DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 5/21/18
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
Zack Greinke ($12,100 on DraftKings): Zack Greinke has maintained a swinging-strike rate of 12.2% this season. He has also eschewed walks nearly entirely this year as his walk rate sits at just 3.2%. As a result, his SIERA is 3.06, which certainly qualifies him for ace territory. Despite high expectations coming into the season, the Milwaukee Brewers' lineup has the seventh-highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching. Just know there is some risk with Greinke based on his hard-hit rate allowed on the season (43.0%).
Walker Buehler ($9,300): While he's listed as a high-priced pitcher, this is very cheap for Buehler. He gets the Colorado Rockies on the road, and Colorado has the lowest implied team total on the slate. Buehler's been that good. He has allowed just a 23.9% fly-ball rate while also striking out a touch more than 30% of the batters he has faced. With the Dodgers as heavy -179 favorites on the moneyline, expect not just a strong pitching performance from Buehler but also a victory.
Jose Berrios ($8,500): Jose Berrios has faltered a bit after a ridiculous opening few starts, but this is pretty cheap for him in a nice spot. He has a 23.5% strikeout rate and 4.7% walk rate on the season. He also continues to limit hard contact as he has allowed a meager 27.5% hard-hit rate on the season. His SIERA is 3.57, and he gets to pitch against the Detroit Tigers at home. The Tigers are without Miguel Cabrera and rank dead-last in walk rate against right-handed pitching on the season.
Hitters to Target
Manny Machado ($5,600): Baseball's RBI leader, Manny Machado has a premium matchup against Hector Santiago. Santiago's strikeout rate is just 5.5% higher than his walk rate, and he is allowing a 52.1% fly-ball rate. This is good for a 5.21 SIERA. The Baltimore Orioles have the fifth-highest implied team total on the slate as they play in one of the best parks for offense in baseball in Guaranteed Rate Field. Machado has cut his strikeout rate and increased his walk rate so far in 2018 and has monstrous power upside.
Jose Abreu ($4,400): Playing in the same game is Jose Abreu, one of the best players in baseball that nobody talks about. Like Machado, Abreu has also cut his strikeout rate and increased his walk rate from 2017, but Abreu has done it while also increasing his hard-hit rate to 41.2%. Abreu will face Andrew Cashner, who has a 6.8% swinging-strike rate while also allowing a 42.3% hard-hit rate. Abreu should mash in this spot.
Paul Goldschmidt ($4,200): I know Goldschmidt has struggled mightily this season, but this is still too cheap for a guy we know to be one of the best hitters in baseball. Amidst the strikeout issues, Goldschmidt is still making good contact with a 41.0% hard-hit rate, even if the results haven't reflected that. Chase Anderson shouldn't scare anyone, either; he's making his first start coming off the disabled list and has a 5.05 SIERA on the season.
Didi Gregorius ($3,900): Didi Gregorius has seen his price drop considerably over the last three weeks, but he is in a great matchup at a pretty cheap price after getting a couple slump-induced days off. Gregorius and the New York Yankees have the highest implied team total on the slate as they will take on Bartolo Colon. Colon is allowing a 42.3% hard-hit rate this season and has just a 6.1% swinging-strike rate. Even accounting for his May swoon, Didi has smashed righties this season with a 130 wRC+, 52.1% fly-ball rate, and 46.3% hard-hit rate.
Anthony Rendon ($3,800): This price doesn't make much sense for a guy who was an MVP candidate in 2017. The only thing that has changed about Rendon's peripherals since last year is that his hard-hit rate is up from 34.3% to 37.0%. Rendon has simply had bad luck this year with just a .260 batting average on balls in play (career .310 mark). Robbie Erlin has been sneakily decent this year, but this is still too cheap to pass up on Rendon.
Matt Carpenter ($3,400): Along the same lines, the price just seems way too cheap for Matt Carpenter, even if he had been struggling to start the season. Carpenter has a 44.1% fly-ball rate and 44.7% hard-hit rate on the year, both of which are superb marks. He is facing Ian Kennedy, who has surrendered a 41.1% fly-ball rate and 40.0% hard-hit rate on the season. With six extra-base hits in his last five games, Carpenter appears to be on his way out of his slump, so use him now while his price is so nice.
Akash Bhatia is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Akash Bhatia also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tenswimrun1. 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.