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 8:
Boston – The Boston Red Sox have a very favorable matchup against Aaron Harang, whose peripherals suggest that being at Citizens Bank Park is going to be very, very bad for him this season. Harang is a fly ball pitcher that thrived with Atlanta and their excellent defensive outfield last season. That’s hardly the case with the Phillies. The Red Sox rocked Cole Hamels and the Phillies bullpen in the opener and should do the same to Harang and company today. At $4,000, Dustin Pedroia is a great value pick. Pedroia’s two home runs in the opener put him almost 30 percent of the way to last season’s total of seven. Offseason wrist surgery should bring the power back. Mike Napoli and Hanley Ramirez should also be part of your lineup today. Ryan Hanigan is a good, cheap catcher option at just $2,800.
Cleveland – The Indians struggled badly against Dallas Keuchel, but Keuchel is a top-10 lefty in the American League and the Indians have a lefty-heavy lineup. Feldman is around the plate a lot with significantly less deception than Keuchel. After a poor offensive performance like that, the Indians should get things turned around. Michael Brantley is one of the more expensive outfielders out there at $4,600, but he rarely looks bad two games in a row. Lonnie Chisenhall is a nice second-tier option at $3,900 and he was one of the few Indians with some good swings against Keuchel. Most of the Indians are priced rather high, but the return could be worth it.
San Francisco – The Giants have had some good offensive numbers through the first two games and get their first crack at Jeremy Hellickson. This game has the highest total on the board at nine, with Chris Heston on the mound for the Giants. Both lineups could be worthwhile stacking options for this one, but the Giants especially. The move to the National League may help Hellickson, but he needs to prove it before anybody buys in. There’s a reason why Hellickson is one of the cheapest starting pitchers for Wednesday’s slate.
Here are the top three value hitters for April 8:
Adam Lind ($4,000) – Eddie Butler is the cheapest starting pitcher today and with good reason. Lind is a step below the most expensive first basemen and has a tremendous platoon split in this one. The Brewers have dropped the first two against the Rockies and have failed to get some clutch hits early on, but Lind is a solid bat in the middle of the lineup and he should get plenty of chances against Butler or the Rockies bullpen. Given what other first basemen are going for, spend in other places and take Lind today.
Brett Gardner ($4,400) – Brett Gardner faces off against R.A. Dickey in this one and Dickey can certainly have his share of problems developing a feel for the knuckleball. Gardner can also wreak some havoc on the bases. Russell Martin will not be accustomed to catching Dickey, so that will allow Gardner to run free. Flat knuckleballs also go a long way and Gardner’s improving power over the last couple of seasons is intriguing.
Jake Lamb ($3,700) – Might as well try and strike while this iron is hot. Lamb is off to a very nice start to the season and is one of the cheaper third base options with power upside. Chase Field is a good hitter’s park and Lamb is hitting below some pretty good bats in Paul Goldschmidt and Mark Trumbo. He’ll be a trendy pick, but it will take a while for his salary to catch up.
Here are the top three value pitchers for April 8:
Jose Quintana ($7,700) – I love this one. Quintana has taken the tutelage of Don Cooper to heart and has developed into an outstanding middle of the rotation starter. The Royals don’t strike out a whole lot, so that’s the one concern with Quintana, but his strikeout rate has improved and he’s a very efficient pitcher. He should give DFS players some length in this game against a left-handed heavy Royals lineup. With quite a few favorable hitter matchups at high price tags, Quintana at $7,700 is great value.
Rick Porcello ($6,900) – Porcello is not going to light up the strikeout counter, but he’s going to pitch deep into the game and has an excellent shot at a win against Aaron Harang and the Phillies. The bigger price tag arms have a good shot at racking up strikeouts, but saving money on pitching to get some big bats in the lineup is not a bad strategy for today’s set of games.
Jacob deGrom ($8,500) – Pony up and pay it. The Nationals offense looked lost against Bartolo Colon and they’re missing table setters Denard Span and Anthony Rendon. They looked like it, too. The Mets hurler and reigning Rookie of the Year is priced nicely, as the fifth-most expensive starter for Wednesday. The Mets bullpen is certainly a concern from a win standpoint, but deGrom should run up a few strikeouts and work deep into the game, assuming Terry Collins lets him.