DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 4/26/18
Every day is unique for daily fantasy baseball, which is both a blessing and a challenge. Although we canâ€™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 numberFireâ€™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? Letâ€™s check it out, starting with the pitchers.
Pitchers to Target
Dylan Bundy ($9,800): Chris Sale is the highest priced pitcher on the slate, $3,200 more than Dylan Bundy. Sale is an ace, but these two have been almost identical this season. Sale has a longer track record, of course, but call me crazy, I'd rather save that $3,200 and roll with Bundy. He's got a 31.0 percent strikeout rate in 2018, which is certainly a big jump on his 21.8 percent strikeout rate from 2017, but it's backed up by a 17.4 percent swinging-strike rate. He's taking on a Tampa Bay Rays team that has been better than expected this season and sits about league average in strikeout rate and weighted on-base average (wOBA) as a team.
Kyle Hendricks ($6,900): Kyle Hendricks appears to be way too cheap. Other than his start in Coors Field, when he was priced down to $7,000, he was $9,900 and $9,400 in his first two starts, with a start against the Pittsburgh Pirates that doesn't have a registered salary. And it's not like Hendricks has been bed. He hasn't been great, but he's been fine. In his four starts, he has five, one, seven and six strikeouts. He has struggled with the long-ball as he's given up five home runs, but he has a slate-best 26.8 percent hard-hit rate so far this season and his average exit velocity of 82.2 miles per hour and average batted-ball distance of 154 feet are also the best on the slate.
Hitters to Target
Mookie Betts ($5,400): Mookie Betts did it again last night, leading off the game with a home run in what ended up being a two-homer game for him. Tonight, he's taking on Marco Estrada, who has struggled with giving up fly balls. Although he allowed just a 27.2 percent hard-hit rate in 2017 -- the best on the slate -- he also gave up a slate-worst 50.3 percent fly-ball rate. Furthermore, his 195-foot average batted-ball distance is the second-worst and is cause for concern. As a fly-ball pitcher who induces weak popups, Estrada can get into trouble when hitters get a hold of the ball. Betts has 8 home runs this season, and his .350 average and 1.192 OPS are numbers that could crush Estrada in this matchup.
Javier Baez ($4,700): Javier Baez has seen his price skyrocket as the season has gone on, but for good reason. He has been on a tear, hitting .309 with 7 home runs and 24 RBIs, which is tied for second among all hitters. He's been hitting second over the last week or so, and in his last seven games, he has 16 hits, including six multi-hit games. Baez has smashed right-handed pitching so far in 2018 with a .545 wOBA and a .525 isolated power (ISO), and he'll see righty Chase Anderson tonight.
Lucas Duda ($3,600): Lucas Duda is definitely a hitter you're using in hopes that he hits a home run, because his batting average will always leave something to be desired -- it's .233 in 2018. But he does have three home runs and has a history of hitting right-handed pitching for plenty of power. He has a .362 wOBA and .235 ISO for his career against righties, while the numbers drop considerably to a .285 wOBA and .150 ISO against left-handed pitching. He's taking on Lucas Giolito, who has struggled across the board this season. He has a 7.71 skill-interactive earned run average (SIERA), 52.2 percent fly-ball rate and 9.1 strikeout rate, and he has done all of this with a fortunate .258 batting average on balls in play (BABIP).
Trey Mancini ($3,400): Let's be honest -- the Baltimore Orioles are pretty terrible, but their offense is in an interesting spot tonight. Chris Archer is a good pitcher, but he has struggled on the road. Although he's a high-strikeout guy, he also gives up a lot of hard-contact, which gets him in trouble. In 2017, he gave up a 39.4 percent hard-hit rate, the worst on the slate, and his 38.8 percent hard-hit rate in 2018 is also a slate-worst clip. His 89 mile per hour average exit velocity in 2017 and 90 mile per hour mark in 2018 are not doing him any favors, either. Trey Mancini did well against right-handed pitching in 2017 with a .362 wOBA and .223 ISO. While his 2018 numbers of .303 wOBA and .105 ISO leave a lot to be desired, there is hope for him in this matchup against Archer, who gives up so much hard-contact.
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.