DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 8/20/18
Every day is unique for daily fantasy baseball, which is both a blessing and a challenge. Although we can’t simply plug and play our favorite studs day in and day out, each slate presents us with a chance for a new gem to vault us up the leaderboards.
Through the use of numberFire’s tools, we can better identify the players primed to succeed each day, making the process of filling out a lineup just that much easier. In addition to our custom optimal lineups, you can check out our batting and pitching heat maps, which show the pieces in the best spot to succeed on that slate. Put on the finishing touches with our games and lineups page to see who's hitting where and what the weather looks like, and you'll have yourself a snazzy looking team to put up some big point totals.
Which names stand out for today on the DraftKings main slate? Let’s check it out, starting with the pitchers.
Pitchers to Target
Gerrit Cole ($13,300 on DraftKings): Gerrit Cole has such an elite strikeout rate compared to every other pitcher on this slate. He is sporting a 34.9 percent strikeout rate, with Corey Kluber coming in second at just 24.8 percent. He also leads the slate with a 2.95 xFIP as well as a second-best 0.98 WHIP. Cole has been on a tear as of late, posting at least 8 strikeouts in 7 of his last 10 games, and has eclipsed the 22 DraftKings points (DKpts) mark in 6 of the last 10 games. A matchup against the Seattle Mariners is certainly not an easy one, but Cole has been just so good this season that he has become matchup-proof.
Zack Wheeler ($9,300): Zack Wheeler has been pitching really well as of late and has a fantastic matchup this evening. Over his last 10 games, he has averaged 22 DKpts per game including 5 games in which he posted 20-plus DKpts and 7 games in which he put up 7-plus strikeouts. His season-long numbers are solid, too, as he has a respectable 23.4 percent strikeout rate with a 1.23 WHIP and 3.88 xFIP. Additionally, he has a slate-best 26.1 percent opponent hard-hit rate. The San Francisco Giants struggle to generate offense as shown by a 90 wRC+, which ranks 24th in the Majors.
Chase Anderson ($6,600): As a slate-leading -210 favorite, Chase Anderson takes on the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park. His numbers aren't that great, with just a 19.7 percent strikeout rate, but he does have a pretty solid 1.20 WHIP. Additionally, he has a tidy 20.9 line-drive rate and 85.8 mile-per-hour average exit velocity. This is far from an easy matchup for Anderson, but given that the Reds are starting Homer Bailey, the Milwaukee Brewers should give him plenty of run support to pick up the win.
Hitters to Target
Ronald Acuna ($5,800): Ronald Acuna has been in beast mode lately, putting up an insane .429 average, 1.524 OPS, 6 home runs, 12 RBI and 3 stolen bases over his last 10 games. No wonder Jose Urena didn't want to face him at the plate! Acuna has been especially dominant against right-handed pitching this season, returning an elite .400 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and .279 isolated power (ISO). He's taking on Chris Archer, who is solid in his own right, but he has an ugly 1.42 WHIP and a slate-worst 89.6 mile-per-hour average exit velocity against this season. Ride with the hot hand in Acuna.
Jesus Aguilar ($5,500): Jesus Aguilar is probably one of the bigger surprises of the season as he has already hit 29 home runs. He has had a bunch of success against right-handed pitching this season, putting up an elite .298 ISO along with a very solid .389 wOBA. He's got a fantastic matchup tonight against Reds' right-hander Homer Bailey. Bailey lives up to his namesake, giving up a slate-worst 17.5 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. Additionally, he has a slate-worst 1.63 WHIP to go with a 4.82 xFIP. His 43.1 percent hard-hit rate and 25.1 percent line-drive rate are also among the worst on the slate.
Khristopher Davis ($5,000): The Oakland Athletics have been a huge surprise this season, and since June 16th, have gone 39-13 to get them into a heated race with the Houston Astros. So when does Oakland end up trading Khris Davis? I'm only kidding. Davis has smashed right-handed pitching to the tune of a .386 wOBA and an absurd .325 ISO this season. He's taking on 'Big Sexy' Bartolo Colon, who has a 43.1 percent hard-hit rate and 89.3 mile-per-hour average exit velocity that's resulted in a 15.8 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate in 2018.
Rougned Odor ($4,300): His numbers on the season are pretty solid, with a .364 wOBA and .230 ISO against right-handed pitching. But over his last 10 games, Odor has averaged 10.2 DKpts per game, which has been a result of a .325 AVG, 1 home run, 10 RBI and 1 stolen base. He's taking on Oakland right-hander Mike Fiers this evening, a pitcher that has an ugly 18.4 percent strikeout rate to go along with a 43.9 percent fly-ball rate, 89.1 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and a 188 foot average batted-ball distance.
Justin Smoak ($4,000): As a switch-hitter, you normally have more success against one hand compared to the other. Justin Smoak has much more success against right-handed pitching, which is a matchup he draws tonight against the Baltimore Orioles' Andrew Cashner. Cashner has struggled with a 1.49 WHIP, 4.89 xFIP and a 22.6 percent line-drive rate so far. Smoak's numbers -- .377 wOBA and .246 ISO -- are elite against righties, and facing the struggling Cashner, he has the potential to put up a big game in this one.
Tyler White ($3,800): He isn't a lock to be in the starting lineup, so be sure to check the Houston Astros' order closer to lock. However, the Astros would be crazy not to have Tyler White in the lineup, considering how well he has hit right-handed pitching this season. He has an elite .410 wOBA and .280 ISO against righties, and has been on fire over his last 10 games. In that stretch, White has put up a .333 average, 1.177 OPS along with 4 home runs and 10 RBI. Plus, this is a matchup against Felix Hernandez -- a pitcher that has completely fallen off the charts with a 1.43 WHIP, 4.74 xFIP, 39.5 percent hard-hit rate and a 15 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. Take advantage if the opportunity is there tonight.
Ryan Sheppard is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ryan Sheppard also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username donkshow_. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.