A new week in Major League Baseball begins with an eight-pack of games on Monday. All of them are late, so daily fantasy players will have all day to get their affairs in order before breaking down the available rosters for tonight’s action. It’s a tough day for picking pitchers because guys like JA Happ and Rick Porcello are five-figure pitchers. That should give you some kind of idea on what we’re dealing with for May 16.
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 16:
Pittsburgh – Williams Perez is off to a surprisingly competent start to the 2016 season, but don’t expect it to last. The Braves right-hander owns a 3.54 ERA with a 4.70 FIP and a 4.73 xFIP. With one of the worst strikeout rates among starters, Perez has managed to strand 75.5 percent of his runners with the help of a .210 BABIP against. His 4.78/4.87/4.79 pitcher slash from the 2015 season is more along the lines of what we should expect, as his advanced metrics suggest. Regression should be coming soon for the 24-year-old and the Pirates have plenty of talented hitters.
Boston – 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.
Texas – There’s some stuff to work with for Sean Manaea, but the total package just isn’t there yet. As a three-pitch pitcher, hitters are able to take at least one pitch out of the equation in almost every situation and the stuff isn’t polished enough to overcome that yet. Manaea has allowed 21 hits and 16 runs in just 12.2 innings of work and four of those hits have left the ballpark. His fastball is already almost six runs below average per PITCHf/x data. It’s hard to see things getting better against a Texas lineup with some pop.
Here are the top value hitters for May 16:
Ryan Rua ($3,000) – With dual position eligibility at a low price, Ryan Rua should be on your radar today. The right-handed slugger is batting .409/.435/.545 in a small sample of 23 plate appearances against lefties, but he’s a .298/.324/.481 hitter in 108 career PA against lefties and his minor league splits show similar success with the platoon advantage. Righties, in 46 PA, are batting .439/.500/.780 against Manaea. A lot of small sample sizes here, but that’s why Rua is so affordable.
Danny Valencia ($3,400) – Did you take advantage of our Danny Valencia suggestion yesterday? He racked up 46 points in DraftKings formats with three home runs and five RBI. He has another favorable matchup here today against left-hander Derek Holland. After yesterday’s dinger barrage, Valencia is a .389/.450/.944 hitter against LHP this season and a .323/.372/.505 career hitter against southpaws.
Brandon Guyer ($3,200) – Platoon advantages are a big deal when looking for players that can carry some DFS value. Brandon Guyer is one on Monday. Guyer draws JA Happ and will put his .277/.372/.446 slash to the test. Add it up and Guyer has a .362 wOBA and a 135 wRC+ in his career against lefties. Extra-base hit potential means everything with these low-cost players and a .446 SLG will most certainly play.
Here are the top value pitchers for May 16:
Jon Niese ($5,800) – Things clearly haven’t gone well for Jon Niese this season with the Pirates, but the Braves always represent an opportunity to get back on track. Niese is very familiar with this lineup having faced some of these guys with the Mets in the past. Niese’s strikeout rate has bounced back a little bit, returning to its 2013 and 2014 rates. Also, his 23.3 percent HR/FB% is going to come down. Outside of the home runs, he’s not giving up a lot of hard contact, so some better fortunes in that area, which should happen against the punch-less Braves, would be a good investment at this price.
Robbie Ray ($6,800) – Walk rate aside, there’s a lot to like about Robbie Ray at this price. He’s gotten unlucky from a command standpoint at times, but he does have 41 strikeouts in 35.1 innings of work. The Yankees are taking the long trip to Arizona for interleague, so they will be down a hitter throughout this series. Ray has had some command problems, but four of the five HR he has allowed came in one game and some of these hard-hit balls will start to be outs.
Kenta Maeda ($9,700) – Kenta Maeda is in an interesting spot, priced between the five-figure crowd and Adam Conley at $8,200. We all know that the Angels have a subpar offense and they haven’t seen Maeda yet. The right-hander’s strikeout rate has been ticking down a little bit with each start and his advanced metrics are starting to get concerned. But, the Angels are down a hitter in this interleague matchup and rank in the bottom third of the league in wOBA against RHP.