Monday has one of the smallest schedules of the season to date with just seven games on the calendar. One of them is a matinee celebration of Canadian Veteran’s Day, so the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will play in the afternoon at Rogers Centre. That effectively leaves daily fantasy players with just six games to choose from. Contrarian may be the way to go today in an attempt to hit one of those big GPP pools. That will be mentioned in this article, as well as the usual top value plays on the board.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for May 18:
Milwaukee – Kyle Lobstein has been destroyed by right-handed hitters this season to the tune of a .325/.386/.450 slash with a .368 wOBA. He has eight walks and just four strikeouts in 88 plate appearances against righties. The Brewers have a very right-handed heavy lineup. The status of Carlos Gomez is up in the air a little bit after getting domed by a Noah Syndergaard fastball on Sunday, but the Brewers should get a lot of good swings against Lobstein. With most of the focus on Tigers hitters, the Brewers are a good stacking option.
Cleveland – Remember what I said about going contrarian? This is one of those chances. The Indians have actually scored more runs per game against lefties than against righties this season to debunk that narrative. With the return of Nick Swisher, the call-up of Zach Walters, and the return of Mike Aviles, the Indians could have as many as six right-handed bats in the lineup against Chris Sale. Sale has the potential to get everybody out, but the Indians have hit him in the past and have been swinging it well of late.
Houston – Really, you could stack either of these two teams in this Astros/Athletics game, but Houston’s the safer (and more expensive) pick. Drew Pomeranz has been pretty decent this year, minus his terrible strand rate, but his increasing fly ball percentage has to be cause for concern against this powerful lineup. The Astros have plenty of guys with pop and any one of them can hang a quick 15-20 points for you with one swing. That’s a nice gamble to take.
Here are the top value hitters for May 18:
Ryan Raburn ($2,500) – You knew this was coming. Raburn against a lefty has been great for DFS players this season. Even though it’s a lefty like Sale, Raburn has a .400/.429/.667 slash against southpaws this season and a ridiculous .459 BABIP. It’ll come down, but Raburn’s 31.6 percent LD% against lefties has a lot to do with the high BABIP. He’s making a lot of hard contact and you have to keep going with the hot hand.
Wilin Rosario ($3,300) – Rosario should get steady playing time against southpaws because he has a massive platoon split. This season, in 21 plate appearances, Rosario has a .350/.381/.600 slash against lefties. It piggybacks last season’s .317/.346/.644 slash against lefties last season. Cole Hamels is a tough customer, but Coors Field is a much different animal and Rosario is desperate for playing time.
Maikel Franco ($3,800) – After the Phillies expertly manipulated Maikel Franco’s service time, the youngster will make his first trip to Coors Field to let his offensive potential hang out. Franco has the power and the lift in his swing to do some damage at Coors, especially against a guy like Jordan Lyles. He’ll be overmatched by better pitchers, but guys like Lyles aren’t going to baffle him too much.
Here are the top value starting pitchers for May 18:
Lance McCullers ($5,700) – Why not? McCullers, a 2012 supplemental first-rounder, wasn’t expected to make his debut until late 2016 or early 2017 and here the Astros are using him in May at 21 years old. McCullers sits mid 90s and can touch 97 or 98. He’s mostly a two-pitch guy, but that’s enough to get by in his first career start with good velo. McCullers had 43 K in 29 innings at Double-A this season and 115 in 97 innings at High-A last season. He’ll be erratic and the A’s are a patient lineup, but nobody’s rushing to take this kid in DFS. Contrarian might be the winning formula on Monday.
Rubby de la Rosa ($6,900) – Love me some Rubby de la Rosa so far this season. The former Red Sox farmhand has elevated his strikeout rate and has lowered his strikeout rate. Some home run problems have hurt his ERA, which is at 4.50, but his xFIP is at 3.49 and Marlins Park is not a good park for power. De la Rosa is in a good position for this start and has the chance to rack up a strikeout per inning and work deep into the game.
John Lackey ($8,200) – Lackey looks like the belle of the ball compared to what else is left in terms of low(er) cost starters. Taking one or two aces makes the most sense, but Lackey would appear to have a little bit of value against a Mets lineup that is among the worst in baseball in wRC+. Lackey will have to go pitch for pitch with Matt Harvey, so he better be on top of his game.