Daily fantasy sports players have to be disciplined to endure the rigors of the long baseball season. Staying within your means is important and so is bankroll management. No matter how much you like your lineup, game-to-game variance is a huge part of the challenge with daily fantasy baseball, so keep that in mind. Friday brings us a full 15-game schedule, though the Chicago Cubs host the Pittsburgh Pirates in a day game, so most DFS contests will be leaving those two teams out.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for May 15:
LA Angels – The Angels are right in the middle of the pack in wOBA against southpaws, but they rank sixth in wRC+, which is adjusted for park factor. On Friday night, the Angels will take their swings against Wei-Yin Chen, who is due for some significant regression. Chen’s ERA has been aided by some unearned runs, but even if those runs were all earned, Chen’s ERA would go from 2.52 to 3.78 and still be well below his 4.71 FIP, 4.76 xFIP, and 4.40 SIERA. Chen has induced quite a bit of weak aerial contact this season, which is why he has been able to outpitch his metrics so much. With a .222 BABIP against, regression is coming and the Angels have as good a chance as anybody to make it happen.
Arizona – The Diamondbacks go from one hitter-friendly environment at Chase Field to another one at Citizens Bank Park to take some cuts against Chad Billingsley. The sharpness of Billingsley’s stuff is non-existent right now. He is not missing many bats and the pitches he has thrown in the zone have been hit hard. Billingsley has allowed a .351 BABIP and three home runs in 10 innings. Command is the last thing to come back after major surgery and the Diamondbacks have a few guys with power that can make mistakes go a long way.
Oakland – Carlos Rodon has outstanding stuff. There’s no question about that. But a matchup against the Oakland A’s is very difficult for a pitcher with control problems. Rodon should be a star someday, but eight walks in 12.1 innings is a bad sign for any pitcher going up against a lineup that patient and disciplined. Rodon has the stuff to miss barrels, so Oakland will have to take advantage of their opportunities, but one bad pitch from Rodon has the chance to become a three-pointer for anybody in the A’s lineup. The White Sox are also a bad defensive team and O.co Coliseum is full of green areas for balls to land.
Here are the top value hitters for May 15:
Lucas Duda ($3,900) – The Duda will abide on Friday night against Kyle Lohse. Lohse is definitely due some positive regression with a lowering of his HR rate and an increase in his strand rate, but he’s hitting far too many barrels right now. He actually has reverse platoon splits this season as righties are slugging .631 against him, but it’s usually the opposite. Lefties slugged .421 off of Lohse last season and Duda should get some pitches to hit.
Mike Napoli ($3,700) – Mike Napoli has definitely started slow this season, but a matchup against JA Happ could be just what the big man needs to get going. All four of Happ’s home runs allowed have come from right-handed bats, who are slugging .400 off of him this season. For his career, righties have slugged .430 against Happ and have posted a .332 wOBA. Napoli has some cheap power upside and he is well down the price list for 1B.
Ryan Raburn ($3,400) – Ryan Raburn will definitely be in the lineup for the Indians against left-hander Wandy Rodriguez on Friday night. All Raburn has done this season against lefties is post a .429/.457/.714 slash. It’s similar to the .308/.403/.617 that Raburn posted in 2013. He has been a well above average platoon bat against southpaws in five of the last seven seasons and he’s swinging the bat with a lot of confidence against them.
Here are the top value pitchers for May 15:
Phil Hughes ($7,400) – It’s a really hard day to pick pitchers. A lot of the cheaper options have enormous blowup potential or massive signs of regression. Phil Hughes is due for some positive regression. His defense has not helped him very much and his strikeout rate has dropped as his command has not been as precise. With a 5.11 ERA, but a 3.85 xFIP and a 3.94 SIERA, better things are on the horizon. While a repeat of 2014 is not going to happen, neither is an ERA of 5.
Julio Teheran ($8,200) – Teheran’s season is off to a very interesting start. He has increased his strikeout rate, but his walk rate has nearly doubled. Add that to a high BABIP against and it leads to a 4.74 ERA and an ugly FIP. Teheran has had trouble commanding his slider and he’s throwing it more this season than ever. Through it all, the easiest problem to correct is that Teheran is only throwing 54 percent first-pitch strikes. He was at 60.3 percent last year and 65.4 percent in 2013. He’s due for a gem and it could very well come against the Marlins.
Bartolo Colon ($7,600) – Once again, the rotund righty is the subject of cheap value in daily fantasy formats. Pitch type linear weights may not have a lot of predictive value, but there’s something to be said about the fact that the Brewers are 28th in hitting fastballs this season. Colon throws a ton of them, as we all know. When Colon does go to the slider, the Brewers can’t hit those either. He could rack up a very nice stat line on Friday night.