A strange Wednesday of baseball is on the schedule with a bunch of getaway day afternoon contests. Normally we see this type of format on Thursday, but there are seven early games and eight late games today. As a result, we’ll separate today’s DFS piece to give you options for the day games and the ones under the lights. The MLB season turned a month old yesterday, which means that we’re starting to get to some points of significance with individual hitter stats. League leaders are up around 115 plate appearances, so most stats have not reached that point, but batted ball types and various other metrics are now worth taking seriously.
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 4:
Seattle (early) – The Mariners are due a little bit of positive regression against southpaws. They rank 20th in wOBA, although their 98 wRC+ is just shy of league average. The big thing is that they have a team BABIP of .240 against lefties on the season. Control and command are going to be question marks for Sean Manaea at the outset of his MLB journey. He walked four and gave up four runs on four hits against the Astros in his MLB debut. It’s always a bit scary stacking teams in Oakland, but Seattle should get some good pitches to hit and the ball will carry better during the day.
Baltimore (late) – Stacking against CC Sabathia is almost mandatory for at least one of your GPP contests. The left-hander’s command is just completely gone. He’s only allowed three runs in each of his four starts, but he has a 15/11 K/BB ratio and no team has been able to deliver that big knockout punch. He’s given up 25 hits in 21.1 innings of work. This isn’t a one-year anomaly. The hefty lefty has been bad for three straight seasons now. After what we’ve seen from his home run rate over the last four seasons, his 2016 suppression of home runs is not sustainable.
Tampa Bay (late) – Once again, the Rays have a top-10 offense in wOBA against lefties. They get another crack at one on Thursday night as Alex Wood takes the mound. Wood has certain spots where he puts it together, but there’s not a whole lot to like about his profile going into a start against an American League team on the road. His home run suppression is a nice asset, but his high walk rate and low strikeout rate are not. Before breaking out a little against a terrible Padres lineup, Wood had a 12/11 K/BB ratio in his first 21 innings of the season.
Here are the top value hitters for May 4:
David Freese (early) ($2,800) – David Freese is a really underappreciated player. He’s been excellent so far this season for the Pirates, but it’s his knack for hitting southpaws that makes him a good value play here today. Freese owns a .297/.368/.466 slash in his career against lefties, which all adds up to a .363 wOBA and a 133 wRC+. Freese hasn’t gotten the power stroke going yet this season, but he does have a .280 average with a .368 OBP.
Stephen Piscotty (late) ($4,200) – Stephen Piscotty has feasted on left-handed pitching since he was called up last season. The Cardinals outfielder comes at a little bit of a hefty price here, but that’s what happens when you own a .359/.433/.590 slash in 90 PA against lefties. It’s a small sample, yes, but Piscotty had good splits against lefties in the minors as well and has proven to be an above average Major League hitter. He hasn’t seen many lefties this season, but he does have two doubles, a triple, and a dong in 24 PA.
Derek Dietrich (late) ($3,200) – In the absence of Dee Gordon, Derek Dietrich is going to see platoon opportunities against right-handed pitching. The Diamondbacks are sending Rubby de la Rosa to the hill tonight. In about a full season of plate appearances against righties, Dietrich has hit 21 home runs and has a .456 SLG with the platoon split. In his career, de la Rosa has allowed a.289/.365/.501 slash to left-handed batters, so this is a great value on a great situation.
Here are the top value pitchers for May 4:
Hector Santiago (early) ($7,600) – I hate myself for this because I’ve been on the Fade Hector Santiago train for a while now. But, he has the most strikeout upside of the cheaper pitchers on the list because he’s facing the Brewers. Santiago worked in the offseason to refine his changeup and it has become his best secondary offering. It’s also the pitch that generates the most swings and misses. Against an aggressive Brewers lineup with a lot of swing and miss, this could be a good weapon to utilize.
Steven Matz (early) ($9,200) – Sadly, it’s a day to pay for pitching. There’s not a lot of great value out there. Steven Matz against a putrid Braves lineup is pretty decent value. Atlanta has, by far, the worst offense in baseball with a .265 wOBA and a 59 wRC+. They’re also climbing up the strikeout leaderboards after being a contact-based offense for the most part last season. Matz should be in good shape here on a getaway day.
Drew Smyly (late) ($10,900) – My good buddy Josh Spaunhorst wrote a bit about Drew Smyly in his personal blog a couple days ago and one thing really stood out to me. Smyly is getting swings and misses over 30 percent of the time from three different pitches. That’s insane. Frankly, it’s probably a little bit unsustainable, but we have the unfamiliar lefty angle with the Dodgers in town and Smyly can attack hitters in so many different ways. Health is always the question for him. In a one-start sample, however, that’s not such a big worry.