DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 5/3/18

On a slate that is real ugly for pitching, you should have the cash to get the bats you want. Which hitters should you target?

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

High-Priced Pitcher

David Price ($9,700 on DraftKings): There are only two pitchers priced above $8,000 tonight -- David Price and Sean Manaea, who sits at $11,200. It seems like a slate that is going to be about saving money to pay up for hitters, so paying a premium for Manaea seems unnecessary. Price was solid last year in his limited time on the mound, posting a 24.0 percent strikeout rate and a 7.6 percent walk rate. He's taking on the Texas Rangers, a team that is banged up with three of their regulars on the disabled list. Texas is striking out 25.1 percent of the time, the fourth-most in the Majors this season.

Low-Priced Pitchers

Reynaldo Lopez ($7,600): The pitching slate is extremely ugly, ugly enough that Reynaldo Lopez is in play. His first three starts of the season were solid as he posted 20-plus DraftKings points in each, including a 10-strikeout game, without picking up a win. However, he put up single-digit DraftKings points in each of his last two outings. He's facing a Minnesota Twins team that is right around the league average with a 23.3 percent strikeout rate and .315 weighted on-base average (wOBA). If Lopez can have a decent outing and pick up some strikeouts along the way, the Chicago White Sox may be able to score enough runs against Jake Odorizzi to get him the win.

Hitters to Target

High-Priced Hitters

Mookie Betts ($5,700): Mookie Betts has been destroying the ball this season, with a .365 average and an incredible 1.274 OPS with 11 home runs. In 2017, he was especially successful against left-handed pitching with a .386 wOBA and .210 isolated power (ISO), and he will be taking on lefty Mike Minor. Betts has already had two games this season in which he hit three home runs, one of which came yesterday. Minor isn't bad, but he gave up a 41.4 percent fly-ball rate last season, so he could be in for some trouble.

Jose Abreu ($4,100): Keep an eye on Yoan Moncada as he would have been the first choice here, but he left Wednesday's game with an injury. Anyway, Jose Abreu is certainly a player worth looking at considering how well he has hit right-handed pitching in his career, putting up a solid .370 wOBA and .221 ISO. He's lucky enough to be facing Jake Odorizzi, who allowed a 36.8 percent hard-hit rate in 2017 and a slate-worst 205-foot average batted ball distance. The White Sox haven't scored many runs this season, but they have some sneaky power and boast a solid 4.48-run implied total.

Value Hitters

Chad Pinder ($3,600): Chad Pinder has been pretty solid in his career against left-handed pitching, posting a .349 wOBA and .200 ISO. It's nothing that'll blow you away, but at his price, it's pretty decent, and he also is typically slotted in the number-two spot in the lineup against lefties. He's taking on Wade LeBlanc, who has given up a .424 slugging percentage to right-handed hitters in his career. LeBlanc has actually struggled more against left-handed hitters in his career, but Pinder is in a great spot tonight when you factor in his splits, as well.

Ryon Healy ($3,400): This is an interesting matchup for Ryon Healy, somebody that typically bats in the bottom third of the order. He's taking on Sean Manaea, who has been great this year. Or has he? Manaea's numbers on the surface look superb, but he has actually given up a 36.6 percent hard-hit rate and has been getting very lucky with a .148 batting average on balls in-play (BABIP). His 1.03 ERA looks a lot better better than his still-very-good 3.20 fielding independent pitching (FIP). Healy has done well against left-handed pitching in his career as he has smashed them to the tune of a .371 wOBA and .221 ISO.

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.