Fourteen night games and one outlier await daily fantasy baseball players on Friday night. The outlier is, as it always seems to be, the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field against the Kansas City Royals. That 4:05 game is the only one exempt from today’s list of suggestions for DFS contests. As I mentioned on The Bettor’s Box on Friday, there aren’t a lot of great pitching matchups this weekend, so there should be value in the pitching market. Friday is one of those nights, as only five of the 28 starters in the night games are priced over $9,000 at DraftKings and seven of them are below $6,000.
New to daily fantasy sports? Need to reload? DraftKings or FanDuel are the industry leaders in ease of use and safe, free transactions. Use these tips and the tips from the twice-a-week MLB betting podcast, The Bettor’s Box, to improve your abilities and fill out the winning lineup.
The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for May 29:
Cincinnati – Do it. Bet against Stephen Strasburg. He’s hurt and it’s clear for everybody except the Nationals front office. Over his last six starts, Strasburg’s best start is 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 7 K against the Mets. That start was his first start of April. In five May starts, Strasburg has a strikeout per inning but has allowed 24 hits and 19 runs, 17 earned, over 15 innings. There are some signs of regression in his LOB% and BABIP against, but hitters are making contact 91 percent of the time inside the zone and he’s faced the Phillies, Padres, Diamondbacks, and Marlins. Hardly a murderer’s row of teams. Cincinnati isn’t either, but Strasburg’s command has been terrible and the Reds have guys that hit mistakes a long way.
Atlanta – Tim Hudson will fare better at AT&T Park, but not enough to ignore the offensive possibility for the Braves on Friday night. Keep in mind that sometimes it pays off to go with the under-the-radar stack and that’s probably what the Braves are because they lack big names. But, Hudson has a 5.04 ERA with a 5.10 FIP, a 4.27 xFIP, and a 4.43 SIERA. There are some signs of positive regression, but lefties have a .345 wOBA against Hudson and have a 3/8 K/BB ratio. At the very least, Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis are worth streaming. Velocity doesn’t really matter with a guy like Hudson, but that is down to an all-time low and he has inexplicably increased the usage of his slider, which has been his worst pitch this season.
St. Louis – Mike Bolsinger has been great this season, but some regression is definitely coming for the right-hander. His 0.71 ERA over 25.1 innings is outstanding, but it includes a .210 BABIP against and a 96.9 percent strand rate. Perhaps Bolsinger is simply putting it all together, since he had good ground ball rates and K rates in the minors, but his new-found control seems unsustainable and ground ball pitchers never have batted ball luck like Bolsinger’s. The Cardinals are a legit lineup and should do some damage in this start.
Here are the top value hitters for May 29:
Joey Votto ($4,000) – One of the game’s best hitters is tied for the 22nd-most expensive first baseman on Friday night. The perception that follows Stephen Strasburg around is not a good indicator of his ability right now. That shoulder problem is affecting his mechanics and a disciplined hitter like Votto is going to take advantage. Even if you don’t stack the Reds, it’s impossible to pass on Votto at this price.
Marcus Semien ($3,800) – Semien has made a mockery of fielding so far this season with the Athletics, but it hasn’t affected him at the dish. Semien has posted a .285/.330/.456 slash, which has been more than good enough to offset his daily fielding faux pas. Semien has a career .282/.325/.423 slash against lefties and it’s .306/.370/.388 this season. He’s also swiped seven bags this year. With a favorable platoon split, a little bit of power, and some speed, he’s a good streaming option against Chris Capuano.
Joe Panik ($3,400) – Joe Panik just keeps hitting. He puts bat to ball and that’s all you can ask for out of a middle infielder in DFS formats. Panik is now hitting .296/.363/.432 on the season some surprising power. Mike Foltynewicz throws hard, but his secondaries are a work in progress and Panik has feasted on fastballs this season.
Here are the top value starting pitchers for May 29:
Lance McCullers ($5,100) – This price is stunningly low. The White Sox have been an awful offensive team for most of the season and McCullers has flashed great swing-and-miss stuff so far in his two starts. The Astros definitely had him on the fast track to the big leagues, but he doesn’t seem overwhelmed. With a high strikeout rate and a high ground ball rate, his stuff will play up against a bad, right-handed heavy White Sox lineup.
Rubby De La Rosa ($6,400) – I’m back on the Rubby De La Rosa train. He continues to be an undervalued commodity in all formats. The stuff is legit. The strikeout rate is legit. The walk rate may regress in a negative way, but not against a very right-handed heavy Brewers lineup. De La Rosa has a 4.27 ERA, but it’s gradually moving down with a 3.30 xFIP and a 3.37 SIERA. De La Rosa’s SwStr% is better than Chris Archer, Matt Harvey, Carlos Carrasco, Michael Pineda, Jacob deGrom, Felix Hernandez, Collin McHugh, Madison Bumgarner. I think you get the point. The Brewers are 26th in wOBA against RHP.
Miguel Gonzalez ($6,700) – Call this one a bit of a hunch, but Miguel Gonzalez has increased his strikeout rate this season while inducing more weak contact. Advanced metrics don’t shine too kindly on him because of his propensity to give up home runs, but he’s throwing a more effective slider this season, which has led to an increase in chase rate and swing-and-miss rate. The walk rate is a little high, but the Rays offense has been league average at best and the Orioles should get Gonzalez some run support against Nate Karns.