DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 5/7/18
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
Stephen Strasburg ($13,600 on DraftKings): Stephen Strasburg stands out far and above every other pitcher on this slate, and being priced $4,000 more than the next highest arm certainly backs that up. He had a 29.1 percent strikeout rate in 2017, which is almost 5 percentage points more than anybody else's on the slate, and he had a slate-best 3.37 skill-interactive earned run average (SIERA) a year ago. Stras is taking on a San Diego Padres team that strikes out at a 27.2 percent clip, tops in the bigs, and he's the clear top pitcher for cash games.
Kyle Hendricks ($9,600): It's tough to pay this much for a pitcher who is pretty average with strikeouts (21.6 percent strikeout rate). However, there isn't much to like on this pitching slate, and given that Kyle Hendricks has a slate-best 83.9 mile per hour average exit velocity from 2017, the weak contact he induces may be worth it. Hendricks will be facing a Miami Marlins squad that is dead last with a .279 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and .103 isolated power (ISO).
Jeff Samardzija ($8,400): Starting the season on the disabled list was not ideal for Jeff Samardzija, but his first start back was solid. He followed that up with one brutal and one "meh" start. However, he had a solid strikeout rate in 2017 at a 24.2 percent clip as well as putting up a solid 3.63 SIERA, which is the third-best 2017 mark on this slate. He should be able to pick up some strikeouts tonight given that the Philadelphia Phillies are striking out 26.3 percent of the time, the second-most in baseball.
Hitters to Target
George Springer ($5,200): George Springer hit for a ton of power against left-handed pitching last season. He put up an elite .413 wOBA and .248 ISO against southpaws in 2017 and although his wOBA in the split is down to .379 in the early part of 2018, his ISO off lefties is up to an incredible .324 in a limited sample size. He'll be facing Brett Anderson, who gave up a .351 wOBA and .479 slugging percentage to right-handed hitters last season and could be in serious trouble against a Houston Astros team with a lot of power.
Javier Baez ($4,500): The Chicago Cubs have been a disappointment in the early part of 2018, but Javier Baez has not. He's put up a .286 average, smashed 9 home runs, picked up 29 RBIs and scored 23 runs while stealing 3 bases along the way. He's going to be facing left-handed Jarlin Garcia. In 2017, Baez smashed left-handed pitching to the tune of a .379 wOBA and .266 ISO. Garcia has given up a 40.9 fly-ball rate in the early part of 2018 and hasn't really paid for it yet, but if it continues, the ball is going to start leaving the park a lot more.
Joey Gallo ($4,300): Joey Gallo is a player who sells out for power, but he does a very good job of producing said power. Gallo has, crazily enough, had 60 home runs in his career and just 57 singles. That ratio is absurd. He has improved in other areas this season as he has lowered his strikeout rate from 36.8 percent down to 31.0 percent, and although it's a small sample size, his batting average has gone up from .209 to .223, so we will see if this continues. Gallo is taking on right-hander Michael Fulmer and in 2017, Gallo smashed righties for a .364 wOBA and insane .350 ISO. While Gallo could very easily put up a goose egg, he always has the potential to smash two home runs, making him a great tourney play.
Brandon Belt ($4,100): I like to use $4,000 as my value threshold, but it's a seven-game slate, so there is some leeway here. Belt is a player who has always hit right-handed pitching well, and in 2017, he was superb in the spilt with a .372 wOBA and .254 ISO. He has started this season hot, too. Albeit in just 74 plate appearances against righties, he's crushed them for a .463 wOBA and .377 ISO. He's taking on Zach Eflin, a right-handed pitcher who has struggled against lefties, giving up a .387 wOBA and brutal .596 slugging percentage to left-handed sticks.
Jose Martinez ($3,400): This price seems pretty low for Jose Martinez, a player who seems to give you a solid floor each time he plays. Martinez has reached based, one way or another, in 25 of 31 games he's played, which is pretty impressive, although his .358 on-base percentage (OBP) doesn't really grab your attention. The St. Louis Cardinals will face Fernando Romero, who will be making his second career start. Romero was solid in his debut, striking out five Toronto Blue Jays across 5.2 innings, but he allowed a 50.0% hard-hit rate in that debut.
James McCann ($3,300): It's tough to recommend a catcher, but when they are cheaper, it's a lot easier to do so, because everybody wants to punt this position for the most part. With Matt Moore on the slate, we needed to talk about the Detroit Tigers, and James McCann is a good way to get exposure. In 2017, McCann was good against left-handed pitching, putting up a .391 wOBA and .260 ISO. Moore gave up a 185 foot average batted-ball distance and a 88.4 mile per hour average exit velocity last season, both of which don't bode well for his 41.9 percent fly-ball rate. Moore could get into trouble today, and McCann is just as likely as any Tiger to get in on that.
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.