DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 4/24/18
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
Robbie Ray ($11,000 on DraftKings): *NOTE* Be sure to check the weather on this game, as there are some rain concerns. Of the two pitchers priced over $10,000 on DraftKings, I'll be leaning towards Robbie Ray despite the fact that Charlie Morton has actually been better this season. Ray is a great pitcher, but he has been especially good on the road, as Chase Field has been a big-time hitters park in previous years (which could change moving forward with the humidor). On the road, he's got a 29 percent strikeout rate, gives up just a .217 batting average and has a 3.48 fielding independent pitching (FIP). At home, those numbers sit at a 25.5 percent strikeout rate, .272 average and a 4.23 FIP. Although the Philadelphia Phillies do have a hitter-friendly park, it is nothing like Chase Field is (or used to be?).
Rick Porcello ($9,500): After a disappointing 2017 season, Rick Porcello is looking good again. He's had his two best games -- in terms of DraftKings points -- against two of the most potent offenses this season in the Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees. He is getting by with a nice ground-ball rate (49.3 percent), but it isn't really that crazy as his career number is 48.9 percent. He is taking on the Toronto Blue Jays, a team that has surprised a lot of people, but the Jays own just a 3.94 implied total tonight.
Luke Weaver ($7,500): Luke Weaver pitched 36.1 innings in 2016 and 60.1 innings in 2017, putting up a 27.0 percent strikeout rate and a 28.6 percent strikeout rate, respectively. His strikeout numbers have dipped a bit in the early part of 2018 (22.2 percent strikeout rate), but given the almost 100 innings of better numbers, Weaver's strikeout rate should improve. Furthermore, his 3.29 skill-interactive earned run average (SIERA) in 2017 is the second-best on the slate. Weaver's salary has been all over the place this season, and it has dropped $1,000 since struggling against the Chicago Cubs in his last start, which makes him at a pretty nice bargain on this slate.
Hitters to Target
Nolan Arenado ($5,400): Nolan Arenado destroyed left-handed pitching last season, putting up an insane .534 weight on-base average (wOBA) and .420 isolated power (ISO). He is taking on Eric Lauer, who will be making his first career start. Yes, Lauer is lucky enough to have his first start in the Majors be at Coors Field. Lauer has shown to have pretty solid strikeout numbers in the minors, but he gave up a 42.1% fly-ball rate over 55 frames in Double-A last season.
J.D. Martinez ($5,000): J.D. Martinez is in Toronto to take on the Jays at the Rogers Centre. It will be J.A. Happ on the mound for the Jays, and Happ is a left-handed pitcher who might have some trouble against the hard-hitting Boston Red Sox. Last season, Martinez crushed lefties with a .531 wOBA and an incredible .516 ISO. Happ gave up a .412 slugging percentage (SLG) to right-handed hitters last season. Martinez man hits for power against lefties, and although Happ is a solid pitcher, he could be in for a world of trouble tonight.
Eric Thames ($4,700): Eric Thames and Jesus Aguilar have basically become a full-blown platoon at first base for the Milwaukee Brewers. Tonight, Milwaukee is facing right-handed pitcher Ian Kennedy, meaning that we're going to see Thames in the middle of the order. Against righties, Thames hit for a .390 wOBA and .286 ISO in 2017, and in the early part of 2018, he's been even better with a .421 wOBA and an eye-opening .434 ISO in the split. Kennedy has struggled with hard-contact, surrendering a slate-worst 41.7 percent hard-hit rate in 2017. On top of that, Kennedy gave up a 47.7 percent fly-ball rate and when you combine that with the hard-contact, it's no surprise that he had a 15.7 percent home-run-per-fly-ball rate.
Marcus Semien ($3,700): Marcus Semien has been solid against lefties in the early part of 2018, posting a .402 wOBA and .200 ISO. However, over his last five games, he has been on fire. He has four multi-hit games in that span, including four games of more than 10 DraftKings points. He's got Cole Hamels on the mound tonight, and Hamels was pretty bad in 2017, sporting with a 36.0 percent hard-hit rate and 4.90 SIERA. Hamels saw his strikeout rate dip to 17.1 percent, which was down from his 23.1 percent career average. Although his 2018 strikeout rate has jumped back up to 27 percent, his 42.5 hard-hit rate is worth targeting..
Corey Dickerson ($3,600): Considering what Corey Dickerson did last season, it was surprising when he was designated for assignment in spring training. The Pittsburgh Pirates seized an opportunity to acquire Dickerson for cheap and did. Dickerson hit right-handed pitching well last season with a .339 wOBA and .220 ISO. His career numbers against righties are even better as Dickerson has put a .362 wOBA and .248 ISO. Taking on Jordan Zimmermann should inflate those numbers as his 88.6 mile per hour average exit velocity and 199-foot average batted-ball distance are among the worst on the slate.
Matt Kemp ($3,600): It's early in the 2018 season, but Matt Kemp's return to the Los Angeles Dodgers after four years has gone pretty well. He is hitting .321 with 3 home runs, 10 RBIs and a .896 on-base plus slugging (OPS). Tonight, he's facing left-hander Dillon Peters of the Miami Marlins. Peter has struggled since his first start of the season, giving up 15 runs, including 4 home runs, over his last three starts. His 93.1 mile per hour average exit velocity is a slate-worst mark and could get him into trouble tonight.
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.