It’s a small slate of games for us to choose from on Thursday, with just eight MLB contests on the schedule. Surprisingly, none of the games are during the day, so that means nighttime contest players will have the full complement to pick from on May 12. Even though a lot of matchups end up with similar lineups on days like this, it’s nice to be able to narrow down your focus a little bit in order to put together the winning lineup.
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 12:
Baltimore – Oh, look, it’s our friend Mike Pelfrey again. He’s got another unfavorable matchup with a powerful Baltimore lineup that absolutely teed off on Minnesota pitching this week. Over 30.1 innings of work, Pelfrey has walked as many as he has struck out and has allowed 26 runs on 44 hits. Only 21 of those runs are earned, so his 6.23 ERA could be even worse. The Tigers inexplicably gave him a two-year deal, so unless they’re going to swallow that, Pelfrey is here to stay and that’s fun for DFS players.
St. Louis – The pickings are extremely slim from a stacking standpoint today. Jered Weaver should be a serviceable starting pitcher at home, but the Cardinals definitely have an excellent lineup, ranking among the league’s best in wOBA at .351. Only the Boston Red Sox have had a better offense in that regard. We already know that Weaver doesn’t miss bats, but the stuff has gotten so bad that he isn’t even inducing weak contact anymore. Hyper-aggressive teams are still an okay matchup for Weaver, but the Cardinals are not.
New York (AL) – I actually like Ian Kennedy and have lobbied for support for him on a few occasions this season. A start at Yankee Stadium doesn’t really inspire a lot of confidence for me, though. This was a house of horrors for him when he was with the Yankees, which isn’t a big enough sample size to be significant, but it could present some mental hurdles. The big thing with Kennedy is the presence of regression characteristics. He has a 2.13 ERA with a 4.46 xFIP, which is a sign that some of his fly balls should start to leave the yard soon. He also has an 88.2 percent strand rate, so that’s going to regress as well.
Here are the top value hitters for May 12:
Carlos Beltran ($3,400) – The ageless wonder was a value pick in yesterday’s write-up and he responded with 19 points in DraftKings formats, including a couple of knocks and a solo dinger. With that home run, Beltran now owns a .538 SLG against right-handers on the season. He has six home runs in just 82 plate appearances with that platoon split and five in 48 PA at Yankee Stadium with that short porch. He’s absolutely worth a look again here tonight.
Corey Seager ($3,700) – Slowly but surely, Corey Seager is coming out of the slump that he started the season in. One of the top prospects in baseball until stepping up to the big leagues last season, Seager owns a .313/.405/.531 slash over his last 10 games and he homered last night to keep his hot streak going. He’s going to put balls in play against Bartolo Colon today and that should be good enough to validate this relatively low price.
Chris Carter ($4,100) – With a guy like Chris Carter, you’re looking for one thing and one thing only. Dingers. Carter can certainly give you that, with 119 of them in his career. Obviously, you want to pick and choose your spots with a guy that can 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on any given night. Batting against James Shields is like hitting in MVP Baseball 2005. Guess the right pitch and you hit it 500 feet. That’s why Carter has value tonight.
Here are the top value pitchers for May 12:
Nathan Eovaldi ($7,700) – Nate Eovaldi seems to have found something for the Yankees this season. He’s posting excellent K/BB rates, with 37 strikeouts in 37.2 innings of work. We’re looking for whatever strikeout upside we can find in these value picks. Hard contact is still an issue, but his HR/FB% over 19 percent should see some positive regression soon and that’s why his ERA-xFIP discrepancy is worth buying into, especially for this outing tonight.
Zack Greinke ($8,400) – Is there some perception bias playing with this price tonight on Zack Greinke? He hasn’t been as dominant as he was with the Dodgers, but the potential and upside are there every single start for Greinke. A .360 BABIP against and a 67.9 percent strand rate should both regress in a positive fashion for the Diamondbacks right-hander very soon. The Giants are perceived to have a great lineup, but they have a .285 wOBA over the last week and runs are not coming easy for them at all.
Vincent Velasquez ($10,900) – While I think that the hype train got to be a little bit too much for Vincent Velasquez to live up to, there’s no denying that the Phillies right-hander draws a very favorable matchup against the punch-less Atlanta Braves. The Braves have a team wRC+ of 58, which means that they, as a group, are 42 percent below league average. Their team wOBA is 15 points worse than anybody else in the league. There’s a lot of potential for Velasquez to be dominant here tonight.