DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 5/10/18
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
J.A. Happ ($11,000 on DraftKings): Pitching is pretty ugly tonight with some questionable pitchers priced up much higher than one would expect. J.A. Happ saw his price drop from his last start, an outing in which he got into trouble against the Tampa Bay Rays. However, in his five previous starts, he had eight or more strikeouts in each and has a sweet 31.0 percent strikeout rate in 2018. He's taking on a Seattle Mariners team that is pretty good, but three of their top six hitters bat from the left side. Although the M's didn't whiff much last night against lefty Jaime Garcia, they certainly couldn't get anything going, mustering a mere five hits and two runs.
Miles Mikolas ($10,200): This seems like an extremely high price to pay for a pitcher who doesn't strike out many batters, and it is. But Miles Mikolas is taking on the San Diego Padres, who strike out the most in the league at a 27.0 percent clip. The Padres also sit 28th in team wOBA at just .293. Mikolas is 29 years old but has just 131.1 career innings pitched in the MLB, and this is his first season in the league since 2014. His strikeout rate is low at just 19.3 percent, but he has a slate-best 3.34 skill-interactive earned run average (SIERA), so we'll see how this night plays out for him.
Garrett Richards ($8,900): Early in his career, Garrett Richards was not much of a strikeout guy. However, he has increased his strikeout rate in four consecutive seasons, which could be expected based on the direction the league is going but is still worth noting. His 30.0 percent strikeout rate in 2018 is especially appealing, and on a slate like tonight, he is one of the better options on the slate. He's got a pretty neutral matchup against the Minnesota Twins, a team that sits 11th with a .320 team weighted on-base average (wOBA) and 18th with a strikeout rate of 22.2 percent.
Hitters to Target
Charlie Blackmon ($5,500): The Colorado Rockies have played just one-third of their games at Coors Field so far, so we're going to get a bunch of Coors games coming up. Charlie Blackmon will be facing Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Jhoulys Chacin in a matchup that he should be able to thrive in. In 2017, Blackmon destroyed right-handed pitchers with a .420 wOBA and a .292 isolated power (ISO), and he is in a great spot in this one.
Tommy Pham ($5,000): Tommy Pham has missed few games but is expected back in the lineup tonight (if Pham remains out, Matt Carpenter is another great St. Louis Cardinals player to use, and he's at a cheaper price, too). In 2017, Pham crushed right-handed pitching to the tune of a .396 wOBA and .201 ISO, and he has continued that into 2018 with a .395 wIBA and .182 ISO in the split. He'll be facing right-hander Jordan Lyles, who gave up a 37.0 percent hard-hit rate last season and could be in trouble against Pham.
Travis Shaw ($4,600): Travis Shaw is not one to hit for average this season as his .223 average is nothing to write home about, but he has plenty of power. He's smacked 7 home runs already this season and brings a career .347 wOBA and .217 ISO against right-handed pitching into Coors tonight. German Marquez gave up a 34.5 percent hard-hit rate and an 88.1 mile per hour average exit velocity in 2017, and he could struggle tonight against a Milwaukee Brewers team with plenty of power.
Nick Markakis ($3,900): I know this is a lefty facing a lefty here, but Nick Markakis is on an absolute tear this season, even versus left-handed pitchers. Although it's just 52 plate appearances, he's put up an incredible .471 wOBA and .234 ISO against southpaws in 2018. Furthermore, if Caleb Smith doesn't last long, Markakis could see plenty of right-handed pitchers later in the game. Markakis is averaging 10.0 DraftKings points per game, and he may not see much ownership because of the lefty-lefty clash, making him an intriguing GPP play.
Teoscar Hernandez ($3,900): He has certainly slowed down a bit after a hot start, but Teoscar Hernandez has been hitting right-handed pitchers very well since coming to the Toronto Blue Jays. Last season, he hit righties to the tune of a .417 wOBA and .371 ISO in a small sample of 68 plate appearances, and he has continued that through his first 73 plate appearances against righties in 2018, posting a .389 wOBA and .333 ISO. He's going to face Mike Leake, who had a 32.7 percent hard-hit rate and brutal 16.6 percent strikeout rate a year ago.
Trey Mancini ($3,500): It is a rare occasion when you're looking to use some Baltimore Orioles not named Manny Machado, but there is certainly some interest tonight. The O's will be facing Ian Kennedy, who was bad in 2017, giving up a 41.7 percent hard-hit rate and a 47.7 percent fly-ball rate, both of which are slate-worst marks. Furthermore, his 89.3 mile per hour average exit velocity and 210 foot average batted-ball distance are also both bottom-two clips on the slate. Last year, Trey Mancini hit righties pretty well with a .362 wOBA and .223 ISO, and given all the flaws in Kennedy's game, Mancini could put up big numbers today.
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.