DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 4/6/18

Luis Castillo has elite strikeout upside at a much cheaper price than other studs. 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 Pitchers

Lance McCullers ($12,300 on DraftKings): Lance McCullers stands out as one of the highest-upside pitchers on the slate. He had a 25.8 percent strikeout rate in 2017, which is second best on the slate, and his slate-best 3.41 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) and 3.10 fielding-independent pitching (FIP) further show how elite he is. He is taking on the San Diego Padres, who have the lowest implied team total on the slate at just 3.10 runs.

Luis Castillo ($8,700): Luis Castillo is considerably cheaper than McCullers, but he offers similar strikeout upside. He actually has the highest strikeout rate on the slate at 27.3 percent and may be the best bang-for-your-buck pitcher tonight. Castillo is taking on a Pittsburgh Pirates team that has surprised this season but should come back down to earth sooner rather than later. Although McCullers leads the slate in SIERA and FIP, Castillo comes in a close second in both with a 3.63 SIERA and 3.74 FIP in 2017.

Low-Priced Pitcher

Marco Estrada ($7,500): Marco Estrada is known for fooling his opponents with movement and finesse rather than power. For example, his fastball averaged just 90.09 miles per hour in 2017, but he still managed to put up a 21.8 percent strikeout rate. That said, 2017 was a season to forget for Estrada as indicated by his 4.98 ERA and slate-worst average batted-ball distance of 195 feet. However, there may have been an obvious reason for Estrada's poor season and he spent time trying to fix that. If Estrada's increased pace can keep opponents off balance, he could use that strikeout rate to post a solid outing against the Texas Rangers.

Hitters to Target

High-Priced Hitters

Giancarlo Stanton ($5,600): Giancarlo Stanton is the highest-priced hitter on the slate and with good reason. He was the best power-hitter in baseball last season, but he has struggled a bit this season with just a .185 batting average.. He has even had a five-strikeout game that led to his being booed in his first at-bat at Yankee Stadium. However, he quieted the fans quickly by hitting a home run. He has three long balls on the season and is at home, looking to add to those totals tonight against Kevin Gausman.

Mike Trout ($5,500): Trout has a fantastic matchup, taking on Daniel Gossett, who in limited innings last season really struggled. He had a lot of trouble keeping the ball in play as indicated by his horrific 2.07 home runs per nine innings (HR/9). His peripherals back up his struggles with his 33.4 percent hard-hit rate and 87.4 mile per hour average exit velocity. We all know how great Trout is, and in 2017, he smashed right-handed pitchers with a .450 wOBA and .359 ISO.

Josh Donaldson ($4,800): Donaldson has been one of the best power-hitters in baseball over the last five seasons, and the start of 2018 shows he's still in that class. Tonight, he is taking on lefty Matt Moore, who struggled in 2017, giving up a 41.9 percent fly-ball rate and 34.7 percent hard-hit rate, both of which are second worst on the slate. Donaldson has a history of crushing left-handed pitchers, including a .427 wOBA and an insane .400 ISO.

Value Hitters

Marwin Gonzalez ($3,900): Marwin Gonzalez has struggled a bit this season after an incredible 2017 campaign. He put up a .230 ISO and .397 wOBA against right-handed pitchers last season with a better-than-average 19.7 percent strikeout rate. Strikeouts shouldn't really be an issue tonight as he takes on Luis Perdomo, who struggled to strike anybody out last year. His 16.5 percent strikeout rate is worst on the slate as he is a ground-ball pitcher, which is shown by his insanely high 61.8 percent ground-ball rate. Gonzalez should put the ball in play, giving him plenty of opportunities to rack up hits.

Kike Hernandez ($3,500): The Los Angeles Dodgers are taking on Derek Holland and the San Francisco Giants tonight, and Kike Hernandez is one of the best hitters against left-handed pitchers on the Dodgers. (NOTE: Tonight's Dodgers-Giants game has since been postponed.) In 2017, he had an elite .390 wOBA and .309 ISO. Holland struggled last season with a slate-worst 38.4 percent hard-hit rate as well as an average batted-ball distance of 195 feet. His 88.3 miles per hour average exit velocity is second worst on the slate, as well. Hernandez's power against southpaws could be really beneficial tonight.

Matthew Joyce ($3,100): Matt Joyce and the Oakland Athletics are on the road to take on the Los Angeles Angels. Joyce, and all lefties, are going to become a lot more in play when games are played in Angel Stadium. This is because the Angels lowered their right-field wall from 18 feet to 8 feet, which is going to benefit power lefties. Joyce had a solid .360 wOBA and .256 ISO against righties last season. Meanwhile, opposing pitcher Parker Bridwell allowed a 40.7 percent fly-ball rate and 33.5 percent hard-contact rate, which doesn't bode well for him in this matchup.

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.