The Saturday card for daily fantasy baseball players consists of 11 night games and four days games, so the focus of this article will be on the night contests. It doesn’t get talked about much, but teams are much less likely to rest their key players on Saturday nights because that’s the marquee day of the week. It’s a good thing because DFS players shouldn’t get too many surprises if they set their lineups early and then go about their days. Sundays are a different story, of course, with day games after night games. There will not be a DFS article on Sunday this week, so hopefully you can cash big on Saturday night.
New to daily fantasy sports? 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 16:
Houston – Marco Estrada is on the mound for the Blue Jays on Saturday and the Astros hitters may be able to have a big day. Estrada is primarily a fastball/changeup guy and flat changeups get hit a long way. Estrada has always had a bit of a home run problem with a career 1.43 HR/9 rate. He’s only in this starting rotation due to injuries and his peripherals paint a very ugly picture for a start in a good hitter’s environment like Minute Maid Park against a team with a lot of power.
Cincinnati – Ryan Vogelsong’s horseshoe did not fall out as expected in his last start, but a start at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park may not be the best place for him. Vogey has already allowed eight home runs in 33.1 innings this season and seven of those have come off of the bats of left-handed hitters. Lefties have a .774 SLG in 59 plate appearances against Vogelsong this season. At the very least, you should find a way to have Joey Votto and Jay Bruce in your lineups.
Arizona – Jerome Williams has blowup potential every time he takes the mound. As I’ve mentioned before, the Diamondbacks can be kind of tough to stack because their lineup is basically Pollock, Goldschmidt, and Trumbo, but you could find some low-cost guys like Chris Owings or Ender Inciarte that could touch home plate with a couple of knocks. Williams allows a lot of contact and that’s a bad thing with the Phillies defense and his home park.
Here are the top value hitters for May 16:
Jay Bruce ($3,800) – You shouldn’t be surprised to see this. Bruce is a potential bargain at this price. His numbers are really ugly on the season, but he’s drawn 18 walks and has eight extra-base hits. A guy like Vogelsong is the type of pitcher that a hitter needs to face to snap out of a slump. There aren’t many surprises and even loud outs can get a hitter back into form. With the home run potential of Bruce, he’s worth a gamble in this matchup.
Billy Butler ($3,500) – Country Breakfast is a solid streaming option for Saturday for his matchup against John Danks. Butler is very familiar with Danks from his days in Kansas City. Surprisingly, Butler has struggled in 40 career plate appearances, but Danks is showing severe signs of decline this season and batter vs. pitcher statistics are really not all that significant because of the sample sizes. You can use them to justify not taking Butler, but I wouldn’t.
David Ortiz ($3,300) – Yeah, so the big man is struggling. That’s fine. You’d like to see him fly under the radar for a matchup against an elite arm like Felix Hernandez. Papi is too good of a hitter to allow these bad numbers to continue, unless the aging curve has finally caught up with him. You could do a lot worse than the lightning and thunder in his bat for $3,300.
Here are the top starting pitchers for May 16:
Jesse Chavez ($6,700) – Against a White Sox lineup full of righties with swing-and-miss potential, Jesse Chavez is a good streaming option. Over 25 innings as a starter this season, Chavez has struck out 23 and he has struck out 20 of the 65 batters that he has faced on the season. He’s a guy that works the corners has the type of arsenal that is successful against teams that don’t see him all that often.
Danny Salazar ($9,300) – Pay up for Danny Salazar on Saturday. You shouldn’t regret it. The Rangers entered play on Friday with a .298 wOBA against righties before facing left-hander Bruce Chen and the Indians bullpen. Salazar has added a curveball to his arsenal. It’s largely a show pitch right now, but it has flashed plus upside, and that makes him even deadlier with an explosive fastball and one of the game’s best split-changes. The Rangers don’t see Indians pitching often and Salazar is one of the best that they have to offer.
CC Sabathia ($7,900) – CC Sabathia added some velocity in his last start and the left-handed heavy Royals lineup will see a steady dose of sliders from the big lefty. The Royals have been great against lefties this season, especially their left-handed hitters. That seems unlikely to continue because lefties have so much trouble with same-side pitching. Sabathia doesn’t hurt himself with walks and could certainly use the spacious outfield to his advantage. It’s not a day full of value, but Sabathia has some upside.