It’ll be a busy day in Major League Baseball with 17 games on tap thanks to two day/night doubleheaders. The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals play a scheduled double dip after a postponed game earlier in the season and the Kansas City Royals and Tampa Bay Rays play an impromptu doubleheader after rain flooded the Royals dugout and tornado warnings evacuated the press box at Kauffman Stadium last night. The only early games on the docket are the first games of the doubleheader, so we will ignore those and focus on the 15 games slated to start at 7:05 p.m. ET or later.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for July 7:
Colorado – Andrew Heaney makes his first career start at Coors Field and that is always a tricky scenario for a pitcher. Heaney has been great in his first two starts, but an extreme fly ball rate is cause for concern going to Colorado. Both of his starts this season were at pitcher-friendly Angel Stadium. In a very small sample, Heaney had an 8.79 ERA away from Marlins Park last season. That’s another good pitcher’s park. The Rockies have struggled with lefties, but I think the learning curve of pitching at Coors is a bigger deal in this one.
Miami – Southpaw Wade Miley takes on a Marlins lineup that has had a lot of success against lefties this season. They rank third in wOBA at .324. The loss of Giancarlo Stanton is certainly a concern with any Miami stack, but that also means that this stack will come extremely cheap. The Marlins can add another bat to the lineup in an American League park and Miley has a 4.53 ERA with a 4.47 xFIP. His numbers aren’t impressive and the Marlins have been undervalued against lefties all season long.
Arizona – I feel like Yovani Gallardo is due for a rough start. Gallardo’s .256 BABIP is well below his career average and his career best was set in his first full season in 2009 at .275. Gallardo has pitched great and has sequenced even better, but his 2.56 ERA shows regression with a 3.82 xFIP and a 3.99 SIERA. The Diamondbacks have a really good offense and they will get to add another bat to the lineup in this one in an AL park. That should work to their advantage on Tuesday night.
Here are the top value hitters for July 7:
Wilin Rosario ($3,600) – Platoon duty has limited Wilin Rosario’s playing time throughout the season. After a sluggish 2014, he has rebounded nicely in 2015 with a .294/.316/.458 slash. Over his five-year career, one thing Rosario has done well is hit left-handed pitching. He has a .325/.360/.623 slash over 428 plate appearances against southpaws. I mentioned above that Andrew Heaney is making his first Coors Field start. If you don’t like stacking the Rockies, I understand, but Rosario should have great upside as a cheap catcher play.
Brandon Belt ($4,000) – Belt hit .235/.339/.275 through April, causing most to write him off. Since then, over a span of 239 plate appearances, Belt has hit at a .274/.339/.516 clip with nine home runs. Injuries really zapped Belt’s production last season. This season, he’s on pace for another great year of hitting fastballs. Belt is 40 runs above average in hitting fastballs. Today’s starter for the Mets, Bartolo Colon, throws a lot of fastballs. That makes Belt an attractive streaming candidate for Tuesday.
Kelly Johnson ($3,000) – Johnson homered last night off of a right-hander and draws another one on Tuesday night. He’s part of the reason why the Braves have been able to have so much success against right-handers this season. He’s batting .277/.320/.460 against righties, which is 15 percent above league average. All seven of his home runs have come with a platoon advantage and he’s a good streaming option because he can be slotted at either 3B or OF.
Here are the top value starting pitchers for July 7:
Manny Banuelos ($5,900) – He’s not nearly as cheap as he was the first time I advocated him, but Banuelos draws a Brewers lineup that ranks 28th in wOBA against left-handers on the season. Banuelos has the standard four-pitch mix for a lefty, but relies heavily on a changeup that induces a lot of swings and misses. The Brewers have one of the worst K/BB rates against lefties and have not had any success making solid contact.
Taijuan Walker ($8,200) – The Tigers had some fun against Hisashi Iwakuma and the bullpen, but Walker has been in some kind of groove lately. Over his last seven starts, Walker has a 51/3 K/BB ratio and has held the opposition to a .199/.221/.318 slash. He’s thrown 70 percent of his pitches for strikes in that span. Control and command were always the worry with Walker. The stuff is great. It’s developing to its potential now and he is absolutely worth a look.
Johnny Cueto ($10,100) – It’s hard to say that Cueto is overshadowed with one of four five-figure price tags for Tuesday, but Cueto is facing Max Scherzer, who costs over $4,000 more in DraftKings formats. Cueto is an underappreciated ace, with impeccable control and tremendous pitchability. A .236 BABIP is normally due for regression, but not when you’ve regularly pitched to low BABIPs. Take a look at Cueto in what should be a great pitcher’s duel.