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:
Detroit – It’s rough with such a small slate of games and there won’t be a lot of run time for this article before the game starts, but the Tigers lineup has to be a big consideration in every GPP format. Gibson hung a 4.47 ERA and gave up a hit per inning last season for the Twins and the Tigers are getting production from top to bottom in the lineup. Jose Iglesias ($3,200) is hitting everything in sight as a cheap 3B/SS. The downside to Iglesias is the lack of power, but Miguel Cabrera ($5,200) and J.D. Martinez ($4,300) can provide that punch.
Oakland – Nick Martinez brings his pedestrian arsenal into Thursday’s game against the Oakland A’s. The A’s are going to be a fun team to follow for DFS purposes because they have very few high-priced players in the lineup. In fact, the highest salary belongs to Ben Zobrist at $4,100. Billy Butler is a good value play at first base for $3,800. Ike Davis may be the sleeper of the day at just $3,600. The same can be said about Stephen Vogt in that same price range. It’s not going to help today, but Mark Canha ($3,100) may be a big bat against left-handed starters.
Toronto – Unfortunately DraftKings is splitting the day between early games and late games, but expect to see a lot of Toronto Blue Jays in lineups later. The betting market is steaming the Blue Jays in an effort to go against CC Sabathia. Sabathia had a major home run problem last season, so Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, and Josh Donaldson may all have some value at their high price tags of $4,700 or more. Devon Travis could have some value at second base again today at his low $3,100 price tag.
Here are the top three value hitters for April 9:
Nori Aoki ($3,600) – Aoki racked up a 17-point night at the top of the Giants lineup on Wednesday night against Jeremy Hellickson and the Diamondbacks. Aoki is still reasonably priced at $3,600 with a chance to do some damage against Ian Kennedy. This could be a very low-scoring game, so don’t look to stack Giants around Aoki. Just look for Aoki to pick up a couple trips to first and maybe a run or two.
Ike Davis ($3,600) – With a day full of expensive first basemen, Ike Davis will allow you to load up the outfield with some cheap power potential at first. Davis is off to a slow start, but he posted a .765 OPS against RHP last season. The big thing for Davis is that Martinez is not much of a strikeout pitcher, so that should mitigate his swing-and-miss issues. As mentioned above, a lot of A’s players are undervalued and Davis is one of them in these platoon situations.
Alex Avila ($3,400) – Alex Avila might be a source of cheap power against Kyle Gibson. Avila could be a nice under-the-radar selection at catcher with most DFS players focusing on players like Carlos Santana and Evan Gattis, though Gattis had a horrible game on Wednesday night. Salvador Perez and Travis d’Arnaud are also going to be popular names early on.
Here are the top three value pitchers for April 9:
Stephen Strasburg ($10,200) – Yes, the highest-priced pitcher is also the highest-value pitcher. It’s a hard to day to pick pitchers and all of them have warts and flaws. I’m avoiding the Pittsburgh/Cincinnati game because it has a high likelihood of a rainout or a long delay that will knock both starters out. With the late game last night and the quick turnaround, either AJ Burnett or Anthony DeSclafani are fine options if the game is played. But, Strasburg has the highest upside of anybody on the list today and is by far the safest pick.
Trevor Bauer ($7,200) – The Indians enigmatic right-hander has a chance to rack up some punchouts on the afternoon in Houston. The trade-off is that he also has the opportunity to give up some long balls. Can the strikeouts overshadow the long ball possibility? Potentially. Bauer had a great K/BB in the Spring and that’s one of the few Spring Training stats that can carry over from the preseason. Asher Wojciechowski is a huge unknown, so the win points from Bauer are not a given either.
Ian Kennedy ($7,800) – Ian Kennedy saw a bit of a velo spike last season and parlayed it into more strikeouts and pitched well overall. The Giants got in late with some travel from Arizona and the Padres are in their Home Opener with a raucous crowd and lofty expectations. This is a good matchup for Kennedy against a Giants lineup without Brandon Belt and Hunter Pence. In terms of the late games, Kennedy probably has one of the highest upsides for strikeouts as well.