Today should be an interesting day in the daily fantasy sports. A handful of aces are scheduled to start, along with a good amount of middle-tier starting pitchers capable of a “boom or bust” type of outing. All 30 teams are in action on Friday night, so there’s no shortage of value plays and high-priced options out there.
With a slate full of night games, nobody is off limits due to the time constraints of this article, so I’ll be digging deep to find the best options so that you can make money in daily fantasy sports today.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top lineups to stack for your GPPs for April 24:
Baltimore – Rick Porcello was roughed up by the Baltimore Orioles in his last start and he draws them again on Friday night. The final line for Porcello was ugly. It read 5 IP, 12 H, 8 ER, 2 HR, 3 BB, 6 K. Now, Porcello is a major candidate for positive regression, given that his K/BB rate is just fine and the home run rate is going to regress. However, it’s not going to regress without better command. Porcello’s sinker has been flat and it’s been among the worst pitches in baseball in the early going. Adam Jones is the only Oriole that costs more than $4,500 and Porcello needs to prove it to me before I believe that he’s going to suddenly be fixed.
Toronto – No Jose Bautista, no problem for the Blue Jays, right? Drew Smyly makes his 2015 season debut and it’s not an easy team to do that against. Smyly better have command of his changeup right out of the gate or the right-handed heavy Blue Jays are going to batter the craft southpaw. Overall, I think Smyly will be a valuable guy throughout the season. This, however, is a rough place to start his season. A Blue Jays stack is quite cheap, so fire away.
Washington – The Nationals lineup has been very Jekyll and Hyde so far this season, but Mat Latos is a welcomed sight. The Marlins hurler has not been able to find the strike zone enough and nobody has been fooled. Latos is throwing first-pitch strikes to just 44 percent of batters. Hitters hit about 40 points better on average when they start 1-0 vs. 0-1 and the OBP and SLG percentages have even bigger jumps. Latos is getting a chase rate of 15 percent so far. It’s early and Latos should figure it out and get to his career averages, but today may not be the start of that trend.
Here are the top value hitters for April 24:
Starlin Castro ($3,900) – With all the emphasis on the Cubs collection of highly-touted prospects, Castro is slipping through the cracks. Castro has been in a prime RBI spot behind Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler of late and he now has a .355/.375/.468 slash so far this season. Regression will come as teams start to figure out how to pitch the Cubs’ young lineup, but Mike Leake is a pitch-to-contact guy and that should give Castro plenty of opportunities to drive the ball and drive in runs.
Victor Martinez ($4,100) – V-Mart is off to a very slow start to the season, which could be a sign of the toll that aging and another knee surgery has taken. But, Martinez tends to be locked in against the Indians. In 296 career PA against Indians pitching, Victor has a slash of .353/.426/.591. He’s already 4-for-11 this season with a couple of walks. Normally these head-to-head matchups are small sample sizes, but I’m going to consider this one significant, especially because I’ve seen it firsthand.
Devon Travis ($3,100) – I must be missing something because Devon Travis keeps popping up in this article. Travis now has a slash of .385/.448/.712. Maybe the people that makes the salaries at DraftKings are expecting the other shoe to drop, and it will, but this is still good value for a bat-to-ball guy with speed. Since I mentioned Smyly in his first start earlier, Travis is easily the best cheap option at 2B to spend on other positions.
Here are the top value pitchers for April 24:
Jordan Zimmermann ($8,300) – In a rotation full of big names, Jordan Zimmermann doesn’t get the respect that he deserves. The strikeout numbers aren’t always there for DFS purposes, but Zimmermann has been the most consistent hurler for the Nationals over the last couple of seasons. He draws a bad Marlins offense in that one and that is a good chance to get back on track. The free agency situation may be playing with Zimmermann’s head a bit, but his stuff is too good to keep pitching the way he is.
Zack Greinke ($10,100) – It’s hard to call the second-most expensive pitcher a good value play, but I’ve said countless times in my season previews, podcasts, or other articles that I have concerns about the Padres against top right-handed pitchers. Greinke certainly fits that bill. The Padres offense is due for regression and a matchup with Greinke is a good place for it to begin. You’re going to pony up for one of the higher-priced guys anyway and Greinke is $1,200 cheaper than King Felix.
Gerrit Cole ($8,200) – This may be the year where Cole’s minor league strikeout totals translate to the bigs. Cole has punched out 20 in 17 innings so far this season and the Diamondbacks do have some guys capable of striking out. Cole has worked at least six innings in his last two starts and has not allowed a home run in his last two outings against Milwaukee and Detroit. Cole can be a strikeout per inning guy and the Pirates should get some good swings against Josh Collmenter.