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 9:
Chicago White Sox – Tommy Milone will take the ball for the Minnesota Twins in Chicago’s home opener. The White Sox should be able to advantage of a pitcher whose opposing slash line against on the road was .279/.336/.471. The White Sox don’t walk much and Milone tends to be around the plate. Also, he was better against same-side batters, but lefties still hit .255/.310/.419 off of him. The White Sox have some good right-handed power bats and a switch hitter in Melky Cabrera, so players like Alexei Ramirez ($4,400) and Avisail Garcia ($4,300) might be decent options against Milone. You’ll notice that salaries are inflated across the board for this game for both lineups.
Colorado – This is never a bad idea, but stacking Colorado Rockies on Friday could be very profitable. Travis Wood is a fly ball pitcher with marginal control and iffy command and Coors Field can be relentless on pitchers like that. The Rockies did some offensive damage against the Milwaukee Brewers and the Brewers have a much better defense than the Cubs. Once again, salaries are very inflated for both of these teams, so keep that in mind, but it may be worthwhile.
Boston – I really like Nate Eovaldi, but he’s walking into the lion’s den in this situation. This will be Eovaldi’s first start in New York against a very good lineup that will finally be able to use both David Ortiz and Mike Napoli after starting the season with interleague play in Philadelphia. Eovaldi has high upside and good stuff, but it didn’t translate into a lot of strikeouts in the National League and that’s a problem switching leagues. He lacks a true third pitch and lefties hit .293/.330/.438 off of him last season. Stacking Red Sox, including guys like Pablo Sandoval ($4,200) and Xander Bogaerts ($4,300) looks profitable here.
Here are the top three value hitters for April 10:
Albert Pujols ($4,200) – In the quest to find affordable power, Pujols is a good look for Friday’s DFS lineups. Pujols hit 13 of his 28 home runs at home last season and Jason Vargas is not the kind of pitcher to exploit Pujols’s gradually-declining bat speed. Pujols hit 20 of his 28 home runs in the first half last season and then age started to zap his power later in the year. The top of the Angels order is pretty undervalued and Pujols should have some chance to drive in runs on Friday.
Michael Taylor ($3,700) – The Washington Nationals are dealing with a lot of injuries, but their loss is your DFS gain with Michael Taylor batting leadoff. Taylor can flash a little bit of power, but he stole 88 bases over his last two seasons in the minor leagues. He has some holes in his swing, but also showed the ability to draw some walks and wreak some havoc on the basepaths. Against Jerome Williams, who is not a strikeout pitcher, there’s some potential for Taylor to get on base and do some things at a low price.
Pedro Alvarez ($3,600) – Once again, cheap power is the mantra here. Mike Fiers throws a lot of strikes and that means that mistakes will happen. In this case, it’s a matter of Alvarez not missing them. Alvarez hit 66 home runs from 2012-13 and only hit 18 last season, but he got his first one out of the way this season and should be poised for a nice bounce back year. Miller Park is a good yard to hit in and Fiers gave up seven in just 71.2 innings last season, five of them in 45.2 home innings.
Here are the top three value pitchers for April 10:
Collin McHugh ($7,000) – A lot of low-priced pitchers are the reason for expensive hitters, but Collin McHugh has the chance to be a good pick for Friday. The Rangers don’t strike out a ton, but McHugh flashed some excellent swing-and-miss stuff last season. There’s some regression concern this season, but McHugh is one of the few guys on the card with big strikeout potential. The Rangers lineup isn’t as deep as people might expect.
Zach McAllister ($4,200) – Zach McAllister is so underpriced at $4,200, but the Tigers lineup just spent the weekend bashing the Twins pitching staff. McAllister has some strikeout upside at this price. He may not work particularly deep into the game, but if you can get five innings with six or sever strikeouts and a win, his low price tag is worth it to load up on bats. With the high cost of hitters today against back of the rotation starters, saving money in other places is important. McAllister added velocity in the Spring and worked on polishing his secondaries, so there’s some upside. Consider the weather forecast here, though, because winds could be blowing out to right.
Jon Niese ($7,500) – Jon Niese draws a Braves lineup that had two good innings of offense in their sweep against the Miami Marlins. The Braves scored 16 runs in that three-game series and seven came in the first inning against Mat Latos and four more came off the Marlins bullpen in a blowout. Against Henderson Alvarez and Tom Koehler, the Braves managed four total runs. Niese could throw six innings, pick up a win, and add around a strikeout per inning against what is still a bad lineup.