MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 10/19/16
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
Marco Estrada ($7,400 on FanDuel): Despite trailing 3-1 in the series, the Toronto Blue Jays have the benefit of a -175 moneyline to claim victory in Game 5, putting Marco Estrada in position to get a win. Estrada gives up way too many fly balls to be safe, but he does get a decent number of strikeouts with a 22.8% rate. The other advantage of Estrada is that his strikeout rate falls only slightly to 22.5% against lefties, meaning he could be able to find success against the Cleveland Indians' hitters.
Julio Urias ($7,400): John Lackey pitched well on the road this year, so he's certainly in play, but struggles following an August injury slide him down our wish list. Not only is Julio Urias not dealing with that, but he's also pretty darn talented. Urias finished the regular season with a 3.88 SIERA thanks to his 25.0% strikeout rate, and he induced soft contact 22.1% of the time. It's hard to figure out who will get the win in this game, but Urias is talented enough to warrant a roster spot.
Hitters to Target
Jose Bautista ($3,700): Cleveland is starting a lefty against the Blue Jays. Said lefty -- Ryan Merritt -- has thrown 11 career innings in the majors and had a 15.4% strikeout rate in Triple-A this year. So, yeah, you want as many Blue Jays as you can fit. Jose Bautista should be one of them after he yoked lefties for a 41.3% hard-hit rate and 45.3% fly-ball rate this year while striking out just 15.2% of the time. You'll probably be able to afford Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion, and if so, they should be on your radar, as well.
Kris Bryant ($3,400): If you're not using Urias as your pitcher, we always have to give Kris Bryant thought when he's facing a lefty. He had a 40.5% hard-hit rate and 49.6% fly-ball rate against lefties in the regular season, allowing him to launch 14 dingers in 186 plate appearances. Bryant has had some issues with strikeouts in the playoffs, but that shouldn't push us away given the gobs of upside he presents.
Troy Tulowitzki ($2,800): With Blue Jays manager John Gibbons prioritizing getting his best hitters more plate appearances (what a novel concept!), Troy Tulowitzki's going to be at a prime spot in the order for this tasty price. Swoon city, y'all. Tulowitzki has just 4 strikeouts in 33 postseason plate appearances, and he finished the regular season with a 33.0% hard-hit rate and 38.6% fly-ball rate versus lefties. He's even more tempting if he allows you to squeeze the Jays' higher-priced bats into your roster.
Adrian Gonzalez ($2,800): If you're targeting Los Angeles Dodgers batters against Lackey, you'll want to focus on the lefties. While this obviously includes the delectable Corey Seager, it also applies to Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez just smoked the ball the second half of the season with a 45.2% hard-hit rate against right-handed pitchers, up from 31.4% in the first half. Gonzalez will be in position to drive in some runs, necessitating a look if you decide not to use Encarnacion.
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