DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 4/30/18
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
Jake Arrieta ($10,900 on DraftKings): I am the biggest proponent of "Strikeouts are king" on DraftKings, but Jake Arrieta seems to have become a groundball master this season and it has worked out pretty well. His 2017 strikeout rate of 23.1 percent has dropped to 18.8 percent, but his ground-ball rate has risen from 45.1 percent to 63.2 percent. Now, we must remember that the 2018 numbers are a very small sample size, and he did have a 10-strikeout game already this season, but it looks like he's aimed more to induce weak ground-balls than he has getting some swing-and-miss action.
Jeff Samardzija ($8,700): Jeff Samardzija has started just twice, and he's had one solid and one terrible outing. The strikeouts weren't there in the two starts, but he faced two of the toughest opponents in the Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals. His 24.2 percent strikeout rate in 2017 and lower-than-usual 8.4 percent swinging strike rate to start the year makes me a believer that he will turn things around. Tonight, is a fantastic matchup to do so. He's taking on the San Diego Padres, who lead the league with a team strikeout rate of 27.7 percent.
Eduardo Rodriguez ($7,600): Eduardo Rodriguez has some pretty decent strikeout ability with a 25.8 percent strikeout rate in 2017, but when hitters get a hold of his pitch, they can launch it -- as his 42.9 percent fly-ball rate and 192 foot average batted ball distance would indicate. His 30.8 percent hard-hit rate is around average, but it is certainly troublesome to be giving up deep fly-balls. He comes in at a relatively cheap price, and the Boston Red Sox will let him go 100-plus pitches no problem. The Kansas City Royals have the best strikeout rate in the Majors at 18.2 percent. However, against left-handed pitching, they have the ninth-worst strikeout rate at 25.4 percent.
Hitters to Target
Rhys Hoskins ($5,200): Rhys Hoskins came onto the scene as a rookie in 2017 and just crushed it, especially against right-handed pitching. He put up an elite .421 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and a .333 isolated power (ISO) against righties and has continued that into this season with a .430 wOBA and a .246 ISO. Tonight, he gets Miami Marlins pitcher Dan Straily, who will be making his first start of the season. Although Marlins park isn't great for hitters, Straily's 88 mile per hour average exit velocity and 194 foot average batted ball distance should benefit Hoskins.
Kris Bryant ($4,900): It is early, but so far in 2018, Kris Bryant has struggled a bit with just two home runs in almost 100 plate appearances. However, one thing that has continued on is that he is still smashing left-handed pitching. He has an incredible .524 wOBA and .273 ISO against lefties and is facing Kyle Freeland this evening. Freeland doesn't really strike anybody out as indicated by his low 15.6 percent strikeout rate last season, but his 32 percent hard-hit rate is something that Bryant should be able to take advantage of this evening.
Xander Bogaerts ($4,700): Xander Bogaerts missed almost three weeks, but he pretty much continued where he left off since returning. On the season, he is hitting .391 with a 1.104 OPS and two home runs. He has done most of his damage against right-handed pitching with a .498 wOBA and a .353 ISO. Tonight, he's taking on Jason Hammel, who -- in 2017 -- gave up an 88 mile per hour average exit velocity and a 194 foot average batted ball distance, and although his 31.6 percent hard-hit rate is only a bit below average, factoring in the other two pieces of Statcast data could lead to trouble for Hammel tonight.
Yasmani Grandal ($3,900): I've written up catchers too often, but they end up paying off, and a guy like Yasmani Grandal is in a surprisingly underrated spot tonight. He's done well against right-handed pitching this season with a .383 wOBA and .241 ISO. On the surface, a matchup against Zack Greinke looks troublesome, but Greinke has struggled despite the solid strikeout numbers. He's given up a 37.2 percent hard-hit rate, a 89.4 mile per hour average exit velocity, and a 201 foot average batted ball distance. All are on the lower half compared to the rest of the slate. He should be low-owned based on the matchup, and although the price is a tad high with catcher being a usual punt position, he could really pay off tonight.
Daniel Robertson ($3,700): I don't know what it is about the Tampa Bay Rays, but it feels like they are constantly taking on a terrible pitcher, and I struggle as to whether they are worth writing up. Well, here we are again as they take on Jordan Zimmermann this evening. He had a 39.5 percent hard-hit rate, 88.6 mile per hour average exit velocity, and a 199 foot average batted ball distance, all of which are the worst on the slate. Daniel Robertson has been great for the Rays against right-handed pitching this season with a .445 wOBA and .125 ISO. As long as he continues to hit like, this it will be hard for the Rays to take him out of the lineup.
Yangervis Solarte ($3,400): Yangervis Solarte is going to be a boom-or-bust play here, and we're looking for that home run. He's been solid against right-handed pitching this season with a .352 wOBA and a .259 ISO. He's hitting just .231 overall, but he has 7 home runs and has been the Toronto Blue Jays' clean-up hitter as of late. Tonight, he'll be facing Lance Lynn, who has given up a 40 percent hard-hit rate this season, and although most of the other metrics are relatively solid, Solarte just needs to connect with one. His batting average is worrisome, but at this price, the home run upside is worth it.
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.