MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Sunday 9/11/16
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 1:05 p.m. EST and features 11 games.
Pitchers to Target
Gio Gonzalez ($8,500 on FanDuel): Gonzalez is our top-ranked arm for his home matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies. Against southpaws, the Phils rank last in both wOBA (.280) and wRC+ (71) while boasting the 7th-highest strikeout rate (23%). Gonzalez has been really good at Nationals Park. In his home starts, his strikeout rate jumps to 25.6%, and he's allowing just a 28.9% fly-ball rate.
Kenta Maeda ($9,100): Maeda is putting together a superb rookie season, posting a 3.63 SIERA, 25.4% strikeout rate and 6.7% walk rate. In his road starts, he's inducing a sparkling 50% ground-ball rate while holding batters to a .260 wOBA. Giancarlo Stanton has served as a pinch-hitter the past three games, but he's still not back to a full-time role. The Miami Marlins have desperately missed him as they rank 27th in wOBA (.285) over the past 30 days. The Marlins' 3.51 implied total is the lowest of the slate.
Corey Kluber ($10,700): Kluber's strikeout potential -- he's had at least a 26.9% strikeout rate in each of his past five outings, including two straight starts with a swinging-strike rate above 15.0% -- gives him a pretty safe floor for his road clash with the Minnesota Twins. He's holding hitters to a .256 wOBA away from home, and he owns a 28.2% strikeout rate in the second half. Kluber is expensive and ranked below Maeda and Gonzalez, per our projections, but there is safety in his ability to get swings and misses. The Cleveland Indians are also big favorites (-210 moneyline).
Hitters to Target
Anthony Rendon ($3,700): You're going to want some exposure to the Washington Nationals' right-handed sticks for their matchup with Adam Morgan. Versus righties, the Phillies' lefty is giving up a .395 wOBA in 2016 with a 39.4% hard-hit rate and 39.1% fly-ball rate. Rendon is at the top of the wish list. This season, he's put up a .372 wOBA against southpaws with a 38.7% hard-hit rate and 40.0% fly-ball rate. Rendon has really been cooking at home, posting a 48.9% fly-ball rate at Nationals Park, and Washington has a juicy 5.13 implied total.
Jonathan Lucroy ($3,800): Lucroy and the Texas Rangers get a dreamy road matchup with Jered Weaver. Lucroy owns reverse splits, racking up a .383 wOBA against right-handers. Weaver has been awful this season. His 12.2% strikeout rate ranks next to last among all qualified starters while his 5.61 SIERA sits dead last. Weaver is surrendering a 40.6% hard-hit rate and 50.8% fly-ball rate to righties, so he pretty much makes every righty Josh Donaldson.
Carlos Gomez ($2,500): Fresh off a two-homer game, Gonzalez is a cheap dart throw who gets you access to the Rangers' mouth-watering 4.98 implied total. He's also a righty who can take advantage of Weaver's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad season. The sample size is minuscule, but Gomez is showing signs of life in September, mashing to the tune of a .437 wOBA with a 44.4% hard-hit rate and 47.1% fly-ball rate. Gomez hit leadoff last night, which would obviously be a big boost to his value if he can hold onto the top spot.
Joc Pederson ($2,900): Jose Urena is allowing a .366 wOBA to left-handed hitters, which puts Pederson and the Los Angeles Dodgers' other lefty sticks in play. Pederson boasts a .386 wOBA against right-handed pitchers with a 41.4% hard-hit rate and 41.2% fly-ball rate. In the second half, his wOBA jumps to .391 while his hard-hit rate is up to 46.7%.