Two-thirds of today’s MLB action will be played during the afternoon, so daily fantasy players will have to be quick with their decisions on Saturday. There are 10 early games and five late games for those looking to be the next big winner or to keep building the bankroll one win at a time with those 50/50 and H2H matchups. As we often do with schedules like this, we’ll pick players and teams from both segments of the day to give you the best chance at winning.
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.
DraftKings or FanDuel are the industry leaders in ease of use and safe, free transactions. Use these tips and the tips from our daily radio show to improve your abilities and fill out the winning lineup. Our MLB daily fantasy tips and suggestions article is different in that we’re not looking for the top scorers, but for the best values so that you can get the edge that you need in order to save money for the game’s best players.
The salaries listed are from DraftKings:
Here are the top teams to stack for May 21:
Colorado (early) – The Rockies have been a pretty decent offensive squad away from the hitter-friendly conditions of Coors Field and could be an excellent stacking option today against Jon Niese. The magic pitching pixie dust of Ray Searage hasn’t rubbed off on Niese yet, who could have a much higher ERA without his 76.8 percent strand rate. The southpaw has a 5.28/5.98/4.42 pitcher slash and he has allowed 11 home runs in 46 innings. Home runs add up quickly, so the Rockies, particularly their platoon guys like Ryan Raburn and Mark Reynolds, as well as a good splits guy like Nolan Arenado, are must-roster players.
Seattle (early) – John Lamb isn’t a bad matchup for Seattle, but the Reds bullpen is a good matchup for everybody. Even if the Mariners struggle against the starter, that bullpen is incredibly bad. Quietly, Seatte has a top-10 offense by wOBA and a top-six offense by wRC+. Even though they are down a hitter without the DH, they’re still a very dangerous stacking option in a small park that rewards power. The Mariners have hit 57 dingers this season.
Houston (late) – Cesar Ramos gets another start as he looks to improve upon a 4.32/5.55/4.73 pitcher slash. The Rangers left-hander has struggled with command and control this season, posting a 10.4 percent BB% with three home runs and 22 hits allowed over 16.2 innings of work. He’s below replacement-level on the season and doesn’t have a whole lot of strikeout stuff to get through this Houston lineup.
Here are the top value hitters for May 21:
Nolan Arenado (early) ($4,400) – You won’t find a better price for a third baseman than Nolan Arenado today. The Rockies third baseman has already hit five home runs off of left-handed pitching this year in just 46 plate appearances. Coors Field helps, but Arenado has a .294/.361/.535 slash in his career against left-handed pitching. With Niese’s command problems so far this season, Arenado is definitely a guy that you want to look to in any format.
Corey Dickerson (early) ($3,500) – The Rays are one of the league’s top offensive teams and have done so with the long ball. Corey Dickerson has struggled from a BABIP standpoint, but that creates some value on him because he’s already hit eight home runs this season. He has a .470 SLG, which is quite good and all eight dingers have come in 101 PA against right-handed pitching.
Joc Pederson (late) ($4,100) – Joc Pederson has a really favorable matchup on Saturday against Cesar Vargas. Vargas likes to throw a lot of cutters and curveballs that drop right into left-handed hitters’ wheelhouses. That down and in pitch is something that Pederson has success with and he brings a .366 OBP and a .536 SLG to the table. He’s hit seven home runs against RHP on the season and now has a .965 OPS against them on the season.
Here are the top value pitchers for May 21:
Sean Manaea (early) ($7,200) – If Sean Manaea’s changeup can have the same bite that it had last start, he’s a guy that could put together a really strong outing against the Yankees. New York hasn’t seen him, so the unfamiliar lefty angle is at play here. Ideally, Manaea can find a way to give us a few strikeouts and some innings, but we’ll have to see how things play out. It’s not a good day for value pitchers at all.
Masahiro Tanaka (early) ($10,300) – The cheapest of the top-tier starters in the afternoon, Tanaka should be able to have a lot of success at O.co Coliseum. It’s a park that suppresses home runs and that’s why Tanaka should be in line for a really strong outing. He puts up solid K/BB numbers and has 46 K in 51.1 innings of work. His ground ball split has gone up this year as well, so he should be able to force Oakland to put together innings with multiple hits. That’s not easy to do.
Kevin Gausman (late) ($7,500) – It’s a really bad day for finding value pitchers, so it’s probably best to just go cheap on hitters and take the big horses. But, if you’re running out of dollars, Kevin Gausman is a decent option. Angel Stadium is pretty good for pitchers and the right-hander probably has the best strikeout potential of the guys in his price range for the night games. He has 264 K in 303.1 career MLB innings.