With a bunch of getaway day games on Wednesday, there is only one afternoon game in Major League Baseball today. There’s also another 6:10 p.m. ET start between the Tigers and Indians. All day contest players can utilize those two games, but we’ll narrow our focus to the nine games that will be played under the lights tonight. There are some series wrapping up and some four-game series getting underway, so the matchups are a bit of a mix today. With only one elite starter and one pretty good starter on the bump, hitters are going to be a little bit pricier, so keep that in mind as you fill out your lineups.
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 5:
Boston – The rotation spot vacated by John Danks goes to Erik Johnson for the Chicago White Sox and that’s probably a marginal upgrade at best. Johnson has accumulated 0.0 fWAR in his 16 career MLB starts with a 4.17 ERA, 5.32 FIP, and a 5.00 xFIP. The 26-year-old has a hard-contact rate of almost 35 percent in his limited MLB sample size and there’s very little depth to his arsenal. Without premium velocity or a good breaking ball, Boston hitters should have plenty of comfortable swings and should have some good opportunities to pick up points.
Cincinnati – It’s not going well for Chase Anderson right now. We’ll give him a pass for his 5 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 HR, 0 BB, 4 K outing against the Minnesota Twins because that extra hitter means a lot in interleague. But, he’s given up 12 runs on 17 hits and has allowed four home runs over his last two starts, spanning just 8.1 innings. He’s also lost his control, with eight walks and six strikeouts. Even a lineup as lacking as Cincinnati’s has a good shot here tonight against numbers like that. Those last two starts came against Philadelphia and Miami.
Chicago Cubs – I like Joe Ross, but his arsenal is rather limited. Like his brother Tyson, Joe relies heavily on a fastball/slider combination. Regression is coming for Ross as well, who hasn’t been able to replicate last season’s strikeout rate, but has a 0.79 ERA in 22.2 innings. He owns a .231 BABIP with a 45.3 percent ground ball rate and a 91.3 percent strand rate. His xFIP is 4.18 and his SIERA is 4.49. These are usually telltale signs of impending regression. With a first-pitch strike percentage of just 51.7 percent, Ross could leave himself a very thin margin for error against a team that is just murdering opponents right now.
Here are the top value hitters for May 5:
Edwin Encarnacion ($3,500) – The struggle has been real for Edwin Encarnacion, who is only slashing .245/.306/.400 on the season. A strikeout rate increase has led to a drop in numbers across the board this season for the big man and he’s a big reason why the Blue Jays offense has been struggling so far. He’s too good of a hitter for this to continue. His contact quality is still there, with a high line drive rate and a lot of hard contact. He just needs to make more of it. I’d expect some good production in the near future.
Evan Gattis ($3,500) – Evan Gattis had offseason surgery that gave him a little bit of a late start on the season and he just hasn’t been able to get it going just yet. Righties have basically toyed with him this season, but he draws southpaw Wade Miley on Thursday night and that could be what he needs to get going. Over a modest sample of 22 plate appearances, Gattis is batting .333/.364/.524. In his career, Gattis has a .483 SLG with the platoon split, so he’s worth a roll of the dice tonight.
Yasmany Tomas ($3,600) – Arizona has had no choice but to be patient with Yasmany Tomas, but it seems to be paying off at this stage of the game. Tomas is on the verge of an offensive breakout, posting a .286/.343/.510 slash in his first 108 plate appearances of the season. With the platoon split, he owns a .400/.471/.767 slash in 34 plate appearances to really prop up those numbers. But, this is a two-year trend, as Tomas had a .797 OPS against LHP last season and a .673 OPS against RHP.
Here are the top value pitchers for May 5:
Adam Conley ($6,600) – This could go one of two ways. Conley could continue to be dominant or the Diamondbacks, with a top-five wOBA against left-handed pitching, could deal some of the regression that Conley has coming. Conley has two excellent starts, two mediocre starts, and one terrible start. This is only his second start of the season at Marlins Park, though, and that’s a good pitching environment, even with the fences moved in a bit. Conley has 28 K in 27 IP and that’s what we want from value pitchers. Strikeouts and innings are very important. After lasting just one inning in his first start, Conley has averaged well over six innings per start since.
Henry Owens ($7,400) – Even with a .307 BABIP against southpaws, the Chicago White Sox are 23rd in wOBA against left-handed pitching this season. Patient lineups are going to be an issue for Owens, who has good stuff, but is still learning how to use it at the big league level. The White Sox are anything but patient. This is a little bit higher of a price than I was looking to pay, but the unfamiliar lefty angle adds a little bit of value for Owens.
Jacob deGrom ($11,400) – I’d go ahead and pay this price tonight. The worst offense in baseball against right-handed pitching is, you guessed it, the San Diego Padres. The Padres have struck out in 26 percent of their plate appearances against righties and currently have a .270 wOBA. Only the Braves are worse by wRC+ and SLG. San Diego is just not a good offensive team in any way, shape, or form and deGrom is an elite starter with great swing-and-miss stuff. With a lot of cheap pitching options, it’s not hard to add him to your lineup.