MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 9/3/16
The beauty of daily fantasy baseball is that the top targets are different each and every day. Whether it's the right-handed catcher who destroys left-handed pitching or the mid-range hurler facing a depleted lineup, you're not going to find yourself using the same assets time after time.
While this breaks up the monotony, it can make it hard to decide which players are primed to succeed on a given day. We can help bridge that gap.
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.
If you need help getting started on that trek, here are some of the top options on the board today. This article is for the main slate, which starts at 7:05 p.m. EST and features 11 games.
Pitchers to Target
Jose Fernandez ($10,900 on FanDuel): With the incredible pitching matchup between Jake Arrieta and Madison Bumgarner taking place early in the day, Fernandez assumes top billing on the main slate -- although he is just the third-ranked hurler. Because Fernandez is Fernandez, he has the ability to overcome any situation, but there are some red flags here. The Cleveland Indians rank 7th in wOBA (.328) and just 19th in strikeout rate (20.6%). They also boast a .339 wOBA and 111 wRC+ over the last 30 day. On top of that, the Indians are at home, so the designated hitter is in play. It's not a great matchup, but Fernandez -- with his incredible, MLB-best 35.0% strikeout rate -- is capable of baffling any lineup when he takes the bump. Cleveland's implied total of 3.72 runs isn't too scary, either.
Vincent Velasquez ($8,400): Velasquez, our second-ranked arm, is one of two economically-priced pitchers who are in a great spot (we'll get to the other in a minute). We have 179 2/3 career innings that tell us the Philadelphia Phillies' righty is really good. For his career, he has pitched to a 3.69 SIERA, 26.7% strikeout rate and 8.7% walk rate. Despite Citizens Bank Park ranking first in home run factor, Velasquez has been straight up overpowering in his home starts, holding hitters to a .280 wOBA while racking up a 32.8% strikeout rate. The Atlanta Braves have been a team to target all year, and nothing has changed. The Braves rank 29th in wOBA (.298), last in homers (94) and last in ISO (.124).
Rich Hill ($8,700): The upside of Fernandez is hard to match, but our projections actually have Hill as the night's top starting pitcher for his home matchup with the San Diego Padres. Hill's projected point total of 43.3 FanDuel points is 10 points clear of any other pitcher. Fresh off the disabled list, Hill has made one start since being activated, tossing six shutout innings with three strikeouts against the San Francisco Giants. For the year, Hill owns a 3.51 SIERA with a sparkling 27.8% strikeout rate. San Diego checks in 28th in wOBA (.300) with the second-highest strikeout rate (25.0%) -- although they have been better against southpaws -- and Dodgers Stadium ranks 27th in park factor. With this kind of matchup and a cheap salary, Hill is mighty enticing.
Hitters to Target
Charlie Blackmon ($4,400): This is just a placeholder for anyone who shows up to Coors Field with a bat in their hands. The game between the Colorado Rockies (6.79) and Arizona Diamondbacks (5.71) is going to be a bloodbath, per Vegas, with each team boasting some juicy implied totals. All of our top-five hitters in our daily projections come from this game, and Blackmon checks in second. Blackmon has a .388 wOBA with a 38.3% hard-hit rate and 41.5% fly-ball rate this year versus righties, putting him in a great spot against Braden Shipley. The huge salaries for the big boppers make any stacks difficult, and it may be worth fading this game altogether in tourney settings. But in cash, you're going to want some exposure to this puppy.
Brian Dozier ($3,900): If you're looking to pivot off Coors, Dozier and the Minnesota Twins are a good place to start. Minnesota's 5.21 implied total is the best non-Coors clip on the slate, and Dozier has been lighting the American League on fire. In the second half, Dozier is sporting a .430 wOBA, 43.2% hard-hit rate and 50.6% fly-ball rate. He does prefer southpaws, but everyone likes to hit versus James Shields, especially righties. The Chicago White Sox' right-hander is allowing same-sided batters to post a .391 wOBA with a 39.9% hard-hit rate and 40.7% fly-ball rate. At Target Field, which sits 8th in park factor, Dozier's strikeout rate drops to 16.5%, and he owns a 49.3% fly-ball rate.
Miguel Sano ($3,100): Sano is a touch more expensive than our typical value play, but he's underpriced for the clash with Shields. Sano's .323 wOBA against righties hides the fact that he's absolutely crushing the ball. The Twins' slugger is making excellent contact off right-handers with a 39.6% hard-hit rate and 47.3% fly-ball rate. His hard-hit rate spikes to 42.7% when he's at home against a righty. The matchup with Shields and Minnesota's tasty implied total make Sano an extremely attractive option.
Joc Pederson ($2,900): Los Angeles Dodgers' lefties will be foaming at the mouth for their matchup with San Diego Padres' righty Luis Perdomo. Against left-handers, Perdomo's strikeout rate plummets to 12.4% while he's surrendering a .358 wOBA and 38.4% hard-hit rate. Pederson does his best work versus right-handed throwers, amassing a .374 wOBA with a 39.5% hard-hit rate and 41.7% fly-ball rate. Pederson has put up a .373 wOBA and 37.5% hard-hit rate this year at Dodger Stadium.