How many times have you found yourself making lineup changes on a day with a full slate? I’ve done it numerous times and in DFS MLB, it can be even more frustrating trying to squeeze the right players into your lineup to stay under the salary cap. Today I’m focusing on good value players. Meaning, what players can you choose that’ll produce at a high level and cost you less compared to the other players at that position. We do the same thing in our season-long fantasy sports leagues, and you can even do it when playing DFS on DraftKings. The obvious choice is to start picking your Pitcher first, mostly because that is the first option you see. But how about starting with a few hitting positions and start picking good value players first, and then move on to your pricey Pitchers. You may end up with more money left over, but that is a better problem to have instead of trying to pick your third OF with $500 left. I can’t pick Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw, and Miguel Cabrera everyday, so here are some good value players, along with a few that you can’t help but play. If you’re in a big ‘guarantee’ entry, and only have hopes for the first place prize money, you’ll need to roll the dice on some of these good value players.
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Chris Sale, P: $10,500 – Chris Sale is pitching at Detroit, and I know you just shouldn’t start any pitcher against them at this point, but if there is one pitcher you are going to go with it is definitely Sale. In their career against Sale, Miguel Cabrera is 6-30, Yoenis Cespedes is 3-10, Ian Kinsler is 6-22 with 2 home runs, and Victor Martinez is an eye-popping 15-29 with 3 home runs. Considering the price and the options at the Pitcher position, I’d still look elsewhere.
Jordan Zimmermann, P: $8,700 – We’ve all been loading up on players against the Phillies this past week and although we made educated picks, those players haven’t fared too well in stacks. There’s a good sample size to look at Zimmermann’s BvP against Phillies’ hitters. Chase Utley is a career 6-22, Ryan Howard is 3-20, Carlos Ruiz is 4-22. Jeff Francoeur, Odubel Herrera, Cody Asche, and Grady Sizemore haven’t faced Zimmermann enough times to consider BvP.
T.J. House, P: $5,900 – TJ was not in the house last week when he was obliterated by the Tigers. For season-long fantasy baseball he was getting to be a hot add in free agency before the season started, so most of us rolled with him last week. Today he pitches against the Twins in Minnesota. At this price he could be a solid, sneaky DFS pick.
Freddie Freeman, 1B: $4,200 – Freddie Freeman owns R.A. Dickey. He is a career 10-21 with 2 home runs. I like the game being played in Toronto, and just have one of those hunches this could be a high scoring game.
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B: $4,700 – Like Freeman, I like the matchup for Edwin Encarnacion today against lefty Alex Wood. Over the past 3 seasons vs. LHP, Encarncaion is batting .281 with 24 home runs and a .952 OPS. Here’s a little fun/odd stat to think of: Encarnacion is 13-31 vs. Atlanta pitchers with a 1.068 OPS in that same time period.
Mike Napoli, 1B: $4,100 – Against Chris Tillman, Mike Napoli is a career 6-22. With so many 1B options, Napoli might not be the best choice, but he’s batting in the middle of the Red Sox lineup, at Fenway Park.
Adam LaRoche, 1B: $3,700 – In 36 career at-bats vs. Anibal Sanchez, LaRoach has got a base hit 25% of the time. Only one of those hits was an extra-base hit and 10 of the outs have been strikeouts. A good value still because DraftKings doesn’t penalize your hitter for striking out. Don’t confuse Adam LaRoche with Andy LaRoche, Papa Roach, or that creepy roach driving a car in the Orkin commercial.
Kolten Wong, 2B: $3,700 – In a short career, Kolton Wong is 4-8 with 4 Walks against Homer Bailey. I’m still looking for Wong to move up in the Cardinal’s lineup, but at this price at a somewhat tough DFS position, I’ll take him.
Jason Kipnis, 2B: $4,300 – Anyone still riding high on Jason Kipnis? I’m not. He is still too pricey at DraftKings to consider and even though I like the chances of this game to be high scoring, I’ll pass on him.
Josh Donaldson, 3B: $4,200 – Over the past 3 seasons, Josh Donaldson is batting .291 with 29 home runs in 412 at-bats vs. LHP’s. His 2013 season vs. LHP’s was incredible, followed by a decent 2014. He only has 2 career at-bats against Wood, but like Encarnacion, I like the matchup.
Zack Cozart, SS: $3,100 – I wouldn’t usually look too closely at a SS that bats at the bottom of the order, but Cozart and the Reds face Carlos Martinez. Cozart is 2 for 8 against him and I just don’t trust Martinez as a SP. Since the focus of today’s players are value picks, Cozart could be one to consider if you’re trying to squeeze other players in at high prices.
Alejandro De Aza, OF: $4,300 – Another low priced OF that I like today vs. Clay Buchholtz. De Aza is 4 for 13 against Buchholtz, but the main attraction here is he’s the Orioles’ leadoff hitter. In DraftKings, there is a strong argument to pick all hitters that bat 1 through 3 in the lineup.
Jacob deGrom, P: $8,400 – Surprisingly deGrom is a little pricey for my taste. I like the matchup at home against the Marlins. In two starts this season, he has a 2:1 K/BB ratio, but hasn’t been that impressive considering his great spring.
Lucas Duda, 1B: $4,300 – Luca Duda is going to have a very good season. He is a player that has acquired skill. First thing you think of when seeing Duda is homers and strikeouts. But remember the strikeouts won’t hurt you in DraftKings and the potential for Duda to have a good game is there.
Brandon Belt, 1B: $3,900 – Unlike Duda, the first thing I think of when seeing Belt is, pass!!! But the matchup against Rubby De La Rosa is good, as Belt is 2-4 with 1 homer against him. Too small of a sample size to consider BvP but at this price, I am definitely considering buying the belt.
Howie Kendrick, 2B: $4,000 – Perhaps the best buy for a Middle Infielder, Howie Kendrick has been batting cleanup in the Dodgers’ potent lineup. He’s been getting great opportunities to drive in runs with Jimmy Rollins, Yasiel Puig, and Adrian Gonzalez batting in front of him.
Matt Duffy, 2B/SS: $3,200 – Another Giants’ player I like at this price. Duffy’s put a good string of games together, homering on Wednesday. However, Casey McGehee is back and Duffy was out of the lineup on Friday. If he’s in Saturday’s lineup I have to consider him, especially since I could be stacking Giants against De La Rosa.
Mike Moustakas, 3B: $4,200 – The Royals are batting Moustakas second in the lineup and he has made the most of it. He has been a solid source of hits and runs. The AL Champions are playing at home against Oakland. The price has been right to let the moose loose!
Nori Aoki, OF: $3,600 – I like Aoki at this low price. He’s another base stealer at the top of the lineup. He has 3 stolen bases in his last 5 games.
Lorenzo Cain, OF: $4,700 – I know I can’t stack more than one team in DraftKings, but I if I don’t stack Royals, I’m sure to have Lorenzo Cain in one of my lineups. He has also got off to a hot start like the other Royals’ hitters, and with Alex Rios going down, Cain will be leaned on a little more, especially if Alex Gordon continues to do nothing.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
There is a chance of thunderstorms in the Oakland/KC game, and a very good chance of rain. The rainstorm doesn’t look to let up at any point of the day in Kansas City. But I like hitting matchup for KC, so hopefully the rain says away. Be sure to check back before first pitch. There appears to be good weather at all other stadiums.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Felix Hernandez and the Mariners are a heavy favorite to beat the Rangers at -221. The Nationals are the second heaviest favorite of the day against those poor Phillies. C’mon Vegas, it’s the city of brotherly love! I like the Over 9 runs on the Orioles/Red Sox, and the Over 7.5 runs on the Brewers/Pirates.