Daily fantasy players that like to play Major League Baseball contests were treated to quite a night on Tuesday with offensive explosions from several teams, including three grand slams in the Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers game. Even with all of the offense, there were some solid pitching performances, including one from Chase Anderson, who was advocated in yesterday’s article. Two of the three stacked lineup suggestions worked out as the Toronto Blue Jays and Brewers scored some runs. Jake Marisnick had a fine night with 16 points in DraftKings at a bargain price of $3,300.
Hopefully we can follow it up with another good set of teams and players for Wednesday night’s card of games. The only exception today is the Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White Sox 2:10 start, so 14 teams and 28 players are up for grabs in this look at the top value picks for April 22.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for April 22:
Oakland – I’m going to beat this drum about Jered Weaver until he proves otherwise. Weaver’s fastball velocity continues to dwindle and his peripherals are ghastly in the early going. The Astros had very little success against Weaver in his last start, but the A’s have more experienced hitters and a massive platoon advantage. Through 37 plate appearances (small sample size alert), lefties are hitting .324/.378/.735 off of Weaver with three home runs and seven extra-base hits. Lefties slugged .408 and hit 19 home runs in 552 plate appearances against Weaver last season. The Astros are righty-heavy and Weaver is still serviceable against same-side hitting. The A’s won’t be as easy.
Kansas City – The Royals will do what the Indians couldn’t last week. They’re going to score runs off Mike Pelfrey. The Indians offense has been a trainwreck, as evidenced by their inability to hit a guy like Pelfrey. The Royals are hitting everything in sight right now. It will slow down soon, but not against a team like the Royals. Pelfrey doesn’t have favorable platoon splits one way or another because he’s bad against every kind of hitter. Lorenzo Cain is the only Royal north of $4,500, so stack away.
St. Louis – Doug Fister is teetering on the brink of falling off in a big way. Fister’s 2014 season projected some major regression entering 2015. Fister had a 2.41 ERA, but also had a 3.93 FIP and a 3.85 xFIP. He stranded an abnormally high number of runners based on his pitch-to-contact style. Through two starts, Fister has danced his way out of danger with a 5/5 K/BB ratio in 13 innings. He may just be a guy capable of outpitching his advanced metrics, and he has in the past, but his command is wavering early this season after a couple seasons worth of elbow inflammation. This is a good risk when players are unlikely to go against Fister with a Cardinals stack.
Here are the top value hitters for April 22:
Mike Moustakas ($4,100) – Mike Moustakas is using the whole field this season and is starting to show the signs of the hitter that everybody thought he could be. Using the whole field not only breeds confidence, but also makes it hard to face Moose. Pitchers are getting burned on both corners and a guy like Mike Pelfrey is going to have a hard time with that. Pelfrey throws hard, but command is an issue. His sinker runs away from lefties, but Moose has shown good power going oppo. Priced much lower than others at the hot corner, Moustakas has a lot of value on Wednesday.
Kevin Kiermaier ($4,000) – Whether or not Joe Kelly is for real remains to be seen, but Kiermaier should bat leadoff with the platoon advantage against the pitch-to-contact right-hander. Eight of Kiermaier’s 11 hits have gone for extra bases this season to lead to a small sample size SLG of .649. He showed some good pop last season with 10 dingers in 364 PA and posted a .280/.339/.498 slash in 257 PA against RHP last season. With the rising cost of outfielders because of a day split between aces and nobodies, Kiermaier is a good look to get an expensive pitcher in the lineup.
Jake Marisnick ($3,300) – Yeah, I’m going there again. Marisnick will have a platoon advantage against J.A. Happ on Wednesday night following his 16-point night with some hits, runs scored, and a stolen base. Marisnick hasn’t shown a lot of power at the Major League level, but the light may be coming on for him. An underrated element of this power-heavy Astros offense is that pitchers want to throw fastballs. The free swingers ahead of Marisnick are going to get a steady diet of breaking stuff, leaving more gas for Marisnick. That’s going to create value on him, even in limited plate appearances.
Here are the top value pitchers for April 22:
Dillon Gee ($6,500) – On a day of aces and not aces, Dillon Gee provides some value against a lackluster Atlanta Braves lineup. Yesterday, I advocated Jon Niese because of the Braves’ collection of left-handed bats. Today, Gee is an attractive option because of those left-handed bats. His best pitch is a changeup, which is a neutralizer of lefties. Gee is not going to run up the strikeouts like expensive hurlers Clayton Kershaw and David Price, but Gee could be a strikeout per inning guy with a good chance to beat Eric Stults. The Mets are red hot right now, despite the injuries, and it shouldn’t stop today.
James Shields ($8,100) – A pitcher in Colorado? Sure, why not. The big thing about taking Shields is that you’re probably going to be on an island with a few other brave souls. Shields has the stuff to conquer Coors Field’s incredible hitting conditions. The Rockies are slumping a little bit right now. Corey Dickerson is dealing with plantar fasciitis and he was a big threat to opposing pitchers. Shields had a ridiculous changeup in his last start against the Cubs and similar results with that pitch at Coors could yield some surprise value.
Johnny Cueto ($9,500) – Don’t let last night’s results fool you. The Milwaukee Brewers offense is really bad without Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez. Johnny Cueto is going to prove that on Wednesday night. Cueto is dealing so far this season with a 24/3 K/BB ratio in 21 innings and one of those walks was intentional. The Reds offense has been great and Cueto should slice and dice his way deep into the game with a great K/BB ratio once again.