MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 8/7/17
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. We'll be focusing exclusively on the main slate, which begins at 7:05 p.m. EST and includes all seven games.
Pitchers to Target
Max Scherzer ($11,100 on FanDuel): It's tough to pass on Scherzer tonight in cash games. For the season, he owns a 35.7% strikeout rate and 16.0% swinging-strike rate, both of which are top-three marks among qualified starting pitchers. He pairs his elite strikeout numbers with a 6.4% walk rate, the 18th-lowest walk rate among qualified starters. The dude checks every box. The Miami Marlins have a good offense, sitting 11th in wOBA (.322) with a better-than-average strikeout rate (20.4%). That's still not enough to get us off Scherzer, who our projections have as the slate's top pitcher by 6.9 FanDuel points.
Carlos Martinez ($8,900): For those who want to fade Scherzer in tournaments, things get interesting. We have Martinez and Jake Arrieta (with a sweet matchup at the San Francisco Giants) from which to choose, with our models giving Martinez the slight edge. Martinez has flashed an elite ceiling this season, going over the 40-FanDuel-point mark in half of his 22 starts. For the year, he's sporting a 26.0% strikeout rate and 10.6% swinging-strike rate. The Kansas City Royals check in 25th in wOBA (.309) for the season, and they're walking in a mere 5.6% of their plate appearances over the past 14 days.
Tim Adleman ($6,200): It takes some real courage to dip this deep into tonight's pitcher pool, but Adleman has some appeal for his home date with the San Diego Padres. First of all, it's San Diego, a team with the second-worst wOBA (.300) and the second-highest strikeout rate (.25.3%) this season, but Adleman has quietly been pretty solid himself. He boasts 20.8% strikeout rate and 10.7% swinging-strike rate, and he's put up a single-game swinging-strike rate of at least 10.5% in six of his last eight outings. Our projections have Adleman as the slate's fourth-best arm, and the fact he's pitching in Cincy should keep his ownership pretty low.
Hitters to Target
Joey Votto ($4,200): Votto is in a pristine spot tonight as he battles Jhoulys Chacin at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park. Chacin has allowed a .350 wOBA and 35.3% hard-hit rate to lefties while recording ugly strikeout (16.4%) and walk (11.8%) rates in the split. Votto, meanwhile, has posted some otherworldly numbers against righties -- .429 wOBA, 37.3% hard-hit rate and 38.9% fly-ball rate. The Cincinnati Reds have the second-highest implied total of the night (4.92), and Votto is our top-ranked bat.
Matt Carpenter ($3,300): Ian Kennedy is tough to stack against because of his ability to get swings and misses, but we can feel really good about Carpenter as a one-off play. Kennedy has surrendered a 45.4% hard-hit rate and 48.9% fly-ball rate this year to left-handed hitters, and Carpenter has got to righties for a .370 wOBA, 43.6% hard-hit rate and 50.9% fly-ball rate in 2017. Yes, please.
Kole Calhoun ($2,900): Dylan Bundy has been tortured this season by left-handed hitters, giving up a .348 wOBA, 38.7% hard-hit rate and 47.9% fly-ball rate to opposite-handed sticks. The Los Angeles Angels don't have a ton of enticing lefties, but Calhoun is a exception. He has a 32.6% hard-hit rate against righties in 2017, and he's red-hot with a .502 wOBA in August (although we're talking about 15 plate appearances). Calhoun should be hitting fourth, and the Halos have the slate's third-best implied total (4.69).
John Hicks ($2,100): Hicks isn't a lock to be in the lineup as the Detroit Tigers take on right-hander Trevor Williams -- he did hit seventh yesterday versus a righty -- but he owns a 44.6% hard-hit rate this year in limited action, including a 43.8% hard-hit rate against righties. Getting that batted-ball profile for this cheap, at catcher no less, should have you feeling all tingly inside.
Scooter Gennett ($2,500): Much like Votto, Gennett is a Reds lefty who is in a mouth-watering spot against Chacin. Gennett has mauled right-handers this year to the tune of a .408 wOBA, 40.0% hard-hit rate and 36.8% fly-ball rate. As a reminder, left-handed hitters have racked up a .350 wOBA and 35.3% hard-hit rate against Chacin, and Great American Ball Park sits fourth in home run factor over the last three seasons.
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