MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 10/18/16
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.
Pitchers to Target
Rich Hill ($9,000 on FanDuel): The Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs check in with an over/under of 6.5, a good chunk below the mark of 8.0 for the other game, incentivizing a look at the pitchers here. Rich Hill -- when healthy -- is one filthy dude, and he had a 2.87 SIERA after returning from his blister issues in August. There hasn't been a report of Hill being on a pitch limit, making him abundantly appealing despite a tough matchup.
Corey Kluber ($9,900): It has to be a good feeling when you've got a chance to clinch a series with Corey Kluber on the bump. That's what the Cleveland Indians have today, and Kluber's good enough to limit the stout Toronto Blue Jays' offense. He finished the season with a 3.50 SIERA and 26.4% strikeout rate, and a late-season injury hasn't prevented him from holding a 3.55 SIERA through two postseason starts. He's not a lock to get a win, but he may be the most talented individual hurling today.
Hitters to Target
Carlos Santana ($3,300): Aaron Sanchez deserves abundant praise for what he did this season on the mound, but it was clear down the stretch that he was losing a bit of his dominance. After the All-Star break, Sanchez's SIERA went up to 4.41, and he had just an 18.5% strikeout rate against lefties. That's where Carlos Santana comes in. Santana is one of the most-disciplined batters in the game, and he crushes righties with a 39.5% hard-hit rate and 45.5% fly-ball rate. Sanchez is a good pitcher, but that doesn't mean we should avoid left-handed batters who oppose him.
Corey Seager ($3,400): Is it cheap to recommend Corey Seager against a righty? Duh. Do we care? Not a single gosh darn bit. Left-handed batters flummoxed Jake Arrieta this year as he saw his walk rate increase to 13.6% against them while they tagged him for a 29.6% hard-hit rate. That's bad news against a guy like Seager, who finished the regular season with a below-average strikeout rate, 39.6% hard-hit rate, and 13.7% soft-hit rate while facing right-handed pitchers. It makes Seager a desirable option yet again.
Lonnie Chisenhall ($2,700): Everything above about Santana also translates to Lonnie Chisenhall. Chisenhall's spot in the order would put him in line to benefit from Sanchez's second-half 12.6% walk rate against lefties, and he has the pop to bring runners home. With a 53.7% fly-ball rate from the start of August on, Chisenhall is the type of batter we want to target on short slates where one dinger can make a huge difference.
Chase Utley ($2,700): Those aforementioned walk issues for Arrieta this season will give a boost to all lefties in the Dodgers' order, and that starts at the top with Chase Utley. Utley had a resurgence this year with a 38.8% hard-hit rate and 13.4% soft-hit rate against right-handed pitchers all while maintaining a strikeout rate of 18.8%. There are big boppers behind him who can drive Utley in, further boosting the value that his individual talent carries.
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