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.
Here are the top three lineups to stack for April 13:
Kansas City – Trevor May was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to take the rotation spot of Ricky Nolasco, who may be out for a while with an elbow issue. May flashed some decent upside from a K/BB standpoint during his 45.2 innings of work last season, but he also showed major command issues. He gave up seven home runs and 59 hits in just 45.2 innings of work. The Royals seem to have found a power stroke this season. Everybody but Alex Rios costs $4,700 or less for the Royals today, so a good showing against May will make for a very profitable stack.
St. Louis – The Cardinals host the Milwaukee Brewers in their Home Opener and Matt Garza is on the hill for the Brewers. Garza saw a major drop in strikeouts last season and that’s a sign of a few really bad developments. Garza went to the slider less against the Rockies in his first start, opting for more curveballs. That could either be an attempt by Garza to limit damage or a sign of arm pain. The aging right-hander draws a tough Cardinals lineup that has nobody priced above $4,400.
Baltimore – The right-handed heavy Blue Jays lineup didn’t do much against Michael Pineda, but the more balanced Orioles lineup should have some success. Pineda sat below 91 mph with his fastball in his first start, which has to be a bit of a concern for the Yankees. It may have just been the cold weather, but for a player with so many arm injuries in the past, any red flags are going to be an issue. Outside of Adam Jones ($5,100), most of the Orioles are very affordable, including Chris Davis at just $4,400.
Here are the top three value hitters for April 13:
Ian Kinsler ($4,100) – The Detroit Tigers are hitting everything in sight and Kinsler will have added value in DFS formats this season because the Tigers have been more aggressive on the basepaths. With one less hitter in the lineup in these interleague games, Brad Ausmus may elevate the aggressiveness even more and let Kinsler and Anthony Gose run free. Kinsler is the seventh-priciest second baseman today in the same group as Robinson Cano, Neil Walker, and Daniel Murphy.
Devin Mesoraco ($3,900) – The Reds backstop straight raked against southpaws last season with a .291/.418/.506/.925 slash line and he gets the opportunity to take some cuts against Jon Lester on Monday. Lester struggled with his control in his first start and the Cubs defense did him absolutely no favors. Surprisingly, Mesoraco was a better overall hitter away from hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park, so players shouldn’t worry about a drop-off by park factor. Mesoraco had an identical 17.3 percent walk and strikeout rate against lefties last season, so expect a nice line for the Reds catcher today.
Ike Davis ($2,800) – Make sure that Ike Davis is in the lineup, but his presence could be a big deal against the Houston Astros and Scott Feldman. Feldman should be a good matchup for the lefty slugger with power and power potential for this very low price tag is a big deal. Davis has also drawn four walks already this season and has proven to be a very effective platoon bat. Going with a cheap option like Davis allows you to spend in other places like outfield and starting pitcher, while possibly getting similar production to the big-priced guys.
Here are the top three value pitchers for April 13:
Matt Shoemaker ($7,200) – Shoemaker was the winner against the Seattle Mariners over six innings in his first start. He gave up a couple of home runs, but he didn’t walk anybody. The Rangers are off to a slow start offensively and Shoemaker was very effective against Texas last season. Moreover, the Angels need a really good start after CJ Wilson and Jered Weaver were knocked around and Shoemaker was the second-most reliable starter behind Garrett Richards last season. With the Angels a heavy favorite against Ross Detwiler, Shoemaker has a good shot at picking up a win as well.
Jacob deGrom ($9,000) – Taking one of the top three in price and calling them a value may be a surprise, but deGrom is an excellent pick for Monday’s DFS lineups. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year posted a spectacular 1.70 ERA at Citi Field last season. His 2.37 FIP and 2.69 xFIP at home suggest a little bit of regression, but not enough to shy away from a great matchup against a terrible Phillies team. Only Adam Wainwright is a bigger favorite than deGrom today.
Scott Kazmir ($7,200) – This is a risk-reward pick. Kazmir could get blasted by the Houston Astros and their right-handed heavy lineup with power. On the flip side, Kazmir can rack up a lot of strikeouts against the free-swinging Astros. Against Scott Feldman, the A’s are a road favorite and should score some runs of their own. Kazmir may give up some long balls, so you have to determine if the strikeout upside and possible win are worth taking a chance on the home run front.