DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 4/27/18
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
Corey Kluber ($12,900 on DraftKings): Corey Kluber stands out among all other pitchers tonight, not only because he is the highest-priced on the slate, but because his numbers in 2017 were incredible. He had a 34.1 percent strikeout rate, which is the best on the slate by almost five percentage-points, and a slate-high 2.68 skill-interactive earned run average (SIERA) from last year. While the Seattle Marinersare not the easiest matchup, it is certainly one that the Kluber can thrive in as one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Stephen Strasburg ($10,800): When you can save over $2,000 to drop down from Kluber and use a pitcher of Stephen Strasburg's caliber, it's tough to ignore. Now, Strasburg has had a bit of an up-and-down season so far, alternating between great and below-average games. What's obvious from the numbers, though -- a 3.23 SIERA and 2.97 ERA -- is that this trend of good-then-bad games is just a flukey coincidence more than anything. Tonight, he's presented with an interesting matchup in the Arizona Diamondbacks. Arizona has struck out 25.6 percent of the time this season, which is the fourth-most in the Majors, and Strasburg has put up a good-not-great 27.1 percent strikeout rate -- a tad lower than his 29 percent strikeout rate for his career. Nonetheless, it's a solid spot for him on Friday.
Luis Castillo ($6,300): Luis Castillo was a pitcher than many projected as a breakout performer this season. So far, he has been a pretty big disappointment save for one start. However, his 2017 numbers certainly were impressive, pitching to a 27.3 percent strikeout rate and inducing weak contact, as indicated by his 29.7 percent hard-hit rate and 84.7 mile-per-hour average exit velocity. He's taking on a Minnesota Twins team tonight that has a team strikeout rate of 24.8 percent on the season and a .307 weighted on-base average (wOBA), which are both among the bottom-10 in all of baseball.
Hitters to Target
Didi Gregorius ($5,200): Gregorius has been arguably the best player in baseball this season and his 2.1 WAR leads all players, pitchers included. He is second in the Majors with 9 home runs, leads in RBI with 29 and is seventh with 21 runs. He's been insanely good. Tonight, he's taking on a left-handed pitcher in Andrew Heaney, but forget the lefty matchup -- Gregorius has done well against southpaws this season with a .486 wOBA and a .318 isolated power (ISO). However, with the Los Angeles Angels lowering their right-field wall, this could also help mitigate the situation.
Jose Ramirez ($4,800): Taking on Erasmo Ramirez is certainly a matchup to love for Jose Ramirez and the Cleveland Indians. He was terrible last year, with a 38.3 percent hard-hit rate and a 38.2 percent fly-ball rate, numbers that could get him in a lot of trouble against a team with as much power as the Tribe. He's only pitched 4.2 innings so far this year (and in a single start at that), but he gave up five earned runs, including two home runs. As a switch-hitter, Ramirez hit right-handed pitching well in 2017, sporting a .397 wOBA and .272 ISO. And that has continued so far this season with a .401 wOBA and a .317 ISO.
Freddie Freeman ($4,800): This isn't really the best matchup with Freddie Freeman taking on Aaron Nola, but Freeman has been so good, and with the promotion of Ronald Acuna and the emergence of Ozzie Albies, the Atlanta Braves have become a very favorable stack. Freeman crushed right-handed pitching in 2017 with a .422 wOBA and a .293 ISO and with more and more protection around him, pitchers have to give him something to hit. He's put up a solid .326 AVG with four home runs and a 1.040 OPS this season. There's no reason to believe that he won't continue that tonight.
Leonys Martin ($4,000): This is usually where I set the restrictions for max-salary in the value section, but I had to include somebody on the Detroit Tigers. Tdhey are taking on the dreadful Chris Tillman and it was tough to justify some of the more expensive Tigers when you consider all the superstars available on the 14-game slate. Anyway, in 2018, Leonys Martin has been leading off for the Tigers for most of the season while putting up a fantastic .429 wOBA and .275 ISO against right-handed pitchers. Tonight, he and the Tigers get Tillman, who in 2018 has a brutal 6.34 SIERA and is giving up a 41.4 percent hard-hit rate along with a 91.4 mile-per-hour exit velocity. His 2017 numbers were in line with this so there is little reason to expect him to improve.
Yasmani Grandal ($3,900): Switch-hitting Yasmani Grandal has been hitting left-handed pitching pretty well this season, albeit in 26 plate appearances. He's put up a solid .439 wOBA and a .182 ISO against southpaws and due to being a switch-hitter, he won't get hurt much if and when the San Francisco Giants bring in a right-handed reliever. He has actually been better against lefties this year, at least in terms of power, with a .429 wOBA and a .286 ISO. Derek Holland was terrible last season with a 195-foot average batted-ball distance, a 88.3 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and a 38.4 percent hard-hit rate. Those numbers have not really improved much this season, especially the average batted-ball distance (211 feet) and average exit velocity (91.8 miles per hour).
Corey Dickerson ($3,400): Dickerson got off to the same hot start last season. In the first half of 2017, he put up a solid .376 wOBA and a .236 ISO. For now, we can ride the Dickerson train as he takes on Miles Mikolas tonight, a pitcher that has been OK in his time this season, his first in the Majors since 2014. But he isn't striking many batters out with his 19.1 percent strikeout rate, and a 22.2 percent line-drive rate could lead to some trouble.
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.