Thursday is a very difficult day in daily fantasy leagues. The day is segmented into early, and late, so playing all day contests is out. There are only two early games and six nighttime starts, so the focus for this set of tips and suggestions will be on the night games. With only 12 teams in action this evening, it can be tough to find ways to go against the grain, but it also gives players the opportunity to take some chances to try and cash in with a big GPP winner.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top lineups to stack for April 30:
Toronto – This one is going to be very popular among DFS participants tonight. TJ House is on the mound for the Indians and his numbers for the season to date are not good. House has allowed 26 baserunners in just 10 innings and he has given up 14 runs. His 12.60 ERA is going to draw the most attention, but the walks have led to a 6.37 FIP as well. With a lot of right-handed power bats, the Blue Jays will be stacked in several contests tonight.
Cincinnati – Shelby Miller has been pretty good so far this season, but this start will be a big test for him. The Reds are very familiar with Miller from his time with the St. Louis Cardinals. There are some major indicators of regression for Miller. He has a 5.73 K/9 with a 3.68 BB/9, which leads to a 3.85 FIP and 4.38 SIERA. His ERA is currently 2.05. An 85 percent strand rate and a .219 BABIP against are also good candidates for regression. It’s coming and a lineup that has seen Miller quite a bit could be the lineup to deliver that regression.
Kansas City – Speaking of regression, Alfredo Simon is on the mound tonight. The Royals put a ton of balls in play with the lowest K% in the league. Simon’s batted ball luck has resulted in a 4-0 record and a 1.65 ERA. His .256 BABIP is actually in line with last season, when he posted a 3.44 ERA, but his walk rate is unsustainably low and his 86 percent strand rate is coming down. The Royals may be the best stacking option of them all for Thursday.
Here are the top value hitters for April 30:
Jason Kipnis ($3,800) – Kipnis is a risky play because he’s going up against unfamiliar lefty Daniel Norris, but Kipnis is one of the leaders on this Indians team and he’s showing signs of coming out of last season’s slump. He hit his first home run since July 31 on Wednesday night and has positive regression coming his way. He has a .257 BABIP, despite a major drop in strikeout rate, and a 22.9 percent line drive rate. Kipnis has shown the ability to go oppo with power against lefties this season and that’s what he could do against Norris. Also, he’s batting leadoff now and that inherently increases his value.
James McCann ($2,700) – James McCann hit an inside-the-park home run yesterday for the Tigers in their 10-7 comeback win over the Twins. The reason McCann carries value today is because he’s a sure bet to play against southpaw Danny Duffy. The Tigers seem to be going with a platoon at catcher since Alex Avila can’t hit lefties. Only Kevin Plawecki and Roberto Perez are likely starters at a cheaper price.
Jay Bruce ($4,400) – Jay Bruce is a little bit of an expensive value pick, but he has some power upside and has also swiped a couple of bases this season. His .200 BABIP is going to rise and he has a favorable matchup against fastball-heavy Shelby Miller. Bruce has punished fastballs this season, but is average or below against most other offerings. Miller’s going to bring the gas, so Bruce has a good shot to do damage.
Here are the top value starting pitchers for April 30:
Trevor May ($5,800) – Maybe you should start paying attention to Trevor May. So far this season, May has posted a 13/2 K/BB over 14.2 innings, though he has had some bad batted ball luck with men on base. That may be an issue of mechanics from the stretch, but May is a guy with strikeout per inning upside against a White Sox lineup that whiffs a lot. He’s a very under-the-radar play and you may be able to get value on entries that are stacking White Sox given May’s shaky 2014 season. The problem is that May is facing Chris Sale, but you can take your chances here and then pay for an ace.
Mike Leake ($7,400) – Mike Leake’s season has been rather interesting so far. He has allowed too many home runs to post a low ERA or FIP, but opposing batters are only hitting .198 against him and he has increased his strikeout rate. His 17.2 percent HR/FB% is going to come down and with it will come his ERA and FIP. The one major difference in his arsenal is that he’s back to throwing his changeup and sinker more frequently. Those are generally ground ball/weak contact pitches, hence the low batting average against. He’s worth a look if this strikeout spike is for real.
Daniel Norris ($5,900) – Normally I wouldn’t advocate this because the Indians are usually a patient lineup, but they are hovering around the middle of the pack in drawing walks. Norris has had all sorts of control issues that have prevented him from working deep into games. With such a small set of pitchers to pick from, he makes the list, but he’s not a particularly strong play. A lot of people will use him because the Indians struggle with lefties, but he’s a different kind of lefty than what the Indians have faced most of the season.