It’s Matt Harvey Day! The Mets ace is the most expensive pitcher on the market for Friday’s daily fantasy baseball lineups. A number of other good arms are on the hill, including David Price, Sonny Gray, Francisco Liriano, Michael Wacha, and more. It’s a tough day for picking pitchers because six of them cost $9,100 or more and a lot of the others are very hit or miss. With a full 15-game slate of night contests, it’s a good day for DFS because we can study the matchups all day long.
Play with confidence at either DraftKings or FanDuel because daily fantasy sports are completely legal, with the exception of a few states. 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 8:
Toronto – Wade Miley has not been able to figure it out with the league change. Miley has seen a big drop in strikeout rate and a spike in walk rate. His BABIP against is actually well within range, but he is due for some regression in his home run rate. That’s where the Toronto Blue Jays come in. The right-handed heavy power lineup of the Blue Jays is a terrible matchup for Miley, whose 5.15 xFIP suggests some home runs are coming very soon. He actually has reverse platoon splits (worse against same-side hitters) this season, but that isn’t the norm for his career and righties have a .420 SLG against him lifetime.
Baltimore – Sticking with the theme of powerful AL East lineups, the Orioles draw Adam Warren on Friday night. Warren is a guy that I have looked to go against because of the transition from reliever to starter. Warren’s strikeout rate has almost been cut in half from 23.5 percent to 12.6 percent, along with an increase in walks. The Yankees defense is not very good and more contact is a bad thing, as evidenced by Warren’s 4.78 ERA and 4.85 xFIP. Warren is throwing fewer breaking balls this season with drops in his curveball, slider, and changeup rates. Fastballs often induce hard contact and Warren’s throwing a lot of them.
Cincinnati – Hector Noesi is terrible. We all know this. A lack of rotation depth in Chicago has him pitching once every five days. Noesi’s 6.75 ERA is accompanied by a 6.98 FIP and a 5.66 xFIP. He has allowed four home runs in 14.2 innings. His swinging strike rate is up, which is an anomaly because hitters are swinging and missing through pitches in the zone. The top of the Reds order should feast on Noesi.
Here are the top value hitters for May 8:
Stephen Vogt ($3,800) – Yep, him again. Stephen Vogt is priced low against Taijuan Walker for Friday night’s card. Walker has thrown the ball better of late, but he has been all over the place throughout his career and Vogt has the patience and selectivity to make it hurt. Vogt got a day off on Thursday, so he should be ready to go on Friday. His .341/.436/.659 slash is going to start coming down, but pitchers have not figured out how to get him out yet, so keep riding the gravy train.
Jake Marisnick ($3,200) – It’s familiar faces day here in the DFS tips article. Jake Marisnick continues to be a force at the bottom of the Astros order. With George Springer out, Marisnick may even start to play a bigger role in the offense and maybe even move up the order. He has a favorable matchup against Jered Weaver. Furthermore, if he can get on base, he may be able to get a bag or two against Weaver, who is not particularly quick to the plate.
Micah Johnson ($2,800) – With a lot of games and some expensive hitters, it’s important to find some cheap options at positions not known for production. That’s where a player like Micah Johnson comes in. He doesn’t have a particularly hard matchup against Jason Marquis and his speed is a good weapon. His high BABIP is sustainable because of his speed and he may be able to bang out a couple hits with a run or two to load up on power potential and top starting pitchers.
Here are the top value pitchers for May 8:
Tim Lincecum ($7,500) – The Miami Marlins strike out a lot and Tim Lincecum has the potential and the stuff to rack up the strikeouts on any given night. The strikeout rate is down a little, but the command has been very good so far for Lincecum. He’s getting a lot of ground balls. With a velocity decline, Lincecum has gone to the curve and change more to complement his two-seamer. These are changes that the Marlins hitters have not seen and it could really keep them off-balance.
Michael Wacha ($8,300) – While regression is probably coming in some areas for Michael Wacha, this start at PNC Park should not be the start of it. Wacha has struggled to put hitters away with strikeouts, but the Pirates have one of the worst K%-BB% marks in the league. Their offense has really struggled. Furthermore, PNC Park suppresses power, and the Cardinals have one of the league’s top defensive outfields. Wacha should be in control of this game and could see a spike in his strikeout rate against a scuffling Pirates offense.
Trevor Bauer ($7,000) – This is a big start for Trevor Bauer and the Indians. It’s no longer “early” and the Indians need to get it in gear. Bauer has been one of the most honest players about the team’s struggles and now he can lead by example. After a rocky couple of starts coming back from food poisoning, Bauer takes on a Twins lineup that isn’t walking as much as usual and still swings and misses a lot. At this price, there’s nobody else with the potential to rack up strikeouts.