DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 4/16/18

James Paxton has swing-and-miss stuff, but he's in a tough spot against the Astros. How should you handle him, and which other players are worth a look?

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

Aaron Nola ($10,400 on DraftKings): There are only two pitchers priced above $10,000 on DraftKings tonight, so there is merit in fading both. However, Nola has shown elite signs this season and been pulled a bit early in two of his three starts. He was taken out of the game at just 68 pitchers and 87 pitches, respectively, in his first two games. However, he threw 103 pitches in his most recent outing, going eight innings in the process. Nola was great in 2017 with a 26.6 percent strikeout rate and a sparkling 3.60 skill-interactive earned run average (SIERA), and as long as the Philadelphia Phillies let him go deep into the game, he's in a nice spot against the Atlanta Braves.

Low-Priced Pitchers

James Paxton ($8,000): This is a case of taking a good pitcher in a difficult matchup. James Paxton is way underpriced based on his matchup, considering he was $10,400 against the Kansas City Royals in his last start. Paxton has some great strikeout numbers (28.3 percent strikeout rate) and limits the long-ball (0.60 home-run-per-fly-ball ratio). He also has the second-best SIERA on the slate at 3.45. The Houston Astros obviously have a ton of power, so this is a high-risk, high-reward play that could pay off at low ownership.

Blake Snell ($7,800): Blake Snell was very impressive in his last start, but he was a little inefficient as he struck out 10 and threw 114 pitches in six innings. His numbers were pretty mediocre in 2017, with a 21.8 strikeout rate and 85.3 mile per hour average exit velocity, but he has taken a nice step forward in the early part of 2018. Tonight, he's taking on the Texas Rangers, a team that is striking out 24.8 percent of the time -- ninth-most in the majors -- and sporting a team weight on-base average (wOBA) of .296, which ranks 21st.

Hitters to Target

High-Priced Hitters

Rhys Hoskins ($5,400): Well, it's another day that Rhys Hoskins faces a right-handed pitcher, so it's another day that we must consider him. He smashed righties in 2017 to the tune of a .421 wOBA and .333 isolated power (ISO). He has continued his dominance against righties in the early part of 2018 with a .435 wOBA and .229 ISO. Julio Teheran is not usually a pitcher to go out of your way to target, but with the success Hoskins has had, there are enough holes in Teheran's game to exploit -- such as his 39.8 percent fly-ball rate and 181-foot average batted ball distance, both of which are bottom-four marks on the slate.

Michael Conforto ($4,600): Although Michael Conforto hasn't been that great since he came off the disabled list, he was incredible last season, especially against right-handed pitching. In the split, he posted a .420 wOBA, .292 ISO and 1.012 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) in 2017, which put him among the best in baseball against righties. Tonight, he's taking on Jeremy Hellickson of the Washington Nationals. Hellickson gave up a slate-worst 192-foot average batted-ball distance and 1.92 home runs per nine innings in 2017. Furthermore, his 43.8 percent fly-ball rate is second-worst on the slate.

Joey Votto ($4,500): It is a rare event when you have any interest in using a left-handed hitter against a left-handed pitcher, but Joey Votto is an exception to this. In 2017, he did quite well against lefties, putting up a more-than-respectable .415 wOBA and .260 ISO. Tonight, he's taking on Milwaukee Brewers starter Brent Suter, who succeeds by inducing weak contact, as evidenced by his slate-best 84 mile per hour average exit velocity. This is something that Votto should be able to overcome, because Suter also gives up a 24 percent line-drive rate, which is among the worst clips on the slate.

Value Hitters

Hunter Renfroe ($3,900): Hunter Renfroe is a hitter you use strictly for his home run potential. He could easily put up a dud, but his .439 wOBA and .368 ISO against left-handed pitchers in 2017 are power numbers that are difficult to ignore. He's taking on Hyun-jin Ryu, who is coming off a great game, but looking at his 2017 numbers, there is hope for Renfroe. Ryu surrendered a 36.2 percent hart-hit rate and 18.6 percent home-run-per-fly-ball rate in 2017, which sit worst and third-worst, respectively, on the slate.

Jean Segura ($3,500): We probably shouldn't be surprised at some of the soft-pricing given that we're still early in the season, but Jean Segura at $3,500 is priced down way too much in this matchup against Dallas Keuchel. Segura has been playing great, and Keuchel has been struggling so far in 2018, so it is a bit peculiar. Segura had good numbers against lefties last season with a .353 wOBA, though just a .114 ISO. Keuchel hasn't been great this year, and his name-value has depressed the price of Segura a little too much.

Wilson Ramos ($2,800): Wilson Ramos definitely makes for a great catcher punt tonight. He's just $2,800 and has had a lot of success in his career against left-handed pitching. Throughout his time in the bigs, Ramos has hit lefties to the tune of a .339 wOBA and .162 ISO, numbers that you are more than happy to see from a catcher this cheap. Furthermore, he could bat fifth in the order, giving him outlook an additional boost.

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.