DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 3/30/18
Every day is unique for daily fantasy baseball, which is both a blessing and a challenge. Although we canâ€™t simply plug and play our favorite studs day in and day out, each slate presents us with a chance for a new gem to vault us up the leaderboards.
Through the use of numberFireâ€™s tools, we can better identify the players primed to succeed each day, making the process of filling out a lineup just that much easier. 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.
Which names stand out for today on DraftKings? Letâ€™s check it out, starting with the pitchers.
Pitchers to Target
Masahiro Tanaka ($9,400 on DraftKings): Masahiro Tanaka had trouble giving up home runs last season, but before that, he was fine. He leads the slate with a 15.1 percent swinging-strike rate. The Toronto Blue Jays do not have the power that they have had over the last couple seasons, so even if Tanaka does have home run problems again this season, the Jays may not be a team that can really make him pay.
Robbie Ray ($8,700): Robbie Ray is seemingly underpriced based on the numbers he can put up in the strikeout department. He easily has a slate-high strikeout rate at 32.7 percent, seven percentage points higher than anybody else. Ray and the Arizona Diamondbacks are taking on the Colorado Rockies in Chase Field, which has a humidor now, so it is expected that the home run rate in the park will go down considerably. Considering Ray was a beast on the road last year, this bodes well for him.
Nick Pivetta ($6,100): Nick Pivetta is dirt cheap on DraftKings. He is a great play if you are looking to save money on your second starting pitcher to pay up for your bats or one of the better pitchers on the slate. Although the Atlanta Braves struck out only six times on opening day, Pivetta's 24 percent strikeout rate is solid for the bargain price.
Hitters to Target
Kris Bryant ($5,400): Kris Bryant is the most expensive hitter on the main slate, so you are paying a premium to use him, but he could still be worth it. In just 13 innings pitched against right-handed batters last season, Caleb Smith gave up four home runs. Smith is a southpaw, and Bryant crushes left-handed pitchers. In 2017, Bryant had .405 weighted on base average (wOBA) and a .218 isolated power (ISO) against lefties.
Mike Trout ($5,200): It is rare to see Mike Trout as "just" the fourth highest-priced batter on the slate. Taking on Sean Manaea in Oakland -- which is historically a bad home run park -- is not the most ideal situation. But Manaea allowed an 88.8 mile-per-hour average exit velocity in 2017, which is the second-worst mark on the slate. With the power Trout has, he should be able to take advantage. Trout has historically hit right-handed pitchers better (.416 wOBA against righties compared to .400 wOBA against left-handed pitchers), but he should have no problem with Manaea.
Mookie Betts ($4,800): Mookie Betts had a much worse 2017 season compared to 2016. In 2016, Betts put up a .379 wOBA and a .216 ISO; however, in 2017, those numbers were down to a .339 wOBA and a .194 ISO. The Boston Red Sox are in Tampa Bay to take on the Rays, who will have Blake Snell on the mound. Snell had a 4.72 skill-interactive earned run average (SIERA) last season, which is the third-worst on the slate.
Brett Gardner ($3,900): Brett Gardner hit a home run on opening day and will look to add to that tonight against Aaron Sanchez. Sanchez had blister problems last year, but he gave up 1.5 home runs per nine innings, which could put him in a tough situation against the New York Yankees today. Gardner had .191 ISO against right-handed pitchers in 2017, so he should benefit from the home run troubles that Sanchez has had.
Aaron Altherr ($3,500): Aaron Altherr and the Philadelphia Phillies might be a sneaky team to stack in the early-going. Mike Foltynewicz had an average exit velocity of 87.2 miles per hour last year and an average distance of hits of 178 feet, both among the worst on the slate. Altherr had success against right-handed pitchers in 2017 with a .363 wOBA and a .236 ISO. He will be low-owned tonight and could be a great play.
Buster Posey ($3,800): Buster Posey is severely underpriced tonight on DraftKings. He is just $3,800 and taking on left-handed pitcher Alex Wood, a handedness against which he has historically dominated. In 2017, Posey crushed southpaws to the tune of a .415 wOBA and a .209 ISO, and although Wood is a great pitcher, sometimes taking an elite player at a discounted price is the play.