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.
Lots of early games for DFS players today on Sunday, as is often the case. That makes this article a little bit difficult to write since it needs some run time to be effective, so each group will include at least one player from the late games in order to help out those that want to jump in the late pools.
Here are the top lineups to stack for April 19:
LA Dodgers – Eddie Butler has been smoke and mirrors so far this season. Butler allowed 10 baserunners in his last start, only to strand all of them over 5.1 innings of work. In 11 innings, Butler has allowed 10 walks. The Dodgers aren’t going to be cheap to get today since Butler is priced so low, but it’s hard to find a better lineup to stack than that one. Adrian Gonzalez ($5,600) and Yasiel Puig ($5,100) are pricey, so finding a value starting pitcher would be beneficial, but the rest of the Dodgers are reasonably priced.
San Diego – Say what?! Well, the Padres are clearly a much better offensive team than they used to be and Jon Lester’s start with the Cubs has not been as rosey as Theo Epstein and Company had hoped. The Padres are very right-handed heavy, so that negates some of Lester’s platoon advantage against left-handed bats. Also, the Cubs defense is not very good and Bryant at third adds to their defensive shortcomings. Considering that every Padres hitter is $4,400 or less, this is a very reasonable gamble to take.
Toronto – Shelby Miller throws a ton of fastballs. He also allows a lot of contact for a guy that can reach back into the upper 90s. Miller has five strikeouts against four walks in his 10 innings of work so far, but he has only allowed one run thanks to a .219 BABIP against. Miller has stranded 90.9 percent of his runners this season, a rate that will regress, and he has allowed 42 home runs in 380 big league innings. That’s not a terrible HR rate, but the Blue Jays have some terrific fastball hitters. This is a more expensive stack, so finding cheap value pitchers is key.
Here are the top value hitters for April 19:
Rajai Davis ($3,900) – Davis is an ideal platoon player for the Tigers with Anthony Gose. Davis plays against left-handed pitchers and that’s what the Tigers will see on Sunday against Jose Quintana. Davis is batting leadoff for the powerful lineup and his .304/.359/.449 split is often overlooked. A .449 SLG from a guy like Davis is very impressive. Also, he is a pretty good base stealer and may be able to get a bag or two off of Quintana to pad the stat sheet for DFS players.
Adam LaRoche ($3,800) – Adam LaRoche had a big day, like most of the White Sox, on Saturday and is still underpriced for Sunday’s matchup against Shane Greene. Greene has been excellent in two starts, but regression will be coming. LaRoche has a beneficial platoon split and Greene is more of a pitch-to-contact guy than he has shown. LaRoche is the type of cheap power that DFS players need on a Sunday with a full card of games.
David Peralta ($3,700) – As I’ve talked about on The Bettor’s Box, my twice-a-week MLB podcast, Tim Hudson has major platoon split issues and David Peralta should benefit from that on Sunday. Peralta is off to a decent start with a couple of home runs and owns a small sample size .308/.367/.615 slash in 30 PA against RHP this season. Last season, Peralta had a .312/.342/.506 slash against righties. He’s a play with great upside in Sunday’s action.
Here are the top value pitchers for April 19:
TJ House ($5,900) – Don’t let the first start fool you. TJ House was awful, but he was a bad matchup for the Tigers and he hadn’t pitched in game conditions since Spring Training. House posted a decent strikeout rate last season and the Twins do swing and miss quite a bit as a team. The issue for House, as it is for all Indians pitchers, is the team defense, but he’s got a lot of upside at an incredibly low price.
Danny Duffy ($7,100) – Call this one a bit of a hunch, but the Oakland A’s lose some of their platoon value against a guy like Duffy. The A’s are 17th in wRC+ on the young season against lefties over 78 plate appearances (small sample size alert), but they were 23rd in wRC+ against LHP last season. Duffy has been a bit unlucky through two starts this season and could shine on Sunday at a reasonable price.
James Paxton ($7,200) – A day after Felix Hernandez tore through the Rangers lineup, Texas faces another tough customer in James Paxton. Paxton is dirt cheap in a matchup with Ross Detwiler, who has been roughed up in both of his outings. Paxton has flashed some good strikeout stuff and had some trouble with a good Dodgers lineup, but he’s back at home at Safeco Field against a lineup that hasn’t done a lot of damage so far this season.