MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Sunday 9/18/16
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 is for the main slate, which starts at 1:10 p.m. and features 10 games.
Pitchers to Target
Kyle Hendricks ($10,100 on FanDuel): Hendricks has been a great story this season, and he may very well win the National League Cy Young award. While his 3.80 SIERA is actually worse than his clip from last year, his 22.6% strikeout rate and 6.4% walk rate make him a very attractive option in a matchup with the Milwaukee Brewers. Typically, Hendricks' lack of strikeouts keeps him from being an elite DFS play, but Milwaukee's 25.4% strikeout rate, the worst mark in baseball, gives him added value. On a fairly uninspiring pitching slate, he's our top-ranked hurler.
Danny Duffy ($9,500): Duffy, like Hendricks, has been a breakout star in 2016, but unlike Hendricks, his advanced numbers paint a picture of one of the game's top-tier arms. Duffy's SIERA (3.40), strikeout rate (26.6%) and walk rate (5.2%) all rank inside the top 10 among qualifying pitchers. He's in a good spot today as he takes on the Chicago White Sox, who sit 21st in wOBA (.312), 23rd in ISO (.149) and 23rd in homers (149).
Marcus Stroman ($7,700): Until his salary jumps, we have to stay aboard the Stroman train. The Toronto Blue Jays' righty has always limited walks and kept the ball on the ground, but now he's added strikeouts to the equation, making him one of the game's best pitchers. In the second half, Stroman owns a 25.4% strikeout rate and 5.4% walk rate. There is no earthly reason for a pitcher with those stats to be this cheap. Strikeouts will be harder to come by in a matchup with the Los Angeles Angels, who sport the lowest strikeout rate in baseball (16.4%), but the Halos' .304 wOBA over the last 30 days helps compensate for their extreme bat-on-ball ways.
Hitters to Target
Edwin Encarnacion ($4,300): The joyride that has been Coors Field the past few nights comes to an end with the Colorado Rockies not playing on the main slate. There are still some juicy options out there, though, The Blue Jays boast a 5.3 implied total for their clash with Alex Meyer. A rookie, the Angels haven't let Meyer pitch into the fifth inning in any start, so Toronto should see a lot of the Halos' miserable bullpen. As a unit, Los Angeles' relievers rank 27th in SIERA (4.14) and last in strikeout rate (19%). Encarnacion has an identical 44.9% hard-hit rate and fly-ball rate in September, and his wOBA in the second half is .372.
Rougned Odor ($3,900): Despite being a left-handed hitter, Odor has racked up a 38.3% hard-hit rate and 41.2% fly-ball rate this season against southpaws. That'll come in handy against Ross Detwiler. The Oakland Athletics' lefty is sporting an ugly 13.9% strikeout rate and 8.9% walk rate. The game is at Globe Life Park, which ranks sixth in home run factor, and the Texas Rangers have a mouth-watering implied total of 6.01.
Carlos Gomez ($3,000): Sticking with Texas, we tabbed Gomez as a player to target last night, and all he did was go 2-for-4 with a jack, totaling 25.2 FanDuel points for the second straight game. Luckily for us, his salary hasn't budged. Everything we touched on yesterday still applies. Gomez is red-hot -- .418 wOBA in September with a 35.7% hard-hit rate and 46.7% fly-ball rate in that span -- and he's been hitting leadoff for one of baseball's top offenses. Gomez's 31.6% strikeout rate is hard to stomach, but Detweiler's inability to get swings and misses (13.9% strikeout rate) helps alleviate those concerns. The Rangers may have fixed Gomez, and aside from sending them a handwritten thank you note, it's our responsibility to keep digging into this well while the price is nice.
Justin Bour ($2,200): Against righties this year, Bour has put up a .360 wOBA with a 37.9% hard-hit rate. Philadelphia Phillies' right-handed rookie Alec Asher has not pitched well in a small sample of 12 MLB innings (6.36 SIERA), but he didn't put up a strikeout rate above 17.8% any any minor-league stop this season. He's allowing a 47.4% fly-ball rate to lefties, which gives Bour some huge upside for a game at Citizens Bank Park, the most homer-friendly grounds in baseball.