DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 4/9/18
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 the DraftKings main slate? Let’s check it out, starting with the pitchers.
Pitchers to Target
Noah Syndergaard ($12,300 on DraftKings): It is a toss-up between Noah Syndergaard and Max Scherzer tonight at the upper-echelon of pricing for pitchers. Thor has a better matchup this evening as he takes on the Miami Marlins. In 2017, Thor had a 27.4 percent strikeout rate, which is second-best on the slate, but his 1.31 fielding independent pitching (FIP) and 2.74 skill-interactive earned run average (SIERA) are both tops on the slate.
Zack Godley ($9,800): Thor and Scherzer clearly have elite strikeout ability, but Zack Godley is not that far behind. In 2017, Godley ranked third among starters on this slate with a 26.3 percent strikeout rate. The one concern with Godley is that he gave up a 32.2 percent hard-contact rate last season, but most of those balls didn't do too much damage. His 148-foot average batted-ball distance as well as his 55 percent ground-ball rate and 26.2 percent fly-ball rate indicate that although these balls were hit hard, they were mostly kept out of the air.
Jon Gray ($7,900): It is rare that you ever want to use a pitcher in Coors Field, but Jon Gray is the odd exception. His numbers look very similar at home compared to on the road, as his career home wOBA is .311 and career road is .315. His home runs per nine innings (HR/9) goes from 0.80 on the road to 0.96 at home. On top of that, his strikeout rate goes down from 25.8 percent on the road to 23.5 percent at home. But tonight against the San Diego Padres is a good matchup to ignore the fact that this game will be played at Coors Field. The Padres have a 24.9 percent strikeout rate this season, which is ninth-worst in the Majors, and Gray is an option in large-field tournaments.
Hitters to Target
Nolan Arenado ($5,700): This one is pretty simple, Nolan Arenado smashes left-handed pitchers. This game is also being played in Coors Field, which has a 1.335 park factor, easily the best in baseball. In 2017, Arenado put up an insane .534 weighted on base average (wOBA) and .420 isolated power (ISO) against lefties. Furthermore, his career numbers at home versus on the road against lefties are as follows: on the road, Arenado has a .332 wOBA and .176 ISO against lefties, but at home he jacks that up to a .467 wOBA and .363 ISO.
Freddie Freeman ($4,600): Here is a tough one -- in 2017 Freddie Freeman destroyed right-handed pitching with a .422 wOBA and .293 ISO. That's the good. The bad is that tonight he has a very difficult matchup against Scherzer. If there is a silver lining in a matchup against Scherzer it's that he had an insanely high 46.6 percent fly-ball rate, which is the second-worst on the slate. The matchup is tough, but the underlying numbers do lean in Freeman's favour, so he could be a low-owned stud tonight.
Joey Gallo ($4,400): Joey Gallo struck out a lot last year -- like, a lot. He went down on strikes in 36.8 percent of his trips to the plate, to be exact. In 48 plate appearances in 2018, he has cut that down to 25 percent, granted the sample is obviously small. While time will tell if Gallo truly is improving his ability to make contact, his power is undeniable, especially against right-handed pitching. In 2017, Gallo hit for a .364 wOBA and an insane .350 ISO versus righties, which plays well against Garrett Richards. Richards has had a great game and a poor game so far, but he has given up three home runs across his two starts.
Mitch Haniger ($3,400): Mitch Haniger came out of the gate in 2017 on an absolute tear before slowly coming back down to earth. However, he did finish with solid numbers by the end of the year. Tonight, the Seattle Mariners are severely under-priced, and you can make make the argument for a bunch of them. However, Haniger leads the way as his 2017 numbers were among the best on the team. He put up a .375 wOBA and .213 ISO against right-handed pitching, and Jake Junis is not somebody that should instill fear into hitters.
Nick Ahmed ($3,400): Nick Ahmed missed a few games with the flu, but he'll be a nice value option if he's back in the lineup today. He is taking on Derek Holland of the San Francisco Giants tonight, and Holland, a left-handed pitcher, struggled in 2017. He was hit hard last season as indicated by his average exit velocity of 88.3 miles per hour, 38.4 percent hard-hit rate, 40.5 percent fly-ball rate and 17.6 percent home-run-per-fly-ball rate. Those are scary numbers for a pitcher. Meanwhile, Ahmed hit lefties very well last year to the tune of a .450 wOBA and .229 ISO, which should be beneficial to him in this matchup.
Jesse Winker ($3,000): Although Jesse Winker may not be the best hitter out there, in 111 plate appearances in 2017 against right-handed pitching, he put up some lofty numbers. His .438 wOBA and .271 ISO in the split are certainly enough to consider him tonight in a pretty favourable matchup against Ben Lively. Lively is not much of a strikeout pitcher as evident by his slate-worst 14.0 percent strikeout rate in 2017. Furthermore, his 5.27 SIERA and 44.2 percent fly-ball rate are both in the bottom-three among pitchers on this slate, and Winker is a cheap way to get exposure to the Cincinnati Reds lineup in this stellar 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.