DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 4/3/18
Every day is unique for daily fantasy baseball, which is both a blessing and a challenge. Although we can’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 numberFire’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? Let’s check it out, starting with the pitchers.
Pitchers to Target
Justin Verlander ($11,600 on DraftKings): Justin Verlander is in a great spot tonight, and while many will flock to Clayton Kershaw, the leverage play might be to use Verlander. He had a 25.8 percent strikeout rate in 2017 and is taking on a Baltimore Orioles team that has struggled this season. Although it's early, the Orioles are dead last with a .134 team batting average (AVG) and a 27.1 percent team strikeout rate. With Verlander's strikeout ability and the Orioles' early-season issues, this is a dream matchup for him.
Chase Anderson ($10,100): Chase Anderson had a pretty decent strikeout rate last season, sitting at 23.4 percent, but the real benefit is that he is taking on a St. Louis Cardinals team that has had troubles with striking out this season. They have the third-worst strikeout rate in the Majors, striking out 28.1 percent of the time. Anderson also does a great job at limiting the long ball as his 0.89 home runs per nine innings (HR/9) is third best on the slate.
Garrett Richards ($6,500): Garrett Richards struggled in his first game of the season, but the underlying numbers from 2017 are encouraging. In limited innings, he had a 25 percent strikeout rate, 29.2 percent fly-ball rate and a 3.67 skill-interactive earned run average (SIERA), all of which are top five on the slate. This is a tough matchup against the Cleveland Indians, but the price is cheap, and the strikeout upside makes for a decent low-owned play.
Hitters to Target
Bryce Harper ($5,300): Bryce Harper absolutely crushed right-handed pitching last season. His career splits are certainly impressive with a .402 weighted on base average (wOBA) and .256 isolated power (ISO) against right-handed pitchers. Harper and the Washington Nationals will be taking on Julio Teheran and the Atlanta Braves tonight in Atlanta. Teheran has struggled with keeping the ball out of the air, as indicated by his 39.8 percent fly-ball rate and 13.7 percent home run per fly-ball rate. SunTrust Park does not have a very good park factor as their 0.930 rating ranks just 25th in the Majors, but the relatively warm temperatures in Atlanta will help make up for that tonight.
Charlie Blackmon ($5,100): Charlie Blackmon has one of the best lefty/righty splits in the Majors. In 2017, Blackmon put up an incredible .420 wOBA and .292 ISO against right-handed pitchers. Tonight, he is facing the struggling Tyson Ross, who has a slate-worst 6.17 SIERA and could not strike anybody out last season, as indicated by his 15.1 percent strikeout rate. The one downside to Blackmon tonight is that this game will be played in Petco Park, which has a 0.838 park factor, which is the worst in the Majors.
Rhys Hoskins ($4,900): Rhys Hoskins came out of the gate last season as one of the best power hitters in baseball. It was a small sample size, but against right-handed pitching, he put up an incredible .421 wOBA and .333 ISO. Tonight, he is taking on Matt Harvey, a pitcher who has struggled over the last couple years. But in 2017, he allowed a brutal 2.04 HR/9, something that a power hitter like Hoskins will be able to take advantage of.
Joey Gallo ($3,800): Joey Gallo is always a boom-or-bust player as he can strikeout four times in a game, and nobody would bat an eye. However, the power is real, especially against right-handed pitching. In 2017, Gallo had a .364 wOBA and an astonishingly high .350 ISO against righties. Furthermore, 34 of his 41 home runs came against righties. Now, this is yet another poor hitting environment as the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum has just the 24th-best park factor of 0.943. Luckily, the power of Gallo will be hard to contain.
Justin Smoak ($3,700): Smoaky is a switch-hitter who hit pretty well from both sides of the plate last season. He has hit better against right-handed pitching in his career with a .326 wOBA and a .199 ISO compared to a .308 wOBA and .155 ISO against left-handed pitching. Last season, all of those numbers were better in what was a career year for Smoak. He put up a .359 wOBA and .266 ISO against righties to go along with a .412 wOBA and .234 ISO against lefties. Being a successful hitter from both sides of the plate allows Smoak to not lose value if an opposite-handed pitcher comes into the game from the bullpen, making him a solid option against Miguel Gonzalez and the Chicago White Sox.
Hunter Renfroe ($3,000): Be sure to check the San Diego Padres' lineups page to ensure that Renfroe is in the lineup. He has played only once this season, but it was the one game the Padres had against a lefty. Renfroe is certainly a punt option in this matchup because he smashes left-handed pitching. Last season, he hit southpaws to the tune of a .439 wOBA and a .368 ISO despite just 11 of his 26 home runs coming against lefties. However, it was worth noting that those 11 home runs against lefties came in just 130 plate appearances whereas it took him 349 plate appearances to hit 15 home runs against right-handed pitching.
Ryan Sheppard is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ryan Sheppard also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username donkshow_. 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.