DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 4/17/18
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
Corey Kluber ($12,100 on DraftKings): Corey Kluber is one of the strikeout kings. In 2017, he put up an incredible 34.1 percent strikeout rate and has continued that right into 2018 with a 33.3 percent strikeout rate in the early part of the season. He is taking on a Minnesota Twins team that is very swing-happy as their team strikeout rate of 25.2 percent is the sixth-highest mark. On top of Kluber's strikeout upside, the Cleveland Indians are also the slate's biggest favorite (-193 moneyline).
Shohei Ohtani ($10,900): After struggling in the spring, many wondered what Shohei Ohtani would be like once the real games started. After two starts, he has quieted his critics. Granted, both outings were against the Oakland Athletics, but Oakland has been solid to start the year. Tonight is Ohtani's toughest test yet as he takes on the Boston Red Sox. Looking at his 2018 stats can be misleading since it has been just two starts, but a 40 percent strikeout rate and 1.77 skill-interactive earned run average (SIERA) are encouraging and Boston's 3.55 implied total isn't too scary.
Gio Gonzalez ($8,500): This is more like mid-priced pitching, but it gets real ugly real fast down there. However, the New York Mets have been terrible against left-handed pitching in the early part of 2018. They have struck out at a 31.4 percent clip, the second-worst, and they've put up a .251 weighted on-base average (wOBA), which is dead last. Gio Gonzalez has been a good-not-great strikeout pitcher, and his 22.7 percent strikeout rate last season falls in line with his career numbers. He induces soft-contact to make up for it, though, as his 85.5 mile per hour average exit velocity is among the top five on the slate.
Hitters to Target
Kris Bryant ($5,100): Kris Bryant has come out of the gate incredibly hot, hitting .353 with a 1.104 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS). He was superb against right-handed pitching last season, with a .397 wOBA and .249 ISO. Tonight he's taking on Adam Wainwright, who struggled last year with a career-worst 4.70 SIERA and measly 17.6% strikeout rate. Wainwright could be in for a world of trouble with the power and skill in the Chicago Cubs' lineup.
Freddie Freeman ($5,100): Freddie Freeman is incredibly patient at the plate, but pitchers are also not giving him much to hit. He has a 25.7 percent walk rate, which ranks second, and he is sixth with a .486 on-base percentage (OBP) and 13th with a .438 wOBA. He's been fantastic to start the year. He's facing Nick Pivetta, who struggled in 2017 with a 35.5 percent hard-hit rate and finished the year with an abysmal 6.02 ERA. Pivetta has been incredible in 2018, so we'll see if he continues, but I'd rather bet on Freeman in this matchup.
Justin Upton ($4,500): Justin Upton absolutely smashed left-handed pitching in 2017, putting up an elite .472 wOBA and .384 isolated power (ISO) in the split. Tonight he has a more difficult matchup against David Price, but it's certainly not a matchup we should be too afraid of. Considering Upton is averaging 10.2 DraftKings points per game, his price is much lower than others who have been as productive as him this season. The Los Angeles Angels have been the best offense in baseball this season with a team wOBA of .358.
Jed Lowrie ($3,900): Jed Lowrie has been a surprise in the early part of the season and has been the Oakland Athletics best hitter so far. He's had multi-hit games in three of his last five outings, and he is hitting .343 with 4 home runs and 17 RBIs. The A's are hosting the Chicago White Sox, who are throwing Miguel Gonzalez, a pitcher who struggled last year. His 5.39 SIERA last season is the worst on the slate, and his 14.6 percent strikeout rate from last season is the second-worst on the slate.
Yasmani Grandal ($3,600): Writing up a catcher on back-to-back days and neither of them being Gary Sanchez seems like a problem. But Wilson Ramos worked out last night with 15 DraftKings points (shameless plug), so let's try it again. Yasmani Grandal has started off his 2018 season with an absolute bang. He has a .478 wOBA and .279 ISO to go along with an elite 1.111 OPS. He is currently riding a six-game hitting streak and is fresh off a grand slam last night. He will be facing Bryan Mitchell, who gave up a slate-worst 25.4 percent line-drive rate in 2017, and his 88.0 mile per hour average exit velocity is the second-worst mark on the slate.
C.J. Cron ($2,800): This is certainly scraping the bottom of the barrel, but it is a very good matchup for C.J. Cron. He has taken a spot as the Tampa Bay Rays clean-up hitter, and in 2017, he hit for a .331 wOBA and .267 ISO against left-handed pitching. In the early part of 2018, those numbers are up a bit with a .408 wOBA and .316 ISO versus southpaws. The lefty he is facing, Matt Moore, struggled last year, giving up a slate-worst 88.4 mile per hour average exit velocity. The Rays are not a scary team from a hitting perspective, but the matchup is fantastic.
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.