FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 4/15/19
A number of big names take the mound on Monday's nine-game slate, but whether it's because of tough matchups, slow starts, or other potential issues, there isn't necessarily one ace that stands out above the rest. We also get some intriguing names in the value section, which could help you find room to spend on bats from the Angels, Brewers, Rangers, or White Sox.
Our daily helper is available every day to analyze FanDuel's main slate and help give you a starting point when you're building lineups. Be sure to also incorporate our great tools into your research process. Whether you're looking for daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, or batting and pitching heat maps to find the best matchups -- we've got you covered! And don't forget to take a listen to The Solo Shot podcast with Jim Sannes, who breaks down the MLB daily fantasy slate each day.
On that note, let's highlight some of the top options for today's FanDuel main slate.
Pitchers to Target
Trevor Bauer ($11,200 on FanDuel): Given the value we have in the pitching ranks tonight, you don't necessarily have to pay up for an ace, but it's hard to argue with the upside Trevor Bauer brings despite a difficult matchup against a hot-hitting Mariners club. Bauer put up a stellar 3.21 SIERA and 30.8% strikeout rate in 2018, and he's already flashed that punchout prowess this season, fanning 24 batters through 19 2/3 innings (30.4%). Seattle leads the league with a 139 wRC+, which obviously gives us some pause, but they're also striking out at a 24.4% clip and figure to cool down at some point -- their active roster posted a less intimidating 104 wRC+ versus righties last year. Safeco Field doesn't give any boost to hitters, too, leaving the Mariners with a modest 3.75 implied total. Bauer is numberFire's top projected hurler of the slate.
Joey Lucchesi ($8,200): We find all sorts of strikeout upside in the lower price range, including Luis Castillo ($8,800), Freddy Peralta ($7,800), Matt Shoemaker ($8,300), and Trevor Richards ($7,300), all of whom are worth a look in tournaments. But the guy who draws the best matchup is Joey Lucchesi at home against the Rockies. It's no secret that Colorado doesn't perform as well on the road, and their early-season struggles won't do them any favors, either, as they've posted a horrendous 36 wRC+ and 26.4% strikeout rate thus far. As for Lucchesi, he's produced a solid 3.59 SIERA, 27.4% strikeout rate, and 8.1% walk rate through three starts, falling right in line with last year's marks.
Yu Darvish ($7,100): Frankly, it's hard to have much faith in Yu Darvish, who's submitted some truly ghastly numbers in the early going. But he showed signs of turning things around in his most recent start against Pittsburgh, issuing zero walks over 5 1/3 innings after allowing 11 free passes in 6 2/3 innings over his first two outings. He's still managing an 11.1% swinging-strike rate, too, identical to what he did over his eight starts last year, giving some hope that he should get that strikeout rate back up. With all the value out there, you may prefer a wait-and-see approach, but with Darvish facing a weak Marlins lineup at pitcher-friendly Marlins Park, the setting is right for a bounce-back effort.
Hitters to Target
Mike Trout ($5,000): After missing most of last week with a groin injury, Mike Trout may finally return to the lineup on Monday, and if he does, you'll want him on your roster against Shelby Miller. Over two starts, Miller has allowed 6 runs with 8 walks and 3 strikeouts over just 5 2/3 innings, and there's little evidence to suggest he's ready to be an effective big league pitcher following Tommy John surgery. Trout has been an absolute beast this month, leading the league with a .603 xwOBA.
Christian Yelich ($4,800): If Trout remains sidelined for another game, Christian Yelich makes for a fine alternative versus Dakota Hudson. Yelich is quickly trying to prove that last year's MVP campaign was no fluke, posting a fantastic .433 wOBA while racking up the hard-hit balls (54.9%) and even upping his fly-ball rate (35.3%). Although Hudson's ERA hasn't suffered yet, he's showing a poor 4.70 SIERA, 14.3% walk rate, and 46.9% hard-hit rate through 9 2/3 innings, and produced similar peripherals over 27 1/3 innings in relief last year.
Yoan Moncada ($3,700): Is this the Yoan Moncada breakout we've been waiting for? Sure, it's only been 62 plate appearances, but Moncada has dropped his strikeout rate down to 22.6% after being north of 30% in each of the past two seasons, and he's showing a massive 96.2 mph average exit velocity and 45.5% hard-hit rate. Even if you don't fully buy in, the matchup is right against Heath Fillmyer, who allowed 5 runs over 3 innings in his first start and owns a paltry 4.89 SIERA across 85 1/3 career innings. The White Sox also have an appealing 4.94 implied total.
Kole Calhoun ($2,500) and Justin Bour ($2,900): Neither Kole Calhoun nor Justin Bour have done much this month, but as two cheap lefty bats in the top third of the Angels' order, they're excellent plays against right-hander Shelby Miller in Arlington. Calhoun is putting up a promising 40.5% hard-hit rate and 40.5% fly-ball rate, so he figures to start depositing more balls in the outfield seats in due time. Bour's batted ball numbers are less exciting, but history is on his side with a career .357 wOBA and .226 ISO against righties.
Teoscar Hernandez ($2,500) and Randal Grichuk ($2,600): Martin Perez has long been a staple of DFS stacks over the years, but with his fastball up a couple ticks this season, he's more of a wild card tonight against the Blue Jays. That being said, while he's produced a greatly improved 26.7% strikeout rate over his first 8 1/3 (all out of relief), he's also seen his walk rate skyrocket to 20.0%, and his 5.18 SIERA is all too familiar. Toronto is cheap as always, so you can easily put together a stack with guys like Teoscar Hernandez and Randal Grichuk, who are both capable of knocking it out of the park.
Jose Ramirez ($3,100): We normally try to dip below $3,000 in this section, but it's crazy to see Jose Ramirez priced this cheaply, after beginning the season with a salary well above $4,000. Of course, his struggles are no secret, with a minuscule .167 wOBA midway through April and no home runs to his name. And yet, he's still putting up a 39.6% hard-hit rate and 48.9% fly-ball rate and owns an unlucky .167 BABIP, so perhaps he's deserved better than he's shown through the first few weeks. Let's not forget Ramirez is a power/speed threat who went 30-30 last year, and even with his poor start, he's still managed to snag three stolen bases. A matchup against left-hander Yusei Kikuchi isn't a gimme to begin a turnaround -- Cleveland has a 3.75 implied total -- but the Japanese import has posted a modest 4.36 SIERA and 17.1% strikeout rate through four starts.
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