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.
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 6:
Milwaukee – The Brewers face Kyle Kendrick, the de facto ace of the Colorado Rockies, staff. It’s important to note that this game has the highest total on the betting board, so oddsmakers are expecting the most offense from this game. The highest value play for the Brewers is Adam Lind. Kendrick allowed a .360 wOBA to left-handed hitters last season, so Lind is a strong value at $4,100. Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun, and Scooter Gennett are good options as well. Gennett, especially, with a low price tag at second base of $3,800 with Kendrick’s big platoon split.
Washington – The Nationals square off against ageless wonder Bartolo Colon, whose 2014 April was ugly. Opposing batters hit .284/.299/.493 off of Colon as he tried to get in sync for the season. Colon had a terrible Spring Training with the Mets. The Nationals are dealing with a lot of injuries right now with both Denard Span and Anthony Rendon on the DL. The caveat about that is that the Nationals now have some undervalued players on the salary list. Wilson Ramos could be a nice catching option at $3,700 and Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper only combine for $8,500. Add Ian Desmond to the mix and four positions are filled for just $16,500.
Detroit – Phil Hughes is a massive regression candidate this season after having one of the best strikeout-to-walk ratios in MLB history. Most Spring Training stats are not predictive, but K/BB tends to be one of them and Hughes posted a 15/7 K/BB ratio in 15.1 innings of work. A regression in his walk rate and home run rate will mean major problems. Miguel Cabrera is one of the most expensive players, but second-tier hitters like Yoenis Cespedes and J.D. Martinez have some value. Alex Avila is also a good option at catcher.
Here is a look at the top three value hitters for April 6:
Chase Utley ($4100) – Utley and the Phillies take on Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox on Monday. Utley is one of the few Phillies worth taking a look at on a regular basis. The concern is that the Phillies aren’t going to score a lot of runs and Utley will be stranded more often than not. Something to keep in mind with Utley is that he’s going to want out of Philly and he has a very manageable contract to trade. Buchholz allowed a .351 wOBA to lefties last season.
John Jaso ($3900) – The Tampa Bay catcher is batting leadoff against Chris Tillman. Catchers aren’t exactly counted on for production, but Jaso will get an extra at bat that most catchers won’t get because they’ll be hitting in the bottom of the order. The top ones, like Buster Posey, are pretty expensive. Picking up a guy like Jaso looking for some walks and runs scored is not a bad pick-up on the cheap.
Seth Smith ($3800) – The penultimate platoon bat is Seth Smith, who is a well above average hitters against righties and nowhere near as useful against lefties. Smith posted an .815 OPS against righties last season and is projected to hit second for the Mariners with Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager behind him. Safeco Field is viewed as a pitcher’s park, but it was a tick below league average for left-handed home runs last season, so there’s a lot of value in this pick.
Here are the top three value pitchers for April 6:
Corey Kluber ($9800) – The reigning American League Cy Young winner will take the mound against the Houston Astros on Monday. Kluber was stretched out to 108 pitches in his second-to-last Spring Training start and innings pitched are important in DraftKings contests. Kluber is taking on an Astros lineup that will hit some mistakes out of the ballpark, but they won’t produce long innings for the opposing pitcher and they will strike out a ton. Kluber has a big price tag, but don’t be afraid to pay it.
Henderson Alvarez ($6200) – Henderson Alvarez is a good look for Monday, and a lot of lineups project to have Kluber and Alvarez in the two SP spots. Alvarez doesn’t rack up strikeouts at a high rate, which is why people shy away from him, but he’s an efficient starter with the ability to work deep into games. The Atlanta Braves could have the worst lineup in the National League this season, or very close to it, and that gives Alvarez a lot of value in the opener.
Chris Archer ($7600) – This is a bit of a risky pick. More often than not, you want the stud horses at starting pitcher in your lineup and look for value on the hitting side. The Orioles have a solid lineup, even without Chris Davis, who has one game left from last season’s suspension. Archer has some massive upside, but he does work into a lot of deep counts and Kevin Cash’s starting rotation has had its fair share of injuries thus far. The Rays could be careful with Archer.