DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 4/11/18
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
David Price ($11,900 on DraftKings): Tonight is a pretty poor night for expensive pitchers. So, we're going to cover only one, and then look at two cheaper guys. Price and Masahiro Tanaka are facing each other in difficult matchups, but Price stands out a bit more. He has been great this season, and in limited time last season (though some was in the bullpen), he was solid. He had a 24 percent strikeout rate and a 4.05 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), both top three on the slate. The New York Yankees are a tough matchup, but with their free-swinging ways, there is still some upside for Price here.
Marco Estrada ($8,500): Marco Estrada was great in his last game, striking out seven and giving up just one earned run in six innings against the Texas Rangers. Tonight, he is going to take on the Baltimore Orioles, a team that has struggled at the plate this season. They lead the Majors with a team strikeout rate of 27.1 percent, and although Estrada is not the scariest pitcher on the mound, he still has a respectable 21.8 percent strikeout rate and a sparkling 27.2 hard-contact rate. The latter mark is the best on the slate.
Luis Castillo ($7,700): Luis Castillo has been pretty bad to start the 2018 season. However, when you look at his numbers from 2017, it's hard not to expect things to turn around. Last season, he had a 27.3 percent strikeout rate, which leads the slate, and also did a great job at inducing weak contact. Castillo allowed an average exit velocity of just 84.7 miles per hour and a 141 foot average batted ball distance, both of which are tops on the slate. This further solidifies the case that Castillo may have had some bad luck in 2018 so far. He also gets the benefit of taking on the Philadelphia Phillies, who were being no-hit by Homer Bailey for more than half the game last night and rank second in the Majors, striking out 25.7 percent of the time.
Hitters to Target
Kris Bryant ($5,400): Kris Bryant has started off 2018 in solid fashion, hitting .317 with 2 home runs and a 1.036 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS). Tonight, he is taking on Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander Steven Brault. Bryant had plenty of success against southpaws last season, hitting for a .405 wOBA and .218 isolated slugging percentage (ISO). Brault has just 76 innings in the Majors, but the numbers have not been pretty as he has given up a .359 wOBA and .472 slugging percentage (SLG) against right-handed hitters.
Justin Smoak ($4,900): Justin Smoak is a switch-hitter, but he has had most of his success batting as a lefty against right-handed pitching. In his career, Smoak has put up a solid .326 wOBA and .199 ISO. However, in 2017 he had a career year in which those numbers became a .359 wOBA and a .266 ISO. Kevin Gausman has certainly shown flashes, but tonight, Smoak and the Toronto Blue Jays should be in a good spot to hit him hard.
Joey Votto ($4,500): Considering tonight's slate is just six games, the fact that Joey Votto is tied for the 15th most expensive hitter is certainly surprising. Sure, he has struggled to start the year, but his history as an elite player paints him as being underpriced this evening. He's taking on Nick Pivetta, a right-handed pitcher, against which Votto does extremely well. In 2017, Votto had a .433 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and .257 ISO. Going up against Pivetta and his horrific 35.5 percent hard-hit rate is certainly an encouraging spot to get his season back on track.
Chris Davis ($3,200): Chris Davis has been terrible in 2018 and is 3-for-37 with 1 home run. He has always been a boom-or-bust player with a low batting average but a lot of power. His career numbers against right-handed pitchers -- as he will see tonight in Marco Estrada -- are that of a .362 wOBA and a .263 ISO. If he can get a hold of one tonight, he could definitely have a big game as Estrada had a slate-worst 195 foot average batted ball distance in 2017.
Asdrubal Cabrera ($3,200): Asdrubel Cabrera is a switch-hitter that doesn't typically offer much power. However, he does hit very well against left-handed pitchers, which is the split he has tonight. The New York Mets are taking on the Miami Marlins, who will have Jarlin Garcia on the mound. In 2017, Cabrera put up a solid .407 wOBA but a weak .120 ISO. That said, in 2018, he has hit three home runs already, and while it's a little late in his career for him to start to develop power, it is worth noting that there has been some power early on.
Jorge Alfaro ($3,100): Be sure to check the Philadelphia Phillies' lineup to ensure that Alfaro is in it. Alfaro smashes the ball and has the two hardest-hit balls by a Phillies player this season as well as five the the six hardest in the Statcast era. Last year against right-handed pitching, he smashed to the tune of a .444 wOBA and a .264 ISO. Although Castillo put up elite numbers in 2017, he has struggled in 2018. It depends on what numbers you believe if you want to use him as your pitcher tonight or target him with Phillies bats.
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.