mike Montgomery ($5,300) – If you’re looking for a guy to pair with Chris Sale or Corey Kluber, Mike Montgomery might be your man. Montgomery will likely be held to around 75 pitches, so he’ll have to be efficient, but Montgomery has been terrific for the Cubs this season. The Dodgers are coming off of a very emotional series against the Giants and it could lead to a bit of a hangover here tonight. Don’t expect the world, but he’ll save you money to roster a top arm or some big bats.