We’ll turn our focus exclusively to the 12 night games on tap today in Major League Baseball. There are a few getaway Wednesday day games and the first game of a day/night twin bill in Kansas City, but there’s plenty to focus on for tonight. There’s a pretty interesting split in pitcher salaries today that should give us plenty of value, both among hitters and pitchers, so we’re looking forward to a big day on the DFS diamond.
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 18:
Houston – The Astros should be a great stacking option on Wednesday night against Mat Latos. Houston still strikes out quite a bit, but Latos has one of the lowest K% among qualified starters, so this is supposed to be the type of matchup that the Astros can have success with. Latos continues to struggle with a 3.40 ERA, a 4.67 FIP, and a 5.43 xFIP. Regression has hit over each of his last three starts, but there’s still more to come. Over his last three starts, Latos has allowed 13 runs on 25 hits in 15.1 innings with eight walks and just six strikeouts.
Chicago Cubs – What goes down must come up, right? The Chicago Cubs were nearly no-hit by Chase Anderson yesterday and face Jimmy Nelson tonight. Nelson has enjoyed a lot of batted ball luck this season with a 3.51 ERA and a 4.77 FIP. A .234 BABIP is the culprit for the big ERA-FIP discrepancy. He’s only given up 33 in-play hits over 51.1 innings of work. With a ground ball distribution of almost 50 percent, the expectation should be for regression in that area, which should drive his ERA up closer to his peripherals.
Seattle – I’ve been a believer in Chris Tillman so far this season and I think the arsenal changes and increased fastball velocity have really helped in a big way. Unfortunately, there are some problems with this start. Tillman will take on a left-handed-heavy Mariners lineup and lefties own a .256/.337/.378 slash this season. That’s not earth-shattering, but a lot better than the .177/.270/.241 that righties have. Lefties have not hit a HR yet off Tillman. His career HR/FB% against LHB is 8.3 percent. I have to expect things to tail off a bit here for Tillman, as his 4.00 xFIP suggests.
Here are the top value hitters for May 18:
Michael Saunders ($3,400) – Michael Saunders is off to a very strong start this season and his ability to use his platoon advantage to benefit the Blue Jays is worth a stream today. Saunders is batting .326/.402/.500 against righties on the season in a sample size of 97 PA. Injuries have stunted his opportunities in the past, but he was a .359 wOBA, 136 wRC+ guy against RHP in 2014, his last season with a decent amount of playing time.
Yan Gomes ($3,100) – You can take your pick of right-handed hitters for the Indians today. Brandon Finnegan has given up eight home runs in 145 PA against right-handed batters on the season. We’ll opt for Yan Gomes, one of the cheapest of the bunch, and an excellent streaming option at catcher. Mired in a season-long slump, Gomes has hits in his last four games, including three home runs and eight RBI. Guys that don’t walk are often streaky hitters and Gomes is in a good streak right now.
Joc Pederson ($3,800) – We had success with Joc Pederson last night, so why not try him again? Nick Tropeano is a fly ball pitcher with some control issues. That’s the type of guy that Pederson can have a lot of success against. On the season, Pederson is a .275/.394/.582 hitter with the platoon advantage. He has a .413 wOBA and a 161 wRC+. Those are numbers you can believe in.
Here are the top value pitchers for May 18:
Nick Tropeano ($5,700) – Advanced metrics hate Nick Tropeano’s home run rate, but it’s hard to ignore his strikeout rate at a price like this. Hopefully Angel Stadium is ready to suppress some dingers, but Tropeano doesn’t have to do a lot to validate this price tag because you can pair him with an elite starter. He has 90 strikeouts in 96 career MLB innings, but he has 77 in his last 74.1 innings of work. We simply want a strikeout per inning and a decent start at this price and Tropeano’s capable of that.
Nathan Eovaldi ($6,800) – Nate Eovaldi seems to have found something this season. His advanced metrics tell a better tale than his traditional stats, but Eovaldi has really increased his strikeout rate and that’s what excites me from a DFS standpoint. His HR/FB% is going to regress, currently sitting 10.2 percent above his career average. When that happens and he inches closer to his 3.45 xFIP, we’ll be looking at a very good starting pitcher, capable of somewhere around a strikeout per inning with an excellent ground ball rate.
Taijuan Walker ($7,100) – We may be walking into a trap here, but find me a better pitcher at this price at any point this season. I personally believe that Taijuan Walker has been helped by Chris Iannetta more than any other pitcher on the staff and he’s throwing with a ton of confidence right now. He’s racked up over a strikeout per inning and owns a 2.63/3.11/3.03 pitcher slash on the season. That’s a really strong set of peripherals and well worth a gamble at this price.