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 11:
Los Angeles Dodgers – On a day with very expensive hitters in projected slugfests in Colorado and Yankee Stadium, the Dodgers fly under the radar with some very affordable bats against Archie Bradley. Bradley has a ton of upside and should be a star in the future, but he has command issues and this is his Major League debut against a $250M payroll and some guy named Clayton Kershaw. Would it really be a surprise to see Bradley fall flat on his face? With a dozen hitters priced at $5,500 or more, nobody in this game costs more than $4,700. The youngster will be on a tight leash with just 100.2 innings pitched last season.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – Jeremy Guthrie takes the ball for the Royals against Jered Weaver out west. This is a good park for Guthrie and the defense, but Guthrie is a subpar starting pitcher and the Angels have a lot of bat-to-ball guys. Mike Trout is the only high-priced player at $5,600, so there are a lot of terrific value plays for the Angels, including Kole Calhoun and Matt Joyce. Going with Angels, or some second-tier offensive teams, will allow you to load up on pitching with several aces going for their respective teams today.
Toronto – Why not? Ubaldo Jimenez is a gas can and the Orioles inexplicably went with Jimenez over Kevin Gausman in the starting rotation. The concern with taking Toronto is that Jimenez often limits hits allowed while issuing a lot of walks. The benefit is that Jimenez mistakes can become three-run homers in his starts. Toronto hitters are priced reasonably given some of the other price tags out there. Dalton Pompey ($4,100) and Russell Martin ($4,500) are tremendous values at their respective positions. The big bats are always a threat as well.
Here are the top three value hitters for April 11:
Yasiel Puig ($4,700) – On a day of expensive bats, Puig has some enormous upside against rookie Archie Bradley. The Dodgers may get into the Diamondbacks pen early if they can stay patient with Bradley and force him to throw strikes. That should create some good value on Puig, especially as the 25th-most expensive outfielder. Again, because the goal is to have workhorse starters that will pitch deep and rack up strikeouts, every $100 matters today.
Victor Martinez ($4,400) – Martinez draws a tough assignment against reigning Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, but Martinez has a knack for destroying Indians pitching in his career. It’s a small sample size with 25 plate appearances, but Martinez is slashing .409/.480/.818/1.298 against Kluber. All three of Martinez’s home runs against Kluber came last season. Small sample sizes, but Victor sees him really well and on a day with a lot of expensive hitters, Martinez has some good power potential at a very low price.
Curtis Granderson ($3,700) – Julio Teheran takes the ball for the second time for the Braves and was very fortunate to scatter eight hits against the Marlins. Lefties hit 13 of the 22 home runs that Teheran allowed last season and Granderson still has decent pop. The batting average numbers are falling, but he works pitchers and draws his fair share of walks. Teheran is a guy I’ve pegged for regression this season and he wasn’t particularly impressive in his first start.
Here are the top three value pitchers for April 11:
Michael Wacha ($7,900) – Nobody knows exactly what to expect from Michael Wacha in his first start of the season, but he takes on a Reds lineup that has struggled against him in his career so far. Wacha has some pretty good strikeout upside among the third-tier starters by price on Saturday. He’s no Corey Kluber, David Price, Clayton Kershaw, or Madison Bumgarner, but using Wacha will allow you to get some pricier hitters into the lineup.
Jeff Samardzija ($9,100) – Samardzija is probably a little bit underpriced after struggling in his first start. The Twins have a lot of guys that swing and miss and Samardzija has pretty decent control to avoid issuing a lot of walks. The Twins did nothing against the Tigers and Samardzija is looking for a quick bounce back after a rocky first outing.
David Price ($10,600) – Of the highest-priced starters, Price is the one that should be on your radar. The Cleveland Indians have not hit well as a team so far this season, with most of their runs coming on solo home runs. Their struggles against lefties are well-publicized and Price is going to rack up some strikeouts. The ball doesn’t carry particularly well in Cleveland in April and the wind was to blame for some extra runs on Friday. With a shaky bullpen, Brad Ausmus should push Price and he has a great matchup here.