DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 4/23/18
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
Carlos Carrasco ($11,700 on DraftKings): Both Carlos Carrasco and Gerrit Cole are off to incredible starts to the season, but given the matchup, Carrasco has the slight edge tonight. He's got a matchup against the Baltimore Orioles that have struck out a lot and had trouble doing anything offensively. They have scored just 72 runs, which ranks 23rd, and own a miserable .285 team weighted on-base average (wOBA), which puts them 28th. Along the way, they have 26.9 percent strikeout rate, the second-worst in baseball. This bodes well for Carrasco as his 28.3 percent strikeout rate last season is a slate-best mark.
Gio Gonzalez ($10,800): Much like Carrasco, Gio Gonzalez has a great matchup. He is taking on the San Francisco Giants, a team that strikes out at the fifth-highest rate, sports the fourth-worst wOBA, and has scored a measly 66 runs, the third-fewest. Gio has a decent strikeout rate of 22.7 percent, which is accompanied by inducing weak contact as indicated by his 85 mile per hour average exit velocity -- which is second-best on the slate -- and a 165-foot average batted-ball distance, which is fifth-best.
Masahiro Tanaka ($8,800): This is moreso a sentiment to Masahiro Tanaka possibly being underpriced, although his recent performance may justify it. After dazzling in his season debut against the Toronto Blue Jays, Tanaka has put up less and less DraftKings points as the season has gone on, including giving up six runs in each of his last two games. He's given up at least one home run in every game this season, too. However, he had a 25.8 percent strikeout rate last season, including a slate-best 15.1 swinging-strike rate. This should help as he takes on a top-10 team in terms of striking out as the Minnesota Twins fan 24.8 percent of the time, the eighth-most.
Hitters to Target
Aaron Judge ($5,400): Although it is early in the season, Aaron Judge has lowered his strikeout rate from 30.7 percent in 2017 to 24.7 percent in 2018 -- a full 6 percentage points. If this continues, he should have another monster season. In the early part of 2018, Judge has put up a .324 average, hitt 6 home runs, scored 18 runs and picked up 15 RBIs. His 1.070 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) is second to Didi Gregorius' OPS on the Yankees, but it is also second in the big among all qualified hitters. Taking on Jake Odorizzi, who in 2017 allowed a slate-worst 205-foot average batted-ball distance, is just another reason to jump on the Judge train for tonight.
Carlos Correa ($5,100): In 2017, Carlos Correa put up an elite .445 wOBA and a .217 isolated slugging percentage (ISO) against lefties, and he has continued that into 2018 with a .434 wOBA and .182 ISO to start the season. He's going to be up against Tyler Skaggs, a pitcher who in 2017 was pretty mediocre. The Houston Astros boast a 4.86 implied total.
Jed Lowrie ($4,600): Switch-hitting Jed Lowrie has been off to an absolutely incredible start. And while he'll slow down at some point, he is still in a premium matchup tonight that we can take advantage of. He is at his best when hitting as a righty and taking on a left-handed pitcher, which will be the case to start the game tonight against Texas Rangers southpaw Matt Moore. Lowrie has a career .340 wOBA and .147 ISO as a right-handed hitter. In the early part of 2018, this has continued, with Lowrie racking up a .411 wOBA and .189 ISO against lefties.
Yoan Moncada ($3,900): Yoan Moncada is still striking out way too much -- an astonishing 39.8 percent in 2018 -- so it's no wonder that his batting average is just .214. He has picked up three home runs and four stolen bases so far, so there is still plenty of upside with him, but the downside is also scary. It's just been four starts, but Mike Leake has been getting hit hard this season, giving up an average batted-ball distance of 200 feet as well as an average exit velocity of 93.3 miles per hour. If Leake continues down this path, the Chicago White Sox could be in for a big game.
Yasmani Grandal ($3,600): In the early part of 2018, Yasmani Grandal has smashed left-handed pitching. Grandal is hitting a .498 wOBA and a .211 ISO against southpaws so far and will look to continue that tonight against Jarlin Garcia. Garcia has been pitching well this season, according to some of the surface numbers, but there is reason to believe that he could come back down to earth soon. He is giving up a 40.9 percent fly-ball rate with a 14.3% walk rate, and Garcia could get into a lot of trouble if that continues.
David Dahl ($2,800): David Dahl finally got called up with Carlos Gonzalez going on the disabled list. Dahl was somebody who many pegged as a breakout player this season, but with a crowded outfield as well as the Rockies surprisingly bringing CarGo back, he was sent back to the minors. Well, Dahl is up now and in a premium matchup in Coors Field. Coors has a park factor rating of 1.335, the best in the Majors, and getting somebody as cheap as this in Coors is a rare occurrence. In his 2016 stint in the bigs, Dahl hit right-handed pitching to the tune of a .384 wOBA and .217 ISO, putting him in a dope spot against Bryan Mitchell.
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.