Eleven games are on the Major League Baseball docket today with five early games and six late games. All day contests will be out there in daily fantasy formats, so today’s article will include players from both the matinee and the primetime showings. Thursdays are always tricky for DFS players because of the spread out schedule and the day games following night games that often lead to nights off for players. Keep all of that in mind and be sure to look at the lineups before you lock in your May 14 contest card.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for May 14:
New York Yankees – Erasmo Ramirez was once a highly-touted prospect in the Seattle Mariners organization. He’s no longer the exciting commodity that people expected and he has become more of a spot starter at this stage in his career. Sure, he’s due for some positive regression from his unsightly 8.38 ERA, but his two starts this season have not gone well. Opposing hitters are putting up a .382/.447/.559 slash with a .438 wOBA. He has a terrific K/BB ratio against same-side hitters, but lefties have walked 14.3 percent of the time in the small sample size. Everything should be taken with a grain of salt given the sample sizes, but Ramirez has a bad platoon split and most of the Yankee bats that can do damage – Ellsbury, Gardner, Teixeira, Headley – bat left handed against righties.
Chicago Cubs – Jon Niese has made some beneficial changes to his arsenal this season to lead to a higher ground ball rate. He’s throwing more two-seamers and change-ups, pitches that tail away from hitters. The end result has been a drop in strikeouts and an increase in ground balls. With some slim pickings in the early games, the Cubs probably have the best chance to go off. Niese pitches to contact and has regression coming with his strand rate.
Seattle – The Mariners lineup is incredibly frustrating, but they have a very favorable matchup on Thursday night against Joe Kelly. Kelly is a sinker/slider guy with a control problem and a pitch-to-contact style. The Mariners don’t walk a whole lot, but they have a lot of lefties that can do damage against Kelly. Kelly has seen a velo spike this season and has mixed in more sliders, but those can flatten out against lefties. Kelly actually has reverse platoon splits this season that are in line for some regression.
Here are the top value hitters for May 14:
Brad Miller ($3,200) – Miller has become a super utility player for the Mariners, which means that there is always a spot for him. His .250/.318/.427 slash is pretty solid and he was moved up in the lineup recently against right-handers, so there’s some added value there as well. Miller finally hit his second home run of the season off of James Shields on Wednesday and could be an excellent cheap option at SS for Thursday and possibly for the foreseeable future.
Denard Span ($3,900) – Denard Span has been tearing the cover off of the ball in his 19 games this season with a .316/.375/.532 slash. His return has been a big reason why the Nationals offense has gotten things turned around and he has added a little bit of power with eight doubles and three home runs out of 25 hits. With a platoon advantage against Tyson Ross, Span could post close to double digits yet again.
Carlos Peguero ($3,400) – Carlos Peguero is not a household name, but he does have four home runs in 71 plate appearances against righties this season and Jeremy Guthrie has been a shaky option for the Royals this season. Peguero has some pop and does have 11 walks against right-handed pitching so far this season. He’s a guy that could have some really cheap value for the day games.
Here are the top value pitchers for May 14:
Travis Wood ($7,100) – The strikeout spike is a decent reason to believe in Travis Wood in certain matchups. Wood has shown the best control of his career so far this season and his home run rate should regress. It’s at the highest point of his career and his 3.59 xFIP and 3.45 SIERA suggest that it could happen very soon. The Mets are 20th in wOBA against lefties and return home after this game, so they could be swinging away early.
Johnny Cueto ($10,100) – For an ace of Cueto’s status, this is a price worth paying on a day without a lot of options. Cueto takes on a mediocre Giants lineup making their farthest trip east of the season so far. The early start time for the Giants may have an effect on their swings and Cueto is already dealing this season with one of the best walk rates of his career.
Roenis Elias ($7,100) – Elias might be a sneaky play for Thursday night. The Red Sox have a wOBA of .285 against lefties this season, which ranks 22nd, and a big reason why is because they don’t hit for power. Elias is a quirky lefty that comes from a lot of different arm angles and that could keep the Red Sox hitters off balance. He gets a lot of swings and misses with heavy reliance on his slider and has really only been victimized by a high home run rate in his three starts.