MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 10/18/17
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.
Pitchers to Target
Dallas Keuchel ($9,600 on FanDuel): Dallas Keuchel has shown a limited punchout ceiling for most of the season, but seems to be finding his groove at the right time. Dating back to the regular season, Keuchel has put up at least 7 strikeouts in four straight games, including 10 in Game 1 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees. He'll have the tough task of trying to do it again on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, but it's worth noting that the Bronx Bombers put up weaker numbers against lefties in the regular season. Even if the strikeouts aren't quite there, Keuchel's elite 66.8% ground-ball rate and 24.7% hard-hit rate this year decreases the likelihood he'll get shelled, giving you a safer floor.
Masahiro Tanaka ($9,400): Masahiro Tanaka ended the regular season on a high note, producing a 3.02 SIERA and 30.5% strikeout rate in the final month of the season. But his sparkling SIERA hides a couple of 7-run clunkers, a microcosm of Tanaka's boom-or-bust, inconsistent season. He was stellar in the ALDS against the Cleveland Indians, but put up a modest performance against the Astros in Game 1 of the ALCS, allowing 2 earned runs in 6 innings, while striking out just 3 batters. Keuchel is the safer choice, but Tanaka has the higher ceiling when he's dealing -- in his final regular season start, he struck out 15 Toronto Blue Jays on his way to 76 FanDuel points.
Hitters to Target
Aaron Judge ($3,600): Aaron Judge has now gone back-to-back games with a home run. What postseason slump? After being strangely cheap yesterday, Judge's salary has gone back up, but he's still a bigger bargain than the big bats on the other three teams on the slate. He'll once again be popular, but there's no denying he has as much upside as anyone on the board. Dallas Keuchel's high ground-ball rate hurts his chances of a dinger, but Judge will have the platoon advantage, and once Keuchel is gone, the Houston bullpen has proven themselves to be vulnerable this postseason.
Yasiel Puig ($3,800): The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to complete the sweep at Wrigley Field tonight, and you'll want to keep an eye on the weather, because there may be strong winds blowing out tonight. Jake Arrieta hasn't seemed right since dealing with a hamstring injury in September, going 5 innings just once in his last three starts. He only allowed one unearned run against the Washington Nationals in the NLDS, but lasted just 4 innings and walked 5. Between that and a beleaguered Cubs bullpen, it all lines up nicely for a Dodgers stack. Yasiel Puig continues to put up fantasy points, reaching base at least twice in every game this postseason, and he moved up to the cleanup spot on Tuesday, further adding to his value if it sticks.
Josh Reddick ($2,700): When Masahiro Tanaka is off his game, he's prone to the long ball, as he allowed the third-most per 9 innings among qualified starters this year. Lefty Josh Reddick isn't known for his power -- he hit 13 home runs with a .170 isolated power (ISO) -- but he's cheap for a number-two hitter, and could take advantage of the short porch in right field. And although Jose Altuve ($4,100) hasn't had a hit in the last two games, he's still by far the top second baseman on the slate if you can afford him.
Andre Ethier ($2,000): Andre Ethier got a surprise start in left field on Tuesday, and just as surprisingly, found himself batting fifth. It immediately paid dividends for the Dodgers, as he went 2-for-4 with a home run. Ethier hasn't played much over the past couple years due to injuries, so it's hard to evaluate what kind of player he is anymore, but he did have a 37.5% hard-hit rate over 38 regular season plate appearances. If he's back in there tonight, it's tough to not consider a minimum-priced batter in the heart of the Dodgers order. Should Curtis Granderson be back out there instead, you can also consider him at just $2,300.
Kenyatta Storin is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Kenyatta Storin also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username yatters. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.
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