Fourteen games are available to us in daily fantasy sports today because the Reds and Indians are playing at 6:10 p.m. ET again and apparently that’s too much trouble for the sites to handle for the full-day contests. It’s disappointing because the Indians are facing Alfredo Simon, so that takes away a stacking option, but there are still plenty of options and opportunities out there in the daily fantasy landscape. Expect the Cubs to be a popular stacking option with their nighttime first pitch. Sometimes players can’t use them in all day contests because they play early, but they’re out there for the taking tonight.
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 17:
Minnesota – For the first time in four starts, Mike Pelfrey didn’t allow five runs. He gave up two runs on five hits last time out to the Baltimore Orioles, so it’s a reasonable expectation to assume that he will be bad on Tuesday night. The Twins touched him up for five runs on eight hits in four innings 16 days ago and seem to have gotten the offense on track a little bit. At the very least, you can take power bats like Miguel Sano and Byung-ho Park, with some Oswaldo Arcia and some Brian Dozier mixed in.
Boston – A repost thanks to yesterday’s rainout. The shoddy command of Yordano Ventura is not a good match for a Boston lineup that is torching every pitcher in its path. In the month of May, the Red Sox own a .327/.384/.559 slash as a team with a .403 wOBA. Nobody comes close to matching those numbers. The Red Sox have already scored 103 runs this month. Ventura owns a 4.62 ERA with a 5.43 FIP and a 5.93 xFIP. He’s issued more walks than strikeouts in his 37 innings of work. This is just a bad situation all around for the Royals.
Arizona – I’m looking to fade Michael Pineda and his awful command whenever a reasonable opportunity is presented. It would seem that a start at Chase Field would be a reasonable opportunity. He may benefit from facing one less hitter, but Pineda continues to throw bad pitches. Pineda’s 6.28 ERA is accompanied by a 5.24 FIP and the advanced metrics are blinded by his solid K rate. He’s given up nine home runs in 38.2 innings of work and 49 hits because he throws bad strikes. His hard-contact rate is 30 percent again this season and his Zone% has dropped 10 percent per PITCHf/x data. We could be looking at an injured pitcher and stacking against them is never a bad idea.
Here are the top value hitters for May 17:
Travis Shaw ($3,600) – I could be wrong, but I believe Shaw was a couple hundred dollars more expensive on Monday night. If the price did indeed go down and my mind isn’t playing tricks on me, Shaw is an excellent streaming option. On the season, he owns a .317/.391/.547 slash and a .364/.443/.617 platoon split. Lefties have a .367 OBP against Ventura this season, as he has a 10/18 K/BB ratio. Shaw will get into some hitter’s counts here.
Marcus Semien ($3,200) – Quietly, Marcus Semien is up to 10 HR on the season and three of them have come in just 29 PA against left-handed pitching. Semien was a .329/.372/.507 hitter with the platoon advantage last season. He posted a .377 wOBA and a 144 wRC+. Cole Hamels has been a little bit inconsistent this season and Semien has had a lot of success with southpaws in his young career.
Joc Pederson ($3,800) – If you construct a lineup tonight without any Los Angeles Dodgers against Jered Weaver, you’re probably doing it wrong. The one in the spotlight for us is Joc Pederson, a platoon bat extraordinaire with some tremendous raw power. Pederson swings and misses a lot, but Weaver isn’t the type of guy to overpower Pederson. Pederson has hit 25 home runs in 592 career PA against RHP.
Here are the top value pitchers for May 17:
Juan Nicasio ($7,300) – Anybody at a reasonable price is a consideration against the lowly Atlanta Braves. Nicasio is hovering around a strikeout per inning this year with 37 in 37.1 innings of work and we’re simply looking for strikeouts and decent run prevention upside with these low-priced pitching options. Nicasio is certainly that against a bad Braves bunch.
Zack Greinke ($8,300) – Any time you can get a pitcher of Zack Greinke’s caliber at a price like that, you have to consider that gamble. Greinke has not been the same pitcher this year with Arizona, as his BABIP fortunes have completely turned and his LOB% has regressed in a big way. Still, he’s not a 5.26 ERA guy. His 3.54 xFIP is probably a decent indicator of true talent and some positive regression to the mean is coming. The Yankees aren’t exactly the Bronx Bombers anymore.
Clayton Kershaw ($13,700) – However you can make it happen, make it happen. It doesn’t matter that Clayton Kershaw is the most expensive pitcher on the board. The Angels are 21st in wOBA against left-handed pitching this season and Kershaw is the best pitcher on the planet. Pairing him with Nicasio would give you the opportunity to put together a decent lineup. For example, a Kershaw-Nicasio-Semien-Shaw-Raburn base gives you $3,900 per player to fill out the rest of the positions. That’s a decent start at a very reasonable cost.