DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 4/19/18
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
Jameson Taillon ($11,100 on DraftKings): In 2017, Jameson Taillon showed flashes, but he has really taken a step forward in the early part of 2018. He had a 21.3 percent strikeout rate last season but has bumped that up a bit to 24.0 percent in 2018. Furthermore, he has dropped his hard-hit rate from 29.6 percent to 19.6 percent. It has been only a few games, but giving up just 9 hits and 2 earned runs in 20.1 innings is fantastic. He has a complete-game shutout mixed in there, as well. He may be able to rack up a few strikeouts tonight as he is taking on the Philadelphia Phillies, a team with a 25.2 percent strikeout rate.
Zack Greinke ($10,600): Zack Greinke has given up 19 hits, 10 runs and 4 home runs in just 17 innings this season, but he has also walked just 1 batter and struck out 21. There is some concern here, but there's still plenty of upside, too. In his three outings, he has a 29.2 percent strikeout rate and 1.4 percent walk rate. These are in line with his 2017 numbers of a 26.8 percent strikeout rate -- which is the best on the slate -- and 5.6 percent walk rate. He's taking on a San Francisco Giants team that strikes out 25.3 percent of the time, fifth-most in the bigs, and has an ugly .284 team weighted on-base average (wOBA).
Eduardo Rodriguez ($7,300): It was really hard to pick a low-priced pitcher on this slate. Eduardo Rodriguez has some upside, but it's not an easy matchup against the Los Angeles Angels, who have a ton of good right-handed hitters. Although the Angels certainly hit for a lot of power -- their .172 team isolated power (ISO) ranks seventh and their .343 team wOBA ranks fourth -- there is strikeout upside for E-Rod. He had a 25.8 percent strikeout rate in 2017, which is second-best on this short slate, and has carried that over to 2018 with a 35.7 percent strikeout rate across his first two starts of the season.
Hitters to Target
Mookie Betts ($5,500): It was a toss up between Mookie Betts and Mike Trout here, to be honest. The Boston Red Sox lead the bigs with a .367 team wOBA and are taking on Angels pitcher Nick Tropeano, who was fantastic in his first start since 2016. However, that was against the lowly Kansas City Royals. Betts has been on a tear to start the season, posting a .390 average, 1.249 OPS and 5 home runs. Furthermore, he has put up a .528 wOBA and .348 ISO against right-handed pitching.
Gregory Polanco ($4,600): In the early part of 2018, Gregory Polanco has been getting very unlucky in terms of his .176 batting average on balls in play (BABIP). When you look at his other numbers, it's surprising that he has just a .193 batting average. He is striking out just 18.6 percent of the time and has a 15.5 percent walk-rate to go with 13 runs, 15 RBIs and 5 home runs. Jake Arrieta has struggled against lefties over the last two seasons, giving up a .354 wOBA in the split in 2017 and .429 wOBA so far in 2018.
Ozzie Albies ($4,300): Ozzie Albies has been a beast to start the season, although he has done most of that damage against left-handed pitching. His numbers against righties do leave a lot to be desired with a .295 wOBA and a .190 ISO, but in 2017, he was a bit better in the split (.331 wOBA). He's taking on right-hander Matt Harvey, so there is still plenty of upside here. Harvey struggled in 2017 with a slate-worst 5.44 skill-interactive earned run average (SIERA) and gave up 2.04 home runs per nine innings, and he's allowing a 40.0 percent hard-hit rate this season.
Odubel Herrera ($3,500): Yes, Taillon -- who is facing the Phils -- is a nice play, but on a five game slate, there are limited options. Odubel Herrera is certainly off to a good start against right-handed pitching with a .424 wOBA and .178 ISO this year. Even though Taillon has been lights out in 2018, he had an 8.2 percent swinging-strike rate last year, and it's actually fallen to 7.7 percent this season. On top of that, lefties got to Taillon for a .355 wOBA in 2017.
Jesus Aguilar ($3,100): It is early in the season, but so far Jesus Aguilar has smashed left-handed pitching to the tun of a .550 wOBA and .222 ISO. He did well in 2017, too, with a .372 wOBA and .223 ISO against lefties. He's going to face Dillon Peters, who has a slate-worst 89.1 mile per hour average exit velocity. Now, Peters pitched only 31.1 innings to 2017, so the numbers are based off a small sample size, but he struggled with a 13.7 percent walk rate a year ago. Aguilar is one of the slate's top value bats, and the Milwaukee Brewers are going to be popular.
Justin Bour ($3,000): Justin Bour appears to be incredibly under-priced tonight. Sure, he hasn't done that much, but he still had a .384 wOBA and .252 ISO against right-handed pitching in 2017, and he owns a respectable .337 wOBA and .279 ISO in the early part of 2018. He's taking on Chase Anderson, who boasts a lowly 7.3 percent swinging-strike rate so far in 2018. He had a 180 foot average batted ball distance last season, which is the second-worst on the slate.
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.