MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Sunday 10/2/16
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 3:05 PM EST and features all 15 games.
Pitchers to Target
Max Scherzer ($11,400 on FanDuel): On the final day of the regular season, we're treated to one more Scherzer performance as he hosts the Miami Marlins. Scherzer has been outstanding this year in just about every situation, but he's been at his best at home, where he owns a 33.8% strikeout rate and is limiting hitters to a .234 wOBA. He's giving up a .205 wOBA to right-handed hitters while striking them out 37.5% of the time, which should help neutralize Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna. Miami ranks last in wOBA (.276) over the last 30 days. Per usual, with a massive ceiling and safe floor, Scherzer is a great play in any format.
Chris Sale ($10,800): After foregoing strikeouts to work deeper into games earlier this year, Sale is back to his old self. He's put up a 26.9% strikeout rate and 4.7% walk rate in the second half, and Sale's 28.0% strikeout rate in September was his best single-month clip of the year. Over the last 30 days, the Minnesota Twins rank 24th in wOBA (.306) while posting the third-highest strikeout rate (25.9%).
Kevin Gausman ($8,400): Gausman has been very good since the break, posting a 25.0% strikeout rate in the second half while allowing hard contact just 31.1% of the time. He's posted a swinging-strike rate of at least 9.2% in each of his last six outings, including three starts with a swinging-strike rate of more than 13.0%. The New York Yankees have picked up the pace in the second half, but in that span, their offense still ranks just 21st in wOBA (.314). Considering the Bronx Bombers have nothing to play for today, they may not roll out their best lineup.
Hitters to Target
Paul Goldschmidt ($3,900): Goldschmidt gets a matchup against righty Paul Clemens, who is allowing a .405 wOBA to right-handed hitters. It gets better -- Clemens is striking out righties just 11.7% of the time while surrendering a 38.2% hard-hit rate. Goldschmidt racked up a 38.6% hard-hit rate in September, and he owns a .392 wOBA at Chase Field, which ranks fifth in park factor.
Anthony Rizzo ($4,200): Rizzo has crushed right-handed pitching this year to the tune of a .406 wOBA with a 38.8% hard-hit rate and 42.6% fly-ball rate. He's on the road to face off with Cincinnati Reds' rookie righty Robert Stephenson, who is giving up a 37.5% hard-hit rate and 48.2% fly-ball rate to left-handed sticks. As a boost, Great American Ball Park checks in fifth in home run factor. The Chicago Cubs have taken something of a spring training approach to the last week, so we'll need to verify Rizzo is in the lineup before investing.
Mark Trumbo ($3,300): While Trumbo is a little more expensive than our typical value play, he's still a nice deal at this salary. Against right-handed pitchers, Trumbo has put up a .392 wOBA this year with a 39.8% hard-hit rate and 43.2% fly-ball rate. There is no earthly reason he should be priced this low for a matchup against a righty at homer-friendly Yankee Stadium. Plus, the pitcher, Luis Cessa, is striking out right-handed hitters just 13.0% of the time while allowing a 39.8% fly-ball rate. Yes, please.
Addison Russell ($2,300): After posting a 32.2% fly-ball rate in the first half, Russell's fly-ball rate has spiked to 43.7% since the break while he has increased his hard-hit rate to 30.1%. Stephenson has a fairly promising minor-league track record, but it hasn't translated to the bigs quite yet. In 33 innings, he has pitched to a 4.93 SIERA while giving up a 40.0% hard-hit rate.