Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! It’s always a difficult day for those that dabble in DFS or in MLB handicapping because there are a lot of early games following night games or players are getting days off. Also, with so many day games, it can be tricky to get everything in order in time to put together a quality lineup. That’s where we come in. We’re still hard at work on the final day of the weekend to give you the tools and tricks you need to have success in your DraftKings or Fanduel contests.
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 15:
Baltimore – The command profile for Michael Fulmer hasn’t been great in the upper levels of the minors, nor has it been good over his first three Major League starts. Fulmer is racking up the strikeouts, but he has a .447 BABIP against and three home runs allowed to 72 batters. That’s not just a bad luck issue, though some of it could be attributed to that. That’s an issue of command. His line drive rate is 22 percent and his hard contact rate is 34 percent. These are not good things against a Baltimore lineup capable of doing damage. His fastball is already 4.3 runs below average, with the two-seamer, his highest-usage pitch, taking the brunt of that number per PITCHf/x.
Los Angeles Dodgers – It’s been a very long road trip with a lot of pitches thrown for the St. Louis Cardinals. Through seven starts, Mike Leake isn’t exactly inspiring confidence for this rotation. He’s eaten six innings per start, but he owns a 5.10 ERA with a 4.57 FIP. He’s given up 27 runs on 43 hits, including six home runs. The Cardinals bullpen is in decent shape today, but Leake has had so many location problems that the Dodgers may rack up some numbers against him.
Colorado – Stacking the Rockies is never cheap, but the fact that Jacob deGrom is starting for the Mets could lower some prices. So far this season, deGrom, who had a minor injury and then went through a tumultuous childbirth with his wife, hasn’t looked the same. His strikeout rate is way down and his BABIP has shot up as a result of poor command. He’s been working on mechanical adjustments, but we’ll see if those are able to fix the problem. At Coors Field, every pitcher is susceptible, and the Rockies are a little bit cheaper with the presence of a great starter on the bump.
Here are the top value hitters for May 15:
David Freese ($2,900) – David Freese’s full-season numbers aren’t spectacular, but he hasn’t been able to take enough cuts against left-handed pitching. Freese only has 14 PA against lefties this season, but has two doubles and a dinger. Freese is a .299/.368/.466 hitter with the platoon advantage in his career with a 133 wRC+. Clint Hurdle has been dabbling with Freese at the top of the lineup periodically, so hopefully he draws a favorable spot today.
Marcus Semien ($3,700) – Marcus Semien already has nine home runs on the season and three of them have come in his 25 plate appearances against left-handed pitching. The A’s draw southpaw Matt Moore here in this one. Semien is now a .302/.342/.495 career hitter against lefties, which is good enough for a 132 wRC+. He’s a good platoon bat with some power and that’s always what we look for in the value aisle.
Danny Valencia ($3,200) – Teammate Danny Valencia is an excellent hitter against left-handed pitching. In 17 PA this season, Valencia has a .333/.412/.600 slash, which is an extension of his career slash of .322/.370/.495. He’s got excellent K/BB rates against lefties and obviously has good power as well. Away from cavernous O.co Coliseum, the hope is that he can get on top of a mistake and give us some good bang for our buck.
Here are the top value pitchers for May 15:
Cesar Vargas ($5,800) – I got eyes on Cesar Vargas a couple starts ago and I liked some of what I saw. He’s really adept at working away to righties and racked up a few strikeouts with his assortment of cutters and curveballs off the outside edge. Against an aggressive, right-handed-heavy Brewers lineup, it wouldn’t take much for Vargas to validate this price.
Tyler Duffey ($6,100) – It’s going to be a miserable day in Cleveland with damp conditions and temperatures in the upper 40s. In other words, it will be a very bad day to hit. Terry Francona generally has some interesting lineups on Sunday, so Duffey may not be facing the ‘A’ lineup for the Tribe. He’s got some pitching chops anyway, with 70 strikeouts in his 75.1 innings of work at the big league level.
Kevin Gausman ($8,100) – The Tigers are striking out a lot lately and Kevin Gausman is hoping that trend continues. The Orioles right-hander has 23 K in his 25 IP so far this season and has shown really good command and control thus far. With the slumping Tigers looking ahead to getting back home to face the lowly Twins on Monday, some early outs are definitely a possibility in this one.