The degree of difficulty takes a step up in daily fantasy baseball leagues because games are spread out throughout the busiest sports day of the year. It may be best to focus on early and late contests rather than draw things out with a full day contest. As a result, these tips will include options for both the early and night games in each section, even with the time constraints of the publish time of the article. It’s important to be flexible with DFS, so hopefully you can win some money.
Sign up today at DraftKings and FanDuel to get started with daily fantasy leagues. Use these tips and the tips from the twice-a-week MLB betting podcast, The Bettor’s Box, to improve your abilities and be the next big winner.
The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top lineups to stack for May 2:
LA Dodgers – In one of the rare cases where I will bet against positive regression, Jeremy Hellickson has a tough draw against the Dodgers. Hellickson is 1-3 with a 5.24, but a 3.39 FIP. The FIP is solely because of a low home run rate. His xFIP sits at 4.24, which is around his career average. Hellickson is striking out fewer batters and walking more batters, which should not happen with a change in leagues to the NL. Hellickson’s .380 BABIP against is a matter of command because of a 24.4 percent line drive rate. A Dodgers stack is plenty affordable with nobody more expensive than Adrian Gonzalez at $4,500.
Cleveland – Say what?! One offensive explosion and you’re back on the bandwagon? Yes and no. The Indians are swinging it a little bit better of late, but this is a fade of Aaron Sanchez. The experiment to put Sanchez in the rotation has backfired in a big way. He has a 5.03 ERA, 6.32 FIP, 4.56 xFIP, and 5.09 SIERA. Control and command have been major problems for Sanchez so far. As the Indians start to improve offensively, the patience will improve as well. Sanchez has walked over 16 percent of batters so far and hitters are not swinging and missing at his fastball. Sanchez could be taken out of the rotation with a bad start here, which adds pressure on the youngster.
Oakland – Nick Martinez, we meet again. Martinez altered his pitch usage this season and it has been a major help. He rarely goes to the changeup, instead throwing more sinkers, sliders, and curve balls. The result has been a lot of weak contact. Martinez has one of the highest pop up rates in the league to counteract his lack of strikeouts. This is a major test for him, however. The A’s have already seen him this season, so they have seen the new arsenal. Furthermore, better pitch sequencing or not, a .250 BABIP with a 10.5 percent K% is not going to last. Martinez has stranded 94 percent of his baserunners even though he can’t get strikeouts. Regression is coming and Oakland’s platoon-heavy lineup will deliver it.
Here are the top value hitters for May 2:
Marcell Ozuna ($3,800) – Ozuna might be a little bit of a surprise pick up against Cole Hamels, but Ozuna’s improving walk rate is impressive. It may not be sustainable, but he’s been more patient and Hamels has been issuing a few too many walks early in the season. Ozuna is still looking for his first home run after hitting 23 last season, but his doubles will start to become home runs soon enough.
Yonder Alonso ($3,400) – Yonder Alonso has really turned it up of late in a productive Padres offense and he may simply be developing into the hitter that the Padres envisioned. The low cost is due to a lack of home run power, but Alonso is on pace to set a career high in walks and his ground balls are finding holes. Regression is definitely coming soon for Alonso with so many ground balls and a low line drive rate, but it shouldn’t come Jorge de la Rosa. Ignore the same-side pitching matchup in this one for cheap value.
Neil Walker ($3,500) – Walker and the Pirates offense has really been down in the dumps this season, as they have one of the league’s worst walk rates and have not been able to score runs. The Pirates may be able to do some damage against John Lackey and Walker is a good streaming option as a result. The switch hitter is batting .300/.342/.457 against righties and .143/.200/.143 against lefties. That should give Walker a good shot against Lackey.
Here are the top value pitchers for May 2:
Collin McHugh ($7,900) – Believe it. Believe the hype. McHugh’s last 14 starts read like this: 10-0, 2.08 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 78/11 K/BB ratio. The Mariners are one of the league’s worst on-base percentage offenses and Nelson Cruz has basically saved them from being one of the worst offenses in the league overall. McHugh is the truth and his low cost in this start is well worth a buy.
Taijuan Walker ($7,100) – This one is a major gamble. Walker has some of the most incredible raw stuff in the American League, though he’s not always sure where it will end up. The free-swinging Astros may help Walker’s control issues. The Astros are also one of the top offenses in BB%, so maybe not, but if Walker’s sharp, he can easily rack up a strikeout or more per inning. His 3.88 FIP suggests some impending positive regression. The Astros are red hot, but this could be where they take a step back.
Francisco Liriano ($9,000) – Francisco Liriano owns the Cardinals. I normally don’t like to do this with small sample sizes, but Liriano is 4-1 with a 1.98 ERA and a 45/18 K/BB ratio against the Redbirds. Liriano matches up well with a Cardinals team that has failed to hit left-handed starters for a while now and he should be in line to do the same. Also, the Pirates should be able to get to John Lackey, increasing Liriano’s chances at a win.