We’re getting ready for another weekend on the diamond with a look at Friday night’s daily fantasy options. It’s a big night for pitching, with Johnny Cueto, Noah Syndergaard, David Price, Vince Velasquez, Yu Darvish, and Kenta Maeda all slated to start tonight and some other guys like Jimmy Nelson, Julio Teheran, and Jordan Zimmermann all priced north of $9,000 at DraftKings. That list doesn’t even include Gio Gonzalez, Chris Tillman, or Danny Salazar, who are all off to spectacular starts. It’s a loaded pitching card tonight, which means there’s hitting value somewhere.
Remember that our column here at BangTheBook is centered exclusively on finding value. You know who the good players are. So does everybody else. It’s those under-the-radar guys that you pair with those high-salary players that allow you to come out on top.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings:
Here are the top teams to stack for June 3:
Pittsburgh – PNC Park is relatively forgiving for pitchers, but Jered Weaver needs a lot of assistance at this stage of his career. Weaver is a 5.40/5.53/5.37 pitcher on the season, with a .321 BABIP against and 12 home runs allowed in his 58.1 innings of work. Weaver is continuing his multi-year trend of terrible road splits, as opposing batters are slashing .333/.394/.537 away from Angel Stadium. He gave up 27 runs in 35 innings in May and appears to be regressing over the course of the season yet again.
Houston – I think Jesse Hahn can be a long-term option for the Athletics, but they’ll have to allow him to take his lumps on the road. Hahn is everything you don’t want against Houston. He’s a low strikeout pitcher with an above average walk rate. So far this season, he’s given up six home runs in his 30.1 innings of work. The Astros strike out a lot, and maybe Hahn’s curve has some success, but he’s going to give up some balls in play and Houston hits a lot of hard contact.
Chicago White Sox – Jordan Zimmermann returns from the disabled list to make this Friday night home start against the Tigers. Zimmermann has a 2.52 ERA on the season, but he has a 3.64 FIP and a 4.37 xFIP. Some regression should be coming for Zimmermann, especially because he’s actually been better in the AL than he was in the NL last season and that’s rarely the case. With a low K rate and a lot of batted ball and sequencing luck, his luck may run out soon.
Here are the top value hitters for June 3:
Nolan Arenado ($3,800) – It’s very rare to get the best offensive third baseman in baseball at this price, but that’s the case against Drew Pomeranz and the Padres. Pomeranz has been great, but Arenado is a career .288/.354/.521 hitter against lefties. There’s a little bit of Coors Field influence in those numbers, obviously, but scooping up a great hitter at a reasonable price is never a bad idea.
Eugenio Suarez ($3,800) – The secret got out about Eugenio Suarez and his prices skyrocketed a little bit here over the last few weeks. Facing a pitcher due for some regression in Gio Gonzalez, we’ll give Suarez a look tonight. The right-handed slugger is a .306/.358/.551 hitter against southpaws on the year and he was a .289/.337/.482 hitter against lefties last season.
Matt Joyce ($3,500) – Matt Joyce has been a very solid hitter against right-handed pitching so far this season, so he’s one of those platoon guys to keep in mind. Joyce is a .327/.456/.691 hitter with the platoon advantage on the young season and he has posted a career .349 wOBA and a 123 wRC+ with that edge. He’s certainly worth a look here against a well below average righty in Jered Weaver.
Here are the top value pitchers for June 3:
Francisco Liriano ($7,900) – It hasn’t been a good start to the season for Ray Searage’s prized pupil, but this should be a decent spot for Francisco Liriano. He’s been able to work out of jams pretty well this season and his ground ball and strikeout rates are everything that you want in a starter. He’s issued some walks, but the Angels don’t walk a whole lot, sitting a little below league average overall and 20th against LHP. Hopefully the unfamiliar lefty angle helps us out a little bit here as well.
Ricky Nolasco ($7,400) – Quietly, Ricky Nolasco has thrown the ball well this season. Sequencing problems have absolutely killed him, as he has a 58.6 percent strand rate, which is the root cause of his 5.28 ERA. His peripherals are good, though, with nearly a strikeout per inning and a 3.77 FIP with a 3.86 xFIP. The Rays excel at hitting lefties, but they are below average against righties. This is a sneaky stream that might work out well.
Danny Salazar ($8,600) – Against the watered-down Kansas City Royals lineup, Danny Salazar should have some value tonight. The Royals keep getting offensive contributions from guys like Drew Butera, Cheslor Cuthbert, and Whit Merrifield, but how sustainable are those developments? Salazar is a Cy Young contender this season with a 2.39/2.83/3.57 pitcher slash and 72 strikeouts in 60.1 innings of work. At this price, well below that top tier of starters, he’s absolutely worth consideration.