MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 10/15/16
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 two-game main slate, which starts at 4 p.m. EST.
Pitchers to Target
Jon Lester ($10,100 on FanDuel): Lester has been really good for the Chicago Cubs, but he takes it to another level when he's pitching at Wrigley Field. In his home starts this year, he held hitters to a .237 wOBA with a 25.4% strikeout rate and 6.3% walk rate. He also dominated left-handed hitters in 2016, which is a nice bullet point on the resume when facing the Los Angeles Dodgers. Versus Lester, southpaws mustered a mere .237 wOBA with a 26.8% strikeout rate, 4.5% walk rate and 3 measly homers.
J.A. Happ ($8,300): On two-game slates, there obviously isn't much pitching depth, but Happ is in a decent spot if you're looking to avoid the chalk with Lester. Over the second half of the year, Happ posted a 22.0% strikeout rate while limiting batters to a .273 wOBA. The Cleveland Indians have a fairly pedestrian 3.99 implied total, and the Toronto Blue Jays are solid favorites (-134 moneyline).
Hitters to Target
Edwin Encarnacion ($3,900): The Blue Jays have a sweet 4.51 implied total for their matchup with righty Josh Tomlin. Encarnacion prefers lefties, but he still fared pretty darn well against right-handed pitchers this year, posting a .370 wOBA with a 37.5% hard-hit rate and 40.7% fly-ball rate. He's been on fire in these playoffs, putting up a gaudy .547 wOBA with a 44.4% fly-ball rate in 23 plate appearances. Tomlin owns reverse splits, allowing righties to crush him to the tune of a .356 wOBA, putting all of the Jays' potent right-handed sticks in play.
Anthony Rizzo ($3,700): Kenta Maeda allows a lowly .253 wOBA with a 30.3% strikeout rate to righties, so if you want exposure to the Cubs' offense, it needs to be left-handed hitters. Maedo gave up a .313 wOBA, 33.1% hard-hit rate and 37.3% fly-ball against left-handed sticks. None of those are particularly bad numbers, but when you pair them with Rizzo's stats against righties -- .404 wOBA with a 38.6% hard-hit rate and 42.7% fly-ball rate -- the Cubs' first baseman becomes a pretty attractive option.
Jason Heyward ($2,600): Look, let's keep it real -- Heyward hasn't been very good in his first season on the North Side, struggling to a .282 wOBA. Outside of his improved hard-hit rate in the second half, which was still a modest 29.7%, there aren't a lot positives here. But Heyward does boast a solid 9.1% walk rate, and his walk rate jumped to 11.3% in September. He is probably going to be hitting sixth, and he's a cheap way to get a left-handed Cubbie against Maeda.
Mike Napoli ($3,100): Napoli mashed lefties this season, racking up a .352 wOBA, 41.1% hard-hit rate and 41.1% fly-ball rate against southpaws. At home against lefties, his wOBA spiked to .398 while his walk rate rose to 19.8%. Getting Napoli at this price on a short slate, even against a tough left-hander like Happ, is pretty hard to pass up.