DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 4/5/18

On a short three-game slate, Kris Bryant is hard to look past due to his matchup against a lefty. Which other players are in favorable spots?

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 the DraftKings main slate? Let’s check it out, starting with the pitchers.

Pitchers to Target

High-Priced Pitcher

Robbie Ray ($11,700 on DraftKings): In his first start of the season, Robbie Ray was a bit disappointing. However, it was only the earned runs that were the real issue for his final score as he still pitched a respectable five innings and put up eight strikeouts. Tonight is certainly a difficult matchup for Ray. Although the St. Louis Cardinals have struck out 25.5 percent of the time this season, which is the seventh-highest clip in the Majors, they are in the top 10 in just about all major hitting categories. But, on this short-slate, Ray still has far and away the highest upside because of his elite ability to get punchouts as his 32.8 percent strikeout rate from 2017 indicates.

Low-Priced Pitcher

Brent Suter ($6,300): Brent Suter is basically the opposite kind of pitcher from Ray. Last season, Suter had a lowly 18.8 percent strikeout rate, but he induced weak contact as pretty well as indicated by his 28.9 percent hard-hit rate (second-best on the slate) and slate-best average exit velocity of 84 miles per hour and 151 foot average batted ball distance. Suter has a very difficult matchup against the Chicago Cubs, but on such a short slate, you need to dive a bit deeper and take more risks if you're passing on Ray.

Hitters to Target

High-Priced Hitters

Kris Bryant ($5,600): Yes, I know I just recommended the pitcher that is facing Kris Bryant, but it is a small slate with limited options. In 2017, Bryant smashed left-handed pitching to the tune of a .405 weighted on base average (wOBA) and .218 isolated power (ISO). With Bryant taking on a lefty tonight, it is hopeful that his power will counteract the weak contact that Suter induces.

Joey Votto ($5,100): Joey Votto is arguably the most disciplined hitter in the Majors. He also is fantastic against both left-handed pitchers and right-handed hurlers. His career numbers against righties are a .420 wOBA and a .236 ISO. Against lefties, which he is facing tonight in Steven Brault, he has a career .394 wOBA and .205 ISO. Brault has a slate-worst 5.22 skill-interactive earned run average (SIERA) and an ugly 14.2 strikeout rate to go with an 8.6 percent walk rate. Votto's patience at the plate should really pay off in this matchup.

Value Hitters

Jose Martinez ($3,600): Alright, I want to start by saying that Martinez' 2017 numbers versus lefties are in a mere 69 plate appearances. However, in those 69 plate appearances, he put up an insane .539 wOBA and .441 ISO with a 1.340 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS). To say that he was successful against southpaws last season would be an understatement. Tonight he's taking on Robbie Ray, which is a relatively difficult matchup, though Ray has been known for giving up the long-ball. Last year he gave up an average exit velocity of 89.1 miles per hour, a 40.4 percent hard-hit rate and 40.3 percent fly-ball rate -- all of which are the worst on the slate.

Domingo Santana ($3,400): Domingo Santana cannot get into the lineup every game, but he should be in against left-handed pitcher Jon Lester. Santana hit lefties best out of all Brewers in 2017, including the new additions of Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain. He put up a .377 wOBA and a .218 ISO in the split. But he also stole 15 bases, which is important against Lester, who allowed 19 stolen bases in 2017, tied for the seventh-most in the bigs. If Santana gets on base tonight, he could create havoc.

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.