DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 4/20/18

Max Scherzer stands out on a slate full of high-priced aces. Which low-priced hitters will help you afford him tonight?

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

Max Scherzer ($12,500 on DraftKings): If you're paying up for pitching tonight, there are four pitchers priced above $11,000 with Max Scherzer being the most expensive of the bunch. Forced to choose, Scherzer is the way to go as he has been incredibly dominant over the last couple seasons and on a more consistent basis. In 2017, he had a 34.4 percent strikeout rate, which is almost five percentage-points higher than anybody else on the slate. He has hurled double-digit strikeouts in three of his four starts and eclipsed 100 pitches in all four games this season, too.

Chris Archer ($8,800): This is more of a mid-priced pitcher than a high-priced pitcher, but the upside is quite high for Chris Archer. He has been a pretty polarizing pitcher among the daily fantasy community. He has elite strikeout numbers, as his 29.2 percent strikeout rate is third-best on the slate. However, he is also prone to getting into a lot of trouble once there are runners on base. Nevertheless, he has had a lot of success at home and his home/road splits show as much. At Tropicana Field, he has a 3.31 ERA, .280 weighted on-base average (wOBA) against, 27.8 percent strikeout rate and 7.5 percent walk-rate. Those numbers are worse on the road with a 4.13 ERA, .311 wOBA against, 23.9 strikeout rate, 8.2 walk rate.

Low-Priced Pitchers

Sean Newcomb ($7,400): In 2017, Sean Newcomb had a respectable 23.7 percent strikeout rate and 159-foot average batted-ball distance. He also limited hard contact to just 27 percent in 100 innings. Through his first three starts in 2018 -- 15.2 innings -- he has an elite 31 percent strikeout rate while maintaining a low 158-foot average batted-ball distance and 24.4 percent hard-contact rate. Tonight, he takes on the New York Mets, who have been performing well lately but do bring some strikeout-prone hitters into the matchup with Newcomb.

Hitters to Target

High-Priced Hitters

Charlie Blackmon ($5,600): The Colorado Rockies' Charlie Blackmon is going to be taking on Kyle Hendricks, and he smashed right-handed pitching to the tune of a .420 wOBA and a .292 isolated slugging (ISO) a season ago. Coors Field has the highest park factor in the Majors with a 1.335 rating. Hendricks may be a solid pitcher, but it's hard to bet against the park and Blackmon's ability to hit anyone in the league.

J.D. Martinez ($5,200): Martinez's career in Boston has been pretty solid so far. He has 4 home runs and 15 RBI, along with 13 runs scored and a .338 average. However, his Statcast numbers indicate that he could be even better than that. He has an average exit velocity of 95.1 miles per hour, a 203-foot average batted-ball distance and 12 barrels. Tonight may be another opportunity to increase these totals as he's taking on Oakland's Kendall Graveman, who struggles to tally strike outs with a 15.8 percent strikeout rate in 2017. A 88.8 mile-per-hour average exit velocity also speaks to the opportunity presented to the hard-hitting slugger on Friday.

Giancarlo Stanton ($5,000): Though he's struggled mightily at the dish, Giancarlo Stanton has probably received more than his fair share of criticism in New York He was brought in to be a big-time player with the rest of the Yankees, but their fans have gotten extremely impatient with him in a very short period of time. Well, tonight might be a fantastic spot for him to get back on track. Stanton's taking on Marco Estrada of the Toronto Blue Jays, who is prone to giving up home runs. In 2017, he allowed a 50.3 percent fly-ball rate and gave up 1.5 home runs per nine innings. Given that Estrada tries to beat you with finesse rather than speed, if Stanton gets a hold of one (or two or three) he could be in for a huge night.

Value Hitters

Carlos Santana ($3,900): According to CBS Sports' Chris Towers, Statcast's quality of contact data shows that Santana has the largest gap between expected production and actual production so far this season. He has a 90.7 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and a 225-foot average batted-ball distance. In 2017, he hit to a .359 wOBA and .214 ISO against right-handed pitching, and his .135 BABIP is unsustainably low. Taking on Ivan Nova is a solid matchup for Santana as Nova gave up a 34.8 percent hard-hit rate, 23.4 percent line-drive rate and 87.9 mile-per-hour average exit velocity last season.

Brian McCann ($3,600): In the early part of 2018, Brian McCann has been solid. He has a .387 wOBA and .192 ISO against right-handed pitching and his .351 batting average is impressive. The problem is he has just one home run and seven RBI. There is always a chance that he isn't in the lineup, so be sure to check out the lineups page before lock. However, with the Houston Astros taking on Chicago White Sox' righty James Shields, he offers big potential if he's in the order. Shields struggled, giving up 2.08 home runs per nine innings in 2017 -- the worst of his career.

Teoscar Hernandez ($3,200): Teoscar Hernandez has played five games since being called up last week, and he has been on fire since. He has hits in four of five games and has picked up nine hits while batting .375 with a home run and six RBI. In 68 plate appearances against right-handed pitching in 2017, Teoscar crushed with a .417 wOBA and an insanely high .371 ISO. Taking on Sonny Gray, who has given up 10 runs in just 13 innings this season, this is a great spot for Hernandez to go off again.

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.