We’re back to those two days per week when Major League Baseball stands alone in the spotlight. Tuesdays and Wednesdays don’t feature any #MACtion yet, so MLB is the only game in town as far as the major U.S. sports go. All 15 games on the docket today feature nighttime first pitches, so daily fantasy players have all day to look at the matchups and make the right decisions. Some of those right decisions will have to include some cheaper players and that’s where we come in.
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 September 20:
Atlanta – If you haven’t closed the tab, or your entire browser in anger at the mere thought of stacking the Braves, hear me out. Per the great Paul Sporer on Twitter, the Braves are first in hits, third in batting average, fourth in OPS, fourth in runs, and fourth in runs per game against right-handed starting pitchers since the All-Star Break. Robert Gsellman has fared pretty well, but scouting reports on his prospect status weren’t all that great. We’ll see how he fares here, but the Braves have been quietly productive for quite some time now.
Philadelphia – There really aren’t many perfect scenarios for stacking today, but any time you can give it a try against James Shields, that seems reasonable. Shields is coming off of a strong getaway day start against Cleveland, but he still owns a 5.84 ERA with a 6.12 FIP and a 5.27 xFIP for the season and he has some serious blow-up potential. He’s given up 37 HR in 163.1 innings of work on the season.
Colorado – The Coors Field effect always makes the Rockies, or their opponents, an option, but the presence of Adam Wainwright does that as well. Wainwright owns a 4.51 ERA and a 4.05 xFIP this season and he’s had a lot of problems with consistency. He’s given up 197 hits in 181.2 innings of work and owns a 5.44 ERA with a 4.89 FIP and a 4.38 xFIP over his last nine starts.
Here are the top value hitters for September 20:
Ryon Healy ($3,500) – At this point, there’s really no reason to stop rostering him until he slows down. Ryon Healy hit yet another dinger on Monday night, so he’s maintaining that ridiculous pace. He’s batting .452/.500/.833 over his last 10 games and he’s up to .312/.348/.534 on the season. He’ll draw Joe Musgrove on Tuesday night, who has already given up nine home runs in 49.2 innings of work.
Dustin Pedroia ($3,800) – It’s rare to see Dustin Pedroia at a price point like this. Perhaps the DFS algorithms aren’t capable of picking up on the fact that Kevin Gausman has a very hard time getting righties out and it has been a big problem for more than just this season. Righties are batting .283/.345/.472 against Gausman this season. They batted .275/.317/.526 last season, so this is far from a one-year anomaly.
Corey Dickerson ($3,900) – Corey Dickerson is only good for one thing this season. He’s hit 19 home runs in his 401 plate appearances against right-handed pitching. He’ll face Michael Pineda on Tuesday night, a right-handed starter that has allowed 24 HR in 160.1 innings of work on the season and has shown poor command most of the year. Lefties own a .468 SLG against Pineda this season.
Here are the top value pitchers for September 20:
Jake Thompson ($4,600) – There are some premier arms on the mound today, so you’ll want to find something cheap to pair with an ace. Jake Thompson is that something. Thompson was sat down after his last start against these same White Sox and the coaching staff made some adjustments with him. Since then, he’s allowed seven runs over his last four starts. He gets a shot at retribution here on National League terms, so the White Sox are down a hitter for this one.
Drew Smyly ($7,000) – It has been a throwaway season for Drew Smyly, who has pitched through injury and hasn’t been as effective as he would have liked. Smyly still has 159 K in 164.1 innings of work and the Yankees have been pretty bad against left-handed pitching most of the season. Smyly has only allowed a .289 wOBA at Tropicana Field, a good pitcher’s park, this season, so there’s some hope here with this gamble.
JA Happ ($8,300) – Amazingly, JA Happ has a chance to be a 20-game winner as early as tonight. He has a 3.27 ERA with peripherals over 4.00, but he’s been really strong for the Jays throughout the season. He’s averaged about a strikeout per inning over his last 10 starts and has 152 in 176.1 innings on the season. He’s had a little bit of a home run problem, but hopefully Safeco Field can suppress that and he can hang a nice number.