Daily fantasy sports websites are all the rage nowadays as a form legalized sports gambling. Some people make a living off of daily fantasy sites, while others just play on them for fun. During the baseball season, we will take a look every day to try and find value for our readers in these daily fantasy contests at DraftKings and FanDuel.
It’s easy to fill in the lineup with high-priced talent and hope that it performs, but that’s not the way to win at daily fantasy sports. It’s important to take stud pitchers and find hitting value from guys with good platoon splits or low salaries and a lot of upside. There are a lot of strategies out there for daily fantasy sports, but one of the biggest ones is to stack lineups. The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
It’s a getaway day or an off day for a good portion of the league, but there are still 18 teams in action over nine games. Leaving out the 11 a.m. first pitch of the annual Patriots’ Day game between the Red Sox and Orioles, we have eight games to choose from for tonight’s DFS MLB lineups.
Here are the top lineups to stack for April 20:
Seattle – Asher Wojociechowski is back in the rotation for the Houston Astros and the Seattle Mariners have a great matchup in this one. Wojociechowski relies on a two-seamer that sits in the low 90s and a changeup that looks the same, just slower. Lefties are going to feast on Wojociechowski because that two-seamer likes to creep out over the plate. The changeup is his only weapon to neutralize lefties, and it flashes above average potential, but hitters will start to sit on it. The Mariners are stocked with left-handed bats and a lack of expensive starters will allow for some spending on the Mariners offense.
Kansas City – Kyle Gibson is on the hill for the Twins and he throws a lot of strikes. Gibson is not a guy that gets people to chase and those types of pitchers could be victimized by a contact-heavy Royals lineup. The best way to get the Royals out is to get them to swing at pitches outside of the zone. If he qualified, Gibson’s zone-contact percent would be tied for seventh among qualified pitchers from 2013-15. The Royals are at their best when they are putting balls in play. With a shaky Twins defense in support, the Royals could have a field day offensively.
San Diego – You’ll pay a premium on hitters in Monday’s game between the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres with a mediocre pitching matchup and the Coors Field inflation. Jorge de la Rosa makes his first start of the season against a predominantly right-handed lineup. The Padres offense has scored at least five runs in seven of their 13 games so far, so those that have stacked with Padres have fared well in the early going.
Here are the top value hitters for April 20:
Justin Morneau ($3,800) – Odrisamer Despaigne is a pitch-to-contact kind of guy and Justin Morneau should be able to do some damage against somebody like him. The Rockies are back home at Coors Field, where their offense excels, and this game has the highest total on the board. That means that runs are expected, from both teams, and Morneau should get plenty of opportunities with men on base. This will be Despaigne’s first career start at Coors Field and there’s a learning curve to pitching in the altitude.
Roberto Perez ($2,800) – It’s hard to get production at catcher without ponying up for somebody like Buster Posey or Jonathan Lucroy. Perez has been a little bit of an all-or-nothing hitter for the Indians so far, but he gets a favorable matchup against John Danks on Monday. The fact that Perez, essentially a rookie because he’s starting for the first time, has seen Danks once already should be a benefit for the young catcher. Getting some power production cheap allows for spending elsewhere.
Ike Davis ($3,600) – I like Ike once again on Monday. With 10 first basemen priced at $4,600 or higher, taking a top-tier first basemen and having enough left over for some outfielders is a tough chore. Davis is tied for the 21st-most expensive first baseman with Billy Butler, Chris Carter, Logan Morrison, and Stephen Vogt. Coincidentally, there are three Oakland A’s in that group. In any event, Ike is a great play at this price against Matt Shoemaker.
Here are the top value pitchers for April 20:
AJ Burnett ($8,200) – Burnett is the fourth-highest priced pitcher, but his veteran know-how is going to be a big advantage for the Pirates and DFS players on Monday. The Cubs are full of young hitters willing to expand the zone and Burnett can play on that aggressiveness. Also, the Pirates can shift defensively into that aggressiveness. It’s a lineup full of big-named prospects and it can be scary to expect them to fail, but Burnett still has swing-and-miss stuff at his age and, most importantly, craftiness.
Trevor Bauer ($7,100) – Bauer may have some trouble working deep into games, but his swing-and-miss stuff has been on display through two outings. The White Sox are not the same free-swinging lineup that they used to be, but Bauer has shown the ability to spot all of his pitches and he continues to get more comfortable with new catcher Roberto Perez. The Indians got to John Danks when these teams met last week, so the hope would be for a similar result.
Edinson Volquez ($6,600) – Backing Volquez in any format can be scary because of his inconsistencies, but the Royals are an excellent defensive team and the Twins are a mediocre offense. There’s some swing-and-miss stuff in Volquez’s arsenal and the Twins do their fair share of swinging and missing. On a day with quite a few back of the rotation starters going, Volquez is probably one of the “surer” things out there.