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 7:
Oakland – There’s a ton of value in the Oakland A’s today and some stacks with them may be among my favorite plays. Stephen Vogt with C/1B eligibility at a low $3,500 price tag is probably the top value option at both positions against Colby Lewis. Ben Zobrist is highly underrated at just $3,900. Sam Fuld and Craig Gentry could make things happen at the top of the order and each is available for just $3,300 and $3,500, respectively. Marcus Semien is a cheap 2B/3B at $3,600 and Ike Davis is a great 1B option for $3,600. Lefties hit .316/.370/.483 off of Lewis in 425 plate appearances last season and righties slugged .495 in 337 PA.
Arizona – Injuries have caused the Giants to shuffle their rotation and that means that Ryan Vogelsong will be on the mound. Vogelsong was expecting to pitch much later in the week, so this has altered his preparation. The Diamondbacks have some good value players to use in this instance. Paul Goldschmidt is clearly a lock, though one of the most expensive DFS players. AJ Pollock is priced a bit high at $4,100, but he bats at the top of the lineup and has some speed. Depending on the lineup that gets released later, Ender Inciarte has good value at just $3,400. Tuffy Gosewich could be a great value at catcher for just $2,500. Chris Owings and Nick Ahmed are cheap middle infield options so you can roll with the top-heavy pitching market for the seven games on Tuesday.
Milwaukee – This one backfired yesterday as Kyle Kendrick threw a gem and it was Kyle Lohse that was tagged. The box score doesn’t tell the entire story in that Rockies/Brewers game. Milwaukee hit several long fly balls off of Kendrick that just didn’t leave the yard and they scattered seven hits in seven innings. Jordan Lyles allows a lot of contact and has been trending in the wrong direction with both his strikeout and walk rates. After getting embarrassed in the Home Opener, the Brewers should be plenty focused for this one. With Ryan Braun listed as day-to-day, Gerardo Parra may be a good, cheap option to use at $3,500. There’s another positive platoon split for Adam Lind at $4,100. Jonathan Lucroy, at $4,400, is one of the top catcher options on the board today.
Here are the top three value hitters for April 7:
Stephen Vogt – I’ll mention him again here because he’s an excellent value at this low price. Vogt took a long time to get to the Majors and get to this level, but the 30-year-old is a great value play at catcher in order to get some big hitters in at the other positions. Vogt puts the bat on the ball and has a nice platoon split against righties. Plus, as I mentioned on The Bettor’s Box on Monday and mentioned above, Colby Lewis is terrible.
Matt Adams – The Cardinals first baseman should have a pretty good shot at racking up some numbers against Jake Arrieta on Tuesday. Arrieta is the most expensive pitcher on the board based on what he did with the Cubs at the end of last season, but there should be some concerns about Arrieta in this one. The cutter is a feel pitch and it was Arrieta’s bread and butter last season. If he can bury the cutter in on lefties, he’ll be hard to hit, but don’t expect razor-sharp command right away. Adams had a .318/.349/.505 slash against righties last season. Flat cutters are good pull pitches and lefties love the ball on the inner half.
Mark Trumbo – The Diamondbacks slugger draws a very favorable matchup against Ryan Vogelsong here. Vogelsong struggled a bit in the Spring and the fact that he has to pitch earlier than expected could present some problems. Vogelsong is 1-2 with a 7.65 ERA and a 15/13 K/BB over his last 20 innings at Chase Field. Yes, it’s a small sample size, but Vogelsong works up in the zone and the ball carries well at Chase. Vogelsong had a 5.10 ERA last season away from AT&T Park.
Here are the top three value pitchers for April 7:
Jesse Hahn – At worst, you should get a win from Jesse Hahn. The A’s are a big favorite against Colby Lewis and the Rangers. Even though some money has come in on the Rangers this morning, it’s probably because Hahn is a bit of an unknown commodity. He was the centerpiece of the Derek Norris trade with the San Diego Padres. This is a good park for Hahn, as it is for most starters, and at just $6,000, the value is clearly there.
Alex Wood – Wood is one of the three priciest starters on the board, along with Arrieta and Zack Greinke. Wood probably has the highest strikeout upside of the starters going today, with the exception of Greinke. Lance Lynn has a decent matchup and only one lefty, Anthony Rizzo, that can really hurt him. At $8,600, you’ll pay a stiff price for Wood, but the Marlins did nothing offensively against Julio Teheran and Wood is a pitcher to watch closely as one of the few competent Braves starters.
James Paxton – The Seattle Mariners are underpriced in the betting market for this game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Paxton goes up against CJ Wilson, who has had plenty of problems lately. The concerns with Paxton are many. He may not work deep into the game, he may issue walks, and he may not hang around long enough for a win. But, with just 14 starting pitchers and the $6,600 price tag, he’s worth consideration.