MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Sunday 9/4/16
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 1:10 p.m. EST and features nine games.
Pitchers to Target
Chris Archer ($9,600 on FanDuel): Archer is our top-ranked pitcher for the main slate despite a tough matchup with the Toronto Blue Jays. Archer has been outstanding at Tropicana Field this year, posting a 29.3% strikeout rate and limiting hitters to a .271 wOBA in his home outings. Dude was straight filth in August, racking up a 30.9% strikeout rate with a 5.9% walk rate last month. Toronto is a scary lineup to target, but some of those concerns are eased by Archer's ability to get swings and misses coupled with his 47.2% ground-ball rate. The Blue Jays are a little less intimidating away from home, putting up a .314 wOBA in their travels, compared to a .344 wOBA at the Rogers Centre.
John Lackey ($8,900): Lackey is ready to make his return from a shoulder ailment, and he gets a home start against the San Francisco Giants. The Giants are struggling offensively with a .316 wOBA, which ranks 18th. Lackey has been outstanding at Wrigley Field. In his home starts, he's holding batters to a .260 wOBA, and Lackey had an incredibly-low 2.5% walk rate in 21 2/3 innings in August. San Francisco's 17.5% strikeout rate caps his ceiling, but Lackey makes for a quality option on a nine-game slate.
Julio Teheran ($8,400): The Philadelphia Phillies have been an offense to target all season, and they've done nothing to change that. Their 3.71 implied total is the second-lowest of the slate. Philly ranks last in wOBA (.293), last in wRC+ (79) and 25th in ISO (.147). The homer-happy ways of Citizens Bank Park, which ranks first in home run factor, are always a little scary, especially for a fly-ball pitcher like Teheran, but the Phillies rank 23rd in home dingers. Teheran owns a 3.89 SIERA, 22.3% strikeout rate and 5.3% walk rate. He's surrendering just a .268 wOBA and 4.3% walk rate on the road.
Hitters to Target
Freddie Freeman ($4,100): Freeman is in an outstanding spot against Phillies' right-hander Jake Thompson, who is sporting an ugly 13.2% strikeout rate and 11.6% walk rate while allowing a 38.9% hard-hit rate. Lefties have rocked Thompson to the tune of a .400 wOBA. Freeman has a .402 wOBA against righties with a 41.5% hard-hit rate and 45.7% fly-ball rate. Putting this matchup in the hitter-friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park is unfair.
Matt Carpenter ($4,100): Hitting atop one of baseball's best lineups, it's hard to find a time when Carpenter isn't at least worth investigating. That's particularly true against right-handers. With a matchup against Tim Adleman at the homer-happy Great American Ball Park, you're going to want some exposure to Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals. Carpenter boasts a .398 wOBA, 47.3% hard-hit rate and 48.8% fly-ball rate versus righties. Adleman has pitched just 35 1/3 frames this year, but left-handed hitters have destroyed him, racking up a .383 wOBA and 48.9% fly-ball rate. All of the Cards' lefties are in play, and Carpenter tops the list.
Mitch Moreland ($2,700): The Texas Rangers have a slate-best 5.02 implied total for their home matchup against Collin McHugh. Moreland is a cheap way to get exposure to that, and he also provides some pretty nice upside. Moreland has registered a 35.3% hard-hit rate and 37.9% fly-ball rate this season against right-handed pitching. Globe Life Park checks in sixth in park factor, and McHugh is allowing a .351 wOBA to left-handed sticks.
Josh Harrison ($2,800): Harrison should be hitting leadoff for a Pittsburgh Pirates' lineup with a 4.51 implied total for their clash with Chase Anderson. A righty, Anderson has posted reverse splits this season, allowing a .394 wOBA, 41.0% hard-hit rate and 40.4% fly-ball rate to right-handed hitters. Anderson has been brutal away from home, too, giving up a .370 wOBA on the road. While Harrison hasn't been great against righties, his matchup, salary and spot in the lineup make him an enticing dart throw.