FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 4/19/19
We wrap up the work week with a hefty 14-game, but it could be a wet one in some spots, with a number of games showing dicey weather in the forecast. Keep up to date on our lineups page and player news feed for the latest on games in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New York, Cleveland, and Detroit. The Rockies check in with the highest implied total of the slate at Coors Field (5.67), followed closely by the Astros in Arlington, Texas (5.60).
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
Justin Verlander ($10,800 on FanDuel): With rain threatening the starts of players like Jose Berrios ($10,400) and Corey Kluber ($9,300), Justin Verlander could be the top high-priced arm by default, though there's little to complain about rostering a guy with a 3.11 SIERA, 31.3% strikeout rate, and 6.3% walk rate across four outings. The one blemish on his resume is a concerning 50.9% hard-hit rate, particularly in a hitter-friendly venue like Globe Life Park with the wind blowing out. But the good news is Verlander is also showing a surprisingly high ground-ball rate for him (47.4%), which could somewhat mitigate all that hard contact. The Rangers don't make for the easiest opponent at home, but they're striking out with regularity against right-handers (25.2%) and only hold a 3.90 implied total.
German Marquez ($8,500): Verlander is the way to go in cash games, but if you're looking to be contrarian in tournaments, German Marquez has the ceiling you're looking for, albeit in a risky spot at Coors Field against the Phillies. We know how brutal pitching in Coors can be, and sure enough, Marquez's lone poor start this season came at the hands of the Braves in Colorado. But not even the thin Rocky Mountain air could hold him down over his red-hot finish in 2018, and he's showing signs of still being that guy, posting a 3.57 SIERA, 25.0% strikeout rate, and 6.0% walk rate through 27 innings. The strikeout rate is backed up by a 12.3% swinging-strike rate -- nearly identical to last season -- and he also boasts a stellar 53.8% ground-ball rate. The Phillies obviously aren't pushovers, but they've been striking out 23.4% of the time against righties to begin the year, potentially adding punchout upside to this matchup
Caleb Smith ($7,600): Caleb Smith showed some promise through 16 starts in 2018, and that's continued over his first three outings this season, producing a 3.47 SIERA and 32.3% strikeout rate. The walk rate remains a bit high (9.2%), and the Marlins aren't likely to grant much run support, but pitcher-friendly Marlins Park typically does a nice job of helping a hurler's bottom line. Washington has enjoyed some success against southpaws in 2019, but they're showing a modest 3.79 implied total, and their active roster only posted a 95 wRC+ and 23.6% strikeout rate in the split last season. Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,100) also deserves your attention after looking like his old self in his last start. He'll benefit from a park factor boost in Tropicana Field, and the Rays own one of the highest strikeout rates versus lefties this year (28.8%).
Hitters to Target
Charlie Blackmon ($3,500) and David Dahl ($3,900): Vincent Velasquez figures to struggle in Colorado as a pitcher with a career 36.8% ground-ball rate, and he's only submitted a 4.71 SIERA through his first 12 innings this year. Against lefty bats, Velasquez owns a pedestrian career 4.33 xFIP, and only managed a 4.57 mark in 2018. Following another disappointing performance on Thursday, Charlie Blackmon dropped $100 and remains far too cheap for a leadoff man in Coors Field, regardless of his early-season results. David Dahl returned to the lineup last night and owns a very promising .380 wOBA and .253 ISO against righties through 423 career plate appearances.
George Springer ($4,200): The Astros are looking like a mighty enticing stack against left-hander Drew Smyly, who's been pummeled over three starts with a 7.15 ERA and 1.85 WHIP. Those results aren't surprising given his 5.37 SIERA and 12.7% walk rate, and he's also allowed a massive 58.3% hard-hit rate and 41.7% fly-ball rate. All your usual Houston bats are in play, but George Springer really shines with the platoon advantage, owning a career 39.6% hard-hit rate, .388 wOBA, and .242 ISO.
Paul Goldschmidt ($4,200): Rostering Paul Goldschmidt against southpaws is practically always a wise decision, as he owns a monstrous career 47.9% hard-hit rate and .425 wOBA with the platoon advantage. In his last start, Jason Vargas allowed four runs and issued three walks in just 1/3 of an inning. Vargas may simply not have much left in the tank at this point, and the Cardinals draw a solid 4.91 implied total.
Jose Martinez ($2,200): Sticking with the same game, Jose Martinez has drawn two straight starts for the Cardinals as they deal with injuries, and hopefully he remains in the lineup for some cheap exposure against Vargas. Poor defensive skills have prevented Jose Martinez from a regular role, but the bat remains excellent when given the chance. He owns a career 127 wRC+ and has produced a 40.5% hard-hit rate and 35.5% fly-ball rate when facing lefties.
Tyler White ($2,100): Tyler White has been mostly terrible to begin the season, so there's no guarantee he's in Houston's lineup tonight. But should he get the call, he offers a near-minimum bat in a spot where the whole Astros lineup could roll against Smyly. The sample remains small, but White has produced against lefties over his young career with a .381 wOBA and .266 ISO over 195 plate appearances, backed by a solid 36.4% hard-hit rate and 44.6% fly-ball rate.
Daniel Robertson ($2,100): A matchup against Eduardo Rodriguez in Tropicana Field isn't necessarily ideal, but we've seen how inconsistent Rodriguez can be, and Daniel Robertson has typically been batting third against left-handed starters. Robertson doesn't have the longest track record, but he posted a respectable .339 xwOBA in 2018, which rose to a .387 mark against left-handers.
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